CIA director cancels Harvard speech after school offers fellowship to ‘American traitor’ Chelsea Manning

By Saagar Enjeti, DCNF DCNF

CIA Director Mike Pomepo canceled an appearance at Harvard last minute Thursday evening after the school’s Institute of Politics selected convicted leaker Chelsea Manning as a visiting fellow.

Manning is a transgender U.S. Army soldier who handed over thousands of classified diplomatic cables to Wikileaks in 2009. Wikileaks release of the cables caused several diplomatic rows for the U.S. and may have even endangered U.S. allies in un-friendly nations. Manning was sentenced to 35 years in military prison for his crimes but subsequently had his sentence commuted by former President Barack Obama in the waning days of his presidency.

Manning walked free in March 2017 and has since maintained a robust social media presence agitating against the U.S. intelligence community and espousing left wing politics. Manning was selected as a Harvard Institute of Politics visiting fellow, igniting a firestorm of criticism.

Pompeo stressed that his decision to skip his Thursday evening appearance “has nothing to do with Ms. Manning’s identity as a transgender woman” but “it has everything to do with her identity as a traitor to the United States of America.” Pompeo has previously likened Wikileaks, the organization Manning assisted, as a “hostile intelligence agency.”

Pompeo also applauded Former CIA Deputy Director Mike Morrell’s resignation from Harvard’s Belfer Center of International Relations announced Thursday. Morrell similarly slammed Harvard for assiting Manning’s “long standing effort to legitimize the criminal path that she took to prominence.”

Manning is likely to be un-phased by the Pompeo’s decision, previously applauding Morell’s resignation and re-tweeting an article calling him a “massive weenie.”

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