News / USA

    US Rights Group Urges Nobel Peace Prize for WikiLeaks Soldier

    U.S. Army Private First Class Bradley Manning (C) departs the courthouse at Ft. Meade, Maryland, July 30, 2013.
    U.S. Army Private First Class Bradley Manning (C) departs the courthouse at Ft. Meade, Maryland, July 30, 2013.
    Reuters
    A U.S. rights group has collected over 100,000 signatures urging the Norwegian Nobel committee to give this year's Peace Prize to Bradley Manning, a U.S. soldier convicted of leaking classified U.S. government files touching on military policy.
     
    Recognizing Manning, the head of the RootsAction group said, would also help repair the Nobel panel's reputation after it chose President Barack Obama for the Peace Prize in 2009, only a few months into his first term of office.
     
    “There's a cloud hanging over the Nobel Peace Committee,” Norman Solomon, co-founder of RootsAction said on Monday, as he prepared to hand his 5,000-page petition to the committee.
     
    “In a sense, the Nobel Peace Prize at this point needs Bradley Manning more than Bradley Manning needs the Nobel Peace Prize ... There has now grown a question about the Nobel Committee's commitment to human rights and peace in an even handed, independent way.”
     
    Private First Class Manning was convicted earlier this month of charges that included espionage and theft for releasing more than 700,000 battlefield videos, diplomatic cables and other secret documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. He now faces up to 90 years in prison.
     
    Solomon argued that the disclosures shortened the U.S. military involvement in Iraq and made it more difficult for the country to engage in conflict. A representative of the Nobel committee said the petition would not influence its decision.
     
    “The Nobel Peace Prize is not a popularity contest and a large number of signatures will neither help nor hinder his [Manning's] candidacy,” Asle Toje, the Norwegian Nobel Committee's Research Director said.
     
    “It will be reviewed on its merit, based on the principles laid out in the will of Alfred Nobel. It's not unprecedented that we receive a large volume of supporting material for a candidate ... but these do not influence the committee.”
     
    Manning, 25, was a low-level intelligence analyst in Iraq in 2010 when he was charged with leaking files including videos of a 2007 attack by a U.S. Apache helicopter gunship in Baghdad that killed a dozen people, two of them Reuters news staff.
     
    The Nobel committee, which also came under fire for awarding the Peace Prize to the European Union last year, has repeatedly rejected criticism over its selection of Obama before the first black U.S. president had achieved anything notable in office.
     
    The 2013 Peace Prize will be announced on October 11. A total of 259 people and groups were nominated by the February deadline, including Manning, Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Myanmar President Thein Sein.

    You May Like

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Who Are US Allies in Fight Against Islamic State?

    There is little but opportunism keeping coalition together analysts warn — SDFs Arab militias are not united even among themselves, frequently squabble and don’t share Kurds' vision for post-Assad Syria

    Learning Foreign Language Helps US Soldiers Bridge Culture Gap

    Effective interaction with local populations part of everyday curriculum at Monterey, California, Defense Language Institute

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora