Music Composers Unite!
MORE NEWS ABOUT TORTURE, and more reflections about music and torture.
There are many dimensions to the story of music being used by the US government (and its allies) as a form of torture against adversaries around the world. Torture has resurfaced in the news again, in a big way, as a result of the coverage given Eric Fair's new book, Consequence: A Memoir. It's a confession and repentance autobiographical work about the author's use of torture on behalf of the Bush Administration at Abu Ghraib.
Many reviews of the book are appearing, and there is much commentary about "Consequence" in the mainstream media. On Democracy Now (Thursday, April 7, 2016 edition), there was an in-depth interview of the author:
This may bring us to reflect more deeply upon the whole issue of torture, and to revisit the notion of the use of ultra loud, deafening music for the purposes of torture. Here is another dimension of such use, which I had not previously read about or considered. The story is about using "Britney Spears" music in a project which included the deployment at sea of a Long Range Acoustic Device, or LRAD.
“the weapon is essentially a small dish that beams hellishly loud noise that is deafening but not lethal.”
'Referring to pirates who were repelled by a LRAD while attacking a cruise ship, Spiegel wrote, “It’s possible they received permanent hearing damage, but at the very least they experienced an excruciating headache and ear pain to the point that they could no longer see or hear.”'
Other similar uses:
'Eminem’s “The Real Slim Shady” was played on loop for 20 days at a U.S. prison in Kabul, according to a detainee who told Human Rights Watch that “plenty lost their minds” during the broadcast.'
Also we read,
'NBC reports Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” “was said to serve as the morning wake-up call for years” at the US prison camp at Guantanamo Bay. The source linked to (Daily News, 6/2/12) actually says that prisoners were “strapped to chairs and played music…at loud volumes for hours or days on end,” and accurately refers to this as a form of torture.'
See the full article, detailing these and other instances of music used as torture in,
Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (F.A.I.R.),