Ex-Trump Admin Officials Report Suffering Havana Syndrome-style Symptoms on White House Grounds
12:40 GMT 19.02.2022 (Updated: 13:05 GMT 19.02.2022)
© Photo : Pixabay//Gerd Altmann / Particles Head Brain
Last month, the CIA concluded that ‘Havana Syndrome’ – a set of symptoms suffered by US government officials and diplomats ranging from ringing in the ears and dizziness to nausea and cognitive problems, was not the result of any conscious global campaign by a hostile foreign power.
At least two high-ranking Trump-era Department of Homeland Security officials have reported Havana Syndrome-style symptoms while working on White House grounds, an excerpt from an upcoming CBS News 60 Minutes investigation has reported.
The officials, who remain unnamed, claim to have been overcome by symptoms including memory loss, confusion and vertigo while working on West Executive Avenue, near the West Wing of the White House, within the perimeter of the White House, and in their DC-area homes.
Hawkish former Trump National Security Advisor John Bolton, whom Trump described as “one of the dumbest people in Washington” after firing him in 2019 on numerous policy disagreements, corroborated the officials’ stories and intimated that the syndrome may have been some kind of attack.
“If we were at war and an adversary could disable the president and his top advisors, or commanders in the field, it could render us extraordinarily vulnerable,” Bolton said. “We don’t know that that’s the threat we’re facing. But I would much rather focus on finding out the answer now, rather than finding out later when it may be too late,” he added.
Trump Slams Bolton Over Book Claims, Says if He’d ‘Listened to Him, We’d Be in World War 6 by Now’
29 January 2020, 18:31 GMT
Asked why US intelligence agencies have been unable to figure out the root causes of Havana Syndrome, CIA Chief William Burns told 60 Minutes that it was “a very complicated issue dealing with a whole range of incidents that have different kinds of explanations for them as well”.
American diplomats and military personnel abroad and officials at home in the US have reported on cases of Havana Syndrome since 2016 – when it was first reported among US diplomatic personnel in Havana, Cuba. Additional incidents of the mysterious malady were then reported in 2018 at the US consulate in Guangzhou, and later by US diplomats in Russia, Tajikistan, Austria, France, Switzerland, Colombia and several African nations. However, multiple investigations by the State Department, the FBI and other intelligence agencies remain inconclusive as to its causes.
Nearly 1,000 US government workers have now reported experiencing Havana Syndrome symptoms, with at least one State Department officer from the Guanzhou consulate suing his employer for damages.
US officials have been at a loss regarding whom to blame for the string incidents, which have at various points been ascribed to Russian ‘sonic attacks’ or Chinese or Cuban malevolence. All three countries have dismissed the American allegations as an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory.
In January, the CIA concluded that Havana Syndrome did not appear to be the result of any directed-energy attacks by a foreign power, instead citing environmental factors and medical issues of personnel involved. That said, the agency also indicated that it could not definitely “rule out the possibility of foreign-actor involvement in some discrete cases.”
In early February, a separate US intelligence health panel reported that Havana Syndrome may have been caused by external stimuli, such as pulsed electromagnetic energy, but conceded that “information gaps exist” in this explanation. That probe did not identify any known device capable of pulsing electromagnetic energy at targets, but said technology to build such a device exists. The panel also found that some of the symptoms reported could have been caused by “hypervigilance and normal human reactions to stress and ambiguity, particularly among a workforce attuned to its surroundings and trained to think about security.”
3 February 2022, 03:40 GMT
Federal agents began a probe on possible Havana Syndrome-style attacks near the White House last April, including one said to have taken place in November 2020 and a separate incident in October 2019 in a Virginia suburb. A National Security Council official was said to have fallen ill in the first incident, and a White House staffer and her dog suffered injuries in the second. The same White House staffer also reported suffering similar symptoms during a trip to London alongside Bolton in August 2019. Pentagon officials briefed Congress on the matter.
21 January 2022, 18:25 GMT