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Private Bradley Manning, the soldier who is accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of top secret military files and State Department cables to the website Wikileaks, has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Lionized as a hero by the worldwide left, Manning is the latest in a long line of outrageous nominations considered by the peace prize committee, including past winners Yasser Arafat, Mikhail Gorbachev and Kofi Annan. Although it certainly comes as no surprise that a soldier alleged to have committed traitorous acts and severely damaged the interests of the United States would be included in the nominations for the award, the controversy over Manning’s case obscures the truly lamentable figure the young man makes as a liberal icon.
Manning was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by the Movement of Icelandic Parliament, a group eligible under the rules of the Nobel Committee to put his name forward. The group claims that Manning “ha[s] helped to fuel a worldwide discussion about America’s overseas engagements, civilian war casualties, imperialistic manipulations, and rules of engagement.” One member of the Movement, MP Birgitta Jonsdottir, said, “It is extremely important that we honor the whistleblowers of our world” so people will not be silenced from performing their civic duty of “reporting on crimes, be it corporate, state or military.”
Ms. Jondottir failed to mention any “crimes” committed by the US nor did she happen to say how people are “silenced from performing their civic duty” when three quarters of a million secret US government documents end up on the Internet for any and all to write about, comment on, or otherwise make value judgments about. In this context, the left is never satisfied unless one of its own can be seen standing on the battlements waving a bloody shirt while claiming to be persecuted for his or her beliefs. Thus, as Manning fits this image perfectly, regardless of what damage was done to US interests — or who has lost their life as a result of the leaks — the former private rates hero status on the left.
It is hardly surprising that a far-left, insignificant Icelandic party would see fit to enter Manning’s name for the prize. The question is, how can such an objectively wretched person as Private Bradley Manning be raised up to theses heights and end up being nominated for one of the most coveted awards in the world?
It is best to dispense with the notion that there is a shred of doubt about Manning’s guilt. The military has him cold, as was revealed at his arraignment last week. A series of email exchanges with known aliases of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange discussing the download of 700 prisoner reports from detainees at Guantanomo (700 prisoner reports from that facility showed up on the Wikileaks site), and Assange’s subsequent acknowledgment that the download was complete pretty much closes the case. Previous to this revelation, Manning’s computer was found to contain encrypted files that opened to his password and revealed access to hundreds of thousands of action reports from Afghanistan and Iraq. There is also evidence that Manning had access to the leaked State Department cables.
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