The Global Report

U.S. official criticizes treatment of Army private in WikiLeaks case

Added under US Military Affairs

Reporting from Washington

Public criticism by a State Department spokesman about the treatment of an Army private accused of giving classified U.S. material to WikiLeaks has sparked speculation of a rift within the U.S. government over the handling of the prisoner.

P.J. Crowley told a forum in Cambridge, Mass., on Thursday that Pfc. Bradley Manning's treatment by the Defense Department in a jail at the Marine base in Quantico, Va., was "ridiculous, counterproductive and stupid."

According to Manning's lawyers, he is kept in conditions tantamount to solitary confinement and has been forced to sleep and stand at attention while naked. He is reportedly on suicide watch.

President Obama was asked at Friday, during a news conference, about Crowley's comments.

"I have actually asked the Pentagon whether or not the procedures that have been taken in terms of his confinement are appropriate and are meeting our basic standards. They assure me that they are," Obama said. "I can't go into details about some of their concerns, but some of this has to do with Pvt. Manning's safety as well."

Sources: Los Angeles Times

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