Ed Driscoll

Bad News: Gitmo Prisoners Forced to Listen to Sesame Street Songs

Fair is fair — I spent my early childhood being tortured by these songs, why shouldn’t al-Qaeda?

A new documentary alleges that detainees at Guantanamo Bay were “tortured” by being forced to listen to songs from Sesame Street for days on end.

The Al Jazeera film, “Songs of War,” features Christopher Cerf, who has worked as a composer on Sesame Street for more than four decades.

“My first reaction was this just can’t possibly be true,” the Grammy and Emmy award-winning composer told Al Jazeera.

“Of course, I didn’t really like the idea that I was helping break down prisoners, but it was much worse when I heard later that they were actually using the music in Guantanamo to actually do deep, long-term interrogations and obviously to inflict enough pain on prisoners so they would talk.”

The documentary’s claims are backed up by a 2008 Associated Press report, which found that several songs, including the Sesame Street theme song, were used as part of the detainee interrogation process at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo in 2003.


I think Al Jazeera missed a golden opportunity by not getting Evil Bert’s reaction as well.

But this example of the Moral Equivalent of War coming full circle seems like a golden opportunity for any GOP Congressman who wants to cut off PBS funding at the source: “We have identified the root causes of America’s increasingly weaponized childhood-industrial-television complex, and we are taking steps to prevent such outrages ever happening again.”

(As always, life imitates Monty Python. Who knew that banning joke warfare after World War II would lead to even harsher methods eventually being used?)

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