POLITICS
07/02/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Jimmy Carter Disagrees With Obama Decision To Block Detainee Photos

In an interview with CNN's Campbell Brown, former president Jimmy Carter said he disagreed with President Obama's decision to oppose the release of photos depicting detainee torture. " I don't have the responsibility to deal with the consequences, but I think ... most of his supporters were hoping that he would be much more open in the revelation of what we've done in the past."

Campbell Brown: Weigh in if you will on the torture debate, what about prosecuting Bush administration officials who approved waterboarding and other harsh interrogation tactics. You know, there's a real split in your party about this issue. What do you think?

Former President Carter: Well, I think prosecuting is too strong a word, 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 and then after all that's done, decide whether or not there should be any prosecutions. But the revelation of what did happen is what I think I would support.

Campbell Brown: If you look at the US relationship today with the Muslim world, you could argue that there has been a lot of, of, -- had been a lot of other issues that have caused a lot of damage. One of those being the images of the prisoner abuse in Abu Ghraib when they became public. And now we are hearing or learning that there are more pictures of detainee abuse. Many arguing they should also be made public. President Obama wants to keep them under wraps. Do you agree with his decision?

Former President Carter: No, but I respect what his decisions are. I don't have the responsibility to deal with the consequences, but I think they, most of his supporters were hoping that he would be much more open in the revelation of what we've done in the past. But he's made a decision with which I really can't contend that he doesn't want to resurrect the past, he doesn't want to punish those who are guilty of perpetrating of what I consider crimes against our own laws and against our own constitution. And the revelation of those pictures might very well inflame further animosity against our country causing some harm to our soldiers, so I don't agree with him, but I certainly don't criticize him for making that decision.

Campbell Brown: But you don't agree with that point because he's made it, many in the military have made it -- that it does fuel anger at American troops and could endanger them more?

Former President Carter: Well I think it is hard to realize how much anger there already is based on the revelations that have already been made and any knowledgeable person within the Arab world or around the rest of the countries on earth know that these pictures exist -- they can now only imagine how bad they are and maybe the actual publication of them wouldn't exacerbate an already bad situation.

The full interview airs at 8 P.M. Eastern Time.

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