By Aaron Kesel
Two whistleblowers—Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden—were nominated alongside WikiLeaks journalist and former editor-in-chief Julian Assange for the Nobel Peace Prize of 2020 by 17 members of a German parliamentary group.
Żaklin Nastić (MdB) writes:
I am one of a total of 17 members of our parliamentary group who have nominated Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize. These brave people should not be criminalized but should be recognized and honored. The war criminals and their henchmen must be held accountable.
We feel that Assange, Manning and Snowden have to be recognized for their ‘unprecedented contributions to the pursuit of peace and their immense personal sacrifices to promote peace for all.’ With the unveiling of US war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq and the global surveillance program of the US secret services, the three have ‘exposed the architecture of war and strengthened the architecture of peace’.
The full letter was published on the Courage Foundation’s website and reads:
Dear Members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee,
We wish to nominate Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize, in honour of their unparalleled contributions to the pursuit of peace, and their immense personal sacrifices to promote peace for all.
The year 2020 began with Julian Assange arbitrarily detained and tortured, at risk of death according to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and over 100 medical doctors, for revealing the extent of harm and illegality behind the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. 2020 began with Chelsea Manning in her secound year of renewed imprisonment for resisting to testify to a Grand Jury empaneled against Wikileaks, after having also been imprisoned seven years previously and tortured, following her disclosures that were published by Julian Assange. 2020 began with Edward Snowden in his 7th year of asylum for revealing illegal mass surveillance, in defence of the liberties underpinning revelations such as those made by Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange.
The Collateral Murder video, provided by Chelsea Manning in 2010 and published by Wikileaks, honoured the dignity of those slain needlessly in war. It gave names and identities to victims whose humanity had been kept from public view, capturing the last moments of life for a young Reuters photojournalist, Namir Noor-Eldeen. Namir, who was killed in cold blood while on assignment in Baghdad, was described by his colleagues as among “the pre-eminent war photographers in Iraq” with “a tender eye that brought humanity via quiet moments to a vicious war”.
For humanising Namir and his driver Saeed Chmagh, a father of four, slain in front of two children who sat strafed with bullets in a van, Julian Assange faces 175 years in a US prison under the 1917 Espionage Act, and Chelsea Manning is currently detained without charge.
As well as humanising innocent victims of war, in 2010 Julian Assange and Wikileaks exposed the means by which public abhorrence of killing is overcome, and peace subverted, by psychological manipulation and strategic messaging.
In March 2010 the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) produced a memorandum, subsequently published by Wikileaks, entitled, Afghanistan: Sustaining West European Support for the NATO-led Mission-Why Counting on Apathy Might Not Be Enough.
At the time of the memorandum, 80 percent of French and German publics opposed greater troop deployment to Afghanistan. The memo expressed concern that public “indifference might turn into active hostility if spring and summer fighting results in an upsurge in military or Afghan civilian casualties.” To overcome public opposition to the “bloody summer” ahead, the memorandum advised tailoring messages for French audiences that “could tap into acute French concern for civilians and refugees,” given that French “opponents most commonly argued that the mission hurts civilians.”
“Appeals by President Obama and Afghan women might gain traction” the memorandum added.
With respect to the legalities of peace, Julian Assange and Wikileaks have contributed to the historical record on the International Criminal Court (ICC), established in 2002 under the Rome Statute of 1998, to promote the “peace, security and well-being of the world.” The ICC’s mission was to end impunity by prosecuting “the worst atrocities known to mankind”: war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of genocide.
When the ICC’s enforcement capabilities were taking shape in the years following its inception, cables published by WikiLeaks exposed bilateral deals between nations under Article 98 of the Rome Statute, in which states placed themselves outside the ICC’s jurisdiction. The Article 98 deals undercut the ICC’s power to prosecute war crimes and other internationally illegal obstacles to a peaceful world order.
Later, in 2013, when Edward Snowden revealed the warrantless masssurveillance of citizens and officials worldwide, he exposed an immense global network with the capability to intercept and obstruct peace proponents such as Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange. Edward Snowden’s revelations have contributed to international investigations, transparency initiatives and legislative reforms around the globe.
These are but a selection of the contributions that Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden have made towards pursuing and defending lasting peace.
Together, their actions have exposed the architecture of abuse and war, and fortified the architecture of peace. In return, all three individuals have been forced to sacrifice the very liberties, rights and human welfare that they worked so hard to defend.
A Nobel Peace Prize for Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden would do more than honour their actions as individuals. It would ennoble the risks and sacrifices that those pursuing peace so often undertake, to secure the peace and freedom for all.
Sevim Dağdelen Member of the German Bundestag
Doris Achelwilm Member of the German Bundestag
Diether Dehm Member of the German Bundestag
Sylvia Gabelmann Member of the German Bundestag
Heike Hänsel Member of the German Bundestag
Andrej Hunko Member of the German Bundestag
Ulla Jelpke Member of the German Bundestag
Jutta Krellmann Member of the German Bundestag
Fabio De Masi Member of the German Bundestag
Żaklin Nastić Member of the German Bundestag
Dr. Alexander S. Neu Member of the German Bundestag
Eva-Maria Schreiber Member of the German Bundestag
Alexander Ulrich Member of the German Bundestag
Kathrin Vogler Member of the German Bundestag
Andreas Wagner Member of the German Bundestag
Pia Zimmermann Member of the German Bundestag
Sabine Zimmermann Member of the German Bundestag.
It is worth noting that Bundestag Die Linke member Pascal Meiser called for the asylum of the publisher and whistleblower in Germany last year. According to the letter, Meiser didn’t sign the nomination appeal for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Earlier this month, more than 130 prominent figures in Germany from the world of art, politics, and the media signed an appeal for the release of Julian Assange, including former German vice-chancellor Sigmar Gabriel and Nobel Prize winner Elfriede Jelinek, DW reported.
Assange has won a total of twenty awards, Manning has won eleven, and Snowden has won nine for their individual bravery helping to shed light on the truth. Last year, Assange’s friend Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Maguire accepted the joint GUE/NGL prize for Journalists, Whistleblowers and Defenders of the Right to Information.
For that award, Assange was nominated by Courage Foundation “based on his contributions to journalism and whistleblower protections, his dire circumstances and need for public support, and what his case means for journalists and whistleblowers around the world,” the Courage Foundation wrote.
Maguire gave an incredible heart-wrenching speech in support of her friend Julian Assange during the acceptance speech stressing he exposed corruption and the war empire.
Assange is set to face trial for extradition on February 24 for publishing documents that exposed corruption and U.S. war crimes. Protests are planned all over the world as the future of press freedom lies in the outcome of just one man’s case.
Extradite Julian Assange & the UK extradites our rights: freedom of the press, rule of law, human rights…
— Bean🔥 (@SomersetBean) February 10, 2020
Last year in April, Assange was dragged out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in violation of 2 UN rulings following the withdrawal of his asylum status by the Ecuadorian government.
Assange faces 175 years in the United States if convicted of exposing war crimes and various corruption within the United States, 17 charges of which are under the Espionage Act. In total, Assange faces 18 charges including an absurd charge under the CFAA for “computer hacking” by helping his source, Chelsea Manning, protect herself against being discovered to leak him information.
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