Pentagon To Pay Up for Illegal, Insulting Use of Music

An artist’s music is often a heartfelt creation. Whether Classical, Country, Rock, Punk or some other genre, the expressive nature either moves its listeners or repels them. There’s rarely any in between.

Repelling is exactly what the Pentagon had in mind when officials selected Skinny Puppy’s music as a weapon of torture in Guantanamo Bay. The tactic of playing the music nonstop for six to twelve hours was one of the means whereby prisoners were interrogated. It would be a sharp slap in the face to the band if they didn’t have a sense of humor about it, which it appears that they truly do.

It was a guard at the facility who claimed to be a fan that had clued Skinny Puppy in to what was going on. They considered creating an invoice totaling their charges to the Pentagon and using it as the artwork on their next album cover. Then they realized that they had a legitimate case since the Pentagon used the music without the permission of Skinny Puppy.

So the fee they decided to charge for using their music as a weapon of torturous warfare comes to $666,000 – hence, the band member’s obvious sense of humor about the whole thing – and they can laugh about it all the way to the bank if they can actually get the Pentagon to pay up.

Perhaps part of the reason that they are able to have a sense of humor about it is because they weren’t actually singled out. Other music that has been used to torture prisoners included songs from Sesame Street and Barney & Friends. Prisoners were strapped in a chair with headphones placed over their ears while the iconic music blared good and loud.

A US military member that works in psychological operations admitted that the prisoners “Can’t take it. If you play it for 24 hours, your brain and body functions start to slide, your train of thought slows down, and your will is broken. That’s when we come and talk to them.”

Knowing that the above children’s songs are used in such a way just has to make one wonder how such songs might truly be impacting the kids listening to them.

Other bands who were selected for the work of attempting to induce insanity include Metallica, and AC/DC. And it seems that the most effective songs that were used on prisoners connected to Al Qaeda and key terrorists captured from Iraq and Afghanistan were Eminem’s “White America,” Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA,” Metallica’s “Enter Sandman,” and Drowning Pool’s “Bodies.”

One has to wonder what kind of reaction Weird Al Yankovic’s “Trapped in the Drive-Thru” might have gotten, or Barry Manilow’s “Mandy.” Another interesting possibility, provided the practice had not been stopped around 2008, might have been Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way.”

Of course, the Pentagon denies that music was used as a form of torture. The way that Captain John Kirby spun it was that certain selections of music were used as a, “disincentive.” He was also quick to point out that they would use music in a positive way, as well.