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The Active Denial System was developed in secret for ten years before being unveiled by the Pentagon in 2001. As of 2004, it was being described as ready for use in Iraq within the next 12 months. This has still not occurred, and according to Secretary Payton, use of the weapon in Iraq is now "not politically tenable" because after Abu Ghraib "you don't ever, ever, ever want a system like this to be thought of as a torture weapon."
However, the failure to deploy the weapon as planned has raised suspicions that the real intention is to use it for domestic crowd control.
In 2006, Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne was quoted as saying that the device should be used first on Americans, because "if we're not willing to use it here against our fellow citizens, then we should not be willing to use it in a wartime situation. ... If I hit somebody with a nonlethal weapon and they claim that it injured them in a way that was not intended, I think that I would be vilified in the world press."
Hymes demonstrated the weapon by staging what CBS somewhat oddly called "a scenario soldiers might encounter in Iraq" -- a handful of military volunteers, dressed as civilian protesters, who carried signs saying "peace not war" and threw objects at a small group of soldiers. A series of raygun blasts from half a mile away disrupted their chants and finally sent them running.
Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisiton Sue Payton calls the Active Denial System a "huge game-changer" which "would save huge numbers of lives." She told CBS, "It could be used to read someone's mind, in effect. ... If they continue to come at you, then you're fairly sure ... they're probably a terrorist or an adversary who wants to do you harm."
Raytheon, which developed the system for the Pentagon, is currently selling a more limited-range civilian version of the system, under the name "Silent Guardian," which it promotes as being suitable for "law enforcement, checkpoint security, facility protection, force protection and peacekeeping missions."
Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Dave Gaubatz, the first Federal Agent (civilian) to enter Iraq in 2003. Currently the Director of the Mapping Shari'a project and owner of Wahhabi Counter-terrorism publications providing first-hand intelligence for law enforcement and CT professionals.
Gaubatz: Before I discuss the Ray Gun issue I want to inform your readers that 60 Minutes (CBS) Producer Mary Walsh telephoned me last week to discuss my allegations pertaining to the false and very inaccurate report conducted by 60 Minutes. She asked for documentation to prove my knowledge of the system and why their report is false. I provided the documentation. She wrote back and wanted to know why the Pentagon had lied to her. I essentially informed Ms. Walsh that she should ask them since it has hurt the credibility of her and the 60 Minutes staff. Readers can view the documents on my site at www.kidsandterrorism.com.
Gaubatz: 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, injure the person very badly, or just slightly depending on the setting of the mechanisms. if they want to show the ‘Ray gun’ to news media and some politicians who advocate non-lethal weapons, and are usually the same politicians who have advocated getting our troops out of Iraq months before they were even sent there, they bring in a journalist and ‘feed’ him/her the non-lethal story.
Gaubatz: The Ray Gun was designed as a lethal weapon. During my conversation with Ms. Mary Walsh, she advised she was told by Pentagon officials the Ray Gun had been tested on animals. I was very surprised to hear this because Pentagon officials have just confirmed animals are used for testing of weapons such as the Ray Gun at Kirtland AFB. I coordinated the security when the truck loads of animals were being brought in during the middle of the night. Dead animals can’t speak, but if a goat or 500 pound cow can be killed almost instantly with the Ray Gun, then I believe most readers can safely assume a 175 pound man or woman could also die instantly from the intense heat.
The weapon could have been used in early 2003. Before I left for Iraq I had numerous meetings with AFRL/DE engineers and scientists. I knew the capabilities of the weapons. The scientists and their Directors asked me to test and evaluate the DE weapons at Kirtland AFB. I did this immediately after 11 Sep 2001. For several months, the weapons were operational and ready for use in Iraq .
Active Denial Weapon System 1 and 2, Demonstrations held at Marine Corps Base Quantico, October 2007
Between June 2001 and June 2007, there were at least 245 cases of deaths of subjects soon after having been shocked using Tasers.