In the aftermath of a Reuters report detailing domestic surveillance programs under the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Department of Justice is launching an investigation into the DEA. The DEA operates underneath the DOJ, so in essence, the DOJ is investigating itself. Again. And just as with Operation Fast and Furious and the ATF, expect nothing much to come of that investigation.
On Monday, Reuters reported that the Special Operation Division within the DEA, which contains representatives of agencies including the IRS, DHS, NSA, CIA, and FBI, was using telephone records and wiretaps to check out criminals. Reuters said that the DEA could “recreate” the sources in order to prevent defense attorneys from finding out where they’d received information. James Felman, vice-chair of criminal justice at the American Bar Association, told The Guardian, “By the sound of it, this is a routine practice of using masses of information on Americans, in an erosion of constitutional protections of our citizens. This is clear evidence of things that people have been saying they are not doing. Collecting data on ordinary citizens and then concealing it officially. It is indefensible.”
The DOJ said that they were “looking into the issues raised by this story” but declined further comment.