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Jimmy Carter: The Worst Ex-President in History

By Jack Kinsella - Omega Letter Editor

During his four years in the White House, he presided over the worst economic downturn since World War II, allowed a bunch of thugs to seize our embassy and our citizens, and supported Philippine dictator Fernando Marcos, Pakistani General Zia al Huq, Saudi King Faud and many other dictators. But Jimmy Carter was a much better president than he is an ex-president.

In fact, Jimmy Carter holds the hands-down record for being the worst ex-president the United States has ever known. His post-presidential meddling in foreign affairs has cost America dearly, both in terms of international credibility and international prestige.

He defied US law by visiting Cuba, even addressing the Cuban public and handing Castro a huge propaganda victory. He oversaw the elections in Haiti, against the expressed wishes of the Clinton administration. A coup followed.

Carter once described Yugoslav strongman Marshal Josef Tito as "a man who believes in human rights." Regarding North Korea's dearly departed Kim Il-Sung, Carter found him "vigorous, intelligent, surprisingly well-informed about the technical issues, and in charge of the decisions about this country," adding "I don't see that [North Koreans] are an outlaw nation."

He was similarly generous regarding Manuel Noriega, Romanian dictator Nicolai Ceaucescu and, of course, Yasser Arafat. He said of Ceausescu and himself, "Our goals are the same: to have a just system of economics and politics . . . We believe in enhancing human rights."

Virtually all of the humanitarian activities of the Carter Foundation abroad have been in direct opposition to US foreign policy. Carter called Bush’s description of Iran, Iraq and North Korea as an "axis of evil" was "overly simplistic and counterproductive.”

Added the man who was once attacked by a rabbit, "I think it will take years before we can repair the damage done by that statement."

His most recent adventure may be partly behind the predicted $3.00 per gallon analysts say we'll be paying for gas by year's end. Jimmy Carter went to Venezuela to 'monitor' that country's effort to recall President Hugo Chavez.

In 1992, a band of army officers led by Lt. Col. Hugo Chávez Frías attempted to overthrow President Carlos Andrés Pérez. Although court-martialed and jailed, Chávez emerged a hero.

In 1998, he was elected president on promises to clean out corruption and reduce poverty. Once in office, Chávez promoted a new consitution to consolidate his powers and began to constrain the business community, civil society, and rival politicians.

As a presidential candidate, Hugo Chávez campaigned against the "savage capitalism" of the United States. On August 10, 2000, he became the first foreign leader to visit Saddam Hussein since the Gulf War, and he allegedly aided Afghanistan's Taliban government following the September 11, 2001, attack on the United States.

At the same time, Chávez said that Cuba and Venezuela were "called upon to be a spearhead and summon other nations and governments" to fight free market capitalism.

Venezuela is also one of the countries upon which the United States is dependent for oil, and has been since the US first began relying on imported oil supplies back in 1948.

Besides supplying the United States with 1.5 million barrels of oil a day, Venezuela provides most of the petroleum consumed by U.S. allies in the Caribbean and Central America.

Regional leaders know that opposing Chávez in any significant fashion could result in less favorable sales terms or cuts in deliveries.

In September 2003, President Chávez accused the Dominican Republic of harboring Venezuelans--like former President Carlos Andrés Pérez--who allegedly might conspire against his government. Chavez then stopped oil deliveries, prompting a temporary energy crisis while Dominican officials scrambled for new suppliers.

From the perspective of American economic interests, not to mention homeland security issues, Hugo Chavez is a very bad man to have in the neighborhood. And, thanks to Jimmy Carter, Chavez isn't going away anytime soon.

Venezuela's opposition party finally forced a recall election, with opinion polls showing that voters favored his recall by a margin of more than 2 to 1.

When there were questions about possible vote tampering by the Chavez side, the opposition called for election monitors. Chavez agreed to let Jimmy Carter oversee the election, and the Carter Center headed for Caracas.

Under Jimmy Carter's watchful eye, Hugo Chavez defeated the recall attempt by a wide margin -- reflecting almost a mirror-image of the opinion polls.

While two out of three Venzuelans polled before the election wanted Chavez out, when the ballots were counted, Chavez was declared the winner by an almost exact opposite margin. "About 58 percent said 'no' to a recall, while 42 percent said 'yes,'" wrote the Washington Post.

Carter ignored a press release from the polling firm Penn, Schoen & Berland Assoc. that reported, "Exit Poll Results Show Major Defeat for Chavez." The release, dated 7:30 p.m. on election day, said, "With Venezuela's voting set to end at 8 p.m. EST according to election officials, final exit poll results from Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates, an independent New York-based polling firm, show a major victory for the 'Yes' movement, defeating Chavez in the Venezuela presidential recall referendum."

One of the most effective ways to monitor the fairness of an election is to employ the use of exit polls. In a nutshell, here's how exit polls work. After somebody has finished voting, a pollster will ask them how they voted. In emerging democracies, about 90% of voters participate.

By contrast, in America, where exit polls are widely used to call elections before the votes are all counted, less than 40% of voters participate.

Statistically, exit polls should mirror the actual vote, within a relatively thin margin of error.

The margin of error between Carter's certified fair-and-square ballots and the independent exit poll results constituted a swing of almost forty points -- a statistical impossibility. Chavez counted on Carter leaning his way -- Carter's history of promoting anti-American dictators is no secret.

As Stephen Hayward noted in a column at Front Page, "among his complex motivations is his determination to override American foreign policy when it suits him."

Indeed, Carter's penchant for interfering in US foreign policy is so well known it won him a Nobel Prize. Jimmy Carter will go down in history as the first US ex-president ever to be awarded a Nobel Prize for the sole purpose of conveying an insult to his country from the Nobel committee.

Gunnar Berge, chairman of the five-member committee, told reporters that giving the Peace Prize to Carter "must also be seen as criticism of the line the current U.S. administration has taken on Iraq ... It's a kick in the leg to all that follow the same line as the United States."

("How can we REALLY show how much we hate the Americans? I know! Let's give a Nobel Prize to Jimmy Carter!")

Once Chavez had stolen the election and Jimmy Carter certified the results, certain American critics (pretty much anybody with a brain) started questioning whether or not Jimmy Carter had just sold American interests down the river -- again.

Carter hit back in a Wall Street Journal Opinion piece, writing;

"We are familiar with potential fraudulent techniques and how to obtain a close approximation to the actual results to assure accuracy."

Having established that Jimmy Carter is far too savvy to be conned by a mere thug like Chavez, Carter then dismissed the results of the exit polls, writing;

"During the voting day, opposition leaders claimed to have exit-poll data showing the government losing by 20 percentage points, and this erroneous information was distributed widely."

Well, that's that! The New York pollsters 'widely distributed erroneous information' -- Hugo Chavez won fair and square. Jimmy Carter says so.

Penn Schoen evidently must have cheated, although it is a reputable New York polling firm with a 20 year track record, including working for Bill Clinton in 1996, Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2001, Michael Bloomberg in 2001 and many other national political campaigns.

Why would it risk its hard-won professional reputation over an election in Venezuela? Carter doesn't explain.

Hugo Chavez is bad news from the perspective of US national security. He is bad news from the perspective of homeland security. He is bad news from the perspective of US dependence of foreign oil. And he is bad news for America's economic security.

Which makes Hugo Chavez good news from the perspective of the worst ex-president in US history.

Excerpted from the Omega Letter Daily Intelligence Digest, Volume:35: Issue 26

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