CIA di­rec­tor can­cels Har­vard speech over ‘traitor’ Man­ning

Ripon Bulletin - - Nation -

WASH­ING­TON (AP) — 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.

Min­utes after the event was to be­gin, Dou­glas El­men­dorf, dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Gov­ern­ment, took the stage and told the au­di­ence Pom­peo was not there and would not speak.

“We will try to resched­ule it as soon as we can, but the CIA di­rec­tor, is ob­vi­ously, in charge of his sched­ule,” El­men­dorf said. “We are not in charge of his sched­ule and he gets to de­cide when and where he speaks, of course.”

Sev­eral hours later, the CIA re­leased a let­ter that Pom­peo wrote to a Har­vard of­fi­cial.

Pom­peo, who has a law de­gree from Har­vard, said he didn’t make the de­ci­sion lightly. He wrote that he would be­tray the trust of CIA em­ploy­ees if he ap­peared.

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-yearold 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.

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