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What a life! Such a great human being and President. We are a better nation for his life in service to our democracy and to human decency. He was and will always be a hero in my book. Glad you recounted the October surprise and the reality of Reagan’s treachery.

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I was only 9 years old when Jimmy Carter ran for President & his campaign is the first one I can recall. The thing that stands out to me is how the media portrayed him as a peanut farmer with big smiley teeth at the expense of his extraordinary engineering & nuclear knowledge. We even had mock debates that year in civics class & I “voted” for Jimmy Carter” even at that young age.

He is one of the true yardsticks by which I have measured human decency and service. He will always have a spot in my heart.

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To my mind he was our last morally decent president. Regarding the Iran situation for which he will always be tarred…in 1973 I went through that country, part of taking buses and trains from Luxembourg to Nepal. I also traveled off the usual route (Ankara-Tehran-Kabul) to see southwestern Iran and then swung around through Baghdad before heading on towards India. The one big thing I took from that whole area was that the Shah was in real trouble and fighting to keep his throne. It was quite obvious by how many pictures of him there were all over the place, and one night near the bazaar I heard a chanting meeting which my Iranian friend suggested I ignore. (I really wasn’t aware of how the CIA had installed him in 1953, but the people sure hadn’t forgotten.)

(And just as an aside, the two things I got out of seeing Afghanistan--again, getting of the usual route with travel north from Kabul--was: 1) This is an impossible country in which to fight a war, and 2) The people are nice, but don't ever mess with them.)

Years later when the Iranian Revolution occurred Carter's administration was caught flatfooted. I wondered why they didn't know what was coming, at least until some time later when I was on an airliner and got to talking with the man in the other seat. It turned out he was a Foreign Service officer who had been in Tehran. When I asked why the president didn’t know what was so obvious, he said, “We knew but didn’t tell him. We learned from China not to give bad news or we would be blamed for what happened.” Then he added, "Heck, in Vietnam I made up the statistics that LBJ wanted to see."

Take that story as you will, I cannot prove any of it. Some years ago I did send a summary of this to Carter and received a nice note back. He wasn't perfect of course, but then nobody is. Living in South Dakota at the time the 55 mph national speed limit drove us crazy. But he saw the need for energy conservation and alternative sources far better than most people. He became a bit more conservative after the 1978 election, but unlike so many politicians looking for whatever gives them an immediate advantage he never lost his moral compass. I was so happy when he received the Nobel Peace Prize--an award long overdue.

I'm just sorry to think that his funeral could be like the one at the end of the movie, "Being There" when the U.S. is symbolically buried. But when the time comes I will say, "RIP Jimmy, and thanks for all you did before, during and after your term of service."

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Carter was caught flat footed because the CIA and MI6, doing the bidding of Standard Oil , Brtish Petroleum and Shell, actually financed and supported Khomeini and his revolution, just as they had the overthrow of Mossadegh. Evidently the Shah had got to big for his pants and forgot who the real boss was.

That may not be perfectly correct, but Khomeini was carefully guarded in Paris, and diplomatic pounces were used to smuggle his tapes into Iran.

Maybe it was nothing more than a play to keep Iran off balance and to safeguard the power of Saudi Arabia. After all one of the many reasons G.W, Bush invaded Iraq is because his patrons in Saudi Arabia and Israel were nervous, Saddam has the effrontery to declare himself the new Salah al Din, and even had paintings of him posing as such. He was trying to unite the Arab world under his leadership and that posed an existential threat to the Saudis and Israel.

By the way, the reason that the hostage rescue attempt failed, was that the navy supplied Sea Stallion helicoprters, which needed to be refueled, the Air Force supplied C 130 aircraft with bladders of JP4 inside (Bladder birds). The naval supply officer failed to check the hoses, which would be used to refuel the choppers.

They were suppose to be 100ft hoses, three were, but one was 60 ft, and that was too shart to refuel the chopper, so it lifted off to reposition to another hose, the dust kicked up, obscured his vision and the rotor blades cut into the bladder bird, causing the fire.

You aren't going to read that in any telling of Operation Eagle Claw, the aborted hostage operation.

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You could well be right, William. But the point is either (or both) ways Carter was kept out of the loop on what was really happening there. But when you get down to it, how often does the American public through its news outlets get honest and unbiased reports with some depth to them? The information is there, but few are encouraged to take the time and effort to find them. I suspect many top officials don't want such reports either as they may well contradict their policies and preconceptions. And regarding Saddam, another issue is that he was trading oil in Euros, which clearly was a threat to the U.S. dollar hegemony. Gaddafi may have been doing the same thing too. More information is at: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2003/feb/16/iraq.theeuro

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Oh I agree. And here is a current example. The shoot down of "balloons' (scare quotes on purpose. Why is information on them classified.

One of my military jobs was as an administrative officer, just prior to retirement, and as such I was a classification officer. Now I did not classify material, but I was responsible for it and for it's safeguarding and destruction.

With that said. The purpose of classifying material is to withhold it from the enemy, classifying stuff like "balloons" etc is withholding from the public. So why. What do they know that they don't want us to know? Certainly not China, China knows exactly what is in the products they sent aloft.

The abuse of over classification is routine, and it is done not for national security sake, but for political purposes and to keep info that might be alarming out of the public view.

I would say I am surprised that the media has not gone on high alert and made an issue about over classification.

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No, then the press would be accused of wanting to give "secrets" away and "helping the enemy". Anyway, the public eats up mysteries, no matter how stupid they are (ancient aliens at Area 51 is more fun than boring experiments with jet engines). But I suspect some of the classification is simply to cover up mistakes, or at least the potential for them. There's pretty good evidence that at least 1 of the balloons shot down was a hobbyist "pico" experiment launched from Illinois. Perfectly legal, widely advertised, routinely done and tiny. I doubt if that will get a lot of publicity.

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By the way. As much as I hate to say it, but when it comes to Trump, his incoherent utterings are like a broken clock, which is correct twice a day.

When he said that the media is the enemy of the people, he was absolutely correct but an ingrate because it was the media that gave him billions in free press and it was the media, as much as anything else that elected him.

That is not the only thing he was right about. His populism was false and contrived, and in the process he joined the ranks of William Jennings Bryan and Huey Long in discrediting populism.there is progressive populism and there is fascist populism.

Bernie is the epitome of progressive populism,Trump followed Hitlers footsteps of fascist populism. But all populism is smeared.now.

The problem with progressives, liberals is they get trapped into reverse psychology, that is having to take the opposite position of the right wing and Trump.

Lenin famously said. "Oppose what your propose, propose what you oppose, and the enemy will hand you the keys to the kingdom on a silver platter", How true, how true.

The stupid feel that they have to react, even when reaction is taking action against their own best interests. You can see that clearly on the right, where the people who have the most to lose support the party and candidates that will shaft them.. An example is privatizing social security and medicare.

But it happens on the left as well

Here is an example. The enemy of civil rights, civil liberties, the rights of women and gays are Christian conservatives. There is nothing more misogynistic and homophobic than Evangelicals and Catholics, and what are all of these immigrants at the border?

Evangelicals and Catholics. Does anyone expect them to become, automatically, civil libertarians when they cross the border? My ex stepson is a Panamanian, now in his 50's he is as redneck, racist (although of mixed race himself, he thinks he is different), homophobic and misogynistic as an Alabama redneck. He posted on his Facebook that he hoped AOC would die a painful death.

Mea culpa for marrying his mother. One of my many sins.

The Cubanos of Florida instead of celebrating diversity and freedom, produce the most rabid right wingers like the leaders of the Proud Boys, Enrique Tarrio, and Nck Fuentes who is of Mexican ancestry and a self declared incel, which is also the ideology of the Proud Boys.

As regards aliens from space, I've gone back and forth on the subject. I realized that it is supreme arrogance to discount the possibility, but am also aware that any creature born on another planet, with an atmosphere and gravitational pull different than earth, would need a protective space suit and even an exoskeleton just to perambulate.

I am also amused by those who smugly ridicule the possibility of alien visitation, past or present, yet believe in THEORETICAL physics,like a multiverse. I mean if there is a multiverse then there has to be an advanced civilization that has learned how to travel between dimensions or universes.

How do we know that Earth is not the Serengeti of the universe, that the objects we see aren't families from another dimension on a safari with their families, and that on occasion a hapless person is not picked out for medical examination and tagging, ust like we do sharks, dolphins, elephants and cheetahs.

Better to be agnostic than gnostic.

As regards the likes of Area 51, while I KNOW that it is top secret proving ground, I also KNOW that we don't know what is going on there, and thus display our own arrogance when we scoff.

There is a scheduled top secret flight, at least monthly, disguised as an embassy run between Area 51 and Alice Springs in Australia. What the cargo is, is unknown ..

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Helping what enemy "The aliens?Snicker. I am also talking about the bureauctratic tendency to cover up crimes, grift, etc by classifying everything.

The only stuff that requires classification are items that affect the national security, like programs and sources, or military projects..

Trump definitely misused classification, and classified his treachery with Putin,and all administrations misuse and abuse classification, for stuff that has jack squat to do with national security but has everything to do with politics and donors.

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Thank you Thom for highlighting the remarkable life and achievements of one of America’s best Presidents, Jimmy Carter. Americans should honor his legacy with pride. His Habitat for Humanity organization has helped so many Americans over the years as well as his other charitable causes. Even though he isn’t gone yet and when he does pass I worry and expect that the evil moronic Magats (call them maggots as far as I’m concerned) will have a field day vilifying him. But history will be the judge of a true humanitarian and someone who actually lived a Christian life compared to the maggot god king tRump.

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Carter was and is incorruptible. Carter was morally beyond reproach; 'they' just never had anything on him. While living in the Atlanta area a few years ago, I knew a person who worked as a PR coordinator for The Carter Center; everyone thought Carter was a brilliant, really nice guy. He really has an Einstein-level of intelligence. His work on nuclear submarines while a 20 year old ensign in the Navy was amazing. Carter was Admiral Rickover's right-hand man. I do have one beef with President Carter; in one of his books, he includes a lot of biblical references and in one reference, he refers to the Samaritan Woman at the Well as being 'lascivious.' Everyone thinks she was a loose woman because she was married 5 times and wasn't living with a 'husband' when Jesus met her. Well, WHO SAYS she was 'lascivious'? She may have lost a husband or 2 in war (lots of battles, back in the day). 2 or 3 may have died; who knows? Jesus had the longest conversation that he has in the Bible with her. He certainly didn't think she was 'lascivious.' It's weird too; Carter's mother was a very strong woman - nursed people all over the Plains area. Oh well, no one's perfect.

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What a great article! It is amazing that people support the death cult...I could say rePUGliCONs...but that no longer has the punch in my gut, when I read how rich death cult monsters don’t care about anything...ANYTHING...but power than money! Reading how President Carter tried to make everyone’s life better is so aspirational and watching as a political party is actively lying, killing, destroying their constituents reality!

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'They" criticized him for being involved in 'too many' details of policy making! DuH! That's what a leader must do to get the policy he plans! Jimmy was a true intellectual and God respecting gentleman! He will eventually Rest in Peace!

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Thank you Thom for another outstanding piece of historical journalism! In a short space you captured many of the really noble highlights of the greatest president this country has had in the life time of almost everyone currently alive. He was our greatest president, greatest former president, and a man who exemplifies what the word Christian ought to denote. Will we ever have another one like him? I doubt it.

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Feb 20, 2023·edited Feb 20, 2023

I voted for the first time at age 19, back in 1976, and I voted for President Carter. I will always be proud of that. And he has always been my favorite president.

I know his time with us is short, but his 98 years have been truly an extraordinary life. He saved many people from lives of pain and horror by starting the Carter Center, whose many contributions to the betterment of the world include the eradication of Guinea Worm in Africa. The Center also monitored elections in many countries in an effort to promote democracy. This dear man "walked the walk," and we will never know what could have been, had he won a second term instead of that corrupt phony who committed a treasonous act to win the presidency.

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Amazing how Carter was so ahead of his time! Climate change, health care and actually practicing what he preached--a true follower of Jesus (unlike today's 'evangelicals'!)

Certainly a man to admire, respect and honor!

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Great Article, Carter is also my favorite president and humanitarian. I was in middle school student council when an English teacher was running for US representative. She took us on a field trip to a rally where we were able to meet him. He took the time to focus on each one of us, asking a question, shaking our hands and had that famous big smile. I will always remember the kindness. America will be poorer without him. I hope he gets to see the Guinea worm cases at zero.

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When I think of all the possibilities our country could have achieved if Carter had beaten Reagan, I get so down....almost as sad as when I think about the failure of the Reconstruction era.

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Thank you for writing this Thom, Carter has always been a favorite to me as well. He doesn't just talk the talk; he walks the walk as far as his religion belief is concerned and never used it as a political big stick. I have a friend who is Iranian, and she tells me that the people in Iran hate Carter and blame him for the true Iranian president leaving the people to Khomeini, I will show her this article which lays that debacle at Reagans feet. Maybe she and her friends won't be such staunch Republican supporters. They all voted for Trump.

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Anyone can edit wikipedia, provided you know follow policy and guidelines, in others you just can't post (edit) anything, you need reliable sources.

I tried to post the treason of Regan and Nixon, but immediately ran a foul of the articles gate keepers.

They have a watchlist for members and the right wing carefully watches it's beloved articles. These gate keepets are well practiced old hands and know how to frame an argument or subject so i tsounds neutral If they don't like what you have posted they will revert it, and if you revert the reversion they cry revert war and refer the situation to their crowd of crony editors, people who either share the same ideology or with whom they have built a relationship.

Anyway great article Thom. IMO President Carter was the most decent man to ever inhabit the office, and we are sliding into fascism thanks to Ronald Reagan or whoever pulled his strings, for Reagan was little more than a semi sentient, grade B actor He was someones marionette, besides being a craven coward, an empty suit.

There was a book, titled "Here is the rest of him".about Reagan, I can't find it even via a google search,. The author stated, quoting those around him, that he would sit behind the desk, sunken cheeks, vacant eyes, listless , flaccid appearance, until a speech was presented to him, then the actor came alive, his cheeks turned pink, his skin firmed up and the actor was once more center state.

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the Role of a Lifetime

& the Ruination of

oh so Many.

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Good piece Thom - I hope he's made aware of it. Regarding his ideas about climate action, it's amazing how many good ideas come from the U.S., only to be killed, mostly by Republicans and billionaires. I was made aware of that recently from the Michael Moore doc, "Where to Invade Next?" Moore travels to several European countries (and one African one) looking for ideas he can bring back to the U.S., and he discovered several of what we call "their" good ideas originated in the U.S.

One thing about these leaders - people always give credit to them for accomplishments during their term of service, when in truth it's a lot of hard-working, and smart, individuals who have the ideas and carry out the grunge work to make these accomplishments happen, but the history books credit the leaders for them. Now, when I read "...He did this or that...", or "She did this or that...", I always think of the unnamed people who actually made these things happen.

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Thank you for this eulogy reflecting the greatness of Carter (and his loving spouse). It was tragic for the country that the fascists used the hostage situation to their advantage - of course it would be expected.

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