Jimmy Carter Says NSA Scandal Shows America Has No Functioning Democracy

from the strong-words dept

Former President Jimmy Carter apparently is not impressed by the excuses the government has made about the NSA surveillance scandals, stating that America has no functioning democracy at a meeting in Atlanta, attended by a reporter from the German newspaper Der Spiegel. This follows on some of Carter's earlier statements, which argued that "the invasion of human rights and American privacy has gone too far," and also that, "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." When even former Presidents are saying this sort of thing, isn't it time for our existing President to recognize that the surveillance state has gone too far?


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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2013 @ 3:34pm

    Let's admit it though, if he was back in office he would be bowing to the surveillance cartel just like our current president is.

     

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    Nigel (profile), Jul 18th, 2013 @ 3:35pm

    Wow... I have not seen this at all in the main stream media but they reported the hell out of him taking Paula Deen's side. WTF is wrong with the media.

    Nigel

     

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      Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Jul 18th, 2013 @ 3:43pm

      Re:

      WTF is wrong with the media.
      Nothing is wrong with the media... from their point of view. Why on earth would they want to piss off the government? Who would pass the laws they want if they did?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2013 @ 5:51pm

      Re:

      The media are not real journalists. They are entertainers. What's entertaining about reporting this? They don't care a whit about covering actually important issues.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2013 @ 6:21pm

      Re:

      Well the US learned one thing from Vietnam: Hanoi Hannah
      The only difference now is that the journalists and public are the enemy of the state.

       

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      jupiterkansas (profile), Jul 18th, 2013 @ 9:12pm

      Re:

      I heard what Carter said about the NSA, and I haven't heard a thing he said about Paula Deen.

      I guess I'm paying attention to the right media.

      The only way to fix mainstream media is to turn it off.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2013 @ 3:47pm

    No American outlets covered the event

    “Jimmy Carter on NSA: 'America has no functioning democracy'”, by Kristen Butler, UPI, July 18, 2013
    "America has no functioning democracy at this moment," Carter said at a closed-door event in Atlanta covered by a German newsmagazine.

    No American outlets covered the event, but the quote published by Der Spiegel is in line with opinions Carter has expressed previously.…


    “No American outlets covered the event.”

     

     

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      John Fenderson (profile), Jul 18th, 2013 @ 3:55pm

      Re: No American outlets covered the event

      That's OK. Americans who are interested in actual news don't pay any attention to American outlets anyway.

       

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        Rapnel (profile), Jul 18th, 2013 @ 5:17pm

        Re: Re: No American outlets covered the event

        It's not OK. How the hell are all of the idiots supposed to have anything remotely resembling a clue if the Fourth Estate shirks their responsibilities. It's not OK. It's pretty far from OK.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2013 @ 5:55pm

          Re: Re: Re: No American outlets covered the event

          Get off the computer and go tell some of those idiots. The powerful that have brought about this current state of affairs aren't going to just give up and go home because some of their bad deeds have been made provable in public and allow their puppets to reverse course and educate the unwashed masses. They will black out any mention of it if they can, and they can!

           

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          jupiterkansas (profile), Jul 18th, 2013 @ 9:08pm

          Re: Re: Re: No American outlets covered the event

          The fourth estate is clearly Der Spiegel and the BBC.

           

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          The Real Michael, Jul 19th, 2013 @ 5:26am

          Re: Re: Re: No American outlets covered the event

          More and more, people are turning away from the mainstream media and looking to alternatives (i.e. real news coverage). The MSM is run by the state, corporates and banks. As such, they go with the script.

           

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            ipgrunt (profile), Jul 19th, 2013 @ 10:27am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: No American outlets covered the event

            Not enough -- too many Americans are still at the circus with Zimmerman and Martin, the heat wave, Justin Bieber's tatoo, the Royal infant, Detroit, etc. Read the headlines.

            How many Americans read, or are even aware of The Guardian?

             

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    Aliasundercover, Jul 18th, 2013 @ 3:52pm

    It all changed after Carter.

    Every president since Jimmy Carter has been a fascist on matters of secrecy and executive power. Whatever they say or believe before assuming office they have turned power freak once in.

    If only Carter sent more helicopters. The fool things are unreliable. Need 3? Send 9! We would live in a different world today.

    I wonder how much of presidential fascism is fear of suffering Jimmy Carter's fate?

     

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      OldMugwump (profile), Jul 18th, 2013 @ 5:36pm

      Re: It all changed after Carter.

      "Every president since Jimmy Carter has been a fascist..."

      You mean since Eisenhower.

      And even he, as POTUS and former Supreme Allied Commander, was unable to stop it.

      And not for lack of trying. His "military industrial complex" speech was given 3 days before he left office - it was his admission of defeat and plea for the American people to resist.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2013 @ 12:19am

        Re: Re: It all changed after Carter.

        That speech seems to be quite the prophecy.

        "Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing".

        Watergate. FISC was introduced as a defensive counter intelligence measure, but it already constituted a secret court, in sharp contrast to the recommandations of Eisenhower about knowledgeable citizenry. But the next 20 years requests were far less than we see from 2005 untill today.
        Why? In 2001 after 9/11 FISCs authorization was expanded a lot to "prevent terrorism". The leap from protection against foreign espionage to terrorism is quite steep and the courts power has inevitably increase substantially.
        In 2003 the court was critizised for its secrecy being a problem by a senate overview report.
        2004-2008 the critizism was ignored and the scope of FISC has been expanded several times.

        Removing FISC should obviously be a top priority. After that, the anti-corruption level should be cranked up.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2013 @ 4:07pm

    I agree with John Fenderson. You can no longer trust the MSM outlets to report the news.

    I am not interested in human personality stories. I am not too interested in the government propaganda that is allowed to leak secrets without a peep of screaming national secrets but then turn around and file court charges against those that embarrass them.

    I will take foreign news sites, realizing they too have a bias, just not always in the interest of making the US look good. At least you're liable to see stuff there hidden by MSM for whatever reason, including self interest.

     

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    DCL, Jul 18th, 2013 @ 4:31pm

    The current value of an American's rights according Jimmy Carter... peanuts.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2013 @ 4:31pm

    Bah come on guys everyone knows FOX is where the real news is.

     

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    Daemob_ZOGG (profile), Jul 18th, 2013 @ 4:37pm

    America has no functioning democracy..

    Damn straight, Jimmy! };P

     

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      The Real Michael, Jul 19th, 2013 @ 5:31am

      Re: America has no functioning democracy..

      We never were a democracy. We're a Constitutional republic, at least that's what we're supposed to be.

       

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    McCrea (profile), Jul 18th, 2013 @ 5:03pm

    Mr. Carter

    Mr. Carter also said Paula Deen should be forgiven, being oblivious to the idea that the issue is not her language, but rather her corporate culpability in the sexual harassment case.

    I don't care to listen to ignorant people.

     

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      The Real Michael, Jul 19th, 2013 @ 5:39am

      Re: Mr. Carter

      So what are you saying, that we should go out of our way to demonize and punish people just for saying the 'N' word, make them live with the shame all their lives, take away their income, etc.? If that's the case then there's a laundry list of rap/hip-hop pseudo-musicians, comedians, actors and TV personalities who should be included but won't because of a blatant double-standard.

       

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        McCrea (profile), Jul 19th, 2013 @ 4:42pm

        Re: Re: Mr. Carter

        You complete ignored what I spelled out. See that section that begins with "the issue is not her language"? That means that I, nor the court, have issue with her language.

        Since that was offered in a single sentence, I'll have to assume you didn't even read it.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2013 @ 5:13pm

    When even former Presidents are saying this sort of thing, isn't it time for our existing President to recognize that the surveillance state has gone too far?

    Think it should be "a former President..."

    Carter's only one out of five Presidents still living today. Since Bush is still defending the surveillance he started in his term, that cancels out Carter's vote, leaving support by living Presidents at least four-to-one.

    Unless we start counting all the dead ones, then it's fair game.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2013 @ 5:23pm

      Response to: Anonymous Coward on Jul 18th, 2013 @ 5:13pm

      Clinton has also come out against the NSA's overreach. So...

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2013 @ 5:49pm

        Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Jul 18th, 2013 @ 5:13pm

        Okay. Unless Bush senior says otherwise, the tally is three-to-two in support then.

         

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    Candescence (profile), Jul 18th, 2013 @ 5:16pm

    Obama is in a rock and a hard place right now, unfortunately. While it is true he could win considerable support by just killing the illegal NSA surveillance programs, he has made his position on the program quite clear, and it would be extremely difficult to walk that back without cutting deeply into what ability to govern he has left.

     

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      BentFranklin (profile), Jul 18th, 2013 @ 5:43pm

      Re:

      If Obama went against NSA I believe they would kill him. But too bad. You wanted to be president Mr. Obama. Now do your job and come what may.

       

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        The Real Michael, Jul 19th, 2013 @ 5:46am

        Re: Re:

        Yeah, they'd get make an example out of him like the Federal Reserve and Banks did with JFK, but then that would create a firestorm of controversy they don't want. Understand that the only people appointed POTUS are those whom the secret powers behind the veil allow to hold office.

        We need to do away with the mainstream media, political parties, lobbying/Super PACs, banking cartels and military/industrial complex before we'll have a president who actually serves this country.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2013 @ 6:42pm

    Obama is a lawyer by trade he will never ever admit any wrong doing.

     

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    PopeRatzo (profile), Jul 18th, 2013 @ 6:47pm

    moral story

    Is Jimmy Carter the last American president who had a working moral compass?

    You may not agree with his opinions, but you cannot deny that he is a decent moral man, who is not one to look you in the eye and lie to you the way all his predecessors have.

    And I agree with the above commenter, who said it was Carter's honesty and decency that made him a target of the political establishment starting with Satan himself, Ronald Wilson Reagan.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2013 @ 7:26pm

    When we were attacked on September 11th, the majority of us thought that the basic principles behind the Patriot Act were a good idea. But when the Patriot Act was supposed to expire in 2005 and it didn't and then the Federal government started getting caught red handed trying to fabricate (or should I say manufacture) terrorist plots in this country and then trying to take credit for discovering those plots and stopping them, you have to wonder.

    Case in point? The "supposed" New York terrorist who was rumored to have created a car bomb, locked his car door, placed the keys to the car in the tailpipe and then forgot where he left the car keys at. Or what about the shoe bomber who tried getting through airport security, or the underwear bomber?

    Terrorists are not that stupid to be that blatant about it.

    While this was all created under President Bush, it's President Obama who is in the hot seat because he has taken this program to heights never before even conceived. Republicans aren't the ones who demanded "ALL" of Verizon's metadata on its customers and it's not Republicans who are spying on every American citizen in this country.

    Democrats should not be making excuses but rather introducing new bills and new policies to scale back this spying. They should not be moving forward and expanding it. That is not what The Patriot Act was created for. It simply gave unlimited power to the Federal government and I have never heard of a time when our government acted responsibly with that power.

     

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    FM Hilton, Jul 18th, 2013 @ 8:55pm

    Media muddling

    When no American news outlet wants to cover a former President criticizing the current administration, there's something wrong with this country.

    Used to be Presidents, sitting and retired, were listened to with some respect. Now they're ignored.

    As for the coverage-it might not be very well known, but Apple does not like to cover any foreign station (TV or radio) on their IPod..and if you have an app that is supposed to receive them, you'll be lucky to hear half of them half of the time. Fox News and CNN are their preferred media providers. Everyone else can go to hell-especially France 24 or that subversive Iranian TV..all of the 'bad guys' who don't kotow to the American corporate mind think.

    It's called the "freedom of the press" and most media corporations just don't like it.

    Nothing to see here-move along and accept your daily dose of pre-programmed garbage that is offered.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2013 @ 1:26am

    unfortunately, it appears that Mr President has dug so deep a hole for himself, by doing nothing previously to stop so many things that 'have gone to far' in the USA now, doing nothing when the opportunity was there, that he cant get out now, even when using a ladder! it's not just this Snowden issue, it's the Manning issue, it's the entertainment industries issue, it's the Pharma companies issue, it's a hundred and one issues that he either hasn't bothered with or has been told not to bother with by whoever it is that has their arm up his back, working him like a marionette!
    so sad to see what was once the greatest country on Earth, (not just the greatest power on Earth), change so much, become such a self-interested, bullying, undemocratic democracy that it is unbelievable!

     

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    mhenriday (profile), Jul 19th, 2013 @ 4:46am

    As US president, James Earl Carter

    made some fatal mistakes, among them his authorisation on 3 July 1979 (nota bene, more than five months prior to the USSR's intervention at the request of the then Afghan government), of aid to anti-government Pashtun tribesmen and their Salafist allies from places like Saudi Arabia. But after leaving office, he has revealed himself to have an unusually trustworthy moral compass. No wonder the corporate media, both in the US and here in Europe, so seldom report on his activities....

    Henri

     

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    limbodog (profile), Jul 19th, 2013 @ 7:22am

    Good

    I'm glad to see a bold statement by a former POTUS is finally making its way to the American media. I had to find out about this from a translated German publication.

     

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    Antony goddard, Jul 21st, 2013 @ 2:57am

    security vetting the dead.

    In the USA private security firms get money for checking the dead. In the UK private security firms get money for checking electronic tags for some people already in jail, or dead.

     

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