The former long-time director of the Nobel Institute admits in his memoir released Thursday something conservative critics have known for years:
That it was a mistake to have awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to President Barack Obama in 2009.
Geir Lundestad, who’d directed the institute for a quarter-century and was the secretary to the Nobel Committee, admitted that the committee’s unanimous decision to award the prize wasn’t based on anything the president had done, but rather as a means to help him achieve peaceful goals.
“[We] thought it would strengthen Obama and it didn’t have this effect,” he told The Associated Press in an interview Wednesday.
Lundestad’s statement itself represents a break with Nobel committee tradition of secrecy.
He wrote that instead of the prize offering a boost to the president, it was met with widespread criticism, especially in the United States.
“Even many of Obama’s supporters believed that the prize was a mistake,” Lundestad wrote in excerpts of the book reported by The Associated Press. “In that sense, the committee didn’t achieve what it had hoped for.”