Jimmy Carter's recent book, Palestine: Peace, not Apartheid, has taken a lot of serious criticism, not least in these pages (see Rick Richman's devastating review). In recent days, apparent plagiarism on the part of the former president has come to light, as maps published by Dennis Ross in an earlier book appear to have been copied without attribution. Ross stated on Fox News Chanel (where he works as a commentator) Sunday that he believes he is the victim of plagiarism. Today, Rick Richman goes far deeper into the matter, questioning the ethics involved in something "worse" than plagiarism: omitting and distorting data, turning the plagiarism into virtual lying. Writing on his own site, Jewish Current Issues, Rick states:
Carter not only appears to have copied maps from Ross but -- more importantly -- to have re-titled them to make them appear to be something they are not. Moreover, his maps omit the descriptive notes that Ross included on his maps, which would have contradicted the point Carter was trying to make. Finally, the point he was trying to make with the borrowed and altered maps is central to his entire book.
Rick's analysis and discussion are detailed and devastating to Carter. The maps themselves are examined and the meaning of the relabeling and ommissions explained. No simple summary will suffice to explain how Carter seemingly twisted data and misled his readers. In conclusion, Rick writes:
... it seems reasonably clear that, one way or another, the maps came from Dennis Ross's book and then were mislabeled, making them into something they are not, omitting important information that was on the maps, and then presented in Carter's book as competing "interpretations" of the Clinton Parameters -- which they indisputably are not. Carter's maps are worse than plagiarism -- they are placed together in a way that dramatically distorts history, misinforms the reader, and assists Carter in his book-length attempt to absolve the Palestinians from their rejection of peace in 2000 in favor of a barbaric war.
If Carter's book were a car, it would be recalled.
Defective cars kill at most a few hundred people before they are recalled. How many are at risk from Carter's defective information? The damage he did to America and the world did not end when he was repudiated at the polls as few incumbents ever have been. He remains a dangerous and defective ex-president.