The 39th Us President James Earl (“Jimmy”) Carter”“Human rights is the soul of our foreign policy, because human rights is the very soul of our sense of nationhood.” – Jimmy Carter. – The 39th US President was James Earl Carter born on the 1st of October 1924 in Plains,Georgia. After his graduation from the US Naval Academy in 1946 he served the US Navy until 1953. He took over then and expanded the family peanut business in his home town Plains.
His Christian background from an early age was a driving force in his life. As Governor of Georgia from 1970 – 1974 he favoured equal rights, – not only for African-Americans but for women as well.
He did win the Democratic Presidential nomination in 1976 with a narrow victory from the sitting President Gerald Ford. Before his Presidency he proposed to withdraw American troops from South Korea and as a President elect he declined a CIA briefing on Korea.
Once elected President, he promised to carry out a populist form of government allowing the people a greater say in the Administration. He reflected as well on the importance of effective energy and proper health programs, apart from his commitment to both improving human and civil rights.
He emphasised further the importance of restricting the development of further nuclear weapons. His own national security team was opposed to the withdrawal of troops from South Korea as this could trigger an invasion from North Korea. CIA and Pentagon Directors/Chiefs had changed in the meantime and different people were in charge of those Agencies. However those powers obviously continued to play a significant role, but at a different level as his new CIA Director worked from a different perception.
Before discussing former US President Carter further it is worth reflecting that it proves over time when top positions in the Agencies are occupied by people with both skill knowledge and integrity both the level and direction of operations do change. Obviously always with the US security at heart. It proves as well when Presidential Administrations give those agencies and in particular the CIA free play with the wrong people in those top positions, being ready to mislead the President, – that this may have devastating implications if the President is not able to see what is happening, or when he is not strong enough to replace those persons providing him with the wrong intelligence. Or when the President is simply approving what is happening. The last may happen as long there are enough “buffers” in the White House who take the blame when something is going wrong, keeping the US President as such out of the picture.
Generally spoken a significant issue is that foreign police matters are at some large extent depending on the type of information the President is getting from his Security Team. The quality and reliability of this team is a vital issue in any Presidential Administration. Where new CIA Directors need to be nominated, Congress should never allow people being Director of the CIA or Chief of Staff if they received a “Presidential pardon” for activities in earlier Government jobs which were against the law. Presidential pardons for earlier Presidential team members are not rarely provided to those people who created buffers for the US President involving criminal activities for which they took the blame. The last to keep the President who approved it out of the picture. In retrospect most of those people were pardoned for their illegal activities.
People in the highest CIA positions or members of both Security Team and Presidential cabinets need to have an absolute clear police record and their nomination needs to be subject to prove for established records on both quality and integrity.Those people are vital in Presidential Administrations and vital decisions being made on the wrong intelligence may have catastrophic implications. People who had a Presidential pardon in the past should not get a reëntry in Presidential Administrations later without justification by Congress that this pardon was based on the principles of justice and not a backflip against the law. As we will see with later US Presidents some of those nominations were vitally wrong and people with a CIA background as Director with a history of activities neither in line with the law nor the US Constitution, besides a history of non transparency to Congress, should neither be US President later in life, nor being involved in Presidential teams. The point is that the cycle of mismanagement at top levels may continue otherwise with plenty of “buffer systems” in place to provide the US President a cover up, either arranged and approved by the US President himself or arranged by his staff and approved by himself.
Again US Congress needs to give further legislation to end the risk of both “White House” quality rules being compromised and the risk of criminal activities at the highest levels of Government being reduced. With later Presidents it will be shown how dangerous people may become once they are allowed to join the Presidential staff after earlier convictions followed by Presidential pardons. Once you are convicted within the domain of previous activities as part of the Government Administration there has been a reason for this conviction, often providing enough reason to be incriminated again if circumstances do allow as such following a Presidential pardon over controversial issues.
If people may think that this article on President Carter will be an article about mismanagement of either the law or the Constitution they may be disappointed as President Carter within the domain of his national security operations balanced actually very well between those things being allowed or required and those things not being desired or required.
President Carter was however behind an Anglo-CIA conspiracy in Iran installing Khomeini and the Nullahs, based on intelligence information being provided on Khomeini staying in France at the time. Considering the outcome with Khomeini’s regime and the predicaments it caused in Iran and for the US eventually as well, in retrospect this decision may be considered as an error of judgement, however again based on intelligence information at the time. It proved however that Carter did not provide Khomeini the best possible deal which would serve Khomeini against US interests. This will be discussed later in this article.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=UYNyuA5Uois (Carter behind Anglo CIA conspiracy in Iran which installed Khomeini and the Mullahs)
CIA Director in President Carter’s time was his old class mate at the Naval Academy Stansfield Turner. Turner strongly favoured both Imaginary Intelligence and Signal Intelligence, and not Espionage. He ceased 800 operational positions and he testified for US Congress revealing many covert CIA operations’ between late 1950ties and late 1960ties. He became very in popular within the CIA itself. His reform initiatives did not produce results as they were largely obstructed within the CIA.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3z2GKV6AaqM&feature=player_detailpage (The CIA’s involvement in Iran from the perception of an ex-CIA agent)
Turner was quite outraged when former CIA agent Frank Snepp published a book criticising Government officials on their competence during the fall of Saigon. Interestingly the CIA forced Turner later on to seek preclearance of his highly critical book on President Reagan’s policies. Turner had enough reason to be highly critical on President Bush, but obstructing background powers in the CIA with Bush using his level of influence were stronger than he anticipated.
One of the main features of Carter’s Presidency was the Panama Canal Treaty and the Camp David Accords in 1978. He took a required peace deal between Israel and Egypt very personally and successfully against all documented odds. Congress however did not approve his Arms Limitation Treaty with the Soviet Union. Both the energy crisis and a high inflation besides the recession in the American economy during his Presidency eroded his popularity, with the strongest fall between 1979 and 1980. The seizure of US embassy hostages by Islāmic fundamentalists in Iran with hardly any progression in the resolution of this predicament was a major problem.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=2S9FlG0L4uE (Camp David Accords – A Documentary)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkbZVZmeMl4&feature=player_detailpage ( Iran hostage crisis)
Being aware after “Watergate” that lies within public institutions as the White House are able to repeat Carter told during his campaigns that he would never lie to the public. Since his 2 terms as a Georgia State Senator he had emphasised the importance of human rights. His popularity did not sustain long and his last year of his Administration was complicated by the Iran hostage crisis, which contributed to his loosing the 1980 reelection campaign to Ronald Reagan. Interestingly minutes after Reagan’s term in office started on the 20th of january 1981, the 444 days-Iran hostage crisis ended with the release of the 52 hostages. With George W Bush being both the incumbent Vice-President and being CIA Director before Turner, the thesis is that Bush being aware of the CIA’s dissatisfaction with both Turner and Carter was able to prolong the hostage crisis at the disadvantage of Jimmy Carter. Under Ronald Reagan as US President William Casey got the position of CIA Director and Casey had the complete opposite approach than Stansfield Turner, as his focus became “Espionage”. The frictions within the CIA with Turner made powerful background dynamics planning a strategy to get Carter not reelected and the Iran hostage crisis proved the bottleneck for Carter. Hence not being reelected anymore and the hostages being released 444 days after it all started, – and all this just minutes after Reagan’s inauguration. Vice-President Bush gave them a very warm welcome when they landed safely in the US.
Bush worked as CIA Director from 1976-1977 where he helped to “restore the agencies morale” after many disclosures of the CIA’s illegal and unauthorized activities after the Senate’s investigations by the Church Committee and he still had high-profile contacts within the CIA.
Neither being very flexible as a politician nor being a real leader, President Carter had a principle centred Christian nature with a strong emphasis on human rights. He emerged from the aftermath of Watergate and Vietnam and of all US Presidents being discussed most likely Carter was the person most contributing to the end of the Cold War. As President he endeavoured to modernise US forces and the “Carter doctrine” as proclaimed on the 23rd of January 1980 stated that the US would use military force only to defend its national interests. Again it is reasonable to suggest that the prolonged hostage crisis worked favourable for both the Pentagon and the CIA to resolve Carter’s Presidency by “nature” rather than as an assassination. He was replaced by Ronald Reagan after his first term in office.
As will be more clear later on the CIA needs sustained efforts and regulations to keep up its standards to support the US with the best possible unbiassed intelligence based on the best possible quality rules to get required information for US national security with optimal use of the best possible technology. Hence leadership being required to bring this stronghold in US society under control to make it work within both the domain of the Constitution and US law, besides the US need to sign the Convention of Geneva and stick to protocol not to torture prisoners in line with international law. Carter tried to change some of the CIA dynamics with his newly appointed Director Turner, but the background stream within the CIA was not in approval and these background powers obstructing change had connections with the previous CIA Director and nominee for the Vice-Presidency of the United States: Herbert Walker Bush. Bush has been both CIA Director and working for the CIA many years before he became a public figure. Besides this Bush, sr had close associations with the Skull and Bone secret organisation, which on its own had close links with the dominating culture of the CIA.
It will be clear that any incumbent US President different in nature and with different directions in mind will always struggle with the existing power base at the CIA insufficient regulated by US Congress. The culture within the CIA requires to be principal based, neither being able to change by a US President keen to engage in illegal covert operations, nor to be changed by background powers compromising the intent for which the CIA was designed.
Again both President Truman and Eisenhower did warn for the existing power base of those background powers. John F Kennedy in part of this was killed as he contemplated to expose the illegal activities which he perceived as “profound repugnant”. Kennedy wanted to withdraw from Vietnam whilst the CIA and the Pentagon wanted to stay in Vietnam. Kennedy despised intelligence advise being provided on Cuba, including the incompetence of some Generals and CIA officials.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=8y06NSBBRtY (Eisenhower warned for the military industrial complex)
Carter wanted to change certain aspects of the CIA and was not reelected anymore. Herbert Walker Bush, before he became Vice-President, achieved a strategy favourable for Reagan’s victory by delaying the solution in the hostage crisis. Bush had longstanding connections with the darker CIA elements when the assassination on JFK was prepared and executed, with close links to both former President Nixon and Ford as well. Bush,sr as well who did support Nixon until the bitter end over Watergate. This Watergate if properly investigated opening a can of worms over the darkest CIA activities in the past, with criminal ramifications against US citizens. President Carter reflected a clear change from existing paradigms both introduced by LBJ, continued by Nixon and at some extend by Ford. However as it appeared the Reagan – Bush campaign was that worried that President Carter would reach a deal with Iran resulting in the release of the hostages before the elections and therefore Carter winning a second term in office, that they made their own deal with a close relative of Khomeini during various meetings in both Paris and Madrid. The deal did include to accept fully the Islāmic Republic and non interference in Iran’s internal affairs. In other words whist not being in power they made a better deal with Iran, hence the hostage crisis deliberately delayed. Part of the deal was to engage later in an Iran-Contra arms deal with will be discussed under President Reagan.
US spring would not last long. In summary both Reagan and Bush whilst not representing the US engaged in illegal backdoor dealings with high level representation of Khomeini at the cost of hostages in Iran to win the elections and to get rid of President Carter and CIA Director Admiral Stansfield Turner.
Once in a blue moon a US President may arrive with a different agenda for the nation, however this US President still has to balance carefully among existing background powers, still being tolerated by US Congress. Restrictive legislation to bring those powers within the strict domain of both US law and the Constitution, neither permitting nor allowing those Agencies to engage in criminal activities, is a requirement for a better balance of US power systems.
With each new President different people may have the reigns in the CIA and the Pentagon. The way of operating and an emphasis on intermittent covert operations, neither being regulated by the US President at times as we will see with President Reagan, nor being regulated by Congress, – is a domain of potential breeding ground for the most monstrous endeavours through which US Presidents can be profoundly misled, if they are not already compromised to allow being misled by choice.
President Obama has been compared with Carter by Donald Rumsfeld, but this might be more a reflection on Rumsfeld than either former President Carter or current President Obama. We know how Rumsfeld feels about Carter and human rights, as Rumsfeld is the one would go to jail in Switzerland and this would for certain not apply to former President Carter. Carter may not have had the charisma of Kennedy or Clinton, but he was a good man with a profound positive legacy, after his Presidency as well in – various ways.
Former President Carter remained remarkably active on human rights issues after his Presidency of the US. He did receive the Medal of Peace” and in 1999 both he and his wife Rosalynn were awarded with the Presidential medal of freedom. In 1989 he hosted peace negotiations in Ethiopia and within the context of his role as UN embassador he has been very active taking part in the talks with Rwanda in 1996. Apart from other rewards he received in 1993 the “Matsunaga Medal of Peace”.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=px7aRIhUkHY&feature=player_detailpage (Carter – Reagan debate 1980)
See chapter 7 (Part 7) on former President Ronald Reagan.
Paul Alexander Wolf
- Carter’s legacy hovers over grandson’s run (politico.com)
- Military Law Expert: Obama Should Pardon Snowden (ritholtz.com)
- Turley: Why Barack Obama should pardon Edward Snowden (newsday.com)
- The Case For A Pardon For Edward Snowden (jonathanturley.org)
- Jonathan Turley: Why Obama should pardon Snowden (azstarnet.com)
- Presidential pardon (normantranscript.com)
- CIA Releases 250 Declassified Do cuments Relating to Intelligence Support Provided to President Jimmy Carter During 1977-1979 Middle East Peace Negotiations Leading to Camp David Accord (matthewaid.com)
- Presidential turkey pardons newer than you think (firstread.nbcnews.com)
- Presidential pardon for turkeys (skynews.com.au)
- Military Law Expert: Obama Should Pardon Snowden (washingtonsblog.com)