Patterico's Pontifications


The Campaign to Close Guantanamo

Filed under: Law,Obama,Terrorism,War — DRJ @ 11:14 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Some well-known musicians want to know what music was played at Guantanamo:

“A coalition of mega-bands and singers outraged that music – including theirs – was cranked up to help break uncooperative detainees at Guantanamo Bay is joining retired military officers and liberal activists to rally support for President Barack Obama’s push to shutter the Navy-run prison for terrorist suspects in Cuba.

Pearl Jam, R.E.M., and Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails are among the musicians who have joined the National Campaign to Close Guantanamo, which launched Tuesday.
Based on documents that already have been made public and interviews with former detainees, the archive says the playlist featured cuts from AC/DC, Britney Spears, the Bee Gees, Marilyn Manson and many other groups. The Meow mix cat food jingle, the Barney theme song and an assortment of Sesame Street tunes also were pumped into detainee cells.”

A spokeswoman for Joint Task Force Guantanamo said music was not used at Guantanamo after 2003, and a CIA document reportedly states the decibel levels would not cause permanent hearing damage. In addition, it said loud music or white noise was used solely “to mask sound and prevent communication among detainees” and not for punitive reasons.

The initiative is apparently sponsored by the National Security Archive. [H/T steve.]

Another interested group, New Security Action, is a “501(c)4 organization seeking to promote progressive solutions to our national security challenges” following “eight long years of the failed Bush/Cheney approach.” Other than a desire to pressure President Obama into closing Guantanamo, the group doesn’t appear concerned about current tactics authorized by the Obama Administration for use in the rendition program, at Bagram, or elsewhere.

Meanwhile, another detainee case is on the way to the Supreme Court. Kiyemba v. Obama is a sequel to Boumediene v. Bush that will be heard in two separate appeals:

Kiyemba I,” just granted review, tests whether federal judges may grant release of Guantanamo detainees to live in the U.S. “Kiyemba II,” the next case, will ask whether judges may bar transfer out of the prison in Cuba to countries where they fear torture or abuse. The D.C. Circuit Court found no power in the courts to take either action as a remedy in a habeas case.”


33 Responses to “The Campaign to Close Guantanamo”

  1. The initiative is apparently sponsored by New Security Action…

    Then it is NOT sponsored by the National Security Archive?

    steve (e95f7a)

  2. I think you are right, steve. Thank you and I’ve corrected the post. Is New Security Action a related organization or something completely different?

    DRJ (dff2ca)

  3. Lefties must have an algorithm to generate sentences like this: “eight long years of the failed Bush/Cheney approach.”

    I mean honestly, I understand opposing Bush, but can’t we agree that his national security efforts were successful?

    Well, assuming you measure success in terms of “no more terrorist attacks” versus “smiles on the faces of the Davos/UN crowd.”

    It’s almost like facts and rationality don’t matter to them.

    Britt (8d5885)

  4. New Security Action is a related group. There’s a link to its press release if you click through from this article at steve’s National Security Archive link.

    DRJ (dff2ca)

  5. Screw them; someone bought those CDs so its called legal use. I notice the “artists” aren’t giving the money back that was used to purchase their music.

    SGT Ted (c47cc2)

  6. I hope: Yentle soundtrack. I like Jews and I’d crack.

    ukuleledave (3aa293)

  7. Oh, I think you should publish the names of the artists and the “songs” they wrote that so TORTURED these hardened terrorists into spilling their guts, and then ask the question…..are your children listening to this garbage and what effect do you think it will have on them?

    J (2946f2)

  8. I can understand music as torture. I was in “It’s a Small World” ride at Disney World when it broke down. I listened to It’s a Small World After All for an hour while the ride was fixed.

    Whenever I hear that song now, I break out in a cold sweat!

    Jim (582155)

  9. a “501(c)4 organization seeking to promote progressive solutions to our national security challenges” following “eight long years of the failed Bush/Cheney approach.

    Is the president of this group named Monty Python ?

    Mike K (addb13)

  10. They are beyond parody, if Drowning Pool works on Al Quahtani, use it. eminem certainly qualifies as torture

    bishop (996c34)

  11. Eddie Vedder and Stipe have forever been blathering on about their uber – Lefty POV’s ever since they were first noticed. The acts are tired and old schtick by now, and their audience has mostly deserted them – no one cares what they think.

    Dmac (5ddc52)

  12. They used the Meow Mix song? Hilarious!

    Lipstick (fb4295)

  13. From the first linked article:

    “At Guantanamo, the U.S. government turned a jukebox into an instrument of torture,” said Thomas Blanton, executive director of the archive, an independent, nongovernmental research institute.

    Oh for pete’s sake, this is far more indicative about the quality (or lack thereof) of the selected music than an innocuous machine! But it’s funny either way. Nothing like self-righteous indignation to make one appear foolish.

    And in light of the ubiquitous “eight years of the failed Bush/Cheney policies” meme, perhaps Eddie Vedder himself might seriously consider his own lyrics:

    Oh, I’m still alive.
    Yeah i, ooh, Im still alive

    We’re all still alive. Idiots.

    Dana (e9ba20)

  14. #3, Britt said, “It’s almost like facts and rationality don’t matter to them.”

    Bingo, Britt, Lefties use facts and rationality when it’s convenient, but they really don’t matter to them, not they way you mean.

    Lefties will use facts or purposefully twist and distort those same facts and make rational or irrational arguments to dismiss objections to their nostrums. It’s an unprincipled way to overcome an honest objection, but that’s what they do.

    Lefties couldn’t care less about open and honest debate. Examples are endless: TARP, Stimulus, Cap and Trade, Health care, Motor voter, welfare, secure borders, etc.

    Lefties in general, and Obama in particular can’t win approval for their policies in an open and honest debate, that’s why they want to silence their critics. It’s the only way they have to govern against the will of the people.

    ropelight (e08903)

  15. […] Patterico – The Campaign to Close Guantanamo […]

    Obama Family Photo By Annie Leibovitz Released » Right Pundits (b4f713)

  16. Notice how quickly the principles disappear when the partisan motivation ends.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  17. The ladies from Heart were also not very happy with the McCain campaign playing “Barracuda” after Palin was nominated last year if you recall. Twatwaffles.

    “Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin has the nickname “Barracuda,” which inspired the use of the Heart song of the same name during Palin’s speech at the RNC on Wednesday night. Heart sent out a statement Thursday afternoon announcing they had sent a cease-and-desist letter asking the campaign to stop using the song. “The Republican campaign did not ask for permission to use the song, nor would they have been granted that permission. We have asked the Republican campaign publicly not to use our music. We hope our wishes will be honored.” Their wishes were not honored, as after John McCain’s RNC-ending speech last night, Palin joined him onstage to the sound of “Barracuda.” This set off Nancy Wilson, who told “I think it’s completely unfair to be so misrepresented. I feel completely fucked over.””

    daleyrocks (718861)

  18. I’m sure Ted Nugent hopes they played “Cat scratch fever” over and over and over….

    Randy Withers (ec9108)

  19. As Tom Morello, the guitarist in Rage Against the Machine, put it: “The fact that music I helped create was used in crimes against humanity sickens me.” And it’s impossible not to sympathize with him.

    If his definition of “crimes against humanity” is being forced to listen to bad music really loudly and for long periods of time, heaven help us.

    Dana (e9ba20)

  20. Dana,

    These are the same people who want to hold gun manufacturers responsible for people who misuse guns to commit crimes.

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  21. Stashiu, great point.

    It was either Hugh Hewitt or Michael Medved (back when I was commuting and listening to talk radio) who interviewed the head of the musicians’ association who championed this. The interview was pure comedy gold. I will look for it.

    carlitos (572728)

  22. Apparently it was Hugh Hewitt, and the link no longer works, as he changed his wed address. With our host’s indulgence, here is the gist of it:

    HH: (Macarthur Park music playing) Welcome back, America. It’s Hugh Hewitt with Professor Philip Bohlman, president of the Society For Ethnomusicologists. Professor, at the University of Chicago, I think I’m with you, Professor, on Richard Harris and Macarthur Park. Is that torturous?
    PB: (pause) Excuse me?

    HH: What do you think of that song?

    PB: (longer pause) Well, I don’t completely understand what you’re asking me.

    HH: Well, we’re trying to figure out which music…is it because the music is louder, or is it the particular music that you’re objecting to being played to the jihadists?

    PB: First of all, I don’t think the question is one of jihadi. I don’t…I think using that term is very misleading, and I’m afraid that it’s not a line of questioning that I find productive at all.

    HH: Well, why is it misleading to use jihadi?

    PB: Well, what is your definition of that term?

    HH: Someone engaged in global jihad, in an effort to use violence to advance the return of the caliphate.

    PB: Well, I think that this is not what we’re talking about here.

    HH: Well, would you agree Zarqawi is a jihadi? Zawahiri?

    PB: I don’t know how you’re using the term, and I don’t want to be baited into this sort of …

    HH: I don’t want to bait you. But I’m trying to get to the key question, which is let’s say we’ve got Osama and Zawahiri in a room. Can we play music to upset them?

    PB: There is no point in doing it.

    HH: But if the professional psyops interrogators think there is, could we?

    PB: You’ve moved the conversation away from the discussion of this particular position statement, and I think that I…that it’s only appropriate…what I think about, the conversation here is not what I think might happen if Osama is in a room. This is not…this has nothing to do with the position statement that the Society For Ethnomusicology put up on its website.

    HH: Well, actually, I think it’s a concrete hypothetical example, or we could use Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Are you familiar with him?

    PB: This…the hypothetical, we’re not talking about hypotheticals.

    HH: No, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is in custody. He’s actually…are you familiar with him?

    PB: I am, yes.

    HH: Could we use the Barney song on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed?

    PB: No.

    HH: Could we use any music on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed?

    PB: What would be the point?

    HH: I don’t know. Richard Harris could destabilize a lot of people.

    carlitos (572728)

  23. Staishu3, what concerns me is that the definition of “crimes against humanity” has devolved so much. Historically we think of extermination, genocide, ethnic cleansing. And now, it’s to the point where being force-fed bad, loud music meets the standard.

    Dana (e9ba20)

  24. Standards and definitions mean what they want them to mean and are dependent on the situation. If detainees complained that they were not allowed to listen to bad music at loud levels, that would be criticized as well. Not being allowed a second cup of coffee after breakfast was over elicited accusations of torture. Seriously.

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  25. Listening to Rage Against the Machine at any volume greater than 1 for any period of time longer than 1 second is torture.

    Carlitos – Just that excerpt was quite amusing. I assume it only got better from there?

    JD (4fb388)

  26. Listening to Rage Against the Machine at any volume greater than 1 for any period of time longer than 1 second is torture.

    I used to tell holler at the boys when they were teenagers the very same thing! It’s a miracle I lived to tell.

    Stashiu3, this is more of the inconsistent idiocy that permeates our lives these days. It always gives me pause to wonder, how on earth did we come to this?

    Dana (e9ba20)

  27. It always gives me pause to wonder, how on earth did we come to this?
    Comment by Dana — 10/25/2009 @ 8:48 pm

    Responsible people got tired of being the grown-ups and setting limits on idiotic children who happened to be over the age of 18. It became exhausting to say “Because I said so.” and continually hear the whine “That’s not fair!”. Everything became open to negotiation and interpretation. The pop-psychology nonsense accelerated the process and the results of these mistakes are now able to vote themselves evermore freebies. Until the producers get fed up and it all collapses like a California budget-cutting meeting.

    Our society is becoming a scam-culture and unless the people who actually contribute take back control, only scammers will come out ahead. There is always somebody ready to explain why a person’s shortfall is not their fault and you should pay to overcome it. Now, the government appears ready to enforce that view.

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  28. Well, that’s depressing. True but depressing.

    DRJ (dff2ca)

  29. I’m in a mood. 😉

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  30. using “progressive” solutions- oh, like promoting white supremacy and eugenics…, isn’t that traditionally what progressives wanted? Opps! I went and gummed things up with historical facts….. sorry! Rock on! Fight the Power! [just not the White power….opps again, can’t help myself…]

    Californio (c0d766)

  31. That Barney song . . . after a few hours I’d be selling out my own mother, and telling them that her “meatballs” are really stealth grenades.

    Icy Texan (60ccf2)

  32. So, is this their way of admitting that their music is so awful that forcing a person to listen to it amounts to torture?


    A.W. (b1db52)

  33. Glad to see they didn’t use “It’s a Small World” or “This Is the Song That Doesn’t End”. That really would have been torture! 😀

    Jim C. (b33a68)

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