The Insane World Of FBI Reports

IMG_2954Patty who comments here wrote and told us we should write the FBI to find out what it has on us. We’d end up getting files with those big black redaction lines through them. So why bother? Further, truth be told, FBI reports can be of little value.

Remember FBI agent Paul Rico talking about those reports to a Congressional Committee. He tried to suggest that when an informant tells you about things that are happening you reduce them to writing and file it in report form in the FBI’s filing system. It doesn’t mean what you are told is the truth.  Here’s how it works.

Suppose Agent M. Key’s has an informant Joe The Giraffe. Most people who read about what Joe says won’t know who the information is coming from. Joe will  be identified by a number such as # 82828,  Joe tells Agent M. Key he saw Loo Water the night before at a poker party and during the night Loo and Harry Hippo were involved in a heated conversation.

Agent M. Key writes that down and puts the original in # 82828’s file and copies in the file of Loo Water and Harry Hippo.  There’s nothing more to it than that. It doesn’t mean it happened, it just means # 82828 said it did. The truth might be that Harry Hippo was at a movie that night and Loo Water was out of town.

There is no FBI requirement that things be verified before putting them in report form. Anything an  informant says gets written down. It then takes a life of its own. I’ve written before about the FBI’ saying “if it’s not in writing it doesn’t exist.” Is the corollary of that is that if it is in writing it must have happened?

Don’t think I’m making this up. A situation demonstrating that exact thing is being discussed at this moment in Whitey’s case.

Whitey’s lawyers are trying to find out the identity of an informant who gave an FBI agent information that Weeks and Martorano assured the others, such as Nee, that although they were cooperating they wouldn’t hurt them. In other words they’d lie to protect their friends. It’d be a nice bit of evidence for the defense lawyers to have to impeach those witnesses. They filed a motion to get the information.

Today the prosecutors responded to their request and objected to giving that information. They wrote: “The FBI has advised that the informant had no firsthand knowledge of any of this information, and indeed had no direct contact with the relevant individuals discussed in the FBI report: Kevin Weeks, John Martorano, Pat Nee, Jack Curran, Patrick Linskey, Michael Linskey, Richard Buccheri and Kevin Weeks’ former girlfriend.”

Stop and think of that a second. The FBI agent filed a report based on information about what his informant said about certain people, The FBI agent must have known his informant neither knew these people nor had any direct contact with them.  To the agent’s credit he did suggest the informant was passing on “street talk” which is another word for rumor.

What then is the purpose of all this?  Why have a system where an unidentified person  # 82828 can suggest things about Harry Hippo which may be false.or another number suggest things about Kevin Weeks and Martorano that might also be false. Other FBI agents reading Harry Hippo’s folder are going to assume he was in contact with Loo Water and go off with that wrong assumption.

Here is what I find highly wrong with that system. Agent Paul Rico filed reports in the past like this and years later people treated them as true and blamed him for not acting on them. Agent John Connolly filed reports that in retrospect were shown to be false and it was held against him. If the agents are supposed to file reports on whatever they are told, whether true or not, then we should not later assume they were true and should have been acted on; or that the agent was deliberately trying to deceive others.

Yet that is what has been done throughout these last few years. Whitey’s lawyers are now in the position where they are being told that a report they assumed was true because it was part of the FBI files was based on nothing but rumors. Further, they can not learn the identity of the person who gave the FBI agent that information because she is an informant. There seems to me something basically wrong with having rumors mixed in with factual information in a filing system.  I’m sure a lot of reputations have been unfairly damaged by the result of such a system.

24 thoughts on “The Insane World Of FBI Reports

  1. Matt,

    All good points. It makes one wonder what information we can rely on. Your post also touches on a central theme in the case, how did all the government’s witnesses know they could lie about the others with impunity?

    For example, there had to have been a communication from Kevin Weeks to Pat Nee that Weeks would lie to protect Nee from the Halloran, Donahue, McIntyre and Barrett murders. Pat Nee in turn would have had to communicate with Weeks that he would not say anything to contradict Weeks in connection with these murders.

    Similar communications would have had to have been exchanged between Martorano, Weeks, Nee, Winter, James Martorano, Flemmi, O’Neil, Linskey, Curran, Buccheri, etc., etc.

    The $64,000. question is who undertook all of these communications? It was impossible for them to communicate among themselves. They were locked up in different locations. For example, Pat Nee was in jail from before the 1995 indictments until April 2000. Weeks was arrested in the late 1990’s and remained in jail for several years after Nee’s release. How did they communicate a plan to commit perjury and conspire to obstruct justice?

    The answer to me is quite obvious. The only person who could possibly have “firsthand knowledge” and “direct contact with the relevant individuals” is a member of law enforcement. If it were someone who was not in law enforcement, then the necessary communications to further this conspiracy would have been recorded by the correctional institutions at which various conspirators were held. As you know all phone calls, letters and visits of the incarcerated witnesses were recorded and provided to the the US Attorney’s Office.

    I’m open to other theories of how the plot was carried out, but I cannot be disabused of the belief that there was such a conspiracy that got all the government’s witnesses to commit the same perjury.

    1. Patty:

      Some things to keep in mind – when Flemmi first started spilling his guts in court his codefendants Martorano and Salemme were in court listening to him. For a long time before that those three had been locked up together in Plymouth. Those three are members of the original Roxbury Group that operated out of Winter Hill.

      The first hint I had of communications between Weeks and Nee was when I read their books. They were clearly sending messages back and forth that they had an agreement they were sticking to. The FBI report I talked about said that word on the street was that in 2002 the word went out that people were going to be protected. We can follow that 2002 date because Weeks is in prison and Nee is on the street; it wouldn’t be to hard for him to communicate with people who visited him like his siblings or an attorney to get the news to Nee.

      I don’t think any law enforcement were involved in carrying messages from one gangster to another. I do think that in debriefing the witnesses the law enforcement people may have used what one person said to refresh another persons’s memory.

      The whole thing really wasn’t difficult to bring about – it was a simple concept: blame Whitey. Martorano threw him into every murder he did from lat 1972 onward, first as being in a crash car and then at the end the Wheeler/Callahan murders that make no sense. Martorano says Callahan wanted to take over World Jai Alai and he was going to hire Winter Hill for protection from the Mafia. I don’t know why this has not been zeroed in on. You have an organization that is not under threat from the Mafia going to hire a criminal gang to protect it from a threat that does not exist and pay 10,000 a week for it. Next, who the hell was afraid of Winter Hill in Miami? Wheeler was murdered by Martorano without any involvement of Whitey or even Flemmi, although the latter had to put himself into it to get a deal; (of course anyone will add any other murders to his ledger if there is not further consequences) and did it for his buddy Callahan and then he had to murder Callahan because Callahan was telling people up in Boston that Johnny had done it.

      Martorano tells of the time from 1972 to 1979 when he flees. Flemmi tells of 1974 to 1990. Weeks from the early 80s on. Weeks and Flemmi only have to coordinate their stories on Halloran/Donohue (Flemmi will tell of admissions); Barrett; McIntyre and Hussey. They were actually involved with them and adding Whitey in, whether he was there or not, really would not be difficult.

      Flemmi and Martorano have to coordinate on the Sousa, McGonagle, Connors, King, Leonard and Castucci. Probably not too hard to do since they were together on those which happened in a two year period from 1974 to 1976. I think Whitey will admit McGonagle and King, as being in self-defense. He probably had nothing to do with Sousa. The big hurdle Whitey has to get over which i don’t think he can is that of the bodies that were unearthed. Three of them found together Barrett/McIntyre/Hussey clearly belong to Flemmi because of Hussey but you got to figure Flemmi/Bulger were so tight what one did the other did. Weeks of course puts himself and them there. You don’t need any law enforcement conspiracy for those; then with the body of Davis and King being found so close, we know Flemmi was involved in Davis and Whitey with King so they’re both tied in there. Davis and King were murdered before Weeks became buddies with Whitey as was McGonagle who was buried at Tenean Beach. How does Weeks know about these spots if he’s not told by Whitey? I can’t agree that there something sinister going on in some of the murders or any law enforcement shenanigans were happening with them.

      Whitey’s disclaiming involvement in the murders of the women runs into trouble when we see where their bodies were located.

      1. Matt,

        I remain politely unconvinced.

        1. Flemmi did not spill his guts in court about any murders.

        2. Flemmi was in solitary until he agreed to testify against Connolly. (The first time Salemme could get to Flemmi, he attacked him in the courthouse elevator.)

        3. It’s extremely difficult to concoct a conspiracy between about 8 guys, half of whom are locked up. Nee was not serving time at Plymouth.
        a. all communications are recorded copied and sent to the USA. Visitors to the inmates couldn’t have pulled that off without the USA knowing.
        b. inmates are allowed only a handful of preregistered visitors with no criminal records.
        c. the agreement was complex. It required more than “blame Whitey”. Guys had to be added into and taken out of homicides.
        d. there was mutuality to the agreement. Nee had to confirm to all of the others that he would keep them out if they would keep him out.
        e. the inmates would have to assure the guys on the outside they would give up certain guys and murders, but not other guys.
        d. I doubt many lawyers would hop in bed to further their clients’ conspiracy to suborn perjury and obstruct justice.

        4. In about 1999, John Connolly’s lawyers investigated an alleged meeting arranged at the courthouse lockup of all these witnesses. Pat Nee was habed in for that meeting. I think he was serving at MCI Shirley (he was involved in the sweat lodge litigation) even though he was on a federal sentence. The purpose of the meeting became clear during Mike Flemmi’s trial. The men were mostly kept in adjoining cells. (Weeks was once put in a cell at the court with Phil Meyers who had taken the LCN contract on Weeks. Obviously Phil passed on a chance at wiseguy stardom,)

        5. Weeks’s version of the waterfront shooting is clear perjury designed to protect Nee. The USA has to know Weeks lied about this. It’s so obvious. Then why would Weeks risk his deal and commit perjury? The only answer is that he knew the USA wouldn’t mind some perjury between friends. Even if the USA didn’t actively participate in the conspiracy, they willfully ignored it and deceived the court.

        I remain convinced the USA intentionally allowed these guys to get their stories straight. Furthermore, the USA has turned a blind eye to perjury and obstruction.

        1. Patty:

          When I wrote I knew you would not be convinced since our opinions diverge in this area. I do agree that the prosecutors knew that Weeks was lying about the masked man in the back seat of the car that killed Halloran/Donohue and allowed him to get away with it. I believe from reading the Weeks and Nee books put out before they thought Whitey would come back that Nee was involved in both the Halloran/Donohue and McIntyre murders, in fact he was the one most at risk in the latter instance. McIntyre probably never spoke with Whitey so any evidence he could give against him would not tie him into the gun running, although with the use of hearsay evidence in the federal court I may be misstating that, but in any event he could tie Nee and probably Weeks more closely into that episode..

          There is no doubt the prosecutors gave the house away to Weeks. He was indicted for crimes that could have put him away for twenty or more years, then he confessed to being involved in five murders, and he serves five years prison, an incredibly short sentence. How Weeks was able to manage that was he force the prosecutors to agree to protect Nee, and perhaps some others. What made his hand so strong was he knew where the bodies were buried. In the past if you told about murdering someone and burying them that worked against you, in this case it helped him out.

          Here’s what strange about the bodies. The first three (Barrett, McIntyre, Hussey) are recovered in January near Florian Hall. Weeks knew of their burial place because he was involved in murdering each one of them an burying them first in Nee’s brother’s house and then in the Florian Hall location. Obviously he’s up to his neck in these along with Flemmi because of the Hussey connection and Whitey because of his relationship to both men.

          What happens between January and September when the next bodies are unearthed. Eight months of negotiations? Why that time period before the next three bodies are retrieved from other locations? Plus Weeks had nothing to do with those murders since he wasn’t connected with Whitey at the time. How did he learn about them. Why did he take that time to tell about them. Was part of the deal changing the way Weeks won his share of the lottery while not changing the way Whitey won with the made-up informants in the FBI affidavit. You are right that there is a lot that has a foul odor to it in this case.

          But I still stick to my suggestion that not much coordination was needed in this matter. There was the overall theme “get Whitey” and everything would fall into place. Where there were rough edges preparing the witnesses for trial did that. As for the lawyers, Nee’s lawyer asking Week’s lawyer what Weeks was going to say about Nee doesn’t seem to unethical plus we’ve seen that Weeks’s brother was use as a go between for Connolly and Weeks, so he very well could have carried out the news. There’s some minor fed involvement in making deals and coordinating witness testimony and putting guys on the stand who may not be telling the whole truth but beyond that I don’t ascribe any great malfeasance to the feds.

  2. Yet again I have to raise my hand here as well. I even went so far as to ask the FBI to do a criminal background check on me. I went to an authorized location to have my finger prints taken. I sent all the required documents to the FBI facility in W. Virginia. I was notified that I needed to do the process again, because my finger prints that were in the system were attached to a white male who was 5 feet 8inches tall. When I inquired as to the name of the person in their system that was attached to my finger prints they refused my request.

    I am a white female. I was finger printed in the early ’90s for my securities license. As far as I know the four arrests in NH for alledged criminal trespass charges, of which there was no trial because I was ordered not competent to stand trial were not put into the FBI system, although the arresting officer told me they were. I was because of that statement that I made the above request. All this happened in 2011. I have had no response even after repeated requests.

    1. Jean:

      At least they didn’t find your finger prints belonged to someone on the Dead List. You give a perfect example of the problem all Americans face, the FBI does not have to respond to anyone if it doesn’t feel like it. It’s the only group in American that can’t be investigated by someone else.

      1. Matt,

        After two decades of experience with the FBI, I accept what you state that “the FBI does not have to respond to anyone if it doesn’t feel like it”. My family can attest to that fact. However, I don’t accept that it should be this way. When a citizen dials 911 the call should be answered by someone in the Department of Justice who will do the duty as his/her oath requires. And, the first thing that this duty requires is to take a statement.

        In our Constitutional form of Democracy there should not be a “Mr. Fixer”; there should not be dirty tricks play books; there should not be Too Big to Fail or Prosecute oligarchs of great influence; and, most certainly there should not be deals with serial murders. But, as we read, all the ‘should not bes’ do exist, and are being implemented today. And, yet as you report Americans are complacent.

        Dante wrote: “The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.” Perhaps, he should have written a caveat to say that first the condemned person must know there is a ‘moral crisis’ afoot. But, for a few bloggers like yourself, most American’s have no idea that they are like the frogs in the warm water ready to be turned into frogs legs. Whose responsibility is it to inform of the ‘moral crisis’? The media? the bloggers? And, if it is upon the individual to inform him/her self, to whom can they turn to get news without spin. Even the Public Broadcasting System has to rely on big business for its funding. Spin is all over the airwaves.

        As I said, I agree with you that we are where we are today, but I don’t accept the premise that this is the final answer. There must be one more
        “Good Morning” left in America. And, this ex-pat would love to be there to witness it.

        1. Jean:

          I don’t write in the belief that all hope is lost. I think things can get better with information, that is, when people know what is going on and take their hands out of the sand then perhaps they will demand change which is mightily needed. So I blog in the hope that another voice will be heard concerning the great American experiment and that people consider what is happening and what actions can be taken to improve who we are as a people.

  3. Matt, et al. An interesting thought occurred to me while I was walking downtown tonight. BC graduation had me working from 6:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M., came home, took a nap and shower and headed downtown for my daily walk–four or five or eight miles—can’t run, but still can walk forever, lift weights and do yard work.
    Anyway, since the Terrorist Attack, I noticed I’ve never seen so many MUslims downtown; and they are attending church services and public and semi-private meetings in churches and they almost are intruding, I’d say, into our public and semi-private places, and sometimes they seem to be defying us, laughing at our losses, mocking our ways. I could not figure out why only now was I seeing so many Muslims everywhere.
    Then while walking I got the insight: They are not MUslims: they are FBI agents dressed up as Muslims; they are provocateurs hoping to trigger a confrontation with some innocent AMerican citizens, so the FEDS can charge them with hate crimes. Then the FEDS can change the narrative to Irish-Italians-POlish Latinos and Blacks in Boston Hate Muslims. The FEDS will say we need more $$$$ to protect Muslims against Christian fist-fighters and Christian naysayers. The FEDS will arrest and prosecute more Catholics and Protestants. The FEDS seem more interested in protecting unthreatened Muslims from verbal abuse, slights or bumps and bruises, than the FEDS are interested in protecting AMerica’s children from being blown up by jihadists. I wondered how many sacred Muslim spaces, public or private, have the FEDS invaded after the Terrorist Attacks. I know this: The FEDS have not protected the citizens of Boston these past dozen years from Muslim jihadists (400 dead Bostonians on 9-11-01; 4 dead nearly 300 wounded on 4-15-13. We have to protect ourselves. First step: demand the FEDS release the names of all 500,000 people on the “watch lists”. For any person on the “watch list” who is not an AMerican citizen immediately deport them. We want good people coming to AMerica, not people we have to hire Big Brother, the indolent imcompetent FEDS to “watch.” If anyone–Russia, Israel, France, Britain etc— has a person on a “watch list” get him the hell out of AMerica. Stop wasting our resources harrassing the good guys. Keep the potential jihadists out of AMerica.
    That’s step one. I’ll consult with Tuck and Mack the Dog for additional steps we need to take to hold the FEDS accountable and to wipe the slate clean: O.K. Here’s step two: Stop Harrassing, TRacking, Following AMerican citizens who haven’t committed a crime in over 30 years! Leave Chuck Turner and all other American senior citizens alone. Do your jobs, for Christ’s sake, and hunt down and terminate or expel the narco-terrorists and Jihadist among us: Hint: they’re mostly Muslim radicals.

    1. Bill:

      Muslims are Americans. They are as welcome in this country as Catholics who were also once believed to have allegiances to entities or ideas that are not American. They are as welcome as the many atheists or agnostics. I don’t understand how their presence seems to agitate other people. The Muslims are as entitled to gather and do whatever they wish just as the Irish were a century or so ago when the mass of poor came to this country. Imagine what those Americans who had lived here for years thought when the huddled masses of Irish began to infect their city streets. We don’t have to imagine, we can just look at the names of the tools the repressive forces used: “paddy wagon” and “paddy whacker”. Don’t fall into the Howie Carr trap of labeling ethnic groups based on the acts of a handful. Let Tuck and Mac the Dog rest in peace.

      The problem with the Tsarnaev’s is limited to them – we’ve had a decade of peace with Muslims and others living among us. Nor do I see any massive arrests of non-Muslims by FBI or other agencies who are all interested in keeping us safe. My beef with the FBI is it is a closed house with no oversight and it can be so much better than that not that it is some sinister force for evil out to destroy people exactly like itself. We must keep what happened in perspective and limit it to the two terrorists who may or may not have allies. We don’t know anything more about other involvements with people overseas because the FBI will manage that information; as it does with all its information to decide how best the public is to be fed.

      Watch lists are nothing more than that. If there are 500 thousand people on it then there’s too many for no one can watch that many. If the lists were properly managed down to a few real or potential threats then the Tsarnaev’s might have been stopped.

      As a descendant of Irish immigrants you must understand the problem Muslims who are as much American as yourself are going through. Here’s the story of a young Muslim girl who was born in America: http://gawker.com/this-is-what-its-like-to-be-a-muslim-in-boston-right-n-478104110 People wanted to throw out the Irish, they wanted to send the African-Americans back to Africa, and now they want to expel the Muslims. There is always that natavistic impulse that must be fought against. It is the mixing together with love and not hate that will continue the great American experiment. It is the them-against-us attitude, the idea that we need more and more police and intrusions in our lives to make us safe and secure is what will hurt America, the call for more security is no more than a surrendering of our liberties.

      You walk the streets everyday apparently without fear of being bothered; Anum Hussain who is talked about in the article, every much an American citizen as yourself, is afraid to walk four blocks to her home in Boston. Is this what you want for other Americans that they are required to live like that? All must be welcome in America and those troglodytes among us should be the ones we want to guard against not those people who are part and parcel of what we are.

      1. Matt> I know Muslims are Americans; Ali, Mustafo Hamsho the great Syrian American boxer from NY. But no Catholics in America came here to kill American children; some Muslim jihadists are here now who are planning to kill more American children. Purge the jihadists and if we err on the side of public safety: Tough. We’re talking about killers on the loose; Even the worst of Winter HIll and the Mafia never targeted children. Historical comparisons fail. This is a new war. The enemy’s not at our doorstep; they’re inside our houses and it seems to me the FEDS and liberals are more interested in protecting the “sensitivities” of jihadists than the lives of innocent AMerican men, women and children.

        1. Bill:
          The Tsarnaevs did not come here to kill Americans. They came as young men looking for a new life. They became radicalized along the line. Martorano killed two teenagers who were hardly more than children. Tim McVeigh was pretty bad and he wasn’t a Muslim. The US with its drones and planes have killed plenty of children in other countries as part of our war efforts. I suggest you seem to have exaggerated the threat. The frequency of the attacks give lie to the idea there are many enemy here in our houses. I don’t see the feds are protecting anyone. My problem stems from Obama down with respect to the handling of Joker Tsarnaev. He should have been treated as a terrorist and shipped off to Guantanamo; now we see he will be lawyered-up and like with Whitey, we’ll be spending millions to defend an obviously guilty person – for what?

    2. William:

      On the flip side, many in the Muslim community complain about FBI infiltration of their mosques and other meeting places trying to “recruit” potential terrorists. It’s the basis of entrapment defenses made when certain individuals are indeed caught trying to join jihadist conspiracies.

      1. Hi Jon – Don’t mean to interrupt your chat, but I noticed your comment about many in the Muslim community complaining about FBI infiltration and entrapment. Sometimes the FBI and the IRS take the more direct approach too and not just with mosques. To that end, not sure if you read the accounts of their recent raid on a Swedenborgian Church right there on Beacon Hill. Just wanted to call that to your attention. Carry on.

  4. Matt et all (the few, the pround, et all: the walking tall). One other thought: If you asked the FEDS for the files they’ve been secretly keeping on you for 50 years, not only would they be heavily redacted, many would simply be shredded by some mid-level stooge who believed he had the power to do anything “for the good of the country” and “to protect the integrity of the FBI, DOJ and Courts.” For my 50-plus years of working (still punching in five days/week) I spent 10 of those years working in Government (federal, state, local.) In about 1985, at the State Dept. of Env. Protection, a lawyer, aged 35, told me: “We can do whatever we want to do in the environmental area.” What he meant is that he saw his power as plenary and supreme. Damn the Enabling Acts, the STatutes, The Regulations, the written policies and guidelines adopted pursuant to and in conformance with the Constitution, Enabling ACts, other statutes, and duly promulgate regulations, this Goverentment (Government, I should say “this man who rends asunder Governments and uses Govs to advance his personal/political egomaniacal views”) believed like retired Judge Nancy Gertner, the distainer of laws, with her pea-brain “feel” for what “Justice nebulosa” ordained, “rule by gut reaction”, that he without any sense of duty to conform to law, was a law unto himself. In the FED spy agencies, his type of thinking is commonplace. The FEDS, in my view, in thinking they are above the law, have become lawless; in relying on lawyers who twist the life’s blood out of the law and the simple English phrasings of most statutes (“words are to be given their ordinary, prosaic meanings in interpreting statutes” not leftist politically correct deconstructed new wave meanings), they have become lawless. It is a grave danger our country faces: the IRS scandal, Benghazi, etc. are tips of the iceberg. Branches, Divisions, Departments in the FEDS think it’s O.K. to lie, spin, deceive, propagandize the American people. Keep the citizens in the dark; we the FEDS know better that some animals are more equal than others.) THE officials of the DOJ are lying to the American people. They have been for decades. I have hope, strong hope, that President Obama perceives the danger and will rectify the abuses during his second term. He is a good man, a good president at heart and mind—too liberal for my blood, of course, as I’m a Bill Buckley, Pat Buchanan, Thomas Sowell traditionalist—but I believe, hope and pray President Obama recognizes the dangers that beset us (foreign and domestic) and cleans house.

  5. Special Request: Can you please post your thoughts on the DOJ now going after James Rosen/Fox News as a “Co-Conspirator” in a spying case.
    If my recollection serves me correctly, you warned Jay (and me inadvertently) about the use of the word Co-conspirator.
    See the article by Tom McCarthy/guardian.co.uk Tuesday,21 May 2013. I would love you and your readers’ take on that doozy.
    Thank you.

    1. Alex:
      The DOJ subpoenaed Rosen’s records back in 2010 as part of its case against the guy it indicted in August of that year. It has not charged Rosen with anything. It did everything through the use of a warrant which is what I believe it should have done. I don’t understand why it took Fox News three years to find out that information. What bothers me is that the FBI doesn’t need a warrant to do this in most cases and the only time it uses a warrant is when it wants to use the stuff in court. I’ll try to find out more about Rosen but it seems to me it is a tempest in a tea pot at this moment.

  6. I think that more muslims have come to the States in these last few years. Usually once we have become involved militarily in countries we end up taking in people for one reason or another from those places.
    We are also seeing a lot of people that want to show their colors, i.e. burkhas,hijabs etc. It boils down to the question of whether one wants to subscribe to the American Creed embodied in our founding documents or not. At one point certain parties wanted to set up a sharia type Parliament in England they weren’t happy with the Magna Carta. What happened to “when in Rome do as……”.
    I am hoping that at some point in time some freedom loving person, man, or better, woman, will speak out on the subjugation, discrimination and general primitive treatment of women in large swaths of muslim society and that it is unacceptable in the USA. The french put their foot down on some of the practices for good reason, it promotes disunity and fosters a feeling of insecurity when faced with someone who shows no face, in fact, hides it. Is it unreasonable for a citizen to get nervous in the City of Boston when another person gets on a trolley covered from head to toe carrying a heavy backback or am I being unreasonable?
    Religious tolerance and political freedom are our ideals, every American and wanna be ought to adhere to the idealistic standard or as certain people say in certain parts of town “don’t let the door hit you in the arse on the way out”

    1. Hopalong:

      We weren’t involved with Chechnya fighting and there seem to be a good deal of Chechens around. Remember one thing the USA has as a founding principle is freedom of religion. That creed welcomes all including the most weird religions or non-religious rites. The Muslims have their traditions which we must respect. Like the French we could restrict the wearing of scarfs in school; I’m not sure about the full body coverings in France since when I’ve been there I haven’t seen any although the Muslim women wear scarfs outside on the streets. We’ve had Hasidic Jews living among us and no one objects to the way their women are treated in their small groups where they are limited in what they can do and they also wear scarfs and wigs outside. I’ve met some Muslim women in the US, not many, but they seem as American as I am. Obviously in some Muslim lands the women are treated poorly but that’s a culture thing. We’re not going to change that overnight nor will we change in the US to adhere to that situation despite the uproar a year or so back that the Muslims were introducing Sharia law in the US.
      The Muslims here do conform to our way of life and are able to thrive under it just as Hasidic Jews with their own communities do. Admittedly no Hasidic has ever threatened America as some Muslims have. We have to recognize there are millions of Muslims in America and we’ve had a handful who have gone off the deep edge. I suggest we keep that in context.
      I expect we’ll be attacked every once in a while; I see England just had its first terrorist attack that resulted in a death since 2005.

      1. Great Reply.
        I am reminded of a saying I once read. It was inscribed on a wall. You might pass it too someday when you go to cover the Whitey Bulger trial. If my recollection serves me correctly, it goes like this:

        “We are confronted primarily with a moral issue. The heart of the question is whether we are going to treat our fellow Americans as we want to be treated.” – John F. Kennedy, 1963.

        1. Alex:

          That was a long time ago that Kennedy made that statement – 50 years if you can believe it. He spoke of the relationship between white and black Americans. Much has happened since that time and we’ve been moving forward in bettering the relations between both races. Now it’s between us and Muslims. Hopefully that too will turn around and we’ll enjoy better relations between Muslims and others in America. We’ve all got to live together so we should try to do it as peacefully as possible. We must all remember we had no choice in what we became so if perchance you’re Dutch you can’t be proud of it since you had nothing to do with it – if you get not credit for it you shouldn’t demean others who also had no choice in what color or ethnic background they became.

  7. MTC:

    It is not about a women covering her head, back in the day a catholic women or girl had to have her head covered when in church. Women covering their heads is a tradition associated with modesty. I don’t think that you can compare the orthodox jews or the amish or anybody else in the USA with womenfolk that ride the trolleys and walk the streets of the USA and keep their faces concealed. One of the more salient issues in the muslim women’s world is their treatment under the laws and customs in their own countries My issue has little to do with religious tolerance, it is about your security and mine and ours.

    My issue was about radical extremist manifestations that are offensive to our American ways. True there are not a lot of Chechnyans here and I am not expecting many. Is it a canard to say that most muslims aren’t terrorists but it seems that lately most terrorists have been muslims.

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