Sunday, November 25, 2007

A New Weapon In The Arsenal Of Freedom

An agency within the Department of Defense has come up with a new weapon which it touts as non-lethal, effective, and just perfect for getting unruly crowds to behave. American commanders in Iraq have decided that they want the weapon, and now, according to this article in the November 21, 2007 Telegraph (UK).

American commanders in Iraq are urging Pentagon chiefs to authorise the deployment of newly-developed heat wave guns to disperse angry crowds or violent rioters.

But the plea for what senior army officers believe could prove a valuable alternative to traditional firepower in dangerous trouble-spots has so far gone unanswered.

Washington fears a barrage of adverse publicity in the suspicious Muslim world and is concerned that critics will claim the invisible beam weapons were being used for torture.

Now the US military directorate charged with developing non-lethal weapons, which has invested more than a decade developing the Active Denial System (ADS), has launched a concerted effort to convince both the public and its own bosses at the defence department of the device's merits.


In other words, the DOD needs to catapult the propaganda a little before issuing the new weapon for use on the ground. Here's argument number one:

Col Hymes told observers at a demonstration that the system was a safe and effective alternative to plastic bullets, which can cause injury and sometimes death and are effective only up to 75 metres.

Now, this would be a worthy argument if we didn't know just what this new weapon did and how it worked:

The heatwave weapon can, by contrast, target troublemakers from 750 metres. It works by dispatching high-powered radio waves from a vehicle antenna, similar to a satellite television dish, causing the molecules in a target's skin to vibrate violently, creating a burning sensation.

How...charming. It sounds like a variation of the microwave sitting in my kitchen.

But, we are assured, it's a perfectly safe and non-lethal weapon, just like the Taser. Nobody will die, and there won't be any lingering after-effects, at least its developers are pretty sure about that. The Active Denial System (great name, eh?) hasn't been around long enough to test that aspect.

And it won't be used to torture detainess, nuh-uh, wouldn't do that. And it won't be used as a crowd-dispersal technique here in the US, nuh-uh, wouldn't do that, either.

What kind of mind thinks up this stuff?

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Eli said...

And since it's nonlethal like the taser, that means the troops can use it whenever anyone annoys them, just like with the tasers!

4:26 PM  
Blogger Schrecken said...

Yeah, why take a 6 in 10,000 risk of injury with this thing (in 10,000 exposures only 6 people have been injured)? Just shoot them dead with ordinary bullets - don't taser them, don't pepper spray them, don't zap them with Active Denial, just kill them. I'm sure the death rate would be far lower with real bullets.

8:12 PM  

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