Military Must Prep Now for ‘Mutant’ Future, Researchers Warn

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  1. Hawthorne Abendsen Number One Epic Sloth

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    http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/12/pentagon-prepare-mutant-future/


    Military Must Prep Now for ‘Mutant’ Future, Researchers Warn

    [IMG]
    Lockheed Martin tests its Human Universal Load Carrier exoskeleton. Photo: Lockheed Martin
    The U.S. military is already using, or fast developing, a wide range of technologies meant to give troops what California Polytechnic State University researcher Patrick Lin calls “mutant powers.” Greater strength and endurance. Superior cognition. Better teamwork. Fearlessness.
    But the risk, ethics and policy issues arising out of these so-called “military human enhancements” — including drugs, special nutrition, electroshock, gene therapy and robotic implants and prostheses — are poorly understood, Lin and his colleagues Maxwell Mehlman and Keith Abney posit in a new report for The Greenwall Foundation (.pdf), scheduled for wide release tomorrow. In other words, we better think long and hard before we unleash our army of super soldiers.
    If we don’t, we could find ourselves in big trouble down the road. Among the nightmare scenarios: Botched enhancements could harm the very soldiers they’re meant to help and spawn pricey lawsuits. Tweaked troopers could run afoul of international law, potentially sparking a diplomatic crisis every time the U.S. deploys troops overseas. And poorly planned enhancements could provoke disproportionate responses by America’s enemies, resulting in a potentially devastating arms race.
    “With military enhancements and other technologies, the genie’s already out of the bottle: the benefits are too irresistible, and the military-industrial complex still has too much momentum,” Lin says in an e-mail. “The best we can do now is to help develop policies in advance to prepare for these new technologies, not post hoc or after the fact (as we’re seeing with drones and cyberweapons).”
    Case in point: On April 18, 2002, a pair of Air Force F-16 fighter pilots returning from a 10-hour mission over Afghanistan saw flashes on the ground 18,000 feet below them. Thinking he and his wingman were under fire by insurgents, Maj. Harry Schmidt dropped a 500-pound laser-guided bomb.
    There were no insurgents — just Canadian troops on a live-fire exercise, four of whom were killed in the blast. The Air Force ultimately dropped criminal charges against Schmidt and wingman Maj. William Umbach but did strip them of their wings. In a letter of reprimand, Air Force Lt. Gen. Bruce Carlson accused Schmidt of “willful misconduct” and “gross poor judgment.”
    Schmidt countered, saying he was jittery from taking the stimulant Dexedrine, an amphetamine that the Air Force routinely prescribes for pilots flying long missions. “I don’t know what the effect was supposed to be,” Schmidt told Chicago magazine. “All I know is something [was] happening to my body and brain.”
    The Food and Drug Administration warns that Dexedrine can cause “new or worse aggressive behavior or hostility.” (.pdf) But the Air Force still blamed the pilots.
    The Canadian “friendly fire” tragedy underscores the gap between the technology and policy of military human enhancement. Authorities in the bombing case could have benefited from clearer guidelines for determining whether the drugs, rather than the pilots, were to blame for the accidental deaths. “Are there ethical, legal, psycho-social or operational limits on the extent to which a warfighter may be enhanced?” Lin, Mehlman and Abney ask in their report.
    Now imagine a future battlefield teeming with amphetamine-fueled pilots, a cyborg infantry and commanders whose brains have been shocked into achieving otherwise impossible levels of tactical cunning.
    These enhancements and others have tremendous combat potential, the researchers state. “Somewhere in between robotics and biomedical research, we might arrive at the perfect future warfighter: one that is part machine and part human, striking a formidable balance between technology and our frailties.”
    In this possible mutant future, what enhancements should be regulated by international law, or banned outright? If an implant malfunctions or a drug causes unexpected side effects, who’s responsible? And if one side deploys a terrifying cyborg army, could that spark a devastating arms race as nations scramble to out-enhance each other? “Does the possibility that military enhancements will simply lead to a continuing arms race mean that it is unethical to even begin to research or employ them?” Lin, Mehlman and Abney wonder.
    The report authors also question whether the military shouldn’t get give potential enhancement subjects the right to opt out, even though the subjects are otherwise subject to military training, rules and discipline. “Should warfighters be required to give their informed consent to being enhanced, and if so, what should that process be?” the researchers ask.
    The ethical concerns certainly have precedent. In a series of experiments in the 1970s aimed at developing hallucinogenic weapons, the Pentagon gave soldiers LSD — apparently without the subjects fully understanding the consequences of using the drug. During the Cold War U.S. troops were also exposed to nerve gas, psychochemicals and other toxic substances on an experimental basis and without their consent.
    Moreover, it’s theoretically possible that future biological enhancements could be subject to existing international laws and treaties, potentially limiting the enhancements — or prohibiting them outright. But the application of existing laws and treaties is unclear, at best. ”Could enhanced warfighters be considered to be ‘weapons’ in themselves and therefore subject to regulation under the Laws of Armed Conflict?” the researchers write. “Or could an enhanced warfighter count as a ‘biological agent’ under the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention?”
    Lin, Mehlman and Abney aren’t sure. To be safe, they propose the military consider several rules when planning an enhancement. Is there a legitimate military purpose? Is it necessary? Do the benefits outweigh the risks? Can subjects’ dignity be maintained and the cost to them minimized? Is there full, informed consent, transparency and are the costs of the enhancement fairly distributed? Finally, are systems in place to hold accountable those overseeing the enhancement?
    Whether following these guidelines or others, the Pentagon should start figuring out a framework for military human enhancement now, Lin and his colleagues advise. “In comic books and science fiction, we can suspend disbelief about the details associated with fantastical technologies and abilities, as represented by human enhancements,” they warn. “But in the real world — as life imitates art, and ‘mutant powers’ really are changing the world — the details matter and will require real investigations.”
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  2. Celt A fronte praecipitium a tergo lupi

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    I know this might sound corny, but it makes a person wonder just what the world is coming to. I'm no pacifist, but articles like this really set a person to thinking just when is enough, enough? "They" have been trying to dehumanize American civilians to the point members of the American military will be desensitized enough to "take care of business" when "our" government finally decides to take things to task.

    Looks to me like "they" are getting closer to their goal.
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  3. Aces High Bar Regular

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    Taliban have shoes that dont fit, wear rags, use old AK47's, have no medical back up, no air power, no comms to speak of, no intel, no money, no drones, etc

    Yet they have hammered the NATO forces and NATO are getting out fast.......lol mutant supersoldiers.
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  4. Hawthorne Abendsen Number One Epic Sloth

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    http://news.yahoo.com/cchr-exposes-...spending-create-drugged-super-160036976.html?

    CCHR Exposes Exorbitant Psychiatric Military Spending to Create Super-Soldiers

    PRWeb – 17 mins ago

    The mental health watchdog Citizens Commission on Human Rights announces the last in a four-part series by award-winning investigative journalist Kelly Patricia O'Meara exploring how the nation's military forces have been used as guinea pigs for psychological and pharmaceutical experiments. This last installment looks at the long standing relationship between the military and psychiatry that has been in place since WWII and the psychiatric research being conducted on U.S. soldiers.

    Los Angeles, California (PRWEB) January 23, 2013

    The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) announces the final article in a four part investigative series on Military Mental Health, written for CCHR by journalist Kelly Patricia O'Meara. This last installment looks at how, in an effort to create the "Super Soldier," the U.S. military spends hundreds of millions of dollars on psychiatric research programs that O'Meara characterizes as "science fiction-esque experimentation."

    O'Meara writes, "The cozy relationship between the military and psychiatry has been in place since WWII. The pharmaceutical companies are the Yin to psychiatry's Yang and the military has acquiesced to the pharmaceutical giants. It's no secret that the nation's military forces long have been used as guinea pigs for psychological and pharmaceutical experiments. Recent history is littered with examples of the botched experiments brought to light in the form of lawsuits and congressional investigations, such as that exposed by the Los Angeles Times on June 17, 2008, 'VA testing drugs on war veterans.' Or by CNN on March 1, 2012 in the article, 'Vets feel abandoned after secret drug experiments.'"

    In her final series on military mental health, O'Meara documents the military's multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical spending, past and current military experiments and research, including:
    · The military is spending billions of dollars on psychiatric drugs; a Nextgov investigation published on May 17, 2012 uncovered the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs having spent nearly $2 billion on antipsychotics and anti-anxiety drugs over the past decade, and the Dec. 29. 2012 Austin American-Statesman article, "Soaring cost of military drugs could hurt budget," quoted Department of Defense spending of $2.7 billion on antidepressants, totaling more than $4.5 billion in the last decade, despite more than 170 warnings issued by international drug regulatory agencies warning of drug induced suicide, violence, mania, psychosis, aggression, hallucinations, death and much more—all documented on CCHR International's website.

    · Millions of dollars from the pharmaceutical industry has funded military mental health screening programs, such as Signs of Suicide, a sub organization of Screening For Mental Health, Inc. On 5 Nov. 2009, The New American reported in "The Healthcare Bill's Sops to the Mental-health Industry," that up to 2008, Screening for Mental Health Inc received nearly $5 million from pharmaceutical companies.

    · According to the Los Angeles Times article, "VA testing drugs on war veterans," Senate testimony given by the Vietnam Veterans of America during a 2002 hearing exposed the U.S. for experimenting on troops - using mustard gas during WWII, radiation during the Cold War, LSD and herbicides during Vietnam and chemical and biological warfare drugs during the Gulf War, yet soldiers were not made aware of possible adverse reactions.

    · The 2008 Human Performance study conducted by the Mitre Corporation and sponsored by the Department of Defense, Research and Engineering Enterprise, showed researchers considered the current state of “pharmaceutical intervention in cognition and in brain-computer interfaces,” and how the enemy might use future developments in this area. Under the heading “Evaluation of Military Effectiveness” the report explains, “the most immediate human performance factor in military effectiveness is degradation of performance under stressful conditions, particularly sleep deprivation.” Researchers recommend to “monitor enemy activities in sleep research…. Use in-house military research on the safety and effectiveness of newly developing drugs for ameliorating the effects of sleep deprivation.”

    · But drugs aren't the only focus of military researchers. As reported in the Popular Science article, "DARPA Wants to Install Transcranial Ultrasonic Mind Control Devices in Soldiers' Helmets," on Sept. 9, 2010, Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), is another possible tool. It involves surgically implanting electrodes into the brain, then attached to wires that run inside the body from the head to the chest, where a pair of battery-operated generators are implanted. Psychiatrists wait three weeks for the bruised brain to heal and the holes in the skin to seal before programming the device to activate the electrodes.

    · There are even more on-going experiments that seem just as, if not more, strange, including U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) funding research to create computerized "virtual humans" used for diagnostic purposes that apparently can be programmed to appear empathetic to the soldier's particular problem, as reported in an April 12, 2012 release from the University of Southern California's Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT), titled, "ICT Developing Next Generation Artificial Intelligence Tools for Mental Health."

    O'Meara states, "Psychiatric research for the military is aiming to create the invincible, insensitive and indifferent fighting machine. In the end, if the results of these experiments even remotely resemble the failure of the military's current mental health psychiatric drug program, it is truly frightening to consider what will be left of the individual American fighting man willing to put his life on the line."

    Kelly Patricia O’Meara is a book author and former award-winning investigative reporter for the Washington Times, Insight Magazine. Prior to working as an investigative journalist, O’Meara spent sixteen years on Capitol Hill as a congressional staffer to four Members of Congress. She holds a B.S. in Political Science from the University of Maryland.

    Read the full article here.
    Read the first 3 parts of this series here:
    Part One: Psychiatric Drugs and War: A Suicide Mission
    Part Two: Two Soldiers Prescribed 54 Drugs: Military Mental Health “Treatment” Becomes Frankenpharmacy
    Part Three: Out of the Asylums and Into the Army: Psychiatry Creates Multi-Billion Dollar Market for Military Psychiatrists and Big Pharma
    CCHR is a non-profit, non-political, non-religious mental health watchdog. Its mission is to eradicate abuses committed under the guise of mental health and enact patient and consumer protections. CCHR has helped to enact more than 150 laws protecting individuals from abusive or coercive mental health practices.
    Media department
    Citizens Commission on Human Rights
    323-467-4242

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