“Fair Harvard” lacks fairness. VERITAS (truth), the university’s motto, lacks meaning. Harvard opposes what deserves high praise, supports what demands condemnation.
My alma mater’s actions are disgraceful, earlier including me on a university fake news site list – along with some of the most highly respected web sites I know, bastions of truth-telling on vital world and national issues, a notion anathema to “fair Harvard,” the university’s alma mater.
Inviting the head of the CIA, a global Mafia hit squad boss, to speak on campus endorses its criminal activities – subversion, orchestrating coups and color revolutions, assassinating foreign leaders, and torture its specialties, terrorizing targeted nations, violating international, constitutional and US statute laws with impunity.
Freedom and the CIA’s existence are incompatible – at home and abroad.
In response to director Mike Pompeo’s heavy-handed pressure, canceling his scheduled address at Harvard’s Kennedy School, calling Manning’s offer speak on campus as a visiting fellow a “shameful stamp of approval,” unfair Harvard rescinded her title, cancelling her appearance, Dean Douglas Elmendorf disgracefully saying:
“I now think that designating Chelsea Manning as a visiting fellow was a mistake, for which I accept responsibility.”
“In general across the School, we do not view the title of ‘fellow’ as conveying a special honor. Rather, it is a way to describe some people who spend more than a few hours at the school.”
“(W)e are withdrawing the invitation to her to serve as a visiting fellow – and the perceived honor that it implies to some people – while maintaining the invitation for her to spend a day at the Kennedy School and speak in the school’s forum.”
In response, Manning tweeted
“honored to be 1st disinvited trans woman visiting @harvard fellow ? they chill marginalized voices under @cia pressure ???”
“This is what a military/police/intel state looks like…the CIA determines what is and is not taught at Harvard.”
“(N)o more secrecy, surveillance, torture, murder, and genocide…abolish the @cia…”
On Wednesday, the Kennedy School announced Manning’s invitation to speak on campus as a visiting fellow.
In a letter to Harvard, Pompeo disgracefully called her an “American traitor,” adding
“I believe it is shameful for Harvard to place its stamp of approval upon her treasonous actions.”
At the same time, former agency deputy director Mike Morell resigned from his fellowship at Harvard’s Belfer school over Manning’s invitation” – in a letter saying:
“I cannot be part of an organization – the Kennedy school – that honors a convicted felon and leaker of classified information.”
Manning deserves high praise for acting courageously. Instead, she was tortured and imprisoned. She’s one of the nation’s best – a real American hero, having taken great personal risks to reveal vital truths everyone has a right to know.
Former Attorney General Ramsey Clark once said US “jails are filled with saints,” some of America’s best ruthlessly treated.
ACLU lawyer/transgender rights activist Chase Strangio issued a strong statement saying:
“It doesn’t surprise me that an institution that has produced many of our most dangerous war criminals & architects of our military & prison apparatuses would remain beholden to the state.”
“Yet, the decision to withdraw Chelsea Manning’s visiting fellowship in the middle of the night without coherent explanation is disgraceful even for Harvard.”
“Chelsea is a beacon of humor, brilliance and resilience in a time when her words and leadership are needed more than ever.”
“Harvard should have felt honored that she would accept the association with an institution so tainted with the blood of its victims – from the occupation of much of Boston and Cambridge to the production of monsters in positions of governmental (and corporate) power.”
“That they are willing to stand by their decision is a testament to the disturbing control the CIA has over them.”
“It is also just cowardly plain & simple & a reminder to all of us to stay vigilant…& depend only on the power of our collective action to lift up the voices of our true leaders.”
Manning was tortured, imprisoned and otherwise abused for courageously doing the right thing – released last May, her unjust sentence commuted by Obama, who never should have permitted her arrest, torture, travesty trial and imprisonment in the first place.