Fraternal Order of Police in Baltimore

Your Drug Enforcement Agency

DEA administrator Michele Leonhart testifies before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in a hearing on sexual harassment and misconduct allegations at the DEA and FBI in Washington April 14, 2015. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan

Let us face a simple fact: There are plenty of reasons to disdain the Drug Enforcement Agency.

For some, reading through the latest list of scandals to rock the DEA is a perplexing exercise. The War Against Drugs in general has been an ill-conceived disaster, and after all the infamous zeal and excess it is, in fact, another sort of excess that brings the Drug Enforcement Agency to infamy. You know the sort: “sex parties”, suggestions of bribery, beating prostitutes bloody, that sort of thing.

Still, though, Joe Davidson’s reflection on last week’s House Oversight Committee hearing includes a striking consideration:

The lack of authority cited by the Oversight Committee holds ramifications that go beyond the DEA. For a Congress that seems increasingly uncomfortable with the sometimes lengthy due process that must be followed to fire federal employees, the light punishments for DEA agents and Leonhart’s inability to discipline them is reason for Congress to act.

“I can’t fire,” Leonhart said. “I can’t recommend a penalty .... I don’t have the authority to intervene in the disciplinary process.”

To some extent, the members of Congress seemed to hold her responsible for not exercising authority that Congress has not given her. Don’t be surprised if Congress moves to make it easier to fire not just DEA employees but also other federal employees, as it did last year with Department of Veterans Affairs Senior Executive Service members.

So why is the first thought to mind a shrugging sense of, “Sounds about right”?

And then, you know, something about how unequivocal support of law enforcement is required.

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Image note: DEA administrator Michele Leonhart testifies before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in a hearing on sexual harassment and misconduct allegations at the DEA and FBI in Washington April 14, 2015. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan

Davidson, Joe. “DEA agents had the fun, now boss pays the price”. The Washington Post. 17 April 2015.

The Time to Show Your Unequivocal Support for Law Enforcement

Ah, Arizona!

“Sadly, the bloodshed will most likely continue until those in positions of power realize that the unequivocal support of law enforcement is required to preserve our nation.”

Fraternal Order of Police in Baltimore

Meanwhile, in Arizona, Debra Milke has been exonerated after spending twenty-two years on death row for apparent police and prosecutorial corruption:

Key to the case’s dismissal was prosecutorial misconduct, mainly that of a detective, Armando Saldate, who said Milke confessed to the crime to him — even though there was no witness or recording.

Prosecutors withheld from the jury Saldate’s personnel record which showed instances of misconduct in other cases, including lying under oath.

The two men with whom Milke was accused of conspiring were tried separately and are still on death row.

(Ahmed and Botelho)

What we have here is an accusation and conviction of murder and conspiracy, based on an apparent lie told by a detective, and prosecutors deliberately working to cover for that lie.

Twenty-two years.

Remember, we owe these law enforcement officials unequivocal support; if we don’t praise their corruption, America will not survive.

At least, that’s what a cop said.

You know, for whatever that is worth.

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WBAL. “Baltimore police union releases statement on NYPD shootings”. WBALTV.com. 21 December 2015.

Ahmed, Saeed and Greg Botelho. “Debra Milke, who spent 22 years on Arizona death row, has murder case tossed”. CNN. 24 March 2015.