People have long suspected they can be targeted for long term law enforcement attention. Such practices are of course usually denied, and the debate has raged on. One presumed vehicle has been umbrella Watchlists, those national scope devices which are all the rage lately, but any agency worth its salt would have a database of its own – or so the culture goes – which means there is a good chance any given Agency not only targets people, but makes long term plans based on such targets.
One problem with oversight of these systems has been the environment in which they thrive. Targeting seems to ride upon the information provided by Confidential Reliable Informants, or Confidential Human Sources, who wield secret identities, and whose records are hidden. CRIs and CHSs then become the secret gatekeepers for who should be treated to a life of suspicion.
What we have found in studying this matter, and as this U.S. Supreme Court Amicus Brief makes clear, is that such a life of suspicion is a very difficult life. The question then becomes what part of our constitution allows such treatment and punishment without Due Process. Our research here shows there is no way to square our Consititution with how current watchlists are implemented.
Another facet is the prevailing mentality surrouding Confidential Sources: The mentality is that ‘it takes one to know one,’ so it takes a criminal to know a criminal. Now we know that CRIs and CHSs are comprised largely of experienced and well known criminals, and that this is how criminals get to dictate whose life will be effectively destroyed.
Up to now it has been difficult to obtain evidence of Agency targeting, but one of our most recent cases yielded that note above, plainly admitting that our client has been targeted, and by whom. We are bringing that document here so you can see what targeting looks like, first-hand:
So there it is, a government document saying someone is an Active Target of a certain Agency, in black and white. And there is the reference to the ‘Confidential Reliable Informant,’ as one expects with these systems.
There is more that was found from the records search on this client, suffice it to say we will be discussing this case as soon as we are able. For now rest assured, we are working to show unwarranted targeting exists, how it is damaging people, and how it should be stopped.
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