TheBlaze's national security expert Buck Sexton appeared on The Glenn Beck Program Monday to discuss the alarming quantities of information the U.S. government is gathering on its citizens, and the ramifications it may have on the future of the country.
Sexton began by referencing a Wall Street Journal report that he says highlights how "NSA-derived data has officially been used in a criminal prosecution."
"This was against a suspected would-be terrorist, somebody who was going to travel overseas allegedly to join the fighting in Syria," Sexton said. "But in the court documents given over to his lawyer, it's become clear that some of the knowledge that the government had derived from the NSA."
"This was not with some special warrant," he continued. "This was just - the NSA had this stuff, they decided to give it to criminal authorities."
Sexton said that the government always starts with using information against "the worst of the worst," but that it's only a matter of time before the government starts using "this massive trove of data that's just at its fingertips" in other ways.
Beck noted that when former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation J. Edgar Hoover started collecting information on Americans (on a scale that pales in comparison to what is occurring today), it created a culture where people were afraid to speak out for fear of retaliation.
"Who can possibly stand against them?" Beck asked. "Is it possible to unwind this? Are we past the point of no return?"
"I think right now we're getting to the point of no return; we haven't crossed it yet," Sexton replied.
If matters are not turned around, however, Sexton asked viewers to consider the "chilling effect" it will have on speaking out against whomever is in power, knowing there is a possibility that "any federal agency at any point in time can go through your entire life, essentially, going back to your childhood looking for something."
You can couple that with the fact, he added, that "you have federal authorities that are starting to get a little...vindictive when it comes to those who point out some of the problems."
Sexton said we are already at the point where we are seeing "East Germany" actions on the part of the federal government -- including the case where a Washington Times reporter's house was ostensibly searched for firearms by armed federal agents, during which time her First-Amendment protected notes about waste, fraud, and abuse in the Department of Homeland Security went missing.
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