US needs to stop pretending American diplomats did not suffer ‘sonic attacks’ in Cuba and China

Image: Steward Bradford via Spectrum

Ever since U.S. diplomats in Cuba fell ill and suffered brain damage from mysterious attacks, the U.S. has been hemming and hawing as to the source of the attacks. All the evidence and victim accounts point to some type of “sonic attack,” yet American officials are reluctant to call it that or blame the obvious suspect: the Castro dictatorship.

When the same thing began happening to American diplomats in China, once again, the U.S. decided to play it safe and not acknowledge the attacks were sonic in nature or point a finger at the most likely culprits.

The time has come to stop pretending this is some kind of unsolvable mystery. American diplomats are under attack in Cuba and China and the likely weapon is sonic in nature. Both Cuba and China are perfectly capable of carrying out such attacks and the technology exists.

The U.S. needs to stop pretending these sonic attacks on U.S. diplomats is a random, inexplicable phenomenon and confront Cuba and China.

Dan Runde in The Hill:

Time to acknowledge that sonic weapons are likely attacking US diplomats

In a page taken from a Cold War-era playbook, existing evidence clearly suggests that sonic weapons are being used to attack American diplomatic officials in Cuba and China. The U.S. should operate as if this is a provocation that crosses a number of red lines, and it should consider stronger retaliatory actions against both governments.

More than 20 news sources in recent months have dubbed these incidents as a “mystery” or “perplexing.” No news source has been willing to recognize it as a strategic, deliberate action against our diplomatic officials. Thus, the only “mystery” is why the U.S. has not been more aggressive in pushing back against and increasing the consequences for the perpetrators, most likely official elements in China and Cuba. Fear of damaging the “normalization project” between the U.S. and Cuba should not encourage denial of what appears to be deliberate, hostile actions.

In late 2016, U.S. diplomats in Cuba reported serious medical ailments related to incidents that occurred over several months and initially appeared to be linked to sonic attacks. Many of the victims reported strange sounds that were incapacitating and led to a series of medical symptoms, including hearing loss, cognitive issues, temporary imbalance, even mild traumatic brain injuries. Several victims have undergone rehabilitation and every victim is anticipated to return to work eventually. Nonetheless, these patients likely will need to be monitored for the rest of their lives, to determine the full impact of these attacks.

In June, U.S. officials in China faced similar attacks that affected at least one diplomat. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the incident was “similar” and “entirely consistent” with what happened in Cuba.

There are studies that have proposed possible explanations based on experiments, but these tests were limited and did not account for potential physiological damage. A University of Michigan study examined whether ultrasound could be the potential cause of the incidents in Cuba. This experiment led to various possible explanations including ultrasonic emitters – intended for eavesdropping – that produced audible tones that inadvertently may have harmed U.S. diplomats.

The incidents in Cuba targeted 24 government officials and their spouses in specific hotel rooms or private residences; some individuals reported that shifting even a few feet within the room made the auditory sensations cease. Medical examiners have recognized that, while these symptoms could come from viral infections, given the pattern of injuries it is likely the result of a “non-natural cause.” There are some technologies from the Cold War era that could be the source, and intelligence officials are investigating that possibility.

Given the similarities in the attacks and the lack of robust research and development efforts in Cuba, it is plausible that the technology was given to Cuba by the Chinese. China has recently become interested in non-lethal weapons, having developed a weapon known as the Poly WB-1, a long-range pain beam that can be used to break up protests or riots.

Continue reading HERE.