June 1st, 2009
04:04 PM ET
13 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)

    To "MOM" if you have children or a husband in the military tell them 'BUTTACAVOLI' and the rest of the world say's THANK YOU very much. and god bless america. sorry you have to hear all this crap.

    June 1, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  2. B.Brown

    If not releasing those photos, saves the life of one American soldier serving in a war zone having been sent there by the United States Government, then don't release the photos to make a political point.

    And real news here would have been if everyone was pleased by the actions of the President. That's an impossible task. I do like the fact that the President doesn't react to these types of news stories, but continues to be "no drama Obama."

    June 1, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  3. United Police State Of Amierka

    Investigate 911

    June 1, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  4. Uncle Ellsworthy

    At this point I don't think much of anyone cares what Jimmy Carter thinks, he's irrelevant. Why should anyone pay attention to the one who was in charge of the worst administration in American history.
    He has nothing of any value to add and should keep his mouth shut. I don't agree with much that Obama has done, but on the picture issue he is right on.

    June 1, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  5. seriously

    Would you believe it!! Pres. Obama is doing a yeoman's job. In his few months in the WH he has done more good that Jimmy did in his entire stay....
    Thank you President...keep strong and may God continue to bless and guide you in this effort to bring our country back on the straight road.

    June 1, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  6. Anarchy X

    Oh yes, Carter is precisely the guy we should be taking the lead from on foreign policy, intelligence, and military matters. Anyone remember the Iranian hostage situation? A revolution everyone but his CIA seemed to predict. A disastrous military rescue operation. A widely held perception of the US as weak and diffident. Thank you, President Jimmy, for all you did for the US.

    I'll say this for Obama, he's an improvement over Carter. But then, so wash Bush.

    June 1, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  7. w.l. jones

    Some people is disrepecting our General ", they field the troop and fight the war I trust there opinion. Said enough.

    June 1, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  8. Randolph Carter

    JOSEPH BUTTACAVOLI, I believe the phrase you're looking for is "wards of the taxpayers." Have a nice day!

    June 1, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  9. HeckSpawn

    Hey Jimmy, YOU LOST! GET OVER IT!

    And keep in mind, our "smart" president (with all his uhh's and "you know's" when teleprompterless) is a product of your late 1970's education system.

    I know you'll REALLY be dissappointed when he surpasses your inflation, interest rate, and unemployment marks...

    June 1, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  10. joe

    Cambell Brown is back with her Bias and Bull Program.....

    June 1, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  11. Bill, Bloominton IL

    but of course, Carter has been irrelevent since 1976.

    June 1, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  12. New Yorker

    pat c – You say you are "embarrassed at how ugly the republicans" and then you spew your venom against Bush. You do know what the word "hypocrite" means, don't you?

    Now try listening, with an open mind, to the truth. The "blite" (blight) on this nation will not end unless enough of us turn back to God (the true God of the Holy Bible) and vote into office men with the knowledge of right and wrong – courageous men who recognize evil, when it rears it's ugly head, and have the wisdom to take a stand and fight against it. Men who will make decisions based on God's precepts and not just whatever is P.C. Not fools that believe man is born with innate goodness and can use diplomacy in every situation. As the scripture says, there is "a time for war". There will be wars until Christ returns because there will be men who are courageous enough to stand and fight against evil in order to protect their children from deranged monsters like Hitler, Pol Pot, Stalin,Ahmadinejad, and Saddam Hussein, to name a few. You don't seem to have much knowledged about World history and I wonder if that is because you attended government schools. The dumbing down of America is why Obama
    was elected. The media is in cahoots with the liberals so chances are this won't be posted but I'll try what worked for someone else – I doubled dog dare you to post this CNN.

    June 1, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  13. amy in md

    how on earth could anyone please all of the people all of the time? never gonna happen in our political system.

    not releasing these photos is not keeping any additional information from the world or from ourselves. we already have seen the images and the truth was revealed. the argument that additional photos would in a sense prevent us from repeating history by knowing what has happened (which is the only halfway productive reason I've seen for releasing them) seems defunct. it caused a hoopla the first time photos were released, and it will cause a hoopla if these are released, and for no apparent gain. And potentially a lot of harm. the decision actually seems pretty logical to me...

    June 1, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |

    Next election they should go on CNN and just flip a coin and see who becomes president. that way we could just be done with it. heads for Obama tails for Iraq.

    June 1, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  15. Terry, NJ

    I think it's funny how some people think "The One" can do no wrong and EVERYTHING he does is right. Even when he WASTED $20 billion of TAXPAYERS money GM/Chrysler when that money could have been spent actually HELPING the American people. Like we're ever going to get that $20 billion back... Obama flip flops and waffles. He's nothing amazing. He just made a bunch of people fall for his rhetoric to get elected with a bunch of sugar. Unfortunately some drank so much of his Koolaid the sugar rush still has to wear off and then they MAY realize it was all just a fairy tale that sounded good, tasted good, but wasn't based in reality..

    June 1, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  16. Glennis

    Why is anyone still giving this senile old fool an audience? Get lost, Jimmy! You were a bust as a president and you're un-classy and all around pain in the neck ex-president. You were, and are an embarassment!

    June 1, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  17. Lynn

    It is easy for people who are not the Commander in Chief, have not seen the pictures and not privy to the intelligence reports to call for the release of the photos.

    I trust President Obama and his foreign affairs and intelligence teams to do what is best for American soldiers who are or will be in harm's way.

    June 1, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  18. Marty Gold

    Well I disagree with Jimmy Carter and others, would you like to be tortured like the jewish people were by Hitler. I take it you all would say no. I think President Obama decision to close it was a very excellent idea no matter who says what.

    June 1, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  19. annie s

    Although I was initially disappointed that President Obama did not release the photos, after hearing his explanation I do agree that the safety of our troops is more important than seeing more photos of abuses we already know took place. However, I agree with Mr. Carter that we should go forward with a complete investigation, and if the facts show any laws were broken, the perpetrators should be prosecuted. Going forward sometimes means we have to purge ourselves of the dirt in our past.

    June 1, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  20. carol

    I'd like to see the Bush administration exposed for any wrong-doings but not at the expense of risking the safety of American soldiers.

    June 1, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  21. Geoman, Pasadena

    I think that Obama is doing the right thing by not releasing the photos. It would endanger our troops and further enrage the terrorists.

    June 1, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  22. Ben

    Dan, TX – Everyone knew Obama was a moderate when he was elected"

    Huh? What are you smoking? Obama never was and never will be moderate. If you're fool enough to think that, you've obviously not been paying attention.

    June 1, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  23. Dbow

    Carter has the right and authority to say as he please.

    June 1, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  24. Chelle

    God bless Jimmy Carter. The man who has served in the military but has shown time and again doesn't care for them one bit!! This is a man who ran our country to the brink of diaster in the 70's with his liberal ideas. Now he is disappointed in the president. The one time I agree with president Obama. Please do not endanger the lives our young men and women anymore then they are now. It is a time for common sense and not the lets expose every thing for whose sake??? Every American knows that torture is not the way our country should act but we don't have to see it in black and white and color. Why damage the military any more then it has been. What is the point? Let's hope our government thinks and will act with intellegence before endangering any more American lives.

    June 1, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
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