A story that caught my interest over the weekend was this one from Reuters (arguably one of the most mainstream of MSM sources): Exclusive: U.S. directs agents to cover up program used to investigate Americans.  I really encourage you to click through to the article (even if you get distracted and don’t come back to finish reading what I have to say on the matter).  The reader’s digest version is this: the .gov has been caught trying to cover its tracks on a program that supplied leads to law enforcement agencies based on data it gathered through various “surveillance programs”.  While PRISM isn’t specifically mentioned, I’d be more shocked if it wasn’t used than I was when I first heard the rest of this story.
The story goes on to explain that the law enformcenet agencies would be told things “be at the rest stop between exit 179 and 170 around 10 PM and look for a red build with Oregon license plates.  If you see it, stop it and do a search. If you find something just say it looked suspicious and that’s why you stopped it.”  Does that bother anyone else besides me?  The police were told to lie about the original source of their lead by the source of their lead.  The technical term used in the article is “parallel construction”, but they might as well call it what it is: lying.
Don’t get me wrong, I am glad that they were able to bust a Russian arms dealer (I only wish someone had tipped them off to the ATF selling guns to the Mexican drug cartels…), but I firmly believe this is NOT a case where the ends justify the means.  We’ve already taken a system that was supposedly created to help with the war on terror (which BTW, the SOD program reported on in this story goes back to 1994, 7 years before 9/11) and focused it inside our own borders and now we find out that we are using that information to catch crooks, but lying about how we found them.
A simple question: what’s in place to keep someone from abusing this system.  Suppose that an official with the SOD had someone they had a dispute with and wanted to make go away for while.  They plant some heroin or counterfeit cash in their car and then call in a tip to local law enforcement.  Local law enforcement magically busts a totally confused and innocent person.  And that person will never found out where the tip came from, or that it even happened.  What’s to stop them?  The same restraint that kept the machine they built to spy on the terrorists from spying on us?
(If you want a much deeper dive into this story and its implications take a listen to Dan Carlin’s most recent Common Sense Podcast: Snow Storm)






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