For The Record exposes the terrifying surveillance state

If you didn’t catch tonight’s can’t miss premiere of For The Record, watch it on-demand HERE. Not a subscriber to TheBlaze TV? Start your 14 day free trial HERE.

Who is listening? Who is reading your emails? Who is watching you?

We all have a basic idea of how much access the government has to our personal information. But what are they using it for and, more importantly, what are they capable of? Since September 11, 2001, the National Security Agency (NSA) has turned America into a surveillance state, and tonight’s premiere of For The Record, TheBlaze’s new news magazine series, takes a deeper look into just what the government is doing with all that information.

“There is little information today the NSA cannot acquire if it wants to,” said American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) attorney Alexander Abdo. Using the firsthand accounts of four NSA whistleblowers, For The Record exposes the truth behind the government agency that is invading American’s privacy under the guise of national security.

“I took all the narration out of the episode because these people are whistleblowers, and I have to let them tell their story,” Joe Weasel , senior producer of TheBlaze documentary team, said about the episode. “I asked all the whistleblowers the exact same questions, so I could see if the stories were consistent, and then I got out of the way. 

Thomas Drake, a former NSA senior director, was one of the whistleblowers highlighted in the episode. Drake spent his life fighting for his country and the Constitution. He worked at the Central Intelligence Agency and Defense Intelligence Agency before joining the NSA – a decision one of his friends called “a suicide mission.”

Coincidently, Drake’s first day of work at the NSA was September 11, 2001, and he explains the historical culture of the NSA, which dates back to the Truman Administration, and the way it changed in the aftermath of 9/11.

 

In addition to Drake, former NSA senior analyst Kirk Wiebe, former NSA senior technical director Bill Binney, and former staff member of the House Intelligence Committee Diane Roark share their stories. 

“The key was to humanize all of them. At the end of the day, you have to understand that they had nothing to gain – there was no book deal, no movie, no nothing. So it was very important to establish their credibility,” Weasel said about the interviewing process. “We wanted to make them look like real people because that’s what they were. They are mid-westerners, but they were also spies. They were raided by the FBI and almost went to jail.”

All four of the whistleblowers were well respected and had enjoyed promotions over the years, but everything changed on December 18, 2005, when the New York Times published a blockbuster article exposing the government’s warrantless wiretapping program. While Drake, Wiebe, Binney, and Roark had not spoken to the New York Times or any other news organization at that point, the federal government began a criminal leak investigation that focused on the four of them.

While none of the whistleblowers were convicted, their lives and careers were ruined. Their stories serve as a cautionary tale of what the government is capable of doing to its own employees – let alone its citizens.

“I thought you needed to humanize those people before we could get you to, ‘This is what your government is capable of doing,’” Weasel said about production. “I think you have to get a feel of what your government can do to you.”

It has become clear that even in light of the American people learning more about government surveillance programs, the tactics are here to stay. A massive NSA facility is currently under construction and scheduled to go open soon in the little town of Bluffdale, Utah. That compound is staggering in its size – about 100,000 square feet – and many experts feel that it will be used to store immense amounts of data gathered online about Americans like you.

Ultimately, this is a Constitutional issue that deals directly with the Fourth Amendment – put in place to protect Americans from warrantless search and seizure – but the government doesn’t seem to be too concered.

“We know how to find bad guys in data and protect the privacy rights of Americans. We know how to do it,” Wiebe said. “The government doesn’t want to do it that way. The question is why? They want the ability to look at Americans when they feel like it. And that is the threat we now live with.”

If you didn’t catch tonight’s can’t miss premiere of For The Record, learn about how to watch it on-demand HERE. Not a subscriber? Start your 14 day free trial HERE.

On Monday's episode of "The Glenn Beck Radio Program," Glenn opened up about the tragic death of his brother-in-law, Vincent Colonna Jr., who passed away unexpectedly on April 5. He also shared some of the important thoughts and insights he's learned through the grieving process.

"Last Monday, I was sitting in this chair ... the two-minute warning comes and Stu said to me, 'You ready for the show?'' ... And that's when my wife [Tania] came to the door of the studio here at our house and said, 'I...' and she held the phone up. And then she collapsed on the floor in tears," Glenn began. "Tania's brother had passed. To say this was a shock, is an understatement."

Glenn described his brother-in-law as having "a servant's spirit."

"He was always the guy who lit up the room. He was always the guy helping others. He would never stop, because he was always helping others," Glenn said of Vincent. "He was on the school board. He was a little league coach. He was the soccer coach. He helped build the church. He took care of the lawn of the church. He was constantly doing things, raising money for charity, working over here, helping to organize this. But he was never the guy in the spotlight. He was just the guy doing it, and you had no idea how much he had done because he never talked about it.

"We also didn't know how much mental anguish he was in because he never talked about it. And last Monday morning, after spending Easter with the family ... he killed himself. This is now the third family member of mine that has gone through this. And I keep seeing it play out over and over and over again, in exactly the same way."

Glenn described his thoughts as he, Tania, and her family struggled to come to grips with the devastating loss.

"I learned some really important things as I was watching this wake. I'm seeing these people from all walks of life ... the people that were there, were there because [Vince] made a difference in their life. He was a true servant. As I'm watching this, all that kept going through my mind was, 'by their fruits, ye shall know them.' The fruits of his labor were on display. He was a servant all the time. All the time ... he found a way to love everybody.

"There are two great commandments: Love God with all your heart and mind and soul. And love your neighbor. So those two great commandments boil down to: Love truth. Because that's what God is," Glenn said.

"Love thy neighbor. That's where joy comes from. The opposite of joy is despair, and that is the complete absence of hope ... and how do you find joy? You find joy by rooting yourself in the truth. Even if that's a truth you don't want to accept. Accept the truth," he added. "But we have to stop saying that there's nothing we can do. What are we going to do? Well, here's the first thing: stop living a lie."

Watch the video clip below to hear more from Glenn:


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After imprisoning a pastor for refusing to follow COVID-19 restrictions, Canadian officials barricaded his church. And when some church members retaliated by tearing down part of the fence, Canadian Mounties arrived in riot gear.

Rebel News Founder Ezra Levant joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to give his insight on the crazy situation. He described the new, armed police presence surrounding GraceLife Church in Edmonton, Alberta, and how it not only encouraged hundreds of protesters to stand with the church in support but forced congregation members underground to worship as well.

What's happening is eerily similar to what occurs everyday in China, Levant says, and it must stop. Who would have thought this type of tyranny would be so close to home?

Watch the video below to hear Ezra describe the religious persecution taking place in Canada.


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To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Enough prayers? Why is supposed Catholic Joe Biden suggesting that Congress ought to stop praying for after someone commits acts of gun violence?

On Friday, Stu Burguiere and Pat Gray filled in for Glenn and discussed President Joe Biden's remarks during his speech on gun control. "Enough prayers. Time for some action," Biden said. Stu and Pat were surprised how dismissive Biden appeared to be on the idea of prayer.

Watch the clip to hear more. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.

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Just days after Canadian pastor James Coates was released from prison for refusing to bow to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, several police officers showed up at another church to ensure restrictions were being followed. But Polish pastor Artur Pawlowski of the Cave of Adullam Church in Alberta, Canada, knew his rights, telling the cops not to come back until they had a warrant in hand.

Filling in for Glenn Beck on the radio program this week, Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere played a video of the interaction.

"Please get out. Please get out of this property immediately. Get out!" Pawlowski can be heard yelling at the six officers who entered his church.

"Out! Out! Out! Get out of this property immediately until you come back with a warrant," he continued. "Go out and don't come back. I don't want to talk to you. You Nazis, Gestapo is not allowed here! ... Nazis are not welcome here! Do not come back you Nazi psychopaths. Unbelievable sick, evil people. Intimidating people in a church during the Passover! You Gestapo, Nazi, communist fascists! Don't you dare come back here!"

Watch this clip to see the heated exchange:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.