Drown­ing Pool song has his­tory at base in Cuba

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By The Washington Post

Few MP3 tracks cir­cu­lated on troops’ playlists over­seas in Iraq and Afghanistan more than Drown­ing Pool’s “Bod­ies,” a hard-rock song mostly con­sist­ing of the throaty, re­peated lines of the main cho­rus: “Let the bod­ies hit the floor.”

The troop fa­vorite and its past con­verged when the band played for Free­dom Fest, a Fourth of July show for troops sta­tioned at Naval Sta­tion Guan­tanamo Bay in Cuba, home to the high-profile prison that has held de­tainees from the global war on ter­ror since Sept. 11, 2001.

The song has a dark his­tory in post-9/11 mil­i­tary his­tory: It was used in at least one in­stance dur­ing harsh in­ter­ro­ga­tion of Mo­hame­dou Slahi, a de­tainee held at Guan­tanamo in 2003. An in­ter­roga­tor, iden­ti­fied only as Mr. X, “ex­posed to vari­able light­ing pat­terns and rock mu­sic, to the tune of Drown­ing Pool’s ‘Let the Bod­ies Hit (the) Floor,’ ” ac­cord­ing to a 2008 Se­nate Armed Ser­vices Com­mit­tee probe on prisoner abuse at the fa­cil­ity that mis­stated the name of the song.

Slahi was freed after 14 years in Oc­to­ber 2016 and re­turned to his na­tive Mau­ri­ta­nia without charges, The Miami Her­ald re­ported.

He re­cently told the news­pa­per that his ex­pe­ri­ence with mu­sic dur­ing his de­ten­tion was “twisted on so many lev­els.”

“Mu­sic is sup­posed to make you happy and make you a bet­ter per­son; some­times,” he told The Her­ald by email in re­sponse to ques­tions about the July 4 con­cert and Drown­ing Pool’s in­volve­ment.

Slahi told The Her­ald it was “quite the co­in­ci­dence” that the band, and its sig­na­ture song, were on hand for the fes­tiv­i­ties at the naval sta­tion, which houses 1,500 troops.

“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,” U.S. South­ern Com­mand spokes­woman Col. Lisa Gar­cia said in an emailed state­ment.

Drown­ing Pool has gone on tour with the USO at least five times since 2005 to pro­vide en­ter­tain­ment for troops around the globe, in­clud­ing Iraq and Kuwait.

fof r o a ra sin­signlg e le im­im­plpal­natn,t, abaub­tumtmenen t, ta, nan d d cr­corowwnn

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