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DEA Presentation Shows How Agency Hides Investigative Methods From Trial Review

Unknown Lamer posted about 8 months ago | from the inventing-probable-cause-for-fun-and-profit dept.

The Courts 266

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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Prohibition... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46146275)

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

Fruit of the poison tree (5, Insightful)

duckintheface (710137) | about 8 months ago | (#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.

Re:Fruit of the poison tree (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46146367)

But they did it for the children to prevent terrorism and also apple pie. So it's ok.

Re:Fruit of the poison tree (1)

hsmith (818216) | about 8 months ago | (#46146391)

lol, you actually think that evidence that is constructed like this isn't used in court?

Re:Fruit of the poison tree (5, Insightful)

melstav (174456) | about 8 months ago | (#46146441)

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

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

Re:Fruit of the poison tree (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#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.

Re:Fruit of the poison tree (1)

pete6677 (681676) | about 7 months ago | (#46147151)

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:Fruit of the poison tree (3, Interesting)

physicsphairy (720718) | about 8 months ago | (#46146435)

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.

Re:Fruit of the poison tree (5, Insightful)

flaming error (1041742) | about 8 months ago | (#46146579)

"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:Fruit of the poison tree (2, Interesting)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 7 months ago | (#46146631)

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 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.

Re:Fruit of the poison tree (5, Insightful)

mosb1000 (710161) | about 7 months ago | (#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.

Re:Fruit of the poison tree (3)

DarkOx (621550) | about 7 months ago | (#46146781)

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.

Re:Fruit of the poison tree (4, Informative)

Etherwalk (681268) | about 7 months ago | (#46146979)

"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.

if the courts catch them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46147181)

That's if the courts catch them. Then there's the problem that the poor bastard's been bankrupted and been incarcerated for who knows how long because the motherfucker's with the resources didn't come clean.

Re:Fruit of the poison tree (1)

AutodidactLabrat (3506801) | about 7 months ago | (#46147047)

... 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

.

False They must produce ALL exculpatory evidence, and yes that means illegal means must be disclosed. Failure to do so is grounds for arrest and conviction for conspiracy, fraud and, in capital cases, attempted murder.

Re:Fruit of the poison tree (5, Informative)

Frobnicator (565869) | about 7 months ago | (#46147117)

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.

Re:Fruit of the poison tree (3, Interesting)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about 7 months ago | (#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.

"could have" citation? (1, Interesting)

raymorris (2726007) | about 7 months ago | (#46147063)

> 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?

Re:Fruit of the poison tree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46146699)

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

Do any of those look like things which would generate... "Public blowback, along with greater criminal awareness, cited among the reasons for keeping the actual methodologies beyond the reach of even the prosecutors" ?

Do you think using informants might generate public blowback ? Do you think criminals aren't aware they might be tapped ? Do you think prosecutors aren't aware when undercover work is being employed ?

You know as well as I do that what's being suppressed is the origin of illegal evidence: mass surveillance, targeted hacking, unlawful interception, torture, blackmail and all the rest. It has nothing to do with witness and officer protection which are addressed by specific laws.

Re:Fruit of the poison tree (2)

cheater512 (783349) | about 7 months ago | (#46147121)

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.

Re:Fruit of the poison tree (1)

onyxruby (118189) | about 8 months ago | (#46146451)

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 agent of the Government or with the participation or knowledge of any governmental official

http://le.alcoda.org/publicati... [alcoda.org]

Re:Fruit of the poison tree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46146475)

Wait... so...

The NSA who aren't law enforcement agents and are acting as private citizens can hand off illegally obtained information to the police and that evidence can be used to plan collection of the evidence they actually present in court?

Re:Fruit of the poison tree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46146485)

Looks like those judges might need to reread the constitution. Using evidence obtained illegally by "private individuals" against someone is disgusting and violates the spirit of the constitution.

It's not that people are trying to be Internet lawyers. I for one don't want to be anything like a lawyer, because I have a brain.

Re:Fruit of the poison tree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46146775)

The language in the US Constitution is geared towards limiting the power of the State. So as long as the state acquires the evidence legally, it's evidence. If individuals, of their own volition, are ready to break the law in order to obtain evidence, then they are liable for any crime they commit in the process. There is no direct conflict of interest in this case because individuals, unlike the state, don't administer justice to themselves. The evidence resulting from private individuals is a side-effect and it would be socially damaging to ignore it.

Re:Fruit of the poison tree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46147043)

Then let it be "socially damaging," whatever that loaded bullshit means. What this article is talking about is clearly immoral and should never be allowed.

Re:Fruit of the poison tree (4, Informative)

danheskett (178529) | about 8 months ago | (#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.

Re:Fruit of the poison tree (3, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about 8 months ago | (#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.)

Re:Fruit of the poison tree (5, Insightful)

demonlapin (527802) | about 8 months ago | (#46146587)

Good luck getting a prosecutor to go after a cop for perjury.

Re:Fruit of the poison tree (4, Insightful)

danheskett (178529) | about 8 months ago | (#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.

Re:Fruit of the poison tree (3, Interesting)

msauve (701917) | about 7 months ago | (#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.

Re:Fruit of the poison tree (1)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about 7 months ago | (#46146863)

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.

Re:Fruit of the poison tree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46147129)

The word "corruption" doesn't mean what you seem to think it means.

Re:Fruit of the poison tree (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about 8 months ago | (#46146501)

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.

Re:Fruit of the poison tree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46146749)

Every criminal that wants a trial can have one. It's just that in most cases it makes more sense to take a plea deal, if the prosecutor offers it.

Re:Fruit of the poison tree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46147139)

Because they're guilty.

Re:Fruit of the poison tree (4, Interesting)

He Who Has No Name (768306) | about 8 months ago | (#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.

Re:Fruit of the poison tree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46146747)

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

But then how could you argue being better then the communist Chinese? Which is exactly what they do with great success.

Doing so in America would collapse the freedom illusion and would throw the nation in total chaos. The average walmart dweller is not mentally equipped to deal with reality, the illusion is essential to maintain economic growth and our benefits.

Re:Fruit of the poison tree (1)

naughtynaughty (1154069) | about 7 months ago | (#46146627)

The Supreme Court made it clear in Whren v United States that pretext stops are completely legal. Failed to signal a lane change? The police now have a legal reason to stop you, detain you, pat you down, search the passenger compartment of your vehicle, have a drug dog sniff your car and on their claim that the dog alerted tear your car apart looking for drugs.

Re:Fruit of the poison tree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46146633)

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

And who do you propose charges them? The cops and the DoJ on whose behalf justice is being subverted?

And who do you suppose tries the case? The judges who work for the judicial branch that says (a) the spying was legal, (b) as long as the cop who pulls you over for failing to maintain lane position doesn't know about the spying, it's a legit stop?

Re:Fruit of the poison tree (5, Insightful)

Bob9113 (14996) | about 7 months ago | (#46146721)

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.

Re:Fruit of the poison tree (0)

synaptik (125) | about 7 months ago | (#46146941)

... and mystical absolution

Thank you for that... from now on I will use that term in lieu of 'religion', at every opportunity.

Re:Fruit of the poison tree (1)

Hutz (900771) | about 7 months ago | (#46146847)

If you have a wiretap on the distributor, you don't want to reveal that when you arrest the courier. "Confidential" and "Classified" are NOT synonyms for "illegal".

Did none of you watch "The Wire"?

Re:Fruit of the poison tree (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 7 months ago | (#46146927)

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 circumventing any checks and balances placed in place for very good reasons.

The other thing that will happen as soon as "evidence" is primarily manufactured, is that they will come after other groups they do not like. History has numerous precedents, up to and including genocide. In a society that pretends that all people have rights, it is always done this way.

This is quite the dilema (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46146293)

I randomly get the beta site. One or the other would be better than jumping back and forth.

Re:This is quite the dilema (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46146361)

The DEA also have a presentation on how to void the slashdot beta site.

captcha: rimjob

FUCK the D.E.A. (1)

zenlessyank (748553) | about 8 months ago | (#46146295)

FUCK the D.E.A. ..|..

Re:FUCK the D.E.A. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46146351)

FUCK the D.E.A., feed it to your dog, what for you dog to shit it out, and then fuck it again.

Re:FUCK the D.E.A. (0)

slick7 (1703596) | about 8 months ago | (#46146489)

FUCK the D.E.A. ..|..

The DEA is the counterpart of the CIA, the CIA gets its heroin from the US military protected Afghanistan and makes money selling it to the American people. The DEA then goes in and busts the users of the CIA heroin and makes more money. What happens to the confiscated heroin? It goes back on the street to be sold once again.
The purpose of drug enforcement should be busting the major drug dealers (the CIA) and not the users, heroin is a self-cleaning oven, the users will do themselves in. But since there is so much money in illicit drugs, the crooked government agencies in collusion with the banksters and the rubber-stamping politicians make it impossible to seek justice. Lenin said that justice comes from the of a barrel.

DEA should be disbanded (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46146301)

They should have never been created, and should be disbanded / abolished immediately. If this doesn't serve as a wake up call, what else will?

How about "play by your own rules", eh? (5, Insightful)

pla (258480) | about 8 months ago | (#46146305)

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.

Re:How about "play by your own rules", eh? (2)

amiga3D (567632) | about 8 months ago | (#46146335)

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.

ok but (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46146357)

US Attorneys are NOT officers of the court

They are part of the executive

Re:ok but (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 8 months ago | (#46146419)

Even more so then, if they are keeping them in the dark you know it's got to be illegal.

Re:ok but (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46146493)

It's called plausible deniability.

ex parte Garland ruled they're officers of the cou (4, Informative)

raymorris (2726007) | about 7 months ago | (#46146701)

They are officers of the court, and not of the executive. This was made explicit by ex parte Garland shortly after the civil war.

Re:How about "play by your own rules", eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46146527)

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,

want plausible deniability.
FTFY

Re:How about "play by your own rules", eh? (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 7 months ago | (#46146643)

Merely following the news makes it obvious that a lot of people in law enforcement (and "national security") think getting their man trumps conforming to the constitution.
I suppose a lot of citizens ("law and order types") think the same way, but that's not how it's supposed to work. A country's Constitution is its rule book.

Re:How about "play by your own rules", eh? (1, Troll)

SecurityTheatre (2427858) | about 8 months ago | (#46146365)

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.

Re:How about "play by your own rules", eh? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46146581)

I disagree. Lawyers always lie. It is part of their job description. Why do you think they are never put under oath in court.

Re:How about "play by your own rules", eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46147013)

Not quite true.
Consider the nation-state to be a major work of art. That nations laws, are the frame which borders the work of art.

A lawyers job, is not to argue about the framework which contains the artwork, but rather to argue about its colour until the jury is confused enough to not be able to render the correct verdict on what the framework actually contains.

Re:How about "play by your own rules", eh? (2)

TheGavster (774657) | about 8 months ago | (#46146593)

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

Re:How about "play by your own rules", eh? (0)

vux984 (928602) | about 7 months ago | (#46146625)

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

THIS JUST IN: commenter on slashdot posts without even reading the summary.

The prosecutors aren't lying and cheating. Its the agents supplying the prosecutors the facts of the case who are lying to the prosecutors about where the evidence came from.

Re:How about "play by your own rules", eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46146779)

The prosecutors aren't lying and cheating. Its the agents supplying the prosecutors the facts of the case who are lying to the prosecutors about where the evidence came from.

And I am sure that the prosecutor are completely innocent and in no way complicit whit this system that make their work so easier and boost their political carrier.

Re:How about "play by your own rules", eh? (1)

SecurityTheatre (2427858) | about 7 months ago | (#46146725)

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%.

Re:How about "play by your own rules", eh? (1)

Idarubicin (579475) | about 7 months ago | (#46147003)

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 would only be pursued against the shoo-in cases....

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

Re:How about "play by your own rules", eh? (2)

sjames (1099) | about 8 months ago | (#46146539)

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.

This! (2)

Burz (138833) | about 7 months ago | (#46146799)

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.

Re:How about "play by your own rules", eh? (4, Insightful)

DarkOx (621550) | about 7 months ago | (#46146881)

"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.

Re:How about "play by your own rules", eh? (1)

ukemike (956477) | about 7 months ago | (#46146905)

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 live in a functioning democracy.

in my dreams... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46146311)

The people responsible for this should be put on trial and if found guilty, sent to prison. Even though the DEA has been fucking over the very people with the power to put them on trial, I doubt any pros will be moved enough to do jack shit about it.

In the grand scheme of things (4, Insightful)

Sean (422) | about 8 months ago | (#46146337)

The DEA are the real criminals.

Re:In the grand scheme of things (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 8 months ago | (#46146577)

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.

GCHQ and Blair insisted on same in UK (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46146341)

GCHQ, whose surveillance powers make the NSA look like boy-scouts, has been recently required on several recent occasions to demand that surveillance data gathered by the organisation is NEVER directly used in court cases. Unlike Blair's dummy, Cameron (who recently gave a speech in the House of Commons stating that the fictional TV dramas showing the 'success' of surveillance powers formed absolute proof that such surveillance powers were 'essential), Blair's appointees at GCHQ comprehend that short term 'victories' in court would run the very real risk of co-ordinated public action against Blair's police state.

GCHQ, unlike the American equivalent, has never come out openly and stated that the police should FAKE evidence originally provided by GCHQ, but this has more to do with the fact that Blair has given British police carte blanche to arrest and raid homes, and THEN look for 'evidence' justifying the original action. Proving 'false arrest' in the UK is as good as impossible. And in the UK, no court case can ever be thrown out because the police had no right to act in the first place. Britain has no written constitution, and Blair acted to end all the concepts of 'Common Law' that had formed with the Magna Carta and beyond. All offences in the UK are now 'arrestable', and all 'arrestable' offences allow the police to raid the arrestees person's home, and confiscate any materials found within.

PS, note that Saudi Arabia, quoting the legal framework created by Blair in the UK, has just passed laws describing ALL acts deemed 'anti-government' (including all forms of protest) as 'terrorist' if the Saudi Minister of Justice so wishes to describe the act as such. This SPECIFICALLY includes the 'terrorist' act of a woman driving a car in Saudi Arabia. You read that correctly. Saudi authorities now have the legal power to describe the very act of a woman driving a car as an act of terrorism. If the woman concerned is an American soldier, there will be no arrest. If the woman is a Saudi Human Rights activist, she will be arrested, charged as a 'terrorist' and executed- with full support from the US and UK governments that sponsor Saudi Arabia.

ten bucks says it was just some snitch (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46146343)

but they want everyone to think high tech big brother sees all, knows all...

Re:ten bucks says it was just some snitch (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46146515)

That's how the cops and prosecutors work. They'll stick a colander on your head and call it a lie detector, ring a bell when you say something they don't like and see if you crack. They'll swear up and down in courtrooms (remember, the prosecutor isn't sworn in) that DNA evidence is proof beyond a shadow of a doubt, but as soon as someone has DNA evidence showing the accused is innocent (especially if the accused is already convicted, doubly so if the prosecutor's star witness "misspoke" on the stand about that very same DNA evidence), suddenly they go off about their gut feelings and wax philosophical about just what truth is.

Thing is though: they really, really hate being lied to, so we'll have to see just what they think about the DEA hiding things from them.

Cheaters (3, Insightful)

Avidiax (827422) | about 8 months ago | (#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.

Re:Cheaters (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 8 months ago | (#46146465)

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.

Re:Cheaters (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 7 months ago | (#46146951)

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

The Revolution will NOT be televised (2)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | about 8 months ago | (#46146379)

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.

Re:The Revolution will NOT be televised (2)

Luthair (847766) | about 8 months ago | (#46146521)

Shame it isn't televised, the general population might notice.

Re:The Revolution will NOT be televised (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46146665)

They think it's a new scripted reality show, nothing more.

Re:The Revolution will NOT be televised (1)

faraway (174370) | about 7 months ago | (#46146741)

Thanks.  I'm sure people will catch it on Youtube, after watching the latest Biebersode.

Even more troubling (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 8 months ago | (#46146425)

Is thinking this is new, when it's a dupe [slashdot.org] .

Re:Even more troubling (1)

n1ywb (555767) | about 8 months ago | (#46146495)

It's not a dupe, it's new information, as in the whole fucking powerpoint deck.

Moral of the story... (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about 8 months ago | (#46146457)

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.

Complete deck, without reader (4, Informative)

ciurana (2603) | about 8 months ago | (#46146561)

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!

Re:Complete deck, without reader (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46146609)

Excellent -- thank you. I had to add --no-check-certificate for wget to pull the files. Well done!

Re:Complete deck, without reader (4, Informative)

kbonin (58917) | about 7 months ago | (#46146735)

Or just use: https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.do... [amazonaws.com]

Re:Complete deck, without reader (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46146793)

"Method #3: Use FISA (apparently, we're not even blanking out parts of the pages and telling you why we blanked them out. Maybe we're not even allowed to photocopy the pages in order to blank them out :)"

Kudos! (1)

Burz (138833) | about 7 months ago | (#46146877)

I've long wanted a way to get around those applet-things.

Taint Review Team (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46146737)

I would *not* want *that* job...

We've known this since August (1)

Nerrd (1094283) | about 7 months ago | (#46146761)

But it is nice to know they are responding to relevant FOIA requests. https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/... [eff.org]

Just another reason to abolish the DEA (5, Interesting)

blindseer (891256) | about 7 months ago | (#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.

Re:Just another reason to abolish the DEA (1)

stox (131684) | about 7 months ago | (#46146871)

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

Re:Just another reason to abolish the DEA (2)

swb (14022) | about 7 months ago | (#46146991)

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 saving grace for the DEA would be turning it into some kind of counter-terrorism arm focused on narcotics-financed terrorism. There's some legitimate ability there, since they've worked pretty hard at tracking dirty money and drugs in a lot of places.

Re:Just another reason to abolish the DEA (2)

pete6677 (681676) | about 7 months ago | (#46147179)

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.

Two words: (1)

MobSwatter (2884921) | about 7 months ago | (#46147005)

Plausible Deniability, it's not just for presidents anymore!

Parallel sentances (1)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about 7 months ago | (#46147031)

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.

Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46147145)

FrandkDrebbin-NothingToSeeHereMoveAlong.jpg

Omitting Stuff from a Warrant (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | about 7 months ago | (#46147171)

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

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