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‘We owe this to our people’: Lawmakers want answers on directed-energy attacks

 

‘We owe this to our people’: Lawmakers want answers on directed-energy attacks

posted at 13:29:17 UTC via politico.com

The attacks were first identified in Cuba in 2016 in what became known as “Havana Syndrome.” American diplomats were believed to have been targeted with directed energy from an unknown source. Victims of the suspected attacks have reported symptoms including severe headaches, ringing and pressure in the ears, and even long-term brain damage. Since then the incidents have stumped officials across the U.S. government, where a massive investigation is beginning to take shape as the threat to American personnel has increased — both overseas and on U.S. soil.

“The response was inadequate in the early stages. I think it’s gotten better but still not good enough,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), vice chair of the intelligence committee, said in a brief interview. “It’s almost like the burden of proof is on these individuals, and given the nature of the injuries they’ve suffered, I don’t think it was initially treated the way it should’ve been.”

After POLITICO first revealed the Pentagon’s recent warnings to congressional committees amid a rising number of incidents, lawmakers lamented that individuals hit with suspected attacks were not getting the necessary medical care. Rubio, for example, said victims were facing “bureaucratic hurdles” to get proper treatment.

Last year, former Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller approved a plan for the Pentagon to cover medical care for victims of the suspected attacks who sought treatment at the department’s facilities, according to two former national security officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

In the meantime, though, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) told POLITICO she is working on legislation that would allocate funding for medical care and other financial compensation for the alleged victims. Collins, a senior member of the intelligence committee, also wants to give targets of directed-energy attacks access to the brain injury unit at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Sen. Susan Collins speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on the federal coronavirus response on March 18.

Sen. Susan Collins speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on the federal coronavirus response on March 18. | Susan Walsh, Pool/AP Photo

“I have been very concerned for two years about the battle that government personnel have faced in getting proper medical treatment for these mysterious attacks that have occurred while they’ve been serving our country — and it just should not be that way,” Collins, who has spoken directly with some of the victims, said in a brief interview.

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden’s top deputies are facing growing pressure from lawmakers to figure out who is responsible for the suspected attacks, which officials believe have also occurred on U.S. soil, including near the White House and in the D.C. suburbs. Despite CIA Director William Burns’ renewed focus on the matter, lawmakers want to see more done.

“Too much of that information has been classified, to the detriment not just of those people who have been affected, but also to the response to address it,” said Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), an Armed Services Committee member who has led the push on “Havana Syndrome” for years.

Shaheen added that the Biden administration is “at least beginning to address it” while the Trump administration didn’t do enough.

Due to the nature of the suspected attacks and the sophisticated weaponry used, they are extremely difficult to attribute. Officials have told lawmakers that they suspect the GRU, Russia’s military-intelligence unit, may be behind the incidents, as POLITICO first reported, but the U.S. intelligence community has not yet made a formal determination.

Lawmakers and aides say the yearslong failure to determine who is responsible means the executive branch has kept too much information about the phenomenon under wraps. It’s a familiar spot for members of Congress, who, Republican and Democratic alike, grew frustrated with the Trump administration for its lackluster congressional engagement that often led to lawmakers first learning of major developments through the press.

Even the ultra-secretive Gang of Eight — the group of congressional and intelligence committee leaders privy to top-secret information — has been in the dark about key elements of the episodes. Rubio, a Gang of Eight member, said the Biden administration was not providing enough concrete information to the committees of jurisdiction on Capitol Hill.

“We’re demanding to know more. It’s a legitimate thing for us to oversee … not just on how they’ve responded, but how that’s ongoing,” Rubio said in a brief interview. “I know I haven’t been [told enough]. And I think you’ll find everybody else agrees with that.”

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), the former chair and a current member of the intelligence committee, said the panel has not been briefed about the suspected domestic incidents involving directed energy, adding: “I would think most people would assume that we have been [briefed].” A source familiar with the committee’s briefings noted that the panel has been informed about the suspected incidents on U.S. soil.

Richard Burr

Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) | Alex Brandon/AP Photo

A representative for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence declined to comment. A spokesperson for the CIA referred questions about the broader engagement with Congress to the National Security Council but added: “CIA is committed to continued and robust engagement with intelligence oversight on our work to care for affected officers and to determine the cause of these anomalous health incidents.”

“In our first 100 days, the Biden administration had both more open and closed member and staff engagements on this issue than the entire Trump administration,” said National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne. “We will keep working closely with Congress on this issue and very much appreciate efforts by members to support improved access to medical care for impacted individuals.”

Complicating matters further is the fact that in addition to the intelligence panels, the House and Senate Armed Services committees are pushing for additional information on the attacks, which have also impacted Defense Department personnel. The Pentagon, which launched a task force on the suspected attacks last year, has been briefing both committees and told lawmakers last month that the threat against U.S. personnel was growing and urgent.

The investigation has intensified in recent months, and now includes all 18 agencies of the U.S. intelligence community. Burns in particular has stepped up his personal involvement in the matter.

“There are a lot of entities within the government looking at this,” Warner said. “We need to have it better coordinated, and I think there’s a level of seriousness given to this now that, frankly, was not there until Director Burns came and made this a priority.”

At a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Tuesday, Shaheen pressed Biden’s pick to be the Pentagon’s top civilian intelligence official, Ronald Moultrie, on making more information about the mysterious attacks publicly available. The details released have been “very dispersed” and “very classified,” Shaheen said.

“Sometimes I’m not sure that one agency talks to the other agency in terms of what we’re doing,” she added.

Shaheen urged Moultrie to push for an “unclassified accounting” to ensure lawmakers and the public get “consistent information” on directed-energy attacks.

Moultrie vowed he would “find ways to disseminate this information to our citizens and to those who need to know in our installations and facilities around the world.”

Lara Seligman and Connor O’Brien contributed to this report.

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President Joe Biden delivered a stunningly bad performance last week during his debate with Donald Trump, causing many Democrats to worry about the future of American democracy. But some folks on social media think they’ve figured out why Biden looked so puzzled and frequently spoke haltingly with a blank stare in his eyes. Maybe the president was hit with a directed energy weapon that’s giving him Havana Syndrome.

Havana Syndrome is the name for a group of mysterious illnesses that have cropped up among U.S. spies over the past decade. The working theory has been that adversarial countries like Russia or China are intentionally targeting Americans with invisible rayguns to give them brain damage. And while the science is still very much in question, some people seem convinced that’s what happened at Thursday’s debate.

“URGENT: Scientist whose previous work included directed energy beam research for the US intelligence community said Biden’s symptoms during the CNN debate made him think of the Havana Syndrome. This is according to former KGB spy Yuri Shvets who defected to the US in 1993,” social media influencer Igor Sushko wrote on X late Sunday.

Sushko even included a video that was supposed to show the contrast between Biden on the day of the debate on June 27th and a rally the president held the next day in North Carolina. The suggestion is that Biden’s stumbles can only be explained by a targeted attack.

🚨 URGENT: Scientist whose previous work included directed energy beam research for the US intelligence community said Biden’s symptoms during the CNN debate made him think of the Havana Syndrome.
This is according to former KGB spy Yuri Shvets who defected to the US in 1993. pic.twitter.com/h53u0NoIHt

— Igor Sushko (@igorsushko) July 1, 2024

Biden’s visible confusion and inability to sometimes even make complete sentences has caused panic among the Democratic Party, where donors and political leaders alike fear he could lose the presidential election. And defenses of Biden run the gamut, from people insisting he just had a bad night, to those who point out Biden has suffered his entire life from a stutter.

But the most dramatic explanation percolating on social media is that Biden is actually being interfered with by invisible weapons. Sushko even floated another conspiracy theory, that there was a Russian government plane that may have been involved in delivering the energy weapons.

“Shvets, a former KGB spy who was based in Washington DC during the 80s, does not believe in coincidences, and the fact that Russia’s IL-76 government plane landed in the US on June 27 before the debate and then left after the fact on June 29 could further suggest foul play,” Sushko tweeted.

It’s not entirely clear where the claim about the plane comes from. And Sushko’s source for quoting Shvets isn’t even clear, though it could be suggestions made during a Russian-language YouTube video posted Sunday. But it wasn’t just Sushko who was insisting Biden may have been the victim of nefarious forces at the debate.

“Biden was being assaulted with a directed energy weapon to diminish his performance. In spite of this he held on for 90 minutes. He’s a CHAMPION! This was to give TFG unfair advantage. #HavanaAct,” an account called Citizens That Know wrote in one of several tweets about the topic over the weekend.

Citizens That Know has accounts on platforms like X and Facebook dedicated to the concept of “targeted individuals,” a delusional belief many people have that they’re being stalked and harassed for no reason by largely unseen yet coordinated forces—often by criminal gangs or government agents.

“Note to @CNN and @CIA. This should be checked,” another account tweeted pointing to the directed energy claims. “The US hasn’t been taking Russia’s use of directed energy weapons against US Officials and Biden may be the latest victim.”

Whatever you think caused Biden’s embarrassing performance—whether you believe it’s typical cognitive decline that comes with old age or just an imperfect public speaker having a “bad night”—there’s no evidence it can be blamed on directed energy weapons. This is not to say that the U.S. government doesn’t have some highly advanced weapons at its disposal. The military has admittedly been working on laser weapons since the 1970s and we know the CIA developed a so-called heart attack gun around the same era. But in this case, the simplest explanation is the most likely.

Biden is 81 years old and clearly not performing like he used to. Trump, who’s just three years younger, is also slipping cognitively with repeated verbal stumbles and rants where he’ll frequently use the wrong name. Neither of these guys is at the top of their game, but it’s clear that Trump is the only one in this race with an agenda built on sadism and retribution.

Trump retweeted a call for Liz Cheney to be investigated for treason on Sunday, a crime he’s often pointed out includes the death penalty. Trump has even suggested his own top general, Mark Milley, should be executed for treason. If Trump gets back into office, things are going to get very bad very quickly.

No, Biden didn’t get hit with a directed energy weapon. But if the Democratic Party doesn’t get its act together and figure out how to convince voters that Biden or his potential replacement is fit for the job, the U.S. is going to be a very dark place to live come January.

Joe-Biden.JPG

President Joe Biden in Washington on Tuesday. During last week’s debate, Biden looked like a child lost in the mall in a city that did not speak his language, writes Vinay Menon.

Evan Vucci/AP

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The attacks were first identified in Cuba in 2016 in what became known as “Havana Syndrome.” American diplomats were believed to have been targeted with directed energy from an unknown source. Victims of the suspected attacks have reported symptoms including severe headaches, ringing and pressure in the ears, and even long-term brain damage. Since…
posted 21m ago via politico.com
 

President Joe Biden delivered a stunningly bad performance last week during his debate with Donald Trump, causing many Democrats to worry about the future of American democracy. But some folks on social media think they’ve figured out why Biden looked so puzzled and frequently spoke haltingly with a blank stare in his eyes….
posted 58m ago via gizmodo.com
 

President Joe Biden in Washington on Tuesday. During last week’s debate, Biden looked like a child lost in the mall in a city that did not speak his language, writes Vinay Menon. Evan Vucci/AP
posted 1h ago via thestar.com
 

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Russian intelligence operatives using energy weapons may have been behind Havana Syndrome, according to a new investigation into the mysterious and debilitating condition that struck U.S. personnel in Cuba.”Unexplained anomalous health incidents, also known as Havana Syndrome, may have their origin in the use of directed energy weapons” used by Russia’s…
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Affliction affecting US officials abroad Medical conditionHavana syndromeOther namesAnomalous health incidents[1]Unexplained health incidents[2]Unidentified health incidents[3]The Hotel Nacional in Havana is one of the locations where the syndrome has reportedly been experienced.[4]Symptoms Acute[5] Sudden onset of a perceived loud sound Visual…
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Rescuers release an injured man from a destroyed car at the site of an apartment building hit by a Russian missile strike in Dnipro on June 28. As Ukrainians marked Constitution Day on June 28, Moscow unleashed a fresh wave of drone and artillery strikes on southern and eastern regions for the second day in a row, killing at…
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