The alternate constructions employed by the DEA are an excellent way for them to subject political opponents to extrajudicial execution. When illegally obtained evidence is used against a gangster, he will of course suspect a snitch. No one actually participating in the illegal market has an incentive to snitch. So, suspicion will fall on people in the periphery.
We can’t trust the government to come clean about this, the obviously broke the law when they used NSA data in criminal cases, but covered the source of the evidence up. There is no way for a defendant to defend himself if the source of evidence is unknown. Why would we trust them to admit to the full extent of mayhem they helped create? We must demand that all uses of NSA data be made public.
Otherwise, we can only guess based indirect evidence. For example, many unusual occurrences that happened to me during the time Silk Road was operational could be attributed to a leak by someone familiar with the investigation. As I ran a Tor router until 2012, my computer likely routed traffic destined for Silk Road.
It would have been obvious that I was not involved after awhile, because I was not taking in money, and my mail was getting stolen. Whoever leaked had their own agenda. My landlord has finally put out a mailbox for my apartment, a day or two after the Silk Road story broke. During the entire duration of the investigation, my mail was left in a common area, and every time I tried to get an ID, my mail was stolen.
I eventually had to get my driver’s license mailed elsewhere. This is not the only issue. Thieves broke into my apartment, using a key obviously obtained from my landlord. The timing of that incident suggest that this was done with the cooperation of former coworkers. In addition, both my manager and my director made weird comments during this time about the evils of selling drugs.
Another clue comes from a time when I was held for questioning concerning a crime. For those who forgot your civics classes, the police can pretty much detain you for any reason, but after around 48 hours they must show that they have some reason to believe that you committed a crime. In that case, you are brought before a judge and charges are filed, if the judge agrees that there is evidence.
There were between 20-32 men held that weekend, every one of us were released without an attempt to charge us. The interesting thing is, the gentleman bunking underneath me warned me, “Even the guards don’t f*ck with a snitch.” (Telling me I shouldn’t be a snitch, as if someone told him I was. Edited for clarity when written.) Also, someone went out of their way to bring me a book about the problems within the criminal justice system.
What makes this interesting, is that I’d never seen any of them. I’ve only seen one of these people since. Most of them seemed to know each other. They must have known the police were setting me up, I didn’t know them, or what they were accused of. My best guess is that they figured if the dirty cops were setting me up, I might be in a position to make a difference if I just learned about the epidemic of corruption within the system.
Unfortunately not true, I think the police targeted me for another reason. While I was not a high value target, being for the most part deceived about the the government’s moves to create a police state, I did run a Tor router. Tor is an inconvenience for law enforcement’s comrades in China, Belarus, and other tin pot dictatorships that share the value of using secret evidence in criminal investigations. Actually, given recent hostility directed towards the press by our own government, Tor is an inconvenience to them, too.
While I am a natural enemy to their agenda, being a registered Libertarian, I don’t think that would be enough to target me, yet. Falsified evidence was used to take my daughter away from me. Reeducation for those exposed to ideas of freedom is a common tactic used around the world.
Logically, we must suspect that more important people, such as activists or members of militias, have been subjected to such tactics more often. Where they were successful, the police must face criminal charges. This is no different than driving the car in a drive-by shooting. As the government continues to lie about the extent of illegal activity, we can no longer accept state secrets as an objection to public scrutiny.