Agents of the Soviet Union beamed microwaves at U.S. diplomats for over a decade during the Cold War, in an episode remarkably similar to the intentional deafening of Americans stationed in Havana throughout 2016.
The microwave beaming potentially affected “thousands” of U.S. diplomats over the years, former Foreign Service Officer James Schumaker recalled in an oral history highlighted recently by Diplopundit. “One concern was that the Soviets were trying to inflict physical harm on the Americans working there,” Schumaker said.
U.S. officials also believed the microwaves may have been used to disrupt official communication channels and other sensitive equipment.
Russia’s harassing of U.S. diplomats did not stop with the fall of the Soviet Union. The government has been involved in a number of high-profile incidents with U.S. diplomats in recent years.
During former President Barack Obama’s first term, Russian spies broke into the United States defense attache’s home and assassinated his dog, The Washington Post reported based on memos. In another stunning instance, a Russian spy broke into one U.S. diplomat’s house and defecated in the middle of his living room carpet.
Russian spies reportedly routinely break into U.S. diplomats houses to turn all the lights and TV on, just to signal that U.S. diplomats are vulnerable in Europe. In Moscow, U.S. diplomats can expect to have their tires slashed and be followed constantly.
The use of invisible weapons to effect bodily harm is once again under investigation by the U.S. Department of State after 16 diplomats were targeted by a non-audible device in Cuba for months. A number of Canadian diplomats were similarly affected by the device, which caused hearing loss and some headaches.
“We’re not assigning responsibility at this point,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Thursday. “The investigation is ongoing,” she noted. Nauert’s statements have been careful to avoid any insinuation of blame on the Cuban government.
The Cuban government has also vociferously denied its involvement in the operation, saying, “Cuba has never allowed, or will it allow, the Cuban territory to be used for any action against accredited diplomatic officials or their families, without exception.”
U.S. investigators told the Associated Press in early August they are also exploring whether a third country operating in Cuba may have been responsible for the attacks, including Russia.
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