Musicians Band Together to Protest Music Torture
Filed Under: Music & Film | Posted: 12/11/2008 at 8:05PM
Comments | Region: United States
The Associated Press reports that loud music has been used on detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, after U.S. military commander in Iraq Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, approved use of the tactic on Sept. 14, 2003 “to create fear, disorient … and prolong capture shock.” The use of loud music in interrogations, which Zero dB says is a widespread practice, is currently banned by the United Nations and the European Court of Human Rights. Guantanamo authorities say the tactic is not currently used but would not comment about its past use, or about the possibility of its use again in the future.
The music treatment often exacerbates already horrific conditions at detention facilities, and drives some prisoners over the edge. Binyam Mohammed, a former prisoner at a CIA facility in Afghanistan, said he was subjected to loud music such as songs by rapper Eminem as well as sounds like ghostly laughter coming out of a speaker in his tiny cell. "The CIA worked on people, including me, day and night for the months before I left. Plenty lost their minds. I could hear people knocking their heads against the walls and the doors, screaming their heads off," he said to Reprieve.
Some artists were appalled to learn their songs were being used to aid torture, such as “Sesame Street” composer Christopher Cerf. But Stevie Benton, the bassist for Drowning Pool, said he doesn’t mind that one of the band’s songs, “Bodies,” is a favorite of interrogators. “People assume we should be offended that somebody in the military thinks our song is annoying enough that played over and over it can psychologically break someone down,” he said to Spin magazine. “I take it as an honor to think that perhaps our song could be used to quell another 9/11 attack or something like that.”
This article was originally published here on Finding Dulcinea.