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)
  1. dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ TCM:

    OBama's mission is to cripple big industry that poses any threat to the presidency. Once he's captured ownership of those, he'll start dictating facist policy"

    Stop smoking whatever it is you're smoking. Your vileness is starting to scare the children! Sheeesh! Get a reality grip.

    June 1, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  2. ItIsMe

    Sounds like you know very little about politics, 'Gipper'.

    June 1, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  3. Bill

    It's already common knowledge that the US tortured people. It has been for years, especially for the victims themselves and everyone they know. Perhaps if you really wanted to protect our soldiers, you wouldn't have had them torture in the first place. How about that Republicans? Is it the torture, the knowledge of it, or the photos that causes the damage? Think about it.

    June 1, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  4. Old Farmboy

    It would only be fair to release the photos. While you're at it, release the photos of the atrocities that were done by the Iraqi and Afganistan with the people they captured. The didn't have to worry about feeding them, unlike us. They were mostly found hanging from bridges or chopped into pieces after they were shot in the head. I'm sure their loved ones would want to see them. The only thing most of you want with these pictures is to satisfy your morbid little selves. What does you seeing the picture do for the outcome of what is done against anyone, other than saying that you saw them and it really made you mad. Sorry if I hurt anyone that lost someone to what I mentioned before.....

    CNN, double dog dare you to put this one up!

    June 1, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  5. Joe

    Carter is entitled to his own oppinion. However, if I have to choose between trusting the judgement of Carter and trusting the judgement of Obama, I'll stick with Obama.

    June 1, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  6. AD

    He is just plain wrong. As a moderate, the president is correct. This can gravely impact our national security. I personally don't want to see people be tortured.

    June 1, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  7. SC

    ch June 1st, 2009 11:28 am ET

    Sorry Proud Member – GW Bush is the WORST President EVER. Hands down ……..nobody else even comes close!


    Sorry CH, you are dead wrong. James Buchanan is accepted to be the worst president ever by the the respectable Historical Community, and guess what, He's a Democrat!!! His policies led us into the Civil War!!! And guess who's the greatest?? Abe Lincoln -> A Republican!!!! You should get your facts straight before you say something dumb; but maybe you're just like Joe Biden...

    June 1, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  8. ItIsMe

    spartan83: "President Carter has never shed blood for his country. That is why he doesnt care about the consequences to our soilders."

    He was only a Nuclear Engineer in the U.S. Navy. I know, checking facts is simply a waste of time. I see you and Peter E. like writing your own history book, or just like to scream for the sake of screaming, huh???

    June 1, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  9. therealmarie

    Obama Bash, all day in any way possible on CNN. Catch a clue only FoxNews can be FoxNews, so stop trying to compete. You won't persent the facts and simply don't have the nerve to compete with MSNBC because it goes against your right wing neo-con agenda. So soldier on the ratings and hope the likes of Wolfe, Lou and Campbell will lead the way. Maybe so but not on my TV. Life is too short. Your neither news worthy or entertaining.

    June 1, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  10. liamiv

    Jimmy Carter needs to go back to his peanut farm here in Georgia and shut up. No one wants to hear what he has to say. I have a son in Afganistan and his safety is more important than anything to me. Go home Jimmy and fill your mouth with peanut butter so you can't talk.

    June 1, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  11. Will appease anyone for peanuts

    The most inept President in our nations history who left a gas crisis, inflation in the 20's, unemployment in far, far DOUBLE digits and had no foreign policy is wrong as usual, just like he was wrong on everything for four years.

    Fair is fair is spot on here, how many of you Obama sheep are going to hammer him now that he is not kissing Obambi's butt?

    Obambi is learning that the lies and myths that he hoodwinked you sheep with on the campaign trail are far different when you are in charge and have to do something besides vote present, BUSH WAS RIGHT IN MANY CIRCUMSTANCES eh Barry and I actualy agree with you on keeping with some of the practices.

    Carter is/was a dolt who would appease the world in order to harm the country but hide behind some phony morals as "long as we are loved".

    June 1, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |

    I think we should do more than waterboard these terrorist. they didn't care when they chopped pearlmans head off and put it on internet. what the hell is wrong with you people are you for AMERICA or IRAQ if it's iraq then go live there for a month, if you last that long. oh i forgot did anyone forget 911. in the bible an eye for an eye.

    June 1, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  13. conserve 56

    People's Voice, are you accusing Bush, Cheney and the previous administration of being war criminals?

    If so, you are a joke!!!

    The Nazis were war criminals by exterminating thousands of Jews in concentration camps.

    Who did Bush exterminate? He did not kill any of the Gitmo detainees.

    All Bush did was keep America safe for 8 years after the unprovoked gutless terrorist attack on 9/11.

    Even you have been kept safe.

    June 1, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  14. Adele

    President Carter is absolutely right. We, citizens, have a right to know what happened in our name. It is unfortunate that Democrats cave in constantly. Cheney, Bush and and whole gang have blood on their hands and should be held accountable.

    June 1, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  15. JA/TN

    President Carter, our focus should be prosecution of the authorizing bodies, the few photos already released are enough for the public to get the point, don't send the enlisted soldiers to jail for following orders

    June 1, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  16. Winston Smith

    It may be a good idea for you to see the pictures. That way, you'll have a good idea what the masters have in mind for those with the temerity to dissent.

    June 1, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  17. Peter E

    You know you're a liberal when: you use outdated scapegoats and tired pundit talking points about irrelevant icons just to excuse the crimes of your new celebrity icon. Face it, Obama's policies are exactly the same as the Bush administration. And yet you trashed those for the past eight years. Now that Obama is committing the same crimes, suddenly it's okay? What's more, it's somehow Carter's fault, a person who's been out of the presidency for 30 years now? And you think we live in the past? Liberals=cherry pickers!

    June 1, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |

    G o build a house you idiot. you weren't much of a pesident.

    June 1, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  19. Anonymous

    JDF, get off the Kool Aid. Why do Obama supporters always seem to get defensive on the SLIGHTEST criticism.

    I agree with Obama on his decision not to show detainee photos, but I am tired of him being prophetized. He is being held up to the esteem of a metaphysical being. Stop it!

    June 1, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  20. liamiv

    The old farm boy had it right. If you want to see torture, check out the web page of the beheading of the news reporter. That's torture. We made them look like fools. That's not torture, and my son was waterborded as all military people are that go thru SARS School. Grow up and if you don't like this country, leave. You won't hurt my feelings.

    June 1, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  21. Pepper from CA

    I'm not sure if the photos should be released or not. If they show what is purported then it is obvious it would inflame our enemies. However, we should also not turn our heads the other way and bring to view the Bush Administration and their crimes. Let the photos and those who allowed this go to a court of law.

    June 1, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  22. JonDie

    Carter's right. Hiding our crimes not only won't make them go away, but also guarantees the future government will commit more crimes.

    June 1, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  23. John in Ohio

    "While you're at it, release the photos of the atrocities that were done by the Iraqi and Afganistan with the people they captured."

    To be better then the worst is no accomplishment and is not a thing of which to be proud.

    To be better then the best is to be a great country.

    June 1, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  24. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    The photes that have already been released are still being used as a propoganda tool. I was watching Fareed Zhakaria yesterday and on some of the Arab newpapers, they still post the Abu Ghraib pictures. Releasing any new photos WILL endanger out troops Mr. Carter.

    June 1, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  25. really

    Jimmy, you may be a nice guy, by sorry, you were a terrible president, so that make your opinions on other presidents a moot point.

    June 1, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
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