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Sunday
Mar132011

PJ Crowley Resigns from State Dept. Post After Controversial Comments

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley resigned Sunday, under pressure to step down from the White House.

The impetus for his termination were comments he made last week at M.I.T. when he said the Pentagon’s treatment of Private Bradley Manning, suspected of leaking cables to WikiLeaks, is “ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid.”

Asked by ABC News if he agreed with that, President Obama said Friday that he had “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.” Pentagon officials, he said, “assure me that they are. 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.”

"PJ has served our nation with distinction for more than three decades, in uniform and as a civilian," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement. "His service to country is motivated by a deep devotion to public policy and public diplomacy, and I wish him the very best."

Manning was arrested in May 2010 after telling a former hacker that he had given documents to WikiLeaks. Earlier this month the Army filed 22 new counts against him including aiding the enemy, theft of public property or records, computer fraud, transmitting information in violation of the Espionage Act.

On January 19, Amnesty International wrote to Defense Secretary Robert Gates to “express concern about the conditions under which Private First Class (PFC) Bradley Manning is detained at the Quantico Marine Corps Base in Virginia,” saying that “the restrictions imposed in PFC Manning’s case appear to be unnecessarily harsh and punitive.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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