Thursday, March 03, 2005

New Painful Weapon Circumvents Torture Definitions

From John Ballard at Hootsbuddy's Place, a brief excerpt from his sensitive reaction to a horrifying new weapon funded by the US. Please take the time to read his entire thought.

The reason this new weapon is so ingenious is that it allows attackers to circumvent current definitions of torture. Currently, torture is defined in terms of permanent physical harm, not pain, inflicted on the victim.
If man's imagination seeking ways to make peace were as creative as it seems to be in the methods of war, the limits of human accomplishment would improve by several orders of magnitude. This morning's find is from 3Quarks Daily, linking to New Scientist.

Maximum pain is aim of new US weaponThe US military is funding development of a weapon that delivers a bout of excruciating pain from up to 2 kilometres away. Intended for use against rioters, it is meant to leave victims unharmed. But pain researchers are furious that work aimed at controlling pain has been used to develop a weapon. And they fear that the technology will be used for torture.

"I am deeply concerned about the ethical aspects of this research," says Andrew Rice, a consultant in pain medicine at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London, UK. "Even if the use of temporary severe pain can be justified as a restraining measure, which I do not believe it can, the long-term physical and psychological effects are unknown."

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