C.I.A. tortured prisoners with Red Hot Chili Peppers music

on April 10, 2014, 11:56am

It has long been known that the C.I.A. and other government agencies have used rock music as a way to torture prisoners, and a new report from the United States Senate Intelligence Committee confirms the playlist included Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Al Jazeera America reports (via Stereogum) that C.I.A. officials played a continuous loop of Chili Peppers music during the torture of suspected terrorist Abu Zubaydah in 2002.

Though the use of music in torture has been banned by the United Nations Convention Against Torture, the practice is still permitted under U.S. law. In response, several bands, including Pearl Jam and R.E.M., have signed a petition demanding the U.S. government end the practice and release a list of the musicians whose work was used in torture. However, Metallica, another band known to have been used in torture, denied charges they asked the C.I.A. to stop using their music. “There has been a lot of talk recently about us asking the military not to use our music to ‘soften people up before interrogation,” the band said in a 2013 statement. “We NEVER commented to the military either way on this matter. Any statements that have been made otherwise are not correct.”

Chili Peppers have yet to respond to our request for comment at the time of publication.


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A. N. Onymous
October 24, 2014 at 4:10 am

hearing and/or seeing the word ‘california’ triggers my ptsd and i’ve never even been in abu ghraib

April 10, 2014 at 5:32 pm

“Chili Peppers have yet to respond to our request for comment at the time of publication”, yeah that might happen.

April 10, 2014 at 1:36 pm

listening to RHCP is pretty much torture.

April 10, 2014 at 12:38 pm

I used to think this was a legitimate news site. That Lars quote is fake. Are your general readers supposed to know that?


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