John Shiffman and Kristina Cooke, reporting for Reuters Washington bureau:
The undated documents show that federal agents are trained to “recreate” the investigative trail to effectively cover up where the information originated, a practice that some experts say violates a defendant’s Constitutional right to a fair trial.
This goes well beyond spying. This is, I would argue, exactly why people object to such domestic spying.
The logic is that those with nothing to hide have nothing to fear. However, the “Special Operations Division” probably isn’t infallible, since, well, no one is, and that means that you may have nothing to hide, and think you have nothing to fear, and be completely wrong.
Innocent people may have been convicted as a result of what appear on their face to be unconstitutional, extrajudicial practices.
Those arguing that the price for protection from terrorists and other would-be evil doers is letting the National Security Agency have a peak at our Gmail will have a much more difficult time making the same case for falsifying an evidence trail.
The defense was often held in the dark and, apparently, at least in some cases, investigators misled both the prosecution and judicial evidentiary discretion.
Oh, and as a cherry on top, here’s a gem from near the end of the Reuters story:
A DEA spokesman declined to comment on the unit’s annual budget. A recent LinkedIn posting on the personal page of a senior SOD official estimated it to be $125 million.
The monitoring of internet communications for sensitive information, it would seem, goes both ways.