Whitey Bulger’s Immunity Claim: An Analysis Of The Prosecutor’s Response To Whether He Has Immunity

The Only View Whitey Will Ever Have Of Boston Again

As things develop in the case I have to interrupt my plans. Yesterday I said I would continue with the reevaluation today but if you’ve read the local  morning papers you’ll see the government has filed it position on Whitey’s claim he has immunity.

It has been filed with Judge Stearns. I assume he will withhold a finding on it until the Court of Appeals decides the recusal matter. The thrust of the recusal motion is that Judge Stearns cannot impartially decide whether he will allow Whitey’s evidence on immunity to be presented a jury. That is because the witnesses to that matter are people with whom he worked and are friendly.

In an answer to a comment I speculated on what is taking the Court of Appeals so long to make a decision. if you are interested you can check the comments from yesterday.

Today, I want to examine the government’s response. I’ve suggested earlier there is no validity to Whitey’s immunity claim although I admitted weaving several facts together one could make a conceivable argument for it. Pretty much the bottom line is that without it Whitey is toast.

The prosecutors argument is in two parts. First Whitey has no immunity and second that it is up to the court and not the jury to decide that issue.

To rebut his claim of immunity the prosecutors argue no one has supported Whitey’s claim and O’Sullivan has denied he gave him immunity. This is weak because Whitey may not have told anyone and O’Sullivan was all over the board in his testimony. The prosecutors next say that nothing in Whitey’s informant files talks about a meeting with O’Sullivan or immunity but as we’ve seen those FBI files have as much relation to reality as the reports of UFO landings. The prosecutors go on to say he wouldn’t have been on the lam for 16 years or would have filed to dismiss the original indictments if he thought he had immunity. Those arguments don’t hold water either since the immunity card was a last resort — Whitey even had he been given immunity would not trust the government to honor it.

The final argument the prosecutors present is saying if he “thought he was given immunity in return for information he provided to the FBI [he] would not have engaged in the following conversation” on 9/11/2012 with his brother Jackie:

Whitey: “I’m up to my fudgin’ ears in it. But again, I mean, I was accused — I — I never, I didn’t know that fudgin John Connolly wrote all those reports and
the other guy — what they did is they wrote reports  making themself look like Whitey told us what — I never told them a fudgin thing.
WHITEY: I bought fudgin’ information, I didn’t sell it.
WHITEY: I never gave them fudgin’ information. Nothin’. Nothin.’ (Obscenities euphamismized – bold emphasis in original)

That’s Whitey foolishly talking on a recorded line less than six months ago. Not such a good idea. It can’t do much to help his case. Maybe he is loosing his touch on account of his lengthy confinement in a small cell. He should take a lesson from Jackie and should be the one saying “Mmm.”

The prosecutors do not want us to take away from that conversation the idea that a man who had carte blanche to commit murder because he had immunity from a US Attorney would not have paid for that information. That wouldn’t follow. You could have immunity and be willing to pay for information.

What the prosecutors suggest, and i’m at a loss why they made this argument, is  why would Whitey be getting immunity if he wasn’t providing any information to the government? 

However, you, I, the feds and the lamppost know that Whitey did give information. The files are full of his and his partner Stevie’s information. Are the prosecutors really suggesting they believe Whitey?

We all know that in his conversation with his brother he’s just lying. Why? Remember, he knows the feds are listening. He can’t believe if he denies being an informant that will help his case. Stevie Flemmi based his whole defense on that position. I think it is more he just wants to save face with his brothers. Remember how Billy wrote in his book how much the Irish hated informants — Whitey coming from that culture would never want his brothers to believe he was one. This supports my belief his brothers knew nothing about his relationship with the FBI.

But here’s the one thing I don’t understand: why did the prosecutors mention this conversation?  I know they have fallen lock, stock and barrel for the lies of Whitey’s gangster buddies. But I can’t believe that for one second they think Whitey was not giving information to Connolly. Isn’t that part and parcel of their whole prosecution? Isn’t that why O’Sullivan gave Whitey a pass in the Race Fixing case?

I’m troubled by this. Are the prosecutors trying to have it both ways. That’s a defense tactic usually used in rape cases where the defense is “there was no rape, my client didn’t do it, and if you find he did she consented.”

If the prosecutors believe Whitey gave information to the FBI they should not be using his lies to his brother as if they believe them to argue against his immunity motion. If the prosecutors believe Whitey gave no information to the FBI then they must reevaluate their whole case. I’d like to know what the prosecutors believe is the truth in this matter.

I’ve  exceeded my word limit. I’ll go on tomorrow to explain a better argument the government should have used.

7 thoughts on “Whitey Bulger’s Immunity Claim: An Analysis Of The Prosecutor’s Response To Whether He Has Immunity

  1. I agree with you, regarding Whitey’s attempt(s) to preserve his honor amongst his brothers. In his criminal endeavors, Whitey may have viewed himself as being on some what equal footing with his brother Billy during the latter portion of his career, but he no doubt did not disclose the the aspects of his life that would have caused his family, especially Billy, to look down on him. Not only does being an informant go against the very essence of being a stand up guy in the tight knit, poor, predominantly Irish hood they were raised in, it is also a form of cheating to attain the success. What I do not understand is why he would throw Connolly under the bus when he doesn’t seem to have a long list of allies. Do you think that what he said during the prison call is indicative of what would have came out during the trial? Maybe he is slipping in his old age?

    1. With respect to the jailhouse phone comments that the US Prosecutor has used in its Motion…Whitey refers to ‘them’…would the interpretation of ‘them’ not be an issue of fact rather than law…and would not Whitey be the only one to really interpret what he meant…and if by using this phone conversation would not the US Prosecutor have opened some door to Whitey being able to testify? It brings to mind the meaning of “is”, that was used in another famous trial…I am not certain that it changed minds, but the point was made that the speaker is the last interpreter (the final word).

      1. Jean:
        You are right the interpretation of “them” is an issue of fact, like as you point out, the meaning of “is.”. Whitey can say what he meant by it but we don’t have to believe him and can decide he meant something else. Whitey has always been able to testify and his lawyer has said he plans to testify.

    2. John:
      I have no doubt Whitey wanted to keep his world and Billy’s separate. Nevermind Billy, Whitey would want to keep as few people as possible in the dark about his deeds. You are right that Whitey would want to be a stand up guy and he was happy to think of himself as not being an informant even though he was giving Connolly information on what was going on. I want to think about this more why Whitey would turn on Connolly. He had to know what he said was being recorded. He had to know that Connolly’s last shred of hope was that Whitey would deny ever giving him money. I wrote a long time ago that Whitey is all about Whitey. What I don’t understand is how he could think this would help him. His present defense is he was given immunity for information but now he denies he gave information which would lead one to believe he didn’t think he had immunity. But we know he did give information so denying the obvious must be symptomatic of his frustration with his lot in life. Whitey never expected to end up like that. You can expect him to have bad moments. But as I said, I have to process this more.

  2. When I read the news report of the latest filing from US Prosecutor, my immediate thought about the phone conversation was that whatever was said was said with the knowledge that US Prosecutor was listening.

    My second reaction was more on the lines of your suggestion that Bulger was a double agent..in other words, he paid, or extorted, information from other wise guys and then filtered that information back to Federal agents…and you have already reported that he gave gifts to Federal agents, and in return he got information..so he was the information channel and filter… and he claims immunity for whatever actions were taken with the information that he filtered to both the Federal Agents and the wise guys…this all reminds me of the tale of the Devil and Daniel Webster…

    1. Jean:
      You make a good point. But it’s difficult the title of this story could not be Devil, singular, it would have to be Devils, since it is hard identifying who are the biggest evil doers.

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