An American rock musician and human rights activist is still holding out for the Bush administration to receive some justice, including that of the poetic variety.
“[H]opefully in the not-too-distant future, when the war criminals of the Bush administration are brought to trial and are one day wearing their yellow jumpsuits and black hoods, it’ll be the music of Rage Against the Machine that is pumped into their cells 24 hours a day,” Tom Morello, the lead guitarist of Rage Against The Machine, said in a recent interview.
Morello explained to RussiaToday Sunday that his band lost a lawsuit aimed to stop the US government from using their heavy rap-metal music to essentially torture people at US prison camps overseas.
“We pursued it over a course of a few years, and I think it’s a crime,” he said.
Morello spoke on a wide range of topics from the international boycott of Arizona over the state’s racial profiling law, President Obama’s handling of the US economy, to how capitalism has effected the world.
Morello and his hand joined Reprieve, a UK-based lobby group, which represents Guantanamo Bay detainees, in bringing together a coalition of other musicians to protest how their music is used by the US government.
The former commander in Iraq, Lt.-Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, stated in a memo dated Sept. 14, 2003, that playing loud music “to create fear and disorient detainee(s) and prolong capture shock” is an authorized interrogation tactic.
Nine Inch Nails, Metallica, AC/DC, Eminem, Bruce Springsteen, and the songwriters for Sesame Street and Barney children’s shows were among the other artists whose music was blasted for 16 hours a day at the prison camps, according to Reprieve.
Nine years ago this month, the first 20 detainees of the so-called “war on terror” arrived at the Guantanamo Bay military base, which has been rented from Cuba since the beginning of the 20th century.
Rights groups around the world celebrated when new President Barack Obama swore just after his inauguration on Jan. 22, 2009, to shut down the prison, opened by his predecessor George W. Bush.
But two years later some 173 prisoners still languish behind its doors. And Obama’s room for maneuver has been severely curtailed amid a fierce debate over the future of its high-profile foreign inmates.
“The Obama administration has learned that it cannot close Guantanamo without much more cooperation from Congress and from other countries, and that additional support is not forthcoming,” Columbia University professor, Matthew Waxman, told AFP.
Morello said that he doesn’t expect “a magical president to sprinkle fairy dust to make every thing alright.”
“It’s everyday people that have their hand on the wheel of history,” he said. “Change happens because you and me and the people watching this act and stand up for their rights where they live in their time.”
Former president George W. Bush and his top aides were accused of covering up the innocence of many Guantanamo Bay detainees for fear of releasing them could harm the “war on terror.”
The allegations were made in a document by Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, once chief of staff to Bush’s first secretary of state, Colin Powell, in a lawsuit filed by a former Guantanamo inmate and published by The Times in London.
Vice President Dick Cheney in an ABC News interview as he left office admitted to authorizing detainee torture though the practice of water-boarding.
“I supported it,” he said of simulated drowning technique.
This video is from RussiaToday, broadcast Jan. 16, 2011.
With reporting by David Edwards, Stephen C. Webster and AFP.