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Pirates jointly nominate Manning and Snowden for Nobel Peace Prize

Protesters demanding the release of Chelsea Manning
Protesters demanding the release of Chelsea Manning
Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images

Representatives in the EU parliament from the Pirate Party of Sweden along with MPs from the Pirate Party of Iceland have come together to nominate whistleblowers Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden for the Nobel Peace Prize. Snowden has already been nominated for the prize this year by two Norwegian politicians, while Manning received several nominations last year. This year's joint nomination gives the Nobel Prize panel the opportunity to recognize and encourage the contributions of whistleblowers everywhere, while governments are increasingly trying to criminalize their noble efforts.

Chelsea Manning is widely credited with jump-starting the Arab Spring revolutions across the Middle-East, most notably in Tunisia and Egypt. Her efforts were rewarded with 35 years imprisonment while everyone from the Obama administration to Condoleezza Rice and George W. Bush attempt to co-opt the credit for her bravery. Manning was demonized while the results of her whistleblowing were praised.

Edward Snowden is still a free man living under temporary asylum in Russia, but he is wanted in the U.S. to face charges of espionage and theft of government property. This alleged espionage, preferably referred to as whistleblowing, alerted Congress and President Obama to unconstitutional acts by the NSA that even they were unaware of. Because the acts against the people revealed by Snowden are indefensible, the talking heads have been forced to give lip service to the concerns of government overreach. At the same time they try to demonize the messenger while taking the credit for surveillance reform, not an end to unconstitutional surveillance, merely reform. They don't want it to end, they just want people to stop talking about it.

As we can see, today's world requires much more vigilance on the part of the people to remain free. Criminalizing the behavior of whistleblowers discourages future whistleblowers, which is precisely what is intended. A Nobel Peace Prize jointly awarded to both Manning and Snowden, however, would make the U.S. targeting of whistleblowers harder to justify. It would make it more difficult to claim they harmed national security when the same actions are recognized as bringing more peace and stability to the world as a whole. It is, therefore, the duty of the Nobel Prize committee panel, in its effort to promote peace, to award the Nobel Peace Prize to Snowden, Manning, and whistleblowers everywhere. Otherwise, Snowden might just be the last.

Exposing criminals is never a crime.