U.S. military interrogators have often blasted music at detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay. According to the British law group Reprieve, these are among the songs they have used most frequently:
* METALLICA - "Enter Sandman"
* DROWNING POOL - "Bodies"
* AC/DC - "Shoot to Thrill"
* AC/DC - "Hell's Bells"
* "I Love You" from the "Barney and Friends" children's TV show
* BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN - "Born in the USA"
* DAVID GRAY - "Babylon"
* EMINEM - White America"
* "Sesame Street" theme song from the children's TV show
Other bands and artists whose music has been frequently played at U.S. detention sites:
* DEICIDE – "Fuck Your God"
* DOPE - "Die MF Die"
* DOPE - "Take Your Best Shot"
* NINE INCH NAILS - "March of the Pigs"
* NINE INCH NAILS - "Mr. Self-Destruct"
* QUEEN - "We are The Champions"
* RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE - "Killing in the Name Of"
The German-language television network 3SAT spoke to METALLICA guitarist/vocalist James Hetfield this past summer 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."
According to the Associated Press, RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE guitarist Tom Morello has been especially forceful in denouncing the practice of systematically using loud music on hundreds of detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay. During a recent concert in San Francisco, he proposed taking revenge on President George W. Bush.
"I suggest that they level Guantanamo Bay, but they keep one small cell and they put Bush in there ... and they blast some RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE," he said to whoops and cheers.
One musician, however, who is proud that his music is used in interrogations is bassist Stevie Benton, whose group DROWNING POOL has performed in Iraq and recorded one of the interrogators' favorites, "Bodies".
"People assume we should be offended that somebody in the military thinks our song is annoying enough that played over and over it can psychologically break someone down," he told Spin magazine. "I take it as an honor to think that perhaps our song could be used to quell another 9/11 attack or something like that."
Hetfield talking to 3SAT about use of METALLICA's music to torture Guantanamo Bay, Cuba prisoners (go to four-minute, 45-second mark):
Former Guantanamo prisoner Ruhal Ahmed describes his experience of being tortured by earsplitting music in the hands of the U.S. authorities: