A Defending Crusader…

The best defense is to be good and offensive…or something like that.

Real Genius?

Posted by Godefroi on August 14, 2008

In a previous posting which I titled Holy Sh|te!, I mentioned a technology that our military supposedly had developed which was being called simply “the ray gun”.  Very scarily impressive.

The Pentagon has had an operational “Ray Gun” since early in 2003. The Ray Gun was designed to be a lethal weapon. It can kill, injury the person very badly, or just slightly depending on the setting of the mechanisms…

The Ray Gun can send a signal at least a football field in width from a long distance from the target and take out (kill) hundreds of enemies within a few seconds. Few if any American troops would need to die…

Making the info rounds today is news of a similar device being used from an aircraft.  Ed Morrissey notes at Hot Air the similarity of this to one of my favorite movies (as a kid), Real Genius.  I’m thinking it’s the same technology, perhaps even the same device, but fired from the air rather than the ground.

Boeing announced today the first ever test firing of a real-life ray gun that could become US special forces’ way to carry out covert strikes with “plausible deniability.”

In tests earlier this month at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, Boeing’s Advanced Tactical Laser — a modified C-130H aircraft — “fired its high-energy chemical laser through its beam control system. The beam control system acquired a ground target and guided the laser beam to the target, as directed by ATL’s battle management system.”  …

But what Fancher didn’t mention (and what I explore over on the New Scientist web site) is that this capability will allow Special Forces to strike with maximum precision, from long distances — without being blamed from the attacks. “Plausible deniability” is how the presentation put it.

The claim that a laser strike could be carried out without attribution appears in two separate briefing documents by Air Force personnel, describing the benefits of the new directed energy weapon.

The argument for plausible deniability is weak, considering we just announced to the world that we could do this, and thus far no one else (apparently) has such a capability.  I’m pretty sure that we’d be the prime suspect in any mysterious case of death by laser.

As Morrissey notes though, this brings up somewhat of a moral dilemma.  As a national policy, we have determined to eschew assassination as a political tool.  Does this development signify the end of said policy?

What if, instead of invading Iraq (which has unarguably led to the deaths of tens of thousands and was of questionable strategic value), we had employed this weapon?  Saddam sniped via laser from a great distance.  End of problem?  What or whom could be next?  As just about anyone who has killed could tell you, the first time is the hardest.  It becomes much easier to pull the trigger if you’ve done it before.  Where would the limitations be set, and how flexible would they be?

On the other hand, if it IS the same technology/device as I wrote about previously, it could supposedly be used on a wide-area target.  Rather than ground troops firing bullets, a pilot (or whatever) would fire the ray gun…only one American life in jeopardy at a time, while eliminating perhaps hundreds of enemy fighters at a time.  That’s a good thing, isn’t it?



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