Wow. I had read the headline a couple of times but never really paid attention. Popular tunes have been used for devilish torture tactics in Guantanamo. Apparently Metallica, Eminem, RATM, Dr. Dre, Britney Spears and others had their songs played hours on end to render prisoners crazy. Some lost their minds listening to ‘Slim Shady’ blasted directly into their cells all day long.
What kind of sick idea is that? How can someone in his right mind use art to torture? Alex DeLarge throws himself out of a window in A Clockwork Orange after listening to Beethoven’s Ninth, a clear sign of post-dramatic behavior that Guantanamo captives are feeling right now, and are going to endure if ever they are set free back in society.
Bands are starting to react and an anti-music-torture initiative called Zero DB is battling with the US government to stop the mindless scare tactics. Even childrens’ songs like the Sesame Street and Barney and Friends themes were used to mentally harass detainees.
Guantanamo Bay detainee Ruhal Ahmed describes his experience of torture music as follows:
Once you accept that you’re going to go into the interrogation room and be beaten up, it’s fine. You can prepare yourself mentally. But when you’re being psychologically tortured, you can’t”. [...] “Later on, from the end of 2003, they introduced the music and it became even worse. Before that, you could try and focus on something else. It makes you feel like you’re going mad, it’s very scary. After a while you don’t hear the lyrics, you only hear heavy banging.”
Wonder how convicts would react to a song like Pink!’s ‘Dear Mr President’. Seeing how horrible it is to listen to that song in an everyday-context, I can just imagine how painful it must be to hear someone wailing anti-Bush banalities when you’re stuck on a remote island in a cage because of the same man. That’s adding insult to injury at its finest.
(For more details on this horrendous topic, click here)