Bradley Manning should win the Nobel Peace Prize, say 100,000 people who signed a petition handed over to the Nobel committee Monday.
Nobel committee member Asle Toje said the Prizes are “not a popularity contest,” and thus the petition will not influence the committee’s decision.
Manning, a U.S. soldier, leaked information petitioners say helped end the war in Iraq and dissuade American intervention in the Middle East.
U.S. anti-war activist Norman Solomon gave the petition on Monday, and quoted Daniel Ellsberg as saying Manning did it better than he did back in the ’70s in a similar situation. Ellsberg became a Defense Department analyst in 1959, and later worked on top secret studies of U.S. decision making in Vietnam that became known as the Pentagon Papers.
In 1971, he gave copies of the 7,000-page study to major U.S. newspapers. His resultant felony charges were dismissed on grounds of government misconduct against him, according to his website biography.
Though the committee said it will not be influenced by the petition, Solomon said he hopes it will affirm the strength and merit of Manning’s nomination. He even said, in an interview aired on Global News: “The Nobel Peace Prize needs Bradley Manning more than Bradley Manning needs the Nobel Peace Prize.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.