Daily Wrap: Monday July 15, 2013

P1010005Agent Gerald Montinari has been telling about his interactions with Brian Halloran who seemed to have been giving him the run around. He didn’t want a lie detector test, he was waffling on going into the witness protection program, and he had told his lawyer he was working with the FBI. Basically he was proving difficult to handle and the day he was killed the FBI agents were trying to have him, as Montinari said, get with the program. They threatened to close him out but couldn’t as long as he kept living in a house it had rented for him down on the Cape.

Halloran came to them in early January 1982 and told them all sorts of wild stories. These were written down in an FBI informant report and much of it came in as evidence. It boiled down to his involvement with John Callahan and a very strange meeting where Callahan called Halloran over to his place on Commercial Wharf.

Halloran said when he got there Whitey and Stevie, the guys who take extraordinary measures to protect themselves, decided to open themselves to exposure by asking Halloran to do a murder for them. These guys who usually handled murders by themselves were supposedly going to hook him up with Murderman to do this murder. It sort of beggars belief but if you were Halloran and had been charged with a murder that had just happened on October 13, 1981 you’d know the better the story the better the deal.

Among other tidbits offered were that Callahan told Halloran that FBI Agent Paul Rico worked for him making $65,000 a year and he could get him to do anything for him; also that he knew that FBI agent John Connolly met with Whitey and Benji once a week. 

Wyshak had difficulty getting Halloran’s hearsay information into evidence. Montinari seemed to show he hadn’t been as well prepared to testify as other witnesses or he had no particular love for Wyshak and was giving him a hard time. Couldn’t really tell though.

He was still on the stand when the day ended. Tomorrow’s cross-examination of him should be interesting. His evidence on any of these things is far from crucial. I’m thinking that if he’s handled right on cross-examination he could come up as a big negative for the prosecutors.

I’ve written how most of the morning was taken up by the medical examiner, which only brought back to mind all the murders. Then we heard from the young girl who was almost 16 when Murderman 20 years her elder took up with her. She told of the good life she led in Florida and trips to Hawaii living off the cash that her boy friend made as a bookie.

As expected, not much happened. If the jury is not convinced Whitey killed most of those 19 persons by now, they never will be. I don’t know why the prosecutors keep trying to prove them over and over again as they are doing through Montinari. Although listening to some of Montinari’s testimony it appeared as if Wyshak thought he was trying a case against FBI agents Rico and Connolly.

As I see the case, Whitey is not going to deny he did the murders, other than the young women. He’s going to say that Jeremiah O’Sullivan made him do them or something like that.

I have to keep in mind that Carney and Brennan really have no tools with which to work. They’ve got a client with a huge ego problem. I know they are doing their best but sometimes ones best is just not enough. I guess I’d say Whitey didn’t get hurt too much today but when you’ve been battered and bruised and pretty much beaten to a pulp not much more can be done.

26 thoughts on “Daily Wrap: Monday July 15, 2013

  1. Matt,

    Would you ask a similar question of Abraham Lincoln when he suspended the right of habeas corpus?

  2. ~ Matt, it is not that Wyshak seems sometimes like he’s trying against Connolly, it is that Wyshak is abusing his power again, by introducing witnesses and evidence not materially related to Whitey but which exculpates Wyshak himself from his (1) contemptible tactics and double-jeopardy defying prosecution of Connolly and (2) putting serial perjurers on the stand and (3) cutting repugnant overly lenient deals with serial killers. Wyshak is using that courtroom to burnish his own reputation and prevent the tarnishing and decay of that undue halo, those undue garlands and those rash accolades the Boston press awarded and adorned him with over the last two decades. Fred Wyshak is trying to save his own hide and salvage the now eviscerated reputation of his fellow prosecutors and DOJ cohorts. (2) If you sense reluctance in FBI witnesses when Wyshak is examining them, it is because the DOJ, judges and prosecutors, have ran rough-shod over honorable men and women in the FBI these last several decades, unfairly and unjustly tarnishing all of their reputations.

    1. William: Thank you for your thoughts. Yes, it is a tightrope we walk, but one we cannot avoid. As we economists like to say, there is no free lunch. There are costs either way. I am in agreement that we must be wary lest we reach a point where we hesitate to write our thoughts for fear that authorities will sanction us. But I do not believe we are near that point.

      I understand the sensitivity of the concern that the govt is reading my emails, mail, etc. But I can’t accept the notion that one does not want the govt reading my email whatever the purpose. To me, I weigh the case of some intelligence officer in a cubicle reading a transcript of personal emails b/w me and a girlfriend (for example) with the case of the same guy reading a transcript of a conversation b/w Zazi and a handler. The former is embarrassing and, frankly, unlikely. The latter is essential and yields insights that help prevent a plot such as the attempted Sept 2009 nyc subway bombing. I’ll risk the some guy laughing (more likely yawning) as he reads my love letters in return for prevention of subway trains getting blown up.

      Ok, gotta go. But thank you for your thoughts, and I do share your urging that we make sure we never reach the hypothetical case envisioned by the Supreme Court.

    2. William:

      Wyshak is a good lawyer and skill trial lawyer. I don’t think he’s much concerned with his reputation. He’s been around a long time and his attitude in the courtroom sometimes demonstrates that. Perhaps the Whitey case was a case too far for him and he lapses back to the evils he believed were committed by John Connolly. Remember sometimes as a prosecutor you have to hold your nose when making a deal. Everyone can be criticized in retrospect.

      You have a different view of the judges and prosecutors than I have. The FBI witnesses might dislike Wyshak because he had embarrassed the family.

    3. Matt:

      Thanks for your thoughts on religion. My mother is a devoted Catholic and I appreciate the importance of her faith to her. I would not want to take that away from her.

      I think a healthy skepticism toward the government is always warranted. I guess I am willing to place a certain degree of trust in governtment because I find it necessary to a certain degree, and because I trust enough in our democratic culture.

      1. On trusting government, I think of the problem in economics of asymmetry of information. There always has to be a degree of trust, not just in government, but in businesses and other walks of life. The FDA knows much more about what’s in our food than I do. The SEC knows much more about financial regulations than I do (though in this case, I know quite a bit about finance). The CIA knows much more about covert operations around the world than I do. And so on.

        There is much that I do not know, the costs of acquiring the information are prohibitive. For one, I simply don’t have the time, nor the resources. There’s a whole field of economics that deals with the incentive problems of moral hazard and adverse selection that arise. Policies must be developed to address these problems and find a way to instill efficient incentive structures to overcome the inherent inefficiencies of moral hazard and adverse selection.

        The same applies to intelligence matters and national security. I cannot know everything and so I have to trust that the government is doing its best to ensure our safety. It just so happens in matters of national security that there are things that must remain classified, for many reasons including diplomacy, not tipping off your enemies, etc. I cannot do the job myself. In this globalized, complex, technologically-advanced world, the national security infrastructure is inevitably large and complex.

        That doesn’t mean it cannot be reformed. It also doesn’t mean that it must not be subject to Congressional scrutiny and, when appropriate, public scrutiny. I do believe that our democratic system and culture is still strong enough to ensure that the balance between liberty and security remains in our favor. That doesn’t mean there won’t be abuses, and we should do everything we can to minimize abuses and correct them when they are discovered. But there has to be a certain degree of trust, and it is the same kind of trust that extends to all areas of life.

        The recent financial crisis was an example of financial innovation occurring so fast that regulators and industry practitioners and our society as a whole couldn’t keep up and risk analysis got unhinged, over-leveraging the economy until it all collapsed. It has happened before and will happen again (though hopefully not for a long time) because we just can’t know everything, but we live in a society in which we are able to engage in that dialectic democratically, responding to crises democratically, engaging in debate and developing policy to clean up the mess and protect against the same crises happening again.

        1. Jon:

          I agree. Good post. But the little that we can know is that we have in the USA the right to be free from governmental intrusion into our personal lives; if we give that up, what is left?

          1. I agree in principle. I just don’t consider the NSA program to be all that intrusive. There is no real disruption to our lives (though as I said if we find an abuse we must rectify it). The concern about privacy in this matter just seems to me a concern that is at best theoretical, but really just does not reflect the reality that government has no interest in our private lives except to prevent terrorist attacks, and the sweep of information does not constitute any kind of material harassment. The paradigm of pre-emption is one I consider warranted in the world in which we live. Subject to Congressional oversight, of course.

            1. Jon.

              Diminishing protection of our privacy is justified by preemption of terrorist attacks today; what will be the reason tomorrow?

  3. ~ Matt,

    Maybe this is off topic with regard to the post, but I finally found some time to sit and address the Snowden affair which has popped up in some of the posts and comments. You wrote at one point (to paraphrase) that his sin was exposing corruption, not the corruption itself.

    I disagree.

    I have a hard time agreeing that the NSA surveillance program, and similar national security measures adopted in the post 9/11 era, are intolerable encroachments on our liberty. Let me start with a personal anecdote.

    I’ve mentioned my application with the FBI, how I was denied for phase 2 the first time around in Boston and then got another interview after moving to DC. Here’s how that happened. It’s a funny story. I was riding to work on the Metro one morning, reading Claire Sterling’s “The Terror Network” (an essential read for those of you interested in KGB-orchestrated terrorism in the 1970s), when the metro hit Chinatown station and as passengers left the train one of them slipped a piece of paper in the pages of my book as I was reading. I looked up and a woman smiled at me as she was leaving the train. I looked at the slip of paper. She had written her name and number and asked if I wanted to meet for coffee.

    A bold move.

    Now, this is not about making me out to be Paul Newman. But I was intrigued and gave her a call and met for coffee. It turned out she was an FBI special agent! I then told her about my interest in the bureau and how I had applied and all my areas of interest like Gitmo, national security, etc. We had another date and she helped me get in touch with the applicant coordinator and that’s how I got my file transferred to the DC field office and eventually another pre-phase 2 interview.

    I mention this story because at one point in our conversations I thought to myself, wait a minute, I once started a blog on counter-terrorism issues, I have engaged in numerous email discussions with people on terrorism issues, I once provided research help for a guy who writes on terrorism issues, I talk on the phone with friends about these issues. Could this be some kind of ruse on her part to investigate me surreptitiously? I then made this point to her facetiously, and she brushed it off, almost rolling her eyes. “There are so many people out there”.

    I knew it was silly, and I realized even more how silly it was when I made the joke.

    The point is that I do not fear the government targeting me, spying on me, or what have you. And I simply do not care if my privacy is violated in the theoretical sense that the government knows whom I’ve called or can read the content of the emails I write.

    Being the Stasi is simply not what the NSA program is about. As Angela Merkel said, comparing it the Stasi trivializes the experience of East Germans under the Stasi (http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/germanys-merkel-rejects-parallel-between-nsa-activities-and-stasi-top-minister-to-visit-us/2013/07/10/a2215ebc-e962-11e2-818e-aa29e855f3ab_story.html).

    In fact, getting away from the theoretical concern about privacy violations, the NSA surveillance program has proven to be a major success in the material sense of preventing terrorist attacks. The September 2009 subway plot by Najibullah Zazi was disrupted with the help of the program, and in fact it appears that the program has helped in the disruption of some 54 plots (http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/27/us-usa-security-internetdata-idUSBRE95Q16M20130627).

    Those are real results that matter to our security and ultimately our liberty. But now there is evidence that Al Qaeda has already begun to change how it communicates (http://www.stripes.com/news/us/al-qaida-said-to-be-changing-its-ways-after-leaks-1.227620), and of course there is the diplomatic fallout of these files becoming public.

    This was a major violation that has harmed our security and diplomatic efforts, in the service of a theoretical but ultimately trivial concern about our privacy rights.

    Benjamin Franklin has been cited time and again for his quote that “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” The problem with citing it is that the quote does not mean what it seems to say. Not at all in fact. Benjamin Wittes of the lawfare blog has written an essay about what Franklin was really saying here: http://www.lawfareblog.com/2011/07/what-ben-franklin-really-said/.

    I’ll let you read Wittes’ essay to get the details, but his summary is: “Franklin was not describing some tension between government power and individual liberty. He was describing, rather, effective self-government in the service of security as the very liberty it would be contemptible to trade. Notwithstanding the way the quotation has come down to us, Franklin saw the liberty and security interests of Pennsylvanians as aligned.”

    In reading your very thoughtful and informed blog, I have come to a more measured view of the FBI. I am very grateful for that. But I see the problem as a bureaucracy that is without oversight and too much a law unto itself, which becomes almost cancerous when the culture turns bad.
    You and your followers are quite right that this cancer can at times reek of profound injustice.

    Thank you for providing a forum in which to express this contrary view. I anticipate many will disagree with me. But I hope I have been clear that even if I do not worry about Big Brother watching me, at the very least I am in agreement that someone must be watching Big Brother.

    On that we can agree.

    That said, I do fully support the prosecution of Edward Snowden, not for exposing corruption, but for, strictly speaking, violating the law, and in a very real sense for undermining our national security and our diplomatic interests.

    Ok, gotta go to bed. Early day tomorrow.

    Thank you.

    1. Jon:

      It’s getting close to court time so I’ll just give you my initial impression of what you wrote and as you know I appreciate your comments and they will always be welcome here because they give us another and well thought out view of the matters that should concern all of us.

      But when I first read it this morning I said to myself, and I know I can be candid with you and you will not take offense, a couple of things. I thought Jon would be happy if rather than having inscribed on our coins the words “In God We Trust” you’d prefer the words “In Governement We Trust.” Along with that I thought you figured that the Founding Fathers wasted a lot of time coming up with the Bill of Rights. It would have been simpler to have one amendment which read: “Those who do no evil have nothing to fear from our government.” You say, and many people I talk with say, they have done nothing wrong so they don’t care what the government does. I feel the same way but I also know that the Founding Fathers felt the same way but in their wisdom they decided that we all needed protection from our government, all of us, not just those who walk the straight and narrow. The Fourth Amendment doesn’t say all the people shall be secure in their personal effects and papers except those who may be bad guys.

      As for the Snowden situation, suppose you came across a secret document that disclosed a plan between the president and the head of the CIA to assassinate Angela Merkel. It is marked top secret plus. You have agreed that you will not disclose what you learned as a result of getting your top secret plus clearance. If you disclose this you will violate your agreement and possibly undermine the legitimacy of the president and do great damage to America’s interests. What do you do?

      As for someone’s quote, they are always taken out of context so I don’t usually rely on them or believe they represent the total views of a person although it is sometimes nice to use them because they are pithy and lets one get away with lazy thinking.

      I’ll write more on this. Thanks for the input.

      1. Thanks for the reply Matt. Never any offense taken.

        ~ Don’t have much time to respond at the moment either, but I just wanted to say I don’t think I’m arguing only that I don’t have to worry because I’ve done nothing wrong. I’m arguing that I don’t believe the government has any interest in needlessly harassing US citizens.

        I am not a lawyer, so I appreciate your constitutional citations and legal perspective. I do not want to pretend to be a lawyer either, but my understanding is that the development and application of law is always a matter of debate and analysis, even at the top echelons of government. Jack Goldsmith, who I think wrote the best critique of the Bush terror policies, observed in his book The Terror Presidency that the irony was that never had lawyers been so involved in the development of policy. Disagree with Yoo and Bybee if you like, as I believe Goldsmith did, but you cannot deny that the development of policy was a legal process overseen by lawyers, and ultimately overturned by a conscientious lawyer at the OLC, namely Goldsmith.

        My understanding is that the same applies to the NSA program, that it has been determined to be legal by highly qualified lawyers in the administration. If we as citizens disagree, we can vote for another administration in 2016. Moreover, again I emphasize I’m not a lawyer, but I understand the 4th amendment guards against “unreasonable” search and seizure, with judicial sanction as a safeguard. Given the costs of making such a program public, I am content for such legal sanction to take place within the classified confines of debate among lawyers in the administration. As we saw with Goldsmith, there are checks and balances even within the executive branch, if only because reasonable men can disagree.

        As an economist I am inclined toward cost benefit analysis, and my view is that the benefits of security outweigh what I consider to be trivial encroachments on liberty. In fact, I would say our liberty has not been violated at all – violation of privacy is not necessarily the same as violation of liberty. We can still speak and debate as openly as ever, so long as we recognize the responsibilities of freedom, such as not knowingly aiding and abetting terrorist activities.

        Ok, gotta go. Thank you again for your thoughts.

        1. ~ Also wanted to say I think the Merkel hypothetical is an unfair analogy. It’s a very different situation with a very different cost-benefit analysis. Also, there are laws against assasination to consider.

          But can’t get into it right now.

          1. ~ Matt and Jon, excellent analyses, ripostes, insights. We all walk that tightrope: Liberty v. Security. I’m concerned about invasions of privacy, more so from what the Supreme Court has labeled “the chilling” effects on speech, thoughts and associations. The Supreme Court has said words to this effect, “To impair free speech rights (briefly, momentarily) is IRREPARABLE INJURY.” If we hesitate to write or say something because of some “benign” or “noble” government program or purpose, we have been harmed irrevocably, communication has been cheapened, research professors tread more gently, when, without government on their backs and in their email, the professors might “boldly go.” My lifelong friends’ son, an all-American young man getting a PhD in history or something, said it best and recently convinced me to be even more wary: He said, “I don’t care what the government’s purpose is; I don’t want them reading my emails.” We all agree we must be hyper-vigilant, in this age of narco-terrorism; hyper-vigilant about our personal privacy, personal liberty, personal security, free speech and free association rights, as well as about our national security and local community security. If the FEDs are not protecting us, we have an inalienable God-given right to defend and protect ourselves and our families. If the FEDS or Private Corporations are unduly intruding upon our privacy or chilling the exercise of our cherished First Amendment freedoms, we must not tolerate it.

          2. All right leave out Merkel – think rather than murdering her you found our government had a plan to cause the derailment of a train in Spain so that the public would blame the government and put in a government more favorable toward us. Can you expose it?

        2. Btw, I recognize we could not vote them out for that reason if we don’t know about it, so I do concede that we must rely on the lawyers in the administration. But that’s a risk (i.e. cost) I am willing to bear in return for the increase in security.

        3. Jon:

          Unreasonable search – the taking of your private papers by the government without probable cause. If you suggest that the government can take what we want to keep secret – like the FBI used to do with our letters and the government is doing with its vacuuming – in bulk is not unreasonable then why have a Fourth Amendment. The law is pretty clear on this, from my point of view, and any lawyer arguing general searches are permissible is just plainly wrong – that’s what our government is doing now.

          No a violation of privay will not deprive a person of liberty but it is the first step to doing it. You talk about the responsibility of freedom as if to suggest our freedom comes from the government. I thought it came from the Founding Fathers and the Bill of Rights which was set up to protect us against the government. If we depend on the government for our freedom, then what the government give it can take away.

          1. But the government is not separate from the people. We elect the government and entrust our elected leaders with the responsibility to govern. If we disapprove, we elect others. Yes, it is true that the NSA program was not public, but it’s not as if there are not checks and balances within the government.

            As for freedom and responsibility, it’s been a long time since I’ve read my Kant, and I don’t have the time at the moment to get philosophical about the nature of freedom and law, but freedom cannot survive as a willy-nilly do-what-you-wanna-do leave-me-alone existence. It’s not about being responsible to the “government”, it’s being responsible to ourselves.

            I’m not a lawyer so I do not feel qualified to debate the meaning of the 4th amendment. But the NSA program seems perfectly reasonable and benign to me, if only because it has proved so critical to pre-empting terrorist attacks. It’s not as if the NSA is searching any particular person with suppositions or suspicions of wrongdoing. I would guess that many people, if polled, would agree that it is a good program, and would perhaps only be upset to learn it was secret. But we cannot tip our hat to the enemy and let them know how we are chasing them.

            I’ll write more later, but gotta go.

            1. Jon:

              The problem is we really don’t know whether the NSA program has been successful in doing anything. We’re just not privy to that information. Nor do we know whether any of our private records were used against us, again we’re not privy to that information. You keep telling us there are checks and balances but where are they? If the government was not separate from the people, why do we need a Bill of Rights?

              Many people if polled would do away with the 4th Amendment on the idea they did nothing wrong so it is not necessary.

          2. Matt,

            But we do have evidence it has been successful. The Zazi case has been cited. NSA director testified to the disruption of 54 plots. And I’m sure there is more.

            You wrote that I would say “in govt we trust” rather than “in God we trust” and I was hesitant to reply to that because I am a nonbeliever. My mother tried to bring me up in the old Irish Catholic tradition and so I went to Catholic school and was an altar boy but over the years I
            drifted away and came to lose my belief in Jesus Christ and the Bible and all that.

            Now, I fully respect one’s right to practice his faith. That’s not the point. Rather, I’ve picked up here that you and others are believers, and I’ve always been hesitant to divulge my religious skepticism lest I be judged by persons of faith,
            even subconsciously, as morally compromised. I reject such judgment and I am content within myself to go on as such, but I keep it to myself as a matter of not wanting to rock the boat. It’s an example of worrying about the culture of belief outcasting you.

            Now I don’t think you would do that, but still, I thought about it. It seems to me that’s the extent of the danger we are concerned about with the NSA program, that we might hesitate to express a thought lest it be read by people in a govt that does not like what you have to say. Still, I went ahead and said it, and I figure the worst that can happen is you think less of my positions because of it. As you might imagine, that is ok with me.

            Which brings me to the second point. If we cannot rely on a supernatural power, at least not in this life, then we must rely on govt. But the govt is us. We elect it. It is run by human beings who represent and come from our diverse society. We have only ouselves to rely upon. If we cannot yrust ourselves, then what?

            But we will disagree among ourselves. As with the NSA program. I would only say this: my view is that we are weighing a very real increased risk of terrorist attacks against
            a theoretical concern about privacy that just doesn’t measure up to the danger of threatening our essential liberties.

            I agree that there must be oversight on some level, and presumably such NSA programs are discussed with Congressmen in a classified setting. If not, then we have as problem. But that’s a failure of human beings, not an indictment of the NSA program. In fact, Goldsmith’s essential critique of the Bush admin is they did not do a sufficient job of trying to build consensus within the govt, as Lincoln did when he suspended habeas corpus, or Roosevelt during WWII.

            1. Jon:
              The one thing that makes America (and some other countries) special is that we can believe what we want to believe.
              When I went into the Marines from a ghettoized Irish Catholic environment I was stunned to find people as religious as I was back then from other faiths; rather than lost sheep looking for me to bring them the word. Even more so that they were more religious, in the sense they lived more moral lives, than I was doing and had a better understanding of things religious than I did. It was the beginning of my enlightenment which made me respect all, believers and unbelievers.
              As for thinking less of you for your beliefs or lack of them, that would be absurd. I would have to think less of my children whose beliefs I do not know, even though they were raised in my faith and the faith of their mother, Ukrainian Orthodox. A belief is an individual choice arrived at after reflection and thought and whatever path one chooses to follow it is not the business of anyone else. Sometimes it is arrived at as a matter of having been born into that faith or non-faith household and simply following along. MLK put it best: judge a person by her character.
              My only problem, to be candid, with some non-believers is they think less of people who believe in religion. That type thinking leads to wanting to interfere with the right of people to believe as they wish and if taken to the extreme lead to attacks on religion. I happily see you are not of that school.
              I don’t sense nor have I ever sensed any judgment by people here, or at least the few I know, that people without belief in a deity are morally compromised. No one has gone near that view and I hope none do. I try to believe we judge ideas and not the person who puts them out there. If we find them faulty we do not attack the person, which you may note there have been few ad hominem attacks on this site, but the idea.
              So believe or don’t believe because one has to live with themselves. As you may note, even among believers there are great differences. I note that I sometimes use terms that I have learned from my Catholic upbringing that you may recognize having been an altar boy – although you might not have been in the Latin tradition.
              I believe if I were from my parents generation I might not have had the openness I do but having had my children grow up in your generation with its greater openness and less prejudices then it is hard for my generation as I can tell from my friends to be other than more open minded. I dare say that most of the children of my friends believe as you do.
              To your second point: you have a much greater willingness than I do to trust the government. When I said it is all right to trust in God what I meant is that I don’t think God is going to be active in taking things away from us which we have so it is easy to trust God will do the right thing; but I can’t say the same thing about the government and I want to ensure that the powers it is using are used for the good and not for evil purposes. I think you err when you want to think of or government as benevolent. I prefer to think of it as a dangerous tiger that must be caged and held within limits.
              It’s past my bedtime. I will discuss this more.

  4. ~ What does the term mainstream media mean and what does it mean to modern life in the united states of america in 2013? Today is july 15th 2013, I just finished peter kings latest work in sports illustrated online and he writes how he thought that the boston globe writer kevin cullen new book was wonderful and full of information about south boston. peter king also wrote that he did not know will mcdounough visited whitey bulger in prison. i bring this up to you in that it seems 99 percent of the american public does not dig to deep in their search for information. i thank you once again for providing information that makes people think twice about what they think they know. also, from whitey bulger to trevor martin putting someone on trial is easier said than done. regards,

    1. Norwood:

      I use it to refer the the media that most people get their news from like the major newspapers, the network and cable news channels. It means a lot to us older folk, I notice many of my friends still dutifully watch the network evening news. Few are involved in the internet. With the younger generation it has less of an impact. Those interested in getting the news do so on line, although as I see it now that the big newspapers are charging for people to read them on line their influence will diminish even more. The pay for news is all right for some but they are selling their influence to a smaller and smaller audience which will eventually lead to them becoming a secondary source of information. The Wall Street Journal is a different breed – it’ll always have a strong audience because of its connection to money more than politics.
      Peter King is a sports guy. He can only know so much about what happened. He knows little about the area and is always willing to help a fellow journalist by giving him a plug. How would Peter know Will visited Whitey? He was born after Whitey got out of prison. When he talked to Will, which I’m sure he did, they talked about sports, not prisoners they knew.
      You have an interest in this matter that made you look below the surface. You know more about this than Peter King will ever know but Peter will always know more about sports than you do because that is his interest. Most people have other interests and as you know, I knew a lot less about this case involving Whitey when I first began to write since you’ve been along for most of the journey which I appreciate.

  5. ~ ok i know this sounds pathetic! I feel there is a great miscarriage of justice here! James Bulger isnt getting a fair trial, by his own defense even. Maybe they are planning for that doug flutie pass as youve suggested or hoping an appellate court will see things diff, but i feel he didnt have a shot at winning this trial having the many books about him and his brothers lives chronicled so many times , as for the 15 years on the run, which was ended by an Icelandic beauty, yeah maybe that hail mary is indeed some tapes or transcrips from the late great Jeremiah O’Sullivan Himself. I know ive offically lost it now,when im concearned of whitey bulgers civil liberties! but no one ever had any evidence that wb actually murdered the ppl in the graves, for all we knnow weeks did it and wanted to save his own arse, and pat nee’s, with the famous words, if anything comes down, blame me kevin,! and hail mary full of grace, pray for us sinners!

    1. PAT2E

      Whitey is getting a fair trial. Actually, the judge does lean a little toward the prosecution in her decisions but I don’t see that they are wrong decisions. She is bending over backwards to be fair and although she is young and inexperienced and makes some errors in her evidentiary rulings I see she is straight down the middle and as time goes on, even though I complain about some of the things she has done, she’ll be a top judge who’ll give everyone a fair trial.

      Of course you are right he had no shot at winning, when he picked his friends and life style he threw away that opportunity. If you’re known as Mr. Bad who runs the town and all the gangsters are afraid of you then you got to think there’s a reason for that. If your buddies are murdering people and you’r always around them, it’s hard not to let some of the blood splatter on you. There’s always other possibilities that things could have happened otherwise, that is why we decide things “beyond a reasonable doubt.” It’s not all doubt. What you say could be true that Fortnight and Nee did the killings, but there is evidence Whitey did them and that came from Weeks and others. They are not the most credible witnesses but on the whole it’d be hard to say that the buy with the big rep got it by being a good guy.

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