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. Jake

    i agree with carter!

    June 1, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  2. Melissa

    So releasing photos of those soldiers wouldn't make them a target of extremists?

    Come on, we all know better. Obama is right on this one. Its one thing to release words on a paper, its quite another to release photos.

    June 1, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  3. Gipper

    I think Jimmy Carter should ride off into the sunset. I voted for him and look what a mess he made. If he was smart enough to tell every President how to run this country, he should have been the greatest president we have ever had.

    June 1, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  4. The Party of NO is only “pro-life” to save a zygote now, so it can then kill the “babies” 18 years later as soldiers in an elective religious war.

    Initially, I supported releasing the photos which apparently detail torture and rape as condoned by the shrub administration. I firmly believe that you cannot correct a problem until you admit to the problem and these photos would indeed do that.

    However, leaked details(Huff Post) say some are very graphic beyond even the Abu Grey(sp?) photos and even depict rape. So, I now disagree with Carter and the ACLU and agree with President Obama. These photos must be so horrific that it would immediately invoke global outrage. The Pakistani's are in control only by a fingernail grasp, so showing these photos would only incite furor against the U.S. and give sympathy to America’s enemies in the Middle East, but more importantly, any of our troops that are now or may be in the future. Our enemies could make a valid claim that the "expanded interrogations" they may use were in retaliation and were only mirroring the methods used by the U.S. So, in this instance, the safety of our American troops is more important than publicly showing the atrocities committed by the bush administration.

    Perhaps, these photos should only be seen by the jury any individuals brought to trial for these "advanced interrogation" methods.

    June 1, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  5. Peter E

    For those who like to think Carter had the bad dealings with Iran, you really need to look up the facts about the Iran-Contra affair! Reagan himself traded missiles to Iran in exchange for hostages! Reagan was a terrorist sponsor! That's a FACT!

    June 1, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  6. Free Thinker

    Carter – what a loser!

    June 1, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  7. katiec

    Well, a Democrat finally got the headlines. Whoops, it is only because he "disagrees" with our president.
    Carter is wrong. Nothing positive would be accomplished by releasing these pictures. We are trying to regain what our once
    great nation stands for and detailing the actions of the previous
    administration would further add to the worlds distrust, disappointment of us.
    Also, do not believe our president should lead in taking criminal actions againast Bush, Cheney etc. He wants to move ahead and
    there are other departments, private enterprises that can bring
    and pursue these charges.

    June 1, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  8. Peoples Voice

    This country must stop being cowards. Investigate, prosecute, convict and execute these war criminals.

    We would ask for nothing less from any other country who was harboring people who were guilty of war crimes against our citizens.

    We talk the talk, how about we walk the walk.

    June 1, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  9. stupid partisan hacks

    Meet the new boss,same as the old boss.I will say it again,"both parties are owned by the same old money changers",If you really think there is a difference,you need a checkup from the neck up.

    June 1, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  10. Brett

    Is it any surprise that Jimmy Carter, the President with the worst track record of support for the military in our nation's history, would recommend risking the lives of service members again? Go back to Georgia, and keep building houses for habitat for humanity. We liked you better when you kept your mouth shut, Sir.

    June 1, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  11. NYCDoc

    To Fair is Fair,
    That's the beauty of being a democrat. We do not have to blindly agree with everything the representatives of the party happen to say. There are things I really like about Jimmy Carter (like his dedication to caring for needy children around the world and his spiritual base) and there are times I don't agree with Carter for a multitude of reasons (like in this instance). I don't need to trash him or attack him to disagree with him.

    That's what the other party does. Example: Rebecca said "Carter is an idiot like BO." Rebecca does her party a disservice by speaking.

    June 1, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  12. B Davis

    Oh no!!! Campbell Brown is back. I won't be watching CNN @ 8pm anymore.

    June 1, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  13. Brina

    CNN still trying to compete with Fox.....

    June 1, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  14. uisignorant

    Carter was irrelevant as a president and his is more irrelevant now.

    June 1, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  15. Proud Member..Party of No

    The following is a direct quote from Pravda:

    "It must be said, that like the breaking of a great dam, the American decent into Marxism is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheeple, excuse me dear reader, I meant people.

    The final collapse has come with the election of Barack Obama. His speed in the past three months has been truly impressive. His spending and money printing has been a record setting, not just in America's short history but in the world. If this keeps up for more then another year, and there is no sign that it will not, America at best will resemble the Wiemar Republic and at worst Zimbabwe."

    June 1, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  16. John

    Jimmy who?

    June 1, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  17. Opinion

    I have more respect for President Carter than for any other president that I can think of. The man has integrity, honesty, concience, humility, caring..... just for starters. What other president has retired and continued to give to humankind the way that Carter has?

    With regard to the hostage drama while he was president, those intellegent among us know that his efforts toward their release were thwarted and delayed until reagan/bush took office – right after they took office. Shame on the repugs for letting the hostages remain prisoners for their own political gains.

    June 1, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  18. Peter E

    For how many years have you liberals been screaming foul about the secretive practices of the Bush administration? Now that your guy is continuing the exact same policies you suddenly turn around and say it's okay? Hypocrites!

    June 1, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  19. mossad and AIPAC will not allow it

    and i do not expect this comment to be posted by mossad tentacles in CNN.

    June 1, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  20. Fortytude

    Carter "sounding off"? Come on, a guy gives his opinion respectfully and this is the stupid headline. I want my 30 seconds back you made me waste on this.

    June 1, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  21. J.P.

    Carter is such a doofus. He should be cheering Obama. Obama is the best thing ever for Carter's reputation... Obama is so willfully naive and cluessless that Carter will look brilliant by way of comparison and his reputation/standing would rise.

    Then, Carter manages to come from behind and keep his title as the worst president in US History.

    But it doesn't mean Obama isn't trying too...
    Up next:
    double digit inflation
    double digit unemployment
    double digit interest rates (THIS time actually OVER 20%)

    The problem with "spreading the wealth around," is that at some point, somewhere, someone, actually has to CREATE some wealth to spread.

    I've never been hired by a poor man. Have you?

    June 1, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  22. PaulMoATX

    Wooptie freaking do, Carter is a human being, Obama is a human being. Human beings have opinions which lead to differences. Human beings make mistakes, but I don't agree with the former President on his views toward releasing the photos and prosecuting Bush officials. The country needs to look forward, not backward.

    I personally am thrilled and encouraged from the President's first months in office and continue to support him wholeheartedly. He is doing the best he can, making vast improvements across the political spectrum while staying in touch with the American people.

    June 1, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  23. Tim

    I think it's great when Obama frustrates the left.

    All we hear from the conservative media propaganda machine is how liberal he is, and all we see in his actions is how centrist he is.

    June 1, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  24. johnrj08

    I have to laugh when people criticize Obama for his so-called flip-flops. By all means, let's extol the virtues of presidents whose feet were embedded in cement and were incapable of reassessing and re-examing their policies as they acquired new information and situations evolved. Let's worship the leader who refused to change his mind or admit to even the most egregious errors so that he could claim that he was being "consistent". Let us adore the pure politician who points fingers and hurls criticisms when they know full well that, given the same dilemmas, they would have made the identical decisions themselves.

    Politics is just so banal.

    June 1, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  25. jdf

    Is Carter still trying to be relevant???? He has always been a loser. Obama has done a great job so far and doesn't need comments from someone who was a complete failure at the job.

    June 1, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
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