The Judge, The Thanks, The Thoughts, The Blog:

IMG_4051Today we’ll hear Judge Denise Casper’s charge to the jury. Given the parameters within which the trial operated, no one can really complain about the manner in which she handled the trial. She had a very calm manner, did not let the trial get too far out of control, was courteous to counsel even though it was not reciprocated at all times, was patient, talked out her thoughts giving counsel an opportunity to change her mind which she would do at times upon further reflection, and provided Whitey with as fair a trial as he was going to get considering his presentation was tethered by legal rulings that kept him from putting in the guts of his defense.

I offer my humble and sincere thanks to you who took the time to come here and read the posts and the discussions. This was sort of an alternative view of the case from that which is presented in main stream media.  I never envisioned myself a member of the “alternative press” which sprung up during the Sixties and at other times in our history when some thought things were going awry.  That seemed to me to the province of the young or radicalized but here I am in this one instance suggesting what you’ve heard from the mainstream is a twisted view.  The overflow press room brought in people from other parts of the country who had insights from outside our little parochial city. One with much experience in legal reporting remarked to me about the narrowness and one-sidedness of our local folk. Not one or two but all of them.

I’m especially thankful for all of you who ventured to write a comment to my posts. You have no idea how you stimulated my thinking. There were times I had no idea what to say in my next post but interacting with you I found something new to say. You were civil, respectful, inquisitive, opinionated, courageous, witty, and challenging. You contested my thoughts and corrected my errors. It was all done in a good spirit of engaging in friendly discourse without rancor even though you may have thought I was way off base, as I sometimes get at times. (I think I was picked off more at first base by the pitchers than anyone else in CYO baseball history.) Mostly you encouraged me in trying to get below the surface of these matters and explore the dark underworld which was disclosed as we scratched our way along.

In that light, a comment by Margaret to my prior post is what prompted today’s post. She conjectures on what she would have done had she been on the jury. Given the evidence presented, she tells how she’d wonder at the government’s use of those corrupt witnesses but on the whole she’d see Whitey as the leader of the cabal and find him guilty; on the other hand, had she heard the evidence that Whitey was not allowed to present on the immunity issue she very well may have decided the other way. Margaret suggested because of that the trial was a sham.

I do want to explore this more as time passes and I have more time to consider it. But I think Margaret is on to something. Whitey apparently is alleging that at one time he had a conversation with Jeremiah O’Sullivan, an assistant United States Attorney. The best that I can make out is that O’Sullivan was worried for his life. He said to Whitey you protect me and I’ll protect you. I’ll make sure that you are not prosecuted for anything you’ve done, are doing or will ever do. I want you to guarantee no one will hurt me or my family.

Far fetched? Not if you know O’Sullivan and the times we were dealing in. It’s easy to pooh-pooh this but having been somewhat in O’Sullivan’s position I had times when I wondered whether some of the people I were targeting might not set their dogs on me and a momentary fear would pass over which I’d feel in my gut. I’d wonder why I was doing the stuff. I didn’t have to do it. If I didn’t there’s nothing to suggest someone else would have done it. I never carried nor would I. Even though I earned an expert badge in the Marines firing a .45 caliber pistol I didn’t like guns.

I say somewhat like O’Sullivan. But O’Sullivan was far ahead of me because with the FBI’s help he was seen as the one ready to plunge the dagger in the heart of the Mafia in Boston and New England. It would have been easy to hit him with outside help, an imported gun who’d then be taken out. Another Lee Harvey Oswald, Jack Ruby scheme. With him gone, maybe the pursuit would be slowed down or a message sent to live and let live.

In retrospect I see that without knowing it I was being protected. Whitey and Stevie had no fear of me, a state prosecutor. They knew the federals could always trump me as they did in the case I was doing with John Naimovich. They had the two jokers in a card game of joker’s wild, John Connolly and John Morris.

A partial support of Whitey’s immunity claim is my experience in shown by what happened to Naimovich. I have a series on Sunday about this. Everything about that case was unusual. What was it that motivated O’Sullivan to act to take down a state trooper who was knocking on Whitey’s door in such an unorthodox manner?  You can explore that with me and arrive at your own conclusion.

Whitey was deprived of that defense because the judges ruled that such a thing could not have happened. That was a factual finding that was something the jury should have decided. The judges took that away from the jury. Having done that, the trial was unfair.

I will explore this further as time goes on.  I hope to continue writing about things relating to Whitey since they will still come up.  Although the title to this blog would indicate that with the trial ending so should the blog I’ll be like those people who run for office and say they will only serve two terms but then decide they’ll stay on.

Just yesterday an article showed us the ever-increasing encroachment on our rights by our government. We must remain aware of such things and do what we can to resist them. To that end this blog will continue so that we can discuss these things in the ways guaranteed to us by the First Amendment.

Maybe I’ll modify the title. As I see it, there will always be a need to examine the actions of our government and criticize them where necessary. To that end this blog will be dedicated.

83 thoughts on “The Judge, The Thanks, The Thoughts, The Blog:

  1. Pleased to hear you will not stop writing and making these types of observations of governmental actions. You provided, by far, the most thoughtful perspective here. Perhaps just as valuable – you provided a forum for others, as thoughtful, to add to the narrative. The narrative here ended up so different from that spun by mainstream media and authors bent on fulfilling a political agenda and/or commodifying organized crime in Boston. Thanks, Matt.

    1. Tom:

      Thanks goes to you out there who want to discuss these matters. I appreciate your participation and I’m glad you are going to stick around

        1. Jon- Hey Jon I know your love of all good mob history, have you had a chance to view 6 part series on NAT GEO of some excellent updated stories. So far it has been about Michael Franzese, Joe Pistone, Scarfo WAR of the 80’s in philly, keep up the good investigating your comments are a blast to read.

    1. Henry:
      I’ll keep the blog going until Ireland gets its public economy up and running again. I hear the private economy is doing well. I’m not sure what the differnces are but that’s what a man from Ireland told me last night.

      1. If you’re waiting for a turnaround in the Irish economy, then figure to be doing this blog in 2028. Your informant may have meant by the euphemism “private” economy that which is also covered by the term “black” economy. It’s the off-the-books cash-only economy, and it is doing very well here.

        14% unemployment rate, 441,976 now on the dole, 130,000 emigrated in the past few years.

        You may be doing this blog way beyond 2028!

        1. Henry:

          Don’t plan on being around that long. Things are still tough there. Last time I was there was for two weeks in Barna just before the big collapse with all the Irish girls having been replaced by Polish ones and the some towns filled with Brazillains it was looking as if the good Lord had found his promised land, in fact, I didn’t quite understand it but some government program seemed to be handing out money to people who could prove they were Irish and members of the Irish national soccer team were recruited from the family of people who had made stop overs in Dublin and it was before the Irish lad in South Africa came out of the closet and flew home and his father drove him from the airport to the family home and as a true Irish father never brought up the subject of his son being gay. 1/2 million on the dole – that ain’t good nor is the high unemployment and the flight. I’ve got a feeling it could have been prevented but the boys on top thought it was forever, as some do think in Ireland.

  2. Matt-Keep up the good work under whatever moniker. As to the DEAL with O’Sullivan, wouldn’t it have been just like James to report to O’Sullivan that he was a target of the Mafia, manufacture some “proof” that in fact didn’t exist, and promise O’Sullivan protection from the OC and assistance in catching the North End crowd. Whitey has a history of such tactics while strong arming the bookies and druggies Also remember that Fitzgerald had been blown up and that had to be on law enforcements mind. And the timing is important. The deal had to be in place before the ’78 race fixing trial, during which Whitey’s name is mentioned once, but never enough to have met the RICO criteria. Jimmy Sims and Billy Barnowski benefited from the same failure to include them in the ’78 trial testimony when they were sentenced in ’82 and ’83 to <2 years instead of the 15 years that Howie got. Just a thought.

    1. Rumor has it the Italian mob did have a contract on o’sullivan. The particulars regarding whiteys protection of his life/why he had a contract on his life (aside from prosecuting the mafia) I am unsure of.

      1. Jim:

        It wouldn’t surprise me. Gerry Angiulo was a pretty tough and vicious man and he’d out do Whitey in meaness and cruelty any day. But if he’d want to hit O’Sullivan, just like he did with Indian Joe, he’d want to have someone else do it for him. His usual someone else would be Whitey’s gang. Whether such a contract existed or not we’d never know but I want to go back again to those days to see what I can find out.

        1. Matt and Jim et al.,

          I think I want to study the Angiulo trial as context for this one.
          I found one book, The Underboss by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill.
          I understand this may not be the best place to start and would like advice:

          -Best books to read

          -How can I get to a transcript of the trial?

          -Best coverage

          I know it was the longest trial in the history of something:)

          Also, in looking at the Billy Bulger’s Congressional hearing, I think it was Bill Delahunt who talked about O’Sullivan’s observations concerning the FBI. (will check if it’s important)

          1. Dear Firefly,

            Submitted for your review, I’ve copied and pasted the relevant text below in which O’Sullivan made statements during questioning by Congressman Marty Meehan, who now serves as Chancellor of UMass Lowell. Interestingly, UMass Lowell hosted a book party for Shelley Murphy and Kevin Cullen in April as noted here: http://web.uml.edu/gallery/index.php/Events/Kevin-Cullen-Shelley-Murphy-and-Whitey-Bulger-4-3-13.

            I hope you find this information to be of some use in your research.

            Sincerely,
            Jay

            ============================
            The full Jeremiah O’Sullivan hearing testimony on December 5, 2002 is available here: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-107hhrg84604/html/CHRG-107hhrg84604.htm

            FBI REFERENCES BY O’SULLIVAN IN RELEVANT PART

            Mr. Meehan. So if you had a sense that it would be
            political suicide for you to have recommended that other
            Federal agencies be involved, does that tell us anything about
            the FBI culture during that period? What does it tell us about
            the FBI culture during that period?
            Mr. O’Sullivan. It tells us that the FBI if you go against
            them, they will try to get you. They will wage war on you. They
            will cause major administrative problems for me as a
            prosecutor. That’s what it tells us.
            Mr. Meehan. Well, wouldn’t you feel as a prosecutor then,
            and a well-respected prosecutor, one that the young prosecutors
            coming into the U.S. Attorney’s Office looked up to, and given
            that awesome responsibility to make sure that Federal law
            enforcement is being carried out in an honest manner with
            integrity.
            Wouldn’t you think that you had an obligation then in the
            interest of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, in the interest of the
            administration of justice, to followup with that problems of
            the culture, to followup with the notion of it would be
            political suicide not to include the FBI in this investigation?
            Mr. O’Sullivan. And by following up, Congressman, could you
            define it a little more clearly? What does followup mean?
            Mr. Meehan. Following up means finding out specifically in
            an aggressive way, the same way that you aggressively handled
            other cases successfully I might add, prosecutions of organized
            crime, to make sure that there wasn’t any corruption or
            misdealings with organized crime figures and witnesses within
            the Justice Department and potentially within the FBI.
            Mr. O’Sullivan. I did that, Congressman.
            Mr. Meehan. Unsuccessfully.
            Mr. O’Sullivan. Unsuccessfully.
            Mr. Meehan. You apparently told Bob Long that maybe the
            microphone surveillance could have been compromised by a
            civilian installer. Is that true?
            Mr. O’Sullivan. It is.

          2. Jay:

            O’Sullivan’s testimony was enlightening in part but it was also off in one area and that’s when it came to Whitey. He never gave a straight answer as to why he took him out of the Race Fixing case indictment. He also was pushing the federal line that Mark Nezer compromised the Lancaster bug which was a cover for him having done this.

          3. Firefly:

            I though Lehr and O’Neill were on the level until I learned more about Whitey so go gingerly there. I have little information I can give you on the trial. He was arrested in the fall of 1983 and convicted some time in 1986 – the trial went on for six or more months. It had no impact on my life at the time since I was prosecuting my own cases and there was no way I could follow it. You couldn’t afford a transcript of it so the best way would be to locate some of he defense lawyers who may have handled it after trial or look to see who would have it on appeal. It’d proably take you a couple of months to get through them. I’d look back at the newspaper reports at the time. I think the Congressional hearing records are available. Jay posted some of the question and answers of O’Sullivan. Delahunt did ask some questions.

    2. Chaco:

      Absolutely that is another way to look at it. If he did that and O’Sullivan said “oh, protect me, Mr. White and I’ll give you anything you want” then wouldn’t that be an issue the jury must decided as to whether O’Sullivan’s promise was enduced by fraud.

      You’re right to kick the Fitzgeral bombing into this and also the murdering of Barboza’s two friends collecting bail money. Who was there to protect O’Sullivan from the hoodlums? In ’78 the case was tried in New Jersey and Whitey’s name was mentioned by Fat Tony. Thereafter O’Sullivan’s told by Connolly and Morris that Whitey is working with the FBI. Isn’t it then in O’Sullivan’s mind that he is the one guy who can do him a favor and protect him. Morris said they asked O’Sullivan if they could tell Whitey that O’Sullivan had done them a favor and he said they could.

      It all deserves a little more investigation and the judges willingness to disregard it also seems a little out of place. I don’t blame Casper since she was not going to overrule what Stearns had done – that just doesn’t happen.

      1. Yeah, that Stearns ruling may well have erased whatever shot Whitey may have had. Stearns may have been determined to prevent Whitey from putting the government on trial.

        1. Steely:

          My memory is that he rushed it when he knew he was going to be taken off the case. It’s sort of a shame he tied the hands of the next judge. It would have been nice to have seen the immunity defense litigated even though on one hand it seems preposterous.

      2. Only problem I see with this theory is that it’s hard for me to believe that O’Sullivan, who presumably understood who held the power in the underworld, saw Whitey as someone who could protect him from the Mafia. The thing about LCN was that it was a nationwide organization. Sometimes it made sense to give a contract to someone from another family in another city. This is what happened with the Willie Marfeo killing in 1965, originally contracted to Barboza and someone else until Patriarca called it off because Marfeo would have recognized Barboza, and so Raymond ultimately brought up a guy from Jersey to pull off the hit.

        In contrast, Winter Hill was always a provincial, Boston-only organization. There’s no way Whitey could protect O’Sullivan against the whole Italian underworld.

        On the other hand, I’ve always had the sense that Angiulo was not very well-liked in the Italian mafia. Never “made his bones” through murder, and seemed too nasty and weasel-like. There’s the story that the only reason he made it so high was because he made a lot of money for Raymond LS, beginning with the time in the early 1950s, when he took over the numbers rackets with the permission of Joseph Lombardo (who shut it down lest the Kefauver hearings come to Boston), but got shaken down all the time by the likes of Larry Zannino and others until he took a trip to Providence and, shaking in his boots, promised Raymond LS $100K a year in return for Raymond’s protection.

        So I think Angiulo did not have the same respect in the nationwide organization and may not have been able to pull in guys from other families.

        And yet on the other hand, Raymond LS was still alive in the late 1970s and was out of jail, and so Angiulo presumably could have called on Raymond to call on someone from another family.

        Just some thoughts.

        1. Let me complete a thought process-though it’s conclusion eludes me. Sims and Barnowski got off the ’78 race fixing case lightly. Remember they had already been on the lam by the time the trial started, but were there at the time the deeds were committed. In ’82(Sims), and again in ’83(Barnowski), Motions to Dismiss were brought by counsel for the defendants arguing that they were mentioned 1 time in the 23 days of trial. At the trial Fat Tony was asked frequently whether “everyone involved in the criminal enterprise had been identified” in his testimony, to which he replied in the affirmative. While the Feds could have had Fat Tony talk of different meetings attended by the two and/or could have described different “predicate acts” if they chose to prosecute Sims and Barnowski, practically they would have ruined Ciulla’s credibility by doing so.In so doing they would have undercut the primary prosecution.
          And the same would have applied to Mr. White,i.e. any future prosecution of WB would have exposed the corruption. An unintended consequence of the “deal” with O’Sullivan was that Sims and Barnowski walked for time served to protect WB. And provided WB with further protection. Tangled webs, indeed.
          One is still left with the question;What caused O’Sullivan to work with WB in the first instance? Being alerted by J. Connolly that WB was an informant caused O’Sullivan to pull WB from the ’78 indictment because of O’Sullivan’s fear of the FBI? Or did he see a chance, pushed by Connolly, to get the LCN using WB as an informant (which proved ephemeral at best). By the time O’Sullivan realized the breadth of WB’s cunning it may have been too late too back out, at many levels.
          Would it take more than this to move O’Sullivan? Or was it just overzealousness, coupled with bad luck, that exposed O’Sullivan to blackmail by WB?
          And can you imagine WBs delight when he found that Winters and his crew(including Joe Macdonald, a true “old time”gangster unafraid to kill at a whim- as were Sims and Barnowski) were being taken out and that WB was free to take over. Tangled webs, indeed.

          1. Chaco:

            I like what you bring to the table. I’ve got to give this more thought an incorporate you knowledge and ideas. Appreciate it. I hope to go further back to the Barboza trial – I don’t know whether you have any insightful knowledge about that or not – I’m interested in understading what the evidence Joe Barbosa gave against the three Mafia guys (not Salvati) relative to their involvement in the case. I need to know this because I’m trying to wrap my head around what made Paul Rico tick. But again thanks for your great comment regarding Sims and Barnowski.

        2. Jon:

          Look at it through O’Sullivan’s eyes. He was vulnerable, where else could he go. Whitey did get close to the Mafia as we see in the early ’80s. Thoughts about Angiulo not being in charge are fanciful. I was in a small firm that represented him, his brothers and Baione. No sign back then -mid-sixties to mid-seventies of any of the frictions – things were going well for all of them. Winter Hill were the hit men for the Boston Mafia as we saw in the hits on Indian Al’s gang. Winter Hill was considered very capable. I’ve no doubt Angiulo through Raymond could have gotten any guns he needed and he had his own souces outside of Raymond.

          O’Sullivan had only one place to go to for protection from the Mafia and that was to the most powerful Irish gangster Whitey. He might have seen him in a much different light than you see it. I’m sure Whitey and Stevie (and if Martorano was around include him) could have put the word out that they didn’t want O’Sullivan hit and it would have been respected for surely the Mafia knew they had made their bones.

    1. Patty,

      I was assigned to DEA. The majority of the SOD info came from the monitoring of every telephone call that either was initiated overseas or came from the US to an overseas number. This was pre 9/11 always rumored to have been expanded afterwards.

      We would be contacted with identifying info of suspects, for example; John Smith will be arriving at South Station on the 5 pm train from NYC. We would then initiate surveillance and try to make a case without divulging the SOD tip.

      When I and others questioned the legality of these ops we were told it was legal because no warrant was needed for out of country calls and SOD couldn’t be brought up because it was classified.

      1. Notaboyo:

        What you describe I believe is the procedure established by the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which indeed reflects a pre-9/11 mindset because it required a warrant obtained through the FISA court to do the surveillance you describe.

        I don’t know the details off the top of my head, but this act was updated by the Patriot Act, if I’m recalling correctly, because technology changed and the immediate post-9/11 urgency made it intolerable to wait 2 or 3 days for a warrant from the FISA court. Counter-terrorism agencies needed to be able to monitor calls in real-time, not wait 2 or 3 days, after which the call has taken place.

        1. Jon:

          The ability to monitor real time always existed. The federals had a certain time limit to return to the FISA court to get the warrant after they began the intercept if they could show there was an urgent need to act prior to obtaining it.

  3. Matt- I am so happy that the blog will continue, I think that we have a good group of people here that will continue to monitor and try to stay on top of all things corrupt in MASSACHUSETTS. Maybe We can get John Henry to throw us some financing and take this masterpiece of a blog to another level!! Much Respect to THE SENSEI for always sticking to the facts and always offering advice!!

    1. Doubting:

      I think John Henry has blown his extra cash in his recent purchase. It will be nice if he brings some fresh air to that paper. I’ve heard he intends to have a big turnover from some people but I don’t pay much attention to it since I don’t know how close they are to him.

      I don’t know if I’d want the blog to be much bigger since it’d be difficult to respond to too many people. I think for our little parochial city the blog is about the right size with a cross-section of people both within and without Boston like yourself offering their opinions on things. I do believe we need a big shake up in the way law enforcement is done in Massachusetts. As I’ve written in the early days of the blog the court system is the only profession that has not changed since the 19th Century. 75% or more of the crimes should be made civil and handled on computors so that the judges can concentrate on more serious matters such as not letting any more Amy Lord’s happen.

      If enough people can appreciate the failings of our systems, the scary increase in police power, the ever growing separation of those in power from the people, the inability of anyone to get an accounting from the FBI, then perhaps we may slow it down. We’ll see but have appreciated that you took the time to come here and write.

        1. Doubting:
          No. My day of being involved in that are long over. I just criticized the prosecutors and judges, and I should add cops, for her killer being on the street.

  4. While I curse this blog for aggravating my overpowering case of homesickness, I celebrate this corner of the media for providing a counter point to what I had previously believed. In all aspects of life, I am a firm believer is considering the opposite point of view. Very often, understanding the other parties perspective allows me to not only confirm my own position but allows be to be a more effective communicator of my view to them.

    Sometimes, however, I will stumble across a different opinion other than my own and it allows me to identify my own vulnerabilities and perhaps modify my position. That is exactly what has happened since this blog appeared in a Google search in late May.

    I often tell those that are friends or whom I mentor that I have always learned more from those who disagree with me than I ever have from those who think the same. I am grateful someone took the time to create this think tank. Not only has my perspective changed but I feel I have discovered another level of civic awareness as well.

    I sincerely thank you, Matt Connolly as well as all the people who contributed for their role in this exercise. It has been some of the most interesting and informative discussion I can ever remember taking part of.

    Thank you all for taking the time.

    Matthew.

    1. Another:

      You have provided up much to think about and for that I am thankful. You may have been affected in your opinions by some of the things you have read here but we have also had the ability to reconsider our thoughts on what you have offered. I agree with you that we learn through discussion and listening to the view points of other people. The idea that I have tried to respond to each person who writes keep me in line also. I’ve also tried to remember that a lot of people have read my blog and I may be writing something about a friend or relative of theirs so I have to be cautious in not saying something I would not have wanted my friends or relatives to read about me. So I try to keep down ad hominem attacks, not so successfully at times.

      I suggest the issues brought up in the Whitey trial are more far reaching than I thought they would be when I first started. They won’t end after the jury comes back with its verdict today or tomorrow. Hopefully as we go along we can discuss other matters that matter to our country and ourselves and exchange ideas as to how things can be better. Who knows what will come out of our right to exercise our first amendment rights.

      So stay with us on our little excursion into the unknown. Who knows where it will lead us.

  5. Thanks Matt, the blog and the interaction with all of the people sharing their thoughts and opinions was excellent.

    I’m glad the end of the trial is not the end of your blog.

    Your correct Whitey did not get a fair trial it shows the corruption in the FBI and USAO has spread into the Judicial branch something many of us knew but now its been exposed for all to see in a high publicity trial.

    1. Notaboyo:

      If that is the case the only thing that can control it is to expose it, remember that stuff is best done out of the light. It may not go away but will be lessened if we keep shining a light on it.

  6. Couple things…

    Don’t change the name of the blog. The name is how I found it on Google. You’re not going to get a better website name for anyone in the future that comes looking for trial info or WB info in general. If you give that up someone else will snatch it up.

    Related note… I am so glad to have found this blog and hooked on to it instead of anyone else’s. I really didn’t want to follow the mainstream media’s analysis of the trial. This was the perfect insight and analysis. Well done!

    I hope you do explore the O’Sullivan angle more. From reading your ‘Show Of Courage’ posts the other day I can’t help but feel that he did not get to present his defense. It’s probably not enough to let him walk but startling nonetheless.

    You said above, “The best that I can make out is that O’Sullivan was worried for his life.” Simultaneously entering my head were gangsters and federal agents. O’Sullivan fearful of the mafia is obvious. What if he was also afraid of Morris. et al? Maybe he thought WB held the puppet strings and could keep everyone away.

    1. D:

      Thanks for writing and your comments. I may not change the name because I don’t know how to do it. So it might just have to be one of those things that if it continues for a while will cause confusion to anyone who comes here.

      You make a good point about O’Sullivan. I did not think of it even though I knew the answer to your question. O’Sullivan was deathly afraid of the FBI. He testified before Congress that he was in fear of them because they could destroy him and take his job away from him. Maybe learning Whitey was an informant that also played into his thinking.

  7. Matt

    I too want to add my thanks to you and to those who comment here. I have learned a lot from all of you and am heartened to know there are so many independent thinkers ‘out there’. I am also very impressed by the courtesy of everyone who writes here even if they disagree. That is a far cry from the usual ‘commenter’ behavior and an indication of the caliber of reader you have attracted Matt. That is due in no small part to your obvious integrity, open mindedness and courage.

    I am happy that you will continue and hope that notaboyo is right in that some of this will become more widely known. Our Department of Justice needs a serious review to help with overconcentration of power and the conflicts of interest inherent in it. The abuse of power Wyshak exhibits, Carmen Ortiz overcharging people like Aaron Swartz, the militarization of the police – all of it would be less frightening if we had a truly independent press.

    Keep up the good work, much depends upon it.

    Snowflake

    1. Snowflake:

      Glad you are going to stick around. Yes, I am lucky that the people who come here do so with the idea of discussing things rather than dropping a sarcastic or feel good comment. I’d like it if other blogs sprung up where the people would talk civilly to each other even though they disagreed or were from opposite ends of the political spectrum. I think keeping the blog away from politics is important and in that way we deal with ideas and not attitudes.

      We do have things happening that will hurt our country if allowed to persist over the long term. Most scary is the rising use of police power and, as pointed out by Patty and Henry today, the article that tells how DEA is turning into criminals themselves by deceiving people about the source of their information. It that police start disobeying the law anymore than they already do, then where do we turn for protection.

  8. Matt,

    I agree with all of the above. I can’t speak for all victims that have been POOFed, but I can speak for my family. Your blog has help us find a voice, and I am sure, others who are equally concerned that Justice serves its citizens. After reading Peter Lance’s book The Deal with the Devil, and following the WB trial, coupled with our own personal experiences, we believe that it is time for this Administration to reassess past public policie’s that have caused such destruction to the ‘rule of law. We have been saddled with deals made with the ‘pathological liars’ for far too long.

    This Administration has promised us that it has the courage to change policies that are not in the best interest of its citizens. Clearly, even the prosecutor in this case has admitted as much. The defense raised a very good point. How can anyone trust witnesses who freely admit they are liars, hitmen, and thugs, and will do anything, say anything to make the best deal for themselves. The witnesses do not owe us a duty, but the prosecutor and US DOJ do.

    Blogs such as your going forward can make a difference. Your interaction with your readers makes this blog special. We all appear to have one thing in common: We do love the United States. But, even when you love your children and would die for them, if they lie, cheat, steal, or otherwise get out of line, it is your obligation to set the situation straight. As we learned in Sunday school and civics class…nothing lasts if it is not built on a strong (honest) foundation. The Three legged stool of this government appears to be more than a bit wobbly. Time to point the problem out to the powers that be…we the people…and that is why your blog should grow…if the truth does not set us free then what does that say about US?

    Thanks Matt

    1. Jean:

      As one who has suffered from the government’s indifference and neglect of its duty, you speak from experience so I thank you for your kind words.

      We can make a difference as long as we are discussing what is going on with the hope that we can make our country a better place and disclose some of the problems that you have experienced and we’ve seen other suffer.

      I can’t add much more to what you say but your words speak for themselves and express my sentiments. By the way it is good that there is beginning to be a recognition of the POOFing of people. By noting there are people or groups who are POOF we can then examine how the federals and media pile on them and be more wary of the broad brush they use in slandering of them.

  9. I was pleased and relieved to read this post… As the trial run-up began, I read everything I could get my hands on, but over time, I found myself only reading Matt’s blog. Other coverage increasingly seemed shallow and one-sided – and this from me, whose ears itched only to hear vituperative condemnations of J. Bulger and the belittling of those who aided him during his life. Perhaps it was Matt’s experience as both a defender and prosecutor that gave balance and unique insight into the trial and the man. Or maybe it was more… Matt’s desire to see real justice done and gov’t corruption and complicity exposed, that really got me to see the entire circus and its cast of characters for all that they really were, and not just what I *wanted* to see and believe at the outset.

    So, thanks, Matt. I’m grateful for the time,thought and soul that you put into this blog. I’ll subscribe and read every post until the music is over. :-). I’m a bit more broad-minded than I was before I stumbled onto this site. Rock on, sir.

    Kristi
    NYC

    1. Kristi:

      I’ve enjoyed having you along on our little boat excusion into the land of the federals and appreciate you kind words and input. Seeing that you are in the Big Apple we’re expecting you to spread the word down there about the things we discuss and see if you can round up some more disciples interested in making America a better place to live. Stick around, we may have some fun as we ventur forth as long as the federals don’t decide to rock our boat.

  10. Another one adding to the chorus of thanks to Matt and all. I have appreciated the thoughtful and respectful discussion here, and I look forward to reading your blog.

    1. Pam:

      It won’t be as active as it has been but stick around, maybe we can find some issues we want to discuss to help better our society.

  11. Keep on, keeping on. Thanks for the excellent blog, Matt. I enjoyed participating. Who, and/or, what, will experience the hot white light of Internet scrutiny next?

  12. Matt, glad the blog will continue. I learned a lot from everyone who took the time to post their thoughts. We all will continue to grow and learn by freely expressing ourselves and by being ever vigilantly critical of our government, both for its wrongdoing and its negligence (i.e. in controlling narcotics.) We also should feel free to criticize any other nation’s government. Critiques of bullies/criminals/traffickers associated with major international corporations, banking, financing, Wall-Street types is also overdo. Especially please focus, without getting political (i.e., right-left; dem-repub; conserve-lib), on our over-bloated, overly intrusive government, our imperial city, and the hawks pushing imperialism, military imperialism (boots on ground and CIA type loafers on ground) and economic imperialism (sanctions crippling countries resulting in, for example, increased infant mortality, decreased public health assistance.) Thanks again, Matt. Keep punching or keep rowing, whichever metaphor you like.

    1. William:

      As far as criticizing other governments, I suggest it is best we put our own house in order before doing that.

  13. Matt,

    Thank you very much for your dedication and hard work. You obviously put a tremendous amount of time into gathering and reading materials, attending all court proceedings, writing your posts, reading and responding to comments, and not doing your chores at home. For all of these things “she who must be obeyed” deserves a great deal of credit and praise. Please let her know there are people she doesn’t know who genuinely appreciate her forbearance. Your IT Department is also appreciated, with the exception of the brief blackout when your blog was down last month. I assumed the Feds shut you down. Certain that the end was near, I ran out and bought a copy of “The Anarchist Cookbook”.
    It’s great that you will continue to write about the erosion of our civil rights by federal law enforcement. The Bulger trial opened a small window onto what is truly a revolutionary change in the relationship between U.S. citizens and their federal government.
    I hope you have time to turn your attention to Wyshak’s prosecution of the State Probation Commissioners. That case presents many of the same constitutional themes as Wyshak’s prosecution of the Bulgers. With any luck, that case will further expose the dangers of the power vacuum afoot in federal law enforcement.
    Sincere thanks,
    Patty

    1. Patty,

      Not wanting to waste anyone’s time, as a firefly, I would defer to you and anyone else who knows much more than I.

    2. Patty:

      My thanks goes to you for all you incisive input to the blog. You were here early and helped keep the blog from wandering down wrong alleys. I’ll pass the word on but she won’t be happy until the town takes down the sign “abandonned house” from my front door. The blackout was not the IT departments fault but was mine so we won’t take any credit away from it. The federals are looking at all the information on the those who have commented here and they have us all gathered together in some great RICO indictment for obstruction of justice under the theory anyone who doesn’t fully support everything the prosecutors in the Boston US attorney’s office are engaged in that dastardly criminal act. You’ll be right up there as one of the leaders especially after you little comment on the activities of our police. From my reception by some of the Boston folk in the media room we can expect a great jubilation since they don’t hearken to people not walking in lock step with them.

      I agree the significance of Whitey’s guilt pales when we look at the events that lead to his conviction and the doors that it opened. I’ve been toying with the idea of covering O’Brien’s case since I believe it is such an abomination but first I have to see what happens on the home front behind the lines.

  14. Hooray!!! this blog is great, and who know maybe youll have to include pat nees;s name into the url at some point, lol but seriously this blog is a great work, not only by you, but from your sons suggestions and the commentors,many who are superior to me in intellect i found it an amazing read….book colab anyone? lol ok just wanted to state that this blog made the trial make sense, well, make sense out of what has happened each day! thanks guys! hope to continue reading for many moons!
    PAT2E

    1. PAT2E:

      It’s been nice that you came here and we hope that you will sail along with us as the winds take us along. The blog was good because of the people who commented here. Yes, my son helped a lot in keeping me in line. I’m not so sure about your “superior in intellect” comment. We all have our strength and weaknesses and intellect covers a vast field including street smarts over book smarts at times. Some of the brightest people because they lived in books have no idea of what is going on around them; I suppose that’s why we’re continuing to figure out how we’ve made a mess of so many things. You note that in the world where the Common Law system of justice is used, the laws that came from England, we don’t put the people with the most superior intellect on our juries to decide the most serious problems of life; we use a combination of twelve people of all different intellects, backgrounds and beliefs in the hope that the best result is arrived at. In a sense this blog is that jury although it is made up of more than 12 people and we know we will never be unanimous in our thinking.

    1. Snowflake”

      That gave me an idea. I’d like to see what the government is doing in that area. I wrote sbout the Caswell Motel – there must be many others like that sitting around on the dockets of the federal court. It might be good airing them.

    2. Snowflake,

      Thanks fir posting that Link. This case in particular is very typical of that office:

      “In one case, the widow had lived in the house for 30 years, and there was no evidence that any drug money was used to purchase or pay for the house, according to Jubinville. Her husband, who was the subject of the federal charges, had committed suicide.

      Jubinville said Wright acknowledged she had the discretion to drop the case after the husband’s death, but decided not to.”

      They left out the fact that the widow had a four year old son that lived in that home, and she was a federal employee. Her husband had more than enough legitimate business to support their lifestyle..

      .Wrights claim on the house was dubious at best. Her husband was given the cooperat or die in jail song and dance, and it was put on him to early and with a heavy handed bullying from the USAO that, in my opinion, left him little choice. He hung himself, and left a not that left little doubt as to why.

      The man was a drug dealer…no question, but he paid the ultimate price. Still not sure what justice would have been
      served by throwing a grieving widow and a four year old who had known no other home out on the street. In my opinion, there is a special place reserved in Hell for people who would do such a thing. And I was on her side.

      1. Besides apologizing for the typos, I wanted to add that it was not pleasant to be a federale who voiced opposition to this type of abuse of power, as you might imagine…any type of human compassion or emotion is looked at as weakness…I can look myself in the mirror..can they?

        Also wanted to echo the thanks to Matt..I look forward to your posts and the thought provoking comments every day! Still tying to figure out why this is free but they think people will pay to read Shelley Murphy and Kevin Cullens daily Wyshak FanClub newsletter.

        1. Declan:

          Typos are an essential part of the blog. This is free because the internet is still relatively news. The government is trying to figure out how to change that since the widespread freedoms given to us by the internet are a challege to it. The idea people will pay for information through the newspapers and watching commercials is changing as you can tell from the Globe fetching a price of 75 million when it slod for over a billion ten years earlier. Although I notice that if you want to go to some news on the internet you have to watch a commercial.

      2. Declan:

        I agree Snowflake’s comment was important. I’m at a loss to figure out what goes on in the minds of these people taking poor folks assets. Maybe Bobby Jubinville’s message back at the federals will make them stop and think that there are some repercussions to their meanness.

        1. Matt,

          I should add that Selby was by all indicators an intelligent, kind and compassionate person…the type of person who SHOULD be a judge….when I suggested that perhaps the family had been punished enough, however, I was looked at as “not being a team player”. I think everyone here has seen how that turns out.

          I’ve noticed some people here are critical of the way they/family/friends have been treated by law enforcement. I’m sorry that I can’t argue with them…only point out that the bullies are in the minority. I’ve always felt that you can tell a lot about a person based on how they treat someone in handcuffs. I never saw the need to taunt, threaten or gloat..these people were at about the lowest point of their lives…I little kindness went a long way, and was much more effective in achieving the ultimate goal, cooperation. The loud, aggressive bullies were seen by others as true “lawmen”, despite tha fact that the tactic rarely worked…it was much more likely to result in the situation that snowflake posted about…a defendants suicide.

          The pain of others never brought me joy…there were exceptions of course…there are some truly evil people in this world, but those people were ignored. To me, it was a job…one that I attempted to do to the best of my ability in accordance with the rules. For many, it seemed to be a substitute for their own shortcomings, and a huge part of their identity..those are the people who are dangerous and, unfortunately, often rise to the top

          1. Declan:

            Nice post. I had the good fortune of working with police officer who were very aggressive in going after people but once they had them in custody became very compassionate. I saw only one instance of a cop being out of line – he had been posted to work with us temporarily and went on a raid – he started to pull the tough guy act on a guy in handcuffs but he was quickly stopped by the others. He never showed up again.

            You know I have the series on John Naimovich. Shortly before he was arrested by the feds and humiliated by his own job, he executed a search warrant on the house of Michael Desotell, Jimmy Katz’s partner who paid tribute to the North End. He told me that at the end of the search as the troopers were leaving with all the gaming apparatus, Desotell came up him. He said he wanted to thank Naimovich and the troopers for treating him and his family with respect and not damaging the house. That’s how the troopers and the other cops I worked with seemed to execute all the warrants, do the search without humiliating the target or destroying any property. We believed our job was not to punish but merely to apprehend and leave the punishment for the judges.

            I suppose it was like that because these were the toughest guys around and secure in themselves. They didn’t have to pick on people who couldn’t defend themselves to think they were tough.

  15. Thank you for all of the time, energy and effort you have put into the blog. Like many others who have commented, this blog was not only informative but thought provoking, not only about the topic of the trial but also about current events.

    I look forward to continuing to read the blog-you have a great deal of well researched and thoughtful material – sharing the knowledge will help all of the readers to become better educated about the challenges facing our legal system and county. Perhaps at some later date it may also interesting to explore welfare abuse and the rise of more violent and dangerous gangs in this country-that have origins on the west coast. Ironic (and sad really) that all roads continue to lead to corruption…

    1. LA:

      Thank you for coming to this site and reading it and giving it some consideration. I’m happy you plan to come back on occassion. However, the topics you raise such as welfard abuse and the increase of violent gangs would each require a full time commitment and their own special blog. I’m sure we’ll touch on them at times in the future discussions of the increase of the police state powers and the examination of the unnecessary crimes on our books and the overall lack of thought when it comes to enforcing the law and placing of priorities. Too few people are willing to step back and figure out that we are in a new era and there is a need for a new approach to some of the crimes. If you have any ideas toss them out to us and we’ll discuss them. The only censuring on this blog involves civility – the old treat others as you’d like to be treated.

  16. Matt,

    Thank you for an open minded, thought provoking, and investigative blog. You have provided your loyal readers with an experienced, dogged pursuit of the truth. Your ability to analyze and disseminate the legal process for your reader was invaluable. You displayed great courage in your determination to get to the bottom of the apparent mishandling and corruption which continues to infest the Department of Justice.

    Please continue to bestow your insights in your blog and I would recommend that you consider writing a book about your experiences covering this trial.

    1. Lee:

      Thanks for your nice words. I’m glad you came here and enjoyed the discussion we have had. A book is always out there but that requires a lot of work and I’m being sent into involuntary (somewhat) servitude for a while by “she who must be obeyed” because my house looks like it has been abandonned and I’m fearful I’ve alienated my neighbors and the town will soon declare it a public menace. I hope to continue to post and hope you will continue along.

        1. Doubting:

          The world will be a better place with a lot more Seymour Hersh’s running around rather than the likes of what we see now who are no longer reporters but more like repeaters.

  17. Matt: Thanks for covering the trial for me.
    I was able to make the journey from here in
    Augusta Maine to the old Boston Federal Courthouse
    when Congress held their hearings on the FBI and Whitey Bulger.
    sat next to Peter Gelzinis and made friends with Tulsa Detective Mike Huff and Wheeler’s son . I correspond with both by email. If there
    was anything I could add to what you have already said is look at the friendship FBI agents have had with organized crime going back to the 1920’s. Look at the major events of your lifetime like the Kennedy assassination and Martin Luther King assassination did I forget to mention the 1993 1st World Trade Center bombing, Oklahoma City bombing
    and Mumbai India terrorist attacks. See if you can connect the dots between these events and FBI agents creating them. Let me help you.

    The man behind the Mumbai Terrorist attacks was David Headley.
    Mr Headley also happens to be a DEA and FBI informant.

    The man behind the 1993 1st World Trade Center bombing was FBI informant
    Amad Salem. His FBI handlers were agents Anticev and Floyd.

    The man behind the Oklahoma City bombing was FBI informant Timothy “Lee Harvey “McVeigh.
    His FBI handler has been identified as FBI supervisor Larry Potts.

    see link for full story
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/06/justice-department-surveillance-dea
    US drug agency surveillance unit to be investigated by Department of Justice

    Civil rights groups express concern after revelations that secret unit uses wiretaps and telephone records to arrest Americans
    Tuesday 6 August 2013 16.29 EDT

    The US Department of Justice has launched an investigation into revelations that the Drug Enforcement Agency uses surveillance tactics – including wiretapping and massive databases of telephone records – to arrest Americans, amid growing concerns from lawyers and civil rights groups over its lack of transparency.

    Reuters on Monday detailed how the Special Operative Division – a unit within the DEA comprising representatives of two dozen agencies including the FBI, CIA, NSA, Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Homeland Security – passes tips from wiretaps, informants and a database of telephone records to field agents to investigate and arrest criminals. Reuters reports that, although such cases rarely involve national security issues, the DEA agents using the tips are trained to “recreate” the source of the criminal investigation to conceal its true origin from defence lawyers, prosecutors and judges.

    The revelations, which follow the Guardian’s recent disclosures of the National Security Agency’s wholescale collection of US phone data, have raised concerns among judges, prosecutors and civil rights lawyers over a lack of transparency. Many said the SOD practice violates a defendant’s constitutional right to a fair trial.

    James Felman, vice-chair of criminal justice at the American Bar Association, said the DEA story “connects the dots” over the government’s potential abuse of phone records collected by the NSA.

    Felman, an attorney in Tampa, said: “By the sound of it, this is a routine practice of using masses of information on Americans, in an erosion of constitutional protections of our citizens. This is clear evidence of things that people have been saying they are not doing. Collecting data on ordinary citizens and then concealing it officially. It is indefensible.”

    “I don’t think that most people would believe that our government would be using these measures and using this excuse when they want to investigate heavy offences,” he said. “What is upsetting is that it appears to be policy and practice to consensually conceal information that should be disclosed.”

    While the NSA data collection is aimed at thwarting terrorists, the SOD programme is focused on criminals such as drug dealers and money launderers.

    One former federal agent who received tips from the SOD described the process to Reuters. He told how he would instruct state police to find an excuse to stop a certain vehicle on which they had information, and then have drug dogs search it. After an arrest was made, agents would then pretend that the investigation began as a result of the traffic stop, and not because of the information the SOD had passed on.

    A training document quoted by Reuters described the practice whereby agents would “recreate” the source of the investigation, as “parallel construction”. A dozen current or former federal agents interviewed by Reuters confirmed they had relied on parallel construction.

    Nancy Gertner, a Harvard Law School professor who served as a federal judge from 1994 to 2011, described the practice of “parallel construction” as “a fancy word for phonying up the course of the investigation”. It was one thing, she said, to create special rules for national security, but creating rules for ordinary crime threatened to undermine the bill of rights, set up as a check against the power of the executive.

    “The best way to describe it is the government is saying ‘trust us’,” said Gertner. “The bill of rights is clear that we don’t.”

    Gertner said that defence attorneys had a right to know and examine the source of the information against their clients.

    “Even if a judge approved a wiretap, it doesn’t mean there wasn’t exculpatory or tainted evidence,” she said. “If the judge does not know the genesis of the information there cannot be judicial review. When the DEA is concealing what the source of the information is and pretending it came from one place rather than another, there can be no judicial review.”

    Gertner and other legal experts said that there was no need to conceal such information in court, as there are already procedures by which judges can examine sensitive information in private to determine whether it is relevant.

    The implications for existing cases, Gertner said, were difficult to assess.
    “There needs to be an investigation and disclosure about the extent to which this information was used in previous investigations.”

    Civil rights campaigners said the latest revelations about surveillance programmes were an indictment of how easily the NSA data collection can be abused.

    Ezekiel Edwards, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s criminal law reform project, said: “With the uncovering of this massive surveillance programme, the government are reassuring people that they are very selective, that they are not using it on ordinary citizens.

    “The opposite case is one of our concerns.

    “What you have here is the DEA tapping into the vast NSA spying programme and using it to launch criminal cases on Americans. Not in national security cases, but other cases.”

    1. MS:

      Your suggestion there were FBI informants behind other great criminal events makes me wonder if the reason the FBI is so reluctant to open up about the Marathon Terrorist Attack (MTA) was because the Tamerlan was being used as an informant. You see the danger we have when an agency is more intent on protecting itself than the American people.

      Thanks for you input and I hope you continue with us as we move along. I have to do some more thinking on the Reuters report. The Civil Rights types such as Nancy Gertner always put the worst spin on things the government does. At times I find myself agreeing with some of their stuff but at other times I thin they push the envelope too far. I need time but I appreciate you contributions and if I disagree with some of your suggestions that is the way this blog is supposed to operate with the testing of ideas.

      1. Matt: You and I both grew up watching television in the 1950’s and 1960’s
        and were thrilled to watch Efram Zimbalist fight communism while protecting us from bank robbers. The FBI Raison D’Etre was fighting communism and catching bank robbers. With the collapse of the Berlin Wall
        in 1989 ( and Communism) the FBI had to reinvent itself and protect us against a new threat. Terrorism,eh? Wow! What a coincidence , couple years after the Berlin Wall falls we have the 1993 1st World Trade Center bombing created by FBI informant Amad Salem; couple of years later using a intermittent re-enforcement schedule we have the Oklahoma City bombing created by FBI informant Timothy McVeigh . Of course if you
        know anything about Magic and misdirection you know the Truck bomb was a decoy to misdirect your attention. The Murragh building was taken down by satchel charges according to bomb building expert Brigadier General Benton K Partin. see http://whatreallyhappened.com/RANCHO/POLITICS/OK/PARTIN/okm.htm

        The same technique was used on 911 where our attention was misdirected by the plane decoys flying into the twin towers. Again nano thermitic explosive charges were used to collapse the twin towers see what 1900 architects say.
        http://www.ae911truth.org/

        If I am correct Matt, then what do you suggest we do?
        Time to revise our knowledge of what FBI agents do.

        1. MS:

          I don’t agree with your theories as to some of those events. I may be naive but I don’t think the FBI has to engage in terrorist acts to have a reason to exist.

          My scenario is that they did work against the Communists; they they worked against the radicals in the US during the 60s, and at the time they were working against the latter they targeted the Mafia.

          I believe most FBI agents are good guys doing a good job but are caught up in a system that makes them less effective than they could be.

        2. Msfreeh,

          Thank you so much for your information. I will be following it down.

          I want you to understand that my own loved ones could up and decide to join the FBI. They’re smart and know that this country is a good place to be.

          I have no doubt they’re naive. Hell, look at me.

          They’ve been busted for a roach.

          But they love their country.

          Is there any place, some place, within this craziness that we can meet?

          1. Good morning,

            Jeez, sorry.
            This reads like I asked to meet for coffee.

            What I was doing badly was asking if you see it all as a conspiracy led by the FBI.

  18. Ha!
    The trouble I get myself into!

    Well, I’m going through Peter Lance’s book Deal With the Devil
    The FBI’s Secret Thirty-Year Relationship With a Mafia Killer

    What a mess.
    Perhaps we’ve learned by now that hiring sociopathic killers, even part-time, can be beyond a touch horrendous.

    ————————————

    I, too, had a dream.
    In it Dorchester was being attacked with tanks and helicopters.
    The whole time, an incessant rerun of a large green truck performing a half-gainer off 93 kept interrupting the attack.
    Finally, of all things, the Mayflower was trying to dock and people were working furiously to liberate The Rock from its elaborate display case in time.

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