This has not been grasped by many and certainly not by the panelists. Each one spoke of corruption in the Boston office of the FBI but the TEI program did not exist in that office alone, it existed in every office in the country. Ignoring that they fell into the trap of believing what happened in Boston was unique to Boston. Without the TEI program there is no Whitey saga.
Attorney Carney not a stranger to hyperbole suggests that one proof of the corruption in the Department of Justice (DOJ) is that Whitey was the top gangster in Boston for 25 years and he never even got a parking ticket. Those familiar with the matter know Whitey became an informant in 1975 but did not rise to the top of his group until about 1980. He was protected by John Connolly for a period of ten or eleven years until Connolly retired in 1990. He fled from the city in December 1994. The reason why Whitey was not prosecuted had nothing to do with the DOJ or O’Sullivan, (except in one instance by the latter before he had gained the leadership position). It was because he was in the TEI program that gave him protection from prosecution.
It is a simple matter. There was no corruption in the DOJ’s office in Boston or Washington. Carney said there were only four reasons why Whitey was not prosecuted: the DOJ lawyers were incompetent; the DOJ lawyers were on the take; the DOJ lawyers were unaware of Whitey’s existence; or Whitey had an agreement with O’Sullivan he wouldn’t be prosecuted and the DOJ lawyers were honoring that agreement. He dismissed the first three as well he should but having done that he says all that is left is the last. But if the DOJ lawyers were competent, as Carney concedes, they surely would not have gone along with a top criminal being given carte blanche to commit crimes.
But what Carney left out is the fifth reason, that the FBI under the TEI program was protecting him. The DOJ lawyers cannot prosecute someone unless they have evidence brought to them of the person’s involvement in crime. The FBI didn’t give them anything on Whitey.
However, the DOJ lawyers when presented evidence by the DEA that Whitey was involved in criminal activity did go after him. They helped secure warrants for electronic surveillance. That they did not come up with the evidence implicating Whitey was the product of their investigation where no evidence of his involvement was gained. It was not proof they had some type of agreement not to prosecute him.
I’ll mention O’Sullivan briefly. He did keep Whitey and Stevie out of an indictment in 1978 or 1979 for fixing races. At the time both men were part of the leadership in their gang the leader but the leading figure was Howie Winter. O’Sullivan at the time was not only prosecuting that Race Fix case he was also working with the FBI organized crime section in an investigation against Boston Mafia boss Gerry Angiulo. O’Sullivan would lead that FBI group which was under the direction of John Morris to a successful electronic surveillance of Angiulo and his strong-arm man Baione and eventually indict and convict them.
O’Sullivan was preparing to indict around 20 or so people in connection with that case including all the leadership of the gang, Winter, McDonald, Sims, Martorano,Whitey Bulger and Stevie Flemmi when he was approached by John Morris. Morris asked him to pull Whitey and Stevie out of the indictment. He told them they were TEIs and he needed them in the investigation of Angiulo. O’Sullivan went along with it.