We first brought you rumors of this story more than a year ago, but at the time I was clearly skeptical to say the least. Several concerned do-gooders around the world were positing the idea that Wikileaker and – now – essentially confessed traitor, Bradley Manning, should be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Fortunately, I thought, this was the fever swamp thinking of those who would only be found in widely scattered, anarchist enclaves. (Or possibly Chris Hayes’ apartment in Manhattan.) But I didn’t expect to see it in… West Virginia?
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 combined. Manning is the leading actor in opposition to U.S. warmaking, and therefore militarism around the world.
Well, that’s certainly some pretty heady stuff. But before we send out the Center for Disease Control to see if something has gotten into the water supply in Wheeling, it’s worth noting that the author, David Swanson, is the host of Talk Nation Radio and the author of books such as… well, some book at least. But still, this is taking place in West Virginia, so the fever is clearly reaching airborne transmission status.
But for the moment, let’s take this seriously. It’s not just this one guy saying it, as Swanson notes in his editorial. There are numerous, prestigious people and groups getting on board the Manning Nobel train. Who does this include again?
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.
I may have to take it all back. I thought this was just some sort of lark up until now, but if the former Tunisian Secretary for Sport & Youth is on board, there clearly may be something to this. Okay… you’ve got our attention. Why should Manning get this award?
“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.”
Well, sure, Manning was the cause of the Arab Spring, (which began in 2010) and he led to the collapse of the Eurozone, natch. But leading to Obama’s withdrawing from Iraq? Manning was arrested in May of 2010. Obama was promising to get us out of Iraq before his first election. Look, I’ve always been a huge fan of Manning for his invention of the internet, and I’ll keep using it even today. But it’s difficult to credit him with the invention of the time machine and going back several years to influence Barack Obama.