Democratic Senator Jack Reed, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, announced Thursday that he is opening an “aggressive investigation” into Elon Musk for the denial of services from his Starlink satellite system to Ukraine: “Neither Elon Musk nor any private citizen can be the last word on matters of American national security. »
Vladimir Putin had just praised Musk as an “exceptional person” days after revealing that he had ordered SpaceX to disable communications at its Starlink satellite subsidiary near the Crimean peninsula, annexed by the Kremlin in 2014. In this way he hoped to hinder a Ukrainian attack underway against the Russian fleet at the Sevastopol naval base despite urgent requests from Kiev.
He said he rejected the requests because, if they had been approved, “SpaceX would have been explicitly complicit in a major act of war and an escalation of the conflict.” He feared that the Ukrainian war would turn into a nuclear conflict.
Does Musk threaten national security?
Democratic Senators Warren, Duckworth and Shaheen suggest that Musk and SpaceX are great dangers to the United States and its allies. “We are deeply concerned by SpaceX’s ability and willingness to discontinue its service at the whim of Mr. Musk and in an effort to handcuff the self-defense of a sovereign country, effectively defending Russian interests. »
They want the Senate investigation to determine whether Musk personally intervened “to undermine a key U.S. partner at a critical time and, if so, how and why he was allowed to do so.”
Starlink allows you to use low orbit satellites over the Internet. The system was designed for civilian uses, but kyiv uses it for Ukrainian military communications. After the Russian invasion, Musk provided Starlink to Ukraine for free, while banning its use to operate drones, which are crucial in his fight against Russia.
Musk gives in to the Pentagon
Musk said he would have agreed to the request to expand Starlink’s reach if it had been made by the White House. At the time of the incident, SpaceX did not have a contract with the US military. Since the September 2022 incident, the Pentagon has purchased Starlink services directly from SpaceX, allowing the US government to determine what Ukraine can do with the system.
Superiorly intelligent, Elon Musk – the richest man in the world – is a strange, impulsive and unpredictable being. He suffers from Asperger syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder. He recognizes the influence of the syndrome on his decision making…
A former Pentagon official told New Yorker that Musk regularly held direct conversations with Vladimir Putin. I hope the Senate committee calls him in for questioning about his conversations with Putin and his decision to deprive Ukraine of Starlink services.