The Nobel Peace Prize is an award given each year to someone who promotes peace and world unity. Today, the nominations were announced, and there is a stunning nominee among them.
Voice of America News reports that Norwegian lawmaker Snorre Valen has nominated whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks for the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize. Valen believes the whistle-blowing website is a very important contributor to freedom of speech — one of the most important in the 21st century. Valen also supports WikiLeaks for disclosing information about human rights abuse, war crimes and corruption.
WikiLeaks has been at the center of controversy since 2010 when the website released documents including classified U.S. diplomatic cables and other confidential documents relating to the War in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Washington Post reported that, back in July 2010, WikiLeaks released secret documents on the War in Afghanistan. There were over 90,000 pages released that had information about the United States military and the troops on the ground who are covering the intelligence. The documents also detailed information about the clashes between troops and civilians, and information about civilian deaths. These documents detailed a lot about the strategy of the war effort and gave away some of our secrets, which could put both troops and civilians at risk. These documents really did not help anyone involved; divulging secrets from the military can only cause conflict and further harm to the troops.
Given the sensitive nature of the documents released about the War in Afghanistan, I do not think WikiLeaks should be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. I agree that the website has proved that there is not a lot of transparency with our government, but some things should not go public. When you release sensitive materials about our troops and the civilians they are trying to help, it puts everyone in danger. The Nobel Peace Prize is given to people who promote peace, and WikiLeaks does just the opposite of that.
People have been very upset by the secrets spilled in the documents, especially terrorists in the Middle East. Those civilians who have turned their back on their government in Afghanistan to help our troops are in harm’s way, and releasing documents about them could get them killed. Anyone who puts military secrets on the Internet for all to see is causing us greater danger and could help terrorists plot actions against the United States.
The release of documents has also caused conflict between politicians and regular people, because we all are divided on whether it is a good thing or a bad thing. Nominating WikiLeaks for a Nobel Peace Prize is basically supporting the theft and reproduction of classified United States military and government documents, which it is not okay. Although Julian Assange might not have stolen the documents himself, he is just as guilty in the act as the person who did by releasing them to the public. In a time when we are fighting two wars, we do not need our secrets and classified information out there for all to see.
Voice of America Staff, “WikiLeaks Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize”, Voice of America
Walter Pincus, “Wikileaks’ Afghanistan War Log vs. the Pentagon Papers”, The Washington Post