Bradley Manning

Album: A Folk Set Apart (2015)
  • When Bradley moved back from western Wales
    His Okie accent still wouldn’t fail
    Sleeping in his pickup truck, his Soul wouldn’t calm
    He wrote to his mother, “I’m nobody now, Mom”

    It’s hard to imaging why bullies dig
    But Bradley understood it came with the gig
    He wanted an education with all his will
    So he walked in and signed up to get that GI bill

    “I want…”

    Today, those who got up in Bradley’s face
    Wish to remain anonymous, in their disgrace
    They spread rumors around he wet himself scared
    Even if that’s true, I don’t really care

    “Recycled” from Iraq and stationed at Fort Drum
    His boyfriend introduced him to Triskelion
    He met the hacktivists at MIT
    “Randomly hung out with some pikans”; “At last, people like me”

    “I want…”

    Deployed to Base Hammer, near Iran
    Built from freight containers and sheer boredom
    The bullies on the base went in for the kill
    They said, “We have a saying here: Shit rolls downhill”

    On leave in Boston, but his boyfriend had flown
    Bradley wrote him on Facebook: “I have no real home”
    And before the Builds launch party, he went on to vent:
    “Bradley Manning is not a piece of equipment”

    “I want…”

    While passwords are written on sticky notes
    And stuck to laptop screens, Bradley explodes
    Found in a storeroom stabbing a chair
    Bradley carved, “I want…” with a passion that’s all-too rare

    Now he’s due to be court-martialed this December
    To prove bullying is better than a wild temper
    Now, when we say “I want”, we invoke his chair
    Bradley, know you have friends, though you’re locked in there

    “I want…”


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