Something I Have Long Suspected

Benjamin Wallace-Wells via Jesse Walker at Reason

What have Patriot Act "Sneak and Peak" Warrants Been Used For (2006-2009)

  • Assuming this is generally indicative of law enforcement priorities, we could apparently eliminate over 90% of government violations of individual rights by legalizing drugs.

    What would AUSAs and federal agents do with their time if they didn't have to worry about drug laws?

  • Rick Caird

    Like you, Glen Reynolds always said the Patriot Act was less about terrorism and more about a laundry list of items law enforcement wanted, but could not get passed in ordinary times. Hence, we had another crisis that did not go to waste.

  • mahtso

    I was under the impression that the Patriot Act was merely an extension of the then existing anti-drug laws.

  • John Moore

    The Patriot Act added few new powers, other than obviously needed ones like extending legal wiretap to roving wiretap - an update needed as a result of technological innovation.

    Nevertheless, it is disappointing that so many of its provisions are used for drug enforcement, because it detracts from the useful value of the act in fighting enemies.

    When I read the act (back when the press and many blogs were lying about it), I saw these provisions, and knew they would be used for the drug war, although not this much.

    If I could reform the act, I would simply restrict it to national security issues, but otherwise not tamper with it. For ordinary criminal investigations, Congress should authorize roving wiretaps in a separate law.

  • Smock Puppet, Proponent Of The Good Thing About High Speed Rail

    >> If I could reform the act, I would simply restrict it to national security issues, but otherwise not tamper with it.

    I haven't read much on it in long enough that I've forgotten much.

    But it says a lot about the real purpose and attitude that, once the law had been passed, the JD was out within six months giving seminars to local police about how they could use this for non-terrorist purposes, particularly, but not limited to, drug enforcement.

    Repeal the f***er, make them pass a new one with the proper limits on it. By doing it again NOW all the provisions will gain more scrutiny, as they should get.

  • John Moore

    Repeal the f***er, make them pass a new one with the proper limits on it. By doing it again NOW all the provisions will gain more scrutiny, as they should get.

    No need for repeal - it's easy enough to read and amend.

    It is also not surprising it was used for the drug war. Police and prosecutors will use whatever tools they can.