Right, I think it's best if we have a short collaboration of what exactly is happening with the FA and the WMD. As I've not really been Volt Master active the past few days, and rarely read the CoH boards, I think it's best, not just for me, if we can hole up everything we know is happening/happened so that everyone can get a rough idea of what's happening.... slash happened.
Well, there was a bit of a falling out a while back. Kit and Sam had a little chat with Akkarin along the line of "what the hell were we thinking and why didn't anyone tell us". It kinda devolved when Alfred got sufficiently worked up to hand in his resignation.
Next day, after the whole thing hit the papers, there was even more reacting and jumping up and down (metaphoricaly speaking) in the Chalet when a few others advocating popping over to the UK and blowing it up before the FA do something dumb or some villains get it. Kit thinks they're a bunch of trigger happy loons, especialy considering the amount of defences that are probably in place to keep off the aforementioned villains.
So, as quickly as possible, all available members were scrapped together (in a bar, where else) and did a quick handcount on what they thought was the best idea.
End concensus was to give one of the interlock keys to the government, partialy dismantel it by pulling a circuit board (easy to replace if it needs shooting, and practialy impossible for someone else to bypass) and maybe to develop some fancy dedicated AI thingy to handle outside hacking attempts.
The actual laser is pretty much cleared up, though we still have a few issues left regarding Alfred's resignation etc.
But why do you think the rest of the FA were panicking?
Personally, I'd expect any member of the FA with even a shred of common sense to be more concerned about the possibility of one/some/all of the worlds leading powers deciding to crush a new terrorist faction under their heel to set an example for others.
(( although I kinda get the feeling that not everyone's thought of this possibility, hence Cloe getting yelled at on Christmas Eve over SG comm channels for chatting with Alfred in the Chalet. ))
(( PS. A high powered laser DOES NOT qualify as a WMD by international definition.
The most widely used definition of "weapons of mass destruction" is "nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons."
This definition in action.......
The U.S. president has used this definition in communications with Congress.
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has used this definition in reporting on proliferation to Congress.
The U.S. Department of Defense has used this definition in a series of major reports to Congress on proliferation threats and on measures for countering proliferation.
The U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO), the investigative arm of Congress, has used this definition, as well.
The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) refers to WMD as "nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons."
And since there is nothing nuclear, chemical or biological about a single, high powered, FOCUSED beam of light, I guess that puts us in the clear.
Oh how I wish people would look up the facts before starting something like this. It's going to be the whole "surviving the several high caliber explosive shots from an assassin issue again ))
It was referred to as a WMD internally in the FA, so that's how it got labelled.
I think the definition broadly encompasses several areas of weapon synthesis, including nuclear, biological, chemical (NBC) and, increasingly, radiological weapons.
However, I suspect that in a legal sense it means "whatever the hell the authority wants it to mean". The NBC marker is usually associated as it's hard to make that big a mess with conventional weapons only.
For example, with the 9-11 lot, the Washington Post reported "Jurors asked the judge in the death penalty trial of Zacarias Moussaoui today to define the term "weapons of mass destruction" and were told it includes airplanes used as missiles". Moussaoui was indicted and tried for the use of airplanes as WMD under 18 USC 2332a.
In the end, I suspect the main reason that stonking great lasers capable of blowing up buildings aren't classed as WMD is that they don't exist.
Ooo nice link Kit, I especially liked this bit........
"Lasers are highly precise and cause negligible damage to surrounding areas," says Mike McVey of Northrop Grumman. "They are also much safer to people in the vicinity of the threat." A solid-state laser of less than 100 kilowatts could hit the engine of a vehicle, disabling it and bringing the vehicle to a halt without harming the people inside, he claims. Instead of destroying radio or television masts to disable communications infrastructure, the idea is that a laser weapon could just cut power lines or cables, making reconstruction work quicker and easier.
Mainly because it validates my point that a laser weapon is far safer for the surrounding area than a gang of FA members rushing in, smashing everything and then blowing the place up on the way out, which is our usual order of business
Indeedy, your current laser weapons are precision stuff. However, what we were talking about is of a much higher power and AoE. Anyway, I don't want this to dissolve into a technical quibble, as there are loads of reasons why such a weapon isn't feasible anyway. *Throws in the phrase "comic book physics"*
Oh, and regarding your last point?
I think a tacnuke is probably more discriminating that a textbook FA assault ;D
Whatever this laser weapon we had was, it was able to blow up city blocks. Which is better than even the largest single non-nuclear bomb can do at the moment (well, except enormous piles of TNT or something). As Kit said - it was called a WMD because it was labelled one within the FA. Especially after the 'it can blow up a city block' one.
Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans.
Alfred Bester Alfred's Catchphrase, suggested by Kit: "It's the thought that counts."