Opinion Brief

Does WikiLeaks deserve the Nobel Peace Prize?

A Norwegian legislator thinks so, but will the Nobel committee treat the nomination seriously?

A Norwegian lawmaker has nominated WikiLeaks for the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of its release of classified U.S. government documents. "WikiLeaks wants to make governments accountable for their actions and that contributes to peace," says Snorre Valen, the 26-year-old legislator from Norway's Socialist Left Party who nominated the whistleblower website. One leading Nobel-watcher, Kristian Harpsviken of the Peace Research Institute Oslo, says Wikileaks probably isn't a strong candidate for the $1.6 million award. Should it be? (Watch an AP report about the controversy)

WikiLeaks absolutely does not deserve it: The Nobel committee would have to "be crazy" to give the prize to WikiLeaks and its controversial founder, Julian Assange, says Bella Rose at Gather. The award's "distinguished reputation" has been damaged enough by earlier controversies, such as Al Gore's 2007 win for fighting climate change, not war. The prize could be irreparably "tarnished if Assange was found guilty of his pending sex charges" in Sweden, or if the U.S. manages to convict him for releasing confidential government documents."Julian Assange and Wikileaks Nobel Peace Prize nomination — seriously?

This would merely recognize the positive power of the internet: Valen didn't nominate Assange, says Audrey Watters at ReadWriteWeb, he nominated the website itself. And giving the nod to WikiLeaks would fit right in with the evolution of the prize, which now honors champions of human rights rather than just those who oppose war. If you think of awarding the prize to Wikileaks as recognition of "the role of the internet in social change and social justice movements," it makes more sense."WikiLeaks nominated for Nobel Peace Prize"

Fortunately, WikiLeaks stands no chance: "WikiLeaks will not win the Nobel Peace Prize," says John Cook in Gawker. "And it shouldn't!" It simply makes no sense to call WikiLeaks and Julian Assange champions of the cause of free speech when they are threatening to sue their critics for libel."Norwegian idiot thinks Wikileaks deserves Nobel prize"

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