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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Stipe, other musicians join fight to close "Gitmo"


R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe, along with Pearl Jam and Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor, has joined the fight to close the detainee center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in response to learning bits of their respective bands' music was included as part of alleged torture tactics against prisoners.

Based on already released public records, interviews with past detainees and claims from opposition groups, interrogators used songs from AC/DC, Britney Spears, the Bee Gees, Marilyn Manson and many other acts at high volumes in attempts to cut off of inmate communication, disorient them or deprive them of sleep.

Other music included the "Meow Mix" cat food jingle, Barney theme song and numerous "Sesame Street" songs.

Music aside, the controversies around alleged torture tactics at Gitmo have been swirling for years. President Obama has pledged to close the prison by January, though such a pledge is seeming logistically challenging as that date drawn near.

Blur has no political stance on Gitmo. But the "Meow Mix" theme? Yikes.

- Alec Wooden

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