The Grand Strategy Revealed – Part One

Grand StrategyFor a while now I’ve been shouting stop wasting our time. Whether Whitey is an informant or not doesn’t matter.  Let’s get on with the trial.

A voice inside my head whispered back,  “You don’t spend a week in what is in effect a murder case involving 19 victims unless it has a huge bearing on the case.” I ran from the voice but it pursued like the Hound of Heaven,“with unhurrying chase,and unperturbèd pace:” “You’ve got it all wrong,” it uttered.

I tried to run from the voice knowing the press of time stopped me from pausing to reflect. I tried to figure it out but life kept getting in the way. The voice would sneak back and I’d say to myself, “what am I missing?” 

I knew it was nothing in the prosecutors’ case. That seemed quite straightforward. I knew pretty much what they were trying to do although at times I wondered if they did. I’ll never understand why they called Billy McDermott the Brookline detective who said he never saw Whitey and Stevie together over 8 -10 years in Brookline or called Ralph DiMasi a guy who just got out after 21 years in the can.

It was the defendants’ case that was giving me trouble. I never came out and said it but although I was pleased as punch with Hank Brennan’s first day work over of Martorano, his second day seemed to come up short. I felt maybe Brennan knew he had him down and didn’t want to kick him in the teeth as I would have wanted him to do.

I knew Brennan had it in him to go after Martorano and had plenty of material to do it with but he pulled his punches and left a lot of good stuff on the table. Why?  I figured it had to be that it didn’t fit into their game plan. If I could figure that out, and I knew they had to have one, then things would begin to fit in place.

Back to Carney’s opening I flew quick as a flash to see if there was a clue. There it was staring me in the face. Carney’s admission Whitey was a big drug dealer and bookie  and made millions of dollars. It wasn’t like Carney to be giving anything away to the prosecutor but I’d written he surrendered about half of the case — a conviction on any of those sent Whitey to ADX — that was the thing he least wanted.

What was I missing?

Then I  began to see the defense strategy or as some would say “the sun began to shine on Marblehead.”

Here’s where the defense must be going. It is an all-in strategy, the only strategy you can use when you’re back is up against the wall with no hope of escape. It is a go for broke — go down fighting — tactic that is only available to someone like Whitey who knows that the loss on any one indictment will spell his doom.

The defense and prosecution pretty much have agreed that FBI Agent John Connolly is corrupt. Defense is now showing that he could not have carried out his corrupt acts by himself. Others had to be involved. We know Morris was involved in taking money, but what about with the phony FBI informant file on Whitey. His job was to review all the informants files but he never seemed to notice the 209s in Whitey’s file matched word for word those filed in other files. His explanation that sometimes more than one informant reports the same thing. That’s true. But they rarely use the same words as we’ve seen used here.

If Supervisor Morris was involved, who else would have known of the deceit?  Brennan has already gotten in through Marra that there were other corrupt agents in the Boston office but the Department of Justice (DOJ) decided not to prosecute them. Not only did they not prosecute them, they gave them all a pass. They let them all retire with full benefits or let those who retired keep them. They let what they knew was a gaggle of thieves remain at loose. No one complained.

How is it then that only one person in a den of corrupt agents was taken down? The statute of limitations doesn’t explain it. With a little massaging which the federals are very capable of doing they could have made this look like one big conspiracy to commit  murder which is outside the statute of limitations.

Connolly has been convicted of murder, all those in the FBI who conspired with him by setting up these fake records and turning a blind eye to the obvious freedom they were according these gangsters are also implicated. Why was it fixed so that the damage could be limited to Connolly?

Why was he set upon by DOJ which so desperately wanted to put him away forever that they came up with the Florida prosecution and keep yelling out he’s the only bad guy?  How explain that the upper echelons of DOJ being so intimately interested in going after Connolly that they assign people from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and other DOJ agencies under Wyshak’s lead to work to assist the Florida prosecution something never done before in OIG history? Why was his the only case the federals pursued in Florida?

These questions Carney and Brennan (C & B) are raising. They are showing the jury that some thing just do not fit. On one hand it’s right that Connolly who took huge sums from Whitey and made up a fake informant record to cover up his actions should be in prison, but since others were complicit in his actions why are they given a pass. The jury will feel uncomfortable and wonder about the DOJ’s actions.

Maybe, just maybe they’ll suggest to the jury that to go after too many people might just open up a barrel of worms. Put the blame on one guy, suggest all is well in the FBI and DOJ, and let the rest of the world pass us by. And, one other thing, keep up the pretense that Whitey was an informant and the hope that he never gets captured.

31 thoughts on “The Grand Strategy Revealed – Part One

    1. JHG,

      I think you’re right, but given what Matt is saying, I think the conclusion extends to the FBI, or at least the gang of agents who assisted Connolly.

      1. Jon

        I agree with you there. Poor supervision by Morris alone would not have allowed this whole situation to fester without complicity by other agents and supervisors in the Boston office and in DC.

        1. JHG:

          There seemed to have been something very strange in that office. I just don’t know if is symptomatic of the FBI as a whole or something in Boston but there are other cities where it seemed things that went on should have been stopped. Morris in his redirect indicated that he spent very little time dealing with the Bulger and Flemmi matters. Could that be true? If it was of so little concern why is he running to the Globe trying to get Whitey murdered.

    2. MTC9393, You and Patty and JHG, and other raise great questions re: John Connolly – While it may not be “plausible” could another potential theory be “possible” where neither Bulger was an informant, nor Connolly the corrupt one? What is the potential for an inside double-cross? In other words, what if Flemmi, the informant with ties to the Italian Mafia was actually workin’ it up in cahoots with Morris and the FBI to really take out the Irish mob, rather than the other way around – the Irish mob being used to take down the Italian mafia? Did we all get nicely played?

      We have already established that Morris is the liar and the one with ultimate control of the File – Since he was Connolly’s boss, Did he “require” Connolly to put those records in there, or alternatively did he himself have access to the file?

      What if Connolly was thinking he was being loyal to the higher mission and directive of the FBI in taking out the Italian Mafia, but it was really Morris, others, and Flemmi who teamed up by providing misinformation and deflecting attention back onto Bulger?

      What if Flemmi and Morris together, with Flemmi’s ties, knew how to “play” the State Police and manipulate the State Police to go against Bulger/Connolly FBI? What if there were in essence “two masters” in the FBI back then and Connolly could not serve both – to whom would he be “loyal?” The stated mission of the FBI to take-down the Italian mafia as issued by his higher ups? Or his direct boss who had befriended friends of the Italian mafia and made them informants? In other words, was the Bulger file used to cover up that it was Flemmi and company who was really in control with Morris being the champion within?

      What did Wyshak or Kelly say again in the papers – “Connolly’s issue was that he was loyal to Bulger and Southie?”

      There’s that “loyalty” thing again. And it kind of has a “personal” vindictive feel to it, too, doesn’t it?

      1. Alex – interesting theory. I’m sure Matt will expand, but recall that there were some major successes against the Italian mafia that Flemmi played a key role in. Namely, the bugging of Vannessa’s and the Medford induction ceremony.

        1. Jon:
          I replied to Alex seeing some parts of what he put forward making sense, others not. I do see the Mafia in the background exerting influence on some of these matters (but not through Morris) like the destruction of Rico and Connolly. That’s why I’m a little uncomfortable saying Connolly was really totally corrupt. I think I agreed with that earlier but it’s not settling right. Alex’s theory Whitey is not an informant and Connolly totally innocent in that he didn’t take some money I don’t buy. But change it to Connolly taking money (not the amounts Whitey is saying) thinking it is not affecting what he does as an agent — to be bribed legally it means you must take something and change your behavior on account of it — and he’s doing it to maintain the relationship so that, as Morris said he told him, “the guys won’t think you don’t like them” or something like that is not something I reject out of hand.
          Flemmi definitely helped Connolly in Vanessa’s and the induction ceremony. Connolly also listed Whitey as an informant for that ceremony which on its face is laughable.

      2. Alex:

        There is such a theory that may be valid and it’s something I have been toying with. Whitey’s not an informant. He spends a fair amount of time with Connolly in a quasi-friendship mode. Both men are using the other. Whitey is using Connolly as a newspaper to the FBI doings and he pays a little for the news here and there; Connolly is using Whitey by having him as a prestige informant as far as the FBI is concerned. Whitey doesn’t give Connolly any actionable information but does talk generally about who is doing what just to keep the conversation going without any idea Connolly is going to write some of it down; Connolly writes some stuff like that Whitey complains about like Norfolk DA Delahunt but knows that will never pass review He has to have some type of substantial information to put in Whitey’s file to keep up the pretense that Whitey is an informant so he steals info from other files to put in Whitey’s just so he can cover his butt. He take a little money from Whitey every so often, nothing big not thinking it will affect him in the job and that if he refused Whitey would get upset. That covers Whitey not being an informant and Connolly not being (too) corrupt. I’m glad you’re thinking outside the box so that I’m not coming up with this stuff on my own.

        I can’t see Morris doing other than he did. I can’t see him in a plot against Whitey and Connolly because he would not have brought in the Globe to do his dirty work. And, it was not the state police along who worked this, there was also DEA and under the ultimate control of Wyshak. Wyshak does play heavily into this, after all he made deals with the guys who could support his theory.

        1. Here’s what I take away from this so far. Somewhere along the line Connolly and Whitey hook up. Whitey is happy to pay a fellow Southie in the FBI for information. Connolly is happy to build his resume with another informant. Over time he takes some money, not wanting to refuse the favor and jeopardize losimg Whitey. Eventually others get involved and the relationship grows chummy but no one figures they’ll get caught. Connolly Morris and others get into deep, falsifying the files and so on, unti eventually things spin out of control and guys like Morris start trying to save their skin when he thinks Whitey records the exchange of a bribery. In the long run things do spin out of control and it’s every man for himself. It all blows out into the open but then the media like hungry dogs starts eating up all the stories of gangsters and self serving FBI agents, and like Boston sports radio all kinds of theories get thrown around,and a hydra of myths arises that cannot be killed. Then come the books and court cases and the willing executioners in the federal government that try to write the story that becomes a substitute for reality. And here we are today.

          1. Jon:

            Great job!!! I’m sitting here saying to myself is it really all that simple. What you wrote I’d say was putting it all in a nut shell.

          2. Thanks Matt. It’s just money and hubris on a small scale until it got out of control, and it was money and hubris on a big scale. I think one problem is that when it all came out it seemed like a big time cabal ex post, but really this thing unfolded gradually and men were lured to the dark side almost perhaps not even knowing it till it was too late, and then it was every man for himself. Greek tragedy about hubris in modern day Boston.

  1. That is a factual conclusion. I thought MTC was writing about a defense strategy/theme that is a make or break attempt to get off.

    1. Jim
      Be patient. Sometimes it takes me a while to get to my point. I like to limit the posts to less than 1000 words. At the end you should go after me if you think I’m off the mark. I’ll finish by Wednesday.

  2. MTC,

    Patience is never a quality associated with me. Especially since this blog, and live twitter accounts, are my eyes and ears for this trial. Add in that I haven’t had a trial in 6 months and, well, patiences is out the window.

    1. Jim:
      I’m working through a lot of theories tying to come up with something that makes sense. I’ve tried to set it out in the Grand Strategy fully so that it can be challenged. Even with doing that I’m not fully comfortable I am where I want to be. Don’t give up on me and keep in touch.

  3. excuse my typos- no coffee today.

    Has anyone found Cullen’s blogging the epitome of self promotion? It’s a constant theme among those covering the trial. They want to be in on the action, in the know. It is sickening. Do your job and report the facts without your editorial.

    1. Kevin Cullen and Shelley Murphy are going to have revise that fictitious bathroom material they call their new book. Story is not even close to over, they are trying to paint a house that is not even built yet.

      1. Doubting:

        All they have to do with the book is put it in the fiction section and they’ll be fine. I’d say they are painting the plans for the house and hoping somehow it will magically transmit to the house when it is built. Remember, they are stuck in the past like the Globe itself, a dying elephant wandering around looking for the elephan burying ground. Where’s Tarzan when you need him to come to the rescue?

        1. Matt- yourself , myself, and the rest of the excellent people on here commentating are building a castle of truth through this blog. Painting it with truth and outrage. Fake FBI files?? I mean Connolly was basically copying homework like a teenager in High School to have ”his Irish” protected.

          1. Doubting:

            You are right – but here’s the problem. Connolly didn’t invent this. It had to be an inside joke in the FBI that you could have informant files without having informants. So you could protect anyone you wanted to whether the person was an informant or not. I’m sure this information was not known only to the FBI. What would it be worth to a Mafia guy like Rocco or an OC guy lik Pat to get listed as an informant and slip a few grand to an agent. The agent makes up a lot of bull he hears from other agents or from the talk in the barrooms or on the street and puts that in Rocco’s or Pat’s file. Meanwhile, the FBI has set up a system that if any law enforcement agency in the world, or at least in America, uses its NSIS computer system to inquire about anything about Rocco or Pat, even if it runs his plate, then his handler will be notified. Rocco or Pat knows everyone who is looking at him down to the identity of the cop. If you can’t see how the system is made for corruption then you are sleeping. It is all based on the presumption FBI guys are pure and others are less so.

            You’re right – Connolly could have listed a dozen Irish guys as informants and know about everyone who was looking at them who uses the NSIS system.

    2. Jim:

      I read some of Cullen’s tweets at times. He is sitting within 10 feet of me, maybe even 5′. I don’t know where he’s coming up with some of his stuff but he seems to be combining trial matters with opinion and writing as if what he opines was said. Clearly one directional reporting.

  4. MTC- the strategy you are suggesting typically requires a bombshell to move a jury to a nullification verdict. this is becoming a game of Clue.But I think you are onto something.

    1. Chaco:

      A bombshell may not be coming but general disgust with the prosecution witnesses and the tedious Wyshak with his over anxiousness and constant interrruptions.

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