Bradley Manning the US serviceman who is accused of leaking secret materials to the whistle blowing website WikiLeaks, has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. The Movement of Icelandic Parliament have put him forward as a candidate for the prize. The organization says that the documents he allegedly exposed “have helped to fuel a worldwide discussion about America’s overseas engagements, civilian war casualties, imperialistic manipulations, and rules of engagement.”
In May 2010 Manning was arrested on suspicion of passing classified materials to WikiLeaks. He faces 22 charges of violating military code. If found guilty, he could face life in prison or execution. The soldier has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
A spokesperson for the group, MP Birgitta Jonsdottir, spoke to Russia Today explaining their choice. She said that their goal was to raise awareness of his situation so that people could become more involved in the movement to have him freed from military prison.
“It is extremely important that we honor the whistleblowers of our world,” she said, so people will not be silenced from performing their civic duty “by reporting on crimes, be it corporate, state or military.”
She said she believes that he has as good a chance as anybody to win it, but warned that a decision on a Nobel Peace Prize is a very politicized matter, “because peace – just like war – is a very political issue.”
She is absolutely correct, war and peace are very much political matters. In fact I can think of little more in modern society that is subject to politics as much, perhaps economics. Given that, I think what she is saying might mean, is that she’s concern how the US government is going to react to such a move. Clearly nominating someone they are currently holding as a traitor and a criminal would be considered a slight to the US. Most likely it would be seen as an attack on the US for the continued wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Both of which the former Nobel Prize winner, Barack Obama, promised to end. I believe that if Manning does win the Peace Prize the right wing in America will hold it up as “evidence” that the whole world is against them.
There is no doubt in my mind that Bradly Manning is a true hero. In truth he has sacrificed everything for what he believes is the right thing to do. His job, his pension, his freedom, his family and his life, have all been sacrificed to get the word out to the world of what the US military is really doing in these unjust wars of profit. Every person who is in ANY military who considers themselves heroes need to take a look in the mirror and ask themselves if they would be willing to do the same. If they cannot, then they simply don’t have the courage that this lone young man has.
Bradley Manning deserves his freedom, he deserves compensation for illegal detention, he deserves a Medal of Honour, because he acted honourably. If the Nobel Peace Prize is ever to mean anything, ever again after being given to Barack Obama, it should be given to Manning.