During a simple discussion of the National Security Agency’s surveillance practices, a US radio program experienced a unique “technological meltdown” on Thursday, prompting many to question whether the NSA was censoring the show.
During an interview with Larry Klayman, the lawyer who recently won a preliminary injunction against the NSA’s bulk collection of phone records, Aaron Klein’s WABC radio program began experiencing what was termed a “tech meltdown” on the air.
Not only did the program’s software end up dropping Klayman off the line, but even those who called in to the show could not be put on the air. Anyone who did manage to make it on the air risked being dropped as they spoke.
“In my three years of broadcasting at WABC we never had such a technological meltdown as we are having today,” Klein said, according to the website WND.
“Calls are dropping,” he added. “We cant get the guests on. Once the guests are on they are dropping. We’ve had several meltdowns. Feedback from the microphone. I can barely broadcast…However we are going to land this airplane and we’re going to have fun doing it.”
When WND asked Klein if he thinks the technical issues were in any way related to the fact that Klayman was his guest, the radio host said not to get “paranoid,” and that it was “probably just a coincidence.”
“It wouldn’t be logical for the NSA to target my show,” Klein said, adding that he’s run multiple segments questioning the motives of Edward Snowden, as well as the alleged anti-American views of Glenn Greenwald – the journalist responsible for reporting much of what Snowden has leaked so far.
Even during the Klayman interview, Klein pushed the lawyer to defend his position against the NSA, asking whether there are situations in which the NSA’s record collection program is a positive thing for national security. Klayman responded, stating that the key to the whole program is that it is not abused. He noted that if an American citizen is suspected of having ties to terrorists, they should be shown “to have some contact with a foreign terrorist source. And as long as you gave that nexus…then that’s fine.”
During other parts of the interview, WND quoted Klayman as describing the NSA’s program as the “worst violation of constitutional rights in American history.”
“What’s most dangerous about what is going on is the fact that every time someone picks up their phone, or sends an email, or goes to social media like Facebook, or uses Skype, they now know that the government is watching,” he said. “And this keeps us from being critical of the government…And that’s not just un-American, it’s like the former Soviet Union or China.
“If our Founding Fathers had lived in these times, and if King George III had had an NSA with that kind of technological capability, the Founding Fathers would have been picked up, arrested and executed before they ever got to Philadelphia to sign the Declaration of Independence.”