CIA Used Red Hot Chili Peppers Songs to Torture Terrorism Detainee

One of the many new details from the soon-to-be-released Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture programs.

Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers
National Journal
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Matt Vasilogambros
April 9, 2014, 8:52 a.m.

More de­tails are com­ing out of a forth­com­ing Sen­ate In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee re­port on the CIA, in­clud­ing black site pris­on loc­a­tions and wrong­ful de­ten­tions, but there are also some new de­tails on in­ter­rog­a­tion tech­niques.

While the CIA re­portedly used tor­ture meth­ods de­ployed by the So­viet Uni­on, China, and North Korea — in­clud­ing sleep depriva­tion and isol­a­tion — the agency took it a step fur­ther for Abu Zubay­dah, a de­tain­ee who was sub­jec­ted to all 10 tor­ture tech­niques used by the CIA, ac­cord­ing to a re­port from Al Jaz­eera.

In ad­di­tion to be­ing stuffed in­side a pet crate, such as the ones that are used to trans­port dogs, for two weeks, Zubay­dah was also shackled at the wrists and hung to the ceil­ing of his cell, all the while loud mu­sic was played on an end­less loop.

But it wasn’t just any mu­sic. As one former in­ter­rog­at­or told Al Jaz­eera, it was the Red Hot Chili Pep­pers.

There wer­en’t any de­tails on which songs were used, but any of the al­tern­at­ive rock band’s al­bums are chock-full of loud, bass-heavy, gui­tar-riff­ing tunes over­laid by the pier­cing voice of lead sing­er An­thony Kiedis.

Played end­lessly, that kind of mu­sic could be­come un­com­fort­able.

The Sen­ate In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee voted last week to de­clas­si­fy its re­port’s 480-page ex­ec­ut­ive sum­mary. The full re­port, sen­at­ors say, will be de­clas­si­fied later on.


This story has been up­dated to change the genre of the Red Hot Chili Pep­pers. They are not in­die. Bands that per­form at the Su­per Bowl and have large re­cord deals can­not hold that title. We re­gret the er­ror.


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