UPDATED: Edward Snowden, the former employee of the US National Security Agency (NSA) who exposed systematic and illegal surveillance of world leaders and US citizens, has attracted Nobel Peace Prize nominations because he’s a “hero,” claim his supporters. Oslo newspaper Aftenposten joined them over the weekend, in an editorial calling such a prize “bold, controversial but in our opinion, the right choice.”
The newspaper, in an editorial on Saturday, compared Snowden to “Carl von Ossietzky, Andrei Sakharov, Lech Walesa, Desmond Tutu and Liu Xiaobo,” as an “American dissident” who stood up against authority and power in his own country. They are all, according to Aftenposten, “enlightening examples of individuals who bravely protested assaults by authorities. History has proved them right.”
What’s special about Snowden, Aftenposten wrote, is that the assaults he revealed occurred “in a democratic country that we would never compare to authoritarian regimes like China or the former Soviet Union.” Snowden’s disclosures, however, revealed that power subcultures can also develop in democratic countries, break laws and violate the rights of ordinary citizens.”
Aftenposten’s assertions were published just before Daniel Ellsberg, the former US military analyst who leaked the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times, told Oslo newspaper Dagsavisen on Monday that he also considers Snowden a “hero, who has done more for the constitution and the rule of law than most.” Dagsavisen also editorialized in favour of a Nobel Peace Prize for Snowden on Tuesday. The Nobel Peace Prize for 2014 will be announced in Oslo in early October.