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November 24, 2017

Harvard withdraws Chelsea Manning's visiting fellow invitation after backlash


Harvard withdraws Chelsea Manning’s visiting fellow invitation after backlash
The dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government on Friday announced that the school has withdrawn its invitation to convicted…

The dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government on Friday announced that the school has withdrawn its invitation to convicted Wikileaks leaker Chelsea Manning to serve as a visiting fellow.

Douglas W. Elmendorf stressed that Manning was invited to talk with students and then host a forum where she would be asked “hard questions” about her story. He said the school never had any intention to honor her or endorse “any of her words or deeds.”

“I apologize to her and to the many concerned people from whom I have heard today for not recognizing upfront the full implications of our original invitation,” he wrote.

Manning was released from a military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, on May 17 after serving seven years of a 35-year sentence, which was commuted by former President Barack Obama in his final days in office. Obama said in January he felt justice had been served.

Manning, a 29-year-old transgender woman, formerly known as Bradley Manning, told ABC’s “Good Morning America” in a recent interview that she was prompted to give the 700,000 military and State Department documents to WikiLeaks because of the human toll of the “death, destruction and mayhem” she saw as an Army intelligence analyst in Iraq.

The school’s announcement was met with swift backlash.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo scrapped his appearance Thursday at Harvard University over the school’s decision to make Chelsea Manning, who was convicted of leaking classified information, a visiting fellow.

Pompeo called Manning an “American traitor.” He said he agreed with military and intelligence officials who believe Manning’s leak endangered the lives of CIA personnel.

Pompeo was scheduled to appear at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government to discuss allegations of Russian involvement in last year’s presidential election, the nuclear standoff with North Korea and other global security concerns.

CIA Acting Director Michael Morell, earlier, resigned his position as a senior fellow.

Morell, a former CIA deputy director who twice served as acting director, announced his resignation from Harvard’s Belfer Center was a result of Manning’s appointment, saying he couldn’t be part of an organization “that honors a convicted felon and leaker of classified information.”

“Senior leaders in our military have stated publicly that the leaks by Ms. Manning put the lives of U.S. soldiers at risk,” Morell said. “I have an obligation in my conscience — and I believe to the country — to stand against any efforts to justify leaks of sensitive national security information.”

Well done, Mike. And abject shame on Harvard. https://t.co/SfI1HxDpdD— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) September 14, 2017

Former Massachusetts governor and 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who holds law and business degrees from Harvard, reacted to Morell’s resignation by Tweeting, “Well done, Mike. And abject shame on Harvard.”

Manning reacted to Morell’s resignation with a one-word Tweet: “good.”


Source: US News/Foxnews Harvard withdraws Chelsea Manning’s visiting fellow invitation after backlash
Harvard withdraws Chelsea Manning’s visiting fellow invitation after backlash

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