The Zero dB Project: Torture Playlist

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Earlier today, the British human rights law organization Reprieve launched a campaign against the use of music as a weapon in war, called Zero dB (zero decibels = silence). Artists Massive Attack and Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello joined Reprieve to demand that the US military stop playing their songs to captured detainees. Back in February, Mother Jones compiled a playlist of the songs used to induce sleep deprivation, “prolong capture shock,” disorient detainees during interrogations—and drown out screams. The mix was based on a leaked interrogation log and the accounts of soldiers and detainees. For more, listen to MoJo’s Torture Playlist—and a conversation with investigative reporter Justine Sharrock about “no-touch torture.”

From the AP:

For many detainees who grew up in Afghanistan—where music was
prohibited under Taliban rule—interrogations by U.S. forces marked
their first exposure to the pounding rhythms, played at top volume.
The experience was overwhelming for many. Binyam Mohammed, now a
prisoner at Guantanamo Bay, said men held with him at the CIA’s “Dark
Prison” in Afghanistan wound up screaming and smashing their heads
against walls, unable to endure more.
“There was loud music, (Eminem’s) ‘Slim Shady’ and Dr. Dre for 20 days.
I heard this nonstop over and over,” he told his lawyer, Clive Stafford
Smith. “The CIA worked on people, including me, day and night for the
months before I left. Plenty lost their minds.”

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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