You are here: HomeU.S. NewsConstitutionJimmy Carter Defends Snowden, Says U.S. Has No "Functioning Democracy"
Saturday, 20 July 2013 18:45

Jimmy Carter Defends Snowden, Says U.S. Has No "Functioning Democracy"

Written by 

"America does not have a functioning democracy at this point in time," former President Jimmy Carter (shown) said this week, according to a report in the German newspaper Der Spiegel. Carter was quoted as having made that remark at a closed-door meeting of Atlantic Bridge, a research and education organization supporting cooperation between the United States and Great Britain on political, economic, and defense issues. The former president reportedly said the National Security Agency's invasion of privacy has gone too far, as he defended that actions of Edward Snowden, the American now seeking asylum in Russia after leaking classified documents revealing the massive NSA interception of communications between citizens and among government officials worldwide.

The English translation of Carter's remarks was published in the online news source Inquisitr.com. No American media outlets reported on the closed meeting and it was not clear where Der Spiegel got its information, Inquisitr noted. But both Inquisitr and Huffington Post, which also carried the story, noted that the quotes were consistent with previous published remarks by the former president.

In June, Huffington Post noted, Carter addressed the Snowden controversy in an interview with CNN after the 29-year-old intelligence analyst had flown from Hong Kong to Moscow in his quest for asylum from the U.S. government that is seeking to prosecute him for espionage and theft of government property.

"He's obviously violated the laws of America, for which he's responsible," Carter said at that time, "but I think the invasion of human rights and American privacy has gone too far." The Georgia Democrat also said nations that were offering asylum to Snowden were acting within their rights. "I think that the secrecy that has been surrounding this invasion of privacy has been excessive, so I think that the bringing of it to the public notice has probably been, in the long term, beneficial," Carter said.

Snowden has been described by the NSA as a systems administrator employed by Booz Allen Hamilton, a contractor that worked on the secret agency's PRISM program for intercepting and storing billions of telephone, Internet, and other electronic messages daily. His revelation and documentation of the program through classified documents he gave last month to the British publication The Guardian and to the Washington Post made headlines around the world and caused diplomatic strains between the United States and other nations when it was revealed that the massive surveillance program included spying on other governments.

Snowden fled his Hawaiian home and turned up at a secret location in Hong Kong, where he acknowledged in an interview with The Guardian that he was the source of the news leak that had blown the secrecy of the NSA program and had U.S. officials claiming disclosure of the classified information could help terrorists escape detection.

Since his arrival in Russia on June 23, Snowden has reportedly been holed up in a Moscow airport while trying to arrange an escape to one of the Latin American countries offering asylum from prosecution by the United States. His ability to travel, however, is hindered by the fact that the U.S. State Department has revoked his passport. He has applied for temporary asylum in Russia, but the United States has warned of serious consequences to U.S.-Russian relations if asylum is granted.

Carter's assessment of the Snowden affair is in sharp contrast with the Obama administration's position and with members of Congress including House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who have accused Snowden of treason. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has said Snowden should be hunted "to the ends of the earth" and former Vice President Dick Cheney has called the systems analyst a "traitor."

Earlier this week, former U.S. Senator Gordon Humphrey, a New Hampshire Republican, sent an email message of support to Snowden, calling the NSA surveillance program a "massive violation of the United States Constitution."

Photo of Jimmy Carter: AP Images

5 comments

  • Comment Link Frank M. Pelteson Tuesday, 23 July 2013 10:17 posted by Frank M. Pelteson

    We need to also remember that Jimmy Carter was instrumental in giving away our Panama Canal to the Chinese. Carter is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. and the Trilateral Commission and could be considered a professional traitor to Americanists. The Internationalists would consider him a loyal follower.

    It is interesting that Carter is at odds with other CFR members such as Dick Cheney over the Snowden issue.

    Perhaps he is concerned that his conspiratorial communications can be exposed through leaks via the NSA.

    It is funny how the INSIDERS sometimes stumble over each others' toes, when people like Snowden toss the proverbial feces into the punch bowl..

  • Comment Link dennis mckay Tuesday, 23 July 2013 01:33 posted by dennis mckay

    I never thought It would come to this: Hell must look like the Volga in January; I agree with Jimmy Carter.

  • Comment Link Gary Doan Monday, 22 July 2013 18:40 posted by Gary Doan

    The NSA, the IRS, the DOJ and even the State Departments lack of responsibility and accountability is on par with the entire Obama administration. The problem starts at the top and is consistent throughout the Obama administration.

  • Comment Link sirburban Sunday, 21 July 2013 12:53 posted by sirburban

    With the federal government up to its bureaucracy in red ink maybe the Obama administration can sell these ill gotten gains to the world's public.

    NSA Extravaganza Sale! Help Pay Down US Debt!

    This week only during our Spy Week Extravaganza Sale:
    * Prices slashed on all private messages between average world citizens.

    * Find out who your spouse has been secretly communicating with.

    * Super Deals during our Spook Week Extravaganza Sale!!

    For details on who your spouse has been secretly communicating with the reduced price is $12 thousand dollars processed immediately after Bill Gates processes your credit Card.

    In lieu of the $12K you can sign up your daughter or one of your son for an all expense paid UN tour of the Middle East, African country or Latin American nation.

    The stipulation is that your kid or kids will be obligated to wear the US Army uniform for 10 years and wear UN insignia and swear allegiance to the UN Charter.

    Go to our special website to process your requests. www Spies Like US r Working 4 U

  • Comment Link REMant Saturday, 20 July 2013 18:12 posted by REMant

    I got a charge out of a story yesterday which made light of Snowden's impact by noting not only that all of the information had been known before, but also that he hadn't access to the other half of the Oahu facility where the NSA hacked into computers in Asian countries. But those who deny NSA's invasiveness may be right, because they still haven't been able to stop the robo-calls I've been getting daily for the last several years.

Log in
Sign up for The New American daily highlights