The Phaserl


A Federal Judge Just Shamed The DEA For Fabricating Sham Cases To Justify War On Drugs

by Justin Gardner, The Free Thought Project:

Since the War on Drugs began in earnest under Nixon and Reagan, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has ruined millions of lives for nonviolent, victimless behavior. The DEA’s drug crusade is not limited to the homeland either, as it also has sole responsibility for pursing international drug investigations.

After 9/11, among the many travesties of the Patriot Act was a little-known section that gave the DEA powerful new abilities, under the guise of “narco-terrorism.” The agency says that these new pursuits are promoting national security, and it uses the purported success to lobby Congress for more funding.

However, according to ProPublica, these narco-terrorism cases are merely staging threats, not stopping them. Many targets of the DEA have no actual involvement in terrorist groups and are the hapless victims of entrapment.

A federal court recently showed the reality of this when it threw out a conviction because the DEA relied on a known “fabricator.” This Afghan informant, identified during trial only as Qari, formed almost the entire basis of the DEA’s case against alleged narco-terrorist Haji Bagcho.

In a 24-page ruling, issued last Friday, Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle vacated the narco-terrorism count against Bagcho, saying “the government violated the defendant’s right to due process by failing to turn over favorable impeachment evidence.” She wrote, “Evidence that the DEA’s Kabul office was told that Qari had been deemed a liar by another government agency, yet it still elected to use him as a witness would serve to undermine the reliability of the government’s investigation and its sources.”

Qari was paid $45,000 by the DEA for acting as a confidential informant while the usual income in Afghanistan was less than $600. A previous court had already designated Qari a “fabricator and/or information peddler,” and that other agency mentioned in Huvelle’s ruling had deemed his information “unrealistic and sensational.”

The DEA pleaded ignorance in using Qari, saying its failure was due to “discrepancies in the spelling of Qari’s name.”

Only a month ago, ProPublica and the New Yorker “examined some 37 narco-terrorism cases highlighted by the DEA and found that a disturbing number of them also unraveled. In most of the cases, the only evidence of a link between drugs and terrorism entered into evidence was provided by the DEA, which used paid informants to lure targets into staged narco-terrorism conspiracies.”

The case of Harouna Touré and Idriss Abdelrahman provides another example. The DEA launched an elaborate scheme to entrap the two smugglers in a narco-terrorism plot, involving fabricated tales of thousands of FARC fighters ready to collaborate against the U.S. This was the first narco-terrorism case brought against al Qaida, and DEA was hoping to make a big show.

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