'Most Sneak and Peek Warrants Are Issued for Drug Investigations'

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NORML's Allen St. Pierre pointed me to this passage from a prepared statement that Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) made last night in opposition to the PATRIOT Act renewal bill:

Let me make one final point about sneak and peek warrants. Don't be fooled for a minute into believing that this power is needed to investigate terrorism or espionage. It's not. Section 213 is a criminal provision that could apply in whatever kind of criminal investigation the government has undertaken. In fact, most sneak and peek warrants are issued for drug investigations. So why do I say that they arent needed in terrorism investigations? Because FISA also can apply to those investigations. And FISA search warrants are always executed in secret, and never require notice. If you really don't want to give notice of a search in a terrorism investigation, you can get a FISA warrant. So any argument that limiting the sneak and peek power as we have proposed will interfere with sensitive terrorism investigations is a red herring.

Given Feingold's filibuster threat, his colleagues presumably were paying attention. Now even the senators who haven't bothered to read the legislation cannot credibly pretend to believe this law enforcement wish list is all about fighting terrorism.

NEXT: Oh-KAY, Oh-KAY... No Torture

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  1. Yeah, I saw him last night or the night before on The News Hour and was actually agreeing with him, even though I wanted to punch him in the face over McCain-Feingold.

    The Republican jerk-off that was arguing they needed 30 days of not notifying people that their home was being searched and saying that concern over civil liberties was overstated and whatnot made me decidedly more angry.

  2. War on drugs, terror, guns, dictators… what’s the difference?
    War is just tough love when God is on your side.

  3. In fact, most sneak and peek warrants are issued for drug investigations.

    Of course, most right-wingers will merely shrug their shoulders and snidely ask “So, what?” They’ll claim that this is the power they’ve needed to help get drugs off the street and if they have to hide it in anti-terrorist legislation to get it, then it’s only because those pot-smoking, lilly-livered, liberals would have shot it down otherwise.

    Remember kids: Tyranny. The Anti-Drug.

  4. Because FISA also can apply to those investigations. And FISA search warrants are always executed in secret, and never require notice.

    Talk about a buzzkill.

    Oh well, baby steps, whatever, as long as we can start moving in the right direction. If we can stop the extra-constitutional powers enacted to fight the War On Terror from being used to fight the War On Drugs, then maybe we can move on to stopping the extra-constitutional powers enacted to fight the War On Drugs from being used. Who knows maybe one day we can put a stop to extra-constitutional powers… I know, I know, baby steps.

  5. Lowdog:

    I saw that too, and had the same reaction. Senator Sessions never did explain why he voted for the Senate measure with a renewable seven-day limit for giving notice to the sneak-and-peeked, but was now plumping for thirty days. He could have just said “that’s the best we could do in House-Senate negotiations,” but really seemed annoyed it wasn’t the full 180 days the House voted for. All in all, he was extremely unimpressive.

  6. I’ve been calling Sessions office all week to urge him to vote against this thing. Oh well..It’s a lost cause anyway.
    I just wish they would hurry up and finish the slide into tyranny so we can start the shooting.

  7. Now even the senators who haven’t bothered to read the legislation cannot credibly pretend to believe this law enforcement wish list is all about fighting terrorism.

    They can and will. And people will buy it.

  8. Shelby – Sessions, that was the asshole. He had the same bullshit excuses and did the same side-stepping of the issues as anyone else that’s a totally dishonest, lying scumbag trying to ram more “emergency” powers down the American people’s throats.

    grizzly – good luck, that Sessions fuck has a hard-on for the PATRIOT Act…he just wishes it could be even tougher.

  9. Does anybody know of any polling information that shows how much public support is behind the PATRIOT ACT?

  10. “Does anybody know of any polling information that shows how much public support is behind the PATRIOT ACT?”

    Nevermind.

  11. Wow. First we get our scissors back, and now…

  12. Forgive me for probably beating a very dead horse, but MANY post 9/11 ‘security’ and ‘search’ provisions have merely used terrorism as a proxy for drug searches. Everyone remember the swabbing of the inside of the shoes? Yep, lookin’ for drugs.

    Y’see, I’m supposed to be this ‘conservative’ middle-class ‘white’ guy who has an implicit trust of authority and the police.

    Oh no. No no no no no. I have very little trust in any of these institutions any more. I now take a ‘guilty until proven innocent’ stance on everything related to government action. Great! Way to go law-enforcement! You’re losing your supposed base.

  13. Dear Mr. Sullum:

    I think your posts, and everyone else’s here and on blogs in general, would be a lot better if they were not written with the assumption that every reader has some kind of insider knowledge of the jargon.

    What is “FISA”? I read Hit & Run regularly, and I don’t think I’ve seen the term before, either here or elsewhere.

  14. Dear Mr. Sullum:

    I think your posts, and everyone else’s here and on blogs in general, would be a lot better if they were not written with the assumption that every reader has some kind of insider knowledge of the jargon.

    What is “FISA”? I read Hit & Run regularly, and I don’t think I’ve seen the term before, either here or elsewhere.

  15. FISA = Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978

    It created a secret “FISA court” which oversaw the execution of secret searches and wiretaps in cases involving foreign espionage and international terrorism.

  16. Can I volunteer to have my house searched without my knowledge? It would make me feel so much safer.

  17. Can I volunteer to have my house searched without my knowledge? It would make me feel so much safer.

    Well, if you insist, but we already found all the good stuff the first time we went through.

  18. Peter K,

    I would agree with you, if it wasn’t such an easy google. First hit is the international rowing federation (lol), but it’s obviously not THAT. Next three hits are Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Aha! All of 10 seconds work.

  19. Now even the senators who haven’t bothered to read the legislation cannot credibly pretend to believe this law enforcement wish list is all about fighting terrorism.

    I don’t think Congress is a credibility kind of operation.

  20. if your innocent you have no raeson to fear GOD BLES AMERICA 9/11 NEVRE FORGET UNITED WE STAND

    – Josh

  21. … and I thought I was just paranoid.

  22. peter k,
    thanks for trying to dumb it down… 53r10u5|y, 175 n07 |1k3 h3 wr073 17 |1k3 7h15

  23. Had enough imperialistic bullshit from the Bush administration? When will the true American citizenry throw up thier hands and say “ENOUGH!”

    Policticians and cops will always harbor hidden agendas when it comes to enacting another law against the people, face it, they care nothing about freedom or else they’d be fighting every potential un-consitutional measure thought up by the Nazi Amerikan Govt. In police academies across the nation, cops are told that the world is an “us vs. them” mentality, and all non-cops are considered “them”… this means you and I.

    Wake up, it’s time to take control of our country back from these egotistical, controlling pricks who make up this Nazi-esque government and their thuggish police “forces” who occupy America.

  24. “Now even the senators who haven’t bothered to read the legislation cannot credibly pretend to believe this law enforcement wish list is all about fighting terrorism”.”

    The terms War On Terror and the War On Drugs have been made synonymous with each other in terms of empowring politicians and law enforcement officials to wipe their asses with the Bill of Rights. So the claim that granting authorities extra-Constitutional might not be credible, but it won’t stop a lot of people from believing the rationale for it. Remember that Super Bowl commercial claiming that using illegal drugs is tantamount to “supporting” terrorism?

  25. “Now even the senators who haven’t bothered to read the legislation cannot credibly pretend to believe this law enforcement wish list is all about fighting terrorism”.”

    The terms War On Terror and the War On Drugs have been made synonymous with each other in terms of empowring politicians and law enforcement officials to wipe their asses with the Bill of Rights. So the claim that granting authorities extra-Constitutional might not be credible, but it won’t stop a lot of people from believing the rationale for it. Remember that Super Bowl commercial claiming that using illegal drugs is tantamount to “supporting” terrorism?

  26. “Now even the senators who haven’t bothered to read the legislation cannot credibly pretend to believe this law enforcement wish list is all about fighting terrorism”.”

    The terms War On Terror and the War On Drugs have been made synonymous with each other in terms of empowring politicians and law enforcement officials to wipe their asses with the Bill of Rights. So the claim that granting authorities extra-Constitutional might not be credible, but it won’t stop a lot of people from believing the rationale for it. Remember that Super Bowl commercial claiming that using illegal drugs is tantamount to “supporting” terrorism?

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