Jimmy Carter Says NSA Surveillance Has Killed Democracy; Didn't Notice Other Suspects Holding Bloody Axes (Updated)
Jimmy Carter, your Wonkette's favorite elder statesman, caused a bit of a kerfuffle with statements made at a closed-door event in Atlanta for an Atlantic Bridge meeting:
"Amerika hat derzeit keine funktionierende Demokratie", sagte Carter am Dienstag bei einer Veranstaltung der "Atlantik-Brücke" in Atlanta.
No, the kerfuffle was not caused by Jimmy Carter speaking German at the Atlantic Bridge meeting; it is in German because no American press outlets showed up to cover the event. The kerfuffle resulted from the English translation of Der Spiegel's German translation of Jimmy Carter's speech, as well as the context within which it was said. From HuffPo:
Former President Jimmy Carter announced support for NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden this week, saying that his uncovering of the agency's massive surveillance programs had proven "beneficial" ...
"America does not have a functioning democracy at this point in time," Carter said, according to a translation by Inquisitr.
UPDATED BELOW: Would you believe Jimmy Carter's cool grandson, JE Carter IV, says nuh uh, never happened?
On one hand, we love Jimmy Carter. On the other, we disagree with his analysis that democracy was compromised by PRISM, so we have a bit of a quandary. See, for the past couple decades we've been living in an era of widespread gerrymandering, a loophole-ridden tax system that allows companies like GE to avoid paying any taxes at all, and a bifurcated legal system that rarely holds elites accountable for even the most egregious examples of wrongdoing. So no disrespect to Jimmy Carter, our favorite ex-President, but democracy was already bleeding out when PRISM was being developed.
In June, while Snowden was scrambling to send out asylum requests from an airport in Russia, Carter appeared to back the former NSA contractor's efforts to remain out of U.S. custody.
"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," he told CNN, saying that nations were within their right to offer asylum to Snowden. "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."
Beneficial to WHOM, Jimmy Carter? The terrorists? Because it has definitely benefited the terrorists, we don't know how it has benefited them because that's classified. And we don't know which terrorists it has benefitted because that is also classified. Come to think of it, does democracy benefit the terrorists? Not sure, that's classified, but better get rid of it just in case.
UPDATE! James E. Carter IV pinged us to be all "nope."
So was it incorrectly translated, or just completely incorrect period? Because the English translation from the German translation is correct, and presumably the German translation from the English was correct. (Those Germans, with their fancy "multilingual education.") Was it made up completely? Taken out of context? Translated technically correctly but robbed of nuance or what?
No, says Carter. "[The quote] is just wrong. He didn't say anything that he hadn't said before about NSA/Snowden
Well, SOMEBODY is a liar here, and we are going to state without anything to back it up whatsoever that it is neither Jimmy Carter nor his grandson, because of radness.