Carter’s Irony


JcserviceKING: … 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.

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.

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Michael founded BlogForArizona as the Howard Dean campaign blog for Arizona in 2003, and has been blogging ever since. Michael is an attorney living in Tucson with his wife Lauren Murata. In 2008, following some health issues and new time constraints, Michael stepped back from regular blogging and began remaking BlogForArizona into a collaborative project. Michael now contributes occasionally to the blog and provides editorial and publishing direction. Also if you want to keep up with the latest Arizona and National political news that Mike finds important, check out the Donkey Feed, which he curates. If you are curious about what books Mike is reading (or planning to read) you can check out his public library feed or his Amazon book wish list.


  1. I hope the tip of the irony spear isn’t so dull that it doesn’t bite. I am not in any way criticizing Carter. I am pointing out the irony that the name of a great man who so adamantly opposes such covert surveillance of Americans is pasted across an asset that is designed for just such a purpose.

    Guess I’m going to have to work on my “say it all with the words of others’ type posts.

  2. I don’t think Carter was president in 2001. So that would be Bush who wanted to tap your overseas fiberoptic calls. I guess that still is kinda ironic.

    “Can you here me now?”