ICYMI here's my article on #HavanaSyndrome. I figured I would hit a few key points for the tl;dr crowd.

The story initially blew up thanks to an AP article reporting on info from CBS Radio News. WaPo reprinted that article, deleted it, and essentially reposted it by a different writer with a focus on Trump. News outlets then credited WaPo.

Shortly after, AP followed up with a possible source for the alleged attacks: a sonic weapon. In October, they posted the "dangerous sound" heard by diplomats.

Independent studies conducted in the wake of the release, such as this one from the University of Miami, appeared to confirm both inner-ear and brain damage.

The problem? Havana Syndrome victims had already moved onto microwave weapons as the source of their harassment. 60 Minutes interviewed diplomat Mark Lenzi in September 2019, where he claimed he'd been zapped with a weapon in the "microwave range."

This didn't deter carefree reporters. Three months later, CNN reported on the findings of "sonic attacks" on Lenzi, from a study published by the @ConcussionLF. (The CLF has since removed the study from their site.)

Weird that no one can decide the source of the attacks, right? That's because no one can even confirm symptoms associated with Havana Syndrome. On a number of occasions ailments like food poisoning have been mistakenly identified as Havana Syndrome.

New reports directly contradict prior studies. In December 2020 the National Academies of Sciences issued their take, finding that the earlier research was not useful because it relied on self-report data (notoriously unreliable) and no follow-up testing.

Of course, this study was itself called out by scientists in the field of neuroscience who found its conclusion to not have any basis in verifiable evidence.

The State Department even agreed! The agency suppressed a 2018 internal report by their JASON advisory panel because it argued Havana Syndrome was a mass psychogenic illness.

So where does that leave us with #HavanaSyndrome? Mostly reporters pushing bad science, specious claims, and crank theories. But few are calling them on it. Why? Well, that's good question.

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More from @RobertSkvarla

15 Oct
This is just plain wrong. In 2018 BLM activists sued the City of Memphis and found its police department had created fake social media accounts to monitor their activities.

theguardian.com/us-news/2018/a… ImageImage
In 2019, the Electronic Frontier Foundation reported on ICE creating fake accounts to monitor and entrap immigrants.

ICE even created a fake university with fake socials to entrap nearly 200 foreign students.

Read 8 tweets
15 Oct
More fun COINTELPRO finds. In the late 1960s the FBI attempted to subvert New Left media by creating their own underground comix and newspapers. The purpose? To discredit the SDS and promote fighting among left-wing groups. ImageImage
The first proposal, The Workshop, adopted the language of anarchists because their "point of view [was] the most disruptive element in the New Left" and could be used to target anyone. The FBI intended to attack figures like Stokely Carmichael. ImageImageImage
That same year, in 1968, it produced a real fake underground paper: Armageddon News. The paper was ostensibly based out of the University of Indiana Bloomington, allowing the FBI to use it to astroturf attacks on left-wing activists on campus. ImageImage
Read 9 tweets
14 Oct
The "believe science" crowd believes science until it goes against their desired narrative. An extremely disingenuous reading of the Havana Syndrome case by @NBCNews.

nbcnews.com/politics/natio… ImageImage
Mind you, there isn't only one government report contradicting Havana Syndrome claims, there have been multiple, from different agencies. @NBCNews has even reported on this.

nbcnews.com/politics/natio… Image
But @NBCNews would rather invest time and energy into pushing State Department propaganda

Read 4 tweets
13 Oct
These guys are always just the dumbest, laziest grifters imaginable. We're already working on real-world video game weapons. Image
If you wanna know why directed-energy weapons are in the news so much, it's probably because the Pentagon needs to justify its own work in that area

They're even developing small arms for this type of stuff

Read 5 tweets
13 Oct
Interesting memo issued by the Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation in the 1960s. "Doubt is our product," they argued. What does that mean? You don't need to convince someone something is true, you only need to introduce them to the possibility the opposing info might not be. ImageImage
The tobacco industry manufactured "controversy" around the subject of smoking by astroturfing bad science. They created front groups like the Center for Indoor Air Research to fund fake scientific studies arguing smoking doesn't cause cancer.

I'm not saying that our government has astroturfed fake research on the subject of Havana Syndrome, I'm simply pointing out that the information coming from grant-funded universities and government agencies might not be accurate
Read 4 tweets
13 Sep
Record number of environmental activists murdered

This is, sadly, nothing new. Big Business often goes beyond mere intimidation to straight up murder. Examples: the Coca-Cola backed United Self Defence Forces of Colombia waged a terror campaign against union workers in Colombia.

Read 6 tweets

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