April 12, 2013
Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, who is accused of providing an enormous stash of classified government documents to WikiLeaks for publication, deserves a Nobel Peace Prize more than President Barack Obama, according to former Texas Rep. Ron Paul.
“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.
A record 259 people were nominated this year for the prize, which will be awarded Oct. 11 after the five-person Norwegian Nobel Committee picks a winner. Malala Yousufzai, the Pakistani girl shot by the Taliban for advocating female education, is considered a favorite.
Manning pleaded guilty to 10 criminal charges related to the leak in February, which could result in a 20-year prison sentence, CBS News reported. He pleaded not guilty to 12 other charges, including “aiding the enemy,” which carries a life sentence. His court martial is scheduled to begin June 3.
Since his arrest in May 2010, Manning has been kept from the public eye. His lawyers objected to the conditions of his solitary imprisonment, which for a time included being required to stand naked outside his cell for morning inspections, The New York Times reported.
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.