Musicians to U.S. Government: Stop Using Our Songs as Torture Devices

So many jokes, so little time. I'm going to refrain myself, given that this is actually kind of an important subject. Just insert your own joke every two sentences or so. It'll make me feel better about passing on all of them.

The U.S. government has long been using heavy metal music as a torture device at overseas camps like Guantanamo Bay. Prisoners are forced to listen to bands like AC/DC, Nine Inch Nails and Pantera on full-blast, twenty hours a day. [This is where you insert a joke.] The tactic was authorized by Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez in September 2003 "to create fear, disorient ... and prolong capture shock." [There's another joke here.] This music is particularly unsettling to prisoners raised in Afghanistan or Iraq, where the pounding heavy metal sounds are rarely heard. The treatment often drives prisoners to madness; they wind up screaming and smashing their heads against walls, unable to endure more.

It's not just heavy metal: The government has also been using songs from Sesame Street and even the Barney "I Love You" song. [Joke here, guys.]

Now, musicians are taking a stand against this, and insisting the government not use their songs as torture devices.

A campaign being launched Wednesday 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 the British law group Reprieve, which represents dozens of Guantanamo Bay detainees and is organizing the campaign.

Some musicians, however, say they're proud that their music is used in interrogations. Those include bassist Stevie Benton, whose group Drowning Pool has performed in Iraq and recorded one of the interrogators' favorites, "Bodies."

"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 told 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."

What do you guys think???

Is this an acceptable practice?



The Evil Beet

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