Sunday, October 5, 2008

US DEA Administrator Tandy OK with Torture?!

From Randy Balko at Reason:


Sandalio “Sandy” Gonzalez recently retired after a 32-year career in law enforcement, 27 as an agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), at one point serving as its head of operations in South America.

Three years ago, Gonzalez’s career came to an abrupt end after he blew the whistle in a horrifying case now known as the “House of Death,” in which Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents stand accused of looking the other way while one of their drug informants participated in torturing and murdering at least a dozen people in the border town of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico....


Rather than give up a drug operation (and apparently an unrelated cigarette smuggling operation), Gonzalez learned that federal agents had allowed a paid government informant to participate in a dozen brutal murders—all but the first of which could have been prevented.

When Gonzalez sensed that internal investigations of the case were headed toward a cover-up, he fired off a letter to his counterpart at ICE demanding he take responsibility. Gonzalez’s letter reached the highest levels of the Justice Department, including the desk of DEA Administrator Karen Tandy.

But instead of praising Gonzalez’s efforts to expose this egregious mishandling of a paid government informant, Tandy and other government officials reprimanded him for creating a record of ICE’s transgressions. Tandy and U.S. Attorney Sutton called Gonzalez “hysterical,” warning him not to talk to the media. They eventually forced him into an early retirement in 2005.

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