Published Nov 09, 2009Last month, a group of big-name musicians banded together in an effort to raise awareness about the Guantanamo Bay Prison and to urge officials to close the U.S.-run facility. Bands like Pearl Jam, R.E.M., Rage Against the Machine, Billy Bragg and Nine Inch Nails joined the National Campaign to Close Guantanamo, all expressing their disgust with the use of music for torture. Now, a political lobbyist on the other side of the debate has responded, calling the bands' efforts "pathetic," and some fans aren't too happy about it.
Debra Burlington is the director of Keep America Safe, a right-wing lobby group intended to focus "on issues like troop levels, missile defence, detainees and interrogation." In an interview with the Washington Times [via TwentyFourBit], Burlington said, "It's almost laughable to think that heavy metal bands like Nine Inch Nails and Rage Against the Machine have a moral authority on national security issues. They're worried about torture of hard-core terrorists? This is really something I would expect to read in the Onion."
Naturally, the comments rubbed Reznor's legion of NIN fans the wrong way, and many have started an email campaign to "demand a public apology by the group's founder, Liz Cheney, to Trent Reznor, Tom Morello, and all the other 'immoral' musicians they've insulted."
While we can't exactly discredit them for their zeal, wouldn't it be much more effective to bypass this issue and join the larger petitions to close Guantanamo Bay?