P.J. Crowley resigns after criticizing Pentagon's treatment of prisoner
State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley has resigned following controversial comments he made last week about the Pentagon.
Crowley, who announced his resignation on March 13, stepped aside after criticizing the government's treatment of Private First Class Bradley Manning, who is accused of releasing hundreds of thousands of confidential documents to WikiLeaks. During an event at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) last week, Crowley was asked about his reaction to reports that military officials have allegedly tortured Manning.
According to blogger Philippa Thomas, who attended the MIT conference, Crowley said the Pentagon's tactics were "ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid." Although he added that Manning is "in the right place," his comments were viewed as critical of the government's handling of a prisoner.
During a press conference on March 11, President Barack Obama did not come to Crowley's defense when he was asked about the remarks. According to FOX News, the Obama administration was already unhappy with Crowley following one of his Twitter posts in the midst of the Egyptian uprising.
In his tweet, Crowley said that removing Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak from office would simply "rearrange the deck chairs." The media outlet reported that Crowley's comment was not approved in advance, and White House officials were not pleased with the remark.
In his formal resignation letter, however, Crowley said that his departure is a result of his latest statements regarding the treatment of Manning.
"My recent comments…were intended to highlight the broader, even strategic impact of discreet actions undertaken by national security agencies every day and their impact on our global standing and leadership," he wrote.