Disinvited: Harvard Rescinds Manning's Visiting Fellowship Following Backlash

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Posted: Sep 15, 2017 8:01 AM
Disinvited: Harvard Rescinds Manning's Visiting Fellowship Following Backlash

As Cortney wrote on Thursday, Harvard was embroiled in controversy, as the institution decided to extend a visiting fellowship invitation to convicted felon Chelsea Manning. Manning, who served in Army Intelligence, is responsible for leaking hundreds of thousands of classified materials on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Upon Manning’s conviction, she was sentenced to 35 years in prison of which she served seven years before President Barack Obama commuted the sentence. The invitation led to the resignation of former CIA Director Michael Morell as a senior fellow. Current CIA Director Mike Pompeo also canceled an event in light of this invitation as well. Now, the Ivy League school has rescinded their invitation, with an apology from the dean of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government (via NBC News):

The dean of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government said the college was withdrawing its invitation for Chelsea Manning to be a visiting fellow and apologized for extending the offer, which prompted a former CIA director and the current one to distance themselves from the university.

Former CIA Acting Director Michael Morell earlier Thursday announced his resignation as a senior fellow at Harvard over its hiring of Manning. Mike Pompeo, the agency's current director, also canceled a speaking engagement there Thursday night.

"I now think that designating Chelsea Manning as a visiting fellow was a mistake, for which I accept responsibility," Kennedy School Dean Douglas W. Elmendorf said in a statement posted on the university's website early Friday. "I still think that having her speak in the Forum and talk with students is consistent with our longstanding approach, which puts great emphasis on the value of hearing from a diverse collection of people.

"But I see more clearly now that many people view a Visiting Fellow title as an honorific, so we should weigh that consideration when offering invitations," Elmendorf added.

Harvard did the right thing, but it’s probably going to be a very triggering day for progressives. 

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