Her Ladyship

Notes from the gutter.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Best. Headline. EVER

From the Jan. 15, 2005, edition of the London Times: "US Developed A 'Love Bomb' And No, It Wasn't Barry White." Cheeky Brits.

(musical accompaniment for this post: Tom Jones' "Sex Bomb." now I'll be singing this song all day.)

The article talks about recently declassified information about proposals a U.S. Air Force research laboratory received in its attempt to establish what they call "non-lethal weapons." The specifics here are pretty funny - the idea was that they could spray "chemicals that affect human behaviour so that discipline and morale in enemy units is adversely affected," with the added benefit of possibly causing "homosexual behaviour." Unlike other wacky DoD projects during the height of the Cold War which have recently come to light (my favorite was the one about the cat that was rigged to be a microphone. The poor kitty got run over by a van during its first and last reconnaissance mission), this one came in during 1994. Not too long ago.

Looking past the whole homophobic aspect of this proposal - dear GOD, attracted to another MAN! the HORROR! - this news story is interesting because it looks at something we don't hear that much about. Nonlethal weapons are a bit of a misnomer, because the lack of killing is more of a goal than an actual end result. See the Moscow theater siege in the fall of 2002, where the Russians sprayed opiates at the Chechen guerrillas and ended up killing a good chunk of the hostages by mistake. Nonlethal weapons are tested against healthy young males - it's unclear as to how they will affect women/children/elderly. Plus, there aren't any established codes of conduct for when to use nonlethal weapons, and there's always the fear that spraying chemicals, even nonlethal weapons, may prod the enemy into using chemical weapons of their own. And theirs probably will not be the nonlethal kind.

Still makes for good reading though.


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