Patriot Act

What Cases Have the PATRIOT Act's Sneak-and-Peek Warrants Been Used For?


Benjamin Wallace-Wells provides a useful chart (though it's limited, alas, to the years 2006-2009):


[Via Radley Balko.]

NEXT: Latinos Now Majority of Those Sentenced for Federal Felonies, Thanks to Immigration Crackdowns

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  1. Alt-text fail:

    It’s bale of marijuana. 😉

    1. I always heard it was a bowl.

    2. It’s bale of marijuana. 😉

      My only defense: It’s natural to associate marijuana with bail, too…

    3. Missed obvious marijuana bong/bomb wordplay. Check minus.

  2. There is no power you can grant government that they will not abuse.

    1. You should add:

      ~Benjamin Franklin

      to that quote to give it credibility. It will be quoted all over the Internet in about 12 hrs.

  3. That’s a really big twinkie.

  4. No one ever could have predicted that the powers grabbed by the federal government in the wake of the terror attacks ten years ago would be instead directed towards the American people themselves in order to prosecute the war on drugs.

    Wait a second. Libertarians predicted this long before the PATRIOT Act was passed. I guess we’re just a bunch of nutters.

    1. One thing that was refreshing about the political theorists writing >150 years ago was the assumption that every power granted government would eventually be abused.

      It’s so true that I think it deserving of inclusion in RC’s pantheon of Iron Laws

  5. Liberals were committed enough to the bill that it took Texas Republican Dick Armey to insist that the new privileges of the Patriot Act would indeed sunset, unless the president asked for, and Congress approved, a reauthorization.

    kudos, Dick.

  6. Next time it’s up for reauthroization, someone in Congress should attempt to add a for terrorism only clause to the law, and make a big stink about it. Not that it would pass, but it might put some people in an uncomfortable position of backing its use for general law enforcement. At lest get those folks on record.

    Yeah, I know. Not gonna happen.

    1. Only problem with that is:

      Drugs come from cartels/gangs/tribal sects

      Cartels/gangs/tribal sects= terrorists

      Therefore, drugs=terrorist financing

      1. I remember that commercial! “If you use marijuana then you’re financing terrorism.”

        Okay, it’s a stretch but how about this:

        Toilet paper comes from logging trees.

        Opposing logging = eco terrorists.

        Therefore wiping one’s butt = fighting terrorism.

        1. That’s not a stretch at all.

          We’ll use it in the next commercial.

      2. I heard a sheriff refer to kids knocking down mailboxes as terrorist because they were “terrorizing” the neighborhood. Thia was right after the patriot act was passed. I’m thinking “here we go”. JUst like the commerce clause, what can’t you use the patriot for? If I’m speeding I’m terrorizing the highways. etc etc

  7. and…

  8. The Patriot Act was mostly a Republican project at its origin, but it would have died long ago without the support of Democrats

    Of course, right back when it passed, Joe Biden was bragging that it was really his bill, the same as the kneejerk bill he brought up after the OKC bombing.

    1. The New Republic has sent that article down the memory hole, but here are a few links.

  9. Jim Sensenbrenner, the bombastic, rotund Wisconsin Republican, leaned back in his chair and said his bill was called the USA Patriot Act. There were no conflicts with that; the name was in.

    However, the actual title of the act is an acronym (USA PATRIOT): Uniting (and) Strengthening America (by) Providing Appropriate Tools Required (to) Intercept (and) Obstruct Terrorism. Did Sensenbrenner came up with that on his own?

    1. No.

      Instead, a tasking was created to the newly-formed Post-9/11 Acronyms and Clever Spellings Task Force, which was a government-private sector partnership initiated to improve the ability of the federal government to react to new terrorism challenges of the 21st century in the Scrabble domain of the textual-security paradigm. The long-form name developed for the USA Patriot Act was designed by an 820-person special working group within the task force that was empowered and equipped to deal with special [REDACTED] grammatical and dictional challenges such as [REDACTED], [REDACTED], and I didn’t know that he played the violin. The project only ran $8.2 billion over the allocated budget.

  10. Marsha Blackburn Voted FOR:
    Omnibus Appropriations, Special Education, Global AIDS Initiative, Job Training, Unemployment Benefits, Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations, Agriculture Appropriations, FY2004 Foreign Operations Appropriations, U.S.-Singapore Trade, U.S.-Chile Trade, Supplemental Spending for Iraq & Afghanistan, Flood Insurance Reauthorization , Prescription Drug Benefit, Child Nutrition Programs, Surface Transportation, Job Training and Worker Services, Agriculture Appropriations, Foreign Aid, Debt Limit Increase, Fiscal 2005 Omnibus Appropriations, Vocational/Technical Training, Supplemental Appropriations, UN “Reforms.” Patriot Act Reauthorization, CAFTA, Katrina Hurricane-relief Appropriations, Head Start Funding, Line-item Rescission, Oman Trade Agreement, Military Tribunals, Electronic Surveillance, Head Start Funding, COPS Funding, Funding the REAL ID Act (National ID), Foreign Intelligence Surveillance, Thought Crimes “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, Peru Free Trade Agreement, Economic Stimulus, Farm Bill (Veto Override), Warrantless Searches, Employee Verification Program, Body Imaging Screening, Patriot Act extension., Supplemental Appropriations, Patriot Act Extension.
    Marsha Blackburn Voted AGAINST:
    Ban on UN Contributions, eliminate Millennium Challenge Account, WTO Withdrawal, UN Dues Decrease, Defunding the NAIS, Iran Military Operations defunding Iraq Troop Withdrawal, congress authorization of Iran Military Operations, Withdrawing U.S. Soldiers from Afghanistan, Libya Troop Withdrawal.

    Marsha Blackburn is my Congressman.
    See her “blatantly unconstitutional” votes at :…..votes.html

  11. Looks like a bunch of mission creeps.

    1. Creeps is right!

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