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Brainwashed for War With Russia

 https://original.antiwar.com/mcgovern/2022/09/21/brainwashed-for-war-with-russia/ by Ray McGovern ,

Thanks to Establishment media, the sorcerer apprentices advising President Joe Biden – I refer to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, national security adviser Jacob Sullivan, and China specialist Kurt Campbell – will have no trouble rallying Americans for the widest war in 77 years, starting in Ukraine, and maybe spreading to China. And, shockingly, under false pretenses.

Most Americans are oblivious to the reality that Western media are owned and operated by the same corporations that make massive profits by helping to stoke small wars and then peddling the necessary weapons. Corporate leaders, and Ivy-mantled elites, educated to believe in U.S. “exceptionalism,” find the lucre and the luster too lucrative to be able to think straight. They deceive themselves into thinking that (a) the US cannot lose a war; (b) escalation can be calibrated and wider war can be limited to Europe; and (c) China can be expected to just sit on the sidelines. The attitude, consciously or unconsciously, “Not to worry. And, in any case, the lucre and luster are worth the risk.”

The media also know they can always trot out died-in-the-wool Russophobes to “explain,” for example, why the Russians are “almost genetically driven” to do evil (James Clapper, former National Intelligence Director and now hired savant on CNN); or Fiona Hill (former National Intelligence Officer for Russia), who insists “Putin wants to evict the United States from Europe … As he might put it: “Goodbye, America. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”

Absent a miraculous appearance of clearer heads with a less benighted attitude toward the core interests of Russia in Ukraine, and China in Taiwan, historians who survive to record the war now on our doorstep will describe it as the result of hubris and stupidity run amok. Objective historians may even note that one of their colleagues – Professor John Mearsheimer – got it right from the start, when he explained in the autumn 2014 issue of Foreign Affairs “Why the Ukraine Crisis is the West’s Fault.”

Historian Barbara Tuchman addressed the kind of situation the world faces in Ukraine in her book “The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam.” (Had she lived, she surely would have updated it to take Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Ukraine into account). Tuchman wrote:

“Wooden-headedness…plays a remarkably large role in government. It consists in assessing a situation in terms of preconceived fixed notions while ignoring or rejecting any contrary signs. It is acting according to wish while not allowing oneself to be deflected by the facts.”

Six Years (and Counting) of Brainwashing

Thanks to US media, a very small percentage of Americans know that:

  • 14 years ago, then US Ambassador to Russia (current CIA Director) William Burns was warned by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that Russia might have to intervene in Ukraine, if it were made a member of NATO. The Subject Line of Burns’s Feb. 1, 2008 Embassy Moscow cable (#182) to Washington makes it clear that Amb. Burns did not mince Lavrov’s words; the subject line stated: “Nyet means nyet: Russia’s NATO enlargement redlines.”Thus, Washington policymakers were given forewarning, in very specific terms, of Russia’s redline regarding membership for Ukraine in NATO. Nevertheless, on April 3, 2008, a NATO summit in Bucharest asserted: “NATO welcomes Ukraine’s and Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations for membership in NATO. We agreed today that these countries will become members of NATO.”
  • 8 years ago, on Feb. 22, 2014, the US orchestrated a coup in Kiev – rightly labeled “the most blatant coup in history’, insofar as it had already been blown on YouTube 18 days prior. Kiev’s spanking new leaders, handpicked and identified by name by US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland in the YouTube-publicized conversation with the U.S. ambassador in Kiev, immediately called for Ukraine to join NATO.
  • 6 years ago, in June 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin told Western reporters of his concern that so-called antiballistic missiles sites in Romania and Poland could be converted overnight to accommodate offensive strike missiles posing a threat to Russia’s own nuclear forces. (See this unique video, with English subtitles, from minute 37 to 49.) There is a direct analogy with the 1962 Cuban missile crisis when Moscow put offensive strike missiles in Cuba and President John Kennedy reacted strongly to the existential threat that posed to the US.
  • On December 21, 2021, President Putin told his most senior military leaders:

  • “It is extremely alarming that elements of the US global defense system are being deployed near Russia. The Mk 41 launchers, which are located in Romania and are to be deployed in Poland, are adapted for launching the Tomahawk strike missiles. If this infrastructure continues to move forward, and if US and NATO missile systems are deployed in Ukraine, their flight time to Moscow will be only 7–10 minutes, or even five minutes for hypersonic systems. This is a huge challenge for us, for our security.” 
    [Emphasis added.]
  • On December 30, 2021, Biden and Putin talked by phone at Putin’s urgent request. The Kremlin readout stated:
  • On February 12, 2022, Ushakov briefed the media on the telephone conversation between Putin and Biden earlier that day.

Unprovoked?

The US insists that Russia’s invasion was “unprovoked”. Establishment media dutifully regurgitate that line, while keeping Americans in the dark about such facts (not opinion) as are outlined (and sourced) above. Most Americans are just as taken in by the media as they were 20 years ago, when they were told there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. They simply took it on faith. Nor did the guilty media express remorse – or a modicum of embarrassment.

The late Fred Hiatt, who was op-ed editor at the Washington Post, is a case in point. In an interview with the Columbia Journalism Review [CJR, March/April 2004] he commented:

On February 24, 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine.


“If you look at the editorials we wrote running up [to the war], we state as flat fact that he [Saddam Hussein] has weapons of mass destruction.” “If that’s not true, it would have been better not to say it.”

(My journalism mentor, Robert Parry, had this to say about Hiatt’s remark. “Yes, that is a common principle of journalism, that if something isn’t real, we’re not supposed to confidently declare that it is.”)

It’s worse now. Russia is not Iraq. And Putin has been so demonized over the past six years that people are inclined to believe the likes of James Clapper to the effect there’s something genetic that makes Russians evil. “Russia-gate” was a big con (and, now, demonstrably so), but Americans don’t know that either. The consequences of prolonged demonization are extremely dangerous – and will become even more so in the next several weeks as politicians vie to be the strongest in opposing and countering Russia’s “unprovoked” attack on Ukraine.

THE Problem

Humorist Will Rogers had it right:

“The problem ain’t what people know. It’s what people know that ain’t so; that’s the problem.”

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. His 27-year career as a CIA analyst includes serving as Chief of the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch and preparer/briefer of the President’s Daily Brief. He is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

September 22, 2022 Posted by | media, Reference, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

64 years later, the Golden Rule takes to the water again to challenge nuclear arms

A crew will sail down the Mississippi, up the East Coast and through the Great Lakes to back the prohibition of nuclear weapons.  

By Randy Furst Star Tribune, SEPTEMBER 23, 2022 ,

In the spring of 1958, four pacifists including David Gale,who grew up in Carver, Minn., set sail from California to the Marshall Islands to protest nuclear tests conducted there by the United States. Their 34-foot boat was named the Golden Rule.

Gale, then 25, became gravely ill and the boat developed mechanical problems, and a huge storm on the Pacific Ocean forced the crew to turn back. A second trip was launched, this time with another pacifist replacing Gale. But the crew was arrested by the U.S. Coast Guard near Honolulu and went to jail.

On Sunday, the newly refurbished Golden Rule will set sail again to protest nuclear weapons, this time setting out from St. Paul down the Mississippi River to New Orleans. It’s the start of a 15-month, 11,000-mile journey sponsored by Veterans for Peace that will eventually take the crew up the Eastern Seaboard, through the Great Lakes and back to the Gulf of Mexico, with stops in 100 towns and cities.


“We want to put pressure on the United States to sign the United Nations treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons,” said Helen Jaccard, the trip’s project manager.

Kiko Johnston-Kitazawa of Hawaii will captain the boat for the first five months, taking it as far as Jacksonville, Fla. He was working last week on some rigging lines at the St. Croix Marina in Hudson, Wis. “I’ve been interested in peace work and nuclear disarmament since I was 15,” he said.

Mike McDonald, past president of the Twin Cities chapter of Veterans for Peace, which is sponsoring Golden Rule events in the metro area, will be on the boat for the first leg of the trip. “If somebody starts a nuclear war, it isn’t going to be good for anybody,” he said.

The 1958 voyage of the Golden Rule to the Marshall Islands was a national news story. During the previous 12 years, the U.S. had dropped 67 nuclear bombs at Bikini and Enewetak atolls, equaling the energy yield of 7,000 Hiroshima bombs, according to Scientific American.

Gale died in 2016 at 83, but his family remains enthusiastic that the Golden Rule is still making a splash — and carrying the anti-nuclear message.

“I’m thrilled it is being renewed,” said his widow, Margaret Gale of Princeton, Ill., also a committed pacifist. “I still believe in what that boat stands for.”

“This is who he was,” said Andy Gale of San Diego, one of David’s sons. “He was a pacifist and felt strongly against war his whole life………………………………………………………………………………….

There will be a Golden Rule Project program at 11:30 a.m. Sunday at Crosby Farm Regional Park in St. Paul, with a potluck and an opportunity to meet the crew before the boat departs.  https://www.startribune.com/sixty-four-years-later-the-golden-rule-takes-to-the-water-again-to-challenge-nuclear-arms/600209583/

September 22, 2022 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

A Nebraska county of only 625 people contained nearly 100 deep underground nuclear missiles, so the US Air Force halted a green-power project that would have revitalized its economy

MSN lvaranasi@insider.com (Lakshmi Varanasi) 22 Sept 22,

  • There are hundreds of underground nuclear missiles across Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming, North Dakota, and Montana. 
  • The US Air Force says wind turbines can’t be constructed within a 2-mile radius of these missiles.
  • Due to underground missiles, a wind turbine project in Banner County, Nebraska, was limited in scope.

The Democrats’ new climate and tax bill will invest billions in clean energy. Here are 21 high-paying green careers for people who want to save the planet. (Business Insider)

  • There are many occupations out there that help the environment, such as wind turbine service technician.
  • The Inflation Reduction Act could mean more clean energy jobs created.
  • Here are the 21 fastest-growing green jobs that also have an annual pay greater than the overall median pay.

Saving the earth and having a lucrative career aren’t always mutually exclusive, and the Democrats’ big climate and tax bill that just passed could mean even more investment in green jobs.

The Inflation Reduction Act could mean many more workers will be needed to fill various clean energy and other jobs in the coming years. The bill also says it will cut carbon emissions by about 40% by 2030……………………………… (Read the original article on Business Insider)

In Nebraska’s Banner County, the remains of Cold War America are buried right below the surface. 

During the 1960s, when the US was locked in a nuclear stalemate with the then-Soviet Union, it began planting hundreds of nuclear missiles across rural swaths of the country like Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming, North Dakota and Montana in case it needed to shoot them into the enemy camp at a given moment. 

Now, those missiles are preventing the region from harnessing its most valuable resource: strong, gusty winds.

The Flat Water Free Press, an independent news outlet in Nebraska, reported last week that in 2019, the US Air Force began to thwart a wind turbine project in the state’s southwest Banner County. 

Two renewable energy companies, Invenergy and Orion Renewable Energy Group, had singled out Banner for its “world class winds,” the Flat Water Free Press reported. They were ready to construct a combined 300 turbines across the region. 

Each turbine would have brought in an additional $15,000 in annual income to the landowner whose property it would be built on. The capital from the turbines would have flushed into Banner’s school system and revitalized the 625-person county. 

But the Air Force contended that the turbines would pose a “significant safety hazard” to pilots — especially during storms or blizzards. The Air Force decided that the turbines needed to be constructed 2.3 miles away from each other to ensure that pilots had enough space to land without potentially digging their wheels into a missile. Until then, a quarter mile between each turbine was had been sufficient.

 “The new guidelines, explained to residents earlier this spring, significantly cut the number of possible turbines that could be constructed.”

Banner’s residents have been left frustrated and disillusioned by the Air Force’s new guidelines. “This resource is just there, ready to be used,” one Banner landowner said. “”How do we walk away from that?” Read the full story by The Flat Water Free Press here.  https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/a-nebraska-county-of-only-625-people-contained-nearly-100-deep-underground-nuclear-missiles-so-the-us-air-force-halted-a-green-power-project-that-would-have-revitalized-its-economy/ar-AA126fRl?li=BBnbcA1

September 22, 2022 Posted by | renewable, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

NuScale Faces Class Action Lawsuit Brought by Former Employees

  https://www.wweek.com/news/courts/2022/09/20/nuscale-faces-class-action-lawsuit-lawsuit-brought-by-former-employees/   By Lucas Manfield, September 20, 2022

Former employees of NuScale, a Tigard company that designs nuclear reactors, have filed suit in U.S. District Court in Portland, alleging the company denied them $100 million in proceeds when it went public earlier this year.

NuScale began trading under the ticker symbol SMR after a merger with a Special Purpose Acquisition Company in May. It was valued at nearly $1.9 billion, thanks to its innovative nuclear reactor design, which was recently greenlit by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The company emerged from research at Oregon State University.

The lawsuit is being brought by 13 former employees who allege that the company diluted the value of their stock without their approval using an “unlawful amendment” to an agreement between them and company. It’s similar to a lawsuit filed earlier this year, before NuScale went public, but this version is a class action on behalf of at least 600 shareholders.

They’re asking for $200 million in damages, along with the return of the money lost in the dilution.

After nearly going broke, NuScale’s founders sold a majority of the company to the Texas-based multinational conglomerate Fluor Corporation for $3.5 million in 2011. Fluor is named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

“They’re screwing the employees of the company,” says Timothy DeJong of the Stoll Berne law firm, who represents the former employees, most of whom were once NuScale executives.

NuScale released a statement to WW saying the “claims are without merit” and promised to defend itself in “the appropriate forum.” Fluor did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

September 22, 2022 Posted by | legal, USA | Leave a comment

US Media Held Murdered Russian Journalist to a Dangerous Standard

Whether or not one agrees with what they are saying, journalists of every nationality deserve protection from those who would use violence to silence them.

FAIR, LUCA GOLDMANSOUR, 23 Sept 22

After the August 20 car-bomb assassination of Darya Dugina, the daughter of a Russian ultranationalist political philosopher, US media outlets quickly branded the 29-year-old as an agent in Russia’s “disinformation war.” Rather than treating her as a member of the civilian press, they seemed to downplay her death as a casualty of war.

CNN (8/27/22) ran an article to this effect, failing to characterize her murder as an assassination, instead stating Dugina was “on the front lines” of Russia’s war effort, linking her to “Russia’s vast disinformation machine.” NPR (8/24/22) reported that  Dugina was a “Russian propagandist” whose killing signaled the war was coming to Russian elites in their own territory. Foreign Policy (8/26/22) called Dugina a “dead propagandist” whose “martyrdom” did more to achieve her goals in death than she could have hoped for in life.

It is certainly true that during her life, Dugina, who espoused the philosophy of Russian Eurasianism, an expansionist political doctrine veiled as an objective analysis of Russian interests, had very little impact on Western audiences. This is true of most Russian journalists, despite the frequent warnings in US corporate media about the threat posed by Russian media messages. For instance, RT, often considered the foremost Russian outlet in the West, accounted for only 0.04% of Britain’s total viewing audience in 2017 (New Statesman2/25/22), and reached about 0.6% of the UK’s online population from February 2021 to the start of 2022—and this was before Western media platforms sharply restricted access to RT and other pro-Moscow outlets in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine.

Far more prevalent for Western viewers is the constant barrage of pro-NATO, pro-Western propaganda that vastly overstates the significance of Russian disinformation. Such was the case when CNN noted that Dugina ran a “disguised English-language online platform that pushed a pro-Kremlin worldview to Western readers.” By “disguised,” CNN is suggesting that the site she worked for, United World International, engaged in outright deception by not disclosing its Russian origins—much like CNN does not describe itself as a US-based outlet, but rather as a “world leader in online news and information.”

Whether UWI is purposefully misleading or not, CNN‘s underlying assumption is that Western audiences are so fickle that the most minimal exposure to pro-Kremlin viewpoints represents a threat to national security. It’s this stance that turns journalists with foreign ideologies into the equivalent of enemy combatants.

If CNN thinks disclosure is what separates journalism from propaganda, it might have disclosed the biases of the sources it used to contextualize Dugina’s murder. The article mostly relied on information from the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab and the Center for European Policy Analysis, both of which are “used to promote the information interests of the US-centralized power alliance in Europe and North America” (Transcend.org9/5/22) and are funded by the US government, European allied nations and weapons manufacturers.

Whether or not one agrees with what they are saying, journalists of every nationality deserve protection from those who would use violence to silence them. So when CNN or other Western media downplay the assassination of Dugina on the grounds that she spread Russian propaganda, or even disinformation, that supported a war of aggression and other war crimes, they are setting a standard that puts their own colleagues at risk. (The exceptionalism that holds that US institutions can avoid the consequences faced by others is, of course, a central pillar of US propaganda.)

US corporate media have a long track record of advocating for illegal US aggression while knowingly parroting their government’s false pretenses. The New York Times, for instance, hasn’t opposed a US war since its tacit disapproval of Ronald Reagan’s invasion of Grenada in 1983 (FAIR.org8/23/17). The Times advocated for the illegal invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq (8/8/012/12/03); the CIA’s attempted regime change in Syria (8/26/13); and US drone wars in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia (2/6/13). With the body count from these conflicts far surpassing that of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, how would the assassination of a New York Times editorial board member differ from Dugina’s murder? Aside, of course, from the fact that Dugina supported Washington’s geopolitical adversary…………………….. more https://fair.org/home/us-media-held-murdered-russian-journalist-to-a-dangerous-standard/

September 22, 2022 Posted by | civil liberties, media, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear Weapon Development and Manufacturing Needs More Cybersecurity, Watchdog Says

Next Gov, By Kirsten Errick,.Tech Reporter, SEPTEMBER 23, 2022

The National Nuclear Security Administration, its contractors and subcontractors need to take cyber steps, according to a new report.

As the National Nuclear Security Administration and its contractors increasingly utilize advanced computers and digital systems to “integrate information systems into nuclear weapons, automate manufacturing equipment and rely on computer modeling to design weapons,” it needs to implement foundational cybersecurity risk management because these systems can be targets of cybersecurity attacks, according to a report released on Thursday.

The Government Accountability Office report noted that federal law and policies identify six practices for a cybersecurity management program. These practices are as follows: “identify and assign cybersecurity roles and responsibilities for risk management”; “establish and maintain a cybersecurity risk management strategy for the organization”; “document and maintain policies and plans for the cybersecurity program”; assess and update organization-wide cybersecurity risks”; designate controls that are available for information systems or programs to inherit”; and “develop and maintain a strategy to monitor risks continuously across the organization.” 

However, GAO found that NNSA and its contractors have not fully implemented these key cybersecurity practices. NNSA has three types of technology or digital environments: traditional informational technology, operational technology and nuclear weapons information technology. GAO stated that NNSA has not fully implemented the cybersecurity practices in its operational technology and nuclear weapons information technology environments………………………………………….

GAO made nine recommendations for NNSA. For example, GAO suggested that the agency should fully implement a continuous cybersecurity monitoring strategy; determine the resources needed for operational technology efforts; delegate risk management roles and responsibilities; develop a nuclear weapons risk strategy; enhance oversight and monitoring of subcontractor cybersecurity. ….  https://www.nextgov.com/cybersecurity/2022/09/nuclear-weapon-development-and-manufacturing-needs-more-cybersecurity-watchdog-says/377578/

September 22, 2022 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

It was set to be Nebraska’s largest wind project. Then the military stepped in.

Flatwater Free Press. By Natalia Alamdari, 16 Sept 22,

“…………………….. With about 150,000 acres leased by energy companies, this county of just 625 people stood poised to become home to as many as 300 wind turbines. 

It would have been the largest wind project in the state, bringing in loads of money for the landowners, the developers, the county and local schools.

But then, an unexpected roadblock: The U.S. Air Force.

Under the dusty fields of Banner County are dozens of nuclear missiles. Housed in military silos dug more than 100 feet into the ground, the Cold War relics lie in wait across rural America, part of the country’s nuclear defenses.

For decades, tall structures like wind turbines needed to be at least a quarter mile away from the missile silos.

But earlier this year, the military changed its policy. 

Now, they said, turbines now can’t be within two nautical miles of the silos. The switch ruled out acres of land that energy companies had leased from locals — and wrested a potential windfall from dozens of farmers who’d waited 16 years for the turbines to become reality.

The stalled Banner County project is unique, but it’s one more way that Nebraska struggles to harness its main renewable energy resource.

Oft-windy Nebraska ranks eighth in the country in potential wind energy, according to the federal government. The state’s wind energy output has improved markedly in recent years. But Nebraska continues to lag far behind neighbors Colorado, Kansas and Iowa, all of whom have become national leaders in wind.

The Banner County projects would have grown Nebraska’s wind capacity by 25%. It’s now unclear how many turbines will be possible because of the Air Force’s rule change.

“This would have been a big deal for a lot of farmers. And it would have been an even bigger deal for every property owner in Banner County,” Young said. “It’s just a killer. Don’t know how else to say it.”

LIVING WITH NUKES………………………..

Today, there are decommissioned silos scattered throughout Nebraska. But 82 silos in the Panhandle are still active and controlled 24/7 by Air Force crews.

Four hundred intercontinental ballistic missiles — ICBMs — are burrowed in the ground across northern Colorado, western Nebraska, Wyoming, North Dakota and Montana. The 80,000-pound missiles can fly 6,000 miles in less than a half-hour and inflict damage 20 times greater than the bombs dropped on Hiroshima in World War II.

“If we ever get bombed, they say this is the first place they’re going to bomb, because of the silos that we’ve got here,” said farmer Tom May.

Every acre of May’s property sits within the two miles of a missile silo. Under the new Air Force rule, he can’t put a single wind turbine on his ground……….

Banner County had what developers called “world-class wind.” Many landowners were eager – signing away their acres came with the promise of roughly $15,000 per turbine per year. The turbines were also going to pump money into the county and school system, said county officials and company executives.


“In Banner County, it would have reduced property taxes to damn near nothing,” Young said they were told.

Eventually, two companies – Invenergy and Orion Renewable Energy Group – finalized plans to put up wind turbines in Banner County. 

Environmental impact studies were completed. Permits, leases and contracts were signed. 

Orion had 75 to 100 turbines planned, and hoped to have a project operating by this year. 

Invenergy was going to build as many as 200 turbines. The company had qualified for federal tax credits to start the project and had even poured the concrete pads that the turbines would sit upon, covering them back up with earth so farmers could use the land until construction began. 

But discussions with the military starting in 2019 brought the projects to a screeching halt. Wind turbines pose a “significant flight safety hazard,” an Air Force spokesman said in an email. Those turbines didn’t exist when the silos were built. Now that they dot the rural landscape, the Air Force said it needed to reevaluate its setback rules. The final number it settled on was two nautical miles —  2.3 miles on land …….

…………………………………… For most landowners, the news came as a gutpunch. They said they support national security and keeping service members safe. But they wonder: Is eight times as much distance necessary?

“They don’t own that land. But all of a sudden, they have the power to strike the whole thing down, telling us what we can and can’t do,” Jones said. “All we’d like to do is negotiate. 4.6 miles [diameter] is way too far, as far as I’m concerned.”

………………………………………. By 2010, Nebraska was 25th in the country at producing wind-generated power — the bottom of the pack among windy Great Plains states.

The reasons fueling the lag were uniquely Nebraskan. Nebraska is the only state served entirely by publicly owned utilities, mandated to deliver the cheapest electricity possible.

Federal tax credits for wind farms only applied to the private sector. With a smaller population, already cheap electricity and limited access to transmission lines, Nebraska lacked the market to make wind energy worthwhile.

A decade of legislation helped change that calculus. Public utilities were allowed to buy power from private wind developers. A state law diverted taxes collected from wind developers back to the county and school district — the reason the Banner wind farms may have shrunk taxes for county residents………………………………..

John Hansen, president of the Nebraska Farmers Union, said pushback over wind farms has ramped up in recent years. But it’s a loud minority, he said. Eighty percent of rural Nebraskans thought more should be done to develop wind and solar energy, according to a 2015 University of Nebraska-Lincoln poll……………

“This resource is just there, ready to be used,” Brady Jones, John Jones’ son, said. “How do we walk away from that? At a time when we’re passing legislation that would vastly increase investment in wind energy in this country? That energy’s got to come from somewhere.” https://flatwaterfreepress.org/it-was-set-to-be-nebraskas-largest-wind-project-then-the-military-stepped-in/

September 22, 2022 Posted by | renewable, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

How we got to an $850 billion Pentagon budget – “independent” think tanks are funded by weapons corporations.

Speaking Security Newsletter | Note n°173 | 16 September 2022, Stephen Semler

Situation

The Senate might vote on the fiscal year 2023 military budget this month. Or it might not; nobody’s sure. What’s for certain is that the bill the Senate considers will have at least as much as $850 billion for the Pentagon. In other words, we’re staring down a $72 billion year-to-year increase in military spending with this legislation: The FY2022 version of the same bill (National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA) licensed $778 billion for the Pentagon.

How we got to an $850 billion Pentagon budget

In March, Joe Biden proposed increasing annual military spending by $35 billion—to $813 billion—as part of his FY2023 budget request. In June, the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) added another $37 billion on top of that before advancing the $850 billion bill to the House floor for approval.

This decision was reportedly a matter of course for the committee. According to one HASC member, there was “almost no debate” on dumping another $37 billion on top of Biden’s own proposed increase. An overlooked reason why the committee’s move was so automatic was the ‘expertise’ that made a $72 billion year-to-year increase seem appropriate or even natural.

Think tanks are said to be free from the ugly forces that bias in-house policy planning—namely, all the lobbying and campaign cash that encourage members of Congress to make decisions based on parochial interests and not the public’s. The problem is that establishment think tanks are corrupted by the same monied interests members of Congress are. In this case, we’re talking about the arms industry.

Every think tank represented in a House Armed Services Committee hearing to provide expert testimony from January 1, 2020 through September 16, 2022 that disclosed its donors received funding from military contractors (the one that didn’t disclose its donors was the hawkish American Enterprise Institute).

The result? Military contractors were able to launder their profit-driven interests through ostensibly non-political institutions, while powerful lawmakers on the HASC got their parochially-driven policy positions validated by ostensibly unbiased ‘expertise’.

September 21, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nevada files motion regarding Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Project, launches dedicated website with educational resources.

Nevada’s staunch bi-partisan opposition to the project

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak, CARSON CITY, NV – September 20, 2022

Today, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and the Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects announced the filing of a new legal motion to bring an end to failed federal plans to construct a repository for the nation’s highly radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain, 65 miles northwest of Clark County’s populated areas.

The motion is being filed before the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission. It asks the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to resume the adjudicatory portion of the licensing procedures so that Nevada may take specific additional steps aimed at stopping the project.

As a companion to the legal motion, today, the State launched a new webpage with resources recapping the failed policies that led to the designation of the Yucca Mountain Project and the geographic flaws in the site.

“It is time to take the lessons learned from the Yucca Mountain experiment and chalk them up to experience,” Governor Sisolak said. “This is a fight that Nevada has battled since 1987. The past three Presidential Administrations have agreed that Yucca Mountain is unworkable. It is time for this Administration and the Department of Energy to follow through and support the case made by Nevada’s leaders, legislators, experts and legal team.”

“I’ve opposed every attempt to revive the failed Yucca Mountain project, and it’s time we take this unsuitable site off the table once and for all,” said Senator Catherine Cortez Masto. “I support Nevada’s efforts to end the licensing process for Yucca Mountain, and I will continue to work with all stakeholders at the federal, state, local, and Tribal levels to find a safe, workable, and consent-based alternative.”

“For years, I have been fighting alongside our delegation to prevent Nevada from ever becoming the nation’s dumping ground for nuclear waste because it threatens our state’s security, economy, and public health,” said Senator Jacky Rosen. “That’s why I’m strongly supporting Nevada’s actions to finally put an end to Yucca Mountain, taking steps that would block future misguided efforts to try to revive this ill-conceived project against our state’s consent.”……………………………………………………………..

“Year after year, we’ve had to fight to ensure that Nevada does not become our nation’s dumping ground for nuclear waste,” said Rep. Susie Lee (NV-03). “I’m proud to sit on the Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Water, where I’ve successfully blocked any funding going toward reviving Yucca Mountain, and I have worked with the Department of Energy to secure a commitment to finding consent-based alternatives to the proposed nuclear repository at Yucca Mountain. Now, it’s time to put an end to this failed project once and for all. That’s why I support the state of Nevada’s efforts to end the licensing for Yucca Mountain and to open the door to a productive consent-based solutions for nuclear waste storage.”

Videos and podcasts on the new webpage feature Nevada technical experts and document the project’s flaws, ill-conceived efforts to address site weaknesses with engineered barriers, and the need for nuclear waste and spent fuel solutions that are grounded in a robust consent-based siting process.

Nevada’s staunch bi-partisan opposition to the project and the history behind it is also featured on the webpage in an interview with former Nevada Rep. Jim Bilbray before his death last year about the so-called “Screw Nevada Bill,” that singled out Yucca Mountain as the nation’s sole repository site.

After more than three decades, continuing to pursue a license for the Yucca Mountain Project would expend additional time, millions more taxpayer dollars on a project that Nevada has demonstrated time and again will fail to securely and safely house the nation’s nuclear waste. The motion filed by the State today is the first step towards putting an end to thirty years of failed policy and acting on the need for a more fair, consent-based process to address the nuclear waste disposal needs of the United States.  https://gov.nv.gov/News/Press/2022/2022-09-20_Yucca_Mountain_Nuclear_Waste/

September 21, 2022 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Pentagon opens sweeping review of clandestine psychological operations


Ellen Nakashima, The Washington Post, Mon, 19 Sep 2022 

The Pentagon has ordered a sweeping audit of how it conducts clandestine information warfare after major social media companies identified and took offline fake accounts suspected of being run by the U.S. military in violation of the platforms’ rules.

Colin Kahl, the undersecretary of defense for policy, last week instructed the military commands that engage in psychological operations online to provide a full accounting of their activities by next month after the White House and some federal agencies expressed mounting concerns over the Defense Department’s attempted manipulation of audiences overseas, according to several defense and administration officials familiar with the matter.

The takedowns in recent years by Twitter and Facebook of more than 150 bogus personas and media sites created in the United States was disclosed last month by internet researchers Graphika and the Stanford Internet Observatory. While the researchers did not attribute the sham accounts to the U.S. military, two officials familiar with the matter said that U.S. Central Command is among those whose activities are facing scrutiny. Like others interviewed for this report, they spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive military operations.

The researchers did not specify when the takedowns occurred, but those familiar with the matter said they were within the past two or three years. Some were recent, they said, and involved posts from the summer that advanced anti-Russia narratives citing the Kremlin’s “imperialist” war in Ukraine and warning of the conflict’s direct impact on Central Asian countries. Significantly, they found that the pretend personas — employing tactics used by countries such as Russia and China — did not gain much traction, and that overt accounts actually attracted more followers.

…………………………. The U.S. government’s use of ersatz social media accounts, though authorized by law and policy, has stirred controversy inside the Biden administration, with the White House pressing the Pentagon to clarify and justify its policies. The White House, agencies such as the State Department and even some officials within the Defense Department have been concerned that the policies are too broad, allowing leeway for tactics that even if used to spread truthful information, risk eroding U.S. credibility, several U.S. officials said.

…………. ..A spokeswoman for the National Security Council, which is part of the White House, declined to comment.

Kahl disclosed his review at a virtual meeting convened by the National Security Council on Tuesday, saying he wants to know what types of operations have been carried out, who they’re targeting, what tools are being used and why military commanders have chosen those tactics, and how effective they have been, several officials said.

…………………… Congress in late 2019 passed a law affirming that the military could conduct operations in the “information environment” 

……The measure, known as Section 1631, allows the military to carry out clandestine psychological operations without crossing what the CIA has claimed as its covert authority, alleviating some of the friction that had hindered such operations previously.

The first defense official recalled:

“Combatant commanders got really excited. They were very eager to utilize these new authorities. The defense contractors were equally eager to land lucrative classified contracts to enable clandestine influence operations.”

…………………………………  https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/09/19/pentagon-psychological-operations-facebook-twitter/

September 21, 2022 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nukes Are Our Corporate Death Wish…the Sun is the People’s Cure

replacing nuke power and fossil fuels with solar, wind, batteries and LED/efficiency means a parallel apocalypse in the world of corporate power—-an end to the centralized multi-national control our global energy supply.

The Diablo deal clearly puts the global fossil-nuclear utility industry on the path to extinction. If these two immense reactors can be smoothly overtaken by cheaper, cleaner, safer renewable energy…what about the rest of the dying fossil/nuke fleet? What does that say about the future of centralized corporate power?

Christina Macpherson <christinamacpherson@gmail.com>7:56 AM (0 minutes ago)
to me

 https://www.counterpunch.org/2022/09/21/nukes-are-our-corporate-death-wishthe-sun-is-the-peoples-cure/ BY HARVEY WASSERMAN, 21 Sept22,

Humankind’s ultimate extinction is now flowing through an atomic death spiral.

A single errant shell at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia…a single seismic shock at California’s Diablo Canyon…can bury us all in apocalyptic radiation.

The eruptions already stretch from Kyshtym, Iron Mike, Castle Bravo, Windscale, SL-1, Chalk River, Santa Susanna, Fermi I, Perry, Davis-Besse, North Anna, Tokaimura, Three Mile Island, Church Rock, Surry, Chernobyl, Vandellòs, Sosnovy Bor, WIPP, Fukushima, Fort Calhoun to South Texas and too many more.

It’s been clear since 1945 that A-Bombs can extinct the human race. Commercial reactors supply them with fissionable material and a work force.

Burning alongside thousands of nuclear warheads there are 400+ commercial reactors worldwide…decrepit, decayed, expensive, under-maintained, unstable and uninsured (except by token taxpayer funds). Six in Ukraine currently tremble in a war zone.

The average age of the 92 nukes in the US is nearly 40. The 1000+-square-mile dead zone around Chernobyl could be easily duplicated by any nuke. Just superimpose a similar lethal wound anywhere on a US map and calculate the damage.

But it’s a double-sided apocalypse.

Bombs & reactors can obliterate the human species with both explosive bangs and the agonized whimpers of radioactive murder.

But replacing nuke power and fossil fuels with solar, wind, batteries and LED/efficiency means a parallel apocalypse in the world of corporate power—-an end to the centralized multi-national control our global energy supply.

Cheaper, cleaner, safer, more reliable, more job-producing democratized green energy stands to obliterate the monetary and political death grip King CONG (Coal, Oil, Nukes, Gas) has on our species’ throat.

The decentralized, community-controlled green vision is as terrifying to global energy barons as is biological extinction to the rest of us. And thus the atomic hucksters somehow try to convince us their apocalyptic reactors are “clean, green, carbon-free,” you name it.

The scam’s cutting edge is now in California, where would-be president Gavin Newson is pushing nuclear power while conspiring to kill renewables.

At the End Time vortex is Diablo Canyon.

For more than a half-century, plus grassroots citizens have fought two atomic power reactors on the central California coast, eight miles west of San Luis Obispo.

Unit One’s first components arrived on site in pre-digital 1967. By 1984-5, when the hardware was already obsolete, more than 10,000 citizens (including me) were arrested there.

As Jerry Brown’s greening Golden State has welcomed more than 17,000 wind turbines, 1.4+ million rooftop solar installations and massive advances in battery and LED/efficiency technologies now dwarf the output from the state’s one remaining nuke plant.

Some 1500 Californians now work at Diablo; over 70,000 work in renewables, batteries and efficiency. Shutting Diablo and replacing it with real green power would add thousands of jobs to the state’s energy mix.

Early on Pacific Gas & Electric vehemently denied that there were any active earthquake faults threatening Diablo. They refused to allow experts who said otherwise to testify in official hearings. They also refused to build in the safeguards required to withstand certain levels of seismic shaking.

But then in 1973 the company admitted that they knew about an active earthquake fault—-the Hosgri—-sitting just three miles from the reactor cores. Just 45 miles from the San Andreas, a dozen more fault lines intertwine near the core. Dr. Michael Peck, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s site inspector for five years, warned in 2014 a likely quake could shake Diablo to rubble.

But the NRC has refused to force PG&E to physically upgrade the facility. Instead a series of “waivers” let Diablo run where any number of fault lines could rattle it—-and millions of us downwind—-to outright oblivion.

The NRC has long since admitted that Unit One is seriously embrittled. It’s well-known throughout the industry that the steel cylinder containing its super-hot core reaction will shatter in a melt-down. Explosive radioactive death clouds will then pour into Los Angeles, the Central Valley and/or Bay Area….and into the jet-stream and around the globe, doing terminal damage to the human species.

Diablo has not recently—-if ever—-been independently inspected. It has no private insurance. There are no public evacuation plans for California’s major population centers.

In 2016-8, then-Governor Brown and now-Governor Newsom helped plan Diablo’s closure. Local citizens, elected officials, unions, regulators, environmental groups and more mapped out an orderly shut-down.

As a result, workers are being compensated, with some retiring, some staying for decommissioning, the younger ones being retrained to work in the booming renewable industry.

As a reward for not meeting legal safety and ecological requirements, PG&E has ducked a wide range of upgrades and maintenance The plant has been set to operate through the expiration of Unit One’s NRC license in 2024, then Unit Two’s in 2025. Its owner has been allowed to ignore routine upkeep, becoming more dangerous by the day.

Hot radioactive water still pours into ocean, killing billions of marine creatures. There remains just barely enough on-site space to accommodate the ensuing spent fuel through 2024-5. Managing more is an epic unknown, requiring at very least exceedingly dangerous manipulations of what’s already in the fuel pools, along with untenable expansions of the dry casks and concrete pads on the site.

The venerable Mothers for Peace—and thousands more—-want Diablo to immediately shut.

The nukes’ 2400 megawatts are already fading below a well-planned, cleanly executed symphony of solar panels, wind farms, batteries and LED/efficiency. Massive off-shore wind turbines will soon send mega-juice pouring into Diablo’s switching stations.

By public consensus the 2016 phase-out plan embodies as rational and well-calculated a transition as the human species could concoct…a model for winding down the other 90+ American reactors, and maybe even the 400+ worldwide. It offers a sustainable green escape from the obscene financial and ecological failures of atomic power to the proven reliability of a Solartopian future.

Which has pitched King CONG (Coal, Oil, Nukes, Gas) into a Luddite state of terminal atomic panic.

The Diablo deal clearly puts the global fossil-nuclear utility industry on the path to extinction. If these two immense reactors can be smoothly overtaken by cheaper, cleaner, safer renewable energy…what about the rest of the dying fossil/nuke fleet? What does that say about the future of centralized corporate power?

With this giant hole poked into the obsolete energy Luddites’ Maginot line, what will happen to the trillions of dollars still sunk in the old ways of scorching the Earth? What will trillions of kilowatts of Solartopian electricity pouring into the grid do to the future of fossil/nuclear fuels?

The industry does not want to know—-and it does not want YOU to know.

Wind, solar, batteries and efficiency already sustain much of California’s and the nation’s grid, now commonly providing the flexible, reliable, low-cost, zero-aaron essential power needed to avoid blackouts, unsustainable rate hikes and lethal climate chaos.

First and foremost, King CONG’s anti-green blitzkrieg disrupts supply chains and assaults rooftop solar with taxes and regulations designed to kill it. Endless genuflections to the dead bird each big turbine kills per year accompany the assault. So do rightful worries over mining of lithium and cobalt, major polluters in regions with bad labor practices.

But these are solvable, non-plutonium-based problems in comparison with mining, milling and enriching uranium while failing to manage its wastes.

No windmill ever killed a fish, but nukes kill billions of marine creatures every day.

Every reactor burns at roughly 570 degrees Fahrenheit, spewing radiation, carbon 14 and lethal pollutants into the eco-sphere. Massive quantities of carbon pour from mining, milling, enrichment and disposal. All reactors and fuel pools can explode at any time.

The Trumpian Big Lie is that these ancient, uninsured instruments of mass extinction are somehow “emission and carbon free.”

So Newsom has strong-armed California’s legislature to trash Diablo’s shut-down deal and hand PG&E $1.4 billion to operate til the next quake blows the place apart.

With utility and fossil/nuke money in his presidential war chest, Newsom is poised to pursue the White House against a hard-right Ron DeSantis who actually vetoed solar taxes like the ones Newsom is pushing.

Polls in both Florida and California show 80% support for renewables. Fierce campaigns now rage against Diablo’s extension and Newsom’s attempt to kill rooftop solar.

The Governor now has the radioactive winds to his back.

But as fossil/nukes scorch the planet, and as their apocalyptic clouds pour over our biggest cities, and as their over-the-top inefficiencies bankrupt our economy, what will be left for his corrupt, cynical ilk to govern?

Harvey Wasserman wrote SOLARTOPIA! Our Green-Powered Earth. His Green Power & Wellness Show is at www.prn.fm

September 21, 2022 Posted by | politics, safety, USA | Leave a comment

The Weapons Industry as a Taxpayer Scam

In all, the top five weapons contractors—Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing, General Dynamics, and Northrop Grumman—split more than $200 billion in “defense” revenue in the last fiscal year, mostly from the Pentagon but also from lucrative foreign arms sales. The new budget proposals will only boost those already astounding figures.

Military contractors and arms manufacturers cash in as Congress adds billions to the Pentagon budget each year.

The jobs card is the strongest tool of influence available to the arms industry in its efforts to keep Congress eternally boosting Pentagon spending, but far from the only one

So far, in the 2022 election cycle, weapons firms have already donated $3.4 million to members of the House Armed Services Committee

There are scant, if any, restrictions against members of Congress owning or trading defense company stocks, even those who sit on influential national-security-related committees. In other words, it’s completely legal for them to marry their personal financial interests to those of defense contractors.

 https://www.commondreams.org/views/2022/09/12/weapons-industry-taxpayer-scam JULIA GLEDHILL,  WILLIAM HARTUNG, September 12, 2022 Congress has spoken when it comes to next year’s Pentagon budget and the results, if they weren’t so in line with past practices, should astonish us all. The House of Representatives voted to add $37 billion and the Senate $45 billion to the administration’s already humongous request for “national defense,” a staggering figure that includes both the Pentagon budget and work on nuclear weapons at the Department of Energy. If enacted, the Senate’s sum would push spending on the military to at least $850 billion annually, far more—adjusted for inflation—than at the height of the Korean or Vietnam wars or the peak years of the Cold War.

U.S. military spending is, of course, astronomically high—more than that of the next nine countries combined. Here’s the kicker, though: the Pentagon (an institution that has never passed a comprehensive financial audit) doesn’t even ask for all those yearly spending increases in its budget requests to Congress. Instead, the House and Senate continue to give it extra tens of billions of dollars annually. No matter that Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has publicly stated the Pentagon has all it needs to “get the capabilities… to support our operational concepts” without such sums.

It would be one thing if such added funding were at least crafted in line with a carefully considered defense strategy.  More often than not, though, much of it goes to multibillion dollar weapons projects being built in the districts or states of key lawmakers or for items on Pentagon wish lists (formally known as “unfunded priorities lists”). It’s unclear how such items can be “priorities” when they haven’t even made it into the Pentagon’s already enormous official budget request.

In addition, throwing yet more money at a department incapable of managing its current budget only further strains its ability to meet program goals and delivery dates. In other words, it actually impairs military readiness. Whatever limited fiscal discipline the Pentagon has dissipates further when lawmakers arbitrarily increase its budget, despite rampant mismanagement leading to persistent cost overruns and delivery delays on the military’s most expensive (and sometimes least well-conceived) weapons programs.

Inn short, parochial concerns and special-interest politics regularly trump anything that might pass as in the national interest, while doing no favors to the safety and security of the United States. In the end, most of those extra funds simply pad the bottom lines of major weapons contractors like Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Technologies. They certainly don’t help our servicemembers, as congressional supporters of higher Pentagon budgets routinely claim.

A Captured Congress

The leading advocates of more Pentagon spending, Democrats and Republicans alike, generally act to support major contractors in their jurisdictions. Representative Jared Golden (D-ME), a co-sponsor of the House Armed Services Committee proposal to add $37 billion to the Pentagon budget, typically made sure it included funds for a $2 billion guided-missile destroyer to be built at General Dynamics’ shipyard in Bath, Maine. 

Similarly, his co-sponsor, Representative Elaine Luria (D-VA), whose district abuts Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipyard, successfully advocated for the inclusion of ample funding to produce aircraft carriers and attack submarines at that complex. Or consider Representative Mike Rogers (R-AL), the ranking Republican on the House Armed Services Committee and a dogged advocate of annually increasing the Pentagon budget by at least 3% to 5% above inflation. He serves a district south of Huntsville, Alabama, dubbed “rocket city” because it’s the home to so many firms that work on missile defense and related projects.

There are even special congressional caucuses devoted solely to increasing Pentagon spending while fending off challenges to specific weapons systems. These range from the House shipbuilding and F-35 caucuses to the Senate ICBM Coalition. That coalition has been especially effective at keeping spending on a future land-based intercontinental ballistic missile dubbed the Sentinel on track, while defeating efforts to significantly reduce the number of ICBMs in the U.S. arsenal. Such “success” has come thanks to the stalwart support of senators from Montana, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming, all states with ICBM bases or involved in major ICBM development and maintenance.

The jobs card is the strongest tool of influence available to the arms industry in its efforts to keep Congress eternally boosting Pentagon spending, but far from the only one. After all, the industrial part of the military-industrial-congressional complex gave more than $35 million in campaign contributions to members of Congress in 2020, the bulk of it going to those on the armed services and defense appropriations committees who have the most sway over the Pentagon budget and what it will be spent on.

So far, in the 2022 election cycle, weapons firms have already donated $3.4 million to members of the House Armed Services Committee, according to an analysis by Open Secrets.org, an organization that tracks campaign spending and political influence. Weapons-making corporations also currently employ nearly 700 lobbyists, more than one for every member of Congress, while spending additional millions to support industry-friendly think tanks that regularly push higher Pentagon spending and a more hawkish foreign policy.

The arms industry has another lever to pull as well when it comes to the personal finances of lawmakers. There are scant, if any, restrictions against members of Congress owning or trading defense company stocks, even those who sit on influential national-security-related committees. In other words, it’s completely legal for them to marry their personal financial interests to those of defense contractors.

The Cost of Coddling Contractors

Continue reading

September 21, 2022 Posted by | politics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Veteran Intelligence Professionals: Ukraine Decision Time for Biden

We hope you have been adequately briefed on the likely outcome of the recent Ukrainian “offensive”

by Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity 

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
SUBJECT: Ukraine Decision Time
REF: Nukes Cannot be Un-Invented, VIPS

Mr. President:

Before Defense Secretary Austin flies off to Ramstein for the meeting Thursday of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group we owe you a few words of caution occasioned by our many decades of experience with what happens to intelligence in wartime. If he tells you Kyiv is beating back the Russians, kick the tires – and consider widening your circle of advisers

Truth is the coin of the realm in intelligence analysis. It is equally axiomatic that truth is the first casualty of war, and that applies to the war in Ukraine as well as earlier wars we have been involved in. When at war, Defense Secretaries, Secretaries of State, and generals simply cannot be relied upon to tell the truth – to the media, or even to the President. We learned that early – the hard and bitter way. A lot of our comrades in arms did not come back from Vietnam.

Vietnam: President Lyndon Johnson preferred to believe Gen. William Westmoreland who told him and Defense Secretary McNamara in 1967 that South Vietnam could win – if only LBJ would supply an additional 206,000 troops. CIA analysts knew that to be untrue and that – worse still — Westmoreland was deliberately falsifying the number of forces he faced,……………………….

All being fair in love and war, the generals in Saigon were determined to offer a rosy picture……………………

The Demise of Imagery Analysis: Until 1996, CIA had an independent capability to do unencumbered military analysis enabling it to speak the truth – even during war. ……………the National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC,) a solid reputation for professionalism and objectivity.

………………………. In 1996, when NPIC and its 800 highly professional imagery analysts were given, kit and kaboodle, to the Pentagon, it was goodbye to impartial intelligence.

Iraq: Retired Air Force General James Clapper was eventually put in charge of NPIC’s successor, the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) and thus was well positioned to grease the skids for the “war of choice” on Iraq.

Indeed, Clapper is one of the few senior functionaries to admit that, under pressure from Vice President Cheney, he was “leaning forward” to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq; could find none; but went along anyway…………………………

Afghanistan: You will recall the extreme pressure on President Obama coming from Defense Secretary Gates, Secretary of State Clinton, and generals like Petraeus and McCrystal to double down in sending more troops to Afghanistan. They were able to push aside Intelligence Community analysts,……………………..

The President, as you well know, deferred to Gates and the generals. And, last summer, it was left to you to pick up the pieces, so to speak……………………..

Syria – Austin’s Reputation Not Without Blemish: Closer to home, Secretary Austin is no stranger to accusations of politicizing intelligence…………………………..  The analysts claimed their reports were being changed by higher-ups to dovetail with the administration’s public line that the US was winning the battle against ISIS and the al-Nusra Front, al Qaeda’s branch in Syria……………………….

In Summary: We hope you take the time to review this history – and to take it into account before sending Secretary Austin off to Ramstein. …………………. (We hope you have been adequately briefed on the likely outcome of the recent Ukrainian “offensive”.)

You may also wish to seek counsel from CIA Director William Burns and others with experience in the history of Europe – and particularly of Germany. Media reports suggested earlier that in Ramstein Secretary Austin will commit to providing Ukraine with still more weaponry and will encourage his colleagues to do the same. If he follows that script, he may find few takers – particularly among those most vulnerable to winter cold.

FOR THE STEERING GROUP: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

signed by 19 highly qualified members of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPs) is made up of former intelligence officers, diplomats, military officers and congressional staffers.  https://original.antiwar.com/veteran-intelligence-professionals-for-sanity2/2022/09/05/veteran-intelligence-professionals-ukraine-decision-time-for-biden/

September 20, 2022 Posted by | politics, spinbuster, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Walkers Count on Local Politicians to Oppose Nuclear Waste in North West Ontario

 https://www.netnewsledger.com/2022/09/18/75-walkers-count-on-local-politicians-to-oppose-nuclear-waste-in-nwo/ By NetNewsLedger, September 18, 2022,

THUNDER BAY – ENVIRONMENT – Approximately 75 walkers took to the streets of Thunder Bay on Saturday to oppose the proposed burial of all of Canada’s nuclear fuel waste in the bedrock of Northwestern Ontario.

The group walked from MP Patty Hajdu’s constituency office (Thunder Bay-Superior North and Minister of Indigenous Services) to MPP Lise Vaugeois’ constituency office (Thunder Bay-Superior North).

The federal government oversees Canada’s nuclear operations including nuclear waste management in Canada, while Ontario’s government makes decisions about the province’s energy sources, and can issue directives to Ontario Power Generation. Ontario Power Generation is the largest shareholder in the Nuclear Waste Management Organization, owns more than 90% of the high-level nuclear waste in Canada, and contributes more than 90% of the NWMO’s operating budget.

The Walk was organized by the local group Nuclear Free Thunder Bay, in solidarity with a similar event earlier in September: Ojibway Nation of Saugeen member Darlene Necan’s “Peaceful Walk Against Nuclear Waste on Treaty 3 Lands”, in which walkers left Ignace on September 1 and walked from Ignace to Dryden and then from Dryden to Sioux Lookout.

“Darlene Necan has done her Walk three years in a row,” said Charles Faust, a member of Nuclear Free Thunder Bay. “The idea of this nuclear waste burial project going forward deeply disturbs our group. Northwestern Ontario is not an empty land – it is home to many people, and is the traditional territory of our Anishinaabe friends and neighbours. It is also one of the least spoiled natural areas in the world. Radioactive contamination of the extensive watersheds there would be disastrous.”

Lise Vaugeois MPP was present at her constituency office and had supportive words for those gathered.

Nuclear Free Thunder Bay, part of the We the Nuclear Free North alliance, opposes the Nuclear Waste Management Organization’s (NWMO’s) proposed plan to bury all of Canada’s nuclear fuel waste – more than 3 million fuel bundles – in a deep geological repository (DGR) between Ignace and Dryden. There is no operating DGR for nuclear fuel waste anywhere in the world.

The group prefers the alternative of maintaining the waste in hardened and more secure facilities close to the nuclear reactors where it was produced. Such an approach would eliminate the dangers of transporting the waste up to 2,400 km by road or rail into Northwestern Ontario and would allow ongoing monitoring of the waste in the event of future problems.

The group believes that burying the waste would mean forgetting the deadliest, most long-lived toxic substance a society has ever produced.

September 20, 2022 Posted by | Canada, opposition to nuclear, wastes | Leave a comment

Space race – the old macho aim – USA and China to beat each other

A new space race? China adds urgency to US return to moon

By ELLEN KNICKMEYER September 15, 2022 WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s not just rocket fuel propelling America’s first moonshot after a half-century lull. Strategic rivalry with China’s ambitious space program is helping drive NASA’s effort to get back into space in a bigger way, as both nations push to put people back on the moon and establish the first lunar bases.

American intelligence, military and political leaders make clear they see a host of strategic challenges to the U.S. in China’s space program, in an echo of the U.S.-Soviet rivalry that prompted the 1960s’ race to the moon. That’s as China is quickly matching U.S. civil and military space accomplishments and notching new ones of its own.

On the military side, the U.S. and China trade accusations of weaponizing space. Senior U.S. defense officials warn that China and Russia are building capabilities to take out the satellite systems that underpin U.S. intelligence, military communications and early warning networks………………………..

NASA, the U.S. civilian space agency, is awaiting a new launch date this month or in October for its Artemis 1 uncrewed test moonshot. Technical problems scrubbed the first two launch attempts in recent weeks.

China likewise aims to send astronauts to the moon this decade, as well as establish a robotic research station there. Both the U.S. and China intend to establish bases for intermittent crews on the moon’s south pole after that…………………………………….

And for space more broadly, Americans alone have tens of thousands of satellites overhead ………………………

The moon programs signal that “space is going to be an arena of competition on the prestige front, demonstrating advanced technical expertise and know-how, and then also on the military front as well,” said Aaron Bateman, a professor of history and international affairs at George Washington University and a member of the Space Policy Institute……………………………….

A 1967 U.N. space treaty meant to start shaping the guardrails for space exploration bans anyone from claiming sovereignty over a celestial body, putting a military base on it, or putting weapons of mass destruction into space.

“I don’t think it’s at all by coincidence or happenstance that it is now in this period of what people are claiming is renewed great-power competition that the United States is actually investing the resources to go back,” said Bateman, the scholar on space and national security. “Time will tell if this turns into a sustained program.”………………………………… https://apnews.com/article/astronomy-russia-ukraine-space-exploration-science-technology-f98448825e588e8902bb74519b55ba9f

September 20, 2022 Posted by | politics international, space travel, USA | Leave a comment