Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Whatever President Carter intended to achieve in his anti-Israel "humanitarian" book, it appears he miscalculated his own infallibility. Unpleasant facts keep emerging about his past interference in dubious causes, as well as the provenance of moneys donated to his centre.

Neal Sher, (a New York attorney who served as Director of the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations and who is a former Executive Director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee) writes here:

In Bartesch’s case, OSI researchers uncovered iron-clad documentary evidence of his direct, hands-on role in the Nazi genocide. Among the SS documents captured by American forces when they liberated Mauthausen was what we described as the Unnatural Death Book, a register of prisoners killed, along with the identity of the SS guard responsible for the murder.

So powerful was this evidence that, in postwar trials conducted by the U.S. military, the book served as the basis for execution or long prison sentences for many identified SS guards.

An entry on Oct. 20, 1943, registers the shooting death of Max Oschorn, a French Jewish prisoner. His murderer was also recorded: SS man Martin Bartesch. It was a most chilling document.

Bartesch’s family and “supporters,” seeking special relief, launched a campaign to discredit OSI while trying to garner political support. Indeed, OSI received numerous inquiries from members of Congress who had been approached.

After we explained the facts of the case, however, the matter inevitably was dropped; no one urged that Bartesch or his family be accorded any special treatment.

Well, there was one exception — Jimmy Carter.

In September 1987, after all of the gruesome details of the case had been made public and widely reported in the media, I received a letter sent by Bartesch’s daughter to the former president. Citing groups that had been exposed for their anti-Semitism, it was an all-out assault against OSI as unfair, “un-American” and interested only in “vengeance” against innocent family members.

It’s axiomatic that the families of every person prosecuted under the criminal or immigration laws are affected and subjected to hardship. It was obvious, I thought to myself, that no reasonable person could genuinely believe that the Bartesch case was worthy of special dispensation.

On the contrary, it would be a perversion of justice to accede to the family’s demands and grant Bartesch relief to which no one else would be entitled. Not even the staunchest and most sincere devotee to humanitarian causes could legitimately claim that an SS murderer who deceived authorities to obtain a visa and citizenship was somehow deserving of exceptional treatment.

That’s why I was so taken aback by the personal, handwritten note Jimmy Carter sent to me seeking “special consideration” for this Nazi SS murderer. There on the upper-right corner of Bartesch’s daughter’s letter was a note to me in the former president’s handwriting, and with his signature, urging that “in cases such as this, special consideration can be given to the families for humanitarian reasons.”

And this is what he tells us about some of Carter's donors:

... among the most generous contributors to the Carter Center — at least a million dollars each, according to the center’s published accountings — are Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz, best known for having offered $10 million to New York City after the Sept. 11 attacks, an offer that was rejected by then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani after the prince implied that the attacks may have been justified because of U.S. support for Israel; the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; the Saudi Fund for Development; and, most interestingly, the Bin Laden Group.

Make no mistake, these are not simply benevolent donors looking for a good cause; they expect something in return. And Carter gave them exactly what they paid for: an unequivocal stamp of approval from a former, if failed, U.S. president for their decades of anti-Israel, anti-Semitic ramblings. It’s a diplomatic and public-relations dividend that likely will far exceed their investment.

Sher concludes by wondering what else besides lust lurks in the former president's heart. A relevant question.


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