State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley resigned under pressure on Sunday, a few days after telling a small audience at MIT that the Obama administration's treatment of alleged WikiLeaks secret-spiller Pfc. Bradley Manning has been "ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid." Asked about the criticism, Obama said the Pentagon had assured him that the conditions of Manning's detention — including, reportedly, some enforced nudity and 23 hours a day of solitary time — are "appropriate and are meeting our basic standards." Is the president defending prisoner abuse? (Watch an MSNBC report about Crowley's resignation)
Yes, Obama "lied" about ending torture: It's bad enough that Obama fired an "American hero" like Crowley for telling the truth about the "bizarre and immoral treatment" of Manning, says Will Bunch at the Philadelphia Daily News. But the "biggest outrage" is that "Obama's Pentagon is torturing Bradley Manning" at all. "This isn't "George W. Bush's fault or Dick Cheney's fault," but the fault of the guy who vowed to stop torture. That's "taking presidential hypocrisy to new levels."
"Lies my Obama told me"
No, Crowley just had to go: You can't have the State Department chastising the Defense Department over its detention practices, says Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. So "the White House acted appropriately in kicking Crowley out at State, and should be commended for taking quick action." Besides, Manning's being stripped naked is "objectively" not punitive; it's precautionary, given remarks he'd made about killing himself with his underwear's elastic waistband. His "'joking' about suicide while in a brig is akin to joking about having a bomb" in the airport.
"WH ousts Crowley from State"
This says more about Hillary Clinton than Obama: Crowley acknowledges that he effectively "ousted himself" by speaking out against Manning's mistreatment, says Ben Smith at Politico. But he's "been rumored to be on the way out since the day he started." He didn't much want the job, and he clashed with Clinton's inner circle, of which he was never really a member. Crowley's departure is about "the odd internal politics of the Clinton State Department" — not the president's stance on torture.
"Crowley leaves an enigmatic Hillaryland"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Republicans love this new health care plan. Too bad it's basically a tax cut for the rich.
- In Ferguson, Michael Brown lost his life — and America's police lost the benefit of the doubt
- In defense of Gwyneth Paltrow
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- 17 old proverbs we should use more often
- Chuck Hagel wasn't the problem. It's America's addiction to endless war.
- Don't blame Chuck Hagel: Obama's foreign policy has been a disaster from end to end
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Adam Sandler's 'Thanksgiving Song': Explaining the 22-year-old tune's pop-culture references
Subscribe to the Week