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The Boston Globe

Opinion

JEFF JACOBY

Federal overreach — then and now

There is no connection, of course, between the prosecution of Whitey Bulger and the recent spate of scandals and revelations roiling the Obama administration. Or is there?

Law enforcement and criminal justice are essential functions of government. No civilized society could survive for long if it lacked tools to combat lawlessness or make dangerous villains answer for their crimes. And Bulger was certainly dangerous — “one of the most vicious, violent criminals ever to walk the streets of Boston,” as Assistant US Attorney Fred Wyshak called him in summing up for the prosecution last week.

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