Moral Low Ground

US Government

President Obama Heckled, Serenaded by Bradley Manning Supporters at San Francisco Fundraiser

This one makes me proud to be a San Franciscan…

President Obama was in the Bay Area yesterday, presiding over a Facebook town hall meeting with gazillionaire Mark Zuckerberg in Palo Alto and speaking at a $5,000-per-head fundraiser for his 2012 re-election bid at the swank St. Regis Hotel in downtown San Francisco. There, things got really interesting for a bit when a group of Bradley Manning supporters interrupted the President’s speech to serenade him, urging him to release the jailed soldier accused of passing massive amounts of sensitive documents to the whistle-blowing website Wikileaks. Here’s their catchy little ditty:

Dear Mr. President we honor you today sir
Each of us brought you $5,000
It takes a lot of Benjamins to run a campaign
I paid my dues, where’s our change?
We’ll vote for you in 2012, yes that’s true
Look at the Republicans – what else can we do
Even though we don’t know if we’ll retain our liberties
In what you seem content to call a free society
Yes it’s true that Terry Jones is legally free
To burn a people’s holy book in shameful effigy
But at another location in this country
Alone in a 6×12 cell sits Bradley
23 hours a day is night
The 5th and 8th Amendments say this kind of thing ain’t right
We paid our dues, where’s our change?

Indeed, Naomi Pitcairn, who organized the sing-in, shelled out $76,000 to attend the event. But her massive donation to the Obama campaign wasn’t enough to stop Secret Service agents from whisking her away from the room. The President, who appeared displeased by the outburst, nevertheless took it in stride. He even thanked the singers for their $76,000 protest song. “That was a nice song,” he quipped. “You guys have much better voices than I have. Now where was I?”

They also have much better morals than the President.

Obama offered the group a compliment of sorts, saying that his 2012 campaign would be staffed with people with their level of energy and creativity. “There’s an example of creativity,” he said, referring to the songsters.

But behind the song lies some very serious stuff. The United Nations special rapporteur  on torture is investigating alleged mistreatment– which some say borders on or even constitutes torture– of Manning by his military jailers. Former State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley resigned after slamming Manning’s treatment as “ridiculous, counterproductive and stupid.”

Naomi Pitcairn is detained after serenading President Obama at a fundraiser in San Francisco (Photo: Lea Suzuki/San Francisco Chronicle)

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  1. naomi pitcairnApril 22, 2011 at 6:05 pmReply

    Thanks for the “morals” comment. I promise you that I do try. It’s hard to be generous, selfless and kind. Other people are way ahead of me, some of them, no doubt in the countries that my country is invading. I apologize to anyone my country, or myself, has hurt.

  2. WakakoApril 23, 2011 at 7:07 pmReply


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