The nation's 39th president has long since shattered the tradition that former presidents refrain from criticizing their successors, even when they are from different political parties. The man who was arguably the worst president of the 20th century hasn't stopped running his mouth against all his successors, including fellow Democrat Bill Clinton, since Ronald Reagan routed him from office in 1980.
But now Carter -- who once called the current Bush administration's Mideast and Iraq policies "criminal" -- appears to be going beyond his usual wrong-headed, mean-spirited criticisms to actively undermine his government's foreign policy.
That, in our view, makes him the real criminal.
On his Mideast travels this month, Carter is planning to meet in Syria next week with Khaled Meshai, the exiled head henchman of Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist group that refuses to recognize the existence of Israel, is waging war against it, and pledges to destroy the Jewish state.
Perhaps Carter's visit with the notorious terrorist leader shouldn't be such a surprise, given that he always has favored Hamas over Fatah, the more moderate Palestinian group that Hamas clashes with ideologically -- and sometimes in street battles.
The problem is that being an ex-president and Nobel Peace Prize winner makes Carter a person of enormous international prominence. So when he meets with a top terrorist thug, it enhances the legitimacy and stature of that thug in the eyes of the rest of the world.
Hence, the Bush administration policy of trying to isolate Hamas as an international pariah could be severely damaged by Carter's meeting with Meshal. It might encourage European and other nations to loosen sanctions against Hamas when the U.S. government seeks to tighten them.
Carter fancies himself a peacemaker, especially since the Nobel Peace Prize was undeservedly bestowed on him. But in point of fact he's part of a global far-left, hate-America crowd that is doing everything possible to legitimize terror and tyranny at the expense of peace and freedom.
Carter's doing more than embarrassing his nation. He's betraying it. The sooner this embittered man fades from the world scene, the better.