Jimmy Carter has come out in support of Edward Snowden, saying the invasion of privacy the NSA whistleblower uncovered has gone too far and had become a restriction on civil rights.
Speaking at a closed-door event of the Atlantik Brucke in Atlanta, Carter railed against US intelligence services and said that the NSA domestic spying program uncovered by Snowden was “beneficial” for Americans to know about.
“America does not have a functioning democracy at this point in time,” the German newspaper Der Spiegel quoted the former US president as saying. There was some question on the validity of the source, however, as no American media outlets reported on the event and it was not clear where Der Spiegel got its source from.
But Jimmy Carter has been openly critical of the NSA in other settings.
“I believe the invasion of privacy has gone too far”, Carter told CNN. “And I believe the secrecy around it was excessive.”
In an article for The New York Times last year, Carter also warned that the United States would “forfeit its moral authority” if it continued to strip away the civil rights of its citizens.(Via Justin Raimondo.)
True, the US is not a functioning democracy at this point in time. However, the US has not been a functioning democracy for quite a long time -- a couple of centuries, really. The condition is, however, becoming more markedly noticeable recently.
True, Washington's invasion of everyone's privacy has gone too far. However, the trouble with this formulation is that it implies that there exists some degree of privacy-invasion that does not go "too far." (There is no such "acceptable" degree.)
And then, I must out-and-out disagree with Mr. Carter when he says that the US will forfeit its moral authority if it continues to violate the rights of its citizens. No one can forfeit that which he does not have.
Still, Mr. Carter has spoken at least a muddied and timid approximation to the truth, and I applaud him for that. It makes him much more truthful than 99.9% of all other "public figures."