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State Department Official Criticizes Treatment Of Soldier At Center Of WikiLeaks Scandal

Manning says he's stripped naked every night in solitary confinement.
U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley criticized the Pentagon for being "stupid" in its handling of Private Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier who illegally accessed hundreds of thousands of U.S. military and diplomatic cables and turned them over to WikiLeaks.

Crowley was speaking at a private event at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology about new media when one of the people in attendance asked about Manning.

Crowley said the Defense Department's treatment of Manning "is ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid."

Manning has been held in military detention at Quantico, Virginia since he was transferred from Kuwait to the U.S. last July. He recently released a letter through his lawyer that said he was held in solitary confinement and stripped naked every night.

Crowley said that while he disagreed with the treatment it was proper that Manning should be in a military holding area.

compiled from agency reports