The Colossal Failure: The FBI’s Fear of the Truth

colossal failureNothing like it has ever been seen as far as I can tell. For days I’ve been asking one question and no one is able to answer it straight out. I know I promised that this week I would set out my opinion of the presentation by the five men at BC Law School panel after the showing of the movie Whitey. I’ll get to that soon.

Now I have to wrap up the TEI matter. Do understand though, the men on the panel, like everyone else I have written about, avoids the answer like the Ebola virus.

No one wants to tell us what was on the other side of the coin in the FBI’s Top Echelon Informant (TEI)  program. The one side we all agree on is that the FBI sought out high level criminal informants who would give them information against other informants. The other side is what was the FBI giving to these men in return. After all by using them along with other tactics, they were successfully able to destroy the Mafia.

Judges wrote about TEIs; Congress talked about them; the prosecutors in the DOJ mentioned them. They told us the FBI used them to get information. None told us what was given in return. How can that be that none wanted to know what it was the FBI was doing to get the information?

One agent who had more TEIs than any other special agent in the FBI, John Connolly, told us what he thought the FBI said was all right to give the TEIs in return for their information. He said it was protection. I know there are other things informants want like money, revenge, destruction of rivals and easy deals on sentencing if they get caught committing crimes. But that is not in play here. Connolly forthright said his job was to give them protection. No one has said that was not his job.

Whitey Bulger through his attorney said he paid Connolly hundreds of thousands of dollars. I don’t believe it but suppose he did. What would he have expected for so much money? Understand it now, it would have been for protection. That is why Whitey’s claim of money payment is bogus, he had the protection without paying.

Protection means to provide information so that the TEIs will know what is happening from inside law enforcement. That is the enemy to them. It is not from fellow criminals as some suggest. The TEIs to reach their level in the criminal element have proven themselves quite capable of taking care of themselves. It is not protection against misdemeanors; the TEIs don’t worry about the minor stuff since they are not involved in it at the street level.

The bottom line is the one thing that threatens a high level criminal as a TEI is law enforcement. Connolly’s supervisor John Morris said he was told the TEIs wanted  “a head start.” That was not limited to telling them when a criminal charge was coming down against them, it would include telling them when any other law enforcement agency, or even fellow FBI agents, had them in their sights. Another way to say it was it included a “heads up.”

Morris gave us an example of that. The new unit he was supervising the political corruption unit was about to go up on a wire on a big bookie in the South End. He worked for one of the FBI’s TEIs. To protect the TEI, Morris told the TEI to stay away from the phone and location where the electronic surveillance was occurring. Morris testified that to protect TEIs they would include information from them in applications for electronic surveillance and then tell them to avoid those places being surveilled.

That is the type of protection that the TEI wanted. The FBI believed it was all right to provide it. Morris was doing it. Others knew it was an accepted practice. The FBI wanted to keep its TEIs on the street to get the information that they could provide. It authorized its agents to do whatever was necessary to do that.

Connolly ended up being convicted for murder because it is alleged he told a TEI that a witness the FBI was looking at might not stand up. That witness was murdered by a friend of the TEI. Connolly was also convicted of obstruction of justice for telling a person to tell a TEI that an indictment was coming down. That allegedly caused a TEI to flee.

If Connolly’s job was to protect TEIs then what he did was part of what the FBI wanted him to do. Not one of the judges, prosecutors, lawyers, or the FBI bosses have answered whether in doing that he was doing the job he was authorized to do by the FBI. They want to pretend the TEIs were giving the FBI information and expecting nothing in return. The colossal failure in the Whitey saga is the failure to address the white elephant stomping about in the middle of the room.

Even more, this failure is compounded by the FBI that let him hang out to dry; by the special agents of the FBI who ran and hid knowing the truth; and the few special agents (only about 100 or so backed him up) who have come out in support of Connolly. How can all the others knowing he has been railroaded remain silent?

An innocent man may die in prison because the FBI is hiding the truth. It is time to end the pretend. Aren’t there more than just a few good men in the FBI?

30 thoughts on “The Colossal Failure: The FBI’s Fear of the Truth

  1. We quibble: Here’s William Butler Yeats’ views of Politics when he was old (from Last Poems, 1938-39)
    How can I, that girl standing there,
    My attention fix
    On Roman or on Russian
    Or on Spanish politics,
    Yet here’s a travelled man that knows
    What he talks about,
    And there’s a politician
    That has both read and thought,
    And maybe what they say is true
    Of war and war’s alarms,
    But O that I were young again
    And held her in my arms.

    Me: Joy to the World: I wont retrench, rearm, resent; I won’t dissent, resent and dwell on contentions: who said or did what decades ago or what may happen hence; I’ll speak my mind and dwell on sugar plums and chopsticks, fairy tales and fun stuff. And all the while I’ll do as Dylan Thomas taught, and not go gentle into that good night, but rage, rave against the dying of the light. And I’ll do so happily, joyous and free. As Tiny Tim famously said, “God bless us everyone!”, except Fred the Fed Wyshak.

  2. Matt,
    I don’t mean to harp on the issue of aliases, but if your title were to be interpreted to encompass the entire TEI program to include Peter Lance’s writings about NY TEIs etc..and we know for a fact that at least Whitey operated with several different aliases, and we know for a fact that Robert Fitz knew what these aliases were, and from my personal experience I suspect that John Connolly knew Whitey’s aliases, then what if the FBI, or other government agents, sanctioned, or , at least were aware of illegal activities done by its TEIs using aliases…not necessarily violent, more white collar crime…wouldn’t the FBI be protecting itself as well as protecting the TEIs ‘for fear of the truth’ of the program be exposed? And, who better to expose the truth than Whitey himself…would not that be some leverage even from a prison cell? If only revenge for his capture instead of a lifetime of protection?

  3. NC: excellent post: historically sound, historically grounded, on the mark. Right on, brother.

  4. Connolly did break the law when he wrote a letter to judge Wolf. It was the Alien and Sedition Act. However that law was repealed two hundred years ago. No honest reading of the First Amendment could conclude that a citizen today writing a letter to a public official is a criminal offense ( minus a threat). Whether a hearing about that letter was to be conducted was entirely within the discretion of the judge. The author of the missive could not compel any action and had no capacity to obstruct justice. One doesn’t lose his free speech rights because the Jurist didn’t agree with the statements therein.Connolly was framed in Boston and Florida. He has yet to encounter an honest judge in either state. Your take on his betrayal by the FBI is correct. They want everyone to forget what they did to him and Rico. They want the public to ignore what they did to the Probation Officials, Swartz and Turner. They hope they will forget Benghazi. Who are the criminals and who are the victims? Ben Franklin said he was a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. That is what we are facing at the DOJ and FBI in combination with a co opted, dishonest press. 2. A friend said he thought the race baiters and race hustlers ( Sharpton, Jackson and BHO) along with the media were akin to a religion or a cult. Every year or so they have to have a blood or human sacrifice to keep the flock interested. Similar to the Aztecs. They need a racial villain e. g. white cops, Zimmerman or the Cambridge Police to perpetuate the fantasy that the problems in the black community are external ones. The trouble Caesar is not in our stars. Racial tensions must increase ratings.

    1. NC:

      Connolly wrote the letter pretending it was from some Boston cops. If it was all right to do that why did he tried to hide his hand in the matter. Judge Wolf when he received the letter was confronted with a situation where allegations were made that the evidence before him was obtained illegally. As a responsible jurist he could not sit on that or somehow bury it. He had to ascertain whether there was any validity to it. In the letter Connolly impugned the integrity of other cops who were good cops. It wasn’t a letter one would be proud of writing. Connolly was working with Attorney Fishman and his client Flemmi to help Flemmi defeat the charges against him. He provided Fishman with a tape to give to Flemmi so Flemmi could say it came from Morris. None of that seems to bother some people. When confronted by an FBI agent whether he had been in contact with Fishman he lied. I don’t see how he’s framed for any of this stuff.

      1. Thomas Payne wrote anonymous pamphlets. Why did he try to hide his hand? It’s not a crime to write anonymously.

        1. It’s not a crime to help someone’s defense.
          It’s not a crime to tell and FBI agent on the telephone that you did not contact a lawyer’s office. It is legal to contact lawyers’ offices. We have constitutional rights to contact lawyers. It is IMMATERIAL whether Connolly contacted a lawyer’s office five or ten years after he’d retired from the FBI while he was private citizen. No Cop should frame a person for contacting a lawyer’s office. We have constitutional rights to contact lawyers, to speak freely, to write freely and anonymously. The FEDs are turning the Constitution on its head, as they did in the Probation case and a score of other cases we can cite. Beware Federal prosecutors on pale horses with dim views of constitutional rights. Beware federal prosecutors who criminalize civil behaviors.

          1. William:

            Of course it is a crime to lie to an FBI agent about a material matter who is in the process of investigating that matter. Everyone agrees you can freely contact lawyers. But if asked by an FBI agent if you did and you lie then it is a crime. If Connolly felt that he had the right to aid Flemmi through working with his lawyer why did he lie about it? He wasn’t framed, he lied. Three college kids who knew Tsarnaev have just been convicted of lying to an FBI agent; there’s a taxi cab driver out of Quincy who is held without bail awaiting trial for doing just that. You have all the Constitutional rights you speak of but if you speak freely to an FBI agent and it is a lie to a material fact he is investigating whether you like it or not it is a crime.

            Connolly according to the evidence was engaged in a plot to have Flemmi commit perjury. He wanted Flemmi to blame John Morris for what he had done. He provided the tape recording that Flemmi would use to buttress his testimony. It is a crime to abet perjured testimony. He was not charged with that because Flemmi was not cooperating at the time of his trial but Weeks gave evidence that is what he was doing and Morris was on the West Coast so there was no way he could have given the tape to Flemmi.

        2. William:

          Thomas Payne did not write and pretend he was a couple of Boston cops. Nor did he accuse innocent cops of being involved in illegal activities.

          1. 1. Writing a letter to a Judge is free speech, not a crime. Falsely accusing someone verbally or in writing of a crime is defamation; slander and libel are not crimes, they are civil offenses. 2. Judge Wolfe has accused innocent cops of violations of laws. 3. People have a constitutional right to write letters, even if the letters contain grossly inaccurate and potentially defamatory materials. 4. Many Patriots wrote anonymously in 1775-1781, defaming British officials, because they knew an Imperious, Imperial British-Tory government would twist their words to hang them. 5. Not all cops are “innocent.”, and it’s not a crime for someone to opine in writing or verbally that some cops violated laws. UNDERSTAND WHAT CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED FREE EXPRESSION IS! Federal judges and federal prosecutors don’t understand First Amendment rights nor do many lawyers. 7. It’s easy to make quick quips. The quick quip often dodges the serious issues and does not advance understanding.

            1. William:

              1. Writing a letter that obstructs justice is a crime.
              2. Maybe so.
              3. You have a Constitutional right to write a letter; you have no right not to be punished for it if it is part of a criminal act. A person cannot falsely write that a bomb has been planted at city hall and is scheduled to go off on Friday at noon and not expect to be punished.
              4. Patriots wrote anonymously for fear of reprisal from the king; none did to help murderers and libel other police officers
              5. You can say anything you want in a letter but if it obstructs justice or tells of a bomb being planted it is a crime. You may not think so and I see it is because you have a superior understanding of the First Amendment than the federal judges who deal with it every day.
              7. By the way what type of person would write a letter libeling innocent cops and accusing them of criminal acts so that he could help one of the worst men who ever lived Stevie Flemmi along with the other gangsters Martorano, Salemme, and a couple of other made Mafia men. Even if you believe it is not a crime doesn’t it bother you that was done? Have you read Connolly’s letter?

  5. Thanks.

    Sounds like old Jim got nothing coming.
    I hope you are wrong about the “one trick pony.” There’s big trouble on the horizon. We’re going to need some creative thinking to address mounting security challenges at home, and, abroad. Perhaps, we’ve learned from the past. Taking a page, or, two, from COINTELPRO, might be necessary. I’m happy I don’t have to make those kinds of decisions. They are the kind of choices that weigh heavily on one’s conscience.

    1. Khalid:

      COINTELPRO might not work against our new enemies. The idea of that was setting one group against the other. IS when it comes won’t be so easily tricked.
      There is no defense against suicide bombers as you know; we could have the most efficient FBI in the world but they can’t stop them. I’m surprised we haven’t experience such an attack by now. When we get a couple of those type attacks which are inevitable we will then begin to see if we can survive as a country with our civil liberties in tact.
      We are not a people hardened by war or used to discomfort. We think there is a legal remedy for all our ills and that we deserve to be free from harm and inconvenience. Who knows what will happen when we find that is not the case.
      As for conscience, an IS attack will make everything justifiable. If we can torture people etc., you see how easy it is for one to not be bothered by some things.

  6. Matt:

    When’s Bulger’s appeal to be heard? Could his attorneys subpoena Connolly, and, bring him up on a writ, or, depose him in Florida, about his personal knowledge of the issues you’ve brought up in your post? Would new evidence complicate the appeal process in Bulger’s favor? Is the G hoping Bulger, and, Connolly will both just expire of natural causes before things get back to court?
    Has a date been set for the Tsarnaev trial? Soon as the G tamps down the rug in one corner, it seems, the carpet curls up in another. Maybe, there’s more to this TEI program than just gangsters.

    1. Khalid:

      I have not been following Bulger’s appeal because he has no chance of having his case overturned. I also think his argument he had some type of immunity is totally made up. His attorneys could not do anything with respect to Connolly because for them Connolly is only bad news. Connolly would deny being paid by Whitey and spell out the many times he gave him information on others. Those are contrary positions to that of Whitey.
      The new evidence could only come in through a motion for a new trial, there won’t be anything else before the Appeals Court other than the record of the trial. Connolly’s information could not be used as a basis for a new trial because it could have been discovered by defense counsel prior to the trial but as I said they did not want Connolly’s evidence. They could have subpoenaed him to testify at the trial had they wanted him.

      The Government hopes the expire sooner rather than later. All breath a sigh of relief that Connolly took the hit and not the Top Echelon program which still continues. But on the whole neither man is credible the Government and media having already painted them black so it has little to fear. Whity definitely dies in prison; Connolly hopefully will get out next year if the Florida Appeals court is on the level.
      I believe Tsarnaev begins next month. There is more to the TEI program than just gangsters. I’m sure it has moved over into the area of terrorism. The FBI is pretty much a one trick pony. The blueprint for its fight against the gangsters came from its fight against the Communists; so you can expect that the same approach will be used against the latest threat.

      1. Many suspect the Tsarnaev brother had closer ties to the FBI than has been admitted to date. Strange when they posted their pictures two days after 4-15-13, that no one in the FBI recognized them, when the FBI admits that a year or two earlier they had “screened” the terrorists based on Russia’s “heads up.”

  7. By and large, I agree: the FBI higher ups and the higher ups in the Justice Department are complicit in failing to defend John Connolly; they designed the TEI program and the front line agents did nothing more than what they were ordered to do: protect TEIs; keep them on the streets as valuable informants; one condition “no violence.”

    1. William:

      There was no condition. Do you know that Vincent “James” Flemmi was accepted into the Top Echelon informant program even though the FBI knew he murdered four named people and knew he had told credible people that he enjoyed murdering people and wanted to be the biggest and best hitman in New England. The FBI determined his value as an informant outweighted those other considerations. You imaging the “no violence” stipulation in an attempt to defend the FBI’s TEI program. Look it straight in the face and see that protection had no caveats. Once you understand that you can see how big of a screwing Connolly took.

      1. Matt, you are not being honest. Admit that the FBI had a written policy with its TEIs “no violence.” Admit at least that. Admit that the corrupt FBI agent John Morris confirmed that policy and said he read it to his TEI’s every year. Ask current and former FBI agents what the policy was in the 1980s. If you don’t believe the FBI agents, if you don’t believe the written policy, say that. “I don’t believe it.” Don’t say, “There were no caveats.” The caveats were in writing.
        Your story about Jimmy Martorano confirms the FBI policy. The FBI knew that all Made Men in the Mafia were killers. We all agree on that. They knew they must have had ”PAST KILLINGS” The FBI used these killers to take down 150 top mobsters (all of whom were killers, as I understand it.) They used the killers subject to one explicitly written policy: “No violence.” All else is speculation.

        1. William:

          I don’t question your honesty so don’t question mine. You want to believe that no one in the FBI knew that Whitey or Flemmi their top TEIs and also the leaders of a violent gang were not engaged in violence during their violent careers is fine. Whatever the FBI policy was it was only for cover. If a guy (Jimmy Flemmi) says he wants to be the top hit man and the FBI wants to hire him as a TEI the FBI can then assume he abjured all violence because he became one; and, that reading a statement to him every year covered the FBI from actual knowledge of what was happening. You argue against John Connolly himself who said the FBI put him in the business with murderers.

          You want to believe the FBI thought Whitey and Stevie were not violent over the years despite having investigated reports from people who said they were extorted from them, that’s fine. You want to believe the FBI thought Whitey and Stevie were not engaged in violence when other law enforcement agencies believed otherwise, that too is fine because as you would have it everyone else is a Barney Fife. The FBI had a policy not to break into businesses but if you want to believe that none of its agents did that is also fine.

          1. So, you fail to distinguish “working with murderers” which every FBI agent does (Made Mafia Informers all have killed), and turning a blind eye to murder. To accuse an FBI agent of turning a deaf ear and blind eye to on-going murder is to call honorable men accessories to killing. To say the FBI was negligent in handling TEIs—honest men sometimes make mistakes—is a horse of different color. To accuse FBI agents of turning a blind eye to murder (to say agent X knew TEI Mr. Z killed Mr. Y and did nothing about it) is a dog that won’t hunt. But if you believe that, then you believe the depth of corruption amongst federal law enforcement personnel knows no bounds. So, you probably believe Whitey had 35-40 FBI agents on his payroll and 100 Boston cops on his payroll, and not one of those agents or cops every said a word to anyone about Whitey attempting to bribe them. If that’s so, as Jay Carney said, the depths of corruption in law enforcement in America knows no bounds. Wholesale rot! Or else what? Or else Whitey’s lying. He is, in my book, as he’s lying about having immunity to kill and not being informant. Delusional: he may have deluded himself he had immunity to kill; he may have deluded himself that giving a bottle of wine to a cop meant he had him on his payroll. He no doubt lied about a lot of things. FBI agents generally are not liars, are honorable men, who try to do the right thing, like Quincy Cops, Boston Cops and State Cops, generally. There’s always a bad apple. John Connolly was a good cop, framed by innuendo and false witness.

            1. William:

              I suggest to assume a guy who is a murderer stops murdering because he becomes a TEI makes no sense. I suggest protecting people who are murderers and who continue their way of life while you protect them is to turn a blind eye to their actions. You can’t be protecting someone and at the same time investigating them. I suggest the FBI program doing this is wrong since they allow known vicious and violent people to be protected from other investigators. I don’t suggest that any FBI that I know of had enough evidence to prosecute one of his TEI’s for murder; but if you don’t want to have that evidence because you are protecting someone you won’t see it if it is staring you in the face.

              I’ve set out my beliefs and they are not what you represent them to be.

              Carney asks why was Whitey not charged with any crimes for all the years he was on the street. Carney says it was because he was paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to Connolly for protection. Carney said he had 35 FBI agents on his payroll. No one, except you, has ever mentioned 100 Boston cops. If a cop or FBI agent was on Whitey’s payroll he would not be going about telling people Whitey was attempting to bribe him. The answer to Carney’s question is that Whitey was not prosecuted because he was being protected; another way to put it is to ask how many TEIs were prosecuted when they were being protected.

  8. Matt,
    One size fits all…I concur…and that protection extends to alias…For 16 year Whitey was living in plain site..I believe that Morris had been transferred to Cali. also..several reports through the years of Whitey sightings went unanswered…the question the I have it what changed? And, when can we expect Fed Reply to Whitey’s appleal?

  9. Matt, we’ve repeatedly stated the FEDs gave their TEIs tips to steer clear of certain locations so Barney Fife wouldn’t bag them. 2. Connolly’s malicious and false “conviction” in Florida was overturned. He’s innocent of that charge. 3.Connolly was a private citizen when Weeks said John Connolly told me an indictment was coming down. It’s not a crime for me to tell someone I heard an indictment was coming down. The Globe routines prints stories about indictments coming down. Moreover, Weeks perjuries don’t hold water because Whitey didn’t flee and was on his way back to Boston two weeks later when he first heard about the indictments. 4. Please don’t write Connolly was convicted of “murder” without instantaneously saying it was “overturned” and the charge “Murder by Gun” was wholly bogus to begin with. 5. Please distinguish the one crime Connolly was convicted of during his 23 years as an FBI agent (the phony “case of wine” deal) and the four or five other crimes which occurred while he was Private Citizen, five to ten years after he left his “job”. He left his job in 1990. He wasn’t on the job from 1995-2000.

    1. William:
      The post noted the protection extended to other investigations by other FBI agents. Are they also the Barney Fife’s you talk about. The protection was across the board. What do you think Whitey was inferring when he said he paid Connolly the hundreds of thousands of dollars that he was worried about what you call Barney Fifes?
      Connolly is convicted of murder until his conviction is reversed. Right now it is in the process of being appealed. Until the appeal is over it stands.
      Private citizens can obstruct justice. The jury found what Connolly did obstructed justice.
      You focus on the wrong thing. No one cares that Connolly was only convicted of one crime during his years as an FBI agent. What people are bothered about is that Connolly was protecting Whitey and Stevie who were committing murders while he was protecting them. That is why he is considered corrupt.
      What people don’t know is that was his job. The FBI by setting up the Top Echelon program told him to recruit people like Whitey and Stevie and give them protection. That everyone on the government side especially the FBI decided to ignore that allowed them to indict Connolly.
      Look at it this way, Connolly was prosecuted as if there were no Top Echelon program. He might as well have been prosecuted as if he was not an FBI agent. Unless the whole picture is considered that he was operating in a Department of Justice approved program then it is impossible to judge his actions. That’s why I emphasize we need an answer to what protection meant. I suggest it means what Connolly did which is to insure that no matter what, the TE informants are kept on the street.
      Go back to the beginning; the FBI knew what Connolly was doing all along. Its agents in Boston cooperated with him in protecting Whitey and Stevie. Any information they gathered up against them they gave to Connolly. When Flemmi testified the media and many folks became outraged that an FBI agent was protecting such high ranking criminals. The FBI wanted to keep the idea of its program secret so it let Connolly take the rap and pretended it had no idea what was happening.
      There’s a highly decorated FBI agent out of Chicago who talked about the many black bag jobs he did to plant listening devices in Mafia operations. He said J. Edgar Hoover knew all about them. He noted that Hoover had no problem with them doing them but if they were ever caught then Hoover was going to claim they were rogue agents operating beyond their authority. That is what happened to Connolly. He was doing what he should be doing and what the FBI wanted him to do but when Flemmi told of his relationship with him the FBI abandoned him.

      1. Matt, you should read what people post. I posted a few discussions ago that the FBI likely protected their Top Informants from DEA, IRS, AT&F and other less important federal investigations that potentially would interfere with the takedown of the entire New England Mafia. Barney Fifes are those on the state and local level who caught no one and tried to blame their poor arrest records on the FBI for putting them in proverbial handcuffs. The FBI took down 150 top organized crime members who also were mostly killers: to become a Made Man you had to have killed someone. Elemental.
        You allege Connolly is corrupt because he protected murderers while they were committing murders. You imply Connolly and other FBI agents knew they were continuing to commit murders in the 1980s (and late 1970s after they became Informants.) Who else knew? You didn’t. The Staties didn’t. The Boston and Quincy police didn’t. The press didn’t. Oh, I get it: Only Connolly knew.
        News update. Connolly retired in 1990. In 1995 Major Foley of the State Cops got an indictment against Whitey and Flemmi. It included no murder charges. Why? Because even five years after Connolly retired from the FBI, no one “knew”, no one in law enforcement had probable cause to arrest Whitey or Flemmi.
        You can attack Connolly until you are blue in the face. We who know him no he is innocent. The Boston jury acquitted him of all murder related charges. You have a strange view of the law. He was falsely convicted in Florida of murder by gun, a charge for which the Statute of Limitations had run, a charge for which even the trial judges admitted essential elements of the crime were never proven, and a charge for which the trial judge flagrantly egregiously erroneously instructed the jury and a charge for which one dissenting judge merely reiterated the trial judge’s erroneous instructions to the jury. The Appelate Division of Florida’s District Court reversed Connolly’s conviction. The State and its co-counsel the Fed Fred Wyshak have appealed that reversal. You think the man stands convicted. I say the conviction has been overturned. At least inform your readers of the present state of facts: Connolly’s conviction has been overturned. We now await the corrupt Florida judicial system to continue to review a case of elemental statutory construction that has taken them now six years to decide.
        You defend the system. I condemn it. You imply Connolly and other FBI agents knew Flemmi and Bulger were continuing to murder in the 1980s. I say Major Foley’s 1995 indictment flatly disproves that. John Connolly retired honorably in 1990. The first person to smear him in the press was the serial killer, serial perjurer Salemme (a Made Man in the Mafia) who Connolly arrested in New York City in the 1970s for decades. The first person to detail the 1980s murders was John Martorano in about 2000. (1998, 1999, 2001 or thereabouts.
        3. Let’s see the indictments local cops brought against Flemmi and Bulger in the 1980s. Let’s see the memo sent to the DOJ informing it of specific murders committed by specific persons. John Connolly knew no more than local cops about who killed whom back then, nor about who buried what bodies where. Kevin Weeks knew and he didn’t tell till about 2000, ten years after Connolly left office.
        Connolly is crucified because people say “He must have knew murders were continuing. None of us knew. But he must have knew.” John Connolly is the sacrificial lamb of a vicious press and rivalries in Law Enforcement.
        4. By the way, you don’t need a degree in sociology to criticize the sorry state of our society; you don’t need a law degree to criticize law enforcement or the “justice” departments in this country. You just need a whiff from the Boston area courthouses to know something stinks. In fact, people who’ve spent their lives stuck in law offices are oftentimes the last to see the sorry sordid state of judicial affairs in this country. Ask Eric Holder how we’re doing.

        1. “He must have knew” is exactly what many people said. They should have said, “he must have known.”

        2. William:

          We agree the fBI provided Whitey and Stevie protection from all other law enforcement agencies so that they could continue to furnish the FBI with information.
          I never said Connolly knew they murdered anyone to the point he could arrest them. I do suggest that Connolly had to know that they would be involved in violence to maintain their positions as heads of the gang. I do suggest that while they were TEIs they continued to murder people. That would mean the FBI is protecting people who were murdering people, whether it knew it or nor.
          The conviction of Connolly is not reversed until it is. What do you think is going on in Florida? The three judge panel was appealed so
          that holds everything as it was and Connolly still stands convicted until further action by the court.
          Local cops knew Whitey was a violent guy; did Connolly?
          As I’ve written you can believe what you want.

          1. Matt, it is factual history—as factual as the historical record can make the past—-that Bulger and Flemmi continued to kill while they were TEIs. Connolly was acquitted in Boston of all murder related charges. He was acquitted of leaking any information that led to Callahan’s, Castucci’s and Halloran’s deaths. People in Boston were furious that TEIs had been committing murders. You are correct on that point. They (some people, the press, federal prosecutors) tried to lynch John Connolly for that: they said he knew: the Boston jury said “not guilty” and said no murder-related charges were “proven” under RICO. Six times the Boston jury was asked to connect John Connolly to murders and six times the jury refused to do that, acquitting him. 2. Wyshak we know brought the same circus to Miami, adding the notorious perjurer and serial killer Flemmi as a witness, and based on Flemmi’s “Wyshak-refreshed” memory (Flemmi testified in 2008 that in 1982 John Connolly said to him, “If Callahan talks we’ll all be in trouble”) John Connolly was falsely convicted of second degree “murder by gun.” We’ve stated why that was a legal abomination. In 2014, the Florida District Appeals Court reversed that conviction. If God forbid John Connolly were to die today the legal record is that his murder conviction was overturned. Previously in Florida he was acquitted of first degree murder and of murder by gun. Black Mass fails to tell its readers that fact and many other salient facts. Black Mass, the novel by Lehr and O’Neill, is false in many respects and farcical. 3. Unless there’s some arcane, obscure, recondite, erroneous judicial interpretation (judges are often wrong, history proves that) that says when a man’s conviction is overturned he’s still guilty, I’ll stand by my views. We both know the reverse is true; if a jury declares a man guilty, and the guilty man dies during his appeals, his guilty verdict is wiped out. If a person’s murder conviction has been overturned and he dies during further appeals, you’re suggesting his guilty verdict stands? I don’t think so. I may be wrong, as the poem says, “If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, but make allowance for their doubting too”, I make allowance for doubts. As the legal record now stands, however, John Connolly is acquitted of all murder related charges in Boston in 2002, and acquitted in Miami of first degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in 2008, but wrongfully convicted of “murder by gun” in 2008, and that 2008 conviction has been overturned in 2014. 2. You wrote previously that a civilian can commit obstruction of justice. True. But we contend it is not a crime for a private citizen to write a letter, tell someone he heard through the grapevine that an indictment was coming down, contact a lawyer’s office, help someone’s criminal defense, etc. Yet federal prosecutors spun these acts into crimes as they spun the hiring of probation employees recommended by legislators into crimes. I do throw stones at federal prosecutors and federal courts, thank you. 3 or 4. Everyone knew there were violent guys in our neighborhoods and Whitey was one of them. The FBI’s deal with Whitey was you can become a TEI (cooperate) but you can’t continue “violence.” It was in writing. You can believe that John Connolly and other FBI agents ignored the policy. You and I can differ and we both can believe whatever we want. We can speculate. We can turn speculation, innuendo and inferences into proof positive. Where’s the proof? Where’s the beef? “reasonably should have known” is an element of negligence, but how does one man get accused of reasonably should have known what no one else in law enforcement knew. Made Mafia Men are violent. Some become informers. The FBI told informers in writing and verbally “no violence”. Connolly has been acquitted of any involvement in any murders, except the corrupt 2008 “murder by gun” conviction which was overturned. As the Appellate record stands, as every newspaper reported in May 2014, his conviction has been “reversed”, “overturned.” The State with its Federal partners, Wyshak, et al, continue to appeal, maliciously it is clear, in my not so humble opinion. No freshman in law school can read the “murder by gun” statute, case law and Florida’s “enhancement” statute without appreciating the enormity of Connolly’s false conviction. John Connolly is represented by the Miami Innocence Project that only represents people who are wholly innocent not just legally of the charges brought against them, but innocent in fact. The Miami Innocent Project knows John Connolly was framed, falsely prosecuted and wrongfully convicted.

            1. William:

              If Connolly died before his appeals are exhausted he will be deemed to have not been convicted.
              2. You maintain it is not a crime to obstruct justice but you do that in the face of Connolly having been convicted for such a thing that makes it a crime. You just happen to disagree with the judges as to what constitutes obstruction of justice. I’m not sure the weight of authority is on your side.
              3. You seem to suggest if the FBI knows its TEIs are committing violent acts that if it tells them not to do it then it is off the hook. Everyone in Southie who could read knew Whitey and Stevie were violent guys who maintained their position by violence. I’m sure John Connolly was no exception. Are you suggesting to me that he believed Whitey was not violent when he was a TEI. Or, are you suggesting even if he knew as everyone else seemed to know as long as he told him he could not be violent he is off the hook.
              4. If his murder was overturned he would be out of prison; that he is still in prison means his conviction is still under review by the appellate court.

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