Hillary Clinton Spokesperson Says Manning is Being 'Mistreated'

Earlier today we reported on the new statement from Bradley Manning about the torture and psychological terrorism he's endured at Quantico military base. But just when it seemed like the administration would stay mum on the matter, a light: PJ Crowley, the US assistant secretary of state for public affairs -- and spokesperson to Hillary Clinton -- has spoken out against his 'mistreatment' at the hands of the Defense Department -- becoming the first high-up official to speak in Manning's favor. "What is being done to Bradley Manning,' he said, 'is ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid on the part of the department of defense." The Guardian:

Crowley, speaking at an MIT seminar in Boston, did say he believed Manning was "in the right place". He was presumably referring to Quantico, where the intelligence specialist has been held pending a court martial since July last year when he was arrested while serving in Iraq.

Crowley said: "There is sometimes a need for secrets for diplomatic progress to be made."

But when asked by one of the audience what he thought about the "elephant in the room" – the US "torturing a prisoner in a military brig", as the questioner put it – he replied without pausing that he thought the Pentagon's actions were "ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid".

Details of Crowley's comments, which he said were on the record, were posted on the personal blog of Philippa Thomas, a BBC news correspondent who is on sabbatical doing a Nieman Journalism fellowship at Harvard . She said she saw the remarks as an extraordinary insight into tensions within the administration over WikiLeaks.

The remarks were corroborated by another blogger who attended the seminar.

Developing. Read more at the Guardian.

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at March 11, 2011, 7:54am

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