Boston Globe Columnist
For the past 23 years, Whitey Bulger was the FBI’s worst nightmare.
Now he’s their prisoner.
It was hard to find anyone in the Boston Police Department, the State Police, or the US Drug Enforcement Administration who truly believed the FBI wanted to find Bulger. He was the FBI’s prized, if highly overrated, snitch, and he had murdered many while the FBI protected him and compromised other investigations that other law enforcement agencies mounted against Bulger.
Bulger used to have the FBI in his pocket; now all he has in that pocket is the potential for revenge, should he choose to exact it. He has told friends — indeed he has even told corrupt FBI agents — that the FBI reneged on their deal to let him run his venal little empire as long as he fed them crumbs on the competition.
The obsession with the details of Bulger’s arrest is understandable. But the bigger picture is this: there has been a carefully constructed narrative, one of damage control for the FBI and Justice Department, which is now at risk. It was a narrative that held that Whitey Bulger was protected by a rogue FBI agent, John Connolly, and a rogue FBI supervisor, John Morris, both of whom had been dealt with: Connolly was given a life sentence and sent off to prison, and Morris was given immunity and sent off to disgrace.
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