Writing about an article in the Washington Post on Attorney General Eric Holder’s attempts to cover himself on CIA prosecutions, Michael Barone makes an interesting observation about the letter that seven former CIA directors wrote to the President, urging him “to call off Holder’s investigation“:
That [letter]’s mentioned, briefly, in the second and third paragraphs. And the article mentions as well that the seven directors served under presidents of both parties, but it denies the reader the information that the seven include all living former CIA directors except the nonagenarian Stansfield Turner and former President George H. W. Bush. Turner may be in no position to sign such a letter, while Bush, like living former presidents of both parties except for Jimmy Carter, can be presumed to be adhering to a policy of not criticizing the current incumbent.
Recall, how back in March, H.W.’s son refused to criticize the incumbent President, his successor, saying he “deserves my silence.” Like Jimmy Carter, H.W. was voted out of office by a decisive majority (62.5% ) even greater than the percentage rejecting Jimmy (59%) and yet he managed to befriend his successor.
Why is it the Georgian, alone among ex-presidents, has continued to nurse his sour grapes. It’s like a child throwing an extended temper tantrum . . . but for 28 years?
Well, Jimmy’s petulance does have some precedent. Achilles refused to fight in the Trojan War for some time, nursing his grudge against Agamemnon. But, in depicting the great warrior’s childish behavior, Homer means him to look petty, sulking while his fellows suffer and died. The poet is setting his hero up for his ultimate transformation at the end of the epic (The Iliad). Perhaps, Mr. Carter will experience a similar metamorphosis.
But, to do so, he must first see the folly of his ways. Perhaps, were he not such a bitter man, filled with bile against Jews, he could learn from what we do this time of year, engaging in T’shuvah, reviewing our deeds, atoning for our faults, our sins and taking action to better ourselves.