Carter floats idea of presidential pardon for Snowden

Former President Jimmy Carter, on a swing through the nation’s capital to promote a new book, said Wednesday that he would consider a pardon for Edward J. Snowden, the former contractor who leaked classified information about the National Security Agency. But Mr. Carter said that he was not certain he would grant one.
Mr. Carter, 89, has made no secret in recent days of his disdain for the N.S.A., telling television interviewers during his book tour that he now relies on the “snail mail” of the United States Postal Service, rather than email, for sending sensitive messages. During a midday appearance at The Washington Post, he warned about the reach of the security agency.
“If you sent an email today, they recorded it,” the former president said. “If you’ve made a telephone call today, they’ve recorded it. They record the entire thing. They don’t go back and listen to your words — they say — but if they want to, later on, they can go back and listen to the exact words. I do think that needs to be corrected, and I hope President Obama will do it.”
Mr. Carter was in town promoting his latest book, “A Call to Action,” which focuses on religious persecution and violence against women. He appeared Wednesday morning on “The Diane Rehm Show,” a nationally syndicated public radio program, and then at The Post, where two columnists, David Ignatius and Sally Quinn, interviewed him before a friendly audience.
The conversation was polite, touching on Mr. Carter’s views on Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula (“I think Putin has to be stopped”) and his views on the current Middle East peace process. The former president said he hoped that Mr. Obama would “put his own personal force” behind whatever road map Secretary of State John Kerry unveils.
On Mr. Snowden, Mr. Carter at first said he would not pardon him, “because you can’t pardon someone who hasn’t been tried and convicted.”
But, he added, if Mr. Snowden came back to the United States, was tried, found guilty and faced a death sentence, “I would certainly consider a pardon, yes.”

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