Last week, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley criticized DOD for its treatment of Manning, calling it “ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid.”
Barack Obama was later asked what he thought about Crowley’s comments, and replied saying that he trusts the Pentagon, and believes Manning’s confinement is “appropriate” and “meeting basic standards.”
CNN reported today that the White House has now forced Crowley to resign.
In his resignation statement, Crowley did not back down from his criticism:
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 as Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs and Spokesman for the Department of State.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she accepted Crowley’s resignation “with regret.” “PJ has served our nation with distinction for more than three decades, in uniform and as a civilian,” she said. “His service to country is motivated by a deep devotion to public policy and public diplomacy, and I wish him the very best.” He previously served as a spokesman for the National Security Council and the Defense Department during the Clinton administration.
“Manning is alleged to have committed serious crimes,” Matt Yglesias writes, referring to Crowley’s abrupt resignation, adding, “The correct response would be to put him on trial. To hold a person without trial in solitary confinement under degrading conditions is a perversion of justice.”
Related Link: P.J. Crowley Talks About Bradley Manning Remarks