For a good source of interesting and topical clips each day, plus his great “Mental Health Break” video finds–including one of the few conservative voices I can stomach–Andrew Sullivan at The Daily Dish is perhaps the longest running voice for accountability on the subject of torture in the Bush administration. His blog today brings us this clip from Mann.
Putting torture to music somehow makes that torture even more evil. It reminds me of the orchestras playing in the death camps of World War II where music was an integral part of most of the camps. Some say it was to lull the prisoners on their arrival, others to dupe them as they entered the ’showers,’ but the consensus from the surviving orchestra members, is that the prison guards simply enjoyed listening to music as they went about their daily tasks. The juxtaposition of music and torture, music and evil is somehow appropriate as it is because of these guards and their ‘just doing their jobs’ that brought about the trials at Nuremburg and the revisions to the Geneva Conventions in 1949.
And so we have gone full circle. If we need any justification for investigation and prosecution it is this. The circle will turn, and turn again. We have prosecuted and convicted and yet, our leaders felt justified and comfortable in committing torture in our name.
For more information about music in the camps in WWII, go here
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