The Real Cause of Havana Syndrome (Slate)

My latest on the saga, at Slate:

In January, a CIA task force investigating “Havana syndrome,” the unexplained malady involving symptoms such as intense brain fog and nausea that has struck U.S. government personnel around the globe, concluded in an interim report that this was probably not the result of a sonic weapon, a microwave weapon, or secret, high-tech attacks by a hostile foreign government, as had been widely speculated.

The announcement was met with dismay in some corners. A support group for Havana syndrome sufferers issued a statement that the findings were a “repudiation” and that they “cannot and must not be the final word on the matter.” Republicans and Democrats alike also bristled in surprise: “Everything we’ve been told up to now is different,” Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Menendez told reporters.

But for others of us who have been closely following this saga, the report was not shocking. Rather, it was a relief. As I wrote here four years ago, there were “no details, no motive, and no plausible explanation for what kind of weapon this might be.” By finally acknowledging so much, the CIA might actually be helping Havana syndrome patients—some of whom are still struggling with its effects—get closer to an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment.

Read the rest here.