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Wikileaks Nominated For Nobel Peace Prize

Olga Khazan |
February 2, 2011 | 2:19 p.m. PST

Senior Editor

Adding fuel to the Wikileaks fire, a Norwegian official today nominated the controversial Web site for the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize.

Although nominations were technically due by February 1, Norwegian parliamentarian Snorre Valen snuck in his bid at the eleventh hour, saying that, "By disclosing information about corruption, human rights abuses and war crimes, WikiLeaks is a natural contender for the Nobel Peace Prize."

The decision flies in the face of the Peace Prize's 2009 laureate, President Barack Obama, whose administration is fuming after Wikileaks founder Julian Assange exposed the U.S. State Department's secret cables last year.

Reuters says it's just a sign of the times:

"Nobel watchers say a prize for WikiLeaks would highlight the growing role of specialist Internet sites and broad access social media in bringing about world change.

Sites such as Twitter and YouTube have played important roles in mobilizing people in countries with a tight grip on official media, such as Egypt where mass anti-government protests have been taking place."

Nobel Peace Prize winners are generally activists and leaders who the committee feels "...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." Winners from past years have included Al Gore, Jimmy Carter, Kofi Annan, former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev and Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders).

Also today, a lawyer for the Army private suspected of feeding the cables to Wikileaks said that his client, Pfc. Bradley Manning, does not hold dual citizenship. Manning is being held in solitary confinement at an Army base in Quantico, Va, under conditions that some human rights groups have called inhumane. The lawyer's statement pokes holes in an argument by Amnesty International UK that Manning, whose mother is Welsh, is a citizen of the United Kingdom and thus is subject to the same protections as would any British national being held abroad.



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