Harvard revokes Chelsea Manning’s visiting fellowship

Two intelligence experts distanced themselves from the school over the decision to have Manning speak

Chelsea Manning, who was released from a U.S. military prison after serving time for passing information to WikiLeaks in May, has had her fellowship invitation revoked by Harvard University. Manning was invited to be a visiting fellow and speak at a forum, but following two top intelligence experts distancing themselves from the school over the invite, the offer has been rescinded.

In a statement, the dean Douglas Elmendorf, said that he now things “that designating Chelsea Manning as a visiting fellow was a mistake” for which he “accepts responsibility”. He added that “many people view a visiting fellow title as an honorific, so we should weigh that consideration when offering invitations.”

CIA Director Mike Pompeo cancelled a speaking engagement at Harvard on Thursday over Manning. In a letter to the university he called her an “American traitor” and said “my conscience and duty to the men and women of the Central Intelligence Agency will not permit me to betray their trust by appearing to support Harvard's decision with my appearance”. He said that the decision had “nothing to do with her identity as a transgender person” and “everything to do with her identity as a traitor”. Former deputy director and acting director of the CIA Michael Morell also resigned as a senior fellow over Manning’s invitation.

Manning will still be able to speak at the school, if she wants to, but will no longer receive a visiting fellowship.