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Should we fear neuro-war more than normal war?

Should we fear neuro-war more than normal war?

FP
September 7, 2009

A new opinion piece in Nature (ungated version via a somewhat dubious Website) takes biologists to task for allowing the militarization of their work for the development of neuro-weapons — chemical agents that are weaponized in spray or gas form to induce altered mental states.

The Russian military’s use of fentanyl to incapacitate Chechen terrorists — and kill 120 hostages in the process — during the 2002 Nord-Ost seige was something of a wakeup call in this area. It’s no secret that the U.S. and other militaries are interested in these potential weapons (I wrote about a 2008 DoD-commisioned study on cognitive enhancement and mind control last November.) According to the Nature story, some companies are now marketing oxytocin based on studies showing that in spray form, it can increase feelings of trust in humans, an application discussed in the 2008 study.

Blogger Ryan Sager wonders what would have happened if the Iranian government had had such a weapon during this summer’s protests. He continues:

Now, some would argue that the use of non-lethal agents is potentially desirable. After all, the alternative is lethal measures. But the author of the opinion piece, Malcolm Dando, professor of International Security in the Department of Peace Studies at Bradford University in the UK, doesn’t see it that way:

At the Nord-Ost siege, for instance, terrorists exposed to the fentanyl mixture were shot dead rather than arrested. Likewise, in Vietnam, the US military used vast quantities of CS gas — a ‘non-lethal’ riot-control agent — to increase the effectiveness of conventional weapons by flushing the Viet Cong out of their hiding places.

While we might want to believe that we would use such weapons ethically going forward, the idea of a dictator in possession of such weapons is rather chilling — moving into science-fiction-dystopia territory.

I suppose. Though I think I’m going to continue to be most worried about them having nuclear weapons. The Iranian regimes rigged an election; killed tortured and hundreds of protesters; and coerced opposition leaders into giving false confessions. I don’t think it would have been that much worse if they had had weaponized oxytocin on their hands.

Sager is right that this is a topic worthy of debate, but I find it strange that research on weapons designed to incapacitate or disorient the enemy seems to disturb people a lot more than research on weapons designed to kill them. As for the idea that neurological agents could facilitate other abuses, Kelly Lowenberg writes on the blog of the Stanford Center for Law and the Neurosciences:

Or is our real concern that, by incapacitating, they facilitate brutality toward a defenseless prisoner? If so, then the conversation should be about illegal soldier/police abuse, not the chemical agents themselves.

I think this is right. New technology, as it always does, is going to provoke new debates on the right to privacy, the treatment of prisoners, and the laws of war, but the basic principles that underly that debate shouldn’t change because the weapons have.

 



Homeland Security Previews Pre-Crime Detector

Homeland Security Previews Physiological Bio-Screeners
Polygraph like machines to “spot terrorists” by scanning general public for anxiety

Steve Watson
Infowars.net
September 19, 2008

The Department of Homeland Security has previewed new technology that they promise will help rout out terrorists and other dangerous people in public places by covertly bio-scanning subjects as they walk past sets of cameras.

It may seem Orwellian, but on Thursday, the Homeland Security Department showed off an early version of physiological screeners that could spot terrorists, reports USA Today.

According to DHS officials, the scanners work like polygraphs but without the subjects having to be wired up to them. They measure body temperature, pulse and breathing regularity. Any sudden changes recorded could indicate “the kind of anxiety exuded by a would-be terrorist or criminal.”

According to the report, the new technology will not just be limited to use in airports:

The system would be portable and fast, said project manager Robert Burns, who envisions machines that scan people as they walk into airports, train stations or arenas. Those flagged by the machines would be interviewed in front of cameras that measure minute facial movements for signs they are lying.

Law experts have charged that the technology constitutes a government enforced “medical exam” which would violate civil rights.

There can be no doubt that this technology is part of Homeland Security’s Project Hostile Intent (PHI) program, on which we reported just over one year ago.

Scientists were tasked by the DHS to develop technology by 2010 that can scan the bodily functions of citizens, without them knowing, and uncover any possible hostile intent or deception.

The DHS revealed to The New Scientist that it wishes to develop a lie detector-type test that can be used remotely, which was described as “an advantage because it would not interfere with the flow of a crowd and it could be used without the target’s knowledge.”

Other technology to be used for PHI includes lasers, cameras, eye trackers, microphones and heart rate and breathing sensors.

The new technology complements already escalating security measures in airports and train stations such as biometric body scans, lie detector tests, behavior analysis, facial analysis and spot teams to spy on passengers.

In addition, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) started conducting random additional at-gate screening earlier this year of airline passengers who display “involuntary physical and physiological” actions indicating stress, fear or deception.

To anyone who remembers Poindexter’s gait analysis this is pretty disturbing stuff.

We are being acclimatized to these things, first within airports and stations. Technology and measures that you don’t even see used in prisons or high security facilities are being passed off as completely normal in public places.

Furthermore, from the wording in these reports, it is clear that the intention is to roll out the exact same measures throughout public places in major cities and subject the general public to intense airport style harassment on the city streets.

How long before we see checkpoint officials inspecting internal passports and consumers body scanned merely to enter a supermarket or a sports arena?

New airport screening ‘could read minds’
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/ne..ort-screening-could-read-minds.html

Pre-Crime Detector Shows Promise
http://www.newscientist.com/blog..r-is-showing-p.html

DHS Physiological Screeners To Fight Terrorists
http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7012355008

 



Future Drugs Will Make Troops Want to Fight

Future Drugs Will Make Troops Want to Fight
Potential technologies to picture what someone is thinking, drugs that give soldiers super-human power and awareness, robots controlled with the brain and land-mines that release drugs to incapacitate suspects is in the works.

Wired
August 13, 2008

Drugs that make soldiers want to fight. Robots linked directly to their controllers’ brains. Lie-detecting scans administered to terrorist suspects as they cross U.S. borders.

These are just a few of the military uses imagined for cognitive science — and if it’s not yet certain whether the technologies will work, the military is certainly taking them very seriously.

“It’s way too early to know which — if any — of these technologies is going to be practical,” said Jonathan Moreno, a Center for American Progress bioethicist and author of Mind Wars: Brain Research and National Defense. “But it’s important for us to get ahead of the curve. Soldiers are always on the cutting edge of new technologies.”

Moreno is part of a National Research Council committee convened by the Department of Defense to evaluate the military potential of brain science. Their report, “Emerging Cognitive Neuroscience and Related Technologies,” was released today. It charts a range of cognitive technologies that are potentially powerful — and, perhaps, powerfully troubling.

Here are the report’s main areas of focus:

  • Mind reading. The development of psychological models and neurological imaging has made it possible to see what people are thinking and whether they’re lying. The science is, however, still in its infancy: Challenges remain in accounting for variations between individual brains, and the tendency of our brains to change over time.

    One important application is lie detection — though one hopes that the lesson of traditional lie detectors, predicated on the now-disproven idea that the physiological basis of lying can be separated from processes such as anxiety, has been learned.

    Mind readers could be used to interrogate captured enemies, as well as “terrorist suspects” passing through customs. But does this mean, for example, that travelers placed on the bloated, mistake-laden watchlist would have their minds scanned, just as their computers will be?

    The report notes that “In situations where it is important to win the hearts and minds of the local populace, it would be useful to know if they understand the information being given them.”

  • Cognitive enhancement. Arguably the most developed area of cognitive neuroscience, with drugs already allowing soldiers to stay awake and alert for days at a time, and brain-altering drugs in widespread use among civilians diagnosed with mental and behavioral problems.

    Improved drug delivery systems and improved neurological understanding could make today’s drugs seem rudimentary, giving soldiers a superhuman strength and awareness — but if a drug can be designed to increase an ability, a drug can also be designed to destroy it.

    “It’s also important to develop antidotes and protective agents against various classes of drugs,” says the report. This echoes the motivation of much federal biodefense research, in which designing defenses against potential bioterror agents requires those agents to be made — and that raises the possibility of our own weapons being turned against us, as with the post-9/11 anthrax attacks, which used a military developed strain.

  • Mind control. Largely pharmaceutical, for the moment, and a natural outgrowth of cognitive enhancement approaches and mind-reading insight: If we can alter the brain, why not control it?

    One potential use involves making soldiers want to fight. Conversely, “How can we disrupt the enemy’s motivation to fight? […] How can we make people trust us more? What if we could help the brain to remove fear or pain? Is there a way to make the enemy obey our commands?”
  • Brain-Machine Interfaces. The report focuses on direct brain-to-machine systems (rather than, for example, systems that are controlled by visual movements, which are already in limited use by paraplegics.) Among these are robotic prostheses that replace or extend body parts; cognitive and sensory prostheses, which make it possible to think and to perceive in entirely new ways; and robotic or software assistants, which would do the same thing, but from a distance.

    Many questions surrounding the safety of current brain-machine interfaces: The union of metal and flesh only lasts so long before things break down. But assuming those can be overcome, questions of plasticity arise: What happens when a soldier leaves the service? How might their brains be reshaped by their experience?

Like Moreno said, it’s too early to say what will work. The report documents in great detail the practical obstacles to these aims — not least the failure of reductionist neuroscientific models, in which a few firing neurons can be easily mapped to a psychological state, and brains can be analyzed in one-map-fits-all fashion.

But given the rapid progress of cognitive science, it’s foolish to assume that obstacles won’t be overcome. Hugh Gusterson, a George Mason University anthropologist and critic of the military’s sponsorship of social science research, says their attempt to crack the cultural code is unlikely to work — “but my sense with neuroscience,” he said, “is a far more realistic ambition.”

Gusterson is deeply pessimistic about military neuroscience, which will not be limited to the United States.

“I think most reasonable people, if they imagine a world in which all sides have figured out how to control brains, they’d rather not go there,” he said. “Most rational human beings would believe that if we could have a world where nobody does military neuroscience, we’ll all be better off. But for some people in the Pentagon, it’s too delicious to ignore.”

 

Brain will be battlefield of future, warns US intelligence report

The Guardian
August 14, 2008

Rapid advances in neuroscience could have a dramatic impact on national security and the way in which future wars are fought, US intelligence officials have been told.

In a report commissioned by the Defense Intelligence Agency, leading scientists were asked to examine how a greater understanding of the brain over the next 20 years is likely to drive the development of new medicines and technologies.

They found several areas in which progress could have a profound impact, including behaviour-altering drugs, scanners that can interpret a person’s state of mind and devices capable of boosting senses such as hearing and vision.

On the battlefield, bullets may be replaced with “pharmacological land mines” that release drugs to incapacitate soldiers on contact, while scanners and other electronic devices could be developed to identify suspects from their brain activity and even disrupt their ability to tell lies when questioned, the report says.

“The concept of torture could also be altered by products in this market. It is possible that some day there could be a technique developed to extract information from a prisoner that does not have any lasting side effects,” the report states.

The report highlights one electronic technique, called transcranial direct current stimulation, which involves using electrical pulses to interfere with the firing of neurons in the brain and has been shown to delay a person’s ability to tell a lie.

Drugs could also be used to enhance the performance of military personnel. There is already anecdotal evidence of troops using the narcolepsy drug modafinil, and ritalin, which is prescribed for attention deficit disorder, to boost their performance. Future drugs, developed to boost the cognitive faculties of people with dementia, are likely to be used in a similar way, the report adds.

Greater understanding of the brain’s workings is also expected to usher in new devices that link directly to the brain, either to allow operators to control machinery with their minds, such as flying unmanned reconnaissance drones, or to boost their natural senses.

For example, video from a person’s glasses, or audio recorded from a headset, could be processed by a computer to help search for relevant information. “Experiments indicate that the advantages of these devices are such that human operators will be greatly enhanced for things like photo reconnaissance and so on,” Kit Green, who chaired the report committee, said.

The report warns that while the US and other western nations might now consider themselves at the forefront of neuroscience, that is likely to change as other countries ramp up their computing capabilities. Unless security services can monitor progress internationally, they risk “major, even catastrophic, intelligence failures in the years ahead”, the report warns.

“In the intelligence community, there is an extremely small number of people who understand the science and without that it’s going to be impossible to predict surprises. This is a black hole that needs to be filled with light,” Green told the Guardian.

The technologies will one day have applications in counter-terrorism and crime-fighting. The report says brain imaging will not improve sufficiently in the next 20 years to read peoples’ intentions from afar and spot criminals before they act, but it might be good enough to help identify people at a checkpoint or counter who are afraid or anxious.

“We’re not going to be reading minds at a distance, but that doesn’t mean we can’t detect gross changes in anxiety or fear, and then subsequently talk to those individuals to see what’s upsetting them,” Green said.

The development of advanced surveillance techniques, such as cameras that can spot fearful expressions on people’s faces, could lead to some inventive ways to fool them, the report adds, such as Botox injections to relax facial muscles.

Land-mines that release drugs to incapacitate an enemy
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2008/aug/13/military.neuroscience

Future Wars To Be Fought With Mind Drugs
http://www.roguegovernment.com/news.php?id=11432

 



Airport security agent pulls pants off man in public

Airport security agent pulls pants off man in public

CBS2
July 24, 2008

“He yelled at me to get the belt off. ‘I told you to get the belt off.’ So I took the belt off. He ran his hands down over and pulled the pants down, they went down around my ankle.”


http://youtube.com/watch?v=ryPoq3Smjxs

TSA Now Conducting Random Behavioral Screening
http://usgovinfo.about.com/b/2..ndom-behavioral-screening.htm

 



U.S. State Workers Will Visit Homes to Screen Children

U.S. government: We know parenting better than you
Proposals would give Washington unprecedented control over kids

World Net Daily
July 24, 2008

The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to debate two bills that could give the federal government unprecedented control over the way parents raise their children – even providing funds for state workers to come into homes and screen babies for emotional and developmental problems.

The Pre-K Act (HR 3289) and the Education Begins at Home Act (HR 2343) are two bills geared toward military and families who fall below state poverty lines. The measures are said to be a way to prevent child abuse, close the achievement gap in education between poor and minority infants versus middle-class children and evaluate babies younger than 5 for medical conditions.

’Education Begins at Home Act’ – HR 2343

HR 2343 is sponsored by Rep. Danny Davis, D-Ill., and cosponsored by 55 Democrats and 11 Republicans. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that implementing the Education Begins at Home Act would cost taxpayers $190 million for state home visiting plus “such sums as may be necessary” for in-hospital parent education.

While the bill may appear to be well-intentioned, Pediatrician Karen Effrem told WND government provisions in HR 2343 to evaluate children for developmental problems go too far.

“The federal definition of developmental screening for special education also includes what they call socioemotional screening, which is mental health screening,” Effrem said. “Mental health screening is very subjective no matter what age you do it. Obviously it is incredibly subjective when we are talking about very young children.”

While the program may not be mandatory for low-income and military families, there is no wording in the Education Begins at Home Act requiring parental permission for treatment or ongoing care once the family is enrolled – a point that leads some to ask where parental rights end and the government takes over. Also, critics ask how agents of the government plan to acquire private medical and financial records to offer the home visiting program.

“There’s no consent mentioned in the bill for any kind of screening – medical, health or developmental,” Effrem said. “There are privacy concerns because when home visitors come into the home they assess everything about the family: Their financial situation, social situation, parenting practices, everything. All of that is put into a database.”

Effrem said it does not specify whether parents are allowed to decline evaluations, drugs or treatment for their children once they are diagnosed with developmental or medical conditions.

“How free is someone who has been tagged as needing this program in the case of home visiting – like a military family or a poor family?” she asked. “How free are they to refuse? Even their refusal will be documented somewhere. There are plenty of instances where families have felt they can’t refuse because they would lose benefits, be accused of not being good parents or potentially have their children taken away.”

When WND asked Effrem how long state-diagnosed conditions would remain in a child’s permanent medical history, she responded:

“Forever. As far as I know, there isn’t any statute of limitations. The child’s record follows them through school and potentially college, employment and military service.” Effrem said conflicts could also arise when parents do not agree with parenting standards of government home visitors.

“Who decides how cultural tolerance is going to be manifested?” she asked. “There’s some blather in the language of the bill about having cultural awareness of the differences in parenting practices, but it seems like that never applies to Christian parents.”

’Providing Resources Early for Kids’

The Pre-K Act, or HR 3289, is sponsored by Rep. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, and cosponsored by 116 Democrats and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla. Estimated to cost $500 million for each of fiscal years 2008 through 2013, the bill provides funds for state-approved education. Government workers would reach mothers and fathers in the hospital after a baby has been delivered to promote Pre-K programs.

“They give them information about Child Care Resource and Referral Network so they can get the child into a preschool or daycare that follows the state standards and get the mom working as quickly as possible,” she said. “It’s always that sort of thing: It’s a list of resources, it’s intruding on parental autonomy and authority and it’s not necessarily accurate or welcome information.”

While parents may choose to be involved in preschool programs, Effrem said the Pre-K Act poses similar concerns about government trumping parents’ rights.

“Once they are involved, they don’t have any say over curriculum,” she said. “There’s plenty of evidence of preschool curriculum that deals with issues that have nothing to do with a child’s academic development – like gender, gender identity, careers, environmentalism, multiculturalism, feminism and all of that – things that don’t amount to a hill of beans as far as a child learning how to read.”

Effrem said the Pre-K Act extends a “really messed-up K-12 system” to include even younger, more vulnerable children.

“This is an expansion of the federal government into education when there really is no constitutional provision for it to do so.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4XbSBKU-I0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZovDsSoNyQ

Globalists Angle to Hijack Children with “Pre-K Education” Bills
http://www.prisonplanet.com/..cpre-k-education%e2%80%9d-bills.html

Government Permission Required For Parents To Kiss Children
http://noworldsystem.com/200..ission-required-for-parents-to-kiss-children/

 



Obama and Hillary Support Screening and Medicating Mothers

Obama and Hillary Support Screening and Medicating Mothers

Ann Shibler
JBS
March 13, 2008

Here’s another fabulously clever way for the government to have more people drawn into its clutches through a nationwide screening program, this time focusing on post-partum depression. And it is brought to you by the very busy and liberal Senator Robert Menendez, (NJ), and co-sponsored by Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

Introduced in May 2007, and presently lodged in the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, S. 1375 would provide the impetus and funds necessary to institute a program that would promote referral of mothers-to-be and new moms by nurses, doctors and mid-wives to “mental health care specialists” if they exhibit any signs of “mood disorders,” even if it’s during the pregnancy.

The bill is a bitter pill, but its language is unsurprisingly sugar coated:

A bill to ensure that new mothers and their families are educated about postpartum depression, screened for symptoms, and provided with essential services, and to increase research at the National Institutes of Health on postpartum depression.

The use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a class of antidepressants — i.e., psychotropic drugs — would be recommended and administered as part of the “essential services” program.

The effectiveness of SSRIs that include Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro, etc., have been questioned. There have also been concerns about side effects from the drugs leading to violent behavior.

Most SSRIs carry black box warnings for “suicide” as a side effect, or even “homicidal ideation.” Obviously real physical and mental damage could occur in unborn developing babies if their mothers are coerced into taking these dangerous, addictive, and unpredictable drugs, not to mention to the mothers themselves.

A popular opinion among medical caregivers these days is that “post-partum mood disorders” are a sign of an underlying biochemical imbalance, so the answer must be drugs. But many women report getting through their real post-partum depression with the love, help, and support of family and friends, and alternative methods. Some have discovered alternatives (scroll down toward the end) to treating post-partum depression that can bes as simple as diet changes, supplements, or exercise.

The relative effectiveness of drug treatments for post-partum depression or for any other medical condition is not really the point, however. The real issue is federal involvement. A course of treatment should be an individualized arrangement formed through doctor-patient consultation. The federal government should not be involved, given the potential that Big Pharma lobbyists might well desire a program, such as the one proposed, because it would lead to lucrative sales.

Not content with “mental health” screenings for school children and military veterans that have real and permanent consequences, now big government plans to intrude into the womb as well.

Obama & Clinton On Most Corrupt Politicians List
http://intelstrike.com/?p=216

 



Mass Conditioning for a Police State

Mass Conditioning for a Police State

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58fnMDDW7fQ