(Reuters) – A secretive U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration unit is funneling information from intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records to authorities across the nation to help them launch criminal investigations of Americans.
Although these cases rarely involve national security issues, documents reviewed by Reuters show that law enforcement agents have been directed to conceal how such investigations truly begin – not only from defense lawyers but also sometimes from prosecutors and judges.
Oh, you mean like the case in Panama City FL recently that I wrote on?
Well, not exactly. In that case law enforcement not only failed to perform the known duty (obtaining a warrant to place a GPS on the suspect’s car) they also actively concealed both their activity and destroyed evidence that would have documented what they did.
In these cases the government is maintaining a “program” that consists of warrantless wiretaps and other “investigative” procedures that have no warrants or other protections that are normally afforded by the 4th Amendment.
The problem is that in the context of international spying the act of doing the spying is legal under US law (although the nations in which the spying takes place may think differently and probably would prosecute the spies if they caught them.) Such is the reality of spying — as it always has been and always will be.
But this material is barred from being used against US individuals and directed against them, as we do have a 4th Amendment.
The fruit of a poison tree is itself poisonous in a judicial context — so to evade this problem, which would otherwise make it impossible to charge the US person, the government lies about how it came into possession of the information that ultimately led to the arrest.
A former federal agent in the northeastern United States who received such tips from SOD described the process. “You’d be told only, ‘Be at a certain truck stop at a certain time and look for a certain vehicle.’ And so we’d alert the state police to find an excuse to stop that vehicle, and then have a drug dog search it,” the agent said.
“Find an excuse”?
Oh, I see. So we don’t reveal that we got the “tip” via an impermissible act, we then “find an excuse” to stop the vehicle (perhaps inventing a “burned out tail light” that doesn’t really exist?) and then we bring in a drug dog who “hits” on the car?
The agents then “pretend” that the tip never happened and the traffic stop began with either random selection or via whatever the “excuse” was, rather than the truth — they were targeting the person due to an illegal act in the context of the 4th Amendment and invented the reason for the stop out of whole cloth.
This is blatantly unconstitutional and right up the alley of a police state. The problem isn’t the program per-se. It’s that it is being used in an illegal and felonious fashion by the police themselves and then they commit perjury, a further felony, in concealing or actively lying about how they developed the lead.
The bottom line is that like most of the government today the DEA is completely out of control. In a futile and puerile attempt to control consensual conduct between adults we are now an effective police state — where the methods and so-called “evidence” are not subject to review or challenge.
And don’t think for a minute that they just catch “bad guys” with this sort of crap. By definition a secret program of this sort screws innocent people on a regular basis because there is no oversight or means to detect the abuses and punish the abusers.
And let’s not mince words here: Everyone involved in this is in fact an abuser as lying to a court is perjury and in most cases is a felony. Further, every one of these acts when directed against a US person violates 18 USC 242 (criminal) and 42 USC 1983 (civil) law.
Criminals are called that specifically because they don’t give a damn about the law and the constraints it places on their conduct. When the government is filled with felons committing crimes inside law enforcement agencies and their adjuncts you no longer live in a Republic.
This is exactly the same sort of crap that has gone on for decades in the financial industry and it’s so-called “regulators.” It is the reason we had a guy inside the government who got caught allowing an S&L to backdate deposits during that crisis and instead of being prosecuted for bank fraud he kept his job and later did it again in the 2008 crisis with IndyMac. Depositors over insured limits got screwed in part because of this act.
There are many who claim that such tactics are “defensible” or even “necessary” in the prosecution of drug crime or terrorism. They’re wrong.
They are neither defensible or necessary because the corrosive effect on the rule of law means that scam, theft and fraud becomes embedded in the government and as a consequence the ordinary conduct of business for everyone, along with the ordinary living of your life is no longer something you can enjoy with a reasonable expectation that the law will be followed by those who you interact with because certain people are provided the ability to screw you with impunity where you are expected to, under penalty of going to prison, live under those exact same laws.
But I’ll lay $1,000 on the table that once again, as with the health scam, there will be not one organized action by law-abiding citizens to withdraw their consent in a peaceful manner, demanding that this program and all like it be stopped — or the people will go on strike until it is.