Friday, March 11, 2011

Manning update

First of all, our thoughts are with the people of Japan and all those affected by the horrific earthquake and tsunamis in the Pacific.


UPDATE [Fri.]: According to Philippa Thomas -- a long-time British journalist and current Neiman Journalism Fellow at Harvard -- State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley was speaking to a small audience of 20 people (including Thomas) at MIT regarding social media, and the following occurred:

And then, inevitably, one young man said he wanted to address "the elephant in the room". What did Crowley think, he asked, about Wikileaks? About the United States, in his words, "torturing a prisoner in a military brig"? Crowley didn’t stop to think. What’s being done to Bradley Manning by my colleagues at the Department of Defense "is ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid" . . .

Thomas noted that Crowley added that Manning deserves to be in prison, but as she puts it: "But still, he’d said it. And the fact he felt strongly enough to say it seems to me an extraordinary insight into the tensions within the administration over Wikileaks." She adds: "A few minutes later, I had a chance to ask a question. 'Are you on the record?' I would not be writing this if he’d said no. There was an uncomfortable pause. 'Sure'." If she's reporting that accurately -- and she's obviously a credible journalist -- then that's quite extraordinary.

Oh Dear. Greenwald gets snippy in response to these comments from our Hopey-Changey Democratic President:
UPDATE V: At a Press Conference just now, ABC News' Jake Tapper asked President Obama about Crowley's comments and Obama replied:

I have actually asked the Pentagon whether or not procedures on Manning meet basic standards. They assure me that they are.

Oh, that's very reassuring -- and such a very thorough and diligent effort by the President to ensure that detainees under his command aren't being abused. He asked the Pentagon and they said everything was great -- what more is there to know? Everyone knows that on questions of whether the military is abusing detainees, the authoritative source is . . . the military. You just ask them if they're doing anything improper, and once they tell you that they're not, that's the end of the matter.

I have no doubt that George Bush asked the DoD whether everything was being run professionally at Guantanamo and they assured him that they were. Perhaps the reason there haven't been any Wall Street prosecutions is because Obama asked Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein if there was any fraud and those banking executives assured the President that there wasn't.
Gosh, one wonders what "basic standards" our President is referring to; would those be our new Post-9/11 George W. Bush Basic Standards of Detainee Treatment?

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