Tuesday, April 15, 2014

CIA Uses "Chili Peppers" Songs To Torture

I started reading THIS article from the Huffington Post because it's headline touted the revelation that the CIA apparently used Red Hot Chili Peppers songs as part of its "enhanced interrogation techniques" at Guantanamo Bay.

It made me laugh because I like their music myself.  But then two other references in this article caught my eye. One was that the band Skinny Puppy apparently got wind that their music was being used in the same way, and they apparently sent an invoice tio the CIA, billing them for the use of their songs.

The other aspect of this article that caught my eye was its phraseology. It reads in part, "a detainee identified as Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn Abu Zubaydah was tortured while listening to Red Hot Chili Peppers on loop."  It obvoisly gives a very different impression of what was going on depending on whether 'while" really means "while" (implying the music was played as a background soundtrack to, say, water boarding), or whether, to bemore  accurate, 'while" should really be replaced with "by" (implying that merely listening to the music was "torture").

THIS National Journal article may give more insight on this point. "Zubaydah was also shackled at the wrists and hung to the ceiling of his cell, all the while loud music was played on an endless loop."  But this sentence contains its own frustrating ambiguities.  Is it the shackles and chains that were hung to the ceiling, or Zubaydah himself?

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