The NSA's massive dragnet of your information HAS been used by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to target and prosecute Americans for other than terrorism-related offenses or behaviors. The billions of phone calls secreted away somewhere, the gazillion emails...the DOJs Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has access to them and is using them. Those involved in the program includes the IRS, DHS, FBI, CIA and NSA and comprise the Special Operation Division (SOD) which is located somewhere undisclosed in Virginia. One specific SOD operation is DICE, DEA Internet Connectivity Endeavor. A roiling question: is there any expectation that your conversation with your attorney will be absolutely private? See an update below.
"Remember that the utilization of SOD cannot be revealed or discussed in any investigative function," a document presented to agents reads. The document specifically directs agents to omit the SOD's involvement from investigative reports, affidavits, discussions with prosecutors and courtroom testimony. Agents are instructed to then use "normal investigative techniques to recreate the information provided by SOD." (Source: See Reuters link below)The difference between the NSA program and SOD:
NSA: To use electronic surveillance to help the Federal Bureau of Investigation catch terrorists, the U.S. military fight wars, and the Central Intelligence Agency collect intelligence about foreign governments.
SOD: To help the DEA and other law enforcement agents launch criminal investigations of drug dealers, money launderers and other common criminals, including Americans. The unit also handles global narco-terrorism cases. ..
SOD: The SOD forwards tips gleaned from NSA intercepts, wiretaps by foreign governments, court-approved domestic wiretaps and a database called DICE to federal agents and local law enforcement officers. The DICE database is different from the NSA phone-records database. DICE consists of about 1 billion records, and is primarily a compilation of phone log data that is legally gathered by the DEA through subpoenas or search warrants. Source: Raw Story
The Raw Story link above says Congress "have been briefed" on SOD. The paper trail is hidden and lied about by being "recreated," so when an American is accused, the data presented against you in a court of law was/is not necessarily obtained in the manner your attorney was/is told it was discovered.
A secretive U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration unit is funneling information from intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records to authorities across the nation to help them launch criminal investigations of Americans.
Although these cases rarely involve national security issues, documents reviewed by Reuters show that law enforcement agents have been directed to conceal how such investigations truly begin - not only from defense lawyers but also sometimes from prosecutors and judges.
The undated documents show that 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. Source: ReutersNo need to go though the litany of U.S. Senators and Representatives who have fully-backed the NSA program of storing and data-mining our private communications by intimation that those against it have a lack of patriotism or understanding of the threat of terrorism, even though many have stated they did not understand the full scope of the program. Yet it goes on. The clock is ticking down to the first elected on Capitol Hill to tell us they knew nada about DICE, or worse, knew about it but did not understand the scope.
Are the communications between you and your attorney data-mined? Foolish to think not.
No doubt nothing will stop this. SOD and NSA will go on uninhibited after a few hearings. Congress lacks the will to protect the U.S. Constitution and/or stop Eric Holder. Surely our outrage can make something happen?
UPDATE @ 11:08 am CDT: Brett Baier is on Fox News with Kelly Wright explaining how this works. An example: An agent is told to be at a certain location at a certain time, and to look for a certain vehicle. The car is searched for drugs and if appropriate, the person(s) is arrested. When the agent writes-up the report, it states that the case began with the arrest - not with the fact that the driver was set-up.