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

Soulskill posted about 6 months ago | from the easy-for-him-to-say dept.

Privacy 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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Oh, how cute (1)

udachny (2454394) | about 6 months ago | (#46575269)

How precious, a former POTUS talks about freedoms and rights and privacy, so cute.

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 donâ(TM)t want anybody to know except me and my wife."

- yeah, well, good luck with that. If the Internet and the phones are tapped, what are the chances that none of the dead-tree communications are tapped?

Re:Oh, how cute (5, Insightful)

kheldan (1460303) | about 6 months ago | (#46575517)

Oh for fuck's sake don't be such a jerk about this. Carter may not be anywhere near the best President we've had in this country, but he was President, and as such his making statements like these publicly actually does mean something, and I for one am glad he's come out and said what he had to say. Furthermore I suspect there are other notable people who'd like to follow suit but didn't want to be the first one to do so. 'Bout damned time, I say.

Re:Oh, how cute (3, Insightful)

iserlohn (49556) | about 6 months ago | (#46575671)

Carter was a good president, probably the one of the best, that just happened to be not as good at politics.

Re:Oh, how cute (4, Insightful)

dcw3 (649211) | about 6 months ago | (#46576019)

Carter was (is) a nice guy, probably one of the nicest, that just happened to be not good at politics, economics, or rescuing hostages.

FTFY

Re:Oh, how cute (5, Insightful)

blue9steel (2758287) | about 6 months ago | (#46576157)

To be fair to Carter, most of the problems with the hostage rescue were actually military service interoperability problems. JSOC was founded AFTER the disaster because the military realized their own processes were not up to par. That said, his politics and economics were not so great. He's been an awesome ex-president though!

Re:Oh, how cute (1)

raftpeople (844215) | about 6 months ago | (#46576445)

I always wondered why that mission failed so badly and then I read up on our special forces. They had only been formed fairly recently before that mission (a few years?) and that mission was one of the first. I was surprised, I had assumed we had those types of special forces groups in the military for a long time.

Re:Oh, how cute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46576417)

Wow, ex-president Carter was a navy seal? I had no fucking clue.

Re:Oh, how cute (5, Insightful)

DarkOx (621550) | about 6 months ago | (#46575679)

Right, Whatever you think of Carter one of the common defenses jerks like Obama hide behind and lots of other people is, "the realities of the office."

And typically is pretty hard to counter argument because very few of us have any where near the information privilege the President does, and probably none can really understand the responsibility. However someone who has been President can; so that it cuts that argument off at the knees.

Carter condemning the surveillance, and calling the Snowden disclosures good for Americans, helps expose the "national security" lie.

Re:Oh, how cute (1)

dcw3 (649211) | about 6 months ago | (#46576119)

So, if you don't have the information, and can't make a valid counter argument, how did you come to the determination that the people making those common defenses are jerks? I'm not saying Carter is out of touch, but he doesn't have access to information anymore. It's been just a few years since he'd qualify for that. You'd need information from someone who's current...it might be a lie, but we can't prove it w/o access...anyone with access can't tell us w/o getting into deep shit either. We all just "know" what they're doing is dirty and wrong because it walks like a duck and quacks like one.

Re:Oh, how cute (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46576325)

So, if you don't have the information, and can't make a valid counter argument, how did you come to the determination that the people making those common defenses are jerks? I'm not saying Carter is out of touch, but he doesn't have access to information anymore. It's been just a few years since he'd qualify for that.

This guy has been a US president. Full stop. You and I have not. But do you NEED to be, for the NSA revelations to affect you, knowing or not? Do you need security clearance to have a simple opinion that based on your prior experience, and information coming out now, there's educated conclusions that can be made?
As an analogy, just because you don't use Office 2013, or 2007 (and there are many reasons not to, such as the Ribbon) does it mean your MS office skills are useless? Even with Office 95 knowledge from 20 years ago, someone "savvy" can come in and get trained to the newest standard. If not savvy, it does not mean that effort is meaningless.

Re:Oh, how cute (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 6 months ago | (#46576427)

You seem to be taking a pretty hardline populist argument for someone with a "repeal the 17th amendment" sig. Just saying.

Re:Oh, how cute (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46575773)

Carter may not be anywhere near the best President we've had in this country..

And that's why he's speaking out now: he's angry about losing the "Worst President Evar" title to Obama.

Re:Oh, how cute (0)

udachny (2454394) | about 6 months ago | (#46575903)

What I think is irrelevant, but here it is: I think any living person that is working or has ever worked for any level of central government should be banished and imprisoned for crimes against humanity regardless of their records. I have 0 interest and 0 respect for anybody that has ever held any public office. A (current or former) public official talking about privacy and rights is a huge joke upon all individuals.

I think it is everybody's responsibility to stop participating in government oppression, as in: stop voting, stop sending them there, stop allowing them to be elected, stop allowing them to rule you, stop paying all taxes of-course.

Re:Oh, how cute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46576113)

^^^++++++1
Wow, You, bloody Patriot!

Re:Oh, how cute (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 6 months ago | (#46575905)

Yeah well, we're always hearing former presidents and staff members speaking up, and it's bullshit. They should DO something about it while they have the power. "Deathbed" confessions are bogus. I can hardly wait to hear Obama's "apologies" thirty or forty years from now, or sooner if he has a book coming out. Screw these people.

On the other hand, Carter was probably the "least bad" president in the last fifty years. But basically he served only as a placeholder until the Nixon thing blew over and Reagan could step in.

Re:Oh, how cute (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46576049)

Now if Carter would only admit that, in 1978, instead of signing the FISA bill into law he should have listened to various rights groups like the ACLU warning about how the creation of a rubber-stamp secret court like FISA would only erode civil liberties and allow for a greater expansion of the surveillance state instead of limiting it, and vetoed it.

Re:Oh, how cute (1)

crashcy (2839507) | about 6 months ago | (#46575575)

Yeah, the Post Office has been collecting metadata from mail far longer than the NSA has been monitoring e-mails NY Times [nytimes.com]

Re:Oh, how cute (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46575907)

Cut him some slack! He's just trying to guarantee that he is no longer labeled the worst president in the history of Obama.

What does he have to hide? (5, Insightful)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 6 months ago | (#46575275)

What does President Carter have to hide? Must be some sort of terrorist if he wants to communicate privately. We should get a government security detail to monitor this dissident ASAP.

Re:What does he have to hide? (4, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | about 6 months ago | (#46575421)

What does President Carter have to hide? Must be some sort of terrorist if he wants to communicate privately. We should get a government security detail to monitor this dissident ASAP.

He's a liberal, of course he thinks people should have civil rights. Why, he's practically a socialist!

What we need now, more than ever, is fanatical nationalism!

wait wut?

Re:What does he have to hide? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46575513)

What we need now, more than ever, is fanatical nationalism!

That plus widespread fear of the bogeyman is exactly what got you into this.

And when government decides your most sacred rights are optional and that the Constitution didn't really say what people think it does .... well, that's what you deserve.

This program has always been un-Constitutional. But it's been represented as so vital that the Constitutionality of it is irrelevant in the eyes of those doing it.

Re:What does he have to hide? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46575551)

What does President Carter have to hide? Must be some sort of terrorist if he wants to communicate privately. We should get a government security detail to monitor this dissident ASAP.

He's a liberal, of course he thinks people should have civil rights. Why, he's practically a socialist!

What we need now, more than ever, is fanatical nationalism!

wait wut?

First, you deserve a big WHHOOOOOSH!!! for totally missing out how GP was pointing out Carter's hypocrisy regarding pervasive NSA surveillance.

And second, do you really think "liberals" really care about civil rights?

ORLY?

What about 2nd Amendment rights?

What about 1st Amendment rights if "liberals" determine your speech offends them? (e.g. campus speech codes)

What about privacy rights with the government wants to hunt for terrorists? (Hint: current government that's "hunting for terrorists" is pretty much controlled by "liberals".)

What about your religious freedom rights when the government wants you to pay employee's costs for "contraceptives" that are really abortifacients?

Re:What does he have to hide? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46575969)

at first i was like HELL YEAH! STUPID HYPOCRITE LIBERALS!

but then i was like

What about your religious freedom rights when the government wants you to pay employee's costs for "contraceptives" that are really abortifacients?

ok now fuck this useless 15th century moron off the damn planet already

Re:What does he have to hide? (1)

zlives (2009072) | about 6 months ago | (#46575683)

"wait wut?" i think you misspelled "Hail Victory" :)

Re:What does he have to hide? (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 6 months ago | (#46576471)

Ugh, stop it.

A. Woosh.
B. Not everyone hates liberals. It's true. Some of us would make that joke and be quite liberal ourselves.
C. "Wait what?" or "wut" pick one. This blend sounds artificially stupid which makes it loose its punch.

Re:What does he have to hide? (2)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 6 months ago | (#46575703)

Sure, why not?

Society has a certain tolerance for criminal behavior. You stole a pack of gum. You fucked a hooker. You downloaded illegal kiddy porn, like... a lot... when you were 17. Okay. It happens. Did you keep robbing convenience stores? Have you continued to violate the social contract selecting against prostitution? Do you still have 14 year olds texting you pictures of their boobs? No? Well... not a problem.

When you exceed these tolerances, you risk getting arrested. Running a child porn ring? FBI is coming. Mugging people in the streets? They will either Stand Their Ground or the police will come and get you, one day.

Privacy is not a fundamental right to not have other peoples' nose in your business; it's a fundamental requirement to allow people to engage in criminal behavior. If we didn't have the ability to get away with minor, easily-dismissed crime with a societal cost lower than the cost of individual effort to care, everyone would be in jail. Try stealing a 50 cent pack of Bubble Tape from a gas station once; the clerk will either not bother to call you on it, or will yell at you and throw you out--and they might still decide not to fight you over the gum, you can keep it. Police aren't involved because that is too much fucking effort for a 50 cent pack of gum.

If you keep doing it, the police will eventually get involved.

Sometimes, the cops just don't need to show up at everyone's door. Can you imagine how many people would be in jail or destroyed financially? Can you imagine how many people would be on the sex offender's list because they had a 17 year old girlfriend in high school and they turned 18 in like... May? Most of the population would be born in prison.

Re:What does he have to hide? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46576083)

Can you imagine how many people would be on the sex offender's list because they had a 17 year old girlfriend in high school and they turned 18 in like... May? Most of the population would be born in prison.

lolz, this is slashdot fool. Most of the people here didn't have girlfriends until they were able to program them themselves. Or was that just me? :-)

Re:What does he have to hide? (-1, Troll)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 6 months ago | (#46575725)

He said " I just don’t want anybody to know except me and my wife." And this is the president who openly admitted while in office to checking out a lot of women and imagining them naked. [time.com]

The only logical conclusion is that the "highly personal" letters he sends to foreign leaders really dirty shocking details about kinky things he and Rosalynn get up to in bed.

Look in their eyes. They're clearly thinking of that time they had a threeway with Yeltsin. [condenast.com]

Re:What does he have to hide? (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 6 months ago | (#46575749)

Women: If your husband denies doing that, he is either blind or lying.

Re:What does he have to hide? (1)

Shinobi (19308) | about 6 months ago | (#46575833)

Could be homosexual or asexual too

Re:What does he have to hide? (2)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 6 months ago | (#46576145)

I disagree, I think most men have honestly not had three-ways with Yeltsin.

Re:What does he have to hide? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46576289)

What does President Carter have to hide? Must be some sort of terrorist if he wants to communicate privately. We should get a government security detail to monitor this dissident ASAP.

Yeah, and he screwed up big time by telling everyone about his circumvention of a surveillance system, that will get him double secret probation for sure.

Right now a postal clerk is sighing as this means yet another envelope to steam open.

Enter how smarter you are here.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46575279)

Lets have a discussion about how smart we are because of how we vote.

I got a letter from President Carter (1)

sir_eccles (1235902) | about 6 months ago | (#46575283)

They'd done a sloppy job of resealing the envelope after steaming it open. Back to wax seals I guess.

Re:I got a letter from President Carter (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 6 months ago | (#46575535)

They'd done a sloppy job of resealing the envelope after steaming it open. Back to wax seals I guess.

They tried it, but it gummed up the tubes of the interwebs.

Carter says it's good for Americans? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46575291)

Unfortunately, then, it's most likely bad.

Why, Jimmy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46575299)

Thanks a lot, Jimmy. Now I have to label Snowden a traitor like the rest of uninformed society because you support his actions. Way to go...

to-belgium-with-900-strong-entourage-45-vehicles-3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46575311)

http://weaselzippers.us/180562-global-warming-alarmist-president-travels-to-belgium-with-900-strong-entourage-45-vehicles-3-cargo-planes/

Because environment.

Fuck these socialist assholes.

Re:to-belgium-with-900-strong-entourage-45-vehicle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46575369)

This has nothing to do with socialism, but everything to do with assholes.

Re:to-belgium-with-900-strong-entourage-45-vehicle (4, Funny)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | about 6 months ago | (#46575385)

Ah yes, Obama, our weak totalitarian king community organizer who is controlled by nazi tree-hugging muslim pastors.

Did I get everything that's wrong with Obama? Or am I missing the fear du jour?

Re:to-belgium-with-900-strong-entourage-45-vehicle (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about 6 months ago | (#46575437)

Ah yes, Obama, our weak totalitarian king community organizer who is controlled by nazi tree-hugging muslim pastors.

Did I get everything that's wrong with Obama? Or am I missing the fear du jour?

I think you forgot to play the race card.

Re:to-belgium-with-900-strong-entourage-45-vehicle (5, Insightful)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | about 6 months ago | (#46575505)

Ah yes, Obama, our weak totalitarian king community organizer who is controlled by nazi tree-hugging muslim pastors.

Did I get everything that's wrong with Obama? Or am I missing the fear du jour?

I think you forgot to play the race card.

And he forgot to call Obama a "socialist". Also some kind of shot at "Obamacare" is always called for in such matters.

Re:to-belgium-with-900-strong-entourage-45-vehicle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46575961)

"And he forgot to call Obama a "socialist"."

But he is a socialist. Redistribution of wealth is pretty much the textbook definition of socialism, and he haz it.

"I think when you spread the wealth around it's good for everybody." Barack Obama

Why do you guys always try and deny this? I though you were all proud of being socialist, no?

Re: to-belgium-with-900-strong-entourage-45-vehicl (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46576409)

Unless you make more than about $140,000 per year, I'm sorry to inform you that you're sucking on Big Brother's teat.

I pay more in income taxes, excluding FICA, than most people's incomes. And I'm glad, otherwise dumb fscks like you would be wondering around like bums.

Re:to-belgium-with-900-strong-entourage-45-vehicle (3, Insightful)

operagost (62405) | about 6 months ago | (#46576415)

Who needs to take a shot at Obamacare? He's doing that himself with his own executive orders. He's tacitly admitted that both the employer and citizen mandates are untenable.

Re: to-belgium-with-900-strong-entourage-45-vehicl (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46575561)

I like the fact Obama did exactly what anyone else has done while sitting in the chair. Black or not. Obama is extremely intelligent, along with the women, his wife. It's not ethnicity or gender - it is culture we should have prejudice for. And culture has much to do with mobility.

Re: to-belgium-with-900-strong-entourage-45-vehicl (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46575775)

"Obama is extremely intelligent"

And what do you base this on? What evidence is there that tells you with such certainty that he is intelligent?

Real question.

Re: to-belgium-with-900-strong-entourage-45-vehicl (1)

losfromla (1294594) | about 6 months ago | (#46576149)

partly the fact that despite being an ex-stoner from Hawaii (Yeah brah!), half-African, with a last name of Obama (rhymes with Osama), he became POTUS. Oh and he graduated from Columbia University and Harvard Law school. That's not enough for you? What's he got to do to win you over, win a Nobel Prize?

Re: to-belgium-with-900-strong-entourage-45-vehicl (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46576245)

"partly the fact that despite being an ex-stoner from Hawaii (Yeah brah!), half-African, with a last name of Obama (rhymes with Osama), he became POTUS."

This means nothing. I am asking this as a serious question, honestly, and this is really a very non-serious answer.

"and he graduated from Columbia University and Harvard Law school"

Uh huh, well OK then, this is more along the serious line, granted.

So what were his grades? What did he produce or write while in school? I'm just looking for something concrete here. Anything really.

Got anything?

Re:to-belgium-with-900-strong-entourage-45-vehicle (1)

dcw3 (649211) | about 6 months ago | (#46576163)

You forgot that he's an alien.

good for USA, but he still should be prosecuted??? (1)

Presto Vivace (882157) | about 6 months ago | (#46575341)

Sigh.

Re:good for USA, but he still should be prosecuted (1)

Akaihiryuu (786040) | about 6 months ago | (#46575361)

I don't think Carter was implying that he SHOULD be prosecuted, but rather just stating that it is inevitable that he WILL be if he returns to the US. Meaning, there is nothing he or anyone else could do about it.

Re:good for USA, but he still should be prosecuted (1)

danlip (737336) | about 6 months ago | (#46575481)

he used the word "should"

Re:good for USA, but he still should be prosecuted (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 6 months ago | (#46575595)

he used the word "should"

Yes, but like all politicians; It's not what he said that matters. It's how they later back peddle and redefine the meaning of a word to appease the outraged masses.

Re:good for USA, but he still should be prosecuted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46575443)

Exactly. I see this kind of reasoning all the time, that somehow it is a moral obligation to report crimes but that one should be punished for doing what is morally right just because one broke the law in the process.
That is hypocritical. Punishing someone is the same thing as saying that it was the wrong thing to do.
If the law dictates that we can't do what is morally right or even says that we have to commit immoral acts, then the law is clearly wrong and no-one should be punished by it. Also, it should be changed.

Re:good for USA, but he still should be prosecuted (2)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 6 months ago | (#46575741)

Consequences carry. It doesn't matter what is right, just what is legal; the legal system doesn't concern itself with what is right and wrong. To an extent, what is right and wrong doesn't even cover all of what society needs--although my current theory is that operating in contrary to the three laws is always harmful to society, while fully following the three laws doesn't create an optimal society on its own.

Re:good for USA, but he still should be prosecuted (4, Insightful)

jez9999 (618189) | about 6 months ago | (#46575717)

I agree, this is a serious cop-out on Carter's part. Either you think the info shouldn't have been released and Snowden should be prosecuted, or you think it's good that it was and therefore he shouldn't be. It's inconsistent and pathetic to take the benefit of the data leak and yet support the punishment of the person(s) who gave you that benefit anyway.

Re:good for USA, but he still should be prosecuted (1)

operagost (62405) | about 6 months ago | (#46576153)

He committed to Snowden and the freedom of privacy in the same way he committed to America's energy independence by wearing a sweater on TV.

Well, at least he didn't keep the White House thermostat at 78 degrees F like the current resident.

Carter knows (4, Interesting)

bussdriver (620565) | about 6 months ago | (#46576217)

Carter knows how the system works (or more like how it doesn't work) he isn't going to go too far out on a limb when he doesn't know the details of the situation. Plus despite his age and lower activity he knows he can't afford to cause himself too much trouble - he has said for decades that he had to avoid stepping on toes because of the repercussions.

In addition, his philosophy is you change things within a system; which means dealing with the broken process and trying to fix it along the way. He does not have an insurgent mindset where one goes around the system on the assumption that it is useless and unrepairable. So it is a rather big deal that he backs Snowden's circumvention as much as he does. His thinking would be along the lines of a whistle blower protection process so one wouldn't need to circumvent the system. You simply don't succeed in the Military and then become US President without at least a little authoritarian bias.

Carter was the last actual president on the USA. Afterwards they were all vetted so they will not mess with the establishment. It just goes to show, the president doesn't have much power; just like a puppet dictator, the only power is that which is sanctioned by those who are actually in control.

Re:good for USA, but he still should be prosecuted (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 6 months ago | (#46575733)

He should go to trial. So we can really filter out the information about his status. You can do the a good thing, however the way that you did it was wrong.

He did leak classified documents. That was bad.
However did he only leak information about illegal activity or did he leak valid legal methods too?
Did he follow the correct procedure on reporting illegal activity?
How/if was he stopped in following this procedure?

To me it seemed that he was faced with three options.
1. Shut-up and just let it go. He keeps his job.
2. Force it up the authorities. He would loose his job.
3. Blast out the information to the world wide public. He could get arrested.

He choose option 3. Assuming his morals prevented option 1, a good and noble thing. However option 2 may have fixed the problems without all the internet (in)fame(y) and running from the US. He may have lost his job, it isn't as heroic, but he probably could sue on whistle blowing protection.
Working in the system against the system is slow and boring. But it can get results.

Re:good for USA, but he still should be prosecuted (1)

DarkOx (621550) | about 6 months ago | (#46576137)

Well I hardly think pointing out the problems to authorities would have worked. I mean Clapper can't even tell Congress anything truthful, its not like he or anyone else at NSA was going to act on some low level sys admin questioning the legality of the program, no I pretty much think Snowden's only real options were either (1) or (3) because (2) might as well be (1) for all it would matter.

That said yea, he probably should be prosecuted. He is suspected of having committed serious criminal acts, its the prosecutors job to prosecute people who have apparently violated the law. Its a juries job to recognize he did society a favor and acquit him either through some legal fact finding like he qualifies as a whistle blower, or simply via nullification.

Basic human rights of *Americans* (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46575389)

I'm glad that Mr. Carter is so concerned about the basic human rights of Americans. I would, however, urge him to explain to me how the basic human rights of Americans differ from the basic human rights of other humans...

Seriously, all of the recent news about the NSA basically read "oh, we will take better care of US citizens", but the fact that they explicitly mention the "basic human rights of Americans" or "US citizens" probably implies "we'll continue as before spying on our friends over in Europe and elsewhere"...

Re:Basic human rights of *Americans* (4, Insightful)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about 6 months ago | (#46575515)

I would, however, urge him to explain to me how the basic human rights of Americans differ from the basic human rights of other humans...

Well, in the context of the NSA it goes like this: In the USA there is a framework in place that permits The Man to spy on an Americans (subpoenas, warrants), so if The Man wants to spy he needs to work within that legal framework.

There's no such framework in place for The Man to spy on alleged baddies in foreign nations - So in that sense, the rights of Americans are different from the rights of foreigners.

Re:Basic human rights of *Americans* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46576401)

Well, he was the one that first signed the FISA law.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F... [wikipedia.org]

So I'm not so sure he's fully on board with Americans not being spied on.

My 0.02 (5, Insightful)

DaMattster (977781) | about 6 months ago | (#46575411)

I'm glad to hear Carter's stance on NSA and spying but I'm deeply disappointed that he stopped short of exoneration for Snowden. In my mind, Snowden is a patriot. No country should sacrifice liberty for security. When this happens, the terrorists win. Yes, they win and win big.

Re:My 0.02 (5, Insightful)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 6 months ago | (#46575623)

Jimmy Carter's fault has always been that he wants fairness and "the right thing" not merely what's popular or "should be" right. Reagan's popularity was in large part because he didn't care that much about fairness, he wanted what "should be" right for him, his cronies, and his country, and everyone else was expected to get out of the way and take care of themselves.

I'm with Carter's view, though. Snowden should face trial, because that's the appropriate response for distributing confidential information without permission. A fair and impartial trial would most likely acknowledge that he broke laws and agreements, but exonerate him because he had no obviously better alternative. It's also a good place to put the whole thing under close public inspection. And public inspection is one of the cornerstones of democracy, just as keeping everything hidden is a hallmark of the police state.

Unforfunately, at the moment, the best we seem to be able to offer Snowden is a fair and impartial conviction.

Re:My 0.02 (4, Interesting)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 6 months ago | (#46575937)

It's unfortunate that our legal system has chosen to interpret "impartial" as "unqualified". One of the greatest flaws in our legal system is that we want it to be "fair" by removing any hope of it being more than a crap shoot. I could be a lawyer with no legal training simply by manipulating the jury using basic negotiation tactics.

First thing: do you know the defendant or anyone else involved? Yes? Get out.

Second thing: do you know anything about this particular case? Yes? Get out.

Third thing: Do you know anything about anything involved in this case--for example, anything about the NSA spying programs, constitutional law related, other media coverage for similar cases i.e. Julian Assange, etc. Yes? Get out.

What we have left is people who know nothing about these activities, how it affects them, or what Snowden revealed. They haven't put any thought into government spying programs, and will likely see "Government protecting citizens" versus "insane conspiracy theorist throwing dangerous national secrets everywhere". Without a huge amount of analysis, backgrounds in criminology and philosophy, and a strong understanding of wide-spread social theory, they can't make a good judgment. They either immediately go, "Oh he broke the law and spilled a lot of our secret important government anti-terrorist protection activities all over, putting us in danger," or they'll go, "Government! I told you them commie son-bitches! They tryin' mind control us!"

It's like pulling a bunch of people into a lecture hall where they have a debate over quantum mechanics for a few hours a day, and then several days or weeks later they ask you how you think the protouniverse could have emerged from the quantum foam (where the fuck did the energy come from!?) and if black holes and dark matter are mutually exclusive or can co-exist in nine-dimensional space. And you're not allowed to study quantum theory before or during this whole affair.

Re:My 0.02 (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 6 months ago | (#46576103)

Unforfunately, at the moment, the best we seem to be able to offer Snowden is a fair and impartial conviction.

Given that, doesn't it seem like saying that Snowden should face trial is much like saying that the Jews should have gone quietly to the camps? To ram the point home, the ones that resisted had a massively better survival rate.

Re:My 0.02 (1, Insightful)

operagost (62405) | about 6 months ago | (#46576257)

Jimmy Carter's fault has always been that he wants fairness and "the right thing" not merely what's popular or "should be" right. Reagan's popularity was in large part because he didn't care that much about fairness, he wanted what "should be" right for him, his cronies, and his country, and everyone else was expected to get out of the way and take care of themselves.

If that's what you got from Reagan, I feel sorry for you. You seem to take everything Carter said on face value, and assume he meant well, while all the optimistic things Reagan said and meaningful things he accomplished must have all been for the nefarious purposes claimed by his harshest critics. The flaw in your argument should be clear to you immediately, in that Reagan couldn't both be popular (implying wide support) and only interested in what was best for his "cronies". I suggest you reevaluate your opinions of both based on the facts, not on hyperbole.

Re:My 0.02 (1)

Entropius (188861) | about 6 months ago | (#46576457)

Your hope, it seems, is that Snowden would receive a trial in which he would be acquitted because what he did was ultimately moral. I don't know if that sort of thing still happens, but it once did.

My ancestors arrived in this country in the 19th century and took a job with a railroad cutting wood for the boilers. None spoke English, and the railroad took advantage of this and didn't pay them. So they robbed a train, taking no money from the passengers and only what they were owed from the railroad. They were eventually caught and put on trial, where their attorney argued that they should be acquitted because, even though robbery is a crime, they were just trying to recover in the only way they had from a greater crime: that of cheating vulnerable immigrants, which he argued was completely un-American.

They were acquitted.

Would this sort of thing happen today? It's unlikely.

Re:My 0.02 (1)

dcw3 (649211) | about 6 months ago | (#46576491)

I'm mostly in agreement. But, I doubt that he'd be exonerated for the reason you state. His "alternative" was simply not to do what he did. At an absolute minimum, he should have attempted to raise his concerns up the chain through approved channels. Did he try this? If not, I'd suggest that he's screwed.

Re:My 0.02 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46575819)

My opinion: is that the final culmination of his work would be to come back, stand trial, and then find out how the judicial system plays out. If he is found guilty it would then be interesting to see if he would be pardoned. Then after all that, if he is still in jail it would be interesting to see what kind of response the citizens put together. I agree with Carter that Snowden should be prosecuted.

What do you have to hide?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46575441)

Hmmmm. Sounds suspicious!
What do you have to hide President Carter?? Why would you want to keep something secret if you haven't done anything wrong?

I'm with Jimmy so far ... (1)

Crypto Cavedweller (2611959) | about 6 months ago | (#46575449)

No execution as a traitor ... unless that's sworn testimony at trial establishes that he was one, of course. A long, dark time in a SuperMax hole should be sufficient for his crimes he already admitted to.

I hate that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46575451)

I hate it when Jimmy Carter and I agree on anything.

Re:I hate that (4, Insightful)

N0Man74 (1620447) | about 6 months ago | (#46575715)

I hate it when Jimmy Carter and I agree on anything.

I hate it when Jimmy Carter and I agree with you on anything.

But seriously, the Carter hate is not entirely fair. Some bad things happened while he was in office, but he had some notable accomplishments too.

I think that it's fair to say that he was a much better human being than he was a politician. However, I think we would be better off with a few more Carters around.

Re:I hate that (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#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.

Suddenly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46575463)

The opinion of every republican seeking to shame obama switches because Carter.

I've always said... (3, Insightful)

fuzznutz (789413) | about 6 months ago | (#46575473)

Jimmy Carter is the best ex-president we've ever had.

Re:I've always said... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46576263)

Yeah, but the cost to America of getting him from governor to ex-president was far too great.

Re:I've always said... (0)

operagost (62405) | about 6 months ago | (#46576397)

You mean the one who called everyone who didn't like Obama a racist?

Then, on the other hand, he said he couldn't criticize the Tea Party (which almost without exception disagrees with Obama's policies) because it became popular for the same reason he was elected: disillusionment with government.

If you want to prosecute Snowden, fine, (5, Informative)

fredrated (639554) | about 6 months ago | (#46575491)

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

Re: If you want to prosecute Snowden, fine, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46575621)

Change is precisely what is being protected agaibst

all too common view on Snowden (5, Insightful)

Tumbleweed (3706) | about 6 months ago | (#46575571)

Politicians are quick to say the NSA has gone too far, but none of them have the balls to say Snowden should be pardoned. Grow some balls. He apparently tried several times to bring his concerns to his superiors, only to be shut down. If he didn't do what he did, we would not know what we know, or even be having this discussion. There's no need to make him a martyr. He did what was right.

Re:all too common view on Snowden (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46575799)

There may very well be politicians that think what Snowden did was the right thing but woulf still like to convict him.
If Snowden was pardoned it would set a very dangerous prescedent and whistleblowers would crawl out of the woodworks all over the place and it would most likely mean an end to the US of America.
To stand up and do the "right" thing may well have consequences that are too severe for it to be a realistic option.

long way down the road (1)

LookIntoTheFuture (3480731) | about 6 months ago | (#46575619)

"We've gone a long way down the road of violating Americans' basic civil rights, as far as privacy is concerned."

I wonder what he thinks should happen to the people that have secretly taken us down this road.

'I think it's an intrusion on one of the basic human rights of Americans..."

I would add every innocent person on the planet. Somehow, that's not a common belief.

Re:long way down the road (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46575865)

I would say they(the people that took us down this road) were part and parcel to keeping him from brining home 444 people from Iran. October surprise baby!

Still (1)

StripedCow (776465) | about 6 months ago | (#46575645)

It is one thing to invade the privacy of your citizens.
It is quite another thing to do this without them knowing that this is happening at this scale (!)

Snowden deserves to be exempt from further prosecution.

In fact, I believe NSA officers should be trialed for not announcing the nature of their actions.

Scooby Doo (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46575651)

Scooby Doo can doo doo but Jimmy Carter is smarter.

Yes and No (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 6 months ago | (#46575655)

It was good for snowden to speak about about NSA's spying on Americans. That is whistle blowing. Sadly, it is less than 5% of what he has spoken about.
95% of what he has outed is pure treason.

Re:Yes and No (1)

blue9steel (2758287) | about 6 months ago | (#46576317)

I'm not seeing that. Treason is pretty narrowly defined in the US. "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court."

He hasn't levied war against us.

He hasn't adhered to our enemies (despite our current tiff about Ukraine I don't think there is an argument that the Russians were our enemy at that time or that they are currently, obviously that could change in the future but that's not relevant to this discussion)

So all you're left with is whether he provided "aid and comfort" to our enemies. I'm not seeing any specific examples of where he's done so. Unlike Snowden, he didn't just dump everything he had. From what I can tell his revelations have been highly embarrassing but it's hardly a big secret that the NSA was spying on our enemies and the techniques he's revealed don't seem to be anything that an opposing force wouldn't have already known or suspected.

I'd like to hear a concrete example if you've got one.

Snail Mail Schmail Mail, there's a patent for that (1)

cultiv8 (1660093) | about 6 months ago | (#46575661)

"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."

Image detecting apparatus and method for reading and or verifying the contents of sealed envelopes [google.st]

Que the Lee Greenwood (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about 6 months ago | (#46575723)

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.

"And I'm proud to be an American, were I know that I am free..."

Re:Que the Lee Greenwood (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46576065)

"And I'm proud to be an American, were I know that I am free..."

"were" being the key word here...

Re:Que the Lee Greenwood (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46576123)

"And I'm proud to be an American, were I know that I am free..."

Wow, you CONservatives can't even spell words that people outside of the South learn how to spell in the first grade. You people are so stupid. Also, your spelling error is ironic since it is past tense. Your stupidity actually told the truth. Typically, all you people do is lie and try to harm the poor and minorities. In this case, your quote from that well known racist backfired. That was awesome.

PS: Why do we have so many of these racists flooding /. now? Did someone post a link to this site from one of their KKK discussion groups?

F*** the common citizens, namely, us (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46575743)

All things point to the fact that organized money making bodies, be it governments, corporations, non-profits, crime cartels, whatnot, they would manage to get away with all sorts of shit that a common citizen will get life for. Look at all the spinning about the missing airliner, the f***ing of global communications, the waste of tax dollars for ideological gain, the crazily stupid mayors and governors all over the places, the senators, prime ministers and the presidents that lie on just about everything -- they get away from all those by throwing up another one of the same thing! What a common citizen would be looking at in the same situation? The system is sh*t

Democracy is a game that goes Damned if you play and Damned if you don't. Because it's no longer about people understanding issues, it's about pushing issues down the throats of mind-f***ed populace force-fed with crazy entertainment -- in between the mind-f***ing dimwit shifts of the "thousands of jobs created" by those who take the whole planet for a f***.

For every one of the fantastically success stories of those wonderfully endowed kids, there are hundreds more that got the shorter sticks in this rush to the technology. The whole thing is a Ponzi scheme that siphons resources from all over to fed the riches of the few "successful" ones -- whose successes were no less by luck than by anything. Some governments used to dampen down such scheme a bit by taxation and so on, while now more and more those guys start to worry about job-creation ... what the f***, except for short change the bigger good for short term employment gain, there is no point for any public policy to benefit corporations! Most of the so called progress that gave rise to such fantastic economy now a days were not done by corporations with only profits in their minds -- they were more carried out by people that loved exploring in their own volition. But now monetization was so entrenched in everything, research is not even interesting anymore -- because researchers are paid not as intelligent people they are supposed to be, but as cows that will need to be milked regularly to produce monetary gain. F*** science, it going down the road of a painful death. There will still be scientific work, but mostly they will be for show. The inherent structure of scientific debate will be put up as a debate of opinions, not to reach a common ground, but for show, for entertainment -- of course, disguised as "edutainment". Really, with different point of views every once in a while, with a system encouraging poking fun at any serious thinking, who should expect the guys busy living the hard life as it is should really pay any attention to all of these? As long as more than half of the voting populace will take the words for it, nothing will improve.

Things will not change, and nothing is going to work out. Power is with the people -- but only those with a corporation behind them. F***!

Not exactly a ringing endorsement (0, Troll)

hessian (467078) | about 6 months ago | (#46575829)

If we'd left it up to Jimmy "Gentleman Red" Carter, the USSR would still be holding on to huge parts of Eastern Europe and murdering dissidents.

In leadership, a softy hand is often more destructive than a strong hand, which affirms which behaviors are good and which are bad. Reagan was able to implement a clear moral boundary and drive totalitarianism away.

Re:Not exactly a ringing endorsement (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 6 months ago | (#46576125)

If we'd left it up to Jimmy "Gentleman Red" Carter, the USSR would still be holding on to huge parts of Eastern Europe and murdering dissidents.

Yeah, we really showed it to those darn soviets, especially the Russkies!

Er, wait...

Re:Not exactly a ringing endorsement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46576173)

Reagan was able to implement a clear moral boundary

That is the most hilarious thing I've read so far today.

Jimmy the Ignorant (1, Interesting)

geekmux (1040042) | about 6 months ago | (#46575991)

"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..."

This is a man who is still afforded Secret Service protection to this day, and he actually thinks his communications to foreign or American leaders are private because he licked a stamp.

Seriously, how ignorant can one really be.

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