Sesame Street music used to torture detainees held at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay? A report in a new Al Jazeera documentary alleges that prisoners were subjected to hours of blaring Sesame Street to break their will.
The film titled “Songs of War,” shows former detainees talking about how they were forced to wear headphones that blared music from the children’s show for anywhere from hours to days at a time.
Award winning Christopher Cerf, perhaps feeling a little insulted his music was used as a form of torture, told Al Jazeera in an interview, “My first reaction was this just can’t possibly be true …”
He added, “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 do deep, long-term interrogations and obviously to inflict enough pain on prisoners so they would talk.”
Using certain kinds of music to make prisoners listen too over and over to break them is not anything new, it had been previously reported that music from Metallica and Eminem had been blared for hours in order to distract detainees and make it easier to make them give up information.
In 2003, a U.S. Psychological Operations sergeant told Newsweek that he had bludgeoned Iraqi prisoners of war with Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.” He explained, “If you play it for 24 hours, your brain and body functions start to slide, your train of thought slows down and your will is broken. That’s when we come in and talk to them.”