June 1st, 2009
04:04 PM ET
5 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. Big Al

    CNN – Why would you give this idiot the time of day? Who cares what he thinks.

    June 1, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  2. Dan

    I see this is the official loser – or is that looser as in grip on reality – thread.

    "Hello, I am an idiot, so I play macho in the face of reason."

    June 1, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  3. E.C.Coleman

    There is absolutely No Need to exhibit photos to the World of
    unpleasant actions by the U.S. Military that were documented in the past 10 years.

    Such photographs are only for Voyeurs and do not pertain to the World today. Exhibits of such abhorent material will certainly bring harm and damage to our present Military and place their lives at risk.

    The United States cannot risk lives to appease a few absurd and ridiculous people such as Jimmy Carter.

    There should be no criminal prosecutions whatsoever to any person, military or civilian.

    Obama is correct to focus on the future and not the past.

    Carter is neither the voice of today, nor was he ever a leading voice of yesterday.
    Guess Carter just wants the world to know he's still around.

    June 1, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  4. John W. Racine, WI

    Yeah, why go back and attempt to understand the past; we just want to start the game of deception, corruption, secrecy from step one as we move FORWARD: I’m sure the rest of the world will completely ignore all our atrocities in our past… NEW GAME: P-K4!

    Why didn’t we do the same with Germany? Why did we every have those useless, bothersome and very, very messy and expensive investigations and the Nuremberg Trials?

    Oh, I know: because we wanted the entire WORLD to know what was done, who did it, why they did it… so it would NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN!

    Often in life, you must look at and come to grips with the PAST, simply to have the ability to move FORWARD!

    Apparently, our President Oblahma doesn’t get it!

    June 1, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  5. Deborah

    I wouldn't watch Campbell Brown if you paid me and I'm broke!

    June 1, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  6. DAN

    When it comes to politicians and celebrities they want to forget the past and look to the future. But when it comes to the private citizen ( taxpayer) it's prosecute and put in jail or electrocuted. Forget the past? then why are our prisons full?

    June 1, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  7. Bob

    He will release them when he is down in the Polls for the 2012 election.

    June 1, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  8. babs

    Seems that Dems can (and do) disagree without getting ugly and personal. Judgeing from the GOPers posting here, there's nothing you can say or do or agree on or disagree on that's going to make them not hate everything. sad.

    June 1, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  9. tintheD

    Carter, please go die somewhere! Enough of your idiotic rantings. You sound like rush!

    June 1, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  10. demwit

    Where's the pictures of the returning dead soilders? Liberals cried for 6 years about not being able to see them and now, all of a sudden(eyes rolling), not one progressive state run media outlet wants to show them. Whats up with that??

    June 1, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  11. MJM

    Hey peanut brain, go back into retirement and stay there!

    June 1, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  12. RCasson

    Former President Carter needs to remember he's not in the oval office anymore. I trust Obama's judgement. If he says it's best for the troops not to release the photos, it's best they not be released. Who is Carter to tell him otherwise? He hasn't been President since the 70's.

    Rosalyn Casson
    Los Angeles, CA

    June 1, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  13. JOSEPH BUTTACAVOLI

    People voted for change and boy did we get it.

    June 1, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  14. Peoples Voice

    conserve 56; As a matter of fact, I am accusing them of being war criminals.

    As far as not being attacked after 9/11, what do you call an anthrax attack that was never solved by Bush? An act of God?

    Because of your hero's actions, our troops are in danger and have been every since the chicken hawks sent them to Iraq. Just how much of a dolt do you have to be to believe Bush was right?

    June 1, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  15. fools, fooled by obama

    The WORST president and even worse ex-president ever..This man Hates America because he was denied a 2nd term. The apologist for Islamic terrorism.

    June 1, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  16. shills for AIPAC working overtime on CNN

    peppering every thread with dumb one liners under dumb alias.

    don't fall for it, folks.

    June 1, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  17. Obama 2.0

    Everyone has an opinion, and that is all well and good, but only the president, the standing president has the responsibility to carry out the work at hand.

    June 1, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  18. phoenix86

    Leave it to Carter to endorse a policy that weakens the US internationally. This from the man that left US hostages in Iran for 444 days.

    That said, I'm sure that he and Obama see eye to eye on most things.

    June 1, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  19. Richard

    Carter must be gettin to that age where he doesnt know what hes talkin about. I dont see how any one including the gop can slam obama, he will have done more in his first year than bush did in 8, i should clairfy that, hes done more POSITIVE things...the economy seems to be back on its feet, we are working on building relationships back up, and we took religion out of politics i.e. undoing the stem cell ban. Do I even have to list what bush did in his first year, I wouldnt have enough time or space to be honest!

    June 1, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  20. Zach

    I do not feel remorse for the torture of ANY murderer, what you've done is irreversible. May god have mercy on your soul cause I have none for you. BUT enemy combatants SHOULD receive quarter and just treatment. Any one tortured out of sheer fun is a victim, yet I do not believe the release of photos depicting torture will do our country as a whole any good. The ACLU and all these other FOR THE PEOPLE organizations need to shut their mouths. They're not based over in Afghanistan or Iraq, they do not have to fear the repercussions of the release of these photos. All they do is endanger the already endangered solider.

    June 1, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  21. Glarn Skleeblemann

    If anyone knows about a president disappointing his supporters it would be Good Ol' Jimmy Carter. Even Bush disappointed fewer of his supporters than Carter did, simply because Bush supporters had such pitifully low expectations to begin with. Carter has lead an respectable post-presidential life but his critique of Obama is all but meaningless. Back to the peanut farm you go, Jimmy and let President Obama get his job done.

    June 1, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  22. RealityKing

    Hey, CNN can just flood the airways with the 9/11 photos insteadt. Oh wait.., that would be counter-agenda. My bad.

    June 1, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  23. Kevin

    Carter is good guy overall and so is Obama, so was Bush...I dont know about Cheyney LOL...but what we all must remember is that they are Politicians, and most if not everything is done with Political calculation in mind. From what Carter is saying to what Obama has said and is doing, to what Bush has done and what Cheyney continues to say.

    June 1, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  24. Terry in NY

    Some of you are too young to remeber what Carter did to our country during his term. We became the joke of the world being laughed at agreeing to policies of others that no self respecting American would have done. Apallogizing for things we shouldn't have had too, isolationism, etc. We're lucky we're not speaking Russian or Chinese now. Take a look at him compared to Obama and its scary how close they are. Be aware America we can't afford to have another Carter in the white house even if he's seen as a multi racial savior.

    June 1, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  25. Diego

    No Mr.JOSEPH BUTTACAVOLI, in the groups you run with America is the laughing stock. you are a America hater, yes you are.

    June 1, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
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