And Ambassador Pamela Spratlen, the State Department’s top official placed in charge of coordinating the department’s response to the ongoing attacks, is leaving after just six months on the job.
“The attacks continue, people are really getting hurt, and I think that it’s just incumbent on the U.S. government to find out who’s behind this.” Marc Polymeropoulos, a 26-year veteran of the CIA, aan Fox News gesê. Polymeropolous was forced to medically retire in July 2019 from overseeing clandestine operations in Europe.
Polymeropolous was targeted during a trip to Moscow in December 2017 and began having debilitating vertigo, dizziness and nausea. He’s one of 200 Amerikaanse. diplomats and spies to experience the debilitating ailment in the past five years.
“This is a terror weapon. This is an act of war,” said Polymeropolous, recently hospitalized again due to ongoing symptoms. “At one point it was plausible that this was a signals intelligence collection system, but I think now we’re looking at a device that is designed to terrorize, that is designed to incapacitate. It’s taking our officers off the battlefield. En, in werklikheid, it’s actually leaving them … severely impaired.”
The first cases were reported near the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Kuba, in 2016 and were largely assumed to be the work of Russia. But U.S. officials still can’t say for certain if one country is behind the attacks or if these mysterious weapons may have been shared with other U.S. adversaries.
Betekenis. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., demanded accountability in a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken after State Department employees were denied treatment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Walter Reed’s National Intrepid Center of Excellence is considered the top treatment facility for traumatic brain injuries.
“One of the frustrating parts of this that just flabbergasted me is that if this were a soldier injured on the battlefield, there would be no question about getting his or her traumatic brain injury treated,” Collins told Fox News.
“It is terrible that these civilian employees have had to go through so much red tape and battle to get access to Walter Reed’s program for traumatic brain injury and care, other care that they need.”
Shaheen indicated in an interview with MSNBC that Ambassador Spratlen had been fired due to inaction. A State Department spokesman said Spratlen “recently reached the threshold of hours of labor permitted,” under her retired status. “We thank her for her service and invaluable contributions to the efforts of the task force.”
While presenting new legislation — Helping American Victims Afflicted by Neurological Attacks Act , or the HAVANA Act — Collins demanded the U.S. government determine who is behind the attacks. The new legislation expected to be signed by President Biden next week will reimburse U.S. government employees for medical treatment related to Havana Syndrome symptoms that they have had to pay out of pocket for until now.
“Their conditions are believed to be the consequence of a mysterious, directed energy weapon used by an adversary,” Collins said on the Senate floor.
In an interview with Fox News, Collins was asked whether she considered these attacks an act of war.
“I consider this to be an attack on the United States of America, and it is not right that our adversaries are wielding this mysterious weapon,” Collins gesê.
“If we have an adversarial country that is deliberately targeting our government employees that are serving us, that comes awfully close to me to being a deliberate attack on the United States and an act of war.”
Meer as 200 officials have experienced these apparent brain injuries, including a member of CIA director William Burns’ team on a recent trip to India. Staff working for Vice President Kamala Harris were targeted on a recent trip to Vietnam, and more cases have emerged in Vienna, long known as a den of spies.
The deputy director of the CIA, David Cohen, addressed the ongoing directed energy attacks at an intelligence conference.
“I can’t tell you whether it’s going to be tomorrow or next week or six months from now, but this is a serious issue. It’s real. It’s affecting our officers, it’s affecting others around the community and in government. We’re going to figure it out,” Cohen told the Intelligence National Security Alliance Sept. 13.
The CIA has enlisted members of the team that hunted Usuma bin Laden to figure out who is behind these attacks and if they’ve shared these weapons with other adversaries.
The removal of the CIA’s top officer from his post in Vienna due to mismanagement of ongoing Havana Syndrome cases, which was first reported by the Washington Post, is expected to send a message that leaders must take these reports seriously.