Prompted by Time magazine’s Inside the Wire at Gitmo, about
an interrogation at Guantanamo’s Camp X Ray in which a sleep-deprived prisoner is kept awake
“by dripping water on his head or playing Christina Aguilera music,” the legal eagle at Underneath Their Robes has filed a confidential opinion
that asks, Is Christina Aguilera’s Music

This memorandum necessarily focuses on specific musical compositions by
Aguilera and whether playing each individual song to an unwilling detainee might rise to the level
of torture.

That such analysis must proceed on an individualized,
song-by-song basis does not restrict applicability of the principles set forth in this memorandum to
the enumerated songs. Rather, the approach applied herein to specific songs from Aguilera’s latest
album is broadly applicable to the entirety of her artistic output, including her embarrassment of a
Christmas album, My Kind of Christmas (RCA
Oct. 2000), and her unfortunate Spanish-language album, Mi Reflejo (RCA Sept. 2000),
[above], featuring “Genio Atrapado,” the Spanish version of her hit single “Genie In
a Bottle.”

Aguilera’s taunting lyrics have a certain je ne sais quoi when applied to Gitmo
prisoners under interrogation, though it’s not clear whether the songs were translated for them.
Part of “Genie In a Bottle” goes like this:

Oh . . .
I feel like I’ve been locked up tight
For a century of lonely
Waiting for someone
To release me

You’re licking your lips and blowing kisses my way
But that dont mean I’m gonna give it away
Baby, baby,
(baby, baby, baby)

The relationship between music and war goes back a long way. Music has been used to stir both patriotism and protest. It’s been used both to raise troop morale and
demoralize or frighten enemy forces. Music during the Vietnam war was expecially notable.
More recently, the U.S. military used ’60s and ’70s hard rock as a weapon to
challenge insurgents in Fallujah. I haven’t seen any legal opinions, real ones or parodies, on the
use of pop culture in a military assault. Any takers?

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