Kris Hermes at Medical Cannabis: Voices From the Frontline has further covered the recent raid on a California medical marijuana dispensary. LFV readers will recall that we also covered the raid, complete with photos and pointed out that one of the heavily armed people involved in the raid was wearing a Blackwater t-shirt. Here is an excerpt from Kris Hermes’ excellent article:
I was able to speak today with Tami Abdollah, the Los Angeles Times (LAT) reporter who wrote the article associated with the photo of the agent wearing a Blackwater t-shirt. First, Abdollah explained that at the time of the raid (when the photo was taken) she had asked about whether the agent in question was a Blackwater employee, but was not given a straight answer. After the raid, and after the story had been published by the LAT, Abdollah was contacted by Sarah Pullen, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles office of the DEA. Pullen requested that the face of the agent wearing the Blackwater t-shirt be blurred because he was an undercover agent and the photo might jeopardize his apparent anonymity. At the same time, Pullen assured Abdollah that the “undercover” agent was in fact an employee of the Drug Enforcement Administration and has never been an employee of Blackwater. Pullen also felt it necessary to explain to Abdollah that the request to blur the agent’s face and the fact that he was wearing a Blackwater t-shirt was completely coincidental. In a subsequent conversation with the DEA, Abdollah was told that the agent was not undercover for the raid, but does routinely engage in undercover operations.
This raises some interesting questions, not the least of which is why an agent who regularly works undercover would be involved in a very high-profile raid, especially during broad daylight when he is likely to be seen and photographed? Why does their alleged “undercover” agent even look like a cop, since undercover work is “routine” for him? And even if, for the sake of discussion, we believe the DEA’s explanation of why he was not wearing a DEA shirt, why on earth would anyone think that his wearing a Blackwater t-shirt would draw less attention to him, rather than more? Why didn’t he wear a plain t-shirt, or a t-shirt depicting a band or something similar, if he just didn’t want to be seen, photographed, or recognized wearing a DEA shirt?
Since the DEA claimed he works undercover, they can also claim that his identity cannot be revealed for security reasons, and thus avoid any demands for proof that he is really with the DEA and not with Blackwater.
How very, very convenient.