The Judicial Guessing Game: Making Findings Of Fact From Suspect Information.

How To Decide
The Facts

I wrote about this a while back when I asked how can we trust Judge Wolf’s findings when he’s trying to figure out what parts of a liar’s testimony to believe. I bring it up again because I am 75% through a book which I will write about tomorrow that reinforces what I have been suggesting.

Flemmi testified he met with FBI Agent James Ring several times and that Ring called him to warn him about DEA wiretaps. Here’s what Wolf finds: This is a matter on which the court finds that Flemmi’s testimony is in part accurate and in part false. More specifically, the credible direct and circumstantial evidence proves that Bulger and Flemmi were told of the investigation generally and of the electronic surveillance particularly. It was, however, Connolly not Ring who gave them this information.”   

Here’s another example. We know now Flemmi’s source was not Trooper Naimovich but Trooper Schneiderhan. Here’s what Wolf writes:  “Flemmi initially received information about the bug, through an associate, John Naimovitch (sic), a Massachusetts State Police Trooper. . . .  Flemmi discussed this with Connolly. Flemmi claims that Connolly consulted Morris and O’Sullivan. . . .  The court questions whether this is correct, particularly with regard to O’Sullivan.”

Wolf writes later: “Massachusetts State Trooper John Naimovitch (sic), who had tipped Flemmi to the Lancaster Street Garage bug, was the source of some of the additional Title 18-related information on which Boeri relied,” and again with reference to the DEA wiretap,  It is also likely that Flemmi had access to any information known to Naimovitch (sic), who, in 1980, had alerted him to the bug at the Lancaster Street Garage, and was later convicted on charges of corruption.” 

It’s bad enough Wolf can’ be bothered to spell Naimovich’s name correctly but the real tragic part of this finding is that Naimovich was not convicted but was acquitted by a jury in the same courthouse where Judge Wolf sits.

Here’s the problem with Judge Wolf’s finding, he is guessing. Flemmi tells him Naimovich was the person on the state police giving him information and he naively thinks Flemmi is going to disclose the real name of the guy who has been helping him all those years. Flemmi puts O’Sullivan in the middle of the Lancaster leak but because Wolf has worked with and knows O’Sullivan he blames someone else. He’s flying by the seat of his pants picking up bits and pieces here and there and trying to come up with a coherent picture.

It’s really the problem that permeates the whole case involving Whitey. No one can really say with any certainty where the truth lies. Certainly you can’t believe any of the life long professional criminals who receive great benefits for their testimony. Wolf suggests you can’t believe any of the FBI reports that have been written. For example he notes that one FBI 209 (the reports that relate to informant information) filed by Rico indicated that Larry Baione made statements indicated he was responsible for Wimpy Bennett’s murder. Wolf says this was not true since Flemmi had done it. Wolf notes: Flemmi’s report that Baione made statements indicating that he was responsible for Wimpy Bennett’s murder may be an early instance of a pattern of false statements placed in Flemmi’s informant file to divert attention from his crimes and/or FBI misconduct.”

How can Wolf possibly conclude that other than assuming Flemmi told Agent Rico that he was responsible for murdering Wimpy. I thought we learned one thing is that the gangsters don’t tell their handlers who they are killing. In reality Rico would not have known how Wimpy was killed and probably heard Baione was bragging about doing it taking credit for having had Flemmi doing it for him. Rather than being false it is true, but it doesn’t fit Wolf’s pattern.

In another section Wolf would refer to a report filed by the Special Agent in Charge Lawrence Sarhatt of a meeting he had with AUSA O’Sullivan.  Wolf writes: “the court wonders whether O’Sullivan’s comments were as strong and unequivocal as described by Sarhatt, it does find that Sarhatt consulted O’Sullivan and O’Sullivan supported the continuation of Bulger as an informant.”  O’Sullivan testified to a Congressional hearing that he did no such thing.

If the gangsters are lying, the FBI agents are lying, and the FBI reports untrustworthy how do you possibly decide what happened? Wolf’s decision is full of mistakes and errors, it is a picking and choosing of what he wants to believe based upon some preconceived notion of what happened. Anything that Whitey and Stevie Flemmi knew he guesses had to come from FBI Agent Connolly.  If Flemmi testifies it was from someone else, Wolf inserts Connolly’s name in place of the person Flemmi identified.

But what I’m mentioning is not half of what is wrong with Wolf’s decision. His great failure is his inability to understand the world of these gangsters. He tries to assert blame for each failure of an operation or any knowledge possessed by them on an FBI tip-off or some police leak. Nowhere does he suggest or even think that these gangsters operate in a highly protective mode with lots of information coming to them from many sources on the street.

Wolf noted: Flemmi claims that in February 1984, he and Bulger “started noticing things” that made them aware that they were under active investigation by the DEA.” Wolf can’t accept that these gangsters are alert to what is going on.  He writes: Thus, in February 1984, Connolly learned that the DEA was focusing on Bulger. Based in part on Connolly’s previous and future practice, the court infers that he told Bulger and Flemmi about the DEA investigation. It is, therefore, not surprising that in February 1984, they “started noticing things.” 

It’s astounding that Judge Wolf thinks these gangsters live in a bag unaware of the world around them, that they operate in ignorance unless the FBI, or rather FBI Agent Connolly, tells them something.

Here’s what Kevin Weeks wrote:  “One of the first things Jimmy [Whitey] taught me was to consider the long-range ramifications of whatever we did. The idea of committing a crime was to get away with it.” Later talking about Stevie he said “he was not as alert to the presence of the law as Jimmy and I were. . . . Stevie just wasn’t as attuned to what was going on around him as Jimmy felt he should have been. This was probably because we were always in South Boston and could recognize an unfamiliar car of face easily . . . “

The more that has come out, the more it seems to me that the foundation for all of the conclusions about Whitey and the FBI is based on nothing more than guess-work. And when you guess, you’re as apt to be as wrong as right.

 

 

 

 

 

5 thoughts on “The Judicial Guessing Game: Making Findings Of Fact From Suspect Information.

  1. “No one can really say with any certainty where the truth lies. Certainly you can’t believe any of the life long professional criminals who receive great benefits for their testimony.” A statement that I associate with.

    However, as I have reported on nhjustice.net as especially in installment #6, based on my personal complaints about my experience with the FBI, I have already been judged and Ordered to be a delusional psychotic. In my case the Court relied upon the diagnosis of the Forensic Examiner of the State of New Hampshire, and the prosecutor who was willing to enter the diagnosis REPORT into evidence in October 13, 2009. I was not allowed to cross examine the authors of the REPORT. That alone is a violation of my constitutional rights.

    However: As you state above,”The more that has come out, the more it seems to me that the foundation for all of the conclusions about Whitey and the FBI is based on nothing more than guess-work. And when you guess, you’re as apt to be as wrong as right.” This question could also be posited about the State of New Hampshire’s Orders that have committed me to being a permanently non-restorable psychotic, base solely upon my claims of my family’s managed misfortunes that include the actions of the FBI, and other governmental agencies, and large (to big to prosecute) private financial companies?

    It would appear to me that until Whitey Bulger’s lawyer presents all the evidence he has to present to the court in USA v Bulger, the public cannot begin to puzzle out the truth, and I may have been prematurely diagnosed by the State of New Hampshire.

    A question that I raised in the Series NO WITNESS = NO CASE is: Was the State’s Prosecutorial Intent with its REPORT “Testimony” to “Do Justice”? Or, was the State’s arrest and prosecution of the DEFENDANT (Jean Allan Sovik) “Vindictive” (with ‘dirty hands’) thereby making the REPORT a necessary tool to Cover – up some other past actions?

    As this blog is beginning to show. There are more questions than answers at this time. A person’s sanity should not be taken before all the testimony has been verified as truthful. At least that is what I used to think about US Jurisprudence.

    1. Jean:
      As you have experienced, once a mindset is established it is hard to change it. In Whitey’s case he had been designated the fiendish leader of a gang of murderers who was an FBI informant. When we go back to reexamine how that conclusion was reached we begin to see that it lacked a proper foundation. It’s hard changing peoples’ minds. We’ve become too busy with too many other things to worry about others.

  2. Matt, a brilliant disection of Wolfe’s erratic decision. Wolfe went way overboard in his months’ long fishing expedition, which was catalyzed by defense lawyer Cardinale’s motions to dismiss. The motions could have been disposed of simply, with a few relevant findings of facts and citations to legal precedents. Instead, his 600 page decision was a de facto indictment of 18 FBI agents for violating administrative policies, procedures, regulations and the criminal law. Wyshak did little to defend the agents and basically let Wolfe and Cardinale run amock. We’ve mentioned before that not only was Wolfe way off base about Naimovich, but none of the other 18 agents, except Connolly, was ever prosecuted for anything. One scapegoat at the bottom of the FBI/DOJ ladder got crucified.

    1. Bill:
      I posted today on a book Rico. At the end the two FBI authors said they started out to try to find where the truth lied and they’d let the chips fall where they may. If they thought Rico was guilty as charged, they would have just walked away from the book. Judge Wolf started out with a preconceived notion and used Flemmi’s testimony to pick and choose what parts to believe. I understand that a fact finder can believe all, part, or none of a witnesses testimony but to credit any of it one should be able to give a reason for believing it. When one is confronted with a liar like Flemmi there must be strong independent verification of what he states. This is lacking most of Wolf’s decision because he decided the outcome and filled in the blanks with anything he could.

      The book I wrote about today has nothing but bad words for Wyshak. You wisely note that he sat back and did not defend the FBI and gave carte blanche to the gangster lawyers to rip the agents apart. What is amazing is that the FBI has allowed itself to be bullied and intimidated by the Boston media and media from other cities and until this book was written no one in the FBI told the other side of the story. The Rico book is weak on what happened in Boston but strong on other areas.

      I’m happy that two FBI agents got off their butts and spoke out. It seems this blog has been the only one trying to show the extent of the falsehoods we have been fed by the media. Most of Howie Carr’s writings will prove to be false. Like Flemmi he is turning into a person who plays loose with the truth. Like Flemmi it is hoped the public will some day recognized that fact.

      It’s good to have some allies in the attempt to push back against the falsehoods that have been told. I disagree with some of the FBI’s writings as you would expect. I don’t believe any FBI agent who spent 30 years in the Bureau can be objective about its faults. But I do agree with you that over 99% of the FBI agents do good and honorable work but they are trapped in a system that diminishes the good.

  3. Matt,good work! We’ll pick up “Rico” today.
    More people must expose Carr’s and the Globe’ fabrications and Flemmi’s lies.
    One example: Cullen and Murphy have FBI agent John Connolly supplying C-4 explosives to the IRA. They know this is true because Flemmi told them this.
    It’s preposterous. Flemmi’s a known liar. But here’s the more likely source of their false reporting:
    According to Pat Nee’s book there was an FBI sympathizer named John Connolly who owned a small store in Southie. Also, another John Connolly was the head of the “Real IRA”, a small fanatical fringe group, in Ireland. How many uncles named John Connolly have contributed to Noraid or were sympathetic to Irish revolutionaries’ aims? Connolly is the fourth most common Irish name in America. Any wrongdoing done by any John Connolly in history, is now being attrbuted to FBI agent John Connolly. Carr and the Globe reporters should hang their heads in shame, not just for what they wrote, but for what they omitted.
    I, too, am very glad that finally others are speaking out against Wyshak,O’Neil, Lehr, Cullen and Murphy. By the way, I like Shelley Murphy. She seems nice and straightfoward, but I believe she’s been led astray by Cullen, O’Neil, Lehr and the whole corrupt Gestalt, the corrupt Zeitgeist that permeates the Boston Globe. By the way, again,Murphy is The most common “Irish name in America”, followed by Kelly, O’Brien, Connolly and Walsh.

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