Gene Healy on Ferguson and Dystopian Military Toys


Nicholas Komodore

Through the fog of Twitter, it's difficult to discern the precise details of what's been happening in Ferguson, Mo., in the 10 days of protests spurred by the police killing of an unarmed teenager. Last week, writes Gene Healy, I found myself musing darkly, "Just wait till Ferguson's cops get federally funded drones." If you think paramilitary policing looks dystopian now, just wait till you see what's being cooked up in defense contractors' labs. It's bad: From "puke sabers" to "pain rays" Homeland Security and the Pentagon maintain a keen interest in developing crowd-control weapons for occupations at home and abroad. It's no accident that technology developed for population control in foreign counterinsurgencies is being turned inward — in fact, it's been a matter of deliberate federal policy. But it's not too late to reverse the slide.