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Report: IRS agents used secret DEA data to make cases against taxpayers, covered up where the info came from

By  David Martosko

PUBLISHED: 15:12 EST, 8  August 2013 |  UPDATED: 15:15 EST, 8 August 2013

 

 

An outdated version of a manual distributed  to Internal Revenue Service agents showed them how to hide the origin of  intelligence on taxpayers that came from a secretive database built by the Drug  Enforcement Agency.

The DEA program, operated by its clandestine  Special Operations Division (SOD), includes information collected by the  National Security Agency. It made front-page news on Monday when Reuters  reported that it funnels intelligence including overseas intercepts, domestic  wiretaps and statements from informants to other law enforcement agencies, which  use the material to build criminal cases against Americans.

One controversial element of the program  involves the government’s use of ‘parallel construction’ techniques to recreate  criminal investigations without disclosing that the NEA’s Special Operations  Division provided its launching point.

The IRS’s employee manual, Reuters  reported Thursday, included from 2005 to 2007 a  350-word entry telling agents to bury references to tips from the DEA’s  program.

 

Only in America: That not-so-friendly IRS audit notice may be the product of a tip from the DEA, whose information includes top-secret NSA intercepts 

Only in America: That not-so-friendly IRS audit notice  may be the product of a tip from the DEA, whose information includes top-secret  NSA intercepts

The DEA's Special Operations Division runs a secretive information-sharing program whose output is routinely concealed by other law enforcement agencies. Reuters redacted this image for what it said were 'security reasons' 

The DEA’s Special Operations Division (SOD) runs a  secretive information-sharing program whose output is routinely concealed by  other law enforcement agencies. Reuters redacted this image for what it said  were ‘security reasons’

 

DEA regularly works with U.S. Border Patrol agents to build large-scale narcotics cases, but it wasn't widely known until this week that federal drug enforcers also provide secretly-sourced intelligence to the IRS and other agencies 

DEA regularly works with U.S. Border Patrol agents to  build large-scale narcotics cases, but it wasn’t widely known until this week  that federal drug enforcers also provide secretly-sourced intelligence to the  IRS and other agencies

The instructions specifically described  ‘affidavits, court proceedings [and] investigative files’ as off-limits for any  references to DEA-supplied information.

 

DEA officials have insisted that the  techniques are required to protect their sources, and their purpose is not the  withholding of evidence.

‘Special Operations Division has the ability  to collect, collate, analyze, evaluate, and disseminate information and  intelligence derived from worldwide multi-agency sources, including classified  projects,’ the IRS manual read until the agency withdrew it from an online  location in 2007.

 

When the document was first published in  2005, it noted that the U.S. Justice Department ‘closely guards the information  provided by SOD with strict oversight,’ and restricted its information to  drug-investigation purposes.

But DEA officials told Reuters that the SOD’s  role was more recently expanded to include investigations into organized crime  and money laundering.

 

The DEA's program encourgaes the use of 'parallel construction' techniques, which extend far beyond intelligence gathering 

The DEA’s program encourgaes the use of ‘parallel  construction’ techniques, which extend far beyond intelligence gathering. Its  use, legal experts say, raises fundamental questions about whether the  government is concealing information used to investigate and help build criminal  cases against Americans

The manual instructed IRS agents to use tips  from the DEA to find new, ‘independent’ evidence against criminal  targets.

‘Usable information regarding these leads  must be developed from such independent sources as investigative files,  subscriber and toll requests, physical surveillance, wire intercepts, and  confidential source information,’ the manual read.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and other Republicans have been investigating the IRS for months, and the new revelations could provide new fuel to that fire 

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and  other Republicans have been investigating the IRS for months, and the new  revelations could provide new fuel to that fire

‘Information obtained from SOD in response to  a search or query request cannot be used directly in any  investigation.’

Neither the DEA nor the IRS would talk to  Reuters about the controversial technique. MailOnline contacted both agencies  with questions but received no reply.

Rep. Mike Rogers, a  Michigan Republican who chairs the House Intelligence Committee,  criticized the ‘parallel construction’ program during an appearance on former  Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s talk radio program.

‘If they’re recreating a trail, that’s wrong  and we’re going to have to do something about it,’ Rogers, a former FBI agent,  said.

‘We’re working with the DEA and intelligence  organizations to try to find out exactly what that story is.’

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, a libertarian-minded  potential 2016 presidential candidate, told Reuters that he was concerned about  DEA agents ‘trying to cover up a program that investigates  Americans.’

‘National security is one of government’s  most important functions,’ Paul said. ‘So is protecting individual  liberty.

‘If the Constitution still has any sway, a  government that is constantly overreaching on security while completely  neglecting liberty is in grave violation of our founding doctrine.’

MailOnline reported Tuesday that the DEA program is also  sending information to local police departments, helping them build petty drug  cases against small-time narcotics dealers and other minor  defendants.

Reuters explained that IRS agents are 'under direct orders to not disclose' that a DEA program was involved in the cases they build 

Reuters explained that IRS agents are ‘under direct  orders to not disclose’ that a DEA program was involved in the cases they build.  Instead they provide a ‘plausible story that creates a new investigative trail’  which won’t lead ‘back to the secret source’

 

 

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2387193/Report-IRS-agents-used-secret-DEA-data-make-cases-taxpayers-covered-info-came-from.html#ixzz2bQoBF79J Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

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