CIA Director William Burns Addresses Havana Syndrome Probe And Compensation At Aspen Security Forum

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MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell interviewing CIA Director William Burns at the Aspen Security Forum((07/21/22)

CIA Director William Burns recently attended the Aspen Security Forum, where he sat down for a lengthy interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell. Among the notable topics that came up during the interview was the status of the Havana Syndrome investigation and the criteria the agency will use to decide which victims get compensated and which ones don’t.

The CIA has taken a lot of incoming from critics over what many perceive as their reluctance or even unwillingness, to get to the bottom of the Havana Syndrome mystery, so it was quite refreshing to see Director Burns openly addressing Andrea Mitchell’s questions without unnecessarily hiding behind classification issues.

Andrea Mitchell(video at 37:42):“I want to ask you about something that has been going on for six years since the first known case, and that is what the government calls anomalous health incidents(AHI), and which is commonly known as Havana Syndrome. So six years later, do we know anything more about what caused these illnesses?”

CIA Director Burns(38:49):“I think we’ve made significant progress in ensuring people get the care that they need and deserve. We tripled the number of full time personnel in our medical office that deals with this issue. We’ve worked out very important relationships not just with Walter Reed, but with private medical systems to make sure people got the care. On the investigation side, over the course of the last year and a half, we’ve thrown some of our very best officers at this, working closely with partners across the U.S. intelligence community and the U.S. government. It’s fair to say that we’ve learned a lot over that time. There’s still more to learn, it’s a frustrating process, but I have great confidence in the professionalism of the people who are carrying this out, and in their commitment to objectivity. You know, a few months ago, the intelligence community across the board, made public some preliminary findings, the broadest was that we don’t assess that a foreign player, whether Russians or anyone else, is behind, or is responsible for a sustained global campaign, the scale of what has been reported, to harm U.S. personnel with a weapon or some kind of external device. We further stated publicly several months ago, that in the majority of incidents, and we’ve investigated each one as throughly as we possibly can, we’re still working on a number of them, that you could find reasonable alternative explanations, whether it was other environmental factors, or preexisting medical conditions, or other kinds of medical explanations. None of that detracts from the real nature of what people have gone through. We still have work to do despite the progress that has been made in the investigation. This is not something that CIA only is doing, as I said we work very closely with other partners, and I owe it to my officers and their families to be straight about first making sure that they get the care that they deserve, but also being straight about what we find and what we don’t find.”

There’s no other way to interpret Director Burns’ remarks other than(I’ll be happy to stand corrected of course), the CIA probe has confirmed that some of the victims have indeed suffered brain injuries that would be consistent with some kind of external attack, but the agency is not there yet on a definite attribution–that is, reasonable people could reasonably disagree on the causes of such injuries, whether that be directed energy weapons, other environmental factors, preexisting medical conditions etc. In other words, the CIA has not yet singled out directed energy weapons as the definite cause of the brain injuries to U.S. personnel.

The debate then turned to the thorny issue of who to compensate and who not to

Andrea Mitchell:“Congress has authorized compensation. How do you compensate if you don’t know what it is?”

Director Burns:“We are very careful to implement the spirit of that law, which talks in very specific terms about the kind of injuries that people have suffered, and so it’s not a question of causation, it’s a question of what people have gone through, and so we’ve already began the process of implementation and we are going to work very hard at doing that because that’s what people deserve, and that’s what Congress expects.”

Director Burns’ response, that the compensation decision will be based on the type of injury the victim suffered, and not necessarily the cause of the injury, was quite interesting because it plays right into the hands of CIA critics who say the agency is not being candid about Havana Syndrome and its real cause—RF pulsed microwaves/ directed energy weapons. In other words, a lot of skeptics will raise the same question Andrea Mitchell posed to Director Burns—how the government quickly devised a handsome compensation scheme for victims of Havana Syndrome, whose cause the government does not know. No reasonable person believes that the United States, the most technologically advanced nation on earth, does not know what caused the injuries to U.S. diplomats in Cuba and elsewhere.

As usual, the interview never touched on the taboo question as to whether the CIA is looking into claims by regular civilians in the United States(not U.S. government personnel) who started complaining about directed energy attacks way before the reported incident at our Embassy in Cuba. This is a question the corporate media has made a conscious decision not to ask, but need to be asked. Are claims of directed energy attacks only credible when they are made by current or former government officials?

Bottom line folks, it was refreshing to see Director Burns openly discussing Havana Syndrome, but at some point the corporate media will have to drop its self-imposed embargo, and ask the taboo question as to who/what is behind directed energy attacks on regular civilians. There is absolutely no reason why the media cannot pose this question to the CIA, or any other government agency. None!!

Also, if Director Burns can openly talk to Andrea Mitchell about the Havana Syndrome probe, then he surely can entertain similar questions from members of Congress in an open forum.

For those of you out there (a MUST for TIs), interested in a REAL targeted individual case currently playing out in Houston, Texas, you can keep up with its latest developments via this link

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Rep Veronica Escobar Slams Gov Abbott For Creating “Wild West” Environment That Enabled Uvalde Shooting

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Rep Veronica Escobar(D-TX) appeared on MSNBC Reports w/Andrea Mitchell (07/18/22) to discuss the recently released report by the Texas Senate on the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Rep Escobar made a very important point on the show, telling host Andrea Mitchell that the deadly “wild west” environment created by Texas elected officials, beginning with Governor Greg Abbott, is partly to blame for the horrific shooting in Uvalde.

This point is largely missed by the mainstream media when reporting about the mass shooting in Uvalde, but it cannot be restated enough.

Rep Escobar(video at 1:00):“I think the report is important, but I also think we need to zoom out a little bit because the leadership void goes far beyond law enforcement. And what the report did not touch on[are]2 things, (1) the Governor, who is the highest ranking elected official, the chief elected official of the state and (2) the state legislature that makes open carry the law of the land in Texas so that anyone can get access to a gun without any training and really a loosening of gun laws that was historic. It is so important that these reports and that this analysis look at what happened on the ground that day, but we also have to look at the context in Texas, the environment that has been created by Republicans, who want to create a wild west sort of environment  in a state, that has led us to be…one of the most deadliest states for mass shootings.”

Rep Escobar went on to specifically address Gov Abbott’s failures:“He’s been pretty silent. He’s very eager to point the finger at others, really on any situation including Uvalde and he, as the highest-ranking elected official in the state of Texas, I have yet to hear the Governor accept any responsibility, or bring forward any ideas for meaningful change. He is literally someone who has only used his position to make Texas less safe for its citizens and uses our resources for political stunts.”

She went on to add that the political stunt Gov Abbott is pulling at the southern border aka “Operation Lone Star” has siphoned much needed funds away from mental health services and public schools, both of which are still poorly funded in Texas compared to other states.

Bottom line folks, Texas is, and has been a solid red state for quite some time now. It is important however for people who don’t live in the Lone Star state, or keep up with its politics, to know that none of Governor Abbott’s Republican predecessors created the deadly gun violence environment in the state like Gov Abbott and his allies have. Rep Escobar is absolutely spot on, that any meaningful discussion of gun violence in the Lone Star state has to take into account the “wild west” environment created by Gov Abbott and his Texas Republican allies.

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Former AG Holder: Americans Should Prepare For An “Ideologically Driven” Supreme Court Not Tethered To Precedent

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Former AG Holder on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports show(05/12/22)

Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder appeared on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports show (05/12/22) to discuss his new book “Our Unfinished March”. During his interview, he was asked about the controversy caused by the leaked draft Supreme Court majority opinion dealing with abortion, to which he gave a very interesting response. He said while the leak itself was a serious issue, the bigger problem Americans need prepare themselves for, is an “ideologically driven” Supreme Court, that will have little regard to precedent–an issue Democrats need to focus on as we approach the midterm elections.

Former AG Holder(video at 0:35):“I think the leak is unprecedented both in its breadth, its scope, and its completeness. We’ve heard rumors before about where the court is going to go, how the justices perhaps were aligned, but never actually seen a draft opinion, and that’s serious. That’s something that needs to be addressed. But what we really need to focus on is what’s contained in that leaked opinion, and where the court appears to be lining up. Looks like they are going to overturn Roe v Wade, inconsistent with the notion that you adhere to precedent that people have relied on over the course of the last 50 years. It’s an attack on the right to privacy, and so the question has to be asked, is it only going to be abortion that is going to be at risk, or is same sex marriage going to be at risk? The regulation of contraception, is that going to be at risk? Even interacial marriage. All of these things are based on the right to privacy, which this opinion in its form as we saw it, really goes after that right to privacy.”

Holder added that people need to get prepared for an “ideologically driven” Supreme Court, that is “not going to adhere to the extent that they should, to precedent.” This is of course very troubling given the weighty issues the high court is getting ready to deal with–affirmative action, gun cases, voting rights, etc. Democrats can capitalize on this Supreme Court issue, but only if they present it in AG Holder’s terms–an untethered high court that threatens many of the legal precedents we have come to rely on. This approach will likely drive more people to the polls this Fall, as opposed to only presenting it as an abortion/reproductive rights issue.

Bottom line folks, Dems sucking at messaging is nothing new. “Leakgate” presents them with an opportunity to drive Dem voters afraid of an untethered Supreme Court, to the polls in record numbers, and bucking the midterm election trend which typically favors the party out of power(GOP). Hopefully Dems will get their Supreme Court messaging right this time around by railing against the MAGA Supreme Court as an affront to all the legal precedents we have come to rely on for decades.

It’s also worth noting that former AG Holder, a self-described “institutionalist”, said that after initially being opposed to a criminal prosecution of former President Trump, he now believes, given the revelations about his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, that he needs to be held accountable. Surely, current AG Garland has to take this seriously, coming from a former prosecutor, who recently held his position.

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Senator Shaheen Says Havana Syndrome Most Likely Caused By “Microwave Directed Energy Attacks”

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Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) appeared on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports (12/15/21), where she gave an update on the investigation into the causes/origins of Havana Syndrome. Senator Shaheen said Russia remains the chief suspect, adding that she agrees with the assessment of the National Academy of Sciences, that these are most likely “microwave directed energy attacks.”

Sen Shaheen said part of the defense authorization bill currently being debated in Congress, seeks to provide a coordinator who will look into Havana Syndrome cases across all federal agencies, and keep Congress apprised on any new findings.

Sen Shaheen told host Andrea Mitchell:“What we want is a coordinator, not just within the various agencies where they’ve had personnel attacked, but also someone who can coordinate the entire effort, and that’s part of the amendment that’s in the defense bill, as well as a regular reporting to Congress. We want to know exactly what’s going on so that we can respond. It’s very troubling that this happened years ago, five years ago, and we still don’t know who’s responsible, we don’t know exactly the cause of the attacks, and we’re not sure who’s doing it.”

Neither Senator Shaheen nor MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchel addressed the growing elephant-in-the-room question regarding directed energy attacks, and that is, growing complaints by regular civilians in the U.S.(not diplomats), who claim to be victims of directed energy attacks, leaving them with symptoms of Havana Syndrome–complaints similar to the one below. Will the designated Havana Syndrome coordinator also hear from such regular civilians and report back to Congress? Hmm

Bottom line folks, the U.S. constitution intended for members of Congress to function as representatives of their constituents. Where, as here, we have Congress totally ignoring cries from regular civilians(their constituents) of directed energy attacks, while at the same time enacting a scheme to compensate and treat similarly afflicted government employees, one can only conclude that the era of representative government is long gone–a sad state of affairs indeed. At some point, hopefully soon, Congress will have to entertain Havana Syndrome complaints from regular civilians. Then, and only then, will the public have confidence in the government’s investigation into Havana Syndrome.

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The Obscene Trump-Fox News Relationship 2.0

A bombshell piece in The New Yorker says that in the Summer of 2017, Trump ordered his then Director of National Economic Council Gary Cohn to block the blockbuster merger between telecom giants AT&T and Time Warner. It was well known at that time that blocking the deal would benefit Fox News(Trump’s declared favorite news channel) while hurting CNN(his sworn enemy). Trump reportedly called Cohn and Chief of Staff Kelly into the Oval Office where he ordered Cohn to call the Justice Department and kill the merger

The author of the New Yorker piece Jane Mayer, told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, “The question is, has he[the President] been abusing his power to help his friend Rupert Murdoch, the mogul over at Fox, and to hurt his enemies, the people at CNN? This was an order from the President to his top economic adviser in the White House to block a deal, a very major multi billion dollar corporate deal and if they blocked the deal it was going to hurt CNN and it was going to help Fox. It seems like he is trying to punish his enemies and help his friends by using the U.S. Justice Department.”

The full Jane Mayer-Andrea Mitchell interview is available here but the relevant clip is below

Other startling revelations of the obscene Trump-Fox News relationship chronicled in Jane Mayer’s blockbuster piece include;

Fox News apparently knew about the Stormy Daniels story before the 2016 elections but then owner Rupert Murdoch ordered Fox News’ staff to kill it.(not to air it)

Remember the infamous Megyn Kelly clash with Trump during the first Republican presidential debate? Well according to Mayer, Fox News’ Roger Ailes(since deceased) tipped off Trump a day before that he was going to be asked a tough question by Kelly. This of course means Trump’s crude response to Kelly(“blood coming out of….everywhere”) may have been rehearsed. It may not have been a spur of the moment response like we all have assumed it was

To date Fox News has had 44 interviews with President Trump while all the other networks combined have had a total of about 10 with CNN getting zero.

The former President of Fox News, Bill Shine, is now Trump’s Communications Director

Bottom line folks, as Yours Truly argued in a previous post, time has come for some serious questions to be asked/answered about this obscene Trump-Fox News relationship. As Jane Mayer correctly sums it, “It raises questions that are troubling about our democracy when the number one rated cable news show appears many times to be an arm of the White House.” As we approach the 2020 elections, there needs to be bipartisan condemnation of this obscene Trump-Fox News relationship as it is antithetical to democratic norms. Simply put, any self-respecting democratic society can not have a major news network controlled by one candidate, especially as here, where that one candidate is already the President, equipped with the tremendous electoral advantages of incumbency.

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