Carter is not deserving of the dismissal that everyone heaps
upon him because of the failure of Desert One. I don't know chapter and verse why the rescue took so long to set up (it may have been military exigencies which delayed it) though I certainly know what a ****-up it was. I just don't think Carter bears the lion's share of the blame, just an equal share. The Military didn't come out of it looking too good either and subsequently revised their procedures and sent quite a lot of troops and commanders to train with the SAS in Britain. I remember Carter being interviewed and being asked if he had any regrets, "Yes, I should have sent one more helicopter to Desert One."
All of us armchair Presidents sit around thinking we're all so smart, and "Why didn't they do this?" Just look at the Matthew Brady images of Lincoln where he appears to age 25 years in little over 4. Just look at photographs and videos of Barack Obama in the first campaign versus how he looks now, he looks about 15 years older, greyer hair, deeper lines in his face, an air of carrying a great burden. That's what the Presidency does.
His predecessor shows none of those things I note, but his predecessor was President in name only, Dick Cheney looks older, Condoleeza Rice, lovely as she is, looks older, Rumsfeld looks like an octagenarian, and virtually all the rest of his cabinet looks older, but some how good old George escaped the pressure. Maybe it was all that rehabilitative brush cutting down in Crawford that rejuvenated him. Or maybe, as some of us have been saying since day one, he didn't have a clue and the Presidency was being run for him, just like his MBA and his Yale degree.
How I long for the truth behind Bush's transcripts.