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Jimmy Carter Supports Edward Snowden: 'America Has No Functioning Democracy' Say Former President

First Posted: Jul 18, 2013 09:56 AM EDT
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Much has been made over the fate of NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden after he showed the world the extent of the spying conducted by the United States's PRISM program. Though his future is still very much in jeopardy, Snowden does have at least one prominent political figure who believes he did a good thing: former president Jimmy Carter.

Since his story first came to the fore, Snowden has been involved in an international game of chess, hoping that he will be able to find asylum in any country that is willing to take him. With the eyes of the world now \ suspiciously cast towards America, one of its own former leaders has stated that enough is enough.

"America has no functioning democracy," said Carter. "I think the invasion of privacy has gone too far and I think that is why the secrecy was excessive," the former president went on to say, noting that Snowden's revelations were "likely to be useful because they inform the public."

What Snowden ended up showing the world was the extent to which the United States was doing everything they could to investigate as many people as possible. A massive program of data mining American citizens through such means as Google and Facebook was uncovered, leading to international tension.

After Snowden first told his story to the world this past June, he has had to go into hiding from an American government bent on bringing him back to the U.S. on charges of espionage and aiding the enemy. Though Carter does believe that Snowden took necessary action, he also noted that those actions did not preclude him from punishment.

"He's obviously violated the laws of America, for which he's responsible," Carter said of Snowden. "If the United States can acquire custody of him, I'm sure he will be brought to trial, and that's the way the law should be implemented."

What will become of Snowden now is anyone's guess. He is currently in limbo, hiding out in a Russian airport as he awaits the possibility of either gaining asylum in Russia or another country. The U.S. is still hot on his tail, but in the opinions of many, Snowden is very much a national hero.

"I think that the bringing of it to the public notice has probably been, in the long term, beneficial," Carter observed. 

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