As the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence demands answers about the mysterious “Havana syndrome”—a neurological sickness that hit U.S. embassy workers in Cuba and elsewhere—an expert told NTD’s “The Nation Speaks” that he believes the phenomenon is “absolutely” the result of a deliberate attack and called for accountability.
Gary Miliefsky, a founding member of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and publisher of Cyber Defense Magazine, said he is certain U.S. diplomats in Cuba were years ago targeted by some kind of an ultrasonic weapon.
“Absolutely,” Miliefsky said when asked if he thinks the health symptoms dubbed “Havana syndrome” were the result of deliberate hostile actions. “They recorded the background noises and sounds during the attack. And it sounded to me exactly like what’s known as an ultrasonic weapon.”
U.S. authorities have struggled to understand the mysterious attacks since they were first noted in 2016, when diplomatic and intelligence personnel in Cuba first began reporting disturbing symptoms including head pressure or vibration, and dizziness, sometimes followed by visual problems and cognitive difficulties.
“For some of these patients, their case began with the sudden onset of a loud noise, perceived to have directional features, and accompanied by pain in one or both ears or across a broad region of the head,” reads a State Department-sponsored study into the phenomenon by the National Academy of Sciences.
A 19-person committee of medical and scientific experts involved in the study considered chemical exposures, infectious diseases, and psychological issues as being behind the symptoms, but concluded that the most likely cause was directed microwave energy.
“Overall, directed pulsed RF (radio frequency) energy, especially in those with the distinct early manifestations, appears to be the most plausible mechanism in explaining these cases among those that the committee considered,” the report found.
The report didn’t suggest that microwave energy was part of a deliberate scheme targeting U.S. personnel, but noted that “the mere consideration of such a scenario raises grave concerns about a world with disinhibited malevolent actors and new tools for causing harm to others, as if the U.S. government does not have its hands full already with naturally occurring threats.”
Miliefsky insisted that what happened to diplomatic and intelligence personnel in Cuba “was a weapon based attack.”
“It’s an experiment on human subjects to hit somebody in the brain with that level of ultrasound damage to their ears, potentially causing brain damage,” Miliefsky added. “It’s an absolute bioweapons attack that needs to be regulated, stopped, defended against, and I think Cuba should admit they did it, but they never will.”
Dr. Linda Birnbaum, former director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, was part of the standing committee that produced the report. Asked in an interview on “The Nation Speaks” whether, as some sceptics have contended, the Havana syndrome is merely the result of a “hysteria,” she insisted it was not.
“My belief is that the committee felt there was something real going on,” she replied, while acknowledging that “we are not 100 percent sure of actually what happened.”
Birnbaum added that she was disappointed that, following the publication of the report, the matter was not pursued more vigorously by U.S. authorities.
Her remarks come as the leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee have vowed to “get to the bottom” of the mysterious directed-energy attacks, which are reportedly on the rise.
Committee Chairman Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Vice Chairman Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) confirmed in a joint statement on April 30 that there’s an apparent rise in the incidence of directed-energy attacks on U.S. personnel.
“For nearly five years, we have been aware of reports of mysterious attacks on United States Government personnel in Havana, Cuba, and around the world,” Rubio and Warner wrote. “This pattern of attacking our fellow citizens serving our government appears to be increasing. The Senate Intelligence Committee intends to get to the bottom of this.”
Their statement comes after media reports saying incidents bearing the hallmarks of Havana syndrome attacks had taken place in Washington, including just outside the White House and in Miami. One of the alleged energy attacks took place on the south side of the White House in November, and is believed to have sickened a White House aide, CBS reports.
Rubio and Warner said in their statement that the Senate Intelligence Committee has “already held fact-finding hearings on these debilitating attacks, many of which result in medically confirmed cases of Traumatic Brain Injury, and will do more.”
CIA Director William Burns, during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee in late February, committed to investigating the phenomenon.
“I will make it an extraordinarily high priority to get to the bottom of who’s responsible for the attacks and to ensure that colleagues and their families get the care they deserve,” including treatment at Walter Reed National Medical Center and the National Institutes of Health, Burns said at the time.
Warner and Rubio said in their statement that they welcomed renewed investigation by the CIA into the incidents, noting that it was important “to better understand the technology behind the weapon responsible for these attacks.”
“Ultimately, we will identify those responsible for these attacks on American personnel and will hold them accountable,” they said.
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