Three of the men who made the request in a letter Friday to the White House worked under President George W. Bush.
Attorney General Eric Holder said last month he was appointing an independent counsel to investigate possible incidents of abuse by CIA personnel during interrogations that went beyond guidelines imposed by the Bush administration.
The incidents were referred by the CIA inspector general to the Justice Department during the Bush administration, but Justice officials at the time prosecuted only one case.
"If criminal investigations closed by career prosecutors during one administration can so easily be reopened at the direction of political appointees in the next, declinations of prosecution will be rendered meaningless," wrote the former directors.
The Washington Post reported on its Web site Friday night that the Justice Department will focus on only two or three cases for possible indictment.
One of them, said the newspaper, involved an Afghan prisoner who died after being beaten and chained on a cold night to a concrete floor without blankets. The report cited unidentified officials.
The seven former CIA directors included Michael Hayden, Porter Goss and George Tenet, who served under Bush; John Deutch and James Woolsey, who worked for President Bill Clinton; William Webster, who served under President George H.W. Bush; and James Schlesinger, who ran the agency under President Richard Nixon. Tenet also served under Clinton.
They urged Obama to reverse Holder's Aug. 24 decision to reopen the investigation of interrogations following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano said the agency is cooperating with the Justice Department review "in part to see that they move as expeditiously as possible."
"The director has stood up for those who followed legal guidance on interrogation, and he will continue to do so," said Gimigliano.
In their letter, the former directors warned that the investigations could discourage CIA officers from doing the kind of aggressive intelligence work needed to counter terrorism and may inhibit foreign governments from working with the United States.
Matthew Miller, Holder's spokesman, said Holder does not believe his probe will affect CIA employees' commitment to their work.