FBI In Early 1960s Mistakenly Referred to Mob as “La Causa Nostra”
How unsophisticated was the FBI when dealing with the mob in the early 1960s?
So unsophisticated that the bureau referred to the La Cosa Nostra as the La Causa Nostra, according to Jerry Capeci, the mob expert who runs the site Gang Land News.
Capeci writes that for near two years, from September 1961 until July of 1963, the FBI had the name wrong.
The lack of agents familiar with the Italian language probably didn’t help matters, but the incorrect term originated with two confidential informants who were developed by FBI agents under the Top Hoodlum program that Hoover put into play to gather intelligence about the Mafia in the 1950s, according to FBI documents obtained by Gang Land.
“According to (informer) NY T-2,” stated one FBI report, “during September, 1961, in the Italian underworld, the overall organization or group is referred to as ‘La Causa Nostra,’ literally translated, ‘our Cause.’ This term, in his opinion,” the report continued, “could be readily interchangeable with the word Mafia.”
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