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Friday, October 12, 2007

Jimmy Carter Trashes His Country on CNN


Jimmy Carter at a Recent Appearance at the University of California at Irvine


Nothing that Jimmy Carter says can surprise me anymore, but his comments on this week's CNN interview with Wolf Blitzer are deserving of the widest dissemination to Americans. Blitzer asked Carter if he thought America was practicing torture (on terrorist prisoners). Carter's response was that he didn't think we were using torture, he knew it.

Think about that statement for a moment. Who is it exactly that is carrying out this torture? Our military? The CIA? In making this charge, Carter is attacking one or both of these institutions. Now, I know that our military is respected by the overwhelming majority of the public in America, while the CIA is often under attack. But both of these entities are putting their lives on the line to conduct the war on terror on our behalf. Most likely, Carter is only trying to attack President Bush, Vice-President Cheney and the whole administration, but he also attacks the military and the CIA with his statements.

At this point, we should admit that there is disagreement on what constitutes actual torture. For example, are we practicing torture by sleep deprivation, harsh interrogation techniques, psychological measures, waterboarding, subjecting prisoners to cold weather or loud music? If so, we may be guilty- I don't know. Is yelling at someone torture? To me, beating prisoners or subjecting them to excruciating pain is certainly torture, but I have no information that we are doing those things. I am not prepared to make those charges, but apparently former President Carter is.

What is worse is that when Carter makes these statements about our country, this is being spread to audiences around the world and especially among our adversaries in the Middle East. It gives our enemies justification for their inhuman treatment of our soldiers when taken prisoner. In these cases, our soldiers are routinely beaten, tortured, slaughtered and /or beheaded, atrocities they carry out no matter how humanely we treat our prisoners.

Jimmy Carter has walked right up to the line of betraying his own country, which is magnified a hundred times over by nature of the fact that he is a former president.

It was disappointing but not surprising that Wolf Blitzer did not challenge Carter on his charges. All Blitzer had to do was ask Carter for specific instances when Americans had engaged in torture. He did not do that.

In addition, Carter had the unmitigated gall to critique Bush on his handling of Iran and warn the administration against any military action against that rogue nation. Talk about Chutzpah. Maybe Carter thinks that so many years have passed that he is the only living survivor from the time when Iran took our diplomats hostage, held them for a year and a half and completely humiliated our nation in the process. This is a former president who helped grease the skids for the Shah, bring in the Ayatollah Khomeini and witness the birth of a radical Islamic regime that now threatens the whole region and is now developing nuclear weapons. And he deigns to give Bush advice on how to handle Iran?

In addition to Iran, Carter's entire administration was marked by total incompetence-to the extent that even Democrats describe his 4-year term as " a failed presidency". I have yet to hear any Democrat figure describe Jimmy Carter as even a "good" president. Yet, here he is running around the world criticizing Bush and his own country to foreign audiences.

Carter certainly has the constitutional right to speak his mind even though he is breaking a long-standing protocol against former presidents criticizing their successors. If Carter had been a more successful president, his words might have more resonance. As it is, he makes himself a laughing stock and a hypocrite. Worse yet, while our military is making great sacrifices to fight the war against a murderous and barbaric enemy to protect us, he stabs them in the back.

Jimmy Carter is beyond contempt.

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