The Spectacle Blog

Good News: Foggy Bottom Snubs Carter & Friends

By on 5.17.11 | 11:07PM

Josh Rogin reports that Jimmy Carter and the rest of the group of washed-up leaders and diplomats who pompously call themselves "the Elders" couldn't get a meeting at the State Department this week. He passes along this tidbit from an April 29 report from Chris Nelson's daily newsletter, which makes me like Hillary Clinton more:

The performance of President Carter and his delegation in N. Korea this week was either shameful or fatuous...or both...and exemplifies why Carter had no...zero...USG support going in, and even less coming out, per an alleged eye witness account of Sec. St. Clinton at the morning meeting the other day:

"Do you want to meet with Carter?" Clinton is looking at papers, and just says "No." Then she pauses, looks up and adds, "HELL no!!!"

Rogin explains the context:

Besides going to North Korea without any administration support, Carter alienated Washington's policy community when he declared at a Seoul press conference on April 28 that "to deliberately withhold food aid to the North Korean people because of political or military issues not related is really indeed a human rights violation."

Former NSC Senior Director for Asia Victor Cha just happened to be in Seoul that day, staying in the same hotel as the Elders, and said that people in South Korea were very upset at Carter's remark.

"People who work on the food issue with North Korea know the very real problems of diversion to the military, and Carter's statement implied that China -- because it gives food unconditionally to North Korea -- is more of a human rights upholder in North Korea than the others, which was not well-received," Cha told The Cable.

It was unnerving when National Security Adviser Tom Donilon took a meeting with Carter in November, and it's heartening to know that US policymakers want nothing to do with him now.

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