Wednesday, March 09, 2005

US developing 'pain from a distance' weapon

The US military is developing a weapon that delivers a bout of excruciating pain from afar to use against protesters and rioters.

Documents released under the US Freedom of Information Act show that scientists have received funding to investigate how much pain can be induced in individuals hit by electromagnetic pulses created by lasers without killing them.

Due to be ready for use in 2007, the Pulsed Energy Projectile weapon is designed to trigger extreme pain from a distance of one-and-a-quarter miles.

It fires a laser pulse that generates a burst of expanding plasma - electrically charged gas - when it hits something solid. Tests on animals showed it produced 'pain and temporary paralysis'.

Pain researchers told today's New Scientist magazine that the technology could end up being used for torture and that it was unethical.

Andrew Rice, a consultant in pain medicine in London, said: 'I am deeply concerned about the ethical aspects of this research.'"

US developing 'pain from a distance' weapon
By Nic Fleming, Science Correspondent
(Filed: 03/03/2005)


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