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‘America has no functioning democracy’ – Jimmy Carter on NSA

Published time: July 18, 2013 12:15
Edited time: July 19, 2013 10:39
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter (Mario Tama/Getty Images/AFP)

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter (Mario Tama/Getty Images/AFP)

Former US President Jimmy Carter lambasted US intelligence methods as undemocratic and described Edward Snowden’s NSA leak as “beneficial” for the country.

Carter lashed out at the US political system when the issue of the previously top-secret NSA surveillance program was touched upon at the Atlantic Bridge meeting on Tuesday in Atlanta, Georgia.

"America has no functioning democracy at this moment," Carter said, according to Der Spiegel.

He also believes the spying-scandal is undermining democracy around the world, as people become increasingly suspicious of US internet platforms, such as Google and Facebook. While such mediums have normally been associated with freedom of speech and have recently become a major driving force behind emerging democratic movements, fallout from the NSA spying scandal has dented their credibility.

It’s not the first time Carter has criticized US intelligence policies. In a previous interview with
CNN, he said the NSA leaks signified that “the invasion of human rights and American privacy has gone too far." He added that although Snowden violated US law, he may have ultimately done good for the country.  

"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."
Jimmy Carter was President of the United States from 1977 to 1981. After leaving office, he founded the Carter Center, an NGO advocating human rights. The ex-president’s human rights credentials won him Nobel Peace Prize in 2002.

Carter has frequently criticized his successors in the White House. Last year, he condemned the Obama administration for the use of drone attacks in his article "A Cruel and Unusual Record" published in the New York Times.

Comments (245)


Roxy Chick 20.08.2013 23:44

The usa should be stopped and sanctioned asap end of. They support israel who in turn cause wars in the middle east destroying all the muslim countries around their precious israel because the know that they are surrounded by countries who hate them. Once the usa can come under fire for doing this on a global scale aggressively by all other nations only then will israel lose its right to bring down muslim countries in the middle east. Someone needs to sanction the usa they can't preach democracy on one hand then spy on their own people and on the entire world can they?


fran7 19.08.2013 06:24

Jimmy Carter deserved the Peace Prize while Obama has turned it into a Joke. Prism displays USA aggression on a Global scale in its true colours and Snowdon is a HERO for making the World aware of this. USA should immediately stop rewarding Israel and Egyptian army for supressing HUMAN RIGHTS by force of arms which is causing death and destruction to innocent people in the middle east.


Arthur Buckner 11.08.2013 15:22

This is really amazing and encouraging at the same time. I applaud President Carter for having the COURAGE, to call it as it really is. We are such hypocrites in the worlds eyes, we condemned the 3rd Reich stormtroopers and Gestapo tactics, we condemned the Soviet Unions KGB and their tactics, but when we do it, OH THATS DIFFERENT! we are doing it for a just cause and if you don't agree YOUR NOT A PATRIOT! Well, "Patriotism is a scoundrels last resort"

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