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SENATE REPORT DETAILS, AMONG OTHER ABUSES, THE USE OF MUSIC TO TORTURE DETAINEES

Music Torture as a real phenomenon has been reconfirmed by the publication this past week of the Senate Report on CIA Torture: “The long-awaited Senate Intelligence Committee torture report that was released to the public on Tuesday revealed some horrible physical torture performed by the CIA — waterboarding, sleep deprivation, and sexual assault. But it also detailed the agency's use of ‘sound disorientation techniques,’ as the report calls the music blared at detainees 24 hours a day. One of those was the Blues Brothers' ‘Rawhide.’”

The song is described in an article on music torture, as follows: … " ‘Rolling, rolling, rolling,’ Rawhide begins. … In the Blues Brothers recording, the main vocals are a deep alto with a soulful, upbeat tone ...‘Don't try to understand 'em. Just rope, throw, and brand 'em. Soon we'll be livin' high and wide’ … The song ends with men cheering over the sound of a thrashing whip.”


--Article in Vox: http://www.vox.com/2014/12/11/7375961/cia-torture-music


In a letter to the President and the Justice Department, I am calling for the investigation, indictment and prosecution of those musical works known to have been involved in acts of torture—and for the prosecution of those who approved the plan to use music as torture. The list of musical works will include: Dope: "Die MF Die", "Take Your Best Shot" -- Eminem: "White America", "Kim" -- Barney & Friends: theme song -- Drowning Pool: "Bodies" -- Metallica: "Enter Sandman" -- Meow Mix: commercial jingle. Read here for details regarding the above musical works, and their alleged involvement in torture: http://www.vox.com/2014/12/11/7375961/cia-torture-music


The torture “program” was administered to some alleged terrorists, but also to many civilians having nothing to do with terrorism, and guilty of no known crimes. They were subjected by the CIA to extremely harsh and loud music, played for hours, days, or even weeks on end with no let up. This produced total sleeplessness, mental confusion and psychological break down in numerous cases. The United Nations and the European Court of Human Rights have banned the use of loud music in interrogations. Detailed Information about and analysis of the practice can be gleaned from an article by Suzanne G. Cusick, written for the Journal of the Society of American Music:
http://tinyurl.com/Music-Torture-Cambridge-Jour

For a simpler account, one can read:

http://mic.com/articles/87851/11-popular-songs-the-cia-used-to-tort...

Suzanne G. Cusick writes the following, and poses some questions for us about the practice:

“In my view, the fact that the United States has theorized and deployed music
as a weapon of interrogation is a fact to be faced."

She says this fact will "shift radically" the way that musicians and scholars of music look at their subject. She asks how the weaponization of music will further affect civilian musical practices, and how civilian musical practices have affected the weaponization of music.

Perhaps most importantly she poses the question: When the American public and the musical community become more aware of the facts, will they approve of this use of tax payer money and "condone this use of music done in our name?"

Do members of the “Composers Forum” have any comments, questions or observations to share on the CIA practice of stripping detainees naked, chaining them to the floor in dark rooms (or hanging them from the ceiling) and playing music at “ear-splitting volumes” for hours, days and even weeks on end for the purposes of torture?

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I have lots of Muslim friends, some since childhood. The world of terrorism is as incomprehensible to them as it is to white America. But white America is full of useful prejudice. If it weren't for ignorant, racist whites to be made use of, there would be no modern GOP. Or Dixiecrats, for that matter- of whom Bill Clinton is one. Ignorance, racism, bigotry and prejudice wins elections, especially over reason. I would argue that unreason is the most powerful force in the world today.

Ondib Olmnilnlolm said:

Some people think there are hordes of Muslim militants, "jihadis" and terrorists fully ready to leap up and destroy the US at a moments notice.

Others think that the US policy makers deliberately blow the whole "threat" business way, way out of proportion, and add there is no real existential threat.

None of this has to do with being "liberal" or "conservative." Establishment Democrats and establishment Republicans all do what is needed to get the "defense" dollars moving in certain directions. It's not a "conspiracy." It's force of habit, and its part of the structure of campaign financing, investment and geo-political maneuvering since World War II.

Torture is a boon for some people, because it actually produces more "anti-American" feeling, feeds "jihadism" (what little amount there is), and because it makes the tortured people fanatical. Then US officials can say, "See, they really are extreme."

If even a tiny. tiny percentage of American Muslims or Muslims around the world really had a "terrorist mindset" you'd see bombs going off everywhere in US cities all the time. But you don't. Most Muslims are just ordinary people, like everyone else, living their leaves, working at their jobs, taking care of their families.

This basic fact eludes most people. I keep asking a few people here to tell me whether they have met Muslims, talked to them for any length of time, or ask whether they have visited a Muslim country. When I do, they clam up, and totally ignore the basic issue. Would people rather live in a mythical world where the Muslim hordes are about to descend? If they actually talked to a few Musilms, or visited a Muslim country, would they be bereft of the prime illusion which serves to justify US militarism? I think it's possible.

http://viral.buzz/video-must-see-share-as-we-are-rapidly-losing-our...

Ondib, I think the 'hordes' notion is generated by and financed by the group

that has come to be referred to as the banking cartel, which yes, includes

aspects of the US gov't. complex. I think the video here reflects much more

of the reality that is happening culturally. Not hordes but demographic masses.

It's an interesting study and worth a look, with or without the religious note at the end.  RS
 
Ondib Olmnilnlolm said:

Some people think there are hordes of Muslim militants, "jihadis" and terrorists fully ready to leap up and destroy the US at a moments notice.

Others think that the US policy makers deliberately blow the whole "threat" business way, way out of proportion, and add there is no real existential threat.

None of this has to do with being "liberal" or "conservative." Establishment Democrats and establishment Republicans all do what is needed to get the "defense" dollars moving in certain directions. It's not a "conspiracy." It's force of habit, and its part of the structure of campaign financing, investment and geo-political maneuvering since World War II.

Torture is a boon for some people, because it actually produces more "anti-American" feeling, feeds "jihadism" (what little amount there is), and because it makes the tortured people fanatical. Then US officials can say, "See, they really are extreme."

If even a tiny. tiny percentage of American Muslims or Muslims around the world really had a "terrorist mindset" you'd see bombs going off everywhere in US cities all the time. But you don't. Most Muslims are just ordinary people, like everyone else, living their leaves, working at their jobs, taking care of their families.

This basic fact eludes most people. I keep asking a few people here to tell me whether they have met Muslims, talked to them for any length of time, or ask whether they have visited a Muslim country. When I do, they clam up, and totally ignore the basic issue. Would people rather live in a mythical world where the Muslim hordes are about to descend? If they actually talked to a few Musilms, or visited a Muslim country, would they be bereft of the prime illusion which serves to justify US militarism? I think it's possible.

Hi Greg, This is an interesting and almost humorous bit of info. I can easily see

this happening. If it wasn't for 'Amazing Grace' I think the doodlesack would have

been banned from the planet centuries ago.   lol      RS
 
Greg Monks said:

Music has been a weapon of war for centuries.The bagpipes are were once classified as a weapon of war, not as a musical instrument. Even today, their use as a musical instrument remains questionable.

Long before Kamikaze Scotsmen with exploding kilts terrorised the countryside, earlier versions of the doodlesack had been weaponised by the Turks. The Turk may well have invented this terrorist weapon.

Turkish war music was the inspiration behind Mozart's Rondo a la Turk.

It is a common mistake to assume that Scottish pipers piped a peck of pickled pikers into battle. Oh, no. Scottish pipers led the onslaught, producing an unmusical cacophony that, according to the historical record, unnerved the enemy and filled them with fear, so that often they scattered, gnashing their teeth in despair, pulling out their hair, and trying vainly to get the sound of the doodlesack out of their heads, where it buzzed like an angry hornet.

Kristofer said,

"Well, Oh my God.. A rational voice with a realistic perspective? Hurry, close the thread! close the thread!"

No problem.

This thread will remain closed between 12:46 pm and 12:46:30 pm., East Coast Standard time.

I close the thread for these 30 seconds very reluctantly, given my preference for free speech and open discussion of all issues, without restriction.

This thread is open again, and discussion may continue.

Good God, what a thread!  I’m in.

In 86, while I was at Berklee, I got turned on to Kate Bush. She’d released a single called Experiment IV.  It’s about a group of musicians hired by the military for ‘experiments in sound.’  The chorus goes like this:

“Then they told us, what they wanted, was a sound that could kill someone from a distance…”

What a flipping concept, and how disturbing!!!  Who thinks of these kinds of things, aside from Kate Bush?  If you don’t know her, for starters, her imagination is off the charts. 

Anyhow, I was both appalled and not the least bit surprised when I first heard that music was being used to torture. So, in answer to your question Ondib: I very much hate that music is being used to torture know innocent's.

I could carry on for eons about US foreign policy, but will leave it with this:  We weren't hated until we started goofing around over there, and everywhere else.  Since Iran in 1954, when the meddling began, thousands upon thousands of innocent people, just like us – even some composers, too -  have been killed or just plain old devastated as a result of US corporate foreign policy.  I think that sucks, and it doesn't make me un-American, and it’s not a left/right issue, and it is a moral issue, and I’m tired of working to pay for it, and I think it’s bogus that my children’s children will still be paying for it, and I’m going to stop right there. 

But you know what, Ondib?  I can’t help but refer back to the conversation you and I are having about suffering and art: The entire state of affairs has very much contributed to a serious delving inward as person and artist.  911 brought about a major disillusionment, and a whole lot of suffering, and I say my art and music has more integrity and well intent as a result. I want my music to heal, and I welcome folks to just shut it off if they don’t like it, rather than be tortured to death by it.

D out.

Dave, with the interest in 'firing up' everyone in this forum, which could

result in some passionate compositions, I want to recommend a website.

The torturous use of music is only the tip of the iceberg as they say.

When you have the time, please go to ... stop the crime.net    ( Deborah Tavares)

Your jaws will drop when you hear the future plans and agendas the Corporate Government

system has in store for us.( the US actually became a corporation in 1933)

Everyone needs to know about this , I mean EVERYONE  and their children.

and who knows, it may inspire another ' Revolutionary Etude'              RS

Hi Roger, 

Thank you. Yes, I'm all too familiar with that site, so many others like it, and have been every which way down the rabbit hole.  I've got 2 lovely teenage daughters that I pray have a sound future.  I do agree that everyone needs to wake up to all this.  It may make for some great art, but it's never fun, and so often I wish I didn't know what I know.  We live in interesting times.  

~D

“I could carry on for eons about US foreign policy, but will leave it with this:  We weren't hated until we started goofing around over there, and everywhere else.  Since Iran in 1954, when the meddling began, thousands upon thousands of innocent people, just like us – even some composers, too  - have been killed or just plain old devastated as a result of US corporate foreign policy.”

 

I agree, and I want to focus especially on the effects of US foreign policy on art, music and composing.

 

We, as taxpayers and as composers, have a direct stake in this.  It’s about how our tax money is used, and the policy of our government toward the arts.  As more people become aware of the facts, especially as more musicians and lovers of music become aware of the facts, they deplore the government’s actions.   It’s not only the torture, but also the use of literally trillions of dollars to create a world where the US feels impunity as it bombs hundreds of thousands out of existence needlessly.   The administration’s new budget calls for MORE money to be spent on the military:  more money to bomb Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Pakistan and Afghanistan.  Now, how many tens of millions do members of Congress want the TAXPAYERS TO PAY FOR new weapons for Kiev, in order to raise the stakes in Ukraine, and accelerate the rate of killing there?  It’s not merely a matter of what our tax money should NOT be spend on, but what it SHOULD be spent on. Can’t we, as composers, agree that more money should be spent on all sorts of social, economic, and cultural uplift, including the arts and music?  If not, I wonder why not? 

 

The result of all this war-madness is a shortage of money for doing what is valuable.  Statistics for the coming year are out now.  Look at the US budget, and see how much (or how little) is spend on culture and the arts.  When we compare the US with Austria, Germany, France and a great many of the countries of Western and Eastern Europe (and even with Mexico) we see that proportionately, we should be ashamed at the disregard out government has for culture in general, and music specifically.

 

Meanwhile, I see positive developments abroad that may affect us.  The unprecedented victory of the “Common Man Party”  (Aam Aadmi Party) in the New Delhi elections yesterday is a good signal.  Instead of the nationalism and sectarianism of the current government in India, a new “Tsunami” has come to counter the “Modi wave,” with an emphasis on human brotherhood, universal sympathy for the poor, and the need to make a revolution against the rule of corporations.  This has upset the entire political order in India.  At the same time in Africa, there is a growing awareness (propagated by Afrique Media), especially in Francophone and West Africa, that the US and NATO allies have no place on the continent, that their so-called “war against terrorism” around the world has merely served as a pretext, and that Pan-Africanism and social priorities should be raised above the common practice of placating the Americans.  Let’s hope the US and NATO get the message that is coming in louder and clearer by the day—the warmongering must come to an end. Cut the money for that. Instead, more money and effort for the sake of humans, art, culture and music.

 

 

 
  



Dave Ostrowski said:

Good God, what a thread!  I’m in.

In 86, while I was at Berklee, I got turned on to Kate Bush. She’d released a single called Experiment IV.  It’s about a group of musicians hired by the military for ‘experiments in sound.’  The chorus goes like this:

“Then they told us, what they wanted, was a sound that could kill someone from a distance…”

What a flipping concept, and how disturbing!!!  Who thinks of these kinds of things, aside from Kate Bush?  If you don’t know her, for starters, her imagination is off the charts. 

Anyhow, I was both appalled and not the least bit surprised when I first heard that music was being used to torture. So, in answer to your question Ondib: I very much hate that music is being used to torture know innocent's.

I could carry on for eons about US foreign policy, but will leave it with this:  We weren't hated until we started goofing around over there, and everywhere else.  Since Iran in 1954, when the meddling began, thousands upon thousands of innocent people, just like us – even some composers, too -  have been killed or just plain old devastated as a result of US corporate foreign policy.  I think that sucks, and it doesn't make me un-American, and it’s not a left/right issue, and it is a moral issue, and I’m tired of working to pay for it, and I think it’s bogus that my children’s children will still be paying for it, and I’m going to stop right there. 

But you know what, Ondib?  I can’t help but refer back to the conversation you and I are having about suffering and art: The entire state of affairs has very much contributed to a serious delving inward as person and artist.  911 brought about a major disillusionment, and a whole lot of suffering, and I say my art and music has more integrity and well intent as a result. I want my music to heal, and I welcome folks to just shut it off if they don’t like it, rather than be tortured to death by it.

D out.

Yes we could, or even longer. Now I am genuinely interested in what such a conversation would sound like, and what valuable insights it might lend to our understanding of US foreign policy.

Please do expound, share your thoughts; if it is for eons, then all the better. There's no such thing as too much information.

    Benji*hugs*

Ondib Olmnilnlolm said:

“I could carry on for eons about US foreign policy, but will leave it with this:  We weren't hated until we started goofing around over there, and everywhere else.  Since Iran in 1954, when the meddling began, thousands upon thousands of innocent people, just like us – even some composers, too  - have been killed or just plain old devastated as a result of US corporate foreign policy.”

 

I agree, and I want to focus especially on the effects of US foreign policy on art, music and composing.

 

What a fascinating thread! I don't think it was ever really resolved though. Have we arrived at a definite conclusion concerning the use of music to torture detainees? Reached a consensus among the incisive contributors to this thread?

Ondib, you are without a doubt the most learned and clever author I have ever encountered on the internet, or in history, for that matter. I would hope you could sort of offer a summary of findings here, a sort of Jerry's Final Thought of the thread.


       -Benji *hugs*
roger stancill said:

O.O.  the only premise I see,at the core of all your twisting rhetoric,is

         the sophmoric notion that 'life is not fair'... That is a big 'duh'.

         You need to get over that and dig a bit deeper and face the

         facts if you truly want to resolve anything. 

         Your entire response is nothing but a dodge and shuffle which

         does nothing to clarify or define the situation.

         Just more round and round we go with the symptoms.    RS  -  resolution specialist

in particular?

the barney theme song must be quite brutal, lmao...

i'm pretty sure i would "crack" and tell them what they wanted to know, if they played barney endlessly...

=================================================

but seriously? i remember when Manuel Noriega was surrounded by the US military... they played music ob loudspeakers to wear him down... i distinctly remember "smugglers blues" by glenn frey was one of the songs played endlessly (manuel noriega was a drug kingpin, lol)

not the first time it was used like this, music as a weapon.

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