Tag Archives | Weapons
Marking a milestone for the Navy, the Office of Naval Research and its industry partner on April 6 successfully tested a solid-state, high-energy laser (HEL) from a surface ship, which disabled a small target vessel...
It sounds like the plot of a John Hughes ’80s teen comedy. Efraim Diveroli and David Packouz were a pair of underachieving kids from Miami (interests: football, “whisky”, and “chilling with the boyz”) until, as part of the privatization effort, they somehow landed a $300 million contract from the Bush administration to provide ammunition for U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.
Then things soured: greed pitted the friends against one another, all they could give the military were defective, Chinese-made munitions from Albania, and now Diveroli is in jail. Rolling Stone has the barely-believable saga:
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Reassured by the e-mail, Packouz got into his brand-new blue Audi A4 and headed home for the evening, windows open, the stereo blasting. At 25, he wasn’t exactly used to the pressures of being an international arms dealer. Only months earlier, he had been making his living as a massage therapist; his studies at the Educating Hands School of Massage had not included classes in military contracting or geopolitical brinkmanship.
In a secret program called “Fast and Furious”, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms knowingly let thousands of assault rifles (such as AK-47s) “walk” across the border into the hands of drug cartels in Mexico — ATF planned to track the guns for intelligence purposes and “see where they ended up.” The weaponry in question has been used in a spree of deadly crimes, including the murders of U.S. government agents Jaime Zapata and Brian Terry. A whistleblower at ATF brought the matter to light, CBS News reports:
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Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is asking the U.S. government for details about ATF’s “Fast and Furious” operations.
As our CBS News Investigation has revealed, “Fast and Furious” was a secret program under which, sources say, ATF purposely allowed thousands of assault rifles and other weapons from the U.S. into the hands of drug cartels in Mexico. Insiders call it letting the guns “walk.”
Documents show that ATF-walked guns began turning up at many violent crime scenes in Mexico from the start.
Discovery News reports on more nightmare-fuel for believers in the robopocalypse:
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A headless metal warrior stomps towards you, shooting. Fortunately, you’ve been training for a marathon and easily jet off to safety down an alleyway. But wait -– now a metal cheeta-bot is after you, racing faster than your puny legs can go. As the space between you and the galloping beast closes, you round a corner, see a door and dive through. It slams behind you. As you freeze, holding your breath, the robotic cat passes by outside with a wake of metallic echoes.
Relieved, you exhale into the dark. A fatal mistake -– outside, another robot has detected your breath and alerted the enemy to your location …
Waking up from this nightmare is a way to save yourself, for now, but in fact all three ‘terror’ bots it featured are based on actual prototypes being developed in California and Boston (though not with directly malicious intentions).
Ah, America, where machine guns are dispensed like party favors. Via Aol News:
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A truck dealership in Florida is firing up sales with the promise of a rapid-fire machine gun.
Customers have been streaming into Nations Trucks in Sanford, near Orlando, purchasing two dozen vehicles since the sale campaign began on Veterans Day last week. Each new truck owner also walks out with a free AK-47. “We’ve tripled our business,” general sales manager Nick Ginetta told AOL News. “We knew it would be controversial, but it’s been a phenomenal response.”
An image of the semiautomatic rifle is taped to the showroom’s window to lure shoppers. Buyers receive a $400 voucher good for one Kalashnikov at Shoot Straight, a weapons dealer with several locations in the Sunshine State.
All prospective gun owners must meet state and federal gun-control laws, but Ginetta has still drawn fire from anti-gun activists and alarmed neighbors.
The U.S. Navy has used a a laser weapon to shoot down four unmanned aerial vehicles in a test that rings up memories of Ronald Reagan's "Star Wars" missile defense shield in the 1980s.
The successful test of the Laser Weapon System off the coast of California was announced...
A Japanese artist named Isao Hashimoto has created a series of works about nuclear weapons. One is titled "1945—1998" and shows a history of the world's nuclear explosions. Over the course of fourteen and a half minutes, every single one of the 2,053 nuclear tests and explosions that took place between 1945 and 1998 are is plotted on a map. After a couple of minutes or so, however, once the USSR and Britain entered the nuclear club, the tests really start to build up, reaching a peak of nearly 140 in 1962, and remaining well over 40 each year until the mid-80s. It's a compelling insight into the history of humanity's greatest destructive force, especially when you remember that only two nuclear explosions have ever been detonated offensively, both in 1945. Since then, despite more than 2,000 other tests and billions of dollars having been spent on their development, no nuclear warheads have been used in anger.