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. brian

    I am a lifelong Dem but Carter is sad. I just came back from a trip to Venezuela to visit my wife's family and was reminded how Carter helped Chavez 4 years ago approving the election vote with a signature of confidence. Funny how the oppo in Venezuela has pictures of Carter and Chavistas fishing off of the coast of Portugal right before he singed off on those elections. Carter should just go away.

    June 1, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  2. JT

    Even though I believe these photos should be released (Some are already trickling out over the internet), I strongly believe that if Carter has something to say to Obama, he should pick up the phone and call him directly.

    It is tacky and rude for him to criticize a sitting president who is a fellow Dem. He is just stirring a pot. Now, Dick Cheney oversteps 'rude and tacky'. He is covering up and deflecting attention on criminal behavior.

    June 1, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  3. Scot

    Liberal Progressive Democrats- Be proud that you are an American. Our CIA and former President did what was neccessary to protect this great Country. 1) There have been no further terrorist attacks since Sep 11, 2009. Who deserves the credit?

    June 1, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  4. Hannah

    For everyone out there who thinks terrorists should be treated with anything less than common dignity must have forgotten the saying, "an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind". Enemies or not, all people deserve respect and if we ever reach the point when we hurt others, we become no better than them.

    June 1, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  5. Shadysider

    Releasing the photos will only incite those who are already extremists. We should release the photos and indict those from the Bush Administration responsible for making torture a part of U.S. policy. They have shamed our nation. Unless we confront the evils within our own country we are hypocrites when we impose our will on other countries.

    June 1, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  6. Susan

    Wow, why would anyone give this man credit. The President who was responsible for thousands of deaths during his time in the office. No wonder why CNN is losing viewership when they give this man air time.

    June 1, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  7. bobbles

    This guy was a real success as President. Thanks to him and his great response to the Iran hostage crisis, we have a terrorist state. As MacArthur said"Old soldiers don't die, they just fade away.." Why can't the same thing be said for politicians of a bygone era? He shouldn't comment on the present occupant of the White House. The present occupant, ehether you disagree or agree with him, has a sense of direction and agenda.

    Carter's presidency had the feeling akin to a car being out of control.

    June 1, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  8. Scot

    Liberal Progressive Democrats- Be proud that you are an American. Does Liberal Progressive President Clinton have any resposibility for the Sep 11 attacks? The CIA 3 times told him that they could kill the Muslim Terrorist Osama Bin Laden and all 3 times, President Clinton said, "no".

    June 1, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  9. independent

    You folks are seeing things that aren't there. Here is the reality.

    1) Carter, one of our best Presidents. Time will tell. Certainly compared to GW.
    2) Obama, too soon to tell, but things look great for this to be an eight year period of which we will all be proud.
    3) Both of them will get what they want, re the torture photos and justice.
    4) President Obama does not want to gratuitously release photos which will be released under court order when AG Holder decides to investigate.
    5) President Obama does not want to politicize the Justice Dept by telling Holder what to do, but the writing is on the wall.
    6) Within a year of taking office, AG Holder will decide that an investigation is necessary; he will secure all evidence, including said photos; a grand jury will sit and deliberate on the evidence; trials wil begin in late 2010; finally, near the end of President Obama's first term, the evidence (including photos) will become public.

    I can wait for it to unfold. Be patient.

    June 1, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  10. GPM

    Mississippi Mike:

    A good rule of thumb with Carter is to listen to his advice and do the exact opposite. I can't think of a single thing he's ever done that's had a beneficial result, no reason to believe he will start now.

    Dear Mississippi Mike,

    President Carter won the Noble Peace Prize. Have a good day.

    June 1, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  11. Post always rejected by CNN

    He sure is disappointing republicans he is getting the job done.

    June 1, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  12. Scot

    Liberal Progressive Democrats- Be proud that you are an American. Did President Clinton incite or encourage Sep 11th terrorist attacks, by not re acting or defending this great Country after 1993 World trade Center attack, South African Embassy Bombings, Somalia Attack, US Cole attacks, etc? Perhaps if America under the proper leadership reacted, Sep 11 would never have taken place?

    June 1, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  13. JOSEPH BUTTACAVOLI

    obama will show the pictures during his next campaign, he keeps it up who is he ganna talk about an his campaign trail won't be bush maybe he'll turn on his wife and say it was her fault. lol

    June 1, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  14. Alan

    And anyone who things the religious right aren't terrorists within our own midst didn't see the news about the abortion doctor who was just MURDERED in his own CHURCH.

    The whole point is you can NOT operate from a Cheney-like attitude that the ends justify the means or you throw out rule of law and decency and become what you're trying to stop.

    This idiot just MURDERED a man because he believes in - the sanctity of all life. This would be humorous if it weren't for the horrific pain and suffering the man has just brought on the doctor's family and town.

    Jultifying the murder of people to support your cause makes you EXACTLY like the Taliban and al Quada.

    Think about it, religious zealots.

    June 1, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  15. CJ

    Until last November he was the worst president in our history and is an embarrassment to this country... Iran hostage crises, OPEC. He should keep his mouth closed and go back to writing his pathetic books and stay in his work shop and make wooden cutting boards.

    June 1, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  16. Larry

    I don't think the public NEEDS to see the photos to understand the implications

    The only torture photos that would interest me would be photos of people like Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, George Bush, and Rumsfeld being torture simply for the sake of being tortured

    After all they did to kill so many of our young, for a false war

    After all they did to drag this country into the quagmire that now exists

    The real terrorists are here, in our own back yards, and on CNN almost daily, with their treasonist verbiage ...

    June 1, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  17. garyoke

    America's only TRULY Christian President.

    June 1, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  18. BUTTACAVOLI

    I have to go to work you obamanites need to go to a shrink and lay on a couch and figure out how to wake up. obama will snap his fingers on the next election to let you know it's time to wake up. he'll need you awake to vote.

    June 1, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  19. Nathan, NYC

    It is AMAZING to see some people calling Pres. Carter "idiot","Irrelevant" etc etc. while the SAME people hailed him at "Visionary","Real American", "Honorable" when he threw his (or at least indicated) that he supports Obama over Hillary. You guys have such short memories and such flawed logic.

    June 1, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  20. ModerateLady

    In the next year or so we'll be experiencing the inflation of the Carter years too. It's going to hurt more than the recession. I'm not really a fan of either President. There are just some things that gov't should leave alone and these men don't seem to pick up on that.

    June 1, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  21. jason

    3 Trillion Dollars in Iraq by the end of the Bush term. 75% of it going to the government of Iraq or reconstruction of the country(not better armor or weapons). Is everyone aware that Iraq has a budget surplus and that is with their oil production at or about 50% capacity.

    Before any Neo-Cons talk about 20 billion to Chrysler/GM I'd like someone to explain that number before complaining about Obama.

    June 1, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
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