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Under Musk, Twitter Continues to Promote US Propaganda Networks

But Musk’s hot take on the Ukraine war should not be taken as proof of Musk’s anti establishment bona fides.

Far from being an establishment outsider, Elon Musk himself is a major figure in the military industrial complex, and represents the long tradition of Silicon Valley giants being thoroughly enmeshed in the military and intelligence wars.


Twitter’s “state-affiliated media” policy has an unwritten exemption for US government-funded and -controlled news media accounts. Twitter even boosts these accounts as “authoritative” sources for news during the Russian/Ukrainian war.

Elon Musk’s controlled release of the documents known as the “Twitter Files” has given us some insight into the inner workings of the social media platform. The batch of docs released on December 20 is arguably the most explosive, detailing Twitter’s deliberate shielding of US propaganda operations. After getting limited access to Twitter‘s internal systems, Lee Fang of the Intercept (12/20/22) detailed how Twitter staff “whitelisted” accounts run by US Central Command (CENTCOM), the unit of the US military that oversees the Middle East, as part of covert propaganda campaigns. In other words, Twitter protected accounts engaged in US psychological warfare operations, even though they clearly violated the platform’s terms of service.

But this is far from the whole story of Twitter’s assistance with US influence operations. A FAIR investigation reveals that dozens of large accounts that are part of US overt propaganda networks are given special treatment from the company, in blatant violation of Twitter’s own policies.

Through a lopsided “state-affiliated” media policy application, Twitter has actually gone against its own mission to provide “context” to users. More acutely, in Ukraine, Twitter actively promoted US funded media organizations as part of the “Topics” feature which ostensibly aggregated “authoritative” sources. The prominence of these outlets on the platform has strengthened their influence on the national media ecosystem, and has helped shape public perceptions of the entire war.

…………………………………………………………………………………………… Twitter rigorously enforces the rules for states the US considers to be hostile. Accounts for major state agencies in Russia, China and Iran are generally labeled as state entities. Media outlets from those countries are also targeted: PressTV from Iran, RT and Sputnik from Russia, and China DailyGlobal TimesCGTN and China Xinhua News from China are all labeled “state-affiliated media.”

Twitter has taken extra measures against Russia after the invasion, adding explicit warnings on any post linking to “a Russian state-affiliated media website”:

…………….. Artificial exceptions

Twitter’s policy defines “state-affiliated media” as newsrooms where the state has “control over editorial content through financial resources, direct or indirect political pressures, and/or control over production and distribution.” But there are several major media accounts that seem to fit this description that have no such warning labels.

None of the major public media outlets in the US, Britain and Canada have received the label. In 2017, NPR received 4% of its funding from the US government. The BBC receives a large portion of its funding from the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The CBC receives $1.2 billion in funding from the Canadian government. Yet Twitter accounts for the BBCCBC and NPR are all unlabeled on the platform……………………………..

National Endowment for Democracy

A look at the US’s soft power initiatives shows far more outlets that ought to fall under the “state affiliated” label. One such conduit for funding is the National Endowment for Democracy. The NED, created during the Reagan administration, pours $170 million a year into organizations dedicated to defending or installing regimes friendly to US policies.

ProPublica (11/24/10) described the NED as being “established by Congress, in effect, to take over the CIA’s covert propaganda efforts.” David Ignatius of the Washington Post (9/22/91) reported on the organization as a vehicle for “spyless coups,” as it was “doing in public what the CIA used to do in private.” The first NED president, Carl Gershman (MintPress9/9/19), admitted that the switch was largely a PR move to shroud the organization’s intentions: “It would be terrible for democratic groups around the world to be seen as subsidized by the CIA.”

NED operations in Ukraine deserve especially close scrutiny, given the organization’s role in the 2014 Maidan coup and the information war surrounding the Russian invasion. In 2013, Gershman described Ukraine as the “biggest prize” in the East/West rivalry (Washington Post9/26/13). Later that year, the NED united with other Western-backed influence networks to support the protest movements that later led to the removal of the president.

The history of the board is a who’s who of regime change advocates and imperial hawks. The current board includes Anne Applebaum, a popular anti-Russian staff writer at the Atlantic and frequent cable news commentator whose work epitomizes the New Cold War mentality, and Elliott Abrams, a major player in the Iran/Contra scandal who later played a key role in the Trump administration’s campaign to overthrow the Venezuelan government. Victoria Nuland, formerly the foreign policy advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney, is a key player in US foreign policy, and was even one of the US officials who was caught meddling behind the scenes to reshape the Ukrainian government in 2014. She served on the NED board in between her time in the State Department for the Obama and Biden administrations. Other former board members include Henry Kissinger, Paul Wolfowitz, Zbigniew Brzezinski and current CIA director William Burns.

After the war started, the NED removed all of its Ukraine projects from its website, though they are still available through the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. A look at 2021 projects shows extensive work funding media organizations throughout Ukraine with the ostensible goal of “promot[ing] government accountability” or “foster[ing] independent media.” Despite their overt funding from a well-documented US propaganda organ, none of these organizations’ Twitter accounts contain a “state-affiliated media” label. Even the NED’s own Twitter account does not reference its relationship to the US government.

This is highly relevant to the current war in Ukraine. CHESNOZN.UAZMiST and Ukrainian Toronto TelevisionVox Ukraine are all part of the NED’s media network in Ukraine, yet their Twitter accounts have no state-affiliated label. Furthermore, some of the newsrooms in this network boast extensive ties to other US government organizations. European Pravdathe Ukraine Crisis Media Center and Hromadske—all founded during or shortly after the US-backed Maidan coup in 2014—boast explicit partnerships with NATO. Hromadske and the UCMC also tout partnerships with the US State Department, the US Embassy in Kyiv and the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

USAID plays a similar role to the NED. Under the protective cover of humanitarian aid and development projects, the agency serves as a conduit for US regime change operations and soft power influence peddling. Among other things, the organization has been a cover for “promoting democracy” in Nicaragua, and provided half a billion dollars to advance the coup attempt against Venezuela’s elected government.

Kyiv Post and Independent

The most popular recipient of NED funds has been the Kyiv Independent, a reconstitution of another NED-funded newsroom, the Kyiv Post. Though it claims to receive the majority of its funding through advertising and subscriptions, the Post website lists the NED as “donors who sponsored content produced by the Kyiv Post journalists.”

When the Post was temporarily shuttered in a staff dispute in November 2021, many of the journalists formed the Kyiv Independent. They did this with a $200,000 grant from the Canadian government, as well as an emergency grant from the European Endowment for Democracy, an organization headquartered in Brussels that is both modeled after and funded by the NED.

After the outbreak of war, the Independent gained over 2 million Twitter followers and attracted millions of dollars in donations. Staff from the Independent have flooded the US media ecosystem: Its reporters have had op-eds in top US newspapers like the New York Times (3/5/22) and the Washington Post (2/28/22). They often appear on US TV channels like CNN (3/21/22), CBS (12/21/22), Fox News (3/31/22) and MSNBC (4/10/22)…………………………………………..

Boosting US propaganda

Twitter’s policy effectively amounts to providing cover and reach for US propaganda organs. But this policy effect is far from the whole story. Through various mechanisms, Twitter actually boosts US-funded newsrooms and promotes them as trusted sources.

One such mechanism is the curated “Topics” feature. As part of its effort to “elevate reliable information,” Twitter recommends following its own curated feed for the Ukraine War. As of September 2022, Twitter said that this war feed for the Ukraine War had over 38.6 billion “impressions.” Scrolling through the feed shows many examples of the platform boosting US state-affiliated media, with few or no instances of coverage critical of the war effort. Despite their extensive ties to the US government, the Kyiv Independent and Kyiv Post are frequently offered as favored sources for information on the war.

The account has generated a list based on what they claim to be reliable sources on the conflict. The list currently has 55 members. Of these, at least 22 are either US-funded newsrooms, their affiliated journalists. Given the complexity of the funding channels, and the lack of information on some of these newsrooms’ websites, this number is likely an undercount:

New Voice of Ukraine (NED, State Department)

Euan MacDonald

Kyiv Post (NED)

Natalie Vikhrov

Kyiv Independent (NED)

Anastasiia Lapatina, Oleksiy Sorokin, Anna Myroniuk, Illia Ponomarenko

Zaborona (NED)…………………………….

Worldwide propaganda network

The US government currently funds other media organizations that function more blatantly as arms of the state, yet none have the “state-affiliated media” label on their Twitter accounts. These outlets are part of the media apparatus set up to promote the US point of view around the world during the Cold War. The New York Times (12/26/77) once described them as being part of a “worldwide propaganda network built by the CIA.”

The network, known as the “Propaganda Assets Inventory” within the agency, once encompassed around 500 individuals and organizations, ranging from operatives in major media like CBS, Associated Press and Reuters to smaller outlets under the “complete” “editorial control” of the CIA. Radio Free Asia, Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty were at the vanguard of this propaganda operation. The Times reported in 1977 that the network resulted in a stream of US media stories that were “purposely misleading or downright false.”

The US government continues to directly operate several of these organizations. These outlets now fall under the auspices of the US Agency for Global Media (USAGM), a federal agency that received $810 million in 2022. That number marks a 27% increase from its 2021 budget, and is more than twice the amount RT received from Russia for its global operations in 2021 (RFE/RL8/25/21)…………………………………………………………………

Twitter, like other SiliconValley behemoths, has numerous links to the national security state. An investigation by Middle East Eye (9/30/19) revealed that one of Twitter’s top executives was also a member of one of the British military’s psychological warfare units, the 77th Brigade. Gordon MacMillan, who holds the top editorial position for the Middle East and North Africa at Twitter, joined the UK’s “information warfare” unit in 2015 while he was at Twitter. One UK general told MEE that the unit specialized in developing “the capability to compete in the war of narratives at the tactical level.” The story was met with near total silence in US and UK press (FAIR.org10/24/19), and MacMillan still works for Twitter.

Twitter also partners with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, a hawkish think tank funded by the military industry and the US government, for its content moderation policies. In 2020, Twitter worked closely with the ASPI to remove over 170,000 low-follower accounts they alleged to be favorable to the Communist Party of China. More recently, Twitter and ASPI have announced a partnership ostensibly aimed at fighting disinformation and misinformation.

Twitter’s Strategic Response Team, in charge of making decisions about which content should be suppressed, was headed by Jeff Carlton, who previously worked for both the CIA and FBI. In fact, MintPress News (6/21/22) reported on the dozens of former FBI agents that have joined Twitter’s ranks over the years. Elon Musk’s controlled leak of internal communications, known as the “Twitter Files,” has renewed attention to the close relationship between the agency and the platform.

Though Twitter has previously denied directly “coordinat[ing] with other entities when making content moderation decisions,” recent reporting has revealed a deep level of integration between federal intelligence agencies, and Twitter’s content moderation policies. In part 6 of the “Twitter Files,” Matt Taibbi reported that the FBI has over 80 agents dedicated to flagging content on the platform and interfacing directly with Twitter leadership. Last year, emails leaked to the Intercept (10/31/22) showed how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Twitter had an established process for content takedown requests from the agency related to election security.

The platform is clearly an important hub for pro-Ukrainian sentiment online, though not all of the activity is organic. In fact, one study (Declassified Australia11/3/22) released last year found a deluge of pro Ukrainian bots. Australian researchers studied a sample of over 5 million tweets about the war, and found that 90% of the total were pro-Ukrainian (identified using the #IStandWithUkraine hashtag or variations), and estimated that up to 80% of them were bots. Though researchers did not determine the precise origin of these accounts, it was obvious that they were sponsored by “pro-Ukrainian authorities.” The sheer volume of tweets undoubtedly helped shape online sentiment about the war.

It appears that Washington understands the importance of Twitter in shaping public sentiments. When Musk originally set his sights on buying the platform, the White House even considered opening a national security review of Musk’s business ventures, citing Musk’s “increasingly Russia-friendly stance.” These concerns were prompted by Musk’s plan to bar SpaceX’s StarLink system from being used in Ukraine, after a spat between Musk and a Ukrainian official. The concerns also came after Musk (10/3/22) tweeted out the outlines to a potential peace proposal between Russia and Ukraine. This proposal was met with scorn and shock among American elite circles, where escalation rather than peace is the dominant position (FAIR.org3/22/22).

Musk and the national security state

But Musk’s hot take on the Ukraine war should not be taken as proof of Musk’s anti establishment bona fides. Far from being an establishment outsider, Elon Musk himself is a major figure in the military industrial complex, and represents the long tradition of Silicon Valley giants being thoroughly enmeshed in the military and intelligence wars.

Musk’s rocket company, SpaceX, is a major military contractor, earning billions of dollars from the US national security state. It has received contracts to launch GPS technology into orbit to assist with the US drone war. The Pentagon has also contracted the company to build missile defense satellites. SpaceX has further won contracts from the Air Force, Space Defense Agency and National Reconnaissance Organization, and has launched spy satellites to be used by the CIA, NSA and other intelligence agencies (MintPress5/31/22).

In fact, SpaceX’s existence is largely owed to military and intelligence ties. One of its earliest backers of the company was the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the same military research agency that gave us much of the technology that defines the modern internet age………………….

After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Musk made headlines by offering to donate his Starlink technology to the Ukrainian government to keep the country online. Starlink, a satellite-based internet provider, was essential to Ukraine’s war effort after the Russian attack disabled much of its traditional military communications. It has enabled Ukrainians to quickly share battlefield intelligence, and connect with US support troops to perform “telemaintenance.”

Musk’s offer to “donate” the technology earned him a lot of positive press, but it was quietly revealed later that the US government had been paying SpaceX millions of dollars for the technology—despite what SpaceX officials had told the public. According to the Washington Post (4/8/22), the money was funneled through USAID, an organization that has long been a tool of US regime change efforts, and a front for covert intelligence operations………………………………………

The relationship between Musk and the security state is so strong that one official even told Bloomberg (10/20/22) that “the US government would also use Starlink in the event of telecommunications outage,” hinting at links to high-level national contingency planning.

Continuity of governance?

The conversation surrounding Twitter has centered around whether or not Elon Musk is a free-speech advocate, though little has focused on the implications of a military contractor having complete control over such an important platform. Though Musk may (or may not) be stepping down as CEO, the platform will remain his domain.

Many things have changed under Musk’s Twitter, but Twitter’s role as a megaphone for US government–funded media has not. It would take a large research study to understand precisely how much impact Twitter’s misapplication of its own policies has on the propagation. But even without this data, it is clear that the platform’s design serves to nudge users away from most media funded by Washington-unfriendly governments, and, in the case of the Ukraine War, push users toward media funded by the US government. Musk’s status as a military contractor only underscores that challenging US foreign policy objectives is unlikely to be a priority for the company.


January 6, 2023 Posted by | 2 WORLD, media, Reference | 2 Comments

CODEPINK calls on Zelensky, Biden and Congress to seize this chance for peace in Ukraine

On the heels of Russian President Putin ordering troops to observe a ceasefire in Ukraine over Orthodox Christmas, CODEPINK calls on Ukrainian President Zelensky, President Biden and the U.S. Congress to also support a ceasefire that could pave the way for a diplomatic settlement. CODEPINK urges Zelensky to reconsider his rejection of Putin’s truce order, which Zelensky described as a “cynical trap.”

Putin’s support for a Christmas truce followed the Russian Orthodox Church’s plea for a ceasefire, as well as a statement, signed by over a 1,000 US faith-based organizations, in support of a Christmas truce, similar to one that arose spontaneously in the trenches of World War I when in 1914 German and British soldiers along the Western Front put down their arms to jointly celebrate Christmas.

CODEPINK Co-founder Medea Benjamin said, “This Christmas truce from Russia’s side is a tiny ray of light in a horrific war. Ukraine should seize the moment and join the truce, and from there all sides need to move to the negotiating table without preconditions. The entire world is crying out for an end to this war. This could be the beginning of a true dialogue.”

CODEPINK’s Marcy Winograd, who coordinates the Peace in Ukraine Coalition, said, “A truce would set the stage for a negotiated peace to end a US-Russia proxy war that threatens nuclear catastrophe. It is incumbent upon Congress and the White House to acknowledge there is no military solution and appeal to Zelensky to support this truce.”
In December, CODEPINK, Fellowship of Reconciliation and National Council of Elders sent the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships the truce statement signed by ministers, priests, rabbis and imams in hopes of ending the fighting that has taken thousands of lives, displaced millions, further degraded the climate and worsened global hunger.

January 6, 2023 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war, Women | Leave a comment

Feds push plan to dispose plutonium using nuclear waste repository near Carlsbad

Adrian Hedden, Carlsbad Current-Argus

Federal nuclear waste managers said they planned to dispose of 34 metric tons of surplus, weapons-grade plutonium at a nuclear repository in New Mexico after the waste is diluted to a lower level of radioactivity.

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) proposed in 2020 a “dilute and dispose” method of eliminating the plutonium from the environment, ultimately via emplacement at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant repository near Carlsbad.

Before that can happen, the NNSA said the waste can be “downblended” to meet requirements at WIPP, which is designed to dispose of transuranic (TRU) waste that can only be of a certain level of radioactivity.

In an environmental impact statement (EIS) released last month, the NNSA said it preferred a plan that would see the plutonium shipped from the Pantex Plant near Amarillo, Texas to Los Alamos National Laboratory in northern New Mexico for processing, then to the Savannah River Site in South Carolina where it would be prepared for final disposal at WIPP.

That means the waste would travel through New Mexico at least twice which drew the ire of watchdog groups in the northern portion of the state, and concern from New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

Public comments were being accepted on the proposal until Feb. 14, and four hearings were scheduled: Jan. 19 in North Augusta, South Carolina, Jan. 24 in Carlsbad, Jan. 26 in Los Alamos and a virtual meeting on Jan. 30.

Information on the meetings and how to comment were posted in the Federal Register under citation 87 FR 77096.

New Mexico the nation’s ‘nuclear waste dump?’

Cindy Weehler, co-chair of Santa Fe-based activist group 285 ALL said the EIS called for the federal government to divert from WIPP’s original mission, potentially putting more New Mexicans at risk of exposure to radiation and for longer.

“Surplus plutonium is not the kind of waste that was agreed to when WIPP was defined,” she said. “We insist on an end to the emplacement of waste in New Mexico. We want an end to the weapons-based radioactive waste coming through our neighborhoods.”

The EIS did list alternatives to the preferred plan, potentially seeing the waste processed completely for disposal at either Savanna River or Los Alamos before shipment to WIPP.  

This could cut down on transportation, but Weehler said the NNSA’s overall plan was symptomatic of a broader effort to keep WIPP open beyond its previously defined closure date of 2024 and expand the kinds of wastes that can be disposed of at the facility.

“We want an end to the situation where New Mexico is the only nuclear waste dump for all 50 states,” Weehler said. “The concern is that if you increase the number of shipments, the number of years, and you increase the dangerousness of the waste, at some point, somewhere an accident is inevitable.

“That would be catastrophic for the community where it occurs.”

Don Hancock, nuclear waste program manager at Albuquerque-based government watchdog group Southwest Research and Information Center said the plutonium waste was never intended for disposal at WIPP.

He said the federal government should prioritize legacy TRU waste sitting at DOE sites like Los Alamos as was the repository’s original intention.  

“Dilute and dispose waste shouldn’t go to WIPP in the first place,” Hancock said. “NNSA wants to prioritize waste that WIPP was not designed for.”

New Mexico, Carlsbad leaders clash over plutonium disposal

In April 2022, Lujan Grisham echoed the concerns in a letter to U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, sharing a petition from 285 ALL that gathered 1,165 signatures in opposition from across the 10 states Weehler said were impacted by the transportation route.

Lujan Grisham wrote that many New Mexicans had “ongoing frustrations” with the federal government not involving New Mexicans in nuclear waste disposal plans that involved the state’s repository – the only such facility in the U.S.

“Specifically, the New Mexicans who signed the petition raised concerns about the transportation of the surplus plutonium waste stream between the DOE’s Savannah River Site in South Carolina and the WIPP,” read the letter to Granholm.

“As Governor, I take these concerns seriously and request that the Department of Energy take action to address the issues raised by New Mexicans.”

But the project was supported by local leaders in Carlsbad, about 30 miles west of the WIPP site, and the city’s Mayor Dale Janway, a frequent supporter of operations at WIPP who argued the program would be conducted safely.

“The proposed action is to dilute surplus plutonium to prevent use and disposing of the resulting CH-TRU waste at WIPP. I support this proposal as a safe, cost-effective solution,” Janway said in a statement.  

January 6, 2023 Posted by | - plutonium, USA | Leave a comment

Australia to buy long-range HIMARS missile system from United States – at unknown cost (? 2 $billion)

ABC, By defence correspondent Andrew Greene, 5 Jan 2023

Australia’s Army will have an unprecedented long-range strike capability with the purchase of the US-made High Mobility Artillery Rocket (HIMARS) system, which Ukraine has praised for its devastating effectiveness against invading Russian forces.

Key points:

  • Defence officials say the use of HIMARS in Ukraine against Russia confirms why it’s needed 
  • Labor says the overall cost of the missiles is over one billion dollars
  • Defence Industry Minister Pat Conroy says it “isn’t useful” to disclose the full cost to “potential adversaries” 

The Albanese government has finalised a deal to buy 20 of the truck-mounted rocket launchers by 2026, while signing another deal to acquire the Norwegian-made Naval Strike Missiles (NSM) for Australian warships next year.

Precise costs of the purchases are being kept secret for security reasons, but the government has confirmed to the ABC the overall figure is “between one and two billion dollars”.

Defence Industry Minister Pat Conroy said during an October visit to the United States he held “productive discussions” with the Army and Lockheed Martin on how Australia could start producing the rockets used in HIMARS.

On New Year’s Day, a Ukrainian strike using the US-donated HIMARS system killed dozens, possibly even hundreds of Russian soldiers in the Donetsk region……………………………….

Congress was first notified of a possible sale of the Lockheed Martin-produced HIMARS to Australia seven months ago, while the NSM purchase was flagged by the Morrison government in April last year………………..

Labor says the HIMARS and NSM purchases will together cost over $1 billion, but Mr Conroy says precise details are being kept deliberately hidden.

“We won’t be disclosing the total cost of the two announcements,” he told the ABC.

“The two combined costs is between one and two billion dollars, the reason that we’re not disclosing the specific amount is that gives information to potential adversaries which isn’t useful beaming out there.”

In its notice to Congress in May, the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency estimated the cost of 20 HIMARS and associated munitions and equipment at US$385 million ($561 million).

January 6, 2023 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

White Lives Matter More in Ukraine

Black Agenda Report Margaret Kimberley, BAR Executive Editor and Senior Columnist, 04 Jan 2023,

The open white supremacy and fascism exhibited in Ukraine are conveniently swept under the rug. Nazis are bad, unless they serve the interests of the U.S. state.

The accuracy of this commentary’s title is borne out by statements made and actions taken by the Ukrainians themselves. In 2020 millions of people around the world protested against racism in the wake of the police murder of George Floyd. Ukrainians made it clear that they were not to be included amongst that mass of humanity and in fact expressed their support for white supremacy.

In June 2020, a group of football fans at a match in Ukraine unfurled a banner reading, “Free Derek Chauvin .” Chauvin is the man who murdered George Floyd. Not to be outdone, members of the neo-Nazi group Nazionalny Sprotyv, National Resistance, marched on October 14, 2020 with a banner that made the point very clear. The words “White Lives Matter ” were written in English and in much larger type than the name of the organization which appeared in small type below. October 14 is celebrated as the Day of the UPA, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, which fought alongside Nazi Germany after it invaded Ukraine during World War II. The words in the pink graphic on the video read, “On the march of UPA Nazis carefully burned the poster of BLM.” Nazionalny Sprotyv is known for its racist, anti-Russian, anti-LGBTQ, and anti-Communist beliefs.

The war propaganda disseminated by the Biden administration and its friends in corporate media tells us to ignore the swastikas, Hitler salutes, and other clear indicators of Nazi sympathies when they appear in Ukraine. Suddenly symbolism which we were told to abhor as indisputable signs of hate speech are now to be accepted or explained away as figments of our collective imagination.

Nazi regalia and symbolism should make assistance to the Ukrainian government an automatic deal breaker. But the U.S. has always been rather flexible in its approach to Nazism. After World War II an intelligence program known as Operation Paperclip brought more than 1,600 German scientists to the U.S. to fight in the new cold war against the Soviet Union. Their links to the Nazi party were covered up so that they might be of assistance to the U.S. Werner von Braun and other Nazi linked scientists were instrumental in creating the U.S. space program.

Ukraine was a divided nation from its very beginnings after World War I, with half of the country hating the Soviet Union so much that they sided with and fought alongside the Germans. January 1 is officially celebrated not just as the first day of the year but as the birthday of Ukraine’s chief Nazi collaborator, Stepan Bandera. The 2023 celebration was no exception but not without embarrassment. The Ukrainian parliament was forced to delete a Twitter post featuring a photo of army commander General Valerii Zaluzhny juxtaposed with an image of Bandera. Bandera massacred thousands of Poles during the war and the Ukrainians had to be reminded through diplomatic channels that everyone isn’t as forgiving as clueless Americans. Just as Operation Paperclip is an inconvenient and rarely discussed truth, Ukraine’s continuing Nazi and white supremacist connections are now hushed up by the U.S. state and its media partners.

It is indeed awkward for Joe Biden to greet president Zelensky at the white house and for him to speak in congress if these facts are openly discussed…………

The Biden administration invitation to Zelensky was an effort to ensure that an additional $45 billion was allocated to Ukraine before the congressional session ended. The standing ovations and blue and yellow flags and cries of “Slava Ukraini!” were orchestrated to get more buy-in at a time when many Americans are asking why their needs go unmet and why Ukraine can’t resume the negotiations it was holding months ago with Russia. It has been reported that the U.S. sent the then prime minister of the UK, Boris Johnson, to tell Zelensky that any talk of peace had to end . Russia was ready to withdraw in exchange for security guarantees and an end to Ukraine’s efforts to secure NATO membership. But Ukraine is the latest U.S. forever war and its people have to suffer and die because of its dictates.

Perhaps the saddest sight of the night of Zelensky’s congressional speech was the adulation he received from some members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). CBC members Sheila Jackson-Lee and Barbara Lee eagerly sought to shake his hand. Perhaps they are unaware of Ukraine’s white supremacist leanings. But that can’t be true. After all, in 2015 their CBC colleague, the late John Conyers, co-sponsored an amendment that would have barred U.S. funding to the Azov battalion and other Ukrainian neo-Nazi groups. The amendment was ultimately removed from the final spending bill…………………… more

January 6, 2023 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, Ukraine | Leave a comment

International nuclear fusion project may be delayed by years, its head admits

Facility in France still far from being able to show feasibility of generating carbon-free energy despite recent breakthrough in US

Guardian, AFP in Saint-Paul-Les-Durance Sat 7 Jan 2023

An international project in nuclear fusion may face years of delays, its boss has said, weeks after scientists in the United States announced a breakthrough in their own quest for the coveted goal.

The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (Iter) project seeks to prove the feasibility of fusion as a large-scale and carbon-free source of energy.

Installed at a site in southern France, the decades-old initiative has a long history of technical challenges and cost overruns.

Fusion entails forcing together the nuclei of light atomic elements in a super-heated plasma, held by powerful magnetic forces in a doughnut-shaped chamber called a tokamak.Q&A

The idea is that fusing the particles together from isotopes of hydrogen – which can be extracted from seawater – will create a safer and almost inexhaustible form of energy compared with splitting atoms from uranium or plutonium.

Iter’s previously stated goal was to create the plasma by 2025.

But that deadline will have to be postponed, Pietro Barabaschi – who in September became the project’s director general – told Agence France-Presse during a visit to the facility.

The date “wasn’t realistic in the first place”, even before two major problems surfaced, Barabaschi said…………………………………


January 6, 2023 Posted by | EUROPE, technology | Leave a comment

Ukraine – The Big Push To End The War 6 Jan 23

Over Christmas I had a short talk with a relative about the war in Ukraine. He asked me who would win and was astonished when I said: “Ukraine has zero chance to win.” That person reads some German mainstream news sites and watches the public TV networks. With those sources of ‘information’ he was made to believe that Ukraine was winning the war.

One may excuse that with him never having been in a military and not being politically engaged. But still there are some basic numbers that let one conclude from the beginning that Russia, the much bigger, richer and more industrialized country, had clearly all advantages. My relative  obviously never had had that thought.

The ‘western’ propaganda is still quite strong. However, as I pointed out in March last year propaganda does not change a war and lies do not win it. Its believability is shrinking.

Former Lt.Col. Alex Vershinin, who in June pointed out that industrial warfare is back and the ‘West’ was not ready to wage it, has a new recommendable piece out which analyses the tactics on both sides, looks ahead and concludes that Russia will almost certainly win the war:

Wars of attrition are won through careful husbandry of one’s own resources while destroying the enemy’s. Russia entered the war with vast materiel superiority and a greater industrial base to sustain and replace losses. They have carefully preserved their resources, withdrawing every time the tactical situation turned against them. Ukraine started the war with a smaller resource pool and relied on the Western coalition to sustain its war effort. This dependency pressured Ukraine into a series of tactically successful offensives, which consumed strategic resources that Ukraine will struggle to replace in full, in my view. The real question isn’t whether Ukraine can regain all its territory, but whether it can inflict sufficient losses on Russian mobilized reservists to undermine Russia’s domestic unity, forcing it to the negotiation table on Ukrainian terms, or will Russian’ attrition strategy work to annex an even larger portion of Ukraine.

Russian domestic unity has only grown over the war. As Gilbert Doctorow points out wars make nations. The war does not only unite certain nationalistic parts of Ukraine who still dream of retaking Crimea. It also unites all of Russia. Unlike Ukraine Russia will be strengthened by it.

Casualties are expected in wars and the Russians, with their steady remembrance of the second world war as their Great Patriotic War, know this well. Screw ups also happen and at times some bad leadership decisions puts people into the wrong place where the enemy can and will kill them. That is what happened in Makeyevka (Donetsk) on New Years day 2 minutes after midnight. Some 100 Russian reservists died. The Russian leadership pointed out that they were killed by U.S. HIMARS missiles. The former Indian diplomat M. K. Bhadrakumar judges that this was a U.S. escalation which will likely receive a response:

Cont. reading: Ukraine – The Big Push To End The War

January 6, 2023 Posted by | Ukraine, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Donetsk shelled in first minute of Christmas truce – authorities

Ukrainian officials had rejected Moscow’s proposal to cease hostilities for 36 hours Jan 23

Ukraine’s forces disregarded the Christmas ceasefire announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin less than a minute after it took effect, by shelling a residential area in the city of Donetsk, according to the local authorities. The truce is supposed to last from noon on January 6 until midnight on January 7.

In a Telegram post on Friday, the Joint Center for Control and Coordination (JCCC), a monitoring group that tracks attacks on Russia’s Donbass regions, said that Kiev’s forces had fired six 155mm shells targeting the Petrovsky District in the western part of the city. No casualties have been reported.

Ukraine conducted the strike less than a minute after the ceasefire entered into force, according to the JCCC, adding that half an hour later, another strike was delivered in the same area with four 155mm rounds.

On Friday, the Russian Defense Ministry said that despite the compliance by Moscow’s forces with the truce, “the Kiev regime continued artillery strikes on settlements and positions of Russian troops.” It added that Russian forces had suppressed several Ukrainian artillery positions that had been involved in the shelling along the entire frontline.

The truce was ordered by the Russian president on Thursday on the eve of Orthodox Christmas after an appeal by Patriarch Kirill, the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church. The goal of the ceasefire was to give Orthodox Christians “the opportunity to attend services on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day,” the Kremlin said.

Ukrainian officials, however, rejected the ceasefire offer. Alexey Danilov, the head of the National Security and Defense Council dismissed the initiative as “lies and hypocrisy,” while promising Moscow that Kiev “will bite you in the singing silence of the Ukrainian night.” 

This sentiment was echoed by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, who dismissed the offer as a military ruse. “Everyone in the world knows how the Kremlin uses ceasefires to continue the war with renewed vigor,” he claimed.

Ukrainian forces have repeatedly shelled both Russia’s DPR and the neighboring Lugansk People’s Republic, targeting residential sectors and other civilian infrastructure. According to JCCC data, since February 2022, when Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine, Kiev’s attacks have killed a total of 4,405 civilians in the DPR and 169 in the LPR.

January 6, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Small Nuclear Reactor (SMR) developers submit 6 designs for UK approval

Institution of Mechanical Engineers, 6 Jan 23

Developers of six new small modular reactor (SMR) designs have applied for approval to deploy them as nuclear power plants in the UK.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is assessing submissions to enter the generic design assessment (GDA) process, reported the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC).

The designs come from established players and new entrants to the nuclear sector, the AMRC said. If they successfully enter the GDA process, they will be assessed for safety, security and environmental protection by the Office for Nuclear Regulation and the Environment Agency. The process is intended to support construction of a number of new power stations, by approving standard reactor designs that can be deployed in different locations.

GE Hitachi submitted an application for its BWRX-300 boiling water reactor in December, the AMRC reported. The BWRX-300 is a 300MWe water-cooled, natural circulation SMR, with passive safety systems adapted from the US-licenced ESBWR. GE Hitachi says it has been designed to achieve construction and operating costs which are substantially lower than traditional nuclear plants, and could be deployed as early as 2028.

The US-Japanese company’s submission was supported by Jacobs UK. GE Hitachi has also signed an initial agreement with Sheffield Forgemasters to discuss how the manufacturer could help meet the demands of deploying the BWRX-300 in the UK.

Holtec submitted its SMR-160 design, the AMRC said, a 160MWe pressurised water reactor developed in collaboration with Mitsubishi Electric of Japan and Hyundai Engineering and Construction of Korea. The US firm proposed to deploy 32 SMR-160s (5.1 GWe total) in serial production by 2050……….

Holtec Britain also announced a joint memorandum of understanding with Balfour Beatty and Korea’s Hyundai on construction planning for the UK, with potential sites identified at Trawsfynydd in Wales, and Heysham and Oldbury in England.

Applications from new companies include:

  • US firm X-Energy, which is working with Cavendish Nuclear to deploy its high-temperature gas reactor in the UK. The reactor is aimed at industrial decarbonisation as well as electricity generation. X-Energy said its first units will be deployed in the US from 2027, with the UK to follow.

  • UK-Italian start-up Newcleo, which is focused on lead-cooled fast reactors. The company is aiming to develop a 30MWe micro-reactor by 2030, followed by a 200MWe reactor fuelled by waste from existing nuclear plants.
  • UK Atomics, a subsidiary of Danish-based start-up Copenhagen Atomics, which is developing a containerised thorium molten salt reactor. The firm said it has already constructed a prototype reactor, and is aiming for first deployment in 2028.
  • GMET, a Cumbrian engineering group which last year acquired established nuclear supplier TSP Engineering, said it is developing a small reactor called NuCell for production at TSP’s Workington facility.

Rolls-Royce SMR is the only SMR developer to formally begin GDA. The firm submitted its 470MWe design in November 2021, with the regulators starting the first stage of assessment in April 2022.

January 6, 2023 Posted by | Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, UK | Leave a comment

Writers protest against imprisonment of climate activists

Ben Okri, Simon Schama, Helen Pankhurst and AL Kennedy are among more than
100 writers who have signed a letter in solidarity with UK climate protest

“That the UK now has political prisoners, incarcerated for
defending sustainable life on Earth is yet another national disgrace,”
Kennedy said.

At least 13 environmental activists began the year behind
bars in UK jails, after a year of “civil resistance” against climate
policies led by the Just Stop Oil campaign. More than 100 spent time in
jail, either convicted or on remand, for environmental protest in 2022.
“We stand with all those who are trying to sound the alarm and to protect
our beautiful world,” said the letter, coordinated and published by the
group Writers Rebel.

Guardian 6th Jan 2023

January 6, 2023 Posted by | climate change, UK | Leave a comment

Enforcement action revealed after Hinkley Point C worker death

THREE enforcement notices have been served on owners and contractors at the
Hinkley Point C nuclear power station development following a worker’s
death in November. The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) said it could
now reveal the action it had taken because the statutory period for
appealing against the notices had passed. It said inspectors issued three
prohibition notices relating to specific activities on the site involving
vehicles and plant machinery.

West Somerset Free Press 4th Jan 2023

January 6, 2023 Posted by | safety, UK | Leave a comment

Japan urged to take calls from intl community seriously over its dumping of nuclear-contaminated water

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning

Jan 04, 2023

The dumping of nuclear-contaminated water is not Japan’s own business, and China is urging Japan to take seriously the just calls from the international community, consult on related issues with stakeholders including its neighbors and Pacific Island countries, deal with the contaminated water in a transparent, scientific and safe way, and accept supervision from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). 

Mao Ning, a spokesperson from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, made the remarks in response to a question about the IAEA’s review of Japan’s discharge plan at Wednesday’s routine press briefing. 

An IAEA task force established to review the safety of Japan’s plans to discharge the water treated by the ALPS (Advanced Liquid Processing System) at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station into the sea has recently released its third report. 

The report sets out how the task force is conducting its independent checks of key data related to the monitoring of the safety of the treated water before, during and after its discharge. 

But Mao stressed the report did not come to a conclusion on key questions such as authenticity, accuracy and whether data was collected in accordance with standards, which are issues of concern. 

The report once again shows that the international community is completely reasonable in harboring concerns over data accuracy, effectiveness of treatment equipment, and the uncertainty of its environmental impact. 

It is reckless and irresponsible for Japan to approve the plan to discharge the nuclear-contaminated water into the sea and forcibly advance preparations for the discharge when the IAEA technical task force is still working and has not drawn any conclusions, Mao said.

According to Japan’s plan, it will start to dump the nuclear-contaminated water from the spring of 2023 despite anger and strong opposition from South Pacific countries. 

Adding to their skepticism is the bad record of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) which operates the Fukushima plant. The company indicated that the vast majority of the wastewater had already been treated until 2018, when it acknowledged that only a fifth had been treated sufficiently.

January 6, 2023 Posted by | Fuk 2023 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Japan slammed for ‘reckless decision’ on release of nuclear-contaminated water

Jan 5, 2023

China on Wednesday slammed Japan for its “reckless and irresponsible” move to push forward a plan to release nuclear-contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the sea, urging Tokyo to fully consult with stakeholders and relevant international institutions.

In response to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s third report on Fukushima water treatment published on Dec 29, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said at a regular news conference that the ocean discharge plan for the contaminated water is “by no means” Japan’s domestic affair.

But as the work of the IAEA’s technical working group is still underway and no conclusion has been reached, Mao described Japan’s moves to push ahead with discharge preparations as “reckless and irresponsible”.

“China once again urges Japan to pay attention to the legitimate and justifiable concerns of the international community and fully consult with stakeholders, including its neighboring countries and Pacific Island countries, as well as relevant international institutions,” Mao said.

Japan should adopt an open, transparent, science-based and safe approach in disposing the water, and accept strict supervision by the IAEA, she added.

Mao said the report focuses on the disposal of nuclear-contaminated water and its environmental impact, and proposes methods and plans for the assessment and review of relevant data.

She noted that no conclusion has been reached yet on issues of great concern by all parties, such as the authenticity and accuracy of data and whether the data collection methods meet safety standards.

The IAEA report has once again demonstrated that the international community’s concerns over the accuracy of data on nuclear-contaminated water, the efficacy of the treatment system and the uncertainty of environmental impact are well-founded, Mao added.

In July, Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority officially approved Tokyo Electric Power Company’s discharge plan, which will be implemented from spring 2023.The endorsement provoked concerns from local fishermen and objections from Asian neighbors.

The IAEA Task Force’s review mission visited Japan in February and March last year and released relevant reports without any conclusive opinions.

January 6, 2023 Posted by | Fuk 2023 | , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima: Japan takes all necessary precautions ahead of plans to discharge treated water

Twisted facts in this pro-nuc spinned propaganda.

  1. The contaminated water is treated in ALPS, the unit that removes virtually all radioactive substances: VIRTUALLY: untrue. Both filtering systems failed to remove all the 64 radionuclides in the contaminated water. They are removed only partially.
  2. But the storage tanks have reached their maximum capacity, meaning they have to be emptied into the sea: Yes but there is sufficient land space beside the nuclear plant to build more.
  3. However, one radioactive substance remains in small quantities: tritium: untrue. After filtering several radionuclides in small quantities still are present in that contaminated water.
  4. Tritium which is inseparable from the water: untrue. Tritium can be separated from water. The technology exists but it is expensive, so Tepco prefers to ignore that solution.
  5. As for the french scientist, it won’t be the first nor the last shill on the nuclear lobby payroll.


11 years after the Fukushima disaster, Japan is facing a new challenge: the discharge of treated water into the sea. Since the tsunami of 11 March 2011, Japan has been continuing the decommissioning and the decontamination of the site, which should last 30 to 40 years. 

But today the priority, explains one official of TEPCO, the operator of the plant, is water. 

“The water that accumulates every day has been used to cool the molten fuel. And there is also water from underground springs or rainfall that accumulates”, explained TEPCO’s Kimoto Takahiro. 

The contaminated water is treated in ALPS, the unit that removes virtually all radioactive substances. But the storage tanks have reached their maximum capacity, meaning they have to be emptied into the sea.

However, one radioactive substance remains in small quantities: tritium, which is inseparable from the water.

After a new treatment, the water will be released into the sea through a tunnel, which is one kilometer long and built at a depth of 16 meters. It will be completed in the spring.

Marine life

In the plant, fish are raised to analyse the impact on marine fauna. Opponents say tritium from a nuclear accident is more dangerous. But Jean-Cristophe Gariel, Deputy Director of the Institute of Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety told Euronews that that isn’t true.

“Tritium is a radioactive element with a low hazard”, explained the French scientist. “The characteristics of tritium that will be released at Fukushima are similar to the characteristics of those released from nuclear power plants around the world.”

Nevertheless, the first concerned — the fishermen of Fukushima — are worried about the reputation of their products.

“What worries us the most is the negative reputation this creates”, said Nozaki Tetsu, Chairman of the Fukushima Prefectural Federation of Fisheries Cooperative Associations. “In terms of the explanations that we’ve had from the government over the last 10 years, their explanations have not been false – so we appreciate their efforts.”

Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is pleased that Britain lifted import restrictions on products from the region last June — a sign of returning confidence.

Tanabe Yuki, Director for International Issues at the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry’s Nuclear Accident Response Office told Euronews, “So far we have held about 700 meetings with stakeholders, including the fisheries industry, to listen to their opinions. We have developed concrete projects to combat the negative reputation.”

‘Remarkable progress’

Japan has taken all the necessary precautions on this sensitive issue of the discharge of treated water and has asked the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to supervise the operations.

In May 2022, Rafael Grossi, the director of the IAEA, visited Fukushima, and praised the “remarkable progress on decommissioning at Fukushima Daiichi since his last visit two years ago.”

The UN agency has set up a special task force. Last November, Gustavo Caruso, the head of this mission, returned to Fukushima Daiichi.

“Before the water discharge begins, the IAEA will issue a comprehensive report containing all collective findings until now, our conclusions about all this process. All the standards we apply are representing a high level of safety”, Caruso confirmed.

The first discharges are expected to begin next year, in what will be the new step in the reconstruction of a region that believes in its future.

January 6, 2023 Posted by | Fuk 2022, Fuk 2023 | , , , | Leave a comment