Chelsea sits down with Juju Chang of ABC News Nightline for an exclusive interview in June.
By Heidi Gutman/ABC/.
Before he left office in January, Barack Obama commuted Chelsea Manning, which granted her an early release from prison. The army intelligence analyst convicted of leaking classified military documents in 2010 was released from prison on May 17 and began a civilian life for the first time since coming out as transgender. In June, she rode in the New York City Pride Parade and appeared on the cover of The New York Times magazine. But it hasn’t all been a hero’s welcome, even in the liberal circles that seemed to be embracing her; on Friday, Harvard’s Kennedy School, revoked its visiting-fellow invitation to Manning, two days after first extending it.
This announcement follows the news that Michael Morell, former deputy and acting director of the C.I.A., chose to resign from his post as a senior fellow at Harvard on Thursday because, he said, he cannot remain at an institution that “honors a convicted felon and leaker of classified information, Ms. Chelsea Manning.”
On Friday, in a statement released on the Harvard Web site, Douglas W. Elmendorf, Dean of Harvard Kennedy School, announced that he was revoking Manning’s invitation.
“We invited Chelsea Manning to spend a day at the Kennedy School . . .
On that basis, we also named Chelsea Manning a Visiting Fellow. . . .
However, I now think that designating Chelsea Manning as a Visiting
Fellow was a mistake, for which I accept responsibility. 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. . . . Any determination should start with the presumption
that more speech is better than less. In retrospect, though, I think
my assessment of that balance for Chelsea Manning was wrong.”
Though Manning will no longer be a Visiting Fellow at the Kennedy School, other well-known (and notorious, in some circles) names remain on the list: Corey Lewandowski, former campaign manager for Donald Trump, who was accused of assaulting a reporter during the campaign, and Sean Spicer, the recently departed White House press secretary.
Manning is not staying silent on this recent controversy, tweeting out her disapproval. “So @harvard says @seanspicer & @Clewandowski_ bring ‘something to the table and add something to the conversation’ and not me.”
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