One of the difficulties with covering a trial is that you are always an outsider. Yesterday I pointed out that much of the hearing at which Whitey was present that lasted somewhere between 15 to 20 minutes took place at the bench. Judge Casper the prosecutors and defense attorneys gathered together at the right side of the courtroom bench as we looked at it and engaged in a discussion over — well you see that’s it, I don’t know. These are confidential and I expect both sides will keep them that way. There will be hardly any comments by the attorneys from now on because the court sanctions on counsel can be pretty severe if they talk out of school once the trial kicks off. All they’ll be able to tell us is what happens in open court, and that means conferences like these remain known only to the participants.
What surprised me a bit was that Whitey Bulger did not participate in the side bar which is what these conferences are sometimes called. When Whitey is in the court he sits between Hank Brennan and Jay Carney and both seem to talk to him an equal amount of time. Before the judge came in there was an active conversation among them. Whitey, as his reputation tells us he would, engaged actively in it. Everyone who in the past was close to him and is now working with the government against him portrays him as someone who was engaging in conversation and never reluctant to express himself.
When the judge called counsel up to the side of the bench, Carney stood up and made it known that he expected there would be times when Whitey would be present at the side bar. He was not going to exercise his right at that time but may in the future. I’m sure Jay Carney and Hank Brennan (C&B) explained what was going on and Whitey figured he didn’t have to be part of it.
We’ve all heard how Whitey prided himself in reading historical books about military battles. He was always talking military tactics. I assume that is how he is directing his attorneys to handle his case. I’d have to guess that in his mind he is the commander-in-chief, they are the generals conducting his campaign, and their troops are their words. We can expect him to play a very active role in the way the questioning (cross-examination) that his attorneys will conduct of the government witnesses will go.
Remember this, these hoodlums Martorano, Flemmi, Weeks and Morris have all testified prior to this time and there has been no one around to contradict their testimony. They’ve given their version of events thinking Whitey would never be captured. Now C&B have Whitey’s version to work with. That’ll make all the difference in the world.
I’ve had this feeling that Whitey will not take the stand so he’ll have to make his case through the cross-examination. I’m not 100% sure of that because of the type of person Whitey is. I have no doubt the prosecutors Brian Kelly and Fred Wyshak have enough evidence against Whitey to prove their case through him in cross-examination alone. After they are through with him he should be beaten to a battered pulp like it is said he beat some of his victims.
By the way I should mention Kelly seems to be taking the lead in this although Wyshak is right behind him, more watching than participating. No doubt they are coordinating the matter closely. I suggest this because it may be that Kelly takes on the cross-examination if Whitey testifies. Yet, it’s hard from me to see Wyshak not wanting to take Whitey on.
Whitey is the type of person who has a big ego. He thinks he is smarter than everyone else. As I mention, he looks upon himself as the commander-in-chief. He may believe he will be able to withstand the withering cross-examination and decide to testify. Whitey might picture himself like Admiral David Farragut who issued the orders “damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead” and won a resounding victory. Of course he’s forgetting the many others who gave the same order and ended up in Davy Jones’s Locker.
I hoping Whitey thinks like he can pull it off and testify. We really do want to hear from him. He should know though that there have been many cases where a jury was put off by the government’s case with all its scum witnesses and was ready to acquit a defendant until the defendant herself opened her mouth on the witness stand and the jury immediately figured why the government did what it did. Whitey could very well give the victory back to the government in the unlikely chance it was going to lose.