CIA vetoes Chelsea Manning’s Harvard fellowship
16 September 2017
Harvard University’s decision to revoke whistleblower Chelsea Manning’s visiting fellowship at the Kennedy School of Government under pressure from the Central Intelligence Agency is a contemptible act of political cowardice.
Just four months ago, Manning was released from Ft. Leavenworth prison after serving seven years for the “crime” of revealing a government cover-up of US war crimes, including the murder and torture of Iraqi civilians.
For uncovering facts the world would have otherwise never learned about, the Obama administration tried Manning under the Espionage Act and subjected her to what the UN called “cruel and unusual punishment” in violation of international law and the US constitution. Since her release, Manning has given several interviews with the press and spoken at public forums, shedding crucial light on her time in captivity, her political motivations for blowing the whistle on the crimes of US imperialism, and her fight on behalf of equal rights for transgender people.
On Wednesday, Harvard announced several additional fellows for its 2017–18 program, including Manning, Clinton campaign manager Robert Mook and former Trump administration Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
Within 48 hours, Manning’s fellowship was vetoed by the Central Intelligence Agency and revoked by Harvard.
On Thursday morning, barely a day after Harvard’s initial announcement, former CIA Director Mike Morell resigned from his Kennedy School fellowship in protest, writing to Kennedy School Dean Douglas Elmendorf, “I cannot be part of an organization” that “honors a convicted felon,” adding: “I have an obligation to my conscience.”
At 6:00 p.m. Thursday, current CIA Director Michael Pompeo…