Former State Department spokesman PJ Crowley isn’t stepping back his criticism of the Pentagon’s treatment of Wikileaks whistleblower Bradley Manning. Crowley was fired last month after calling Manning’s treatment – which includes being stripped nude nightly and existing in almost complete isolation – “ridiculous, counterproductive, and stupid.”
On Twitter last night, Crowley renewed his campaign against the Pentagon’s torture of Manning. In two tweets, Crowley contrasted the State Department’s push for human rights for an American held by North Korea with the Pentagon’s decision to “play by its own rules” in denying the UN Special Rappoteur on Torture an official visit with Bradley Manning.
While Crowley seeks to contrast State vs. DOD, both are to blame. It’s clear from the State Department briefing with Crowley’s acting replacement that the United States is having a hard time differentiating itself from China with regards to human rights and detention policies. State claims to be completely forthcoming about UN visits to Manning, yet it still hides behind the Bush-era defense of “ongoing legal proceedings” to not discuss why it’s complicit in denying the UN an official visit to Manning.
It’s hard to imagine Crowley continuing to go rogue in contrasting State with the Pentagon; clearly, the State Department wants to Pentagon to take the blame for Manning’s torture, and it’s open warfare in the media right now.
That said, Marine rules clearly state that “official visits” are allowed to prisoners at Quantico brig. The Pentagon and Quantico should follow its own rules and allow official visits to Manning.