Ex-CIA director quits Harvard over Chelsea Manning posting

Morell (left), and ManningImage copyright
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Former acting director of the CIA Michael Morell has resigned from his post at Harvard University over its hiring of Chelsea Manning.

In a letter announcing his resignation, the 33-year CIA veteran wrote that it was his “duty” to oppose Harvard’s “wholly inappropriate” decision.

Ms Manning was convicted of espionage in 2013 after leaking US government documents to Wikileaks.

On her Twitter page, Ms Manning deemed Mr Morell’s decision “good”.

The former Army private also retweeted a review of Mr Morell’s 2015 book in which he defended the use of drone strikes and torture techniques against terror suspects.

Ms Manning – who served seven years in a military prison before her sentence was commuted by President Barack Obama – was named as a visiting fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School on Wednesday.

“Unfortunately I cannot be part of an organisation… that honours a convicted felon and leaker of classified information”, Mr Morell wrote in his resignation letter.

He condemned Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, saying their “decision will assist Ms Manning in her long-standing effort to legitimise the criminal path that she took to prominence”, and may serve to encourage other whistleblowers.

He added that “I fully support Ms Manning’s rights as a transgender American, including the right to serve our country in the US military”.

Media captionChelsea Manning speaks for first time since release

Ex-CIA director quits Harvard over Chelsea Manning posting

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