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Under Obama, Patriot Act Sneak-and-Peek Outpaces Bush Use (and is mostly about Drugs)

Remember George W. Bush? Remember thinking that a vote for Barack Obama would be a vote to bring the Homeland Security state of George W. Bush under control?

Well, think again.

According to federal law, the Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AOUSC) is supposed to report on the uses of the Patriot Act power for the government to engage in “sneak and peek” searches of Americans’ homes, offices, and other personal property without letting the subject of the search know about it.

Did you think that under President Barack Obama these searches would decline?
Did you think that this Patriot Act power was being used in order to stop terrorism?

Thanks to WTAE of Pittsburgh for digging up these annual reports (FY 2007 | FY 2008 | FY 2009 | FY 2010), which show very clearly that under Barack Obama’s administration the use of sneak-and-peek powers have accelerated, not declined, and which also show very clearly that the overwhelming majority of the time, sneak-and-peek Patriot Act powers are used for the Drug War. Less than 1% of Patriot Act sneak-and-peeks are actually used to try and find terrorists.

FY 2007 FY 2008 FY 2009 FY  2010 FY 2011
# Sneak and Peek Warrants Sought 690 1291 1899 3970 tba
% Denied by Judges 0.00% 0.31% 0.32% 0.50% tba
% for Drugs 68.55% 65.30% 76.67% 76.42% tba
% for Tax Evasion 9.86% 4.34% 0.16% not reported tba
% for Immigration 1.59% 1.16% 0.95% 0.98% tba
% for Terrorism 1.01% 0.39% 0.74% 0.93% tba

No thanks are due to the administration of President Barack Obama, who promised the nation he’d be a leader in transparency but which has not published these reports for public view, not even on the web page of the very Administrative Office of the United States Courts that produces the report. No thanks are due to the House of Representatives, which receives the report every year but does not publish it. No thanks are due to the U.S. Senate, which receives the report every year but does not publish it. They’d rather you didn’t know the truth these reports tell.

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