Originally published at La Opini??n. Republished by permission.
The actions of the National Security Agency (NSA), and its attempt to hide them, are having a direct and detrimental impact on the civil rights of Americans.
News agency Reuters reported that there is a secret unit inside the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) called the Special Operations Division (SOD). This division funnels intelligence information from the NSA, informants and large databases to the authorities to help them launch investigations of Americans.
So far, what was suspected, that intelligence services are working together and exchanging information, with the resulting loss of privacy and the declared goal of preventing terrorist attacks, has been confirmed. The big problem here is that, along with information, an order came to hide its origin. As a result, agents are being trained to "recreate" the investigative trail to avoid revealing the source.
This lie has serious ramifications when suspects are tried--since they have a constitutional right to find out about the investigation and the proof obtained against them in order to prepare their defense.
In this case, if the information comes from the SOD, it is very likely to be a "parallel construction" of reality. That is, a lie that will be turned over to the defense as if it were the truth, leaving the defendant at an obvious disadvantage.
In the name of the exceptional case of protecting society from terrorism, Americans have been deceived about the reach of domestic intelligence operations. Now these same methods are being used to fight common crimes like drug dealing.
This is an abuse of power that hurts the constitutional right of a defendant to a competent defense and expands to common crimes--and to all Americans--the legal framework of exceptionality that used to be considered reserved only for terrorism.