News Release

Harvard Called “Disgraceful” Following CIA Pressure on Manning Fellowship



The New York Times reports: “Facing harsh criticism, a Harvard dean said early morning that he was revoking his invitation to Chelsea Manning, a former United States soldier convicted of leaking classified information, to be a visiting fellow at the university. …

“Michael J. Morell, a deputy director at the intelligence agency under President Barack Obama, resigned as a fellow on Thursday, calling the invitation to Ms. Manning ‘wholly inappropriate.’ He said it ‘honors a convicted felon and leaker of classified information.’ …

“Later, the director of the CIA., Mike Pompeo, withdrew from a Harvard forum he was scheduled to participate in that night, citing Ms. Manning’s fellowship as the reason.”

Fox News reported Thursday: “Liz Cheney: Cut off Harvard’s federal funding over Chelsea Manning appointment.”

RootsAction just launched a petition: “Tell the Harvard Kennedy School: Revoking Chelsea Manning’s Fellowship Is Disgraceful.”

JESSELYN RADACK, jess at, @JesselynRadack

Radack is director of the Whistleblower & Source Protection Program (WHISPeR) at ExposeFacts. She stated today: “It is ironic that Michael Morell, a former CIA leader involved in torture and drone killings, had a crisis of ‘conscience’ that prompted Harvard’s Kennedy School to withdraw its invitation to humanitarian Chelsea Manning.

“Harvard obviously offered Chelsea Manning a visiting fellowship because of the valuable contribution she could make, and revoked it under pressure from the CIA. So much for academic freedom.”

JOHN KIRIAKOU, jkiriakou at, @johnkiriakou
A former CIA analyst, Kiriakou spent 23 months in prison after helping expose the CIA’s torture program. His most recent book is Doing Time Like A Spy: How the CIA Taught Me to Survive and Thrive in Prison.

He said today: “Harvard should be ashamed of itself. Chelsea Manning exposed evidence of U.S. war crimes. Mike Morell was an instrumental player in the CIA’s torture, rendition, and secret prison programs. And the University casts its lot with the torturer. CIA officers with crimes against humanity in their pasts know they have a home at Harvard.”

MATTHEW HOH, [currently in North Carolina; in NYC starting Monday], matthew_hoh at
In 2009, Hoh resigned his position with the State Department in Afghanistan in protest of the escalation of the war there by the Obama administration. See 2009 Washington Post piece about Hoh: “U.S. official resigns over Afghan war.” He previously had been in Iraq with a State Department team and with the U.S. Marines. He is now a senior fellow with the Center for International Policy.

He said today: “The Harvard Kennedy School’s incredibly fast and virulently shameful rescinding of its offer of a visiting fellowship to Chelsea Manning due to the complaints of the CIA director and former deputy director should not be a surprise to anyone who has witnessed the increased impact of federal funding on private universities. In 2014 Harvard received over $600 million in grants and subsidies from the federal government. I am quite certain that funding was on the mind of the Harvard deans as they bowed and scraped to the CIA and did their best to remedy their problem before President Trump had time to tweet any threats.

“Understanding Harvard’s desire for federal funding is the simplest way to understand how and why moral and intellectual honesty has been abrogated so willingly and consciously by Harvard. Mike Morell, the former CIA deputy director who resigned his fellowship in protest of Chelsea Manning receiving hers, directed, oversaw and covered-up the torture and murder of prisoners, drone assassinations, mass domestic spying and the spying on and hacking into U.S. Senate computers. Chelsea Manning’s crimes were to let the world know of the U.S. government’s crimes, crimes in violation of U.S. and international law that Morell and the CIA committed. Reviews done by the U.S. Department of Defense attested that Chelsea Manning’s actions resulted in no one being killed and no one being put at risk, what they actually did was to show the world the U.S. and CIA’s war crimes and failings. For causing that embarrassment and exposure, and for letting the world know the truth, the CIA will always hate her.”

Hoh notes the New York Times story from 1986: “Scholar to Quit Post at Harvard Over CIA Tie.”

Also see from Ray McGovern: “Mike Morell’s Kill-Russians Advice.”