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.

A new Pew Research Center report shows the death toll in the United States from COVID-19 is "heavily concentrated" in Democratic congressional districts.

According to the analysis, more than half of all COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. occurred in just 44 (approximately 10 percent of) congressional districts, and 41 of those 44 hardest-hit districts are represented by Democrats, while only three are represented by Republicans.

"A new Pew Research Center analysis of data on official reports of COVID-19 deaths, collected by the John Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering, finds that, as of last week, nearly a quarter of all the deaths in the United States attributed to the coronavirus have been in just 12 congressional districts – all located in New York City and represented by Democrats in Congress. Of the more than 92,000 Americans who had died of COVID-19 as of May 20 (the date that the data in this analysis was collected), nearly 75,000 were in Democratic congressional districts," Pew reported.

Filling in for Glenn Beck on the radio program this week, Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere argued that, while the coronavirus should never have been made into a partisan issue, the study certainly makes a strong statement in favor of GOP leadership.

Watch the video below:


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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) once predicted the coronavirus death rate would be between 4 and 5 percent, but they've just come out with a new report and those predictions have been adjusted significantly.

According to the CDC's latest data, the fatality rate among Americans showing COVID-19 symptoms is 0.4 percent. And an estimated 35 percent who are infected by the virus will never have any symptoms. Therefore, the CDC is now estimating COVID-19 kills less than 0.3 percent of people infected.

Filling in for Glenn Beck on the radio program this week, Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere recalled when the mainstream media went into overdrive, hammering President Donald Trump for predicting the final COVID-19 death rate would be "under one percent."

Looks like the president was right all along.

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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Michigan barber Karl Manke isn't a troublemaker. He's a law-abiding citizen who did everything possible to financially survive during the COVID-19 lockdown. pandemic. Eventually, he had no other option: he had to reopen his business in defiance of Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's stay-at-home orders.

In an interview on the "Glenn Beck Radio Program," Manke, 77, told Glenn, "I'm not backing down" despite Whitmer's seemingly vindictive attempts to shut down his business.

Shortly after reopening, Manke was ticketed for violating Whitmer's stay-at-home order and charged with a misdemeanor. When he still refused to close his doors, the governor's office went a step further and suspended his barber license.

"It's kind of a vindictive thing," said Manke. "I've become a worm in her brain ... and she is going full force, illegally, when legislatures told her that she was out of place and this was not her assignment, she decided to take it anyway."

On Thursday, the Shiawassee County Circuit Judge refused to issue a preliminary injunction against Manke. Read more on this update here.

Watch the video clip from the interview below:

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Time after time, Americans have taken to the streets to defend our constitutional rights, whether it was our livelihood at stake -- or our lives. But, what was the point of all the civil rights movements that came before, if we're about to let the government take our rights away now?

On his Wednesday night special, Glenn Beck argued that Americans are tired of having our rights trampled by "tyrannical" leaders from state and local governments who are ignoring our unalienable rights during this pandemic.

"Our nanny state has gone too far. The men and women in office -- the ones closest to our communities, our towns, our cities -- are now taking advantage of our fear," Glenn said. "Like our brothers and sisters of the past, we need to start making the decisions that will put our destiny, and our children's destiny, back into our hands."

It took less than two months of the coronavirus tyranny to make America unrecognizable, but some Americans are fighting back, risking losing their jobs and businesses or even jail time, as they battle to take back our civil rights.

Here are just a few of their stories:

After New Jersey's Atilis Gym reopened in defiance of the governor's executive order, the Department of Health shut them down for "posing a threat to the public health." Co-owner Ian Smith says somebody sabotaged the gym's toilets with enire rolls of paper to create the public health "threat."

Oregon Salon owner, Lindsey Graham, was fined $14 thousand for reopening. She said she was visited by numerous government organizations, including Child Protective Services, in what she believes are bullying tactics straight from the governor's office.

77-year-old Michigan barber, Karl Manke, refused to close his shop even when facing arrest. "I couldn't go another 30 days without an income," he said. But when local police refused to arrest him, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's (D) office suspending his business license instead.

Port of Seattle police officer Greg Anderson was suspended after he spoke out against enforcing what he called "tyrannical orders" imposed amid coronavirus lockdowns.

Kentucky mother-of-seven, Mary Sabbatino, found herself under investigation for alleged child abuse after breaking social distancing rules at a bank. After a social worker from child protective services determined there was no sign of abuse, he still sought to investigate why the Sabbatino's are homeschooling, and how they can give "adequate attention to that many children."

Dallas salon owner Shelley Luther was sentenced to seven days in jail after she defied the state-mandated stay-at-home orders to reopen her business.

Watch the video clip from Glenn's special below:


Watch the full special on BlazeTV YouTube here.

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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 multiplatform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.