Former President Jimmy Carter, in an interview with Der Spiegel, said he supported whistleblower Edward Snowden and that the NSA’s domestic spying program was against American values. Carter went on to say he does not believe that America currently has a functioning democracy.

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.”

Speaking at a closed-door event in Atlanta covered by German newspaper Der Spiegel, Carter also criticized the NSA’s domestic spying as damaging to the core of the nation’s principles. “America does not have a functioning democracy at this point in time,” Carter said, according to a translation by Inquisitr.

A pretty amazing statement for a former president to make. Not to mention Carter has been working on human rights and election monitoring since leaving office so he has a fair amount of expertise on the subject of functional and dysfunctional democracies. Though this seems to be the first time Carter has claimed America is not a functioning democracy, it is not the first time he has expressed support for Snowden’s whistleblowing.

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.”

While Carter expresses support, the Obama Administration continues to push for Snowden’s extradition and attempts to prevent him for benefiting from the universal right of asylum. This while also defending mass surveillance on Americans after administration officials were caught lying to Congress about it.

Doesn’t sound much like a functioning democracy to me.

Dan Wright

Dan Wright

Daniel Wright is a longtime blogger and currently writes for Shadowproof. He lives in New Jersey, by choice.