Top CIA of­fi­cials sever ties with Har­vard af­ter Man­ning gets fel­low­ship

The Washington Times Daily - - NATION - BY BRAD­FORD RICHARD­SON

The Cen­tral In­tel­li­gence Agency is not tak­ing kindly to Har­vard Univer­sity’s in­vi­ta­tion to con­victed spy Chelsea Man­ning to be a vis­it­ing fel­low this year.

On Thurs­day, both the agency’s di­rec­tor and a for­mer act­ing di­rec­tor can­celed re­la­tion­ships with the Ivy League univer­sity’s Kennedy School of Gov­ern­ment.

Mike Pom­peo, the agency’s cur­rent chief, abruptly can­celed a planned Thurs­day speech at the Kennedy School about is­sues such as Rus­sian in­volve­ment in the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion and the North Korean nu­clear pro­gram.

In a let­ter to Har­vard re­leased later by the CIA later in the day, Mr. Pom­peo, a Har­vard Law School alum­nus, called Ms. Man­ning an “Amer­i­can traitor” and wrote that an ap­pear­ance at the Kennedy School would be­tray the trust of CIA em­ploy­ees.

“It is shame­ful for Har­vard to place its stamp of ap­proval upon her trea­sonous ac­tions,” he wrote. “Har­vard’s ac­tions im­plic­itly tell its stu­dents that you too can be a fel­low at Har­vard and a felon un­der United States law.”

Ms. Man­ning was sen­tenced to 35 years in prison but the sen­tence was com­muted to time served af­ter just seven years by then-Pres­i­dent Barack Obama, af­ter she had be­come a so­cial-jus­tice cause by com­ing out as trans­gen­der.

She said she gave the 700,000 mil­i­tary and State Depart­ment doc­u­ments to Wik­iLeaks be­cause she saw “death, de­struc­tion and may­hem” as an Army in­tel­li­gence an­a­lyst in Iraq.

In his let­ter, Mr. Pom­peo re­it­er­ated that Wik­iLeaks is a U.S. ad­ver­sary “akin to a hos­tile for­eign in­tel­li­gence ser­vice.” In­deed the ar­gu­ment that Rus­sia med­dled in the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion re­lies largely on the be­lief that the in­for­ma­tion it re­leased about for­mer Sec­re­tary of State Hil­lary Clin­ton was sup­plied by Rus­sian in­tel­li­gence.

Ear­lier on Thurs­day, Michael J. Morell, also a for­mer CIA deputy di­rec­tor, re­signed his post as a non-res­i­dent se­nior fel­low from the Kennedy School, say­ing in a let­ter that he “can­not be part of an or­ga­ni­za­tion” that “hon­ors a con­victed felon and leaker of clas­si­fied in­for­ma­tion.”

“Ms. Man­ning was found guilty of 17 se­ri­ous crimes, in­clud­ing six counts of es­pi­onage,” Mr. Morell wrote. “Se­nior lead­ers in the mil­i­tary have stated pub­licly that the leaks by Ms. Man­ning put the lives of US sol­diers at risk.”

Both Mr. Pom­peo and Mr. Morell stressed that their de­ci­sions had noth­ing to do with Ms. Man­ning’s trans­gen­der iden­tity.

“It has ev­ery­thing to do with her iden­tity as a traitor to the United States of Amer­ica and my loy­alty to the of­fi­cers of the CIA,” Mr. Pom­peo said.

Mr. Morell em­pha­sized that he fully sup­ports “Ms. Man­ning’s rights as a trans­gen­der Amer­i­can,” but “it is my right, in­deed my duty, to ar­gue that the School’s de­ci­sion is wholly in­ap­pro­pri­ate and to protest it by re­sign­ing … to make the fun­da­men­tal point that leak­ing clas­si­fied in­for­ma­tion is dis­grace­ful and dam­ag­ing to our na­tion.”

The In­sti­tute of Pol­i­tics at the Kennedy School an­nounced Wed­nes­day a group of vis­it­ing fel­lows that in­cludes Ms. Man­ning, for­mer White House press sec­re­tary Sean Spicer and for­mer Hil­lary Clin­ton cam­paign man­ager Robby Mook.

Ms. Man­ning’s in­vi­ta­tion to Har­vard was widely panned by oth­ers on the right, in­clud­ing Kennedy School alum­nus Bill Kris­tol.

“I’m loyal to Har­vard, but I think I’ll forego IOP events this fall. (I’d feel the same way if Chelsea Man­ning were still Bradley Man­ning.)” he tweeted.

For­mer Mas­sachusetts Gov. Mitt Rom­ney added in a tweet to Mr. Morell: “Well done, Mike. And ab­ject shame on Har­vard.”

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

“It is shame­ful for Har­vard to place its stamp of ap­proval upon (Chelsea Man­ning’s) trea­sonous ac­tions,” wrote CIA Di­rec­tor Mike Pom­peo in a let­ter.

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