I have a hard time keeping my muse out of the news! Part of this comes from the fact that I went to school for journalism, and another is that I grew up with family who had protest in their blood. This sort of merges with my songwriting in unexpected ways...I've written songs about Trayvon Martin, Occupy, the Gulf Oil Spill, Drones, the bombings at the 2013 Boston Marathon, and more. Earlier this week I found myself thinking a lot about Bradley Manning since he is finally getting the court martial underway...after three years of being imprisoned.
I have great respect for the operational complexities of the business of running the state department and military. However, to brandish a phrase often repeated in all walks of life and even the movie Spiderman, "With great power comes great responsibility." I think the fact that Army PFC Bradley Manning was handed the keys to the kingdom, which revealed so many abuses of power, and he exported the truth to the world, is an extraordinary thing. I do not believe for a second that he was trying to aid the enemy. What he single-handedly did was shock the rest of the world into facing the truth. Lots of people and even the government have tried to label him as a traitor. They locked him in solitary for nearly a year and it took years to get him to face judgement. As of this moment it's not clear what his sentence will be. Meanwhile, it is hard not to take a look at everything his acts revealed. It's almost impossible to comprehend some of the facts. Fundamentally I think we've too heavily relied on the free press as a fourth branch of government, which sort of crumbled apart with the birth of global media conglomerates among other things. Bradley Manning became, for a moment, The Watchdog. I was inspired to write this new song "Who Will Tell Us the Truth"
Interested in learning more? I recommend this e-book TRUTH AND CONSEQUENCES: The U.S. vs. Bradley Manning (2013 Edition) by Kevin Gosztola and Greg Mitchell. http://amzn.com/B007NLFR4S