Obama's Latest Torture; Administration Hypocrisy over Treatment of WikiLeaks Prisoner
Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES
President Obama is feeling the heat over the treatment of WikiLeaks suspect Army Pfc. Bradley E. Manning. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Mr. Obama took unseemly advantage of the accusation that George W. Bush's administration tortured terrorist detainees. Now even an O Force insider is strongly hinting that the administration's conduct toward the individual thought to have leaked thousands of classified documents amounts to torture.
Mr. Manning's attorney, David Coombs, last week released a letter in which Pfc. Manning purportedly described the ordeal he suffered in January during a three-day suicide watch at the brig where he is being held at the Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Va. I was stripped of all clothing [at night] with the exception of my underwear, he wrote. My prescription eyeglasses were taken away from me and I was forced to sit in essential blindness. A short time later State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley was asked about why the United States was torturing a prisoner in a military brig during an on-the-record roundtable at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Mr. Crowley did not question the premise but said that the way Pfc. Manning was being treated was ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid.
Administration officials were obviously not happy with this outburst. In a resignation statement, Mr. Crowley explained his comments were intended to highlight the broader, even strategic impact of discrete actions undertaken by national security agencies every day and their impact on our global standing and leadership. Of course, he did much more damage to U.S. global standing and leadership with his casual, off-the-cuff remark. He added that the exercise of power must be prudent and consistent with our laws and values, which implies that torture is indeed taking place, but it is not necessarily so.
A source familiar with the protocols of a prisoner suicide watch told The Washington Times that what the letter describes is standard operating procedure. …