There was an interesting feature story in the Associated Press this weekend about the disturbing maladies that have befallen several U.S. diplomats stationed in Havana, Cuba. The news broke about the diplomats earlier this year, and yet investigators are apparently no closer to understanding exactly what happened to them. In the meantime, several theories have emerged. Could the diplomats have been the victims of a deliberate sonic attack? Were they in proximity to an electromagnetic weapon charge of some sort? Or was their hearing loss the result of a mistake – some Cuban spying effort gone awry?
Indeed, while the hearing loss has been the most widely-reported symptom in the media, it is far from the only one being experienced by diplomats. The AP reports that nausea, confusion, headaches, and difficulty concentrating are among the other problems confirmed among the 21 known victims. So disparate are the symptoms and the theories behind what might be causing them, the U.S. government isn’t even sure they are directly related. And there is even some disagreement about whether an “attack” occurred at all.
From the AP:
The United States doesn’t even know what to call it. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson used the phrase “health attacks.” The State Department prefers “incidents.”
Either way, suspicion has fallen on Cuba. But investigators also are examining whether a rogue faction of its security services, another country such as Russia, or some combination is to blame, more than a dozen U.S. officials familiar with the investigation told The Associated Press.
We have differing symptoms of unknown origin, as a result of what might have been or might not have been an attack, instigated by foes that could come from Cuba, Russia, or elsewhere.
To put it succinctly, we don’t know what the hell is going on.
It’s a mystery worth solving, however. If our diplomats were attacked – either by Cuban forces or other outside enemies – we need to know what we’re up against. If the symptoms came about as a result of spying mechanisms gone awry, that too is something we need to know about. Perhaps most importantly, if one of our enemies has harnessed the use of some unknown weapon – not impossible given the difficulty investigators are having pinpointing the source of these problems – we certainly need to understand what kinds of capabilities our enemies possess.
So far, every tunnel has led U.S. officials to a dead end.
Hopefully, we’ll soon get to the bottom of what remains, for now, a persistent mystery.