Sesame Street Music Was Used to Torture Prisoners of War
May 31, 2012 14:37
A new documentary from Al Jazeera reveals that detainees at the U.S. detention camp at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base were forced to wear headphones with blasting music on repeat for hours on end.
Unlike the reports in 2008 which said prisoners were tortured by songs such as Metallica's "Enter Sandman" and Drowning Pool's "Bodies," the prisoners were also forced to listen to an unlikely variety of music - songs from Sesame Street.
Christopher Cerf, the award-winning composer of Sesame Street, was shocked to find out that his music was being exploited for torture purposes. He was intrigued by how music could be used to break people down, but was disappointed that the U.S were, ironically, torturing prisoners of war.
"My first reaction was this just can't possibly be true," he told Al Jazeera. "...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."
This, however, wasn't the first time that Sesame Street music was used to break the will of prisoners. In 2003, the U.S. used music from the popular children's educational show to soften up Iraqi prisoners of war.