Tuesday, March 29, 2011

PJ Crowley Out for Criticizing Torture

From the London Guardian:
PJ Crowley, the official spokesman at the state department, has fallen on his sword after calling the treatment of Bradley Manning, the alleged source of the WikiLeaks files, "counterproductive and stupid".

The resignation followed Crowley's remarks to an MIT seminar last week about Manning's treatment in military prison.

Crowley had said: "What is being done to Bradley Manning is ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid on the part of the department of defence."

The remarks forced President Obama to address for the first time the issue of Manning's handling at Quantico marine base in Virginia. Obama defended the way Manning is being treated, saying he had been reassured by the Pentagon that his confinement was appropriate.

In a resignation letter, Crowley said he took full responsibility for his remarks. Though he attacked the leaking of classified information, which he called "a serious crime under US law", he stood by his earlier criticism of the Pentagon.

In words that could cause further difficulty for Obama, Crowley said his comments "were intended to highlight the broader, even strategic impact of discreet actions undertaken by national security agencies every day and their impact on our global standing and leadership. The exercise of power in today's challenging times and relentless media environment must be prudent and consistent with our laws and values."

When Obama entered the White House, he made improving the global standing of the US one of the key aims of his administration. He also denounced the extreme treatment of detainees by George W Bush as running counter to the national interest.

In her letter, Hilary Clinton said that "with regret" she had accepted Crowley's departure. "PJ has served our nation with distinction for more than three decades, in uniform and as a civilian," she said...
PJ Crowley resigns over Bradley Manning remark
Ed Pilkington
Sunday 13 March 2011

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