Something fishy

Suspicious doings in the land of ice and snow.

By Charles P. Pierce
July 31, 2011

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Dear Iceland: OK, so it turned out that you weren’t The Future of International Economics the way we once were told you would be. OK, so it turned out that you were merely The Future of International Economic Pillaging. There’s still something to be said about being first in something. (Suggested new slogan for your tourism bureau – “Iceland: Where the Cash for the Crash Began.”) Personally, I hold no grudge. Which is why I feel so sympathetic toward Icelanders when people scoff at the story that it was one of you who helped run Whitey Bulger to ground out there in California. I will grant you that the last time anybody from Iceland ran anyone to ground, it involved guys with horns on their helmets who died centuries before Led Zeppelin could get a hit single out of them. I, for one, choose to believe the story: that a woman watching CNN in Iceland called the FBI and said, “Hey, FBI. That guy that you’ve been looking for over the past 16 years? Try an apartment complex in Santa Monica. No, seriously, I mean it. And have some herring. It’s good for you.” (OK, I made up the part about the herring, but it is good for you.) Is that story any less plausible than one in which the FBI office in a major American city lets a guy run amok for 20 years and then tips him when actual law enforcement is closing in? Now that’s a red herring right there.

Charles P. Pierce can be reached at

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