Jimmy Carter speaks out on NSA scandal and more: “America has no functioning democracy”

I just caught wind of this, and I find it to be entirely worth bringing to the attention of anybody who hasn’t heard about it. In a word: wow.

Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter is so concerned about the NSA spying scandal that he thinks it has essentially resulted in a suspension of American democracy. “America does not at the moment have a functioning democracy,” he said at an event in Atlanta on Tuesday sponsored by the Atlantik Bruecke, a private nonprofit association working to further the German-U.S. relationship.

. . . Carter’s remarks didn’t appear in the American mainstream press but were reported from Atlanta by the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel, whose Washington correspondent Gregor Peter Schmitz said on Twitter he was present at the event. The story doesn’t appear in the English-language section of the Spiegel website and is only available in German.

MORE: Jimmy Carter: US “has no functioning democracy”

The piece is at Salon. It also says Schmitz wrote in his Der Spiegel piece that Carter expressed deep pessimism about the overall state of global affairs, saying he sees “no reason to be optimistic at this time” and citing Egypt’s new military dictatorship as an example. Carter also mentioned the influence of Internet technology and social media on current events, and said that while these things have had some positive effects, such as the Arab Spring uprisings, the NSA scandal counters and endangers any positive developments “as major U.S. Internet platforms such as Google or Facebook lose credibility worldwide.”

Note that Carter also recently talked to CNN about Edward Snowden’s NSA whistle-blowing activity and said, “He’s obviously violated the laws of America, for which he’s responsible, but I think the invasion of human rights and American privacy has gone too far. 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.”

Amen, anyone? Carter was always an anomaly among American presidents. Now he’s increasingly an anomaly among American ex-presidents.

About Matt Cardin

Teeming Brain founder and editor Matt Cardin is the author of DARK AWAKENINGS, DIVINATIONS OF THE DEEP, A COURSE IN DEMONIC CREATIVITY: A WRITER'S GUIDE TO THE INNER GENIUS, and the forthcoming TO ROUSE LEVIATHAN. He is also the editor of BORN TO FEAR: INTERVIEWS WITH THOMAS LIGOTTI and the academic encyclopedias MUMMIES AROUND THE WORLD and GHOSTS, SPIRITS, AND PSYCHICS: THE PARANORMAL FROM ALCHEMY TO ZOMBIES.

Posted on July 19, 2013, in Government & Politics, Internet & Media and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I was telling someone about what Carter said. His response was that Carter has often made naive statements. I suspect that Carter might not be the naive one. Carter probably has more inside info about what goes on in our government than most Americans.

    It’s a strange thought process that thinks democracy can function within a police state. The person I was speaking to said that no democracy is perfect. Now that is as naive as it gets.

  2. I think surveillance is the nature of the beast. But I see the misgivings people have about it within a predominantly Christian cosmological understanding about crime and punishment. Make one mistake, say one stupid thing, and the mob will want to burn you at the stake. We can’t have this attitude about people in a 24hour 7 day surveillance society.
    At the same time we need prostitution, and other vices decriminalized. Have a free society and give people the freedom to live marginal lives wasted or whatever and allow people the freedom to say stupid shit without getting their careers ruined instantly. Mel Gibson should have had the freedom to be a total asshole and still been a popular actor.

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