Power Line: Errors, omissions, inventions and falsehoods

Thursday, December 07, 2006
This from an email detailing Professor Kenneth Stein's reasons for resigning from the Carter Center.

Power Line: Errors, omissions, inventions and falsehoods: "President Carter's book on the Middle East, a title too inflammatory to even print, is not based on unvarnished analyses; it is replete with factual errors, copied materials not cited, superficialities, glaring omissions, and simply invented segments. Aside from the one-sided nature of the book, meant to provoke, there are recollections cited from meetings where I was the third person in the room, and my notes of those meetings show little similarity to points claimed in the book. Being a former President does not give one a unique privilege to invent information or to unpack it with cuts, deftly slanted to provide a particular outlook. Having little access to Arabic and Hebrew sources, I believe, clearly handicapped his understanding and analyses of how history has unfolded over the last decade. Falsehoods, if repeated often enough become meta-truths, and they then can become the erroneous baseline for shaping and reinforcing attitudes and for policy-making. The history and interpretation of the Arab-Israeli conflict is already drowning in half-truths, suppositions, and self-serving myths; more are not necessary."

This is just a fun bit; read it all.

Updated and bumped to point out my favorite comment on this, over at Althouse:

Carter must rewrite history. Otherwise, he would have to confront honestly his own place in it.


Luther McLeod said...

Devastating letter for the integrity of Carter's opinion on the ME. I've read elsewhere others asking what Carter's response will be to Dr. Stein's resignation and reasons for same. I would venture the silence will be deafening. Both from Carter and the MSM. I will not read about this in my local fish-wrap.

David Thomson said...

"I would venture the silence will be deafening. Both from Carter and the MSM."

So far, not even one word in the Houston Chronicle.
This story will likely be buried in the back pages.

Knucklehead said...

If Nixon, Reagan, Ford, or Bush The Elder had stuck their nose into anything political once they were out of office the Presse Ancienne would have vilified them. Not Jimmah though. He's one of them - a true believer (in totalitarianism).

Buddy Larsen said...

Comrade Carter was the greatest president ever, on the basis of his re-awakening the world to the dangers of 20+% interest rates and inflation.

Wiping out such a catastrophic amount of asset valuation from the American account was the ideal "waker-upper' for a people become overconfident about the non-stupidness of their political process.

Knucklehead said...

Well! Near-wonders never cease. ABC News (their blog anyway - didn't know they had one) has actually mentioned A Note on the Jimmy Carter dust-up at Emory.

My favorite snip:

the NEW YORK TIMES Tulane historian Douglas Brinkley, author of the 1988 Carter biography, "The Unfinished Presidency," paints the dispute as more ideological than ethical.

"They've never been on the same page in the Middle East. They've been in an almost constant state of disagreement. Carter has used him as a sounding board but apparently Carter went too far and the sparring partner decided to bloody him up," Brinkley said. "Ken Stein ... doesn't trust the Palestinians as much as Carter."

Douglas Brinkley, in addition to editing a semi-monthly history magazine I once subscribed to but rarely received (no great loss, it was not very good), is co-author of The Monkey Wrench Gang (boy, that one sounds like a must-read!) and the highly-esteemed hagiography, Tour of Duty.

Buddy Larsen said...

Yep--Brinkley is one of the more deft swift-boat counter-attackers. He'll concede just enough of their charges to achieve cred, while guiding you toward the idea that overall they were all politics and thus full o' sh*t. My impression, anyhoo.