AXS TV anchor Dan Rather and MSNBC host Rachel Maddow on Wednesday night said the National Security Agency couldn't justify its sweeping surveillance powers.

Maddow began her segment on MSNBC by noting that any government power was supposed to rely on the consent of the governed.

"When the government wants to assume some new, broad power of some kind, part of us deciding to trust you with that new real broad power is us believing that you'll use that power for the purpose you said it was needed," Maddow said.

The NSA appeared to be misusing the powers that Congress granted it. But that wasn't the only problem, Maddow continued.

"If your mom lets you borrow the keys to the car and you take the keys to the car, you start up the car and smash it into a ditch on your first outing, maybe mom will bump you back down to riding a bike for a while, right? You have not proven yourself capable of handling that responsibility. Well, that's what it feels like is happening with the National Security Agency."

An internal audit found the NSA had violated its own privacy rules due to errors, such as using wrong the area codes. On Wednesday, it was revealed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court had halted an NSA online surveillance program because the agency was unable to separate American emails from foreign emails.

Rather said he was skeptical that the NSA's actions could simply be attributed to ineptitude.

"For a lot of Americans this is demolishing the trust in the government," he remarked. "The national security state has gone far too far. You can argue in the first weeks, months, maybe the first years after 9/11 we needed to move to some extreme national security state position, but now in 2013 it's going too far and I think there's a sinking feeling with a lot of people that's the case."

Watch video, courtesy of MSNBC, below:

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