12 Mar 2013

Mafia Overrates Goodness of Government Officials

Politics 7 Comments

A few weeks ago I heard an interview on NPR about a mafioso-turned-informant Whitey Bulger that contained this amusing exchange:

DAVIES: I mean people didn’t believe he was an informant, right? Criminals.

CULLEN: Well, you know, one of the most incredible things that you see in the book, Dave, we ask Anthony Cardinale, a very, you know, a very well respected lawyer who has represented some of the most senior Mafia figures in the country, including John Gotti, Tony Salerno and Jerry Angiulo here in Boston. And Tony asked them all, separately, how come you, why didn’t anybody make a move on Bulger after the Globe put that in the paper. And they all said the same thing, they said they didn’t believe that the FBI would get into bed with somebody as vicious and as venal as Whitey Bulger. So the Mafia actually had a higher view of the FBI than it deserved.

7 Responses to “Mafia Overrates Goodness of Government Officials”

  1. joe says:

    Actually it was an agent from Bulger’s neighborhood who made Bulger an informant. It had nothing to do with the character of the FBI, rather than character of that particular agent. The agent, John Connolly, is now in prison serving a 10 year federal sentence and a 40 year state sentence.

  2. JimS says:

    I heard part of that too. What I found interesting was how Buiger took advantage of his position and fingered others for what he did, usually offing someone he had a grudge with. He then made the accused disappear and any question that the dead or missing perp was the culprit. It was almost as though the FBI was subsidizing crime, in a way. As often happens, good intentions are often taken advantage of. It was, to quote Homer Simpson, “Coo coo crazy.”

    Speaking of good intentions, Dr. Bob; have you seen the report that the billions that were pumped into Haiti were all for naught? This isn’t a criticism of what you did, your actions were well intentioned, as everybody who gave, but have you any insight as to the failure of all the effort?

    • guest says:

      Do you have links to information?

      Was the problem that the aid bought mostly consumption goods and thereby artificially reduced capital investment?

      I remember everyone felt bad for the Haitians and wanted to help.

      • JimS says:

        Sadly the report was on something like NPR who seemed to make it sound like it simply wasn’t enough or went to the wrong area or that’s just the way it goes. My suspicion is a very corrupt government or skimming, just like aid that goes to any 3rd world country. There are numerous reports as to how IMF funds have never worked as intended and that financing these ventures is simply a waste that political change is much more necessary.

        What Doc Bob did is more direct and probably more worthwhile for those in need and as a personal experience.

  3. NarayanM says:

    A state agency got in bed with the big scumbag #1 to go after lesser scumbags #2, 3, 4, . . .?

    And the state agent that run the entire thing is in prison?

    I’m not surprised, this is the state we’re talking about.

    • Matt M says:

      No kidding.

      What would be truly surprising is if a government agent approached his supervisor with this sort of plan, “Let’s use this one really bad guy to help us catch other bad guys,” and the supervisor said something like, “Absolutely not. That would be wrong and would impugn the moral character of our fine organization.”

  4. Marc says:

    Howie Carr’s book The Brothers Bulger: How They Terrorized and Corrupted Boston for a Quarter Century is a great read, but entirely depressing.

    Whitey’s brother Billy was a political powerhouse and kingmaker who was president of the Massachusetts Senate.

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