Unconstitutional Network Of Government Spies Tracks Your Movements To Grab Cash
Another day, and Donald Trump has committed another outrage, showing how morally bankrupt the Republican Party has become. The Trump insanity of the day is that he now accuses Barack Obama of founding the Islamic State. ““He is the founder of ISIS.” Trump’s wild accusation is the top news story of the morning, and it ought to be.
However, other stories that matter aren’t getting the attention they deserve. Among those is the report from an investigation by USA Today, revealing that the Drug Enforcement Administration has established an unconstitutional surveillance network that searches through the private travel plans of huge numbers of law-abiding Americans without any subpoena or evidence of criminal activity.
The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution establishes very clear guidelines for searches and seizures by government agents. It reads, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
To be constitutional, a government search and seizure must be:
– authorized by a warrant granted by a court
– supported by evidence of the probability of criminal activity
– specifically targeted to a particular place and person, looking for a particular thing described in the search warrant
The DEA program meets none of these requirements. The anti-drug government agency has established a network of spies working in the travel industry. These spies are recruited because they have access to private information on corporate computer networks. They are encouraged to search through databases of travelers’ information, looking for people who fit the DEA’s criteria of suspicious activity. This suspicious activity includes things such as the simple act of booking a one-way flight to Los Angeles.
It is not at this time against the law to fly to Los Angeles.
DEA agents intercept travelers identified by its network of spies, and then search through their bags, though they have no search warrant. The purpose of the DEA agents: Find large amounts of cash and take it.
It is at this time against the law to carry large amounts of cash.
The premise of this seizure is that people who carry large amounts of cash might intend to buy illegal drugs with it. Of course, that could be the case. On the other hand, people who carry large amounts of might intend to use it for a variety of other, legal things. The government doesn’t have the right to know what everybody does with their money. We have the right, established by the Fourth Amendment, to keep such information private if we want to.
When DEA agents find travelers carrying large amounts of cash, they presume that it’s money intended to buy illegal drugs. They seize the money, and even when people file complaints and prove that they had legitimate intentions for the money, the DEA doesn’t return all of it.
The DEA uses the money to fund its program of searching people for drugs.
Also, a portion of the money is paid to the DEA’s network of spies in travel agencies, airlines, and other travel-related companies, motivating them to search through Americans’ personal records, hoping to find new targets for the DEA for which they will be paid. DEA spies can gain hundreds of thousands of dollars for themselves through this espionage against traveling Americans.
The people whose money is taken by DEA agents are almost never charged with a crime, because having large amounts of money isn’t itself proof of any crime. The purpose of the unconstitutional searches isn’t criminal arrest. It’s simply to gather large amounts of cash for the DEA – $210 million, according to the USA Today report.