Target USA Podcast by WTOP

Target USA -- Episode 78: US diplomats sickened, forced to leave Cuba after invisible attacker struck

"Official" Washington was rattled on Aug. 9 when news broke that U.S. diplomats in Havana had been sickened a mysterious illness that no one could put their finger on. It was so bad that several had to be sent home or reassigned. It had been going on for months. But no one had any answers until doctors determined they were likely suffering from some kind of ultrasonic device. It is a weapon that authorities struggled to define. CBS correspondent Steve Dorsey broke the story. He tells Target USA what he's learned. Also, former State Department counterintelligence official Robert Booth tells us he believes he's figured out what happened.

00:00:00 8/17/2017

Past Episodes

This is a special preview program designed to set the stage for a series of podcasts that will be the culmination of more than a year and a half of research and preparation. The series will focus on the U.S.-Russia enigma, and the life and death struggle underway in the shadows. A number of outspoken voices have faced this struggle head on. Some have won and some have lost. Each day the struggle grows more and more critical.
00:26:47 10/18/2018
The Trump administration has ordered the Palestine Liberation Organization delegation office in Washington to close on Oct. 10. Maen Areikat, former chief representative of the General Delegation of the PLO Delegation, told Target USA that the Trump administration is shortsighted. But Kenneth Bricker, a spokesman for The Israel Project, said the PLO provoked the action. We hear both sides on this episode.
00:00:00 10/10/2018
The U.S. is struggling with the effects of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and the upcoming 2018 midterm elections. This isn't the first time such an operation has taken place. Estonia found itself the victim of a similar attack in 2007. On this episode, Jonatan Vseviov, Estonia's U.S. ambassador, explains how the U.S. can recover and become resilient to such attacks.
00:37:09 10/3/2018
Senator Mark Warner, D-Va., spoke exclusively with Target USA and confirmed that four of the five key phases of the probe are finished. The fifth and the most potentially explosive -- the question of whether there was collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin -- is now in progress. During the interview, Warner revealed his belief that Kremlin meddling is not just limited to cyber-attacks and disinformation, but that it may involve people working inside the U.S.
00:36:04 9/26/2018
Marat Mindiyarov worked in the nerve center of Russia's infamous St. Petersburg troll house. He saw the plan, reluctantly participated in the plot and played a key role in the Internet Research Agency. The organization conducted an operation to trick Americans on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms into believing a Kremlin-backed disinformation campaign -- until he could no longer put up with the hours, the drudgery and diabolical plot. So he quit and began sounding alarm. Shortly afterward he was arrested. We have all the details on this episode.
00:32:01 9/19/2018
In March, Pyongyang said it would suspend its nuclear and missile testing programs if the U.S. would sit down and discuss how to improve relations. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un did just that. At that time Pyongyang said it would completely give up its nuclear program if it were to get security guarantees. Skeptics found that hard to believe. But on this program, Ambassador Joe Detrani, a former U.S. official who has sat across the negotiating table from North Korean representatives, tells us that making a nuclear deal is going to be difficult, but it can be done.
00:00:00 9/12/2018

After almost a year of silence and three years since he was last seen in public, Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi released an audio message on Aug. 22 ostensibly admitting that the brutal terror group had been defeated by the U.S.-led coalition. But in that same message, the crafty, self-appointed caliph tried to rally his troops, the total number of which is disputed. He called on them to launch an insurgency -- something U.S. military officials say will not succeed. In this episode, Col. Sean Ryan, spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, and Pentagon Press Secretary Dana White join Target USA to talk about the status of the mission to defeat IS and the size of the organization, and to deliver a prognosis for the fight.

00:24:34 9/6/2018
When President Donald Trump announced that former CIA Director John Brennan's security clearance was revoked for being too critical of the president, former intelligence community members erupted, fervently defending Brennan. While making it clear that some of them disagreed with Brennan's comments and tone, they were clear. They were firmly behind his right to speak. David Priess, retired CIA officer and former presidential briefer, discussed the impact of the revocation with Target USA.
00:00:00 8/29/2018
Tunisia considers itself the U.S.' oldest friend. But in recent years, that friendship has been tested. Foreign Minister Khemaies Jhinaoui came to the U.S. in July to meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other U.S. officials to talk things over. Before his meeting with Pompeo, he sat down with Target USA.
00:00:00 8/22/2018
Bill Browder says he's Russian President Vladimir Putin No. 1 enemy. The reason is the Magnitsky Act, which punishes Russia for corruption. Browder says the Russian government has spent millions of dollars to capture him. He believes they're trying to kill him. In early June, a bizarre episode played out in Madrid that seems to confirm that claim. Browder spoke to Target USA about what happened.
00:00:00 8/15/2018

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