We are told that Texas interstate highways are conduits for smuggling drugs from Mexico to points farther North. And from time to time we see headlines about some vehicle having been discovered to be hauling a sizable cache of contraband. Then there's an attempt to explain how that particular vehicle was singled out from the millions of other vehicles on the roadways.
The story goes something like this: A DPS officer noticed that a truck had an outdated inspection sticker and pulled it over. The driver acted nervous, so the vehicle was searched. Officers found a sealed container filled with drugs inside the vehicle's gas tank.
Now we know the real reason why the vehicle was pulled over. Edward Snowden revealed how the NSA was collecting meta data from certain phone calls, possibly all phone calls originating from or received in the U.S. And now Reuters is telling about a secret organization called Special Operations Division (SOD) which is a partnership among two dozen agencies, including the FBI, CIA, NSA, Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Homeland Security. SOD distributes information, allegedly legally obtained, to various law enforcement agencies. From Reuters:
A former federal agent in the northeastern United States who received such tips from SOD described the process. "You'd be told only, ‘Be at a certain truck stop at a certain time and look for a certain vehicle.' And so we'd alert the state police to find an excuse to stop that vehicle, and then have a drug dog search it," the agent said.
Then, according to the Reuters article, in a process described as "parallel construction," a fake story would be concocted to explain why they had probable cause to stop and search that vehicle. Convictions are sure to be appealed because of the lack of the honesty on the part of the government.
It brings to mind that famous scene from "A Few Good Men" in which Colonel Jessup makes an angry attempt to justify his illegal behavior because his work is so important.
Meanwhile, back to Snowden's NSA leak, criminal defense attorneys are seeking the phone data NSA has been collecting to try to obtain evidence showing their clients were not at the crime scene. See Defense lawyers insist on clients’ right to use NSA records -- via Instapundit. If the NSA does indeed possess a database containing the meta data for all of our phone calls as alleged, then that data could basically recreate a trail establishing the location of anyone with a phone at any given time. If they are going to use it to prosecute someone, then it should be available to exculpate someone, too.