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?
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Filed Under: dea, doj, due process, information sharing, sod

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 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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