Saturday, March 15, 2008

"The Torturer's Top Tunes" thanks to David Chirot

In a blog where I occasionally talk music, and occasionally talk about torture, I found a recent email from David Baptiste-Chirot to the Buffalo poetics listserve worth posting here, in which music itself gets employed as a torture technique.


Mother Jones has published in their last issue (Feb '08) a list of songs used during torture sessions. I've also included some older "playlists" back to the "oldies" used against the trapped American Ally suddenly turned enemy "voodoo practicing dope fiend" General Manuel Noreiga. (Hence "Voodoo Chile" by Hendrix among others played for him.) Similar mind shattering blasts were directed at the Koresh Compound at Waco.

So far the only two countries I've found who officially use this technique are USA and Israel.


The songs choices, besides the Heavy Metal/Black Satanic Metal and Gansta Rap mega-decibel level also include the "heavily Patriotic" songs like "Born in the USA" and "American Pie" along with "Barney" and a lot of other "infantile" songs, the infantile-regressed stage one that the torturers hope to send the victims back to increase the levels of fear and helplessness.

"The tracks have all been played by guards and interrogators in inducing sleep deprivation, "prolonging capture shock," disorienting detainees during interrogations, and/or drowning out screams. The "Torture Playlist" is based on a leaked interrogation log, news reports, and on info from soldiers and detainees.

Here's the list (in no particular order):
"Born in the USA" - Bruce Springsteen
"Shoot to Thrill" - AC/DC
"Die MF Die" - Dope
"Take Your Best Shot" - Dope
"White America" - Eminem
"Kim" - Eminem
"Barney Theme Song" - Barney
"Bodies" - Drowning Pool
"Enter Sandman" - Metallica
Meow Mix TV commercial
Sesame Street theme song
"Babylon" - David Gray
"Stayin' Alive" - Bee Gees
"All Eyes on Me" - Tupac
"Dirrty" - Christina Aguilera
"America" - Neil Diamond
"Bulls on Parade" - Rage Against the Machine
"American Pie" - Don McLean
"Click Click Boom" - Saliva
"Cold" - Matchbox Twenty
"Swan Dive" - Hed PE
"Raspberry Beret" - Prince**

* *


- Bombardment with loud music has been known to have been used in other occasions

Manuel Noriega

"When the United States invaded Panama in December 1989, Noriega took refuge in the Holy See's embassy which was immediately surrounded by U.S. troops. After being continually bombarded by *hard rock music* and "The Howard Stern Show" for several days, Noriega surrendered on Jan. 3, 1990.[4] [5] "


According to the FBI[6] [7]:
"W[itness] observed sleep deprivation interviews w/strobe lights and *loud music*. Interrogator said it would take 4 days to break someone doing an interrogation 16 hrs w/lights and music on and 4 hrs off. Handwritten note next to typed synopsis says *"ok under DoD policy"*.

"Rumors that interrogator bragged about doing lap dance on d[etainee],
another about making d[etainee] listen to *satanic black metal music* for hours then dressing as a Priest and baptizing d[etainee] to save him - handwritten note says 'yes'."

"W[itness] saw d[etainee] in interview room sitting on floor w/Israeli flag draped around him, *loud music* and strobe lights. W suspects this practice is used by DOD DHS based on who he saw in the hallway."

The *Washington Post*, quoting a leaked Red Cross report, wrote:[8]

"The physical tactics noted by the Red Cross included placing detainees in extremely cold rooms with *loud music* blaring, and forcing them to kneel for long periods of time, the source familiar with the report said."


According to Amnesty International [9] :

"Detainees have reported being routinely subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment during arrest and detention. Many have told Amnesty International that they were tortured and ill-treated by US and UK troops during interrogation. Methods often reported include prolonged sleep deprivation; beatings; prolonged restraint in painful positions, sometimes combined with *exposure to loud music*; prolonged hooding; and exposure to bright lights. Virtually none of the allegations of torture or ill-treatment has been adequately investigated by the authorities."


Chaerephon said...

I was under the impression that everyone on earth knew the real point of "Born in the USA" by now, but I guess not. Or maybe our "interrogators" are also irony aficionados.

"Raspberry Beret?"

Philip Metres said...

Our interrogators, it appears, are basically Top 40 pop entrepreneurs, spreading the hits into the eardrums of the peoples all over the world. It's a Love Train of non-stop hits hitting them over the head.

David-Baptiste Chirot said...

Reagan used "Born in the USA" to great effect as a theme song of his 1984 re-election campaign--

mimicing the album cover, he had himself set against huge backdrops of the American flag and the chorus blasted much louder than the verses--

if you tell a lie louder and louder thousands and thousands of times to paraphrase Goebbels--it becomes Truth--

so the Reagan "version" of the song became the "official" one--

also for a lot of people Springsteen didn't stand for anything except "Real American Values" which was interpreted as being those of the "Reagan Democrats"--

"Raspberry Beret" besides being such a huge hit--if you think of it, Saddam wore a kind of beret, too!!

Cheech Martin did a great take-off on "Born in the USA" called "Born in East LA"--