Skip to comments.Reports On The Death Of The Mafia May Be Greatly Exaggerated
Posted on 05/08/2012 6:15:03 AM PDT by AtlasStalled
After every big mob bust some paper runs a lame story about the waning days of the Mafia.
Over the last year the feds have been picking off reputed Patriarca mobsters for their alleged roles in extorting strip clubs and other businesses in Providence, RI, and this time -- yes, really, this time for sure -- the final nail has been driven into the crime family's coffin as reported by Milton J. Valencia for The Boston Globe:
No more than 30 made, or sworn-in, members make up an organization that in its heyday was more than 100 strong, law enforcement officials say. Investigators, legal observers, and court records describe an organization that continues to erode, as made members and associates abandon the code of silence and cooperate with investigators. The younger crop is addicted to drugs, and the older, wiser members have either died or have gone to jail, officials said. "This is not your father's Mafia," said Massachusetts State Police Detective Lieutenant Stephen P. Johnson, who oversees organized crime investigations as head of the Special Service Section.
The predictions by some about the end of a particular mob family -- or even the Mafia generally -- are about as silly as the claims by others that there never was such a thing as "this thing of ours."
Of course a mob family can have its ups and downs depending upon a number of factors ranging from the strength of its leadership to pressure from law enforcement. However, Anthony Cardinale -- a criminal defense attorney who has represented former Patriarca bosses Francis "Cadillac Frank" and Gennaro Angiulo -- aptly notes that "as long as there are criminals who need protection, there will be organized crime": "'As long as there's drugs going on, and bookmaking, there will always be a mob,' he said. 'Even with all the risks involved, there will still be somebody policing the bad guys, and that's what the mob guys do.'"
Even the FBI on prior occassions has naively predicted the waning days of the Mafia. Of course, infamous director J. Edgar Hoover denied its very existence for decades.
Following the record bust in January 2011 of more than 120 suspected mobsters involving seven Northeast Mafia families the FBI promptly declared victory over the Mafia, and in the New York Field Office recklessly slashed the number of agents assigned to the crime families as then reported by Jerry Capeci for The Huffington Post:
Six weeks after the feds loudly proclaimed that they are still pursuing mobsters with a vengeance, the FBI has quietly cut the number of New York squads that investigate the notorious Five Families. There used to be five, one for each. That's been cut to just three. It's not just re-organizing either. The total number of mob-busting agents is also cut by some 25 per cent, Gang Land has learned.
Mob watchers and mob busters were shocked by the FBI's inexplicable move. After all, there's still 700 made guys and 7,000 mob associates in NYC, the Genovese crime family continues to operate unscathed, hundreds of unsolved gangland hits still haunt the streets, and billions in mob money parked in real estate and business fronts remains unrecovered. Mission accomplished with so much left on the table? Hardly.
Indeed, to the extent that the FBI has made some inroads with some families -- i.e., Bonanno, Colombo, Lucchese -- its own agents fear that the cut-and-run mentality now pervading management at the storied agency simply will allow the ever-resourceful, ever-evolving mobsters to regroup as reported by Josh Margolin for the New York Post: "Sources inside the FBI and other federal agencies told The Post they fear the shakeup will let the families regroup." After all, it's called organized crime for a reason, and numerous previous reports on the demise of the Mafia always have been greatly exaggerated in retrospect.
By "the end of the last century, prosecutors and FBI officials all too frequently proclaimed that even the mob's sacred stronghold in New York was crushed" as reported by Selwyn Raab for The New York Times in commenting on the record roundup last January of 127 suspected mobsters:
[I]n the early 2000s the Justice Department dropped Cosa Nostra investigations as a priority, reassigning hundreds of agents to antiterrorist units. In New York, the linchpin in the F.B.I.'s crusade against wise guys, the number of agents and Police Department investigators assigned to battling the five families in combined task forces declined to about 100 from a high point of 450. Last [January's] indictments demonstrated how effectively the borgatas had regrouped.
Gratuitous declarations about the death of the Mafia ignore its fundamental character which is to exist as an organic entity independent of individual members. Raab further writes:
Above all, though, the mob's ability to survive is a legacy from Charles (Lucky) Luciano. He was a brilliant criminal executive who created the framework, culture and ground rules for the American Mafia 80 years ago. Luciano realized that other ethnic gangs were loosely organized, usually involved in just one type of crime and easily obliterated when their leaders were imprisoned. Hence his cardinal principle: the organization the family was supreme and not reliant on a single individual or one racket. Whenever a boss or a capo was removed, a replacement would be waiting in the wings to keep the loot flowing. * * * There have always been, and always will be, ambitious, greedy wise guys who are willing to risk long prison sentences for the power and riches glittering before them.
For the FBI to have taken their eye off the Mafia over the last decade was nothing short of reckless which cost billions of dollars to the legitimate economy and incalculable heartache to its victims. Indeed, "organized crime is like a chronic disease," and "if it is not managed and controlled, it will kill us" as reported by Edwin Stier for the New York Post: "We must be honest with ourselves that it will always be there, and we must be willing to devote the resources necessary to keep it in check."
The end of the Mafia? Someday, perhaps. Like when world peace is declared and the lion lays down with the lamb. Until then, wake up and smell the coffee.
I’ve long thought that eventually we’d cut a deal with the Mafia to start looking the other way more often if they’d help us deal with Islamists in quiet, off-the-books operations.
Perhaps it is happening.
There’s been “success” in Chicago!
The Mafia there, was long ago replaced by the Chicago Mob Machine, now formally headed by White House aid, Rahm Emanuel.
Same corruption, just new management....
This isn’t your father’s Mafia, they don’t have the honor that the old wise guys had....at least they were somewhat patriotic.
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