Music can be used as a psychological warfare tool. The practice is sometimes referred to as music torture. While US interrogation experts acknowledge that it causes discomfort, it has also been described as having no long-term effects. But did you know what music the US Military used to torture prisoners?
According to the Navy Seal who killed Osama Bin Laden, the US military played Metallica records to weaken prisoners it planned to interrogate but stopped after the band objected, stating that it did not want to encourage violence. Demon Hunter, a Christian metal band, took its place.
Metallica Music for Torture
The article, The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden is Screwed, written by former San Francisco Chronicle editor Phil Bronstein, requires reading for various reasons. However, its still-anonymous, quotable subject’s witty comments about Metallica should pique the interest of music fans.
When we first started the war in Iraq, we were using Metallica music to soften people up before we interrogated them. Metallica got wind of this and they said, “Hey, please don’t use our music because we don’t want to promote violence.” I thought, Dude, you have an album called Kill ‘Em All.Representative from the US Military
Metallica hasn’t always been outspoken about using its music in torture. In an interview with Germany’s 3SAT in 2008, James Hetfield awkwardly giggles when asked about the alleged use of his band’s music on Guantanamo Bay prisoners.
Part of me is proud because they chose Metallica, And then part of me is kind of bummed about it that people worry about us being attached to some political statement because of that. We’ve got nothing to do with this, and we’re trying to be as apolitical as possible, ’cause I think politics and music, at least for us, don’t mix.James Hetfield, Metallica
The article in Esquire also implies that the United States military may, understandably, be out of touch with the latest in loud music.
If there are people that are dumb enough to use Metallica to interrogate prisoners, you’re forgetting about all the music that’s to the left of us. I can name, you know, 30 Norwegian death metal bands that would make Metallica sound like Simon & GarfunkelLars Ulrich, Metallica
Demon Hunter for Torture
However, the military is said to have switched allegiances to the self-described Christian metal band Demon Hunter.
But we stopped using their music, and then a band called Demon Hunter got in touch and said, “We’re all about promoting what you do.” They sent us CDs and patches. I wore my Demon Hunter patch on every mission. I wore it when I blasted Bin Laden.Navy Seal Who Shot Bin Laden
Demon Hunter has issued a statement regarding their unintentional involvement in bin Laden’s death, which concludes:
We are honored, humbled and blessed that Demon Hunter was of any support or comfort to Seal Team 6 or anyone in the US military at any time.Demon Hunter Spokespearson
The assassination of Bin Laden was reportedly carried out while wearing a patch promoting a Christian band. Set aside the twisted irony of associating torture and killing with the crucified, crown-of-thorns-wearing Biblical turn-the-other-cheeker.
Allowing the Shooter to wear a badge that could aid jihadists in portraying the ridiculously named War on Terror as yet another Christian Crusade was probably not the wisest global public relations move. (Source: Spin)
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