I can’t tell if this is really as bizarre as it reads or the story is just being reported in an odd and incomplete way.
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.So, the Air Force, or at least the Bush administration's civilian head of same, is just itching to get at a “crowd” that needs “control”. You know, for testing purposes. In the name of military science. For the good of the country. Or something. Remind me not to show up at any anti-war protests.
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.
Good lord, how can this story be reported without a few WTF’s thrown in. This is nuts. If you want to test new weapons, Mr. Secretary, do so on military personnel and leave the civilians out of it. Or perhaps you and other members of the brave, brave Bush administration could volunteer for the first round of tests on humans.