A Norwegian politician believes that Julian Assange and his controversial website WikiLeaks ought to be up for the Nobel Peace Prize. He has nominated them, citing the website's contribution to "democracy and freedom of speech" worldwide.
According to Snorre Valen, a member of the Socialist Left party, WikiLeaks has contributed to the greater good of society:
WikiLeaks have contributed to the struggle for [human rights, democracy, and freedom of speech] globally, by exposing (among many other things) corruption, war crimes, and torture -- some times even conducted by allies of Norway.
He also pointed out WikiLeaks’s role in the uprisings in Tunisia, which resulted in the abdication of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali after 24 years of rule. So, tell me the part about "peace" again?
First, let's be clear. Being "nominated" for a prize doesn't mean the same thing as winning one. The prize winner is selected by a panel of five people and past "nominees" haven't exactly been worthy, according to Slate:
In 2002, George W. Bush, Tony Blair, and Rudy Giuliani were among the nominees.
In 2006, Sweden's former deputy prime minister Per Ahlmark nominated John Bolton and conservative reporter Ken Timmerman.
Before he was executed, supporters of Crips gang co-founder Tookie Williams repeatedly said he'd been nominated for the Nobel five times. He had, by an attention-seeking Swiss parliamentarian.
Also, consider that in 2010 alone, more than 230 people were nominated. So, obviously, we're not in great danger of Assange actually winning this prize. But, for argument's sake, let's pretend that we are. Does he really deserve one?
Some have called what Assange did nothing short of terrorism. I may not go that far, but there is some information that probably should be kept private.
WikiLeaks released over 250,000 classified State Department documents. They released top-secret information about Iran’s nuclear status, China’s growth, and the potentiality of a united Korean peninsula to the general public.
They also leaked 92,000 classified military documents related to the U.S.'s relationship to Pakistan and the Afghanistan War. As we said, "Based on the documents, Pakistan may not be the ally we thought it was. Or Afghanistan might not be the friend Pakistan thought it was." Either way, causing fights among nations or former allies is probably not the best way to promote "peace."
The fact is, this isn't a man who promotes "peace," but rather a rabble rousing fire-starter who may or may not be a rapist. If that is the face of "peace," then what does war look like?
Do you think he deserves a peace prize?
Image via espenmoe/Flickr