Turns out the accounts of radioactive shrapnel in Gaza were but the begninning. Thanks to Covert Histor
y and Professor Hex
, I've been getting up to speed on the claims that unusual "directed energy" weapons have been used in Iraq. The primary collator and publicist of these reports is The California Center for Strategic Studies
, whose president, Brett Wagner, claims that here
...the California Center for Strategic Studies (CCSS) has been gathering additional evidence that the U.S. government has deployed a very dangerous new form of weapon in Iraq, apparently without congressional approval.
Wagner has even set up a petition calling for the banning of such weaponry -- which, he believes, could become a major campaign issue
Wagner's main findings can be found here
, which in turn directs us to an Italian documentary
available in English. The film would not load for me, but the link given above offers a summary.
The descriptions of the bodies allegedly affected by such weaponry fit what we know of white phosphorus. However, the film apparently describes more inexplicable phenomena, including laser-like holes in armored vehicles.
No less an authority than the United States Air Force
has revealed that "pain rays" may play a role in the Iraq occupation. The cynical reader will be forgiven for suspecting that the USAF's text constitutes a "limited hangout," describing in theoretical terms a program actually underway:
A one-second burst heats the skin and triggers the human-pain reflex to recoil. The discomfort stops instantly when the beam is shut off or the person moves out of its way.
To burn flesh, according to the weapon’s designers, someone would have to endure the beam for 250 seconds. During 6,500 test applications on human volunteers, no one was able to tough out the stinging for longer than three seconds, according to the Air Force Research Laboratory at Kirtland. In all those tests, just one person was hurt, suffering a coin-sized burn on his back after the device had been incorrectly programmed.
Support for the system is far from universal. Some human-rights groups say they are unconvinced that the weapon is as benign as it has been touted, and are concerned that such a “pain ray” could cause side effects not yet apparent. Its potential use as an instrument of torture also troubles them.
Rumors of such weaponry have swirled around Kirtland AFB since the 1980s.
Proponents of so-called non-lethal weaponry tend to ask if you'd rather be hit with a bullet than with a microwave. But the problem with such arms is the lowered threshold for use and the likelihood -- the certainty -- that governments will employ them for crowd control. Of course, controlling crowds in an occupied country would be but the first step; domestic use would follow. Revolution is always the last, worst option -- yet the threat
of revolution is the only thing that has ever kept any government honest. If the people lose both their right to protest and their ability to rebel, democracy will cease.