Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Special Operations Division of the DEA

Two recent articles detailing the unconstitutional hijinks engaged in by the Special Operations Divisions of the Drug Enforcement Administration....

First up is a 8-5-13 Washington Post article entitled "The NSA is Giving Your Phone Records to the DEA.  And the DEA is Covering It Up." by Brian Feng.  Here are the first two paragraphs of Feng's article:

"A day after we learned of a draining turf battle between the NSA and other law enforcement agencies over bulk surveillance data, it now appears that those same agencies are working together to cover up when those data get shared.

"The Drug Enforcement Administration has been the recipient of multiple tips from the NSA. DEA officials in a highly secret office called the Special Operations Division are assigned to handle these incoming tips [...]. Tips from the NSA are added to a DEA database that includes 'intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records.' This is problematic because it appears to break down the barrier between foreign counterterrorism investigations and ordinary domestic criminal investigations."

Read the entire article HERE.

John Shiffman and Kristina Cooke of Reuters report the revelations in further detail.  Here's a brief excerpt:

"The unit of the DEA that distributes the [illegal] information is called the Special Operations Division, or SOD. Two dozen partner agencies comprise the unit, including the FBI, CIA, NSA, Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Homeland Security. It was created in 1994 to combat Latin American drug cartels and has grown from several dozen employees to several hundred.

"Today, much of the SOD's work is classified, and officials asked that its precise location in Virginia not be revealed. The documents reviewed by Reuters are marked 'Law Enforcement Sensitive,' a government categorization that is meant to keep them confidential.

"'Remember that the utilization of SOD cannot be revealed or discussed in any investigative function,' a document presented to agents reads. The document specifically directs agents to omit the SOD's involvement from investigative reports, affidavits, discussions with prosecutors and courtroom testimony. Agents are instructed to then use 'normal investigative techniques to recreate the information provided by SOD.'"

This unconstitutional "reconstruction" of illegally obtained data is referred to as "Parallel Construction" by law enforcement officials.

Read the entire article HERE.

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