October 22, 2009 | Posted by Tom Andrews
Our campaign is taking off, and today we are thrilled that an incredible group of highly acclaimed musicians have signed onto the campaign. They are signing the open letter to Congress and asking you to join them. They include: Tom Morello, Billy Bragg, Michelle Branch, Jackson Browne, T-Bone Burnett, David Byrne, Rosanne Cash, Marc Cohn, Steve Earle, the Entrance Band, Joe Henry, Pearl Jam, Bonnie Raitt, R.E.M., Trent Reznor, Rise Against, The Roots.
Rosanne Cash told the Washington Post last night that she reacted with “absolute disgust” when she learned about the use of music as a means of torturing detainees at Guantanamo: “I think every musician should be involved. It seems so obvious. Music should never be used as torture.”
So, the list of musicians who are willing to stand up to close Guantanamo and end torture – including the music variety – could grow in the days and weeks to come. And, we are getting calls from some of them this afternoon wanting to do more. We’ll keep you posted.
Artists have joined on to political campaigns before, but this is slightly different. We know for a fact that the music of Rage Against the Machine (Tom’s band) and Nine Inch Nails (Trent Reznor) was used at Guantanamo – music played at near ear-splitting volumes for hours on end – to torture detainees. As you might expect, they are not happy about it. Here’s what Tom had to say:
Guantanamo is known around the world as one of the places where human beings have been tortured – from water boarding, to stripping, hooding and forcing detainees into humiliating sexual acts - playing music for 72 hours in a row at volumes just below that to shatter the eardrums. Guantanamo may be Dick Cheney’s idea of America, but it’s not mine. The fact that music I helped create was used in crimes against humanity sickens me – we need to end torture and close Guantanamo now.
You can check out what some of the other artists have gone on record saying here.
This group of musicians has launched a formal protest against the use of music used in conjunction with torture that took place at the prison and other detention facilities, and they’re taking their fight a step further . . . several have signed on to a Freedom of Information Act request to declassify all secret government records pertaining to how music was utilized as an interrogation device. If your life’s work were used to torture people, you’d want to know about it.
Join the nearly 20 musicians and add to the thousands of letters that have been sent to Congress demanding that we Close Guantanamo Now. Take Action today!