P.J. Crowley Says He Has 'No Regrets' After State Department Resignation

Mar 28, 2011

In an interview with the BBC's HardTalk, former State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said he didn't "regret saying what I said."

Crowley resigned earlier this month, after he publicly criticized the detention conditions in which Bradley Manning was being held. Manning is the Army private suspected of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks.

At a forum at MIT, Crowley called the treatment of manning "ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid."

In the BBC interview, Crowley said the United States is not torturing Manning. "I thought the treatment of Bradley Manning — the fact that he had to sleep naked and stand in a jail cell naked — was counter-productive to our broader effort of appropriately prosecuting someone who has violated his oath of office," he told HardTalk.

He added: "I'm a believer in something like strategic narratives — that the U.S., as an exceptional country in the world, has to be seen as practicing what we preach."

Crowley would not say if he was asked to resign or if anyone from the White House or State Department called him after his statements. He said that prosecuting Manning is the right thing to do. But he said, some actions could be "legal" but not necessarily "smart."

"The release of 251,000 cables has damaged U.S. interests around the world and more importantly has put the lives of activists, who help us understand what's going on around the world, in jeopardy," he said. "But I felt his treatment undermines the credibility of the ongoing investigation and prosecution. I spoke my mind and I haven't changed my view." Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.