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Air Force chief: Test weapons on testy U.S. mobs

M

Mecha

Guest
[url=http://edition.cnn.com/2006/US/09/12/usaf.weapons.ap/index.html]Air Force chief: Test weapons on testy U.S. mobs[/url] said:
Air Force chief: Test weapons on testy U.S. mobs
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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Nonlethal weapons such as high-power microwave devices should be used on American citizens in crowd-control situations before being used on the battlefield, the Air Force secretary said Tuesday.

The object is basically public relations. Domestic use would make it easier to avoid questions from others about possible safety considerations, said Secretary Michael Wynne.

"If we're not willing to use it here against our fellow citizens, then we should not be willing to use it in a wartime situation," said Wynne. "(Because) if I hit somebody with a nonlethal weapon and they claim that it injured them in a way that was not intended, I think that I would be vilified in the world press."

The Air Force has paid for research into nonlethal weapons, but he said the service is unlikely to spend more money on development until injury problems are reviewed by medical experts and resolved.

Nonlethal weapons generally can weaken people if they are hit with the beam. Some of the weapons can emit short, intense energy pulses that also can be effective in disabling some electronic devices.

On another subject, Wynne said he expects to choose a new contractor for the next generation aerial refueling tankers by next summer. He said a draft request for bids will be put out next month, and there are two qualified bidders: the Boeing Co. and a team of Northrop Grumman Corp. and European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co., the majority owner of European jet maker Airbus SAS.

The contract is expected to be worth at least $20 billion (€15.75 billion).

Chicago, Illinois-based Boeing lost the tanker deal in 2004 amid revelations that it had hired a top Air Force acquisitions official who had given the company preferential treatment.

Wynne also said the Air Force, which is already chopping 40,000 active duty, civilian and reserves jobs, is now struggling to find new ways to slash about $1.8 billion (€1.4 billion) from its budget to cover costs from the latest round of base closings.

He said he can't cut more people, and it would not be wise to take funding from military programs that are needed to protect the country. But he said he also incurs resistance when he tries to save money on operations and maintenance by retiring aging aircraft.

"We're finding out that those are, unfortunately, prized possessions of some congressional districts," said Wynne, adding that the Air Force will have to "take some appetite suppressant pills." He said he has asked employees to look for efficiencies in their offices.

The base closings initially were expected to create savings by reducing Air Force infrastructure by 24 percent.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Interesting bit:
Nonlethal weapons generally can weaken people if they are hit with the beam. Some of the weapons can emit short, intense energy pulses that also can be effective in disabling some electronic devices.
Surprise, surprise. When they bust you up to test a new toy, your camera will probably **** up. And in this image oriented society...

~Mecha


--Please write your posts in MD as if they were going to be printed on the front page of the NY Times. I'm tired of having to edit your posts for foul language in this section. If you want to swear like a sailor, do it in subtalk.--

Hoosier.
 

Mare Tranquillity

Elite Intellectual
The first people it should be tested on are Congress, the Senate, George Bush, and the Secretary of the Air Force and all of their families--just to make sure it's safe.
 

SenatorB

J.S.P.S
I don't actually see much of a problem with this... they're non-lethal, I assume they don't have lasting medical effects... riots need to be controlled somehow, why not use these methods?
 

Mare Tranquillity

Elite Intellectual
SenatorB said:
I don't actually see much of a problem with this... they're non-lethal, I assume they don't have lasting medical effects... riots need to be controlled somehow, why not use these methods?
Like the riots against the war in Vietnam? Like the riots that brought down communitst governments all across eastern Europe? Like the anti-tax riots that lead to the American war of independence? Not all riots are bad, these are terrible weapons to give to an amoral group like the US government that has used it's own people for experimentation, spied on us illegally, forced us to fight senseless dead-end wars, restricted our Constitutionally guarranteed rights, and taken our money at gunpoint.

Some of these new weapons work on the nervous system causing unbelievable pain by stimulating all the nerve endings in the body simultaneously. Depending on the power level of the weapon one can cause anything from discomfort to an all-encompassing pain that could--we don't know yet--cause complete nervous system destruction.

This gets back to the John Lennon "Imagine" thread, I sure this is a really exciting new toy and it will make life interesting for the people who get to test it on the public, but it's also just another case of human ingenuity being used to find a new way to make people suffer. Isn't there enough suffering in the world? While people are dismissing utopia we seem to be working over time at distopia.

This kind of anti-human behavior is my biggest problem with the government. Speaking just for myself, I would rather that my tax dollars be given to any welfare-Cadillac driving, lazy, government-dole cheater than given to the finest Christian, Republican, NRA member, weapons dealer. The welfare cheater is using the money to make their life easier, the weapons dealer is using the money to rain indescriminate misery on their fellow humans (you know, the ones that Jesus said that we should love as ourselves).
 

SenatorB

J.S.P.S
Not all riots are bad
Riots may accomplish good goals because they bring attention to issues and the fact that people feel a certain way about the issues, but riots themselves are still bad. If not stopped, they end up causing more harm to themselves (people being trampled and beaten) and the place the riot takes place (looting, burning, etc.) than anything else, and lose their effectiveness as a way of bringing attention. I think it's also worth mentioning that the Constitution gives us the "right of the people peaceably to assemble"... and a riot is not peaceful. Surely you would not see riots and mobs run rampant without being checked, how do you suggest they are controlled when the situation inevitably arises?

these are terrible weapons to give to an amoral group like the US government that has used it's own people for experimentation, spied on us illegally, forced us to fight senseless dead-end wars, restricted our Constitutionally guarranteed rights, and taken our money at gunpoint.
I wont argue with you that out government is corrupt and has done a lot of things wrong. However, that does not mean that all further things the government does will be wrong, and it's possible that this could be the right thing, depending on the nature of the weapons.

Some of these new weapons work on the nervous system causing unbelievable pain by stimulating all the nerve endings in the body simultaneously. Depending on the power level of the weapon one can cause anything from discomfort to an all-encompassing pain that could--we don't know yet--cause complete nervous system destruction.
This is why I said "I assume they don't have lasting medical effects." If the weapons are inexcusably harmful or cause lasting effects, they should not be used. If they are merely a disabler, weakening the target as the article says, it accomplishes it's purpose relatively harmlessly.

it's also just another case of human ingenuity being used to find a new way to make people suffer.
The purpose of it is the opposite. Rather than causing pain and suffering, it's a non-lethal and only temporarily harmful way of accomplishing a necessary goal, that has previously been accomplished in much worse ways. Untill situations which need this sort of control can be eliminated completely (we're nowhere near that point), the goal will have to be accomplished somehow, and this is an improvement.
 
M

Mecha

Guest
I'll elaborate on the issues of the article:
Wikipedia article said:
The Chief of the U.S. Air Force, Secretary Michael Wynne, has proposed allowing the U.S. millitary to use nonleathal weapons for crowd-control within the U.S.
1) He is saying the military should test new non-lethal weapons on Americans.
A) This means the top brass in the military foresee the changing of US law to allow military peacekeeping on our own soil, and against Americans.
B) If you are aware of the military's special position in American law, you know that if there are "problems" in these "tests" there is almost exactly zip you can do about it.
C) The ulterior motive made by used it as testing and PR would increase the trigger-happy effect that possessing "non-lethal" weapons allows. Across the nation, non-lethal weapons can be seen to be used 1) without proper training 2) used incorrectly 3) when cops are annoyed, not only when force is necessary 4) on peaceful protests 5) known to result in deaths.

2) Next generation pain causing devices may render civil disobedience impossible. The implications for democratic government (And authortarian, at that) is far reaching.

3) Anti-electronic device effects may interfere with citizen oversight of such weaponry. If combined with cameras armed with lasers to disable other cameras, citizen ability to obtain evidence of misuse would be severly impaired.

This is why I said "I assume they don't have lasting medical effects." If the weapons are inexcusably harmful or cause lasting effects, they should not be used.
I bet you that it does, which is quite simple. One of the non lethal weapons focuses microwaves energy at the target area to cause pain. What about when it gets into eyes? If they carry metal, or bic lighters? People with cardiac implants, hearing aids, ect? It is easy to see there are massive problems with using this on the civilian population. One resounding non-fact to support this: they haven't gone to the FDA for testing these devices for safety. Their concern is about the appearance of safety and related PR.

~Mecha
 

Mare Tranquillity

Elite Intellectual
SenatorB said:
Riots may accomplish good goals because they bring attention to issues and the fact that people feel a certain way about the issues, but riots themselves are still bad. If not stopped, they end up causing more harm to themselves (people being trampled and beaten) and the place the riot takes place (looting, burning, etc.) than anything else, and lose their effectiveness as a way of bringing attention. I think it's also worth mentioning that the Constitution gives us the "right of the people peaceably to assemble"... and a riot is not peaceful. Surely you would not see riots and mobs run rampant without being checked, how do you suggest they are controlled when the situation inevitably arises?
You are painting riots with a pretty broad brush. A riot can be in the eye of the beholder, look at how George has dealt with anybody that disagrees with him: forcing people to sign loyalty statements before they can come to his rallies, setting up "free speech zones" behind chain link fences miles away from the things people are protesting, character assassination, accusations of not loving our country, and, a la Nixon, using the IRS and FBI to investigate his detractors too. I don't know about the loss of effectiveness and I don't think you do either, you would have to narrow your scope to individual issues and incidents to make an accurate statement like that. I don't know that riots and mobs are the same thing either, and using the argument that if I don't want these ghastly new weapons used on American citizens then I must want riots and mobs to run rampant without being checked is Net-speak. We have NEVER used these new weapons and riots and mobs are not now running amok, are they? How would I stop them when they inevitably arise? I would question the inevitability of them first and then I would use the same non-violent techniques that have worked so well in the past if they get out of hand. This is all so nebulous that arguing it is pointless, we have never needed new terrible weapons to control the ravening hordes in our streets, why should we need them now, unless the people in power are planning to do things that will make people riot?

SenatorB said:
I wont argue with you that out government is corrupt and has done a lot of things wrong. However, that does not mean that all further things the government does will be wrong, and it's possible that this could be the right thing, depending on the nature of the weapons.
Maybe, but are you willing to take the risk of arming our government with those kinds of weapons, I'm not. My position vis a vis the government is: I know they're lying, their lips are moving.

SenatorB said:
This is why I said "I assume they don't have lasting medical effects." If the weapons are inexcusably harmful or cause lasting effects, they should not be used. If they are merely a disabler, weakening the target as the article says, it accomplishes it's purpose relatively harmlessly.
Maybe, let's bear in mind that this is the same government that authorized releases of radioactive iodine from the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Southeastern Washington State to see what effect it would have on the population, they used prisoners for radiation experiments where the men had their testicles exposed to hard radiation after being assured that there would be no particular side effects, they released LSD in the subways of New York City, withheld treatment from people with syphilis, under the guise of using a new experiemental treatment, and simply recorded what happened to these people as they died of this terrible disease--oh yeah, they recruited illiterate black people across the South for this experiment. Senator, we are dealing with people who are without scruples, amoral people who will do anything to achieve their goals--Hell, George has re-instituted torture (here's a quote from an article in the news just today).
"The president's measure would go further than the Senate package in allowing classified evidence to be withheld from defendants in terror trials, using coerced testimony and protecting CIA and other U.S. interrogators against prosecution for using methods that may violate the Geneva Conventions." The whole article can be found at: http://www.comcast.net/news/index.jsp?cat=GENERAL&fn=/2006/09/14/476705.html
We signed the Geneva Convention and George is abrogating it unilaterally. Even Colin Powell is upset about it. You are much too trusting I think.


SenatorB said:
The purpose of it is the opposite. Rather than causing pain and suffering, it's a non-lethal and only temporarily harmful way of accomplishing a necessary goal, that has previously been accomplished in much worse ways. Untill situations which need this sort of control can be eliminated completely (we're nowhere near that point), the goal will have to be accomplished somehow, and this is an improvement.
I don't care what their stated goal is, I'm betting that they are lying. But even if they aren't, their new weapons won't accomplish the goal they've set out. When Richard Gatling invented the first hand-cranked machine gun his goal was to bring war to an end. He said that his weapon was so terrible that men would give up war rather than use it. The same was thought about atomic weapons. As above, the fallacy in this line of reasoning is that the people we are dealing with have no scruples, they are conscienceless, amoral, and totally without remorse or compassion. No more weapons!
 
M

Mecha

Guest
Maybe, let's bear in mind that this is the same government that authorized releases of radioactive iodine from the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Southeastern Washington State to see what effect it would have on the population, they used prisoners for radiation experiments where the men had their testicles exposed to hard radiation after being assured that there would be no particular side effects, they released LSD in the subways of New York City, withheld treatment from people with syphilis, under the guise of using a new experiemental treatment, and simply recorded what happened to these people as they died of this terrible disease--oh yeah, they recruited illiterate black people across the South for this experiment. Senator, we are dealing with people who are without scruples, amoral people who will do anything to achieve their goals
Wow, I haven't heard about the LSD in NY water supply, or the radioactive iodide release (which, happens to be the lethal stuff of nuclear contamination, that they use those pills to take care of).

The part about them being amoral is far too true.

~Mecha
 

SenatorB

J.S.P.S
Mare Tranquillity said:
You are painting riots with a pretty broad brush. A riot can be in the eye of the beholder, look at how George has dealt with anybody that disagrees with him: forcing people to sign loyalty statements before they can come to his rallies, setting up "free speech zones" behind chain link fences miles away from the things people are protesting, character assassination, accusations of not loving our country, and, a la Nixon, using the IRS and FBI to investigate his detractors too.
"A disturbance of the peace by several persons, assembled and acting with a common intent in executing a lawful or unlawful enterprise in a violent and turbulent manner." (West's Encyclopedia of American Law) I've been in peaceful protests before (for example, the big anti-war protest in SF in I think 2003), and I've seen video of riots, and they're very different. The different between a legal protest and a riot is not a matter of opinion or something determined by the beholder, but is determined by the actions of those participating. And again, while you bring up a good point that the government has been doing other bad things, your examples do not show that they have unlawfully broken up non-riotous protests.

I don't know about the loss of effectiveness and I don't think you do either, you would have to narrow your scope to individual issues and incidents to make an accurate statement like that.
Can you think of a single unchecked riot that has accomplished anything except for bringing havoc down upon their cause? An unchecked riot makes a cause look unprofessional... "we want you to change such-and-such so much that we're willing to be violent and pose a threat to innocent people to do so! yeah!"

I don't know that riots and mobs are the same thing either, and using the argument that if I don't want these ghastly new weapons used on American citizens then I must want riots and mobs to run rampant without being checked is Net-speak. We have NEVER used these new weapons and riots and mobs are not now running amok, are they? How would I stop them when they inevitably arise? I would question the inevitability of them first and then I would use the same non-violent techniques that have worked so well in the past if they get out of hand.
Alright, fair enough that a riot and a mob aren't the same... just a slight of speech and nothing to do with my point. Also, I never said you wanted riots and mobs simply because you were opposed to these weapons... in fact I specifically said I was sure you were against them, merely questioning how you would rather deal with them. To answer the question you asked: No, they aren't currently running amok, except for the odd occasion, and I'm not saying that using the weapons will make them less common nor will it make them more common, it will just make it so when they do occur they're more easily controlled and in a less harmful manner. As for non-violent methods currently used, I don't think rubber bullets, gas, and batons (http://people.howstuffworks.com/riot-control1.htm) are very harmless, so I'm not really sure what you're talking about. I only say use these new weapons on the assumption that they're less or equally harmful as the ones in current use... if they're more harmful then it's not worth it.

Maybe, but are you willing to take the risk of arming our government with those kinds of weapons, I'm not. My position vis a vis the government is: I know they're lying, their lips are moving.
The government is already armed with lethal weapons, how is arming them with non-lethal weapons more risky?

Senator, we are dealing with people who are without scruples, amoral people who will do anything to achieve their goals
Yes, again I agree with you that they have done lots of things wrong, but that does not mean that EVERYTHING they do is wrong... surely among all your examples of bad things, you can think of a couple good things that the government has done. And again let me reiterate, IF the weapons are unreasonably harmful, they should not be used. This is the case regardless of what the government says, and should be based on their true harm or lack thereof.

You are much too trusting I think.
I'm just basing my opinions on what the article said, under the assumption that the article presents the truth on the issue, even if it is a hypothetical truth. If it doesn't, my opinion would have to be revised to take the actual truth into consideration.

He said that his weapon was so terrible that men would give up war rather than use it.
I think the idea is not that these weapons will be so powerful that people won't riot for fear of them... rather, the idea is that they are less harmful than the current methods while being equally effective.

Mecha said:
I bet you that it does, which is quite simple. One of the non lethal weapons focuses microwaves energy at the target area to cause pain. What about when it gets into eyes? If they carry metal, or bic lighters? People with cardiac implants, hearing aids, ect? It is easy to see there are massive problems with using this on the civilian population.
Then this would call into being the IF of my statement, being that they should not be used, because they are too harmful. That's the beauty of an IF statement, it changes depending on the situation, which is perfect given that I don't rightly know the full situation.
 

Mare Tranquillity

Elite Intellectual
SenatorB said:
"A disturbance of the peace by several persons, assembled and acting with a common intent in executing a lawful or unlawful enterprise in a violent and turbulent manner." (West's Encyclopedia of American Law) I've been in peaceful protests before (for example, the big anti-war protest in SF in I think 2003), and I've seen video of riots, and they're very different. The different between a legal protest and a riot is not a matter of opinion or something determined by the beholder, but is determined by the actions of those participating. And again, while you bring up a good point that the government has been doing other bad things, your examples do not show that they have unlawfully broken up non-riotous protests.
You missed my point. The people in power are the ones who decide whether it's a peaceful demonstration or a riot. I have watched as police rushed in and began beating on people who were walking in a line down the street in a protest, I knew people in the demonstration, and I know that when the media reported on it they called it a riot--which it wasn't. People in power will use whatever means, honest or dishonest, to further their goals. I am totally against giving them any new weapons.

Can you think of a single unchecked riot that has accomplished anything except for bringing havoc down upon their cause? An unchecked riot makes a cause look unprofessional... "we want you to change such-and-such so much that we're willing to be violent and pose a threat to innocent people to do so! yeah!"
The American revolution was marked by many "riots" (the Boston Tea Party for instance), the Communist dictator of Romania was ousted by rioting in the street, Slobodan Milosevic was brought down by demonstrations that gradually became larger and more violent as time went by... History is full of instances where riots or things called riots by the people in power accomplished good things. Many of the demonstrations by black people during the Civil Rights movement were called riots and provoked violent government responses. The Stonewall Riot was the beginning of the gay rights movement. Are there damaging riots, bad riots with innocent people being injured and killed? Of course, but we have wars too and none of them are tidy either. There is already far too much power concentrated in the hands of the "authorities", I say NO MORE New Weapons.

...it will just make it so when they do occur they're more easily controlled and in a less harmful manner. As for non-violent methods currently used, I don't think rubber bullets, gas, and batons (http://people.howstuffworks.com/riot-control1.htm) are very harmless, so I'm not really sure what you're talking about. I only say use these new weapons on the assumption that they're less or equally harmful as the ones in current use... if they're more harmful then it's not worth it.
Rubber bullets and batons are selective, someone aims the gun or swings the baton--small scale. Gas can be wide spread but unless it is something worse than tear gas no one will be irreparably harmed, the wind blows it away and sometimes back at the people using it. Gas is a blunt instrument at best. Water cannons work well and lines of horse-mounted police also work in the right setting. All of these, except gas, are up-close and personal, but the new directed energy weapons can sweep huge areas from trucks or helicopters indiscriminately--sort of the difference between shooting someone with a rifle and dropping a 500 pound bomb on their house. One is a deliberate act against an individual and the other is a violent reaction that may hurt or kill many innocent people.

Let's remember that these weapons have never been adequately tested and may do far more harm than rubber bullets or even real bullets, we don't know and neither does the government.

The government is already armed with lethal weapons, how is arming them with non-lethal weapons more risky?
It gives those conscienceless bastards (please excuse my French) a new terribly powerful weapon with which they can crush resistance to their insane policies.

Yes, again I agree with you that they have done lots of things wrong, but that does not mean that EVERYTHING they do is wrong... surely among all your examples of bad things, you can think of a couple good things that the government has done. And again let me reiterate, IF the weapons are unreasonably harmful, they should not be used. This is the case regardless of what the government says, and should be based on their true harm or lack thereof.
Of course the government has done good things, but the more power they have the worse the bad things become. Are we being spyed on illegally using powerful new computer technology? Are vast amounts of information being collected on people (a la J. Edgar) and then being used to discredit or even prosecute them to silence their opposition?

I think the idea is not that these weapons will be so powerful that people won't riot for fear of them... rather, the idea is that they are less harmful than the current methods while being equally effective..
You can tell me that with some credibility after you have been blasted with the new weapon. Look up directed energy weapons on the net, you'll discover that they can maim and kill from a distance simply by upping the power setting.

There is a similarity between this conversation and the one I'm having with Merc about torture. Both of you are arguing that giving more power to the people in power is harmless and I'm saying that "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
 
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