A new documentary from Al Jazeera called “Songs of War” claims that songs such as the theme from Sesame Street and “I Love You” from Barney and Friends were played to prisoners as a method of torture. The film follows Sesame Street composer Christopher Cerf, as he first learns that his music was used to inflict torture. Al Jazeera describes on its website how Cerf was then motivated to learn as much about it as possible, ”…speak[ing] to soldiers, psychologists and prisoners tortured with his music at Guantanamo Bay.”
According to the documentary, prisoners were played these songs through headphones while at full volume and on repeat for hours or even days at a time. Cerf says in the film, “I didn’t really like the idea that I was helping to break down prisoners, but it was much worse when I heard later that they were actually using the music in Guantanamo to do deep interrogations to inflict long-term pain on prisoners so that they would talk.”
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