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Government theft still going strong

This article is nothing new to us, but it’s a story that needs to be continually circulated so the rest of the population starts getting a little bit more pissed off about it.

DEA to traveler: Thanks, I’ll take that cash

All the money – $16,000 in cash – that Joseph Rivers said he had saved and relatives had given him to launch his dream in Hollywood is gone, seized during his trip out West not by thieves but by Drug Enforcement Administration agents during a stop at the Amtrak train station in Albuquerque. […]

Agencies like the DEA can confiscate money or property if they have a hunch, a suspicion, a notion that maybe, possibly, perhaps the items are connected with narcotics. Or something else illegal.

Or maybe the fact that the person holding a bunch of cash is a young black man is good enough.

I have hopes that Joseph will get his money back eventually – a good samaritan at the station helped him get home and contacted attorneys and the press about this situation.

This continued rampant theft by government agency cannot be allowed to go on. As the article notes, New Mexico has recently passed a law prohibiting this kind of thing, but that wouldn’t stop the DEA from continuing to steal money even in New Mexico.

And at some point, we have to put the DEA on some kind of watch list – you know, like a terrorist group watch list – where simply being a member of the DEA results in travel restrictions and possible arrest and trial for the world-wide destruction caused by this rogue agency.

DEA Can’t Tell Senate How Detained Student Was Left to Drink Own Urine to Live

During an obscure Senate hearing on Tuesday morning, lawmakers vented their frustrations with the Drug Enforcement Administration for failing to answer questions about an incident that saw a man almost die of dehydration while in its custody.

“At what point do I have to conclude that the [Drug Enforcement Administration] is hiding something about what happened here?” asked Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, unsuccessfully prodding a DEA witness to explain why Senate inquiries into what happened to Daniel Chong have been met with silence. […]

It’s been now eight months — I still don’t have a response from DEA to these questions,” Sen. Grassley said on Tuesday. He asked DEA Deputy Assistant Administrator of Drug Diversion Joseph Rannazzisi to commit the agency to responding to his inquiry by the end of the month.

Rannazzisi responded that “This was a regrettable tragic event,” before admitting that “I can’t speak for DEA or the department when the letter is going to come to you.”

Also lamenting the agency’s lack of transparency was Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. Her office sent two unanswered letters to the DEA last year in July and August seeking answers about the detention of her constituent.

“When we don’t get responses to our letters, that colors our view of the agency — particularly when we’re writing about a constituent who suffered from a real lapse in process,” Sen. Feinstein said during the hearing.

On Tuesday the Los Angeles Times revealed that the most severe punishment meted out to the agents responsible for Chong’s nightmare was a seven-day suspension.

“It blows my mind,” Sen. Feinstein said during the hearing, referring to the leniency afforded to the agents who were involved in what she described as a “serious infraction.”

Those of us in drug policy reform are almost used to the DEA’s maddening non-responsive tactics (when it comes to rescheduling, etc.). The Senate definitely isn’t enjoying it.

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55 comments to Government theft still going strong

  • claygooding

    The day the DEA is disbanded and/or absorbed by other agencies should be celebrated the same as the 4th of July..it will mark a historic step towards freedom we have not seen in a long time.

  • primus

    If these congress-critters are unable to rein in the DEA, then the government is, demonstrably, out of control.

  • kaptinemo

    OMG, we called this one, too.

    I said a while back that Congress had taken a ‘laissez faire’ attitude about drug policy (because it was too politically ‘icky’ and might stain their political futures, so they left such things to the political equivalent of ‘sanitation engineers’) – and oversight of the agencies involved in its prosecution – and would only intervene if the inmates running the asylum made too much of a noise and stink. And now, here it is.

    Boy, the prohibs have gotten so predictable, they’re getting damned boring.

    And, as to the Senators complaining about the stall-tactic problem, after they have been accomplices in such tactics by support of the DEA regardless of them, well, I can only offer The DEA: Four Decades of Impeding And Rejecting Science.

    Send copies to those idiots at the Senate who are acting as if they had not aided and abetted the DEA’s practices of doing just that to lawful suits in the past, but are incensed that they are now on the receiving end of those same stall-dodge-twist tactics used described in that document.

    They have a lot of nerve, those Senators. This scheisse has been going on for decades. Right under their noses and they refused to see it as part of their policy of malign neglect of the whole drugs prohibition issue.

    And, now, as predicted here, they must venture forth into the muck pit they allowed to build up, wincing and gagging and barfing at the filth and the stench we warned them about for 40 years.

    The chickens have come home to roost, and they mutated. They only eat a certain kind of (hypocritical) worm found on the floors of legislative bodies.

    And I say, “Bon apatite!”

    • claygooding

      If you watch any committee meeting that Grassley sat in on he defended the DEA even when they were caught laundering cartel money and not arresting anyone,,how the worm has turned,,me thinks we are finally seeing huge chunks of debris but the telling blow will be when they have the next budget hearing for the Ways and Means Committtee,,a committee that Grassley also sits on,,IIRC

  • N.T. Greene

    The notion that an agency that recieves its funding from congressional appropriations and whatnot can just… not answer their requests for information… is absurd.

    It’s downright petulant. “If I hide under the covers and don’t answer the door, they’ll assume they’re at the wrong house! Or that no one is home! Oh who cares, fuck em, we don’t answer to them.”

  • Francis

    On Tuesday the Los Angeles Times revealed that the most severe punishment meted out to the agents responsible for Chong’s nightmare was a seven-day suspension.

    A seven-day suspension actually sounds pretty fair to me — assuming, of course, that they’re required to spend it in a holding cell without food or water.

  • Civil asset forfeiture is not being carried out in a manner that enhances public safety and security.

    The DEA is not removing the proceeds of crime and other assets relied upon by criminals and their associates to perpetuate their criminal activity against our society. http://www.justice.gov/afp

    Because the DEA is not carrying out civil asset forfeiture “in a manner that enhances public safety and security”, it has itself become an agency that perpetuates criminal activity against our society.

    This incident and thousands of others are living proof that the DEA and the justice departments civil asset forfeiture program itself is just as abhorrent of an activity as any perpetrated by organized crime.

    Civil asset forfeiture is now undertaken by our government with the zeal of a mexican cartel.

    If the DEA cannot discern the difference between a young man going to start a new career, and a drug runner, they have no business having the authority to confiscate anything unless there is proof of a crime.

    The cases cited by Pete are not isolated incidents. Congress take notice: there is no justice here.

    “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated”

  • just in

    The Provincial Court of Barcelona has just ruled that both the president and the chairman of a Barcelona Cannabis club (María de Gracia Club) are not breaking any law, “they are not endangering their own health or that of others, and are also not contributing in any way to organized crime”, said the Judge

    http://tinyurl.com/l5kgkj9

  • Will

    In the case of Joseph Rivers, the DEA didn’t go far enough. If his seized $16,000 is possibly guilty of a crime, aren’t those who loaned/gave him the money also guilty as well? Isn’t all of their money possibly tainted by the same vague suggestion of criminality? Shouldn’t their bank accounts — along with their cars, homes, gold teeth, etc. — be seized in this grand conspiracy? And shouldn’t the banks where their accounts are held be accused of money laundering? With the way money is moved about in the labyrinthian US/global banking system, haven’t some of Joseph Rivers’ wretched, criminally tainted money rubbed shoulders with “innocent” money? Is their such a thing as “innocent” money anymore? In the name of sweet justice, why isn’t all money seized? Wait, lets just leave pristine HSBC alone, please…

    Why is the DEA so damn lazy? Shouldn’t their motto be, “All your money are belong to us”?

    Have I used enough question marks in this comment?

  • Tony Aroma

    Maybe a silly idea, but has anybody ever thought of filing armed robbery charges against DEA agents that take people’s money at gunpoint for no apparent reason? That is, after all, the definition of armed robbery.

    • jean valjean

      No doubt they are protected by their very own Bill of Rights, negotiated by their “benevolent associations.” This gives them immunity to the laws that govern the rest of us. Feinstein, Grassley and the rest of Congress have granted them a license to steal for over 40 years.

      • Tony Aroma

        Yes, law enforcement officers have immunity, but it’s limited, isn’t it? They can only go so far. Right? For example, surely they would be at the very least fired if they, I don’t know, say consorted with prostitutes provided to them by members of drug cartels. No, wait, you’re right, the DEA can do whatever they like, without limits, and without consequences.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      In 2007 the SFPD refused to investigate when two DEA agents on their way to lunch robbed a man who had the misfortune of walking past them by pure happenstance. I suppose that some people might think carrying 24 ounces of pot and 12 ounces of hashish in a box “emblazoned with the logo of a common brand of hydroponics equipment” packed with no concern about the smell to be contributory negligence. I think that he was robbed by gun thugs.
      http://cannabisnews.com/news/22/thread22390.shtml

      Well the SFPD didn’t get a warrant and kick down the DEA’s door and shoot their dogs dead in order to get them to return the man’s property but then again, the man never got arrested for that incident.

  • DdC

    Above the Law: 04/29/2015
    New DPA Report Finds ‘Policing for Profit’ Gone Wild

    Loretta Lynch: “Civil forfeiture is a very important tool.”

    How Police Confiscation Is Destroying America.

    Police seize property and cash in questionable raids

    Money Grubbing Dung Worriers
    * Corruption is never stopped by blue lines of silence…
    * Ending D.E.A.th & Pillage Incrementally
    * Forfeiture $quads

  • DdC

    Forfeiture Endangers American Rights Foundation
    http://fear.org/1/
    What is Forfeiture and why do we FEAR it?

    “Findings suggest asset forfeiture is a dysfunctional policy. Forfeiture programs, while serving to generate income, prompt drug enforcement to serve functions that are inherently contradictory and often at odds with the demands of justice.”
    —Mitchell Miller & Lance H. Selva,
    Drug Enforcement’s Double Edged Sword:
    An Assessment of Asset Forfeiture Programs
    (Twelve month empirical examination of the implementation
    of laws from within the for

    What to do when your property has been seized by police
    http://www.fear.org/whattodo2.html
    State Forfeiture
    http://www.fear.org/legisas.html
    Asset forfeiture
    http://www.fear.org/FEARintro.html
    Victim Support
    http://www.fear.org/vicsup1.html

  • N.T. Greene

    Sort of funny to think that a government agency is acting like the thugs that used to rob wagons as they passed by on the roads in the west. Like in pretty much every western movie.

    …this shouldn’t be real.

  • Servetus

    Forfeiture is theft in plain sight. Everyone knows who the victims and thieves are, how much money and valuables are taken, where it goes, all while procedures and transactions are recorded in official records; usually anyway, perhaps minus what’s skimmed. Forfeiture should be the easiest crime in the world to solve and prosecute. Yet, the crime is repeated ad nauseum because someone always neglects to arrest and punish the thief.

    One solution might be to award triple the value of seized goods to the seizure victim, should the goods be good and not bad if a cop takes them. The hope that some officer might forfeit one’s cash, thereby tripling it, would make cash popular again; one result being the big boost to privacy that cash always guarantees.

    Corrupt forfeiture is bigger than it looks. Its implementation in a criminal and totalitarian manner terrorizes Americans so they will transact business in ways that can be surveilled and recorded by government agencies. The drug war makes it possible. It’s the progenitor of the surveillance state. Anyone watching prohibition grow anticipated it achieving this, just as everyone knows cash sets you free. That’s a big problem for our government. The thought of our freedom scares them senseless, just as black freedom frightened slave owners in the Deep South with the possibility of a revolt, and women’s freedom frightened Puritan men, a culture known to have treated its rape victims indifferently and not punished rapists.

  • jean valjean

    Feinstein and Grassly…who’d of thunk it? Two of the most egregious Senate drug warriors of recent years, yet even THEY have had enough of DEA. Roll out the truth commission.

  • Wake up Maggie!

    we’ve all got something to say to you:

    http://tinyurl.com/kg6sp4b

    • jean valjean

      As Hassan’s mentor and fellow Conservadem Hillary Clinton would put it, “there’s just too much money in it to legalize.”

  • Servetus

    Colombian government officials are doing their own investigation of human rights violations and sex crimes allegedly committed by US personnel operating under Plan Colombia’s big umbrella. No thanks to domestic media, the charges involving drug war fallout in Colombia are far grittier when presented by BBC and/or the Colombians themselves:

    6 May 2015 — Colombia says it will investigate accusations that US contractors and military staff sexually abused minors for four years from 2003.

    An academic report said in February that at least 53 underage girls were abused in two towns in central Colombia.

    US soldiers allegedly filmed the abuse and sold the tapes as pornography[…]

    He also alleged that in Melgar, a US contractor and a US sergeant raped a 12-year-old girl in 2007.

    The French news agency AFP quoted the US Embassy in Bogota as saying it “takes very seriously any allegation of sexual misconduct by one of its officials.”

    US military and contractors have been working in Colombia for more than a decade during a multi-billion-dollar military and diplomatic aid operation named “Plan Colombia” aimed at fighting drug trafficking and insurgencies.

    In news related to the DEA’s involvement with cartel-supplied prostitutes, the scandal that resulted in Madame M. Leonhart getting fired, Fox News (AKA the Sin Channel) focused its coverage of the DEA on the related moral scandal of the sex industry in Colombia.

    None of the four US media conglomerates I’ve checked to date, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, appear interested in the 53 underage rape victims in Colombia. Nada on their websites so far, at least. The Internet alternative press is covering it instead. Why? Could DEA and Defense Intelligence agents be embedded inside these mega-corporate media venues, directing what news is being released? We know the CIA operates within the newsrooms this way. Curiouser and curiouser.

  • We're not authorized

    to bury dead bodies:

    In this revealing investigation, Al Jazeera pieces together the evidence to prove what many have suspected – that it’s not just smugglers, drug lords and the Taliban profiting from the drug trade, but government officials as well. Those featured in this documentary present a damning assessment of Afghanistan’s ability and willingness to stem the tide of drugs.

    “What choice do I have”

    http://tinyurl.com/ndpvmhb

    • strayan

      When are people going to realise that a ‘willingness to stop the drug trade’ is irrelevant? Market forces are immutable. You cannot suspend these forces (or peoples appetite) by government decree. How many failed regimes will it take for the world to abandon its experimentation with non-market based economies?

  • DdC

    How Prisons Have Become a Cash Cow For the Rich http://www.cannabisculture.com/node/47894

    DEA Makes Startling Admissions About Marijuana in New Report
    Marijuana is more available now than ever throughout the United States, but in every region of the country it ranks last when state and local law enforcement agencies assess the greatest drug threats, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s latest annual National Drug Threat Assessment (NDTA).

  • darkcycle

    SAY NOW: Interesting development alert!
    Apparently the Supreme Court ruled that evidence of a home grow is not enough to issue a search warrant in Medical States. The police must first establish that the grow is not legal under State Medical marijuana laws. If this is in fact true, it raises the bar significantly.
    All I can say is Wowsers.
    http://www.hightimes.com/read/supreme-court-ruling-alters-criteria-probable-cause

  • Atrocity

    It’s a state supreme court, not the big one.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Why are people giving that a thumbs down? This was Massachusetts and has no force of law outside the State. So why the fuck are you down voting the truth?

      What really sucks is that Magistrates continue to issue these warrants in medicinal cannabis States until someone with the resources takes it to the State Supreme Court.

      • darkcycle

        Duncan is right. It would only cover people in Mass. It could be cited as a non binding precedent in similar cases, that is all. Save the thumbs down for the trolls, not information you do not like.
        Plus, on first read, I had jumped to the conclusion it was a US district court, so I was mistaken in my first interpretation.

  • “Chris Christie Racked Up $300k of Food and Alcohol on Expense Account” Over his five years as governor. http://tinyurl.com/nn85u2j

    $6,536 was in seven visits to ShopRite’s liquor stores.

    Let me quote him on this: “We have an enormous addiction problem in this country.” http://tinyurl.com/m6ohbuw

    His alcohol expenditures from the state budget “for official purposes” seems to bear this out.

  • Luxemburg's turn

    “Among new measures proposed to curb its rise, the minister said that a broad debate in Parliament would take place to consider decriminalising the consumption of cannabis.

    >

    Among other proposals revealed on Monday, in Esch-sur-Alzette a drug consumption centre dubbed “Contact Esch” is set to open in future.

    The project, which costs around 2.1 million euros and is financed by the state, will provide a place where drug users can take use clean syringes and take drugs in safety, while social workers can make contact with these vulnerable people.

    Meanwhile, the minister revealed a new initiative called Duck, which will enable consumers of synthetic drugs at major events and festivals to have pills checked for purity.

    The service would not punish people who use it but would provide a consultation for people taking illegal drugs, who would otherwise put their lives at risk because they cannot confirm what the pills contain. “

    http://tinyurl.com/ofj2yc5

  • DdC

    United State’s first action in the drug war was a massive surprise attack on Mexico’s border by U.S. law enforcement personnel, code named “Operation Intercept.” In September 1969 Nixon essentially shut down the US-Mexico border under the premise of disrupting the marijuana trade. Each and every vehicle crossing the boarder was given a 3 minute intensive search. The operation lasted only 20 days after border delays severly affected the economies of both countries.

    In 1970 the Nixon government passed the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act which included the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

    Marijuana’s inclusion in Shedule 1 was to be temporary pending the results of the Shafer commission.

    “I am against legalizing marijuana. Even if the Commission does recommend that it be legalized, I will not follow that recommendation.”
    Enemy of Marijuana – Richard Nixon

    “When coming from under the influence of (marijuana), the victims present the most horrible condition imaginable. They are dispossessed of their natural and normal willpower, and their mentality is that of idiots. If this drug is indulged to any great extent, it ends in the untimely death of its addict.”
    Judge Emily Murphy
    The Black Candle

    Marijuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality, and death. You smoke a joint and you’re likely to kill your brother. Marihuana leads to pacifism and communist brainwashing. Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men. It is a drug that causes insanity, criminality, and death — the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind…. the primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races.
    Harry J. Anslinger

    NEVERMIND

    Feds Propose 50% Marijuana Tax—As A Tax Cut

    • jean valjean

      “You smoke a joint and you’re likely to kill your brother. Marihuana leads to pacifism and communist brainwashing.”

      Did nobody at the time point out Anslinger’s total self contradiction in this statement? How can it possibly make the consumer a killer and a pacifist at the same time? Did Congress really not recognize this obvious bullshit?

      • DdC

        They were different times. All Anslinger but I believe the violence came from the Gore Files in the 30’s and 40’s. Then the communist brainwashing was in the 50’s. The point was that if all this bullshit was true, would the government approve it just for collecting taxes? Is Anthrax going to be available if it’s taxed 50%? Or personal nuclear boat motors? Its such a scam but if they can get taxes, all’s well?

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        “Never let the facts get in the way of disseminating an effective piece of hysterical rhetoric”
        ~~~ The Prohibitionists’ Motto ~~~

  • Speaking of government theft:

    Why Is That Cop’s Finger in Your Butt?
    http://tinyurl.com/p4l279a

  • saw a post from my friend Don on FB and noticed he had a reply from Al Giordano. Seems Don has know Al since grade school… Don and I worked event medicine together here in OR. I love how small the world really is.

  • Guess I'll just smoke it here

    “Andre Du Plessis lit up and smoked a massive joint during a live TV interview.”

    “The head of the Cannabis Working Group was taking part in a debate about the legalisation of cannabis with Central Drug Authority deputy David Bayever when he decided he’d said enough.”

    http://tinyurl.com/nxdbmfq