Military Review

Musical compositions used by the CIA to torture prisoners

Few people know, but music can be an instrument of torture or a strong psychological impact on a person. Naturally, we are not talking about cases when you are driving in a taxi or a minibus, and the driver listens to Russian Radio or Radio Chanson, here you can only see the divergence of your tastes and tastes of the driver. In addition, you can always ask him to change the wave. Prisoner in prison is deprived of this opportunity. Moreover, not only the volume of the music itself (acoustic impact), but also the aggressiveness of the chosen compositions or their cultural unacceptability for the victim, has its effect on the person.

All this is widely used in their practice by agents of the American special services, in particular the CIA. Musical torture CIA agents often apply to prisoners suspected of terrorism, they have also been used against supporters of the Iraqi resistance. Most often in the role weapons torture is a heavy fateful composition, but there is information about the use of pop music or even musical advertising compositions as an instrument of torture. It is known that prisoners who were detained in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib prisons were subjected to such torture. At the same time, the CIA agents themselves do not consider such a method to be a torture of prisoners, referring it to a more rigid form of interrogation.

Information that torture is used on US prison prisons regularly appears in the press. In particular, in November last year, Agence France-Presse, citing data from a report by the American Institute of Medicine and the Soros Foundation, accused American doctors of torturing Guantánamo prisoners and other prisons that contain alleged terrorists. Similar messages began to appear actively in the Western media at the end of George W. Bush’s second presidential term. Then it turned out that the American special services used not only imitation of drowning a prisoner, but also torture with music. Barack Obama, who replaced Bush, banned the CIA from using such methods, and also initiated investigations into torture in prisons. This criminal investigation was completed in 2012 a year, but no one was charged.

Musical compositions used by the CIA to torture prisoners

The torture of prisoners by music was a common practice of the CIA from the very beginning, as soon as the “extended interrogation program” was launched, it happened at the beginning of the 2000s. This program was created in order to create inmates a feeling of fear, disorientation in space, as well as a feeling of helplessness. Imagine that you are sitting, curled up, in an uncomfortable position in a small room without light, your hands are tied between your legs, and there are headphones in your ears that you can’t take off. At the same time in the headphones for 30 hours playing the same composition, set to full volume. Under the influence of such torture, a person loses the ability to think, and torture with music itself can last more than one month.

Mark Hadsel, a member of the US psychological operations team, describes the effect of torture on a person’s music: “If you make the prisoner endlessly listen to the same composition for 24 hours, then the functions of his body and brain begin to adapt to a new state, his progress slows down thoughts, will breaks. At that moment, people come to him for questioning and talk to him. ”

Usually in the press there are publications that prisoners are tortured with the help of songs by rock artists. For example, the famous compositions of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers group called “Californication” and “Can't Stop”, which were repeatedly played by the prisoners in the torture room, depriving them of sleep and rest, as well as reducing their resistance during interrogations, wrote about this in particular newspaper Daily Mail. The international television company Al-Jazeera told its viewers that such methods in some way imitate the communist system of torture and are not uncommon in American prisons. Music torture has been used here since at least 2002. According to former prisoners, they were then tortured with the song “By the Way” of the same group.

Guantanamo Prisoners

Also, according to rumors, the military department is very fond of using the work of the Canadian group Skinny Puppy for their own purposes. It is believed that in Guantanamo prison prisoners are often tortured with the help of compositions of this particular rock band. At the same time it comes to curiosities. For using their musical compositions without permission, the Skinny Puppy group threatened to sue the US Army, demanding compensation from the 666 military. This was told to journalists by Kevin Key, the keyboard player of the group. The musicians learned that the US military was using their songs in prison from a fan who worked in that prison and wrote a book about it.

In addition to the already mentioned groups, in the press you can find information about the use of compositions of Metallica, Queen and Nine Inch Nails. It is reported that they are used for torture not only in Guantanamo, but also in the prisons of Afghanistan and Iraq. At the same time, not so long ago, a list of 11 compositions that CIA agents use to torture appeared on the popular website Policymic on the Internet. Among the compositions presented in this list, not all belong to rock bands.

Top 11 CIA songs for torture

1. Eminem, "The Real Slim Shady."

Binyam Mohammed listened to this track for 20 days. He told this to his lawyer Clive Smith, who is currently the founder and director of the British organization Reprieve, which is fighting for the rights of prisoners and for the abolition of torture by music. According to Mohammed, the torture did not stop either day or night, the song was spinning non-stop. Many of these torture lose their mind, according to Mohammed, one of the prisoners lost control of himself, began to beat his head against the wall and scream.

2. Metal group Dope, "Take Your Best Shot".

British citizen Ruhal Ahmed talked about how he was interrogated in 2008 year. According to him, you can prepare for the fact that you will be beaten in the interrogation room, it can be accepted, but it is impossible to prepare for psychological torture. According to him, he was tortured with music many times, changing compositions. "Under such torture a person feels that he begins to lose his mind, he ceases to understand what exactly is happening. After a while you stop hearing the melody of the song, all that remains is just a loud knock. ”

3. Christina Aguilera, "Dirrty".

This song is part of musical torture, which is designated by the term “bad Muslim”. Mohammed al-Qatani, who, according to investigators, was a member of a series of terrorist attacks carried out in the US on September 11, was subjected to torture. The recurring cacophony of Aguilera’s sex hit was supposed to make the existence of faith-centered Muslim Katani intolerable.

4. Mohammed El-Casabgi, "Zikrayati".

Sometimes, torture under the name of “bad Muslim” was used by investigators to use music that was more familiar to Muslims. So they planned to use cultural taboos, as well as the guilt of people who are forbidden to listen to music during their sacred days, meaning the days when it is necessary to adhere to the most severe austerities. American investigators included al-Qatani Arabic music on the first day of Ramadan in December 2002. Hearing familiar sounds, the prisoner began to shout that listening to Arabic music is a violation of the laws of Islam. In fact, nothing is said about this in the Qur'an; most likely, it is only a matter of perception that is related to a specific national culture. Investigators told Mohammed al-Qatani that sin is not really listening to music, but “trying to add prohibitions that are not contained in the Koran.” On this he broke completely.

Guantanamo Prisoners

5. David Gray, Babylon.

Apparently, the US military used David Gray's fatal ballad due to the biblical theme touched on in this song. Christian Gruni, a German musicologist, included this composition to one of the former Guantanomo prisoners, who immediately burst into tears and could not recover for a long time. Psychologist Susan Cusick believes that torture with music is terrible because it encroaches on the “inner space” of a person who, when exposed to a prisoner through physical violence, is usually kept safe. According to her, the music fills the prisoner's inner space with culturally significant expressions and melodies that belong to the prisoner's world, so the prisoner has nowhere else to “hide from the pain.”

6. Barney's cartoon character theme is “I Love You.”

This innocuous composition is one of the most popular CIA agents in the arsenal. When the author of this song, Bob Singleton, learned how to use his work, he just laughed. According to him, this thought itself seems ridiculous to him. "Harmless children's song can not pose a danger to the mental state of an adult prisoner. Such torture could not be worse than the neglected blower of my neighbor. The sound can and does get on a person’s nerves, but not to such an extent that he broke down and confessed to any crimes against humanity.". It is precisely on this that such torture is built, few people can believe that songs can break people, it is hard for an average person to believe this, and such torture causes little public outcry.

7. Bee Gees Group, “Saturday Night Fever” (from the movie “Saturday Night Fever”).

Moazam Begg, a half-Englishman, half-Pakistani, who was detained by CIA agents in Pakistan in 2002, spoke about the use of this song. Once free, Begg wrote a memoir in which he described in detail the torture used by the US military in the Bagram prison in Afghanistan. The first time he heard the song "Saturday Night Fever", which was launched all night, he thought it was such a joke. He did not believe that a song could break a man. However, the longer this went on, the more intolerable was the torture. The continuous musical composition against the background of darkness, the narrowness of the camera and the heat seriously impacted a person who had no one to talk to. According to Begg, he met people who, after such torture, were ready to confess anything, telling the investigators everything they wanted to hear from them - no matter if it was true or false.

Queen Concert

8. Theme from the cat food advertisement "Meow Mix".

The main idea of ​​musical torture is to create torment, which does not seem to the average person very outrageous. Among the “acceptable” compositions for the society, in addition to “Saturday Night Fever”, is the musical theme from the Meow Mix advertisement. The idea that a sweet, innocuous meow may be torture causes a person to smile. But, as practice shows, after quite a long period of torture with the use of heavy rock compositions, this musical theme, heard from speakers or headphones, makes one especially “crazy” crazy.

9. Marilyn Manson, “The Beautiful People.”

According to Begg, the greatest impact of torture on music was on residents of remote areas of Yemen and Afghanistan, whose residents have never heard of Western music before. For them, this experience turned out to be the most terrible. For Begg himself, the greatest challenge was to deprive him of the ability to sleep normally. According to him, the music sometimes stopped at one in the morning at 3, but the dream itself was already disturbed, the person lost the ability to fall asleep normally. It was also washing up and driving people crazy that the jailers could turn on the music at different times, the prisoners simply could not imagine when it would play and when it would end. All this was layered on the unknown, when exactly you will be taken for interrogation, released altogether or transferred to another cell.

10. Metal band Deicide, "Fuck Your God".

Often torture with music had an effect on the Americans themselves. Tony Laguranis, a former military translator, under the influence of the use of such torture almost lost his mind during the interrogation, which was conducted under heavy metal. "Umar was kneeling before us, and we in turn shouted our questions to his ears. He just turned his head from side to side, trying to figure out where he was. After about 30 minutes, Umar began to moan. We began to shout even more loudly, choosing more and more rigid words and expressions. My ears were ringing, and I had a tick in my throat, I began to lose my orientation in space from a specific light, realizing that I could not bear it for long. From light and music, I became increasingly aggressive, and the prisoner's reluctance to cooperate with us only added to my fury.».

11. Queen, "We Are the Champions".

American Veteran fleet Donald Vance survived the torture with music after the U.S. military made a surprise attack on an Iraqi security firm in which he was in the role of an FBI informant. As a result, for some time he was treated as a suspect, he was sent to an unofficial prison and tortured with music. Now he cannot say how many times he had to listen to the song “We Are the Champions”, which he liked very much before. Vance was able to pass this test thanks to the received good military training. During this torture, he talked to himself, tried to come up with jokes, trying to maintain his rational thinking. He constantly reminded himself that if he allowed the song to possess his thoughts, he could lose his mind for life. This is what ultimately allowed him to leave the prison not completely broken.

Information sources:
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  1. devastrator
    devastrator 27 May 2014 08: 10
    How to kill dozens of civilians by terrorist attacks or cut off the heads of the helpless ones on camera, so their "faith" allows them. And as they are squeezed, they are immediately humiliated in their rights - they begin to yell at the whole world - "here, they say, they offend us, poor Muslims." No really! They must be responsible for their actions! They need to be tortured more sharply, so that later they could not whine about human rights.
    1. IGS
      IGS 27 May 2014 08: 57
      And how then do they differ from each other? By the fact that some are "exceptional", and whatever they do, is everything for the good and for the good of "democracy", even if hundreds of thousands die?
      1. devastrator
        devastrator 27 May 2014 10: 44
        That is, you offer to pat them in the ass, shake a finger and send them back home? I do not defend America at all. It just strikes me that they were not just caught and isolated from society, so they contributed to terrorism or committed terrorist attacks? So why did these creatures immediately start yelling how they were forced to listen to their music there?
        1. Patton5
          Patton5 27 May 2014 13: 33
          minus you, if only because you are all right, that people are thrown into dungeons without charge and can be kept there for years, their evidence is pulled out by torture, even if a terrorist (in no way I am not justifying geeks) the United States kidnaps people all over to the world, if the terrorist did not commit terrorist acts, and against the Avts ... what right do they have to "people" to imprison, judge, etc.? Or do you hold the opinion that they are superhumans and they are allowed everything? Let me remind you that Russia, good or bad, did not kidnap bandits and terrorists from England, Chechens with evidence above the roof, their vile deeds ...
        2. zulusuluz
          zulusuluz 28 May 2014 00: 29
          If a judge condemns you, this is one thing, and if a gang of gopniks is another. I think there would be evidence - they would kill on the spot, there is an excuse. And so - they hope to find out something. Yes, and the Sadulis work there, definitely.
    2. northern
      northern 27 May 2014 09: 56
      Being like an adversary in cruelty is a very bad thing, you become one level with him.
    3. Apostle
      Apostle 27 May 2014 11: 06
      And these scum of democracy they want to teach someone ???
    4. Geisenberg
      Geisenberg 27 May 2014 12: 59
      Quote: devastrator
      No, really! They must be responsible for their actions! They need to be tortured better, so that later they can’t make a fuss about human rights.

      In fact, you and all who raised you need to be tortured. And they just need to be destroyed, without emotion.
    5. just exp
      just exp 27 May 2014 14: 35
      those who blow up civilians are then appointed by the states as leaders of "rebels", and then they torture people who, as part of the regular armies, resisted the states.
  2. Kuvabatake
    Kuvabatake 27 May 2014 08: 44
    Devils mock devils. ............ ??????????????
  3. northern
    northern 27 May 2014 09: 34
    For the radio, chanson also wants to cut off the head of the carrier in the minibus.
  4. Prapor Afonya
    Prapor Afonya 27 May 2014 09: 39
    And "our" kirkorov is just a miracle torture machine!
  5. buryat
    buryat 27 May 2014 09: 50
    "Shitty" p ... camp in the fight against "world" evil ...
    They are terrorizing the entire globe and at the same time pretending to be fighters against "terrorism"!
    Forcibly do not democratize!
  6. Dragon-y
    Dragon-y 27 May 2014 09: 55
    Quote: Prapor Afonya
    And "our" kirkorov is just a miracle torture machine!

    "Bunny" - it's time to equate it with weapons of mass destruction ... :)
  7. 505506
    505506 27 May 2014 10: 07
    Unfortunately, the main slogan in the war is "Efficiency", and while the most effective way to obtain information will be torture - they will not be eradicated. Remember, even in Soviet films about military exercises, there was a condition that the one who was taken prisoner, tells everything, because in real life, he could hardly remain silent.
    1. The comment was deleted.
    2. cdrt
      cdrt 27 May 2014 13: 52
      That's not a pity. Guantanamo fell in those taken in battle in Afghanistan or Iraq with weapons in their hands. At the same time, they were not soldiers of the country. Therefore, prisoners, but not subject to conventions.
      When they were transferred to their countries, as a rule they received large sentences.
      Therefore - most deservedly receive.
      Well ... torture is used to varying degrees by all special services.
      Ours should be much easier to torture with music - Russian pop and a person will definitely move out in a couple of days :-)
  8. Minsk
    Minsk 27 May 2014 10: 40
    So all our youngsters and not only listen to this western nonsense! Then we are surprised - where does the mental disorder come from?
  9. Standard Oil
    Standard Oil 27 May 2014 10: 40
    The modern Russian stage would have achieved great success through the CIA or the Gestapo, the Germans would have caught me and turned on a chanson with howls about "camps and felling, kazlov cops and clear boys" if only this hellish machine would be silent. Well, or rushed to the guard so that they would be shot and not tortured. And what if the Gestapo or the Abwehr really managed to somehow get from the future a platinum album of Stas Mikhailov or some collection of pop music and this was the reason for such a number of Red Army soldiers going to cooperate with the Nazi special services?
    1. Prometey
      Prometey 27 May 2014 13: 17
      Quote: Standard Oil
      I would probably still have committed an act of treason to the Motherland, even if I had enrolled in the Abwehr team, this hellish machine would shut up.

      I couldn’t stand it either wassat Given that I generally practically especially modern music, I do not perceive, my roof would have quickly blown away.
  10. Weniamin
    Weniamin 27 May 2014 10: 46
    These Gestapo men themselves would be driven out through the seven circles of hell.
  11. ramin_serg
    ramin_serg 27 May 2014 11: 20
    Only for the existence of the Guantanamo prison against the states should the most severe sanctions be applied
  12. FunkschNNX
    FunkschNNX 27 May 2014 12: 11
    and what do you want - democracy
  13. RBLip
    RBLip 27 May 2014 13: 33
    I remember that this topic about torture with music was played on by ours in The Mistake of the Resident in the 70s. then it was called a "music box". there is nothing new under the sun...
    1. northern
      northern 27 May 2014 13: 38
      Do you know Zarokov?
      1. RBLip
        RBLip 27 May 2014 15: 21
        Quote: north
        Do you know Zarokov?

        the film was just watched in childhood. interesting. I even remember the call sign of our scout - Snipe.
        1. northern
          northern 27 May 2014 16: 49
          Excellent all quadrology, if not looking, I recommend it.
  14. intsurfer
    intsurfer 27 May 2014 13: 54
    and this list can’t be just a list of favorite songs of those who chose music for torture? I suppose that any, even the most beloved, melody will become torture if you listen to it all day without stopping.
    1. Alexey N
      Alexey N 27 May 2014 14: 29
      Probably it is. The repertoire does not matter.

      The Fourth Reich rules the world. While he rules ...
  15. Alexey N
    Alexey N 27 May 2014 14: 05
    And if a neighbor in the dacha "Russian" radio listens at full volume, can I declare him a fascist and impose all kinds of sanctions with no-fly zones and air strikes? smile

    good Thank you for the article. On the topic and smart. And here Putin is often deified.
    1. northern
      northern 27 May 2014 14: 22
      The neighbor is at least ostracized, then demand satisfaction from him and then impose a contribution.
      1. Alexey N
        Alexey N 27 May 2014 14: 32
        I think you're right. By the way, the same thing needs to be done with those who sell and buy subwoofers for cars.
        1. northern
          northern 27 May 2014 16: 48
          But this is not right. For example, we sell hunting weapons. Someone shot in an evil mother-in-law - it is necessary to close all the arms stores?
          1. Alexey N
            Alexey N 27 May 2014 17: 51
            Hunting weapons are sold under license, upon receipt of which there is a serious selection. Legislation holds the owner of a weapon responsible for storage, use, etc.
            A powerful audio installation can buy any dypak, which they do. And in cars - this is an emergency situation: 1) except for the speakers, these woodpeckers do not hear anything 2) decibels hit on the ears, which distracts from driving. About the fact that these dauns interfere with others, I generally keep silent.
  16. Very smart
    Very smart 27 May 2014 21: 59
    The article is interesting, the author - respect.
    The choice of works is puzzling, although "the taste and color ..."
    The first time information about such an impact was in the feature film "The Fate of the Resident". There Bekas was tortured in this way, but the music there was specific - pure psychedelic. The roof will go away at a time. And here - metal and more. It seems to be garbage, but if you repeat the same thing many times, then the effect will be necessary.
  17. the villain
    the villain 27 May 2014 22: 54
    Quote: Very smart
    The choice of works is puzzling, although "the taste and color ..."

    About 10 years ago I had "happiness" in the form of neighbors of the Alconauts. So, when they started buzzing, I turned on Bach on the still Soviet large Veg columns. In a few minutes the alkonauts began to beat their heads against the wall. Then we agreed: They thump softly, and I listen to Bach on headphones laughing
  18. Steppenwolf
    Steppenwolf 28 May 2014 01: 45
    Shta? .. What do they call heavy music? .. Fellows ...
    PS when I finally brought good acoustics to work, I got an unexpected positive effect: for some reason people think that Burzum and Cannibal Corps are playing in my office exceptionally so that different idle people would not creep in and not irritate my delicate spiritual constitution
    PPS 10. Deicide, "Fuck Your God." - ahhh, they still tortured with useful things)))
  19. Karabanov
    Karabanov 28 May 2014 19: 17
    The most perverts regarding torture are Chinese. Even at times they turned harmless and seemingly safe things into an instrument of torture. Many are aware of their torture with bamboo or salt ... But for example, what could be wrong with laughter, water or just meat? But even these things can be used so that ... The person went crazy or had unbearable pain. The Americans went further, modern technology allows to further improvise in this area ... And as a joke (with meaning), the current radio and television seems to me to be a branch of Guantanamo.