Crowley resigns over ‘Wikileaks suspect being mistreated in jail’ remarks

March 14th, 2011 - 1:16 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Mar 14 (ANI): US State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley has resigned over his comments that Pentagon’s mistreatment towards the American Army soldier accused of leaking thousands of classified military reports to the whistleblower website ‘Wikileaks’ is “ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid.”

“What is being done to Bradley Manning is ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid on the part of the Department of Defence,” Crowley had said at a Massachusetts Institute of Technology seminar.

In a statement on Sunday, Crowley did not make any apology for his remarks, but acknowledged that they made his continued service untenable.

“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,” Crowley said.

“Given the impact of my remarks, for which I take full responsibility, I have submitted my resignation as Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs and Spokesman for the Department of State,” he added.

Crowley’s public criticism had angered some at the Pentagon and others across the administration because it put him directly at odds with Defense Department officials who have spent weeks trying to defend Manning’s treatment, Politico reports.

Manning is being detained under near-constant lockdown, and he filed a formal complaint about being forced to strip each night at bedtime.

On being asked about the controversy, Obama had said that he had asked the Pentagon “whether or not the procedures that have been taken in terms of his confinement are appropriate and are meeting our basic standards. They assure me that they are.”

Obama, however, had avoided responding specifically to Crowley’s comments. (ANI)

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