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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Whitey's deal

It seems like a desperate act by a man who has proudly lived the life of a murderer. But in the bizarre case of United States v. Bulger, it can't be dismissed out of hand.

James "Whitey" Bulger claims he has a deal with the federal government that gave him immunity from any crimes committed while he served the feds ass a snitch. That, his lawyers says, includes the 19 murders of which he stands accused.

Bizarre? No doubt. Plausible? Don't laugh it off.

This of course is the case where the FBI agent to which Bulger reported has been doing a lot more time than the formerly elusive South Boston crime boss. John Connolly is behind bars in part because he was convicted of tipping off Bulger to a planned imminent arrest.

And that does not do justice to the fact Bulger had a deal with the feds to snitch in the first place.

Defense attorney J.W. Carney Jr. is hinting at a show trial in which a parade of high profile Justice Department officials -- including presiding Judge Richard Stearns, former U.S. Attorney and Massachusetts Gov. William Weld and FBI Director William Mueller, who served with Weld -- will be called to talk about the agency's relationship with Bulger.

Attorneys often pack witness lists with names designed to elicit outsize reactions, but this one is an all-star one, since the men had key roles in the Boston legal community during the height of Bulger's reign of terror.

And Carney has a simple question that would be worth the price of admission:
"...why wasn’t Bulger charged?”
The court filing may simply be a smokescreen to cover a defense that really can't be mounted in the face of overwhelming evidence.

But when it comes to the Justice Department and Whitey Bulger we've already found out there is no such thing as impossible.

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