Sunday, November 23, 2008

Taser™ Nation

"A decade ago, ordinary Americans would not have tolerated such widespread use of the Taser, a stun gun delivering a 50,000-volt shock. They would not have tolerated the electrocution of unarmed, non-threatening civilians without following the normal "escalation of force" policy.

Ironically, American political leaders and the media once cast aspersion on the regimes of Guatemala and Argentina, which used cattle-prods on prisoners. Cattle-prods only deliver 25,000-volt shocks, half that of the Taser.

Guantanamo helped condition the American public. It raised the threshold of what Americans consider reasonable in violating personal space by the state - or by its private contractors, like Halliburton, which has built parts of Gitmo, or Lockheed Martin, which has provided professional interrogators.

The transfer of violations from Guantanamo to the US "Homeland" might be one purpose behind Guantanamo in the first place. After all, hardly any real terrorists were convincingly exposed at Guantanamo, and even some federal authorities wonder aloud that more than one-third of the detainees might be entirely innocent. By and large, Gitmo was populated with taxi cab drivers, goat herders and even teenage students, most having been delivered to US forces by bounty hunters and opium warlords."

~ Dr. Andrew Bosworth : Taser Nation


chris said...

Just over at Hullabaloo and dropped in to add this to your Taser file.
Very convenient of you to have Taser post up.

Alison said...

Thanks, Chris.
Here's an update :
"Jacqui Smith’s announcement that 10,000 of the weapons are to be supplied to 43 forces in England and Wales suffered an immediate blow when the Metropolitan Police Authority said it had no intention sanctioning their wider deployment in London.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Authority said it would not take up the offer of funding immediately because of the potential of Tasers to cause “fear” and “damage public confidence” in the police.

He said: “The MPA has no intention of immediately sanctioning any increase in the availability of Tasers to officers in the Met."

~The Times

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