As Crowley resigns over Manning comments, Rep. Kucinich reports unofficial denial of visit request
Over the weekend, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley announced his resignation from his position via a statement available on the State Department website. His resignation follows comments he made during a visit to MIT last week in which he called the Department of Defense’s treatment of Pfc. Bradley Manning “ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid.” CNN sources report that the resignation was not Crowley’s decision and that officials in the Obama administration demanded it.
In Crowley’s resignation statement, he does not apologize for his comments, instead taking “full responsibility” for them and exhorting the government to exercise power in a way that is “prudent and consistent with our laws and values.”
Crowley wasn’t the only public official last week to decry the ongoing treatment of Manning at the Marine Corps Brig in Quantico, Virginia. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) announced back in February that he had requested an audience with Manning in Quantico. On Friday, he said in a radio interview that his request has not been officially denied, but that he has been bounced around the Department of Defense and two branches of the military for the last month without getting an answer. “The fact that he’s awaiting trial and they’re doing this to him raises serious questions about our criminal justice process.”
The news that Kucinich is being stonewalled in his attempts to visit Manning comes just days after a report that Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), a freshman congressman affiliated with the Tea Party, will this week visit Guantánamo Bay with five other congressmen whose names have not been disclosed. The purpose of the visit is said to be an investigation of detainee treatment and a review of military trials at Guantánamo. West, a retired career Army officer, faced disciplinary action following a 2003 incident in which he used gunplay as an intimidation tactic during an interrogation in Iraq. He was ultimately ordered to pay a $5,000 fine but avoided court-martial.