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. Eli

    Carter's Legacy: 21% interest rates; high inflation; double digit unemployment; odd-even gas days; a "crisis in confidence" (his words); impotent foreign policy.

    June 1, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  2. KMAN

    Carter is right on this ... Obama is wrong. Criminals at every level need to be held accountable for their actions .. simply looking to the "future" while ignoring major crimes committed by right-winged whackos in the previous administration is UN-AMERICAN and frankly, rather cowardly!!!.

    June 1, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  3. JM

    I like and respect President Carter, but he is just wrong here.

    As much as I would like for Bush and his cronies to pay for what they did, prosecuting them helps no one and only hurts us as a country. And with regards to releasing the pictures, if that was done that could be very detrimental to our national security.

    Finally, one thing, spartan83, President Carter actually did serve in the Navy from 1946-1953 (he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1947).

    June 1, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  4. Miles

    Who really cares what Carter thinks? He was a lousy president who responded to terrorism by locking himself in the White House.

    June 1, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  5. Dennis

    While Carter may be a decent human being, he is the worst President of my lifetime. I think Obama is working on being the second term of Jimmy Carter.

    June 1, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  6. franco

    Carter, the worst president on the planet since the creation of the earth!!! He's one big joke!

    June 1, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  7. Ken in NC

    While I respect former President Carter, I respectfully disagree with his position on the release of the pictures in question. The pictures could pose the same problem for our troops overseas as Gitmo does to troops. I feel that the Obama Administration should be open and transparent with Americans, however there is a point where some things must be considered inappropriate to be put out for the general public to view. This may be the case with these pictures. Te problem is that no one trust any sitting administration to make a good decision on the matter. Well people at some point we must yield to our government and allow them to function.

    June 1, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  8. Qui-Tam Relator

    I voted for Hillary and then for Obama. Either one of these politicians have been bought off by the Power Elite in D.C. so don't expect any real change in the business as usual crowd in power today within our political system. Once again we have been sold out by our political leaders for the sake of Big Business and Special Interest Groups. It time for a Revolution because it truly has become Us against Them! ********************************

    June 1, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  9. E.C.Coleman

    Ole Righteous jimmy carter..........

    STILL doesn't know what he's talking about.

    Carter is a Real, Living, Number One Curmudgeon!

    June 1, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  10. John in Ohio

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

    If there was any chance, any chance at all, of Cheney et all being brought to trial for their war crimes, I might agree.

    The Nuremberg trials only happened because of all the pictures of the camps that came out.

    June 1, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  11. Skip K

    I'm not even a Democrat but I get tired of Carter nipping at the heels of every administration. He's like an annoying little dog. I wish he would spend as much time critiquing his own failed administration and subsequent pounding by Ronald Reagan in 1980.

    June 1, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |

    It's called BRAINWASH if you are an obamanite

    June 1, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  13. GREG

    just too many stupid people here. whatever ends up happening too this great country once the liberal are done with it i and most likely alot of other people here writing today will be dead. so let the prez and his cohorts destory this country that what you all want now live with it.

    June 1, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  14. Kile

    Carter WAS the worst President ever. Obama has taken that title from him in just a few short months. Who would have thunk it? Oh yeah, I did. I told everyone I knew that Obama was an America hating socalist before he was elected and now he's proven me right.

    June 1, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  15. Doug, New Jersey

    Obama and Carter, there is a song about them.

    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

    Sorry, only libs are buying this planned out "disagreement". As we know, they will buy anything they are told to by their media mind masters.

    June 1, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  16. Jon in CA

    Hamas-Hugger, Jimmy Carter, now calling for the release of photos??

    Did he shout ALLAH AKBAR afterwards?

    June 1, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  17. rodlang

    If Obama is smart, he won't listen to Mr. Carter...a failed presidency. A total disaster as president.

    June 1, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  18. Rob

    Carter did a good job messing up America when he was in office, and he still tries his best. He cares more about Islamic fundamentalists than he does American soldiers. Good to know that a former president so openly sides with enemies of the military.

    Maybe he's just so used to tile of "Worst President Ever" that he needs to make comments like this to keep Obama from taking that title away.

    June 1, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  19. Chris D.

    Mr. Carter, I respect you.....however I will go w/ the still calmness exuded in this President, he is leading this country in the right direction.....there is a time for everything....letting the photos out, would be easy......
    To all those who compare Obama to Carter, and say 4 and gone....I think you'll all be disappointed....Obama is a new kind of politician, that many Americans have been waiting for......I don't expect Obama, nor do I think it's his overall job to get everyone jobs or totally fix the economy.....only private industry can do this.....However, I do think, and know that it is his job to stabilize the economy, and begin to create an environment for growth, and protect our nation.....Which he is doing!!
    America it is up to us, to go to work everyday, save money, and spend when we can...Basically live responsibly....One by one each of us will restore confidence in America, in it's markets, and in one another.....Then we will see unemployment drop, and markets surge...The answer is in the people....Obama knows this. That's why his domestic policies are geared towards the people....Shaping a new future of growth!! To all you who have tax fears, and try to perpetuate the fear of taxes.....My mind is clear and made up. Better healthcare, cleaner air, and infrastructure for a new green revolution, & better education for our children, and the children to come, I'm ready to pay for!!! Let's Go!!

    June 1, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  20. James M. Holmes

    I disagree with Carter that the "torture photos" should be released... What good would come from it?

    But I DO AGREE with Carter that a "truth commision" should be set up and prosecutions should go forward in regards to the torture!

    I am also upset that Obama wont re-examine our trade agreements like NAFTA and has yet to do all he can to stop the outsourcing of American jobs and putting a stop to corporate offshore accounts... In fact it sounds like he may let GM do just that with taxpayer money... Disgusting IMO... I'm also pretty upset that Obama has taken "single payer Health Care" off the table right now...

    That said, I'm pretty much on board with everything else Obama has done or attempted to do so far... such as CC reform and trying to close Gitmo!

    June 1, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  21. jacob

    Sure Jimmy Carter is a joke but you don't have a problem with chubby pill popping Rush Limbaugh who has never done anything to benefit this country?

    June 1, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  22. WhosCarter

    If Carter is saying he disagrees, you can rest assured that Obama made the right decision. Thanks Jimmy, I feel better now.

    June 1, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  23. Mississippi Mike

    A good rule of thumb with Carter is to listen to his advice and do the exact opposite. I can't think of a single thing he's ever done that's had a beneficial result, no reason to believe he will start now.

    June 1, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  24. Greg Smith, Clifton Heights PA

    Carter and Obama are the two worst Presidents of our time. The next four years are going to be hell.

    June 1, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  25. pat c

    i am embarrassed at how ugly these republicans are that spit and spew such hate at democrats and bash obama for anything and everything that is wrong with our country. obama was elected by the majority of people simply because the republicans under g. bush ruined us across the globe. we were lied to about sadamm and went to war with a country that had nothing to do with 911 and over 4000 of our men and women soldiers were slaudered in the name of a lie. cheney and bush corrupted the system with crooks on wall street, gave millions of dollars to cheney's cronys in iraq and let the war in afganistan fall apart from neglect from bush.we were crumbling as a nation when obama was elected and he is doing all he can to fix a pure mess of years of neglect and all he gets for thanks is the republicans trying to cut his troat at every turn.i am sick of it and until the republicans can win themselves back into office they should keep their nasty mouths shut and let president obama and the voters [which is the majority] support his work. i don't think the pictures should be made public for the safety of our military but i do think bush/cheney an dany otheres responsible should be prosecuted for the war crimes they commited. the republicans then will be brought to their knees and hopefully this blite on our nation will end.

    June 1, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
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