What are you hiding, Jimmy?

Former president Jimmy Carter says that he thinks that the NSA monitors his emails. As a result, when he corresponds with foreign leaders, he does it the old fashioned way.

Former President Jimmy Carter said Sunday he believes the National Security Agency is monitoring his e-mails, so when he wants to communicate with a foreign leader, he sends an old-fashioned letter via snail mail.

Asked by NBC’s Andrea Mitchell about the debate surrounding the spy agency and the conflict between privacy and national security, Carter said the surveillance practices have “been extremely liberalized and I think abused by our own intelligence agencies.”

“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,” Carter said.

The fact that Carter is going to all this trouble to try and circumvent the government’s spying apparatus must mean that he is up to no good. Isn’t the current slogan something about you have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide?

So what is Carter up to in his plotting with foreigners? Is he attempting an armed overthrow of the US government so that he can serve the second term he was denied by losing to Ronald Reagan?

By revealing his strategy publicly, you can be sure that the NSA, CIA, FBI, and the other agencies will intercept his letters and read them. If I were him, I would also scan the skies for any predator drones in his neighborhood. He has clearly shown himself to be some kind of subversive and is not to be trusted.


  1. Chiroptera says

    By revealing his strategy publicly, you can be sure that the NSA, CIA, FBI, and the other agencies will intercept his letters and read them.

    Heh. In this day and age of information technology, I wouldn’t be surprised if no one in the security establishment remembers how to properly steam open an envelope.

  2. Ravi Venkataraman says

    But is Mr. Carter typing his letter on a computer that is connected to the internet, or on an old-fashioned typewriter?

    If the former, then he is might as well use email. Or at least he should type it when the computer is not connected to the internet, print, and then immediately delete it and empty his “Recycle Bin”.

  3. says


    To MI5, if you steam this open you are dirty buggers.

    – Letter sent to a prominent member of the Communist Party of Great Britain and opened by MI5. According to Wright, Major Denman (MI5 officer in charge of post interception) classified it as ‘obscene post’ (so that he was not required to send it on), framed the letter and put it on his office wall. Quoted in “Spycatcher” (1987) by Peter Wright, p. 46

  4. says

    I hate to break it to Mr Carter, but the mail is monitored, too. In fact, international mail has been subject to snooping since the 1920s when Yardley “outed” it in his book “American Black Chamber” Today, at a minimum “metadata” on mail is collected (the postal system’s letter and package routing systems electronically scan addresses) and it’s subject to hold and search by the FBI.

    Unless Carter is using a one time pad, in which case I’m guessing they’d be waterboarding his ass, his communications are as secure as Gmail. I.e.: not one tiny bit.

  5. patterson says

    My partner used to be very politically active in a civil disobedience kind of way and a couple of times as soon as she picked up the handset to make a call it would start ringing right away and be answered by some RCMP sergeant. We lived knowing that every phone call was recorded and possibly our house/apt was bugged too, which was strange and occasionally embarrassing when you find yourself alone singing along to the radio and thinking, god was someone listening to that? Now everyone lives like this it doesn’t seem funny anymore.

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