Joe Biden signed a bill that would give additional assistance to diplomats and spies affected by the mysterious “Havana Syndrome.” The ailments reported by U.S. personnel overseas include traumatic brain injuries and nerve damage. The condition has afflicted State Department employees and their families.
Around 200 Americans have reported the symptoms, with many complaining the U.S. government wasn’t doing enough to help them.
The legislation requires the CIA and the State Department to create regulations “detailing fair and equitable criteria for payment” to victims suffering from traumatic brain injuries. It also requires reports to Congress about how the agencies are using their new funding authorities, including the number of employees and dependents who received payments.
Its signing comes as cases continue to rise worldwide, including a recent incident that sickened a senior member of CIA Director Bill Burns’ staff while on a trip to India. The intelligence community has yet to reach a consensus on who is behind the incidents, more than 200 of which have been reported worldwide, according to Burns.
Meanwhile, the Berlin police are investigating several Havana Syndrome cases at the U.S. embassy. Der Spiegel reports that Berlin police were investigating an “alleged sonic weapon attack on employees of the U.S. Embassy.” One possible explanation for the mysterious ailments is what the National Science Foundation referred to as a “directed energy weapon.” The NSA largely dismissed the “sonic weapon” theory.
Whatever it is, it’s causing real illnesses among diplomats and spies.
“Civil servants, intelligence officers, diplomats, and military personnel all around the world have been affected by anomalous health incidents. Some are struggling with debilitating brain injuries that have curtailed their careers of service to our nation,” Biden said in a statement.
“We are bringing to bear the full resources of the U.S. Government to make available first-class medical care to those affected and to get to the bottom of these incidents, including to determine the cause and who is responsible.”
The bill was authored by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and co-sponsored by Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), who each attended Friday’s signing ceremony at the White House.
It’s possible that some communications equipment at U.S. embassies is responsible. As unlikely as that may be, it’s no crazier than some other theories, including the notion that the whole thing is psychosomatic — a case of mass “psychogenic illness” brought about by the suggestion of illness among diplomats.
Some intelligence agency somewhere in the world is attacking the United States with impunity and there’s nothing we can do to stop it.