Whitey’s Bulger’s Return Brings Up The Sordid Past and Shows The Dangers Facing Prosecutors

On Tuesday last I wrote about the prosecutors’ dilemma in using witnesses who are inveterate liars. Is it okay for prosecutors to allow them to tell little (venial) lies but not okay to tell big (mortal) lies? Or, how do you tell when people who lie all the time are not lying?  How can twelve people on a jury be asked to unravel this Gordian knot?

Yesterday I told how all hoped Whitey would go off into the sunset and never be heard from again. The books written about these times would have been the final word and no one would have to reconsider the original thesis one rogue agent, one bad guy, and one bad politician. It was all so neat. We could tie a red ribbon around it and put it away forever.

Whitey’s arrest undermined all that. With the aggressive defense he is putting forth by his lead lawyer J.W. Carney and his sidekick Hank Brennan we’re beginning to see a new picture emerge. They suggest the Justice Department was implicit with Whitey’s evils. They are seeking to prove this through the discovery requests they have filed. The Justice Department is fighting back.  It’s main weapon is hyperbole and speed. If they can push this case to trial ASAP then much discovery will remained hidden; if they can mock the defense with words like “absurd” perhaps no one will pay attention.

We’re supposed to believe it absurd that a person like Whitey would be given carte blanche to kill people. When I first heard that was going to be the defense, I wrote on June 25 the following:  “A soon to be published book: Don’t Embarrass The Family –  The Trial of Whitey Bulger’s FBI Handler tells about the immunity deal he alleged he had with the FBI and the deal the FBI said it had with him. Don’t be so ready to scoff at Whitey’s claim.  To decide this issue alone may take years since it strikes at the heart of the FBI’s long time customs and procedures. I wonder if Whitey’s lawyers truly realize how valid it may.”

I guess they did realized the validity of that defense as time went on. The thing that most strikes people as wrong is the idea the DOJ and FBI can allow a person to murder people or give him a deal if he works with them that they’ll overlook the murders he has done. Since we’ve looked again at Whitey’s case we see that is exactly what is happening. The DOJ is protecting the man in the back seat of Murderman Martorano’s car who helped him gun down some innocent people. Apparently it made a deal with Martorano not to prosecute him. The DOJ is making a deal with Brutalman Weeks to protect the man who helped gun down Brian Halloran and Michael Donohue and was involved in the killing of John McIntyre and perhaps others. The DOJ made a deal with Frank Salemme that he did not have to tell them anything about the murders committed by the Mafia, only those by Whitey’s crew. The DOJ must be in contact with these men, learned other information from them, and told them they will get a pass on their murders.

I’ve written before about the power of the prosecutor.  A prosecutor is the most powerful and important person in the criminal justice system. No one can be charged with a crime without the assent and action of a prosecutor. If you stab your boy friend in an argument and the prosecutor decides not to prosecute you then you’ve gotten away with it. If a cop brings a charge the prosecutor can throw it out.  If a judge tells a prosecutor he must try a criminal case the prosecutor can end it.  Even some prosecutors don’t truly recognize the power the possess.

This is very important to keep in mind. While I may criticized the prosecutors for not doing this or that, like not charging people with murder who should be charged, it is very much in their power to do these things. There is nothing wrong with a prosecutor making those decisions.

Actually far from being wrong it is what a good prosecutor is supposed to do. Not all these decisions are easy like giving Murderman and Brutalman sentences on their murders as if they were burglaries, but the prosecutor has to decide what his or her ultimate goal is and chase after it. Even if it means he or she is severely criticized for doing it. Even when it entails bringing sordid people onto its boat to row with the rest of team. This is one of the great downsides. These people tend to corrupt everything they touch especially the people around them.

Here’s the real frightening thing about all this. Right now if Murderman or Brutalman go out and murder someone else, the prosecutor is so dependent on them to row their boat against Whitey, it would have to give them a pass on that murder. These are gangster who are using the DOJ to their own benefit. While the DOJ is staring straight at Whitey, these guys are doing what they’ve always done.

Remember, you can’t take the gangster out of the gangster. These men know only one way of doing business. We saw a month or so ago that Howie Winter, age 83, their former partner, was indicted for extortion along with Jimmy Melvin, age 70. Melvin by the way was involved in an armed robbery attempt with Pat Nee in 1989, according to Nee in his book.  Nee, Whitey’s former partner, is alleged to have now stepped into Whitey’s shoes and is running the rackets in South Boston, you guessed it, under the protection of the DOJ, as some believe he is a top echelon informant for the FBI. He’s also alleged to be in contact with Murderman.

When will they ever learn? Where have you gone Congressman Lynch, Southie turns its anxious eyes to you. Lynch has been waiting for a year and a half for an answer while the FBI “investigates” whether it is now doing the same thing it did with Whitey.

If only Whitey had not caused the U.S. embarrassment among foreign diplomats, none of this would have come back to the surface. (Continued tomorrow.)

7 thoughts on “Whitey’s Bulger’s Return Brings Up The Sordid Past and Shows The Dangers Facing Prosecutors

  1. CAN YOU GUESS THE NAME OF THE IRISH MOB BOSS/FBI INFORMANT SPOKEN OF IN THE TRANSCRIPT OF THIS 1977 FEDERAL WIRETAP OF MAFIA ASSOCIATES?

    LICAVOLI: “Embrescia was so fuckin’ burned up when Shondor got it. Hey, if he couldn’t handle him, that’s his own fault.”

    CALANDRA: “That’s right. That’s right.”

    UNIDENTIFIED: “How can a marked man put a big flag in front of his house? He had a big Irish flag out by the side; anybody could see it. He put it there on purpose. He’d be sitting out there under the sun.”

    CALANDRA: “He has some pretty good connections, though.”

    LICAVOLI: “He had some connections all right. The fucking FBI. He used to tell them about every goddamned thing everyone did.”

    CALANDRA: “You know that with [the Irish Mob Boss]. He was the FBI’s boy.”

    LICAVOLI: “Oh, fuck yes. But he didn’t work with the FBI; he told them what to do! He told them what to do. He said FBI your ass. He thought he got so fuckin’ big. Well, he wanted it all; that’s all. Him and Nardi. That fucker. He used to give them the money, and he used to give them all the information. He created a monster.”

    CALANDRA: “Nardi and Brancato?””

    LICAVOLI: “That’s right. They created that guy. And all the fuckin’ headaches we used to have.”

    HERE’S A FEW MORE HINTS ABOUT THE IRISH MOB BOSS/FBI INFORMANT:

    -WAS A FITNESS BUFF

    -LOVED ANIMALS

    -DIDN’T DRINK OR SMOKE

    -COMMITTED MANY MURDERS WHILE IN FBI’S TOP ECHELON PROGRAM

    -WAS APPARENTLY PROTECTED FROM PROSECUTION FOR CRIMES, INCLUDING MURDER

    -WAS ACCUSED OF PAYING BRIBES TO FBI AGENTS

    -WAS ACCUSED OF GETTING MORE INFORMATION FROM THE FBI THAN HE PROVIDED

    -USED FBI INFORMATION TO KNOCK OUT MAFIA RACKETS WHILE EXPANDING HIS OWN

    WHO IS THIS IRISH MOB BOSS?

    1. Looks a little like Whitey:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Danny_Greene_infant.jpg

      Another Irish Marine like Pat Nee and myself.

      Never heard of the guy until you wrote. Interesting conversation.

      “Among those brought down as the 1970s and 80s world of organized crime unraveled were James Licavoli and John Calandra. They, along with Anthony Liberatore, Pasquale “Butchie” Cisternino, Kenneth Ciarcia and Ronald “The Crab” Carabbia were convicted on racketeering charges, including the 1977 bomb murder of Danny Greene.”

      Read more: http://www.newsnet5.com/dpp/news/news_archives/vault-licavoli-calandra-convicted-attack-photographers#ixzz2BkyGM7wN

      The Irish were not supposed to be informants but like all Irish informants those that were thought they weren’t. It was always the other guy who was bad. Sadly, the FBI probably has a few dozen more Irish guys spilling their guts and thinking they’re stand up guys.

      1. Matt,

        You are correct. The guy’s name was Danny Greene, an Irish Mob Boss from Ohio who was murdered by the Mafia just before the wiretap picked up the conversation above. Here’s a link to his Wikipedia page:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danny_Greene

        I found the parallels between Greene and Bulger to be absolutely eerie. The most interesting similarities relate to the protection of Greene as a Top Echelon Informant while he murdered many people. I wonder why John Connolly’s lawyers didn’t introduce ‘pattern of conduct’ evidence citing Danny Greene, Greg Scarpa, Jackie Presser, Mel Weinburg, etc., etc. I also wonder why John Connolly was targeted for prosecution. All he did was the same things so many other agents were doing all across the country with Top Echelon Informants, and are still doing today. I guess I should buy your book to find more information in this vein!

        Anyway, thanks for doing a great job with your blog. If one only read the mainstream media’s reporting on this case, they would be missing the most significant and historical facets. You have a keen sense for identifying the soft spots in the government’s story.

        Be careful if you are going to the big birthday party. I wouldn’t want history to repeat itself in that part of town.

  2. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the international discomfort Whitey caused. It adds a little meat to the theory that the FBI (among others) knew where Whitey was all along, and didn’t want to find him, until he was dead, of course.

    1. LB: It will be interesting to see what goes on as we move closer to a trial date. It is inconvenient that Whitey got caught but the FBI’s hand seems to have been forced. A person can sometimes disappear but for two people, Whitey and his girl, it is really difficult. I’m not sure the FBI knew where he was all along, although it could have found him with a little effort. I have a feeling that his girl, Catherine Greig, is doing 8 years in prison because she does not want to reveal how they remained in contact with the people back home. The best thing the FBI can hope is that when Whitey testifies the will be able to control the media reporting on it. They are pretty good at that. Thanks for writing.

  3. where is the local congressman while this is going on? who oversees the fbi? it seems as if the amercian form of justice has gone off the tracks

    1. Doug:

      The local Congressman who is supposed to trying to find out why the FBI is still doing what it said it would not do after Whitey’s affair was disclosed has done nothing. Congress and the Attorney General’s Justice Department is supposed to oversee the FBI but it is really too big and too powerful for them to take on. They actually fear it so you can imagine that the answer really is no one oversees it. I don’t think it has gone off the tracks completely, it just needs to get a good shake up. It actually has become too complacent.

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