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Whitey Bulger arrest sheds perspective on Pakistan

Whitey James "Whitey" Bulger's arrest Wednesday night in Santa Monica shows that it is entirely possible for a fugitive to hide in plain sight just as Osama bin Laden did in Pakistan. Will this help change the view of many Americans who are convinced that Pakistan knowingly harbored Bin Laden?

That must be what Husain Haqqani, Pakistan's ambassador to the United States, is thinking right now. The day after news of Bin Laden's death was announced, he came to his country’s defense, arguing to The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg that Pakistan had helped the U.S. find Bin Laden. And to help make his point, he pointed to another man on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted List -- Boston crime boss Whitey Bulger:

"If Whitey Bulger can live undetected by American police for so long, why can’t Osama Bin Laden live undetected by Pakistani authorities?"

On May 17 the Boston Globe responded to Haqqani's question with an editorial that read like a preemptive apology should Bulger turn up in on the South Shore:

It would be wrong, of course, to suggest that all of Boston bears responsibility for enabling Bulger, just as it's too harsh to blame all elements of Pakistan’s complicated power structure for harboring bin Laden. Meanwhile, the FBI might do well to check out any walled compounds on the South Shore, just to be sure.

They're right, of course. Bet they're glad Whitey was captured on our shore instead of theirs, though.

ALSO:

Photos: The hunt for James "Whitey" Bulger

Video: Mobster was target of new FBI campaign

Explaining the core of our relationship with Pakistan [Chart]

-- Alexandra Le Tellier

Photo: Catherine Elizabeth Greig and James "Whitey" Bulger are shown in an image from an FBI video that asked for the public's assistance in capturing the pair.
 

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The Opinion L.A. blog is the work of Los Angeles Times Editorial Board membersNicholas Goldberg, Robert Greene, Carla Hall, Jon Healey, Sandra Hernandez, Karin Klein, Michael McGough, Jim Newton and Dan Turner. Columnists Patt Morrison and Doyle McManus also write for the blog, as do Letters editor Paul Thornton, copy chief Paul Whitefield and senior web producer Alexandra Le Tellier.



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