The search, arrest and subsequent torture of Pvt Manning over the release of documents to Wikileaks has led Ron Paul to say that Manning is more deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize than President Obama. There is a good bit of validity to the argument, including the fact that Manning has been nominated for the past several years.
“While President Obama was starting and expanding unconstitutional wars overseas, Bradley Manning, whose actions have caused exactly zero deaths, was shining light on the truth behind these wars,” the former Republican presidential contender told U.S. News. “It’s clear which individual has done more to promote peace.”
The WikiLeaks documents Manning allegedly leaked “pointed to a long history of corruption [and] war crimes” and “helped motivate the democratic Arab Spring movements,” according to the Icelandic, Swedish and Tunisian politicians who nominated Manning.
Not only did Manning expose some pretty important things with those documents that the American people needed to know, but he did so knowing the danger that put him in. And he has received more than he bargained for with the torture that he has endured at the hands of this administration.
But, he did break the law. Of course, so did Rosa Parks, Daniel Ellsberg and Mark Felt. We celebrate those people as heroes (rightfully so) but have condemned Manning to a tortuous existence. Many are trying to end this conduct.
Manning’s imprisonment has attracted demonstrations by his anti-war supporters. Protesters routinely picket outside the Marine Corps Brig in Quantico, Va. An online petition to “save human rights whistleblower Bradley Manning” by Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg has attracted almost 20,000 signatures.
Glen Greenwald said it best
“Bradley Manning epitomizes what the Nobel Peace Prize was supposed to reward, while Barack Obama is the antithesis of it,” Greenwald told U.S. News. “Everything Manning did was geared toward ending war by mobilizing public opinion against it. Most of what Obama has done with his power has been geared toward escalating and continuing U.S. aggression.”
Greenwald cited Obama’s use of drone attacks that reportedly kill civilians, the president’s so-called “kill list” and his continuation of the Afghanistan War. “By stark contrast, Manning risked his own liberty, really his life, to expose documents that he thought would expose the horrors of war and the serial deceit and corruption of the world’s most powerful factions,” said Greenwald.