New genetic information means alterations in the body, at the level of DNA.

Engineering humans.

DARPA will justify these experiments on the basis of improving soldiers’ performance on the battlefield, their general health, their capacity to recover from illness, injury, exhaustion. They can justify it any way they want to, but it adds up to the same thing.

“We will change you. We will make you better. And, ahem, uh, easier to control.”

But this isn’t a debate about how a human could be made better or what “better” should mean or who should decide. It’s an argument that the whole program is a violation of the Constitution—because if we don’t stand on that, we don’t stand on anything.

Without invoking the law of the land, we allow various people to squabble about lesser issues and determine outcomes based on random and arbitrary factors.

“Well, I don’t think the Pentagon should be in charge of this program at all. It should be moved over to the National Institutes of Health, where it belongs.”

“I see no problem with Pentagon handling it, as long as there is civilian oversight from, say, the FDA. We could also have university scientists act in a consulting capacity…”

“The President should appoint a Genetics Czar. He could supervise the whole thing, with Congressional oversight.”

“It has to be run by the government. Otherwise, we can’t guarantee it’ll be done in an ethical fashion.”

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