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Carter Breaks with Obama: Probe Bush Officials

June 2, 2009

David Edwards and Stephen Webster
Raw Story
June 1, 2009

Former president apparently lends support for “Truth Commission” on prisoner abuse, says torture is a crime “against our Constitution”

Former President Jimmy Carter, speaking to CNN on Monday, said he disagrees with President Barack Obama’s decision to withhold photos of prisoner abuse. He added that Obama appears to be resolved against resurrecting the past by punishing those in the Bush administration guilty of what Carter himself considers “crimes against our Constitution”

“I respect what his decisions are,” he told CNN’s Campbell Brown. “I don’t have the responsibility to deal with the consequences. But I think that most of his supporters were hoping he would be more open in the revelation of what we’ve done in the past.

“But, ah, 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 that are guilty of perpetrating what I consider crimes against our own laws and against our constitution.”

Carter added that while releasing the images may cause “further animosity” toward the United States, the public knowledge that the photos simply exist already serves that cause, whereas instead of seeing them for what they are, the imagination can tend to fill in its own details.

And while Carter repeated several times that he will not criticize Obama for his decision, he did seem to lend support for the so-called “Truth Commission” that’s been discussed in the House and Senate.

Saying that “prosecution is too strong a word,” he added that what he 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,” said Carter. “And then after all that’s done, decide whether or not there should be any prosecutions.”

Brown’s interview with Carter will air on CNN, Monday night at 8 p.m. EST.

This video is from, broadcast June 1, 2009.

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