Douglas W. Elmendorf, dean of the
Harvard Kennedy School.
(CNSNews.com) -- Following the resignation of former CIA acting director Michael Morell from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and the withdrawal of CIA Director Mike Pompeo from speaking at the school, Harvard Dean Douglas W. Elmendorf rescinded his invitation to transgender Bradley "Chelsea" Manning to be a Visiting Fellow at the school's Institute of Politics.
"I now think that designating Chelsea Manning as a Visiting Fellow was a mistake, for which I accept responsibility," said Dean Elmendorf in a Sept. 15 statement posted on the Kennedy School's website. "[W]e are withdrawing the invitation to her to serve as a Visiting Fellow—and the perceived honor that it implies to some people—while maintaining the invitation for her to spend a day at the Kennedy School and speak in the Forum."
Bradley "Chelsea" Manning.
Manning, a former U.S. Army soldier who now identifies as a "woman," leaked classified documents to Wikileaks and was found guilty of 17 serious crimes, including six counts of espionage. Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison. However, President Barack Obama commutted Manning's sentence three days before Donald Trump was sworn in as the new president.
Manning had been invited by Dean Elmendorf to be a Visiting Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government, a decision that was announced on Sept. 13. The next day, non-resident Senior Fellow Michael Morell resigned from the school in a strongly worded letter. Morell said he could not "be part of an organization --The Kennedy School -- that honors a convicted felon and leaker of classified information."
Shortly after Morell's resignation, CIA Director Mike Pompeo released a letter stating he would not speak at a Kennedy School forum, for which he wa scheduled. Harvard's invitation to "American traitor Chelsea Manning," said Pompeo, violated his "conscience and duty to the men and women of the Central Intelligence Agency" and thus would not permit him "to betray their trust by appearing to support Harvard's decision with my appearance at tonight's event."
Manning betrayed America, said Pompeo, and stands "against everything the brave men and woman I serve alongside stand for."
CIA Director Mike Pompeo. (CIA)
"Harvard's actions implicitly tell its students that you too can be a fellow at Harvard and a felon under United States law," said CIA Director Pompeo. "I believe it is shameful for Harvard to place its stamp of approval upon her treasonous actions. ... Ms. Manning swore an oath to the United States Constitution, promised to protect her fellow soldiers, and signed a commitment to abide by the law. She did none of that and yet Harvard has placed her in a position of honor."
Dean Elmendorf's statement can be read here.
CIA Director Mike Pompeo's letter can be read here.