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Home / World / Brain trauma US diplomats have suffered in Cuba, China could be the work of a hostile foreign government – 60 minutes

Brain trauma US diplomats have suffered in Cuba, China could be the work of a hostile foreign government – 60 minutes



In the years 2016 and 17, 25 Americans, including CIA agents working in the US Embassy in Cuba, experienced severe brain injuries that, in addition to other persistent symptoms, led to visual impairment and memory loss. Now we learn that at least 15 American officials in China have suffered unexplained brain trauma shortly thereafter. The FBI is now investigating whether these Americans were attacked by a mysterious weapon that leaves no trace. For many months, we have gathered evidence of a seemingly hostile plan by the foreign government aimed at attacking Americans serving abroad and their families.

Mark Lenzi: It was November 201

7 for me when I felt very dizzy. I got more headaches and my wife also had a headache.

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Mark Lenzi is a State Department security officer who worked at the US Consulate in Guangzhou, China, and reports that he and his wife started to suffer when they heard strange noises in their apartment.

Mark Lenzi: Picture Holding a Marble They had a funnel with them It's getting faster and faster, the farther you go, it's going down the hole at the end, it's a sound I've never heard before.

Scott Pelley: Was there s subtle? For example, "Did I hear that?"

Mark Lenzi: No. It was, it was actually a bit loud. I heard it about three or four times. Always in the same place. Always over the crib of my son and always just before we went to bed.

"This was a targeted attack on my apartment."

Lenzi wears glasses because photosensitivity is one of his persistent symptoms.

Mark Lenzi: The symptoms got worse and worse with me. My headaches were getting worse. The most worrying symptom for me was memory loss, especially short-term memory loss.

Mark Lenzi believes he was targeted for his work. He uses top-secret devices to analyze electronic threats to diplomatic missions.

Mark Lenzi: There is no doubt that this was a targeted attack on my neighbor and myself.

His neighbor was Catherine Werner, who lived one floor up. She is a commercial agent from the US Department of Commerce, who promoted American business from the Guangzhou Consulate.

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Catherine Werner: I woke up In the middle of the night, I could feel that sound in my head … Um, it was an intense pressure on both my temples, and at the same time, I heard that soft humming sound and it vibrated, and I remember looking around where that sound came from, because it was painful.

Scott Pelley: When did you first get it? you realize that you are not feeling well?

Catherine Werner: In October 2017, I began to fill my whole body with beehives. Really bad hives. I woke up every day with a headache. Um, I got tired. The simplest things would only make me very, very tired.

Scott Pelley: Were these symptoms getting worse over time?

Catherine Werner: That's what they were. Yes. My symptoms would be so bad that I would throw up, or I would wake up with nosebleeds.

She says her dogs are also flushing blood. Werner assumed her illness was related to China's toxic smog. She did not know it then, but her symptoms were the same that American officials in Havana have suffered since 2016. The local US embassy is almost closed.

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Catherine Werner: We had not heard what happened in Cuba I mean, there were headlines in the news of hearing loss and um, attacks on our diplomats, but we did not know the details.

Catherine Werner became so ill that her mother traveled from the US, to live with her.

Catherine Werner: She spent nearly three months with me, and during that time she also became very ill, um, and she and I sha red the same symptoms.

Scott Pelley: What kind of Your mother had symptoms?

Catherine Werner: Headache and um, ringing in our ears, um, we also started, both have trouble remembering words.

After reporting on their experiences, Werner became evacuated for treatment in the US US agencies investigate, but Mark Lenzi has a theory.

Mark Lenzi: This was a targeted attack on my apartment.

Scott Pelley: It was a weapon.

Mark Lenzi: Oh, of course it was a weapon.

Scott Pelley: An Energy Weapon –

Mark Lenzi: Absolutely.

Scott Pelley: What energy are we talking about here?

Mark Lenzi: I think it's RF radio frequency energy in the microwave range.

A reference supporting this theory was unveiled in 2014 by the National Security Agency. This statement by the NSA describes such a weapon as a "high-performance microwave system weapon that may have the ability to weaken, intimidate, or kill an enemy's time without leaving any evidence." The statement goes on to say, "This weapon is meant bathe the living spaces of a destination in microwaves. " The NSA revealed this in a worker compensation case filed by former NSA employee Mike Beck.

Scott Pelley: Looking back at your career, is there an incident that leads you to believe that this could be responsible for your Parkinson's disease? 19659002] Mike Beck: Yes.

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Back in the 1990s, Beck and an NSA employee were abroad, years later, he says. they also developed Parkinson's Disease.

Mike Beck: In 1996, a colleague of mine, Chuck Gubete, and I traveled to a hostile country and worked there for about a week, not telling where the enemy land – the identity of it. [19659002] Scott Pelley: Because it's still classified?

Mik e Beck: Yes.

as not Cuba or China.

Scott Pelley: You think you and Chuck Gubete were attacked with this microwave weapon?

Mike Beck: Yes. I had a pretty good working knowledge of the intelligence services of the enemy country, what they do with the people, what they did, what their approach is.

Mike Beck says that more intelligence has come in recently, which he shared in a secret briefing with congressional investigators.

Scott Pelley: Mike, you can not discuss any of these details as they are all classified. But do you think the new information that you provided to the US Intelligence and Senate staff is in any way related to what happened in Cuba and China?

Mike Beck: This is relevant to the cases in Cuba and China.

Is an invisible weapon aimed at US diplomats?

No one has officially confirmed that what Beck did to him is related to at least 40 Americans injured in China and Cuba. While Beck suffers from Parkinson's, the youngest patients are treated for the same symptoms that doctors would expect from a concussion. Teena Shetty is Mark Lenzi's neurologist. [19459014

Dr. Teena Shetty: So Mark first came to me and reported symptoms of headache, memory loss, sleep disorders, emotionality and irritability.

Scott Pelley: And what did you do in the early days of it?

Dr. Teena Shetty: I was very surprised. He had neither a trauma nor a blow to the head in the past, but reported a constellation of neurological symptoms that are characteristic of mild traumatic brain injury without head trauma in the past.

Exactly as her brain was injured Subject of a study at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Brain Injury and Repair. Dr. Shetty is not part of this study, but her patient Mark Lenzi is. [19459014

Dr. Teena Shetty: The assumption is that something has happened that has led to functional brain injury in widespread brain networks because it has symptoms that reflect a variety of brain networks.

What Dr. Shetty describes, reflecting the findings that were previously published by the University of Pennsylvania study.

Robyn Garfield: You said that our symptoms are exactly what you saw in Cuba, and that we have the full set of findings you had there.

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Robyn and Britta Garfield Include 40 Patients Studied at the University of Pennsylvania Like Robyn Garfield, a Commerce Department trainer, he was with his wife and two young children in Shanghai

Robyn Garfield: I do not know when the sound started, um, I know it ended for months.

Britta Garfield: I sat g next to Robyn and something, from d I felt like it hit me from the left. Um, and it felt like an electric shock at first, and then it paralyzed me, so I could not move or speak.

Scott Pelley: Did you get hit so hard that you were in danger in the room?

Britta Garfield: Yes.

They say the children have blurred vision and loss of balance.

Scott Pelley: Your daughter literally fell over?

Robyn Garfield: Yes. She fell down several times that day.

Britta Garfield: We went for a walk and she just fell on her face. It was very unusual. That never does. And then she lost her balance a second time and just fell aside.

Last spring, Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo confirmed the case of Catherine Werner. U-Penn found her brain injuries consistent with the Cuban victims.

Mike Pompeop on May 23, 2018: In Guangzhou, we had an incident that the medical indications are very similar and fully in line with the medical indications that have taken place in the work of Americans in Cuba.

But for unclear reasons, the State Department expresses doubts about the other 14 China cases. The US State Department medical office sent Mark Lenzi the following note: "We have decided that your symptoms and findings do not correlate with the Havana cohort."

Mark Lenzi: You tried to deny that. They tried to cover it up. They tried to minimize it.

Scott Pelley: Why should the State Department minimize that?

Mark Lenzi: Because it's China because we have such a big trading relationship. You can push Cuba around. You know, their relationships are minimal. This is another animal with China.

State Department doctors told Robyn Garfield that his illness was due to a baseball injury 17 years ago, which does not explain his wife and children.

Robyn Garfield: It's a very complicated geopolitical relationship between the US and China. It feels so to me why this decision is made.

Scott Pelley: What does it mean today for your benefits that the State Department refuses to call this an attack?

Robyn Garfield: It has a significant impact on our lives. Our finances Probably my career too. I have not been given time for my rehabilitation. Being classified as a pre-existing injury means I do not have a paid vacation. This also means that my medical bills will no longer be recorded after one year.

The Chinese patients have the attention of at least one member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Jeanne Shaheen wrote to Secretary Pompeo: "The group from China feels increasingly isolated and is left behind by the … Ministry of Foreign Affairs."

February 1, 2019 Sen. Shaheen's Letter to State on Attacks

The State Department refused an interview, but said in a 60-minute statement, "We will continue to give our colleagues the necessary care, regardless of their diagnosis or the location of theirs medical evacuation. "A State Department official told us that the Cuba patients were victims of an attack. But the state has not taken the same decision for Chinese patients. The department has asked the National Academies of Science for help with the medical examination.

State Department statement in response to 60-minute questions for this report

The FBI is also investigating. Intelligence officials told us that Russia is a suspect next to Cuba and China. However, when microwaves are used, the technology is not rare. It could be that more than one country uses it. US intelligence still discusses what caused the injuries.

Scott Pelley: You were in harm's way, and you did not know it.

Catherine Werner: Exactly. I did not know and I fear that other people are in danger and do not know it. I do not know what the future looks like for me. But I would do everything in my power to prevent anyone serving in their country from doing so.

Americans are not the only ones who were attacked. According to the Canadian government, 15 Canadians were injured in Cuba, including diplomats and their families.

Produced by Michael Rey, Oriana Zill de Granados and Robert G. Anderson. Associated Producers, Emily Gordon and Aaron Weisz.


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