Sneak and Peek Warrants Not Used for Terrorism

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.

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  • The Lorax

    *shakes head sadly*

  • abear

    You forgot that every time someone lights up a reefer they are helping to finance terrorism.

  • In my book (on PATRIOT and DHS) I observed that many of the provisions of PATRIOT were on the FBI’s social agenda for a long time, and that the legislation had probably been ready to push for years, sitting on a shelf waiting for an excuse – with a post-it on the front saying: “in the event of a disaster, push this”

    That PATRIOT was a pure and simple expansion of the police state was obvious from the beginning.

  • Kudos for the bar graph. It really puts the abuse in perspective. Pure power grab.

  • unbound

    Thanx much for the graphic. I was always suspicious of these ambiguous, unmeasured answers of how important the Patriot Act is towards stopping terrorism. Being used 15 times over a period of almost 10 years tells me it is probably not useful at all.

    Proof of the abuse that many people predicted is just icing on the cake…

  • Foster Disbelief

    I’m sure all 1,618 drug related sneak and peak warrants were used on members of the Taliban smuggling heroin to pay for terrorist activities. Just like the 122 fraud s&p’s were used to prosecute members of Al-Qaeda running ponzi schemes.

    I swear, you people have no trust in your government. Why can’t you be more trusting like the republicans? I mean, they think the government could never execute an innocent person! Meanwhile you people are griping over a measly couple of sneak and peak warrants.

    The bar graph is an invention of the liberal media!!!!

    Screw you guys, I’m going to watch Fox News.

  • Pinky

    This news should be a boon to private home security agencies. I can see the advertising:


    Stop federal & local police from entering your home or office.

    Don’t give law enforcement the opportunity to fish through your belongings to invent evidence of a crime they’ve decided you are guilty of.

    Contact the“Just Because You Have Nothing To Hide Is No Reason To Throw Away Your Privacy Security Agency”

    [We’re working on our name.]

    Our motto: We’re patriots AND we believe in the constitution.

    Oh yeah;

    We protect against burglars too.


    Private citizens and security agencies win…until the security agencies receive regular search warrants demanding they turn over their client list so law enforcement will know who to suspect of crimes; because after all, “Patriots have nothing to hide, so preventing a search is probable cause for a search.”

    Lo, the wonder of the rights’ logic; if it makes you dizzy, don’t worry about it, decent folks let their government do their thinking for them. Brought to you by Fox News, soon to be the only source of “news” in the US.

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