Ben Allbright was still in high school when he enlisted as an Army reservist. In 2003 the Arkansas teenager was shipped off to Kuwait, then Iraq, where he was assigned the task of “softening up” prisoners—which involved keeping them handcuffed and blindfolded in a shipping container that reached 145 degrees, forcing them to stand in uncomfortable positions, and blasting loud music to keep them awake for days at a time.
In the March/April Mother Jones, Justine Sharrock profiles Allbright and other soldiers who had the unenviable jobs of abusing and sometimes torturing Iraqi prisoners. Sharrock is currently working on a book on the same subject.
In “The Torture Playlist,” Sharrock also describes the specific songs used as “environmental manipulation” in military prisons in Iraq. In an audio interview, Sharrock says “Enter Sandman” by Metallica, country music, Barney’s theme song, the Meow Mix jingle, and Christina Aguilera are commonly used to disturb Iraqi prisoners.
>> Read “Am I a Torturer” by Justine Sharrock in Mother Jones.
>> Listen to “The Torture Playlist” online.