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Whatever you do, Americans, don’t speak up against repression


PJ Crowley, the spokesman for the US state department (which somewhat hypocritically gave Wikileaks the brush off but was happy to negotiate with the New York Times over the recent diplomatic cables leak) has at least partly redeemed his department by speaking up on behalf of Bradley Manning.

The fact that he had to resign after doing so is of course both incredible and shameful.

The resignation followed Crowley’s remarks to an MIT seminar last week about Manning’s treatment in military prison.

Crowley had said: “What is being done to Bradley Manning is ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid on the part of the department of defence.”

The remarks forced President Obama to address for the first time the issue of Manning’s handling at Quantico marine base in Virginia. Obama defended the way Manning is being treated, saying he had been reassured by the Pentagon that his confinement was appropriate.

Incredible, too, that that was the first time President Obama had addressed this issue, when it’s a scandal around the world – well, the other 93% of the world. The land of the free, with its guarantee of free speech, seems not to have noticed that, with its division into an elite plus everyone else, its curtailment of basic freedoms, its use of torture and prison camps, and its retainment of that Medieval atrocity, the death penalty, it is rapidly taking on the role of its old Cold War enemy.

Well, OK, PJ Crowley clearly has. As he said,

The exercise of power in today’s challenging times and relentless media environment must be prudent and consistent with our laws and values.

Having to resign for stating what we used to think were the US’s core values…? America really has “lost a little of its greatness.” I blame it on the wallpaper.

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