KING: … what do you make of warrantless wiretapping? The president defends it almost daily. In a major speech in Nashville today he did a long defense of it as he did in the State of the Union.
CARTER: I think it’s illegal and improper and unnecessary. There’s no reason at all why this president, as have all presidents in history, if they want to get or wiretap American citizens then all they have to do is go to a court that’s set up for that purpose and let judges agree with the president that this American citizen needs to have his or her telephone tapped because it’s a matter of security. That’s all that has to be done.
So, there’s a legal way to do it and an illegal way to do it and I think in the last two or three years we’ve been seeing it done and just found out that it has been done illegally. That’s not necessary.
CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Interview With Jimmy Carter
Aired February 1, 2006
"Under the Bush administration, there’s been a disgraceful and illegal decision — we’re not going to the let the judges or the Congress or anyone else know that we’re spying on the American people. And no one knows how many innocent Americans have had their privacy violated under this secret act."
"I hope that eventually the case will go to the Supreme Court. I have no doubt that when it’s over, the Supreme Court will rule that Bush has violated the law.”
Jimmy Carter’s remarks at the candidacy announcement of his son, Jack Carter, for U.S. Senate in Nevada.
The Wall Street Journal reported in May 2001:
The Navy decided to spend 5 years and $1 billion to retrofit the USS Jimmy Carter submarine to make it capable of conducting covert fiber-optic wiretaps on the high seas.