Friday, December 06, 2002

Time for Bulger to go. UMass president Bill Bulger took the Fifth this morning rather than answer questions from a congressional committee. I can't say I blame him: the committee, chaired by Vince Foster obsessive Dan Burton, had set a classic perjury trap for Bulger. If Bulger contradicted anything he'd said before a federal grand jury nearly two years ago, he could have been hit with perjury charges. He wasn't allowed to see a transcript of his grand-jury testimony, even though a copy had been leaked to the Globe. So his choice was to hope his memory was perfect, or to keep his mouth shut.

That said, it's now time for Bulger to resign. His failure to cooperate with an investigation of the corrupt deal that the FBI made with his homicidal brother, James "Whitey" Bulger, is understandable -- up to a point. But it's also completely inconsistent with his status as one of the state's leading public citizens, and with the need to learn the truth.

Besides, if Bulger leaves instead of making a pathetic attempt to hang on, he may manage to accomplish something that at one time would have been thought unimaginable: to be held in higher public regard than Cardinal Bernard Law.

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