Russia suspected in ‘Havana Syndrome’ attacks
National Security correspondent Jennifer Griffin reports on energy attacks being traced back to Russia.
As President Biden heads into the summit meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, a bipartisan group of Senate lawmakers is calling on the president to raise the issue of directed-energy microwave incidents targeting U.S. diplomats and top national security and CIA officials.
“Certainly the Russians are one of the key suspects. We don’t know for sure, but keep in mind there have been more than a hundred American public servants who have been injured by these directed energy attacks,” said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, during an interview with CBS’ “Face The Nation.” “We need not only to take care of their medical needs, but also to find out who it is.”
She added, “I hope the president will bring up this issue with President Putin directly.”
Sen. Susan Collins and other members of the Senate Intelligence Committee pushed a bill to provide compensation for the American diplomats and CIA agents who have been affected by an apparent microwave weapon. (Al Drago/Pool via AP, File)
Lawmakers led by Collins and other members of the Senate Intelligence Committee pushed a bill to provide compensation for the 130-plus American diplomats and CIA agents who have been affected by an apparent microwave weapon leading to what is now known as “Havana Syndrome.” The attacks were first noticed in Cuba five years ago, but since then have been documented taking place in Moscow, Shanghai and even Washington, D.C. Senators Mark Warner and Marco Rubio, the top Democrat and Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said these incidents are “ongoing.”
The Senate bill, which will now go to the House, would amend the Central Intelligence Agency Act of 1949 and authorize “the provision of payment to personnel of the Central Intelligence Agency who incur qualifying injuries to the brain,” as well as to State Department personnel who incur similar injuries.
Under the Trump administration, some of those affected by these apparent attacks involving suspected microwaves said that senior leaders at the CIA, including former Director Gina Haspel, did not believe them and, as a result, the CIA health officers did not authorize them for the state-of-the-art treatment given to U.S. military service members for traumatic brain injuries at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
Some CIA officers are now getting treated by Walter Reed’s National Intrepid Center of Excellence following forced retirements and fighting the government bureaucracy that prevented them from doing so.
“Under the last administration, we didn’t treat these victims from the State Department community with the seriousness they deserve,” Warner said on the Senate floor on June 8. “That their own government did not believe them when they were injured or denied them proper medical attention and care is beyond the pale….For a while, they just got blown off. It’s inexcusable that they were treated this way, and it’s outrageous that we still don’t know who did it or what tools were used in these attacks.”
The National Academy of Sciences has studied the effects of these incidents on the brains of some of those targeted. The U.S. government suspects Russia’s GRU, or military intelligence, is to blame.
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