Biden Expands Snitch Army

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Biden Expands Snitch Army

The Biden administration may soon recruit an army of private snoops to conduct surveillance that would be illegal if done by federal agents. As part of its war on extremism, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may exploit a “legal work-around” to spy on and potentially entrap Americans who are “perpetuating the ‘narratives’ of concern,” CNN reported last week. But federal informant programs routinely degenerate into “dollars for collars” schemes that reward scoundrels for fabricating crimes that destroy the lives of innocent Americans.

The DHS plan would “allow the department to circumvent [constitutional and legal] limits” on surveillance of private citizens and groups. Federal agencies are prohibited from targeting individuals solely for First Amendment-protected speech and activities. But federal hirelings would be under no such restraint. Private informants could create false identities that would be problematic if done by federal agents.

According to a March report by Biden’s office of the Director of National Intelligence, “domestic violent extremists” include individuals who “take overt steps to violently resist or facilitate the overthrow of the U.S. government in support of their belief that the U.S. government is purposely exceeding its Constitutional authority.” Perhaps like setting up a private informant scheme to evade constitutional restrictions on warrantless surveillance?

DHS officials have apparently decided that certain groups of people are guilty regardless of what they say (“couching their language”). The targets are likely to be simply people with a bad attitude towards Washington. That will include gun owners who distrust politicians who vow to seize guns.

DHS-funded Fusion Centers have attached the  “extremist” tag to gun-rights activists, anti-immigration campaigners, and individuals and groups “rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority”—even though many of the Founding Fathers shared the same creed. The Pentagon taught soldiers and bureaucrats that people who attend public protests are guilty of  “low-level terrorism.” 

The new informants hired by the Biden administration will operate under the same perverse incentives that have long subverted due process. Informants tend to be rewarded based on how much assets they help government seize or how many people they help prosecutors condemn. As a 2019 report by the American Bar Association noted, “The government pays cash for incriminating information and testimony. This is troubling because the financial incentive to make cases against others may be much greater than the personal integrity of the informants.” A report by the Justice Department Office of Inspector General slammed the Drug Enforcement Agency for failing to “document the reliability of informants” who helped the DEA to confiscate billions of dollars of private property. The DEA paid informants $237 million between 2010 and 2015, including $25 million shoveled out to only nine informants. DEA’s best paid informant, Andrew Chambers, Jr., was found to have given “false testimony under oath in at least 16 criminal prosecutions nationwide before he was exposed in the late 1990s,” USA Today reported in 2013. Attorney General Janet Reno banned the DEA from using him as an informant but in 2008, DEA re-hired Chambers and used him for at least the following five years.

 

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