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DEA Presentation Shows How Agency Hides Investigative Methods From Trial Review 266

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the inventing-probable-cause-for-fun-and-profit dept.
v3rgEz writes "CJ Ciaramella stumbled upon some interesting documents with a recent FOIA request: The DEA's training materials regarding parallel construction, the practice of reverse engineering the evidence chain to keep how the government actually knows something happened away from prosecutors, the defense, and the public. 'Americans don't like it,' the materials note, when the government relies heavily on classified sources, so agents are encouraged to find ways to get the same information through tactics like 'routine' traffic stops that coincidentally find the information agents are after. Public blowback, along with greater criminal awareness, are cited among the reasons for keeping the actual methodologies beyond the reach of even the prosecutors working with the DEA on the cases."
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DEA Presentation Shows How Agency Hides Investigative Methods From Trial Review

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  • Prohibition... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 03, 2014 @09:19PM (#46146275)

    Prohibition creates corruption at all levels of society. Lessons from history learned: zero. Film at 11.

    • by duckintheface (710137) on Monday February 03, 2014 @09:31PM (#46146339)
      Not all evidence is admissable in court. Evidence that is illegally obtainted can't be used in a prosecution. And any resulting evidence (like from a traffic stop as described in the article) is excluded as fruit of the poisoned tree. So this DEA "parallel construction" is not only a subversion of the intent of the law but is actually a conspriacy to subvert justice. The people who organized and practiced this system are guilty of a crime.
      • by hsmith (818216)
        lol, you actually think that evidence that is constructed like this isn't used in court?
        • by melstav (174456) on Monday February 03, 2014 @09:48PM (#46146441)

          duckintheface didn't say it wasn't being used in court.

          the statement was that it can't [LEGALLY] be used in court.

          • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 03, 2014 @10:26PM (#46146655)

            You're missing the point which is that the DEA *knows* the evidence can't be used in court. The DEA instead uses the evidence to surveil the person they are after to later catch them in the act or catch them in possession or whatever. In other words - the illegal spying just lets them know that criminal acts are going on and allows them to follow up with methods that are legal to actually catch the person in the act.

            There is legal precedent establishing that this *may* be legal (quote from a techdirt article earlier today):

            It appears that much of the DEA's arguments here rely on the Supreme Court's ruling in 1938 in Scher v. United States, in which a law enforcement agent was told some things by a source, and used that information to find and arrest the defendant handling whiskey (during Prohibition). The court said that how the agent found out about the information doesn't matter, so long as the agent saw illegal acts himself. And thus, the Supreme Court "enabled" the idea of parallel construction. That case pops up repeatedly throughout the documents, basically telling DEA agents: expect information to come from intelligence sources, but do your best to never find out why they know this stuff.

            To me, the contexts are different (a source coming forward vs. someone being illegally spied on) as well as over 75 years passing, so I think this is ripe for being re-tested in court. I hope the courts find this practice to be highly illegal.

            • by pete6677 (681676)

              You're missing the point which is that the DEA *knows* the evidence can't be used in court. The DEA instead uses the evidence to surveil the person they are after to later catch them in the act or catch them in possession or whatever. In other words - the illegal spying just lets them know that criminal acts are going on and allows them to follow up with methods that are legal to actually catch the person in the act.

              There is legal precedent establishing that this *may* be legal (quote from a techdirt article earlier today):

              And the problem with this is?

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by Anonymous Coward

                And the problem with this is?

                Most folks frown on cops breaking the laws simply because it's convenient for them.

              • by KingOfBLASH (620432) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @12:20AM (#46147223) Journal

                It's about over reaching.

                A LEO may in the course of his or her duties come across information that he can't use. For instance, hearsay is inadmissable in a court of law so if someone tells a cop he heard you say something, it is not something you could use to send the person to jail. Then the officer is allowed to dig up, legally, evidence that might be able to use to convict. With warrants and proper investigation.

                The problem is that the DEA takes this one step further. They take investigative measures they're not supposed to, and then try to do the whole "well let's find some legal way to find this."

                That's the issue.

      • by physicsphairy (720718) on Monday February 03, 2014 @09:48PM (#46146435) Homepage

        I completely agree that if, e.g., doing an illegal wiretap and then reconstructing the evidence through a more legitimate train is subservision of the system and should be prosecuted.

        But confidential informants, undercover work, legal wiretaps, etc. are all things which should be protected, and for which parallel evidence is a means of doing. In many cases, it is the civilians who are being shielded, not the police.

        • by flaming error (1041742) on Monday February 03, 2014 @10:10PM (#46146579) Journal

          "confidential informants, undercover work, legal wiretaps, etc. are all things which should be protected"

          So says the government. The Constitution says the defense is supposed to get all the evidence. That's been taken to include the whole story of what opened the case, and what led the cops to look where.

          Maybe the Constitution is wrong; I wouldn't know. But this "parallel evidence" is a secret end run around the Constitution, and it is illegal.

          If you want to allow this "parallel evidence" history revision, amend the constitution to say the government can lie about their evidence trail to keep secrets from defendants and even the prosecutors.

          Until then, follow the law. Or just stop pretending we have a Constitution.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by iluvcapra (782887)

            The Constitution says the defense is supposed to get all the evidence. That's been taken to include the whole story of what opened the case, and what led the cops to look where.

            I'd love to see where you see that in the US Constitution, because no such specific language exists as far as I know. "Due process of law" is all that seems to be required, and in practice that means that discovery has to proceed in a normal manner and the prosecution may bring as much or as little evidence against you as they may

            • by mosb1000 (710161) <mosb1000@mac.com> on Monday February 03, 2014 @10:33PM (#46146707)

              That would make it practically impossible to defend yourself against any charges brought against you by a government agency. They would have all this information that they gathered by whatever means are at their disposal, and you'd only have the evidence they presented to be used you and whatever else you are legally able to obtain (within your financial means). There is no way that scenario fits the definition of due process, the government would be practically guaranteed to win every time. According to you, they could have evidence that exonerates you and simply choose not to present it and it would all be totally legal.

              You are not correct, during the discovery process the prosecution is required to turn over all the evidence they gathered. Not just whatever they saw fit to present.

              • by Peyna (14792) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @12:11AM (#46147183) Homepage

                The prosecution is required to hand over all the evidence they intend to use at trial, and any potentially exculpatory evidence. Not "all the evidence they gathered."

                • by mysidia (191772) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @12:42AM (#46147311)

                  and any potentially exculpatory evidence.

                  Since with an analysis by the defense, together with additional statements, ANY kind of evidence the prosecution has might turn out to be exculpatory or pertinent to the defense --- they can't withold anything they gathered.

                • I feel like nearly every comment in this story is hearsay and has very little relation to actual law.
                • by mosb1000 (710161) <mosb1000@mac.com> on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @06:34AM (#46148269)

                  Discovery can involve any material which might be relevant to a particular case [wikipedia.org] with substantial restrictions to protect the identity of government informants and to prevent intimidation of witnesses [uscourts.gov]. The prosecution is not the authority in determining which information may or may not be relevant. They must comply with any request for information the defense makes which the court agrees may lead to information relevant to the case. Any lawyer worth anything will ask for, and be entitled to, all the information the police gathered during their investigation. Of course, this also goes the other way in that the defense is required to comply with any requests made by the prosecution.

                  With regard to illegal wiretaps, if a defendant's civil rights were violated during the course of an investigation, that would certainly be relevant to the case. That is why they build a parallel case using legitimate means to present to the prosecutor.

                  • by Phrogman (80473)

                    Which is why the fact that they are building a parallel case should be relevant and should be revealed to the Defense. In essence the use of these parallel cases means the government has the motive to "find" evidence to create a chain of evidence that can be used against the defendant. That is an encouragement to create evidence if it can't be found by other means. That's just wrong, period.

                    This also provides and incentive for the prosecution to rely on evidence acquired illegally, and only encourages the s

              • by davecb (6526)

                That would make it practically impossible to defend yourself against any charges brought against you by a government agency.

                That's exactly what happens in terrorism cases in Canada: the security service swears they have secret evidence, and the Court has to make a decision based on that claim.

                The courts are pushing back, asking that at the very least, the Court, Crown and Solicitors be cleared for the material on which they are to argue. It's contentious: even officers of the court have had to make anonymous comments in the media asking for more transparency.

            • by DarkOx (621550) on Monday February 03, 2014 @10:47PM (#46146781) Journal

              Sure there is

              and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation;

              . It's in the sixth amendment. Parallel construction can't be legal because it denies you being informed of the cause of the accusation, a possible cause for the accusation domes not count, the Constitution says THE cause.

              • by icebike (68054)

                Sure there is

                and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation;

                . It's in the sixth amendment. Parallel construction can't be legal because it denies you being informed of the cause of the accusation, a possible cause for the accusation domes not count, the Constitution says THE cause.

                The CAUSE of the accusation is that you were running drugs. And that fact came to the attention of law enforcement.
                The 6th doesn't really say that every detail of how that fact became known to the police needs to be spelled out for you.

                There are further supporting laws on the books that set the standard for evidence, but the Constitution does not.

                Further Parallel Construction is mostly used to catch you AFTER you commit another crime, such as picking up
                a kilo from your supplier. Parallel construction is s

                • by DarkOx (621550)

                  Wait so your argument is that "you are charged with running drugs because we say you were running drugs" is what the sixth amendment is supposed to mean?

                  The language of the amendment is meaningless if that dog hunts

            • by Etherwalk (681268) on Monday February 03, 2014 @11:19PM (#46146979) Homepage

              "Due process of law" is all that seems to be required, and in practice that means that discovery has to proceed in a normal manner and the prosecution may bring as much or as little evidence against you as they may require to convict you, no more or less. They must produce this evidence, and how they got it; any evidence they don't bring to court, they don't have to explain.

              They have an obligation to make evidence, including exculpatory evidence, available to the defense. Some of them don't--that's prosecutorial misconduct and gets convictions overturned when the courts catch them.

              • by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @12:14AM (#46147195) Journal

                The very existence of this document is evidence of a conspiracy to deny civil rights under color of law. This is both a civil and a criminal issue.

                IMHO it should be trivial to show that the authors of this document, along with all adminstrators and instructors who used it in training agents and all agents who, having attended such training, committed any of the described acts, have committed a felony.

                I wonder if civil RICO suits might be brought, as well. B-)

                • by TubeSteak (669689)

                  I wonder if civil RICO suits might be brought, as well. B-)

                  Good luck proving that you have standing to sue.
                  The whole reason the DEA and other law enforcement agencies were doing this is because [CLASSIFIED] meant they [REDACTED].

                  The Feds staved off lawsuits by terrorism defendants for years with the same tactics.

              • by mysidia (191772)

                that's prosecutorial misconduct and gets convictions overturned when the courts catch them.

                That's one thing, BUT it's not persuasive enough.

                The prosecutor should get serious jail time over such misconduct, dependant on the gravity of the case.

                For example: prosecutorial misconduct on a murder trial should be treated as a crime of: Attempted unlawful lifetime imprisonment, with a possible lifetime prison term for the prosecutor.

            • by Frobnicator (565869) on Monday February 03, 2014 @11:53PM (#46147117) Journal

              I'd love to see where you see that in the US Constitution, because no such specific language exists as far as I know. "Due process of law" is all that seems to be required, and in practice that means that discovery has to proceed in a normal manner and the prosecution may bring as much or as little evidence against you as they may require to convict you, no more or less. They must produce this evidence, and how they got it; any evidence they don't bring to court, they don't have to explain.

              That's okay, not everybody went to law school.

              Due Process, as currently enumerated:
              1. An unbiased tribunal.
              2. Notice of the proposed action and the grounds asserted for it.
              3. Opportunity to present reasons why the proposed action should not be taken.
              4. The right to present evidence, including the right to call witnesses.
              5. The right to know opposing evidence.
              6. The right to cross-examine adverse witnesses.
              7. A decision based exclusively on the evidence presented.
              8. Opportunity to be represented by counsel.
              9. Requirement that the tribunal prepare a record of the evidence presented.
              10. Requirement that the tribunal prepare written findings of fact and reasons for its decision.

              Got that?

              Next up, the SCOTUS clarified the requirements (and some consequences) in Brady V Maryland [wikipedia.org]. Coupled with that is a body of rules such as Brady disclosure [wikipedia.org]. In the past few decades judges have slowly gotten lax on Brady rules, but that has picked up sharply in the past year or two.

          • by Electricity Likes Me (1098643) on Monday February 03, 2014 @11:13PM (#46146921)

            That's not how parallel construction works.

            Parallel construction is based on the idea that if a crime was committed, then it's unlikely that the bit you got by a non-admissable means was the only evidence of that crime.

            "Fruit of the poisonous tree" is also specific: what it means is that you can't use an inadmissable wiretap to then carry out a normally disallowed search to get evidence of a crime.

            So for example, it is not illegal for police to search through public parklands. It's public property after all, they can go there. If it was discovered someone had committed a murder and buried the body in a public park, but it was discovered by inadmissable wiretap (say, a hitman telling a client the job was completed) - then you couldn't use that intercept to get a warrant to go search their house for murder implements, or collect DNA.

            But you can suggest to law enforcement to check public parks for bodies, particularly within 100m of these coordinates or so. Law enforcement is normally able to do this, and might have stumbled across this anyway, or a hiker might have or something. If they then find the body, they can work backwards from the victim, rebuild the profile, and when it comes time to asking for warrants, they can happen to ask for a warrant against the intercept guy first (amongst others they would normally have done so with).

            All this evidence, collected this way, is admissable because it could have been discovered as a part of normal, admissable police/law enforcement procedure. It's public, it's out in the open and you have to explain it because it was perfectly legal to collect it.

            • > All this evidence, collected this way, is admissable because it could have been discovered

              The ccops illegally tap your phone line and hear about a pot deal.
              What did not happen is that a a K9 officer COULD HAVE been taking the dog out for a walk when they just happened to walk by a car full of pot. That didn't happen, but it could have.

              If I'm understanding you correctly, you are claiming that the cops can search the vehicle and it's not fruit of a poisonous tree because they could have stumbled upon it.

              • by Frobnicator (565869) on Tuesday February 04, 2014 @12:26AM (#46147257) Journal

                > All this evidence, collected this way, is admissable because it could have been discovered

                The ccops illegally tap your phone line and hear about a pot deal. What did not happen is that a a K9 officer COULD HAVE been taking the dog out for a walk when they just happened to walk by a car full of pot. That didn't happen, but it could have.

                If I'm understanding you correctly, you are claiming that the cops can search the vehicle and it's not fruit of a poisonous tree because they could have stumbled upon it. They didn't, but they could have. Do you have a citation for that? In all of American jurisprudence has any appeals court held that it's okay to violate the Constitution because they could have not violated it? I know a certain "law professor" (who never taught law) who might believe that, but has the court ever ruled such?

                And that is precisely the difficulty around parallel construction.

                The government cannot withhold potentially exculpatory evidence. In the late 1960s, right after the SCOTUS decided the Brady case, prosecutors gave quite a lot of information to defendants. Over the years prosecutors and judges have taken progressively stricter interpretations to the point where they routinely withhold everything again, only handing over the minimum that they think might fall under Brady and often only if the defense uses very specifically worded discovery demands. If the prosecutors can argue that they didn't think it was material evidence, or argue that the discovery demand wasn't quite specific enough, they can get away with it. And since the defense doesn't know about the evidence (as it was withheld from them) they almost always get away with it.

                In very recent time, perhaps the last 18 months or so, there has been a surge in claims of withheld exculpatory evidence, and judges are increasingly more sympathetic to defendants during discovery. There have been quite a few major cases where prosecutors realize that maybe some of the evidence might have been potentially exculpatory, but often their excuses are enough to keep judges from dismissing the case outright. Both behaviors are changing, and we have multiple cases going right now in my state that are currently on the fast track for the state supreme court where evidence was "accidentally" withheld (except some leaked information shows it was quite intentional as the defense 'would never know') but prosecutors and judges had a wink-and-a-nod when it was discovered to be "accidentally" withheld. (There is a very active public debate about this right now; since prosecutors are immune for these violations and they are kept employed based on their results rather than fairness, they have every incentive to break the law with impunity.)

                Parallel construction is nearly impossible to detect, and if discovered is subject to the exclusionary rules. Depending on the nature of the construction and the interpretation of the judge, it could exclude no evidence, some evidence, or be enough to cause the case to be dismissed entirely. The problem is that when it happens you don't have any evidence that it happened. Prosecutors and officers might not even know it happened, since groups like the DEA use anonymous tips to police for the construction. Even though the entire case might be tainted enough for dismissal, it is possible nobody directly involved (even the police and prosecutors) know about the unlawfulness because it was laundered through anonymous reporting systems.

              • by icebike (68054)

                You are over thinking this. (I suspect you watch too much TV).

                The dog will sniff out your car as you park it on the street.
                Or maybe your shoes as you walk down the street [silive.com].

                Dog hits in public places are legal probable cause. [findlaw.com]

                WHY was the dog sniffing around that street need not be justified by anything more than Routine Patrol and training.
                (regardless of that phone call from the DEA that suggested 2nd Ave would be a good place to train).

          • by JonBoy47 (2813759)

            You've clearly never been picked for jury duty... A court case, be it criminal or civil, is to be decided SOLELY on the basis of evidence and testimony introduced at trial, and in accordance with instruction given the jury by the presiding judge. Yes this means the prosecution gets to cherry-pick what evidence they decide to make their case with.

        • Why should a legal wiretap be hidden from the court? Anyone who does illegal things and talks about them over the phone is a moron.

          The identity of the informants or undercover agents don't need to be revealed and they usually aren't. The court just needs to know it was legal.
          The DEA is talking about breaking the law, then trying to cover it up. They aren't trying to protect anyone except their backsides.

        • by rtb61 (674572)

          It is looking more and more like it is not a wiretap nut an illegal global wireless wifi tap. It is starting to look like they have hacked the crap out of wifi and are using hacking wifi access points to tap into hacked smart phones and suck up all the data whenever that wifi hacked phone wanders into a hacked wifi point. The reasoning for doing the initial hack of wifi points and phones because they can and the two leading provisioner of those hacking services Google and Apple, they are the ones giving th

        • by TheCarp (96830)

          > But confidential informants, undercover work, legal wiretaps, etc. are all things which should be protected, and
          > for which parallel evidence is a means of doing. In many cases, it is the civilians who are being shielded, not the
          > police.

          If they can't prove a case with real evidence, then they can not bring the case. We are talking about bringing charges against a person who is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Their job is to collect evidence, not to produce a fantasy scene. This i

      • by onyxruby (118189)

        Thanks for playing internet lawyer. You have failed and now some person might think that they can get out of things just because the evidence was obtained illegally. As long as a private citizen gets the evidence without being under the direction of law enforcement, even if they got it illegally, it is admissible.

        United States v. Jacobsen
        (1984) 466 U.S. 109, 113 [The Fourth Amendment] is wholly inapplicable to a search or seizure, even an unreasonable one, effected by a private individual not acting as an a

        • by danheskett (178529) <danheskett AT gmail DOT com> on Monday February 03, 2014 @10:14PM (#46146591)

          This has almost no relevance to the discussion. Jacobsen holds that the evidence must be obtained not just plausibly but in actual fact by a person unconnected with the government or a government official. The intent is that private citizens who find evidence are not subjected to the 4th amendment or due process. When that evidence is found by a private individual, he or she can turn it over to the police and it is now "clean" and creates probable cause.

          You can't apply Jacobsen to the NSA or DEA because they are clearly "a government official" and acting as an agent therefore.

      • by icebike (68054) on Monday February 03, 2014 @09:53PM (#46146473)

        And defense attorneys had better step up their game and put state, county, and federal officers on the stand and start asking just how it is that they just HAPPENED to stop a certain car or visited a certain street corner at a specific time of day. Then ask them point blank if it was a case of parallel construction. Ask them to turn over the names of their CIs, even if its in closed court.

        Force them to Commit Perjury. Best case you get your current case dismissed, even if you never get off the radar of the local law.

        (I doubt the DEA is going to use secret sources of evidence or parallel construction to ensnare Joe Sixpack trying to score some recreational drugs. The fish will have to be worth the effort and the risk for the DEA to use this tactic themselves, but a casual word to the local sheriff might be used more often than you think.)

        • by demonlapin (527802) on Monday February 03, 2014 @10:13PM (#46146587) Homepage Journal
          Good luck getting a prosecutor to go after a cop for perjury.
        • by danheskett (178529) <danheskett AT gmail DOT com> on Monday February 03, 2014 @10:17PM (#46146613)

          (I doubt the DEA is going to use secret sources of evidence or parallel construction to ensnare Joe Sixpack trying to score some recreational drugs. The fish will have to be worth the effort and the risk for the DEA to use this tactic themselves, but a casual word to the local sheriff might be used more often than you think.)

          The problem is that while it's doubtable, we can't actually know. Every time a cop has ever testified that he just had a "gut" feeling about a certain car, we should instantly be skeptical that it was not a gut feeling, but rather, corruption.

          And the presumption is now that everytime a cop says he or she did something randomly they are lying.

          Given that his happens, the word of ANY law enforcement official, in any jurisdiction, in any part of the country, must not be trusted. Anything they say on the stand should be treated as hearsay, just like any other person, and the presumption should be that's false.

          We don't need any new laws, we need the people who broke the system to go to jail, for a long time, and mass amnesty for anyone convicted with any evidence provided by the DEA.

          • by msauve (701917) on Monday February 03, 2014 @10:28PM (#46146667)
            "Every time a cop has ever testified that he just had a "gut" feeling about a certain car"

            A "gut" feeling is neither probable cause nor reasonable suspicion. Which is why the cop will simply lie and say your tail light was out or you failed to signal a lane change.
            • I think the "gut feeling" would apply more towards going down a certain street. The cop can claim he was just driving around randomly when he saw the suspect do something illegal, when in fact the cop knew exactly where to be to witness a crime because he was tipped off by the NSA, which actually wiretapped a conversation the suspect had over a phone.
        • by Macgrrl (762836)

          I read that last paragraph as 'secret sauce' and wondered what drugs we were talking about...

      • Not all evidence is admissable in court. Evidence that is illegally obtainted can't be used in a prosecution. And any resulting evidence (like from a traffic stop as described in the article) is excluded as fruit of the poisoned tree. So this DEA "parallel construction" is not only a subversion of the intent of the law but is actually a conspriacy to subvert justice. The people who organized and practiced this system are guilty of a crime.

        Fortunately for the DEA, not all criminals get a trial anymore. Of course, this means anyone they say is a criminal is a criminal.

        America, land of the fee. Home of the Braves.

      • by He Who Has No Name (768306) on Monday February 03, 2014 @10:02PM (#46146537)

        Technically, conspiracy for depredation of rights under the color of law is punishable by death. It is legally constructed as domestic treason against the social compact, rather than wartime treason against the body republic.

        This shit would stop quick if some of these bastards faced the firing squad on national prime-time television.

      • by Bob9113 (14996) on Monday February 03, 2014 @10:37PM (#46146721) Homepage

        Not all evidence is admissable in court. Evidence that is illegally obtainted can't be used in a prosecution. And any resulting evidence (like from a traffic stop as described in the article) is excluded as fruit of the poisoned tree.

        The one I've been noodling on lately is privileged communications. Doctor/patient, supplicant/confessor, and attorney/client privilege come to mind. Could the government tap the communication between a criminal and his lawyer and use the information to construct a parallel evidence chain? Seems that fear of such would have a chilling effect on medical care, legal representation, and mystical absolution.

      • by gweihir (88907)

        Indeed. Next step is to completely fabricate the "evidence". That is not far off, the only thing they need to work out is to make sure they are not caught for the first few years or so. After that, nobody that cares will be left.

        This has nothing to do with "right" or "wrong" anymore, it is just one group of people that have gotten far too much power by accident (they certainly have no qualities that justify this level of power) trying to destroy individuals they do not like by any means necessary and hence

      • by N1AK (864906)

        The people who organized and practiced this system are guilty of a crime.

        I'm only going by the summary, and would also like to note that I am sure that what you are talking about will also have happened, however you are missing another, more legitimate reason for why they might want to do this that is entirely legal: If they have an informant or have legally tapped a phone line etc then they might not want to declare that in court because it would kill a source of information. I'm not saying I like the meth

  • by pla (258480) on Monday February 03, 2014 @09:24PM (#46146305) Journal
    Americans don't like it,' the materials note, when the government relies heavily on classified sources

    That doesn't mean you need to find a way to "fake" the chain of evidence. It means that Americans don't fucking like classified evidence, what with our constitution guaranteeing us the right to face our accusers. As in, our actual accusers, not some fictional "these guys who just happened to smell bomb-making chemicals on your breath" accusers.

    You want to keep the public off your backs, quit playing all these bullshit "Big Brother knows best" games, and if you can't come out and say how you know something, keep it to yourselves.
    • by amiga3D (567632)

      What really tells the tale is that they don't even want the prosecutors to know about it. That means it's probably not even legal at all as most prosecutors, as officers of the court, have enough integrity to avoid outright illegal actions.

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      THIS JUST IN: Prosecutors sometimes lie and cheat to get convictions, regardless of the legality or even sometimes the truth.

      I knew this, defence attorneys know this. I'm glad the public is hearing about it.

      • The horrifying part is that the lies and the cheats are so egregious that they thought a prosecutor would balk at them...

      • I'm sorry, I should add.... AGENTS cheat, behind the prosecutors' back. Then prosecutors further cheat.

        No wonder the plea rate in the US exceeds 95%.

        • No wonder the plea rate in the US exceeds 95%.

          To play devil's advocate for a moment, a plea rate above 95% could also result from an effective, fair justice system that investigated crimes thoroughly, collected good-quality evidence in an open and transparent manner, and only laid charges in cases where there was strong evidence of guilt on the part of the accused....

          Heck, if prosecutors were sufficiently resource-constrained, they would be incented to allow criminals to go free in order to avoid the time, expense, and effort of trials; charges woul

          • Heck, if prosecutors were sufficiently resource-constrained, they would be incented to allow criminals to go free in order to avoid the time, expense, and effort of trials; charges would only be pursued against the shoo-in cases....

            Good. Maybe we could stop prohibition 2.0 to relieve some of their burden.

            The plea rate isn't the slam-dunk argument you think it is.

            It is if you have principles and care about justice, rather than just caring about maximizing how many 'bad guys' you catch.

    • by sjames (1099)

      In other words they know very well that what they are doing is unacceptable in this democracy but they have no care for the people or democracy so long as they get what they want.

      They are the cheesy bad guys with the affected Russian accents from the movies.

    • by Burz (138833)

      This is why you just don't let TPTB--in whatever combination of governments or corporations--collect the mundane and fine details of your life... because the twin sister of the "parallel construction" is the "fishing expedition".

      And neither of these demons permits the herded ones to stare back; They are a pat-and-proven recipe for the inversion of healthy private-vs-open interrelationships.

    • by DarkOx (621550) on Monday February 03, 2014 @11:08PM (#46146881) Journal

      "Americans don't like it". Did anyone note how they did not use "we" or "some people" they used "Americans" it's almost as if they recognize they are outside and apart from the rest of us.

      These people hate freedom, they hate the rule of law, and they don't think of themselves as citizens and neighbors. I really think it's time the rest of 'us' start treating these folks accordingly, that is anyone working for a three letter should be assumed a scumbag until proven otherwise. Don't help them, if you see something say nothing, don't socialize with them, shun them. We can dismantle this crap from the ground up, nobody will join these organizations if they know it mean being blackballed the rest of there lives.

    • by ukemike (956477)

      You want to keep the public off your backs, quit playing all these bullshit "Big Brother knows best" games

      I'm afraid that this gets it a bit backwards. The government, or really any concentration of power, will always push the limits of what it can do, will always break the rules, and will always abuse its power. The only way to prevent or even delay this from happening is to never get off the back of the government.

      You leave them to their own devices for a minute and they'll abuse their power. You leave them to their own devices for 35 years or so (like we've done) and you'll discover you no longer liv

    • That doesn't mean you need to find a way to "fake" the chain of evidence. It means that Americans don't fucking like classified evidence, what with our constitution guaranteeing us the right to face our accusers. As in, our actual accusers, not some fictional

      This. Right here.

      quit playing all these bullshit "Big Brother knows best" games, and if you can't come out and say how you know something, keep it to yourselves.

      And That, Right there. Except the situation is even worse than that in the Neo-Stasi U.S. Not only must surveillance be "kept to yourselves", but also not acted upon in any way. Which is impossible, and why this is a true perversion of justice. When you have secret societies with access to such privacy invading databases (read: NSA agents with access to LOVINT on the entire populace), you end up with a lower class of citizens subject to the political manipulations of the elite LOVINT h

    • by Eskarel (565631)

      EXCEPT YOUR RIGHT TO FACE YOUR ACCUSERS DOESN'T APPLY HERE.

      You get to face your accuser for the crime for which you are facing prosecution, not any crimes you may have committed for which you are not being charged and not non exculpatory evidence which the prosecution chooses not to use in court. In this case that accuser is the law enforcement officer who caught you red handed with your stash of drugs. You might not like that, but stop pretending you have rights you don't.

  • by Sean (422) on Monday February 03, 2014 @09:31PM (#46146337)

    The DEA are the real criminals.

    • Literally.

      In my state, this "excuse to make a traffic stop" is HIGHLY illegal. The ONLY legitimate reason to pull over a vehicle is probable cause to suspect a "crime" (which includes traffic infractions of course).

      And it does no good to say "they can just make up a reason". It's still illegal. Grounds for dismissal.
  • Cheaters (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Avidiax (827422) on Monday February 03, 2014 @09:36PM (#46146371)

    The underlying problem here is that prohibition is a failed policy, and yet another form of moral panic.

    As such, the DEA has an impossible task (enforcing the failed policy), and yet also knows that everything they do to enforce that policy is Right (justified by the moral panic).

    Hence, they will cheat once, they will cheat always, they will make deals with the Devil, just to "win".

    And this is the modus operandi for an organization that operates a fleet of drones.

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      The DEA is useless, their only job is to make sure drugs have a high street price to make organized crime rich. Users will use, so let's at least get tax from it.

    • by gweihir (88907)

      Indeed. And hence they become a fundamentally evil organization, seemingly for all the right reasons. This has happened before, numerous times in fact.

  • by Crypto Gnome (651401) on Monday February 03, 2014 @09:37PM (#46146379) Homepage Journal
    In the end revolution occurs because, eventually, enough people completely lose faith in their government.

    Unfortunately for most values of John Q US Citizen, nobody has the balls for it any more.

    That doesn't mean there WILL NOT be a revolution

    But rather that it's building up a MUCH bigger head of steam, and when it does eventually blow (most likely due to some kind of global disaster which impacts The US) it will be one appallingly unholy holocaust.
    • by Luthair (847766)
      Shame it isn't televised, the general population might notice.
    • Unfortunately for most values of John Q US Citizen, nobody has the balls for it any more.

      It's not a matter of balls, it's a matter of believing that whatever replaces it will be better. Not only does it have to be better, it has to be enough better to risk your life for.

      So far YOU haven't given any ideas that good, and neither has anyone else. That's why there's no revolution. So start coming up with a good idea.

  • Is thinking this is new, when it's a dupe [slashdot.org].
    • by n1ywb (555767)
      It's not a dupe, it's new information, as in the whole fucking powerpoint deck.
  • by Lumpy (12016) on Monday February 03, 2014 @09:51PM (#46146457) Homepage

    The whole system is corrupt from the bottom up. The best thing is to do your damndest to stay out of the system and become a person of interest because they will do anything to get you. The Law is not something they pay attention to.

    Understand that, LAW enforcement and judicial are above the law, You can not win if you play their game.

    • by dkf (304284)

      LAW enforcement and judicial are above the law

      You're doing it wrong.

  • by ciurana (2603) on Monday February 03, 2014 @10:07PM (#46146561) Homepage Journal

    Hi.

    Here's the complete presentation deck without the annoying reader:


    for ((n = 1;n <= 276;n++))
    do
            wget "https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1011382/pages/responsive-documents-p$n-normal.gif"
    done

    Cheers!

  • by blindseer (891256) <blindseer AT earthlink DOT net> on Monday February 03, 2014 @10:47PM (#46146783)

    I'm trying to figure out why the DEA even exists. I know it exists to enforce drug laws but that is not what I mean. I found out a couple interesting facts about the DEA. One is that the DEA shares jurisdiction with the FBI. Any crime the DEA investigates the FBI can also investigate. That was something undoubtedly enacted to smooth over the politics of creating a new federal law enforcement agency.

    Another interesting fact is that the DEA shares authority with the FDA on the classification of drugs. I'm not quite sure on how this authority is shared but the DEA has some sort of say in how the Controlled Substances Act is applied to new and existing drugs.

    So, what does the DEA actually do that some other federal agency cannot? Apparently it can violate our rights and get away with it. It seems to me that the FBI somehow keeps itself above this crap. Perhaps its because the DEA is so good at violating our rights that the FBI lets them do the dirty work. Perhaps it's because the FBI is too busy investigating murders, assaults, rapes, arson, thefts, and so on (you know, "real" crimes) that they don't have to resort to such depths to keep busy.

    The way things are going now with the federal government turning a blind eye to violations of federal prohibitions on marijuana trade I suspect we are going to see marijuana reclassified under the Controlled Substances Act in less than five years. It might not be complete legalization and getting dropped from all controls but something has to change. I see marijuana getting federal control somewhere between alcohol and tobacco (getting carded upon purchase, high taxes, etc.) and Tylenol (strict laws on labeling, purity controls, but generally over the counter).

    I recall that the DEA gets most of its arrests and convictions from marijuana. When (not if, it's going to happen) marijuana laws change the DEA is going to have a real hard time justifying its own existence.

    • by stox (131684)

      They got that covered, they'll change names to the Hacker Enforcement Agency. Problem solved.

    • by swb (14022)

      I have a feeling they're going to get scared of losing their empire and will trump up some kind of hype that will cause them to swoop in and invalidate state level legalization. There has been hype lately about THC confections and children in emergency rooms, I suspect that it will be this kind of avenue used.

      The FBI spent years working its way out of the woodshed after the revelations of COINTELPRO, black bag jobs, and all the abuses of the Hoover era. They probably don't want to go back.

      About the best

      • by pete6677 (681676)

        Public opinion is turning sharply towards favoring legalization of marijuana. If the DEA did what you said and swooped in, that would backfire big. Congressmen would be talking about chopping the DEA's budget down to basically nothing, because its what the people would want to hear.

    • The DEA exists for three reasons:

      1. Present a "tough on crime" Potemkin village to the drooling voter masses.

      2. Provide a clandestine conduit for diplomatic/economic ties to certain unsavory groups/persons.

      3. Pork-barrel make-work for the buzz-cut Wyatt Earp types and their cronies in the legal and prison systems.

      Everything else is bullshit.

  • I would be ok with the practice if everyone who does it went to jail along with the person they bust. Even if the suspect is ultimately found not guilty the parallel constructionist should still go to jail.

  • Search warrants, arrest warrants, and indictments are based on sworn statements. It's obstruction of justice to lie on those sworn statements.

    • by Eskarel (565631)

      True, but beside the point, this isn't fruit of the poisoned tree, it's parallel construction.

      This is where you have no admissible evidence against a person, but you know they did it, so you send a police officer to follow them(which is legal in public) or you make a routine traffic stop in states where there is no probable cause requirement for such a thing. You can't get a warrant so you can't search their home or for the most part their car, but you can sure as heck tail them around. It's identical to an

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