(TMU) — Two whistleblowers—Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden—were nominated alongside WikiLeaks journalist and former editor-in-chief Julian Assange for the Nobel Peace Prize of 2020 by 17 members of a German parliamentary group.
Żaklin Nastić (MdB) writes:
“I am one of a total of 17 members of our parliamentary group who have nominated Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize. These brave people should not be criminalized but should be recognized and honored. The war criminals and their henchmen must be held accountable.
We feel that Assange, Manning and Snowden have to be recognized for their ‘unprecedented contributions to the pursuit of peace and their immense personal sacrifices to promote peace for all.’ With the unveiling of US war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq and the global surveillance program of the US secret services, the three have ‘exposed the architecture of war and strengthened the architecture of peace’.”
The full letter was published on the Courage Foundation’s website and reads:
Dear Members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee,
We wish to nominate Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize, in honour of their unparalleled contributions to the pursuit of peace, and their immense personal sacrifices to promote peace for all.
The year 2020 began with Julian Assange arbitrarily detained and tortured, at risk of death according to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and over 100 medical doctors, for revealing the extent of harm and illegality behind the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. 2020 began with Chelsea Manning in her secound year of renewed imprisonment for resisting to testify to a Grand Jury empaneled against Wikileaks, after having also been imprisoned seven years previously and tortured, following her disclosures that were published by Julian Assange. 2020 began with Edward Snowden in his 7th year of asylum for revealing illegal mass surveillance, in defence of the liberties underpinning revelations such as those made by Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange.
The Collateral Murder video, provided by Chelsea Manning in 2010 and published by Wikileaks, honoured the dignity of those slain needlessly in war. It gave names and identities to victims whose humanity had been kept from public view, capturing the last moments of life for a young Reuters photojournalist, Namir Noor-Eldeen. Namir, who was killed in cold blood while on assignment in Baghdad, was described by his colleagues as among “the pre-eminent war photographers in Iraq” with “a tender eye that brought humanity via quiet moments to a vicious war”.
For humanising Namir and his driver Saeed Chmagh, a father of four, slain in front of two children who sat strafed with bullets in a van, Julian Assange faces 175 years in a US prison under the 1917 Espionage Act, and Chelsea Manning is currently detained without charge.
As well as humanising innocent victims of war, in 2010 Julian Assange and Wikileaks exposed the means by which public abhorrence of killing is overcome, and peace subverted, by psychological manipulation and strategic messaging.
In March 2010 the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) produced a memorandum, subsequently published by Wikileaks, entitled, Afghanistan: Sustaining West European Support for the NATO-led Mission-Why Counting on Apathy Might Not Be Enough.
At the time of the memorandum, 80 percent of French and German publics opposed greater troop deployment to Afghanistan. The memo expressed concern that public “indifference might turn into active hostility if spring and summer fighting results in an upsurge in military or Afghan civilian casualties.” To overcome public opposition to the “bloody summer” ahead, the memorandum advised tailoring messages for French audiences that “could tap into acute French concern for civilians and refugees,” given that French “opponents most commonly argued that the mission hurts civilians.”
“Appeals by President Obama and Afghan women might gain traction” the memorandum added.
With respect to the legalities of peace, Julian Assange and Wikileaks have contributed to the historical record on the International Criminal Court (ICC), established in 2002 under the Rome Statute of 1998, to promote the “peace, security and well-being of the world.” The ICC’s mission was to end impunity by prosecuting “the worst atrocities known to mankind”: war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of genocide.
When the ICC’s enforcement capabilities were taking shape in the years following its inception, cables published by WikiLeaks exposed bilateral deals between nations under Article 98 of the Rome Statute, in which states placed themselves outside the ICC’s jurisdiction. The Article 98 deals undercut the ICC’s power to prosecute war crimes and other internationally illegal obstacles to a peaceful world order.
Later, in 2013, when Edward Snowden revealed the warrantless masssurveillance of citizens and officials worldwide, he exposed an immense global network with the capability to intercept and obstruct peace proponents such as Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange. Edward Snowden’s revelations have contributed to international investigations, transparency initiatives and legislative reforms around the globe.
These are but a selection of the contributions that Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden have made towards pursuing and defending lasting peace.
Together, their actions have exposed the architecture of abuse and war, and fortified the architecture of peace. In return, all three individuals have been forced to sacrifice the very liberties, rights and human welfare that they worked so hard to defend.
A Nobel Peace Prize for Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden would do more than honour their actions as individuals. It would ennoble the risks and sacrifices that those pursuing peace so often undertake, to secure the peace and freedom for all.
Sevim Dağdelen Member of the German Bundestag
Doris Achelwilm Member of the German Bundestag
Diether Dehm Member of the German Bundestag
Sylvia Gabelmann Member of the German Bundestag
Heike Hänsel Member of the German Bundestag
Andrej Hunko Member of the German Bundestag
Ulla Jelpke Member of the German Bundestag
Jutta Krellmann Member of the German Bundestag
Fabio De Masi Member of the German Bundestag
Żaklin Nastić Member of the German Bundestag
Dr. Alexander S. Neu Member of the German Bundestag
Eva-Maria Schreiber Member of the German Bundestag
Alexander Ulrich Member of the German Bundestag
Kathrin Vogler Member of the German Bundestag
Andreas Wagner Member of the German Bundestag
Pia Zimmermann Member of the German Bundestag
Sabine Zimmermann Member of the German Bundestag.
It is worth noting that Bundestag Die Linke member Pascal Meiser called for the asylum of the publisher and whistleblower in Germany last year. According to the letter, Meiser didn’t sign the nomination appeal for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Earlier this month, more than 130 prominent figures in Germany from the world of art, politics, and the media signed an appeal for the release of Julian Assange, including former German vice-chancellor Sigmar Gabriel and Nobel Prize winner Elfriede Jelinek, DW reported.
Assange has won a total of twenty awards, Manning has won eleven, and Snowden has won nine for their individual bravery helping to shed light on the truth. Last year, Assange’s friend Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Maguire accepted the joint GUE/NGL prize for Journalists, Whistleblowers and Defenders of the Right to Information.
For that award, Assange was nominated by Courage Foundation “based on his contributions to journalism and whistleblower protections, his dire circumstances and need for public support, and what his case means for journalists and whistleblowers around the world,” the Courage Foundation wrote.
Maguire gave an incredible heart-wrenching speech in support of her friend Julian Assange during the acceptance speech stressing he exposed corruption and the war empire.
Assange is set to face trial for extradition on February 24 for publishing documents that exposed corruption and U.S. war crimes. Protests are planned all over the world as the future of press freedom lies in the outcome of just one man’s case.
Extradite Julian Assange & the UK extradites our rights: freedom of the press, rule of law, human rights…
— Bean🔥 (@SomersetBean) February 10, 2020
Last year in April, Assange was dragged out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in violation of 2 UN rulings following the withdrawal of his asylum status by the Ecuadorian government.
Assange faces 175 years in the United States if convicted of exposing war crimes and various corruption within the United States, 17 charges of which are under the Espionage Act. In total, Assange faces 18 charges including an absurd charge under the CFAA for “computer hacking” by helping his source, Chelsea Manning, protect herself against being discovered to leak him information.
Akon Finally Breaks Ground On His Futuristic $10 Billion Solar Powered “Crypto City”
The rapper, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Akon has been making significant progress on his development plans in Africa, which involve the creation of a futuristic city that runs on clean energy and cryptocurrency.
In January of last year, Akon revealed that his agreements with Senegal President Macky Sall were going forward, and a few months later it was announced that the engineering and consulting firm KE International was awarded a $6 billion contract to build the city. The company previously said it had already received $4 billion from investors for the first two phases of Akon City’s construction, giving the project a price tag of at least $10 billion.
The project goes much further than just this one city and it has already begun to make an impact across the continent. In the short time since the deal was finalized last year, a large number of solar street lights, and solar home lighting units, have been installed across 14 African countries, according to Akon Lighting Africa.
The effort was made possible by a private-public partnership model and a well-established network of partners including SOLEKTRA INT, SUMEC, and NARI.
Phase 1 of construction on the city is expected to be completed in 2023, and will include roads, a hospital, residences, hotels, a police station, a waste facility, a school, and a solar power plant. The entire city is expected to be finished around 2029. The city’s economy will be facilitated by Akon’s cryptocurrency “Akoin,” which runs on the Stellar blockchain. Stellar is a crypto ecosystem that includes its own cryptocurrency XLM, and also allows for the development of other projects, such as decentralized exchanges and additional currencies like Akoin. Banks around the world have also been considering using the Stellar blockchain for stablecoin deployment.
Akon believes that cryptocurrency is the solution to the corruption problems that create widespread inequality in Africa because the blockchain provides a record that would make corruption extremely obvious if it were to take place. With an independent cryptocurrency, governments are unable to print money and devalue the currency, and the control of the money is decentralized.
In an interview with TMZ last year, Akon compared the vision that he has for the city with the fictional “Wakanda” from the movie Black Panther.
“This movie literally made an idea of what Africa could really be. It’s just ironic that I was already working on this before the movie came out, but it’s something that helped me a lot when I was trying to explain to explain to people what I was trying to do,” Akon said.
The city’s crypto-economic system will also solve many problems specific to the developing world, like instantly calculating conversation rates for currencies, which is often an obstacle because there are so many different regional currencies and methods of trade. In some cases, people even use prepaid cellphone minutes as a currency because it is easier to use and exchange than traditional currencies. Akon says that the Akoin wallet will allow users to trade between cryptocurrencies, fiat currencies, and cellphone minutes instantly without having to go through a major exchange using Atomic Swap technology. The app will also teach users to become more familiar with the technology in general.
Florida Man Uses Stimulus Check to Start Thriving Home Garden to Feed His Community
When millions of people across the United States received their federal stimulus checks to help them cope with the devastating economic repercussions of the novel coronavirus pandemic and resulting lockdown, most people spent their checks on basic necessities like food, rent, mortgage, utilities, and other basic necessities
However, one man from East Tampa, Florida, decided to use his funds to invest in a much more long-term project: building his own garden at home and using it to help provide food for himself. He’s now teaching his community about the massive benefits of food independence.
Michael Chaney, who goes by the nickname “Spirit Mike,” has long been interested in gardening. It wasn’t until the pandemic struck and local supermarkets were struck by the crisis that he was able to muster the self-motivation and time to fully pursue what began as a hobby and now has turned into his passion.
When he received his first stimulus check, he immediately used the funds to purchase some pots and start growing his first tomato plant. He also spoke to seasoned gardeners at the nearby A Land of Delight Natural Farm to pick up some materials and advice that would enable him to begin growing his own food, he told local radio station WMNF.
Now, Chaney is growing not only tomatoes but also collard greens, ghost peppers, mustard greens, strawberry guava, eggplants, onions, papaya, cashew apples, sugar cane, lemon, yucca, and lettuce, among other plants on his .3 acres of land.
“I do biointensive gardening, which means planting as much as you can in a small space,” Chaney told Atlanta Black Star. “I specifically picked these types of fruits [dwarf plants] because they grow fruit fast.”
Chaney derives the most pride from his moringa trees, which he values for its high viamin C content and celebrated medicinal properties as well as its antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antidepressant qualities.
“That is the Michael Jordan and the Kobe Bryant together,” Chaney told WMNF with pride.
“If you were stranded somewhere and all you have his this and water you would not only survive, you would thrive,” Chaney added. “I don’t work out. All I did was add this to my diet and add flax seed fiber and I lost 65 lbs.”
Chaney also has nine chickens that he purchased for only $3 per chick.
“My aim is to make my food cost zero,” he explained. “So, my food scraps go into the soldier fly larvae bin, they eat that and produce more larvae. Those larvae get fed to the chickens. The chicken produces eggs, I sell the eggs and eat the eggs; life is good.”
Chaney made sure to meticulously plan his garden so that actually managing it and ensuring its success would be much easier.
“It’s very important that you plan your garden. Do your research before you put a dollar down because you want your dollar to go as far as it can,” Chaney said.
He is now upholding the garden – which he has named New World Growers – as an example of community self-determination and food independence at a time when food insecurity is sharply on the rise.
Edward Snowden Applies For Russian Citizenship As He Announces He’s About To Be A Dad
U.S. NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden has announced that he is going to be a dad and that he has applied for Russian citizenship due to the coming change in his life. Snowden said the move is to prevent separation from his unborn son.
Snowden and his wife are applying for Russian citizenship in order not to be separated from their future son in an era of pandemics and closed borders, he said on Monday. Snowden’s wife, Lindsay, is expecting a child in late December, the RIA news agency said, citing his Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena, Reuters reported.
Snowden fled the U.S. and was given asylum in Russia after leaking secret NSA files in 2013 that revealed vast domestic and international surveillance operations carried out by the U.S. National Security Agency where he was a contractor. Snowden exposed various capabilities by the NSA by revealing various extensive privacy violations. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently found one such program was unlawful and that the U.S. intelligence directors who publicly defended it had lied to the public. The court determined that the warrantless telephone dragnet that secretly collected millions of Americans’ telephone records violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
U.S. authorities have for years wanted Snowden to return to the U.S. to face criminal charges on espionage brought against him in 2013.
“After years of separation from our parents, my wife and I have no desire to be separated from our son. That’s why, in this era of pandemics and closed borders, we’re applying for dual US-Russian citizenship,” Snowden wrote on Twitter. “Lindsay and I will remain Americans, raising our son with all the values of the America we love, including the freedom to speak his mind. And I look forward to the day I can return to the States, so the whole family can be reunited. Our greatest wish is that, wherever our son lives, he feels at home.”
Russia has already granted Snowden permanent residency rights, his lawyer said last month, a requisite step towards Russian citizenship.
Snowden’s wife recently publicly announced her pregnancy last week in a photograph posted to Instagram. “A long time in the making,” she wrote. “Our greatest collaboration coming soon.” Snowden said; despite applying for Russian citizenship, he hopes to one day return to the U.S. to reunite his family.
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