Stephen M. Walt

What the Bee Gees and waterboarding have in common

A group of musicians has joined the National Campaign to Close Guantanamo and issued a formal protest against the use of their music as part of the Bush-era torture regime.  Music from performers like Bruce Springsteen, Nine Inch Nails, Rage Against the Machine and the Bee Gees (?) was reportedly played at excruciatingly high volumes ...

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BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MAY 15: Robin (L) and Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees attend the 55th Annual BMI Pop Awards at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel on May 15, 2007 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Chad Buchanan/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Robin Gibb;Barry Gibb

A group of musicians has joined the National Campaign to Close Guantanamo and issued a formal protest against the use of their music as part of the Bush-era torture regime.  Music from performers like Bruce Springsteen, Nine Inch Nails, Rage Against the Machine and the Bee Gees (?) was reportedly played at excruciatingly high volumes as part of various sleep-deprivation and enhanced interrogation techniques, and some of the artists whose music was involved (Trent Reznor, Jackson Browne, David Byrne, R.E.M., and many others) are now seeking additional information about these practices and demanding that their music not be used in this fashion.
 
Good for them. Being forced to listen to the Bee Gees at any volume might be construed as a form of torture by some of us, although I don’t think President Obama’s ban on the various Bush-era practices goes that far.

Chad Buchanan/Getty Images

Stephen M. Walt is the Robert and Renée Belfer professor of international relations at Harvard University. @stephenwalt

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