Imagine you are chained with your hands between your legs, crouching. You’re isolated in a small, dark room with earphones you can’t take off. Eminem’s “Kim” has been playing on repeat for 30 hours now at full volume, and you’ve lost your ability to think. It could go on for months.
Music torture has been common practice for the CIA ever since it began its “enhanced interrogation program” in the early 2000s. The process is designed to “create fear, disorient … and prolong capture shock” in prisoners.
Sgt. Mark Hadsell, a member of the U.S. Psychological Operations team, described the efficacy of the tactic: “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 in and talk to them.”
Binyam Mohamed, Ethiopian national and United Kingdom resident, who was detained as a suspected enemy combatant by the US Government in Guantanamo Bay prison between 2004 and 2009 without charges, told his lawyer:
“I heard Eminem’s “The Reals Slim Shady” nonstop over and over. The CIA worked on people, including me, day and night for the months before I left. Plenty lost their minds. I could hear others in the prison screaming and smashing their heads against walls.”
About 10 years ago, Mother Jones, a left-wing American news magazine compiled a “chart” of the music used in US military prisons to “to induce sleep deprivation, prolong capture shock, disorient detainees during interrogations – and also drown out screams.” The so-called “torture playlist” was based on a leaked interrogation log, news reports, and the accounts of soldiers and detainees. The playlist included 10 songs and two of them were by Eminem. They were “Kim” and “White America.”
Don’t try and listen to “Kim” for 24 hours in your headphones!