Friday, May 1, 2015

FBI Flips on Fitzpatrick

Now that Whitey is in jail:

"Ex-FBI agent accused of lying for Bulger; Fitzpatrick said he was whistle-blower" by Shelley Murphy Globe Staff  April 30, 2015

Former FBI agent Robert Fitzpatrick has long cast himself as a whistle-blower who urged superiors to drop James “Whitey” Bulger as an informant in the 1980s, only to be ignored as corrupt agents protected the murderous gangster.

It’s a portrayal he offered while testifying for the families of Bulger’s victims in wrongful death suits against the government, during court hearings delving into FBI corruption, in a book about his life, and as a defense witness at Bulger’s 2013 racketeering trial.

In a stunning development Thursday in the never-ending Bulger saga, the 75-year-old Fitzpatrick was recast as a villain as prosecutors unsealed a 12-count indictment accusing him of perjury and obstruction of justice while misleading jurors in an effort to bolster Bulger’s defense.

The indictment alleges that since 1998, Fitzpatrick, who was second in command of the FBI’s Boston office in the 1980s, “falsely held himself out as a whistle-blower who tried to end the FBI’s relationship with Bulger.” He’s accused of lying in an effort to aid Bulger’s defense, and misstating his accomplishments as an agent to enhance his credibility.

This government accusing anyone of lying is really the height off hypocrisy.

The indictment also alleges Fitzpatrick lied when he said he had found the rifle used to kill the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on the day he was assassinated in 1968, and when he said he had arrested then-New England Mafia underboss Gennaro “Jerry” Angiulo in 1983.

See: A Moment to Remember Martin Luther King Jr.

Fitzpatrick, of Charlestown, R.I., was led into federal court in Boston in shackles Thursday. He pleaded not guilty to the charges, was released on a $50,000 unsecured bond, and declined to comment as he left the courthouse with his wife.

His attorney, Robert Goldstein, said, “Mr. Fitzpatrick adamantly maintains his innocence, and looks forward to challenging the government’s allegations in a courtroom as soon as possible.”

The indictment shocked some relatives of Bulger’s victims who had sat through the eight-week trial that culminated with his conviction for participating in 11 murders while running a sprawling criminal enterprise from the 1970s to the 1990s. Bulger is serving two consecutive life sentences at a federal penitentiary in Florida.

“I can’t believe it,” said Patricia Donahue, whose husband was killed by Bulger in 1982. “Everybody thought he was the one doing the right thing, and he ends up being indicted.”

He was. It's the FBI that is the scum here.

Donahue said she believes Fitzpatrick should be held accountable if he lied, but questioned the timing of the charges now, and wondered why other FBI agents have eluded charges despite allegations that they took payoffs from Bulger, leaked information that got people killed, and provided explosives to the gangster.

“It seems to me they only pick certain agents to go after,” she said. 

I think she just answered her own question.

Fitzpatrick is the third former FBI agent to face charges related to Bulger. John J. Connolly Jr. was convicted of federal racketeering in Boston, and of murder in Florida. H. Paul Rico was indicted for allegedly assisting Bulger in the 1981 murder of Tulsa businessman Roger Wheeler, but died before the case went to trial.

Connolly’s FBI supervisor, John Morris, who pocketed bribes from Bulger and leaked information to him, was granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for his cooperation.

Related: John Connolly’s murder conviction voided

Assistant US Attorney Fred Wyshak, part of the team that prosecuted Bulger, said Thursday, “Much of the misconduct that has occurred as a result of the FBI’s relationship with James Bulger was not prosecutable due to the . . . statutes of limitations.”

As for Fitzpatrick’s indictment, Wyshak said the allegations against him “occurred in 2013 in federal court, and were clearly prosecutable within the statute of limitations.”

Bulger’s lawyer, Hank Brennan, who is appealing his client’s conviction, called Fitzpatrick’s indictment shameful, and said he believes the former agent is being targeted for having the audacity to challenge the version of facts presented by the government.

That was my first impression of it, yeah. This is a vindictive government.

“It doesn’t matter if a witness lies, steals, or murders, if you are a soldier of the federal government they will wrap their arms around you and embrace you,” he said. “If you defy them, they will crush you.”

Brennan said he believes Fitzpatrick was truthful, and his indictment will send a chilling message to anyone who testifies against the government.

That's the message they wanted to get out. Good thing this is the greatest government in the world, a good government looking out for you and your rights and all, getting at the truth, incorruptible, entirely pure.

He noted former governor William Weld testified in 1998 that while he was the US attorney in Boston, Fitzpatrick told him he feared for the safety of Brian Halloran, who was cooperating against Bulger and was denied placement in the government’s witness protection program. Later, Halloran and Michael Donahue, who was giving him a ride home, were gunned down by Bulger.

Fitzpatrick was called to the witness stand by Bulger’s defense lawyers to describe corruption in the FBI, and to try to undermine evidence that Bulger had been an FBI informant.

The defense contended that Bulger was never an informant, and that Connolly fabricated his informant file to cover up their corrupt relationship.

Fitzpatrick said he was sent to meet Bulger in 1981 to assess whether he should remain an informant, and Bulger told him he was not an informant, that he paid others for information.

The indictment alleges that Fitzpatrick’s account of the conversation was a lie, and that he lied about advocating to drop Bulger as an informant.

He’s also accused of lying in testifying that he had been assigned to the FBI’s Boston office in 1980 to stop leaks that compromised investigations; the indictment states it was a routine transfer, with no special role.

Assistant US Attorney Zachary Hafer said in court that the six perjury counts carry a five-year maximum sentence; the six obstruction counts have a maximum term of 10 years.

Fitzpatrick, who coauthored a book, “Betrayal, Whitey Bulger and the FBI Agent Who Fought to Bring Him Down,” faced withering cross-examination during Bulger’s 2013 trial.

Former Massachusetts State Police colonel Thomas Foley, who had spearheaded the Bulger investigation in the 1990s, said Fitzpatrick failed to do anything to stop Bulger when he had the chance, and his testimony “was making a mockery of the whole process.”

You guys have mocked yourselves with all the frame-ups and show trials. That doesn't excuse gangsters; however, organized crime is the government and the government is organized crime legalized.


Turns out the guy is delusional and crazy, according to the narrative:

"Delusional man turned into whipping boy for FBI’s sins" by Kevin Cullen Globe Staff  April 30, 2015

A couple of years ago, when retired FBI agent Bob Fitzpatrick testified for the defense during Whitey Bulger’s trial, those of us who had known Fitz over the years sat in the courtroom and cringed.

It wasn’t that Fitzpatrick got up there and tried to bolster Bulger’s preposterous claim that he wasn’t an informant. It wasn’t even that he portrayed himself as a noble figure in a Boston office of the FBI that at the time was fairly ignoble.

It was his fantastic, self-aggrandizing stories. About pinching Jerry Angiulo, who ran the Mafia in Boston. About finding in a Memphis stairwell the gun that was used by James Earl Ray to kill Martin Luther King Jr.

My paper is full of them every morning.

With each story, Bob Fitzpatrick seemed more and more unhinged, like he was occupying a parallel universe.

That's the way I feel when I go from the $hit-shoveling Globe to the blogs. It's a big reason why I no longer want to do this.

When Brian Kelly, the prosecutor, got up to cross-examine Fitzpatrick, his first question was fairly direct: “It’s fair to say that you’re a man who likes to make up stories?”

I read them every day in the morning, yeah.

On Thursday, the Justice Department announced that what Bob Fitzpatrick engaged in was more than fantasy. It was perjury and obstruction of justice.

The fall of Bob Fitzpatrick is just the latest example of Whitey Bulger poisoning everything he touches. The testimony Fitzpatrick provided for Bulger’s defense has been used, word for word, against him. It forms the 12-count indictment against him.

The indictment suggests that the Justice Department resented that Fitzpatrick held himself up as a whistleblower who tried to save the FBI from Whitey Bulger. It cites a 2001 episode on “60 Minutes” and the book he wrote, “Betrayal: Whitey Bulger and the FBI Agent Who Fought To Bring Him Down.”

Obama's Justice Department has prosecuted more of those than all the previous administrations combined. So much for the transparent president.

The book was, like its author, prone to great exaggeration. It contained made-up conversations between Whitey Bulger and some of the people he murdered.

Same as the newspaper.

The government says Fitzpatrick lied when he testified that he had been transferred to Boston as the FBI’s assistant special agent in charge to clean up the office. In fact, the indictment says, it was a routine assignment and he received no special instructions.

The government says Fitzpatrick lied when he claimed that at his initial meeting with Bulger, Bulger denied being an informant.

The government says Fitzpatrick lied when he claimed he tried to close Bulger out as an informant.

The government says Fitzpatrick lied when he claimed he was demoted in retaliation by a superior, when in reality he was demoted for falsifying reports about a shooting.

The government says Fitzpatrick lied when he claimed credit for arresting Jerry Angiulo, and for finding the rifle used to kill Martin Luther King Jr.

To be honest, the indictment surprised me. I remember that Bulger’s prosecutors — Kelly, Fred Wyshak, and Zach Hafer — seemed more astonished than angry when Fitzpatrick kept telling whoppers. It made the prosecution case look stronger. It made the defense look patently ridiculous.

Kelly had a field day cross-examining him. It got so bad, especially the second day of Kelly’s withering cross-examination, that some of us in the media gallery actually felt sorry for Fitz. It was like watching a bar fight when one guy is on the ground and the other guy is kicking him.

They are not carrying it.

It went from comedy to farce. When Fitzpatrick had trouble remembering things, Kelly asked him if he had memory problems.

“Not that I recall,” Bob Fitz replied.

All that was missing was the laugh track.

But it turns out the government didn’t just laugh this off. The resentment against Fitzpatrick smoldered like a cigarette dropped down the back cushion of a sofa.

He must have hit a nerve then.

What makes the indictment of Bob Fitzpatrick seem so vindictive, so gratuitous, is that there were other FBI agents who did far worse in the service of Whitey Bulger and never faced charges. Some were accused of taking money from him. One allegedly gave him a bunch of C-4 that Whitey promptly shipped off to the IRA. A bunch of them knew he was killing people while he was an FBI informant.

And then there was that agent who told me in 1988 that I’d be murdered if the Globe Spotlight Team exposed Whitey Bulger as an FBI informant. That charming guy was never charged with anything and is still cashing his big fat FBI pension.

Little resentment there?

Turns out, Bob Fitzpatrick is being charged, in part, because the others weren’t. He is paying for the indulgence afforded other FBI agents who should have been charged with misconduct, minor and major, for their dealings with Whitey Bulger.

Fred Wyshak, the federal prosecutor who chased Whitey the way Captain Ahab chased the big white whale, stood outside the courtroom where Fitzpatrick was arraigned Thursday and defended the charges by pointing out all the other agents who skated because the statute of limitations had expired.

Wyshak said this case is prosecutable.

The FBI, by the way, had nothing to do with this.

Really? Nothing at all?

This was right from the Justice Department’s Inspector General’s office. There are many FBI agents, former and current, who think Bob Fitzpatrick is a scapegoat, that his prosecution is vindictive, that he is being singled out needlessly, that this is all so heavy-handed.

But a federal prosecutor I know shrugged when I told him all this.

“We couldn’t let this go,” he said. “This guy was an ASAC (assistant special agent in charge). He was ASAC during eight of the [Bulger] murders.”

Put bluntly, while Fitzpatrick claimed he was doing all he could to close Bulger out as an informant, Whitey was killing people left and right.

On Thursday afternoon, Bob Fitzpatrick, 75 years old and his hair dyed a reddish brown, walked into a courtroom with his hands cuffed behind his back. He was the last FBI agent I ever expected to see charged with trying to help Whitey Bulger.

In the upcoming Hollywood film about Whitey, “Black Mass,” Adam Scott plays Bob Fitzpatrick. Apparently, he’s something of a hero in the film. But that’s just the movies.

Did you see the reviews?

Two years ago, after that devastating cross examination mercifully ended and Bob Fitz left the stand, I saw him briefly outside the courthouse. He actually thought he had a much better day on the stand than the first day.

He was utterly delusional. Apparently, that’s a crime now.

Which begs this question: If you tell a lie and really believe it, is that still perjury?

WMD, Gulf of Tonkin, incubators on floor.