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Wikileaks suspects' well-being a factor in his treatment in jail: Obama


March 14, 2011 - Washington

Amid concerns that the American Army soldier accused of leaking thousands of classified military reports to 'WikiLeaks' is being mistreated in jail, US President Barack Obama has said that Bradley Manning's well-being is a factor in his treatment.

His statement came after State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley slammed the Pentagon saying: "What is being done to Bradley Manning is ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid on the part of the Department of Defence."

On being asked about the issue, Obama said: "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 assured me that they are."

Although Obama never said explicitly whether he agreed with the military's protocol with Manning, including a 23-hour-a-day lockdown in his cell, he suggested that Manning's well-being is a factor in his treatment.

"I can't go into details about some of their concerns, but some of this has to do with Private Manning's safety as well," Politico quoted Obama, as saying.

Meanwhile, Crowley has resigned over his comments against the Pentagon over Manning's mistreatment.

In a statement on Sunday, Crowley did not make any apology for his remarks, but acknowledged that they made his continued service untenable.

Manning is being detained under near-constant lockdown, and he filed a formal complaint about being forced to strip each night at bedtime.

ANI

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