portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary global

imperialism & war

US beam weapon cruelty

Following on Amy Goodman's US exclusive report on laser/infrared/microwave weapons in Iraq, a bit of supportive research
from democracynow.org Tuesday:


[Iraq:]....SAAD AL FALLUJI: Twenty-six in the bus. About twenty of them, some of them have no head. They had been cut. Some of them, the arms, the legs. The only one who didn't injure was the driver, and really I don't know how he reached our hospital, because one hand, one arm was in his lap, one head beside him. It was a very, very strange, horrible thing. In the roof of the car there was parts of the bodies: omentum, intestines, brains, all parts of the body. It was miserable. Very, very, very, very miserable.
GEERT VAN MOORTER: Do you have idea with what kind of weapons they attacked that bus?
SAAD AL FALLUJI: This bus, we didn't know what kind of weapon hit. Really what we saw cut arms, cut legs, cut head, abdomen, open abdomen, viscera outside.
DOCTOR NO. 2: It seems to be a new weapon.
------------------
Democracy Now reported various incidents of apparent energy weapon attacks, all on civilians. There seem to be several ways of murdering Iraqis with beam weapons. This is from William Thomas' website:

MICROWAVING IRAQ
" Pacifying" Rays Pose New Hazards To Iraqis
By William Thomas 01/24/05 ( World Exclusive )
Preface
Desperate to improve images of civilian carnage, US commanders are using portable electromagnetic-frequency weapons in Fallujah and other "hot spots" in the Sunni Triangle to pacify restive neighborhoods with invisible EM radiation. "Active Denial" antenna arrays mounted on Humvees are also being deployed to panic and disperse hostile crowds by flash-burning exposed flesh with microwaves. But unintended side effects from the hidden rooftop transmitters are reportedly triggering violent attacks by exposed insurgentsówhile leading to AWOL rates of up to 15% among US forces disoriented by these same weapons, as well as the electromagnetic emanations from high-power radars, radios and "jammers".
On the rooftop of a shrapnel-pocked building in the ruins of Fallujah, a team of GI's stealthily sets up a gray plastic dome about two-feet in diameter. Keeping well back from the sight lines of the street and nearby buildings, they plug the cable connectors on the side of the "popper" into a power unit. The grunts have no clue what the device does. They are just following orders.

" Most of the worker-bees that are placing these do not even know what is inside the 'domes', just that they were told where to place them by Intel weenies with usually no nametag," reports my source, a very well informed combat veteran I will call "Hank".

" Intel" stands for "intelligence" officers who target the most restive neighborhoods in a country gripped by anarchy and chaos. The lack of nametags indicates membership in a spooky "alphabet agency", either within or outside the military chain of command. Similar "black: teams removed "Made In The USA" chemical weapons from Iraqi trenches after Desert Storm. [Bringing The War Home by William Thomas]

The grunts call the plastic devices "poppers" or "domes". Once activated, each hidden transmitter emits a widening circle of invisible energy capable of passing through metal, concrete and human skulls up to half a mile away. "They are saturating the area with ULF, VLF and UHF freqs," Hanks says, with equipment derived from US Navy undersea sonar and communications.

But it's not being used to locate and talk to submarines under Baghdad.

After powering up the unit, the grunts quickly exit the area. It is their commanders' fervent hope that any male survivors enraged by brutal American bombardments that damaged virtually every building in this once thriving "City of Mosques", displacing a quarter-million residents while murdering thousands of children, women and elders in their homesówill lose all incentive for further resistance and revenge.
... . Hank stays in close touch with his unit serving "in theater" in Iraq. When I asked how many "poppers" are being used to irradiate Iraqi neighborhoods, he checked and got back to me. There are "at least 25 of these that have been deployed to theater, and used. Some have conked out and been removed, so I do not know how many are currently active and broadcasting."

------------------]

Then there's this report from Aviation Week, four years ago:

USAF Acknowledges Beam Weapon Readiness
By David A. Fulghum/Aviation Week & Space Technology
04-Oct-2002 5:20 PM U.S. EDT

... .The range of HPM weapons has always been a concern. Tests have shown effects at tens to "more than" hundreds of feet. Walling seemed more optimistic. "With current technology, the range for a tactical microwave weapon could be in the tens of kilometers, and future advances . . . should permit the development of even longer ranges," the report said.Other advantages cited for HPM weapons are that they would be immune to the weather and could produce multiple shots on a single mission. However, the report also alludes to single-shot designs. These latter seem to address concerns that side and back lobes from the generation of an HPM pulse could affect the carrying aircraft's own electronics.Power levels for HPM weapons are increasing. The report said one microwave source weighing less that 45 lb. radiated 1 gigawatt of power within a few nanoseconds. A 400-lb. system radiated 20 gigawatts. The report noted that Hoover Dam generates 2 gigawatts per day. The HPM weapon would draw power from the air vehicle's engines, which would let it make a number of attacks during a mission.
--------------
[Note that the size of the weapons has decreased to ground-deployable size.]

By Jonathan Skillings
Staff Writer, CNET News.com

Published: April 11, 2006, 1:16 PM PDT
Interview with Doug Beason, Los Alamos labs

Beason: Right, the Advanced Tactical Laser is actually a smaller laser than the ABL that is being put on a smaller tactical platform. Right now, they're looking at a C-130, but it could possibly be put on a helicopter. That's a laser that is in a class that is greater than 50 kilowatts, so it's a few orders of magnitude less powerful than the Airborne Laser. Its missions are designed to supplement what the Airborne Laser is doing, that is, to help with special operations and antiterrorism and that, but at very close distances, that is, kilometer range versus the many hundreds of kilometers range that the Airborne Laser is working on.
The Zeus is actually a solid-state laser developed by the Army to heat up mines, to be able to clear minefields at a distance. In fact, the Zeus was deployed to Afghanistan, and several hundred mines were cleared by the use of this tactical weapon. There is another one called the THEL, or the Tactical High Energy Laser, that was developed for the Army, and this laser had actually shot down Katyusha rockets in White Sands Missile Range, and after over 30 Katyusha rockets were shot down, they decided to see if they could also shoot down mortars and artillery shells, and they were successful on that.
---------------------------

If, as Beason says, lasers are available that can blow up mines, they're just a casually cruel thought away from being used to attack humans. The THEL as described seems effective until you realize that the rockets or artillery shells have to be coming directly at the weapon in order to be in range of its rays. It might make some spook think: What else can I do with this thing?

Checking on industrial lasers, I found that a 240 watt welding-strength laser is available that weighs 84 pounds, plus 29 pounds for the RF supply, 52 inches long; a laser that size could be easily mounted on a vehicle, and its enormous power needs could be supplied with a generator attached to a battery of quick-discharge capacitors. If the thing can weld metal, it can cut limbs and explode heads... It would seem that laser warfare is here now, and it is making its debut in secret, murderous, and immoral anticivilian warfare in Iraq.

And we pay the bill, and take the blame.
Airborne Lasers 27.Jul.2006 10:36

From Seattle

For most of the 90's, There was a modified commercial airliner with an elongated bubble thing on top of it which housed a military laser, parked on the very south end of Boeing field in Seattle (The field that runs along I-5 just south of downtown Seattle).

It's not there anymore, I wonder where it went.

I think it's the weapons like these, which give people little opportunity to fight back directly with their oppressors, that will ensure a continuum of terrorism against civilians who support oppressors.

Lasers and microwave weapons 27.Jul.2006 13:25

Jody Paulson

Not very many people are aware of these new "exotic" weapons, but they need to be. Here are some links to get you started:

Microwaves, Lasers, Retired Generals For Sale
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2005/10/327405.shtml

Non Lethal Directed Energy Weapons
 http://www.defense-update.com/features/du-1-05/NLW-DEW.htm

I'm convinced that certain criminal factions have already used "non lethal" (actually they *are* lethal in the same way depleted uranium particles are lethal...) weapons on American citizens, particularly dissidents.