Give peace prize to deserving candidate
The U.S. government made it clear on multiple occasions that it is no fan of Wikileaks or the site's founder Julian Assange. In sharp contrast to Washington's clear disdain of Wikileaks, Norwegian parliamentarian Snorre Valen nominated the website for the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize. In Valen's own words, "By disclosing information about corruption, human rights abuses and war crimes, Wikileaks is a natural contender for the Nobel Peace Prize." While we think Wikileaks deserves recognition for being a champion of free speech and government transparency, we are not quite sure that the Nobel Peace Prize is the best way to honor the site. That is, we are not quite sure Wikileaks is directly responsible for producing peace in the world at large.
Alfred Nobel, the man who created the prize, willed the prize be given to the person or persons who, "shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies, and for the holding and promotion of peace congress." Frankly, we don't think Wikileaks quite fits this description. Sure, the website is responsible for disclosing tons of information to the citizens of the world — information those citizens deserved to know. But can one really say they are responsible for promoting "peace congress?"
Our feeling is that, no, Wikileaks is not responsible for the fostering of peace in the world. Rather, Wikileaks merely provided the tools necessary for peace to flourish in these terribly troubled times. In this sense, Wikileaks is sort of a starting point for peace, not exactly a direct facilitator of it. Wikileaks was a channel through which the people of the world could gain access to the information necessary to bring about a more peaceful state of life. The true facilitators of peace are those who took this information and did something with it — something real, something tangible, something that truly changed the world.
We applaud Wikileaks for bringing that information forward and for being a conduit for completely free speech. Still, the Nobel Peace Prize is not the right way to honor the site for the ways in which it has contributed to the world. Rather, the Nobel Peace Prize should go to someone who truly, actively promoted peace in the world. It is a shame that the nomination deadline is approaching so rapidly — we can think of more than a few people currently engaged in protests in the Middle East who may potentially deserve the prestigious award.