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The James Whitey Bulger Trial Doesnt Speak Well for the U.S.

We are fast becoming a nation with little confidence in law enforcement and constituted authority, of whom we should have an expectation of being aboveboard. Since June 2013, South Bostons infamous crime boss James Whitey Bulger has been on trial for the murder of 19 people, extortion, and money laundering. Bulger allegedly worked hand-inhand with the FBI during his reign of terror from the 1970s to 1995, snitching on his rivals in exchange for the agencys protection, even when he and his cohorts committed murder. He disappeared in 1995 after he was forewarned by his longtime FBI handler John Connolly that the FBI was about to arrest him. After 16 years on the run, the FBI finally arrested Bulger, along with his long-time girlfriend, Catherine Greig, in Santa Monica, Calif. on June 22, 2011. Connolly, who grew up in Southies Old Harbor Housing Project with Bulger, is now in a Miami maximum-security prison for his criminal complicity with Bulger. But Connolly did not act alone. Boston Magazines David Boeri says, In fact, if Connolly belongs in prison, so, too, do a number of other former FBI agents. For that matter, so do many others in law enforcement and the criminal justice system. Law enforcement routinely allows informants to break the law The FBI permitted informants to commit what they call otherwise illegal activity 5,600 times in 2011. But the FBI is not the only law enforcement entity that allows criminals to commit crimes, perhaps even murder, for the sake of investigating other crimes and criminal groups. Crimes authorized by the FBI make up a tiny fraction of the total number of offenses committed by informants for other federal law enforcement agencies. No doubt, State and local law enforcement agencies are complicit in crimes as well. Its kept well hidden, so we will never know the extent of the complicity. Even Annual Otherwise Illegal Activity Report obtained through the Freedom of Information Act indicates The FBI Still Wont Come Clean. The completely redacted 2011 FBI Report provides no insight.

The Boston Heralds Margery Eagan writes, Three months later [after the Boston Marathon bombing], we still dont know if the FBI could have prevented that horror. The FBI has twice refused to answer questions about the bombing before the House Homeland Security Committee, according to William Keating, D-Mass. He said, the FBI refused a third request to be questioned even in a closed-door session, no media present. If we cannot achieve things in a legal way, but most importantly in a moral way, then we should not be doing them at all. We live in a country where prosecuting attorneys frequently plea-bargain with criminals as an inducement for them to testify against others. For example, Stephen 'The Rifleman' Flemmi, one of Bulgers cohorts, avoided a federal death penalty for 10 murders in a plea-bargain agreement to testify against Bulger that got him a life sentence instead. But to what extent can we trust the testimony of someone essentially coerced into giving it. The United States allows the torture of prisoners to a certain degree, but if our laws do not allow for significant torture we extraordinary rendition the prisoner to another country where extraordinary torture can take place. Again, how can we be so confident of that information if we needed to torture someone, even to the point of imminent death, to get it? The United States deploys armed drones to assassinate terrorist illegally that we cannot arrest and bring to justice in a morally acceptable way. The FBI tells Sen. Rand Paul that they have used drones (UAVs) on U.S. soil 10 times. The FBI says, None of the UAVs used by the FBI are armed with either lethal or non-lethal weapons, and the FBI has no plans to use weapons with UAVs. But can you believe them? Now that the Bulger trial is wrapping up and a jury deliberates, Americans should contemplate what the trial exposed of the very ugly world of crime, the corrupt nature of law enforcement, and those who have executive responsibility for prosecutions. Moreover, Americans should consider the extent to which we can trust the President of the United States and Congress to act in a just and moral way. None of this speaks well for the United States. We are fast becoming a nation with little confidence in law enforcement and constituted authority, of whom we should have expectations of being aboveboard. For more Bulger trial information:

View and listen to Boston Globe columnist Kevin Cullen on the Federal Case against James Bulger, a CSpan discussion that provides a lot of in-depth information. Catch up with the latest Bulger trial news from Boston.com here: The arrest, trial of James 'Whitey' Bulger.