On October 1, Senator Russell Feingold revealed in a meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee that “in fiscal year 2008 only 3 out of the 763 sneak and peek search warrant applications were in terrorism cases. 65 percent were for drug cases.”
Sneak and Peek operations, you may recall, are authorized by the USA Patriot Act. They allow agents of the government to enter your home or other property and search it without telling you. The USA Patriot Act, you may recall, was hurriedly passed in the fall of 2001 as a means of going after terrorists. Senator Feingold’s remarks suggest that the USA Patriot Act’s sneak and peek operations don’t even remotely regard the war on terrorism.
What do these sneak-and-peek operations regard, then? The report from which Senator Feingold cited statistics is an obscure letter from the Administrative Office of the United States Courts sent to Congress during the summer when few Americans were paying attention. The report breaks down the reasons for government sneak and peek searches without notice:
Reasons for Sneak and Peek Operations in Fiscal Year 2008:
Sex Offense: 2%
Food and Drug Violations: 1%
The USA Patriot Act: sold as a tool to get the terrorists. Used as just another tool of the criminal justice state.