With the sudden retirement of State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley over his remarks criticizing treatment of Bradley Manning (presumably due to pressure within the Obama administration, as well as Obama’s public statement that the treatment was “meeting our basic standards.”), it seems that the Obama administration is in full support of Manning’s conditions.
Beyond that, Rep. Dennis Kucinich has been unable to see Manning. From Raw Story:
“I put in a request to the secretary of defense, who referred me to the secretary of the army, who referred me to the secretary of the navy, who referred me to the secretary of defense, and still not an answer on whether or not I can visit Private Manning,” Rep. Kucinich explained to Scott Horton of KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles on Friday.
On a systematic level, the United States government is making great effort to prevent criticism of Manning’s treatment from coming from within itself. Besides being a member of the House of Representatives, Kucinich is part of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Oversight, though, is impossible if Kucinich is not granted access to the processes he is responsible for overseeing.
As Andrew Sullivan put it,
By firing PJ Crowley for the offense of protesting against the sadistic military treatment of Bradley Manning, the president has now put his personal weight behind prisoner abuse. The man who once said that forced nudity was a form of torture, now takes the word of those enforcing it over a distinguished public servant.