“Psychics” at the Pentagon?

by M.P. Shiel

ACCORDING to Wired magazine, the Pentagon just spent $4,000,000 to learn how to read our minds. (Er, I mean read “the enemy’s” minds! And we do seem to have a lot of enemies these days.) Leaving aside the question of just why anyone who could truly read minds would have any need of something so crude as weapons, this is pretty scary stuff if there’s any truth to it.

‘Forget the battlefield radios, the combat PDAs or even infantry hand signals. When the soldiers of the future want to communicate, they’ll read each other’s minds.

‘At least, that’s the hope of researchers at the Pentagon’s mad-science division Darpa. The agency’s budget for the next fiscal year includes $4 million to start up a program called Silent Talk. The goal is to “allow user-to-user communication on the battlefield without the use of vocalized speech through analysis of neural signals.” That’s on top of the $4 million the Army handed out last year to the University of California to investigate the potential for computer-mediated telepathy.

‘Before being vocalized, speech exists as word-specific neural signals in the mind. Darpa wants to develop technology that would detect these signals of  “pre-speech,” analyze them, and then transmit the statement to an intended interlocutor. Darpa plans to use EEG to read the brain waves. It’s a technique they’re also testing in a project to devise mind-reading binoculars that alert soldiers to threats faster the conscious mind can process them.

‘The project has three major goals, according to Darpa. First, try to map a person’s EEG patterns to his or her individual words. Then, see if those patterns are generalizable — if everyone has similar patterns. Last, “construct a fieldable pre-prototype that would decode the signal and transmit over a limited range.”…

Last year, the National Research Council and the Defense Intelligence Agency released a report suggesting that neuroscience might also be useful to “make the enemy obey our commands.”…

Earlier I said that this is pretty scary stuff if there’s any truth to it. Upon deeper consideration, I’ve decided that it’s very unlikely there’s any truth to it at all. Forcing people to “obey our commands”? Come on. More likely, all this “psychic combat” “research” is nothing but a racket; a con game that illustrates for us a sycophantic relationship between not-too-bright military bureaucrats carving out a comfortable niche for themselves, and clever “contractors” who have figured out a way to cut themselves in on a slice of the biggest military budget ever seen on planet Earth. (Currently, the U.S. military budget is nearly the size of all the other military budgets in the world combined.)

Since no is really minding the store (it’s “unpatriotic” to notice when our war machine is misused for evil purposes, and “anti-Semitic” — even if you’re Jewish — to notice that Zionists and neocons use our men as cannon fodder) — a large part of this huge sum is bound to find its way into the pockets of crooks. Better them than warmongers, I suppose.

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