By Freedom Newspapers
Here’s one of those incidents that should leave Americans uneasy, unsure whether to get angry or laugh.
Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne said last week that the United States should use high-power microwave devices and other nonlethal weapons on American citizens to test them before using them on foreign enemies, according to an Associated Press report.
It wasn’t a joke.
“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. “Because if I hit somebody with a nonlethal weapon and they claim that it injured them in a way that was not intended, I think that I would be vilified in the world press.”
Wynne thinks that crowd-control situations — we hope he means riots, rather than, say, baseball games — would be the ideal place to test these weapons on Americans and make sure they don’t cause unforeseen damage before using them in war.
AP reported that “nonlethal weapons generally can weaken people if they are hit with the beam. Some of the weapons can emit short, intense energy pulses that also can be effective in disabling some electronic devices.”
Note that Wynne’s concern is public relations. What would foreign governments think if the U.S. military tries a new weapon in a war, without having tried it at home first? He seems not to care about the enormous implications of having the U.S. military involved in internal police operations, and in using American residents as guinea pigs.
This, frankly, should be a firing offense.
But it wasn’t. Many newspapers have treated the incident as a sort of “news of the weird.” It’s beyond weird — scary is the word that comes to mind.