Reader Charles Kindt reminisces about his days as a pilot during the Vietnam war:
Back in mid 1967, whilst enjoying a lovely stay at an Air Force Survival School at Fairchild Air Force Base, outside of Spokane, Washington, many of us were treated to “torture music” as part of our delightful stay.
We were not even terrorists, but just a bunch of Vietnam bound flyers and crew, learning the oh, so evil ways of the enemy.
After experiencing first hand the joys of sleep deprivation, learning how to make mud and rock furrows with our bodies through a mile of obstacles with barbed wire and heavy automatic weapon fire overhead, random explosions and other fun diversions, we were “captured”, rudely handled, spoken roughly to, hand cuffed, heads bagged (very old, very ripe laundry bags), detained in underground bunkers with cells, interrogated repeatedly by mean guys with bad attitudes, placed in small wooden crates with no room to [move], photographed in odd positions, lined up and marched to an outdoor (of sorts) wired stalag/compound, all crammed into a very low, mud and stone hovel with other “inmates” and made to eat unidentifiable gruel.
Cold, wet, hungry, constipated, humiliated, tired, bleeding, dirty and utterly confused and THEN the ultimate, horrific torture was begun. To this day I have nightmares of the days and nights of the seemingly endless, mocking, psychosis-inducing music they played. Had they no conscience at all?
They played endless Joan Baez songs. Pardon me, I feel some some nausea coming on again…
It could have been worse, of course. They could have played John Kerry speeches, as the North Vietnamese sometimes did. Where was Dick Durbin when we needed him?