That was fast. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley is stepping down under pressure from the White House after criticizing the treatment of WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning. Speaking at MIT on Friday, Crowley called Manning's treatment “ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid," though he noted that Manning “is in the right place.” Later that day, when President Obama was asked about Crowley's comment, he responded that he had asked Pentagon officials whether Manning's confinement is appropriate, and that they assured him that it is. Amnesty International has noted that Manning is confined to a windowless cell for 23 hours a day, and his lawyer says he is forced to sleep naked each night because defense officials think he is a suicide risk. Crowley will likely be replaced by his deputy, Mike Hammer.
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