Update: State Dep’t Spokesman Resigns After Speaking Out Against Abuse of Accused Wikileaker
Apparently, speaking out publicly against your government’s near-torture of a prisoner convicted of no crime is worse than the actual abuse itself:
State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley has resigned after publicly bashing the Pentagon’s treatment of jailed soldier Bradley Manning, accused of leaking secret diplomatic cables to the whistle- blowing website Wikileaks. Crowley, appearing at a journalism event at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Thursday, called the US military’s abusive treatment of Manning “ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid.”
Crowley will be replaced by Michael Hammer, who was already at the State Department in anticipation of Crowley’s approaching retirement. Crowley, in a statement, said:
“The unauthorized disclosure of classified information is a serious crime under U.S. law. My recent comments regarding the conditions of the pre-trial detention of Private First Class Bradley Manning 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. Given the impact of my remarks, for which I take full responsibility, I have submitted my resignation.”
According to Raw Story, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has accepted Crowley’s resignation with “regret.” Clinton said “his service to country is motivated by a deep devotion to public policy and public diplomacy.”
Manning, a 23-year-old private first class in the US Army, was arrested on May 26, 2010 on suspicion of leaking classified American documents to the whistleblower website Wikileaks. His treatment borders on torture; he has been held in strict solitary confinement, deprived of sleep, and denied basic bedding items. He’s been forced to spend long periods naked and standing at attention. His mental and physical health have deteriorated. The United Nations is so concerned about Manning’s inhumane treatment that the world body has launched an investigation.
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