Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Red Hot Chili Peppers - music of CIA torture

Regarding the torture videotapes the CIA conveniently destroyed, From Newsweek:

"The videotapes, made in 2002, showed the questioning of two high-level Qaeda detainees, including logistics chief Abu Zubaydah, whose interrogation at a secret cell in Thailand sparked an internal battle within the U.S. intelligence community after FBI agents angrily protested the aggressive methods that were used. In addition to waterboarding, Zubaydah was subjected to sleep deprivation and bombarded with blaring rock music by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. One agent was so offended he threatened to arrest the CIA interrogators, according to two former government officials directly familiar with the dispute."

The CIA used Red Hot Chili Peppers' music in their torture process. Does the CIA have a taste for the Chili Peppers or is this just "mainstream music" that happened to find its way into the CD deck? This also got me thinking what the Chili Peppers thought about this practice. Then I found this video, "Torture Me", from their 2006 album (voted 2nd best of 2006 by Rolling Stone) Stadium Arcadium:

The lyrics, viewable here, are eerily indiscernible. "The will of God is standing still - Brazilian children get their fill" means what exactly? "Because I'm happy to be sad - I want it all I want it bad". I'm not sure what this means either. I'm also unclear about what attracts the interrogators to the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The Stadium Arcadium won the Grammy for Best Rock Album of 2007. So the torture song was written long after the CIA began using RHCP for torture.

Now I'm not a Chili Peppers fan, so it's not clear to me what the song is supposed to be about. But since the Chili Peppers are now a part of - culturally - the War on Terror it would be ncie to see what the Chili Peppers think about torture, imperialism, and the U.S. But their contract with Time Warner, the largest media conglomerate in the world, most likely doesn't allow them to become overtly political. (Didn't you know your level of political engagement is decided by your employer?)

In the unlikely event that the CIA pays Time Warner royalties for using their music for official CIA operations, as Fortune Magazine noted, it might be enough to cover the cost of a rebellion in tastes and preferences if one takes place like it did with the Dixie Chicks.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

Forcing one to listen to the RHCPers for hours on end would make anybody talk!