Former CIA Acting Director
Michael Morell. (CIA)
(CNSNews.com) -- Michael Morell, the former acting director and deputy director of the CIA, announced today that he is resigning from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government as a non-resident senior fellow because the school had invited Bradley "Chelsea" Manning to be a visiting fellow. Morell added that "leaking classified information," which Manning did, "is disgraceful and damaging to our nation."
The transgender Manning was convicted in 2013 of espionage -- for leaking documents to Wikileaks -- and other crimes, but was given a commutation by President Barack Obama three days before Donald Trump was sworn in as the new president. Manning had faced 35 years in jail.
In his Sept. 14 letter to Douglas W. Elmendorf, dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Morell, whose position is with the Belfer Center at the school, said he was "resigning, effective immediately."
Bradley "Chelsea" Manning. (Twitter)
"Unfortunately, I cannot be part of an organization -- The Kennedy School -- that honors a convicted felon and leaker of classified information, Ms. Chelsea Manning, by inviting her to be a Visiting Fellow at the Kennedy School's Institute of Politics," said Morell.
"Ms. Manning was found guilty of 17 serious crimes, including six counts of espionage, for leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents to Wikileaks," said Morell, "an entity that CIA Director Mike Pompeo says operates like an adversarial foreign intelligence service."
Morell went on to note that senior U.S. military leaders had publicly stated that Manning's espionage had "put the lives of U.S. soldiers at risk." Further, the senior Republican and Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee declared that "Manning harmed our national security, violated the public's trust, and now stands convicted of multiple serious crimes," wrote Morell.
The Kennedy School's actions "will assist Ms. Manning in her long-standing effort to legitimize the criminal path that she took to prominence, an attempt that may encourage others to leak classified information as well," said Morell.
"[I]t is my right, indeed my duty, to argue that the School's decision is wholly inappropriate and to protest it by resigning from the Kennedy School -- in order to make the fundamental point that leaking classified information is disgraceful and damaging to our nation," said Morell in conclusion.
Michael Morell, 59, served as deputy director of the CIA from 2010 to 2013. He was acting director of the CIA for three months in 2011 and for nearly six months in 2012-13.
(Photo: Indonesia Mengglobal)