Michele Bachmann explains controversial NSA vote: Phone collection program “not our problem”

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Last week, Michele Bachmann voted to continue funding the controversial NSA program that collects information on American’s phone records. During the spirited debated on privacy rights, Rep. Bachmann called the uproar over the program a “false narrative”, prompting Glenn to say that while the congresswoman was not “dead to me, she is in very ill health”. Glenn invited Bachmann onto the show to explain her vote and present her argument to the national radio audience.

Glenn said that despite their disagreement on this issue, Glenn said he didn’t think that Michele Bachmann was an enemy to the Tea Party or the Republic. That being said, Glenn said he very much disagreed with her on this issue.

Many of Glenn’s concerns over the NSA program emerge from several stories of government officials and programs abusing their power and invading the privacy of citizens. He specifically pointed to a Washington Post article from June 22nd that discussed the NSA scandal, which said, “The public is getting a peek into the little-known workings of a powerful and mostly invisible government entity. And it is seeing a court whose secret rulings have in effect created a body of law separate from the one on the books…”

Glenn also referenced the IRS scandal, and while that is separate from the NSA he said it shows a pattern of government lying to the American people over and over again.

“I do understand what you’re saying about security. You, you, you know that there are threats that are real and so do I. You know much more than I do. And I accept that. However, I am not willing to surrender my personal liberty for security. You cannot have an a risk free world. And I’m not even worried about this president and you know how worried I am about this president. What comes after him?” Glenn said.

While Bachmann shared Glenn’s concerns about the scandals that have enveloped the White House over the past few weeks, she insisted that this NSA program has, to the best of her knowledge, not had one incident of abuse.

“This program doesn’t have one instance of abuse. And I think that the problem has been, this program has been conflated with other scandals that are out there,” she said.

Bachmann insisted that Americans should be concerned about the federal data hub that will monitor Obamacare, which she claims will “go beyond the IRS”.

Glenn asked Rep. Bachmann if the data collection facility in Utah would be used to store any of this information. She insisted it was to be used for foreign intelligence gathering, and mentioned that it would monitor cyber espionage from China. She added that Utah was selected to hours the facility due to lower costs and a lower risk of attack than Washington, DC.

Glenn, however, remained skeptical. He said that the push to digital took place during the Bush administration, so the government was essentially responsible for the large threat presented by cyber espionage. Furthermore, he’s said that the NSA officials have made confusing and conflicting arguments about the Utah facility, with one official saying low utility rates and high availability of water were factored into selecting that location. But as Glenn pointed out, the facility is being built in a desert.

“It doesn’t add up,” he said.

“So could I just ask one more thing?” Glenn asked. “To say that there are a bunch of false narratives you sounded quite honestly, like you were talking with people like me who do not trust the federal government to tell us the truth and are snooping on us whether it’s through this specific program or another. You know it and I know it and if they are not doing it now, they will be doing it if you continue to give them this kind of power. And, and I, and it was offended that you would say it’s a false narrative because it’s not. It’s not a false narrative to not trust your government and to think that they are a fire burning out of control.”

“Well, number one, I was not referring to you,” she said. “And number two, I do — I do believe that from, again, I have to go with where the evidence leads. And trust me, I put a lot of time into this to figure out what is true and what isn’t. And, and at this point, it is a false narrative based upon everything I’ve seen, when Snowden or whoever or Glenn Greenwald has made, has made the statement that the federal government is listening to U.S. citizens phone calls and recording them.”

  • Anonymous

    1) At best, Bachmann is just another individual who went to Washington to make changes, but, instead, Washington changed her.
    2) At worst, Bachmann is just another phony.
    Personally, based on my study of her background, I think Bachmann has always been a bit of a phony; not a totally bad person, but far from perfect— too far, in fact, for me to ever support or be fooled by her.

    Anybody who is even a little bit awake understands that Americans live in The United Stasi States of America now. Even Jimmy Carter–of all people!— recently said, “America has no functioning democracy”. Wow! I can count on one hand the times I agreed with Carter, and this is one of them.

    So, if Jimmy Carter can recognize how far America has descended into tyranny, why can’t Bachmann?

    • Brian Bailey

      Only difference is Carter said it approvingly!

    • Pat

      We were not founded as a democracy. It is unfortunate that we are approaching a full-fledged, functioning democracy.

    • http://www.facebook.com/rigoberto.serrano.39 Pachy Serrano

      I pick #2

  • Kanak Attack

    She sounds just like one of Obama’s minions in this interview.  She pretends to be oblivious to one of the most-talked about pieces coming from the Washington Post, won’t recognize facts that have been brought up by different news outlets, hides behind the “I can’t talk about that.” excuse…  She’s full of it and can be placed in the same boat as Chris Christie republicans. 

    • Anonymous

      Man, I love watching you right wing nut jobs eat each other alive.

      • Nick

        You are a moron when it comes to understanding a truly functioning Constitutional Republic.  We are supposed to vehemently disagree with fake politicians opposed to liberals going lock-step with “Dear Leader”  Example of dissent McCain, Ayotte, Boehner, Graham, McConnell and Rubio must be primaried

  • Kanak Attack

    Not to mention she’s doing the same thing the Obama administration does when they say, “There’s nothing to see here.  You’re making a big deal about nothing.”  It’s a typical guilty politician’s response.

    She doesn’t want this to be investigated because if she supports investigation of it she’ll lose her status in the national security counsel AND she knows that if the truth comes to light it will show that she knew unconstitutional practices were going on but didn’t say anything.

  • http://www.artinphoenix.com/gallery/grimm snowleopard (cat folk gallery)

    Bachmann, I once respected you and what you stood for: never again, you have sold out your passion for freedom for the gloried corruption of Washington.

    • greywolfrs

      Only a person who ignored her voting record could admire her. She voted FOR the original Patriot Act and then didn’t even vote on the NDAA.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUrbEIqFl_Q Sam Fisher

    Go away Bachmann Minnesota vote her out and put someone that will defend the Constitution.

    • Anonymous

      She had already announced that she will not be running for reelection several weeks ago.

      • Anonymous

        It’s very simple, if the NSA hasn’t done anything wrong or out of the ordinary, then why the Headlines ” Snowden will not get the death penalty”. If snowden was lying then why prosecute him?

  • Randall B

    The NSA phone program is one that every country should implement. They are not personally listening to every conversation that every citizen is having. Stop with the conspiracy lunacy. I challenge anyone to name one of the founding fathers of the constitution that could win an election in modern times. That is all I hear is the founding fathers this or that; give me a break.

    The people that work in the NSA have to go through rigorous background checks. They have extensive training in technical or college having to be top of their class. Is the reason so many people are crying about the program is out of jealousy.

    • Anonymous

       You are a fool. Nothing more needs to be said.

    • Anonymous

       Seriously? Please explain why they need everyone’s phone records. MB is an idiot when she says they have less information than what is in a phone book. If that is true then the NSA is wholly incompetent and technically retarded. Consider who is now in charge (e.g. susan rice)and explain to me why we should trust them.

      • greywolfrs

        Bachmann is a fool, having the records of WHO was called from any particular number is far more than what is in a phone book. She does not seem to realize that one can have an unlisted number.

    • greywolfrs

      Are you serious? If you are you are fool. The NSA has the ability to store thousands of zettabytes or yottabytes of data. Do you realize how much data that is, obviously not. Hey stupid, the people saying something about this happen to be trying to protect the freedom of ALL Americans. You are a complete fool, that has no idea what that facility is capable of.

  • Anonymous

    Power never corrupts and we should trust the government to do the right thing.  Yupper.  Far as I can throw them.

  • Linda Murphy

    She’s sold her soul.  Never thought I’d see or hear her do that.  We’re losing, folks.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry Michelle, I don’t buy it. The NSA is running a dog’s dinner of a mess, a staggering invasion of personal privacy combined with breathtaking incompetence. It should at least be shut down. In a better world the people behind it should be in jail.

  • Anonymous

    The terrorists are going to use throwaway phones.  The government is spending millions to no avail.  Nothing new.

  • Anonymous

    So, the terrorists are smart enough to use throwaway phones.  Another millions of dollars spent by the government to no avail.  Nothing new.

  • Anonymous

    Back in the early 1990s the Military told us (I served 24 years in the Army) that from now on be careful what you put in an email.  We were told that all emails were being sent through NSA in Ft Meade, MD.  We did notice a drop in the speed of the emails after that. Our emails were going to be scanned by another computer looking for specific words.  If our email had one of the tripping words it was then forwarded to a person who read the email and determined if it needed to be followed up or just sent on.  An example was given to us:  Say we wrote to our Aunt, If that damn dog pees on the rug one more time I’m going to kill him.”  The computer would kick it out as we said “going to kill him”.  The person would then see that it was about the family dog and send it on to our Aunt.  So I’ve know that people have been reading our email for a long time. 

  • Anonymous

    As much as I want to trust Michelle, she works for the government and cant be trusted.  I do believe that she is one of the better ones up there but not to be trusted

  • Anonymous

    What I’d like to ask her is how the hell does she NOT know what the Washington Post has reported, given she’s been looking sooo hard into this? How the hell does she NOT KNOW what the President has said about China??! God, do they bar her from Google at the office?? How the hell does she NOT know what the head of the NSA said about selecting this location for the “water?” I’m sorry, but she’s spent “so much time and effort looking into all of this,” yet just like Holder and Bernanke before Congress, or any of the rest of the administration slime, she has no clue when presented with common facts??! What is this “effort” she’s made, then?

    And great; you’ve talked to the highest whatever people, and they’ve assured you they aren’t collecting our information. As asked and she never answered forthright in this interview: why the hell would you just believe these people on face value?? You cannot know, Michelle, cannot know WHATSOEVER any of the evidence of what they are, or aren’t doing, unless you’ve been there and personally been allowed to, and have the knowledge/ability to, look through that entire mega God-knows-what byte storage database to see what exactly IS stored there. Unless you get a team of the most trusted assembled of private computer programmers to go in there and find out, you DON’T KNOW. And since you DON’T in fact know, you’re debunking this as a false narrative without, in fact, KNOWING EITHER WAY.


    And that doesn’t even still address the ultimate obvious: how can you, or anyone, trust these people with so much POTENTIAL POWER? Even if they have not stored one American citizen’s information yet — which I have a bridge to sell you if you actually believe that, Michelle — what in the world, besides the “you have to get a Federal court order” yadda, yadda, is there really to stop anyone from doing it? Laws against doing something do not stop people from doing it. Laws against murder, if the law was enough to ensure it didn’t happen, there’d be no murderers… Not to mention, the ones making and enforcing the laws certainly aren’t the bastions of law and order, themselves… Power is there. Power corrupts. Absolute power, Michelle. Perhaps you’ve tasted too much.

    I think they have something on her. She’s got something in her past that’s making her sell out on this. If it’s there, they’ll find it, and they’ll use it.

    • Nick

      You are a moron when it comes to understanding a truly functioning Constitutional Republic.  We are supposed to vehemently disagree with fake politicians opposed to liberals going lock-step with “Dear Leader”  Example of dissent McCain, Ayotte, Boehner, Graham, McConnell and Rubio must be primaried 

  • Anonymous

    I have always liked Michelle Bachmann , and I am also a Beck fan .  So lets say for the moment Bachmann is correct and the NSA is not monitoring US phones . Then why do we need so much storage in Utah? We know Obmacare is going to store every citizens medical visit as it happens , we know that every CC and banking transaction is recorded for every citizen , that include store transactions even in cash . Then add all the records and changes that are Public Record , State , voting and tax , town records  and surveys and deeds for the neighborhood you live in . These records can be combined with  the current Census , employment records to give a complete information model for the government to use to control every aspect of your life .
    So … Do you realy need to worry about whether or not your private messages are being listened to ? Or do we need to do something about all the other databases being stored in Utah , or the Utah facility itself .

  • Anonymous

    Unfortunately she has proven to be another useful idiot. I once had to admire her background and accomplishments. Someone got to her or she was always a phony. Moving forward she is dead to me. Another example as to why the Republican party is the modern day Whig party.

  • Brian Bailey

    Let’s just scrap the Constitution and the Fourth and all the rest of the Bill of Rights, unique in the world, and just have a nice big totalitarian state. The FISA courts rubber stamp everything anyway. Yes, Bachmann is just another Big Statist phony.

  • Kimosd1

    We spend billions on our “security”.  The chances of anyone being injured or killed by a terrorist attack is next to none.  Most of the money has been wasted “feeling up” citizens waiting to get on a plane. I don’t care how big a threat the government says it is to justify the wholesale spying on Americans.  Secret courts…please.  This whole program is a violation of the Constitution.  Whether  they store it or read it does not matter…they will get around to reading and listening soon, that’s what they do.  We would have been better served by having boots on the ground so to speak and follow the laws already on the books. We could have stopped the Boston bombing had our “intelligence” been followed up on.  I guess they can use all that info later after a trajedy.

  • Anonymous

    Even if, as she claims, that the NSA is not “currently” warehousing all telephone calls and e-mails by American citizens, they have put in place the apparatus to do just that. The NSA data enter is HUGE. It’s not like the Library of Congress where you have to have physical storage space to store physical books. It’s a huge storage facility for digital storage, which takes up hardly any space at all. Unless there’s a bowling alley, skating rink, Olympic swimming pool and gymnasium in that building, what will it be filled with in the future?

  • Anonymous

    she is about as dumb as a box as dimwit rocks…and who sent her to washington….

  • http://www.facebook.com/richard.rigg1 Richard Rigg

    Bachman was an IRS Attack Dog lawyer! of course she is pro spying on you and wire tapping you.. You may not be claiming all your income..

  • Anonymous

    I always suspected that Michele Bachmann was philosophically committed to the principle that the means justifies the ends. Using a gigantic government agency to aid in the fight of freedom from force of other countries negates freedom.
    All we are doing is replacing one set of thugs with another. Neither of which could care less about a country’s constitutional liberties. The more people involved in using spy technology, the greater the chance of abuse of the very people NSA purports to protect.
    The NSA was created to provide security for the American people. In the event that we lose our freedom, it will be too late to go back and it will be one more nail in the coffin of the greatest experiment in freedom that the world has ever witnessed.

  • Anonymous

    And while I’m on it: Wasn’t Bachmann supposed to be a Tea Party candidate – one who supports a smaller government? I guess she was just another liar who says one thing but thinks another.

  • Anonymous

    Try again Michele it look good to you .next time give up the stage for a few listen to the show this morning you did your darnedest to keep that yap running.

  • Anonymous

    Careful Glenn that friend of my enemy thing looks clear to us out here .

  • Anonymous

    What does the NSA have on her? Why haven’t we heard anything else from Snowden? What are they waiting for? Release ALL of it!

  • Anonymous

    My problem with the NSA is as long as Obama is President he will use it as a tool against the people of this country he disagrees with and that even includes those in his own Party

  • https://www.facebook.com/DefiantCrime UnwantedFoe

    Losing a lot of faith in Bachmann… this is disappointing

  • http://suzeraining.wordpress.com/ suz

    michelle didn’t know about the ‘secretive’ fizer court?  not encouraging.

    not comfortable/assured that she is not being lied to.

  • souper

    I used to support her, used to be is the key. When she filed or dual citizenship she showed us all something important. Glad to see she is leaving. She is not a true watch dog. I believe she is lying and she is insulting our intelligence.

  • Dennis Meredith

    This is sad. Notice how she frames her answers. “I have no proof…” which presupposes that the king of lies would not lie to her. Can she really be that naive? I don’t know where this will end but I know this, it won’t end well. When you look at the government’s acquisitions of ammo, armored vehicles and weapons and then add that to these spying revelations it all adds up to the fact that our government is preparing to declare war on the American people.

    And then we have Mr. Beck lumping Rand Paul, who I am no fan of, into the “tin foil hat” crowd. I guess I’m part of the tin foil hat crowd because I don’t believe much of what I hear these days especially the stuff coming from Washington or the media. Michelle Bachmann is either playing word games to avoid outright lies or she’s delusional. Mr. Beck, maybe it’s time to put your flag and apple pie down grab some tin foil and take a good look around. The Republic was buried in 1963. These are the terminal days of a dying empire. The days after bread and circus when the beast turned inward and devoured itself.

  • Anonymous

    Every testimony I’ve heard on this issue other than Snowden’s corroborates with Bachmann.  Records identifying communications are stored, but content is not.  Foreign communications are scanned and is being done so without warrant.  American communications require a warrant as per the forth Amendment.  The NSA wanted communication companies to store the data, who I would trust less, but they didn’t want to, so the NSA had to.  This may be the first time Bachmann didn’t sound like she’s just making things up., maybe because she’s not running for office again.

  • Jim

    Michele, all I hear from you is double talk and talking points. I can’t trust you anymore. If you truly are an honest person, you are being mislead and you are naive at the very least.

  • Anonymous

    Rep. Bachmann, others who voted against defunding the NSA program, and all who have no idea what some of the capabilities of the NSA are should watch the 1998 movie “Enemy Of The State” with Will Smith and Gene Hackman.  Some of the capabilities depicted are very scary.  The NSA may or may not have had those capabilities but I believe they did have most if not all of them in 1998.  Just imagine how the NSA must have progressed and what capabilities that agency possesses today.

  • Anonymous

    “False Narratives” and “Phony Scandals” in DC.  Is there really and difference in these terms when politicians use them?

  • greywolfrs

    So, let me get this straight, it’s perfectly OK to shred the Constitution whenever one can come up with a “good reason” to do it. She says catching terrorists is why she voted for this, as she has acted like a Constitutionalist. She is not a Constitutionalist and never has been. She claimed to be Tea Party, yet goes against one of the major things they stand for. She voted for the original Patriot Act and didn’t even bother to vote on the NDAA, that sounds like a Constitutionalist.
    In the end, there is never a reason to shred the Constitution. The terrorists have accomplished their goal. They wanted our country to change and it has. Our politicians are pissing on the Constitution in the name of a little bit of security. The worst part is the fools in this country who believe this is a good thing. They will think that until they wake up and realize their freedom is GONE.

    To all the people saying that Bachmann “sold out.” How can any of you say that? She voted FOR the original Patriot Act and never even bothered to vote on the NDAA, so, how has she “sold out.” That sure sounds as if she was there all along. Are you just ignoring her voting record up until she did this?

  • Anonymous

    Little Miss Pollyanna Bachman went to Washington.  “Hi Mr. NSA Director, are you collecting, keeping or reading emails or phone calls of Americans”  “No?”  “OK then!”  “Have a sunny sunny day!”  Sheesh.  Ask for some proof, Michelle, like maybe take a team of tekkies into the NSA facility without prior notice and start tearing in to some hard drives.  This “but they said they weren’t doing anything bad” narrative is at best annoying and at worst evasive.

  • Anonymous

    Time for this naive lady to retire!  Snowden, a whistle-blower did not lie!  He woke us up.  Secret FISA COURT?  On 6/23 – -Supreme court style decisions?  
    America citizens enjoy a Constitution–or what’s left of it, and it’s time for Michele to at least read & familiarize herself with the 4th Amendment.
    Most of the problems have been with young Muslim men under 40 years of age and it is fair to say, few, if any employees with the NSA understand Arabic or even Farsi dialects.
    Thank God, this woman failed in her Presidential bid.

  • Anonymous

    This is why Michelle is wrong:

    Let us say you have a close friend that you call a couple of
    times a week and that friend has a really bad friend that he talks to every
    once in a while because you all went to school together.  The really bad friend gets caught smuggling a
    lot of illegal drugs from a foreign country which is a Federal crime.  The Feds tell him he is looking at 16 years
    in Federal Prison but if he gives up a few names he can get a reduced
    sentence.  He then gives your good
    friends name and also your name plus anybody he can think of.  You get arrested by the Feds for conspiracy,
    so you hire a lawyer because you know it is a bogus charge.  Your lawyer informs you he can probably get
    you off because all they have are phone records but it will cost a lot of money
    and since the Feds win over 85% of their cases and you lose, you will be
    looking at 16 years in a Federal Prison. 
    He suggests you admit to a lesser charge and he will try and work
    something out with the prosecutor for 4 years.


    This happened to a close friend, not with phone records, but
    with an airline ticket because he went on a fishing trip to Canada with his
    good friend who also invited the bad friend. 
    They all went to school together. 
    My friend knew nothing about the bad guy and what he was doing, but he
    spent 3 ½ years in a Federal Prison.  He
    had a baby on the way and he lost his business. 
    He was totally innocent, had an
    absolutely clean record and paid all of his taxes. 


    This same scenario can and will play out with phone
    records.  Mark my words.  


  • Anonymous

    I think she has good intentions, but she is clueless! How do we elect so many clueless folks to defend our liberties i will never understand. Left/right it doesn’t matter, at the end of the day, we are all pawns in a scheme for absolute control. 

  • Anonymous

    You are worst than a Progressive, Michele. you are a traitor to America and to your family. Obviously, you have been compromised and you will never see another dime from me.

  • Anthony James Palumbo

    Traitor! Amazing how someone who calls herself a defender of liberty could defend this filth!

  • Anonymous

    I will *never* vote for a candidate who supports this NSA spying, this is a clear violation of our 4th Amendment rights and you cannot use terrorism/crime to justify violating the Bill of Rights.

    As for the FISA court, it is a rubber stamp and we all know it.We will not win the war on terrorism by trashing the Bill of Rights.

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