Blog of Rights

Torture Memos: The Music Video

By Ateqah Khaki at 1:58pm

While it is certainly no light-hearted issue, our kudos to Rock Cookie Bottom — an internet personality who writes, records and posts a new song daily, often inspired by current events — for taking on the torture memos. In his 109th song, artist Jonathan Mann, uses language directly from the torture memos as lyrics, including horrifically graphic details on waterboarding.

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Directly from the torture memos, his lyrics include:

The waterboard
Which inflicts no pain or actual harm whatsoever
Does not, in our view inflict “severe pain or suffering”
Even if one were to parse the statute more finely
To treat “suffering” as a distinct concept
The waterboard could not be said to inflict severe suffering.
The waterboard is simply a controlled acute episode, lacking the connotation of a protracted period of time generally given to suffering.
Whether you read the memos themselves, or watch Rock Cookie Bottom’s video, it’s crystal clear that the memos released last week reveal that the CIA and Justice Department were both attempting to absolve themselves from responsibility for torture by relying on empty assurances from the other.

That’s why we need your support today. Join the ACLU in demanding that Attorney General Eric Holder appoint an independent prosecutor to investigate issues of criminal responsibility to ensure that no one is above the law.

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