Thursday, May 24, 2018

Jay Coghlan What’s Not in NNSA’s Plutonium Pit Production Decision

Jay Coghlan jay@nukewatch.org

May 10
to nm


nuclear watch new mexico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 10, 2018
Contact Jay Coghlan, Nuclear Watch NM, 505.989.7342, c. 505.470.3154, jay@nukewatch.org
Scott Kovac, Nuclear Watch NM, 505.989.7342, scott@nukewatch.org

What’s Not in NNSA’s Plutonium Pit Production Decision

Santa Fe, NM –Today the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced:

To achieve DoD’s [the Defense Department] 80 pits per year requirement by 2030, NNSA’s recommended alternative repurposes the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina to produce plutonium pits while also maximizing pit production activities at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.  This two-prong approach – with at least 50 pits per year produced at Savannah River and at least 30 pits per year at Los Alamos – is the best way to manage the cost, schedule, and risk of such a vital undertaking. 

First, in Nuclear Watch’s view, this decision is in large part a political decision, designed to keep the congressional delegations of both New Mexico and South Carolina happy. New Mexico Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich are adamantly against relocating plutonium pit production to South Carolina. On the other hand, South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham was keeping the boondoggle Mixed Oxide (MOX) program on life support, and this pit production decision may help to mollify him. This could also perhaps help assuage the State of South Carolina, which is suing the Department of Energy for failing to remove plutonium from the Savannah River Site as promised.

But as important is what is NOT in NNSA’s plutonium pit production decision:

• There is no explanation why the Department of Defense requires at least 80 pits per year, and no justification to the American taxpayer why the enormous expense of expanded production is necessary.

• NNSA avoided pointing out that expanded plutonium pit production is NOT needed to maintain the safety and reliability of the existing nuclear weapons stockpile. In fact, no production of plutonium pits for the existingstockpile has been scheduled since 2011, and none is scheduled for the future.

• NNSA did not mention that in 2006 independent experts found that pits last a least a century. Plutonium pits in the existing stockpile now average around 40 years old. The independent expert study did not find any end date for reliable pit lifetimes, indicating that plutonium pits could last far beyond just a century.

• NNSA did not mention that up to 15,000 “excess” pits are already stored at the Pantex Plant near Amarillo, TX, with up to another 5,000 in “strategic reserve.” The agency did not explain why new production is needed given that immense inventory of already existing plutonium pits.

• Related, NNSA did not explain how to dispose of all of that plutonium, given that the MOX program is an abysmal failure. Nor is it made clear where future plutonium wastes from expanded pit production will go since operations at the troubled Waste Isolation Pilot Plant are already constrained from a ruptured radioactive waste barrel, and its capacity is already overcommitted to existing radioactive wastes.

• NNSA did not make clear that expanded plutonium pit production is for a series of speculative future “Interoperable Warheads.” The first IW is meant to replace nuclear warheads for both the Air Force’s land-based and the Navy’s sub-launched ballistic missiles. The Obama Administration delayed “IW-1” because the Navy does not support it. However, the Trump Administration is restarting it, with annual funding ballooning to $448 million by 2023, and “IW-2” starting in that same year. Altogether the three planned Interoperable Warheads will cost at least $40 billion, despite the fact that the Navy doesn’t support them.[1]

• NNSA’s expanded plutonium pit production decision did not mention that exact replicas of existing pits will NOT be produced. The agency has selected the W87 pit for the Interoperable Warhead, but its FY 2019 budget request repeatedly states that the pits will actually be “W87-like.” This could have serious potential consequences because any major modifications to plutonium pits cannot be full-scale tested, or alternatively could prompt the U.S. to return to nuclear weapons testing, which would have severe international proliferation consequences.

• The State of South Carolina is already suing the Department of Energy for its failure to begin removing the many tons of plutonium at the Savannah River Site (SRS). NNSA’s pit production decision will not solve that problem, even as it will likely bring more plutonium to SRS.

• The independent Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board has expressed strong concerns about the safety of plutonium operations at both the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) LANL and SRS, particularly regarding potential nuclear criticality incidents.[2] NNSA did not address those safety concerns in its plutonium pit production decision.

• Politicians in both New Mexico and South Carolina trumpet how many jobs expanded plutonium pit production will create. Yet NNSA’s expanded plutonium pit production decision does not have any solid data on jobs produced. One indicator that job creation will be limited is that the environmental impact statement for a canceled $6 billion plutonium facility at LANL stated that it would not produce a single new Lab job because it would merely relocate existing jobs. Concerning SRS, it is doubtful that pit production could fully replace the jobs lost as the MOX program dies a slow death. In any event, there certainly won’t be any data on the greater job creation that cleanup and renewable energy programs would create. Funding for those programs is being cut or held flat, in part to help pay for nuclear weapons programs.

• Finally, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires that major federal proposals be subject to public review and comment before a formal decision is made. NNSA’s decision does not mention its NEPA obligations at all. In 1996 plutonium pit production was capped at 20 pits per year in a nation-wide Stockpile Stewardship and Management Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS). NNSA failed to raise that production limit in any subsequent NEPA process, despite repeated attempts. Arguably a decision to produce 80 pits or more per year requires a new or supplemental nation-wide programmatic environmental impact statement to raise the production limit, which the new dual-site decision would strongly augment. This then should be followed by whatever site-specific NEPA documents might be necessary.

Jay Coghlan, Nuclear Watch Director, commented, “NNSA has already tried four times to expand plutonium pit production, only to be defeated by citizen opposition and its own cost overruns and incompetence. But we realize that this fifth attempt is the most serious. However, we remain confident it too will fall apart, because of its enormous financial and environmental costs and the fact that expanded plutonium pit production is simply not needed for the existing nuclear weapons stockpile. We think the American public will reject new-design nuclear weapons, which is what this expanded pit production decision is really all about.”

# # #



[1] See 2012 Navy memo demonstrating its lack of support for the Interoperable Warhead at https://www.nukewatch.org/importantdocs/resources/Navy-Memo-W87W88.
[2] For example, see Safety concerns plague key sites proposed for nuclear bomb production, Patrick Malone, Center for Public Integrity, May 2, 2108, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2018/05/02/safety-concerns-nuclear-bomb-manufacture-sites/572697002/

Comments on Taos LANL Resolution, per previous emails. To Taos Cleanup Resolution working Group


I tried to recall this email (you should have received my revised, final email last night). But it was accidentally sent prematurely, removing this part. It was recalled within seconds, but may have gone out anyway. So you should have it, as reference i case it matters. I have o secrets, except when it comes to "acting in the streets" when I don't want to make it easy to counter civil disobedience. In regards to that, I remind folks that were not involved, many in this group were part of winning the "Most Patriotic Prize (w/ $250) in the 2014 Arroyo Seco Fourth of July Parade organized by Rivera Sun in which Jeanne Greene, Marilyn Hoff, Rick Brown, Sigrid Erika also played major roles. Pics herehere.  


Thanks Marilyn, who said:

Well, since new and different versions of how to say we don't want any more plutonium pits keep popping up I thought I might as well chime in."
 Hopefully it also answers Jeanne on the issue of "decoupling'' earthquakes from pit production. 

I don't want ANY more pits, at LANL or anywhere. And it has LITTLE to do with earthquakes or safety or toxicity, although they severely amplify COSTS of such a terrible idea. And as Kathy Sanchez and Marian Naranjo, have stated better, the CANCER of the soul and heart and mind outweigh the cancer of the toxins, even under earthquake conditions. It has turned us into an immoral nation, glorifying violence and the transfer of resources from the poor to the rich, from nature to ego. The IDEA of Nuclear weapons to me is a SICK, MENTALLY INSANE, concept and was started on lies under the auspices of US HEGEMONY and US World Empire. It continues even past the realization the US Empire is crumbling, the desire to build more pits now driven primarily by money. To me nuclear weapons are essentially Auschwitz on STEROIDS, and every bit as insane.

Hence MY insistence on a resolution I can support that doesn't condone pits IF the earthquake issue is solved- Others are of course free, to express " we don't want any more plutonium pits" PRIMARILY under a toxicity, health impairment issue coupled to earthquakes, but I don't see it that way. The earthquake issue has already been partially solved by moving a large part of pit production to South Carolina.  If ALL pit production moves to SC, would THAT solve your concerns??? Because of the Cascadia Fault and my families presence in NW Portland, my having lived in So Calif for 12 years and knowing of the engineering responses available there and in Japan, I have no doubt the LANL earthquake issues could be "adequately" addressed (the , ie NOT be an impediment,  if TPTB decide LANL is the place for pit production, and if "too costly at LA"  pit production can simply be moved. And if not, since letters from DFSB to the Sect of DOE do not have to be revealed, and are often long delayed when they are, LANL can simply claim the DNSFB has stated "seismic safety concerns have bee resolved, but due to National Security issues, we cannot share that finding with you".  Then what?

As Suzie confirmed by calling the DNFSB, they do NOT regulate,they are part of the Executive Branch. they report directly to the DOE Sect, ALL Five members are appointed by the President. While I fully support the sense that the earthquake safety issue is important, and that present and future health risks are reprehensible and unnecessary. I just listened to two hours (the first of Three sessions_ of the last public hearing of the DNFSB in Santa Fe,  (Wednesday, June 7, 2017) on seismic issues at LANL. the agenda and video is here

I think (wishful?) that we are on the same page re Nukes, but this resolution is taking more time than I can justify, and I continue to be bothered by what I see as EGO, the unwillingness to find ways to include the City Council/Manager as a partner in this process.  So I wish you all the best, and ***DO*** thank you for your efforts to ban nukes, if that is in fact the ultimate goal.  At the VERY beginning I expressed concern that our efforts must "move fast enough to matter" , and this is what I meant. I see little to no fwd progress from the Taos Resolution of a decade ago, and all sorts of detail/micro-management (false precision) rather than a few simple statements from the HEART, expressing a concern, and asking for relief.

I hope pride can be swallowed, a consensus reached among VERY soon among the group.  I hope you are willing to ask the Council for help and advise on how to pass a resolution, and compromise on changes (simply leave out what they are unwilling to support; NOTHING needs to be in there that YOU don't support- it may simply not be as strong a statement (you may not have as much Council support) as is optimal. Don't discard the "Good", by demanding the "Perfect".  Starting from another's detailed expression, and trying to massage it to conform to one's own views is extremely problematic.  I am a bad judge of whether to try to salvage the considerable work that has been invested here, or to start over. It does seem to me you are close to consensus, and I hope it does express what is in your hearts. I wish you the best in your endeavors.

Attached is an email exchange at the start of this, copied verbatim with the exception of removing the quotes around intern which I did not realize, at the time,  was offensive - a mistake I took the liberty to correct.

marigayl@

Mar 10
to me
Thanks, Erich.  I totally agree with everything you wrote.  It's all about the moola for the multinationals and trickledown to all the nuclear butlers and handmaidens.  Increasingly dangerous the more we are lulled to complacency.
Marilyn


---------- Original Message ----------
From: erichwwk
To: "marigayl
Cc: Susann McCarthy, Jeanne Green ,  Scott Kovac , Cathie Sullivan
Subject: Re: Fw: BEST ARTICLE I'VE READ IN YEARS ABOUT UC, LOS ALAMOS AND MUCH MORE
Date: Sat, 10 Mar 2018 15:27:32 -0700

Thanks. Good. I remember Will well from his days as an LASG intern [orig. quotes removed], and especially a RRW meeting he took over from DOE when they tried to impose their silly short response limits from the public. THAT occasion made me aware of how vulnerable DOE is when confronted with a critical mass of opposition. Hopefully a similar effort will be mounted before we all self-destruct. We do have ourselves "a situation".

That said, one also needs to understand the level to which not only the Nuclear Weapons industry, but the ENTIRE MIC has degenerated into a self serving bunch of elite politicians and weapons manufacturers, where no other course is seen but to transfer wealth from the public to the MIC.  An article that spells out that broader picture quite well is THIS ONE, by "the Saker".  IMHO, too few recognize how this US focus on PROFITS, rather then on Military Defense, has left the US seriously vulnerable militarily. And DANGEROUS, if the U.S. response to this vulnerability is DENIAL, thinking the miniscule Russian economy and defense expenditures somehow allows this silly selfishness, and what is needed is to "act tough" and from "a position of (phantom) strength".

Closer to home we see the breakdown the Saker mentions at LANL, where the RCLC no longer pretends to focus solely on economic development and cleanup, having discarded the intentionally ambiguous fig leaf (ensure adequate funding for DOE missions) under which it lobbied for nuclear weapons funding while claiming at home it did not, for one that explicitly states in its Legislative Agenda  "Nuclear Posture Modernization" MUST be made a legislative priority.  How else to support the slush funds, high incomes, and grants for exotic "economic speculation" by the RCLC staff, and bribery to local officials?

Daniel Ellsberg says pretty much the same:

"You would not have these arsenals, in the U.S. or elsewhere, if it were not the case that it was highly profitable to the military-industrial complex, to the aerospace industry, to the electronics industry, and to the weapons design labs to keep modernizing these weapons, improving accuracy, improving launch time, all that."
and
"What’s it all for? It is for [military] service share of the budget. Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Grumman, Northrop. Jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, as one after another official has put it, from James Baker to others. Profits, as I say, jobs, and campaign donations. It’s embedded in all 50 states of the union, one way or another, in the various expenditures, and very hard to get rid of. Almost impossible. I just don’t see that you can say it’s impossible."
 

Gar Alperovitz deals directly (as does Stewart Udall) in the impact the lies and coverups about the building and dropping of the bomb have done, and continue to do, to undermine US culture and turn the US into a government based on lies and greed:

History is rarely simple, and confronting it head-on, with critical honesty, is often quite painful. Myths, no matter how oversimplified or blatantly false, are too often far more likely to be embraced than inconvenient and unsettling truths. Even now, for instance, we see how difficult it is for the average US citizen to come to terms with the brutal record of slavery and white supremacy that underlies so much of our national story. Remaking our popular understanding of the “good” war’s climactic act is likely to be just as hard. But if the Confederate battle flag can come down in South Carolina, we can perhaps one day begin to ask ourselves more challenging questions about the nature of America’s global power, and what is true and what is false about why we really dropped the atomic bomb on Japan"
the US problem is MUCH deeper than being left with a dangerous toxic legacy and an unsafe and incompetent NL.  We have a situation where the desire of old men to "save face"  and "save wealth" could start a process from which there is no return.

Thanks for listening.

Best, erich 

PS There are About 24,900 results on a google search 
of LASG .org and earthquakes, going back to 1997

PSS the 2008 JOINT ToT and Tco Res address health issues thus:

WHEREAS, plutonium pits are used as the " triggers" for weapons of mass destruction
and plutonium creates health and environmental hazards; and

WHEREAS, the governing bodies of the Town of Taos and Taos County do not support the creation of further health and environmental hazards related to nuclear weapons for the citizens of Northern New Mexico; and
 health and environmental hazards related to nuclear weapons for the citizens of Northern New Mexico;

Two whereas difficult to counter?  And simple to understand?

Love,   erich


On Sat, Mar 10, 2018 at 1:17 PM, marigayl wrote:
This article comes with the recommendation of Cathie Sullivan, whom I knew as a highly knowledgeable anti-nuke ally on the board of directors of the Los Alamos Study Group back when I worked for LASG oh so many years ago.  A recommendation from her is a recommendation indeed.
Marilyn

---------- Forwarded Message ----------
From: Cathie Sullivan
To: marigayl, Gail Haggard
Subject: BEST ARTICLE I'VE READ IN YEARS ABOUT UC, LOS ALAMOS AND MUCH MORE
Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2018 21:21:03 -0700

Hi Marilyn and Gail,
This article, though very long, has got to be one of the best summaries and overviews of Los Alamos Lab I ever come across. It appeared in Counterpunch and I recommend it highly. You will better understand UC's role and the intentional effort of military contractors to DOE 
/ NNSA to direct, increase and control weapons funding. But there is much else here- almost an education in the topic in one go!
Cathie

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Edward Snowden: “I think the focus on Trump is a mistake. ...

Edward Snowden.   1-15-2017   @ 3:33:36  as part of a München  acTVism  EVENT: Edward Snowden, Jeremy Scahill, Jürgen Todünhöfer, Paul Jay, Richard Wolff & Srećko Horvat

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1UkGRkcynE



“I think the focus on Trump is a mistake.  You can look anywhere, look at any newspaper, look at any sort of public commentator; you can see all of the criticisms of the Trump policies, of the administration, all of the issues that they have there. They’re clear, they’re obvious. Yes, we are in uncharted times. Yes, we are facing a period, not just of localized risk, but of systemic risk.  But what should we actually be looking at, right?  Faith in elected leaders, to fix our problems is THE mistake….; that we keep repeating.

When President Obama was elected to the White House, when President Obama was elected to the White House he said ALL of the right things. Right?  He said he was going to make a more equal America, we were going to move into a period of co-operation, rather than partisanship. He said he was going to close Guantanamo on day one of his administration; it’s still going to be open on his last day of his Presidency. He said there was going to be no more warrantless wiretapping in America: we don’t do that. We don’t need that. That’s not who we are. And in fact he expanded it. He made it worse.  It went deeper. It got better, it got more sophisticated, it got more pervasive. And it continues.  Right?  If we’re hoping for a champion, if we’re waiting for a hero, we will be waiting forever.  Because it’s not a politician that you’re looking for, it’s the people in this room. It’s YOU, it’s the person sitting next to you, all of us have a responsibility we can’t fix by ourselves as individuals. But we don’t need to. 

What we have to do is make one change. A small change. A positive change that can be replicated, that can be shared. We need to create our ideas; we need to think about these problems. We need to identify, not that Trump is a bad person, but WHY he is so threatening, and we need to start creating defenses for it.

Moreover, we need to realize that defense is not enough. WE need to create an offense, for free and open society. We need to recognize that one of the central problems right now, is one of debate.


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

John Kirby, US State Dept. Spokesperson, I know the Russians bombed FIVE Hospitals. Just can't tell you WHICH Hospitals, or in what Cities these hospitals are.


Video of 11-16-16  Press Briefing is here:  http://video.state.gov/en/video/5213130994001




John Kirby

Spokesperson
Daily Press Briefing
Washington, DC

November 16, 2016


ANOTHER instance of accusations that Russia bombed not two hospitals, but this time five. Sorry, can't say where the hospitals are, even in what city, but "trust us"WE KNOW."   How??  Because "reliable sources tell us.

Watch, listen, and decide for yourself. I have put time markers on the relevant sections.


____________
TRANSCRIPT:
2:07 p.m. EST
MR KIRBY: Afternoon.
[break]
QUESTION: Can we go to Syria?    [ 17:53 ]
MR KIRBY: Sure.
[ 17:56 ]QUESTION: Okay. First of all, can you clarify what is going on in terms of where the Russians are bombing? I mean, some say in Aleppo, but there is no evidence that there is any bombardment of eastern Aleppo by the Russians. There is bombardments of Idlib and Homs and so on, and the countryside of Homs. So first of all, if you have information on where they are bombing and what is going on there.
[18:18] MR KIRBY: Well, I don’t have – as you know, Said, I don’t have specific tactical information about Russian military operations in terms of grid points and locations on a map. We – I would say, though, that we have seen additional airstrikes now in Syria by Russia and by the regime, to include what has been reported to be – and we have no reason to doubt this because of the sourcing that we’re getting – that five hospitals and at least one mobile clinic in Syria were struck by --
[ 18:13] QUESTION: Can say which city the hospitals were in?
MR KIRBY: What’s that?
[ 19:14 ] QUESTION: Which city were the hospitals in?
MR KIRBY: I don’t have the exact location. But – so five hospitals and one mobile clinic. And by all counts, it looks like they were deliberately targeted, all in the span of just the last day or so. It’s also worth noting that despite Russian claims that it halted airstrikes in the past month or so --
[ 19:40 ]QUESTION: Twenty-eight days.
MR KIRBY: -- yeah – they’ve allowed no food or humanitarian assistance into east Aleppo. And the regime and Russia have now let Aleppo’s residents starve, all while seeking praise from the international community for halting indiscriminate strikes for three weeks. Again, five hospitals and at least one – maybe more – mobile clinic. That doesn’t sound to me like a halt in indiscriminate attacks.
QUESTION: Can you give us a specific --  {  where is this said?  By whom? ]
[ 20:12 ] QUESTION: Now the Russians are – excuse me, just let me --
QUESTION: Sorry.
[20:16 ] QUESTION: -- follow up with a couple of things. The Russian defense ministry claims that it is actually the rebels who are – or the terror groups who are holding back the aid, they are disallowing the public from reaching that humanitarian aid. And in fact, they’re saying that there was some sort of demonstration by the public and that was crushed brutally by the different militant groups and so on. And so I want – how do you sort out after all this kind of conflicting information and so on – how do you get your information on this case?
[20:51 ] MR KIRBY: No, look, it’s a very fluid situation and our knowledge is imperfect. That’s why we say I have seen – we’ve seen reports of these things. And I don’t have specifics for you. I don’t have specific locations --
QUESTION: But don’t you think it’s --
[21:09 ] MR KIRBY: Hang on a second, I’m answering Said.
QUESTION: Don’t you think it is important --
MR KIRBY: We don’t have that. I’m saying we’ve seen these reports.
QUESTION: Right.
[ 21:16 ] MR KIRBY: And they fly in the face of everything Russia says it’s doing in Syria, and specifically in Aleppo. So I don’t have – I don’t have (inaudible) on this and it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to get into that anyway.
QUESTION: But don’t you think it is important --
QUESTION: So you would refute --
MR KIRBY: But, but --
[ 21:36] QUESTION: -- the claim by the Russians that they have stopped or they had a moratorium on striking Aleppo, eastern Aleppo, for the past 28 days? In fact, all the while were – the militant groups were striking western Aleppo.
[21:49] MR KIRBY: So we’ve seen – well, you’ve also seen reports that – about opposition groups that were limiting or trying to be an obstacle to humanitarian aid and assistance. And we’ve made it clear to the opposition groups that we communicate with and certainly to nations who have influence over other opposition groups that these reports are troubling and concerning and obviously to the degree they’re true, that that obstruction should not occur. That said, it’s without question that it is the regime and its Russian backers that have had the – by far, the most responsibility for stopping the violence, for stopping the strikes, and for allowing the aid to get in, which they haven’t done. I mean, I don’t know how many times now I’ve been to this podium talking about the fact that no humanitarian aid is getting into Aleppo and that hasn’t changed.
QUESTION: Don’t you think it is --
MR KIRBY: It hasn’t changed one bit.
[23:01] QUESTION [Gayane Chichakyan] : Sorry, don’t you think it is important to give a specific list of hospitals that you’re accusing Russia of hitting? Those are grave accusations.
[23:08}MR KIRBY: I’m not making those accusations. I’m telling you we’ve seen reports from credible aid organizations that five hospitals and a clinic --
QUESTION: Which hospital --
MR KIRBY: At least one clinic --
[23:15] QUESTION [GC] : In what cities at least?
[23:18} MR KIRBY: You can go look at the information that many of the Syrian relief agencies are putting out there publicly. We’re getting our information from them too. These reports --
QUESTION: But you are citing those reports without giving any specifics.
MR KIRBY: Because we believe these agencies are credible and because we have other sources of information that back up what we’re seeing from some of these reports. And you know what? Why don’t ask --
QUESTION: If you – exactly.
MR KIRBY: Here’s a good question.
QUESTION: That’s what I --
MR KIRBY: Why don’t you ask your defense ministry --
QUESTION: That’s what I was --
MR KIRBY: -- what they’re doing and see if you can get --
QUESTION: If you give a specific list --
MR KIRBY: No, no, no, no, no, no, no.
QUESTION: If you give a specific list of hospitals --
MR KIRBY: No, no, no.
QUESTION: My colleagues who are listening --
MR KIRBY: I’m supposed to --
QUESTION: -- hopefully would be able to go and ask Russian officials about a specific list of hospitals that you’re accusing Russia of --
MR KIRBY: You work for Russia Today, right? Isn’t that your agency?
QUESTION: That is correct. Yes.
MR KIRBY: And so why shouldn’t you ask your government the same kinds of questions that you’re standing here asking me?
QUESTION: When you level --
MR KIRBY: Ask them about their military activities. Get them to tell you what they’re – or to deny what they’re doing.
QUESTION: When I ask for specifics, it seems your response is why are you here? Well, you are leveling that accusation.
MR KIRBY: No, ma’am.
QUESTION: And if you give specifics --
MR KIRBY: No, ma’am.
QUESTION: -- my colleagues would be able to ask --
MR KIRBY: No, ma’am.
QUESTION: -- Russian officials.
MR KIRBY: Once again, you’re just wrong. I’m not leveling those accusations. Relief agencies that we find credible are leveling those accusations.
QUESTION: But you repeat them.
MR KIRBY: So why don’t you question them about their information and where they’re getting it? And why don’t you question your own defense ministry?
QUESTION: Which organizations then? Which ones? Where should I look?
MR KIRBY: We’ll get you – we will get you a list of them after the briefing. I don’t have it right here in front of me, but I’m happy to provide to you some of the relief agencies that are telling us what they’re seeing on the ground.
QUESTION: And specifically on blocking aid within the 28 days that Russia and Syria had stopped the airstrikes in eastern Aleppo, and I understand they resumed by the – they were resumed by the Syrian military yesterday. Do you – can you give any specific information on when Russia or the Syrian Government blocked the UN from delivering aid? Just any specific information.
MR KIRBY: There hasn’t been any aid delivered in the last month.
QUESTION: And you believe it was blocked exclusively by Russia and the Syrian Government.
MR KIRBY: There’s no question in our mind that the obstruction is coming from the regime and from Russia. No question at all.
Ma’am.
QUESTION: I just have --
QUESTION: John, can I just --
QUESTION: Yeah. Well --
QUESTION: Let me – hold on, just let me say: Please be careful about saying “your defense minister” and things like that. I mean, she’s a journalist just like the rest of are, so it’s – she’s asking pointed questions, but they’re not --
MR KIRBY: From a state-owned – from a state-owned --
QUESTION: But they’re not --
MR KIRBY: From a state-owned outlet, Matt.
QUESTION: But they’re not --
MR KIRBY: From a state-owned outlet that’s not independent.
QUESTION: The questions that she’s asking are not out of line.
QUESTION: The outlet is (inaudible) --
MR KIRBY: I didn’t say the questions were out of line.
QUESTION: Okay. I mean --
MR KIRBY: I didn’t say the questions were out of line.
QUESTION: All right. Okay.
MR KIRBY: Okay? But I’m not --
QUESTION: But I mean – oh no, I understand. But asking --
MR KIRBY: I’m sorry, but I’m not going to put Russia Today on the same level with the rest of you who are representing independent media outlets.
QUESTION: Well --
QUESTION: Do you have an issue with my question?
QUESTION: Well, hold on, but just --
QUESTION: (Off-mike.)
QUESTION: Look, there – well, we’ll talk about – we can talk about this later offline --
QUESTION: Maybe I could ask my Iraq question.
QUESTION: -- but just – the question is not an inappropriate question to ask.
MR KIRBY: Didn’t say that it was.
QUESTION: All right.
MR KIRBY: But I also think it should be asked of their own defense ministry --
QUESTION: Okay.
MR KIRBY: -- which they don’t do, which Russia Today doesn’t do.
Said, did you have one?