Often until the detainees soiled themselves.

From CBC.ca website

Canadian band Skinny Puppy says its music used for torture at Guantanamo

Tuesday, February 4, 2014 | 

Canadian electro-industrial music genre pioneers, Skinny Puppy, recently found out their music was used to torture detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

 A former Gitmo guard, who is writing a book on his experiences, says that inmates were exposed to bootleg recordings of the band’s music, at incredibly high volumes, for up to 12 hours at a time. Often until the detainees soiled themselves.

Skinny Puppy founding member, cEvin Key, says the band is sending the U.S. Department of Defense an invoice for $666,000 for its use of their music. Members are also considering a lawsuit against the department.

I just had to commemorate that sentence fragment. It reminds me of the WS Burroughs bit …And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks. I’m also morbidly curious about which albums were used. 

But bootleg recordings? For shame! With all the trillions spent on the Global War on Terror so far, you think they’d have sprung for some actual CDs.

(edited to add: It wasn’t whole albums, just certain songs from bootlegs, and (now that I’ve listened to the audio interview at http://www.cbc.ca/asithappens/popupaudio.html?clipIds=2434894009), the tactic of just one particular interrogator. From Chaos Control zine, http://www.chaoscontrol.com/which-skinny-puppy-songs-were-used-at-guantanamo/ they included:

Heaven’s Trash
Tin Omen
Vx Gas Attack

Now, this raises the larger issue of sound as a physical and psychological weapon, nothing exactly new but something that hasn’t had a really high profile. Recently I picked up Sonic Warfare: Sound, Affect and the Ecology of Fear, (http://mitpress.mit.edu/books/sonic-warfare) the jargony bits make it heavy sledding but the examples he chooses are good. And of course there is Jon Ronson’s The Men Who Stare At Goats (read the book, ignore the movie, and pay attention when it stops being funny) where he details use of music by Barney The Purple Dinosaur on prisoners at camps in Iraq, at high volume and for extended periods, either to stop them sleeping or to cover the noise of beatings.


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