Jimmy Carter on the NSA spying

Anasazi Chaco Canyon monument built from 900 AD to 1300 AD

Anasazi Chaco Canyon monument built from 900 AD to 1300 AD

Silly me — I thought someone posting on Glenn Greenwald’s latest Guardian article was trying to be funny when he wrote that Jimmy Carter remarked that:  “America does not at the moment have a functioning democracy.”

“America does not at the moment have a functioning democracy,” he said at an event in Atlanta on Tuesday sponsored by the Atlantik Bruecke, a private nonprofit association working to further the German-U.S. relationship. The association’s name is German for “Atlantic bridge.”

ormer U.S. president Jimmy Carter is so concerned about the NSA spying scandal that he thinks it has essentially resulted in a suspension of American democracy.”

I read Carter’s words to a friend and then I couldn’t say anything else. I was speechless. I believe that Carter speaks the truth — what can we do? To the stupid folks who think that their guns can save them against the government’s drones and SWAT teams or that would be against the militarized police force — grow up stupid people. Violence isn’t going to win and both parties are the enablers of the military NSA. Peaceful demonstrations — well we’ve seen how the cops riot — and the corporate media repeats the Government line — so the peace marches of the olden days won’t work.

Sexing up the message — that probably won’t work. Blogging or getting the message out on the Government owned Internet — we can be blocked or otherwise muzzled. Signing petitions — mostly ignored by the politicians. The militarized police and the Military are just itching to use their new toys against We the people — so gathering in crowds just gives cops and the military a concentration of targets. Civil disobedience — the leaders will probably be hung as traitors because of some secret law or something in the “Patriot act” which makes just about any sort of protest illegal.

The way the “Patriot” Act defines terrorism it makes virtually any form of dissent, terrorism.

Section 802 of the USA PATRIOT Act (Pub. L. No. 107-52) expanded the definition of terrorism to cover “”domestic,”” as opposed to international, terrorism. A person engages in domestic terrorism if they do an act “”dangerous to human life”” that is a violation of the criminal laws of a state or the United States, if the act appears to be intended to: (i) intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination or kidnapping. Additionally, the acts have to occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States and if they do not, may be regarded as international terrorism.  (link to comment from which the quot was taken).

The 39th U.S. president also said he was pessimistic about the current state of global affairs, wrote Der Spiegel, because there was “no reason for him to be optimistic at this time.”

The United States isn’t doing very well in the Global leadership business.

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Update to add this link: Jimmy Carter’s Forgotten History Lesson.

A Generation has been brought up hating Former President Carter — but why?

For President Carter started no wars, bombed no civilians, and committed no crimes against the Constitution. He did not sell weapons to terrorists or spy on his political opponents. The handful of “scandals” associated with his term in office seem hilariously trivial in our age. He was, certainly, far from perfect — but perfection is a fairly useless standard to apply to any elected official. If we can move past the automatic associations that spring to mind when we think of Carter — the “malaise” speech, the killer rabbit, the hostage crisis — his presidency may be relevant for us in an entirely different way.

. . .

Carter’s criticism of the NSA carries particular weight because he was the last president to date — and perhaps the only president of the entire modern era — who even tried to do something about the national security state. As investigative journalist Mark Ames recently wrote, President Carter attempted to clean up the CIA, firing almost 20 percent of its employees, focusing on the “clandestine operatives” whose cloak-and-dagger exploits were then fresh news. He also dispersed the agency’s paramilitary arm, put legal restrictions on the agency’s power to spy within the United States, and passed an executive order banning assassinations. All of this was entirely in keeping with Carter’s mandate, after Watergate and Vietnam and revelations of various CIA misdeeds, to restore the moral integrity and authority of the federal government.
But none of Carter’s reforms would last. President Reagan signed an executive order in December 1981 authorizing the CIA to collect “foreign intelligence” inside the United States — the first of many steps his administration would take to restore the power and prestige of the agency. As Ames notes, it did not take CIA and military apparatchiks long to realize that the ban on assassinations could be circumvented quite easily as long as they could be framed as something other than “assassinations.”

Raygun has stabbed We the People in the back yet again. Raygun the patron saint of the GOP — who could do no wrong according to the Republicans has through his bumbling stupidity set in motion some really nasty fascist monsters. I’m sort of wondering if the USA is going to last as long as the Anasazi / Chaco culture? Seems like a whole lot of politicians what their jobs are supposed to be. Do any of the politicians read the US Constitution and understand the words?

 

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