Ahearn’s memo starts off “re my tel conversation with the Director 2/9/89.” That is important to know because it means William Sessions was personally interested in this matter. The suggestions we hear that having Whitey as a TEI was a scheme of some rogue agent or two and that it was not known about and approved at the highest levels must be dismissed forever. It was known he was a TEI; and it was the FBI policy to protect its TEIs so that they would give it information.
The SAC enclosed some background items and copies of Boston Globe articles. The SAC said he learned on 2/9/89 DEA and Suffolk DA Newman Flanagan had been doing a joint investigation in Southie against the Winter Hill Gang of which Whitey and Stevie Flemmi, both FBI informants, were leaders. The investigation had been going on 18 months and the DEA had not notified the FBI because of Flanagan’s request. (As background: Flanagan was aware of the state police investigation at Lancaster Street against the same group that was tipped when the FBI learned of it so he wanted to keep the FBI out.)
SAC Ahearn gave some of the details that the Boston head of the DEA told him. He wrote DEA was about to plant bug into the premises where Whitey conducts his illegal activities and directs his gang members. Keep in mind Whitey is a TEI for the FBI and it is obvious he is continuing his criminal activity which does not seem to bother the FBI.
Ahearn then wrote he was providing some background for Sessions but did not access “the investigative files since I fear my attempt to examine either pending or closed files on this matter might seem unusual and might raise the attention of office personnel.” He apparently does not realize he is telling Sessions he doesn’t trust his staff. He is also suggesting without realizing it why it is not surprising others don’t trust the FBI when it comes to Whitey since he himself has similar problems. .
He starts by saying Whitey “is a long-time informant . . . and has been regarded as the most important Organized Crime informant for many years.” You have to scratch your head at that one especially in view of Whitey’s claim he wasn’t an informant, the US Attorney’s and media’s claim he wasn’t much of an informant; and that a little objective analysis shows little information of value provided by Whitey..
Now here is the next sentence in the memo that really gets to me. “He is the brother of WILLIAM BULGER, current President of the Massachusetts State Senate and an extremely powerful political figure in this State.” The matter involved is DEA not trusting the FBI. Why even bring this up especially when two sentences later he writes: “This office is not aware of any interaction between the two nor have any allegations ever surfaced regarding an illicit relationship between the brothers.”
You have to juxtapose that against the media and people like Alan Dershowitz who years later manufacturing some type of portrayal that there was interaction.
The memo continues. It notes Whitey’s handler is Special Agent John Connolly “who also operates numerous other Top Echelon Criminal Informants including Bulger’s top lieutenant in this group.” That is something that always puzzled me. Whitey, through his attorneys, and the prosecutors alleged that Connolly took payoffs from Whitey. Yet not one of his other TEIs, and he had more than a dozen, ever alleged he took anything.
Connolly denied ever taking anything. He was never convicted of taking anything. Whitey made the allegation because he decided he did not want to be an informant so he figured if he said he paid Connolly people would believe that Connolly made it look like he was an informant by setting up a phony file to cover up his receipt of money.