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. Cliff

    Poor Carter. He just can't keep his mouth shut. Good for the Repoops but bad for the Democraps.

    He is of the Forrest Gump era.....Stupid is as stupid SAYS!

    The poor guy thinks he is still President. He is truly sad!!!

    June 1, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  2. stupid partisan hacks

    Limbaugh is nothing more than tool to make us think there is a difference and keep each other at fighting amongest ourselves while the money changers continue to pillage the people.

    June 1, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  3. Rusty

    Jimmy Carter is a "top Dem"? Really? That's a scary thought...

    June 1, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  4. Ben

    Christy – "THIS is opur country and we want truth and prosecutions"

    No, not all of us want prosecutions. Don't think you speak for the rest of us. Any idiot who wants those photos released clearly doesn't understand why that would be PRECISELY the wrong thig to do.

    June 1, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  5. greenfun

    Evidence of endemic pro-bama-ganda mounts: During his first two months in office, Bill Clinton benefited from the 27% of news stories about him that were positive or praising in tone. George W. Bush dealt with a press only slightly less enamored of him: 22% of stories about him were positive.

    But along comes barack obama and the press cannot CONTROL themselves. Fully 44% of the stories about obama are positive in tone, AND there are twice as many stories about obama’s personal life. We’re not talking about blogs or new media websites. We’re talking about PBS, NBC, The New York Times, Washington Post, etc. Twice as many positive stories and twice as many about his personal life.

    June 1, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  6. gary

    It's amazing that Jimmy Carter's comments are relevant. There were gas lines and 21% mortgage rate during his presidency. He is a has been who was over his head. His own party undermined him. Why should you even have him on?

    June 1, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  7. Juge

    Hey Boys – we really know what those photos show – we HAVE seen some torture photos – we can visualize the rest. No need to go there now. We sat on our buts, knowing all along what was happening, and now is not the time to regurgitate those issues. Lets get our house in order economically and put back the restrictions and regulations along with the ethics and morals that have long been missing in our pursuit of the all mighty dollar for only selective individuals. Let everybody have a piece of the pie through hard work and let those who cannot compete be cared for too. Everybody should be under the umbrella of the US red white and blue.

    June 1, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  8. Gator

    They should not have water boarded the terrorist, they should have beheaded them like they did the Americans they captured. You want to see how these people operate take a look at the beheadings shown on arab tv at bestgore.com,The pictures of the so called mistreatment of prisoners should not be released to endanger our troops. Have you forgotten what they did on 9-11.
    Oh, the poor little terrorist, he would cut your throat in a minute

    June 1, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  9. Shadysider

    The Obama Administration should do one of two things: Release the photos OR Indict those responsible for endorsing/creating the torture program(s). If the U.S. does neither the world sees a country of hypocrites who always talk about notions and ideas such as 'the rule of law,' and 'civility' when we talk about why the U.S. is such a great place and why we need to intercede in other countries when we see 'evil', but when it is the U.S. who perpetrates the evil then we turn a blind eye and just say 'it won't happen again.'
    Releasing the photos will only incite those who are ALREADY extremist, but it may show moderates that the U.S. IS actually confronting our ugly past and moving forward.

    June 1, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  10. Claudia in Houson

    I agree with Carter, release them. The Holocaust was torture and killing of many Jews which we openly display and denounce, then we should stand up and show what we have done wrong and denounce torture.

    June 1, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  11. Christopher

    "I don't agree with him, but I certainly don't criticize him for making that decision." That's too passive! First of all, Carter dumped Hillary, to
    support Obama. Second: Obama's doing a great job, the US isn't accustomed to a honest, and wise approach. Obama is actually learning "on the job". There will be mistakes. But the real mistake is to "stay on course" with what the Bush administration set up. Carter needs to set up a boutique and sell "Holly Hobby Dolls".

    June 1, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  12. marcus

    everyone has a right to their opinion, and i respect carter's right to his opinion. obama has a LOT on his plate, more than ANY other president since FDR. i have NO expectation that obama is going to please EVERYONE, in EVERY way. if he can bring some semblance of peace to the middle east, sort of fix afghanistan, get us out of iraq, and get the economy back on track, i don't see where anyone's going to have a legitimate gripe about him NOT having done more.

    June 1, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  13. RealityKing

    Apparently Obama-nomic has Jimmy thinking its still the 70's

    10-15% unemployment
    shrinking GDP
    skyrocketing budget deficit
    gutting of the military
    hyper inflation
    600,000+ layoffs per week
    federal sales tax
    skyrocketing energy prices
    government run businesses
    piss poor goverment healthcare

    June 1, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  14. John

    We don't need Carter now. His time has come and gone!

    June 1, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  15. war criminals never liked Carter

    and they are terrified of carter, now that they are about to be thrown into gitmo, LOLOL.

    in human psychology, corrupt criminals hate those who are righteous.

    they devote their life to digging dirt under the riteous,

    dying to be able to say, "see, you are just as bad as i am."

    June 1, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  16. rachel

    What some people want their change back? Obama said what he had to say to get in office and he will act just like every other president no matter what color he is.

    June 1, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  17. Robin in Tampa, FL

    The last prisoner abuse pictures were very damaging if not harmful to our rebuilding efforts, and the more testimonials I hear about how the previous pictures were used as a recruiting tools by the extremists we have been fighting, the more I agree with President Obama's judgment not release the remaining detainee pictures.

    June 1, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  18. Deborah from NC

    Jimmy, jimmy, jimmmmeeee! Was there ever another Democrat you didn't knife in the back???? You are no longer in charge - GET OVER IT!

    June 1, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  19. Sean the thinker

    President Carter has a cogent point of view whether you agree with him or not. I think his comments refute the notion that their is only one single correct directive in regards to public or foreign policy decisions. I think we should realize that some of President Obama's directives may not be the best, however we should not determine our support of him on a case by case basis.

    June 1, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  20. RealityKing

    Welcome to the socialistic change you morons voted for...

    June 1, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  21. MarkieBee

    You mean Obama hasn't pleased everyone yet? Darn. Well, he's just not working hard enough to please all the people all the time. People, it's simple...you get elected from the sides but you govern from the middle.

    June 1, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  22. Jc Ohio

    Hey "Spartan83" you better check your facts before posting

    "spartan83 June 1st, 2009 11:16 am ET

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

    President Carter graduated from the Naval Academy (59th out of 820, McCain was 894 out of 899), and served on subs for years. He intended to make the Navy a career.

    Your boy "GWB" military stint was more of a stunt in that nobody really recalls him actually being there! Plus he never "shed blood for his country", but was perfectly willing to shed other men & womens blood for his own misguided goals chasing ficticious WMD's and non-existant Al-Qeada connections.

    June 1, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  23. Monty

    I agree that the pictures should not be released. It's too dangerous for our soldiers now. As far as prosecutions go. They should look up the chain of command and not use the troops as scapegoats. If the troops were torturing prisoners they were probably under orders from top brass. If they were really rogue soldiers, (it's hard to believe that there's that many) then the top brass needs to prosecuted for negligence and failure to maintain command.

    June 1, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  24. Elly

    Everyone puts this former President down

    Is it because America is pro war?

    Because this man has been an advocate for peace all his life
    with a * nobel peace prize* to back it up!!
    thats something BUSH or CHENEY will NEVER have!!!!!!!!!!!
    I will take PEACE any day and I have nothing but respect for anyone
    who supports it!!

    June 1, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  25. bj, Texas

    The worst president we ever had giving advice to the 2nd worst president we ever had. Obama and Carter, one in the same.

    June 1, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
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