US State department official resigns after Wikileaks comments

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A spokesperson for the US state department, Philip Crowley, resigned today after making comments describing the treatment of Bradley Manning, who is accused of leaking information to Wikileaks, as "stupid."

Crowley made the comments last week at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After being asked a question about concerns Manning was being tortured while in prison, Crowley replied that he thought that how the Defense Department was treating Manning was "ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid." He also said that he still believed Manning belonged in prison.

Crowley's remarks sparked widespread controversy, and on Friday President Barack Obama was asked about them at a press conference. In reply, Obama said that Defense Department officials had "assure[d] me" that Manning was being treated appropriately.

In a statement, Crowley said that "[g]iven the impact of my remarks, for which I take full responsibility, I have submitted my resignation." Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that Mike Hammer, a current White House aide, will replace Crowley. She also said that it was "with regret" that she accepted his resignation, and wished him "the very best."