WikiLeaks row: US official PJ Crowley quits after slam of Pentagon

The US state department spokesman PJ Crowley has resigned after calling the treatment of the man accused of leaking secret cables to Wikileaks "stupid".

Updated: Mar 14, 2011, 00:06 AM IST

Washington: US State Department spokesman
P J Crowley resigned on Sunday, days after criticising the
Pentagon`s treatment of the man accused of leaking secret
cables to WikiLeaks as "ridiculous, counterproductive and

"Given the impact of my remarks, for which I take full
responsibility, I have submitted my resignation as Assistant
Secretary for Public Affairs and Spokesman for the Department
of State," Crowley said in his resignation statement.

Accepting the resignation, Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton said Crowley would be replaced by Michael Hammer, who
till recently was spokesman of the National Security Council,
White House. Hammer had recently joined the State Department.

"It is with regret that I have accepted the
resignation of Philip J Crowley as Assistant Secretary of
State for Public Affairs," Clinton said in a statement.

"PJ, (as Crowley, is popularly known) has served our
nation with distinction for more than three decades, in
uniform and as a civilian," Clinton said.

Noting that the unauthorised disclosure of
classified information is a serious crime under US law,
Crowley said his recent comments regarding the conditions of
the pre-trial detention of Private First Class Bradley Manning
were intended to highlight the broader, even strategic impact
of discreet actions undertaken by national security agencies
every day and their impact on our global standing and

"The exercise of power in today`s challenging times
and relentless media environment must be prudent and
consistent with our laws and values," he said.

"I leave with great admiration and affection for my
State colleagues, who promote our national interest both on
the front lines and in the quiet corners of the world. It was
a privilege to help communicate their many and vital
contributions to our national security," Crowley said.

"I leave with deep respect for the journalists who
report on foreign policy and global developments every day, in
many cases under dangerous conditions and subject to serious
threats. Their efforts help make governments more responsible,
accountable and transparent," Crowley said.