Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Hey Iggy, is Sesame Street on your playlist too?

I'm sure it is:

Nearly 20 years ago the US armed forces in Panama used the music of Guns N' Roses and Elvis Presley, played at maximum volume over loudspeakers, to try and drive the country's leader, Manuel Noriega, to surrender. A tactic was born. Since then, music played at unbearable volumes has been frequently deployed in Guantánamo Bay and elsewhere by the CIA, as part of a sophisticated portfolio of torture against detainees. [...]

"What we're talking about here is people in a darkened room, physically inhibited by handcuffs, bags over their heads and music blaring at them," said musician David Gray. "That is nothing but torture. It doesn't matter what the music is. It could be Tchaikovsky's finest or it could be Barney the Dinosaur. It really doesn't matter, it's going to drive you completely nuts."[...]

One of the reasons for using loud music in this way is that it leaves no marks on the body. [...]

Prison playlist

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

The styles of music used range from heavy metal to pop. According to the British legal charity Reprieve, these are among the songs they have used most frequently: Enter Sandman Metallica, Bodies Drowning Pool, Shoot to Thrill and Hells Bells AC/DC, I Love You from the Barney & Friends children's television show. Born in the USA Bruce Springsteen, Babylon David Gray, White America Eminem. Sesame Street, theme tune from the children's television show.

Iggy is so sweet.

- Guardian: Musicians condemn use of their songs as instruments of war
- Ignatieff on torture: We should not take the rule of law "too firmly". Let's prevent war with "indefinite detention of suspects, coercive interrogations, targeted assassinations, even pre-emptive war"


Nick Barrowman said...

Good to see your comments criticizing that blog post defending Igantieff on the torture issue. I posted my take on Iggy's tortured reasoning yesterday, before I'd seen what you wrote.

It's interesting how people jump to Iggy's defense. Some seem to be taken in by his academic credentials and plausible-deniability-verbosity. Others, I think, simply recognize a fellow traveler when they see one, and realize that defending him will advance their own program of blurring the line on torture.

Eric said...

Thanks, Nick. I agree, fuzzy is probably the most flattering way of describing Ignatieff's untenable position on torture.

It's interesting how people jump to Iggy's defense.

I agree. Academics and personal gain are the main motivators for people to support this Pro-American Liberal. Well put!

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