Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Nobel Peace Prize for Snowden would help Nobel committee redeem themselves for Obama gaff
by Larry Geller
Will it happen? Not likely, but it’s worth imagining that it could. Who knows.
From this morning’s Democracy Now headlines:
Swedish Professor Nominates Snowden for Nobel Peace Prize
National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. In a letter to the prize committee, Swedish sociology professor Stefan Svallfors cites Snowden’s "heroic effort at great personal cost," saying he has "helped to make the world a little bit better and safer." Svallfors also suggests giving the award to Snowden might make up for the "disrepute" incurred by the committee’s "ill-conceived" decision to give President Obama the award in 2009.
[Democracy Now, headlines, 7/16/2013]
The Daily Mail (UK) translated the professor’s letter (see below) and included much more information. See its article,
Swedish professor nominates Edward Snowden for the Nobel Peace Prize (Daily Mail (UK), 7/14/2013).
The paper notes that it is too late for this year, but that Snowden could be considered for the 2014 prize. Nominations for this year would have to have been postmarked by February 1.
PROFESSOR SVALLFORS' MESSAGE TO THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE COMMITTEE
Best committee members!
I suggest that the 2013 Peace Prize awarded to the American citizen Edward Snowden.
Edward Snowden has - in a heroic effort at great personal cost - revealed the existence and extent of the surveillance, the U.S. government devotes electronic communications worldwide. By putting light on this monitoring program - conducted in contravention of national laws and international agreements - Edward Snowden has helped to make the world a little bit better and safer.
Through his personal efforts, he has also shown that individuals can stand up for fundamental rights and freedoms. This example is important because since the Nuremberg trials in 1945 has been clear that the slogan "I was just following orders" is never claimed as an excuse for acts contrary to human rights and freedoms. Despite this, it is very rare that individual citizens having the insight of their personal responsibility and courage Edward Snowden shown in his revelation of the American surveillance program. For this reason, he is a highly affordable candidate.
The decision to award the 2013 prize to Edward Snowden would - in addition to being well justified in itself - also help to save the Nobel Peace Prize from the disrepute that incurred by the hasty and ill-conceived decision to award U.S. President Barack Obama 2009 award. It would show its willingness to stand up in defense of civil liberties and human rights, even when such a defense be viewed with disfavour by the world's dominant military power.
Professor of Sociology at Umeå University
The Irish Nobel Peace Prize winner, Mairead Corrigan-Maguire, has nominated Bradley Manning for the prize as well. While I appreciate the sacrifices Snowden has made on our behalf, I think Manning may be more directly related to the quest for peace.