Songs Of War

Guantanamo Bay Prisoners Were Tortured With Sesame Street

Guantanamo Bay prisoners were reportedly tortured with the sounds of children’s Sesame Street songs, in an attempt to get them to talk.

Al Jazeera reports that Thomas Keenan, a human rights researcher, explained that:

“Prisoners were forced to put on headphones. They were attached to chairs, headphones were attached to their heads, and they were left alone just with the music for very long periods of time. Sometimes hours, even days on end, listening to repeated loud music.”

Christopher Cerf, the award-winning composer of the songs used to torture prisoners at both Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, was shocked when Al Jazeera broke the news to him that his music was being exploited in such a way. He stated that:

“My first reaction was this just can’t possibly be true…Of course I didn’t really like the idea that I was helping break down prisoners, but it was much worse when I heard later that they were actually using the music in Guantanamo to actually do deep, long-term interrogations and obviously to inflict enough pain on prisoners so they would talk.”

The Huffington Post reports that other songs torturers have used on their victims have included Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” and Drowning Pool’s “Bodies,” both of which were used in the same way as Sesame Street at Guantanamo Bay.