Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Founders of Mexico's most violent drug cartel were trained by US

The Zetas have a fearsome reputation, but the real surprise comes not in their ruthless use of violence, but in the origins of where they learned the tricks of their bloody trade.
Some of the cartel's initial members were elite Mexican troops, trained in the early 1990s by America’s 7th Special Forces Group or "snake eaters" at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina.
-Al Jazeera

Monday, October 4, 2010

"Predictive Policing"

Police in LA hope to pick up on criminal behavior patterns in order to "predict" criminal behavior.
Yes, this is the world we live in.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Arnold signs marijuana decriminalization law

This is pretty huge.
Citing the need to reduce spending on prosecution and courts, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a measure (SB 1449, Leno) that makes marijuana possession an infraction (like traffic and littering tickets) instead of a misdemeanor.
This is actually more important than the passage in next month's election of prop 19, which seeks to increase penalties for "unregulated" use and sales.

Feds Spying From the Skies

Over the past several months, a single-engine, Cessna-type plane apparently registered to an undisclosed federal law enforcement agency has been circling above the epicenter of the national legalization movement: Oakland and Berkeley. A narcotics interdiction expert says the plane's model, low altitude, and habit of loitering over cities for hours and hours is consistent with Drug Enforcement Administration anti-pot operations, wherein the federal agency looks for the tell-tale heat signatures of grow houses and the special green color of outdoor gardens.

The US Supreme Court has ruled thermal imaging a private residence unconstitutional without a search warrant, but the eight-year narcotics veteran Cooper says in his experience, "they're using them anyway to spot suspicious houses. Then they set up and look for another reason to get the warrant. They do not put in the search warrant affidavit that they used the FLIR. They'll put in the search warrant affidavit that they saw cars coming in and out of the place, or their power usage was too high, or they got an undisclosed tip."