“To date, we don’t know exactly what’s happened and we don’t know exactly who is responsible.”
Nearly six years after U.S. and Canadian embassy workers in Havana, Cuba, began suffering from what is now called the Havana syndrome -- "unexplained health incidents" including hearing loss, memory loss, nausea, and feelings of pressure, vibrations and mysterious noises coming from one direction -- current U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has no more to tell his employees than his predecessors did … but now he has to deal with the problem spreading to U.S. intelligence and military personnel and their families working in Paris and Geneva. Those cities are now added to the list of others beyond Havana -- in China, South America, other parts of Europe and Washington D.C. – and the total of mostly CIA personnel affected is over 200.
“And as I said, we’ve got virtually the entire government working on this at the President’s instructions. We’re not there yet, but we will get there. We will figure this out. Meanwhile, we have to do what we can to protect people and, as I said, care for them.”
In an interview with MSNBC, Secretary Blinken sounds frustrated that people working for him are exposed to a new and spreading wave of mysterious afflictions that are suspected to have caused brain damage in some. While pesticides, mass hysteria and other causes have generally been ruled out, microwave beams continues to be the prime suspect. But where are they coming from and who is ordering them?
“We’ve raised this with the Russians, but we still don’t have a determination of who may – of who is responsible. So we’ve made clear that if they are responsible, or for that matter, anyone who is responsible will suffer severe consequences. But I don’t – I want to be very clear we don’t yet have a determination.”
Is it more than a coincidence that these new incidents occurred just as tensions are escalating between Russia, the U.S. and European nations over Ukraine? Is it a coincidence or intentional that three of the four U.S. embassy workers were sickened in Geneva – the city most associated with world peace talks?
As we approach six years of the Havana Syndrome with no resolution in sight, it’s puzzling that the U.S. government continues to be disorganized and even indifferent towards the affliction and the afflicted. While the CIA has always been involved – not a surprise since over half of the victims work for the agency – Congress, the White House and even the media have a hard time dealing with it. If it is indeed caused by microwave weapons ordered by the Russian government, perhaps the tensions over Ukraine will finally bring it out into the open – a sad and potentially deadly way to resolve it.
“Our determination is to do everything we can to get to the bottom of this, and meanwhile, to protect our folks and to care for them.”
After six years, isn’t it time to do more?