We’ve been told over and over again by both political parties that the Patriot Act was vital to stopping terrorism, including such clearly unconstitutional measures as National Security Letters and sneak and peek warrants, which allow the police to break into someone’s home or business and collect evidence without even notifying the person or organization that they’ve been the subject of a search. But this chart from a New York Magazine article tells you what that power is really for. It’s for routine law enforcement that has nothing to do with terrorism.
Between 2006 and 2009, sneak and peek warrants were used 15 times in terrorism investigations. They were used 122 times in fraud investigations. And they were used 1618 times in drug investigations.
This is simply a power grab for the government. It doesn’t have a damn thing to do with stopping terrorism.