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Monday, March 25, 2013

Bradley Manning's Nobel Peace Prize

Bradley Manning's Nobel Peace Prize

By David Swanson
March 25, 2013

Whistleblower Bradley Manning has been nominated for the Nobel
Peace Prize, and he should receive it.

No individual has done more to push back against what Martin Luther
King Jr. called "the madness of militarism" than Bradley Manning.

The United States is the leading exporter of weapons and itself
spends as much preparing for more wars as the rest of the world

Manning is the leading actor in opposition to U.S. war making,
and therefore militarism around the world.

What he has done has hurt the cause of violence in a number
of other nations as well.

And right now, remaining in prison and facing relentless prosecution
by the U.S. government, Manning is in need of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Alfred Nobel's will left funding for a prize to be awarded to "the
person who shall have done the most or the best work for
fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction
of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace

The intent of the prize was to fund this work.

As a result of enormous legal expenses, Bradley Manning is in
need of that funding, unlike some other peace prize recipients.

In addition, his secret trial -- with a potential death sentence
could use all the attention that can be shined on it.

The people of the United States and the rest of the world have
learned more about the intentions of the U.S. government from
Bradley Manning than from anyone else.

"Thanks to Manning's alleged disclosures, we have a sense of
what transpired in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We have an image of how Washington operates in the world,"
author Chase Madar wrote in his book about Manning's

"Thanks to those revelations we now know just how our government
leaned on the Vatican to quell opposition to the Iraq War. We now
know how Washington pressured the German government to block
the prosecution of CIA agents who kidnapped an innocent man,
Khaled El-Masri, while he was on vacation. We know how our State
Department lobbied hard to prevent a minimum wage increase
in Haiti, the hemisphere's poorest nation."

Manning revealed a secret U.S. war in Yemen, U.S. records of
massive civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, video of a U.S.
helicopter attack on civilians and their rescuers in Baghdad, and
facts about the corruption of numerous governments including
those of the United States, Tunisia, and Egypt.

In those last two nations Manning's revelations contributed to
nonviolent pro-democracy movements.

Among the revelations made by Manning through WikiLeaks is
the extent of time and energy the U.S. State Department puts
into marketing U.S. weapons to the world's governments.

We all have a better understanding of the work that is needed for
peace as a result of this exposure of "diplomacy" as consisting so
greatly of weapons selling.

The Guardian newspaper and BBC Arabic detailed last week how the
United States armed and trained Iraqi police commando units that
ran torture centers and death squads.

Maggie O'Kane, executive producer of the documentary, said:

"I hope this film will be a legacy that actually says, 'If you want to
go to war, this is what war means. It means 14-year-old boys being
hung up and tortured. It means men being turned on spits. And
that's called counter-insurgency. . . .' This would not be coming to
light if it hadn't been for Bradley Manning."

Not only has Manning done the most to resist militarism, but he
has done it for its own sake, and not by chance or for any ulterior

This is made clear by his recent statement in court and by his earlier
communications in the chat logs that have long been a part of his

Manning was horrified by crimes and abuses.

He believed the public should know what was happening.

He believed democracy was more important than blind subservience
in the name of a "democracy."

Manning has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by the
Movement in the Icelandic Parliament, the Pirates of the EU;
representatives from the Swedish Pirate Party, and the former
Secretary of State in Tunisia for Sport & Youth.

The nomination states, in part:

"These revelations have fueled democratic uprisings around the
world, including a democratic revolution in Tunisia. According to
journalists, his alleged actions helped motivate the democratic
Arab Spring movements, shed light on secret corporate influence
on the foreign and domestic policies of European nations, and
most recently contributed to the Obama Administration agreeing
to withdraw all U.S. troops from the occupation in Iraq."

The Norwegian Nobel Committee (send them a note) can either
begin awarding the peace prize to opponents of war or continue
on its current course -- one which already has many questioning,
not whether Manning is worthy of the prize, but whether the prize
is worthy of Manning.

David Swanson is the author of "When the World Outlawed War,"
"War Is A Lie" and "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency
and Forming a More Perfect Union."

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