Military Corruption News ArticlesExcerpts of Key Military Corruption News Articles in Media
Rape in the American armed forces is an issue that has quietly been gathering attention over the past decade. The documentary "The Invisible War" [is] a devastating indictment of the government's inaction on the issue. Director Kirby Dick brought a powerful weapon to his film: victim after eloquent victim, Navy, Marine, Coast Guard, Army and Air Force veterans who were assaulted by fellow officers, supervisors or recruits. They tell their stories in courageous detail, and it quickly becomes clear that these are not isolated incidents but a pattern reflective of a widespread rot within America's military institution, one that betrays its essential values. One Marine, Ariana Klay, was raped by a fellow officer in the elite Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C. A Navy officer, Trina McDonald, was drugged and raped repeatedly by fellow officers on a remote base in Alaska. Coast Guard recruit Kori Cioca was raped and then assaulted -- smacked so hard in the face that it dislocated her jaw, causing her permanent damage and pain for which the Veterans Administration declines to provide medical coverage. Every woman in the film has had her life shattered by this event -- not necessarily because of the rape, but because of the response by the military establishment. After lodging complaints, the women were met with indifference or targeted retaliation. They have had to leave the military. Some were threatened with violence. Almost none of the alleged perpetrators were brought up on charges or punished in any way.
Note: As this article appears to have disappeared from the Tribune website, you can also find it on the Reuters website at this link. To learn about documented sexual abuse in secret CIA mind control programs, click here. For lots more on sexual abuse scandals from major media sources, click here.
The CIA’s armed drones and paramilitary forces have killed dozens of al-Qaeda leaders and thousands of its foot soldiers. But there is another mysterious organization that has killed even more of America’s enemies in the decade since the 9/11 attacks. Troops from this other secret organization have imprisoned and interrogated 10 times as many [suspects as has the CIA], holding them in jails that it alone controls in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, this secretive group of men (and a few women) has grown tenfold while sustaining a level of obscurity that not even the CIA managed. “We’re the dark matter. We’re the force that orders the universe but can’t be seen,” a strapping Navy SEAL, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said in describing his unit. The SEALs are just part of the U.S. military’s Joint Special Operations Command, known by the acronym JSOC, which has grown from a rarely used hostage rescue team into America’s secret army, routinely [used] to mount intelligence-gathering missions and lethal raids, mostly in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also in countries with which the United States was not at war, including Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, the Philippines, Nigeria and Syria. The president has also given JSOC the rare authority to select individuals for its kill list — and then to kill, rather than capture, them. JSOC has grown from 1,800 troops prior to 9/11 to as many as 25,000. It has its own intelligence division, its own drones and reconnaissance planes, even its own dedicated satellites.
Note: This article describing JSOC’s spectacular rise, much of which has not been publicly disclosed before, is adapted from a chapter of the newly released Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State, by Washington Post reporters Dana Priest and William M. Arkin. For lots more on the secret realities of the "Endless War" launched by the 9/11 false-flag operation, click here.
The Red Cross and the Vatican both helped thousands of Nazi war criminals and collaborators to escape after the Second World War, according to a book that pulls together evidence from unpublished documents. Gerald Steinacher, a research fellow at Harvard University, was given access to thousands of internal documents in the archives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). They throw light on how and why mass murderers such as Adolf Eichmann, Josef Mengele and Klaus Barbie and thousands of others evaded capture by the allies. By comparing lists of wanted war criminals to travel documents, Steinacher says Britain and Canada alone inadvertently took in around 8,000 former Waffen-SS members in 1947, many on the basis of valid documents issued mistakenly. The documents – which are discussed in Steinacher's book Nazis on the Run: How Hitler's henchmen fled justice – offer a significant insight into Vatican thinking, particularly, because its own archives beyond 1939 are still closed. The Vatican has consistently refused to comment. Through the Vatican Refugee Commission, war criminals were knowingly provided with false identities.
Note: Many Nazis were allowed entry, often under false identities, into the US in the late 40's and early '50s. Some were doctors who had experimented on concentration camp inmates without their consent, often torturing them and killing them. They continued to experiment on unwilling subjects in CIA mind-control experiments. For confirmation and more information, click here.
Some 36 hours after the world first learnt of the US commando raid that killed Osama bin Laden, the White House changed parts of its story. A woman was killed, its spokesman said, but she was not Bin Laden's wife – who survived after being shot in the leg. Bin Laden did not, as had earlier been claimed, use his wife as a human shield; she was injured when she tried to challenge one of the US commandos. And Bin Laden was not, after all, armed, although he did, the spokesman said, put up some resistance. The new version – no wife as human shield, no weapon – makes [bin Laden] more ordinary and more vulnerable. It also raises further questions. If the first version was incorrect, perhaps even to an extent "spun" for a certain effect, might there not be room for doubt about other aspects of the official narrative? About, say, whether the crucial intelligence about Bin Laden was extracted from al-Qa'ida operatives under torture, which might appear to justify such methods and lift some of the opprobrium from the previous US administration and the CIA. A no less pertinent question that the new version raises is whether Bin Laden was ever actually given a chance to surrender and whether he might have been taken alive rather than dead. When President Obama said that justice had been done, was this – strictly speaking – justice, or was it cold-blooded retribution?
Note: WantToKnow team member David Ray Griffin's book establishing the likelihood that Osama bin Laden died in December 2001, Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive?, is available here. For many other major media news articles showing clear deception and more by government officials, click here.
The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency has attempted to block a book about the tipping point in Afghanistan and a controversial pre-9/11 data mining project called "Able Danger." In a letter obtained by Fox News, the DIA says national security could be breached if Operation Dark Heart is published in its current form. The agency also attempted to block key portions of the book that claim "Able Danger" successfully identified hijacker Mohammed Atta as a threat to the United States before the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. In a highly unusual move, the Department of Defense is now negotiating with the publisher, St. Martin's Press, to buy all 10,000 copies of the first printing of the book to keep it off shelves -- even after the U.S. Army had cleared the book for release. Specifically, the DIA wanted references to a meeting between Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer, the book's author, and the executive director of the 9/11 Commission, Philip Zelikow, removed. In that meeting, which took place in Afghanistan, Shaffer alleges the commission was told about "Able Danger" and the identification of Atta before the attacks. No mention of this was made in the final 9/11 report. Once back in the U.S., Shaffer says he contacted the commission. Without explanation, the commission was no longer interested.
A US federal watchdog has criticised the US military for failing to account properly for billions of dollars it received to help rebuild Iraq. The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction says the US Department of Defence is unable to account properly for 96% of the money. Out of just over $9bn, $8.7bn is unaccounted for, the inspector says. Much of the money came from the sale of Iraqi oil and gas, and some frozen Saddam Hussein-era assets were also sold off. The money was in a special fund administered by the US Department of Defense, the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI), and was earmarked for reconstruction projects. But the report says that a lack of proper accounting and poor oversight makes it impossible to say exactly what happened to most of it. "The breakdown in controls left the funds vulnerable to inappropriate uses and undetected loss," the report said. This is not the first time that allegations of missing billions have surfaced in relation to the US-led invasion of Iraq and its aftermath. In 2005, the inspector general criticised the Coalition Provisional Authority, the US-led occupation administration, for its management of an $8.8bn fund that belonged to the Iraqi government. A criminal investigation conducted led to the conviction of eight US officials on bribery, fraud and money-laundering charges.
Note: For a collection of major media articles showing how the US military has repeatedly failed to account for hundreds of billions of dollars, click here.
Classified U.S. military video showing a 2007 attack by Apache helicopters that killed a dozen people in Baghdad, including two Reuters news staff, was released on [April 5] by a group that promotes leaking to fight government and corporate corruption. The group, WikiLeaks, told a news conference in Washington that it acquired encrypted video of the July 12, 2007, attack from military whistleblowers and had been able to view and investigate it after breaking the encryption code. A U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the video and audio were authentic. David Schlesinger, Reuters' editor-in-chief, said the video released by WikiLeaks showed the deaths of [Namir] Noor-Eldeen and [Saeed] Chmagh were "tragic and emblematic of the extreme dangers that exist in covering war zones." "The video released today via WikiLeaks is graphic evidence of the dangers involved in war journalism and the tragedies that can result," he said. Reuters has pressed the U.S. military to conduct a full and objective investigation into the killing of the two staff. WikiLeaks posted the video at http://www.collateralmurder.com.
Note: If the above link fails, click here. Should the above video disappear, click here to view it on one of our websites. The only reason this event made news is because the two cameramen killed were Reuters reporters. US forces then fired on an unarmed van with children in it, which was attempting to bring the dead and wounded out of the combat zone. How many innocent civilians are killed like this and never make the news? Spread this important video and help others to wake up and work together to stop the creulty of some of the US forces. The Pentagon is working hard to shut down Wikileaks, the organization which secured this powerful video.
Just before Christmas, the US President, Barack Obama, signed into law one of his country's biggest aid pledges of the year. It was bound not for Africa or any of the many struggling countries on the World Bank's list. It was a deal for $US2.77 billion ($3 billion) to go to Israel in 2010 and a total of $US30 billion over the next decade. Israel is bound by the agreement to use 75 per cent of the aid to buy military hardware made in the US. For the first time the US is also providing $US500 million to the Palestinian Authority, including $US100 million to train security forces, under the strict proviso that the authority's leadership recognises Israel. For many years Israel has been the largest recipient of US foreign aid, followed by Egypt ($US1.75 billion), which also receives most of its assistance in tied military aid. The Congressional Research Service says that the US spent 17 per cent of its total aid budget - or $US5.1 billion - on military aid in 2008, of which $US4.7 billion was grants to enable governments to receive equipment from the US.
Note: Israel's population is 7.5 million. If you do the math, the US is providing the equivalent of $4,000 in aid to every man, woman and child in Israel over the next decade, with $3,000 of that to buy US military hardware. For lots more on government-facilitated profiteering in the arms industry, click here and here.
When Sept. 11, 2001, dawned, the Northeast Air Defense Sector in Rome, N.Y., went on full alert — to prepare for a training exercise that envisioned a sneak attack by Russian planes flying over the North Pole to bomb the United States, a prospect that Defense Secretary Robert McNamara had dismissed as outdated in 1966. Later that morning, ... three F-16 fighter jets were scrambled from Langley Air Force Base to form a combat air patrol over Washington. But degraded radio transmission quality meant that the pilots were left clueless about the nature of their mission. On seeing the Pentagon in flames, the lead fighter pilot later explained, “I reverted to the Russian threat. I’m thinking cruise missile threat from the sea. You know, you look down and see the Pentagon burning, and I thought the bastards snuck one by us. You couldn’t see any airplanes, and no one told us anything.” As senior counsel to the 9/11 Commission, [Farmer] investigated the derelict conduct of the national security apparatus. Now that numerous transcripts and tapes have been declassified, [in his book The Ground Truth] Farmer draws on them to assail the government’s official depiction of 9/11 as so much public relations flimflam. Both Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Vice President Dick Cheney, Farmer says, provided palpably false versions that touted the military’s readiness to shoot down United 93 before it could hit Washington. Planes were never in place to intercept it. Farmer ... was the attorney general of New Jersey and is the dean of the Rutgers School of Law,
The Pentagon is steadily and dramatically increasing the money it spends to win what it calls "the human terrain" of world public opinion. In the process, it is raising concerns of spreading propaganda at home in violation of federal law. An Associated Press investigation found that over the past five years, the money the military spends on winning hearts and minds at home and abroad has grown by 63 percent, to at least $4.7 billion this year, according to Department of Defense budgets and other documents. That's almost as much as it spent on body armor for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2004 and 2006. This year, the Pentagon will employ 27,000 people just for recruitment, advertising and public relations — almost as many as the total 30,000-person work force in the State Department. The biggest chunk of funds — about $1.6 billion — goes into recruitment and advertising. Another $547 million goes into public affairs, which reaches American audiences. And about $489 million more goes into what is known as psychological operations. Staffing across all these areas costs about $2.1 billion, as calculated by the number of full-time employees and the military's average cost per service member. That's double the staffing costs for 2003. Recruitment and advertising are the only two areas where Congress has authorized the military to influence the American public. Far more controversial is public affairs, because of the prohibition on propaganda to the American public.
Note: For more revealing reports from reliable sources on the realities of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, click here.
[BBC Radio] uncovers details of a planned coup in the USA in 1933 by right-wing American businessmen. The coup was aimed at toppling President Franklin D Roosevelt with the help of half-a-million war veterans. The plotters, who were alleged to involve some of the most famous families in America (owners of Heinz, Birds Eye, Goodtea, Maxwell [House] and George Bush’s grandfather, Prescott [Bush]) believed that their country should adopt the policies of Hitler and Mussolini to beat the great depression. Why [is] so little ... known about this biggest ever peacetime threat to American democracy?
Note: The highly decorated General Smedley Butler, author of the landmark book War is a Racket, was approached by the plotters for assistance in carrying out this coup. He at first played along, but then eventually exposed the coup plot in Congressional testimony. Yet news of this huge plot was squelched by both the government and media. To understand why, read a two-page summary of General Butler's book by clicking here and listen to the gripping, 30-minute BBC broadcast at the link above.
The largest government contractor you’ve never heard of [is] a company known simply by the nondescript initials SAIC (for Science Applications International Corporation). It is larger than the departments of Labor, Energy, and Housing and Urban Development combined. No contractor seems to exploit conflicts of interest in Washington with more zeal. And no contractor cloaks its operations in greater secrecy. SAIC has displayed an uncanny ability to thrive in every conceivable political climate. It is the invisible hand behind a huge portion of the national-security state—the one sector of the government whose funds are limitless. SAIC represents, in other words, a private business that has become a form of permanent government. Civilians at SAIC used to joke that the company had so many admirals and generals in its ranks it could start its own war. Some might argue that, in the case of Iraq, it did. 9/11 ... was very, very good for SAIC. In the aftermath of the attacks ... SAIC was ready. SAIC executives have been involved at every stage of the life cycle of the war in Iraq. SAIC personnel were instrumental in pressing the case that weapons of mass destruction existed in Iraq ... and that war was the only way to get rid of them. Then ... SAIC secured contracts for a broad range of operations in soon-to-be-occupied Iraq. When no weapons of mass destruction were found, SAIC personnel staffed the commission that was set up to investigate how American intelligence could have been so disastrously wrong.
Note: SAIC changed its name to Leidos in 2013. Lockheed Martin, which already ran a breathtakingly big part of the United States, and was reported in 2015 to be “engaged in deep and systemic corruption" including paying off a Congresswoman, merged with Leidos in 2016. The hidden war machine is consolidating. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the corporate world.
Robert Gates will face ... the enormous task of cleaning up the Pentagon's tangled finances, which outside auditors lambaste as so chaotic that no one knows how much money is being spent on defense at any given time. The White House's Office of Management and Budget believes the Pentagon's financial management systems are in such a mess "that independent auditors still cannot certify the accuracy of the financial statements." David Walker, the U.S. Comptroller General, issued a devastating assessment of the Pentagon's finances, which include an annual budget of over $500 billion. The Pentagon's financial problems "are pervasive, complex, long-standing and deeply rooted in virtually all business operations throughout the department," Walker told the Senate Armed Services Committee. Financial problems like the Pentagon's "would put any civilian company out of business," said Kwai Chan, a former GAO auditor ... and author of a report entitled "Financial Management in the Department of Defense: No One is Accountable." Winslow Wheeler, a former national security expert for the Senate Budget Committee, called the Defense Department "the worst-managed agency in the federal government, (that) can't account for the half-trillion dollars it spends each year, and seeks to produce weapons that are irrelevant or ineffective, or both."
Note: For major media articles showing that more than $1 trillion of taxpayers money have gone missing at the Pentagon, click here. For the deeper reasons behind this, a top U.S. general's explanation is available here.
Serratia is a bacterium that some doctors and residents of the Bay Area have been familiar with for many years. In 1950, government officials believed that serratia did not cause disease. That belief was later used as a justification for a secret post-World War II Army experiment that became a notorious disaster tale about the microbe. The Army used serratia to test whether enemy agents could launch a biological warfare attack on a port city such as San Francisco from a location miles offshore. For six days in late September 1950, a small military vessel near San Francisco sprayed a huge cloud of serratia particles into the air while the weather favored dispersal. Army tests showed that the bacterial cloud had exposed hundreds of thousands of people in a broad swath of Bay Area communities. Soon after the spraying, 11 people came down with hard-to-treat infections at the old Stanford University Hospital in San Francisco. By November, one man had died. The outbreak was so unusual that the Stanford doctors wrote it up for a medical journal. But the medics and [the dead man's] relatives didn't find out about the Army experiment for nearly 26 years, when a series of secret military experiments came to light. Some people now speculate that descendants of the Army germs are still causing infections here today. The secret bio-warfare test might have permanently changed the microbial ecology of the region.
Note: The military regularly used humans as guinea pigs in experiments in the decades before and after WWII. For a list of these sometimes lethal experiments, click here. For reliable information on government mind control experiments which also used unsuspecting civilians, click here.
Eric Olson now has a new verb for what happened to his father, Frank Olson, who worked for the Army's top-secret Special Operations Division at Fort Detrick, where he developed bioweapons and experimented with mind-control drugs. Eric Olson found the verb in a 1950s CIA manual. The verb is "dropped." And the manual is a how-to guide for assassins. "The most efficient accident, in simple assassination, is a fall of 75 feet or more onto a hard surface," the manual says, adding helpfully: "It will usually be necessary to stun or drug the subject before dropping him." Eric Olson believes his father -- who developed misgivings about his work and tried to resign -- was murdered by government agents to protect dark government secrets. "No assassination instructions should ever be written or recorded," says the CIA assassination manual. "Decision and instructions should be confined to an absolute minimum of persons." It adds: "For secret assassination the contrived accident is the most effective technique. When successfully executed, it causes little excitement and is only casually investigated." William P. Walter, 78, who supervised anthrax production at Detrick, says Olson's colleagues were divided about his death. "Some say he jumped. Some say he had help," Walter says. "I'm one of the 'had-help' people." So is James Starrs, a George Washington University forensic pathologist who ... called the evidence "rankly and starkly suggestive of homicide." In a report to the CIA on the death, [Harold] Abramson, [a doctor who had experimented with LSD] wrote that the LSD experiment was designed "especially to trap (Olson)." This ... raised a troubling possibility: that the LSD experiment was actually designed to see whether Olson could still be trusted to keep the agency's dark secrets.
Note: Frank Olson was just one of many tragic casualties of the CIA's mind-control programs. For revealing information on this secret history, click here.
Twice each week, a top-secret report with distinctive red stripes lands on the desks of select policymakers in Washington. Called the "Red Cell," it is the work of a CIA unit by the same name, set up after the 9/11 attacks. "Some of it is really wacky, even scary," says an insider. "Like bombing Iran." The "Red Cell," in a very real sense, is emblematic of the trouble the U.S. intelligence community finds itself in today. Created in 1947, the U.S. intelligence community has grown enormously in terms of bodies and dollars but also in the number and complexity of its responsibilities. It has also, for many reasons, grown into a mess. After 9/11, Americans had good reason to assume the nation's intelligence capabilities were being improved. But then came the Iraq war and the subsequent revelations that the CIA's "slam dunk" intelligence on Saddam Hussein's stockpiles of banned weapons was a complete air ball, a casualty of badly forged documents, eager exiles with outlandish stories, and analysis that, in the most charitable sense, could be described as flawed. The Senate Intelligence Committee's 511-page Iraq report documents how on the country's weightiest issue – whether to launch a pre-emptive war – the U.S. intelligence community ended up wrong on virtually every critical point. "In short," laments Sen. Jay Rockefeller, the intelligence panel's ranking Democrat, "we went to war in Iraq based on false claims." When Harry Truman signed into law the National Security Act of 1947, creating the CIA, he wanted precisely what the name implied: a central agency for intelligence. "The CIA was set up by me for the sole purpose of getting all the available information to the president," Truman wrote. "It was not intended to operate as an international agency engaged in strange activities." Within months, of course, Truman himself was ordering the CIA to engage in "strange activities," such as staving off a Communist takeover in Italy.
Note: For more on the realities of intelligence agency operations, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
The Department of Defense, already infamous for spending $640 for a toilet seat...couldn't account for more than a trillion dollars in financial transactions, not to mention dozens of tanks, missiles and planes. The nonpartisan General Accounting Office has raised the volume of its perennial complaints about the financial woes at Defense, which recently failed its seventh audit in as many years. "Overhauling DOD's financial management operations represent a challenge that goes far beyond financial accounting," GAO chief David Walker told lawmakers. Recent government reports suggest the Pentagon's money management woes have reached astronomical proportions. A GAO report found Defense inventory systems so lax that the U.S. Army lost track of 56 airplanes, 32 tanks, and 36 Javelin missile command launch-units. When military leaders were scrambling to find enough chemical and biological warfare suits to protect U.S. troops, the department was caught selling these suits as surplus on the Internet "for pennies on the dollar," a GAO official said. "We are overhauling our financial management system," said Dov Zakheim, the Pentagon's chief financial officer. "The Pentagon has failed to address financial problems that dwarf those of Enron," said Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles. Gregory Kutz, director of GAO's financial management division [said] "I've been to Wal-Mart. They were able to tell me how many tubes of toothpaste were in Fairfax, Va. And DOD can't find its chem-bio suits." Opposition to defense spending is portrayed as unpatriotic. Legislators are often more concerned about winning Pentagon pork than controlling defense waste.
Note: You can read the GAO Report (Page 17 on missing planes). Page two states, "To date, no major part of DOD has yet been able to pass the test of an independent audit." For an intriguing Online Journal article exposing the deep role of the Pentagon's former CFO (Chief Financial Officer) Zakheim in this corruption, click here. Why wasn't and isn't this front page headlines? Why are newspaper editors keeping this most vital information from the public?
The Defense Department is dramatically expanding its 'black world' of covert operations. The Bush administration has turned to what the Pentagon calls the "black world" to press the war on terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. The increasingly dominant role of the military ... reflects the desire of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to gain greater overall control of the war on terror. "Our task is to find and destroy the enemy before they strike us." Though covert action can bring quick results, because it is isolated from the normal review processes it can just as quickly bring mistakes and larger problems. The epicenter of the Pentagon's covert operations remains the North Carolina-based Joint Special Operations Command, often referred to as Delta Force. The super-secret command is still not officially acknowledged to exist. Rumsfeld's influential Defense Science Board ... recommends creation of a super-Intelligence Support Activity, an organization it dubs the Proactive, Preemptive Operations Group, (P2OG), to bring together CIA and military covert action, information warfare, intelligence, and cover and deception. This body would launch secret operations aimed at "stimulating reactions" among terrorists and states possessing weapons of mass destruction -- that is, for instance, prodding terrorist cells into action and exposing themselves to "quick-response" attacks by U.S. forces. The Air Force is designing its own Global Response Task Force ... capable of delivering a "worldwide attack within an hour."
Note: For an amazing exposé by a highly decorated U.S. general on the hidden reasons behind war, click here.
Two of them were American-trained Saudi fighter pilots. One graduated from America's foremost flight university. One drank Stoli and orange juice and one advertised for a Mexican bride. The 19 men identified by the FBI as suspects in the World Trade Center and Pentagon hijack attacks ... studied flying, lived in nondescript suburban apartments and seldom called attention to themselves. Most lived for a time in Florida. Others were scattered in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Arizona and Southern California. Then, in the last several weeks, they began disappearing from their neighborhoods. They reappeared Friday on a list of suspects in the deadliest terrorist attack in U.S. history. The FBI said it did not know for certain where most of the men came from, exactly where they lived in the United States or how old they were. Several had names so common in the Middle East that tracking them down might never be possible. A defense official said two of the [9/11] hijackers were former Saudi fighter pilots who had studied in exchange programs at the Defense Language School at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas and the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama.
Note: Can you beleive that two of the alleged 9/11 hijackers trained at a US Air Force base? For other major media reports showing as many as seven of the hijackers trained at US military bases, click here.
For [many] years, sci-fi writers have imagined weapons that might use energy waves or pulses to knock out, knock down, or otherwise disable enemies--without necessarily killing them. And for a good 40 years the U.S. military has quietly been pursuing weapons of this sort. Much of this work is still secret. But now ... the search for weapons that could incapacitate people without inflicting lethal injuries has intensified. Police, too, are keenly interested. Scores of new contracts have been let, and scientists, aided by government research on the "bioeffects" of beamed energy, are searching the electromagnetic and sonic spectrums for wavelengths that can affect human behavior. Recent advancements in miniaturized electronics, power generation, and beam aiming may finally have put such pulse and beam weapons on the cusp of practicality. Scientists say they are natural successors to projects already underway--beams that disable the electronic systems of aircraft, computers, or missiles, for instance. "Once you are into these antimateriel weapons, it is a short jump to antipersonnel weapons," says Louis Slesin, editor of the trade journal Microwave News. That's because the human body is essentially an electrochemical system, and devices that disrupt the electrical impulses of the nervous system can affect behavior and body functions. But these programs--particularly those involving antipersonnel research--are so well guarded that details are scarce. "People [in the military] go silent on this issue," says Slesin, "more than any other issue. People just do not want to talk about this."
Note: For key reports from reliable sources on so-called "non-lethal weapons, click here.
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