Yep, the 24 hour a day isolation, lights on, stripped naked treatment by the military– prior to the upcoming trial of Private Bradely Manning, a “suspect” not yet tried (so legally he cannot yet be punished)– has caught the emotions of the U.S State Department spokesperson P.J. Crowley. Spokesperson Crowley has been the person at the State Department who has been very vocal about the alleged damage caused American interests by wikileaks. Yet, yesterday, when speaking at MIT he denounced Manning’s treatment in the brig. When asked by a BBC reporter if his comments were “on the record” he stated yes. Story here
On the other end of the spectrum is the pro torture US President. No, dummy, not George Bush. You know who I am talking about. Remember, the guy who won in 2008 and in his election night acceptance speech where we all wept as he spoke in front of the bright lights outdoors in Chicago and declared “We no longer torture people in this country.” That guy. He has not just completely broken his “Gitmo” promise, not only has he not refused to defend the hundreds of lawsuits regarding rendition, but yesterday he heard of Crowley’s statements and said
President Obama told reporters on Friday that he’s been assured by the Pentagon that its treatment of the private charged with giving information to WikiLeaks is “appropriate.”
Obama declined to “go into details” about the detention of Private Bradley Manning but said that he “actually 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 assured me that they are,” Obama said.
Asked about Crowley’s comments at his press conference, Obama didn’t mention the spokesman. “I can’t go into details about some of their concerns, but some of this has to do with Private Manning’s safety as well,” Obama said.
David House, a spokesman with the Bradley Manning Advocacy Fund, responded in a statement: “Anyone who reads Manning’s attorney’s rebuttal can see that there is no justification for Bradley’s inhumane treatment. I agree with Mr. Crowley that it’s just stupid and unproductive.”
Obama’s tough stance against torture and in depth investigation into the situation of Manning is reported here.