11 Popular Songs the CIA Used to Torture Al Qaeda Prisoners in the War on Terror

Very fascinating article over at Policy Mic breaking down the specific songs the CIA and U.S. Military personnel used to psychologically torture terror suspects during intense interrogations during the War of Terror. According to Policy Mic, these songs were used as part of the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation program” that started after 9/11 in the early 2000s. The tactics were intended to “create fear, disorient and prolong capture shock” in prisoners.

Any torture method is of debatable merit — music torture was, in part, popular because it seemed more palatable to the public. But to hear about the experience of people who’ve been subjected to these songs is to see just how terrible it is to have a beloved song turned against you.

Here are 11 of the songs they used. Have to love that the Barney theme song is on the list. Pretty surprised to see “The Real Slim Shady” on this list, but once that hook gets into your head, I can see how it could be used as a torture device.

1. “The Real Slim Shady” by Eminem

2. “Take Your Best Shot” by Dope

3. “Dirrty” by Christina Aguilera

4. “Zikrayati (My Memories)” by Mohamed el-Qasabgi

5. “Babylon” by David Grey

6. “I Love You” by The Barney Theme

7. “Saturday Night Fever” by the Bee Gees

8. The Meow Mix theme

9. “The Beautiful People” by Marilyn Manson

10. “Fuck Your God” by Deicide

11. “We Are the Champions” by Queen


Read the whole story — including details on howe each song was used to torture terror suspects — over at Policy Mic

Brandon Wenerd avatar
BroBible's publisher and a founding partner, circa 2009. Brandon is based in Los Angeles, where he oversees BroBible's partnership team and other business development activities. He still loves to write and create content, including subjects related to internet culture, food, live music, Phish, the Grateful Dead, Philly sports, and adventures of all kinds. Email: brandon@brobible.com