“State entities began responding to the incidents in early 2017, but M/PRI was not made aware of the incidents until mid-August 2017, when a former M/PRI official contacted the office after seeing media reports.”
GAO — REPORTED INJURIES TO U.S.PERSONNEL IN CUBA (July 2018)
The United States Government Accountability Office has released a rather disturbing report. M/PRI — the office responsible to investigate incidents that may meet the Accountability Review Board statute criteria — was not aware of the situation of US personnel in Havana — which had been reported in late 2016 — until they read about it in the US media in August 2017. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY
RELATED POST: Microwave Attacks — Havana, Beijing… And Where Else?
RELATED POST: NSA Spy’s Disease Caused by Secret Microwave Weapon?
Today, I will just post the timeline without analysis, except the key GAO findings. I will try to update this TIMELINE whenever additional pieces of information are made available. I will post my own comments in a following post shortly. Stay tuned!
What GAO Found
The Department of State’s (State) Accountability Review Board (ARB) policy does not ensure that the responsible office—State’s Office of Management Policy, Rightsizing, and Innovation (M/PRI)—is made aware of incidents that may meet the ARB statute criteria, such as those that occurred in Cuba and were associated with injuries to U.S. personnel.
According to State policy, as soon as M/PRI becomes aware of potentially qualifying incidents, M/PRI will start the process for considering whether the incident warrants an ARB. M/PRI relies on informal communication to identify potentially qualifying incidents to begin the vetting process because State does not have a policy, procedure, or process for internal communication of such incidents to M/PRI, according to State officials and GAO analysis.
As illustrated in the figure below, other State entities began responding to the incidents in early 2017, but M/PRI was not made aware of the incidents until mid-August 2017, when a former M/PRI official contacted the office after seeing media reports. If M/PRI is not aware of incidents, it cannot initiate State’s ARB incident vetting process.
This situation puts State at risk of not meeting statutory time frames for convening an ARB and could result in State being less able to improve security programs and practices at other U.S. diplomatic posts. Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government call for internal communication to achieve the entity’s objectives and note that management should document responsibilities through policy.
2015 July 20 — The United States officially re-establishes diplomatic relations with Cuba and reopens the U.S. Embassy in Havana, which had been closed since 1961.
Late 2016: US embassy staff and at least one Canadian began to notice symptoms
2017 March — The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, better known as DARPA, is embarking on a new program, called RadioBio, to determine whether cells are able to exchange information with EM signals and, if so, what the cells are saying and how they do it. This new initiative seems very close to the once TOP-SECRET “PANDORA Project”.
2017 March 13 — “What I can say is there are many ways to surveil each other now, unfortunately,” including “microwaves that turn into cameras, etc,” Kellyanne Conway told New Jersey’s the Record newspaper in an interview on Sunday.
2017 May 1 — State had determined that several of those individuals had serious injuries.
2017 May — US expels two Cuban diplomats for failing to protect its diplomats
2017 August — US says 16 employees have been treated but attacks seem to have stopped
2017 August — The Brain Injury Center at the University of Pennsylvania started conducting additional evaluations of U.S.
personnel and family members and identified over 20 individuals with confirmed medical injuries similar to mild traumatic brain injury or concussion. All of the confirmed cases described some combination of the following symptoms: sharp ear pain, dull headaches, ringing in one ear, vertigo, visual focusing issues, disorientation, nausea, and extreme fatigue
August 2017 — According to M/PRI officials, and a timeline provided by M/PRI, these officials became aware of the incidents in Havana
2017 Early September — US says attacks are continuing and 19 staff members have now been hurt
2017 September 29 — Washington pulls diplomatic staff, warns US citizens not to visit and says 21 embassy employees now injured
2017 October 3 — INTEL TODAY: Microwave Weapons are more likely than Sonic Attacks
2018 May — The U.S. Consulate General in Guangzhou, China, reported a similar incident involving a U.S. government employee who experienced abnormal sensations of sound and pressure, which according to State is very similar and entirely consistent with the medical indications of those affected in Cuba.
2018 July — US Government Accountability Office : REPORTED INJURIES TO U.S. PERSONNEL IN CUBA
2018 August 29 — Beatrice Golomb — MD, PhD, professor of medicine at University of California San Diego School of Medicine — has concluded that reported symptoms and experiences of a “mystery illness” afflicting American and Canadian diplomats in Cuba and China strongly match known effects of pulsed microwave electromagnetic radiation.
2018 September 1 — The NYT posts a long article titled: “Microwave Weapons Are Prime Suspect in Ills of U.S. Embassy Workers
DARPA to Resurrect Top-Secret “PANDORA Project” — Intel Today (February 22 2017)
Kellyanne Conway: ‘microwaves that turn into cameras’ can spy on us — Guardian (March 13 2017)
US Government Accountability Office : REPORTED INJURIES TO U.S. PERSONNEL IN CUBA — July 2018
Havana Syndrome — Timeline