What better way for a top Ivy League school to show it’s ready to prepare our future leaders than to offer prestigious fellowships to a treasonous former member of the military and a bullying punk who can’t seem to keep a job? Harvard blew it by giving fellowships to Chelsea Manning and Corey Lewandowski. Manning’s was yanked after an outcry but Lewandowski still has his, for now.
Manning’s claim to fame (infamy?) is that, back when she was Bradley Manning and a member of the military, leaked highly classified information to Wikileaks. The leaks may have put people’s lives in danger. It certainly disclosed material damaging to the country’s relationships with allies and unveiled intelligence practices of the US.
Let’s be clear. Manning was convicted of leaking classified information to Wiki-Dirtbag Julian Assange who put it out in reams of information. Neither Bradley Manning nor Chelsea Manning has done anything of distinction. There is some debate about whether she should have had her 35-year prison sentence commuted by President Obama. The thought here is no way. She’s a disgrace and a traitor.
So how did she score a visiting fellowship at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government? That one is a little tough to answer. What we do know is that Harvard folded like a house of cards when some people of actual distinction resigned or canceled talks at Harvard.
Michael Morell, former deputy director and acting director of the CIA, resigned his senior fellowship post at Harvard over the school’s decision to include Manning as a visiting fellow. Current CIA Director Mike Pompeo dropped out of a scheduled speaking engagement at the school. Good for them.
That was a little too much heat for Douglas Elmendorf, dean of the John F. Kennedy School at Harvard. “We are withdrawing the invitation to [Chelsea Manning] 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…I apologize to her and to the many concerned people from whom I have heard today for not recognizing upfront the full implications of our original invitation.” Only in the very tall ivory tower could someone be surprised at criticism from the invite to Manning.
Manning declined the invitation to speak at Harvard. That’s probably the only sane decision in this whole mess.
(Manning was also invited and did speak Sunday on Nantucket at the Nantucket Project, a venture founded to bring together “creative thinkers” to “uncover ideas.” It’s unclear how Manning qualifies as a creative thinker or what new ideas are to be uncovered from her. The gist of her speech was her claim that she is not a traitor. The facts say otherwise.)
Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski is another curious choice for a Harvard visiting fellowship. He’s certainly not in the class of a Manning but still—this is a guy who made headlines by grabbing a female reporter who was trying to do her job in asking then-candidate Trump a question.
Delve a little deeper into Lewandowski and it is pretty clean Harvard certainly wouldn’t want someone like him as a student. Two months ago a neighbor couple in New Hampshire accused Lewandowski of cutting off the neighbors’ electricity, threatening to use his political clout to make the neighbors’ lives “a nightmare,” and repeatedly standing outside his home with a baseball bat in a “threatening and intimidating gesture.” The claims were in a countersuit to Lewandowski’s $5 million lawsuit against the neighbors claiming they blocked access to a path to one of his properties.
None of Lewandowski’s troubles (he was charged but never prosecuted for grabbing the reporter) don’t necessarily disqualify him from a fellowship. But couldn’t Harvard have found a little more, uh, couth?
Some of the other visiting fellows seem a little more appropriate. Sean Spicer lived through the most thankless job in America. Joe Scarborough was a congressman and now a political TV show host. Mika Brzezinski has a long career in journalism.
Manning definitely doesn’t belong. Harvard could have done better than Lewandowski.