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Mark Levin On NSA Tracking: "We Have The Elements Of A Police State Here"

On Thursday’s broadcast of Fox News Channel’s “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” conservative talk show host Mark Levin reacted to recent revelations that the National Security Agency had been collecting the phone records of millions of Verizon customers. He said that the NSA news in addition to other openings for intrusion by the federal government are the makings of a “police state.”

MARK LEVIN: I tell you what I make of this — we have the elements of a police state here, and I’m not overstating it. When you step back and realize the Supreme Court the other day ruled 5-to-4 that law enforcement can take DNA from you even if you’re arrested — by the way, you’re arrested even when you’re stopped for a speeding ticket, and Scalia was right, concerned about a national database. That goes way over the line of our traditions.

You look at the Internal Revenue Service, what’s going on there today, and they collect extensive financial and personal information, and they put it on a database. This Obamacare is a massive data collection as well of our private personal medical conditions, procedures, drugs, mental, physical illnesses. The Transportation Department, people forget, has proposed black boxes in all of our automobiles to track how they function and how far they go in accidents. We now have domestic drones from EPA to make sure farmers aren’t stepping out of line.

The Department of Homeland Security now is checking laptops and iPhones and other data, making copies of it and keeping it, and now we have this. And some of my brothers and sisters in law enforcement, prosecutors, are saying, ‘Look, look, this is permitted. We need to be able to go through and match —’ wait a minute. You don’t throw a whole net on the entire country and everybody’s phone numbers and check the duration and see if you can come up with some overlaps. That’s not law enforcement. That’s not how national security works. I don’t care what the hell the Supreme Court said 30 years ago or what some judge said 15 minutes ago. This is America, and our government is collecting way too damn much data on we the private citizen.

CAVUTO: Now, they did this under the auspices of, I think, just tracing back to when this call came out to get these call records, of these hundred and ten-plus million Americans, presumably right after the Boston terror incident. So that was the guise under which they requested this information, and Verizon then gave it to them. What do you make of using that event? On paper that would sound fine, I guess, but then to extend it to the degree they did?

LEVIN: That is about the dumbest defense that I’ve heard today. And I’ve heard it today on this from the administration and others. The Russians were begging us to get ahold of this guy, Terrorist #1, the dead terrorist. They shared information with our domestic and intelligence operations, the Department of Homeland Security concludes that we don’t have enough to hold the guy, he goes back to his Chechnya neighborhood, thereabouts, and comes back so now they’re going to throw a net on a hundred and twenty million Americans? To try and track this down?

This is so absurd, and it is a pretext, and I don’t like any of it. Whether it comes to health care or taxes or ObamaCare or transportation. Everything. They are collecting way too much information, and as far Obama: He doesn’t know what’s going on… Well he knows what’s going on right now for God’s sake. What’s he going to do about it now? Anything?

CAVUTO: You know what’s interesting? As a Senator, he was very critical of the PATRIOT Act, that it was an overreach, and that the president at the time, President Bush, was overdoing this. Again, under the guise of keeping us safe. Now, it would appear whether it’s at his direct orders or not, that he’s doing it on steroids. Where is all of this going?

LEVIN: His direct orders or not. What is this, rope-a-dope? He’s the President of the United States. Hes the commander-in-chief---

CAVUTO: So, what do you want him to do, Mark?

LEVIN: I want him to clean house, or give a speech to the American people and tell us why we need to live in this semi- or soft-police state, why we need to have all these records collected, whether it’s health care or automobiles or our DNA, whether it’s all these other things. I mean, come out of the shadows, Mr. President, be honest with the American people and tell us about your fundamental transformation. That’s what I want him to do.

CAVUTO: What I’m worried about is, if you look at all of these various scandals or privacy invasions, Mark, the common theme is snooping on people. Whether it is conservative groups being targeted by the IRS, and then individuals, or the Justice Department going after what we were told was a few AP reporters, and then expanded to James Rosen and FOX, and then other Fox personnel. To what’s going on at HHS, forcing private companies to cough up to pay for publicizing the healthcare law that they’re in charge of policing. There is a common thread of just Big Brotherness in all of this. It scares me.

LEVIN: This is what happens when our country becomes unwarned from the Constitution. The function of the federal government are without limits. We have this all-powerful centralized government with concentrated power. Stomping all over the First Amendment. I mean look at these warrants with these reporters. I was chief of staff to an Attorney General of the United States. We didn’t take a back seat to anyone who leaked information to the media, but twenty phone-taps, a hundred reporters, James Rosen's parents? What kind of mindless idiocy is that?

CAVUTO: Now, what is it like to take phone records? They say, and I didn’t understand Verizon’s statement, I didn’t know from that statement whether they did acquiesce to this or not, so I don't know why they put out statements that make no statement? But leaving that aside, do you think that there, by just seizing peoples’ phone records, getting the phone records, and not listening to them, is the government’s way of saying, 'just in case you were going to discard these, we want the protection of having these.'

LEVIN: Well, I mean who the hell knows what their purpose is here. Other than what they say their purpose is here. And by the way, Verizon’s being picked on. Verizon has no choice. And I bet AT&T’s been hit up. I bet every single phone company in America’s been hit up. But that said---

CAVUTO: Well a lot of these companies, I don't know what happened specifically here Mark, Google and others, where they’re just asked for this information. Without a subpoena. Without anything, a warrant or anything, they just go ahead and give it.

LEVIN: They don’t have a leg to stand on. They don’t have a leg to stand on. They can go to court and fight it, I suppose.

CAVUTO: So everyone’s afraid?

LEVIN: It’s not that they’re afraid, it’s that the law’s been twisted into a pretzel. And its difficult to stop these sorts of things, so we have to stop them politically.

CAVUTO: It’s happening to us. What is going on?

LEVIN: I think people had better wake the hell up and understand something. That we are not a constitutional republic anymore. I don’t know what we are. I’m not saying we’re the most oppressive regime on the face of the earth either, but we are not a constitutional republic anymore. When you look at the first amendment, the assault on free speech under these campaign laws, the assault on religious groups, under the first amendment. When you look at the effort to create a registry under the second amendment on guns. When you look at the fourth and fifth amendments turned on their heads, the ninth and tenth amendments, they pretend they don’t even exist. We have a chief justice of the Supreme Court who twists the words of the commerce clause and the meaning of tax in order to uphold ObamaCare. This is lawlessness. And at some point we need to unravel this federal government, unravel the ruling class and push power back to the states, municipalities, and the people, or we’re going to get more of this.

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