Campaiging against proliferation of non-lethal weapons? And finding death rays in Iraq?

| July 21, 2006

The California Center for Strategic Studies is a non-profit organization “dedicated to securing world peace, fostering human rights, and promoting sustainable prosperity.” OK, nothing there that I have a problem with.

CCSS claims on its home page to have “spearhead[ed] a major nuclear arms reduction agreement between the U.S. and Russia.” OK, that’s news to me; some poking around on the CCSS website shows that they were somehow involved in crafting a bill back in 2001 to use privately-raised money “to purchase, for peaceful uses, all of Russias enormous and dangerously under-secured stockpiles of nuclear weapon-grade uranium and plutonium to prevent them from ever slipping into terrorist hands.” Again, sounds good to me, though that bill did not make it through. The same page indicates an attempt at a new bill in 2005, but gives no indication as to what happened with that.

CCSS appears to have a new cause: blocking the deployment and use of the PAIN RAY (the caps are theirs), which is their term for this device, the Active Denial Technology (or a variant thereof) being developed at Sandia Labs. The OneWorld UK news story, such as it is, appears to be a press release from CCSS, followed by a CCSS op-ed, both penned by Brett Wagner, President of CCSS. The CCSS web site has links to some news stories about the PAIN RAY, plus two versions of the op-ed against its deployment.

If I read the op-ed correctly, Wagner and CCSS not only oppose the PAIN RAY, they are worried about the proliferation of such non-lethal weapons. To quote from the “news article” cited above:

These types of weapons pose a dire threat to the world as we know it and their deployment must be prevented at all cost. At the very least, they could ignite a new global arms race, which in turn would lead to increasing global instability or worse.

We simply must not allow this “Brave New World” to enter our own.

Let’s see. Iran and North Korea are actively developing nuclear technology and delivery systems for the same. Stockpiles of chemical weapons show up in Iraq. Biological warfare and bio-terrorism remain a profound concern. And this organization is spending its time campaigning against weapons that are intended not to kill and to minimize physical damage? As noted in previous entries, I have a son who is currently in Marine boot camp. I suspect he will likely deploy to a combat theater somewhere. I’m all for the other side using non-lethal weapons, since otherwise I’m sure they’ll be doing their best to kill my son with lethal weapons.

By the way, Wagner, in that same OneWorld news article/op-ed, provides a link to an Italian documentary called “Star Wars in Iraq” that claims (inter alia) to provide evidence of the US deploying a microwave-based “death ray” in Iraq. Wagner’s summary:

The second form of directed energy weaponry fires out microwaves, a form of energy well known for its use in modern kitchen appliances. I have nicknamed this weapon the “death ray” — and with good reason. Exposing mammals to microwaves is known to make them explode.

The documentary news video in question, which was released online recently (16 May 2006) by a major Italian news service, examines evidence that the U.S. military has deployed – dating back to the 2003 battle for Baghdad Airport – a new generation of weaponry likely based on firing microwaves. Viewer discretion is advised: even as a former professor for the U.S. Naval War College, this goes way beyond my comfort zone

Judging from the reported effects of the weaponry, it likely includes “speed of light” technology defying the generic term “laser” and it is my professional opinion that it also likely includes the use of microwaves, judging from the descriptions of bodies that seem to have inexplicably exploded.

However, I cannot imagine the scientific explanation for the cadavers that reportedly shrunk to the size of approximately one-meter in length after being exposed to some sort of ray (the cause of death) and then inadvertently struck by bullets. Neither do I have an explanation for what one eyewitness describes as a bus transformed “like a cloth, like a wet cloth” and shrunk to the size of a Volkswagen. To me, it sounds like a very intense form of microwaves.

Uh, yeah, right.

Tinfoil hat tip to Digg. ..bruce..

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Category: Geopolitics, Main, Military

About the Author ()

Webster is Principal and Founder at Bruce F. Webster & Associates, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Brigham Young University. He works with organizations to help them with troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan. He can be reached at, or you can follow him on Twitter as @bfwebster.

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