Illustrating the fact that telling the truth can be fatal in Washington, an Obama administration official has resigned after characterizing the Pentagon's handling of Pfc. Bradley Manning as "ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid." Former State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley was referring to the harsh treatment that has been visited on Manning, who is suspected of turning over several hundred thousand confidential documents to WikiLeaks.
FOR THE RECORD:
Manning: A March 15 editorial said that new charges against Pfc. Bradley Manning were filed last week. The charges were filed two weeks ago.
Manning, who is being held in the brig at the Quantico Marine base in Virginia, has been confined to "maximum custody." He also has been subject to a "prevention of injury" order. The result is that he is kept in his cell 23 hours a day. According to his attorney, Manning is also denied sheets, forbidden to exercise in his cell and not allowed to sleep between 5 a.m. and 8 p.m.
Most recently, the attorney has alleged that Manning has been stripped naked at bedtime — the result, apparently, of Manning's sarcastic comment that if he wanted to commit suicide, he could use the elastic band in his underwear or his flip-flops. After requiring him to sleep naked for several days, the Pentagon says Manning now sleeps in "tear-proof garments."