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.

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Carrie Ching

Carrie Ching is an award-winning, independent multimedia journalist and producer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. For six years, she led digital storytelling projects at the Center for Investigative Reporting as senior multimedia producer. Her multimedia reports have been featured by, The Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, Grist,, Fast Company, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, KQED, PBS NewsHour,, Mother Jones, Public Radio International, Poynter, Columbia Journalism Review and many other publications. Her specialty is crafting digital narratives and exploring ways to use video, audio, photography, animation and interactive graphics to push the boundaries of storytelling on the Web, tablets and mobile. Her work has been honored with awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, Investigative Reporters and Editors, Best of the West, the Online News Association, Scripps Howard, The Gracies, and was part of the entry in a Pulitzer-finalist project. Prior to her time at CIR she was a magazine and book editor, video journalist, newspaper reporter and TV comedy scriptwriter. She was on the 2010 Eddie Adams Workshop faculty as a multimedia producer working with MediaStorm to teach digital storytelling techniques to photojournalists. She completed a master’s degree in journalism at UC Berkeley in 2005.