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Archive for May 29th, 2014

Court Overturns Murder Conviction of Former FBI Agent John Connolly Jr. Linked to Mobster Whitey Bulger

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Florida state court panel on Wednesday ruled that former FBI Agent John J. Connolly Jr. was wrongfully convicted of participating in a plot to kill a Florida businessman in 1982 at the urging of Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the three-judge appellate panel tossed out the murder conviction, citing a legal technicality.

The government is expected to appeal the decision.

Connolly is serving a 40-year sentence that began in 2011.

Former FBI agents expressed relief.

“We won,” said former agent Richard Baker of Boston, who has led the coalition of ex-FBI agents. “I’m very delighted he’s going to finally get to see his kids on every holiday there is. I just have to pray now that somebody doesn’t come out of the woodwork and put a wrench in it…. He’s not out of jail yet.”

FBI Spied on Nelson Mandela During His First Visit to U.S. in June 1990

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When Nelson Mandela visited the U.S. for the first time in June 1990, he was under the watch of the FBI.

Al Jazeera America reports that the FBI used a confidential source to spy on Mandela, who had been recently released after spending 27 years in prison.

The newly released documents are heavily redacted and give little detail about the intelligence.

What’s certain is that the source provided information about Mandela’s travel itinerary, according to a memo from the Atlanta field office to then-FBI Director William Sessions.

“What’s missing from these documents is often as illuminative as what’s disclosed,” said Ryan Shapiro, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology doctoral candidate who studies the policing of dissent. “Not only did the FBI heavily redact and withhold documents, but there’s virtually no discussion of U.S. intelligence community involvement prior to Mandela’s 1990 release from prison.”

Columnist: Another Kafkaesque Moment in Saga of FBI’s Embrace of Whitey Bulger

By Kevin Cullen
Boston Globe

Pat Donahue was on the phone, incredulous not for the first time in this sordid, relentless mess.

“So what you’re telling me,” she said, “is that John Connolly is getting off on a technicality, that he is probably going to get out of prison because of the statute of limitations?”

Um, yes.

Thanks to a 2-to-1 decision by the Third District Court of Appeal for the state of Florida, John Connolly’s second-degree murder conviction was thrown out, not because he was innocent, but because he didn’t get caught soon enough.

Just another Kafkaesque moment in the never-ending scandal that was the Faustian embrace of Whitey Bulger by the FBI.

One can forgive Donahue’s incredulity, her being utterly perplexed, frustrated, and sick to her stomach. Because it was on those same statute of limitations grounds, on an identical 2-to-1 vote by a federal appeals court in Boston, that Pat Donahue and her three sons were told to go pound sand when they tried to hold the FBI and the Justice Department accountable.

One Border Agent Killed, Another Injured in On-Duty Crash in Arizona

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Two Border Patrol agents were on duty when their vehicle rolled over in Arizona, killing one of them and injuring another.

The Arizona Daily Star reports that tread separation contributed to the accident at 7:40 a.m. Wednesday on Interstate 10 about eight miles east of Benson.

The agents were rushed to the University of Arizona Medical Center.

One of the agents, who worked for Border Patrol for five years, died en route.

Details were still unclear Thursday morning.

FBI Agent: LA County Jail Deputies Forced Inmates to Fight While Being Filmed

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The federal investigation of the Los Angeles County jails involved “dozens, if not hundreds” of allegations of violence at the hands of deputies, an FBI agent testified Wednesday. The Los Angeles Times reports that inmates claimed they were assaulted by guards and were forced to fight, sometimes while being filmed.

FBI Special Agent David Dahle acknowledged the claims would be difficult to corroborate since the witnesses are inmates.

“When your main victims are inmates and potentially the defendants are law enforcement, it’s difficult to prove those cases when your victims are seen by many as inherently untrustworthy,” he said.

The trial includes six sheriff’s deputies accused of obstruction of justice and conspiracy charges.

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