Friday, April 11, 2008

Memo: To Jimmy Carter: You are a FORMER President. Don't make us put you in a home.

When I was 19 years old I went to Israel with BYU for a semester abroad. It was one of the best times of my life. Of course 1987 was a much milder time for the country and roaming about as a college student was awesome. While I was there we studied the Bible, Old Testament and the New Testament and the Arab/Israeli conflict and a bunch of other things I didn't listen to. BYU has a campus in Jerusalem on the Mt. of Olives and it was under construction during the semester I was there. We stayed on a kibbutz in between the city of Bethlehem and Jerusalem and later lived in the BYU Center for about a month. For a long field trip we went to Nazareth, Haifa and a few other cities in the area. We stopped by the beach to have a little fun for a break and while we were leaving the area a caravan of cars was arriving as we were leaving. Our professor announced that it was Jimmy Carter. I took the opportunity to stick my hand out the window and flip him the bird. At the time I would have been in so much trouble if any of my professors would have seen me, luckily they didn't and I have always felt guilty for flipping off a former President. Not anymore. I would like to refer back to that moment and announce that I do not feel guilty, I feel vindicated. I can now say that the former President who plans on meeting with Khaled Meshaal, the leader of Hamas, a known terrorist organization...I once gave him the bird! Poetic justice. Get a life Jimmy. Jimmy Carter loves terrorists


ba and the boys said...

i hate when ex-presidents think that they actually matter. ok, im fine with carter doing habitat for humanities and with bush sr and clinton helping people when the tsumoni hit, but that is different. that is showing OOD WILL. if they arent going to represent the hood (so to speak) as embassorators, then just shut up and work on your library!
ps-im surprised that the secret service didnt take you down!

namaste said...

nik, yeah the secret service and your professor were definitely asleep at the wheel. umm... so why did you flip him the bird at that time young lady?

btw, for the record i LOVE that you did that. fearless little rebel, you!



Mike said...

How can we expect to ever have peace in Israel/Palestine if Hamas is excluded from the talks? They control a majority of seats in the Palestinian parliament. Maybe you're just upset because if Carter is able to get Hamas to work toward peace, it will make Condi Rice look even more useless than she already does.

Nikki said...

BA...Yep there is a reason they only get 4-8 years, Americans tire of leadership no matter how good or bad the President is. We are a fast food society. I don't know if Jimmy had the secret service at that point. I really don't know how long a former President enjoys that protection...Reagan was President at the time. :)N

Maria, you know to be honest I flipped him off because I had heard so much crap about how bad a President he was. So I thought I would take the opportunity to show my distaste by what others had said, mainly my parents. I was being a dumb teen-ager. I am much less conservative than my parents today believe it or not. Just being a rebel who needed no cause! :)N

Mike, I think you should at least be intellectually honest. If One of your green party boys were in office and Gerorge Bush was running around trying to broker deals undermining their authority I think you wouldn't like it. Also treating a terrorist group like their political tactics like blowing up people are working and giving legitimacy to those acts is not great policy. Perhaps Palestine should think twice about who they elect. Besides you and I both know Jerusalem will never be divided. So his attempts are moot and make the US look like idiots and he is an idiot. Shouldn't he be spending time with his grand children at this age? I think he really thinks that Bush can go down in history as a worse President than him and he is trying to work on that harder. We both know that no country has benefitted more from the war in Iraq than Israel. The suicide bombings funded by Sadam are no longer. Bush has the most bargaining power at this point. We took out their big enemy. Chalk up another good reason for the war in Iraq. :)N

Khaki Elephant said...

I really want to read what you wrote, but I can't get past that creepy picture.

Nikki said...

khaki, it is creepy. don't be scared it is just a picture. :)N

Freadom said...

People wouldn't have a problem with Carter or any American talking with Hamas if they would simply denounce terrorism.

Nikki said...

Great Point Freadom. :)N

Freadom said...

What we need to do is continue to isolate Hamas, and hold the Palestinians responsible for voting a terrorist organizaiton into power. We should not reward them by lending them an ear.

Mike said...

I don't understand how we can pretend to take the high moral road with regard to Hamas when our own government endorses and uses torture. On the one hand, we're telling Hamas to stop killing innocent people, and on the other hand we're sending people to Syria (which is on the official list of state sponsors of terror) to be tortured, sometimes for years.

With regard to punishing the Palestinian people for voting Hamas into power, is it the conservative position, then, to only support democracy when the people elect someone you like? I ask that rhetorically, because I know that it is. Maybe we should all take a minute to consider why the Palestinian people would elect a terrorist organization into power.

Rightwingsnarkle said...

Mike, Mike, Mike - stop making sense. You forget where you are.

Just compliment the half-assed Photoshop like you mean it.

The Photoshop job on Nikki's portrait, however, is brilliant - a retired NFL linebacker and a blond wig. Well done, that one.

Thinking Sage said...

My uncl was the only person appointed by every president from Ford to GW. He is a Democrat. He will tell you in one second that Carter was by far the worst president ever, in his lifetime anyway. Said he was very smart, but just had absolutly zero comon sense. And was far out of touch with real life.
Does anyone running remind you of Carter?

Nikki said...

Hey Mike, are you saying that blowing up civilians and torturing terrorists for information are equally reprehensible? While I understand the argument of taking the higher ground I think the comparing of the 2 are not the same. I know there are conservatives that condone the torture of terrorists for information, but if we are to be intellectually honest then I would think they are both wrong, but the two are not equal. A terrorist who uses down-syndrome women to blow up innocent women and children are not in the same ethical boat as you water-boarding a terrorist. IMO. Last I checked there were no innocent terrorists.
And do we think they should elect a non-terrorist government absolutely. There is no fuzzy line on that one. The Palestinians elected a terrorist organization into power because they promised economic and domestic change, like roads and food. Sounds like certain candidates in our country. :)N

Sage, I am curious as to what your uncle does for a living?? I don't remember the Carter years but I remember my parents belly-aching a lot...kinda like people do now. thanks for dropping by. :)N

snarkle, though we disagree, we have intelligent conversations on this blog. save your name calling and psuedo-intellect for your own blog. If you want to talk about issues feel free to state an opinion. I realize it is hard to back up your hatred without facts but try googling something. thanks. :)N

Mike said...

Nikki, one of the problems with torturing terrorists is that many of them (most, perhaps) are not actually terrorists. We are torturing (and killing) innocent people. On a one-to-one basis, I would say that a suicide bombing is worse than torturing someone. However, the fact that it is the US government doing the largely indiscriminate torturing, I find it absolutely reprehensible. Torture is never acceptable. I don't care who they have in custody or what they think that person knows. Torturing someone is always wrong.

The two tactics are similar, in that they are used as intimidation to achieve political goals. I'd like it if someday I could say that the US government is morally superior to Hamas.

Khaki Elephant said...

OK, Nikki, I read it. I thought of a funny post I read somewhere (can't remember where): "Is there any mass murderer Jimmy Carter won't legitimize?"

BTW, Mike, I agree with you on torture. And so does McCain :-). I believe that America needs to find strength in integrity and torturing captives doesn't demonstrate integrity.

Nikki said...

Hey Mike...Were there ever illegal renditions under the Clinton administration? Yep there were. All during the 90's the same thing was going on and now that the CIA under this admin. is using the same tactics it would appear that liberals are getting a backbone or they have a conservative target. Double standard? The Bush administration is under far more scrutiny than the Clinton administration and I would bet that far less torture occurs under that umbrella.
Richard Clarke: The procedure (transferring suspects to torturing countries) was developed by CIA officials in the mid-1990s who were trying to track down and dismantle militant Islamic organizations in the Middle East, particularly Al Qaeda.
According to Clinton administration official Richard Clarke:
“ 'extraordinary renditions', were operations to apprehend terrorists abroad, usually without the knowledge of and almost always without public acknowledgment of the host government…. The first time I proposed a snatch, in 1993, the White House Counsel, Lloyd Cutler, demanded a meeting with the President to explain how it violated international law. Clinton had seemed to be siding with Cutler until Al Gore belatedly joined the meeting, having just flown overnight from South Africa. Clinton recapped the arguments on both sides for Gore: Lloyd says this. Dick says that. Gore laughed and said, 'That's a no-brainer. Of course it's a violation of international law, that's why it's a covert action. The guy is a terrorist. Go grab his ass."
Now we all know how Clarke loves Bush so if questioning his credibility in this quote is a tell tale of his Bush info, well sort it out.
Also there are documented cases of innocents being sent to Egypt and other countries that use different methods of torture to get information however: "to date, there have been no Congressional or other governmental inquiries into the CIA's use of extraordinary renditions, despite repeated calls for such investigations." While I agree that what you say is correct by all means, it is unfair to characterize this administration as exclusive to the practice, The President has condemned the practice and the watch dogs are watching. It's a good thing. :)N

Mike said...

Khaki: Holy crap, we agree on something? Who'd a thunk it? Just for the record, though, McCain endorses torture. He was against it before he was for it. **Shameless self-promotion alert** Check out my blog for details.

Nikki: I didn't mean to imply that the Bush administration started the "rendition" program, or that Clinton's hands were clean. I do find it interesting when conservatives use "Clinton did it" as an argument for something that Bush is doing. When Clinton did it, it was wrong. When Bush does it, it's wrong. When Obama/Clinton/McCain continue to do it, it will continue to be wrong.

And Bush condemning torture is like Al Capone condemning bootlegging. What good it his talk when he vetoes any bill that limits torture? Bush is (like most presidents) a lot of talk and no action, unless he's starting a war. :)

Nikki said...

Mike it is interesting that the outcry began under this administration and no mention is there by liberals of who started the practice...Clinton/Gore of course. It is a valid argument to bring up the previous admin. where was all the outcry then? Perhaps no one should use the practice but the excuses are always given to Clinton and condemnation to Bush for practically identical policies. :)N

Rightwingsnarkle said...

"we have intelligent conversations on this blog. save your name calling and psuedo-intellect for your own blog. If you want to talk about issues feel free to state an opinion. I realize it is hard to back up your hatred without facts but try googling something."

That's rich beyond words, Bubba.

Freadom said...

I think that if it is believed a terrorist has inormation about another terrorist attack, then whatever means necessary to get that information should be used. On the other hand, is "torture" (loose definition because what is defined as torture. Is waterboarding the same as beating someone?)any more effective than other means? I think the answer should come from the military experts, of which McCain is one. If he says "torture" is bad, then he and his military friends should define torture and forbid it.

Freadom said...

One thing I will never understand is how someone could ever defend a terrorist, a terrorist organization, or a country that harbors terrorists. It is this idea that makes this Carter visit with Hamas so appalling. This is why I could never associate myself with the democratic party as it stands right now.

On the other hand, I still think Carter is a good man. I really do.

Mike said...

Freadom, how would you define a "terrorist" or a "terrorist organization"? What is it about them that makes them indefensible or irredeemable?

And if torture is OK, as McCain now says (even though he used to say it didn't work,) does that mean that it would be OK for our captured soldiers to be tortured?

Khaki Elephant said...

Mike, McCain has never supported torture and still does not. The bill you reference that he voted against was a comprehesive intellegence initiative of which the ban on waterboarding was but one part. The CBS article you mention on your site quotes McCain saying "What we need is not to tie the CIA to the Army Field Manual, but rather to have a good faith interpretation of the statutes that guide what is permissible in the CIA program." What it conveniently leaves out (CBS, go figure) is that McCain believes torture is not permissible. McCain does, however, support the patriot act and would not vote for a bill that would hamstring it.

I understand that you want to paint McCain as John Kerry, and you have an opportunity with immigration, but claiming he's flip-flopped on torture is just silly, especially based on this vote. And thinking his hope was that this vote may bring those evil, torture-loving Republicans to McCain also falls short. One of the reasons some Republicans despise McCain is that he is one of the few GOP leaders who was openly critical of the president on torture. This is one of the reasons that Ann Coulter is actively campaigning against him (this, along with joint ventures with Dems on legislation and his stance against drilling in Alaska)

Mike said...

Khaki, McCain can say whatever he wants to. There is no reason to exclude non-military agencies from using the Army field manual guidelines for interrogation, unless he wants them to be able to torture people. The Army manual explicitly forbids physical coercion of detainees. McCain made it abundantly clear that the main reason he voted against the aforementioned bill was because it would have forced non-military agencies to adhere to those standards.

There is too much for me to cover in a comment, I think I'll have to have a follow-up post about it.

McCain also flip-flopped on the Bush tax cuts (he was against them, now he is for them.)

Khaki Elephant said...

McCain on the tax cuts is a wonderful thing. He said that he voted against the tax cuts because he didn't think they would work without deeper spending cuts. What's the explanation he now gives for his "flip-flop." In explaining it to Sean Hannity he said, "I was wrong." Wow! A politician who, during a campaign, admits that he was wrong without saying "I was tired" or "I wasn't there."

I think I may have a crush on McCain.

Mike said...

That's awesome, Khaki. Democrats are flip-flopping liars, but McCain is refreshingly honest. I see how it is. /snark.

McCain was also opposed to the Iraq invasion, until it started. He preferred to try other options first. Now, if you ask him, he was always for it. How refreshing.

Khaki Elephant said...

I actually wouldn't consider Clinton or Obama flip-floppers if they would just admit that they were wrong instead of spinning like a tilt-a-whirl everytime they're caught. Emerson said that "foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." McCain understands that and if you read either of his bio books you'll see how often he admits his mistakes and forges ahead to fix them.

BTW, you should google McCain's response to Bush's state of the union and his votes on the war to find out how he felt about it.

Dems can attempt to portray him as a flip-flopper, but it just won't stick.