Regarding NIN music used at Guantanamo Bay for torture


It’s difficult for me to imagine anything more profoundly insulting, demeaning and enraging than discovering music you’ve put your heart and soul into creating has been used for purposes of torture.
If there are any legal options that can be realistically taken they will be aggressively pursued, with any potential monetary gains donated to human rights charities.
Thank GOD this country has appeared to side with reason and we can put the Bush administration’s reign of power, greed, lawlessness and madness behind us.

Trent Reznor

posted by trent reznor at 11:36am

discuss @

added by dori: read about this shit HERE (english) and HERE (german). there’s also an uk-article from june HERE which reveals that not all artists have a problem with this perverted use of their music.

since someone submitted this page to digg:


95 thoughts on “Regarding NIN music used at Guantanamo Bay for torture

  1. mistake

    I sincerely doubt there will be any way to execute a cease and desist that will actually be taken seriously. Nor do I believe that there will be any kind of victory in any court case regarding this fiasco.

    Nevertheless, I would do what I could to make sure my own music would never be used for this purpose. But this is more of an uphill battle than any grievance against a record label. This is the United States government. I’m not saying to ignore this at all. But I’m wondering if it’ll do any good other than letting the government know that many of the artists don’t appreciate this.

  2. Sarah Wines

    Guantanamo Bay needs to be leveled, places like that should not exist. I am completely horrified that there are people that would look upon something I love as a form of torture. Nine Inch Nails music is not created to punish or harm anyone, regardless of fault or crime. If government agencies feel they must hurt someone (I’m still is disagreement with harming anyone) get the permission…I am sickened. I think I’m going to research and revolt! I have myself a plan – anyone with me?

  3. Dori Doreau

    @ Sarah Wines
    get permission to hurt someone? the moment a loved artist gives permission to use his work for such perverted shit like torture (or will say that’s ok for him) will be the moment that will make me throwing everything i own from this artist in the trashcan. after i threw up by thinking i polluted my life with the work of such a worthless piece of shit 👿

  4. mistake

    I agree for the most part and I’ll sign any petition you’d like. But the last time I checked, playing an album out of public earshot wasn’t a crime.

    What’s the label typically say? “Not for public broadcast, reproduction in any form, etc.” I’d be hurt and insulted if my music were used for this purpose as well, but I’d like to see someone with a background in law make a case against the government for this sort of thing. That’s not a challenge…I’m genuinely curious.

    Sad to say (and think) that places like this have existed long before Guantanamo Bay ever came to light in the press. I’m Amnesty International and the Geneva Convention are being made a mockery of on a daily basis and it’s likely been that way for decades…we just never hear about it.

    Supposedly torture seldom if ever yeilds results in attempts to gather reliable intelligence as far as I’ve ever read — even from people who’ve allegedly been there to bear witness. This is a form of psychological torture. I’d be pissed off as an artist too.

  5. Cory

    Holy fuck. I am so glad that the embarrassment that is W will soon be out of office. For once i have hope, but hearing shit like this still freaks me out.

  6. Yo

    No hay palabras que describan cuan indignante es todo esto.
    Esa gente vive sin alma, porque solo personas vacias podrían hacer tanto daño a otro ser humano.

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  8. Someone

    I think it’s fucking hilarious! TR uses his music as a weapon towards victims of emotional violence and it fucking backfired! Oh waaah! So he’s going to sit in his shit and cry about how he’s been victimized while he’s busy victimizing others. Whut?!! HAHAHAHAHAA! Good. Asshole. I thought he had no soul to sell, or is that another terrible lie as well?

  9. madamehaha

    You think this is going to end with Obama? He already said he is NOT closing Guantanamo!

  10. tscherer

    Horrible. There are no words for the terrible acts that are thought to be used for “the great good” such as this torture by excrutiatingly loud music. Hopefully a new President will mean a change for the better in this area as well as others. Not surprised Metallica condones this though.

  11. deletia

    @someone — yeah, like those bastards at sesame street! what did they expect!? fluffy red assholes! yah. on a sober note, this really is insult to injury, just ugly fucking irony. and i agree that obama won’t be able to stop this. i think the bush admin. had a chance to not go down this path back in 2001, but now that we’re here…. all i’ve got to say is that regardless of who’s in the white house, art cannot stop resisting.

  12. madamehaha

    If Obama wanted to stop this he could, you know why? Because he has the power to stop this madness, after all he IS the president elect!

  13. Lillian

    I read this the other day and didn’t think it would take Trent long to make a statement. I’m so glad he did. I hope all these musicians scream their fucking heads off over this shit. Ridiculous.

  14. cherry_twist

    if Barney’s music made it to their so-called torture list, i wouldn’t really lose sleep over this…i think these people just want to be as insanely annoying as possible, which they totally succeed at.

  15. justpassingby

    Barney jokes aside, the whole situation is disgusting. As the general public only finds out about this sort of thing in bits and pieces I would doubt that much could ever be done to prevent published music from being used to inflict pain. Can a lawsuit be won against the US Military for using published music to torture? Considering there are still people left without homes after a hurricane a few years ago I doubt that enough money and collective will can be scraped together, and then sustained, to find out.

    Nothing will ever erase the terrifying experiences that those people had to endure. And I can’t imagine how horrifying it would be to have something I created used to inflict pain. I can say that I was very glad to read a response from NIN that I am not opposed to. I would be beyond disappointed to find out that any artist or entertainer that I’ve supported was ignorant enough to support sadistic interrogation tactics.

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  18. pay to play

    i would assume that the US military is paying the artists for repeated broadcast of copyright protected music. so there must be a record of who was played when and how many times. or else they are guilty of copyright theft or have they a deal with the publishers?

  19. mistake


    Dude wrote songs about perceived injustices, emotional slights and personal pains of his own and lashed out with lyrics…hardly torture. It may have pissed off the people these lyrics were written about in some cases, but no one chained them to the floor, deadened them with sensory deprivation for a few weeks and then flipped a switch to blare music at them. Hardly a viable comparison. Get your head out of your ass.

  20. mistake

    @pay to play

    Please. In clandestine joints like GB, the military can do whatever the hell they want without repercussion…for the most part. Copyright infringement would be laughed out of fucking night court for a case like this.

    Every now and then someone will be made an example of for doing things unbecoming of an officer to detainees, but I doubt anything massive is going to come of the attrocities committed in GB. That said, I really doubt anything will come of the whole “music as torture” thing will bear any fruit in terms of it being stopped. That’s not to say that the artists shouldn’t make as much noise to voice their displeasure with it, though.

  21. Ryan

    The fact that the government would use Trent’s or anyone else’s music for torture is disgusting. Torture in itself is a terrible, terrible thing. I must admit that I am not surprised to learn this though, the Bush administration has made quite the name for itself. I am pretty confident that Trent will take and legal avenues he can regarding this, like he has stated.. I know it’s got to tear him up and I don’t blame him. To him, I am sure his music has got to be like his shining accomplishments to which he is very proud (and should be) and to have it and the ‘non-compliants’ abused this way is outrageous. This should light a fire in every one of us to rebel against the “government” that represents all of you Americans. Speak out.

  22. mistake

    This isn’t exactly breaking news, either. There were murmurings in the press about this a year or so ago. RATM members were the most vocal to rally against the use of their music in this fashion. Doesn’t look like it did much good, unfortunately.

    Aren’t there people in the Psy Ops department of Black Ops projects to create things for this kind of (ab)use? I guess using pre-created music is a way to cut budget corners…

  23. Clive Stafford Smith

    Very glad, Trent, that you wrote this. It was our charity, Reprieve ( ), that launched the Zero dB [] project to try to stop this and we’re grateful for all allies. Sometimes people don’t take it seriously enough. As an American, I was horrified when I first sat across from Guantánamo prisoner Binyam Mohamed in his cell, and he described being tortured with music. He said it was worse than the physical abuse (they took a razor blade to his genitals when the CIA rendered him to Morocco) as it was making him lose his mind. As he put it, he would rather be blinded — “would you rather lose your sight or your mind?”

    And Binyam is hardly a threat to the US – he was a janitor in London and, as so often has happened, some interrogators got the wrong end of the stick (which they used to beat him with). There is legal recourse – begin by suing Donald Rumsfeld for royalties – and we’d be glad to help on this. We’ll even ensure that rarest of things, a group of lawyers to do it who don’t charge money! Personally, I want to ask Rummy under oath why he didn’t use country western music.
    It would be wonderful if we could cite you as a supporter. Please get in touch to confirm this and so we can talk through possible legal action.
    You can reach me through or call (0)207 427 1093

  24. prence

    Haha. That’s got to suck. Why don’t they just open up the Garageband tracks that Trent released and make their own crappy version to play over and over and over?

  25. Dennine

    How unfortunate that there’s not likely much that can be done, except for the most important move which is to take a stand.
    Thanks for speaking out Trent.

  26. jeanine

    Human rights charities… hope you can win, but suing the government doesn’t usually work out the way it should in this country and the blame is always placed on someone expendable lower on the chain.

    Music can unite people or music can be used to categorize people, thus dividing them.

    I don’t understand it’s use as an instrument of torture; whoever came up with this concept has some issues with music. However, using music to promote understanding and tolerance between cultures I can get.

  27. Dori Doreau

    @ mistake
    i cleaned the whole mess, so your posts towards the troll are deleted, too. doesn’t make sense to leave them here without context. just want to make sure your posts are not deleted for anything else, they made me :mrgreen:

  28. Dori Doreau

    @ annaelleaustin
    weiss der geier wieso, aber dein kommentar war in der moderationswarteschleife gelandet. der troll hat wohl selbst wordpress total verwirrt :mrgreen:

  29. mistake

    I figured they would be. The same thing happened the last time she came around…I’m reasonably certain that was the same broad ranting and raving about masochism from a few months ago. The issues are abundant.

  30. Dori Doreau

    fun thing is: that tool accuses TR of stalking her! from the moderation queue:

    “If TR attacked you, stalked you, you would feel the same way towards him. Don’t say you wouldn’t because that is a fucking lie.”

    yeah, must be thrilling to live in such an exciting phantasy world :mrgreen:

  31. prfx

    i don’t know which is more ironic: NIN tunes being used by “the man” for freaking torture or Reznor being litigious… WTF happened?

  32. mistake


    Dear Dori…

    Jesus Harold Christ on rubber crutches…I know nothing about WordPress, but can’t you ban IP addresses from your blog?

    This is the kind of bullshit I try to avoid by coming here (and I’m sure you try to keep out). There’s got to be something that can be done.

    Dear everyone else,

    I hope I’m not coming off as some kind of toady to Ms. Doreau, but come on now. There’s a bunch of regulars that hit this place up for the same reasons as I do…even if you don’t agree with everyone’s political / social views. This is bullshit.

  33. Dori Doreau

    @ mistake
    don’t worry, troll-girl’s already enjoying her ban from this blog. if she’s coming back (or another troll of her caliber) through the backdoor, i’ll kick her out again and so on and on and on. i’m longanimous. but please don’t forget: i need some time between troll kicking for my “real life” 😉

  34. mistake

    LOL. Sure. Sorry. I tuned in a couple hours later with a few cocktails under my belt. Atta’girl.

    I just want one “mature” venue to check out one of my favorite bands without having to deal with all the extra crap that goes along with it. I’d like to keep this place that place.

  35. mistake

    Right. I’ll now do my best to stay conscious.

    Good evening. <– spoken in the best Vlad Dracul accent I can muster. 😉

  36. Pingback: JalouBob - RockExpress » Trent Reznor: “profundamente insultado” por la tortura musical

  37. Dori Doreau

    @ about_blank & madamehaha

    talking about the “obama kool-aide” etc. is a good way to get one’s posts deleted. i know how these “discussions” end on and every other place in the net – i don’t want this kind of crap on this blog.

    there’s no need to like obama here, but there’s also no need to spread “all presidents are evil and/or liars” crap. there’s other places on the net where this kind of talk’s welcome.

  38. Pingback: Music to no longer be used as torture « Bury The Lead

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  40. about_blank

    @ dori_doreau

    I really thought this was a free place for expression, thank you for open my eyes, I won’t leave any other comment of my real opinion, I don’t want anyone to delete my opinions, I thought I was free to express myself about that, but well, what can I say? I am really serious about this, I am really sorry to ever trust in this place, I never meant to start a discussion, I thought I could say something just to make people THINK…

    so sorry about that, I hope you don’t delete this one, and I won’t ever bother you.

    So sorry

  41. Dori Doreau

    @ about_blank & everybody with a similar mindset

    this is not speaker’s corner but a private blog, so forget about “free place” and “free expression”. at least forget it in the way you define it.

    i suggest you start your own blog if you want to tell people to “think”.

  42. about_blank


    Oh! I have my own blog! =D and I’m starting, but again, I’m glad you cleared this out, THIS IS NO FREE PLACE, thank you!

    have a nice day ^^

  43. madamehaha

    @ dori doreau

    Nobody was telling anybody how to think,I want this torture & abuse to end NOW! Sorry if I offended you, but this was in the context of Trent’s post!

  44. wednesday

    this is such a childish use of force. and in a way, it’s not really insulting, they’re using some respectable artists. i think if someone was stuck in a cell with any song playing over and over, they would just go nuts. ever see that episode of curb your enthusiasm with cherry oterri? if so, you get my point. albeit, i still find it very distasteful. but the government’s done worse.

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  46. themailboxmuffin

    I just read that uk article you posted, Dori. That statement by Hetfield just made me go ARRR “We’ve been punishing our parents, our wives, our loved ones with this music for ever. Why should the Iraqis be any different?”

    There’s a difference between trying to annoy your mom and being in a cell and forced to listen to music at extremely high volume levels for who knows how long. (I have to agree with the writer: I have no idea if Hetfield is that ignorant or just naive.)

    How can anyone be alright with knowing that their music is being used to torture someone? Wouldn’t you want people to enjoy it?

  47. Dori Doreau

    @ themailboxmuffin
    i’d say hetfield’s not ignorant nor naive, he’s just plain stupid. and i’m not surprised, to be honest.

    @ madamehaha
    you didn’t offend me, i don’t care if someone likes obama or not. i’m german, therefore i care much more about my country’s politicians. i just don’t want discussions on this blog go down on the level of “drink the obama kool-aide” etc., that’s a highway to ugly fights and name-calling. you discussed about obama and his politics some months ago on this blog, and i didn’t stop you to do it (i called someone else out who shouted at you, remember?). just find back to express your refusal of obama in a constructive way, and everything’s fine.

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  49. deconstructer

    Dori, great job for the added links (and keep this place tidy). I read the Guardian article when it was published in June. It made me really really hate (the stupidity of) some musicians. I’ve waited for Trent to speak out, and now, at last… I agree with you, reading his post, that there’s not much he could do, but at least he let us know that he finds it “demeaning”.

    I’ve just added my name to the petition:

  50. Marc

    @ Dori Doreau
    Looks like there is a band that is enough of a piece of shit to authorize their music as torture. See Drowning Pool’s quote in this article on MSNBC:

    I never liked that band anyways. Glad at least NIN at least has sense and ethics enough to oppose this shit.

  51. Pingback: A History of Music Torture in the “War on Terror” | Andy Worthington

  52. Jennifer

    I grew up listening to NIN. I was born in 1982 and pretty hate machine came out in 1989. All the years that I have been alive I do beleive that Trent Reznor is like a God and the music should not be used for what it is used for. Everytime I was depressed I use to play NIN and the depression would soon be over. For once I dident hear about love and shit, it was music that made me have hope. To know that there are some people out there that was more fucked up than me was soothing.

  53. Pingback: Psyche, Science, and Society » Worthington on music torture

  54. wednesday

    “Trent Reznor is like a God (…) To know that there are some people out there that was more fucked up than me was soothing.”

    compliment gone wrong.

  55. Pingback: TRENT REZNOR ON NIN BEING USED TO TORTURE | Eat Your Heart Out

  56. mal

    If the Nazi’s, Japanese, etc. were historically taken to task and charged with “war crimes”, why isn’t the bush regime?? These are outrageous charges they are guilty of. Where is the accountability? Rule of Law–on who, just underclass scapegoats and citizens. Shouldn’t the (so called leaders) i.e. bush, cheyney, rumsfeld cabal, etc. be culpable to these “war crimes?” What happened to the evidence, did it go up in smoke with bush’s phony fire testimony that took place in his office a while back.

  57. mistake


    If anyone’s going to see an indictment, though it’ll be Cheney. Though I seriously doubt it will happen or come to any kind of fruition.

  58. X

    I seem to remember a video for “Broken” where a man is tortured and killed for quite some time in the most disturbing video I’ve ever seen. The slap in the face signing a joke like Marilyn Manson was bad enough, stop trying to act high and mighty now that you have a mainstream pop choir to preach to.

  59. Dori Doreau

    @ X
    1. learn something about the difference between phantasy and reality.
    2. since when are mainstream artists not allowed to raise their voices?

  60. mistake

    He raises a valid argument, though.

    Aside from that, I’ve been letting something simmer on this for a while now. Permit me to add the many asides for this particular post.

    The problem with torture when used as an interrogation tactic is that its results will vary. You might have someone on your hands who knows nothing or wasn’t even involved in the matter at hand. Think Reservoir Dogs: “If you beat this man long enough, he’ll tell you he started the Chicago fuckin’ fire but that don’t necessarily make it fuckin’ so!” Eventually you might find, torture and glean information from someone in detention who does know something. But in my mind, the “collateral damage” of innocents (in even the vaguest sense of the term) is unacceptable. Call me soft, call me weak, call it a bad stomach — whatever. Read on.

    On the other hand, I believe in capital punishment. This makes me quite the anomaly with those who typically share my line of thinking otherwise:

    Some of the readers of this blog might not be familiar with a case that took place sometime last year in the States where a man abducted a young pair of siblings no older than 8 or 9. While he bound the brother and sister, he would trade off torturing the brother in front of her and then raping / sexually assaulting the sister in front of the brother. This went on for days, if I remember the case correctly. Eventually, he slowly killed the brother in front of the sister (and this is where the story gets a little fuzzy in my memory) and somehow let the her go. So the guy was caught and what’s worse, the sick bastard recorded the whole series of incidents on video which was subsequently shown at his trial. Conviction complete. Great.

    Now, all that said, I have absolutely no problem putting a man like that to death. He’s caught red-handed, face on film actually doing these things. He’s a Dorito…crunch him, they’ll make more. Yet in cases like this, if it were my family member who suffered like this (or will continue to suffer in that poor little girl’s case), I’d personally like to see all the horrible things done to this man that he did to them. It won’t bring that little boy back, it won’t heal that little girl’s broken soul or stop her nightmares, but in my mind it makes it a bit closer to equal. Pump that sick fuck full of antibiotics to keep his wounds from infecting and make it last for at least a month.

    But that’s the thing. With one reason to do this, we’ll have another. Torture is intrinsically evil. Evil and pain breeds more evil and pain. We’re hardwired to hurt each other as a species but where does it stop? In a personal vendetta like the one detailed above, I’d want satisfaction but put this on the scale of two warring countries, tribes or other large group of people and this kind of behavior will never stop.

    Torture = wrong.

  61. Pingback: » A History of Music Torture in the War on Terror

  62. X

    1.) Fanstasy or not. Depicting torture on film for your own artistic pleasure, then turning around and saying it’s wrong to use it for such purposes is hypocritical all the same.

    2.) I never said mainstream artists can’t raise their voices or have opinions. But, I don’t think it’s right to spend the last 10 years or so promoting self destruction and torture. Then, turn around and act offended by someone using your material for exactly that. If you want to be a media icon, at least be one that thinks before you speak.

  63. Dori Doreau

    @ x

    following your “logic” would also mean no fans of ugly gory horror movies would be allowed to speak against real torture on real human beings. again: there’s a huge difference between fantasy and reality. your loss if you don’t understand that concept.

    and to say trent’s promoting torture on any stage of his career makes me think you’re a moron. a mighty huge one.

    case closed. and the comments, too.

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