DEA reveals "parallel construction" techniques the "taint team" uses to disguise its reliance on NSA surveillance data

Michael from Muckrock sez, "MuckRock user CJ Ciaramella stumbled upon some recently 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."

Hilariously, the squad who engage in this obfuscation are called the "taint review team."

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.

As always, the full documents are available at MuckRock.

DEA teaches agents to recreate evidence chains to hide methods [Shawn Musgrave/Muckrock]

(Thanks, Michael!)

Notable Replies

  1. The "Taint" team: Dicks, Assholes, or somewhere in between the two?

  2. jjsaul says:

    So "probable cause" is no longer an standard in American criminal evidence and "pretext" is just another word for unquestionable.

  3. Surprisingly similar to the plot of Neal Stephenson's seminal work "Cryptonomicon" in which commandos plant evidence to obfuscate that we had cracked the Nazi Enigma codes...

  4. It would be appropriate to review any DEA cases that have used this dishonest method of evidence collection and use and either retry or dismiss them.

  5. kstop says:

    Except in this case, the enemy is actually the public. That's messed up.

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