On Wednesday Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government announced that it was offering a visiting fellowship to Chelsea Manning. Shortly after midnight on Friday — amid escalating backlash — the university announced it was reversing its decision.
“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 statement released early Friday morning.
The uproar at the school’s invitation to Manning was deafening.
On Thursday, former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell resigned his position as a non-resident senior fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School, in palpable disgust at the school’s stunt.
Morell wrote in his resignation letter that he “cannot be part of an organization” that “honors a convicted felon and leaker of classified information.” He went on to note, “Ms. Manning was found guilty of 17 serious crimes, including six counts of espionage, for leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents to Wikileaks” and that “senior leaders in the military have stated publicly that the leaks by Ms. Manning put the lives of U.S. soldiers at risk.”
Soon afterward, CIA Director Mike Pompeo announced he was canceling an appearance at an event at the school Thursday night, in a scathing letter. Branding Manning an “American traitor,” Pompeo wrote that his “conscience and duty to the men and women of the [CIA] will not permit me to betray their trust by appearing to support Harvard’s decision with my appearance at tonight’s event,” Pompeo wrote. “Ms. Manning betrayed her country and was found guilty of 17 serious crimes for leaking classified information to Wikileaks.”
“Leaders from both political parties denounced Ms. Manning’s actions as traitorous, and many intelligence and military officials believe those leaks put the lives of the patriotic men and women at the CIA in danger,” Pompeo continued. “And those military and intelligence officials are right.”
A former federal prosecutor said the initial decision by Harvard is indicative of a larger trend and problem in the way enemies of the United States are treated by progressive institutions.
All of this begs the question, “What kind of brain thinks it is a good idea to invite this person anyway?” said Joseph diGenova, a former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia.
DiGenova agreed that the Kennedy School’s decision to extend a visiting fellowship to Manning is just part of a larger trend among the Left that seeks the lionization of traitors or terrorists.
“This is like the people who put the Tsarnaev brother on the front of Rolling Stone and made him look like a movie star, that’s where these idiots’ brains are,” diGenova told LifeZette. “Harvard has become the Rolling Stone of higher education. They have too much money and too much time.”
The reason for the Left’s celebration of traitors is simple, according to diGenova.
“The Left hates America — they always have — and they find new and different ways to find America wrong,” diGenova said. “Harvard was the best example of it — at least they had enough smarts to figure out right away that this was not a good move.”
He continued: “I think they began to realize that [Manning’s invitation] was insulting to people in the intelligence community — and to people who sacrifice their lives every day on behalf of their country in the intelligence community and in the military — to have this clownish representation of a hero as some figure that some people should listen to.”
The former U.S. attorney speculated that institutions like Harvard wouldn’t make such blatantly ideological, partisan, and un-American appointments were they not comfortable with the knowledge that the mainstream media will cover for them.
“Because they have the mainstream media basically on their side,” said diGenova, “they feel that they can get away with anything, and they are absolutely right it’s important that people who disagree with them speak up.”
(photo credit, homepage image: Bostonian13/Tim Travers Hawkins, Wikimedia/Flickr; photo credit, article image: KAKM/Tim Travers Hawkins, Wikimedia/Flickr)