Le groupe Drowning Pool joue à Guantanamo Bay malgré son utilisation controversée de leur musique pour torturer les détenus
Chances are good that if you’ve heard of Drowning Pool, you are well aware of the role their music played in the war crimes committed at the Guantanamo Bay detention camps. As part of a 2008 Senate Armed Services Committee investigation, it came out that the alternative metal band’s hit “Bodies” was played at near-deafening volume to torture former detainee Mohamedou Slahi and others with sleep deprivation.
While bands such as Disturbed, System Of A Down, Rage Against The Machine, Limp Bizkit and Skinny Puppy openly condemned the United States military’s use of their music as methods of enhanced interrogation, Drowning Pool bassist Stevie Benton told the Associated Press “I take it as an honor to think that perhaps our song could be used to quell another 9/11 attack or something like that.”
Le groupe se produit à deux reprises à Guantanamo Bay
As Benton later apologized for his comments and said that his words were taken out of context, a sensible person might figure that the Texas headbangers would want to stay as far away from Guantanamo Bay as possible until the end of time. Oh, how wrong that sensible person would be…
In the years following the report, Drowning Pool have not only performed at Guantanamo Bay; they’ve performed there TWICE!
Of their 2009 concert at the base, guitarist C.J. Pierce told Las Vegas Review-Journal: “It’s actually a really nice base. I mean, it’s right there by the bay. Everybody was real professional. All the commanders and everybody were real down to earth.
“I know they say a lot of bad [stuff] goes on there. We didn’t see anything like that. It’s not like they’re a bunch of gun-wielding people who are ready to just kill somebody.”
Le groupe justifie la torture à Guantanamo Bay
It gets worse. Asked about torture at Guantanamo, Pierce said: “We’re at war. And that’s part of war. A lot of people forget how those guys (al-Qaida) captured our dudes and videotaped them, and they cut their freakin’ heads off and sent the videotapes to us.
“Because they [U.S. soldiers] are trying to get some information out of them [prisoners], and it’s war, you’re gonna have a little torture. At least we didn’t cut their [expletive] heads off and videotape it and send it to their families. I mean, it could be a lot worse.”
L’armée américaine prétend ne pas connaître l’historique du groupe
If Drowning Pool don’t see a problem with torture, that’s their business. One might firmly disagree with their position but at least they can own it. This does not appear to be the case with the United States military itself, who straight up pleaded ignorance of the band’s history when they were booked to perform July 4th “Freedom Fest” at the base in 2017.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Southern Command told the Miami Herald: “I’m sure they didn’t know the details [of the use of “Bodies” in torture at the base] when they scheduled the performance.” The same spokesperson later told the Washington Post: “It is likely that leadership was not informed of the potential for negative connotations because individuals were more familiar with the song ‘Let the bodies hit the floor’ than the name of the band that performed it or its past history with detainees.”
L’armée américaine était au courant de l’utilisation de la musique de Drowning Pool pour la torture
As it turns out, the military definitely fucking knew. According to an investigation by Fusion (and as reported by Spin):
“The emails, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, show that Guantánamo officials (their names are redacted) discussed the fact that Drowning Pool’s Wikipedia page noted the use of ‘Bodies’ in torture: ‘The band Drowning Pool will be our entertainment for July 4,’ a civilian working on the base wrote in a May 15 email which included a link to the band’s Wikipedia entry. ‘Interesting note about Guantanamo in the Wikipedia article, although I would say they are supportive of Guantanamo based on their statements.’”
The emails go on to show that Drowning Pool was selected from a pool of potential performers that included Sum 41, “Josh Todd of Buckcherry,” and Tony! Toni! Toné!
The military eventually offered a rare admission, with Naval Station Guantánamo Bay deputy public affairs officer Monique Meeks confirming: “Those involved with booking the show did let the CO [commanding officer] know the history of the band (based on Wikipedia).”