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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Comments on “Jimmy Carter Says NSA Scandal Shows America Has No Functioning Democracy”

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41 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

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.?

?

Anonymous Coward says:

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!

Aliasundercover says:

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?

OldMugwump (profile) says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

The Real Michael says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Candescence (profile) says:

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.

The Real Michael says:

Re: 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.

PopeRatzo (profile) says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

FM Hilton (profile) says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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!

mhenriday (profile) says:

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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