Bradley Manning Nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize

by JoHarrington

Alleged WikiLeaks whistle-blower Private Bradley Manning has received a Nobel Peace Prize nomination for his part in exposing war crimes.

There has been no proof that Private Bradley Manning did anything, in part because he's received no trial.

Nevertheless, the Icelandic government have put forward his name as a contender for a Nobel Peace Prize.

His reported actions led directly to toppling dictators during the Arab Spring, as well as revealing atrocities committed by his own country.

But he's languished in prison, without charge, for over a year.

Bradley Manning is a Hero
Bradley Manning is a Hero

Would You Resist War Crimes?

If the price of disobeying orders was the loss of your liberty or life, or being subjected to torture, could you speak out?

War never used to be a crime, but the horrors of the Holocaust changed all of that.

Acting on orders was no longer permissible as a defense after the Nuremberg Trials. Twelve Nazi officers went to the gallows, while the rest of the world signed the Geneva Conventions.

Suddenly war crimes was on the international statute books.

Yet that brought deeper dangers for those faced with resisting the directives of their own superiors. The military teaches and demands obedience. The court-room states that any combatant is culpable too, when those orders contravene Article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

The majority of soldiers must surely bury their heads in the sand and hope that their nation is never caught out. The choice is a court martial now or the full weight of the international legislation later. People have received the death penalty for less.

But someone in US intelligence understood what they were seeing. He or she should also have known the consequences. When the documents and film footage were released to WikiLeaks, the scrutiny of the world was suddenly on the USA.

Article 147 rang sharply in the Collateral Damage video; not to mention the missives (PDF), which justified and approved torture. The very genesis of the Geneva Conventions was pinged in revelations about Guantanamo Bay. Suddenly there was an actual tally of civilian deaths in the slaughter cities inside Iraq and Afghanistan. Children were being trafficked for sexual abuse, with the full collusion of American diplomats.

This was just some of the evidence that was relayed to the world due to the courage of a whistle-blower. That person may or may not have been Bradley Manning.

Collateral Damage

In 2007, a US Apache military helicopter in Iraq fired upon journalists and civilians. They were killed. There was a pause. Those rushing in to recover the injured were killed too.

Learn more about Bradley Manning

Pages like this can only touch the surface of a story. Delve deeper by reading one of the biographies written about this controversial hero.
BRADLEY MANNING: Truth and Consequences

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Bradley Manning

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Private: Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks, and the Biggest Exposure of Official Secrets in American ...

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Who is Bradley Manning?

An American soldier, uncomfortable with witnessing atrocities in Iraq, passed the evidence onto WikiLeaks.

Private First Class Bradley Manning was working in US Military Intelligence, when his name became associated with the leaked information.

The son of an American man and a Welsh woman, he has dual US and British nationality. His childhood and teenage years were split between the two countries.

At 19 years old, he enlisted in the United States Army. Friends reported that he was bullied and ostracized by fellow soldiers. He was openly gay, during the 'Don't Ask/Don't Tell' policy of the armed forces.

Bradley served in Iraq and, as a Specialist, he had access to sensitive and classified computer files for 14 hours every day. While there, he witnessed the rounding up of civilians and the non-stop carnage on his screens. He tried to report military mistakes, but was told to shut up by a superior.

Article 147 must have flashed through his mind. This was his big decision moment. Did he do as he was told, or did he do something to halt the war crimes playing out on his watch?

The truth is that nobody knows. He might have kept further inner conflicts of conscience to himself and just got on with it. He was still entrusted with the computer systems, even while the evidence was appearing on WikiLeaks. The actual whistle-blower could well still be in there.

However, a known hacker named Adrian Lamo approached the FBI with Bradley Manning's name. There were also logs of on-line conversations, which were purported to have taken place between them from May 2010. Details revealed within them fitted Bradley's biography; and seemed to implicate as the source of the information shown on WikiLeaks.

But they also contained Adrian's confession that he was willing to share information with the authorities, in order to receive a reduced sentence for his own crimes. 'I could have flipped for the FBI.' He wrote, 'Gotten a sweeter deal.' Whether he tampered with the logs, or handed them over without redaction, has never been established in a court of law.

In fact, nothing has. Bradley Manning was arrested May 10th 2010. He has been charged with offenses relating to the WikiLeaks whistle-blowing, but he has never been placed on trial. Several commentators, including the UN, have expressed concerns that the conditions of his confinement are tantamount to torture.

Iceland's Government Nominates Bradley Manning for a Nobel Peace Prize

The leaked 'revelations have fueled democratic uprising around the world' at great personal cost to himself.

On February 1st 2012, the government of Iceland reached a conclusion. They had been debating who the country was going to back, as one of the most significant peace-keepers alive today.

They chose Bradley Manning.

The Movement of the Icelandic Parliament duly submitted the name of the alleged WikiLeaks whistle-blower to the Nobel Peace Prize Committee.

It is a prestigious award, which has previously been won by the likes of Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, The 14th Dalai Lama and Amnesty International. There had to be a strong rationale behind their nomination, especially as the nominee is currently behind bars.

Signing the letter, on behalf of the entire government, Birgitta Jónsdóttir, Margrét Tryggvadóttir and Þór Saari made their case.

Whoever had made public the US military secrets was responsible for sparking an uprising in Tunisia, which toppled a dictator. In turn, a domino effect played out into the whole Arab Spring. Brutal regimes fell, as democracy was reinstated across several countries.

Moreover, 'a long history of corruption, war crimes, and imperialism' had been exposed, which had to then be investigated. People were being held to account for their actions and troops were now being withdrawn from an Occupation.

There was also reference to Bradley Manning's imprisonment, and how the United Nations' Special Rapporteur on Torture and Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment has been denied access to him.

It was all read like the remit of the Nobel Peace Prize itself.

Show your support out on the street

Stickers and post-cards can help you spread the message that innocent until proven guilty is still the American way.

What is the Nobel Peace Prize?

Each year, this prestigious award is given to the individual 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 congresses.'

Since 1901, it has sought to honor peace activists and people who put their own lives on the line, in the pursuit of helping the rest of humanity. However, there have also been controversial choices too.

The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded on December 10th, the anniversary of its benefactor Alfred Nobel's death. The recipient is invited to deliver a speech, in the presence of Norway's ruling monarch. 

They also take home a medal, a diploma and a prize of (approximately) $1.4m in Swedish krona. Arguably the greatest accolade is the honor itself.

The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prizes bequeathed by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel, along with the prizes in Chemistry, Physics, Physiology or Medicine, and Literature. It is awarded to those who ...

Find out more about the Nobel Peace Prize and WikiLeaks

Bradley Manning has been linked with both, so understanding them helps contextualise his predicament.
Peace, They Say: A History of the Nobel Peace Prize, the Most Famous and Controversial Prize in ...

In this book, Jay Nordlinger gives a history of what the subtitle claims is the “world’s most famous and problematic award.” The Nobel Peace Prize, like the other Nobel ...

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The Nobel Peace Prize and the Laureates: An Illustrated Biographical History, 1901-2001

Illustrated biographical history of one hundred years of Nobel Peace Prizes from Frédéric Passy in 1901 to Kofi Atta Annan and The United Nations, 2001.

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THE AGE OF WIKILEAKS: From Collateral Murder to Cablegate (and Beyond)

The acclaimed new book charts the incredible rise of WikiLeaks, and its political and media impact, from April 2010 to February 2011, written by award-winning author Greg ...

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Poll: Does Bradley Manning Deserve the Nobel Peace Prize?

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More on Bradley Manning

The USA has formally been charged with the "cruel, inhuman and degrading" imprisonment of Bradley Manning by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture.
Updated: 12/07/2012, JoHarrington
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JoHarrington on 02/17/2012

It's a known fault. There's been some background work on the site today, which must have knocked it off. I've just checked and it's been mentioned in the writers' forum. Hopefully it'll be back soon, but thank you for looking for it for me!

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