"America does not have a functioning democracy at this point in time," former President Jimmy Carter said last week, The New American website reports today (July 22, 2013).
Carter was quoted as having made that remark at a closed-door meeting of Atlantic Bridge -- a research and education organization supporting cooperation between the United States and Great Britain on political, economic, and defense issues.
The former president reportedly said the National Security Agency's (NSA) invasion of privacy has gone too far, as he defended the actions of Edward Snowden, the American now seeking asylum in Russia after leaking classified documents revealing the massive NSA interception of communications between citizens and among government officials worldwide.
Carter's assessment of the Snowden affair is in sharp contrast with the Obama administration's position and with members of Congress, including House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who have accused Snowden of treason. On the other hand, former U.S. Senator Gordon Humphrey, a New Hampshire Republican, sent an email message of support to Snowden last week, in which he called the NSA surveillance program a "massive violation of the United States Constitution."