According to her Wikipedia page, Chelsea Manning spent 1 semester studying History and English at Montgomery Community College in Maryland but dropped out after failing her first final. She got her first job with a software company called Zoto, but was fired after 4 months because her boss said she would “just lock up and simply sit and stare.” Manning then served a short stint at Incredible Pizza before joining the army, stealing a bunch of classified documents, leaking them to WikiLeaks, getting convicted of espionage and serving 7 years in prison. Of course, with an impressive resume like that, Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government simply had to have her.
That said, while securing a visiting fellow position at Harvard was just the natural progression of what has been an already illustrious career for Manning, not everyone agrees with Harvard’s most recent staffing decisions.
As Fox News points out, Former CIA Acting Director Michael Morell announced his resignation earlier today as senior fellow saying he couldn’t be associated with an organization “that honors a convicted felon and leaker of classified information.”
Morell, a former CIA deputy director who twice served as acting director, announced his resignation from Harvard’s Belfer Center was a result of Manning’s appointment, saying he couldn’t be part of an organization “that honors convicted felon and leaker of classified information.”
“Senior leaders in our military have stated publicly that the leaks by Ms. Manning put the lives of U.S. soldiers at risk,” Morell said. “I have an obligation in my conscience — and I believe to the country — to stand against any efforts to justify leaks of sensitive national security information.”
Here is Morell’s full statement:
— Mosheh Oinounou (@Mosheh) September 14, 2017
Meanwhile, according Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, Morell could be just one of many Harvard educators about to announce their exits.
Given the number of people I’ve heard from at Harvard and elsewhere, this from Pres. Obama’s Deputy CIA Director could open the floodgates. https://t.co/4Q1LHWoWRC
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) September 14, 2017
Not surprisingly, the Twittersphere has been flooded throughout the day with tweets of utter confusion regarding Harvard’s announcment…
Of all the veterans who honorably served…Harvard hires Chelsea Manning who was convicted of espionage. Unbelievable. https://t.co/3jo7vTdKUb
— Jessie Jane Duff (@JessieJaneDuff) September 14, 2017
How to become a Harvard Visiting Fellow: Leak 700,000 classified documents & get convicted of 6 espionage charges. https://t.co/wYf8xpxYoB
— J Michael Waller (@JMichaelWaller) September 14, 2017
…but Chelsea has only responded to one…
— Chelsea E. Manning (@xychelsea) September 13, 2017
…poor Spicy just can’t catch a break.