Jimmy Carter vs. Condoleezza Rice? Who ya gonna believe? ABC News:
Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former President Jimmy Carter went to the Middle East in pursuit of peace, but instead he found himself in a war of words with the U.S. secretary of state.
The controversy has come down to a simple question: Who is telling the truth, Jimmy Carter or Condoleezza Rice?
Rice said that the State Department urged Carter not to travel to the region, but that if he did, he should not meet with the Palestinian group Hamas, which the United States considered a terrorist organization.
Not true says the former President:
"We counseled President Carter against coming to -- against going to the region, and particularly against having contacts with Hamas," Rice told reporters earlier this week. "We wanted to make sure that there would be no confusion and that there would be no sense that Hamas was somehow a party to peace negotiations."
In response to that, Carter has essentially called Rice a liar.
"I saw all kinds of statements out of the State Department that said they begged me not to come, they urged me not to come," Carter said in an interview with Steve Inskeep on National Public Radio. "All of this is absolutely false. They never once asked me not to come."
ABC News essentially answers their own question, Carter vs. Condi: Who's Telling the Truth? in the final paragraph of the article:
In a written statement, the Carter Center claimed that "no one" in the State Department "even suggested" the former president not meet with Hamas.
That seemed to be contradicted by the public record. In fact, on April 10, more than a week before Carter left for the Middle East, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said publicly that the State Department did not want Carter meeting with Hamas "because U.S. government policy is that Hamas is a terrorist organization, and we believe it is not in the interests of our policy or in the interests of peace to have such a meeting."
The Washington Post/Newsweek published this piece of incoherence written by the former President, in which he proclaims a profound belief that Presidents should not be liars:
I do not think the President of the United States should be a liar...
During my campaign for the White House in 1976, veracity was a very important issue, because of the known falsehoods having been told during the Vietnam War and the revelations of the Frank Church senatorial investigation that our government had, through the CIA, committed murder and other crimes. I habitually told my small groups of supporters, "If I even make a misleading statement, don't support me."
Hamas leaders, meanwhile, said they could accept a Palestinian state, but contradicted Carter's statements about accepting Israel's right to exist if approved by the Palestinian people, The Washington Times reported Tuesday.
Carter expects us to believe he had no idea the State Department did not want him to make his little peace trip. Maybe next time Condi should draw him a picture.
Jimmy Carter, the great unsolved mystery:
How a great country came to be led by someone like Jimmy Carter is a historical puzzle that is likely to remain unsolved.