The Carter Administration never fired a shot in anger/killed someone.

I’m flailing at trying to find a video of where President Carter is confirming this; I know I saw one.

Any help?

Seems like an odd claim for him to make, unless he thought the guys on Operation Eagle Claw were going to Iran to take part in an international checkers tournament.

What they were going to do doesn’t have any bearing on the truth of his statement, does it?

More a GQ, really. Off it goes.

This is from an interview done by Ronan Farrow (i.e., the son of Woody Allen and Mia Farrow).

No, but the *intention *is what matters.

From the wikipedia article on the 1980 hostage rescue attempt in Iran.

But was it in anger? Killing of a smuggler sounds like law enforcement to me. :slight_smile:

They weren’t angry. They were just very disappointed.

Saying you fired a shot “in anger” is widely understood to mean violence took place in any real-world combat, as opposed to training.

And the intention is very much at issue. Carter’s statement is only true if taken in the narrowest and most literal possible manner. He claims he never dropped a bomb, fired a missile, or shot a bullet. Which is true. George W could claim the same thing and the literal statement would still be truthful.

On the other hand, he did order a military incursion into a hostile nation in which a local national was killed by a rocket and several Americans were killed in an aircraft disaster. Had the mission proceeded as planned, it is inconceivable that they would not have encountered more resistance which would have led to further loss of life. He authorized military force, and the only reason more people were not killed was due to bad luck and incompetent planning causing the mission to be aborted prematurely.

His claim to have kept us “at peace” is also specious. It was Carter who abandoned the Shah of Iran and thereby allowed the Iranian ayatollahs to come to power in the first place. It was Carter who gave weapons to the Afghan Muj and thereby helped the Taliban and Al-Qaeda come to power. Carter supported violent and murderous dictatorships in places like Indonesia and El Salvador. So apparently Carter can claim moral superiority over interventionist Republicans because America was technically “at peace” despite funding proxy wars and ruthless dictators and allowing Islamic fanatics to seize control of allied nations.

I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound like “peace” to me. More importantly, if appeasing our enemies is the price of “peace,” then “peace” might not be worth the cost.

Additionally: I find it astonishing that Carter can criticize Republicans as “warmongers,” when we are fighting a conflict that Carter himself helped create.

If it was at the beginning, it’s evidently not about to stay that way for long. :wink: Back to GD.

General Questions Moderator

I think he was a fine president, but he wanted me (and all 18 and 19 year old men) to register for selective service to send a message to the Soviets. Gearing up for a draft was a bit Hawkish. (and a bit ridiculous, as a war with the USSR probably wouldn’t need a large number of draftees.)

A bit hard to believe that the CIA and other covert US groups stopped doing anything during the Carter administration, though he was only a one term president (thank the gods!), and he did turn the thermostats down at the white house and urge folks to wear sweaters, so maybe he also cut their ammunition budgets and told them to throw rocks instead, as a cost saving measure. I bet if someone asked him if we threw any rocks in anger he’d be back tracking to beat the band. :stuck_out_tongue:

Also, don’t forget his infamous personal attack on the “Swamp Rabbit”, which is second only to Burr’s mortal wounding of Hamilton in a demonstration of personal aggression by a sitting executive.

To expand on that, it was Zbigniew Brzezinski proposed the concept of arming and supporting mujaheddin in Afghanistan through the Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence in order to draw the Soviets into a military and political morass. Although the Reagan Administration largely gets credit for this, the genesis of this effort was under the Carter Administration. Although a lot of the initial aid went to what is now the Northern Alliance, aid was also given to what became the Taliban government and (possibly) elements of al-Qaida. However, I’d argue the real responsibility for the collapse of Afghanistan into a theocracy came after the US essentially ignored Afghanistan and the rest of Eastern Europe and Central Asia after the fall of the Soviet Union, allowing conditions to forment there which have led to the current situation.

It is widely acknowledged that the CIA–which prior to Carter’s taking office had been led by future president George H.W. Bush–pretty much sabotaged espionage efforts championed by the Carter Administration, to the point that a separate “shadow intelligence apparatus” was established under the aegis of the National Security Counsel without oversight or compliance to laws like the Boland Amendment. Carter didn’t help himself when he appointed Washington outsider Adm. Stansfield Turner as the permanent DCI. Stanfield found himself undermined, and his efforts to emphasize signals and satellite intelligence over human assets resulted in a rash of layoffs which arguably damaged the intelligence gathering capability of the CIA (although there is some debate to how effective the CIA ever was in its charter to provide intelligence limiting the spread of Soviet and Chinese communism, and a significant portion of their effort was engaged in illegal or extralegal activities which had little to do with their charter or general intelligence gathering and interpretation.)

There were no wars or open conflicts engaged by the US military during Carter’s tenure, so the general intent of the statement is essentially true even if it isn’t rigorously factual. Carter is often blamed for many of the economic and foriegn affairs problems created by the previous political administrations and comes off looking more poorly because of this even though his performance in the office as President is objectively better than average. Carter emphasized a US committment to recognizing human rights, established a comprehensive energy policy to reduce reliance on foreign energy supplies, and expanded education and environmental programs. He signed into law the cut to capital gains taxes that had become exorbiant (under Nixon) and while inheriting the ongoing recession from the previous administration he managed to see significant genuine economic growth across financial sectors in contrast to the short-sighted “trickle down economics” during Reagan’s tenure that resulted in the return of recession in the late 'Eightes and early 'Nineties and the excessive deregulation that led to the savings and loan crisis and ultimately to the 2007 meltdown. Carter also focused on strategic arms reductions (albeit sidelined by the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan) and was the first world leader to make progress in normalizing Israli-Arab relationships. Although Reagan often gets credit for “rebuilding the military” significant reforms were started under the Carter adminstration, as well as initial development of the Trident D-5 and Ohio class SSBN, the B-2 “Stealth” bomber, and reform of pay rates, training, and disciplinary action for enlisted military personnel.

Carter’s performance was far from perfect, but he didn’t fall asleep in cabinet meetings or participate in an explicitly illegal arms for hostages triangle, send US troops to invade the Middle East in defense of a nation hardly worthy of protection, get blowjobs in the Oval Office, waste time and taxpayer resources in flashy but pointless demonstrations to announce “Mission Accomplished”, or engage the US in programs of mass surveillance and extralegal rendition and indefinite imprisonment without trial or legal address of suspected wrongdoers in contravention of international agreements and senitment. He may not be the best, but he is far, far from the worst of even his contemporaries.


Not sure I agree 100% with your detective work, Lou.


Yes, you got me. The authorization of warrentless surveillance of two individuals–one a foreign national–is equivalent to the mass collection of Internet and cellular phone data on hundreds of millions of American citizens. There is no difference in scope, scale, or intent. My house of cards has fallen down to reveal Carter as a perfidious, hypocritical despot who demonstrates no principles or integrity.


I’m glad we agree.


Carter is a hypocrite and a bungler, even if his claims of never shooting in anger were true.


You think 2 people is "mass surveillance "? Your post makes no sense.

Back on topic: Operation Eagle Claw would almost certainly have resulted in multiple Iranian deaths by gunshot, etc. had it succeeded as intended.

To say the Carter administration never fired a shot in anger would be like someone claiming he “never shot anyone” when he did in fact point a gun at a person and pull a trigger but the gun jammed.