A Carney & Brennan Redux – III – Double Agent

Carney & Brennan Post Hearing Presentation
Carney & Brennan Post Hearing Presentation

I’m back to writing about the recent discovery motion filed by Carney & Brennan (C&B). The set up to their argument which I mentioned in Redux I is the Government has a pattern of making deals with top level criminals and then denying they made the deals. That through AUSA O’Sullivan of the Department of Justice (DOJ) made a deal with Whitey. The basis of the deal was not based on him giving information. In other words Whitey was not to become an informant nor was he ever an informant.

C&B don’t tell us what the quid pro quo is for the deal. We don’t know what the DOJ wanted from Whitey to take this extraordinary step of offering immunity. The mystery endures.

I’ve speculated if there was a deal with O’Sullivan, which I doubt, the deal was he would work with the FBI to help keep Flemmi as an FBI source. He’d also need to protect Flemmi’s back. And, most importantly, buck him up.

No one doubts Flemmi’s value as an informant. Flemmi was providing inside and ongoing information against the Boston Mafia. His Italian roots opened the door to that mob through his long standing Roxbury friendship with Larry Baione the top enforcer for the Boston Mafia. He was also a close friend of Frankie Salemme who would become head of the New England Mafia.

Here’s my take on the deal. Flemmi may have been getting cold feet. We’ve seen he likes to murder people. We’ve read of the gruesome manner in which he’d desecrate the bodies of his victims gleefully yanking out their teeth.

Yet, when it came to facing the death penalty in Florida or Oklahoma he ran into the Government’s arms seeking succor. A tough man as long as he’s carrying and his victim’s unarmed. He easily murdered others but shook in his boots at the thought he might be executed even though he was an old man.

O’Sullivan was relying heavily on Flemmi. He might have sensed this, or was told flat out, that Flemmi was turning yellow. O’Sullivan was overseeing one of the highest priority Mafia investigations in the country. He couldn’t let that happen at such a critical point so he enlisted Whitey’s help.

I pointed to the move into the North End from Somerville as a basis for showing that. The last place Whitey of South Boston (Southie) wanted to go was onto the home turf of the Italian gangsters. Last week we read how Larry Baione offered: “I feel we should go all out every family get together and kill the Irishmen.” 

There is no doubt Whitey was brought up on the Southie lore about the Gustins. Its leaders, two powerful Southie Irish gangsters, ventured into the North End to make peace. Those Italian thought like Baione. They murdered the duo.

Whitey would need a powerful incentive to make that move. He’d need some huge guarantee. He must have received it because he and Flemmi moved their operation from the safety of Irish Somerville to the not-so-safe Italian North End shortly after they took over the Winter Hill gang.

The meeting with O’Sullivan is alleged to have happened about that time. The move had to be done at the behest of the FBI, otherwise it made no sense. O’Sullivan and the FBI had targeted both Gerry Angiulo’s and Larry Baione’s offices.

Putting Flemmi within walking distance of those offices gave the FBI eyes, ears, and a nose right under the tent. By January, 1981 electronic bugs would be installed in those North End locations. The evidence seized would eliminate Angiulo’s gang along with Baione.

Flemmi was worth his weight in gold to the Government in its war against the Mafia. Maybe that’s why it let him keep a substantial part of his assets when he pled guilty.

What C&B seem to be saying is Whitey wasn’t an informant. He was working for the US attorney’s office and the FBI in another capacity. They could not be suggesting, if they did no one will accept it, that O’Sullivan made the immunity deal with Whitey and got nothing in return for the Government.

They seem to be hinting that he’s sort of a double agent. He once described himself to a DEA Agent, “you’re the good good guys, I’m a bad good guy.” Isn’t that a double agent?

If he’s a double agent how does that change anything? Aren’t we only playing with semantics? He’s doing the same thing as an informant. He’s still betraying others in the underworld.  If whatever he says he was doing and it had something to do with enabling Flemmi to be an informant, that makes him not much different from Flemmi?

10 thoughts on “A Carney & Brennan Redux – III – Double Agent

  1. Matt
    I got up early, . . . Now why I post this morning: I pithily wanted to say that brevity may be the soul of wit, but I aint aiming for wit: I’m trying for knockouts; “

    1. Bill:
      I enjoy your story of the day. For me it was quite interesting. But for others they’d have no idea why it was posted here. I had to edit most of it so that the comment section relates to the subject matter.

        1. Ernie:
          So do I but everything in its place. The comment section is getting much too long and there are some good posts there that are relevant to the matters under discussion so I have to start making more useful.

          1. I understand Matt, but seeing the brothers Connolly engage and disagree reminds the reader of relationships which really is what the epic is about.
            J. Edgar Hoover’s relationship to his agents and the institution, even long after he’s dead.
            Bill Bulger’s relationship with his brother
            The F..B.I and each individual informant
            I could keep going.

            But the posts remind us of the ridiculousness of the feds’ and media’s narrative on this.

            You guys remind how impossible it would be for two irish catholic brothers from Old Harbor could ever conspire to dominate the world of politics and crime and then carry out. If they can’t agree on how to shovel a side walk how are they gonna secretly run the world?

            That’s my last word on it.

          2. Ernie:
            You make a good point, probably better than I have that the relationship between brothers is just that, they are brothers. I am no more a copy of my brothers than they are of me. We have our own views and our own lives and though we are stuck with the relationship our ideas differ substantially. Billy’s a writer who can spin out lots of words and tell a good story. But there’s a season for everything. The season on this blog is bout Whitey stuff. Billy can go far afield in talking about it while I try to keep him in the ballpark. When he goes off into other areas that are interesting but not particularly relevant I feel I have to edit them out which I hate doing because I’m trying to suggest ot him that the editing should be done by the person who comments and not by me. .

            One learns with his or her siblings you can neither control what they do or are responsible for what they do. It is alleged Billy Bulger said when told he should tell Whitey to go straight, “Have you ever tried to tell your older brother to do something he does not want to do?” I don’t believe that exchange happened but it does tell of the position one brother has in relation to another.

            The tragedy of this whole thing for Billy Bulger is that if Whitey had stayed as a courthouse custodian he’d still be U Mass president, UMass would have thrived under his leadership, and he’d be having tunnels and bridges named after him. So for Whitey, he’d be what Howie Winter called him when he first met him, “a ham and egger” when compared to Martorano, Flemmi, Salemme and himself if it wasn’t for his brother Billy. So even though brothers may have no connection other than kinship malicious people with access to the pen can destroy both for the sins of one.

  2. Sorry, here’s my real last word on it.

    Here’s how I see this all playing out.

    Matt Connolly goes snooping down in D.C. and sniffs around.

    Soon he’s on to something and deep in the bowels of a government building somewhere while digging he is startled by David Margolis.

    Margolis is holding a gun to Matt and scolds him for not leaving well enough alone.

    Then before he kills him he explains everything. Every detail. Answers all the questions.

    Then just as he finishes saying what a shame it is that he has to kill him because if things were different he really could see them working together some day.

    Just then, without a second to spare i come Neal and Billy Connolly with the D.C. police right behind.

    Matt turns to the other Connolly’s and says, “What took you so long” and Billy goes goes into a long and involved explanation of how they had to stop and get gas but it was a rental and they had a time figuring out how to open the lid and then they needed cash …..

    That’s what I want to see happen Matt.

    1. Ernie:
      You’re venturing into Billyland with that story. I’ll let it go for now but the personal stuff really should remain as far away f rom the blag as possible. I would say your story had no ending. You should have noted that While Billy was talking Margolis slipped away planning to get his revenge at a later time and the DC cops arrested Neal for attempting to breach the when he suggested that the ACC with BC was a better league than the Big East with Georgetown.

  3. Matt, Ernie: I get your drifts and rifts. Almost every group, every band has a leader. Matt leads this band. The bandleader calls the tunes and fixes the tenor and length of the solos. Whitey, Flemmi, Salemme led evil bands. This is a good band; I’ll play along. Laconically and metaphorically speaking, I’ll play back-ups, second fiddle, though I prefer to solo as many keyboard guys do! What I say is that without an orchestra leader there’s disharmony, discord and dissonance. I’ll pipe in time to time. I’ve got stories from the wards, the Hills, the L, the beaches, the bars, the woods, the local lounges and the downtown cafes that’d make your hair stand up and turn purple, or perhaps be music to your ears. I’m glad we’ve got this forum to express ourselves and provide some modern jazz, atonality and contrapuntal themes. The Feds, Globo-philes, Carr-types and curs now know there’s a new band in town that sings songs of freedom, that lets the truth sting, and the cards fall where they may. Remember, we got a fight on our hands: (1) the bigger they are the harder they fall; (2) the bigger they are the harder they hit. The DOJ and Globe have monopolized expression for too long round here;they have lots of firepower. But, the race doesn’t always go to the swift and strong. Let’s continue to throw stones at “the enemy within the enemy within”: the higher ups, the muckety-mucks, the major malefactors: O’Neill, Lehr, Cullen, Carr, Gelzinis, Wyshak & company, the judges, and the D.C. bigwigs who falsify, cover up and give wrongful orders to the front line troops. Peace, brothers! Fight the good fight! Up the Republic! Up Galway! Happy Easter Monday and Happy Spring! Happy Patriots Day (April 19)! As Joyce wrote at the end of “The Dubliners”: “The snow is falling faintly. . . .” How’s that sound? Crazy? Crazy is good in jazz!

    1. Billy:
      “ . . . he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.”
      The snow is an equal opportunity agent – it doesn’t discriminate. Likewise this blog is faintly heard but doesn’t discriminate since all views are welcome as long as they closely deal with the subject.

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