The war on unpatentable drugs has seen the state sink to lower and lower levels in its pursuit to arrest anybody who might challenge their corporate pharmaceutical partner’s monopolies. Civil forfeiture laws are one of the lowest levels. But it seems that civil forfeiture laws don’t just cover cash and cars. If you are suspected of being involved in a drug crime or charged with a drug crime the state can now confiscate your identity:
The Justice Department is claiming, in a little-noticed court filing, that a federal agent had the right to impersonate a young woman online by creating a Facebook page in her name without her knowledge. Government lawyers also are defending the agent’s right to scour the woman’s seized cellphone and to post photographs — including racy pictures of her and even one of her young son and niece — to the phony social media account, which the agent was using to communicate with suspected criminals.
All this, the start argues, is legal and moral as is anything that helps it fight the war on unpatentable drugs. As Radley Balko points out the state is effectively arguing that it can put people individual in very real danger if it means catching drug offenders:
The DOJ filing was in response to Arquiett’s lawsuit. Consider what the federal government is arguing here. It’s arguing that if you’re arrested for a drug crime, including a crime unserious enough to merit a sentence of probation, the government retains the power to (a) steal your identity, (b) use that identity for drug policing, thus making your name and face known to potentially dangerous criminals, (c) interact with those criminals while posing as you, which could subject you to reprisals from those criminals, (d) expose photos of your family, including children, to those criminals, and (e) do all of this without your consent, and with no regard for your safety or public reputation.
It’s funny, in a twisted way, how fervent the state has been in fighting its war on drugs at the expense of its reputation (it’s hard to believe now but before the war on drugs the state had a much higher reputation), the lives of the citizenry, and having to arm almost every police department with enough equipment to qualify them as military forces in most countries. However it can barely find the time, and often can’t, to protect the people, which we continue to hear is the primary job of the state (which is laughable to say the least).