You Can’t Make This Shit Up, Part….Oh, I dunno. Just Read.

The Secretary of the Air Force, Michael Wynn, says that new weapons should be used for crowd control in the US, before using them in war.

“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.


“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.”


Just…..Holy Shit. I have no words.

EDIT: For those of you wondering about the effects of this “nonlethal” weapon in controlled tests: Read this report. Then think about how likely real-world use would match the test conditions (no glasses or contacts worn by test subjects, struck targets allowed a “cool-down period” before re-targeting)…

23 Replies to “You Can’t Make This Shit Up, Part….Oh, I dunno. Just Read.”

  1. Jesse and I were discussing this one last night. I understand his theory, and he’s right to some extent (we shouldn’t use stuff on others that we’re not willing to use on ourselves), but the actualization of that is SO wrong on so many levels. Once he volunteers to be a guinea pig, then we’ll talk…

  2. we shouldn’t use stuff on others that we’re not willing to use on ourselves

    See, I don’t buy that. These are weapons, “nonlethal” or no (and only if you believe the government’s claim of nonlethality, which, given their record, I’m not willing to). Weapons are for use against your enemies, not your citizens. Period.

    Nobody said “well, before we drop the atomic bomb on Japan, we should see what it does to American citizens first….”

  3. I guess my thing is that, if it’s NONLETHAL, it should be humane to some extent. Yes, there’s lethal stuff, and that’s an entirely different matter. I’m in the “either kill them or incapacitate them” camp; long lingering side effects are inhumane, and do they really help us? If so, then I might be convinced, but I think more often than not, it’s just bad design rather than the intention.

  4. Now that I’m done laughing hysterically…

    What is this guy SMOKING?

    Hmm, I think that this ax blade tempered rather nicely. But logically, I should try it out on my neighbor who keeps pushing his cows through my fence before I head out to battle. Obviously that’s the rational first step.

    “Use against our fellow citizens…”?!?!?! We shouldn’t be using ANY weapons against our fellow citizens! Gah!

  5. I really want to take the quote out of context. Because I think the idea–that if a weapon is too brutal to be used against American citizens, then it’s too brutal to be used in wartime–is one that Americans should follow.

    Unfortunately, that’s pretty clearly not what he meant.

  6. I think the part that makes me angry and uncomfortable is the planning to use weapons on “fellow citizens.” Not that a weapon is “humane enough” to be used on Americans. It’s the forethought and, ooo isn’t this a good idea attitude. It makes American citizens into test subjects.

  7. Exactly. If it can be described as a weapon, it shouldn’t be something that we are EVER willing to use on our fellow citizens. I’m also more than a bit creeped out by the implication that those same citizens, gathered, perhaps, in a protest against our government, might end up as guinea pigs in field tests for new ‘we’re-pretty-sure-it’s-not-lethal’ ideas.

  8. My other problem is in taking the government at their word of the devices “nonlethality” — after how many approved drugs turned out to be harmful? Artificial sweeteners that caused Cancer? “The Air quality at Ground Zero poses NO RISK”….?

    Sorry, I’m not buying it. They’re talking about MICROWAVE PROJECTORS in this case, for example. Overloading the target’s nervous system. The potential for lethality there, or creating a permanent case of epilepsy, is just way too fucking high.

    It’s a weapon. You don’t use it on your own citizens.

    Plus, the implication that it would be used against people protesting against the government is chilling.

  9. I agree with this. The quote was specifically referencing nonlethal weapons to be used in crowd control situations, not atomic bombs or surface-to-air missile batteries. He states point-blank that using a weapon designated as ‘nonlethal’ that had serious, longterm side effects would bring massive global outcry, implying that even our nominal allies would turn on us if we started cooking people alive. Consequently, if it’s not something we would feel comfortable being used as crowd control on rioters in the US, it’s not something we should endorse or condone using on foreigners. That seems reasonable to me.

    Why we’re pacifying riot situations in other countries to begin with is, however, a fairly valid question. There are times when I think we should be (Darfur, dammit!) and times I think it’s not our province (Iraq). However, I’m considering what might have changed if UN forces in Rwanda, barred from firing on rioting locals, had had some form of humane, effective, nonlethal crowd control that didn’t violate UN engagement rules. After seeing what came out of that situation, I don’t fault the US for looking for something that could be used when lethal force isn’t an option, and for setting the parameter that if it’s too ugly to contemplate using on Americans, we probably don’t want to be using it on anyone at all. I do wish, however, that the “If we wouldn’t do it to our own people…” logic applied to things like torture and holding people indefinitely without a trial.


  10. Check my edit to the post, which provides a link to results of unrealistically limited testing that they’ve done on this weapon. Read and be horrified.

  11. Let’s see…metal zippers, glasses, pocketchange, keys, contact lenses, all pose a significant threat for burning the target and causing permanent scarring and/or nerve damage. Not to mention the volunteer that was burned thanks to some idjit having the ADS in the wrong setting (which’d never happen if it was deployed by poorly-trained police and/or military personnel, natch) even with the safety measures ensuring an unrealisitcally safe situation.

    Gosh, I can’t see any reason why this isn’t deployed against folks leaving the Designated Free Speech Zones right now!

    So, what next? ULF emitters to cause nausea and vomiting? Remember, folks, there’s no such thing as a ‘nonlethal’ weapon – only *less* lethal.

  12. Of course what he isn’t saying is that non-Lethal weapons on a Battlefield are redundant too.

    You do not want your enemy to recover and get back in the fight quickly, neither in fact do you want to kill him. Both options allow your enemy to carry on and continue the fight.

    Instead, what you really want to do is injure your enemy. Thus immediatly reducing your enemies threat level as other members of the unit rush to their comrades aide. Further reductions as the wounded are evacuated, often tying up front line units in said evacuation. Stretching your enemies resources as they treat the wounded. A wounded man will eat up time, resources and money AND reduce the combat effectiveness of your enemy in a fight.

    A POW ties up your resources, troops assigned as guards lower your own combat effectiveness and they take up a little more resources than your own wounded. Often for very little intelligence gains.

    Thats on a straight battlefield model.

    Non-lethal weapons are only really any use for dometic crowd control really, although this is a nice way of putting that view without making it clear!

  13. I am 100% in agreeance with you. But let me rephrase it a bit…

    If it’s something we wouldn’t want another country’s troops to do to our own in a time of war, we shouldn’t do it to theirs.

    Golden rule. Geneva Convention. Etc.

    But yeah, putting forth the idea of testing it on our own civilian population: totally asinine.

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