Roots Action has submitted a petition signed by better than 100,000 people online in support of awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Bradley Manning. Yes, the same Bradley Manning, charged with violating 34 sections of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Bradley Manning, who plead guilty to leaking military information, Bradley Manning, who will most likely spend a substantial part of the next 90 years making little rocks out of big rocks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
Let's be clear, what Bradley Manning did was not prizeworthy, nor was it courageous, nor was it heroic, nor was it honorable. If you think he should be commended for exposing the "Collateral Damage" video, I beg to differ. The shear volume of the information he stole and released to WikiLeaks (in excess of 300,000 documents), combined with the delay between acquisition and publication, indicates that Manning had no idea exactly what was in those files. As it happens, within the diluvial data dump, was contained evidence of an atrocity, but even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then. Above all, and beyond all, Manning was a soldier in the United States Army, intrusted with a top secret security clearance, who decided on his own, that he should disseminate freely, information his superiors had deemed sensitive to national security. Releasing those documents, and in that manner, makes Manning guilty of not heroism, but treason, the only crime specifically mentioned in the Constitution of the United States. For his transgression, we are no safer, we are no better informed, we are no stronger.
Manning deserves no prize. He deserves to sit in a cold grey cell for a significant amount of time and contemplate the damage he has done and the lives he has endangered. His sentence should include him being mandated to write one hundred gazillion times on the jailhouse blackboard, "I will not steal classified information". The Nobel Prize committee should refuse to accept the Roots Action petition and should in no way consider giving such an honor to a wiggly worm the likes of Manning. If you simply have to give the prize to someone undeserving and for unwarranted reasons, give it to Dennis Rodman.