Someone Tells Harvard No – It’s About Time

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The biological male formerly known as Bradley Edward Manning has two qualifications for becoming a visiting fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government:  betraying the country and seeking to have genitalia chopped off.

Imagine some other former U.S. Army specialist getting an appointment at Harvard without those major life experiences.

Yet there was Harvard announcing the appointment this week of the current Chelsea Manning, describing this person as a “network security expert and former U.S. Army intelligence analyst.”

What sort of “network security” is Manning an “expert” in?  The type that results in 700,000 classified military documents getting published on the Internet.

A military court sentenced Manning to 35 years in jail, but former President Barack Obama commuted the sentence, and Manning is now at large.

Michael Morell, a senior fellow of another entity within the Kennedy School and a former deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency, resigned from the school Thursday, calling leaking military secrets “disgraceful and damaging to our nation.”

Later Thursday, the current director of the CIA, Mike Pompeo, cancelled an appearance at the Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics.

These are the right reactions for any American who appreciates our military and its ability to operate. This outrageous appointment is a thumb in the eye of our armed forces, and thus of the country.

Harvard is used to hearing from shrill left-wingers making increasingly absurd demands and backing up those demands with chants and sit-ins. Protest from conservatives tends to be muted, along the lines of you-shouldn’t-do-that. But a high-profile resignation and the dramatic cancellation of a speech make an impression.

Ever image-conscious Harvard responds not so much to criticism as ostracism. Fighting back requires not so much disagreeing as dismissing.

Some will demand that Harvard apologize, or rescind the appointment of Manning, or fire the acting director of the Institute of Politics, the odious Bill Delahunt. (Once a shady district attorney and congressman; now a pot lobbyist.)

(Indeed, just after midnight on Friday, apparently, the Kennedy School withdrew Manning’s appointment, calling it a “mistake.”)

These things don’t go far enough.

If Harvard wishes to make a good-faith effort at making reparations, the university should announce it is ending the Kennedy School of Government. There is no real point to it. Its main accomplishments are breezy panel discussions by Washington insiders. Those can be accomplished in a podcast.

The unfortunate conglomeration of ugly brick buildings on JFK Street could be renovated into a warehouse — perhaps a marijuana dispensary, if Delahunt can pull enough strings. Or perhaps it could be bulldozed and the pretty John F. Kennedy Memorial Park just south of it can be expanded to include an area where the miniature poodles of Harvard professors can congregate and socialize.

But the actual “school,” a sort of valedictory stamp on the passport of life for failed Democrats, could be folded into a short series of 20-minute online courses.

As an old Gilbert and Sullivan line has it …

It never would be missed. It never would be missed.