Nanny State: Feingold: 'Sneak-and-peek' searches being used for regular crimes

24 September 2009

Feingold: 'Sneak-and-peek' searches being used for regular crimes

The Justice Department made 763 requests for "sneak-and-peek" warrants in 2008, but only three of those had to with terrorism investigations, Sen. Russ Feingold told a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday.

"Sneak-and-peek" warrants allow law enforcement officials to break into homes and businesses and search the premises without the investigated party knowing. The authority for them was passed as part of the USA Patriot Act in late 2001, ostensibly as a counter-terrorism measure.

The revelations strengthen the arguments of opponents of the Patriot Act, who have long said that the powers granted the government to fight terrorism in the wake of 9/11 would end up being used for other purposes. Now, it appears that one of those powers -- sneak-and-peek searches -- was never meant for terrorism investigations in the first place.

"It's not meant for intelligence, it's for criminal cases," Kris told the Senate Judiciary Committee. "So I guess it's not surprising to me that it applies in drug cases."

"That's not how this was sold to the American people," Feingold responded. "It was sold -- as stated on the DoJ's Web site in 2005 -- as being necessary 'to conduct investigations without tipping off terrorists.'"

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1 comment:

Robert said...

If this abuse of power doesn't piss off most citizens of the USA, they are asleep or dead.