Did Jimmy Carter Dig Himself in Deeper Over His Criticism of the Bush Administration?

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

"Careless or Misinterpreted"

Jimmy Carter says his comments that the Bush administration had been "the worst in history" – were "careless or mis interpreted."

Mr. Carter told NBC this morning that he had been responding last week to a question comparing the Bush administration foreign policy with that of Richard Nixon. And said he did not mean to call the Bush policy the worst in history, although those were his words.

Mr. Carter was also tough last week on outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his relationship with the U.S., calling him, "Abominable. Loyal, blind, apparently subservient."

The White House yesterday dismissed Carter's criticism, calling him "increasingly irrelevant."

Carter responded to that today, saying, "I don't claim to have any relevancy."

Republicans to Blame?

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is suggesting that Republicans were to blame for the controversy over an alleged threat from Democratic Congressman John Murtha toward Republican Mike Rogers last week on the House floor.

Rogers says Murtha said — "you will not get any earmarks now and forever," because Rogers wants to block Congress from spending $23 million Murtha has set aside for a project in his home district.

Rogers is pushing for a formal rebuke by the House. Murtha has not denied the allegation. Yesterday Pelosi told ABC News — "That's what Congressman Rogers says. I don't know. I wasn't there. I do know that the Republicans caused quite a stir that was unjustified on the floor of the House and I'm sure things were said on both sides."

Today Minority Leader John Boehner sent Pelosi a letter saying Democrats have failed on promises to clean up the earmark process and that Murtha's threats of retaliation are in open defiance of House rules.

War Crimes

A man who claimed he committed war crimes while serving in the army in Iraq — and whose charges were circulated widely by anti-war groups — has now been charged with making up the atrocities.

Jesse Adam Macbeth claimed that he took part in the murder of hundreds of Iraqis. He said — "We would burn their bodies ... hang their bodies from the rafters in the mosque." The allegations were picked up by many anti-war groups, including, "Iraq veterans against the war," and several Web sites.

But the government says Macbeth was never in Iraq and the criminal complaint against him reveals he was kicked out of the army after six weeks at Fort Benning because of his — "entry level performance and conduct."

Holy War

An Al Qaeda cell group is threatening to wage holy war against France for voting the "wrong way" — in electing pro-American President Nicolas Sarkozy. The Internet posting says Sarkozy is a — "crusader-Zionist ... who thirsts for the blood of Muslim children, women and the elderly, and yearns to carry out the mission of his masters in the White House."

It vows to wage what it calls "a bloody jihad attack and a murderous war in the heart of Sarkozy's capital."

Al Qaeda Connection

Some intelligence agencies believe the "Martyr Abu Hafs Al-Masri Brigades" has strong connections to Al Qaeda.

The Brigades group was linked to the Madrid and London train bombings — but there is debate about whether it was involved.

—FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.