Harvard Withdraws Chelsea Manning Offer
University faced backlash from intelligence officials
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 15, 2017 4:42 AM CDT
Chelsea Manning posted this photo of herself on Instagram in May.   (Tim Travers Hawkins/Courtesy of Chelsea Manning via AP, File)

(Newser) – Harvard University has withdrawn a fellowship invitation to Chelsea Manning after outrage from intelligence officials, including CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who canceled a Thursday speaking engagement and called her an "American traitor." Douglas Elmendorf, dean of Harvard Kennedy School, says Manning is still invited to speak at the school, but he now sees the fellowship offer as a mistake, reports Reuters. "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 said in a statement early Friday. Manning was one of four visiting fellows the school's Institute of Politics announced Wednesday.

Elmendorf apologized to Manning and the "many concerned people" he'd heard from, reports the Washington Post. After the invitation, former Acting CIA Director Mike Morell resigned as a senior fellow at the Kennedy School, calling Manning "a convicted felon and leaker of classified information," NBC News reports. He stressed, however, that he fully supports "Ms. Manning's rights as a transgender American, including the right to serve our country in the US military." Manning, whose 35-year-sentence was commuted by then-President Obama in January, tweeted that she was "honored to be 1st disinvited trans woman visiting @harvard fellow." They "chill marginalized voices under @cia pressure," she added.

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