Now That It's Been Exposed, DOJ Plans To 'Review' Information Sharing With DEA

from the oh-sure,-now-they-review-it dept

Earlier this week, Reuters revealed that the various intelligence agencies give the DEA info through its SOD -- Special Operations Division -- and then DEA agents are instructed to "launder" where they got the info from, so they don't have to reveal to the people they arrest how they were caught. This is almost certainly illegal, as the discovery process is pretty clear that the government needs to turn over its evidence. In the article, DEA officials seemed almost cavalier about the whole thing, noting that they'd been doing it for decades. Of course, now that it's public, it took all of a day for the DOJ -- which clearly has known about this all along -- to say that it's now reviewing the program:
The Justice Department is reviewing a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration unit that passes tips culled from intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a large telephone database to field agents, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Monday.
Reuters also points out that the DEA officials they had interviewed claimed that the DOJ had reviewed the program regularly, and deemed it legal. The fact that the DOJ is suddenly kicking off a new "investigation" the day after the program becomes public is really questionable -- but par for the course. Over the last few months, as we've seen revelation after revelation of very questionable law enforcement and data collection practices by the government, each time we're first told this is "no big deal" and then when the feds realize that no one's buying that, suddenly they need to "review" the program.

Gee... it's kind of like when they keep all this stuff totally secret, it doesn't receive the level of scrutiny that it really needs, huh?


Reader Comments (rss)

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    That One Guy (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 2:10am

    So...

    Any bets as to how long it takes them to come back with a 'After careful review, it has been determined that the program is fully legal, and no real changes are needed'?

     

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    Ninja (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 4:22am

    So much for a fail of a "War on Drugs" eh?

    So let's bring some points about mass surveillance so far:

    - It hasn't managed to decrease drug trafficking and consumption
    - It hasn't stopped any terrorist plot
    - It's not effective against criminals using proper encryption
    - It's unconstitutional

    Next time you see somebody defending such practices just point at their face and laugh loudly. Because that's what attempts of defending it are right now: silly, delusional and comedic.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 8:48am

      Re:

      Drug culture is something best controlled by professionals. Fighting drug trafficking from Mexico does not work at all without a huge effort by mexican authorities to bang drug posession in Mexico.

      I do not believe that they wouldn't be able to find at least some evidence that a couple of the surveillance programs have been needed for a few of the cases. When that is said, everything points to good old fascioned policework is still lightyears ahead in terms of importance.

      Its not effective against criminals using proper encryption, atleast we agree on that.

      Most politicians will say that the constitution is a living document and blabla. In the end unconstitutionality is for SCOTUS to decide in most cases. Untill they have been convicted, unconstitutionality is a possibility but not a given.

       

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        Ninja (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 10:02am

        Re: Re:

        Fighting drug trafficking from Mexico does not work at all without a huge effort by mexican authorities to bang drug posession in Mexico.

        You show the same misconception we see time and time again when treating anything drug related as a crime. Jailing a person for years for merely possessing some drug is the complete wrong approach given the societal acceptance of some lighter drugs. Where there's demand there will be supply. So even if you narrow the efforts at the dealers it won't work.

        Now if you let go of the silly efforts of controlling drugs like marijuana and focus fire on the supply chain of other heavier and actually dangerous substances you'll achieve reasonable success with less resources.

         

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      Dan Rosegrove, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 9:09am

      Re: DEA SOD

      First they came for the socialists,
      and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a socialist.

      Then they came for the trade unionists,
      and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

      Then they came for the Jews,
      and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

      Then they came for me,
      and there was no one left to speak for me.

       

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 4:34am

    In other news:
    Farmer shocked that hiring fox to watch hen house ends in bloodbath.

    It really is time to start cleaning house of entire sections of the Government, this is out of control and well no one fucking trusts them to fix it.

    If this was a video game we'd nuke it from orbit and start over, its that screwed up.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 5:54am

    Unintended consequences

    The faint sound you hear in the distance is that of thousands of convicted drug dealers/possessors/etc. writing to their attorneys asking if this deliberate manipulation of the justice system provides grounds for having their convictions thrown out.

    On the one hand, this would be a good thing, since there is no logical reason to toss the average dope-smoking 20-something in prison. It's a waste of taxpayer dollars and it does incredible damage to society. On the other hand, this would be bad thing, as there are many logical reasons to toss machine gun-wielding violent drug dealers in prison, as they tend to kill people when they're outside.

    All of this will take years to play out, but the already-crowded court system can now look forward to a flood of appeals -- and justifiably so, as every defendant in every case has the right to see all evidence against them and verify its provenance.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 6:33am

      Re: Unintended consequences

      You assume that they are told of this of course.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 7:22am

        Re: Re: Unintended consequences

        True, I am assuming that. But it's in the interests of their attorneys to make sure that they find out -- and certainly, once some of them know, they'll all know in short order.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 6:16am

    if a person knows that by doing something, it would be illegal but carries on and does it anyway, it doesn't become legal until they are caught. it is always illegal and when caught, the person often asks for other offenses to be taken into consideration.
    this episode shows that what was happening is illegal (the speed of the 'review' makes that obvious!). as it is a government agency involved, (AGAIN!), they knew all along it was an illegal practice but carried on. it makes all the worse because of who they are! is there no Government Agency that is operating legally? if not, what right do they have to condemn anyone and everyone else? they are hardly leading by example are they?

     

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    identicon
    ss, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 7:21am

    Prohibition leads to corruption of everything.

    Why are we still playing this fucking game?

     

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    Pixelation, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 7:41am

    "The Justice Department is reviewing..."

    Why the hell isn't someone else reviewing?

     

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      Internet Zen Master (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 8:29am

      Re:

      Might have something to do with the fact that the DOJ's job is supposed to be investigating/removing corruption.

      That said, considering how the DOJ's been more of a rubber stamp for government agencies than the FISA court lately, we really could use somebody to "watch the watchmen (the DOJ)" right now.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 12:24pm

    The real problem...

    There are no real consequences for violating civil rights when it's the government doing the violating. So they review it, and if they decide it's bad then what? They will still do it, because they think they can get away with it. If they get caught the worst thing that happens to them is that the evidence is deemed inadmissible or the case is thrown out. They can still continue to roll the dice and hope that no one notices without fear of any real accountablility. What about the fact that they violated the Constitutional civil rights of the people they are doing this to? What about THAT crime? Is anyone going to be charged with that? No. Of course not. There needs to be strict penalties in place for individuals in government when they are found to violate the civil rights of the public. That is the only way this sort of thing will ever stop.

     

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      Cloudsplitter, Aug 14th, 2013 @ 9:38pm

      Re: The real problem...

      There will be this time, all of these acts were criminal in them selves. Let us count the ways.
      1. Criminal conspiracy to suborn justice.
      2. Perjury, and conspiracy to commit.
      3. Conspiracy to violate the Federal and State rules of Criminal procedure.
      4. If their were death penalty cases, conspiracy to murder.
      There are more charges that can be made, there needs to be a special prosecutor and grand jury called for this.
      Every Fed and State prosecution since this group started is now in question, and any lawyer worth his salt should be back in court filling for a retrial, or acquittal claiming gross criminal governmental. conduct.

       

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    riii, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 2:33pm

    Just wait, in 2 weeks PRISM will be helping out hollywood on ending piracy. I know it qill happen.

     

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    Francisco George (profile), Aug 8th, 2013 @ 3:08am

    MegaUpload

    This could have been the case with megaupload bust. And the US Gov is not willing to reveal all the documents they used for the indicment of Kim Dotcom and his team just because they can't do that "Parralel Reconstruction"

     

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    Dave, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 8:17am

    psst

    Hey Obama & Holder,
    FUCK YOU!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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