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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Maureen Dowd, "A Tender Gangster Romance": A "Strictly Criminal" Relationship

I had hoped that Maureen Dowd, now back from Paris, might want to express her views concerning the acquittal of George Zimmerman and the protests and violence that have followed in its wake. Does she share the views of the editorial board of The New York Times, which lavished praise upon Obama after the president claimed on Friday that "Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago"  (see: Regrettably, we will need to wait to see if Maureen will address the matter in a future column, or avoid it like the plague.

Meanwhile, in her latest Times op-ed entitled "A Tender Gangster Romance" (, Maureen Dowd revisits the Whitey Bulger trial in Boston. Dowd tells us of the murder of the girlfriend of Stevie Flemmi, one of Bulger's partners in the Winter Hill gang, after Flemmi inadvertently leaked the name of Bulger's FBI connection, John Connolly, to the girlfriend. Dowd writes concerning the symbiotic relationship with Connolly:

"In return for being that most loathed thing in Irish culture, an informant, and providing information about the Mafia, Bulger got protection and tips from Connolly. That allowed him to play Jimmy Cagney, dispatching underworld enemies. He also got the signal to go on the lam.

'It’s always good to have connections in law enforcement' to survive, Flemmi said, noting that they had about a half-dozen F.B.I. agents on the payroll."

In the way of background, Dowd also tells us of Flemmi's feelings - or lack thereof - for his sweetheart:

"'I loved her,' Stevie 'The Rifleman' Flemmi said of his onetime girlfriend, Debbie Davis, a sparkling blond Farrah Fawcett look-alike, 'but I was not in love with her.'"

Dowd also says of Bulger's dealings with Flemmi:

"Whitey and Stevie got close in 1974, drawn together, funnily enough, by their clean-living ways. 'He didn’t drink, he didn’t smoke, he worked out regularly,' said Flemmi, who described their relationship as 'strictly criminal.'"

Why am I not surprised that Flemmi "was not in love" with his girlfriend and regarded his relationship with Bulger as "strictly criminal"?

Those who regularly read this blog know that part of my past professional career involved the criminal and anti-terror domains (yes, there is a nexus between the two). Those persons who become drawn into organized crime and live to tell the tale will tell you about a world of self-interest, in which no true relationships are formed. It's narcissism gone wild. No one else matters.

It's almost a bit like . . . politics.

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