A secretive government had a secret operation
Massacring villages, killing millions, secretly bombing an entire nation
They wiretapped a hotel room, they got caught and a government was deposed
Because of secret documents Daniel Ellsberg exposed

One government came down, and to prevent a repetition of this fact
The next government passed the Freedom of Information Act
Each administration since then hoped it would go away
And then they finally seized the chance on a September day

They passed the Patriot Act before a single Congressman had read it
But don’t ask the Executive how they interpret it
Because that itself is secret, never to be revealed
Just like their secret prisons and all the torture sessions they concealed

Then they formed the Prism Program so they wouldn’t even have to ask
Compliant corporations to assist them in the task
Of collecting information, every email you ever wrote, every book you ever read
Every call you ever made, everything you ever said

I looked into a prism, what did I see
A police state looking back at me

The Secret Government men lied to Congressional committees
Secret information even a Senator can’t see
Secret bureaucrats working with secret corporations enforcing secret laws
Forming secret juries to serve a secret cause


One brave man came forward and then he fled town
And now the Secret Government men mean to hunt him down
Feinstein says he is a traitor, McConnell said so, too
But I’d say if we have a future it’s because of the whistle that he blew


“Prism” appears on the 2013 Bandcamp album, Into A Prism.

I wrote this soon after I first starting reading about Edward Snowden in Guardian reports from Glenn Greenwald.  Snowden is part of a select and wonderful group of heroes who have blown the whistle on immoral or corrupt government activities, many of whom have paid a terrible price (Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange being two other well-known examples).