Every government tries to protect its citizens and their interests. Often they use inadmissible methods. But these are done behind the scenes. So only in films, we will see how special agents intoxicate state officials to prevent them from signing an important agreement or issuing a statement. But movies reflect the reality. As Salon reports, Federal authorities are investigating two invisible attacks that occurred on U.S. soil. One of them happened last November near the White House. Another incident occurred back in 2019. It involved a White House official who was walking her dog in a Virginia suburb just outside of Washington. Though White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed to Reuters that they are working to “evaluate any situation,” according to CNN, federal officials have not yet arrived at any definitive conclusions. In short, they do not know what actually caused the incidents.
What is “Havana syndrome”?
Recently, a National Security Council official reported feeling suddenly “sickened” when walking in the Ellipse, the large park just south of the White House fence. And though this is one of the latest incidents, there are myriads of cases. Say, in 2019, a White House official was walking her dog in a Virginia suburb just outside of Washington. She had a similar feeling of “sudden illness” as well.
However, all the recent incidents just renewed concerns around a strange phenomenon, which first was known in 2016, when several US diplomats stationed in Havana (now, you know why it’s called so) reported “hearing strange sounds, steady pulses of pressure in their heads and a number of other bizarre physical sensations. In some cases, they “noticed a sharp deterioration in their hearing and vision.” Some Canadian diplomats, at that time, had a similar experience.
A noteworthy incident happened with a CIA official, who was working out of Moscow and fell ill with “severe vertigo in his hotel room in Moscow and later developed debilitating migraine headaches that forced him to retire.” Something similar happened in 2018, when American diplomats were working in China.
In order to understand the origin of the disease, government-affiliated physicians scanned the brains of 21 victims. Unfortunately, nothing noteworthy they found. The results “showed structural changes to the brain that had not been identified or linked to any known disorder.”
Who Is Using Such A Method Against The US?
Several senior CIA officials say Russia has a big role in these attacks. Apart from Russia, China may be involved in this as well.
Many think that defense agencies were not taking the attacks seriously enough. Say, Chris Miller, then acting defense secretary, told CNN: “I knew CIA and Department of State were not taking this sh*t seriously. And we wanted to shame them into it by establishing our task force.”
But if the Trump administration didn’t take it seriously, the new administration is going to fix this. A couple of months ago, the State Department vowed to appoint a new senior-level advisor to oversee future cases of Havana syndrome. As a State Department official stated, “This advisor will be positioned in a senior role and will report directly to the department’s senior leadership to ensure, as I said, that we continue to make significant strides to address this issue and to ensure our people are receiving the treatment they need.”
At the same time, another official, CIA director William Burns promised to be more attentive to the attacks. “If I’m confirmed as director of CIA, I will have no higher priority than taking care of people — of colleagues and their families,” he declared. “And I do commit to you that if I’m confirmed I will make it an extraordinarily high priority to get to the bottom of who’s responsible for the attacks that you just described, and to ensure that colleagues and their families get the care that they deserve including at the National Institutes of Health and Walter Reed.”