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"You're Gonna Feel It:" U.S. Military Unveils New Crowd Control "Heat Ray"

Marine Col: "I think our forces will figure out the many different applications that it would have.”

by
Common Dreams staff

(photo: still from NMANewsDirect video)

The U.S. military has unveiled its newest approach to crowd control, the Active Denial System, a heat ray that sends out a high-frequency electromagnetic ray. People hit with the ray feel an intense, unbearable heat.  The military touts the ray's "far-ranging" capabilities and is looking at "many different applications" for its possible use.

Marine Col. Tracy Taffola said at the public unveiling of the system at a U.S. Marines base near Washington, D.C.:

"You're not gonna see it, you're not gonna hear it, you're not gonna smell it: you're gonna feel it." 

* * *

In a video to demonstrate the new weapon, USFORCESTV explains that the heat ray "boasts a reach far beyond any other non-lethal system" -- a reach of "about 7 footballs fields."

The video shows various volunteers quickly running away from the heat ray, a situation unlikely to be available when the ray is aimed at a large crowd or if protesters are penned in in some way, as was witnessed by the pepper-spraying of Occupy protesters by police officers at very close range.

* * *

The Globe and Mail reports:

The Pentagon has been experimenting with killer beams for decades. A laser so powerful that it can destroy nuclear-tipped missiles shortly after launch has been mounted in a much-modified Boeing 747 and is being tested. [...]

Various development versions of the heat ray have been tested for years. One was sent to Afghanistan – but never used – in 2010. Police departments have shown interest.

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David Pugliese adds this comment from Marine Col. Tracy Taffola foreshadowing far-ranging use of the weapon:

“It could be used across the military spectrum of operations, perimeter security, crowd control, entry control points. You name it. I think our forces will figure out the many different applications that it would have,” Tafolla said.

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