I might as well make this a Mark Rossetti weekend and discuss Rossetti and Kevin Cullen the Boston Globe columnist. I had always thought of Cullen as a good newspaperman who is knowledgeable about Whitey’s case. Cullen is from South Boston as is convicted FBI Agent John Connolly. For years Connolly was Cullen’s source in the FBI keeping him on top of things with inside information that helped Cullen advance in his job. They probably were close to being good friends. That all changed. Cullen decided not to stick by Connolly.
It seems something has happened to Cullen lately or maybe it is to me. The more I got into this matter, staying on top of it, examining it with a critical eye, engaging in discourse with others who want to look deeper into it, I find that I’ve changed many of my beliefs about people and happenings. It’s now clear to me that much of the story about all things Whitey which had been implanted in my mind is wrong.
I bring this up because Cullen had an article about Rossetti the other day. I sensed I was reading a new Cullen although perhaps I was reading it with a new awareness. Cullen seemed to have become less serious. I sensed a bit of silliness. or perhaps grandiosity, when he refered to a fellow employee and co-author as “the great Shelley Murphy.”
The thing I would suggest that is great is their great silence over the last year and a half about the FBI’s use of Rossetti as an informant in the exact same manner it used Whitey. It wasn’t always like that.
Back in 2011 when we first learned about Rossetti, Cullen wrote it is was a situation of “Whitey Bulger all over again.” Strangely enough, Cullen whose newspaper had prior to that time been beating his friend John Connolly into a pulp over his use of Whitey, suggested in that column “Rossetti talked to his FBI handler, a young agent named Jesse. Now, this isn’t about Jesse. He is by all accounts an earnest honest agent who merely inherited Rossetti as an informant. This is about people in pay grades above Jesse’s. Supervisors who are supposed to know better.”
Wow! Whitey and Rossetti are alike. Agents Connolly and Jesse who inherited them are different. Connolly is to be trampled upon while Jesse gets praised. Jesse’s supervisors are responsible. Connolly’s supervisor got a pass and testified against Connolly. Isn’t there something wrong with this picture. And, while the name of John Connolly was blasted in headlines throughout the area Rossetti’s handler is only known as “Jesse.” Jesse who? James!
One has to wonder if the Globe decided Connolly was evil because his supervisor John Morris was a stool pigeon for the Globe. Morris had become an informant for the Globe when he disclosed, among other things, that Whitey was an FBI informant. He did this hoping that revelation would lead to Whitey’s murder. An interesting take on this event is put forth by Blue Mass Group which suggests criminal culpability on Cullen’s and the Globe’s part for their involvement in that attempt at murder. Another is the suggestion is the Globe influenced the prosecution to go after Connolly rather than the logical target, the corrupt supervisor Morris.
Five days after his first column on August 16, 2011, Cullen had another column “Where’s The Outrage Over FBI Bungling?” There he said it “is in some ways worse than the Whitey Bulger debacle.” In October 2011 Cullen wrote as third column, “Pants on Fire” talking about the “FBI’s chutzpah” in using Rossetti eight years after Whitey.
For some strange reason there’s no continuing outrage coming from him or Murphy about the Rossetti situation even though it mirrors or is worse than Whitey’s. In the Whitey situation they had outrage enough to fill Gillette Stadium to overflowing and it continued unabated month after month. Since October 2011 the Rossetti situation has caused hardly a ripple.
The other day writing about Rossetti we get a lighthearted suggestion that because Rossetti, suspect in at lest six slayings, was an FBI informant “he has experience talking to the FBI.” No mention is made by Cullen of the FBI’s sordid history in this matter or Senator Grassley’s statements, even though he talked about him in his “Pants on Fire” column.
I’d have thought when a US Senator suggests the FBI office in Boston needs a thorough cleansing I’d read about it in the Boston Globe. I Googled to find out if the Globe had anything on Chuck Grassley’s recent concerns about the Boston FBI office which I wrote about yesterday. I came up empty.
I get the feeling that when you rely upon the FBI as a source then you lose your ability to tell the truth about that source. Maybe had Cullen and Connolly not been so close much of this would have not happened. The continuing flow of information is dependent upon the continuation and maintenance of the good relationship. Once in bed with a government agency its hard to crawl out.
That is why “the great” Shelley Murphy and her newspaper never criticize the local prosecutors. If they did she’d never have been the recipient of leaked grand jury testimony like what happened with Billy Bulger’s. It’s the old one hand washes the other. It’s the taking care of your friends, something like what is done in politics. However when politicians out of favor with the Globe do it, as we’ve seen with the three Massachusetts probation officers, it can lead to indictments for RICO violations with which neither Cullen or Murphy found any problems.