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What You Should Hate / September 25, 2009
By Mark Ames


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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Add your own

  • 1. Antonio Garcia  |  September 25th, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    Cool weapon cant wait till they sell it to the general public

  • 2. Seymour Butz  |  September 25th, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    Sweet Jebub Mark, it’s almost like you’re turning into a freeper wingnut in your dotage, scanning Drudge all day for the latest outrage against LIBERTY like every other middle-aged white sucker.

  • 3. Realist  |  September 25th, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    Is it possible wo wear ear muffs and a gas mask at the same time?

  • 4. doctor k  |  September 25th, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    there’s nothing intrinsically freeper about protesting the ridiculous militarization of the police force.

  • 5. ahahahah  |  September 25th, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    LMFAO SEYMOUR BUTZ good point man good username good times all round 5/5

  • 6. jen o'cide  |  September 25th, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    good question, realist. has anyone with experience in this field come up with any method of countering this shit?

  • 7. Strahlungsamt  |  September 26th, 2009 at 2:12 am

    All it is is a giant audio speaker which resonates at 2.5kHz. Well within the audio spectrum.

    You should be able to get audio cancelling headphones with built in microphones which would cancel the effect.

    Bet that would be illegal.

  • 8. Michael  |  September 26th, 2009 at 3:17 am

    The video has been removed for the “Russian TV report of the LRADs used on Georgian demostrators.”

    #1 (Antonio) LRADs aren’t classified as weapons and the Chinese can buy them, so surely LRADs are already available to the public. Hell, now that the Chinese have one, it won’t be long before the Chinese put their cheaper (and probably more effective) knock-off on the market.

    Perfect for dispersing ne’er-do-wells and religious doorknockers.

  • 9. Expat in BY  |  September 26th, 2009 at 6:18 am

    Ear plugs would seem to be the obvious answer to what a person can do to “counter this shit.” Maybe learn sign language if you really need to communicate with one of those things on. Or get a good lawyer to sue the police department afterward (I’m sure that you could make a lot of money over permanent hearing loss).

  • 10. anonymous coward  |  September 26th, 2009 at 6:59 am

    Anything that would be used to protect your hearing in a ear damaging enviroment will work to some extent against LRADs. Apparents, the soundwaves can be reflected back at the user using a hard, flat object.

    Over on Yahoo answers, the serfs are proclaiming their love for the fact that the cops are using these weapons against their fellow, uppity serfs.

  • 11. Jane  |  September 26th, 2009 at 7:32 am

    “The loud sounds the LRAD emits may cause permanent hearing damage to those within its range. The LRAD sound wave can be cancelled altogether through the use of common earplugs. The better the earplugs are at blocking sound waves, the less effective the LRAD is. Sounds emitted from the LRAD can be reflected back to the source by using a flat solid object.”

  • 12. RanDomino  |  September 26th, 2009 at 9:38 am

    I hear a 4-by-8 hunk of plywood reflects the sound waves, but I haven’t seen it.

  • 13. Realist  |  September 26th, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    With the direction America is taking, the LRAD will be a short intermezzo bofore returning to the classics of Kent State. And this time, the serfs will shoot back.

  • 14. Alan  |  September 27th, 2009 at 12:07 am

    Also being currently used in Honduras by the coup government against the Brazilian embassy to fuck up the people inside (including the criminally deposed democratically elected president) – more effective than heavy metal, I guess.

    Am I paranoid in assuming the coup government acquired it from the major U.S. base there (the same base that the honduran military that kidnapped the deposed president made a stop with him before taking him off the country)? Taking in consideration the passive support, the exchange in resources between U.S.-aligned free-trade-agreements-based “democracies” in the region (israeli mercenaries that worked with colombian paramilitaries and Peru giving out gas grenades) and unconfirmed conspiracy-theory-ish babbles, this was a tool that made quite an impression this week and left me with too many questions.

    Maybe next time it’ll be the one that makes you feel like you’re burning alive on your insides and you can’t move (although the creepy police-state-like robocop/half-life2 voice won’t be topped).

  • 15. Antonio B.  |  September 27th, 2009 at 8:32 am

    Whats wrong with using the LRAD in America? Weak weaponry for a weak citizenry. I think I saw somewhere that the LRAD had useful application in herding livestock… hmmm… sheeple.

  • 16. acabaca  |  September 27th, 2009 at 9:46 am

    Next step: using that microwave beam thingy against protesters.

    Then they’ll stop dicking around and will just machine-gun the crowds down.

  • 17. fajensen  |  September 27th, 2009 at 11:23 am

    has anyone with experience in this field come up with any method of countering this shit?

    A couple of 80 mm mortar rounds ??

  • 18. Bad criticism  |  September 28th, 2009 at 6:52 am

    The LRAD weapon is a GOOD thing for riot control, like pepper spray and the Taser. They are not foolproof but they are a lot less injurious than sticks, rubber bullets and even fire hoses. That is the whole point. See the police with the batons (ancient technology)? Batons crack skulls, scalps and other bones, the LRAD just makes people feel sick and want to run away.
    BFD folks, I’d much rather be hit with an LRAD or tear gas or pepper spray than a wooden baton.
    By the way, ear plugs and noise-canceling headphones won’t work, the low frequency operates on the whole body, it is not about your hearing.

  • 19. Dr. Luny  |  September 29th, 2009 at 8:40 am

    Americans have been subjected to sound beam weapons for decades, first radio, then television, now this. I have to say, compared to those first two, this weapon isn’t all that great.

  • 20. Aaron  |  September 29th, 2009 at 11:56 am

    “And this time, the serfs will shoot back.”

    Yeah, keep dreaming, “Realist”.

  • 21. Jay Silverheels  |  September 29th, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    What a pansy-assed device!

    You want effective crowd control? This is effective crowd control –

  • 22. John  |  September 29th, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    @18: All hail state control! All hail our glorious overlords! All hail our generous benefactors, the police!

  • 23. Darren M.  |  December 13th, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    My name is Darren M. and I believe I am being targeted with concentrated infrasonic sound waves while I attempt to sleep at night. I believe I am being targeted for D.E.W. (directed energy weapon) experimentation/harassment purposes by an entity within the U.S. government employing private contractors to carry out this experimentation/harassment.

    I am awakened many times throughout my sleep periods to a feeling of vibrations traveling through my body in a straight line. The vibrations are focused in a narrow beam. It is impossible for me to stay asleep when I am targeted with these inaudible concentrated sound waves which increase my pulse rate as they travel through me. Different parts of my body are targeted at different times. When my head is targeted I will awake with moderate to severe headaches. I have also experienced head spins to the point that I had to lift my head up out of a lying down position to make them stop. When my chest area is targeted, I will awake with rapid or irregular heartbeats. In addition, I experience sleep deprivation on a nightly basis due to the repeated forced awakenings. The private contractors that target me hit me every 1-2 hours on average during the first part of my sleep period, and they increase the frequency of their targeting to every 15-30 minutes during the 2nd part of my sleep period. I fear that I will lose my job and become homeless due to the sleep deprivation that this experimentation/harassment has caused me. I also fear that my health will deteriorate.

    I want to make sure that my story is told in the event this experimentation causes my premature death. I also want to make sure that potential future victims do not suffer the way I have from these silent sound wave weapons. I don’t believe anyone can help me because of my failed attempts to provide proof of this experimentation and the apparent disbelief and disinterest of the authorities in the U.S.

    Darren M.
    Email: dewtarget05 AT yahoo DOT com

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