Editor’s Note: In light of the revelations about the government’s “Prism” domestic spying program, we are reposting this summary of TheBlaze TV’s March 13, 2013 debut of For The Record: Surveillance State revealing the extent of the NSA’s monitoring of Americans. The show also will be rebroadcast tonight, Saturday and Sunday at 8pm ET on TheBlaze TV.
What if every email you sent, every phone call you made, was being tracked by the U.S. government?
It’s not science fiction, or George Orwell’s “1984.” It’s a very real possibility, as revealed in “For the Record,” TheBlaze TV’s new investigative series premiering Wednesday.
In its first episode, “For the Record” chronicles the massive expansion of the National Security Agency’s power to tap into the lives of American citizens in the post-9/11 world. The NSA, officially tasked with foreign intelligence gathering, has turned its listening capabilities inward on its own country, several agency whistleblowers say on the show.
“What I discovered shortly after 9/11 is that the NSA had embarked on a program, and they did call it ‘the program,’ in which they turned the United States of America into the equivalent of a foreign nation for the purposes of vast dragnet electronic surveillance,” says Thomas Drake, a former top NSA executive who was prosecuted under the Espionage Act after speaking out against NSA domestic spying.
Drake’s charges of allegedly leaking classified information were dropped in 2011, but Americans are still having more of their data collected and stored by the government than ever before, the show goes on to report.
“This is a story that had been told but not covered well,” TheBlaze TV senior producer Joe Weasel says.
One tangible fact in a world of wireless monitoring is what’s known as the Utah Data Center, slated for completion later this year. Located in Bluffdale, Utah, it’s an enormous facility believed meant for the mass storage of Americans’ electronic records.
“Their entire electronic life can be laid out on a timeline,” Bill Binney, a former NSA senior technical director turned whistleblower tells “For the Record.”
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who’s made defending constitutional principles a hallmark of his Senate tenure — evidenced most recently by his 13-hour filibuster of John Brennan’s confirmation as CIA director last week — says most of the NSA’s activities remain shrouded in secrecy.
“We’ve made so many things secret, it’s secret how much money we spend on NSA programs…it’s secret how many Americans have been snooped on,” Paul says. “Why would we make that secret and how can we ever restrain or correct abuses if it’s secret how many people are being snooped upon by the NSA?”
“For the Record” debuts Wednesday at 8 p.m. on TheBlaze TV.