Dismissed State Department Spokesman Didn't Slip Up

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P.J. Crowley was forced to resign as assistant Secretary of State when he told reporters that the Pentagon's treatment of accused WikiLeaker Bradley Manning was "ridiculous, counterproductive and stupid" while speaking before a university crowd in Boston. The remark was reported at the time as a off-the-record quote that leaked out of a private gathering. But Crowley tells Politico's Ben Smith that it was no accident. When a BBC reporter Philippa Thomas, who attended the event, asked him if the Manning comments were really on the record, Crowley replied, "Sure."

As Smith explains, the Crowley was an unlikely candidate "to go just a little bit rogue" having been "a notoriously tight-lipped spokesman" for the National Security Council in the 90s and serving for three decades in Air Force public affairs. But Crowley says he wanted to make news that night. "When I paused and then agreed to have the remark on the record, I knew there was a dart that I was sending to the Pentagon," Crowley told Smith. "I knew it would get attention." 

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