I still remember the pause – two or three seconds – between me asking State Department spokesman PJ Crowley whether he was ‘on the record’ with his scathing criticism of the Pentagon’s treatment of Wikileaks whistleblower Bradley Manning, and Crowley’s one word answer. “Sure”. Now Crowley has talked to Ben Smith at Politico about that moment, why he felt the need to speak out, and his strength of feeling about US foreign policy and US national values.
As Smith puts it, there were “few more unlikely candidates” than the tight-lipped Crowley to become a free speech martyr. I doubt Mr Crowley cares what I say here – but he’s clearly a very decent man who chose his moment to talk frankly about a matter where he believed (still believes) this administration is doing itself harm.