Carter: Snowden’s leaks ‘good for Americans to know’

Source: USA Today

NEW YORK — Former president Jimmy Carter defended the disclosures by fugitive NSA contractor Edward Snowden on Monday, saying revelations that U.S. intelligence agencies were collecting meta-data of Americans’ phone calls and e-mails have been “probably constructive in the long run.”

Carter, 89, was interviewed on USA TODAY’s Capital Download about his new book, A Call To Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power, being published Tuesday. He discussed the need to change the way the U.S. military handles sexual abuse cases, his correspondence with Pope Francis, his grandson’s campaign for governor of Georgia — his former job — and whether Hillary Clinton would make a good president.

And he described how concern that his own e-mails are being monitored by intelligence agencies prompted him to type or write letters when he has a personal message for a foreign leader, then to mail them. Even then, he suspects the letters might be scrutinized when they pass through U.S. embassies.

“I think it’s wrong,” he said of the NSA program. “I think it’s an intrusion on one of the basic human rights of Americans, is to have some degree of privacy if we don’t want other people to read what we communicate.”

Does he view Snowden, now granted asylum in Russia, as a hero or a traitor?

“There’s no doubt that he broke the law and that he would be susceptible, in my opinion, to prosecution if he came back here under the law,” he said. “But I think it’s good for Americans to know the kinds of things that have been revealed by him and others — and that is that since 9/11 we’ve gone too far in intrusion on the privacy that Americans ought to enjoy as a right of citizenship.”

Carter cautioned that he didn’t have information about whether some of the disclosures “may have hurt our security or individuals that work in security,” adding, “If I knew that, then I may feel differently.” And he said Snowden shouldn’t be immune from prosecution for his actions.

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Categories: Americas, United States, Video, Women, Women Rights

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4 replies

  1. Jimmy Carter has been a great hero. If we were living in Jesus’ time, many may call him a god or a son of God. Like Augustus Caesar and many Roman emperors became gods.

    Carter has served humanity well.

  2. When the American people chose Ronald Regan “the Team Borax Cowboy” over Jimmy Carter, i knew that America was lost

  3. America’s (Washington), Foreign Policy

    In a way Edward Snowden brought to the attention of the Americans (The People of America) the grand scale hypocrisy of America’s (Washington) Foreign Policy.

    In the furtherance of the American Empire, Washington seems to have no qualms to pontificate on Democracy, Human Rights, Freedom of Expression, indeed PEACE. So, TERROR is its buzzword. Its terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, South America, Vietnam, soon might be Iran and Russia, dwarfs its lofty rhetoric on Civility and Democracy.

    J William Fulbright’s book “The Arrogance of Power” published in 1966 has to be read in conjunction with Snowden’s disclosures. The book, albeit about the war in Vietnam is an exposé of Washington’s Foreign Policy. J William Fulbright (1900-1995), a former Democratic Senator and a former Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was fiercely against the war in Vietnam, and was deeply disturbed of Washington’s Foreign Policy. Therefore, the following quote from the above-named book sheds light on the author’s anxiety about his beloved America: ” For the most part America has made good use of her blessings, especially in her internal life but also in her foreign relations. Having done so much and succeeded as well, America is now at the historical point at which a great nation is in danger of losing its perspective on what exactly is within the realm of its power and what is beyond it. Other great nations, reaching this critical juncture, have aspired to too much, and by over-extension of effort have declined and then fallen.”

    Umar Solim – England

  4. In the realm of Quranic concept history, 1980 marks the zenith of American power. That was also the start of 15th century of the Hijra Calender, a time referred to in many prophecies of the Latter Days scenario.

    Reagan Era also marks the peak of “Capitalism”, and the beginning of the end of USSR soon afterwards in 1989, the Fall of the Berlin Wall. It also pushed the US mindset towards “arrogance” of heading towards the “sole super power”.

    Snowdon’s actions seen in that light would seem to be an Act of God, a warning to the sole super power, and a Blessing for the rest of Mankind.

    Munir Varraich

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