Vermeer's The Concert

Vermeer's The Concert

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Stolen Art Watch, Whitey Bulger, "My Friend Robert Mueller", Diaries Real Prize For Dept of Justice



Whitey Bulger Working On Manuscript?

http://boston.cbslocal.com/2011/06/24/whitey-bulger-working-on-manuscript/

BOSTON (CBS) – Was Whitey Bulger writing about his life on the run during his 16 years in California?

It’s very possible, according to a radio reporter in Los Angeles.

Investigators seized guns, ammunition and $800,000 in cash from Bulger’s apartment in Santa Monica when he and his girlfriend Catherine Greig were arrested Wednesday.

Pete Demetriou, a reporter for KNX 1070 NewsRadio told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 Friday that notes, documents and diaries were also removed from the apartment.

“There was a script, as one person told me, and also a ‘big manuscript’ as he called it that, when they were handling it around and moving it around, Mister Bulger appeared very nervous that they had custody of that,” Demetriou said.

“Who knows what that could provide in the way of information or intelligence about his past life or what he may have done in Boston or what he was doing when he was on the run.”

'Whitey' arrest recalls Gloucester IRA gun run

The arrest of James "Whitey" Bulger earlier this week may resonate most deeply in South Boston, but the reverberations can be felt here in Gloucester.

In 1984, on a September night, the swordfish boat Valhalla left Gloucester Harbor.

Her captain, Robert Anderson of Gloucester, had filled her tank with 8,000 gallons of fuel at Gloucester Marine Railways, iced up with 30 tons, and purchased 7,000 pounds of bait mackerel and squid from Quality Seafoods.

Anyone who saw her leaving port probably thought she was headed out to fish.

About two weeks later, the Valhalla stopped in Boston before coming home to Gloucester. The ship was seized there by US Customs officials.

Authorities said Valhalla's crew has offloaded 7 1/2 tons of automatic rifles, submachines guns and hand grenades worth $1 million destined for the Irish Republican Army to another ship off the Irish coast during its trip. While the second ship and weapons were seized and its crew arrested by Irish authorities, the Valhalla was in international waters and headed back out to sea, albeit under surveillence.

Irish officials said at the time that it was the largest seizure of IRA-bound weapons to date.

In Boston, the Valhalla was searched, but no arms except for an empty 9-mm shell casing were found. Anderson and John McIntyre, the Valhalla's navigator, were questioned for hours, but let go.

In April 1986, the U.S. government would accuse Andersen, McIntyre, reputed Irish mob boss Joseph Murray Jr. of Charlestown and Patrick Nee of South Boston of gun-running. Neither Murray nor Nee had been on the vessel, but had flown to Ireland to await the shipment, and then flown back to Boston when they heard of the seizure.

Also indicted was New Yorker John Crawley, an ex-Marine who had been arrested by Irish authorities in September 1984 and convicted of smuggling.

Andersen, Murray and McIntyre were also accused of smuggling 30 tons of marijuana to the United States on the return trip in a British freighter.

Police had Murray, a known smuggler, in custody; Anderson would return from a fishing trip a few days later and turn himself in.

However, Nee, a associate of Bulger's, and McIntyre had fallen off the map.

McIntyre's mother last saw her boat-building son in Quincy on Nov. 29, 1984, when the 32-year-old came to visit his ailing dad for tea. That night his cat was killed and thrown at the family home's front door; he told his mom he was being followed.

Closure of the Valhalla case would come in May 1987.

Andersen, saying he wanted to spare his family the publicity and expense of a long trial, pleaded guilty to exporting the arms, for which Murray and Nee had paid him $10,000, and to importing 36 tons of marijuana into Boston Harbor aboard the freighter Ramsland.

Nee, one of the masterminds of the gun-smuggling operation, had been arrested. He and Murray pleaded guilty to four counts of violating federal firearms and export laws.

Murray, the other mastermind, also pleaded guilty to gun-smuggling and tax evasion, but the government dismissed the most serious charge: racketeering.

The men had faced 22 years in prison and $156,000 in fines. The recommended sentences were 10 years for Murray, seven for Anderson, and six for Nee. The sentences would later be reduced to four years for Nee and Andersen.

Nee would serve 18 months in federal prison. When he was released in 1989, he severed ties with Bulger, saying he was disgusted by McIntyre's murder.

After Nee received early parole, he tried to rob an armored car to fund the IRA and went back to jail for nine more years. He then wrote a book about his life, "A Criminal and an Irishman: The Inside Story of the Boston Mob-IRA Connection," with then Andover school teacher Richard Farrell. Farrell would travel to Ireland with Nee, and to Gloucester, where he tracked down Andersen, the Valhalla's captain.

Based on that talk, "A Criminal and an Irishman" provided the first published account of the Valhalla's return voyage from Ireland to Boston, Farrell said.

"He told me day by day what happened," Farrell added of Andersen.

While Bulger was clearly tied to the Valhalla gun caper, Nee has said the mobster didn't like how passionate Nee was in helping the IRA because the risk in trading guns was great while the profit was low.

"Whitey did have something to do with the Valhalla, but he tried to derail it," Nee told the Boston Globe.

A later Globe article was more specific. It theorized that Bulger had compromised the Valhalla operation, after taking a hefty profit from it, by tipping off the CIA.

However, Bulger clearly felt invested in the Gloucester operation. He first heard of the foiled deal on Boston's Channel 7 News. "That's our shipment. That's ours!," a Drug Enforcement Agency bug installed in his home recorded him saying.

Investigators say then Boston FBI agent John Connolly Jr. leaked McIntyre's identity to Bulger. The FBI agent learned it from either Customs agents the fisherman spoke to the day the Valhalla was seized in Boston or from Quincy cops after McIntyre spilled the beans while drunk during an arrest.

Bulger was so angered by the seizure and the betrayal that he ordered Nee to bring the Quincy man to a South Boston house in November 1984.

Nee has admitted bringing McIntyre to the home, saying Bulger, Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi and Kevin Weeks were waiting to "just talk" to the fisherman. Nee said he returned to house to find the three burying the body. McIntyre had been tortured, and Weeks and Flemmi would both later say Bulger shot the man in the head.

Soon after, Connolly would tell Bulger he would be indicted on racketeering charges.

Bulger fled, and his name climbed the FBI's most wanted list.

Of the 19 counts of murder Bulger now faces, a judge found the FBI liable for three. One of those killings was that of McIntyre.

Connolly would be convicted for tipping Bulger off about the indictment, while the role of current FBI Director Robert Mueller as a DA in Boston at the time was never investigated.

A judge awarded McIntyre's family $3.1 million, found that Connolly was the "proximate cause" of McIntyre's death and said the federal government should be held responsible.

Connolly is serving 40 years in prison. FBI Director Robert Mueller is about to retire in September 2011 with full pension and benefits.

FBI Director Robert Mueller traveled to Boston on Thursday to meet and congratulate staff involved in Bulger's capture. Mueller was an assistant U.S. attorney in Boston in the 1980s, during the height of Bulger's reign.

Agents’ Opinions Range from Good to Bad to Mixed on FBI Dir. Robert Mueller Getting 2-Year Extension

WASHINGTON — Nearly everyone in the FBI can agree they were caught off guard by President Obama’s announcement Thursday that he would seek to have FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III stay on for two more years beyond his 10-year term.

What they all don’t agree on is whether it’s a good thing, with opinions ranging from good to bad to mixed. Most agents spoke to ticklethewire.com on the condition that they not be named.

“”It is wonderful,” said one agent. “It is great for our country.”

But some agents thought it was time for Mueller, 66, to go, and were critical of his focus on certain crimes and intelligence issues at the expense of others. They also have long advocated that a former agent — Mueller is a former federal prosecutor — would better understand their mindset and mission.

“I think it was time for a change,” said one agent, who was hoping the new director would be ex-FBI official Mike Mason, the choice of the FBI Agents Association.

Conversely, he said some of the names that had surfaced as potential replacements concerned him.

“It could have been worse,” he said of Mueller staying.

Another agent expressed mixed views as well.

“I think there are pluses and minuses,” said the agent. “I like Mueller. I don’t agree with everything he does. He’s got the toughest job around. And he’s done a good job.”

The agent said it’s good to have continuity at this time.

“”We just killed bin laden,” the agent said. “Threat levels are up. We’re in times we’ve never seen before. We’ve got wars on two fronts.”

The downside, he said, is that the legislation mandating term limits for the FBI director are “designed to bring in new blood. He also said the term limit was put in place to prevent politics from playing a role in the job, and to keep someone from creating a legacy like J. Edgar Hoover.

“The law was set for a reason. Are we defeating its purpose?” he asked.

Andrew G. Arena, special agent in charge of the Detroit FBI, said: “I think for the sake of the agency, it’s a good thing. It will provide continuity. We’ll just carry on as we have been.”

With a new person, he noted:”You don’t know if someone is going to come in and change the direction” of the agency. “There was the fear of the unknown.”

Konrad Motyka, president of the FBI Agents Association, which had backed former FBI official Mike Mason as the next director, came out with a statement saying:

“I congratulate Director Robert Mueller on President Obama’s request to Congress to extend Director Mueller’s term for an additional two years.

“President Obama’s request to Congress reflects the critical role that the Director has played in transitioning the Bureau to a post-9/11 world that requires both investigative and intelligence gathering skills. We look forward to working with Director Mueller to continue to enhance the effectiveness of the FBI in the fight against terrorism and emerging threats without compromising the Bureau’s established expertise at both criminal and counterintelligence investigations.”

Mike Mason, who had worked under Mueller, said Thursday: ” I couldn’t be happier. I’m glad. He’s got the momentum going on a lot of initiatives and this keeps the bureau marching in the right direction. ”

Mueller’s 10-year-term expires in September. Congress passed a law putting a 10-year term limit. Congress will now have to pass some type of legislation that would allow Mueller to remain for two more years.

Mueller has generally been warmly received on Capitol Hill, and is unlikely to find much opposition from Congress.

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