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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.
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