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Article posted Aug 07 2013, 10:55 PM Category: Big Brother/Orwellian Source: Randall Holcombe Print

"Parallel Construction": Government Term for Lying About Its Investigations

By Randall Holcombe

President Obama pledged to create “ unprecedented level of openness in Government...” and to “... work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration.” With all the recent revelations about IRS abuses and NSA snooping that the president wants to keep secret, transparency in government increasingly appears to mean that government can know everything about us; we can know nothing about government.

Here is another government policy, apparently long-standing, that only came to my attention through this article. There are so many disturbing things in the article that I hardly know where to start.

But, I’ll start with the idea of “parallel construction,” in which “...federal agents are trained to ‘recreate’ the investigative trail to effectively cover up where the information originated, a practice that some experts say violates a defendant’s Constitutional right to a fair trial.” If the government has evidence against you, not only do they not reveal where they got it, they actually lie about its origin. The article notes, “If defendants don’t know how an investigation began, they cannot know to ask to review potential sources of exculpatory evidence – information that could reveal entrapment, mistakes or biased witnesses.”

Nancy Gertner, a Harvard Law School professor who was a federal judge from 1994 to 2011, says she’s never heard of this. “It sounds like they are phonying up investigations,” she said.

Meanwhile, “...two senior DEA officials defended the program, and said trying to ‘recreate’ an investigative trail is not only legal but a technique that is used almost daily.”

The article offers an example: The Special Operations Division (SOD) of the DEA passes along a tip to state police to find a reason to stop a vehicle because they suspect the vehicle is involved in drug activity. The police find a reason to stop the vehicle, probably for a traffic violation, and find drugs.

The article says, “After an arrest was made, agents then pretended that their investigation began with the traffic stop, not with the SOD tip, the former agent said. The training document reviewed by Reuters refers to this process as ‘parallel construction.’” The article continues, “The two senior DEA officials, who spoke on behalf of the agency but only on condition of anonymity, said the process is kept secret to protect sources and investigative methods.”

That’s troubling enough. Government policy is to lie about their sources of information. But there’s more. What are those sources of information the SOD uses?

The article says, “The unit of the DEA that distributes the information is called the Special Operations Division, or SOD. Two dozen partner agencies comprise the unit, including the FBI, CIA, NSA, Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Homeland Security.”

The most disturbing (to me) agency in that group is the IRS. According to the official line, your tax records are private and not to be shared among other government agencies, which prompted recent outcries with revelations that tax records were being used for political purposes. Now we find out that tax records are also being shared among two dozen partner agencies, including the DEA. Just that one sentence in the article should be fodder for outrage against our intrusive government; yet not much has been said about it since the articl

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Comments 1 - 3 of 3 Add Comment Page 1 of 1
Coyne Tibbets

Posted: Aug 09 2013, 12:24 AM

678 I have another term for this: Evidence laundering. Use it a lot, because its connotation is that of criminal activity (which is what this is).

"Parallel construction" is nothing but a weasel term intended to avoid the criminal taint.

Posted: Aug 09 2013, 3:06 AM

"Parallel Construction," may be the government's, "Term for Lying," but, so much truth is in that term, one might be struck by double-think, after having read it. (I was).

I have lots to say on the linked article, as well as this one, although, in order to do so, I would have to be holding (at the least) 6 mirrors.

"The article says,....." - Randall Holcombe. That quote alone, is doublethink; proof that all "terms," should be called into question. Articles "read," they don't "say," anything. Newspeak is tricky sometimes.
This article is written to aid the "Parallel (CON)structors." Even if, I were holding only 3 mirrors, (I am presently), I can see the CON in this CONstruct - as follows:

1. The headline - it suggests the king's college can outwit you, (mirror), while, simultaneously grabbing your attention.
2. The first paragraph - it reads, that government is watching you, (mirror), though, you can't watch them.... That is straight-out the "1984" script. (Big Brother can't see, for he's an ideology, not an actual person).
3. The linked article - it's a war construct. Government claims to have the right to watch you, (mirror) you must fight against them.


Posted: Aug 09 2013, 3:34 AM

..."recreate the investigative trial to effectively cover up where the information originated..." - Randall Holcombe.

Randall, this quote is for you: "time travels forward, one, accelerates." - dave

I don't know about you Randall, but, I say: "take me anywhere but back."

Information originates as a notion, and, (though they've tried) this government continues to fall short of answering the questions, presented by those notions. In other words: "when you play god, you had better be prepared to take on god."

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