Patriot Act Section 213 “Sneak and Peek” warrants used for terrorism cases .5% of the time in 2013

by Gashweir

As most of us here are aware, the Patriot Act was passed in 2001 with terrorism as its casus belli, with privacy advocates warning that once passed, it would be used for all types of investigations, not just terrorism. Turns out they were right. As the following article makes clear, in over 11,000 Patriot Act Section 213 “Sneak and Peek” warrants issued in 2013, only 51, or .5%, of requests were used for terrorism. The remaining requests were overwhelmingly for narcotics cases. The full article is here:

www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/10/peekaboo-i-see-you-government-uses-authority-meant-terrorism-other-uses

As many of us know, the Patriot Act was written in advance of 9/11, and was rushed into law in response to those attacks (with a little help from Anthrax letters to the holdout Democratic Senator’s -see footnote below* with full credit to History Commons for the information) with the argument that the broad powers allowed by the bill, which in many cases infringe on constitutional protections, were absolutely vital to protect American citizens from further attacks. Privacy advocates, and really anyone who has any understanding of the behavior of government agencies and institutions, knew that once passed into laws, those powers would be used as everyday tools in the law enforcement tool belt. Of course, this is exactly has happened, as the numbers make clear. Section 213 sneak and peek warrants are almost never used for terrorism cases.

If Trump wants to drain the swamp, he could start by repealing this and several other articles of the Patriot Act, which infringe on our rights enshrined in the Constitution. He is already at war with these agencies,so if the FBI , NSA, CIA, and all the other “deep state” agencies are so evil, why isn’t he taking this power away from them? The Republican majority congress could pass a bill and get it on the President’s desk tomorrow if they wanted to, they need zero democrat support if they vote party line, and yet they haven’t. The only conclusion available is that they don’t want to. ( The idea that they want to, but can’t really strains credulity, but if anyone wants to offer a coherent reason why this might be the case, I would love to see it.) The question remaining is: why don’t they want to? If there really is a deep state in the manner that some of the administration’s allies and supporters in the media argue, why wouldn’t you immediately take away a power that can be used to collect information on opponents? This reluctance is especially surprising when we’re talking about a tool that power can be used for the collection of blackmail material, just to name one obvious example.

Why doesn’t President Trump take action on this issue? As far as I know, he has never even mentioned the Patriot Act, much less called for it’s partial repeal. Another question, I’m not a Q follower- has Q ever called for repeal of the Patriot Act, or even a single provision of it?

\The “anti-terrorism” Patriot Act is introduced in Congress on October 2, 2001 (see* October 2, 2001), but it is not well received by all. [US CONGRESS, 10/2/2001]One day later, Senate Majority Leader and future anthrax target Tom Daschle (D-SD) says he doubts the Senate will take up this bill in the one week timetable the administration wants. As head of the Senate, Daschle has great power to block or slow passage of the bill. Attorney General John Ashcroft accuses Senate Democrats of dragging their feet. [WASHINGTON POST, 10/3/2001] On October 4, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman and future anthrax target Patrick Leahy (D-VT) accuses the Bush administration of reneging on an agreement on the bill. Leahy is in a key position to block or slow the bill. Some warn that “lawmakers are overlooking constitutional flaws in their rush to meet the administration’s timetable.” Two days later, Ashcroft complains about “the rather slow pace…over his request for law enforcement powers… Hard feelings remain.” [WASHINGTON POST, 10/4/2001] The anthrax letters to Daschle and Leahy are sent out between October 6-9 as difficulties in passing the Patriot Act continue (see October 6-9, 2001).

Here’s a 2011 infograph from the ACLU on the patriot acts use since it was passed. Seems like it’s right up your alley.

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