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. Ben

    MarkieBee: "People, it's simple…you get elected from the sides but you govern from the middle"

    If I saw any evidence Obama was actually trying to govern from the center maybe I'd agree with you. You'd have to be an idiot to think he has any interest in doing that. The facts just don't bear that out.

    June 1, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  2. Mom

    As a wife and a Mother of servicemen I ask you not to put them in harms way ... more than they already are ...DO NOT realease these photos...

    June 1, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  3. Retired US ARMY

    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 is a graduate of the USNA, he has served his nation in the US Navy as an active duty Naval Officier and completed his serve obligations to his nation. As such President Carter has shown nothing but concern for the men and woman of the mlitary and gone out of his way to insure that they have not been used in a wasteful fashion. Here is something for you to reflect upon, "War is an extension of diplomacy, when all else fails." To put in layman terms war is a result of diplomatic failure of an adminstration, not something to strive for or desire, but then again had you ever served in war or peace you might understand that.

    June 1, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  4. MarkieBee

    Apparently the RealityKing is living inan alternate universe. Obama's been in office 150 days and Sur-RealityKing is tagging him with everything that was caused by the Bush administration. Hilarious, if it wasn't so sad.

    June 1, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  5. Jean

    Carter and Obama are two peas in a pot.

    June 1, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  6. norma

    What's to be gained by showing pictures. Our first priority should be our military men and women, not those that would harm them. And just how much respect did we get around the world when weak Carter was in office? Carter might be a kind hearted man but never was Presidential material. I believe Carter thinks all people are good. He lives in La La Land.

    June 1, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  7. Nunya

    To those of you complaining about interest rates and how what we have now is better, the game isn't over. High interest rates will be returning in the not too distant future. And the root cause won't be Obama. The foundations of that were laid well before he came into office. His administration's role in that unfolding will amount to having avoided a severe depression and not cut back on the huge deficits that we've been running for the last half dozen years....

    June 1, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  8. Jb

    Jimmy Carter is a decent man and has a right to his opinion.

    Obama did not release the pictures because he thought there may be a backlash towards American troops who are still over there. I respect that opinion. I ,also think Cheney, in particular should be brought up on charges and given the maximum penalty for his crimes. But, I understand why they are not focusing on this as well.

    I don't agree with everything that President Obama does. ( His pick for education was very status quo and continues the problems that the Bush Administration began. We need to get rid of Nochild left behind for good. It's teaching based on test scores only and it is very negative for teachers and children) . In any case, I still think he is the best president that I have seen in my lifetime. He does have the people's interests at heart. He also has put protections in for the enivroment and for wildlife- something which is very important at this critical stage in the Earth's history.

    June 1, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  9. Darth Vadik, CA

    If we would have done whatr Jimmy Carter suggested back in the 70's like Brazil did, we would have been free of foreign oil dependence 5 years ago, like Brazil did, but enough about Carter's unheeded wisdom...

    ...Only diddo-heads agree with everything the drug-addled gas bag says, for the rest of us smart people, we don't agree with everything Obama says or does all the time, heck I don't agree with my father sll the time, but I do agree with a lot of Obama policies. So does most of the country and the world...

    ...but it's still nice to know that Obama won't go down as the most despised President the US has ever had, off all time, in the world. Like your right wing buddy in Texas is.

    June 1, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  10. Brandon

    All of you saying you want the pictures released of our troops torturing Gitmo prisoners, well all I can say is "What is your problem"? Do you realize that the terrorists we are fighting don't give a rats a$$ about the Geneva Conventions that we signed. They are laughing at us all over the country because all you all want to do is bury your own soldiers!!! How dare you all want to possibly put them in more of harms way? The terrorists don't torture. They just kill! Remember Daniel Pearl? They cut his head off with a knife on live tv. And you all are upset because we poured water on some terrorists face? You all are the true domestic terrorists.

    June 1, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  11. red33,cedar rapids, ia

    If Jimmy Carter was not so hungry for publicity, he would do the sensible thing and just go away and shut up. He screwed up many situations when he was president, which reverberate to this day. He has such a tremendous ego, that it appears he can't just 'shut up'.

    June 1, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  12. Fair is Fair

    @ Jay (the Veteran):

    Sir, a heartfelt "THANK YOU" for your service to our country from all of us who owe you a debt of gratitude that we cannot possibly repay.

    June 1, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  13. Ben

    If Bush and Cheney are let off the hook for torture, it leaves the door open for the next bunch of little Hitlers to take it to the next level. Do you want to be party to rape and torture of children? Let them off the hook and you're as bad as the Germans who looked the other way during the Holocaust. I repudiate what Bush and Cheney have perpetrated in the name of America. I want them brought to justice! Obama is wrong for dawdling and equivocating.

    BTW, why doesn't somebody make the connection between Pelosi's CIA briefing and the fact that she took impeachment off the table? She gave Bush a pass to keep her own guilt out of public view.

    June 1, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |

    did anyone hear him this morning talking about GM, he said he can't let them be hoards of the taxpayers. first of all GM and Ford should get 500 billion dollars. did he forget that gm and ford have been around a long time and are the back bone to this country. lets just keep giving to AIG.

    June 1, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  15. Zion

    First of all, I am sick of the disingenous political postering on both sides fo the isle. If Pres. Obama truly held investigations concerning torture, DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS would be in jail, including your girl Hillary. They all knew, and now everyone who knows that they are pro-torture are trying to pretend as if they are anti-torture now. When you guys stop pretending as if Republicans and Democrats have your interest at heart, call me America.

    June 1, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  16. Buffalo

    This is a non-issue. Did people really think President Obama would always follow the Democrat's position on everything? The Democrats tend to be divided on several issues, which creates open debate within the party. This is so much better than the lock-step GOP, always following whatever Fox News, right-wing talk radio hosts or big business tells them to do.

    June 1, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  17. Mark in NY

    As usual, Carter is completely right. The photos should be released. Is anyone here actually naive enough to think that the terrorists won't eventually get their hands on the photos?

    Witholding them just feeds the imaginations of those that hate us and makes Obama look like another Bush (in their eyes at least). Sometimes, it's best to simply come clean. Release the photos and say "Horrible things were done by the previous administration. We condemn this and it will not happen under this administration".

    The US torturing muslim prisoners was the biggest help to terrorist recruitment ever. The best we can do now is simply minimize the damage.

    June 1, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  18. jerry

    former President Carter showed why he was a week President and 1 term Pres, he has now clue

    June 1, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  19. Ellie Hawking

    Shut up, Jimmy! Geesh!

    June 1, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  20. when wall street goes up, main street goes down

    that's the nature of capitalism, not some unlucky coincidence.

    wake up people, and

    stop investing against your own interest.

    stop buying everything corporate.

    start growing your own food.

    it's good for your body and soul.

    June 1, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  21. Linda iowa

    Kyle , Albany, Bravo!!!
    The disrespect shown on these blogs is a disgrace. People should be able to disagree without all the insults and name calling. That being said I am somewhat dissappointed in things not being fixed from the bottom up. Still throwing money away at the top. There have been some great ideas out here but to simple for the beltway to get I guess. My favorite, Give every American over 50 still in the work force (40 million) 1 million dollars, 40 million job openings, must buy a new home or pay off existing mortgage (financial market infused with cash) must buy a new American made car (auto industry fixed). I am just an average person not an economist but I can not see a down side to this. Much cheaper than the billions being thrown away to the top. Economy fixed from the bottom up as promised.

    June 1, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  22. AA

    lets see how many ways we can hurt the American people – that was said by "W". now he wants us to buy his book. I don't think so. Who in the hell does he think the American people are, stupid. The nerve of him. I hope his book with be the first president's book that doesn't sell well. That would be fantastic. For the American people that is.

    June 1, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  23. Bev

    As a military mom, I agree that releasing any of these photos places our military in harms way. It's the makings of vengence. That said, at some point they should be released, but in the distant future. We need to put this war BEHIND us as soon as possible. It was one that should never have been fought, with catastrophic results in so many ways. Jimmy Carter's desire for full transparency is a virtuous idea – but not yet.

    June 1, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  24. dominican mama 4 Obama

    Dear Fellow Bloggers:

    It appears that the only effective way to deal with the "idiots" that keep shouting into the wind on these blogs is to TOTALLY IGNORE THEM. Watch them spin deeper into their irrational mode by spewing further hate, and unsupported "facts", and then all of a sudden ask: "Hey,what happened? Cat got your tongue." I'm all for the occassional slam, and dunk, but the truly offensive should just be ignored.

    June 1, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  25. Dan, TX

    Everyone knew Obama was a moderate when he was elected. He is not going to please the far left or far right. Obama follows common sense. The pictures will come out eventually, but let's get the bulk of our troops out of harm's way first.

    June 1, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
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