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)

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.

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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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