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‘Manning’s pleas prove he is a hero’

Bradley Manning’s statements during his guilty plea prove that he is hero who truly deserves the Nobel Peace prize, Icelandic MP Birgitta Jonsdottir told RT, stressing that the mainstream media cannot afford to ignore his case.

Birgitta Jonsdottir nominated Manning for a Nobel Peace prize after he shed light on a long history of "corruption, war crimes, and imperialism by the United States in its international dealings."

She also helped with producing the notorious Collateral Damage video that Manning admitted to have leaked, even though it was not classified.

In an interview with RT Jonsdottir pointed out that WikiLeaks, the whistleblowing website, was the only media outlet willing to take the files Manning had in his possession, for which he is now being prosecuted. In his guilty plea Manning revealed that he had approached mainstream corporate press outlets like The New York Times and the Washington Post with materials of “enormous value to the American public” - but they ignored his submissions.

RT:Why do you think Private Manning deserves a Nobel?

BJ: Because he dared to do what many others need to do, and that is to blow the whistle on war crimes and to basically bring into the comfort of our homes the horrors of war and what people have gone through. And I do not think it would have mattered to him which nationality was doing the crime.

And I’m really pleased with the result of his statement today, and it is obvious that his intention was never to aid the enemy but to inform the general public in the United States and all the other countries that have been involved with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq what is really going on in our name in order to try to stop it. 

And just from what I’ve heard from the statements, the only thought that I have in my mind is this person is a hero.

Pfc. Bradley E. Manning is escorted from a hearing, on February 28, 2013 in Fort Meade, Maryland. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images/AFP)

RT:Will his actions ever be recognized?

BJ: I think so, yeah. I’ve been following his case ever since I heard about it for the first time in the news, and I’ve co-produced the Collateral Murder video in order to make sure that it would be brought to the general public, because I felt obliged to do that.

And from seeing the development of the attention to his case, both in the United States and globally, that has been radically changing. In a sense it is a relief for me to hear him plead guilty to leaking this particular video, so I know I may not be harming his case by saying that what he did was indeed what he did, because I did know.

RT:The Pentagon bowed to pressure from human rights groups and posted over 80 unpublished rulings on Manning's trial. How much of a breakthrough is that?

BJ: I think that in general, this case has shown us the influence and the ability of individuals to transform our world. Manning is one of these people, and all the activists that had made sure that he would not just be forgotten in jail.

And now finally the mainstream media in the United States can’t ignore his story and what he has been going through.

And I think it is very important and of course, it is incredible to hear that he had tried to take this to other media before he tried to get it to WikiLeaks and that WikiLeaks was the only place that would actually acknowledge the significance of the documents that he was handing over.