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Monday, October 29, 2012

Jimmy Carter's "Argo" Boast Easily Debunked

Paul Bedard writes that In 'Argo' brag, critics say Jimmy Carter ignores Desert One deaths:
Former President Jimmy Carter is winning new criticism over the 1979 Iran hostage crisis for his comments at the end of the blockbuster Ben Affleck movie "Argo" that everyone made it home safely and "we did it peacefully," overlooking the horrific deaths of eight killed in the Desert One fiasco, say critics.
The movie describes the clandestine and successful effort to extract six Americans who escaped the American Embassy before the remaining 52 were captured and held hostage for 444 days, until Ronald Reagan's inauguration in 1981.
That success stands in bold, if tragic, contrast to the attempted rescue ordered by Carter to rescue the 52 hostages held by Iran. That attempted rescue ended in failure at the "Desert One" military rendezvous point, when a helicopter hit a C-130 transport aircraft -- eight were killed and the mission came to an end.

Carter's boast does not sit well with former members of the military and the government who were critical of Carter's boast:
A former intelligence official said that Carter's comments ignored the Desert One disaster. "The six people hiding in the Canadian embassy were never hostages. They did get the embassy hostages back safe and sound, although the death of the folks at Desert One was not exactly peaceful," said the official.

"Tell that to the men who died at Desert One," added Jed Babbin, a former deputy under secretary of defense. "And what's this 'we' stuff? He did nothing."

The aborted rescue, dubbed "Operation Eagle Claw," remains a sore spot for many in the military and intelligence community, while the Argo rescue is a high-point of the whole Iran affair.
Once the election is over perhaps the media will feel safe to actually do their job and report on the reports coming out about the Obama administration's incompetence in dealing with Benghazi.

Should that happen, we may be treated to another parallel between Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama -- not just the comparison between Carter's doomed Desert One fiasco and the tragic US failure at Benghazi, but also the desperate attempts by both Carter and Obama to take credit for military successes in an attempt to salvage their political reputations.

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