Feds restore Oppenheimer’s security clearance…45 years after he died!

The Biden administration is vacating a decades-old decision to revoke the security clearance of World War II-era scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer, who is known today as the “father of the atomic bomb.”

In a written statement first shared with The Hill, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said the 1954 decision barring Oppenheimer’s clearance went through a “flawed process” and noted that there was evidence of bias.

“In 1954, the Atomic Energy Commission revoked Dr. Oppenheimer’s security clearance through a flawed process that violated the Commission’s own regulations. As time has passed, more evidence has come to light of the bias and unfairness of the process that Dr. Oppenheimer was subjected to while the evidence of his loyalty and love of country have only been further affirmed,” Granholm said.

“I am pleased to announce the Department of Energy has vacated the Atomic Energy Commission’s 1954 decision In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer,” she added.

So, 45 years after the man died, the military Wing of American Stupid decides it’s time they admit to cruel, illegitimate actions against a leading figure in global science to satisfy the crap ideology and practices of Cold War witch hunts.

Gee. Good thing we needn’t worry about that happening, again. Eh?

Russian rockets land in Poland

There was an immediate storm of reaction after two Russian missiles reportedly went off course over Ukraine and hit a Polish village, killing two people on November 15.

The incident led to widespread calls for Poland to invoke Nato’s Article 5 that calls on all Nato members to come to the aid of any member that is attacked by a hostile power. Some called the missile strike the “Sarajevo moment” of the Ukrainian war, referring to the assassin’s bomb in the Serbian capital that sparked World War I. And conspiracy theories of what actually happened abounded…

According to initial reports, one or two Russian missiles fell near the village of Przewodu in Lublin Voivodeship, on the border with Ukraine, where they hit a farm and killed two residents. US intelligence sources confirmed that the missiles came from Russia and crossed into Poland.

Often…and at best…military hardware relies on explosive force generated over a sizable area to achieve a goal. Not precision guidance.

The latest video news discussions from Europe further advance the conclusion these were Russian SA-20 series anti-aircraft missiles. Typically fired in pairs to bracket incoming aircraft (or, nowadays, incoming missiles), debris has been identified as “probable” Russian-made anti-aircraft missiles.

“What dirty bombs?” – So far!

The UN’s nuclear watchdog IAEA says its inspectors have regularly visited two sites in Ukraine at the centre of Russian claims that Kyiv is preparing a so-called dirty bomb…

Russia has not offered any evidence for its allegations, which NATO dismisses…

So-called dirty bombs contain radioactive material, such as uranium, which is scattered through the air when its conventional explosive detonates. They don’t need to contain highly refined radioactive material, as is used in a nuclear bomb, which makes them cheaper and easier to manoeuvre.

The IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] said it had received an invitation from the Ukrainian government to carry out “verification activities” at two unspecified locations, adding that the agency’s inspectors have visited both sites regularly.

I know, I know! Who feels like trusting inspectors without knowing much of anything about their trustworthiness and track record. Still, it’s all we have, so far.

An Explanation for UFOs Spotted Above Ukraine

In September, Ukrainian astronomers published a report detailing what they thought were unexplained aerial phenomena, or UAPs, flying above the war-torn region. Now, alien-hunting Harvard astronomer Avi Loeb has weighed in on the science out of Kyiv with a paper posted online on Wednesday…

Loeb is the head of the Galileo Project at Harvard University, a program that uses scientific rigor to search for evidence of extraterrestrial life and technology, and former chair of the school’s astronomy department…

Loeb told Motherboard…the authors of the initial paper out of Kyiv had contacted him with their work but that he hadn’t looked at it. The skies above Kyiv, Loeb said, are the last place people should be looking for UAPs right now.

“In science, we’re trying to minimize the noise so that we can pick up the signal and therefore Ukraine would be the last palace on earth where I would search for unidentified aerial phenomena… The noise level is so high,” he said.

Ukraine is at war, and during a war there’s lots of stuff flying through the sky. Drones, aircraft, and artillery shells, and satellites would conflict with any observations made of the sky.

Lots of useful information in MOTHERBOARD’S article. Interesting stuff. Some crap debunked…and how and where more research is needed.

Walking through walls!

While watching Die Hard the other night—easily one of the best architectural films of the past 25 years—I kept thinking about an essay called “Lethal Theory” by Eyal Weizman—itself one of the best and most consequential architectural texts of the past decade…

In it, Weizman—an Israeli architect and prominent critic of that nation’s territorial policy—documents many of the emerging spatial techniques used by the Israeli Defense Forces in their high-tech, legally dubious 2002 invasion of Nablus. During that battle, Weizman writes, “soldiers moved within the city across hundred-meter-long ‘overground-tunnels’ carved through a dense and contiguous urban fabric.” Their movements were thus almost entirely camouflaged, with troop movements hidden from above by virtue of always remaining inside buildings. “Although several thousand soldiers and several hundred Palestinian guerrilla fighters were maneuvering simultaneously in the city,” Weizman adds, “they were so ‘saturated’ within its fabric that very few would have been visible from an aerial perspective at any given moment.”

Worthy of particular emphasis is Weizman’s reference to a technique called “walking through walls”:

Furthermore, soldiers used none of the streets, roads, alleys, or courtyards that constitute the syntax of the city, and none of the external doors, internal stairwells, and windows that constitute the order of buildings, but rather moved horizontally through party walls, and vertically through holes blasted in ceilings and floors.

The commander describes his forces as acting “like a worm that eats its way forward, emerging at points and then disappearing…Indeed, the commander thus exhorted his troops as follows: “There is no other way of moving! If until now you were used to moving along roads and sidewalks, forget it! From now on we all walk through walls!”

Brilliant article. Equally brilliant description from several sources – describing one aspect of guerrilla warfare. Broadly speaking, a topic near and dear to my heart.

‘Nuff said.

(Thank you very much, Geoff Manaugh)

Putin Accuses West of ‘Satanism’


Russian TV screen grab

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a speech at the Kremlin today where he announced the annexation of portions of Ukraine in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia. In his speech he accused the West of being satanists and said that Russia wants to lead an anti-colonial movement to smash the West. He then formally announced the annexation of territory that Russia invaded and took by force…

Putin’s speech and the annexation of these territories is the culmination of a war that began in 2014 when Kremlin-backed forces seized Crimea and pieces of eastern Ukraine.

“I want the Kyiv authorities and their real masters in the West to hear me, so that they remember this. People living in Luhansk and Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia are becoming our citizens. Forever,” Putin said in his speech, according to a translation from Reuters. “We call on the Kyiv regime to immediately end hostilities, end the war that they unleashed back in 2014 and return to the negotiating table. We are ready for this … But we will not discuss the choice of the people in Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson. That has been made. Russia will not betray them.”

The article goes on and on from there. I don’t care if he believes his bullshit or not. It doesn’t matter much to the occasion. He’s speaking to his followers, fellows-in-arms, True Believers and opportunists alike.

Americans and Brits and NATO parrots will chide his language and choice of rationales for the military acquisition of land and people. The only difference from the same actions by folks who do the same – only under different flags in the West is language and syntax. Imperialism has never been owned exclusively by one nation.

US Army Grounds Entire Fleet of 400 Chinook Helicopters

The US Army has grounded its entire fleet of some 400 CH-47 Chinook transport helicopters after engine fires broke out on a few of them, a spokeswoman for the service said Tuesday evening.

“The Army has identified the root cause of fuel leaks that caused a small number of engine fires among an isolated number of H-47 helicopters, and is implementing corrective measures to resolve this issue,” the spokeswoman, Cynthia Smith said in a statement…

The iconic twin-engine aircraft, an Army workhorse for six decades, is manufactured by the Boeing Co. and its engines are made by Honeywell International Inc…

Boeing referred questions to the Army. Honeywell said in a statement that, working with the Army, it had “helped discover that O-rings not meeting Honeywell design specifications had been installed in some T55 engines during routine and scheduled maintenance at an Army depot.

In other words, installing replacement O-rings from Uncle Fred’s O-ring Bargain Store was a mistake.

Samuel Sandoval, one of the last remaining Navajo Code Talkers, has died at age 98


Samuel Sandoval in 2013

Samuel Sandoval, one of the last remaining Navajo Code Talkers who transmitted messages in World War II using a code based on their native language, has died…

Hundreds of Navajos were recruited from the vast Navajo Nation to serve as Code Talkers with the U.S. Marine Corps. Only three are still alive today: Peter MacDonald, John Kinsel Sr. and Thomas H. Begay.

The Code Talkers took part in every assault the Marines conducted in the Pacific, sending thousands of messages without error on Japanese troop movements, battlefield tactics and other communications critical to the war’s ultimate outcome. The code, based on the then-unwritten Navajo language, confounded Japanese military cryptologists and is credited with helping the U.S. win the war.

Samuel Sandoval was on Okinawa when got word from another Navajo Code Talker that the Japanese had surrendered and relayed the message to higher-ups…

The Navajo men are celebrated annually on Aug. 14. Samuel Sandoval was looking forward to that date and seeing a museum built near the Navajo Nation capital of Window Rock to honor the Code Talkers…

I met a few Code Talkers BITD when I lived in Chinle, Arizona, in the Navajo Nation. They all were treated as heroes of World War 2. Deservedly.