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Add the Red Hot Chili Peppers to the List of Bands Used by the CIA for Torture

It’s well known that the US has used music as a form of coercion (Metallica) and torture (Britney Spears, the Barney song).  We can add the Red Hot Chili Peppers to the list, too.

According to Al Jazeera America, suspected terrorist Abu Zubaydah was encouraged to talk by being subjected to a continuous loop of Chili Peppers music.  This, by the way, is in contravention to the United Nationals Convention Against Torture.  Music is not allowed to be used in such a fashion.  However, under US law, it’s still okay.

The Chili Peppers have yet to say anything about this–not that any of it is their fault, but you’d expect them to be against this sort of thing, right?

Here’s a list of songs that have been used on prisoners, courtesy the Wall Street Journal:


  • Bruce Springsteen – Born in the USA
  • Christina Aguilera – Dirty
  • Nancy Sinatra – These Boots Were Made for Walking
  • AC/DC – Shoot to Thrill
  • Barry Manilow – Anything the man ever did
  • Barney the Dinosaur – I Love You


And here’s a few more from TIME:

  • Van Halen – Panama
  • Eminem – The Real Slim Shady

And a couple more according to The Telegraph:


  • Clash – Rock the Casbah
  • Rage Against the Machine – Killing in the Name
  • Britney Spears – Baby One More Time
  • Mitch Miller – Christmas Sing-Along
  • Metallica – Enter Sandman
  • Toby Keith – Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)


(Via Consequence of Sound)

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38025 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

2 thoughts on “Add the Red Hot Chili Peppers to the List of Bands Used by the CIA for Torture

  • RHCP would work on me. But bring on the Skinny Puppy!

  • I laughed at Shoot To Thrill; It’s Iron Man’s theme from the sequels. I just imagine the terrorist believed Iron Man is real, and crapped his pants in fear


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