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US Air Force to Test Hi-Tech Weapons on Americans?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the people-for-the-ethical-treatment-of-americans dept.

670

GayBliss writes to tell us CNN.com has an article about how the US Air Force secretary proposes testing new 'non-lethal' weapons on American citizens before deploying them to the battlefield. New weapons like a high-power microwave device are designed to incapacitate people or sometimes even electronic devices. From the article: "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."

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So? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16098781)

What's wrong with this?

Re:So? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16099034)

Exactly. And before they use them on everbody else, the US should test its nuclear arsenal on itself too.

Use it on hippies first! (4, Funny)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098787)

Hey, I think the military has a point. If we ain't willing to use it here somebody doesn't really believe it is all that safe and 'non-lethal'.

Besides, this will give hippies a chance to do their part in the GWOT! Just stage another mass protest and do what comes natural.... toke up, get rowdy and start smashing stuff. If the bright boys have done their stuff right nobody gets permanently damaged and we have a new shiny toy to use against the barbarian hordes. If they screwed up the hippies can unleash the lawyers.

Of course if they get wind they will already be inventing the strange symptoms they will claim to suffer and even have a cute name for the syndrome.... which can only be cured with a huge cash settlement.

Re:Use it on hippies first! (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098831)

Well, only if we the public have access to these same weapons, and can fire back.

:-)

Re:Use it on hippies first! (1)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098877)

Not needed, if they are toking up they won't be going crazy so they will have little opportunity to use their weapons in this scenario.

Re:Use it on hippies first! (1)

daniil (775990) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098891)

Or maybe it should be used on "real American patriots": Ask not, what your country can do to you; ask what you can do for your country :7

Re:Use it on hippies first! (0, Flamebait)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098974)

> Or maybe it should be used on "real American patriots": Ask not, what your country can do to you;
> ask what you can do for your country :7

Yea, volunteers could probably be found, but my idea is more fun. :)

And just the threat might be enough to make a few of em think twice before they go on a rampage again. Or heck, any potential rioters might think twice if they though they might get used as test subjects for a scary sounding weapon system. No pity from me for em, police outta be using real bullets anyway on rioters... burn yer own fscking down down because ya WIN a stupid ball game or don't like a jury verdict? About as stupid as the asshats that smash things because they don't like free trade.

Ok, ok, I'm medieval and totally un politically correct. So sue me.

Coming soon on FOX? (1)

StressGuy (472374) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098984)

Happy Hippy Hunting Season?

I smell reality/sitcom!

An amazing generation those "hippies", 40 years down the road they still ruffle feathers

How about (5, Insightful)

kalirion (728907) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098788)

testing these weapons on the people in charge of the project? I mean they're non-lethal, so what's the problem?

Re:How about (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098890)

testing these weapons on the people in charge of the project? I mean they're non-lethal, so what's the problem?

Exactly, test them on yourselves. Test them on volunteers. Don't use the citizenry as guinea-pigs; that's just a scary precedent. "Three protesters were killed today in a test deployment of non-lethal alternatives."

You built 'em, you go on record (and on video) having personally been subjected to them numerous times. Make everyone who built them do the same thing. When you've tested it a few thousand times on the people building it, then it might be safe to start field testing.

Re:How about (1)

daniil (775990) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098932)

What makes you think they gaven't tested these weapons on individuals already? Maybe they just want to test them in real-life situations, like demonstrations gone out of hand or riots?

Re:How about (3, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 7 years ago | (#16099050)

What makes you think they gaven't tested these weapons on individuals already? Maybe they just want to test them in real-life situations, like demonstrations gone out of hand or riots?

Yeah, but have they tested them enough? From TFA ... "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."

You know, we damaged the testers, and we need medical people to tell us how likely this is to happen when we hose down protesters.

Wanna test it in a riot scenario, pay yourself a bunch of Army recruits to stage a riot under controlled circumstances. Disarm/disable them. Do it enough to be statistically significant. Find out all those little injury problems and resolve them. Don't take something you haven't adequately tested on willing volunteers and send it out on protesters in Free Speech Zones or who have decided Free Speech doesn't have zones.

I understand why they would publically state one shouldn't be so callous as to try this out on foreign nationals without having tested it; but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be testing it on the people who are building it or will be using it in real life. And it sure as hell doesn't mean you should put a bunch of your own citizens into harms way so you can feel better about deploying it abroad. There's a big gulf in between those two, and I don't think they've addressed it.

As I recall, pretty much every police office is going to get sprayed with pepper spray so they understand what it does to you. Likewise, if you're going to give them some of these other things, they should be trying to create realistic situations in which to test them; not just one volunteer standing still under optimal conditions.

Cheers

Re:How about (1)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098936)

Yeah, I agree with you completely. It's scary as all hell and smacks the face of the constitution.

Re:How about (4, Interesting)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098901)

I'm not sure you know how right you are here. I have a friend that worked in a maximum security prison as a sniper. He learned about pressure points and whatnot and the chief requirement for learning is that you have to allow the instructor to do it to you so you understand how it feels. That way you understand the level of pain your inflicting on your opponent. If it's non-lethal then they should go right ahead!

Re:How about (4, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098935)

Because even a non-lethal weapon is going to kill Dick Cheney?

FTFA: "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."

Riiiight. Just like tazers & stun guns are "non-lethal" and never injure people in a way that was not intended.

Re:How about (5, Interesting)

twofidyKidd (615722) | more than 7 years ago | (#16099001)

Actually, I've had such a system (millimeter wave emitter) tested on me. I voluteered myself, as did the people in charge of the project. The thing hurts like you're being cooked alive, and stops immediately once you're out of the way, but leaves no physical trace of injury.

I work for Raytheon. [raytheon.com]

Re:How about (2, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#16099016)

Many police departments that use Tasers include subjecting their officers to being shocked with the Taser as part of their training.

I find it interesting that the OP picked and chose his quotes to obfuscate what Wynne was getting at. He was actually trying to say that if we use these non-lethal weapons on (potentially) civilians abroad, we'd better also be willing to have them used in situations like riot control at home. Never let the truth stand in the way of politics, though.

Personally, I've been waiting for the microwave pain ray to be made available in civilian applications for some time now. There have been altogether too many drunken riots after college sporting events in recent years, and a bit of momentary discomfort for a few troublemakers will save millions of dollars of property damage.

Re:How about (1)

Stranger4U (153613) | more than 7 years ago | (#16099027)

Lots of times they do test it on themselves, and volunteers at whichever laboratory/gov't installation the researchers work at. That sort of testing can only go so far, though. I think the idea is to have the inital deployments be domestic ones, as a show of good faith, if you will. That way when the weapons are deployed over-seas, people won't cry foul that the gov't is deploying lethal weapons under a non-lethal banner.

I'd go out and protest... (2, Funny)

Stile 65 (722451) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098789)

...but I'd probably be hit with a skull-splitting sonic weapon or something.

Horrible idea... (3, Funny)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098791)

....they need to test it in foreign countries that have FAR fewer lawyers!!!1

Yeah (3, Funny)

xihr (556141) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098792)

How dare we use non-lethal methods on our own citizens. Instead we should stick to lethal ones, right?

How dare we use weapons on our citizens? (1)

FatSean (18753) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098848)

Oh...they're needed to stop 'riots', eh? Man on the ground will say "It's a riot", out come the weaponry, and a few weeks later the cops who killed citizens with 'non-lethal' weapons will be charred corpses in their own beds...their wives and children smoldering down the hall...while the easily-led 'middle-americans' cry and weep for the death of their masters.

Our gov't doesn't need more ways to subjugate us.

safe? test it on air force generals first (2, Insightful)

swschrad (312009) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098794)

that's the group of americans who supposedly non-lethal weapons should be tested on, the commanders who would authorize their use.

Re:safe? test it on air force generals first (-1, Troll)

daniil (775990) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098866)

Wow, you're so damn clever.

Re:safe? test it on air force generals first (1, Offtopic)

legoburner (702695) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098885)

But I think we know that will not happen. Instead wait for the interesting footage from the next 'free speech zone' at the next republican national congress [wbai.org] .

Re:safe? test it on air force generals first (2, Interesting)

d_54321 (446966) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098896)

That line of thinking does seem reasonable, but since its practice has weeded out all commanders who saw your logic (using weapons that were previously untested and uncertainly non-lethal), we're left with what we have today.

since they are non-lethal (0, Redundant)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098796)

why dont they test them on themselves?

Try saying Nay now! (1)

MrSquishy (916581) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098799)

Domestic use would make it easier to avoid questions from others
by killing them first.

Any further questions?
*ZAP*

Wait a Second (0, Troll)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098801)

"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"

Shouldn't we have more concern for our fellow American citizens than those who we're at war against? This guy is definetely screwed up in the head. I would much more prefer we test it on lab rats or non-americans first.

Re:Wait a Second (1)

smithbp (1002301) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098865)

We don't want to test it on the people who are trying to kill us because we might hurt them, we just want to test it on the people we are trying to protect. He must have had classes with Bush when he was a kid. That is some seriously strange logic.

Re:Wait a Second (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098967)

This guy is definetely screwed up in the head.

This is why in a free society the military must always be kept under civilian control.

Now if we could only do something about the damned civilians.

KFG

Re:Wait a Second (1)

daniil (775990) | more than 7 years ago | (#16099003)

Shouldn't we have more concern for our fellow American citizens than those who we're at war against?

To my knowledge, America isn't officially at war with anyone at the moment (Afghanistan is a "peacekeeping" operation and the Iraqis are supposed to sort their own mess out themselves). I guess this means that America is, in fact, at war with itself, meaning that the use of these weapons against its own citizens is quite justified.

Re:Wait a Second (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16099013)

lab rats == non-americans ?

Re:Wait a Second (1)

why-is-it (318134) | more than 7 years ago | (#16099017)

I would much more prefer we test it on lab rats or non-americans first.

Are you suggesting that lab rats are equivalent to non-americans?

Re:Wait a Second (1)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 7 years ago | (#16099045)

Nope, I'm suggesting an ORDER.
1.) Test the weapons on Lab Rats. If they work, procede to #2
2.) Test the weapons on non-americans (assumably the enemies at wartime)
3.) NEVER Test the weapons on americans

Sounds like a police state. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16098806)

That sounds just like something a police state would do.

Re:Sounds like a police state. (2, Informative)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098966)

This is right in line with expectations. (see point #12 in 2nd link)

http://www.hermes-press.com/police_state.htm [hermes-press.com] [hermes-press.com]
http://www.oldamericancentury.org/14pts.htm [oldamericancentury.org] [oldamericancentury.org] [oldamericancentury.org]
http://www.hermes-press.com/etch1.htm [hermes-press.com] [hermes-press.com] [hermes-press.com]

In the land of the NOT free, All hail the shrub!

So Sad (1)

stibles (708899) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098811)

That this guy thinks the solution is testing on Americans... This is what we've come to. If only this guy had been around in '46... Here's an idea... Why don't you test these weapons on yourself jackass?

'Unruly crowds?' (5, Insightful)

Captain Sarcastic (109765) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098814)

Hmmm... if there are crowds of protesters who disagree with this idea, then it's a ready-made opportunity!

<IRONY=0%>

Dammit, did I leave off the "IRONY=100%" tag again?

That's great (1)

moorcito (529567) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098817)

What type of crowd contol situations are the talking about, protests against using this weapon on American citizens?

Re:That's great (1)

azulza (651826) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098931)

What type of crowd contol situations are the talking about, protests against using this weapon on American citizens?

Apparently, you have never been to an Oakland Raiders football game.

I think they need a new PR firm (2, Insightful)

johnny cashed (590023) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098821)

If they feel that this is the right way to go about testing new non-lethal weapons. Who is this enemy they are developing these "non-lethal" weapons for? The public? Americans who don't buy the party line? Iraqis? Disgruntled union workers?

read this earlier (5, Insightful)

thefirelane (586885) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098822)

I read this earlier, I couldn't think of a better example of "damned if you do, damned if you don't"

Military uses them first on US citizens:
OMG the Military is testing weapons on US citizens!

Military uses them first on non-US citizens:
OMG the Military is testing weapons on non-US citizens! What are those people worth less to you racists?

Military doesn't develope these weapons:
OMG the Military is using deadly force against civilians

Re:read this earlier (5, Insightful)

Dr Caleb (121505) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098894)

"OMG the Military is using deadly force against civilians"

The question you should be asking is "Why is the Military being used for civillian law enforcment?"

Re:read this earlier (1, Insightful)

HarvardAce (771954) | more than 7 years ago | (#16099010)

The question you should be asking is "Why is the Military being used for civillian law enforcment?"

Who said anything about civilian law enforcement? The idea is that the military uses these against the enemy to avoid casualties on both sides of a war. I think the government should be applauded (for once) for trying to use non-lethal force where possible. Is the best testing solution to use them on civilians during riots or for extreme measures of crowd control? That is open to debate, but other "non-lethal" methods of crowd control have killed before (like the student from Boston a couple years ago who was killed by a rubber bullet).

I don't think the testing is meant to answer "does this work as intended?" but rather "will the weapon's effects affect the targets in the way we want?" For example, let's take a weapon that emits a targetted high pitch noise that is deafening to its targets. We can be pretty sure that it's going to work and not kill anyone, but how will the targets respond? Are they going to go crazy because of the noise and charge the police/military, or will they drop to the ground covering their ears and surrender? Testing this on volunteers from the army would not be as telling as it would be to test it on an angry mob.

Re:read this earlier (1)

Apocalypse111 (597674) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098929)

Military tests them on animals, sensor-lined dummies.
OMG the Military is... wait, what?
PETA: testing them on ANIMALS!
Everyone Else: Oh go away PETA.
Dummies: OMG the Military is testing them on us!
Everyone: OH SHIT ZOMBIE DUMMIES KEEP FIRING AT THEM! GET THE LETHAL WEAPONS BACK HERE!

Have you not heard of the Posse Comitatus Act? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16098930)

You obviously have not heard of the Posse Comitatus Act [cornell.edu] :

TITLE 18, PART I, CHAPTER 67, Sec. 1385
Sec. 1385. Use of Army and Air Force as posse comitatus

Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.


Of course, there have been many efforts recently to subvert such principles.

Re:read this earlier (1)

regular_gonzalez (926606) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098934)

You left off the greatest outrage-inducing one of all:
Military uses them first on animals.

Re:read this earlier (1)

Josh Hiles (970528) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098965)

This man is absolutely right, how dare you people question the wise and all-knowing decsions of our goverment and our loyal, never rape people with broomhandles military?!?! The fact of the matter is that our goverment and our armed forces have, in the last few years, proven themselves wonderful and fully trustworthy guardians of our liberty. I trust firelane will forgive our ill considered and treasonous remarks. We should all be ashamed of ourselves, how will this conversation affect the troops?

Re:read this earlier (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098988)

I read this earlier, I couldn't think of a better example of "damned if you do, damned if you don't"
I take it then that you are not George Lucas and did not release the original version of the original trilogy on DVD this week ;)

Re:read this earlier (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 7 years ago | (#16099021)

How about: test them on paid volunteers?

Re:read this earlier (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16099046)

Won't someone please think of the children....or at least take better aim at them.
 
But seriously can't they just set up tests with inanimate objects and sensors, or is that too violent against the Inanimate Object Committee....and what exactly were they testing recent items like cluster bombs? US citizens? You guys should really do a population count for the record.

Major Flaw (3, Insightful)

WebHostingGuy (825421) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098824)

The major flaw in this is that the entire premise is based upon the fact that the military wants to win a public relations war rather than the real thing.

Who cares if you are in a *war* and you hurt the enemy?

Give me a break. When you get to the point where you are trying to care about what people think about you in a war you are losing. War is for one thing only--the destruction of your enemy.

If you are very efficient and eliminate your enemy very quickly you can just write (rewrite) any PR you want to.

Re:Major Flaw (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16098917)

Apparently, you haven't figured out who is our most dangerous opposition. The national news media has succesfully defeated the Army in every conflict we've lost at. Remember Vietnam? The American military did not loose a single major battle, but ABC made sure that the communists would rule the country with an iron fist. How about Somalia; millions of people are living in poverty and rapidly becoming slaves because CNN choose the UN forces as the loosers?

Re:Major Flaw (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16098923)

We lack the will to be Romans. To use every means, and to suppress every revolt with maximum force. I'm talking Crucifixions at every milepost when there is an attack on Americans world wide. To depopulate those regions which threaten us, to make a Desert and call it peace.

Thus lacking those as practical options, we're reduced to playing PR, and need hearts and minds, and need a way to deal with a crowd without going to grapeshot.

Re:Major Flaw (1)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098924)

"Who cares if you are in a *war* and you hurt the enemy?"

How about if you are bogged down in a peace-keeping and rebuilding operation where 90% of the population wants you out of their country and the Prime Minister has said it's okay to kill American troops? What if the only way out is to win the hearts and minds of the people so that they think they are better off than before you conquered their country? What if you need to disperse and angry and violent crowd without killing anyone so that you don't turn more people against you and feed the insugency?

Does any of this resemble anything that's going on in the real world today? A situation the United States might find itself in right now?

Re:Major Flaw (5, Informative)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#16099002)

Give me a break. When you get to the point where you are trying to care about what people think about you in a war you are losing. War is for one thing only--the destruction of your enemy.
Wars have always been fought for things other than destruction of your enemy.

Independence (which doesn't require destruction of enemy.
Territory (ditto).
Other scarce resources (food, water, oil, gold, etc. -- doesn't necessarily require destruction of your enemy).

War isn't about destroying your enemy (that's genocide you're thinking of, there). War is typically about the control of resources, and one of those resources is popular opinion. Plenty of wars have been fought for PR reasons -- an external enemy is one way of helping ensure you don't have to deal with an internal enemy.

Re:Major Flaw (1, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#16099014)

Give me a break. When you get to the point where you are trying to care about what people think about you in a war you are losing. War is for one thing only--the destruction of your enemy.
Bzzzzt.
Wrong

War is an extension of politics. War is what you do when your other methods of persuasion have failed.

The point of war is not to destroy the enemy, it is to make the enemy do what you want. The U.S. used two atomic bombs to get that point across to the Japanese people.

Maybe you've absorbed too much "ZOMG Teh War On T3rr0r!!1 Must k1ll teh terrorists b4 tehy k1ll US!eleven" ?

Hmm... (2)

Ridayah (945429) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098827)

Sounds like a good idea! I vote we let pentagon officials test them on themselves before the rest of us, as a show of good faith.

We're so well-respected (1)

courtarro (786894) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098828)

From the article:

"(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"

You know, 'cause we're so well respected now. We wouldn't want to tarnish the US' image in the international community.

Re:We're so well-respected (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098895)

Why does he care more about the opinions of the world press than he does the opinions of the American press? Or, for that matter, why does he care more about the opinions of the world press than he does for the potential safety of American citizens?

Sad to say it, but there already is a group to test these weapons on: American soldiers. Whether or not that's the way it should be, the government has been using solders as lab rats for decades. There have to be soldiers willing to volunteer to test (potentially) non-lethal weapons at home, instead of being shipped to Iraq where they would (potentially) face lethal ones.

Yes, but... (1)

turgid (580780) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098833)

...what they don't tell you is that there are plenty of brown "islamic" Americans who go to mosques and are likely to blow themselves up given half a chance.

Or so they'd have us believe.

This war on Humanity has driven me past the boundaries of sanity. Hand me my pills.

Isn't this kinda hypocritical? (1)

aliendisaster (1001260) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098841)

Wasn't part of the reason we took Saddam Hussein out of power because he was using weapons on his citizens? I know this is different as these are 'non-lethal' but with out proper testing there's no way to tell if they are truely 'non-lethal' so who knows? They may turn out to me worse than the biological ones Hussein was using.

What?! (1)

TomE (9550) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098842)

Did I miss something? I thought we wanted to kill everyone who was a bad guy in times of war? Now there is suddenly a problem with using potentially harmful non-leathal weapons on them?

Absurd! (1)

d_54321 (446966) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098844)

This is ridiculous. The US Air Force secretary is saying that it's ethically OK to use US citizens over non-US citizens for testing weapons. This is clearly false as everyone knows that non-US citizens are much more deserving of being used as test subjects.

George Bush tryed some already (1)

jlebrech (810586) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098845)

He's fine.

Unclear summary (1)

CoffeeDregs (539143) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098846)

The article summary doesn't make clear that the weapons are not going to be tested on *willing* US citizens (e.g. college students looking to make $100 for a few brief moments of pain). TFA talks about using the weapons for crowd control in the U.S.

Still think TFA has a good idea, but wanted to point out that difference.

    - Dregs?

Re:Unclear summary (1)

Damastus the WizLiz (935648) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098873)

from the article: 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.
I dunno about you but that kind of statement makes me nervous about testing it at all on the public.

Good... (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098854)

...it would be a little bit of a doublespeak to say "Here are the fancy new non-lethal weapons we've been working on... but um, we'd rather use the old ways on US citizens." That means you either think they're ineffective and would rather use a gun, or they're only non-lethal in the most literal sense of the word and US citizens could make too much of a fuzz. In any case, I think "eating your own dogfood" would be a good way show that these weapons really are as good as claimed.

re: high tech weapons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16098855)

i for one, welcome our new .... oh wait ...

Shocking! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16098858)

Would not it be better to test in on animals or Iraqi first?

Re:Shocking! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16098905)

Better on your daughter... or on an animal like you.

Politically good way to field test (1)

nuggz (69912) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098862)

Really he's right.
They are tested and documented less lethal weapons. Even if there is no intention to use them by the military, domestic use might help save lives and reduce injuries.

If they really are less lethal they should be deployed domestically.
It's good for Americans because it allows one more step before employing lethal weapons.

It's politically safer to use them outside the US after they've been used domestically.

With domestic riots they have a few options to control, adding another somewhere between shooting and telling people to behave is good.
Hopefully they will be safer than
Tasers, rubber bullets, bean bags, maybe even CS gas.

I'd rather people get informed enough about the issues to have fair and reasonable discussions, but that's about as likely as a non violent response to out of control protests.

Is he serious? (1)

StyxRiver (782565) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098881)

"Domestic use would make it easier to avoid questions from others about possible safety considerations," said Secretary Michael Wynne.

He must not have thought that through.... Domestic use would make it a hell of a lot harder to avoid safety considerations. I would believe the battlefield would be the best place to test weaponry if you're trying to avoid such questions. Rarely does someone say "Oops, we killed an enemy combatant."

"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,"

I only partially agree with that statement. There are plenty of examples in the past where we have used weaponry, of any sort, in wartime situations that we wouldn't have imagined using against our own citizens.

What scares me is that this guy is serious with these statements.

/tinfoilhat on

I'm expecting to hear this from Tony Snow soon... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16098882)

Look, it's plain and simple. Unless we test weapons on American civilians, the Terrorists win.

A big "No" in my mind... (1)

RexHowland (71795) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098899)

To me, it sounds more like they're trying set a precedent for using microwave weapons against US citizens, and they've just decided this is the nicest way of going about doing that.

Maybe I'm just paranoid. But it doesn't seem like a good idea.

One day, it will be used to quell a violent outburst from some crowd. And, from then on, it could be used to take away our right to assembly. As if tear gas and rubber bullets weren't enough.

I'm all about keeping a crowd under control, but we can't allow something that could be used to -control- us.

Uh.. big deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16098913)

I read the RTFA, and it basically says that they're going to use these "weapons" on people in the US. This is different from anything HOW? As far as I know, before they deploy these "weapons" against protesters, they usually use them on -paid- volunteers to make sure they're actually ok. I don't see any big difference between using water hoses vs. sonic weapons against protesters, except one is probably a lot easier to lug around, and also to use in places like the mid east where you just can't spray water like that. Big fucking deal people, stop acting so indignant.

Vilified (1)

himurabattousai (985656) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098927)

"(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."
Just by considering turning the U.S. military on the very people it's supposed to protect, you're going to be vilified in the press both abroad and at home. No matter what pretty words you try to dress this truth up with, that is exactly what you are proposing. That your unproven weapons would only be "tested" in crowd control situations makes no difference. The citizens of the country are not your guinea pigs. They shouldn't be expected to sit back and let you "test" your weapons on them. You made the damn things, you should have the balls to "test" them on yourselves.

I put the quotes around test because I don't think the focus is on testing the weapons at all. I think it's just a way for them to flex some muscle and show that they've got the biggest slingshots, and tough shit if you don't like it, because there's nothing that you can do about it That they bring up crowd control shows an awful lot about their motives. Even if there were some legitimate tests that needed to be done that had to be done on real people, doing it this way only serves to scare the citizens into compliance with whatever the politico-gods want us to do.

We're already guinea pigs (2, Informative)

crystalattice (179900) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098937)

Why stop now? They've been doing things like this for years, especially to the military. Anthrax shots, nuclear testing, yellow fever, etc. Since at least 1943 they've been biological tests [raceandhistory.com] on people, typically without their knowledge.

Luckily I never had to take any of the anthrax shots while in the Navy, but I remember talking to another Navy guy who said part of the enlistment contract requires service members to accept drug testing on them. That's why the anthrax shots were so debilitating; they were using the military to test it. I don't know whether that's true or not, but I certainly wouldn't put it past our government.

(Man, I was submitting this to /. when I saw it already posted. I need a faster keyboard.)

That's a great idea. (1)

TheOldSchooler (850678) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098941)

Next we can invade and occupy New Jersey. Then we won't need to justify the Iraqi invasion because we've done it do ourselves.

Precedent? (1)

d_54321 (446966) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098944)

Compare and contrast to previous non-lethal weapons and how they were tested: tazer, bean bag gun, etc.

War is heck? (4, Insightful)

Hahnsoo (976162) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098947)

This is one of those news stories that can be easily spun to be pro- and anti-Military, pro- and anti-American, pro- and anti-Democracy, etc. Is it really such a big deal? There are many forms of non-lethal measures out on the market already being used by law enforcement and even civilian populations. There are FAR more lethal measures both in use by law enforcement and civilians (everything from kitchen knives to a Honda Accord). After spending many years using science to develop new and exciting ways to kill each other, it's odd that there would be a controversial story about using science to develop new and exciting ways to NOT kill each other. Being hit by a Thomas A Swift Electric Raygun isn't fun, but at least I know I have a good chance of surviving it.

I Can't Even Begin (1)

Aqua_boy17 (962670) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098955)

"The object is basically public relations. Domestic use would make it easier to avoid questions from others about possible safety considerations"
There are so many things wrong with this quote, that that I'm having trouble even starting to comment. Except maybe to say that I sincerely hope that most US citizens remember remarks like these when they go to the polls this fall.

This is unbelievable, even in this administration where sadly, one has come to expect this type of mentality. BTW - Let me say that I am a registered Republican before I get flamed by all the NeoCons.

Be careful what one asks for. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16098957)

"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."

Yes, better watch out America! Lest the military opts to test out bringing Democracy to your Constitutional Republic.

Test on Secretaries Kids First (1)

CranberryKing (776846) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098959)

"Bzzzzzt! Mmm.. Not bad. Bzzzzzzzzzztt! Ooh. A little crispy now.. Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzztttttttttss!. KRACKKK! Okay that's enough. Hmm.. Shit.. Looks like they're unsafe. Okay, what's next? Sound weapon? Great, aim at the little guy this time."

Asshole.

Fantastic (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098971)

After all the liberty limiting, rights abolishing moves, now your administration, in conjunction with the military, is preparing to literally beat down u.s. citizens.

What a wonderful entourage is that you voted to govern your country !!!

I was part of one of these (1)

MikeyTheK (873329) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098977)

When the new high-power sonar systems were being tested, they asked for SCUBA divers to participate. This was at a certain test location that is literally out in the middle of the ocean. It wasn't like they took you out there. You were either already there or you weren't. Among other things, the time that divers were in the water, and the exact spot were requested, along with personal experiences and observations of what the "wildlife" was doing. Since the location is a remote base, they were pretty confident that the reports were reasonable.

Highly misleading tag... (1)

JediLow (831100) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098981)

From TFA:
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.

It isn't about the military testing it on civilians at all, nor is it about the military using it on US Citizens either (you may not realize this but the military (Army/Navy/Air Force/Coast Guard/Marines) does not get deployed against civilian populations; at worst it'd be the National Guard which is supposed to operate domestically).

From my understanding it reads that Wynne thinks they should be used by groups such as police forces in crowd control situations because if it was something which they would be willing to use then the political capital opponents of the non-lethal weapons have would be lost. What they're trying to avoid is a situation where the latest non-lethal weapon which is deployed abroad and then having media say that it killed/injured someone.

ALL FOR IT (1)

IamWhoIam (998642) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098983)

IF they test em on the corrupt bastards that are ruining our country, and causing the people to resort to civil disobedience just so they can be heard.

Strange article... (1)

DarkBlackFox (643814) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098986)

From the article:

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...


So only 1/3 of the article is actually about non-lethal weapon testing. Seems like right about where they should have given more details about the new weapons, they shift gears to talk about a new contract for refueling tankers... Kind of an awkward place to put that kind of information.

It's like "Yeah, we may do some testing of non-lethal weapons on US citizens, so we don't accidentally kill or injure people we're at war with, making us look bad. The weapons can stun people and... oh yeah! We're about to pick a new contractor for refueling tankers. Weapons? What weapons? We're taling about contracts and money now!"

You fool, still believe in CNN lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16098987)

You fool, still believe in CNN lol, what a moron, classic drive by media topic, it makes the people that does not read the whole thing think the gov is after them.

Brilliant! (1)

Mayhem178 (920970) | more than 7 years ago | (#16098996)

Air Force Techie #1: We've got some new non-lethal weapons we need to test before sending them out into the field. Any ideas?
Air Force Techie #2: Hmmm....yeah, actually. * Goes and posts on Slashdot *
Slashdot Hordes: Onoes! They're planning to use weapons against American citizens! We should start a riot!

...outside weapons lab...

Angry Mob: We demand you don't use those weapons on American citizens!
Air Force Guard #1: That mob is getting pretty close. Guess we should get on with it then.
Air Force Guard #2: Yep. * unloads new non-lethal weapons into crowd *

...later that day... Air Force Techie #1: So, did you figure out a way to test those weapons?
Air Force Techie #2: Done, done, and done.

One word: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16099025)

C-SPAN

Wait a minute, here... (1)

Captain Sarcastic (109765) | more than 7 years ago | (#16099026)

When was the last time that there were domestic protests that put the military into a situation where they had to decide between harsh language and lethal force? For that matter, when was the last time in the U.S. where police fired real bullets at protestors?

Mind you, I could see a situation where the military faces violent protests in other countries, and then find themselves being sniped upon from somewhere in the crowd. Iraq has been the site of many of these, leaving the military commanders there to face the decision mentioned above. Also, I recall situations in Bosnia where the Serbs would block roads with little old ladies who would prevent aid convoys from going through to the ill-fated "safe havens." So, I can understand that the military can have a need for this - it gives more options than either backing down, opening fire, or firing riot gas grenades (which constitute "chemical weapons" for the military, if I recall correctly <grimace>).

However, either the military is expecting a long wait before having a chance to test these weapons... or are expecting something to happen that might cause the testing opportunities.

Either one is suitable cause for me to have a creepy-crawly feeling between the shoulderblades....

Testing? Is this just more media spin? (1)

TrappedByMyself (861094) | more than 7 years ago | (#16099029)

I see no quote from Wynne related to testing. Did he really say this, or is CNN just twisting the truth by tossing in the word "testing"

From reading his quotes, it appears that he thinks we should not use non-lethal weapons on the battlefield unless we are willing to use them at home. That implies, to me at least, that we should only use non-lethal weapons if we think they are safe enough to use in the US. In other words, the non-lethal weapons are really non-lethal. If we're claiming something is "non-lethal" then we back up that claim with domestic use.

Is this not a good thing?
By using them on ourselves, that adds some assurance that the military won't use untested non-lethal weapons on foreign citizens. That means that we are really testing these things before we use them in real situations on real people because we're using them on ourselves first. And if their use can stand up to the sue-happy US laywers, their use will be more accepted in combat situations overseas.

This crap about using US citizens as guinea pigs is bogus.

Oh really? (1)

stuntpope (19736) | more than 7 years ago | (#16099036)

Secretary Wynne is quoted once in the article.

"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."

He states (according to the reporter) that it would be a public relations risk to use these weapons on people in foreign countries and assert they are non-lethal (or safe), if we are not willing to use them on our own people.

Nowhere does he state that the government is proposing, nor does he propose, a plan to start using them on US citizens, or "testy U.S. mobs" as CNN shouts in the headline. Maybe he did say that at the meeting, I don't know, but the reporter didn't give enough information to back up the sensationalist headline.

not effective (1)

dibblda (882455) | more than 7 years ago | (#16099037)

So will wearing a hooded sweatshirt and jeans that have metal mesh woven into them then protect you from
a microwave weapon (reflection)? If so, there is an opportunity to profit from a new line of clothing....

Moo (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 7 years ago | (#16099041)

Quick, call Mulder!

Out of context (4, Informative)

liak12345 (967676) | more than 7 years ago | (#16099042)

I think he just stated his point poorly. It isn't that he wants to test them on US citizens, it is that- If we're developing weapons to use on civilians that are supposed to be non-lethal BUT we're afraid to use them on our own citizens THEN we're not really sure that they're non-lethal and shouldn't be used. If we are secure enough in their safety that we would be willing to use them at home then they are ready to be used overseas. He isn't advocating rounding up citizens to shoot guns at. He's focusing on safety.

Enlisted men? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16099043)

I thought enlisted men were good for this type of experimentation. It's a non-lethal weapon, right? What could go wrong?

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