Theodore's World: GITMO Prisoners "Stop the music torture"

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December 20, 2008

GITMO Prisoners "Stop the music torture"

YouTube - Sesame Street - TV Theme Song


Rock musicians have joined British activists to demand US military interrogators stop using their songs as weapons to disorient terror suspects and other prisoners.

A campaign organised by UK law group Reprieve has brought together groups including Massive Attack and musicians such as Tom Morello, who played with Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave and is now on a solo tour.

It will feature minutes of silence during concerts and festivals, said Chloe Davies of Reprieve, which represents dozens of Guantanamo Bay detainees.

The tactic of auditory assaults has been common in the US war on terror, with forces systematically using loud music on hundreds of detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay.

Lt Gen Ricardo Sanchez, the then US military commander in Iraq, authorised it on September 14 2003, “to create fear, disorient ... and prolong capture shock”.

FBI agents stationed at Guantanamo Bay reported numerous instances in which music was blasted at detainees, saying they were “told such tactics were common there”.

According to an FBI memo, one interrogator at Guantanamo bragged he needed only four days to “break” someone by alternating 16 hours of music and lights with four hours of silence and darkness.

Ruhal Ahmed, a Briton captured in Afghanistan and later released without charge in 2004, described excruciating sessions at Guantanamo Bay in which his hands were shackled to his feet, which were shackled to the floor, forcing him into a painful squat for periods of up to two days.

Mr Ahmed told Reprieve the agony was compounded when music was introduced because “before you could actually concentrate on something else, try to make yourself focus on some other things in your life that you did before and take that pain makes you feel like you are going mad”.

For many detainees who grew up in Afghanistan – where music was banned under Taliban rule – interrogations by US forces marked their first exposure to the pounding rhythms, played at top volume.

Binyam Mohammed, now a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay, said men held with him at the CIA’s “Dark Prison” in Afghanistan wound up screaming and smashing their heads against walls, unable to endure more.

“There was loud music, (Eminem’s) Slim Shady and Dr Dre for 20 days. I heard this non-stop over and over,” he told his lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith.

“The CIA worked on people, including me, day and night for the months before I left. Plenty lost their minds.”

Rear Admiral David Thomas, the commander of Guantanamo’s detention centre, said the music treatment was not currently used at Guantanamo but added that he could not rule out its use in the future.
“I couldn’t speculate and I wouldn’t speculate but I can tell you it doesn’t happen here at Guantanamo and it hasn’t happened since I’ve been here,” Rear Admiral Thomas, who has been at Guantanamo for six months, said.

But not all of the music is hard rock. Christopher Cerf, who wrote music for Sesame Street, said he was horrified to learn songs from the children’s TV show were used in interrogations.

“I wouldn’t want my music to be a party to that,” he said.

Some musicians, however, are proud that their music is used in interrogations.

Bassist Stevie Benton, whose group Drowning Pool has performed in Iraq and recorded one of the interrogators’ favourites, Bodies, said: “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.

“I take it as an honour to think that perhaps our song could be used to quell another 9/11 attack or something like that.”

US military interrogators have often blasted music at detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay.

These are some of the songs that are the ones they have used most frequently.

Other bands and artists whose music has been frequently played at US detention sites are Aerosmith, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Don McLean, Lil’ Kim, Limp Bizkit, Meat Loaf, Rage Against the Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Tupac Shakur.


YouTube - Barney - I Love You

Drowning Pool - Bodies (Let The Bodies Hit The Floor)

Ac/Dc - Shoot to Thrill live!!

AC/DC - Hell's Bells

Bruce Springsteen-Born In The U.S.A.


Wild Thing's comment........

Our troops are so awesome!!!

LMAO oh my gosh, well they can't waterboard, they can't do anything to the prisoners, torture in any way. So our troops playing the same music over and over especailly Barney and Seaseme Street is hilarious. I can undertand heavy metal being tuff to take too much of but if it bothers the terrorists I am all for it. hahaha

If I was there I would play this one for the prisoners. heh heh ( strong language)

I LOVE this one.

And this one too I would pick and make them watch it too! OH yessss!!!

Posted by Wild Thing at December 20, 2008 03:47 AM


We used rock music with Noreiga too.
I think it's a great device. It's not torture. I'm sorry, but anyone who thinks the terrorists have a heart is out of their freakin' mind! Okay, when Gitmo closes, you who feel for them can have them, okay? You house them, feed them, bathe them, listen to them whine, whine, whine!!!! See how far you go with Omar the whining terrorist in your house. They do this to get effect. Sooner or later, you will see him at the foot of your bed, with weapons to kill you. This music is NOT hurting them one bit. Children do the same thing--something to get their parents attention, even if it's to break something.
So stop your whining. These idiots are not abused in any way, shape or form.

Posted by: Lynn at December 20, 2008 07:16 AM

Why not? I suffered through AC/DC with my teenage daughter, better yet let them play the crap they call music now for them. Thunderstruck by AC/DC did grow on me though. No condemnation of that crap they hear on prayer call that sounds like a Barney Frank mating call yodeling in full tremolo. They like little boys don't they? I've got a moose call mating tape they can use, hmmn, think of the possibilities, my eyes, Augh!!! I'm almost embarrassed.

Posted by: Jack at December 20, 2008 02:11 PM

I still like ZZ Top, Uncle Zeb...She's got legs...

Posted by: Mark at December 20, 2008 02:47 PM

Hope and Inspiration. Reagan was such an inspiration, a reformed Democrat. Hell, fire and brimstone, take no prisoners. Sarah Palin 2012

ZZ Top, like them too. It was war Mark, for a while she played Metalica - loud, I countered by taking her 'fishing', she hated that, an excuse to shoot Snowshoes on the mountain roads with the .357, at the end it was always "I saw a hundred of them but I wouldn't tell you, you'd just shoot them". She was right all along, I would. She has her own teenagers that are into that 'rap' stuff, she hates that too. They know better around me, I've winged a few flying saucers, their CD's, out the window.

Posted by: Jack at December 20, 2008 03:16 PM

I nominate making the GITMO prisoners listen to Barack Obama speeches such as.....

Obama Speeches BORING!!!

Posted by: Les at December 20, 2008 03:27 PM

Do you have any idea how our captive U.S. military personnel died in Iraq by the hands of Al-Qaeda? Print out their torture manual and it is so sickening that the Waffen SS would shudder!!
Better yet, take them to the Empire State Building, light their fire and let them jump...Like our 2,996 victims died on 9-11-01?

Posted by: darthcrUSAderworldtour07 at December 20, 2008 05:27 PM

I hear that Jack, when our kids were small it was Metalica, AC/DC, and a whole bunch more of that racket. Yeah fishing worked sometimes if I could get them to shut up long enough to fish.

I even resorted to tripping breakers mysteriously...and it was, 'hey, dad the lights went out in my room'...'Oh really, gee I'll have to check it out'. (Took 'em long enough to notice) But now the stuff is worse than then.

Posted by: Mark at December 20, 2008 06:49 PM

They should show Winnie the Pooh non stop and feature Piglet.

Posted by: Bob A at December 20, 2008 07:21 PM

Hey Jack,
I have a small blog dedicated to Sarah Palin 2012 (there is a link off of my other site) and it has links to several others. In this dark pit of demonic politicians and ideas she shines like a bright star. It will be a black era in NY if this Patterson creep gets his ideas through.. He can't see what his tax and spend ideas will do to an already overtaxed constituent will do.
Bob A.

Posted by: Bob A at December 20, 2008 09:32 PM