Ex-CIA boss resignsover Manning hire

A former top CIA official abruptly resigned Thursday as a senior fellow at Harvard University over the school’s decision to hire Chelsea Manning, who was convicted of leaking classified information.

Mike Morell, former deputy director and acting director of the CIA, sent a resignation letter to the dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, saying he could not be part of an organization that “honors a convicted felon and leaker of classified information.”

“Manning was found guilty of 17 serious crimes, including six counts of espionage, for leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks, an entity that CIA Director Mike Pompeo says operates like an adversarial foreign intelligence organization,” said Morell, who was a nonresident senior fellow at Harvard.

Manning has been invited to be a visiting fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics.

The 29-year-old transgender woman, formerly known as Bradley Manning, told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that she was prompted to give the 700,000 military and State Department documents to WikiLeaks because of the human toll of the “death, destruction and mayhem” she saw as an Army intelligence analyst in Iraq. She told ABC that she has “accepted responsibility” for her actions.

Manning was released from a military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., on May 17 after serving seven years of a 35-year sentence, which was commuted by former president Barack Obama in his final days in office. Obama said in January he felt justice had been served.

Harvard also invited former White House press secretary Sean Spicer, former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and MSNBC hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski. Harvard says Manning will be among fellows who will visit the campus for a “limited” number of events meant to spark campus discussion.

— Associated Press


Eight soldiers hurt intraining explosion

Eight Special Forces students and instructors were injured in an explosion at Fort Bragg on Thursday, the U.S. Army said.

The incident comes just a day after 15 Marines were injured, some severely, when their armored vehicle caught fire in California and two days after a soldier fell to his death from a helicopter in Fort Hood, Tex.

The Special Forces soldiers were on a demolition range, the U.S. Army Special Operations Command said on its Facebook page, and were training at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at the time of the incident.

The post said the soldiers had been evacuated by air and ground to hospitals in the area.

The John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School is home to the Special Forces “Q,” or qualification, course. The months-long course involves extensive language instruction and specialty training for certain jobs, such as medical sergeant, weapons sergeant and communication sergeant.

—Thomas Gibbons-Neff


Niagara officials to befined for foul water

New York state will fine the Niagara Falls Water Board $50,000 for discharging black and smelly water near the falls during a busy tourist weekend, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) said Thursday.

The agency will be required to make changes at its aging wastewater plant and obtain state approval before any future discharges.

The July 29 discharge caused discolored water to empty into the Niagara River near the American side of the falls on a summer weekend critical to the local tourism industry. The foul-smelling discharge enveloped the dock for the popular Maid of the Mist tour boats.

During a visit to Niagara Falls Thursday, Cuomo said the state determined the discharge was the result of “basic breaches of protocol” at the plant.

Local water officials have blamed outdated equipment and miscommunication between employees for the incident. The water board also has been cited for an unrelated discharge in August.

— Associated Press


Deputy accused of sexabuse gets no jail time

A former South Carolina sheriff’s deputy accused of forcing a woman to perform oral sex while he was on duty will not serve any jail time after pleading guilty to misconduct in office.

Dereck Johnson, 36, entered the plea on Wednesday, his attorney said. A judge sentenced the former Orangeburg County deputy to five years in prison, suspended to three years’ probation and community service. Johnson, who could have faced up to 10 years in prison, is also barred from seeking another job in law enforcement.

A woman accused Johnson of forcing her to perform oral sex on him after he threatened to arrest her boyfriend during a domestic violence call.

— Associated Press