Say Goodbye to Your Right to Assemble


The U.S. Military has certified the Active Denial System for use in Iraq. ADS is a microwave based ray gun to be attached to a hummer for use in crowd control.

According to Wired Magazine, December 02006, Say Hello to the Goodbye Weapon:

The beam produces what experimenters call the "Goodbye effect," or "prompt and highly motivated escape behavior." In human tests, most subjects reached their pain threshold within 3 seconds, and none of the subjects could endure more than 5 seconds.

The ADS was developed in complete secrecy for 10 years at a cost of $40 million. Its existence was revealed in 2001 by news reports, but most details of ADS human testing remain classified. There has been no independent checking of the military's claims.
We can also say goodbye to public speech as we know it. Today's military uses the weapons of tomorrow's police force. Make no bones about it, this technology will be used against Americans on American soil within 10 years. The tear gas of WWI was eventually turned on American citizens by their own government. This will be no different. Except with this technology a government can suppress public dissent almost entirely. Imagine what the protests of the 1960s would have looked like if Richard Nixon's government had this technology.

Eventually, the heat rays will trickle down into the untrained hands of your local police. In June 2006, after the Supreme Court decided to allow no-knock searches, John Tierney wrote an editorial for the New York Times on the 'SWAT Syndrome,' the militarization of small town police forces through over armament.
Of all the excuses for weakening the Fourth Amendment, the weirdest was the one offered by Justice Antonin Scalia last week in a Michigan drug case.

He wrote the majority opinion allowing police officers to use evidence found in a home even if they entered without following the venerable rule to knock first and announce themselves. To reassure traditionalists, Scalia declared that unreasonable searches are less of a problem today because of ''the increasing professionalism of police forces.''

Well, it's true that when police show up at your home in the middle of the night, they're better armed and trained than ever. They now routinely arrive with assault rifles, flash grenades and battering rams.

So if your definition of a professional is a soldier in a war zone, then Scalia is right. The number of paramilitary raids has soared in the past two decades as cities, suburbs and small towns have rushed to suit up SWAT teams.
Eventually small cities and towns will want their very own death rays, and Raytheon is always ready to lend a helping hand. They have developed their own smaller, commercial version called The Silent Guardian.

More from the Wired article on the Active Denial System:
Eye damage is identified as the biggest concern, but the military claims this has been thoroughly studied. Lab testing found subjects reflexively blink or turn away within a quarter of a second of exposure, long before the sensitive cornea can be damaged. Tests on monkeys showed that corneal damage heals within 24 hours, the reports claim.

The beam penetrates clothing, but not stone or metal. Blocking it is harder than you might think. Wearing a tinfoil shirt is not enough -- you would have to be wrapped like a turkey to be completely protected. The experimenters found that even a small exposed area was enough to produce the Goodbye effect, so any gaps would negate protection. Holding up a sheet of metal won't work either, unless it covers your whole body and you can keep the tips of your fingers out of sight.

Wet clothing might sound like a good defense, but tests showed that contact with damp cloth actually intensified the effects of the beam.

System 1, the operational prototype, is mounted on a Hummer and produces a beam with a 2-meter diameter. Effective range is at least 500 meters, which is further than rubber bullets, tear gas or water cannons. The ammunition supply is effectively unlimited.

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