Whitey Bulger was whacking people left and right, knowing full well that powers within the criminal-justice system were willing to cover him. [Daily Beast]
WHITEY BULGER has finally been convicted. But when will there be an accounting for FBI complicity in allowing Whitey Bulger to run amok and commit unspeakable crimes of murder through mayhem, back when he was an FBI informant? Don’t hold your breath.
In the ongoing trial of infamous mobster James “Whitey” Bulger, we learned much of what we need to know about the government’s case on Monday when ex-FBI agent Robert Fitzpatrick took the stand. Fitzpatrick is one of the few representatives of the U.S. Department of Justice who ever tried to close down Bulger as an informant back when Whitey was wreaking havoc and killing people in the Boston underworld of the 1980s. For his efforts, Fitzpatrick met resistance at every turn, and, after a distinguished 21-year career, was eventually drummed out of the FBI.
,,, Last Friday, the government rested its case after having called 60 witnesses. Fitzpatrick was the first witness called by the defense, which is seeking not so much to prove Bulger not guilty of the 32-count indictment for which he stands accused, but to establish that he committed his crimes in consort with a corrupt criminal-justice system. Eight weeks ago, in his opening statement, defense attorney J.W. Carney admitted that “the evidence will show that Bulger is a person who had an unbelievably lucrative criminal enterprise in Boston. He was making millions and millions of dollars. He had people on the local police, the state police, and especially federal law enforcement on his payroll.” The value of this corrupt relationship, as Carney has reminded the jury throughout the trial, is that “during the period of time covered throughout this indictment, from 1972 to approximately 1995, James Bulger was never once charged with anything by a federal prosecutor in this town. Not once, not anything.”
Reporting from the Boston Globe, the paper of record on all things Whitey Bulger.
Bulger, 83, stood passively in US District Court on the same South Boston waterfront where he committed some of his crimes, as a clerk repeatedly proclaimed “guilty” to 31 of the 32 counts with which he had been charged. As he was led away, he turned and gave a thumbs-up sign to his family members, before he was heckled by a relative of one of his many victims.
The verdicts mark not just the certain end to Bulger’s freedom, but a theatrical note of finality to the story of a crime lord who has been chronicled in Hollywood movies and analyzed in best-selling books, and who rose to near legendary status as he held a virtually permanent spot as one of America’s most wanted fugitives during his 16 years on the run from 1995 to 2011. It also files a piece of Boston’s dingy past, and the FBI’s complicity in it, on the shelves of the city’s sometimes sordid history.
“This day of reckoning for Bulger has been a long time coming,” US Attorney Carmen Ortiz said to a barrage of reporters outside the courthouse following the verdict. “So many people’s lives were so terribly harmed by the criminal acts of Bulger and his crew. . . . We hope they find some degree of comfort in the fact . . . that Bulger is being held accountable for his horrific crimes.”
NPR did a remarkable unpacking of Whitey Bulger and how he was aided by the FBI. It’s a harrowing story of FBI and police corruption at the core.
The only way Whitey Bulger was able to terrorize Boston is because the FBI helped him do it and anyone who’s anybody in the Boston area reporting on this story knows it.