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.”