Robert Knight
At last.

For years, I thought I had no redress for hours of pain and excruciating discomfort that occurred in numerous settings.

From the aisles of Safeway to malls, drug stores, gas stations, restaurants, department stores and even in doctors’ offices, I and countless others have endured what no one should.

Going Rogue by Sarah Palin FREE

I’m ready to file the largest class action suit in American history on behalf of all those who have been assaulted by repetitive, mediocre and often scatological rock and rap music in public places.

Unexpected help came this week from a group of rock musicians who are shocked, shocked, that their art might have been used to torture terrorists at the Guantanamo Bay detention center, which they are demanding be closed immediately. The National Security Archive at George Washington University sent a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to federal agencies including the CIA, FBI and Department of Defense asking what, if any, music was used to persecute hapless prisoners.

Thomas Blanton, executive director of the archive, said: “At Guantanamo, the U.S. government turned a jukebox into an instrument of torture.” Heck, anyone with a quarter in a small eatery can do the same thing.

I’m going to make the centerpiece of my suit the charges raised by Jayne Huckerby, research director at New York University's Center for Human Rights and Global Justice.

Ms. Huckerby, who studies the use of music in interrogations, said the CIA employed loud music to “humiliate, terrify, punish, disorient and deprive detainees of sleep, in violation of international law.” Did you hear that, apartment dwellers, parents of teenagers, hapless neighbors and dorm residents who needed sleep? You qualify as plaintiffs!

Rage Against the Machine and Eminem were apparently among the bands chosen for their ability to inflict pain. Rage is listed in the coalition along with Metallica, Jackson Browne, Billy Bragg, REM, Pearl Jam and Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor. Oddly, Sesame Street is also mentioned as a possible torture choice, which will surprise all but parents who have been snowbound at times for weeks on end with toddlers. Britney Spears and the Bee Gees also may have been employed as torture agents, but it’s not clear why the tormentors didn’t just stick with tried and true stuff like AC/DC.

Rage guitarist Tom Morello, who is part of the campaign, said, “The fact that music I helped create was used as a tactic against humanity sickens me. We need to end torture [Yes! Yes!] and close Guantanamo now” [oh].


Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a frequent contributor to Townhall.