81 Million Dollars

from by The Four Fathers

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    The two bonus tracks are covers of Bob Dylan's 'Masters of War' and a groovy, folky version of Gloria Gaynor's 'I Will Survive.'
    For a live video of 'Masters of War', see: youtu.be/zDfdeFO96mE

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about

This song was written after the executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee's report into the CIA's post-9/11 torture program was released, in December 2014, which revealed that the two psychologists who led the torture, James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, were paid 81 million dollars for doing so, even though torture is illegal and morally repugnant, and the program didn't yield valuable intelligence. They had worked for the US military's SERE program (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape), which involves subjecting US personnel to torture to train them to resist it if they are captured by a hostile enemy and it is used against them.
See: www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=senate-intelligence-committee-study-on-cia-detention-and-interrogation-program
Also see: www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/12/cia-torture-report-crime-punish-201412108023970176.html
and: www.andyworthington.co.uk/category/american-torture/

The photo is of protestors outside the White House on January 11, 2015, the 13th anniversary of the opening of Guantánamo (Photo by Andy Worthington).

Review

On Twitter, in September 2016, Andi Vincent, composer and civil rights activist, described '81 Million Dollars' as follows: "omg best track ever."
See: twitter.com/AndiVincent/status/773273289322102785

lyrics

81 Million Dollars (Andy Worthington)

Everybody knows that torture doesn't work
Unless what you're after is brutality and lies
And that's what America wanted
After 9/11

And speaking for the Bush administration
Dick Cheney promised to take us to the dark side
A place of secret prisons
And our expulsion from heaven

Chorus

Did you know you can get 81 million dollars for being torturer?
Yeah you can get paid 81 million dollars for being a torturer

James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen
Worked for the military
Teaching US soldiers
To resist torture by an enemy

They had no experience of interrogation
But they had a thirst for government money
So they reverse-engineered their program
For the so-called "high-value detainees"

Chorus

And they got 81 million dollars for being torturers
Yeah they were paid 81 million dollars for being torturers

And let's not forget the torture lawyers
Like John Yoo, a law professor at Berkeley
Who said that torture wasn't torture
So the CIA could use it

And Yoo's boss who signed the torture memos
A man named Jay S. Bybee
Whose reward for this sick sleight of hand
Was a prestigious judgeship

Chorus

You can keep your job as a law professor by being a torturer
You can be made a federal appeals court judge for being a torturer

But how do we make them pay?
To take some of our shame and guilt away
How do we make them pay?
To give some hint of justice to those whose lives were taken away

George W. Bush war criminal
Richard B. Cheney war criminal
Donald Rumsfeld war criminal
Condoleezza Rice war criminal
Alberto Gonzales war criminal
David Addington war criminal
William J. Haynes III war criminal
John Yoo war criminal
Jay S. Bybee war criminal
George Tenet war criminal
James Mitchell war criminal
Bruce Jessen war criminal
John Rizzo war criminal
Steven Bradbury war criminal
Jack Straw war criminal
Tony Blair war criminal

credits

from Love and War, released September 21, 2015
Written by Andy Worthington

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about

The Four Fathers London, UK

Militant, melodic rock & roots reggae band, based in SE London, mostly playing original protest music. Journalist and activist Andy Worthington (lead vocals, electro-acoustic guitar), Richard Clare (electric guitar, vocals), Bren Horstead (drums, percussion), Andrew Fifield (flute, harmonica), Paul Rooke (bass). ... more

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