I was surprised, and a little bit outraged, at an article I read yesterday titled, "Test Nonlethal Weapons on U.S. Citizens, Official Says." The article quoted the Secretary of the Air Force, Michael Wynne, as stating that nonlethal weapons such as high-power microwave devices should be used on American citizens in crowd-control situations before they are used on the battlefield. The article quoted Mr Wynne as saying that using such weapons in domestic situations would make it easier to avoid questions in the international community over any possible safety concerns. "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," he said.
With all due respect to Secretary Wynne, and with full understanding of what he's really trying to say, is there anyone out there besides me who thinks this is stupid?
I ask you: in which other country do the military forces invest millions in technologies designed not to kill? And is moral bankruptcy so widespread in the world that attempts to use weapons that don't kill people can be condemned? And consider the likely outcome in this country of doing what Mr Wynne has recommended: the first time anyone even considered using such a weapon on American citizens, the ACLU and every lawyer within a thousand miles would file a pile of lawsuits a mile high, accusing our government of using dangerous weapons on helpless people. The current wave of lawsuits about police use of Tasers is just a small example of what would likely happen.
Let's face it: those who are spring-loaded to think the worst of America will not be swayed by the fact that we've exhibited an unusual level of moral courage by testing weapons designed not to kill them on our own people.
All that said, I think Mr Wynne has a good idea. Unfortunately, in the goofy world of topsy-turvy morality in which we live, it'll never work.
Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.