Monday, June 18, 2012

THE BULGER CHRONICLES #6: The Friends of Whitey Bulger

You often hear it said that James “Whitey” Bulger corrupted the criminal justice system in Boston.

I say that the criminal justice system in Boston was already corrupt. Bulger plugged into this corrupt system and played it for all it was worth.

Bulger’s career as a gangster was as violent and reprehensible as we are likely to ever see. But he didn’t do it alone. And I’m not referring only to his underworld associates. I’m referring to his enablers. And when I say enablers, I don’t just mean a few agents in the FBI’s Boston office.

There is much about the Whitey Bulger story that the U.S. Justice Dept. would rather you didn’t focus on and don’t know. I have tried to unearth some of it in the latest installment of THE BULGER CHRONICLES, a series of articles I am doing for Newsweek/Daily Beast. This latest article is about the world that created Bulger, those who sustained his career and gave him his power.

You may remember the great crime novel by George V. Higgins called The Friends of Eddie Coyle, also made into an excellent movie with Robert Mitchum and Peter Boyle. The book and movie details a criminal underworld in which everyone is in on it, the criminals, the cops, the feds. In an effort to manipulate a particular criminal situation to their advantage, all of these players nearly take down each other – and inadvertently take themselves down.

This is not likely to happen with the Bulger fiasco. Oh yes, Bulger will be made to pay. No matter what happens at his trial (if there is a trial), he is likely to die in jail. But other than former FBI agent John Connolly (quoted exclusively in the Newsweek article), no one within the system has been held accountable.

Should you care?

Please click on the link below, read the article, and decide for yourself….
                                                                    -- T.J. English

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