Even with the help of high-power speakers, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) would not be able to hear Cuba. He has suffered selective deafness for decades, when it comes to his country of origin. He only hear what is convenient.
Thus, while the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), reports that there is no evidence regarding alleged “sonic attacks” on U.S. diplomatic personnel in Havana, he prefers to mount a circus in Congress and calls on career diplomats to serve as contortionists of reality.
With great pomp and circumstance, he announced that the Senate Foreign Affairs sub-committee, on which he sits, would hold a hearing January 9 to address the issue. He called three high-level State Department functionaries to testify and did not even bother to give the parody a neutral name, simply opting for “Attacks on U.S. Diplomats in Cuba.”
In fact, to Rubio’s satisfaction, the word “attack” resounded time and again in the hall, even though no one offered a single piece of evidence to support the allegation.
Charles Rosenfarb, director of the State Department’s Bureau of Medical Services, stated, “Mission personnel describe a multitude of symptoms, many of which are not easily quantifiable and not easily attributable to a specific cause,” which did not appear to bother anyone listening to his testimony. He added, again without drawing much attention, “The most challenging factor is the lack of certainty about the causative agent and, therefore, the precise mechanism of the injuries suffered.”
Francisco Palmieri, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs at the State Department, acknowledged, “There is still much we do not know, including who or what is behind the injuries to our personnel,” but as if no one had heard this statement, he continued talking about “attacks” and “injuries.”
It was a shame to see established career diplomats under the pressure of a Senator who has built his career on lies about Cuba. Rubio’s still talks about his family “fleeing communism,” even though his parents actually immigrated to the U.S. during the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista.
There is a long tradition of coercion in these hearings, held by committees responsible for oversight of the State Department’s work in foreign affairs. A single Senator can block the appointment of an official indefinitely. But this reality does not exempt any one from the obligation to abide by elementary ethical principles.
It was a tragic-comic sight to see when, in the middle of the hearing, Rubio asked a rhetorical question about who could be interested in creating friction between the United States and Cuba. His face contracted for a second, perhaps as a thought passed through his mind: Well, beside me, who could have an interest?
Although the supposed objective of the hearing was to check on the investigation currently underway, it was obvious that the Senator was not interested in scientific analysis or evidence from the ground.
His sole purpose appeared to be pointing to Cuban authorities as responsible for the situation, and derailing any progress in relations between the two countries – his real obsession.
No matter what the FBI, investigators, or the evidence, say. There is no worse deafness than that of Marco Rubio, when it comes to Cuba.
FIVE INCONSISTENCIES SURROUNDING ALLEGATIONS
1. For audible sound to cause harm, it must be as loud as a jet engine, and would be impossible to go unnoticed.
2. Scientists question the idea that inaudible ultrasonic or infrasonic vibrations could have been used as weapons. Ultrasonic vibrations dissipate rapidly and
infrasonic frequencies cannot easily be focused on a target.
3. Such attacks would need to be directed with laser precision on one specific person, without affecting anyone else.
4. Brain concussions and cognitive problems reported by the U.S. have never been documented in connection with medical cases involving sound.
5. Cuba, even when threatened with war or facing moments of great tension, never considered harming diplomats of any nationality. What sense would it make to do so after the decision had been sovereignly made to reestablish relations with the United States?