Tags: obama | wikileaks | crowley | manning | comments | thomas | bbc

Obama Spokesman in Hot Water Over WikiLeaks Comments

Saturday, 12 Mar 2011 10:35 AM

State Dept. spokesman P.J. Crowley may be in hot water over remarks he’s made concerning Bradley Manning, the imprisoned soldier at the center of the WikiLeaks debacle for the Obama administration, according to Politico.

Crowley was speaking to a small audience at MIT on “the benefits of new media as it relates to foreign policy”, an event organized by the Center for Future Civic Media.

In the midst of a conversation about social media, one participant said he wanted to address “the elephant in the room.” What did Crowley think, he asked, about Wikileaks? About the United States, in his words, “torturing a prisoner in a military brig”?

Crowley apparently didn’t stop to think, according to blogger Philippa Thomas, a BBC reporter who is now a Nieman Journalism Fellow at Harvard University. She pointed out on her blog that Manning has become "a cause celebre on parts of the left" because of the harsh treatment.

Crowley responded that what’s being done to Bradley Manning by my colleagues at the Department of Defense “is ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid.” He paused. “None the less Bradley Manning is in the right place”. And he went on lengthening his answer, explaining why in Washington’s view, “there is sometimes a need for secrets… for diplomatic progress to be made”.

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