COMMENTARY | Former President Jimmy Carter was on Meet the Press recently to offer some words of wisdom about the current president and the mess he has made of things. His responses were rather illuminating.
Carter expressed surprise that President Obama has not called him for advice. In a way this is a surprise, considering the similarity between the two men’s foreign policies. But it would appear that Obama has created catastrophe with everything he has touched all on his own, without any help from his predecessor. This should be a cause of relief for Carter. He is to blame for so much that blew up in the late 1970s, redounding throughout the subsequent decades. He does not need to have any other disasters presented to his doorstep.
There is one major difference between Obama and Carter. Carter, who once ruminated about an “inordinate fear” of the Soviets, changed his mind when the Red Army invaded Afghanistan. He offered some sanctions, like cutting off grain shipments, with real teeth and started the arming of the Mujahedeen. He was a pillar of strength next to the current president.
Carter also expressed the suspicion that his correspondence has been monitored by the NSA and other intelligence organizations. This is a safe bet. Any government, considering his record, would want to know what sort of mischief the former president is up to.
Charmingly, Carter thinks that he can evade such monitoring by using snail mail.
“‘As a matter of fact, you know, I have felt that my own communications were probably monitored. And when I want to communicate with a foreign leader privately, I type or write the letter myself, put it in the post office and mail it.'”
Of course one has never heard of the idea of spies intercepting letters, steaming them open, and copying the contents before resealing them and sending them on their way, Carter might make a call to his old CIA director, the retired Admiral Stansfield Turner, and ask him how such things were done in the days before email and the Internet.