Under pressure, Harvard dean cancels Manning’s fellowship
On Twitter, ex-soldier accuses school of caving to the CIA
Harvard’s Kennedy School rescinded a visiting fellowship offered to Chelsea Manning, the former military intelligence analyst who spent seven years in prison for leaking classified government secrets, after the university faced backlash from CIA Director Mike Pompeo, among others.
“I now think that designating Chelsea Manning as a Visiting Fellow was a mistake, for which I accept responsibility,” Douglas W. Elmendorf, the school’s dean, wrote in a 700-word statement released shortly after midnight Friday.
Manning was one of four visiting fellows announced two days earlier by the Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics.
She is still welcome to spend a day at the Kennedy School and speak at the school’s John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum, the dean said.
Manning was not immediately available for comment. On Twitter, however, she accused the school of suppressing “marginalized voices” and caving to pressure from the CIA.
The dean’s decision came only hours after Pompeo withdrew from a planned appearance at the Kennedy School and chastised the institution for calling attention to Manning. In a biting letter to the event’s organizers, Pompeo branded Manning an “American traitor.”
Earlier Thursday, in a stern letter of his own, Michael Morell, a former CIA leader who spent more than three decades at the agency, resigned from Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.
Manning, 29, is transgender. As an Army private first class named Bradley Manning, she was convicted of espionage and sentenced to 35 years in prison for providing thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks.
President Barack Obama commuted Manning’s sentence before leaving office, and she was freed in May from the military’s supermax prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.