Tuesday, July 8, 2008

"Non-Lethal" Weapons: Where Science and Technology Service Repression

Acoustic microwave armaments? Laser induced plasma channels? Vortex ring guns? Are these high-tech MacGuffins spiffing-up the latest Hollywood near-future thriller? Regrettably, no. Welcome to the twisted world of "non-lethal" weapons research brought to you by the "fun" folks at the Pentagon's Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate (JNLWD).

Like a newborn's proud parents, the JNLWD is heralding the successful phase two testing of Raytheon's Active Denial System (ADS), a directed energy weapon used for "crowd control." Known for its "goodbye effect," it functions as a primitive, though highly-effective "pain ray" by heating the skin to around 130 degrees F.

According to a blurb on the JNLWD website, the ADS is "helping to fill the gap between the 'shout' and 'shoot' alternatives faced by our troops." ADS "represented the first integration of the key technology elements such as the millimeter wave source, cooling system, and antenna, among other things." With a range of some 550 yards, the ADS can penetrate clothing. Its effects have been described by test subjects as "excruciating."

A domestic version of the system known as the Silent Guardian is being hawked to law enforcement by Raytheon for its alleged ability to provide "a zone of protection that saves lives, protects assets and minimizes collateral damage." According to some reports, ADS has "been present" at some public events in the United States. How comforting.

But as disturbing as Raytheon's ADS may be, there are systems about to come "on-line" that are far, far worse. New Scientist recently described how one enterprising outfit of capitalist grifters, the Sierra Nevada Corporation, is "ready to build a microwave ray gun able to beam sounds directly into people's heads," David Hambling reports.

Touted as the "next big thing," MEDUSA (Mob Excess Deterrent Using Silent Audio) will eventually be deployed for "crowd-control" applications in U.S. military "operations other than war." According to Hambling, MEDUSA

exploits the microwave audio effect, in which short microwave pulses rapidly heat tissue, causing a shockwave inside the skull that can be detected by the ears. A series of pulses can be transmitted to produce recognisable sounds. ("Microwave Ray Gun Controls Crowds with Noise," New Scientist, July 3, 2008)

Sierra Nevada Corporation's Lev Sadovnik is working on the latest in a series of "active denial systems" under contract with the U.S. Navy which said in a preliminary report that the device "was shown to be effective."

According to its manufacturer, MEDUSA involves an "auditory effect" loud enough to "cause discomfort or even incapacitation."

While the technology is ballyhooed by weapons designers as an "advance," its effects are wholly insidious since "normal audio safety limits do not apply since the sound does not enter through the eardrums." Sadovnik told New Scientist, "The repel effect is a combination of loudness and the irritation factor. You can't block it out."

Another technological "breakthrough" that greatly impressed Sierra Nevada's Pentagon "customer" is "a new reconfigurable antenna developed by colleague Vladimir Manasson. It steers the beam electronically, making it possible to flip from a broad to a narrow beam, or aim at multiple targets simultaneously."

In other words, a "target" could be one person, say a union leader speaking outside a plant gate to "disruptive" strikers challenging the corporatist paradigm, or a range of "targets" engaged in "anti-social behavior" such as nonviolent civil disobedience by concerned citizens blocking the entrance to a major polluter's factory--or weapons manufacturer, for that matter.

With one eye on his corporate masters' bottom line while the other is focused on potential adverse publicity that might accrue from fabricating a product that creates a shockwave inside someone's skull, Sadovnik resorts to the old "dual-use" public relations ploy to cover his ass-ets, so to speak. Without skipping a beat, Sadovnik claims the technology could have "non-military" applications such as scaring away pesky flocks of birds or even as a means to "help" people with impaired auditory functions!

While the system may be feasible, James Lin of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Illinois in Chicago told Hambling that a high-power system such as MEDUSA "would mean much more powerful--and potentially hazardous--shockwaves."

"I would worry about what other health effects it is having," says Lin. "You might see neural damage."

Damaging or not, the next phase in acoustic weapons development will almost certainly entail human testing. According to Wired, a military-funded lab "is pushing to get approval to conduct human testing at 130Db to see if, in that range, sound could have a 'deterrent effect'."

At a "non-lethal" weapons conference back in December, Nicholas C. Nicholas, the Chief Scientist at Penn State's Applied Research Laboratory, told his audience that "Behavior modification is next logical step [in testing]." Sharon Weinberger reported,

You would think for all the talk of acoustic weapons, there's tons of data. Not true, says Nicholas. There isn't really any reliable data on the effects on human as you move up the decibel range. The big problem is safety standards. "Current standards are far too conservative," argues Nicholas, whose lab works on a number of projects for the Pentagon's Joint Nonlethal Weapons Directorate. OSHA standards, Nicholas says, are for occupational hazards that cover up to 30 years of exposure, and shouldn't be used for testing weapons. ("Lab Pushes for Sonic Blaster," Wired, December 12, 2007)

Despite the potential of acoustic weapons inflicting permanent injuries, Nicholas was not concerned in the least: "Some injury has to be tolerated or you cannot develop nonlethal weapons." Nevertheless, their implicit dangers are already well-known.

When the U.S. Army's Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) was forced to release a study under the Freedom on Information Act, it did just that, documenting a multitude of hazardous side-effects. Under the heading, "Incapacitating Effect: Microwave Hearing," we discover the following:

Microwave hearing is a phenomenon, described by human observers as the sensations of buzzing, ticking, hissing, or knocking sounds that originate within or immediately behind the head. There is no sound propagating through the air like normal sound. This technology in its crudest form could be used to distract individuals: if refined, it could also be used to communicate with hostages or hostage taken directly by Morse code or other message systems, possibly even by voice communications.

The mechanism described by INSCOM analysts refer to the so-called "Frey effect," named after Allan H. Frey, a Cold War neuroscientist who first published his 1962 findings in the Journal of Applied Physiology. While some of the technologies are still in the conceptual stage, how does INSCOM view their possible deployment as a "crowd control" weapon? The following passage sets the tone (if you'll pardon the pun) of the sinister nature of these systems and those who design them. Under the heading, "Microwave Hearing: Possible Influence on Subject(s)," INSCOM analysts hypothesize:

Application of the microwave hearing technology could facilitate a private message transmission. It may be useful to provide a disruptive condition to a person not aware of the technology. Not only might it be disruptive to the sense of hearing, it could be psychologically devastating if one suddenly heard "voices within one's head." ("Bioeffects of Selected Nonlethal Weapons," U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM), 17 February 1998)

Although "non-lethal" microwave acoustic weapons have yet to be deployed, they have been field tested. According to New Scientist,

It is claimed that the so-called "Frey Effect"--using close-range microwaves to produce audible sounds in a person's ears--has been used to project the spoken numbers 1 to 10 across a lab to volunteers'. ... In 2004 the US Navy funded research into using the Frey effect to project sound that caused "discomfort" into the ears of crowds. (David Hambling, "U.S. Army Toyed with Telepathic Ray Gun," New Scientist, March 21, 2008)

While Hambling may believe such systems are "outlandish," given time--and virtually unlimited resources courtesy of their intended "targets"--U.S. citizens, I'm far less sanguine.

Despite all the hoopla, it should be clear by now that descriptors such as "non-lethal" or "less-than-lethal" are, strictly speaking, Orwellian constructs that mask their application as repressive tools for domination. Their primary purpose is not to "save lives" but to be used as instruments of social control.

What other horrors are Pentagon contractors literally cooking-up? According to Wired, the Wattre Corporation has created an "active denial system" called Hyperspike. Sharon Weinberger reports,

Imagine being hit by a nonlethal blast that seems to explode in front of you--a deafening and blinding combination of light and sound. As the battle for "sonic blasters" heats up, a number of companies are looking at innovative ways to combine light and sound into new, nonlethal devices. ("Sonic Blaster + Laser = New Weapon," Wired, March 31, 2008)

According to Wattre's president Curt Graber, Hyperspike combines a "collimated beam of sound" with corporate grifter Stellar Photonics "dynamic pulse detonation" laser to create a combined effect that Graber describes as a "psycho-acoustical event."

The new weapon creates a "mid-air plasma ball" that that "basically ignites the air in front of the person," Graber says. "It creates fireworks right in front of you."

What will they think of next! A fireworks show just before the cops bash your head in. How's that for American innovation and know-how!

With a multitude of uses in the coming period as the American economy tanks and "restless natives" in the "homeland" take to the streets in protest against endless imperial wars and assaults on our economic and social rights, Hyperspike seems just the thing to "keep the rabble in line." As touted by Wattre Corporation, the Plasma Accoustic Shield System (PASS) "will eventually combine a dynamic pulse detonation laser with a high power speaker for hailing or warning, and a dazzler light source."

But Keith Braun of the U.S. Army's Advanced Energy Armaments Systems Division, based at Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey, told New Scientist last year that the PASS is not quite ready for prime time. According to David Hambling,

Braun puts the maximum range of the system at around a hundred metres. But he says the PASS laser is unlikely to be used as a weapon, in its current format, since it lacks sufficient power. Unlike other high-power lasers which burn a target, the DPD relies on a shockwave. Braun says it would take several minutes to burn through a piece of paper using the laser.

"It is fair to say that any stunning or disabling of a target individual would require additional force on target," says Braun. "The current state-of-the-art in portable, rugged laser systems is not at the point of sufficient power." ("Plasma Shield May Stun and Disorient Enemies," New Scientist, April 26, 2007)

Indeed, PASS and other combinations such as Wattre's Hyperspike "may be the first step towards a man-portable, tuneable laser weapon that could be used in both non-lethal and lethal modes."

Stellar Photonics, which has a $2.7 million contract to build PASS for the Defense Department, is pitching a portable laser rifle "which would be lethal," according to Army researchers. Hambling reports,

It would weigh about fifteen kilograms, would have a range of more than a mile, and could have numerous advantages over existing rifles--better accuracy and the ability to hit a moving target at the speed of light.

It could also be used in non-lethal mode, "offering the individual soldier a first response non-lethal alternative, with the capability to go lethal should the situation call for that level of response", says Braun. But extensive testing of its effects on humans would need to be carried out before it could be legitimately used as a non-lethal weapon.

One shudders to think what "extensive testing of its effects on humans" would entail and what "metrics" would determine its "effectiveness."

Fear not, the Defense Department is busily exploring this for us. According to its website, Picatinny Arsenal, "the Home of American Firepower," has a brief to "establish strong partnerships with many agencies...and academia that are exploring advanced technologies." Some of the "advanced technologies" under development by Picatinny include:

Advanced Energy Weapons Systems employ advanced technologies that may completely change the way military missions are organized and executed in the future. These systems include, but are not limited to, charged particle beams, neutral particle beams, antiparticle beams, low and high energy lasers, high-power microwaves (HPM), acoustics, plasma, and substantial potential with nanotechnology. ("Products and Services," Picatinny Arsenal, no date)

As we have seen in this brief descriptive overview, American militarism is extending the boundaries of "pacification" directly into the human body and mind, viewed by military planners and their corporatist paymasters as necessary accoutrements for dominating the "battlespace." And in this brave new world, science and academia are playing pivotal roles in the development of "non-lethal" weapons systems for the American Empire's "up-armored" war fighters and mercenaries.

According to researcher Nick Turse, since World War II academia has come to rely on Pentagon funding for research and development, a devilish relationship that has "the money and muscle to alter the landscape of higher education, to manipulate research agendas, to change the course of curricula, and to force schools to play by the rules."

As Turse documents in his valuable book, The Complex, one institution, MIT and its spun-off "not-for-profit" research powerhouse The MITRE Corporation, brought in a cool $883,832,277 in research and development dollars from the Pentagon. "Heavy-lifting" such as this "would move MIT out of the military-academic ranks and within striking distance of the military-corporate megagiant General Dynamics."

Researcher and activist Frank Morales described the sinister convergence of science, corporate power and the military's development of "non-lethal" weapons technology as one where "the Pentagon and Justice Department, along with their private and academic appendages are spearheading new ways to control, hurt, torture and kill people, here and abroad." Indeed, Morales writes,

Within this context, a well-funded sadistic science, searching literally for the "magic bullet," weaponizes anything that can "disable." This new fascism attacks the body utilizing bio-determinist ideology and advanced technical means, necessarily widening its potential targets with each new technological advance and/or political requirement. ... No longer content to withstand the annoying pressures of democracy, the corporate game plan calls for a more direct action approach, more repression and less concession. This is the context for so-called non-lethal weapons. ("Non-Lethal Warfare," in Police State America, edited by Tom Burghardt, Toronto/Montreal: Arm The Spirit/Solidarity, 2002, p. 120)

There is nothing "gee-whiz" about such appalling technologies. Serving as instruments for waging the American Empire's new class war, the well-paid "little Eichmanns" busily designing an uninhabitable world of corporatist nightmare and horror should be denounced--and their "research" shut down.


Anonymous said...

A fireworks show just before the cops bash your head in.

Yup. You missed Homeland Stupidity's proposed electrocution bracelets for air travelers. As for extensive testing of its effects on humans, let Christopher Hitchens volunteer.

Antifascist said...

Hi 420... I didn't miss the DHS new "special bracelet" for air travelers story. Unfortunately, it made its way to the cutting room floor--along with reams of material on other "non-lethal" systems.

I'll do another write-up soon on that little "honey" as well as some info on the vortex ring gun and induced laser plasma channel. Sick bastards all!

Hitchens' get my vote! :)

Anonymous said...

Won't work for long.

The people who've been hit by these things simply won't sit or lay down and cry. They will run around enmasse , find these ray guns, and with bare hands turn over the vehicles.

It's bad enough the United States Government has been hi-jacked, it's election system a total scam and sham. And to force the people to accept 911, directing all of it's focus now on the uneducated and demoralized peoples who can simply take orders and hope for the best.

But I feel that in the end this new weapon will be what America may need.

The fire to re-kindle the light of freedom and true patriotism that Americas forefathers fought and died for so long ago. This awakening of a differnet patriotism, not the store bought kind we see in congress today. But the kind of real honor that U.S. politicans sense is brewing. Which is why those bought and sold in the corpo-congress have good reason to show those nervous smiles.

Because to force the American people of today to live with physical pain instead of just the emotional and mental feeling of betrayal, is beyond blind reasoning. It's tyranny. And this my friends has nothing to do with Muslim terrorists or fucking freedom fries and everything to do with reminding the socialist conservatives that this isn't China.

You can force under your dictoral hand this self-induced idiotic notion the sheep people will all line up for the slaughter housde door. Not one true American will sit back and watch it's own fellow Americans suffer as those in other lands ruled by dictators when the people want to protest and are tortured and killed for doing so.

What can only come next after this kind of device would be torture camps on American soil.

These new weapons may open a pandora's box that they cannot close.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I don't have as much faith in the american people to resist. Time and again, we have been shown to be a bunch of whiners and talkers, but no real action will be forthcoming when we can't have our way. The reason I am so pessimistic about "people power" is because we as a people have refused to learn from our own history, and any "culture" we may lay claim to has been taken from others and co-opted into our own hodgepodge and we call it the american way. Vietnam, for instance. If we, as a people, really felt like foriegn wars were a bad thing, we would never have allowed ourselves to be decieved about Iraq, yet here we are. The slavery problem? and the problem of genocide? All have been swept under the rug in a feeble attempt to show "solidarity" with the "savages" of history. The american people have an aversion to truth as has been proven over and over again, and would rather believe a lie than dig for the truth, because its easier. The american people have a national character flaw in that we see ourselves as "distinct", "unique" , "better" and "special" and therefore would never tolerate such perversions as have been seen in the communist world, yet most americans are completely and amusingly unaware and indifferent that it was our own government that financed the Bolsheviks, who later became the "bad", "evil" communists. The americans are averse to repression? LOLOL Thats so funny! Then explain why they have no problem financing by their taxes the death squads of Central America? Oh, of course, it was all to further the spread of democracy, so its all good, bro. What? The poor naive americans didn't "know" what was going on? They didn't realize that their tax money was and has been financing wars for decades? Because we think we are "above" that kind of thing, so therefore, it doesn't happen. and anyone who says different is a communist.....blah, blah,blah. And now, here we are getting ready for a regime that will be a culmination of every dictator's wet dream, and we STILL think "well, it won't happen here, because, WE are americans" When the time comes to choose between having a job and laying low, or speaking truth to power and losing EVERYTHING, I don't believe my nation will have the fortitude to do anything other than beg for scraps and spread their legs. Because as a nation at 200+ years, we are young and brash and have no experience with real repression and tyranny. If we were willing, we could , for once, stop babbling about our "special divine right" to "lead" the poor, stupid world into the glorious freedom of the american way, ad nauseam....we could take a page from the many people who have ingeniuosly survived and thrived in spite of dictatorship, but because that would mean setting aside our "manifest destiny" bullshit, I doubt that will happen.

Anonymous said...

While all this sounds pretty scary, we will never know what these agencies are really up to. How do we know what is real and what is propoganda just to scare the populace even more? I think we should be more concerned about the real weapon in current use and that is access to information and the internet.

Full Spectrum Dominance is not possible if there is no power to run it.

Anonymous said...

Hi -

Excellent blog!

I'm trying to get the word out on this. You missed a big 'non-lethal' technology that has a tremendous number of uses.

It amounts to a satellite operated cell phone that gets surreptitiously dumped into ones maxillary sinus. It can be used to spy, trick, harass, influence, drive postal or insane, any person unfortunate enough to be afflicted with it.


If you want to discuss or debate any of the points I raised, my email is:boofreak@gmail.com

Antifascist said...

Glad you enjoy the blog, Eric. I can't comment however on the issues you raise in your piece on cell phones and various attempts at building mind control technology.

I approach things from a sceptical point of view so I'd need a lot more convincing that such sophisticated programs exist. Seems way too complex to work.

Monika said...

Just imagine, technology being able to devellop invisibly, over decades, silently being tested on humans, not limited by any border, and being know by nobody ! , How well that could work over decades, who would still believe ! It can cause things ,resembling mental illness, resembling coincidence, of just superstition like "aliens" , and that way it would be not UNKNOWN AND INVISIBLE and being able to work so precisely it could be used people without they even would realize , from were their strage feelings or headache comes .

the complains of People targeted with electonic weapons are exploding in number since precise 2000 on every continent of this planet , independedly from eachother , and most victims realize , that this experimentation is going on , much longer than the moment they realize, so devedes already and only once they start to seach for information, they realize what they never were wondering about before, that this technology is was develloped long time ago, and never stopped getting better and better , in silence.
It can cause pain, regulate sleep, but aswell insert thoughts and "telepathy" , manipulating " dreams , and totally virtual reality (make you be in another place and situatiantion included alienships for instance:"since 80ties+-, change mem0ries (false memoriesyndrom "since 80ties too), and control far enough humanity to annouce itself overtly to targets namely since 2000 , casing emotions , movements being manipulated ect ect.

this is known publickly already on electronic devices : http://www.icrc.org/web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/html/lse2003
28-05-2003, Coping with the Weapons of Tomorrow., Annual

The ECHELON system forms part of the UKUSA system but unlike many of the electronic spy systems developed during the cold war, ECHELON is designed for primarily non-military targets:
governments, organisations and businesses in virtually every country. The ECHELON system works by indiscriminately intercepting very large quantities of communications and then siphoning
out what is valuable using artificial intelligence aids like Memex. to find key words. Five nations share the results with the US as the senior partner under the UKUSA agreement of 1948, Britain,
Canada, New Zealand and Australia are very much acting as subordinate information servicers
With new systems such as Memex, it is possible to quickly build up a comprehensive picture of virtually anyone by gaining electronic access to all their records,
cash transactions, cars held, etc. Such pre-emptive policing means the majority are ignored and policing resources are more tightly focused on certain groups. Such powerful forms of artificial
intelligence need continuous assessment. They have an important role to play in tracking criminals. The danger is that their infrastructure is essentially a massive machinery of supervision that can
be retargeted fairly quickly should the political context change

ADD TO THAT SAME SYSTEM BUT WITH HUMAN NERVOUS SYSTEM SINCE 1960 WORKED ON ; http://mcrais.googlepages.com/omc.htm
And by the late 1960s, the “remote control” of the human brain—accomplished without the implantation of electrodes—was well on its way to being realized.
A research and development team at the Space and Biology Laboratory of the University of California at the Los Angeles Brain Research Institute found a way to stimulate the brain by creating an electrical field completely outside the head. Dr. W. Ross Adey stimulated the brain with electric pulse levels which were far below those thought to be effectual in the old implanting technique. ... [p. 257]

In 1975 a primitive “mind reading machine” was tested at the Stanford Research Institute. The machine is a computer which can recognize a limited amount of words by monitoring a person’s silent thoughts. This technique relies upon the discovery that brain wave tracings taken with an electroencephalograph (EEG) show distinctive patterns that correlate with individual words—whether the words are spoken aloud or merely subvocalized (thought of).
The computer initially used audio equipment to listen to the words the subject spoke. (At first the vocabulary was limited to “up,” “down,” “left,” and “right.”) At the same time the computer heard the words, it monitored the EEG impulses coming from electrodes pasted to the subject’s head and responded by turning a camera in the direction indicated. After a few repetitions of the procedure, the computer’s hearing was turned off and it responded solely to the EEG “thoughts.” It moved a television camera in the directions ordered by the subject’s thoughts alone! ... [p. 258

Here personal testemonies collected and i realized in 2005 , am from Belgium , my name is Monika , i hope this will get public soon .

The Red Son said...

Wow, for such a well written article, it certainly attracted it's fair share of poorly-typed paranoid ranting.

Non-lethal is doublespeak. "Rubber" bullets and bean bag rounds frequently kill protesters. Tasers have been linked to dozens of deaths. Crank up that ADS and I am sure it would fry people pretty quick. City governments and federal agencies have shown that they have no problems with using the repressive forces in defense of the corporate overlords. Tear gas, pepper spray, tasers, and batons are deployed freely in situations where they are not warranted. Peaceful protesting and free assembly are slowly going the way of the Dodo in this country.

Tim @ tanukidreams.net said...

[Hello, excellent article, I will share it with friends.
I was
surprised to find this forum posting today while searching for updated information
about a woman named Diana Napolis. It turns out she has just recently filed a federal
lawsuit against ex-US Military Colonel and Satanist Michael Aquino and several others, alleging victimization with nonlethal
technology by Michael and Lilith Aquino among many other things. Ms. Napolis has a blog
at http://diananapolis.wordpress.com and another site at
http://ritualabusecourtcasesproject.blogspot.com. I thought you might be interested and
maybe you can post about it on your website, it sounds like she wants the word to be
about her lawsuit. The lawsuit document can be viewed at http://members.cox.net/legalfed/NapolisvAquino.pdf. Yours sincerely, Tim Gray]


Attempts to Violate Diana Napolis' First Amendment Rights

* From: "Diana Napolis"
* Date: Thu, 19 Jun 2008 17:01:14 -0700

A hearing was scheduled yesterday because "anonymous" parties had falsely alleged to San
Diego Probation that I was "harassing" people on various internet forums, including my
web page. This was in apparent efforts to have my internet privileges revoked. The judge
did not buy what probation was trying to sell and ruled in my favor. This is what I
submitted to the court in my own defense. _________________________

June 18, 2008




CASE NO. SCD 171331


On 3/4/2008 at the hearing to Request Termination from Probation I was allowed internet
privileges for the first time in 5 years. On 3/25/2008 I filed a federal lawsuit against
a satanic cult leader, Michael Aquino, two other satanists, Michelle Devereaux and Tani
Jantsang aka Tanya Lysenko, ex-San Diego Grand Juror Carol Hopkins, Dr. Elizabeth Loftus,
reporter Mark Sauer and publisher David Copley of the San Diego Union-Tribune, and San
Diego State University, alleging Negligence, Defamation, Violation of Right to Privacy,
False Light, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Conspiracy to Violate Right to
Privacy and First Amendment Right to Free Speech, and Conspiracy. In the body of my
complaint I have alleged that I have been victimized with nonlethal technology by Michael
and Lilith Aquino. I have made this allegation for years; now I am taking legal action
about it.

I proceeded to publicize this well-documented 190 page lawsuit At
http://members.cox.net/legalfed/NapolisvAquino.pdf for the public's review. In addition,
this Federal complaint is publicly available on the District Court's web site. I filed
this lawsuit in efforts to hold the above named individuals legally accountable for
orchestrating a "sting" against me seven years ago which was intended to ruin my
reputation and career and to stop my legal disclosure of information about them. If the
authorities involved read this lawsuit, it will be crystal clear how these individuals
set me up years ago, how I was victimized, and it will be clear that they are using the
same MO today.