A slide of the DEA presentation discussing its "Parallel Construction" technique to agents-in-training. (Source: Reuters)
The Drug Enforcement Administration has been well known for shady practices, all in the name of stemming a problem whose roots are based in moral purity, but whose pursuit of the problem has created larger moral problems for our country. The DEA make medical research a minefield, they kill family dogs, they extort pharmacists and doctors for money to run their organization under the premise of "licensing," and they raid legal businesses with impunity. The DEA have even recently left an innocent civilian rounded up in a drug raid to rot in a jail cell with no food or water for two days, which nearly killed him. Again, this is all for maintaining a degree of moral purity by criminalizing the usage of drugs. Yet drug usage levels have remained steady, and the most dangerous drug, alcohol, is legal.
Now, add "subverting the justice system" and "covering up investigations" to the list of shady practices the DEA has committed. In an exclusive to Reuters, the DEA has been discovered running a secretive Special Operations Division, which has been funneling information from intelligence operations, including wiretaps and phone record databases, into a singular unit to allow for supposedly competent investigations on drug cartels and related organizations. In addition, this Special Operations Division has been trained to "recreate" their investigations through obfuscation, essentially covering up their trail, a technique called the euphemistic "Parallel Construction."
For example, a DEA agent is trained to cover up the source of their tip if it comes from Special Operations Division, simply using the obfuscation of an "informant" or a traffic stop being the source. In addition, DEA agents that use information from the Special Operations Division recreate field interviews and defendant debriefings, covering up the source of the information. In addition to these cover-ups, DEA agents are told not to reveal Special Operations Division information to anyone, including state and federal officials, prosecutors in drug cases, and during testimony in court proceedings.
Another leaked DEA slide, detailing the need to obfuscate the use of information from the Special Operations Division. (Source: Reuters)
While in theory, the DEA Special Operations Division's "Parallel Construction" provision may be usable in establishing probable cause, this otherwise blatant form of subversion is a distinct violation of the Fourth Amendment, especially if it occurs at the start of the investigation. "Parallel Construction" denies defendants the right to a fair trial on the grounds that evidence useful to defendants is being deliberately concealed by officials. The DEA also diminishes its trust with the government and prosecutors by concealing evidence. The DEA operation is distinct from the NSA operations recently leaked to the press as well, for their operations target common criminals rather than terrorists, removing any plausible veneer of national security.
Now, before people claim that this is the machinations of the evil Obama administration, it should be noted that DEA program started in 1994, during the Clinton administration. For nearly two decades, this Special Operations Division has been in existence with zero accountability and transparency. Five Attorneys General have been in office, had the authority to end this program, and either chose not to or willfully ignored its existence. The accountability failure is not just to the sitting administration, but the bureaucratic infrastructure of the Justice Department, and the DEA itself. So if we are to target anyone for this clear act of subversion from within the government, we should target the organizations themselves, not just who is in office.