Saturday, April 26, 2008
Some History on High Energy Lasers
The Use of Directed-Energy Weapons to Protect Critical Infrastructure
James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. author of The Long War
August 2, 2004
In 1996, the U.S. Army and the Israeli Ministry of Defense began to develop a short-range tactical high energy laser (THEL), which has since become the most successful laser-based anti-missile program in history. It is the most advanced directed-energy technology that the American armed forces have available to protect critical infrastructure. Demonstrating the unique threat flexibility of laser weapons, THEL has intercepted dozens of threats and a growing list of different threat types, including a large number of Russian Katyusha rockets, five artillery shells, and, more recently, large caliber rockets. The Army is preparing to build a mobile prototype (Mobile THEL or MTHEL), which will add mobility and high operational readiness. MTHEL could protect against the kind of rocket and mortar threats that U.S. troops have been facing in Iraq and Afghanistan. HORNET (a slightly different, upgraded MTHEL configuration) could also protect an airport against a full range of MANPADs and other precision strike threats.
More from The Heritage Foundation
Laser Beam Weapons and the Collapse of the World Trade Center
By Christopher Bollyn
American Free Press February 14, 2002
Did a laser beam weapon cause the collapse of the World Trade Center? A physicist who worked on the original infrared beam weapon has reason to believe so.
More than five months after the sudden and total collapse of the World Trade Center (WTC), the cause of the towers' structural failure has yet to be properly investigated and remains unexplained, according to America's leading fire engineering experts. As part of an on-going investigation into the disaster, American Free Press has interviewed a German physicist who believes a laser beam weapon, employing infrared technology originally developed in the Soviet Union, may have caused the collapse of the towers.
When the twin towers collapsed shortly after being struck by airplanes on September 11, millions of television viewers watched the apocalyptic scenario unfold. As immense clouds of concrete dust rolled across lower Manhattan, people around the world tried to comprehend what they were seeing. Nearly six months later, people are still trying to understand exactly what caused the two tallest buildings in the United States to completely crumble into a pile of burning rubble. However, it now appears likely that the federal government will not be conducting an open and comprehensive inquiry and that the most important questions surrounding the towers' collapse may remain unanswered. The destruction of the World Trade Center was the first total collapse of a high-rise in the history of the United States and the largest structural collapse in recorded history. It resulted in the deaths of some 3,000 people, the second largest loss of life on American soil — and the largest loss of firefighters ever.
However, instead of conducting an immediate forensic investigation into the causes of the disaster, the Bush administration has allowed critical evidence to be destroyed and now wants to limit the congressional investigation — an investigation that has not yet begun.
Bush Wants to Limit WTC Investigation
Recently both President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney personally intervened and asked Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (Dem. - S.D.) "to limit the congressional investigation into the events of Sept. 11," according to CNN. Bush made the unusual request at a private meeting with congressional leaders on January 29. He asked that the House and Senate intelligence committees only look into "the potential breakdowns among federal agencies that could have allowed the terrorist attacks to occur," rather than conduct a comprehensive inquiry.
Cheney made a similar appeal to Daschle on Jan. 25. "The vice president expressed the concern that a review of what happened on September 11 would take resources and personnel away from the effort in the war on terrorism," Daschle said. "I acknowledged that concern, and it is for that reason that the Intelligence Committee is going to begin this effort, trying to limit the scope and the overall review of what happened," Daschle said. Although the president and vice president told Daschle they were worried a wide-reaching inquiry could distract from the government's war on terrorism, privately Democrats questioned why the White House feared a broader investigation to determine possible culpability.