June 1st, 2009
04:04 PM ET
6 years ago

Carter sounds off on Obama


(CNN) - Former President Jimmy Carter tells CNN he believes photos showing detainee abuse should be released to the public - putting him at odds with President Obama, who has said the release of those pictures could endanger U.S. troops.

In an interview set to air Monday night, Carter told CNN's Campbell Brown some of President Obama's supporters are disappointed in him. "Most of his supporters were hoping that he would be much more open in the revelation of what we've done in the past," said the former president, although he added that he still respects Obama's judgment on the issue: "I don't agree with him, but I certainly don't criticize him for making that decision."

Earlier this month, Obama asked government lawyers to stop the release of photos showing prisoner abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan, a reversal of an earlier White House position. Hundreds of photos were set for release after a Freedom of Information Act request was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Carter also seemed to disagree with Obama on what should happen to Bush Justice Department officials who signed off on waterboarding and other harsh interrogation tactics. Carter stopped short of calling for immediate prosecutions, but did suggest they might be appropriate in the future.

"What I would like to see is a complete examination of what did happen, the identification of any perpetrators of crimes against our own laws or against international law," he told Brown. "And then after all that's done, decide whether or not there should be any prosecutions."

The new administration has not definitely ruled out any prosecutions, but President Obama said on several occasions that "we need to focus on the future."

Campbell Brown's full interview with Former President Carter will air Monday night on CNN at 8 pm ET.


Filed under: Jimmy Carter • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (301 Responses)
  1. Fair is Fair

    I wonder how many of you who sang glorious praises to Carter on prior posts are going to trash him on this one?

    By the way, Carter... you're WRONG. Again.

    June 1, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  2. PFFT

    What else could you expect from Jimmy the Terrorists Friend?

    June 1, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  3. spartan83

    President Carter has never shed blood for his country. That is why he doesnt care about the consequences to our soilders.

    June 1, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  4. Had It

    I'd love to hear an interview like that, but (quite frankly) I can't stomach Campbell Brown.

    CNN lost me on a lot of shows – too bad.

    June 1, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  5. S Callahan

    former Presdient Carter is a man with insight to the inners of the WH...and he is a man of faith...so it surprises me that he feels the photos should be released....those in the faith don't look back, but are in the present going into the future. What would be the purpose to release the photos..to enrage the citizens of the world? They are already enraged and that is why things are moving in a different direction. I think Pres. Obama is right not to release them..it serves no purpose....at least not a good one.

    June 1, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  6. Romney2012

    WELCOME BACK CARTER! Or was that Kotter? Well, that's where we're going, to the days of irresponsible government policy...can't blame this on Bush any longer!

    I remember the days of the Carter presidency...the world walked on us, he cowered and apoligized to the world...inflation was rampant, high unemployment, high interest rates.....wow...just like Obama's leading us into.
    By the way, for all you young libs who wet their pants with anticipation of voting for the messiah? How does a 12-14% or more mortgage rate sound to you? Car loan for 18%? Sound crazy? That's EXACTLY what I experienced in the days of CARTER....it's all about bond money, and those that buy the bonds. That's exactly where Carter led us, and Obama's doing the same thing, but worse...he's a facist and has a controlling agenda...

    Printing more money like the "inexperienced one," is doing will further crush us worse than Peanut Carter did....So, libs, you really screwed the pooch by voting the "feel good, celebrity, " line......Sit back, calculate how much house or car you "can't buy," with double digit interest rates...and those of you with bad credit (the majority of OBama supporters)...you can forget it! He'll jack your rates to 20%+...wait and see! But hey, you wanted change!

    June 1, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  7. Rebecca

    Carter is an idiot like BO.

    June 1, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  8. Linda, Phoenix, Arizona

    I believe that the only way to the future is to deal with what these criminals did to our country over the past eight years. It is shocking to me that both Cheney and now Bush have come out to defend their illegal untruthful war profiteering war in Iraq and their criminal use of torture. They still lie, they still cheat and they would still torture if given the chance because they have faced no consequences for their crimes.
    Even if Dems were involved, even if it is embarrassing and takes away from progress on other issues, this horrific criminal behavior of torturing other human beings must be punished and condemned.

    June 1, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  9. independent

    President Carter says he doesn't agree with President Obama, but doesn't criticize him either. "I don't agree with him, but I certainly don't criticize him for making that decision."

    Somehow, CNN headlines this story with: 'Carter Sounds Off On Obama'. CNN, Are you trying to be shock jocks, or purveyors of the news? This type of yellow journalism headline diminishes your credibiltiy.

    June 1, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  10. Proud Member..Party of No

    Yet another example of why Jimmy Carter is known as the worst president ever.

    June 1, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  11. Proud DHS radical

    I want the photo's of the rabbit attacking Jimmy Carter release!

    June 1, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  12. DaBird

    I'm sure Joe Biden is glad to hear that the worst President in history wants to put Joe's son in danger by releasing the pictures.

    June 1, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  13. demwit

    No..., Campbell Brown is not a biased journalist!!

    June 1, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  14. John in Ohio

    Are we afraid of the truth? Are we willing to shrink from facing the depths of the evil done in our name during the Bush years? This is the question.

    June 1, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  15. Dawn in Pa

    President Carter should never say something like that, remember the botched attempt to rescue the 52 American hostages held in Iran.

    I totally agree with President Obama by saying that showing those photos could place our soldiers in danger, to be exact mortal danger.

    We did not need to torture anyone to protect our Country, the ex-FBI interrogator claimed he got viable information from Bin Laden's driver by giving him sugarless cookies.

    They pulled the interrogator off, and let the torture begins.

    June 1, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  16. Lisa, Laughlin NV

    Carter in his usual "I can't keep my opinion to myself" mode is downing a President in his own party. Time to go build another house Jimmy! That will keep you busy and away from reporters.

    Obama is the President now and will do what he believes is best for the American people.

    I also agree with the comments made by Fair is Fair...

    June 1, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  17. Gator

    Carter 's like a talking bad penny, just keeps showing up and saying the wrong things

    June 1, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  18. TCM

    Obama's flipflopped on many things; it shows lack of character and honesty. Carter's a weakling too, but Obama's "big show," talk coupled with his consolation prize ending is wrecking the country. The country's so fixated on the photos, that they're oblivious to all the financial slights of hand that are going on; OBama's mission is to cripple big industry that poses any threat to the presidency. Once he's captured ownership of those, he'll start dictating facist policy...what will be on TV, Radio,...what cars will be sold, for how much...how much electricity we can use.....it's all part of a big agenda, and this crap with these photos is a "watch the left hand, not the right hand..." fiasco, typical of Obama. Get a clue libs, you're wrecking the country.

    June 1, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  19. democrat in az

    @spartan83 In case you've forgotten President Carter was a submariner in the US Navy Need to check your facts buddy

    June 1, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  20. TCM

    @DaBird –

    Uh...second worst president. He was the worst until this past January.

    June 1, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  21. Arlene

    With all due respect, former President Carter doesn't have all the facts at his disposal. I think we have to defer to our current President on these kinds of decisions since he has the full range of information on which to base his decisions.

    June 1, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  22. J in NJ

    Jimmy, noone cared what you had to say when you were President and nobody cares what you have to say now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 1, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  23. ch

    Proud Member..Party of No June 1st, 2009 11:20 am ET

    Yet another example of why Jimmy Carter is known as the worst president ever.
    -------------------------------

    Sorry Proud Member – GW Bush is the WORST President EVER. Hands down ........nobody else even comes close!

    June 1, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  24. Peter E

    Facts: Obama continues record deficit spending and bailouts. He continues secret prisons in foreign countries. He continues kissing up to the Chinese. He continues government secrecy. He continues tax cuts for the rich and subsidies for oil companies. All of these were Bush's policies originally. There is NO actual difference between Obama and Bush! He's just continuing the same policies under different names! The only difference is in the minds of liberals and neocons who continue parroting pundits. Welcome to four more years of the Bush presidency!

    June 1, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  25. Not Left or Right but Forward

    I think the commitment by Obama was made before he had knowledge of just how bad the images were. I also think Carter misspoke when he refers to what "we've" done. America didn't commit the attrocities and horrible acts depicted in the photos, individual misguided or psychotic people who happen to be Americans or are acting under the criminal guidance of Americans did the deeds. The fear is that the Muslim world will not be able to make that distinction, and the level of hatred toward America and all Americans will go from a boil to an explosion. Goodwill takes 10 times as much effort to rebuild as it does to destroy, and the previous regime in the U.S. has made Obama's work very difficult, indeed. Releasing the photos would do nothing but make that work more difficult than it already is.

    June 1, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
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