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Tags crickets , Cuba conspiracies , Cuba incidents , havana syndrome , mass hysteria , microwave weapons , sonic weapons , US-Cuba relations

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Old 19th October 2021, 10:46 AM   #1041
dann
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Yet another buried 'Havana Syndrome' report

I never noticed this BuzzFeed News article from January until now:
Quote:
The CDC report ultimately found that the diplomats’ medical histories alone could not explain their illnesses. Inconsistencies in their records, as well as long times between symptoms and medical tests, "hindered CDC's ability to discriminate patterns in the data," the report concluded.

"Essentially the CDC is saying that they have no idea what happened in Cuba," said UCLA neurologist Robert Baloh, who reviewed the report for BuzzFeed News. "CDC should have been called in at the beginning."
(...)
Although the CDC’s investigation was demanded by US lawmakers, and its conclusion says, “CDC is working with partners to disseminate findings from this investigation to the medical community and the public,” the report was only made available in redacted form, with some pages obscured under medical privacy claims. However, the December NASEM report on the illnesses cites some of the redacted CDC findings, including that 6 of the 15 people injured were still in rehabilitative therapy and 4 are still unable to work two years later.
Medical Records Can't Explain "Havana Syndrome", a Buried CDC Report Says (BuzzFeed News, Jan 15, 2021)

(NASEM is the acronym for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report is often referred to as the NAS report.)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 19th October 2021, 02:42 PM   #1042
Orphia Nay
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Dann, is there any example of someone from the US government saying it's a mass delusion?
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Old 19th October 2021, 11:15 PM   #1043
dann
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I don't remember seeing any. And members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Marco Rubio (R), Susan Collins (R) and Jeanne Shaheen (D) are adamant that they are dealing with attacks. However, I haven't heard any reliable arguments or data from them to back up the claim:

Quote:
But some have floated the idea that the illnesses are psychosomatic, meaning they have no physical cause.
Rubio dismissed that idea, telling Politico, “I think that’s quackery. I’d invite them to explain that to the now-dozens of people who have suffered documented brain injuries that in many cases have made them incapable of ever working again.”
Lawmakers Insist Havana Syndrome Is Result of Attacks That Are ‘Escalating’] (Rolling Stone, Oct 8, 2021)

In other words, the people who suffer from 'Havana Syndrome' are sick, so they must have been attacked!
It's a cheap trick to ask people to simply trust the opinion of the patients, who have no indication other than the dismissed recordings of crickets to back up the idea that their ailments were caused by an attack. When you asked the Danish girls who claimed that they had been harmed by the HPV vaccines, they would of course have sworn that their ailments were vaccine related. So would (and will) many parents of children with autism who claimed that the kids became autistic because of the MMR vaccines. And ask anybody who claims to be suffering from Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS) what they think is causing their symptoms, which by the way are very similar to those of the 'Havana Syndrome' patients:
Quote:
What is EHS?
EHS is characterized by a variety of non-specific symptoms, which afflicted individuals attribute to exposure to EMF. The symptoms most commonly experienced include dermatological symptoms (redness, tingling, and burning sensations) as well as neurasthenic and vegetative symptoms (fatigue, tiredness, concentration difficulties, dizziness, nausea, heart palpitation, and digestive disturbances). The collection of symptoms is not part of any recognized syndrome.
Electromagnetic fields and public health: Electromagnetic hypersensitivity (WHO, Dec 2005)

The lawmakers claim to have seen evidence in their briefings:
Quote:
The U.S. government’s investigation into the mysterious illnesses impacting American personnel overseas and at home is turning up new evidence that the symptoms are the result of directed-energy attacks, according to five lawmakers and officials briefed on the matter.
Behind closed doors, lawmakers are also growing increasingly confident that Russia or another hostile foreign government is behind the suspected attacks, based on regular briefings from administration officials — although there is still no smoking gun linking the incidents to Moscow.
(...)
“There have been new additional attacks, which is very disturbing,” said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who has been leading the push for answers on Capitol Hill. “It’s being taken very seriously now due to the director of the CIA … [who] has put very highly qualified people on it.”
U.S. investigators increasingly confident directed-energy attacks behind Havana Syndrome (Politico, Oct 8, 2021)

But we know who is briefing them, first of all, CIA's Mr. Burns and his "very highly qualified people", who seem to be more concerned about saving the credibility of the CIA, whose staff came up with the idea of attacks in the first place, than about coming to terms with the truth. Susan Collins doesn't appear to have the prerequisites to distinguish between nonsensical claims and actual evidence. Marco Rubio is as biased against Cuba as he always was. I know too little about Jeanne Shaheen to get an impression of her skills as a member of a Senate Intelligence Committee, but these lawmakers don't appear to be neurologists or microwave specialists or have any qualifications to question the "very highly qualified people" briefing them.

Only the actual government still maintains that there is no evidence of anything:
Quote:
A Biden administration official emphasized that the investigation is ongoing and has not yet reached specific conclusions.
(Politico)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 19th October 2021 at 11:19 PM.
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Old 20th October 2021, 06:19 AM   #1044
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Originally Posted by Orphia Nay View Post
Dann, is there any example of someone from the US government saying it's a mass delusion?

In think that the Biden administration finds the 'Havana Syndrome' as useful as Trump did, so they see no reason to give up on the delusion that the American spies were the victims of an attack:

Quote:
“Swiftly,” Carlos Fernández de Cossío said. Biden had campaigned with the vow of a fast rollback of many of the toughest policies imposed on Cuba by President Trump. But nearly nine months into the Biden administration, little has changed.
(...)
Despite promises early in Biden’s presidency that limits on remittances — long a key source of income for many Cubans — would be eased, the State Department now says only that it has studied the issue and has sent recommendations to the White House.
(...)
Biden’s lack of action on Cuba, which sits just 90 miles south of the U.S., has served as another example for a small but growing group of foreign policy experts who argue that many of the president’s policies are not so different from Trump’s.
(...)
Obama reopened the embassy in 2015, a major step in ending half a century of Cold War tensions. But the staff shrank in part because of Trump’s decision to freeze relations. Then, U.S. personnel were withdrawn after diplomats and others reported unexplained medical problems; the mysterious affliction, which has harmed U.S. diplomats around the world, is now known as Havana syndrome.
(...)
Fernández de Cossío said Cubans are especially aggrieved at being placed on the list of state sponsors of terrorism, along with North Korea, Iran and Syria. Putting Cuba in that club, he said, is unfair and not supported by facts.
Biden and others criticized the move, which Trump made eight days before he left office. But the new administration has yet to take action to reverse it.
Despite promises to lift some Trump sanctions, Biden leaves Cuba in deep freeze (LA Times, Oct 18, 2021)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 20th October 2021, 06:04 PM   #1045
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Thanks, dann.

As David Wong said (about truthers IIRC), there are nutjobs and fruit loops all the way to the top.
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Old 20th October 2021, 11:42 PM   #1046
dann
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Except that in this case, they aren't simply the fringe. They are the people at the top who want to believe in the lie and are doing their utmost to spread it. And they are very successful:

Quote:
In a report for the media outlet Puck published Wednesday, Julia Ioffe claimed that the total was near 300, so many even right at this moment that Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland is “overwhelmed to the point of no longer being able to take new patients.”
The case for ‘Havana Syndrome’ skepticism (WP, Oct 20, 2021)

At this point, what appears to be the argument that convinces most people that the 'Havana Syndrome' is anything other than mass psychogenic illness is the alleged brain damage. In the comments section of the WP article it is repeated again: It can't have been mere anxiety because: brain damage!
Quote:
I haven’t had a brain scan but I don’t think my panic attacks have caused brain damage. Doesn’t that disprove your theory?
And when another comment backs up the article:
Quote:
Just from a person who has experienced panic attacks, the writer's description of a panic attack is 100% accurate.
The objection is:
Quote:
Except the part about brain damage.

But people tend to forget (and the 'lawmakers' Collins, Shaheen and Rubio certainly don't stress the point - if they are even aware of it) that
1) we only hear about the brains after the alleged attacks. There are no before-and-after examinations to establish a change;
2) only few of people examined actually have brain damage: "in 21 patients only three had white matter tract changes." (See Bartholomew interview);
3) if you "randomly pick 21 people, that's exactly what you would expect to find because white matter tract changes are common in everything from migraines to depression, to normal aging." (Bartholomew interview)
4) even if they were harmed in the line of spy or diplomat duty, it is much more likely that stress and anxiety caused the damage: Depression and Anxiety Disorders Damage Your Brain -
Untreated mental disorders cause shrinkage of key brain areas.


The "directed, pulsed, radio-frequency energy weapons" are science fiction - at least in this context - and the attempts to make the idea seem plausible only serve to make it more absurd. For instance, see the YouTube video: Havana Syndrome — Direct Microwave Energy Weapon Explained! (National Defence, May 18, 2021)
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I can recommend the WP article!
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 21st October 2021, 04:05 AM   #1047
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This isn't really news. We have heard about this before in the context of the 'Havana Syndrome':

Quote:
One of the longest running operations, dating to the 1960s and lasting for decades, was beaming microwaves at the embassy.
Memos from the CIA, the State Department and presidential advisers routinely refer to this practice, especially in the 1970s and 80s.
(...)
"The Russians have never hesitated to use technology that could hurt our health," he said. "But there was always a reason. It was always part of a process to break into our computers or to turn on listening devices. When this first happened, I thought this must be some technology that has gone wrong."
Now he's questioning that assumption.
"This hurting people and it is hurting their families and their children," he said. "But it's continuing to happen. The Russians — if it is the Russians — would have to be pretty bold to continue to do so when they now realize that they're harming the health of Americans."
Long before Havana Syndrome, U.S. reported microwaves beamed at an embassy (NPR, Oct 21, 2021)

Continue to do what exactly?!
Yes, people continue to get sick, but where are the microwaves?

That embassies have been spied on since the 1960s and that people from the National Security Agency may have been spied on back in the 1990s by a "hostile country" using a "high powered microwave system weapon" makes it very unlikely that the USA doesn't already try to protect their embassies and other buildings, e.g. the homes of CIA agents and diplomats, from microwaves - or at least scan for them.
So where are the microwaves?!

And again James Giordano is the main proponent of the theory that 'Havana Syndrome' is caused by an attack:

Quote:
"It wasn't just accidental. Clearly, these individuals were getting hit with something which would have put them in the line of fire," said Dr. Giordano.
As more cases are reported, he says he's seeing strong similarities.
"I think what's important to understand, and this is an important term, is a constellation of effects, which is a generalized pattern of effects," he said. "If you're going to categorize them within a set of objective signs and subjective symptoms, they fall very squarely, and I would say rather neatly, within that definable set of characteristics."

If it were so clear that they were hit with something, it shouldn't be difficult to name what hit them! And if the similarities are so strong, please name those similarities! So far, the similarities between the symptoms that have been mentioned are so vague that they could be the symptoms of almost anything, including "Electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS), known in the past as "Microwave syndrome"."
And if those symptoms actually "fall very squarely, and I would say rather neatly, within that definable set of characteristics," then please define that set of characteristics instead of claiming how definable it is.
Instead, James Giordano gives us nothing but technobabble.
I am sure that Rubio, Collins and Shaheen are impressed, but they shouldn't be.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 21st October 2021, 07:31 AM   #1048
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With “Havana Syndrome,” Washington Is Repeating Colin Powell’s Worst Mistake

Quote:
Despite Powell’s apparent misgivings behind closed doors, the influential figure wholly legitimized the warmongering fervor manufactured by jingoistic smut-peddlers throughout the Bush administration and their parrots in the media. He relayed an unflappable certainty as he described covert manufacturing processes that hadn’t taken place, misrepresented intercepted conversations, and repeated sketchy conjecture as airtight truth. In doing so, Powell essentially laundered the dubious case for a simultaneously preemptive and retaliatory military response, lending his personal credibility to coax naysayers into cheering on an invasion.
(...)
As someone too young to have lived through Powell’s apparently fabled early statesman phase, I’ve learned little from his legacy beyond two stupefyingly obvious lessons: The threshold for insisting that a hostile foreign power is hoarding weapons to attack us ought to be incredibly high, and onlookers ought to call ******** when those standards aren’t met. So, I hope you’ll forgive me for being downright apoplectic to be watching this mendacious chapter of our very recent history repeating itself as “Havana Syndrome,” with a new generation of reprobates shoving make-believe weapons down our throats, recklessly swearing that these are causing a series of mysterious attacks, none of which actually happened.
(...)
Eighteen years ago, too many people gave Colin Powell and others the benefit of the doubt. Today, “Havana Syndrome” promoters deserve none of it.
Evidence-free accounts of spooky weapons bedeviling American diplomats have lawmakers jumping at shadows—and talking of war. (New Republic, Oct 21, 2021)

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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 21st October 2021, 08:16 AM   #1049
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Havana Syndrome: Over 200 Cases Documented Yet Cause Remains A Mystery (NPR, Oct 20, 2021)

With sound bites from Mr. Burns, Mark Zaid and David Relman.
CIA Burns is not at all as adamant about the attack idea as he appears to be behind closed doors with the lawmakers, Mark Zaid is the lawyer of many of the syndrome sufferers, and David Relman, who headed the NAS investigation.
The latter makes clear that "we deliberately chose to focus on just a handful of mechanisms that had been suggested to us by work that had been published already or by suggestions from our sponsors. These included microwave radiation, chemicals and in particular pesticides, infectious agents that might have been common in Cuba, which is where many of the cases that we looked at had taken place, and then finally psychosocial mechanisms." That is, mass psychogenic illness was never a focus for the NAS investigation - and, no surprise, was never suggested by "our sponsors."
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 22nd October 2021, 12:04 AM   #1050
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New article in Salon:

Quote:
Politicians have leapt to address the seemingly serious "syndrome." Congress even passed a bill to set aside money to help victims of the malady.
The problem? Scientists are not only unsure what it is, but many doubt that it is a physical ailment at all. And some say that dastardly "microwave weapons" defy the laws of physics.
(...)
Scientists like Bartholomew felt that the cases of Havana syndrome were also being misreported, with credence being lent to research that was tenuous at best. In an interview with National Public Radio earlier this week, Stanford microbiologist Dr. David Relman — who led the National Academic of Sciences' investigation into the condition, with direction from he U.S. State Department — confirmed that, at the very least, scientists must acknowledge we know very little for sure about this condition.
"There's still a lot of missing information and lack of molecular understanding of how this might occur," Relman explained.
Scientists are skeptical that "Havana syndrome" is anything more than a psychogenic illness (Salon, Oct 21, 2021)

And as I mentioned here three days ago in post 1040:
Quote:
It just occurred to me that there was another inconsistency in the NBC News interview with the two diplomats (?) from the U.S. embassy in Havana.
(...)
These people and their lawyers should consider which theory they are going for:

1) If they insist that they were the victims of sonic attacks, they can continue to play the cricket tapes as evidence, but no expert will believe that it is anything other than the sound of crickets, and crickets can't cause brain damage or impair your hearing unless, as one of the experts put it, you take the cricket and stuff it into the ear canal of the victim.

2) If they insist on the Frey effect (Wikipedia), i.e. that they were harmed by pulsated microwave energy weapons, they will have to give up on the tapes since their recordings don't rhyme with the Frey effect:
(...)
They probably haven't considered this, but the Frey effect is all in your head. Not as a hallucination. It is not a psychological phenomenon, but it is a 'sound' in your head, literally, not coming from your backyard, and thus it can't be recorded using your cell phone as a recording device. (Nor can it probably be recorded using any other kind of device.)

This is the reason why you never hear about recordings of the Frey effect. You only hear about how it is perceived by people who are exposed to microwaves and experience it.

The same idea in the Salon article:
Quote:
Dr. Robert Baloh, a professor of neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, said the idea that a sonic weapon caused selective brain or inner ear damage "is not physically possible." Though the microwave weapon theory is speculative, "8 of the 21 initial 'victims' in Cuba actually recorded the sounds as they were occurring and expert analysis of the sound concluded that they were crickets. The simple fact that they were able to record the sounds rules out microwaves as the source," Baloh says.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 22nd October 2021, 02:33 AM   #1051
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Blinken met with diplomats impacted by Havana syndrome in Bogotá (CNN, Oct 21, 2021)

At least in this recent mainstream-media article, there is no mention of attacks, enemies, adversaries or any kind of weapon - sonic or microwave. It gets no closer than this: "... sometimes accompanied by a "piercing directional noise."" The cases of 'Havana Syndrome' are referred to as "anomalous health incidents."

By the way, the question about what to call the 'incidents' constitutes a major part of the Salon article. I think that we should go for "CIA Hysteria". It seems to be to the point, and it might make Mr. Burns and his people want to do their utmost to make the world forget about it forever. How they deal with it in the agency doesn't have to concern us. If they start doing that, we can consider calling it "CIA Mass Psychogenic Illness" (CIAMPI) instead.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 22nd October 2021 at 02:36 AM.
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Old 22nd October 2021, 07:39 AM   #1052
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Quote:
Blinken was finishing a three-day visit to South America. The stop to the embassy in Bogota featured at least one surprise - an in-embassy band of diplomats welcomed him by playing one of Blinken's own songs.
An amateur guitarist who has performed at Washington clubs, Blinken joked about the song, "It really does sound a lot better than when I last heard it."
Blinken meets Colombia embassy staff hit by 'Havana Syndrome' (The Straits Times, Oct 22, 2021)

It doesn't sound to me as if they fear any clear and present danger of microwave attacks.

However, the embassy in Bogotá seems to be very well protected.
I don't see any signs of tinfoil, but you never know what those caps are lined with:

Guards patrol US embassy in Bogota following 'Havana Syndrome' cases (Daily Mail on YouTube, Oct 13, 2021)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 22nd October 2021, 08:13 AM   #1053
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Quote:
A modest thaw appears to have begun in the Biden administration’s relationship with Russia — including agreement on a little-noticed joint effort at the United Nations on the contentious issue of cybersecurity.
(...)
The most ominous issue ahead is the still mysterious question of the “Havana syndrome” affecting U.S. diplomats and intelligence officers abroad. Russia is a prime suspect for what many believe are deliberate attacks using directed energy systems that have caused medical problems, sometimes severe, for about 200 U.S. government personnel.
When confronted by U.S. officials, the Russians deny any involvement — but that’s hardly conclusive. U.S. officials need stronger evidence than they’ve gathered so far. But if they find it, the current thaw could return to a deep freeze — or worse. If Russia is found to be deliberately targeting U.S. officials, a severe crisis lies ahead, recent cooperation notwithstanding.
Opinion: The ice between the U.S. and Russia may be thawing — for now (WP, Oct 19, 2021)

So what is more important: an agreement with Russia on cybersecurity or the vanity of the CIA upholding a bizarre idea of a microwave-weapon induced syndrome?
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 22nd October 2021, 11:48 PM   #1054
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Megan Kelly interviews Glenn Greenwald (9:18):
Quote:
Megyn Kelly is joined by Glenn Greenwald, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and co-founder of the Intercept, to talk about why he is skeptical about the “Havana Syndrome” mainstream storyline, the connection he sees to the media's Russia obsession, and more.
Why Glenn Greenwald is Skeptical About The "Havana Syndrome" (Megyn Kelly, Oct 20, 2021)

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The much longer version (1:28:14):
Quote:
Megyn Kelly is joined by David Zweig, journalist for New York Magazine, to talk about the Biden administration's push to vaccinate young kids and keep them masked in schools, the truth about natural immunity, and how experts are being silenced on COVID reality. Then, a Deep State deep dive, with Glenn Greenwald, journalist on Substack, and Marc Polymeropoulos, former CIA official, to talk about "Havana Syndrome" symptoms, doubters of the mysterious disease, what the causes may be, the media's Russia obsession, the reports that CIA informants are becoming double agents and being captured and killed, the state of our national security apparatus, how the left became more favorable to the CIA and FBI, and more.
Havana Syndrome and Vaccinating Young Kids, with Glenn Greenwald, David Zweig, & Marc Polymeropoulos (Megyn Kelly, Oct 20, 2021)

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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 23rd October 2021, 02:09 AM   #1055
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Vox's Unexplainable has a podcast about the 'Havana Syndrome' (29 min.). Also on Apple Podcasts, Spotify etc.
With R. Douglas Fields, Jon Stone and others.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

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Old 23rd October 2021, 11:25 AM   #1056
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Quote:
In instant messaging channels, fellow UN colleagues discuss the usual suspects and even joke about it. But underneath the humor is a constant, low-lying fear.
Diplomats like me are becoming Increasingly scared of Havana Syndrome (Independent, Aug 5, 2021)

No wonder! I assume "the usual suspects" aren't Blinken, Burns & Rubio ...
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 24th October 2021, 10:47 AM   #1057
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Quote:
Dr Robert Bartholomew put it all on the line with his assessment that Havana Syndrome is mass psychogenic illness, a form of mass hysteria.
Dr Bartholomew Pulls No Punches With Havana Syndrome (Mick West on YouTube, Oct 23, 2021) 49 sec.
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The much longer version, which I haven't listened to yet, so no comments from me for now:
Quote:
Robert Bartholomew has a PhD in Medical Sociology, and is an Honorary Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychological Medicine at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. He's an expert in Mass Psychogenic Illness and the co-author with Rober Baloh of the book "Havana Syndrome: Mass Psychogenic Illness and the Real Story Behind the Embassy Mystery and Hysteria"

Havana syndrome is a loose set of fairly generic symptoms that are being blamed on some kind of attack. It started with personnel at the US embassy in Havana, but has since spread around the world. Dr Bartholomew thinks it's an example of Mass Psychogenic Illness - people are being asked to look for odd health events and strange sounds, and so of course they find them. But there really no good evidence of any kind of attack. Bartholomew thinks the intelligence community is largely aware of this, but an unbiased examination is being avoided for political reason.
Dr Bartholomew's website - https://rebartholomew.com/

FTRH #56 - Robert Bartholomew: Havana Syndrome and Mass Psychogenic Illness (Mick West, Tales from the Rabbit HoleOct 22, 2021) 57 min.
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There are interesting comments to both videos on YouTube.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 24th October 2021 at 10:48 AM.
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Old 24th October 2021, 10:11 PM   #1058
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Dr. Todd Grande is onboard with psychogenic illness as the explanation for 'Havana Syndrome':

Quote:
This video answers the questions: Can I analyze the case of Havana Syndrome? Is it Mass Psychogenic Illness?

What is Havana Syndrome? | Directed Energy Weapons or Mass Psychogenic Illness (Dr. Todd Grande on YouTube, Oct 24, 2021 - 14:47 min.)

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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 24th October 2021, 10:27 PM   #1059
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Again, Dr. James Giordano, professor of neurology at Georgetown University, seems to be the only researcher left who is adamant that it it is possible, based on patients symptoms alone, to determine that 'Havana Syndrome' is an attack:

Quote:
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 24th October 2021, 10:38 PM   #1060
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Is public safe from being afflicted by ‘Havana syndrome’? (RepublicanAmerican, Oct 23, 2021)

Yes, why not spread the panic to the rest of the population? Why should U.S. spies and diplomats be the only ones?
(Based on the title alone; I don't have access to the rest.)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 24th October 2021, 11:14 PM   #1061
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The 'Havana Syndrome' and sanction politics:

Quote:
The committee is marking up a Myanmar bill that includes sanctions, a resolution on Ethiopia that recommends sanctions, and a bill to sanction whoever “directed or carried out” Havana Syndrome attacks. (A declassified State Department report dismissed the idea that microwave weapon attacks or ultrasound beams are behind the reported health problems, and found that “psychogenic” mass psychology effects probably played a role.)

For one Democratic House staffer, the latter epitomizes “the absurdity of the overuse of sanctions.” “We love sanctions so much, we’re sanctioning nobody, over a thing that we don’t know what it is,” the staffer told The Nation. “We don’t know what caused Havana Syndrome or why, but whatever it was, we are going to sanction the **** out of it.”
The Biden Administration’s Sanctions Review Is a Joke (The Nation, Oct 22, 2021)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 25th October 2021, 08:47 AM   #1062
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My link in post 1057 to the long YouTube interview with Robert Bartholomew didn't work. This time, I have made sure that it does:

Originally Posted by dann View Post
FTRH #56 - Robert Bartholomew: Havana Syndrome and Mass Psychogenic Illness (Mick West, Tales from the Rabbit Hole, Oct 22, 2021) 57 min.

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It is worth watching, also for those of you who have followed this since the beginning. Even if nothing much will be new to you, it is great to hear Bartholomew connect all the dots in this very long and complicated story.

In many ways, the story of the 'Havana Syndrome' reminds me of the story of the pandemic: On the one hand, there's the truth revealed by science, and on the other hand, there's politics.

When some countries responded to the pandemic, their political leaders made sure to hand-pick advisers from the minority of researchers representing pseudo science because they were the ones who gave the politicians what they desired: arguments for business as usual and no restrictions! More sensible political leaders understood that actual science was needed to get through the pandemic with as few casualties as possible.

Unlike and in opposition to Trump, Biden relied on representatives of actual epidemiology in his administration's response to the pandemic.

But in the case of the 'Havana Syndrome', he has teamed up with the fringe because they are the ones who tell him what he wants to hear: His impeccable agency is the victim of attacks from a sinister adversary.

In both cases, the pandemic and the 'syndrome', it has been amazing to see how the vast majority of skeptics very early on caught on to what was happening.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 26th October 2021, 09:20 AM   #1063
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Earlier this month, in post 1027, I already mentioned Sung Tieu's art project and film, Moving Target Shadow Detection. At her exhibition, she presents articles written by herself, and no matter how much she stresses that this is art and that she doesn't know what causes the 'Havana Syndrome', I still get the impression that she does, and more so than most journalists:

Quote:
Despite a lack of proof, as a retaliatory measure, the U.S. expelled 15 Cuban diplomats from Washington. In a more high-profile move, the U.S. president rolled back the normalisation of relations between the two countries that had been introduced by Barack Obama in 2014.
But was a sonic weapon really the reason for this breakdown of relations? Or was it just a headline-grabbing excuse to return to policies the American government had been pushing since the 1959 Cuban revolution? As early as June 2017, Donald Trump had already announced his intention to reverse the détente with Cuba. In a speech he gave in Miami that month, he claimed that the Obama administration "had made a deal with the Cuban government that spreads violence and instability in the region, and nothing they got - think of it, nothing they got." His speech was repeatedly interrupted with chants of "USA! USA!" by Cuban-Americans in the audience. "Effective immediately," Trump announced, "I am cancelling the last administration's completely one-sided deal with Cuba."
In fact, the Obama-era relaxation of relations between the long-time enemies continued for several months, allowing U.S. tourists to visit Cuba and business to conduct trade with the socialist island state ...
Sound warfare: Sung Tieu explores the mysterious Havana Syndrome affecting US officials (The Art Newspaper, Oct 15, 2021)

I even think that she is very well aware that what haunted the CIA spies in Havana and is now haunting them all over the world, including on the White House lawn, is psychological in nature and has nothing at all to do with microwaves or sonic attacks:

Quote:
In a way, the weapons that the US military or Psyops have produced in the past are haunting them in the present. You can’t go out into the world and produce all these military tools without it psychologically affecting yourself as well. So I’m interested in how the Havana Syndrome is causing harm in the sense that it is like a collective subconscious trauma—of having that knowledge that you have used sonic weapons against other nations and people, and now they are being used against you.

I don't know where her exhibition will show up next, but I am hoping for both Washington and Havana, and if Havana, I hope to be able to go see it myself.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 27th October 2021, 07:11 AM   #1064
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Another 'Havana syndrome' skeptic in Washington Post:

Quote:
She (The New Republic's Natalie Shure) cites chemist Cheryl Rofer writing in Foreign Policy rubbishing the scientific validity of the NAS report and concluding, “The evidence for microwave effects of the type categorized as Havana syndrome is exceedingly weak. 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.”
(...)
It is also hard not to point out that the most vocal proponents of Russia being behind a directed-energy attack do not have a lot of credibility. Entous’s sources are Trump White House officials. Politico quotes Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) accusing skeptics of being “influence agents that are being paid and or encouraged to write these on behalf of those — foreign government or whatever — that don’t want this to be discussed out there and want to cast doubt about it.” That kind of smear degrades Rubio’s reputation way more than those he attacks.
What’s the deal with Havana Syndrome? (WP, Oct 27, 2021)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 27th October 2021, 07:33 AM   #1065
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An article with similar arguments was published in New York Times yesterday:

Quote:
Months after the first JAMA paper was published, Stone co-wrote a letter to the editor critiquing its dismissal of functional illness as a potential explanation. “In many functional neurological disorders, initial sensory discomfort together with anxiety and heightened attention trigger maladaptive processes that lead to persistent symptoms,” the letter stated. “Although diagnostic caution is warranted, functional neurological disorders are common genuine disorders that can affect anyone, including hardworking diplomatic staff.”
(...)
Americans should be wary of how the “Havana syndrome” is being framed in this way (as attacks) as a warrant for retaliatory action, Natalie Shure argues in The New Republic.
(...)
Perhaps most shocking, in Shure’s view, an anonymous member of the intelligence community quoted in Ioffe’s story seemed to call for punishing the alleged culprits, alluding to intelligence of “medium confidence” that the alleged culprits were Russian.
“Of course, we also invaded Iraq with ‘medium confidence,’” Shure writes. “If ‘Havana syndrome’ has mercifully yet to be used to agitate for war as concretely as the imaginary nukes of Iraq were, it’s clearly been seized on by a national security apparatus formidably expanded since 9/11 — and if more people don’t come to their senses, harm will surely result.”
Is ‘Havana Syndrome’ an ‘Act of War’ or ‘Mass Hysteria’? (NYT, Oct 26, 2021)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 27th October 2021, 10:39 PM   #1066
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Quote:
Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Mark Warner on Wednesday lamented the slow pace of the investigation into the cause and origins of the so-called Havana Syndrome afflicting American diplomats — but he warned that should a rival nation be found culpable, the U.S. response will “pose one of the most challenging policy choices” yet for the Biden administration.

“The fact that we still don’t know for sure who did it and how these attacks were carried out is very, very problematic, to say the least. We are, in a bipartisan way, absolutely on top of this,” Warner (D-Va.) told POLITICO Playbook in a virtual interview.
Warner calls lack of Havana Syndrome intel ‘very, very problematic’ - But the Senate Intelligence Committee chair insisted lawmakers are “absolutely on top of this.” (Politico, Oct 27, 2021)

So they don't really know anything, but they are absolutely on top of it, insist that they are dealing with attacks and threaten an imaginary enemy. That is reassuring.
How are they going to punish themselves when they discover that they are responsible for spreading the 'syndrome'?
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 28th October 2021, 11:51 PM   #1067
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Quote:
The “Havana Syndrome” health cases are gut-wrenching. As the U.S. government gathers information, there’s growing speculation that the attackers may be Russians. But there’s no proof. It’s an assault case with no hard evidence — other than the suffering of the victims.
Opinion by David Ignatius: Dealing with ‘Havana Syndrome’ is a policymaker’s nightmare (WP, Oct 29, 2021)

No, there is growing speculation, in some government, circles that the 'Havana Syndrome' is caused by an attack. From the very beginning, the preferred attackers in this fantasy were Russians.
And no, it's not an assault case with no hard evidence. It's not an assault case at all. It is speculation about assaults with no weapons, no assailants and not even a proper motive.

I am sure that the CIA will appreciate this new piece of fiction from David Ignatius as much as they did his novel:
Quote:
Reviewers have compared Ignatius's work to classic spy novels like those by Graham Greene. Ignatius's novels have also been praised for their realism; his first novel, Agents of Innocence, was at one point described by the CIA on its website as "a novel but not fiction."
David Ignatius: Novels (Wikipedia)
And I look forward to Havana Syndrome, the Opera.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 29th October 2021, 02:16 AM   #1068
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Response to Collins, Rubio and Shaheen and others:

Quote:
Responding to a letter written by Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and signed by several other Democratic and Republican senators, Blinken said that the phenomenon “has my full attention and that of the leadership of the department.” “The national security departments and agencies are devoting significant resources to understand what happened and who is responsible,” Blinken wrote in a letter obtained by McClatchy. “We do not yet know the cause of these incidents or whether they may be attributed to a foreign actor. But we are leaving no stone unturned to get the answers.”
‘Leaving no stone unturned’: Blinken pushes back against critics of ‘Havana syndrome’ response (McClatchy D.C.; Oct 28, 2021)

Nothing about attacks or assaults, apparently.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 29th October 2021, 05:03 AM   #1069
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Quote:
One of the initial theories involved crickets — more precisely, the Indies short-tailed cricket, Anurogryllis celerinictus, whose call, according to JASON, “matches, in nuanced detail, the spectral properties of the recordings from Cuba once room echoes are taken into account. Other hypotheses are also plausible, such as generation by mechanical devices (e.g., a worn pump motor), or structure-borne vibrations.”

Crickets aside, the other theories involved intentional adversarial action: “It cannot be ruled out that the perceived sounds, while not harmful, are introduced by an adversary as deception so as to mask an entirely unrelated mode of causing illness in diplomatic personnel. In that case, the medical data must be most carefully assessed.” The National Academy of Sciences assessment notes that “no hypothesis has been proven, and the circumstances remain unclear,” but also cautiously advances the theory that the unusual symptoms and clinical signs appear to be consistent with directed, pulsed radio frequency (RF) energy.

To be clear, there is limited publicly available information about the mysterious Havana Syndrome, whose true source of provenance remains undisclosed. That said, the Biden administration, Congress and the intelligence community are taking action to protect United States personnel.
Anomalies or attacks? Fear, uncertainty and politics of Havana Syndrome (The Hill, Oct 28, 2021)

Well, assisted by Mr. Burns from the "intelligence community", the Senate Intelligence Committee is doing its utmost to spread the idea of people getting sick from "intentional adversarial action", which is the best way to spread mass psychogenic illness and the exact opposite of protecting people from it. In the meantime, the Biden administration still appears to be on the lookout for somebody to put in charge of investigations who can pretend to be interested in the truth, yet at the same time won't accept mass psychogenic illness as the cause of the 'syndrome'.
What other action is being taken?
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 29th October 2021, 11:36 PM   #1070
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Another Democrat is hell-bent on calling the 'Havana Syndrome' a deliberate attack

Quote:
Rep. Eric Swalwell on Wednesday pressed Intelligence Community leaders to acknowledge that the unexplained health incidents known as “Havana syndrome” are the result of targeted attacks, highlighting a growing consensus in Congress that the episodes are being perpetuated by a nefarious actor.
The Democrat from California also called for an effort to hunt down those behind the suspected attacks, on par with the Intelligence Community’s effort to hunt down Osama bin Laden.
The lawmaker’s remarks came during a House Intelligence Committee hearing on diversity in the Intelligence Community.
(...)
He asked CIA Director William J. Burns, “Considering that we are not doing this to our people, they are not doing this to themselves, public reports suggest they are happening in an escalating fashion worldwide, can we stop calling them incidents and call them attacks?”
Swalwell presses intelligence chiefs to label ‘Havana syndrome’ incidents as ‘attacks’ (Washington Times, Oct 28, 2021)

According the the article, CIA's Mr. Burns "stopped short of confirming Mr. Swalwell’s assessment that the incidents were the result of an attack."
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 30th October 2021, 09:28 AM   #1071
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On Sep 27, in post 970, I linked to Fair Observer's new article Surprise, the Havana Syndrome Is Back in the News (Sep 27, 2021).

And I linked to five other articles I had found on that occasion:
US Diplomats Attacked in Cuba… by Crickets (Fair Observer, Jan 9, 2019)
How Reasonable Are Suspicions Promoted by the Media? (Fair Observer, May 13, 2021), and I linked to five earlier articles from the same source about the 'Havana Syndrome':
Who’s Afraid of Directed Energy Attacks? (Fair Observer, May 6, 2021)
Media: How Debunked Stories Continue to Thrive (Fair Observer, May 19, 2021)
The Media Is Suffering From the Havana Syndrome (Fair Observer, Sep 23, 2021)

Soon after followed Is the Havana Syndrome a Psychogenic Illusion? (Fair Observer, Oct 4, 2021), but Google seems to be hiding these articles, unlike articles from mainstream media spreading lies about attacks, so I missed two new articles in the 'series' until this afternoon:

Quote:
The Post’s latest article on the subject, “Biden signs legislation to aid U.S. personnel suffering from ‘Havana Syndrome,’” mentions the evocative but discredited term “Havana Syndrome” seven times before citing the State Department’s official designation of the complaints: “anomalous health incidents.” This admission occurs in the 12th paragraph, in which the authors also grudgingly acknowledge that no one has identified the “exact cause” of the phenomenon.
The Art of Propaganda: When Journalists Use Facts to Create Fiction (Fair Observer, Oct 11, 2021)

The author, Peter Isackson, adds this, which is particularly relevant when you consider how proud many journalists seem to be of being able to refer to officials from intelligence agencies, which many of them do when they are reporting on the 'Havana Syndrome':

Quote:
A discerning reader should know by now that intelligence officials are not only trained in the art of lying; to a large extent, lying is the basis of their professional activity in their interaction with the outside world. Former director of the CIA, Mike Pompeo, laughingly admitted it in a rare moment of candor at a public event.
His confession was greeted by the audience of Texas A&M University students with approving applause. They apparently believed that lying, cheating and stealing are noble acts when it comes to representing the interests of the nation.

And here is the latest Fair Observer article about the 'Havana Syndrome', this time also focussing on the way it is reported by mainstream media like the NYT or NBC:

Quote:
Of course, no physical trace of the presence of technology and even less of a national origin has been revealed. The only parties found guilty of any of the reported effects are Cuban short-tailed crickets. That is where the idea of similarity becomes attractive to a desperate journalist whose editorial board needs to keep the story alive and associate it with a designated culprit.
The Times is not alone. NBC News offered this helpful explanation: “Officials say they are now completely discounting a 2018 State Department report by the JASON advisory group, an elite scientific board, suggesting that some of the original cases were caused by sounds made by a loud species of crickets.” NBC neglects to mention that the elite group spoke less about crickets than their suspicion that the reports show serious evidence of “psychogenic effects.”
As usual in this type of journalism, citing the authority of unnamed “officials” — presumably intelligence officials — is sufficient to “completely discount” the analysis of experts or even the belief of State Department officials forced to resign for not believing in the directed energy hypothesis.
The New York Times’ Laughable Lack of Irony (Fair Observer, Oct 15, 2021)

I recommend that you take note of Peter Isackson's site because otherwise you may never notice his new articles about the 'Havana Syndrome' until, maybe, one of them appears on page four or five (if you get that far) when you do a Google search.
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/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 30th October 2021 at 09:37 AM.
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Old 30th October 2021, 11:56 AM   #1072
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Jon Stone, professor of neurology, University of Edinburgh, argues that the 'Havana Syndrome' is a functional disorder, i.e. mass psychogenic illness, and Kenneth Foster, professor emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania of biomedical engineering, explains why the idea of a microwave weapon as the cause of the 'syndrome' just isn't possible.

Havana syndrome: Secret espionage warfare or mere medical disorder? (DW News on YouTube, Oct 30, 2021 - 8:23 min.)

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
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Many offended complaints in the comments section about the video not taking the victims and symptoms seriously even though that is exactly what the narrator and the two experts are doing.
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 30th October 2021, 12:57 PM   #1073
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Quote:
Burns has taken action to remove individuals from the CIA’s medical office who aren’t treating the issue seriously, according to two people familiar with the moves. A CIA spokesperson said Burns “has made changes in our Office of Medical Services from his first day on the job, elevating a doctor focused on patient care to lead our efforts caring for affected individuals, and also tripled the number of medical staff focused on” the matter.
By contrast, the State Department’s task force on Havana Syndrome was, until recently, led by Pamela Spratlen, who had lost the confidence of many of the victims. In a recent phone call with victims, for example, Blinken and Spratlen were grilled about several topics, including the department’s reluctance to publicly refer to the incidents as attacks, as well as its tiptoeing around the “mass hysteria” theory that the victims and intelligence officials roundly reject.
State Department tested diplomats for directed energy exposure' years before telling Congress (Politico, Oct 25, 2021)

These two paragraphs seem to confirm my impression so far that Burns and his CIA are putting pressure on the Biden administration to accept the CIA idea that the 'Havana Syndrome' victims have been attacked by an enemy, i.e. Russia, using a directed microwave weapon. Not only Pamela Spratlen and the head of the Vienna CIA office appear to have been removed for their unwillingness to dismiss mass psychogenic illness as a possible cause of the symptoms, but also "individuals from the CIA’s medical office" because they "aren’t treating the issue seriously," which seems to be a euphemism for not believing in the idea of a microwave attack as they have been told to do.

The Politico article is mainly about Mark Lenzi, "a U.S. State Department security engineer who was among several diplomats evacuated in 2018 from the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, China," who thinks that the State Department hasn't been treating him fairly.
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 30th October 2021, 11:37 PM   #1074
dann
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This Forbes article is one year old but still interesting:

Quote:
The New York Times has obtained the official 'Havana Syndrome' report - which appears to confirm the theory that microwave or radio-frequency devices were involved.
(...)
A new report in New York Times suggests that the cause of the symptom is being covered up by the State Department. A deep dive into the murky history of microwave weapons may give clues about exactly what is being covered up.
The Microwave Weapons That Could Explain Why 'Havana Syndrome' Report Is Not Being Released (updated Dec 6) (Forbes, Oct 20, 2020)

The author seems to know his microwave-weapon-research history, which is not uninteresting, but he seems to think that the microwave suspicion is what is being covered up even though we know that, on the contrary, it is being spread at all levels of the intelligence apparatus and also recently by the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee while anybody participating in the 'Havana Syndrome' investigation who does not buy into the attack idea is removed and maybe even demoted.

During his deep dive, the author describes the Frey effect:

Quote:
"A minuscule but rapid rise in tissue temperature, resulting from the absorption of pulsed microwave energy creates a thermoelastic expansion of brain matter," says James Lin, a professor emeritus of bioelectromagnetic engineering at the University of Illinois, who has been investigating the effect for decades.
The rapid expansion causes an acoustic shock wave in the brain, which can be heard as sound coming from within your head.

Now, a couple of things speak against the idea that the Frey effect has anything to do with the 'Havana Syndrome':
1) This is not how the alleged victims of pulsed microwave energy attacks have described the sounds, and, as mentioned recently in this thread, this is not what those alleged victims claimed when they played recordings of the cricket sounds as proof that they had been attacked.
2) Some of them have described it as coming from a particular direction (and that direction was not described as being inside the skull). By the way, I assume that this is what has given rise to the idea of a directed microwave weapon even though it is not consistent with the Frey effect.
3) The Frey effect is not usually described as the high-pitched sound that we heard on the cricket recordings:
Quote:
According to Frey, the induced sounds were described as "a buzz, clicking, hiss, or knocking, depending on several transmitter parameters, i.e., pulse width and pulse-repetition rate".
Microwave auditory effect: Research in the U.S. (Wikipedia)

Then there are conclusions like this one ...
Quote:
The sound, dizziness, headaches, memory loss and brain damage all seem to be consistent with microwave effects, and cannot easily be accounted for with other explanations.
... which is an obvious lie: The sound should be dismissed as having caused any of the symptoms since it has already been explained - and had been when the article appeared - as crickets, and the other symptoms, dizziness, headaches, memory loss and brain damage, are consistent with any number of diseases and ailments, including aging.

The article also mentions Dr. David A. Relman, chairman of the NAS committee that examined the cases, but what we have heard him say recently does not sound as if he is at all sure that microwaves are behind the 'Havana Syndrome' even though we know that this is what the "sponsors" of their study wanted them to focus on: See posts 1029 and 1049.

But read the Forbes article for its descriptions of microwave experiments with rats. They appear to have been exposed to all kinds of microwaves, even the pulsed kind, but it doesn't mention the sound of crickets.
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 31st October 2021, 05:13 AM   #1075
dann
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For Danes/Scandinavians who prefer Danish translations to original articles in English:
Robert Bartholomew: Hysteriet omkring ‘Havana-syndromet’ og den store afledningsmanøvre (Dansk Skeptica, Oct 31, 2021)
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 31st October 2021, 12:52 PM   #1076
dann
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Found on page 15 (!) of a Google search for "Havana Syndrome". Page fifteen!!!

Quote:
Dear Representative Meng,
Did anyone from your family die from the Wuhan Flu? How many constituents of yours got infected with the China Virus?
Not very nice, is it?
Now you know how Cubans feel whenever they read or hear “Havana syndrome” in the news. Notice that I put it in quotations with syndrome lowercase, not like almost all publications, including official U.S. government documents, who irresponsibly print this miasma of symptoms without the proper punctuation, insinuating that it were an actual, well-defined malady, like Down Syndrome or Tourette Syndrome.
In fact, what is termed “Havana Syndrome” defies explanation. Its symptoms are shared with any number of other functional disorders. What was purported to have caused pathology turned out not to be true.
The medical consensus is sketchy, at best. The speculation as to what causes the symptoms is even more incredulous.
The State Department’s assessment alleging that the symptoms were invoked by a sonic attempt has been debunked. The National Academy of Science claimed that the recipients were subjected to directed microwave emissions. But research and science disagree. ...
An Open Letter to Rep. Grace Meng on “Havana Syndrome” (Counterpunch, Oct 29, 2021)
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 1st November 2021, 07:53 AM   #1077
dann
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The US Government's Cuban Space Lasers Conspiracy Theory Met With Derision, Jokes


I wish I had found this one before instead of after Halloween:

Quote:
Hi. In today’s spooktacular episode, we explore the scariest stories coming out of social media and how they’re not scary at all. Also, tricks! And treats!
Havana Syndrome, Weed Candy, And More Spooky Stories To Not Be Afraid Of (Some More News on YouTube, Oct 26, 2021)

The segment Socialist Microwave Lasers is from 20:00 to 29:20.
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

It is actually better researched than you might think at first sight.
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 1st November 2021 at 08:58 AM.
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Old 1st November 2021, 08:56 AM   #1078
dann
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Podcast from two NZ skeptics:
Quote:
Josh and M get topical, and talk about Havana Syndrome!
Havana Syndrome (The Podcaster's Guide to the Conspiracy, Oct 30, 2021 - 52:45 min.)
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 2nd November 2021, 11:29 PM   #1079
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CIA's William Burns apparently NOT zapped by a microwave gun in Moscow

How is this even possible?
And apparently, he is not the only one:

Quote:
It was at least the fourth trip to Moscow since July by a senior American official as the two sides seek to stabilize a volatile relationship.
MOSCOW — William J. Burns, the C.I.A. director, met with a top adviser to President Vladimir V. Putin in Moscow on Tuesday, leading a delegation of American officials on a two-day visit to the Russian capital that served as the latest evidence of heightened engagement between two global adversaries.
(...)
It is not clear if Mr. Burns was going to raise the issue of the anomalous health incidents known as “Havana Syndrome,’’ a growing number of episodes where C.I.A. officers and other officials have suffered traumatic brain injuries after experiencing strange pressure, heat or sounds.
Some American officials say privately that they believe Russia is responsible for those health incidents.
However, C.I.A. analysts and other American intelligence agencies have not yet drawn any formal conclusions about what has caused them. Russia has dismissed speculation that it could be responsible as “unhealthy fantasies.”
U.S.-Russia Engagement Deepens as C.I.A. Head Travels to Moscow (NYT, Nov 2, 2021)

How can Mr. Burns chum up to Putin and not "raise the issue"?!!
And at the same time we hear stories like this (post 1070, Oct 30):

Originally Posted by dann View Post
Quote:
Rep. Eric Swalwell on Wednesday pressed Intelligence Community leaders to acknowledge that the unexplained health incidents known as “Havana syndrome” are the result of targeted attacks, highlighting a growing consensus in Congress that the episodes are being perpetuated by a nefarious actor.
The Democrat from California also called for an effort to hunt down those behind the suspected attacks, on par with the Intelligence Community’s effort to hunt down Osama bin Laden.
The lawmaker’s remarks came during a House Intelligence Committee hearing on diversity in the Intelligence Community.
(...)
He asked CIA Director William J. Burns, “Considering that we are not doing this to our people, they are not doing this to themselves, public reports suggest they are happening in an escalating fashion worldwide, can we stop calling them incidents and call them attacks?”
Swalwell presses intelligence chiefs to label ‘Havana syndrome’ incidents as ‘attacks’ (Washington Times, Oct 28, 2021)

According the the article, CIA's Mr. Burns "stopped short of confirming Mr. Swalwell’s assessment that the incidents were the result of an attack."
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 3rd November 2021, 12:21 AM   #1080
dann
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The 'Havana Syndrome' suddenly pops up in a story that is otherwise entirely free from sinister plotting and vile enemy attacks with sci-fi guns. The myth of the 'syndrome' also puts a spoke in the wheel of cultural exchanges like this one, Cuba - Arizona:

Quote:
The show has been postponed twice due to COVID-19. And now that Lopez-Nussa is finally able to perform here, two musicians in his band couldn't get out of Cuba.

"The embassy is short-staffed," he says, because of all the problems Cuba was experiencing with an illness called Havana Syndrome, which causes ringing in the ears, fatigue and dizziness.

"So they haven't been issuing U.S. visas in Havana. There's a lot of great music in Cuba. But they can't get out."
'We made it happen': How a cultural exchange with Cuban musicians took shape in Tempe (AZ Central, Oct 27, 2021)

My favourite Harold López-Nussa song, Aminata, featuring Alune Wade, perfect for dancing son cubano tradicional:

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 3rd November 2021 at 12:22 AM.
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