US embassy employees in Cuba possibly subject to 'acoustic attack' - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-09-2017, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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US embassy employees in Cuba possibly subject to 'acoustic attack'


US embassy employees in Cuba possibly subject to 'acoustic attack'

http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/09/politi...ssy/index.html

(CNN) The US believes several State Department employees at the US embassy in Havana were subjected to an "acoustic attack" using sonic devices that left at least two with such serious health problems they needed to be brought back to the US for treatment, several senior State Department officials told CNN.

One official said the employees could have suffered permanent hearing loss as a result.

The employees affected were not at the same place at the same time, but suffered a variety of physical symptoms since late 2016 which resembled concussions.

The State Department raised the incidents with the Cuban government over the course of several months and sent medical personnel to Havana, but have not been able to determine exactly what happened.

"It can be quite serious," one official told CNN. "We have worked with the Cubans to try and find out what is going on. They insist they don't know, but it has been very worrying and troublesome."

The FBI is now looking into the matter, the officials said.

"It's very strange," one official said.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert on Wednesday said that "some US government personnel" working at the US embassy in Havana, Cuba on official duty reported some incidents that were causing "physical symptoms." But she could not elaborate on the nature or cause of the incidents.

"Because there are a variety of symptoms, there could be a variety of sources," one US official said. "That is why we are being very careful here with what we say. There is a lot we still don't know."

For years US diplomats in Havana complained that they suffered harassment from Cuban officials and frequently had their homes and cars broken into. But diplomats said that after the US and Cuba restored full diplomatic ties in 2015, the campaign of harassment stopped.

Some of those affected chose to return to the US, said Nauert, prompting the administration to expel two Cuban diplomats from the embassy in Washington in May.

"The Cuban government has a responsibility and an obligation under the Geneva convention to protect our diplomats," Nauert told reporters, "so that is part of the reason why this is such a major concern of ours."

"We felt like we needed to respond to the Cubans and remind them of their responsibility under the Vienna convention," one of the officials said. The officials were not declared "persona non-grata" and may be allowed to return back to the United States if the matter is resolved.

Those affected were State Department employees, Nauert said, and no American civilians were affected.

The State Department is taking these incidents "very seriously," she added, and is working to determine the cause and impact of the incidents.

A Cuban government official denied any Cuban involvement in the mistreatment of US diplomats in Cuba, and said the expulsion of Cuban diplomats was an "overreaction".
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-10-2017, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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Canadians in Cuba were also treated for hearing loss, Ottawa says amid U.S. probe of possible attack

Confirmation of health issue comes day after U.S. says diplomats in Havana targeted by sonic weapon


http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/cuba...omat-1.4242033

Global Affairs Canada has confirmed at least one Canadian diplomat in Cuba has been treated in hospital after suffering headaches and hearing loss.

The information comes a day after the U.S. government said it believed some of its diplomats in Havana had been targeted with a covert sonic device that left them with severe hearing loss.

The Canadian diplomat's family members were also affected and treated.

"We are aware of unusual symptoms affecting Canadian and U.S. diplomatic personnel and their families in Havana. The government is actively working — including with U.S. and Cuban authorities — to ascertain the cause," said Brianne Maxwell, a Global Affairs Canada spokesperson.

"At this time, we do not have any reason to believe Canadian tourists and other visitors could be affected," Maxwell added.

Global Affairs did not identify the diplomat or say when the hospitalization took place.

An investigation is focused on identifying the technology used as well as who was using it.

The Associated Press reported Wednesday that a months-long U.S. investigation had determined its diplomats had been attacked by a device that operates outside the range of normal audible sound, and used outside or inside the diplomats' residences.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert would not confirm the number of U.S. diplomats affected or the severity of their symptoms, saying only that they had "a variety of physical symptoms" that had caused some to return to the United States. She said the U.S. government first learned of the incidents in late 2016.

Nauert said the United States expelled two Cuban diplomats in retaliation on May 23, saying while the U.S. didn't have a definitive explanation for the incidents, "the Cuban government has a responsibility and an obligation under the Geneva Convention to protect our diplomats."

The Cuban government issued a statement on Wednesday, calling the expulsion of its diplomatic staff "unjustified."

"Cuba has never permitted, nor will permit, that Cuban territory be used for any action against accredited diplomatic officials or their families, with no exception."

The statement said Cuba was launching a "comprehensive, priority and urgent investigation."

"Cuba is universally considered a safe destination for visitors and foreign diplomats, including U.S. citizens," it said.

An official at Global Affairs Canada, speaking to CBC News on background, said Canada is not at the point where it is ready to take reprisals, since the investigation is ongoing and it is too early to conclude the Cuban government was behind the incidents.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-11-2017, 09:25 PM
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Unless they got it from listening to headphones, there should be more people suffering from this ear injury. Basically, anyone within earshot. Seems kind of weird.

Also, it's interesting to note how Canada and USA each respond to the same incident....

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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-11-2017, 10:04 PM
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-02-2017, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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And we restored relations with these Communists because...??? Oh, yeah. Because Obama and Leftist knuckleheads think Communism is cool.

-----------------------------------------

US: ANOTHER HEALTH ATTACK ON DIPLOMATS IN CUBA LAST MONTH


BY JOSH LEDERMAN

ASSOCIATED PRESS

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories...09-01-18-40-29

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Mysterious incidents affecting the health of American diplomats in Cuba continued as recently as August, the United States said Friday, despite earlier U.S. assessments that the attacks had long stopped. The U.S. increased its tally of government personnel affected to 19.

The new U.S. disclosures came the same day that the union representing American diplomats said mild traumatic brain injury was among the diagnoses given to diplomats victimized in the attacks. In the most detailed account of the symptoms to date, the American Foreign Service Association said permanent hearing loss was another diagnosis, and that additional symptoms had included brain swelling, severe headaches, loss of balance and "cognitive disruption."

At the State Department, spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the U.S. was continually revising its assessments of the scope of the attacks as new information was obtained. She said the investigation had not been completed.

"We can confirm another incident which occurred last month and is now part of the investigation," Nauert said.

U.S. officials had previously said that the attacks, initially believed to be caused by a potential covert sonic device, had started in fall 2016 and continued until spring 2017. Last week, Nauert had said at least 16 Americans associated with the U.S. Embassy in Havana had been affected, but that the "incidents" were no longer occurring.

The evolving U.S. assessment indicated investigators were still far off from any thorough understanding of what transpired in the attacks, described by the U.S. as unprecedented. As the bizarre saga has unfolded, the U.S. has encouraged its diplomats to report any strange physical sensations. So it's unclear whether some symptoms being attributed to the attacks might actually be unrelated.

Still, the fact there was an incident as recently as August suggested the attacks likely continued long after the U.S. government became aware of them and ostensibly raised the issue with the Cuban government, creating even more uncertainty about the timeline and who was responsible.

Notably, the U.S. has avoided accusing Cuba's government of being behind the attacks. The U.S. did expel two Cuban diplomats, but the State Department emphasized that was in protest of the Cubans' failure to protect the safety of American diplomats while on their soil, not an indication the U.S. felt that Havana masterminded it.

U.S. investigators have been searching to identify a device that could have harmed the health of the diplomats, believed to have been attacked in their homes in Havana, but officials have said no device had been found.

One of the diplomats affected had arrived over the summer of 2017 to work at the U.S. Embassy and was later diagnosed with concussion-like symptoms, said a U.S. official, who declined to specify the symptoms that led the diplomat to report the situation.

And in Canada, a government official said that the Canadian government had first learned in March 2017 that one of its citizens was affected. Ottawa had previously confirmed that at least one Canadian diplomat was involved, but had not revealed any timeline for when it occurred or came to light.

Both the U.S. and Canadian officials demanded anonymity because they weren't authorized to comment publicly.

It's unclear whether Canadians were intentionally targeted or whether there could have been collateral damage from an attack aimed at Americans, given that diplomats from various countries often live in the same areas of a foreign capital. U.S. officials have said the Americans were targeted in their homes in Havana, not in the Embassy.

Canadian officials have been actively working with U.S. and Cuban authorities to ascertain the cause. A Cuban attack deliberately targeting Canadians would be even more confounding, given that Canada - unlike the U.S. - has long had friendly ties to Cuba.

The American Foreign Service Association, in describing the damage to diplomats' health, said it had met with or spoken to 10 diplomats affected, but did not specify how many of the 10 had been diagnosed with hearing loss or with mild traumatic brain injury, commonly called a concussion.

Yet the confirmation that at least some diplomats suffered brain injury suggested the attacks caused more serious damage than the hearing-related complaints that were initially reported.

"We can't rule out new cases as medical professionals continue to evaluate members of the embassy community," Nauert said. She added that the embassy has a medical officer and has been consistently providing care to those who have reported incidents.

Asked for further details about what the U.S. had learned about the cause or culprit in the attacks, the State Department said it had no more information to share.

Traumatic brain injury, or TBI, typically results from a bump, jolt or other external force that disrupts normal brain functioning, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Short- and long-term effects can include changes to memory and reasoning, sight and balance, language abilities and emotions.

Not all traumatic brain injuries are the same. Doctors evaluate patients using various clinical metrics such as the Glasgow Coma Scale, in which a numerical score is used to classify TBIs as mild, moderate or severe.

"AFSA strongly encourages the Department of State and the U.S. Government to do everything possible to provide appropriate care for those affected, and to work to ensure that these incidents cease and are not repeated," the union said in a statement.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-15-2017, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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More Americans affected by Cuba health attacks, US says

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017...s-us-says.html

Two more Americans have been confirmed to be affected by unexplained health attacks against U.S. diplomats in Cuba, the United States said Tuesday, raising the total number of victims to 21.

The additional two individuals appear to be cases that were only recently reported but occurred in the past. The State Department said no new, medically confirmed "incidents" have taken place since the most recent one in late August. Earlier this month, the U.S. disclosed there had been another incident in August after previously saying the attacks had stopped.

It's possible the number could grow even higher as more cases are discovered. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the U.S. continues to assess American personnel.

The U.S. citizens were members of the American diplomatic community, the U.S. said. Officials have said previously that the incidents, deemed "health attacks" by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, affected diplomats posted to the Embassy in Havana along with family members who live with them.

The U.S. didn't say how serious the newly disclosed incidents were. But the State Department said it was providing "the best possible medical evaluation and care" throughout the ordeal, including aid from a medical officer on staff at the embassy.

The union representing American diplomats has said mild traumatic brain injury is among the diagnoses given to some diplomats victimized in the attacks. The American Foreign Service Association has said permanent hearing loss was another diagnosis, and additional symptoms had included brain swelling, severe headaches, loss of balance and "cognitive disruption."

The evolving U.S. assessment indicated investigators were still far from any thorough understanding of what transpired in the attacks, which started in the fall of 2016. The U.S. has described them as unprecedented.

As the bizarre saga has unfolded, the U.S. has encouraged its diplomats to report any strange physical sensations. So it's unclear whether some symptoms being attributed to the attacks might actually turn out to be unrelated.

Notably, the U.S. has avoided accusing Cuba's government of being behind the attacks. The U.S. did expel two Cuban diplomats, but the State Department emphasized that was in protest of the Cubans' failure to protect the safety of American diplomats while on their soil, not an indication the U.S. felt that Havana masterminded it.

U.S. investigators have been searching to identify a device that could have harmed the health of the diplomats, believed to have been attacked in their homes in Havana, but officials have said no device had been found.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-15-2017, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
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Senators to Tillerson: Expel Cuban diplomats, consider US embassy closure over attacks

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017...r-attacks.html

Top Republican senators pressed the Trump administration on Friday to expel Cuban diplomats and consider closing the U.S. embassy in Havana over the mysterious “acoustic” attacks on Americans stationed on the island.

“Cuba’s neglect of its duty to protect our diplomats and their families cannot go unchallenged,” the Republican senators said in a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

They urged the State Department to “immediately declare all accredited Cuban diplomats in the United States persona non grata and, if Cuba does not take tangible action, close the U.S. Embassy in Havana.”

The attacks, which generally have occurred at night, have confounded U.S. officials.

Victims – there are at least 21 Americans with symptoms – have reported hearing loud noises or feeling vibrations before suffering a range of aftereffects. This includes everything from hearing loss to speech problems to concussions.

Suspicion initially focused on a sonic weapon, and on the Cubans. Yet the diagnosis of mild brain injury, considered unlikely to result from sound, has stumped the FBI, the State Department and U.S. intelligence agencies involved in the investigation.

Some victims now have problems concentrating or recalling specific words, several officials told The Associated Press, the latest signs of more serious damage than the U.S. government initially realized. The United States first acknowledged the attacks in August — nine months after symptoms were first reported.

The U.S. already has expelled two Cuban diplomats to protest the communist government’s failure to protect Americans serving there. But the U.S. has taken pains not to accuse Havana of perpetrating the attacks. It’s a sign investigators believe that even if elements of Cuba’s security forces were involved, it wasn’t necessarily directed from the top.

But the attacks have revived criticism on Capitol Hill of the Obama-era decision to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba. The letter to Tillerson was signed by Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Ark.; Richard Burr, R-N.C.; John Cornyn, R-Texas; Marco Rubio, R-Fla.; and James Lankford, R-Okla.

“Our officials and their families have been the targets of unacceptable levels of harassment and ‘acoustic’ attacks that, in some cases, have caused permanent hearing damage and other significant injuries,” they wrote.

“The safety of U.S. diplomatic personnel and their families posted overseas remains one of our high priorities and a shared responsibility of those nations that host U.S. diplomatic facilities. We urge you to remind the Cuban government of its obligation and to demand that it take verifiable action to remove these threats to our personnel and their families.”

Asked about the attacks on Thursday, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert confirmed that 21 people have been affected, leaving open the possibility that number could rise.

“They continue to undergo tests,” she said, noting that personnel “are able to leave Havana, leave Cuba, and return back home if they wish.”

“The investigation into all of this is still underway. It is an aggressive investigation that continues, and we will continue doing this until we find out who or what is responsible for this,” she said.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-15-2017, 03:06 PM
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Whether or not there is any truth to this story of acoustic attacks on United States embassy staff in Cuba--because it could be a psychological operation aimed towards various groups, including anti-war dissidents on the internet--I think it would be very unwise for this type of weapon to be unleashed on the world.

Large-yield nuclear warheads are too destructive to be used very often in anger, above ground and within the Earth's atmosphere--and this is precisely why large-yield nuclear weaponry is such an effective deterrent.

So-called psychotronic weaponry, on the other hand, could perhaps be employed in order to create highly-localised effects, but unlike large-yield nuclear warheads--and this is a crucial point--they cannot be easily controlled by the so-called power elite. In other words, it would be quite simple for these kinds of weapons to be turned against the so-called power elite itself, without such an ironic reversal of fortunes resulting in a nuclear holocaust. There would be nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. Not even their Caribbean island bunkers would save them, once the kitty of thoroughly unconventional weaponry is out of the bag, so to speak!

I do not think that these weapons will become commonly and openly employed for the same reasons that poison gas has not become commonly and openly employed by First World nations, as a weapon of war. Our would-be planetary overlords would be very, very stupid if they were to metaphorically cross the Rubicon of utilising psychotronic weapons as a means of suppressing political dissent. Even the threat of such weapons being utilised, as part of a psychological warfare campaign, is very, very dangerous. Again, assuming that the threat of acoustic attack is genuine, I think that those who are behind such a threat should tread carefully indeed.

...-
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-20-2017, 05:55 AM
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I'm surprised deplorable donald doesn't trash Cuba like he does Iran, NK and Venezuela. Then again, Cuba has close political relations with Russia. Putin must have ordered deplorable donald not to mess with Cuba.

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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-20-2017, 10:02 AM
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Anything that happens is 100% Trump's fault. He is the current President.


Obama hasn't been President in 8 months.


Trump decided to gut the State Department. Responsibility for people's lives rests with him. How scary is that?

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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-28-2017, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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Anything that happens is 100% Trump's fault. He is the current President.


Obama hasn't been President in 8 months.


Trump decided to gut the State Department. Responsibility for people's lives rests with him. How scary is that?
Oh, that is sooooooo scary. I'm quakin'.
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-28-2017, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
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U.S. plans major withdrawal of staff from embassy in Cuba

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/u-s-pla...bassy-in-cuba/

Last Updated Sep 28, 2017 3:42 PM EDT

Two sources tell CBS News the U.S. is preparing to announce a major withdrawal of staff and family from the U.S. embassy in Cuba in response to attacks targeting diplomats. Only essential personnel will be left.

An internal memo was sent to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson suggesting a drawing down of personnel in Havana. The meeting this week between Tillerson and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Eduardo Rodriguez Parrilla did nothing to help assure the U.S. that Cuban officials are doing enough to protect the safety and welfare of U.S. diplomats in their country. Though Cuba is allowing U.S. investigators into the country, it has not convinced the U.S. that it's taken any real action to prevent the health attacks.

Top U.S. security official targeted in Cuba embassy "health atttacks"
In fact, the Cuban readout of the meeting contained a complete denial that the attacks were taking place.

"The Cuban government has never perpetrated nor will it ever perpetrate attacks of any kind against diplomats," it read. "The Cuban government has never permitted nor will it ever permit the use of its territory by third parties for this purpose."

The readout went on to say that Cuban authorities had so far found, "There is no evidence so far of the cause or the origin of the health disorders reported by the U.S. diplomats."

Diplomats have complained about symptoms ranging from hearing loss and nausea to headaches and balance issues after the State Department said "incidents" began affecting them in late 2016. In total, the State Department says there are 21 medically confirmed cases. The attacks were directed at their homes, which the Cuban government provides. The last reported incident was in August.

The U.S. investigation, led by the FBI, is ongoing. At this time, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert says Tillerson is still reviewing his options on how best to protect American personnel in Cuba."
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Oh, that is sooooooo scary. I'm quakin'.
You're certainly not holding Trump accountable for anything.


This is some how Hillary's fault huh.........her emails........those emails.

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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-29-2017, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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Trouble in paradise. Americans told to stay away from the Communist mecca. (Does that include Colin Kaepernick?)

----------------------------------

US to Americans: Stay away from Cuba after health ‘attacks’

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...=.b16ba5a8c8a2

By Josh Lederman and Matthew Lee | AP September 29 at 4:46 PM

WASHINGTON — The United States issued an ominous warning to Americans on Friday to stay away from Cuba and ordered home more than half the U.S. diplomatic corps, acknowledging neither the Cubans nor America’s FBI can figure out who or what is responsible for months of mysterious health ailments.

No longer tiptoeing around the issue, the Trump administration shifted to calling the episodes “attacks” rather than “incidents.”

The U.S. actions are sure to rattle already delicate ties between the longtime adversaries who only recently began putting their hostility behind them. The U.S. Embassy in Cuba will lose roughly 60 percent of its American staff and will stop processing visas for prospective Cuban travelers to the United States indefinitely, officials said. Roughly 50 Americans had been working at the embassy.

President Donald Trump said that in Cuba “they did some very bad things” that harmed U.S. diplomats, but he didn’t say who he might mean by “they.”

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who reviewed options for a response with Trump, said, “Until the government of Cuba can ensure the safety of our diplomats in Cuba, our embassy will be reduced to emergency personnel in order to minimize the number of diplomats at risk of exposure to harm.”

In Friday’s travel warning, the State Department confirmed earlier reporting by The Associated Press that U.S. personnel first encountered unexplained physical effects in Cuban hotels. While American tourists aren’t known to have been hurt, the agency said they could be exposed if they travel to the island — a pronouncement that could hit a critical component of Cuba’s economy that has expanded in recent years as the U.S. has relaxed restrictions.

At least 21 diplomats and family members have been affected. The department said symptoms include hearing loss, dizziness, headache, fatigue, cognitive issues and difficulty sleeping. Until Friday, the U.S. had generally referred to “incidents.” Tillerson’s statement ended that practice, mentioning “attacks” seven times; the travel alert used the word five times.

Still, the administration has pointedly not blamed Cuba for perpetrating the attacks, and officials have spent weeks weighing how to minimize the risk for Americans in Cuba without unnecessarily harming relations or falling into an adversary’s trap.

If the attacks have been committed by an outside power such as Russia or Venezuela to drive a wedge between the U.S. and Cuba, as some investigators have theorized, a U.S. pullout would end up rewarding the aggressor. On the other hand, officials have struggled with the moral dimensions of keeping diplomats in a place where the U.S. government cannot guarantee their safety.

The administration considered expelling Cuban diplomats from the U.S., officials said, but for now no such action has been ordered. That incensed several lawmakers who had urged the administration to kick out all of Cuban’s envoys.

“It’s an insult,” said Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a vocal critic of Cuba’s government, in an interview. “The Cuban regime succeeded in forcing Americans to downscale a number of personnel in Cuba, yet it appears they’re going to basically keep all the people they want in America to travel freely and spread misinformation.”

The U.S. travel warning said, “Because our personnel’s safety is at risk, and we are unable to identify the source of the attacks, we believe U.S. citizens may also be at risk and warn them not to travel to Cuba.”

The moves deliver a significant setback to the delicate reconciliation between the U.S. and Cuba, countries that endured a half-century estrangement despite only 90 miles of separation. In 2015, President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro restored diplomatic ties, embassies were re-opened and travel and commerce restrictions were eased. Trump has reversed some changes but has broadly left the rapprochement in place.

After considering options that ranged all the way to a full embassy shutdown, Tillerson made the decision to reduce all nonessential personnel and all family members. Also included in the recall is Scott Hamilton, currently the highest-ranked diplomat at the mission. Staffing at the embassy in Havana was already lower than usual due to recent hurricanes that whipped through Cuba.

Cubans seeking visas to enter the U.S. may be able to apply through embassies in nearby countries, officials said. The U.S. will stop sending official delegations to Cuba, though diplomatic discussions will continue in Washington.

The United States notified Cuba early Friday via its embassy in Washington.

Cuba blasted the American move as “hasty” and lamented that it was being taken without conclusive investigation results. Still, Josefina Vidal, Cuba’s top diplomat for U.S. affairs, said her government was willing to continue cooperation with Washington “to fully clarify these incidents.” Her government took the rare step of the inviting the FBI to the island after being presented with the allegations earlier this year.

To medical investigators’ dismay, symptoms have varied widely. In addition to hearing loss and concussions, some people have experienced nausea, headaches and ear-ringing. The Associated Press has reported some now suffer from problems with concentration and common word recall.

Though officials initially suspected some futuristic “sonic attack,” the picture is muddy. The FBI and other agencies that searched homes and hotels where incidents occurred found no devices. And clues about the circumstances of the incidents seem to make any explanation scientifically implausible.

Some U.S. diplomats reported hearing loud noises or feeling vibrations when the incidents occurred, but others heard and felt nothing yet reported symptoms later. In some cases, the effects were narrowly confined, with victims able to walk “in” and “out” of blaring noises audible in only certain rooms or parts of rooms, the AP has reported

Though the incidents stopped for a time, they recurred as recently as late August.

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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-02-2017, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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AP sources: US spies in Havana hit by bizarre health attacks

https://apnews.com/d0fa8db258bf4c549...etwork-in-Cuba

By MICHAEL WEISSENSTEIN, JOSH LEDERMAN and MATTHEW LEE
1 hour ago

HAVANA (AP) — Frightening attacks on U.S. personnel in Havana struck the heart of America’s spy network in Cuba, with intelligence operatives among the first and most severely affected victims, The Associated Press has learned.

It wasn’t until U.S. spies, posted to the embassy under diplomatic cover, reported hearing bizarre sounds and experiencing even stranger physical effects that the United States realized something was wrong, individuals familiar with the situation said.

While the attacks started within days of President Donald Trump’s surprise election in November, the precise timeline remains unclear, including whether intelligence officers were the first victims hit or merely the first victims to report it. The U.S. has called the situation “ongoing.”

To date, the Trump administration largely has described the 21 victims as U.S. embassy personnel or “members of the diplomatic community.” That description suggested only bona fide diplomats and their family members were struck, with no logical motivation beyond disrupting U.S.-Cuban relations.

Behind the scenes, though, investigators immediately started searching for explanations in the darker, rougher world of spycraft and counterespionage, given that so many of the first reported cases involved intelligence workers posted to the U.S. embassy. That revelation, confirmed to the AP by a half-dozen officials, adds yet another element of mystery to a year-long saga that the Trump administration says may not be over.

The State Department and the CIA declined to comment for this story.

The first disturbing reports of piercing, high-pitched noises and inexplicable ailments pointed to someone deliberately targeting the U.S. government’s intelligence network on the communist-run island, in what seemed like a bone-chilling escalation of the tit-for-tat spy games that Washington and Havana have waged over the last half century.

But the U.S. soon discovered that actual diplomats at the embassy had also been hit by similar attacks, officials said, further confounding the search for a culprit and a motive.

Of the 21 confirmed cases, American spies suffered some of the most acute damage, including brain injury and hearing loss that has not healed, said several U.S. officials who weren’t authorized to speak publicly on the investigation and demanded anonymity. They heard an unsettling sound inside and in some cases outside their Havana homes, described as similar to loud crickets. Then they fell ill.

Over time, the attacks seemed to evolve.

In many of the more recent cases, victims didn’t hear noises and weren’t aware an attack was occurring, identifying the symptoms only later. That has raised concerns among investigators that the attacks may be getting more sophisticated and harder to detect, individuals briefed on the investigation said.

Though the State Department has called all the cases “medically confirmed,” several U.S. officials said it’s unclear whether all of the victims’ symptoms can be conclusively tied to attacks. Considering the deep sense of alarm among Americans working in the embassy, it’s possible some workers attributed unrelated illnesses to attacks.

Almost nothing about what has transpired in Havana is perfectly clear. But this is Cuba.

For decades, Washington and Havana pushed their rivalry to unprecedented levels of covert action. The former enemies tracked each other’s personnel, turned each other’s agents and, in the case of the CIA, even mounted a failed attempt to overthrow the Cuban government in the 1961 “Bay of Pigs” invasion.

There were hopes, though, that the two nations were starting to put that bitter history behind them after renewing diplomatic relations in 2015. When the attacks first occurred, the U.S. and Cuban governments were hard at work on clinching new commercial and immigration agreements. No new spat among intelligence services was publicly known.

Eleven months on, the U.S. cannot guarantee the threat is over. Last week, the State Department warned Americans to stay away from Cuba and ordered more than half the embassy staff to leave indefinitely. The U.S. had previously given all embassy staff the option to come home, but even most of those struck by the mysterious attacks had opted to stay, individuals familiar with the situation said.

For those staying and new arrivals, the U.S. has been giving instructions about what to watch and listen for to identify an attack in progress. They’re also learning steps to take if an attack occurs that could mitigate the risk, officials said.

But the U.S. has not identified whatever device is responsible for the harm. FBI sweeps have turned up nothing.

So to better identify patterns, investigators have created a map detailing specific areas of Cuba’s capital where attacks have occurred, several individuals familiar with the matter said. Three “zones,” or geographic clusters of attacks, cover the homes where U.S. diplomats live and several hotels where attacks occurred, including the historic Hotel Capri.

Since first disclosing the situation in August, the United States had generally avoided the word “attacks.” It called them “incidents” instead until last Friday. Now, the State Department deems them “specific attacks” targeting Americans posted in Havana, without saying what new information, if any, prompted the newfound confidence they were indeed deliberate.

The most obvious motive for attacking Americans in Havana would be to drive a wedge between the U.S. and Cuba. If that’s the case, the strategy appears to be succeeding.

Last week’s embassy drawdown added to the growing friction between the nations. And an accompanying new travel warning deemed Havana’s hotels unsafe for visitors, threatening to drive down tourism, a backbone of Cuba’s economy.

In Havana, American diplomats are frantically selling off possessions — from mattresses to canned goods to children’s toys — and hurriedly making plans to return to the U.S., where some haven’t lived in years. The State Department has worked feverishly to arrange transportation, temporary jobs and places to live for those coming back early from Cuba.

“Heartbroken? Me too, but this will make you feel better,” one seller posted in a chatroom for foreigners in Cuba, under a picture of a Costco artichoke hearts jar selling for $6.

For Cubans, it may be no better. The U.S. has been providing 20,000 visas a year to Cubans moving to the United States. It has issued thousands more to Cubans wishing to visit family in America. The reduction in U.S. staff in Havana means visa processing there has been suspended indefinitely.

Cuba has vehemently denied involvement or knowledge of the attacks. Some in the U.S. government believe the Cubans may be telling the truth, officials said.

When President Raul Castro denied any culpability in February, he did so on the sidelines a meeting in Havana with five visiting U.S. members of Congress, the AP found. The U.S. had raised complaints about the attacks to Cuba just days earlier through diplomatic channels.

But the visiting lawmakers knew nothing of the attacks taking place in the country they were visiting.

Nor did they know that Castro had used the occasion of their meeting to pull aside Jeff DeLaurentis, then the top U.S. diplomat in Cuba, to say privately that his government was equally alarmed and willing to help.

The lawmakers all declined to comment. Cuban officials say they’re disappointed in the U.S. retaliatory measures but will continue cooperating with the investigation.
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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-04-2017, 01:44 PM
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Shouldn't the Senate be dragging Tillerson in for hearing for not protecting the diplomats and increasing security? Or did they only do that because they wanted to link Hillary to something...

Hell, I bet it is the US black ops who are using this sonic weapon on our own people under orders from the White House to give them a reason to pull out. It fits the conservative agenda and their idiot followers way too much.
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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-07-2017, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
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Some U.S. visitors to Cuba complain of symptoms similar to embassy 'attacks': U.S.

https://ca.news.yahoo.com/u-visitors...222544934.html

By Matt Spetalnick

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A "handful" of private U.S. citizens who traveled to Cuba say they have experienced symptoms similar to those suffered by American diplomats in mysterious health "attacks" in Havana, the U.S. State Department said on Friday.

A State Department spokesperson, who declined to be named, said the agency could not verify the claims but said travelers should heed its travel warning issued last Friday.

The warning urged Americans to stay away from Cuba because of unexplained health "attacks" it says have caused hearing loss, dizziness, fatigue and cognitive issues among at least 22 diplomatic personnel.

The Trump administration on Tuesday expelled 15 Cuban diplomats to protest Cuba's failure to protect staff at the U.S. embassy in the communist country, just days after Washington recalled more than half the U.S. diplomatic personnel from Havana.

Cuba has denied involvement, and Washington has not directly blamed the government in Havana. So far, no probes have yielded any answers about how the alleged attacks were carried out or who was responsible.

The warning said the attacks had occurred in "diplomatic residences and hotels frequented by U.S. citizens." CBS News first reported that some private citizens had complained of symptoms after visiting Cuba.

On Friday, the U.S. embassy in Havana identified the Hotel Nacional and Hotel Capri as the two places where it said embassy personnel had been targeted over the past few months, and said the U.S. government had "imposed limitations on lodging" there.

Receptionists at both hotels, when contacted by Reuters, said they had not heard of any restrictions. Both said they had Americans registered there and their managers were not immediately available for comment.

U.S. intelligence operatives working undercover were among the embassy personnel affected by the attacks, but it was unclear if they were specifically targeted since the symptoms hit staff across a range of job categories, U.S. officials have told Reuters.

The steps taken by Republican President Donald Trump's administration deliver another blow to his Democratic predecessor Barack Obama’s policy of rapprochement, including actions likely to erode the normalization of a relationship dominated for decades by Cold War hostility and suspicion.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez denounced the expulsion of Cuban diplomats as “unjustified,” accused the United States of insufficient cooperation with Cuba’s investigation and urged Washington to stop politicizing the matter.

Theories about the attacks abound, from surveillance technology gone awry to a sophisticated acoustic weapon in the hands of Cuban-American exiles or third-party state actors such as Russia, Iran or North Korea. But no clear explanation has emerged.

(Reporting by Matt Spetalnick, additional reporting by Mark Hosenball in Washington and Marc Frank and Sarah Marsh in Havana; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 10-12-2017, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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First recording emerges of high-pitched 'sonic weapon' linked to attacks on US Embassy workers in Cuba

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/10...y-attacks.html

The first public recording of high-pitched, cricket-like sounds out of Havana could be linked to the attacks on U.S. Embassy workers, according to a new report.

The recording, first released by the Associated Press on Thursday, is reportedly one of several from Havana that first led investigators to believe a sonic weapon was involved.

Of Americans affected in Cuba, not all of them reportedly heard the sounds. But some who did said, while not identical, that the recording was relatively consistent with what they heard.

“That’s the sound,” one witness said.

US EXPELS CUBAN DIPLOMATS FROM EMBASSY IN WASHINGTON

The recording, which has not yet provided much insight about what is harming diplomats, has been sent to the U.S. Navy for further examination. The Navy has advanced capabilities for analyzing acoustic signals.

It is unclear whether the sounds are directly responsible for the attacks, which have been shown to cause hearing, cognitive, visual, balance, sleep, and other problems.

At least 22 U.S. Embassy workers were injured in the attacks that began last year in Havana.

As a result, the U.S. has pulled 60 percent of its government employees out of the country. It also expelled 15 Cuban diplomats from the embassy in Washington D.C.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the move was made because Cuba had failed to protect American diplomats on its soil.

"Until the government of Cuba can ensure the safety of our diplomats in Cuba, our embassy will be reduced to emergency personnel to minimize the number of diplomats at risk of exposure to harm," Tillerson said.

US TOURISTS BACK FROM CUBA CLAIM SYMPTOMS SIMILAR TO MYSTERIOUS ATTACKS

The Cuban government has denied all knowledge or involvement in the attacks, calling the U.S. move “hasty” and “irresponsible.”

The State Department also issued a warning to American tourists, urging them to stay away from Cuba, saying that the U.S. cannot guarantee that individuals staying at Havana hotels would not also be harmed.

Some U.S. tourists have since complained of symptoms similar to those experienced by government workers.

The recording was shared with workers at the U.S. Embassy in order to teach them what to listen for.

Because of the limited information available, the U.S. government has only been able to advise workers that if they think they’re being attacked, they should move to another area because the attack is unlikely to be able to follow them.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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