New Weapon is Enough to Make You Throw Up
JBS | August 8, 2007
With the market name of "LED Incapacitator," (L-E-D stands for light-emitting diode), the ultra-bright, multicolored, pulsing light-saber prototype is meant to cause physiological and psychophysical changes in its targets, totally incapacitating them. Development of the device by Intelligent Optical Systems, Inc. is being funded by a $770,000 grant from The Department of Homeland Security.
The device works like this: A built-in rangefinder measures the distance to the nearest pair of eyeballs and a "governor" sets the output and pulse train to a level, frequency, and duration that allow the brain and eyes no time to adapt, causing complete disorientation — and vomiting — in some persons. The effects are supposed to wear off in a few minutes. But the effective range from device to target was not given.
Phase 1 of development has already been completed with Phase 2 continuing into autumn at Penn State University's Institute of Nonlethal Defense Technology, where evaluation and testing will begin on volunteers. It is known that some people can withstand more exposure to the device than others, but according to physicist Bob Lieberman, "There is one wavelength that gets everybody."
Phase 3 will find the scientists concentrating on the difficult task of trying to scale down the size from the present 15 inches long by 4 inches wide, to a more portable and sleek design that would fit on a duty belt and use D-cell batteries like an ordinary flashlight. Upsizing the device will be no problem and there have been discusssions of a "bazooka" version that could immobilize an entire mob of people. Dubbed both "puke-saber" and "barf-beamer," the device's official recommended use is for police, National Guardsmen, and Border Patrol agents, with the product to be in their hands by 2010, only two years away.
In the Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology online newsletter called "S&T Snapshots, Science Stories for the Homeland Security Enterprise," the device is being marketed as a safe way of bringing down the "bad guy," while "sparing the lives of passersby, hostages, or airline passengers." Of course, the benefits of having it available for Border Patrol Agents is being touted on the DHS website with a quote by Mr. Lieberman: "There are often confrontations at border crossings with suspected illegal aliens or drug runners. You don't want to hurt or kill them, just take them into custody. With this, they don't need to know English to comply."
Of course, beleaguered law-abiding citizens who very much see and feel the encroaching police state would be wise to be worried about such a device being turned against them. Perhaps if you're ever caught in the crossfire of one of these devices, or it's aimed directly at you, you could try and hold up your new national Real ID card to shield your eyes from the super-bright pulses.
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