The Area Denial Option: From Fallujah to New Orleans
American Technology Corp. and HPV Technologies LLC dominate the market for sonic devices that can communicate commands as far away as a mile with a sound clarity that is amazing. If this were their exclusive or even primary function, there would be little controversy. That is not the case, however: these devices, in their most important role, are non-lethal weapons for crowd control and dispersal, and they have been deployed and used in situational theatres of operations for some time, now. As a point of comparison about sound levels, a smoke detector pumps out sound at 80 to 90 decibels; one of these acoustical devices can push sound in the 2100 to 3100 Hertz range at up to 150 decibels. According to Richard Salvi, director of the Center for Hearing and Deafness at the University at Buffalo, "That's a sensitive region for developing hearing loss... The longer the duration, the more serious it is." American Technology Corporation Vice President of Military and Government Operations Carl Gruenler said, "Inside 100 yards, you definitely don't want to be there."
As just mentioned, American Technology features the Long Range Acoustical Device, otherwise known as The Sound of Force Protection®, which projects high-quality sound up to a mile. According to the company, the cone of sound can be varied from 15° to 30°, and it features both microphone and MP3 input capabilities.
For shorter ranges, American Technology offers the Medium Range Acoustic Device™ (MRAD™), otherwise known as The Sound of Emergency Notification™, which projects high-quality sound up to 300 meters. This device is described by the company as "Man-Portable." It features microphone, MP3, CD, tape, and laptop computer input capabilities.
Other products in the company's family of The Sound of Emergency Notification™ are the SoundSaber devices, which feature flat panel technology, making them attractive for quick deployment in space-constrained situations, including indoor and outdoor events.
According to Newsweek, not only have the Marines taken them into combat situations in places like Fallujah, and not only has the Navy secured a number of them for use in the Persian Gulf, but law enforcement authorities across the United States are considering the purchase and deployment of LRADs and MRADs: the list from Newsweek includes "...Miami, Los Angeles, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and the Department of Homeland Security..." In a company press release dated August 26, 2004, American Technology Corporation noted that the New York City Police Department had purchased two of the devices and intended to use them if necessary against protesters at the Republican National Convention. In that same press release, it was disclosed that the United States Border Patrol had acquired LRADs.
The devices are also now in use by the military forces of other nations. In a June 10, 2005, communiqué as reported by the Seattle Weekly, AP correspondent Amy Teibel described protesters at the West Bank wall "...overcome by dizziness and nausea, after the vehicle-mounted device began sending out bursts of audible, but not loud, sound at intervals of about 10 seconds..."
The acoustical devices now in operational use from Israel to Iraq to the streets of America are not the "pain ray" machines of Raytheon Corp., which are designed to create an unbearable burning sensation that will drive people away, nor are LRADs of the acoustical variety in the very low-frequency ranges long sought by some musicians to cause their fans to defecate: there is still considerable dispute about exactly what frequencies induce which biological reactions, although research is surely continuing apace for entertainment as well as military applications.
American Technology is clearly a leader in non-lethal weaponry for crowd notification, riot control, and area denial. With the introduction of this technology to the domestic law enforcement situation management inventory, the same successful results achieved by Israelis against Palestinian and Israeli protesters and by Coalition forces against Iraqis is now available to manage the ever-increasing threat that Americans in large numbers pose to civil order.
And with the generous donation of devices by American Technology Corporation to the United States for use in New Orleans, the nation's armed forces will now have greater assurance that law and order will be maintained among those who would otherwise, like many other enemies of America, pose a clear and present threat by virtue of their desperation.
The Dark Wraith has spoken.