Obama is Using NSA Surveillance to Bust Your Weed Dealer

The DEA has been using information gathered from intelligence agencies to arrest drug offenders, and then covering up where they got the information.

We accept that government must collect data on us using wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records for the purposes of national security. But we forget that as soon as our government gains the right to spy on us and lie about it, we lose all ability to make sure they’re using their surveillance powers appropriately.

Furthermore, arresting drug dealers is not a legitimate reason to spy on Americans without a warrant. But most importantly, while it’s essential that we know who is being spied on and what government is doing with the information to keep the spying within limits, the government must provide that information to defendants so they can make sure the evidence against them was obtained legally and is legitimate.

Oversight is impossible without information. President Obama has blocked every lawsuit to explore the legality of spying programs, citing national security concerns. There is no other way for Americans to find out whether these programs are constitutional. The Obama administration has prosecuted more whistleblowers than all previous administrations combined. It should come as no surprise that in this environment where government spying on citizens remains utterly unbound by the dictates of the Constitution, we find out through whistleblowers who felt so strongly they risked prosecution that programs like PRISM and Boundless Informant existed.

And we’re supposed to believe that we should trust the government to spy on us because they will only use the information for the purposes of national security.

The Obama administration has turned over surveillance data to the department that killed two innocent Guatemalan women. This is the department that regularly performs armed raids on state-legal medical marijuana dispensaries, smashing windows and causing needless destruction against unarmed caregivers. This is the department whose cooperation with the Mexican government has sent the country's murder rate skyrocketing.

The fact that the intelligence community would allow the DEA, of all departments, to have access to this information should remove any doubt you may have had about their good judgment.