§34: Breaking The News: [Re-Examining Whitey Bulger: The Learning Years:]

A Sense Of Freedom

I’ve suggested what remains is Stevie has to out himself to Whitey as an FBI informant. The prior stories by media types make no sense because they have Whitey bringing Stevie along. Even were those correct, they don’t tell how it happened. They use such terms as “blended him in” showing their desire to avoid facing the issue and their misunderstanding of the roles played by the individuals in these affairs. The voluble John Connolly spins a tale of recruiting Whitey to fight against the Mafia which makes no sense. Whitey knew nothing about the Mafia. He might just as well have had recruited the Boston Strangler when it came to getting information against the Mafia.

It couldn’t have been easy for Stevie Flemmi to disclose to Whitey his deal with the FBI. How do you tell another guy in a gang of murderous thugs that you are an FBI informant and that you want him to come along with you and expect he won’t dime you out? Yet, Flemmi had to do this. He had to let Whitey know.  He couldn’t risk Whitey finding out in another manner.

The only way to do it was to have such a strong relationship, one that pitted both of them against all others. It probably took him a year and a murder or two eliminating Whitey’s foes to build up that closeness. Both were cut from the same cloth. According to what Frank Salemme said of Stevie Flemmi, his life long friend, and what we’ve come to understand about Whitey, both were motivated by only two things in life, women and money, and as Salemme said, “not necessarily in that order.”

Stevie would have had to convince Whitey that the only way to get them, and more importantly, to keep them, was to have a guardian angel that would watch over them. It would be like an insurance policy. They’d pay for it by providing information in lieu of money. The best company in town offering that protection was the only one that would bring high level gangsters onto the team. That was the FBI.

In considering this we also want to know how Whitey could maintain he was never an FBI informant. Flemmi admits that he was one. The evidence of the FBI’s phenomenal success against the Boston Mafia clearly shows this.

We’ve no doubt Stevie Flemmi was an informant. Because of that, we assume his partner Whitey was one. That circumstance, the belief that the two leaders of a vicious criminal gang were FBI informants brought about the public’s outrage. Had it been only Flemmi, how different things may have been. Or had his partner been Jimmy Moore everything would have been different just like  it would have been had Eddie McCormack run for senate against Teddy Moore.

Have you ever considered what would have happened had both men been FBI informants but the other man aside from Stevie was not named Whitey Bulger.  Suppose his name was Jimmy Moore.

Think of how much is in a name. You all remember Lester Gillis who called himself George Nelson, George Barnes who changed his name to George Kelly, Kate Barker, Charles Floyd, and even Elmer Burke,. J. Edgar Hoover knew these people. He knew them as everyday vicious criminals. But he wanted to turn them into legends. To do this he promoted their nicknames to prominence. Perhaps if I told you I’m referring to Baby Face Nelson, Machine Gun Kelly, Ma Barker, Pretty Boy Floyd and Trigger Burke. I assume you’d recognized them. These cognomens, or nicknames, make all the difference in the world. They turn run of the mill criminals into something special.

Perhaps Whitey knew this also. That is why he insisted being called James or Jimmy. Nicknames can be fatal. Then again it wasn’t only the nickname that resounded, it was the last name too. Being connected to a prominent brother increased the aura of intrigue especially when the brother’s disdain for the mainstream media left enemies waiting from him behind every editor’s desk. He was a much desired target.

Earlier this week Attorney General Martha Coakley was talking about “the leader of an extensive and violent criminal enterprise that for ­decades threatened the safety of our community.” She was referring to an FBI Top Echelon informant who was given passes on his crimes by the FBI, who is suspected of having murdered several people, and was involved in extortion and drug dealing, and had served federal time for bank robbery. Sound familiar. You’d guess it was Whitey. Actually it was a man as bad as Whitey, if nor more so.

He is Mark Rossetti a Mafia captain. There’s been little press coverage and no books and articles about him. He continued as an FBI Top Echelon informant for a dozen or so years after the FBI told us they’d never have another Whitey situation. An outraged Congressman Stephen Lynch who served on the committee investigating the FBI promised to look into this mess. He’s apparently forgotten about it not having the heart or desire to go up against the FBI’s stonewalling.

Had Whitey been Jimmy Moore the FBI would not have thrown Agent Connolly to the wolves. It would have let the public’s indifference calm the waters.  How many know the names of the FBI handlers of Mark Rossetti? The embarrassment to the family would have been that much less as is shown by the Rossetti case.

The media’s appetite whetted because of the “Whitey” and “Bulger” combination caused an uproar. The blackening of Connolly made it convenient for the FBI to move on even though the knowledge and approval of Connolly’s actions permeated the Bureau. As we just read in last week’s decision by Judge David Souter the myth that Connolly was convicted of taking bribes has become an accepted truth as is the idea Whitey was an informant.

If as Whitey alleges he was not an informant, what are we left with? Is everything different? Or, does nothing change?



7 thoughts on Ҥ34: Breaking The News: [Re-Examining Whitey Bulger: The Learning Years:]

  1. This whole Whitey mess – and Rosetti mess, apparently – leads me to wonder where the government stops and organized crime begins.

    1. Kristi:
      When the FBI joined up with Top Echelon informants there was no stopping point. How can you have people who have to be top criminals as informants and not expect yourself to be corrupted by dealing with them? There is no bright line which separates one from the other as long as the FBI feels it is its duty, as Rossetti’s FBI handler said to him in an intercepted phone call, “my job is to keep you safe.” Actually, his job is to put him in prison. How did things get so confused?

  2. Interesting. I guess it’s more ‘meet the new boss, same as the old boss’, at the FBI. I wonder who the current ‘Top Eschelon’ informants are. I guess we’ll find out in 15 years or so.

    1. Kristi:
      We would not have known of Rossetti unless the State Police didn’t pick him up on a wiretap. We would not have known of Flemmi and Whitey if Wolf didn’t frce the disclosure. Bottom line is we have no idea who are Top Echelon informants or how many there are. Look to your left, then look to your right. You might have just seen one. The new FBI is the Old FBI.

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