A Confederacy of Dunces: Part 7 of 7

ConfederacyBoeri popped in to say had Whitey testified he would have been convicted of all 19 murders rather than the 11. He also reminded Carney that he said Whitey would testify. I’m not sure why that’s important. Boeri should know Carney like to say things but the decision on testifying would come from Whitey.

Bob Bloom said the trial was a political trial since the issue of guilt or innocence wasn’t in play. Carney had admitted up front his client was guilty of much of the stuff. It was far from a political trial. There were lots of bodies, guns and gangsters.

Kelly said Whitey was afraid to be cross-examined because he was a control freak. Carney explained he had gone through cross-examination with four skilled lawyers and was very good at it. He said Jim called the government’s bluff and when the judge said he could not testify about his immunity agreement he rightly called the trial a sham.

The audience asked questions. In response to one Bob Bloom said regulations were not followed and that Whitey’s TEI file did not look like other TEI files. I had my doubts he had seen many TEI files so I don’t know how he concluded this.

Boeri answered one saying the story was the extensive government corruption which shows all involved, the prosecutor, defense lawyer and media want to close their eyes to the TEI program and pretend this is a local Boston issue.

Carney ended most of it with a flourish.  Having been quiet for a while and seeing the session coming to a close he said the issue of whether Whitey was an informant was important.  The reason it is important is that by making him an informant the DOJ can cover up all the corruption in the FBI,DEA, State Police, Customs and in the DOJ in Washington, DC. If the jury decided Whitey was not an informant it would believe the witnesses are intentionally lying to cover up the corruption. That sounds good but the jury still had to deal with drug dealings, the extortions, the killings, and the guns which existed even if Whitey wasn’t an informant and the DOJ was corrupt.

Then Carney told us that Jim said he’s just a person from a small area telling us if we looked at South Boston from the top of the Prudential we’d see how small it is. He’s right there for in truth Whitey’s influence was mainly confined to South Boston. Carney said Jim successfully controlled that tiny neighborhood at the same time he controlled 35 FBI agents and the head of the Organized Crime Strike force (O’Sulllivan) . He said if he could do that imagine how corrupt things must be where more powerful people would be able to control so much more. Again I agree if that were the case but it isn’t.

It does however point to Whitey’s grandiosity. He didn’t control O’Sullivan. He didn’t control any agents. They were controlled by the Director of the FBI who instituted the TEI program. That program dictated that the people who agreed to be TEI’s and work for the FBI were to be protected by the FBI. The corruption everyone points to doesn’t exist where they think it does. It exists in the TEI program yet none seem to realize it.

The question that must be answered is how corrupt was that program. How do we do that?  This has to be explored further but the confederacy men that spoke at B.C. Law showed no understanding that is the issue. In deciding how corrupt it was we have to give it credit for being a very successful program. So we measure it by its successes or by those whose lives were ruined because of the way it had to operate.

One thing that keeps gnawing at me is the actions of the agents in the program. They shut their eyes to information concerning a TEI that in other circumstances had the person not been a TEI they would have acted on. Was that something right or wrong? These matters are not easy to decide.

The idea that there were many corrupt FBI agents in Boston holds no water. One, two or maybe three at the most could fit into that category and that’s a big maybe. There’s much to wrestle with and that part of the confederacy that raised their voices the other night do little with their repetitions to help us understand the Whitey saga.

9 thoughts on “A Confederacy of Dunces: Part 7 of 7

  1. Just finished reading all 7 parts of this fine article. This whole saga really gets complicated, murky, and in some ways a complete mess because of the TEI program. Simply allowing and knowing that criminals are in fact committing serious “crimes” because they are providing so called valuable information is going to have a fall out and repurcussions that are probably often swept under the rug.

    My problem (one of them at least) with the Whitey saga is this: How could you ever go after Whitey after allowing him for years and years and more years do criminal activities? My biggest problem with the TEI program is that its shady as all heck in my opinion. Why? Because those who enable informants and take information from informants then decide to leave them high and dry when their “usefulness” is no longer needed? Wheres the morals and ethics on the so called “good guys” side?

    the more I read and digest all this the more it seems to come down to usefulness. Once those in charge in the TEI program decide a criminal is no longer of any use then that criminal is hunted down, charged, and prosecuted for crimes. Its all bullshtt in my opinion. On one hand its OK to do crime a.b, and c because you are working as an informant and then later is NOT OK to do x, y, and z because ones usefulness is OVER!!! How is that any different then what gangsters and criminals and organized crime does? Sure they are more violent in their disposal.

    Its the problem I have with murder. Its against the law to murder an individual YET its OK if one is fighting in a war? Its really about power, control, and usefulness. Once the TEI bosses had no more use for Whitey and Flemmi they left them out to dry. Or am I missing something here? It must be a real head spinner for Whitey and Flemmi at how they thought they were playing the Feds the whole time only to get their card pulled at the end of their career in crime. Each side thinking they are smarter, slicker, and in control of the other side.

    1. Jerome:

      Good points. Remember though, the FBI did not go after Whitey and Stevie. A new prosecutor Wyshak came to town and he set up a group of state police, DEA agents and others outside the FBI to go after him. The FBi remained loyal to them as long as it could but the other departments had no such obligations. By the time that happened their handler Connolly was no longer with the FBI but he apparently felt he was still bound by his agreement with them so he tried to assist them after they were targeted by the others. I think you’ll find if we could learn who the TEIs were that most of them never were charged with any crimes and the FBI continued the protection long after they were of any use. But we don’t know that because the identity of almost all TEIs is secret.

      As for murders, there is no doubt the TEIs had to have done many of them. The proof that the FBI agent knew the TEI was doing the murders is another thing. Any long term relationship between a TEI and agent can turn into a friendship and the agent might not want to see what is obvious to others believing his TEI not capable of committing a murder. Things get murky trying to show an agent knew his TEI was a murderer.

      1. Good point Matt. But WHY was Whitey targeted by other law enforcement agencies and not the other TEI informants? Also, since the other TEI informants are kept secret then we will never know IF they were targeted by other law agencies,no? Also, why would the FBI use certain individuals as TEI and YET other agencies not be on the “same page”?

        1. Jerome:

          Whitey and Stevie were targeted by other law enforcement agencies as was Berkowitz from Chelsea by the state police. It wasn’t an exclusive focus on Whitey although that he lived in Quincy and the Quincy police had a very effective detective unit it may seem that he was the only one. But as you point out, not knowing who the other TEIs were makes your question difficult to answer.

          The FBI had a policy not to disclose its informants to anyone outside of the FBI. One problem I found when dealing with the FBI agents they never told you what they were doing. When John Salvi killed a couple a people at the clinics in Brookline which performed abortions the Boston U.S. attorney called me to say the FBI was going to take over the investigation. I told him that was out of the question. We were going to do it. I said I did not want to be in a position where we would have to beg the FBI to give us information we needed for a murder prosecution. I felt it was necessary to cut them out because of the difficulty of getting cooperation. So no one outside it would know the identity of an informer.

  2. There is a hypocrisy I am disgusted with regarding the TEI program. Its so much of a sham it almost seems like a bad joke. If the job of law enforcement is to catch and prosecute ciminals and prevent and end criminal activity then the TEI GOES AGAINST EVERYTHING that law enforcement SUPPOSEDLY stands for. You feel me? The fascinating thing about the Whitey/Flemmi saga is that because of the TEI prgram they were able to achieve great criminal success (getting Lots of $$$$ through various crimes)
    and in that process commit heinous crimes too. The TEI program is probably what allowed the Whitey/Flemmi duo to last so long, no?

    1. Jerome:

      That’s the point of the posts is that the TEI program which continues today is corrupt. You can’t lie down with the dogs and expect you won’t wake up with the fleas. I am reading a book by an FBI agent who tells how he brought down the Mafia in upstate New York and Cleveland. He says in New York he had three TEIs who helped him.

      What he doesn’t tell us, and what we never hear from the FBI, is what is being done by the FBI for the TEIs. By definition they are high level organized crime figures so dealing with them rather than going after them allows them to continue their criminal enterprises. Or to put it another way the FBI picks and chooses what criminals can commit crimes and they will protect them to allow them to continued doing it. The idea of the program is that the relationship continues on a long term basis which leads to the Whitey/Stevie type situations.

      We are supposed to believe that this type of situation happened only in Boston but it was ongoing throughout the United States. That begs the question what why was only one agent prosecuted for his involvement in it. He and other agents (the other agents would report to him what they heard) protected Whitey and obviously are responsible for their longevity and rise to the top of their gang.

      1. Matt have you read the book on Greg Scarpa that details his criminal career and work as an informant? Its a huge book (over 500 pages) and very detailed. I haven’t read it yet but will probably do so in 2015. Do other law agencies besides the FBI use informants? Overall you think using informants “should” be brought to an end?

        1. Jerome:

          I read a book on Scarpa but not the one you are talking about. The one I read gave the story from the point of view of the young woman he met when she was 17 and stayed with him for 30 years.

          All law enforcement agencies use informants. They have their use at times. I worked with many cops who had them. I thought it was understood that being an informant did not give them any protection for any other crimes they committed. They usually became informants after being arrested for some charge and were very low down the criminal chain. The idea was to use these people to get information on someone else and move up the ladder. The FBI’s TEI program did two basic things wrong: it got people at the top of the ladder and gave them long term protection for general information. The usual informant that got arrested got a break on the sentence and was usually terminated after he gave the information. None were protected.

          The use of informants I’ve said is a lazy cop’s tool. In some circumstances they are needed but in the majority the job could be done without them.

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