“Mistakes were made.”
“Mistakes were made.”
The phone, internet, and email data gathered by the NSA isn’t kept for terrorism investigations, but rather is secretly shared with law enforcement across the country for use in drug prosecutions and more. Prosecutors then pretend they acquired the information through other means. Reuters reveals:
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.
The undated documents show that federal agents are trained to “recreate” the investigative trail to effectively cover up where the information originated.
The unit of the DEA that distributes the 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.
Via the Houston Chronicle:
The owner of a private trucking business wants to know why the Drug Enforcement Administration hired one of his drivers to work undercover without his consent. Predictably, the DEA remains tight-lipped.
Commandeered by one of his drivers, who was secretly working with federal agents, the truck had been hauling marijuana from the border as part of an undercover operation. And without Patty’s knowledge, the Drug Enforcement Administration was paying his driver, Lawrence Chapa, to use the truck to bust traffickers.
At least 17 hours before that early morning phone call, Chapa was shot dead in front of more than a dozen law enforcement officers – all of them taken by surprise by hijackers trying to steal the red Kenworth T600 truck and its load of pot.
In the confusion of the attack in northwest Harris County, compounded by officers in the operation not all knowing each other, a Houston policeman shot and wounded a Harris County sheriff’s deputy.
There’s some reefer madness going on at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. Eric W. Dolan reports for The Raw Story:
During a House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on Wednesday, Drug Enforcement Administrator Michele Leonhart repeatedly refused to admit that anything was more addictive or harmful than marijuana.
Democratic Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado pressed Leonhart on whether illegal drugs like methamphetamine and crack, as well as legal prescription drugs, caused greater harm to public health compared to marijuana. But within a three minute time-span, Leonhart dodged his questions eleven times.
“Is crack worse for a person than marijuana?”…
Is this the new War on Drugs method for teaching college kids not to smoke pot? Californian Daniel Chong was swept up by authorities in a raid of a friend’s house where 4/20 was being celebrated. His harrowing adventure began as he was then left in a DEA holding cell for five days, given no food or water, began hallucinating and lost his sanity, and shattered his glasses and slashed himself in a suicide attempt. He survived only by drinking his own urine and consuming some methamphetamine which, amazingly, he found in the cell:
Our government will continue to structure policy on the basis that marijuana is the same as heroin — because it’s science. Via the Los Angeles Times:
In a decision announced Friday the federal government ruled that [marijuana] has no accepted medical use and should remain classified as a dangerous drug like heroin.
The decision comes almost nine years after medical marijuana supporters asked the government to reclassify cannabis to take into account a growing body of worldwide research that shows its effectiveness in treating certain diseases, such as glaucoma and multiple sclerosis.
DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart sent a letter dated June 21 to the organizations that filed a petition for the change. Leonhart said she rejected the request because marijuana “has a high potential for abuse,” “has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States” and “lacks accepted safety for use under medical supervision.”
This is the third time that petitions to reclassify marijuana have been spurned.
In the ‘you can’t make this stuff up’ category, via CNN:
Wanted by the Drug Enforcement Administration: Ebonics translators.
It might sound like a punch line, as “Ebonics” — the common name for what linguists call African-American English — has long been the butt of jokes, as well as the subject of controversy.
But the agency is serious about needing nine people to translate conversations picked up on wiretaps during investigations, Special Agent Michael Sanders said Tuesday. A solicitation was sent to contractors as part of a request to companies to provide hundreds of translators in 114 languages.
“DEA’s position is, it’s a language form we have a need for,” Sanders said. “I think it’s a language form that DEA recognizes a need to have someone versed in to conduct investigations.”
The translators, being hired in the agency’s Southeast Region — which includes Atlanta, Georgia; Washington; New Orleans, Louisiana; Miami, Florida; and the Caribbean — would listen to wiretaps, translate what was said and be able to testify in court if necessary, he said.