Navy SEAL: METALLICA Asked Us To Stop Using Their Music To Torture Prisoners

The Navy SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden told his story to Esquire magazine — speaking not just about the raid and the three shots that changed history, but about the personal aftermath for himself and his family. In the article, the unidentified man spoke of one raid, where he and his team, accompanied by two dogs, wiped out "an entire spiderweb network."

It was important to him to stress that no women or children were killed in that raid. He also insisted that when it came to interrogation, repetitive questioning and leveraging fear was as aggressive as he'd go. "When we first started the war in Iraq, we were using METALLICA music to soften people up before we interrogated them," the Navy SEAL said. "METALLICA got wind of this and they said, 'Hey, please don't use our music because we don't want to promote violence.' I thought, Dude, you have an album called 'Kill 'Em All'.

"But we stopped using their music, and then a band called DEMON HUNTER got in touch and said, 'We're all about promoting what you do.' They sent us CDs and patches. I wore my DEMON HUNTER patch on every mission. I wore it when I blasted bin Laden."

METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich appeared as a guest on MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show" in April 2009, where the liberal news commentator and the Danish drummer discussed living in San Francisco, Guitar Hero: Metallica, and politics (see video below). With the debate over the military and CIA's use of torture front and center in the news lately, Maddow also asked Ulrich how he felt about METALLICA's music being used to psychologically torture prisoners of war. "There is a lot of METALLICA music that's helping a lot of scared 18-, 19- and 20-year-old kids out there who are out on the front lines and who are doing a hell of a job on behalf of you and me and the rest of us," he said. "But obviously when you hear stories like the one you're telling, it all seems so bizarre and so strange that METALLICA's music, which generally sort of facilitates bringing people together, is used in these bizarre circumstances. It's certainly not something that we in any way advocate or condone."

Ulrich also told Maddow that if someone really wanted to use music to torture others, there are groups out there that are way more extreme than METALLICA. "If there are people that are dumb enough to use METALLICA to interrogate prisoners, you're forgetting about all the music that's to the left of us," he said. "I can name, you know, 30 Norwegian death metal bands that would make METALLICA sound like SIMON AND GARFUNKEL."

The German-language television network 3SAT spoke to METALLICA guitarist/vocalist James Hetfield in 2008 about the use of METALLICA's music to torture Guantanamo Bay, Cuba prisoners. "Part of me is proud is because they chose METALLICA," Hetfield said about the reports that the band's song "Enter Sandman" was used during the interrogation of Mohammed al-Qahtani — known as the 20th hijacker on Sept. 11 — and that listening to the track brought al-Qahtani to tears "because he thought he was hearing the sound of Satan." James added, "It's strong; it's music that's powerful. It represents something that they don't like — maybe freedom, aggression… I don't know… freedom of speech. And then part of me is kind of bummed about it that people worry about us being attached to some political statement because of that. We've got nothing to do with this and we're trying to be as apolitical as possible, 'cause I think politics and music, at least for us, don't mix. It separates people, [and] we wanna bring people together. So, so be it. I can't say 'Stop.' I can't say 'Do it.' It is just a thing — it's not good or bad."

Hetfield talking to 3SAT about use of METALLICA's music to torture Guantanamo Bay, Cuba prisoners (go to four-minute, 45-second mark):

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