I mention Drinan ran for Congress in 1970. He was elected. He served until 1980. He wanted to continue but the Pope forbid it. Boeri not content with having approached other people then went to a close friend of Drinan’s, Jerome Grossman who first convinced Drinan to run for Congress. He responded to Boeri, “It’s a complete surprise.” Why would it be if it was put into the context of 1956 rather than 2012? Unfortunately, Boeri doesn’t tell us what he said to these people only their reactions.
Boeri then jumps the shark. He has Whitey as the head of a gang bossing Drinan around. He writes: “The letter to Drinan closes with the tone of an order being directed to a future subordinate.” Incredibly Boeri suggests we are supposed to believe this 27-year-old kid anguishing over the conditions in prison is bossing around the dean of a law school. What did Whitey write that made Boeri conclude that? He wrote: “Well, Father Drinan, that’s about it and it’s the true story seen through my eye. Write me as soon as possible. James J. Bulger 77607” Boeri and Lehr demonstrate how the media can take ordinary acts and build them up into monstrosities.
Boeri was on a role as was Lehr. Boeri suggests that Speaker John McCormack who held that position from 1962 to 1971 was helping out Whitey. Lehr said: “They are fortunate to have access to John McCormack, who has easy access to the director of the entire Federal Prison System.” Lehr went on: “He’s [McCormack] got the director of the Bureau of Prisons practically jumping up and down to check on James ‘Whitey’ Bulger’s status in prison.” Hardly was that the case. Whitey’s letter to a priest was confiscated.
Then ominously Lehr says: “what gets established is John McCormack has an interest in this inmate.” Was McCormack part of the landing party going onto Lehr’s beachhead? Everything is a total exaggeration.
McCormack did inquire about Whitey’s status at the request of Bill his brother. The last one Boeri points to is in late 1961 at the start of his speakership. Hardly did McCormack have anyone jumping up and down. After his last call it took four years and three parole hearings before Whitey got paroled in March 1965.
The hype and nonsensical connections by Boeri and even more so by Lehr clearly show how much of what is written or what we know about Whitey has little connection to reality. We would learn that he was a test subject in prison for experiments on LSD which would have given him some time off his sentence. There is nothing to show that when he got out in 1965 he was extended any extraordinary favors although Boeri made sure to mention he received ten dollars upon being released.
We can also see their attempt to blacken the name of Bill. His attempts to help his brother while he is in prison are written about as though it was part of some devious plan. Bill did have a plan though. When Whitey got out of prison Bill worked to get him on the straight and narrow. He was able to get him a job working as a janitor in the Suffolk courthouse. Coincidentally my brother worked with him. He said he showed up and was a good worker.
Boeri noted in his final sentence that Father Drinan who was listed as Whitey’s parole advisor never had to fill that position. He wrote that he was “spared . . . any future embarrassment. Otherwise “the heroic priest . . . might have had the dishonor of being named to Bulger’s “friends list.”” After casting all sorts of aspersions at Drinan suddenly he becomes heroic. Go figure.
Father Robert Drinan died in January 2007. Both David Boeri and Dick Lehr knew of his reputation and that his life’s actions were beyond reproach. Why then did they decide to impugn his integrity? Just like the gangsters they wrote about they talk about a man who has passed away questioning his actions. Was he just another pawn in their attempt to make Whitey into something that he wasn’t?
I’m still wondering about Lehr’s beachhead? If you see it let me know.