Havana Syndrome — White House Official Confirms Microwave Attacks [UPDATE — Bill to Support ‘Havana Syndrome’ Victims Unanimously Passes Senate]

“I will have no higher priority than taking care of people, of colleagues, and their families. And I do commit to you that, if I am confirmed, I will make it an extraordinarily high priority to get to the bottom of who is responsible for the [Havana] attacks.”

CIA Director Nominee William Burns

April 16 2021 — For the first time ever, a top ranking US official appears to confirm that US diplomats in Havana have suffered microwave attacks. During a recent interview on CNN (Spanish), Juan Gonzalez (Special Assistant to POTUS & NSC Senior Director for Western Hemisphere) admitted that US diplomats in Havana were indeed subjected to microwave attacks. Follow us on twitter: @Intel_Today

RELATED POST: HAVANA SYNDROME — International Legal Implications

RELATED POST: Havana Syndrome — What Are the Frequencies Used by US Intel for Microwave Spying? [2019]

RELATED POST: Three Years Ago — US Spies & the Havana Syndrome

RELATED POST: One Year Ago — Havana Syndrome : Pesticide may have caused diplomats’ illness. Really? [Comments from Dr James Giordano]

RELATED POST: Two Years Ago — Havana Syndrome & Microwave Weapons: Q&A with Professor James Lin

RELATED POST: Havana Syndrome — At long last, CDC investigation reveals the exact sequence of events [UPDATE — STATE Dept. MEMO : CIA closed Station two weeks before US Diplomats departure]

RELATED POST: Havana Syndrome — A CIA Sonic Counter-Attack in Cuba? [Did the Agency write the ‘Patria y Vida’ Reggaeton Hit?]

“So certainly if we have concerns, suspicions or beliefs that any state actor, Russia or otherwise was involved … you can be sure that we will take it to them. But right now, we simply do not know.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (June 8 2021)

UPDATE (June 10 2021) — On Monday, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed legislation to support American public servants who have incurred brain injuries from likely directed energy attacks. 

The Helping American Victims Afflicted by Neurological Attacks (HAVANA) Act, which was authored by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) along with Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Vice Chairman Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), would authorize additional financial support for injured individuals.  

“Far too many ‘Havana Syndrome’ victims have had to battle the bureaucracy to receive care for their debilitating injuries.  American personnel who have undergone these attacks while serving our country should be treated the same way we would treat a soldier who suffered a traumatic injury on the battlefield,” said Senator Collins. 

“I am pleased that there has been widespread, bipartisan support for my bill, which will provide additional support to these government employees who were harmed while representing our interests.  We also need a whole-of-government approach to determine what this weapon is and who is wielding it in order to prevent future attacks and protect Americans.”

The HAVANA Act would authorize the CIA Director and the Secretary of State to provide injured employees with additional financial support for brain injuries. Both the CIA and State Department would be required to create regulations detailing fair and equitable criteria for payment. This legislation would also require the CIA and State Department to report to Congress on how this authority is being used and if additional legislative or administrative action is required.

On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the United States is conducting a government-wide review to get to the bottom of who or what caused the suspected “directed” radio frequency attacks that on U.S. diplomats that resulted in various neurological ailments known as “Havana syndrome”.

END of UPDATE

“The state of that science has for the most part been, if not abandoned, pretty much left fallow in the United States – but it has not been fallow elsewhere.”

James Giordano — Professor of neurology and ethics at Georgetown University Medical Center

UPDATE (June 4 2021) — Lo and behold… According to a piece published by The Guardian,

Portable microwave weapons capable of causing the mysterious spate of “Havana Syndrome” brain injuries in US diplomats and spies have been developed by several countries in recent years, according to leading American experts in the field.

And by the way…

A US company also made the prototype of such a weapon for the marine corps in 2004. The weapon, codenamed Medusa, was intended to be small enough to fit in a car, and cause a “temporarily incapacitating effect” but “with a low probability of fatality or permanent injury”.

WaveBand’s former president and CEO, Lev Sadovnik, said he was limited in what he was allowed to say about the project, but said the immediate effects of MAE were disorientation and the impression of hearing sounds.

Sadovnik said that a device capable of causing Havana Syndrome symptoms could be relatively portable.

“It’s quite conceivable that you can hide it in a car, or in a van but it would not work over a long distance,” he said. “You can do it through a wall, say, if you are in the next room in a hotel.”

Quotes from Pr James Lin and Pr James Giordano

The Guardian quotes abundantly Pr James Lin and Pr James Giordano who I have both interviewed many years ago. It is good to see that after all these years, MSM is finally listening to serious experts on this subject.

RELATED POST: Three Years Ago — Havana Syndrome & Microwave Weapons: Q&A with Professor James Lin

RELATED POST: One Year Ago — Havana Syndrome : Pesticide may have caused diplomats’ illness. Really? [Comments from Dr James Giordano]

RELATED POST: Havana Syndrome — “Embassy Encephalopathy: Induced Hearing Loss, Cognitive Dysfunction and Neuropathological Changes – Possible Causes, Mechanisms, and Effects” by Dr. James Giordano (Georgetown University)

James Giordano is professor of neurology and ethics at Georgetown University Medical Center. He is also senior fellow in biotechnology, bio-security and ethics at the US Naval War College. Giordano was brought in as adviser by the government in late 2016 after about two dozen US diplomats began falling sick in Havana. He later took part in an assessment for US Special Forces Command on which countries were developing the technology and what they had achieved.

“The state of that science has for the most part been, if not abandoned, pretty much left fallow in the United States – but it has not been fallow elsewhere,” said James Giordano.

“It became clear that some of the work that was conducted in the former Soviet Union was taken up again by Russia and its satellite proxies,” Giordano said, adding that China had also developed directed energy devices to test the structure of various materials, with technology which could be adapted to weapons.

Professor James Lin is the leading US authority on the biological impact of microwave energy.

Lin said a large apparatus would not be needed to focus energy on a small area, heating it a minute amount and causing “a thermoelastic pressure wave” that travels through the brain, causing damage to soft tissue.

The pressure wave would initially be experienced by the target as sound. Many of the US diplomats, spies, soldiers and officials whose symptoms are being studied as part of the Havana Syndrome investigation reported hearing strange sounds at the onset of the attacks.

“You can certainly put together a system in a couple of big suitcases that will allow you to put it in a van or an SUV,” Lin, professor emeritus in the electrical and computer engineering department at the University of Illinois, said. “It’s not something that you need to have enormous amounts of space or equipment to do it.”

From Microwave Syndrome to Havana Syndrome

The Russians certainly had a long history of using microwave technology against US diplomatic missions. The embassy in Moscow was found to be bathed in microwave radiation in the 1960s and early 1970s, though the intention behind it was never clear. That episode erupted into a scandal when it emerged the US government had withheld the fact from its own diplomats.

This incident was known at the time as the “Microwave Syndrome” and it this part of the reason I coined the expression “Havana Syndrome” 4 years ago.

The usual suspects

Although Pr Giordano cannot reveal the name of the likely culprit, he gives us some clues. Beside Russia, Giordano points out that China and others are “very interested in, and dedicated to, developing non-kinetic tools that can be leveraged below the threshold of what would formally be considered acts of war, so as to engage in processes of mass disruption”.

Afterthoughts

Life, Soren Kierkegaard wrote, must be lived forwards even if it can only be understood backwards.

Right from the start, I was the first person to suggest that the Havana Syndrome was caused by Microwave attacks. To the best of my knowledge, Pr Lin is the only other person who made the same claim at that time.

Back then, the idea was universally ridiculed. “Death ray weapons are science fiction stuff.” And Microwave spying was completely misunderstood by the MSM who believed that it refers to spying with microwave ovens!

RELATED POST: On This Day — U.S. Ambassador to the UN Henry Cabot Lodge unveiled ‘The Thing’ [Microwave Spying & Compromise of the Great Seal] (May 26 1960) 

Four years later, the US Academy of Sciences has come to the conclusion that Microwave attacks are indeed the most likely explanation.

In these four years, my hypothesis evolved from a crackpot conspiracy theory, to possible, plausible, likely, highly likely, and now we are told that such weapons ‘always’ existed even in the US. When it comes to science, MSM have a long way to go.

END of UPDATE

“I don’t believe that we as a government, in general, have acted quickly enough. We really need to fully understand where this is coming from, what the targeting methods are and what we can do to stop them.”

Ruben Gallego — House Armed Services Subcommittee on Intelligence and Special Operations

UPDATE (May 17 2021) — On May 13 2021, the Editorial Board of the Washington Post wrote an opinion titled: “The mystery attacks on Americans must be solved.

Within the past two weeks, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has reported that a pattern of “debilitating” attacks on U.S. citizens abroad is “increasing,” in some cases leading to traumatic brain injury. CBS News reported that this year “more than a dozen CIA officers” serving in multiple overseas locations have returned to the United States to seek care after such attacks. CNN reported that a National Security Council official was attacked near the Ellipse last November — walking near the White House.

All these add up to an assault on Americans abroad — and now on U.S. soil — that has eluded detection and is running unabated. Although experts have suggested the cause may be a device emitting “directed, pulsed radio frequency energy,” or microwaves, nothing is known for certain, nor is it known who is carrying out the attacks, although the intelligence community considers Russia the leading suspect.

The attacks have caused real suffering. (…)

The Senate committee’s statement and the CBS report suggest the number of people targeted is even larger and growing still. The New York Times reports the total is now more than 130. A certain amount of confidentiality and privacy is justified for those injured. But it is worrisome that the U.S. government has been unable to figure out the cause and the perpetrators for five years.

The Trump administration failed miserably to make this a priority. A 2018 State Department Accountability Review Board report found “serious deficiencies in the Department’s response in areas of accountability, interagency coordination, and communication, at all levels” that “contributed to the confusion surrounding the events, and delayed effective, coordinated action.”

President Biden’s Cabinet members have promised to do better. As of now, less than four months into the new administration, there is one task force working on it at the Pentagon and another at the CIA; another is being “reinvigorated” at the State Department; and another studies past intelligence reports at the National Security Council. With new cases increasing, the Biden administration must reject business as usual. More task forces at different agencies with different agendas does not necessarily add up to answers.

According to former officials quoted by the New York Times, no military personnel have been injured in combat zones, but several were hurt in Europe and Asia.

Some suffered long-term brain injuries including debilitating headaches. The episodes, according to the National Security Council, involve personnel experiencing “sensory phenomena,” such as sound, pressure or heat, along with or followed by physical symptoms, such as sudden-onset vertigo, nausea, and head or neck pain.

The severity of the brain injuries has ranged widely. But some victims have chronic, potentially irreversible symptoms and pain, suggesting potentially permanent brain injury. Physicians at Walter Reed have warned government officials that some victims are at risk for suicide.

U.S. intelligence agencies have not concluded any cause or whether a foreign power is involved. In a report released in December, the National Academy of Sciences said a microwave weapon probably caused the injuries. Some officials believe a microwave or directed-energy device is the most likely cause.

Sadly, The Guardian is quoting ill-informed sources. Once again, they ignored real science and they are reporting nonsense.

Cheryl Rofer, a former chemist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, has questioned the study’s conclusions, and the claim by victims and some experts that some kind of microwave weapon developed by an adversary is responsible for Havana syndrome.

“The evidence for microwave effects of the type categorized as Havana syndrome is exceedingly weak,” Rofer wrote in Foreign Policy.

“No proponent of the idea has outlined how the weapon would actually work. No evidence has been offered that such a weapon has been developed by any nation. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and no evidence has been offered to support the existence of this mystery weapon.”

As I explained in my last post, the article published by Foreign Policy is dead wrong on facts and science.

Here is a recent review paper (March 1 2021) written by professor James Lin: “The microwave auditory effect”.

Abstract:The microwave auditory effect has been widely recognized as one of the most interesting and significant biological phenomena from microwave exposure. The hearing of pulsed microwaves is a unique exception to sounds encountered in human auditory perception. The hearing of microwave pulses involves electromagnetic waves. This paper reviews the research on humans and animals leading to scientific documentation the absorption of a single microwave pulse impinging on the head may be perceived as an acoustic zip, click, or knocking sound. A train of microwave pulses may be sensed as a buzz, chirp, or tune by humans. It describes neurophysiological, psychophysical, and behavioral observations from laboratory studies involving humans and animals. Mechanistic investigations show that the microwave pulse, upon absorption by tissues in the head, launches a pressure wave that travels by bone conduction to the inner ear, where it activates the cochlear receptors via the same process involved for normal sound hearing. Depending on the impinging microwave pulse power, the level of induced sound pressure could be considerably above the threshold of perception to cause tissue injury. The microwave auditory effects and pressure waves could potentially render damage to brain tissues to cause lethal or nonlethal injuries.

I will end this update on a small point. On May 4 2021, I wrote:

Obviously, people all over the world are intrigued by the Havana Syndrome mystery. And yet, to the best of my knowledge, there is one country where newspapers have never published a single article on this subject… Can you guess?

That country is Belgium. And I believe there is a very good reason why the newspapers are told to keep quiet on the subject.

The people in Brussels have the right to know the truth. The diplomats, the NATO military, and the EU workers have to right to know that the Vienna Convention is not respected.

The sooner, the better. US President Joe Biden will travel to Brussels for his first overseas trip as president on June 14 2021 to attend the next NATO summit.

Well, a few days later, a Belgian Newspaper finally posted one story about this issue! [La Libre — Le mystère du “syndrome de La Havane” reprend de plus belle: des cas détectés à Washington] Better late than never… If POTUS is victim of a microwave attack during his visit to Brussels, some heads are going to roll. That much is rather certain.

END of UPDATE

“Whether or not a microwave weapon was the culprit, this stealth technique may be a weapon of the future. I would not be surprised if some military establishment around the world invests or has already been engaged in such a program.”

Professor James Lin — UIC

UPDATE (May 11 2021) — [A quick comment on the Frey Effect (FOREIGN POLICY Dead Wrong on Facts and Science)] — Both POLITICO and FOREIGN POLICY have published long stories yesterday.

The piece by POLITICO [Russian spy unit suspected of directed-energy attacks on U.S. personnel] is quite interesting and I will provide some comments shortly.

But today, I wish to correct a gross error published by FOREIGN POLICY. In the article [Claims of Microwave Attacks Are Scientifically Implausible — There’s little evidence for an unknown weapon being behind “Havana syndrome.”], the author speculates about the origin of the “Havana syndrome” theory.

As I am the person who first proposed this theory, I can state that the FREY effect is what prompted me to suggest this explanation when I coined the expression “Havana syndrome.”

Clearly, there is no need for speculation about this!

Moreover, the author writes:

“In 1961, the neuroscientist Allan H. Frey reported that pulsed microwave radiation can cause people to hear clicking and other sounds without an actual sound being produced. This is the National Academies report’s strongest connection between microwave radiation and neurological damage, and an extended explanation is given in Appendix C. There is ongoing argument, however, as to whether the Frey effect is real—and very little scientific research seems to have been done on it in the 50 years since it was discovered.”

What does she possibly mean? She quotes the Washington Post:

“Allan Frey, a retired neuroscientist, reported evidence in the 1960s that microwaves can cause a person to perceive sounds under certain circumstances. That could in theory explain why some of the people who experienced “attacks” heard unusual noises. But Frey acknowledged that the biology behind this phenomenon is still unknown and said he believes whatever happened in Cuba will remain a mystery.”

Let me be crystal clear. There is no debate whatsoever regarding the reality of the Frey effect.

“In 1961, Frey published a technical note on the auditory-system response to RF energy. He used two transmitters, one operating at 1.31 and one at 2.98 GHz. The transmitters operated’ respectively, at 224 pps, 6 micro sec pulse width, and 400 pps, 1 micro secs pulse width. The subjects, who wore earplugs and were located 100 ft from the transmitting antenna, perceived a buzzing sound when exposed to the beam of either transmitter. The sound was perceived as located a short distance behind their heads. The thresholds of average power density of fields at the head were determined to be 0.4 and 2 mW/cm2, respectively, for the two transmitters.” [Auditory perception of radio-frequency electromagnetic fields – Chung-Kwang Chou and Arthur W. Guy –The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. June 1982]

The author also suggests that we know nothing about such “implausible attacks”.

“With no clear biological connection of microwaves to Havana syndrome, it’s not possible to describe a weapon that would produce that syndrome. We do not know what frequency the supposed microwaves would be or whether they are pulsed or continuous.”

As I have explained long ago, the science of “microwave spying” has been described in details and I have narrowed the range of frequencies that are likely to be used by the US IC.

RELATED POST: Havana Syndrome — What Are the Frequencies Used by US Intel for Microwave Spying? [2019]

Here is what I wrote in September 2018:

“If microwave radiation has been used to spy against US diplomats in Havana, it would be very useful to know what frequencies were used? We may learn something from the US’s own equipment! (Usually, scientists around the world come up with similar designs for the same reasons.) From the documents leaked by Edward Snowden regarding LOUDAUTO, I suggest that the US microwave spying tool is based on frequencies in the 1 to 2 GHz range.”

The author is also dead wrong when she writes that no microwave experts was involved in the report of the NAS.

“The references are weak, and the committee includes no experts in microwaves and their effects. The committee is made up mostly of experts in medical-related fields. Only two out of 19 seem likely to have any expertise in microwave technology, and it is not their specialty.”

Professor James Lin is one of the world experts on this subject and he was invited to make a presentation which I have seen. (With his permission, and if it is legal, I will post this presentation on this blog.)

The following video includes shots taken from Professor James Lin’s lab some years ago. Professor Lin told me that this video was originally produced by a TV program entitled:  Ultra-Science III – Spies Like Us.

END of UPDATE

“The Biden administration is conducting a government-wide review of suspected incidents of so-called ‘Havana Syndrome.’ At least a dozen CIA officers returned home from their stations overseas just this year after suffering symptoms.” 

CBS News (May 7 2021)

UPDATE (MAY 10 2021) — More than a dozen CIA officers serving in multiple overseas locations have returned to the U.S. to seek care this year after reporting symptoms consistent with “Havana Syndrome.”

The new suspected incidents occurred in the early months of 2021, and at least one happened as recently as March.

In many of the cases, the officers felt so sick, so suddenly, that they required emergency medical evacuation. The recent incidents have taken place on three continents.

“A White House spokesperson said the cause of the incidents is an area of ‘active inquiry,’ and that the National Security Council (NSC) has been coordinating a ‘government-wide effort’ since the start of the administration to determine who is responsible and ensure those affected receive medical evaluations and proper care.”

“As part of the inquiry, the NSC is coordinating a full review of intelligence reporting to ascertain whether there may be previously unreported incidents that fit a broader pattern,” the spokesperson said.

“We cannot address additional specifics at this time, but this remains a priority and we are bringing the U.S. government’s resources to bear to get to the bottom of this.” 

END of UPDATE

“The National Security Agency confirms that there is intelligence information from 2012 associating the hostile country to which Mr Beck traveled in the late 1990’s, with a high powered microwave system weapon that may have the ability to weaken, intimidate or kill an enemy, over time, and without leaving evidence.”

NSA statement declassified in 2014

UPDATE (May 4 2021) — When asked by a visitor what Electricity & Magnetism could be good for, Michael Faraday had not clear answer.

So the great scientist merely replied: “What use is a baby? You do not want to decide on the life of a newborn.” [When asked the same question by the Prime Minister, Faraday replied: “In ten years you will be taxing it!”]

On October 3 2017, I coined the expression “Havana Syndrome”. [Here is the tweet] The expression is now universally used, both by the media and the research community.

I certainly never expected this expression to become so popular! A Google search of the expression “Havana Syndrome” brings about  3.5 million results!

Here is a short sample of the articles published by Main Stream Media in just the last few days.

CNBC : U.S. investigating peculiar attacks with hallmarks of ‘Havana syndrome’ near White House

GlobalNews : Canadian officials not disclosing ‘at least 3’ new Havana syndrome cases: letter

News.com.au : Mysterious Havana Syndrome ‘energy attack’ near White House being investigated

France24 : US investigates more ‘Havana syndrome‘ attacks

Deutsche Welle (DW) : US investigates instances of “Havana syndrome” among diplomats

The Guardian : Havana syndrome: NSA officer’s case hints at microwave attacks since 90s

TheStraitsTimes : US investigates more ‘Havana syndrome‘ attacks

Times of Israel : US probing more ‘Havana syndrome’ attacks

Obviously, people all over the world are intrigued by the Havana Syndrome mystery.

And yet, to the best of my knowledge, there is one country where newspapers have never published a single article on this subject… Can you guess?

That country is Belgium. And I believe there is a very good reason why the newspapers are told to keep quiet on the subject.

The people in Brussels have the right to know the truth. The diplomats, the NATO military, and the EU workers have to right to know that the Vienna Convention is not respected.

The sooner, the better. US President Joe Biden will travel to Brussels for his first overseas trip as president on June 14 2021 to attend the next NATO summit.

In a recent briefing in Europe that included State and Pentagon officials, a defense official revealed that “there has been an increasing number of microwave attacks on U.S. troops reported worldwide, including in Europe.”

PS — Last night, Politico reported an interview with former acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, who launched an initiative to investigate the incidents during his time at the Pentagon last year.

Miller told POLITICO that these attacks constitute an Act of War. “The suspected directed-energy attacks on U.S. government personnel worldwide are ‘an act of war.’ If this plays out and somebody is attacking Americans [even] with a nonlethal weapon … we owe it to our folks that are out there. We owe it to them to get to the bottom of this.”

END of UPDATE

“Given that we are still evaluating reported incidents and that we need to protect the privacy of individuals reporting incidents, we cannot provide or confirm specific details at this time.”

White House spokesperson (April 29 2021)

UPDATE (April 29 2021) — Officials are investigating two potential “Havana syndrome” attacks on U.S. soil. [CNN cited unnamed official sources for its report.]

According to CNN, one of the attacks took place near the Ellipse, the grassy oval lawn just south of the White House, harming a National Security Council official in November 2020.

The second US incident concerned a White House staffer who was walking her dog in Virginia in 2019, when she heard a high-pitched noise in her ears that was followed by an intense headache.

“The health and well-being of American public servants is a paramount priority for the Biden administration. We take all reports of health incidents by our personnel extremely seriously. The White House is working closely with departments and agencies to address unexplained health incidents and ensure the safety and security of Americans serving around the world,” a White House spokesperson stated.

Lawmakers on the Senate and House Armed Services Committees were briefed on the issue earlier this month.

Meanwhile, a group of Canadian diplomats is accusing Canada’s government of withholding information about what the diplomats say are three new cases of brain injury resulting from “Havana Syndrome” that have been identified in the past two years.

“The distortion of information misleads the public and causes significant risk to new personnel being sent to Cuba, as they are not being fully apprised of the risks to which they are exposed,” the diplomats wrote.

Shaheen Questions DNI Avril Haines on Reports of ‘Havana Syndrome’ Attacks

END of UPDATE

“I woke up in the middle of the night, with an incredible case of vertigo, the room was spinning. I wanted to throw up. I’ve been in places like — Iraq and Afghanistan, I’ve been shot at. But this is by far the most terrifying experience of my life.”

Former CIA officer Marc Polymeropoulos

UPDATE (April 26 2021) — NBC’s Andrea Mitchell spoke with a veteran CIA officer who claims to be a victim of a microwave attack while visiting Russia.

Marc Polymeropoulos describes the debilitating medical conditions that ended his career.

Meanwhile, two other CIA agents believe they were also attacked with a sophisticated microwave weapon while they were visiting Australian in late 2020.

In an official statement, CIA spokesman Timothy Barrett said that:

“The CIA is working alongside other government agencies to double down on our efforts to find answers regarding the unexplained global health incidents that have impacted personnel. The Agency’s top priority has been and continues to be the well-being of all of our officers.”

Sources familiar with the ongoing investigations out of the separate US agencies — including the CIA, the FBI, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the State Department — say that a major impediment to their efficacy is the fact that they are largely siloed efforts. Inter-agency coordination has been limited, in part due to the highly classified nature of some details…

It is not clear if the Biden administration will bring the multiple investigations of these suspected microwave attacks under one roof, but officials at the National Security Council are discussing that possibility.

“We still have no idea what the hell is going on at the embassy in Cuba. Those people have been reporting all those symptoms for years and the question is, are they being targeted? Is this some eavesdropping equipment that’s having an effect on them?”

Jeffrey Lewis — Professor at the Middlebury Institute 

UPDATE (April 23 2021) — US military leaders believe Russia is behind a series of suspected “directed energy” attacks causing illness in US troops and diplomats.

The Pentagon has briefed top lawmakers on intelligence surrounding suspected directed-energy attacks against U.S. troops, and officials identified Russia as a likely culprit, according to anonymous sources quoted by POLITICO. [Pentagon investigated suspected Russian directed-energy attacks on U.S. troops]

The Pentagon has briefed top lawmakers on intelligence surrounding suspected directed-energy attacks against U.S. troops, and officials identified Russia as a likely culprit, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter.

The incidents of suspected directed-energy attacks by Russia on Americans abroad became so concerning that the Pentagon’s office of special operations and low-intensity conflict began investigating last year, according to two former national security officials involved in the effort. It’s unclear exactly how many troops were injured, or the extent of their injuries.

A spokesperson for the director of national intelligence declined to comment.

The investigation is part of a broader effort to look into directed-energy attacks on U.S. officials across multiple agencies in recent years. Since late 2016, close to 50 officials have reported symptoms of a mysterious illness that became known as “Havana syndrome” among U.S. diplomats posted in Cuba.

Directed-energy attacks on U.S. spies and diplomats are well-documented; the CIA recently set up its own task force to look into the issue. But the recent Pentagon effort to look into similar incidents affecting U.S. troops has not previously been reported.

The investigation evolved into a larger discussion involving the National Security Council, the CIA, State Department and Office of the Director of National Intelligence, said three former national security officials involved in the discussions.

Russia has denied any responsibility and US Congressmen briefed on this new information have not been willing to discuss it in public.

Based on this information, there is no way of knowing whether these attacks — if they occurred at all — share any similarities with the suspected attacks in Havana.

Yet, I will take this opportunity to repeat an obvious point which was made by Professor James Lin — University of Illinois, Chicago — since the very beginning of this saga.

“Whether or not a microwave weapon was the culprit, this stealth technique may be a weapon of the future. I would not be surprised if some military establishment around the world invests or has already been engaged in such a program.”

As a rule, whenever it was possible to build and use a new weapon, human beings have almost always done so. There are exceptions — such as the use of blinding laser weapons — but the ban of a new weapon before its development is a very rare event.

In any case, the story appears to confirm that the White House and the US IC are really taking the Havana Syndrome mystery very seriously.

PS — A few weeks ago, Professor Lin has kindly sent me a couple of papers on the subject and I will discuss his findings as soon as possible. Stay tuned!

END of UPDATE

“The priority is making sure that our diplomats are safe and secure, but also that we find out who is responsible, if a state actor or others are responsible, having accountability and making sure that we put the protections in place.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken

The Biden administration has signaled a commitment to solving the “Havana Syndrome” mystery.

During his confirmation hearing, CIA Director William Burns stated that it would be a “High priority to solve Havana attacks mystery.”

Both US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and CIA Director Nominee William Burns promised to get answers on who is responsible for these attacks on U.S. spies and diplomats.

On March 12, 2021, the State Department announced the appointment of retired Ambassador Pamela Spratlen as Senior Advisor to the task force handling the agency’s response to the Havana Syndrome.

The CIA is working with others to “double down” on finding answers regarding the unexplained global health incidents,” CIA press secretary Timothy Barrett has stated. 

The CIA has set up a centralized team with doctors, counterintelligence officials, and human resources for anyone affected.

Last week, during an interview on CNN (Spanish), Juan Gonzalez — Special Assistant to POTUS & NSC Senior Director for Western Hemisphere — admitted that US diplomats in Havana were subjected to microwave attacks. [Joe Biden no es Barack Obama en la política hacia Cuba]

“Tenemos que asegurarnos de que nuestro personal en la embajada estadounidense en La Habana estén seguros y no corran peligro de un ataque de microondas o no sé cómo lo están llamando hoy.”.

[“We have to make sure that our staff at the US embassy in Havana are safe and not in danger of a microwave attack or I don’t know what they are calling it today.”]

“Quienes piensan que EEUU va a entrar en estos momentos con un diálogo de múltiples años con Cuba, yo creo que no entiende el momento político y la situación en donde estamos viviendo y el desorden que heredamos de la Administración previa.”

[Those who think that the US is going to enter into a dialogue of multiple years with Cuba, I believe that they do not understand the political moment and the situation in which we are living and the disorder that we inherited from the previous Administration.]

“No se invertirá de forma inicial el capital político o el tiempo de esta Administración.

[“The political capital or time of this Administration will not be invested initially.”]

This is the first time ever that a high level US official appears to confirm that us diplomats in Havana have indeed suffered microwave attacks.

On Wednesday (April 14 2021), US Senator Susan Collins, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, thanked CIA Director William Burns for his focus on Havana Syndrome. 

“I promised in my confirmation hearing that I take very seriously ensuring that our colleagues at CIA… receive the care that they deserve and that we get to the bottom of the question of what caused these [Havana Syndrome] incidents and who might have been responsible,” CIA Director Burns told Senator Collins.  

“And I look forward to staying in close touch with you on that. I know my colleagues at CIA deeply appreciate your personal commitment on this issue.”

Did you know? — On October 3 2017, I coined the expression “Havana Syndrome”. [Here is the tweet] The expression is now universally used, both by the media and the research community. A Google search of the expression “Havana Syndrome” brings about  3.5 million results!

The expression “Havana Syndrome” has entered the lexicon of widely different people, from judges and lawyers to various kind of artists. Why did I coin the expression “Havana Syndrome” and what does it mean?

As soon as I heard about this rather unusual saga, I immediately made a connection between the Havana attacks and the old story of the Microwave Syndrome, thus the conflation Havana Syndrome.

FLASHBACK — A formerly classified internal State Department review obtained by the National Security Archive reveals that the CIA closed its station in Havana before the diplomats were pulled out.

The Accountability Review Board [ARB] report provides the first official confirmation that the CIA closed down its Havana station and pulled its operatives out of Cuba in September 2017.

A September 13, 2017, entry in a chronology of U.S. government actions states: “CIA informs [Acting Assistant Secretary Francisco] Palmieri of its decision to withdraw personnel from Havana for the foreseeable future.” Secretary Tillerson ordered the departure of all non-emergency personal on September 29 2017.

The decision appeared to be precipitated by two more U.S. intelligence officers falling ill on August 22 2017, while staying at the Hotel Nacional in Havana, reinforcing suspicions at the CIA that their agents were being targeted.

“In August 2017, two TDY [temporary duty travel] personnel experienced medical injury from an incident at a Havana hotel.”

The ARB criticized the CIA for failing to share information about the health-related experiences of its agents in Havana in late 2016 and early 2017, delaying the State Department’s ability to rapidly react.

“Both at [Havana] Post and in Washington, response to the incidents was characterized by excessive secrecy that contributed to a delayed response,” the report noted in its findings on communication and information sharing.

The Board forcefully recommended that:

“The Secretary of State should advise employees, and his counterparts at other agencies represented at missions overseas, that he expects complete transparency and prompt notification regarding any episode that results in harm or increased danger for USG employees.”

The Board received information on similar health incidents in at least three other countries. “In addition to Embassy Havana, there were reports of similar incidents at several other posts (Tashkent, [redacted country/city name], and China).”  

In the case of China, the report included a cable (not released with the declassified version) from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, dated May 21, 2018, stating that the Embassy had convened an Emergency Action Committee to address a “victim of auditory or sensory phenomena.”

According to the Board, there was “one medically confirmed report regarding a Consulate Guangzhou employee, who described incidents in Guangzhou, China, similar to those experienced by Embassy Havana community members and whose injuries were confirmed by medical experts to match those of the Havana victims.”

The CIA’s involvement may have also made the U.S. response more difficult, as the spy agency was reticent in sharing information about its affected personnel, the report said. [ABC News]

“Both at Post and in Washington, response to the incidents was characterized by excessive secrecy that contributed to a delayed response,” it said, calling for “complete transparency and prompt notification regarding any episode that results in harm or increased danger for USG (U.S. government) employees.”

CIA spokesperson Nicole de Haay declined to answer specific questions.

“CIA’s first priority has been and continues to be the welfare of all of our officers,” said de Haay.

“The U.S. investigation into attacks that had sickened American diplomats in Havana in 2017 is still underway and remains a high priority,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said on February 11 2021. [REUTERS]

CNN Interviews Senator Jeanne Shaheen on Havana Syndrome

REFERENCES

Biden administration gears up to solve ‘Havana Syndrome’ attacks mystery —  Washington Examiner

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Havana Syndrome — White House official confirms Microwave attacks

Havana Syndrome — White House Official Confirms Microwave Attacks [UPDATE : Pentagon suspects microwave attacks against US troops.]

Havana Syndrome — White House Official Confirms Microwave Attacks [UPDATE : CIA officer Marc Polymeropoulos speaks out.]

BREAKING NEWS — Havana Syndrome — White House Official Confirms Microwave Attacks [UPDATE : Press Review]

BREAKING NEWS — Havana Syndrome — White House Official Confirms Microwave Attacks [UPDATE — Dozen CIA officers medevaced from their stations overseas]

BREAKING NEWS — Havana Syndrome — White House Official Confirms Microwave Attacks [UPDATE — A quick comment on the Frey Effect]

BREAKING NEWS — Havana Syndrome — White House Official Confirms Microwave Attacks [UPDATE — Washington Post Editorial Board: “The mystery attacks on Americans must be solved.”]

Havana Syndrome — White House Official Confirms Microwave Attacks [UPDATE — The Guardian : “Microwave weapons that could cause Havana Syndrome exist.”]

Havana Syndrome — White House Official Confirms Microwave Attacks [UPDATE — Bill to Support ‘Havana Syndrome’ Victims Unanimously Passes Senate]

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