Jul 18 2013

Jimmy Carter speaks out in support of Snowden

In a news report that appeared in the German magazine Der Spiegel, former president Jimmy Carter is reported to have said that the leaks by Edward Snowden were “beneficial” to the country and that “America has no functioning democracy at this moment.”

That’s pretty strong stuff and I am not sure why these remarks have not got wider publicity in the US media. We also should be a bit wary because Carter’s remarks were first translated from English into German and then back again, so something may have got lost in that round trip. We need to wait a couple of days to see if he stands by the comments.

However Carter has not been shy about criticizing his successors and has previously condemned the Obama administration’s use of drone attacks.



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  1. 1
    Marcus Ranum

    I am not sure why these remarks have not got wider publicity in the US media

    Really? Or are you just being coy?

  2. 2

    I cant vouch for the first round of translation, but the translation back from German only has the mistake that Snowdens revelations are called “probably beneficial” in the Spiegel article, rather than just “beneficial”.


  3. 3

    I agree with Marcus Ranum. Not really surprised. Carter is still very well respected in many quarters such that I don’t expect his remarked to be reprinted in anything mainstream in the US.

  4. 4

    … I am not sure why these remarks have not got wider publicity in the US media.

    I suspect that if called in it, the excuse would be, “Failed presidency, so who cares?”

    Although, seeing how it produced the greatest ex-President the US has ever had, maybe the Carter Administration wasn’t such a failure after all?

  5. 5
    Mano Singham

    No, I wasn’t being coy. I was surprised that there wasn’t a right-wing freakout at Carter ‘dishonoring the country’ etc. This would seem like red meat to Fox and yet they haven’t taken the bait.

  6. 6

    As a Dutchman I read German pretty well and

    means exactly what you native English speakers will think it means.

    might be better translated as “useful” though iso beneficial.

  7. 7

    So something went wrong. The first quote is

    “Amerika hat derzeit keine funktionierende Demokratie”

    and the second one


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