It is said about icebergs; 90% of the mass is below the water’s surface. Of course it is also often said in a blasphemous light that anytime a large chunk of an iceberg breaks off, it is compared to the size of Rhode Island…….blasphemy!!! Yes, Rhode Island may seem like a small place at times, but if anything this large breaks off a mass, and this is still only part of the 10% that is known, rest assure, that the other 90% below the surface, unseen is still quite large.
No, this is not a post about global warming; if you don’t believe the arctic tundra is melting, and the icebergs are breaking up, and that’s an indication of bigger trouble ahead for mankind, what’s the point of going on about it here. Yes, I am talking about other problems below the waterline; crime subordinates, government plea bargain deals, crooked FBI agents, and of course the recent trial of James “Whitey” Bulger; former South Boston resident, Winter Hill crime lord, drug dealer, and oh by the way, sociopathic mass-murderer. Did I leave anything out?
We have heard it before……”In order to get the big fish, we have to let some small fish go;” or is that just John Gotti folklore? I of course am talking about plea deals in criminal cases and other “special deals” to the criminal world. Let’s talk about the New England “crime-berg” (nice word Zulu!) for a moment. The loose story of record goes like this; in an effort to break up, and convict the Boston Italian-American led Mafia, the F.B.I. enlisted informants Whitey Bulger, and Steve “The Rifleman” Flemmi. In “alleged statements” not allowed as their defense, the two crime bosses claim they were given the green light by the F.B.I. to commit any crimes they wanted as long as they continued to be informers; especially against those at the tip of the iceberg, the Italian Mafia. So now Bulger is the little fish, except his mass continues to freeze below the surface, and the ocean begins to change. In December of 1994, the F.B.I., no longer able to hide the Winter Hill Gang’s heinous crimes, and serial killings, issues arrest warrants. After being tipped off by his corrupt F.B.I handler; John Connelly, Bulger goes on the run for 16 years, while Flemmi unconvinced that the F.B.I. will fail to protect him again, stays put, is arrested, and put in jail. Subsequently, the F.B.I., after giving up the ridiculous idea that nobody knows where Osama Bid Laden is, bumps Bulger, and it’s retrieval efforts up the Most Wanted, Top Ten List , and “finds” him in a rent-controlled apartment in Santa Monica, California. ……and if you’re still curious by any of this, start by reading the book Black Mass by Dick Lehr and, Gerard O’Neill .
Fast forward to recent days in August of this year. After his arrest, Bulger was brought to trial, and charged with the following crimes; Racketeering (RICO), 19 counts of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and extortion. Little fish? This is hardly the “confused loyalty” of the bookmaker who covered for his benevolent boss, and was given a plea deal! Bulger’s defense attorney has claimed several times that this case is really about putting the F.B.I. on trial for its crimes, as well as Bulger’s. One thing has changed, and that’s Bulger; he is now the apex criminal, top of the iceberg, and the man the government would do anything to prosecute; so they go to the same well of tricks; offer the “small fish;” Bulger’s mass-murdering lackeys some deals to testify against him. Et tu, Brute!!! Enter Steve Flemmi, Kevin Weeks, and John Martorano. The real problem here is the three of these men are responsible, directly, or indirectly for all of the murders Bulger is accused of, plus numerous other murders, including identical “smaller crimes” charged to Bulger. If these are the small fish, the world must be swimming in a great white shark tank.
Were these gangsters the Wall Street criminal variety, they would strike a “real deal” with prosecutors; admit no wrongdoing, pay a fine, cancel any talk of a trial, close the case, and then arrange an expensive dinner out with the prosecutors. Silly gangsters!
My final thoughts; forget the big fish. You can either land them or you can’t. If you can’t, there is no sense letting any of these brutal small fish go under the premise of “big-picture justice” any more than the sense of saying you can cheat on your weight loss program and eat that hot fudge sundae because the soda you drank was “Diet Coke.”