Manning is no longer welcome at Harvard
Harvard University rescinded its invitation as a visiting professor to ex-soldier Chelsea Manning, the first source for WikiLeaks, a move that was heavily criticized by high-profile US intelligence officials.
Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government announced Wednesday that it had hired Manning as a visiting professor to comment on "issues of identity of the homosexual and transsexual community" in the United States Armed Forces, a proposal it was later withdrawn.
"I now think that appointing Chelsea Manning as a guest lecturer was a mistake, of which I accept responsibility," said John F. Kennedy Dean of the Douglas F. Elmendorf School of Government.
The dean said that the mistake was to appoint Manning as a "guest teacher", since many people perceive it as an “honor”, despite the fact that the school has given this opportunity to “hundreds” of people that take part in its programs, even if it is only for a few hours.
Despite resigning her as guest lecturer, Elmendorf said that Harvard’s doors are open for Manning to act as rapporteur.
Elmendorf's reaction came after US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director Mike Pompeo canceled a planned talk at Harvard University because of Manning's hiring.
The CIA director, who studied law at Harvard in the 1990s, said he was "saddened" by the "shameful" decision to hire "traitor" Manning.
"Manning is opposed to everything the brave men and women I work with represent," Pompeo said.
In addition to Pompeo, the decision to hire Manning also led to the resignation as a professor at the John F. Kennedy Harvard School of Government of former CIA acting director between 2012 and 2013, Michael Morell, who stated that he does support the military transgender service in the Armed Forces.
"Unfortunately, I can not be part of an organization that honors a convicted felon and leaked classified information," Morell said.
Manning, 29, regained her freedom in May after spending seven years in jail, a fifth of the sentence imposed on her, thanks to the presidential pardon granted in January by Barack Obama (2009-2017).
As a military intelligence analyst, Manning leaked thousands of documents classified on the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as cables from the State Department to the WikiLeaks portal in 2010, which was a setback for US diplomacy.