Torture songs spur a protest most vocal

Musicians call for release of records on Guantanamo detainee treatment

By Joe Heim
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 22, 2009

NOT-SO-JOYFUL NOISE: Former detainees say sensory assaults included repeat playings of  various artists, such as the Bee Gees, whose original members were brothers Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb (not pictured). At left, their sibling, Andy, also a recording artist.

Was the theme to “Sesame Street” really played to torture prisoners held at Guantanamo and other detention camps? What about Don McLean’s “American Pie”? Or the Meow Mix jingle? Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.”?

A high-profile coalition of artists — including the members of Pearl Jam, R.E.M. and the Roots — demanded Thursday that the government release the names of all the songs that were blasted since 2002 at prisoners for hours, even days, on end, to try to coerce cooperation or as a method of punishment.

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Filed under American Politics, Arts, Humanitarian, Media, Middle East Politics

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