Global Conspiracy to Impurify Bodily Fluids? Snowden Mocks Media Hype Around Havana Syndrome
Earlier, several media reported that the CIA investigation came to a preliminary conclusion that the Havana syndrome experienced by some American diplomats was not the result of a coordinated global campaign by a foreign state. This conclusion contradicts earlier US officials' statements that Russia might be behind it.
A former US government contractor, who blew the whistle on the NSA's questionable global surveillance programs - Edward Snowden - has criticised media coverage of the Havana syndrome and speculation surrounding it. He suggested that the authors of "36,000 furious pieces" that hyped the topic should take a pause and reflect on how their work affected the discourse around the problem.
Snowden also mocked the fact that the media presented the Havana syndrome as a result of a "secret plot" by Russia, while depicting the latter as a hostile power akin to the USSR in the years of the cold war.
The whistleblower went on to include a reference to Stanley Kubrick's film Dr Strangelove, comparing the media's reporting of the syndrome with demented General Ripper from the movie. In Dr Strangelove, the General justifies arbitrary nuclear strikes on the USSR by the need to thwart "the international communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of [American people's] precious bodily fluids".
Edward Snowden delivered his scathing criticism in response to the latest report by several US media outlets that the CIA's investigation into the mysterious condition that affected American diplomats came to a preliminary conclusion that the Havana syndrome was not a result of a "global campaign by a foreign actor". The investigation into the matter is still ongoing, and even though the agency found a convincing and plausible explanation for most cases, it still does not rule out the involvement of a state actor.
20 January 2022, 07:14 GMT
The syndrome, which includes nausea, headaches and brain damage after hearing piercing sounds, was named after the Cuban capital because US diplomats there were the first to report symptoms. Although the exact cause of it remains unknown, theories expressed by the US officials and experts ranged from sounds emitted by crickets to a sophisticated weapon.
The latter theory dominated the US officials' narrative ever since the syndrome was first reported in 2018 with Russia being singled out as prime suspect despite the lack of any evidence. Moscow repeatedly denied its involvement in any campaign to harm the American diplomats.