Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 22, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta
Crime overlords still in business Colombo shooting has a message Wednesday, September 22, 1971 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD 43 Computer satellite poses problem NEW YORK (NEA) The shols fired at New York's Co- lumbus Circle this summer may yet be heard around the world. The melodramatic gundown of reputed mob boss Jue Col- ombo belore more than onlookers has escalated the en- tire question of org a n i z e d crime from something only the police worry about to a prob- lem rooted deeply in the lives of otherwise law abiding Am- ericans. What's more, the assassina- tion attempt seems to be back- firing against the gangland in- terests that paid for it While police attribute the hir- ing of the gunman to rather vague "rival suspi- cion is settling specifically on such leaders as dignified, el- derly Carlo Gambino, popularly supposed to have served as the model for the title character in "The Godfather." Considered a capo don of the old school, passionately de- voted to privacy and silence, Gambino is supposed to be the opposite of voluble, limelight- loving Colombo, who single- handedly promoted to nation- wide power the Italian Amer- ican Civil Rights League whose rally he was to address when bullets chopped him down. Most authorities agree that Uie timing of the shooting was staged in the highest operatic tradition under the shadow of Christopher Columbus' slatue to serve as a clear warning that in our society homage must still be paid to organized crime and its overlords. It was Colombo's successful bid for power through publi- city, obscj-vers t.hoerize. that finally undid him. The honest eagerness of the Halo Ameri- can community, largely Jaw- abiding and pairiolic, to sup- port the league's drive for rec- ognition is supposed to have set the stage for Colombo's public punishment. Those who are intimately fa- miliar with tliis community point out that the league's pri- mary goal was to declare its independence from the stero- typed image of Italo Ameri- can neighborhoods as mob en- claves in which everyone was in thrall to racket bosses. In promoting this, Colombo's private motives may have been cynically self seeking, author- ities agree, but most league members and supporters took the whole tiling in good faith and believed in this bid for freedom from the past. Thus the public attempt at an execution: To deliver a mes- sage that the overlords of crime are still to be obeyed. This message was read loud and clear. The league's re- cruiting drive has been crip- pled and vast numbers of its more than mem hers have been driven into total in- activity. At the same time that a dis- ciplinary measure was taken, a strong note of racial and ethnic tumult was sounded by the assassination attempt, with the result that the nation 'V be in for another of those g_ iand upheavals such as mass slayings of more -iG old-style leaders in the -arly 1930s. In those days, when the Ma- fia controlled organized crime, a severe disciplinary code lim- ited mobsters to their Si- cilian centered families. To affiliate with mobs of other ethnic origins, young Mafiosi like Lucky Luciano took the radical step ol eliminating their elders. Today, crime experts believe the predominanly white lead- ers of organized crime relate to black and Puerto Rican criminals as boss to worker, a relationship the latter seeks to overthrow. Especially in drugs and "numbers" gambling, there are strong bids for financial independence from white over- lords. Police have poined out that such younger reputed mob fi- gures as Joey Gailo have been lobbying within he mob's council for equal partnership with nonwhite criminals. The vigorous ethnocentric thrust of Colombo's Italian American League was clearly a stum- bling block to his new busi- ness alignment. SHOT DOWN Joseph Colombo, shot down at Columbus Circle, a setting which insiders think was more than a coincidence, was too successful for his own health in attracling attention to his Italian-American teague. And business is what it's all about. It's estimated that the Ille- gal operations of organized crime mainly gambling, drugs, loan sharking and the like make it perhaps the fourth largest business conglo- merate in the land. But this ranking, like so much of what is "known" about the mob, is an illusion. LOWER PROFITS Legitimate businesses with high operational costs may generate greater revenue than the dime syndicate, but lower profits. The business overhead of organized crime is measly by comparison, a few millions doled out to corrupt political and law enforcement figures. Thus, if measured by profits, the nationwide web of the mob ranks far and away as the lar- gest business in the country. Such success, observers agree could never be achieved unless the goods and services of organized crime filled the needs of a broad segment of the public. Therefore, it's not improb- able that the list of mob cus- tomers includes your next-door r.eighbor or the man who works acrsos from you. It includes .he blue collar worker who jets the factory football pool and the top executive who jets ;o the Bahamas or Las Vegas for his gambling. The list ranges from the mer- chant who retails hi-jacked joods to his customers who 3uy at suspiciously low prices. f t encompasses poor people ivhn seek a city payroll job and rich folk who want a speed- Jig violation removed from their driver's licease, laborers who pay dues to mob union lo- cals and employers who pay off the mob to fin labor con- tracts. Organized crime reaches deep into our society to touch even government employees like postal clerks who are re- sorted to remove credit cards rom the mail and sell them !or each to the mob. The taint of criminal control ap- parently chokes most nf the na- jion's airports, where freight storage, handling and transport are managed through union lo- cals and truckers who owe al- legiance to the mob. FAIl AFIELD The list of legitimate busi- nesses controlled in some part, small or large, by organized crime ranges as far afield as the garment industry, music and entertainment, restaurants and night spots, food process- ing and retailing, coin oper- ated vending machines, big- city real estate, shorthaul and over the road motor freight commercial, construction, fi- nancing of various kinds, hotel and resort management, bank- ing, private housing, road building and waste disposal. Obviously, with so many le- gal, quasi legal and illicit operations under its control, or- ganized crime is one of the lar- gest employers in the United States. Experts estimate that be- tween 7 and 10 per cent of the adult labor force works for the mob, often without knowing it. And, while it's impossible to know how many Americans consume the goods and ser- vices of these enterprises, a conservative guess would be 15 per cent of the population. Wilh a significant number ol people working for or buying from the mob, and with the major contributions of money and votes organized crime makes to political candidates, its over all influence in our ives is perhaps even greater than anyone realizes. All this was lifted into the cruel light of day by the calcu- lated public execution of ,Ioe Colombo, breaking the tradi- tional veil of silence for a grandstand power play, signal- ling major power shifts to come. Almost at once, these shifts will be mirrored in Europe, the near East and the far East. For it is a fact of mod- ern life that what was once a Sicilian conspiracy imported into the United States is now a multi ethnic, multi-racial business, conglomerate of glo- bal reach conrolled mainly from this country. By BOB BOUGLAS OTTAWA (CP) The leading common carriers are still unde- cided whether to use Canada's communications satellite t o carry computer messages. One problem troubling the Trans-Canada Telephone Sys- tem and CN-CP Telecommuni- cations is the delay involved in transmitting computer mes- sages from earth to Uie-satellite and back. Delays mean money to data users and may make satellites less attractive than conven- tional earth-bound means. Trans Canada, which links eighl provincial or regional tele- phone companies from coa.st-to- coast, also is investing in a na- tionwide digital data network using existing micro-wave and coaxial cable facilities. A spokesman for CN-CP says existing facilities can he ex- panded to serve computer com- munications needs for 10 years or longer. DISPUTES CLAIMS He disputed claims that two- way communication by satellite would be cheaper than by land- line. CN-CP and Trans-Canada now are negotiating a contract with Telesat Canada for two chan- nels on Anik, the first Canadian communications satellite which is to be blasted into orbit in late 1972. A Trans-Canada spokesman said (he transmission delay be- tween Toronto and Vancouver is about one-twentieth of a second on facilities. But the delay by satellite would be about one-sixth of second because the transmis- sion distance is miles compared with miles by micro-wave. The difference, he Bald, amounls to hundreds of dollars in waiting time and is Intoler- able for most data users. It was possible that if land fa- cilities were heavily loaded computer messages could be sent by satellite. Data could also be transmitted one way by satellite with answers returned by landline. USEFUL SOMETIMES The CN-CP source said satel- lites could he useful for carry- ing computer messages of about 10 minutes in length, since the transmission delay would mean little over such a Jong period. But there seems little require- ment in Canada for items that long, he said. He said another problem with satellites is a lack of protection for the user. 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