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Jimmy Carter: Snowden Disclosures Are 'Good For Americans To Know' 289

McGruber writes: "Former U.S. 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.' 'I think it's wrong,' President Carter 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.'" It's important to note that Carter doesn't believe Snowden should necessarily get a pass for his actions. Carter said, "I think it's inevitable that he should be prosecuted and I think he would be prosecuted, [if he comes back to the U.S.] But I don't think he ought to be executed as a traitor or any kind of extreme punishment like that." Nevertheless, Carter thinks NSA surveillance has gotten out of control. "We've gone a long way down the road of violating Americans' basic civil rights, as far as privacy is concerned." He added, "For the last two or three years, when I want to write a highly personal letter to a foreign leader, or even some American leaders, I hand-write it and mail it, because I feel that my telephone calls and my email are being monitored, and there are some things I just don’t want anybody to know except me and my wife."
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Jimmy Carter: Snowden Disclosures Are 'Good For Americans To Know'

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  • by fredrated ( 639554 ) on Tuesday March 25, 2014 @01:35PM (#46575491) Journal

    but first we need to prosecute the criminals he revealed. Unless that happens, nothing will change.

  • Re:I hate that (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 25, 2014 @02:33PM (#46576139)

    Remember he signed the Democrat sponsored FISA bill establishing the said rubber-stamp court into law, and has, through secret court decisions, allowed the surveillance state to greatly expand under successive administrations. I kinda sense that his activities now could almost be considered penitence for past bad decisions he made as President.

  • Re:Oh, how cute (Score:4, Informative)

    by geekoid ( 135745 ) <> on Tuesday March 25, 2014 @04:57PM (#46577639) Homepage Journal

    What? no. The mission had been aborted. Is was refueling after the abort when a helicopter crashed into a refueling aircraft.

    While it was Carter responsibility, it was Kissinger the convinced Carter to allow the shah into the US for medical treatment.

    The release was staged by the CIA to happen just after Reagan was sworn in.
    hen the pubs take responsibility for hem being release while ignoring the 444 days that happened prior. It was pretty well known this was going to happen, and the CIA refused to do any more rescue missions.

    The holloween massacre created a rift between the white house the CIA.

    Yes, I know it all sound tin foil hatish, but you can easily verify all of it.

  • Re:Oh, how cute (Score:5, Informative)

    by hey! ( 33014 ) on Tuesday March 25, 2014 @05:49PM (#46578129) Homepage Journal

    Jimmy Carter lowered the Federal deficit (look it up!), and through his Fed chair appointee Paul Volcker [] squelched an incipient hyperinflation crisis by choking off the money supply. This was necessary because Nixon's appointee, Arthur F. Burns, had put the economy on a disastrous inflationary path. Volcker began relentlessly raising interest rates month after quarter to no avail, until finally the prime rate hit 20.00% (!!!). For comparison the current prime rate is 3.25%.

    The result of fiscal austerity with a reduced money supply is high unemployment and stagnant growth, and since the medicine doesn't act instantly Carter got stagnation and near hyperinflation together. That was the right thing to do economically but very bad politics. But by July of the 1980 election year inflation had begun to decline, but this was too late to affect the elections.

    Economic growth rebounded strongly in the first quarter of 1981. This was after Reagan took office, but months before any of his economic and budgeting policies took effect. Essentially, the "Reagan Boom" started under Carter's economic policies. Some will say it was Reagan's personality that infused the economy with confidence, and there may be a little truth in that; but I think that inflation dropping to single digits for the first time had something to do with the renewed confidence.

    Reagan's economic policy amounted to this; massive increases deficit spending on a scale unseen since WW2. Federal outlays in 1981 were 678 billion; in 1989 it had balloned to 1,144 billion, an astonishing 69% increase in spending. Federal deficits rose from 2.75% of GDP under Carter's last budget to an average of 4.2% of GDP under Reagan. Which was not necessarily a bad thing, although I think it was a little excessive. But imagine raising deficits to 5.2% of GDP (as Reagan once did) if inflation were 15% or even 20%. There would have been no Keynsian "Reagan Boom" without the Carter era austerity. But Reagan gets 100% of the political credit for ending stagflation, even though he deserves no credit whatsoever in ending the inflationary part.

    The right thing to do economically is a matter of context. Sometimes it's better to spend, other times it's better to tighten your belt. But tightening your belt is never politically popular, and it doesn't produce instant results.

I've finally learned what "upward compatible" means. It means we get to keep all our old mistakes. -- Dennie van Tassel