Music Is the New Torture: 8 Songs to Break Detainees Down To

If simulated drowning isn't enough, you can add music to America's weapons of mass degradation. Amped-up tunes are used as "sonic bludgeons" at US military prisons in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay.


Songs such as Britney Spears's "Baby One More Time" are turned up and set to repeat to create fear, disorientation, and a prolonged capture shock. It can cause long-term psychiatric problems if blasted for extended periods of time. And it is!

Prisoners, who grew up in Afghanistan under the music-banning Taliban, are hypersensitive. The blasted music leads some to scream and smash their heads against walls. "Plenty," one former prisoner said, "lost their mind."

A Guantanamo interrogator bragged in an FBI memo that he only needed "four days to 'break' someone by alternating 16 hours of loud music with just four hours of silence." So, mission accomplished?

What's Guantanamo breaking down to? To see the top eight songs, read more.

  1. "Born in the USA," Bruce Springsteen
  2. "Babylon," David Gray
  3. "We Are the Champions," Queen
  4. "American Pie," Don McLean
  5. "Stayin' Alive," Bee Gees
  6. "Dirrty," Christina Aguilera
  7. Theme song from Sesame Street
  8. "I Love You" from Barney and Friends

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