Are the FISA courts even more secretive than we thought?

In the wake of NSA scandal, government surveillance techniques have been under increased scrutiny. The main defense of NSA supporters revolves around the actions of a small and secretive court that originated from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. Over the weekend, the Washington Post published a fascinating story that looked into the inner workings of one the nation’s most enigmatic magistrates – the FISA courts.

“Did you see in the Washington Post this weekend, this amazing story about what was built underneath the Capitol museum,” Glenn said on radio this morning. “Remember that Capitol museum cost, what, three quarters of a billion dollars to build? And I'm walking through the Capitol museum a couple of weeks ago and I'm like, that doesn't look like a three quarter of a billion dollar building.”

The Capitol Visitor Center remodel, which was commissioned under President George W. Bush, cost a small fortune, but there was very little pushback from Republicans or Democrats. Based on the information in the Washington Post article, Glenn believes we are now beginning to figure out why.

“Nobody had a problem with the three quarters of a billion dollar Capitol Visitors Complex… Now we are beginning to figure out why,” Glenn said. “The Washington Post had an amazing story this weekend about the secret meetings that happened way below the Capitol Visitors Complex. The Visitors Complex was a ruse. They built the Visitors Complex to make us believe they were building this stupid museum. There was a lot of infrastructure that's underneath the Visitors Complex… I've never believed in the Star Chamber. I've never believed there are secret courts going on and things like that. I know the FISA court, but not Star Chamber stuff.”

Glenn is specifically referring to the opening of the Washington Post article, in which it becomes clear there is a lot happening below the surface of the Capitol Visitors Center:

Wedged into a secure, windowless basement room deep below the Capitol Visitors Center, U.S. District Court Judge John Bates appeared before dozens of senators earlier this month for a highly unusual, top-secret briefing.

The lawmakers pressed Bates, according to people familiar with the session, to discuss the inner workings of the United States’ clandestine terrorism surveillance tribunal, which Bates oversaw from 2006 until earlier this year.

Perhaps that more alarming part of the article comes a few paragraphs later, when the decisions and actions of the court are described as Supreme Court-style:

Critics, including some with knowledge of the court’s internal operations, say the court has undergone a disturbing shift. It was created in 1978 to handle routine surveillance warrants, but these critics say it is now issuing complex, classified, Supreme Court-style rulings that are quietly expanding the government’s reach into the private lives of unwitting Americans.

(emphasis added)

“So basically who they can monitor, who they can't, who they can kill, who they can't. I'm not comfortable with the Star Chamber underneath the Capitol. Is anybody else,” Glenn asked.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) spoke at the progressive Netroots Nation conference over the weekend, and she faced a less-than-friendly audience that took issue with the lack of transparency in the NSA/FISA court system:

PELOSI: [Snowden] did violate the law in terms of releasing those documents. We don't know. I understand. I understand. I understand. But it did violate the law, and the fact is – and the fact is that, again, we have to have the balance.

“I like that ‘you suck’ in the background there,” Pat said.

“They were not only saying ‘you suck,’ they were also saying, ‘No secret courts. No secret courts,’” Glenn said.

There are a lot of things progressives and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans disagree on, but reducing the overt secretiveness of the FISA court system is something we can all agree on.

“And this is something that we can unite on,” Glenn concluded.

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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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:

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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.