Here’s some blowback anyone could have seen coming from 10,000 miles away–or however far Iraq and Georgia are from the USA: those crazy LRAD sound-beam weapons which were used to devastating effect by Georgia’s authoritarian leader to crush massive pro-democracy demonstrations two years ago, have finally made their Big Debut here in America, melting the eardrums of G20 demonstrators in Pittsburgh. Click here to see a video of the LRADs used on protestors in Pittsburgh.
It’s not the first time they’ve been deployed against American citizens: a couple of weeks ago, a controversy erupted in San Diego when the county Sheriff, Bill Gore, secretly deployed LRADs at town hall events held by local Republican congressmen and a Democrat congresswoman. At first Gore told a local reporter that the LRADs were for search and rescue missions, but eventually he owned up that he’d purchased the LRADs from the San Diego maker of the weapons, ATC, for “crowd control purposes.” Gore is the notorious FBI agent who led the horrible Ruby Ridge raid, which, thanks to Gore’s “shoot on sight” orders, resulted in FBI snipers killing the intended suspect’s wife as she held her baby, as well as his son and his dog, but left the intended target, Randy Weaver, alive.
LRAD: So convenient, you can crush demonstrations while working on your tan!
Originally the LRADs, which can cause permanent ear damage, were deployed in hot war zones like Iraq. They worked so well on our enemies that by 2006, Bush’s Air Force Secretary called for turning the weapons on American citizens.
In the meantime, one of Bush’s closest pals, Georgian strongman Mikheil Saakashvili, used the LRADs on pro-democracy demonstrations which he violently crushed in November, 2007 (they’ve since restarted and gained momentum, particularly since Saakashvili’s disastrous war against Russia). You can watch a Russian TV report of the LRADs used on Georgian demostrators here.
Shortly after Saakashvili crushed his pro-democracy protests, the Chinese went on an LRAD shopping spree for its police force, just in case there should be another Tiananmen Square situation. Funny thing is that weapons sales to China are illegal ever since they crushed the Tianenmen Square democracy protests; but by some stroke of luck, LRADs aren’t classified as weapons, and therefore, they can be used on pro-democracy Chinese just as they can be used on pro-democracy demonstrators in Georgia or our own country;.
Now we know what John McCain meant last year when he told Georgia’s leader, “I know I speak for every American when I say to him today, we are all Georgians.” And what a wonderful thing that is.
Mark Ames is the author of Going Postal: Rage, Murder and Rebellion from Reagan’s Workplaces to Clinton’s Columbine.
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