Intelligence laundering

That’s the phrase coined by Hanni Fakhoury that’s used in this Salon article about the DEA’s use of NSA data and subsequent fabrication of evidence trails. It’s an apt analogy, although the phrase sounds vaguely oxymoronic when referring to the DEA.

The article notes that it’s tough to get the general population enraged about this (though they should be). However, I’m at least happy to see that it’s getting some traction in the media, and truly hope that it continues to blow up in the face of the DEA. What’s likely to make a difference is all the defense attorneys who are now busily preparing their new appeals.

One of the things that is really telling in this story is that the DEA bizarrely didn’t seem to think that there was really anything wrong in what they were doing. I think they got blindsided by the reaction.

It’s similar to the completely clueless statement by Michele Leonhart when talking about the perjury of supersnitch Andrew Chambers.

“The only criticism (of Chambers) I’ve ever heard is what defense attorneys will characterize as perjury or a lie on the stand.”

They have gotten so used to considering themselves above the law, that they actually forgot that’s where they went.

Lying it’s just what you do to get the job done. Re-creating an evidence trail from scratch is just part of the standard red tape that you go through to complete a drug arrest.

They’re not even consciously thinking about the fact that they’re breaking the law violating the Constitution.

It makes me wonder what it’s like when DEA personnel go home…

“Hi, honey! Great to be home. I’m exhausted. I’ve been having sex all weekend.”

“Wait — you cheated on me?”

“Oh, no, it wasn’t cheating. I would never cheat on you. It was part of my job. Don’t worry — my boss said it was perfectly fine and that it doesn’t count as cheating when we’re on the case. Fighting this drug war is a tough job, and we’ve got to be willing to do whatever it takes. So other rules don’t apply. You understand, don’t you, honey?”

“Sure thing, sweetie. Till death do us part…”

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44 Responses to Intelligence laundering

  1. Servetus says:

    The DEA fallout is affecting its supporters, if not the agency itself. We’re only getting started on the NSA/DEA saga, a type of scenario critics warned would happen if someone didn’t put a leash on the DEA.

    As with any of the great political crimes of the past, the political situation will morph into something far larger than itself. The NSA/DEA assault on freedom is now inextricably linked to drug folklore. Everything is ripe for the emergence of an actual resistance movement in the U.S.

    One fallout victim so far is the abominable Dr. Sabet. Kevin gets skewered by Sunil Kumar Aggarwal in a feature article at Alternet:

    “5 Biggest Lies from Anti-Pot Propagandist Kevin Sabet”

    Kevin Abraham Sabet-Sharghi, Ph.D., aka Kevin Sabet, has been a headline-grabbing right-winger ever since his U.C. Berkeley days—where he did not study science or medicine despite his current appointment as an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Florida. …His personal website claims he is the “quarterback” of a new anti-drug movement, boasting that he’s been “quoted in over 15,000 news stories.”

    And for Kevin it gets worse. Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. At the moment, the worst possible career choice is anything that has anything to do with drug enforcement.

    • claygooding says:

      I can’t think of a better person for his job and pretty soon him and Calvina can hunt tall bridges together.

    • darkcycle says:

      Funny, I think our Sabet-Troll went through and gave thumbs down to all the anti-Sabet comments at AlterNet. *shakes head*.

    • strayan says:

      Aggarwal has written what I consider to be some of the best academic articles about medicinal cannabis. There is no person more qualified to take Sabet to task.


      Bless this commenter:

      A quick look at Sabet’s website and CV show a pompous, egomaniacal blowhard, the kind of self-promoting academic that gives the professoriate a bad name. Sabet should be unwelcome in the community of serious scholars of drugs and drug policies; he is by no means a serious scholar; he is an apologist for some of the most repressive policies of our era and a complete ignoramous about cannabis, its use, its history, and its physiological and psychological effects. Don’t invite him to meetings; don’t bother debating him; don’t publish his flawed and faulty studies – let him languish in obscurity where he belongs.

  2. Howard says:

    They have gotten so used to considering themselves above the law, that they actually forgot that’s where they went.


    Damn, that’s a good turn of phrase. Bravo Pete.

    • DdC says:

      “At DEA, our mission is to fight drug trafficking in order to make drug abuse the most expensive, unpleasant, risky, and disreputable form of recreation a person could have.”
      – Donnie Marshall,
      Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)

      Any fool can make a rule, and Every fool will follow it.
      — Henry David Thoreau

      Not only are we here to protect the public from vicious criminals in the street but also to protect the public from harmful ideas.
      — Robert Ingersoll, then Director of the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, in a column by Jack Anderson in the Washington Post, June 24, 1972, p. 31 (Ingersoll became the first director of the DEA in 1974)

      “Ideas are more powerful than guns.
      We would not let our enemies have guns,
      why should we let them have ideas.”
      ~ Joseph Stalin

      Quis custodiet ipsos custodes.
      [Who will police the police?]
      — Latin proverb

      Drug Czar linked to deception
      – Drug Czar is Required by Law to Lie
      – UK’s Drugs Czar Fired For Marijuana Truths
      – Cover-Ups, Prevarications, Subversions & Sabotage
      – Anti-Drug Campaigns Dumb Down Vital Message
      – Calvina Fay Prohibition Inc.
      – GOP Mogul Behind Drug Rehab ‘Torture’ Centers

      “The anti-marijuana campaign is a cancerous tissue of lies, undermining law enforcement, aggravating the drug problem, depriving the sick of needed help, and suckering well-intentioned conservatives and countless frightened parents. Narcotics police are an enormous, corrupt international bureaucracy … and now fund a coterie of researchers who provide them with ‘scientific support’ … fanatics who distort the legitimate research of others.”
      ~ William F. Buckley, Jr. Requiescat In Pace
      Commentary in The National Review, April 29, 1983, p. 495

      In my era everybody smoked and everybody drank
      and there was no drug use.
      — x DEA Chief Thomas Constantine, July 1, 1998

      Why Do Democrats Defend Nixon’s Drug War?
      If You Think Marijuana Isn’t an Important Issue
      Democrats can’t afford to put it on the back burner any longer
      Tea Partier Shows Up Obama on Drug Policy

      The truly and deliberately evil men are a very small minority;
      it is the appeaser who unleashes them on mankind.
      — Ayn Rand (1905-1982)

      What happens when cops write initiatives.

      “In politics, nothing happens by accident.
      If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.”
      – Franklin D. Roosevelt

      The voters in this country
      should not be expected to decide
      which medicines are safe and effective.
      — Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey

      If people let government decide
      which foods they eat and medicines they take,
      their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state
      as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.
      — Thomas Jefferson

      The difference between a policy and a crusade is that a policy is judged by its results, while a crusade is judged by how good it makes its crusaders feel.
      — Thomas Sowell

      • Howard says:

        In my era everybody smoked and everybody drank
        and there was no drug use.
        – x DEA Chief Thomas Constantine, July 1, 1998

        I forgot about this one. Probably my favorite quote from a DEA numbskull. Thanks for posting it.

      • Freeman says:

        I liked the Thomas Sowell quote. Kinda sheds some light on a lot of so-called “policy analysts” and their motivations.

  3. claygooding says:

    Hempfest may be coming down from its high

    “”Hempfest turns 22 this year. Now that pot is legal, some ask if the region has outgrown the three-day Seattle “protestival” or whether it has outgrown its venue.””

    I read the article and gathered that some of the businesses were not happy with the Fest’s location and they listed why they had doubts about where it was listed but what I didn’t see was any report of how much the city of Seattle and businesses makes off three days of munchied out hippies.

    • darkcycle says:

      It’s the same businesses that gripe every year. They moan and bitch about Hempfest, but boy are they big Mariners and SeaHawks boosters.
      That being said, the festival’s permit lists it as a “free speech event” (protest). The City has regs in place that apply to every legal protest on public property in Seattle. As long as Hempfesters follow the regs to the letter (Vivian is very GOOD at that), the City can’t deny the permit or stop them without incurring a massive civil suit. And believe me, Viv would throw every penny of currency into that suit that would’ve gone into the canceled Hempfest.
      Vivian and I have had our differences in the past, but I have known him for over two decades, and you do NOT stand in Vivian McPeak’s way.

      • Duncan20903 says:


        It’s really not hard to get a violation of the 1st Amendment overturned. Back in the early 1990s when I was working with DC Metro NORML we were denied our 1st Amendment rights at least 4 times. 3 times all it took was a phone call from our attorney.

        Only WMATA showed an inclination to stick to it’s illegal position and required two phone calls and a written nastygram before they relented. Ironically we decided that it cost too much money and we never did posts the ads in the buses and subway.

        As an interesting aside within the last year there was a brouhaha about WMATA posting PSAs in and on their vehicles which were “promoting the gay lifestyle” according to the sub-humans that don’t think gay people should be married. This was in relation to last year’s veto referendum in Maryland seeking to strike down Maryland’s new law extending marriage rights to gay people.

        A spokesman for WMATA noted that they had previously tried to ban ads from law reform advocates and that their lawyers had concluded that the only way for WMATA to stifle free speech was to do is across the board. The reactionary clowns were invited to and did post their own ads promoting the brain dead reactionary lifestyle. I got a real warm fuzzy to realize that almost two decades later that something I worked on was still making a difference.

        The point is I’m highly skeptical that there would have been any need for any kind of extended lawsuit. The controlling legal authority is National Socialist Party of America v. Village of Skokie, 432 U.S. 43 (1977) If authorities can’t prevent the Nazis from marching in a community with an unusually large percentage of the surviving victims of Mr. Hitler it’s just plain laughable to think that they can make anyone shut up.

  4. allan says:

    OT… but further (perpetual) evidence of drug war failure:

    Sputtering War on Drugs In Afghanistan

  5. allan says:

    more OT… missed this one but it adds to the pressure on the drug war’s racial component:

    Should More States Require Racial Impact Statements for New Laws?

    Most states evaluate new legislation for how it might affect the economy or the environment, but what about measuring a law’s effect on minorities?

    Earlier this month, Oregon became the third state to require racial impact statements for any changes to state criminal laws or sentencing codes. Any new criminal justice proposal must be evaluated if at least one member of each party requests a report. The report, produced by a sentencing commission or legislative analyst, must show how a proposed law could have consequences for sentencing, probation or parole policies affecting minorities disproportionately, and that information is shared with lawmakers before they vote on the bill.

    Iowa and Connecticut require racial impact statements before lawmakers can vote on any new criminal laws, and Minnesota’s sentencing commission regularly drafts racial impact statements for new legislation.


    • darkcycle says:

      That’s worth supporting.

      • allan says:

        ya ever watch a snowball roll into hell? Well… I really think those early engagements with the prohibs in which they’d snarkily describe legalization’s chances of ever happening as equal to that of “a snowball in hell”.

        When AG Holder said

        “[t]he war on drugs is now 30, 40 years old. There have been a lot of unintended consequences. There’s been a decimation of certain communities, in particular communities of color”

        in his recent interview with NPR, I’m beginning to think something’s afoot.

        The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Vermont Democrat Patrick Leahy, says he’ll hold a hearing on mandatory minimums next month.

        “They all sound like a great stop-crime idea when they were passed,” Leahy said on the C-SPAN Newsmakers program Sunday. “Most of them sound better on paper than in practice.”

        His partner in that effort is Republican Rand Paul, a Tea Party favorite from Kentucky. They’ve introduced their own legislation, the Justice Safety Valve Act of 2013, to give judges more power to impose lower sentences — and not just in drug crimes.

        “Doing away with mandatory minimums, giving more discretion to judges, that shouldn’t be Republican or Democrat,” Leahy added. “It just makes good sense.”

        With Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow, the ACLU’s report on marijuana and minorities… and every other report in the last couple of decades or more that have been pointing directly at the drug war’s racist effects, and of course the utter silence of the the Obama administration since the election on the pot and the drug war, pressure is on like never before.

        There is no drug war in Afghanistan, drugs won. Defections are mounting in the Americas and a former Latin president is entrepreneuring with cannabis capitalists while others have been calling for legalization and more discussion for years.

        Doc Gupta is a major defection and his calling the DEA liars has to be both embarrassing and damaging.

        Many in heavy contact sports are calling for allowance of cannabis use.

        The DEA is caught red-handed in dirty doings. Babies die taken from parents guilty only of smoking herb.

        The smoke is clearing, eyes are opening. Maybe, just maybe mates… it’s like holding a winning lottery ticket but the drawing is never held… we are right and they are lethally wrong. Our winning means lives saved. No more Kathryn Johnstons. No more Zekes, or Charities. FTW. End these federally sanctioned killings.

        • I Think there is some light Allen. I think you might be right. Dare we hope for the best? Sounds damn good to me.

          Too much truth. There aren’t enough believers left to maintain the lies.

          Holder vows to end war on drugs, cites racial imbalance in ‘unintended consequences’

        • Duncan20903 says:


          I can tell you that when I left NORML in 1995 my primary motivation was that no one would listen to us. I can assure you from first hand observation that things ARE different today. I could make a list for you of the significant differences but this post would be five feet long if I did and I’ve got work to do this afternoon.

          Suffice it to say that the hummingbird has made it through the Earth’s atmosphere and sure looks like the Washington Monument will soon be on the planet Mars.

  6. Pingback: ‘Intelligence laundering’ | The Freedom Watch

  7. DdC says:

    Mother Jones ‏@MotherJones
    Reducing sentences for 7,300 crack cocaine prisoners has saved taxpayers over $530 million:

    Matt Apuzzo ‏@mattapuzzo 9 Aug
    “Programs are secret. Justifications are secret. Court is secret. Any dissent is secret. Reason for secrecy? Secret.”

    Maia Szalavitz ‏@maiasz
    .@drcarlhart on why much of what you know about drugs is wrong

    Marijuana marks a milestone;
    first banned in California 100 years ago

    Saturday, Aug 10, 2013
    The NSA-DEA police state tango
    This week’s DEA bombshell shows us how the drug war and the terror war have poisoned our justice system.

  8. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. RIP DEA. May we never make this same mistake again. When this is over I suggest a monument to all the lives lost in the drug war.

    • Windy says:

      And those who are corruptible, or already corrupt, are the ones most attracted to positions of power, that is why most positions of power are filled with corrupt people.

      “Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the forms of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.” — Thomas Jefferson

      History has answered that question with a resounding “NO!”

  9. Goldwater Conservative says:

    The DEA was inspired by the Communists. Period. Full stop. It is a totalitarian government program to enslave ordinary citizens. The Communists duped a lot of well-meaning Westerners that government ownership = freedom. Government ownership means those in power get to tell you what substances (alcohol and tobacco, being the PC ones) you are allowed to consume. Why do so many so-called “liberals” get offended when you mention less government equals more freedom? Well, some so called “liberals” still, to this very fucking day, think West Germany was less free than East Germany. Or that North Korea, who pretty much defines the leftist-fascist ideology, is better off than their southern neighbor. The American system with its Godless constitution (I mean this, no atheists are serving prison terms for their atheism) is still the best on the globe. But go ahead, blame Amerikkka ™. The Amerikkka who, through its just and fair political system managed to allow the states of Washington and Colorado to have legal recreational marijuana. Can you imagine Putin’s (who was a former KGB agent) Russia, that just made it illegal to be a homosexual and who imprisons harmless girl bands who protest this post commie fascist regime in a church to ever legalize harmless plants? No No No No No No No! And still that hypocrite Snowden is happy to seek refuge under comrade Putin’s wing. Disgusting!

  10. Francis says:

    All of these stories are on the CNN homepage right now:

    Why I changed my mind on weed (by Sanjay Gupta)
    Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s pot confessional gets global headlines
    Americans agree: Marijuana shouldn’t be criminalized (by Allen St. Pierre and Paul Armentano)
    Marijuana stops child’s severe seizures
    And then this last one (for laughs, I guess):
    Legalizing pot isn’t about medicine, it’s about getting high (by Howard C. Samuels, “founder and president of The Hills Treatment Center in Los Angeles”)
    Is it just me, or is anyone else sensing some momentum?

    • allan says:

      wow… that Samuels’ piece is really, really bad. He must have been channelling Linda Taylor when he wrote that. Posted on CNN friday, it has over 7,000 comments already. I didn’t look at them but I’d wager maybe 2 of those agree w/ Mr Samuels.

      Thanks for the Sunday morning funnies Francis!

      • Pete says:

        Tweet from Lucy Steigerwald:

        This poor man had to talk to his kid, thanks to the monsters trying to legalize marijuana. 🙁 [via: @mcmoynihan]

        • allan says:

          awww… and of course he should be talking with his kid. Talking TO a child is much like talking AT them. It’s funny how talking WITH your kids actually helps their evolving cognitive skills and helps them in developing effective communication skills.

        • Jean Valjean says:

          he seems more upset that his child is now questioning his lies.

        • Francis says:

          And of course, I’d say there’s about a 90% chance the story in question is complete bullshit:

          Given these mundane facts about the boy, you can imagine my surprise when, while watching the news (again, seemingly from out of nowhere) he asked me, “If pot is so bad, why are they trying to legalize it?”

          Oh, my heavens! I guess attempts to legalize cannabis really do “send the wrong message to The Children.” And all this time I’d been thinking that was just a hysterical trope of prohibitionist hacks.

        • Duncan20903 says:


          Of course if they didn’t stand in our way it wouldn’t have been noticed. Kind of like a pro athlete getting busted for cannabis, but we never hear about any of them buying a 6 pack of beer.

          Do these idiots really expect us to shut up?

          I’ve got one question for the prohibastes and their sycophants, “Are we there yet?”

      • Francis says:

        Yeah, it’s definitely one of the worst I’ve seen in such a prominent publication. And yeah, no surprises here, but he’s getting absolutely destroyed in the comments.

        And did anyone else notice this?

        Now, I have nothing against people who smoke pot. In fact, I believe it is a crime to put someone in prison for smoking pot. Honestly, do we really need some idiot frat boy to get picked up during Mardi Gras for smoking pot and find himself locked in a cage with a monster for six months? Kevin Sabet, a former senior adviser to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy poses a terrific point when he says that criminal processing for possession of marijuana needs improvement, but legalization is a step too far.

        I see. We shouldn’t arrest people for pot and send them to prison. We should arrest them and send them to court-mandated “treatment.” What line of work did you say you were in again, Mr. Samuels? Oh, right.

      • Windy says:

        I was one of the commenters who contributed to those “over 7000 comments”. Your assumption about the ratio of comments in agreement to comments opposed.

    • Citizen Teus says:

      Samuels is the guy that destroyed himself on the Piers Morgan segment with Gupta. Just another profiteer. I guess CNN felt they needed to be “balanced”.

  11. darkcycle says:

    Holder to announce major criminal Justice reforms…

    • Duncan20903 says:

      Do you think that there’s any chance that he’ll arrest himself? If he does do you think he might beat himself up and then sue the United States for police brutality?

  12. Final/showdown/on/location says:

    “Whatever… if they can end this BS “war” for politically correct horseshi*t, that it’s unfair to minorities, then so be it. Whatever it takes, this abysmal failure, just like alcohol prohibition before it, should end. There’s no excuse that it should continue, no matter what the morons at the DEA say. It’s one of the biggest miscarriages of justice ever in this country, is unconstitutional, and has to end. Otherwise, we’re going to take the law, and the politicians who could end it but don’t , to account. And it won’t be pretty. Heads on pikes. Our “leaders” convicted of treason and hung. Get it done, boys and girls, or it may be you hanging from a rope, and time is running short.”

    -William Bramblett

  13. claygooding says:

    Still 4 1/2 hours until the show and my palms are sweating,,having a world renowned neurosurgeon say words so many of us have shouted now for nearly 2 decades shouldn’t be making us nervous at all,it should be a confirmation of our efforts and dedication instead it seems to be almost surreal.
    And the show tonight is not near as telling as what is seen the next morning,,how many mainstream morning shows will air clips and will they support or deny?
    i think MSNBC and CNN will be supporting Guptka’s assessment and perhaps ABC but not Fox,,I think Fox has too many corporate controlled speaking heads. A couple of the Fox will support but most won’t.
    I will be up at 5am to start scanning the channels to get the feel of the ocean.

    • Duncan20903 says:

      Fox may not support the idea but I’ll bet dollars to dirt that they’ll give it the most air time. There’s no such thing as bad publicity as long as they spell your name right.

  14. QuaxMercy says:

    As we move into this discussion, it becomes clear that one question we will need to meaningfully respond to is prompted by the pugnaciously snide accusation: “All they want is to get high!” And the question is: What is wrong with high? We need to adequately apprehend & address their fears. What do they think high is? (As I understand it, the Shafer Commission turned out the way it did because several members overcame their fears and endured up-close-&-personal proximity to actual adult pot-users! Behind the most closed of closed doors, of course!) What is the “worst” part of “high”? What are the other ‘worst” parts – prioritized by “worseness,” please.
    To dispel their fears will not address their righteous sanctimony, but it should serve to demonstrate that that’s all they’ve got left. Then, perhaps, we can set them out by the roadside & move on!

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