We've had some discussion of the role of arms production and exports in relation to questions of productive labor and value production. From today's NYT: The Old Economy: High-Tech Pain-Inducement By THE NEW YORK TIMES A new study from Amnesty International, titled "Stopping the Torture Trade," reports that over the last 10 years the United States has been the world's biggest exporter of high-tech restraint devices. The market is now dominated by electronic devices like stun guns, stun batons, stun shields and stun belts -- nonlethal devices that are used by law-enforcement officials all across this country. Amnesty International has provided the following sample of recent products and manufacturers or exporters. The human rights group is careful to note that none of these companies are involved in the production or export of torture equipment -- merely that this type of equipment has been used for torture, and that its trade should be more closely regulated. Arianne International, Palm Beach, Fla. Produces Myotron "Checkmate" pulse weapon. Armas No Mortales, Miami Has sold Sabre tear-gas key rings, Paralyzer shock weapons. D&D Security Products, Rochester, Minn. Sells 200-, 300-, and 500,000-volt stun batons, pocket-guard stun guns, Muscle Man stun guns, Security Plus stun guns, Z-Force stun guns. Defenders Network, Mobile, Ala. Has sold Tactical High Voltage Stun Batons and Electrified High-Voltage Anti-Riot Shields (up to 150,000 volts) "to maintain peace and order without drawing blood or endangering lives." Exports to Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Malaysia. Hiatt Thompson, Bedford Park, Ill. Has sold Heavy Duty Legcuffs, Hardened Belly Chain. Exports to Australia, the Caribbean and Western Europe. Nova Products, Cookeville, Tenn. Sells Electronic Capture Shields and Telescopic Electronic Restraints. Premier Crown Corporation, Raleigh, N.C. Exported 26-inch shock batons with "hot centers" to Saudi Arabia. Electronic Defense Technology (formerly Stun Tech), Cleveland Produced and marketed a remote-control electronic stun belt, which delivered a 50,000-volt shock to the kidneys for eight seconds. Now offers a similar device for the leg or arm, said to be more convenient and to provide a more direct fit over muscles. Tamiami International Equipment, Miami Introduced the Stunbrella, an electronic defense weapon in the shape of a folded umbrella. (No longer available.) Taser International Inc, Scottsdale, Ariz. Produces and exports the Air Taser, which fires two darts -- attached to metal wires -- that lodge in flesh or clothing and deliver a powerful electric shock that "jams" the central nervous system. Valor Corporation, Miami Has exported tear gas and stun guns to Argentina.
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