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.