“We now have endorsed the concept of pre-emptive war where we go to war with another nation militarily, even though our own security is not directly threatened, if we want to change the regime there or if we fear that some time in the future our security might be endangered,” he said. “But that's been a radical departure from all previous administration policies.”
Mr. Carter, who won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, criticized Mr. Bush for having “zero peace talks” in Israel. Mr. Carter also said the administration “abandoned or directly refuted” every negotiated nuclear arms agreement, as well as environmental efforts by other presidents.
Mr. Carter also offered a harsh assessment for the White House's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, which helped religious charities receive US$2.15 billion in federal grants in fiscal year 2005 alone.
“The policy from the White House has been to allocate funds to religious institutions, even those that channel those funds exclusively to their own particular group of believers in a particular religion,” Mr. Carter said. “As a traditional Baptist, I've always believed in separation of church and state and honoured that premise when I was president, and so have all other presidents, I might say, except this one.”
The White House struck back, calling Carter "irrelevant." As Oliver Willis points out, you're not that irrelevant when the White House issues a personal and specific attack against you!
Now it looks like The Big Dogs have gotten to Carter, because today he is calling his own remarks "careless" and "misinterpreted."
Carter said Monday that when he made the comment, he was responding to a question comparing the Bush administration's foreign policy to that of Richard Nixon.
"And I think Richard Nixon had a very good and productive foreign policy and my remarks were maybe careless or misinterpreted. But I wasn't comparing the overall administration and I was certainly not talking personally about any president," Carter said.
He added: "I think this administration's foreign policy compared to president Nixon's was much worse," Carter said. But he said he did not mean to call it the worst in history.
"No, that's not what I wanted to say. I wasn't comparing this administration with other administrations back through history but just with President Nixon."
Deputy White House press secretary Tony Fratto, with Bush at the president's ranch in Crawford, Texas, said Monday: "I think it just highlights the importance of being careful in choosing your words. I'll just leave it at that."
Hmmmmm. Well, let's just hope that the Bush Administration hasn't made any recent overhauls to the Secret Service like they have to FEMA or the Justice Department or the EPA. Or else Mr. Carter might have an "unfortunate accident." I wouldn't put anything as unthinkable with this administration, would you?