Human Rights Policy

Archive Report

Carter's Record at Mid-Term

Divided Opinion on Policy After 2 Years

More than halfway through the presidential term, Jimmy Carter's human rights program remains the center of controversy. Maligned by critics on both the right and left, and stoutly defended by the administration, the central question is whether the program is accomplishing the goals set out by Carter in his 1976 campaign, or whether it is counter-productive and harmful to American interests abroad.

Human rights supporters were buoyed by the release on April 26 of five leading Soviet dissidents, exchanged for two former Russian U.N. officials held in this country on espionage charges.1 The White House viewed the exchange a clear-cut justification of the president's efforts over the past two years. Moreover, the Kremlin's ire over Carter's ...

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