Monday, March 3, 2008

60 Minutes Shills For Pentagon

Watching 60 Minutes National Security Correspondent David Martin introduce the Pentagon’s “Active Denial System” as the best life-saving advancement since the invention of Kevlar was nothing short of surreal. I actually had to watch the segment twice because I couldn’t believe my eyes and ears the first time.

You can read the transcript, or watch the video here:

The “Active Denial System” is a non-lethal “ray gun” which zaps its target with super high-frequency radio waves. In other words, it’s a crowd control device. Gee, now I wonder how the government would use something like that?

Perhaps we have a little clue in the Pentagon’s demonstration video, which they aired as part of last night’s segment. The clip shows a group of people carrying signs that read “Love For All,” “End The War” and “World Peace.”

Now check the transcript of Martin’s voice-over describing this scene:
The targets at the base are people, military volunteers creating a scenario soldiers might encounter in Iraq, like angry protestors advancing on American troops, who have to choose between backing down or opening fire. Off in the distance, half a mile away, the operator of the ray gun has the crowd in his sights.

David Martin and 60 Minutes Producer Mary Walsh must be either incredibly stupid or on the Pentagon’s payroll. “End The War” and “World Peace” placards are a scene from Iraq? Really? This looks less like a scene from Iraq than a scene from America.

This certainly tells us everything we need to know about who the Pentagon views as the enemy. And it speaks volumes about the incurious stenography offered by 60 Minutes reporter David Martin and producer Mary Walsh.

Martin and Walsh seem particularly clueless about any moral or ethical issues which a crowd control device of this type presents. They spin this story as a tale of government bureaucracy holding up a really wonderful life saving device. It’s the culture of the Pentagon, see, that just doesn’t understand something like this:

Pentagon officials call it a major breakthrough which could change the rules of war and save huge numbers of lives in Iraq. But it's still not there. That because in the middle of a war, the military just can't bring itself to trust a weapon that doesn't kill.

That’s nice spin. I guess we DFH anti-war hippies are supposed to embrace a weapon that doesn’t kill, seeing as how we love everybody. But here’s a clue to Martin, Walsh and the rest of the idiots at 60 Minutes who never looked deeper than the Pentagon’s press release before runnig this story: we just saw a clip of that weapon targeting people carrying signs that read “Love For All” and “World Peace.” So excuse me if we DFH anti-war hippies aren’t going to run to our Congress Critters and demand this weapon be deployed immediately in Iraq. Because it’s quite obvious this weapon is not designed for Iraq. It’s designed for America.

Thanks, 60 Minutes, for not digging any deeper than what “Pentagon officials” told you.

ADS was designed for America. It was designed for countries like Bolivia, where American corporation Bechtel tried to privatize the water supply, sparking massive revolts that sent Bechtel scurrying home with its tail tucked between its legs.

It was designed to quell popular uprisings, foreign and domestic. It’s to control the people. This is not a weapon to be used on insurgents in Iraq. It’s to be used on protestors at home and everywhere else where it’s awkward and inconvenient for masses of people to take to the streets and demand change:

One of the ray gun's biggest advantages is that it can stay out of harm’s way and still control a crowd.

That’s an “advantage” all right--for some folks, at least.

The Active Denial System might be useful in a situation like this:

And when it does, we can thank the idiots at 60 Minutes and in particular reporter David Martin for not asking any hard questions about who and what this device was designed for.