Music to Interrogate Prisoners By

So Mother Jones, a magazine I always get confused with Mother Earth News*, has songs it says are used in American military facilities for “torture”. I’ll quickly mention the fact Mother Jones, like many on the anti-war side, has an exceedingly loose definition of torture. Some people apparently think anything which might make a prisoner uncomfortable is torture. While being somewhat ludicrous, such behavior also reduces the term down to a pointless smear. If everything beyond asking prisoners politely is torture, then the term is effectively meaningless. The vast majority of people will quit responding to the accusation once the bar is set low enough. For a clear example in contemporary American culture, look at accusations of racism and sexism.

Anyhow, by my quick count, on the RAID box that holds all our music we have 10 of the 24 songs listed. Does this mean I’m trying to torture myself? Funny, I never noticed any tendencies towards masochism before now.

I recall the last time this issue surfaced, when we were trying to get Noriega out of a church in Panama, I had a greater percentage of the music used. Of course, I was actually in the Army then, so it’s not surprising. I’ll call attention to only two of them that stand out as particularly egregious behavior:

The Barney Song and the Meow Mix commercial.

I don’t know who came up with those choices (PsyOps, maybe?) but I’ll freely admit that if you played either of those at me for an extended period of time, my already fragile sanity would snap like a twig. I think Barney may be a little culturally specific to work on the rest of the world, but a loop of the Meow Mix commercial would drive anybody mad after a while. It’s an inspired choice.

Speaking of inspired musical choices, I present to you Celtic Frost performing Mexican Radio. Stan Ridgway is still out and about and releasing records, so you might go by his website and see if his latest offerings interest you.

*One group of hippies is much like another to my mind.

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