Accountability

Confidential Informants and a Lack of Accountability

If you work as an informant, law enforcement is unlikely to have your back.

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A small business owner in Texas has been fighting the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for more than four years after one of the agency's confidential informants was murdered while driving one of his tractor trailers. 

As reported in the Houston Chronicle:

Craig Patty, the truck's owner, is still fighting for his day in court. He contends the DEA had no right or permission to use his vehicle or subject his family to possible retaliation by a drug cartel.

He has not been able to get the DEA to pay for the damages to the truck, let alone apologize.

He says the loss of the truck for months crippled his small business; and that the stress of fearing a cartel would retaliate against him and his family for something they knew nothing about shattered their lives.

Earlier this year, I reported on the case of Andrew Sadek, a college student who became a confidential informant for a North Dakota drug task force after being threatened with 40 years in prison over selling two small bags of marijuana on his school's campus.

When he turned up dead with a bullet in his head, the same agencies who busted him and encouraged him to snitch on purveyors of harder drugs than he had ever previously encountered refused to even investigate the case as a potential murder. 

Original text below. You can read the full article here

On June 27, 2014, the body of 20-year-old Andrew Sadek, a promising electrical student at the North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS) in Wahpeton, North Dakota, was pulled from the Red River bordering North Dakota and Minnesota.

Missing for two months, the young man was found shot in the head, wearing a backpack filled with rocks. 

The grisly death of a college student in one of the safest towns in the state, where violent crime is extremely rare, did not lead to a sweeping investigation. In fact, police immediately said they did not suspect foul play.

Such a supposition strains credulity as it is, but what would be slowly revealed over the following months is that Andrew had been working as a confidential informant for the police, and that his school knew that authorities were busting its students and using them as bait to catch drug dealers

This is a story of overzealous prosecution of minor drug offenses by a task force answerable only to itself, callous official indifference toward a grieving family, and a lack of transparency by authorities that raises more questions than it answers. 

Paramount among these questions: Why are police using non-violent, first-time offenders in the very dangerous role of confidential informant?  

About 9.45 minutes. 

Written and Produced by Anthony L. Fisher.

Camera by Alex Manning. Special Thanks to Jim Wareham, Ike Walker, Nicole Johnson and Bradford Arick of Valley News Live.

MUSIC: "I Was a Boy" and "Dishonest" by Wooden Ambulance (http://www.facebook.com/wooden.ambulance); "Old" by Smokey Hormel (http://www.smokeyhormel.com)

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  1. Craig Patty, the truck’s owner, is still fighting for his day in court. He contends the DEA had no right or permission to use his vehicle or subject his family to possible retaliation by a drug cartel.

    Ignore what the 5th Amendment says, and look at the FYTW clause of the Constitution.

    1. It looks like being a fat slob is a job requirement for SEMCA.

  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zH0mPfR-K2U

    Sargon has a video up about the difference between progressives and liberals. My favorite part is when he gets into the ‘progressive stack’ nonsense.

    1. He’s a great guy, but why does he name himself after Sargon of Akkad?

      I’m guessing it’s not out of admiration for the earlier Sargon’s bloodthirsty activities, but more because of the fact that it’s a cool, science-fictiony, fantasy-novelish name.

      You can easily imagine a Klingon emperor named Sargon.

      “We shall decloak in the Wombat system and destroy those who have dared defy us! We shall reduce their splendid palaces to ashes and make drinking cups out of their skulls! We…”

      [cell phone rings]

      “Wait a minute, I need to get this, it’s the Klingon High Council. Uh huh…uh, huh…shit, they just replaced me as Emperor with my cousin Joe Bob, who told me to call of the invasion and do a beer run instead. By all the gods, I shall not submit to this humiliation…I wonder if Target could used an experienced security guard?”

      1. Branding. He admitted recently that he uses the tag and not his name (although he no longer publishes anonymously) purely for reasons of branding, and as pseudonyms go it’s a pretty good one.

      2. Sargon is a huge history buff and it’s possible he just found the guy interesting.

        He’s posted videos about how much he loves various history websites and whenever some prog tries to use historical evidence for their positions, he annihilates them because Sargon has a much deeper knowledge of history than they do.

    2. Hanging onto the “left-wing” sobriquet in the era of progressivism is pretty misguided. I understand he’s English and so has to distance himself from right-wing xenophobes as a prerequisite for maintaining any sort of following, but the notion that the contemporary left represents anything other than cultural and economic Marxism is pure naivety.

      1. Now hold on! The contemporary Left does NOT “represent” Marxism. It represents a restive clerisy that is SURE it knows what is best for everybody, and is outraged that the mass of us peasants won’t just do as we are told.

        Marxism is just a mask for them (as it is for everybody who claims to be a Marxist); a respectable front to their appalling desire to be aristocrats.

        1. I’ll buy that, actually. There’s no doubt most progressives aren’t well-informed about Marxism or communism proper, and merely parrot tropes of the ideological movement because it meshes so well with their applications of critical theory to identity politics. But at bottom it only means wresting power from those in society who provide and investing it in those who sponge.

          1. The thing is, Marxism is an absurdity. A fairy tale. It cannot possibly work. In socialogical or economic terms, it has the same level of validity as the Divine Right of Kings. There are no “real” Marxists, in the sense of people actually using Marxist theory to effectively control an economy. Because they can’t.

            So Marxism is ALWAYS a cloak. For lust for power. For igorance of or distaste for economic realities. For spurious moral superiority.

            Anyone who claims to be a Marxist is either lying to you, or to himself.

    3. Indeed, progs and true liberals are complete opposites.

    4. There’s no difference between progressives and those who claim to be liberal. They’re all various flavors of leftists and statists.

      The only liberals are now called libertarians.

        1. I know nothing of this silly term.

          I’m saying that liberals of today are called libertarians.

          The cosmos are quasi squishy squashy libertarians.

          Then there are the left libertarians, the flash in the pan term that sort of just vanished as quickly as it appeared. They’re like bigfoot and UFOs. People have claimed to have seen one, but there is no concrete evidence that they actually exist.

          1. “Then there are the left libertarians”

            Whatever happened with that “debate” about Left Libertarians lucy was covering?

            (sheldon vs…. someone else?)

            1. I didn’t watch it. It’s probably up on her blog.

              1. Meat of the “debate” starts in the second half. I was basically thick vs thin libertarianism.

            2. Lol, you know… this is the first time that I’ve actually seen her talking. I know it’s taboo, but I umm, well…. errr, I dunno… well maybe she’s really drunk or stoned or both, so there is always the possibility she’s not actually as unhinged as Kennedy. And these are our only known examples of female libertarians. God help us all.

              1. I saw her in an interview on TV before. It was hard to watch as well. She has trouble getting her thoughts out verbally. Still have to love her.

                1. Still have to love her.

                  I always liked her here. Especially how she engaged the commentariat, unlike the cosmos who are so frightened by our unabashed directness.

                  Maybe she should stick to the written art. But I’m giving her a chance now. She just comes off initially as a little strange and awkward, or drunk and stoned. Which I can forgive.

              2. Good grief, what the fuck is this guy prattling on about? I’m watching it all, but so far it seems like he’s trying to make the argument that because some people who at one time somewhere sat on the left side of something… that makes the term leftist libertarian make sense? Hell no, that makes no sense. It is well understood by everyone today that the term left means someone in favor of an all powerful state that will control everything and that individualism must not be tolerated in favor of collectivism. Ugh. I’m cooking some ribs and crab stuffed peppers, then coming back to watch the rest of this train wreck.

                1. They don’t really get into to the meat of the discussion until after the 30 minute mark and then they pretty much start repeating themselves. Block is basically saying libertarianism is just the NAP and nothing else and that you can’t start adding moral obligations like respect for individuals to the definition. Sheldon says he agrees but that it’s important to point out when people are holding viewpoints that seem to be contradictory to basic libertarian ideals. They go back and forth on that for most of the second half. Lucy chimes in incoherently near the end. Enjoy your meal. Wish I was having that.

                  1. They also discuss capitalism and socialism briefly.

                    1. They also discuss capitalism and socialism briefly

                      I haven’t got that far yet, but I don’t know what the reason behind this type of play on words is. It’s very clear that those who call themselves liberals today are not liberal. It’s just as clear that left means statism today, and has for a long time despite what it meant in the past. There is no confusion about either of those things. These guys are having a classic example of first world problem. Let’s argue now about the significance of cute kitten videos upon society.

                  2. Block is basically saying libertarianism is just the NAP and nothing else

                    Oh, sure, of course, let’s throw out the entire economic side of libertarianism.

                    ‘You didn’t build that’ and ‘Don’t let anyone tell you it’s businesses that create jobs’ from the known left has resulted in a world so bizarre that the Donald is leading all candidates for POTUS 2016. Fuck these ‘left libertarin’ assholes.

                    Ok, I’m back to watching…

                    1. This guy is fucking wacked. There is no way that libertarianism can exist without a free economic system.

                    2. Chess and Checkers? Same as left vs right? Is this guy for fucking real? So Chess vs Checkers is the same as free markets vs a central control economy?

                2. I’ve been waiting for someone to watch it all and save me the trouble

                  1. It’s worth watching for Lucy and attempt to figure out WTF sort of the ludicrous shit this Block guy is trying to actually say.

                    Hey, maybe he’s Block Yo Mama?

                    1. I will watch it on your recommend. I might even learn something. I might just get depressed.

          2. There may be people who call themselves left-libertarians, but they’re people using the libertarian label without meaning.

            1. You also have the quack followers of Chomsky and Proudhon.

            2. I’ve always said, the term is a classic example of an oxymoron.

      1. That’s true.

    5. It seems like he blew the entire core of his point by pivoting to BLM instead of continuing on with clarifying that people who call themselves “Liberals” these days support nearly none of the aspects he defines as the core of “liberalism”

      e.g. “personal liberty…freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, free markets, civil rights, democratic societies, secular governments, and international cooperation.”

      Instead…. all the people watching this will simply hear that he dislikes BLM, and therefore everything he says is moot.

      He takes too long to point out that identity politics makes Progressive Principals (greater than) so-called “liberal principles”

      1. “Instead…. all the people watching this will simply hear that he dislikes BLM, and therefore everything he says is moot.”

        The BLM part is like 4 minutes of a 55 minute video. And he uses the BLM as an example of the exact point you’re making regarding identity politics.

        1. I was ~25 minutes in when i said that.

          He got to economic freedom at minute 26 – and even then, he seems more concerned with comic-book censorship than re-distributive economics

          My comment was also made based on the focus of the comments there, which seems largely a reaction to his being unimpressed by BLM protestors.

          1. He’s British; he’s not great on economics. He thinks the NHS is peachy. He’s worth listening to on cultural stuff, though. Like many libertarian men under 30 (or so) (many of them single) he’s a bit obsessed with the SJW crap.

            1. correction: He wouldn’t self-identify as libertarian because he’s British. He probably identifies as liberal.

        2. My basic point re: Sargon,

          that while I agree with his take on the whole progressive culture-war bullshit…

          … I find the general focus of how he makes his points, ‘chickenshit’.

          ie. ‘scratching around the small-potatoes gripes moderate-liberals have with extreme-progressive SJWs’

          Its all pushback at “progressive culture-war” …with little focus on how individual liberty really applies in the wider sphere vis a via government.

          He’s more concerned about how awful extreme-leftist people are… rather than how passively-lefty ideas result in widespread government intrusion into every aspect of our lives.

          His comment = “”[The modern progressive movement] is, in most ways, directly opposed to the classical liberalism of the Enlightenment“”

          … could be equally applied to almost every exercise of government in the modern bureaucratic state. *particularly* in the UK.

          Yet they moan about twitter campaigns and sexists comic books etc. Chickenshit.

          1. He approaches it this way precisely because he’s British. To articulate a position in a more American like libertarian way would mean rejecting many soft liberal position he’s probably in favor of. He’s very careful when discussing gun control. He cannot bring himself to fully embrace gun rights because that position is so very icky and completely unacceptable if you’re British.

            No libertarianism, please; he’s British.

            1. “He approaches it this way precisely because he’s British.”

              I worked for the brits for ~9 years, and lived in England for ~2. There are plenty of common-sense, free-market /classical liberal types there who have no qualms bitching about the NHS or the over-regulation of everything in their country.

              Most of them are small business owners, or people who work in finance.

              You’re right, Sargon represents more of the typical british ‘student’ POV. But he’s not the prototype of everyone in the UK

  3. Example #1834157348054025802748057840174301580 of how the War on Drugs is morally wicked.

  4. Fun fact about confidential informants: They are paid in cash without 1099s. No taxes, bitch.

  5. [redacted] the [redacted] in the [redacted] and send them all to the woodchipper, the [redacted].

    1. This..

      Or the boats will do, as always.

  6. Earlier this year, I reported on the case of Andrew Sadek

    Thanks for the re-nutpunch.

  7. Do NOT watch this video. It will ruin your weekend.

  8. Whole Foods security guard leaves shopper in pool of blood, tried to pay with EBT.

    Future employment with Oakland PD – assured.

    The pictures are graphic. When they say pool of blood…

    1. The beat down and bloodied shopper was a recipient of stolen property.

      1. Then again, so is Whole Foods.

    2. Hope he’s ok.

      1. He won’t be needing that EBT card anymore.

  9. They don’t really get into to the meat of the discussion until after the 30 minute mark and then they pretty much start repeating themselves. Block is basically saying libertarianism is just the NAP and nothing else and that you can’t start adding moral obligations like respect for individuals to the definition. Sheldon says he agrees but that it’s important to point out when people are holding viewpoints that seem to be contradictory to basic libertarian ideals. They go back and forth on that for most of the second half. Lucy chimes in incoherently near the end. Enjoy your meal. Wish I was having that.

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