Former CIA Acting Director Mike Morell Says ‘I Can’t be Part of an Organization That Honors a Convicted Felon and Leaker’ After Harvard University Makes Transgender Spy Chelsea Manning a Fellow

Former acting director of the CIA Mike Morell resigns from Harvard on Wednesday, who was contributing at Harvard’s Belfer Center

Former deputy of the CIA Mike Morell resigned from his post at Harvard University Thursday one day after the prestigious educational institution said Chelsea Manning would be invited as a visiting fellow.

Manning, a transgender former U.S. Army soldier who served seven years in prison for leaking classified data, will contribute at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, according to the school’s website.

In his resignation letter explaining the decision, Morell said he could not lecture at an institution ‘that honors convicted felon and leaker of classified information.’

Former acting director of the CIA Mike Morell resigns from Harvard on Wednesday, who was contributing at Harvard’s Belfer Center
Morell made the decision after Harvard announced that it had made Chelsea Manning a visiting fellow for the 2018 semester

‘Senior leaders in our military have stated publicly that the leaks by Ms. Manning put the lives of US 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.’

Morell, who has twice served as acting director of the CIA, was contributing at Harvard’s Belfer Center before his resignation, according to Fox News.

Manning, 29, was released in May from a U.S. military prison in Kansas following her court martial conviction in 2013. Manning had been serving time for passing secrets to the WikiLeaks website in the biggest breach of classified data in the history of the United States.

After serving seven years in prison, President Barack Obama commuted her 35-year sentence, saying the punishment was ‘disproportionate’ compared to other whistle-blowers.

Manning was convicted of leaking classified information in 2013 and sentenced to 35-years in prison
Social media users reacted almost immediately to the development, with some castigating Manning for her behavior
One person wrote: ‘How to become a Harvard Visiting Fellow: Leak 700,000 classified documents & get convicted of 6 espionage charges’

Following Morell’s resignation, social media users took to Twitter to express their thoughts. Some showed support for the former spy chief’s decision to leave the school, calling Manning a ‘traitor’ who sold out the country.

‘Seriously @Harvard?? Enabling a traitor to our country? You need to check your stupidity,’ one user stated.

While another sarcastically wrote: ‘How to become a Harvard Visiting Fellow: Leak 700,000 classified documents & get convicted of 6 espionage charges.’

Conservative pundit Bill Kristol also chimed in, which led to the only response from Manning about the situation so far.

‘I’m loyal to Harvard, but I think I’ll forego IOP events this fall. (I’d feel the same way if Chelsea Manning were still Bradley Manning.)’ Kristol posted to Twitter.

‘Awesome ! can you ask @seanspicer to do the same ? #WeGotThis,’ Manning replied.

Manning was referring to former White House spokesman Sean Spicer, who was also named as a visiting fellow at Harvard University on Wednesday.

Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks who posted the former soldier’s leaked information, came out in support of Manning, saying she was ‘never convicted with treason.’

Harvard University describes Manning on its website as a ‘Washington D.C. based network security expert and former U.S. Army intelligence analyst.’

‘She speaks on the social, technological and economic ramifications of Artificial Intelligence through her op-ed columns for The Guardian and The New York Times.’

Founder of Wikileaks Julian Assange, to whom Manning passed on the information, came out and defended Manning on Twitter
Harvard University describes Manning as a ‘Washington D.C. based network security expert and former U.S. Army intelligence analyst’

SOURCE: Daily Mail, Daniel Roth; Reuters