James “Whitey” Bulger, the notorious Boston mob boss who evaded the FBI for 16 years, was finally arrested late yesterday evening in Santa Monica, CA.
Last month, the Pakistani Ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani compared Bulger, who was the inspiration for the Jack Nicholson character in The Departed, to the recently assassinated Bin Laden. Pressed to explain how Pakistani intelligence could not have realized the world’s most notorious terrorist was hiding in their country, Haqqani sked, “if Whitey Bulger can live undetected by American police for so long, why can’t Osama Bin Laden live undetected by Pakistani authorities?”
It was a bad move for a diplomat trying to defend an intelligence agency’s reputation: Bulger was once a protected FBI informant before the agency realized they had to arrest him for his reported involvement in, among other things, 19 murders. Whitey became a member of the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted List” in 1999, two months after Bin Laden.
His arrest seems to confirm a line Obama quoted during last night’s speech on Afghanistan: “You will be held accountable, no matter how long it takes.” [Los Angeles Times]
Copyright 2011 The National Memo