Jimmy Carter was in Ireland today to speak to the ninth annual NGO Forum on Human Rights. Along the way, he picked up a check for $1.2 million from the Irish government to the Carter Center. The former President, loyal as always to his financial backers, gushed that “the Irish Government has become the pre-eminent voice for human rights in the European Union.”
The main news, though, centered on the attack that Carter made on the U.S. during his speech to the human rights group. Carter said that the United States has abandoned its role as a supporter of human rights since September 11; that the U.S. tortures detainees at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere; and that domestic civil liberties have been eroded by the Patriot Act and other statutes. Here is how Carter’s attack on the United States was covered on Irish television:
But Carter wasn’t done yet. After his speech, he gave a press conference in which he defended Hamas and attacked the Bush administration for trying to isolate the terrorist group:
The United States, Israel and the European Union must end their policy of favoring Fatah over Hamas, or they will doom the Palestinian people to deepening conflict between the rival movements, former US President Jimmy Carter said Tuesday.
Carter said Hamas, besides winning a fair and democratic mandate that should have entitled it to lead the Palestinian government, had proven itself to be far more organized in its political and military showdowns with the Fatah movement of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
Carter said the American-Israeli-European consensus to reopen direct aid to the new government in the West Bank, but to deny the same to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, represented an “effort to divide Palestinians into two peoples.”
Most would say it was Hamas that divided the PA in half. Who, one might ask, committed crimes in connection with Hamas’s coup? Was it Hamas, who murdered any number of fellow Palestinians in cold blood? Of course not:
Far from encouraging Hamas’s move into parliamentary politics, Carter said the US and Israel, with European Union acquiescence, has sought to subvert the outcome by shunning Hamas and helping Abbas to keep the reins of political and military power.
“That action was criminal,” he said in a news conference after his speech.
So there you have it: in the perverse world of Jimmy Carter, the United States is a criminal nation that destroys civil liberties, tortures prisoners and oppresses Palestinians. But the Iran-controlled terrorists of Hamas? No problem.
UPDATE: Ed Morrissey has more. He isn’t very happy with Carter, either.
FURTHER UPDATE: Carter is taking some serious heat in the Forum.
To comment on this post, go here.