War on Terrorism

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Musicians Seek Secret U.S. Documents on Music-Related Human Rights Abuses at Guantanamo

National Security Archive Files FOIA Requests on Rock and Roll as 'Enhanced Interrogation' Technique

For more information contact:
Thomas Blanton: 202/994-7000
Kate Doyle: 646/670-8841

On behalf of a coalition of U.S. and international musicians, including R.E.M., Pearl Jam, Tom Morello and Jackson Brown, the National Security Archive today filed a series of FOIA petitions requesting the full declassification of secret U.S. documentation on the strategy of using music as an interrogation device at Guantanamo and other detention centers.

The Archive also posted several declassified documents and published reports that refer to the use of "loud" music to "create futility" in uncooperative detainees at Guantanamo. A 2004 Defense Department report on abuses at the military base in Cuba, for example, stated that the "futility technique included the playing of Metallica, Britney Spears and Rap music."

Archive analysts filed the FOIA requests with the CIA, U.S. Special Operations Command, and the FBI, among other agencies, requesting all documentation pertaining to how the music was chosen and the specific role it played in interrogations of detainees at the Guantanamo base.

"At Guantanamo, the U.S. government turned a jukebox into an instrument of torture," said Thomas Blanton, the Archive's executive director. "The musicians and the public have the right to know how an expression of popular culture was transformed into an enhanced interrogation technique."

Visit the National Security Archive Web site for more information:


Follow the link below to read the press release issued today by the musicians and the Campaign to Close Guantanamo.


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