NSA whistleblower Diane Roark appeared on Glenn Beck’s radio program Tuesday both to discuss Representative Michele Bachmann’s defense of the agency’s data-collection policies, and to speak about the program at large.

One of the issues discussed was the concern that once the government has the ability to gather information on virtually every American, that it’s only a matter of time before that information is used to intimidate or manipulate – particularly lawmakers and national figures whose decisions impact the entire country.

“Do you think that kind of stuff is happening yet?” Beck asked.

Roark responded: “I do believe that is happening. It’s being used for political purposes — it was used against the five of us [whistleblowers] for political purposes. We had done nothing wrong. They came after us and tried to find anything they could to get us in jail…They searched for seven years.”

She added: “I believe the Republic is at risk with this program, there is no way you can remain free when the government has a dossier on almost every citizen in the country. Over time, we will lose our freedom, and we’re already losing it.”

Watch more of the interview, which also includes Roark’s gripping account of how the government collects information up to three “hops” away, below:

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