Ed Morrissey thinks that “The White House acted appropriately in kicking Crowley out at State …” in response to Crowley’s public criticism of Pfc. Bradley Manning’s abusive treatment in detention. Then he defends the abuse itself (although of course he doesn’t consider it to be abuse) thusly:
The Guardian dishonestly leaves out some important context in their report:
Commentators were quick to point out the apparent double standards within the government. Glenn Greenwald, a Salon reporter who has been outspoken about Manning’s detention, tweeted that “detainee abuse is allowed, speaking out against it isn’t”.
Last week Manning gave his own personal account of theconditions in which he is being held, saying that it amounted to harsh treatment that was designed to be punitive even before he had been put on trial. He described being stripped naked every night having made a sarcastic comment to guards about the absurdity of the regime he was under.
In response to PFC Manning’s question, he was told that there was nothing he could do to downgrade his detainee status and that the Brig simply considered him a risk of self-harm. PFC Manning then remarked that the POI restrictions were “absurd” and sarcastically stated that if he wanted to harm himself, he could conceivably do so with the elastic waistband of his underwear or with his flip-flops.
“Joking” about suicide while in a brig is akin to joking about having a bomb when going through airport security. The authorities won’t just assume you’re stupid enough to joke about it and will take it seriously, because if they don’t and the suspect was serious, they will get the blame for what follows. The Guardian’s coverage leaves the implication that being stripped naked was punitive and had nothing to do with Manning’s actions, which is objectively not the case.