Noise Levels

An Associated Press article by Andrew Selsky yesterday, unfortunately typifies the kind of sloppy reporting Americans have become accustomed to reading about Guantanamo. Slesky’s article, titled ‘Musicians Protest Use of Songs by US Jailors,’ details use of songs – ranging from heavy metal, rock-and-roll, and Sesame Street tunes – at loud levels, constantly playing, as a tactic to induce captured detainees to talk.

Slesky uses hearsay examples from Iraq and Afghani detention centers to say with certainty that such tactics are routinely used at Guantanamo. He also quotes noted anti-Gitmo activist attorney Clive Stafford-Smith and released detainees’ testimony that such tactics were used on them.

While he quotes the present Guantanamo commander and the JTF GTMO public affairs officer denying use of such tactics, he implies deception, noting that the PAO CDR Storum “wouldn’t give details of when and how music has been used at the prison.”

Also noting that FBI reports say that lound music was used to break detainees, Selsky does not put the reports in context.

Answers to Selsky’s concerns, and the truth of the matter, is documented in my Inside Gitmo book. In fact, the entire 458 page FBI report, issued on a single instance of abuse that occurred in fall 2002, is available on the companion website.

Not to single out Andrew Selsky for particular criticism. Unfortunately this type of hyperbolic, poorly researched, and disjointed reporting has been fairly standard fare since the opening of the detention facility.

Want to know the truth about Guantanamo, about what happened there and what is going on today? Read my book. You can pre-order it from the Inside Gitmo website.

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