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Gitmo playlist sought

October 23, 2009|Washington Post

Was the theme to "Sesame Street" really played to torture prisoners held at Guantanamo and other detention camps? What about Don McLean's "American Pie"? Or the Meow Mix jingle? Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A."?

A high-profile coalition of artists -- including the members of Pearl Jam, R.E.M. and the Roots -- has demanded that the government release the names of all the songs that were blasted since 2002 at prisoners for hours, even days, on end, to try to coerce cooperation or as a method of punishment.

Dozens of musicians endorsed a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the National Security Archive, a Washington-based independent research institute, seeking the declassification of all records related to the use of music in interrogation practices. The artists also launched a formal protest of the use of music in conjunction with torture.

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