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December 21, 2006

Jimmy Carter -- Bought And Paid For

I once believed that Jimmy Carter was the most decent -- and least competent -- president of my lifetime. Sadly, only the latter judgment now stands in light of the despicable book he has recently published, a work that can only be labeled as anti-Semitic.

Now we find out a possible motivation -- Jimmy Carter has been beholden to Arab and Muslim money for his personal financial prosperity, as well as the ongoing support of his Carter Center. And these connections date back to the earliest days of his failed presidency.

Between 1976-1977, the Carter family peanut business received a bailout in the form of a $4.6 million, "poorly managed" and highly irregular loan from the National Bank of Georgia (NBG). According to a July 29, 1980 Jack Anderson expose in The Washington Post, the bank's biggest borrower was Mr. Carter, and its chairman at that time was Mr. Carter's confidant, and later his director of the Office of Management and Budget, Bert Lance.

At that time, Mr. Lance's mismanagement of the NBG got him and the bank into trouble. Agha Hasan Abedi, the Pakistani founder of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), known as the bank "which would bribe God," came to Mr. Lance's rescue making him a $100,000-a-year consultant. Abedi then declared: "we would never talk about exploiting his relationship with the president." Next, he introduced Mr. Lance to Saudi billionaire Gaith Pharaon, who fronted for BCCI and the Saudi royal family. In January 1978, Abedi paid off Mr. Lance's $3.5 million debt to the NBG, and Pharaon secretly gained control over the bank.

Mr. Anderson wrote: "Of course, the Saudis remained discretely silent... kept quiet about Carter's irregularities... [and] renegotiated the loan to Carter's advantage."

There is no evidence that the former president received direct payment from the Saudis. But "according to... the bank files, [it] renegotiated the repayment terms... savings... $60,000 for the Carter family... The President owned 62% of the business and therefore was the largest beneficiary." Pharaon later contributed generously to the former president's library and center.

When Mr. Lance introduced Mr. Carter to Abedi, the latter gave $500,000 to help the former president establish his center at Emory University. Later, Abedi contributed more than $10 million to Mr. Carter's different projects. Even after BCCI was indicted — and convicted -— for drug money laundering, Mr. Carter accepted $1.5 million from Abedi, his "good friend."

Such a connection is clearly scandalous, carrying with it an appearance of impropriety if not an actual impropriety in the dealing of preferential treatment to Carter and his family.

And the financial connections continue with the founding and support of the Carter Center.

Carter is a major recipient of aid from the Saudis, for instance. Before his death in 2005, King Fahd was a longtime contributor to the Carter Center and gave Carter several million-dollar donations. In 1993 alone, King Fahd presented Carter with a gift of $7.6 million. And the king was definitely not alone in his largesse. As of 2005, the king’s high-living nephew, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, has donated at least $5 million to the Carter Center...that we know about.

The Saudi Fund for Development, the kingdom’s leading loan organization and one of the sources of money for all those hardline mosques and madrassahs shows up repeatedly on the Carter center’s list of supporters. Carter has also taken money from the Bin Laden family - in 2000 he secured a pledge from the bin-Laden family for a $1 million contribution to his center.

Another big source of funds for Carter has been the United Arab Emirates. In 2001, Carter went to Dubai - a country where Jews are not permitted by law, incidentally - to accept the Zayed International Prize for the Environment, named for Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan, the late UAE sheik and founder of the government funded Zayed Center, the source of some of the most virulently anti-American and anti-Semitic propaganda in the world. Among other things, the Zayed Center took a book written by a French author claiming that 9/11 was an inside job by the CIA and the Mossad, translated into Arabic and distributed it throughout the entire Middle East. And the Zayed Center is a prime benefactor and host to Holocaust deniers of all persuasions.

Carter got a $500,000 prize from these people, and when he spoke at the awards ceremony,he gushed that the "award has special significance for me because it is named for my personal friend, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan al-Nahyan."

Carter still receives an annual personal stipend from the Zayed Center.

Carter's book has been panned by most reviewers -- indeed, the only positive reviews I have read have come to me from my former troll, KKKen Hoop (whose rampant anti-Semitism and general hate-mongering finally got him banned). Carter, of course, complains that this is due to the influence of Israel and Jews in American politics and publishing. Indeed, Carter claims that he is just seeking to promote debate on the issue of Israel and the Palestinians, and that no college or university with a large Jewish enrollment will invite him to speak.

The former complaint, of course, is an anti-Semitic canard of long-standing -- and the latter is a lie.

Which brings us to Alan Dershowitz's piece in today's Boston Globe, challenging Carter on his refusal to debate the issues he raises after being invited to do so by Brandeis University, a school founded by Jews with a high concentration of Jewish students.

When Larry King referred to my review several times to challenge Carter, Carter first said I hadn't read the book and then blustered, "You know, I think it's a waste of my time and yours to quote professor Dershowitz. He's so obviously biased, Larry, and it's not worth my time to waste it on commenting on him." (He never did answer King's questions.)

The next week Carter wrote a series of op-eds bemoaning the reception his book had received. He wrote that his "most troubling experience" had been "the rejection of [his] offers to speak" at "university campuses with high Jewish enrollment." The fact is that Brandeis President Jehuda Reinharz had invited Carter to come to Brandeis to debate me, and Carter refused. The reason Carter gave was this: "There is no need to for me to debate somebody who, in my opinion, knows nothing about the situation in Palestine."

As Carter knows, I've been to Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, many times -- certainly more times than Carter has been there -- and I've written three books dealing with the subject of Middle Eastern history, politics, and the peace process. The real reason Carter won't debate me is that I would correct his factual errors. It's not that I know too little; it's that I know too much.

In other words, Carter finds it necessary to resort to lies and slander to discredit his opponents. What he really wants is a free platform to lecture Jews about the evils of the Jews, free from rebuttal by a Jew. I agree with the assessment Dershowitz makes of Carter's refusal of an offer that meets his earlier criteria -- he is a bully who is afraid of anyone who might stand up to him and his lies and distortions.

And I'll take it a step further -- he is afraid that his disgraceful sell-out of an American ally will be exposed, and that the world will see that there is really little difference between his views of Israel and Jews and those of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and David Duke.





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NAME: Greg
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