Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and two Democrat colleagues wrote to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to ask about Elon Musk’s role in preventing Ukraine from using Starlink satellite communication terminals to mount an attack on Russian ships, NBC News reported.
Warren this week called for a Senate inquiry into the SpaceX CEO Musk’s involvement in obstructing a Ukrainian drone’s attempt to target Russia’s naval fleet in the Black Sea last year.
Warren and Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., sent a Friday letter to Austin asking for clarity on what had occurred, NBC News reported.
“The differing versions of events further highlights the confusion surrounding the circumstances of this reported incident,” the senators wrote. “The confusion over what actually happened during this Ukrainian attack — and Mr. Musk’s specific role — demands answers.”
Author Walter Isaacson, in his biography “Elon Musk,” wrote that the CEO late last year prevented Ukrainian armed forces from using Starlink satellite communication terminals to mount an attack.
Initial media reports about the book said Musk disabled the Starlink network near the Crimean Peninsula after conversations with senior Russian officials.
Musk, whose SpaceX operates the Starlink satellite system, took to social platform X to say he did not discontinue Starlink over Crimea but instead refused a request by Ukraine to provide it there.
“The onus is meaningfully different if I refused to act upon a request from Ukraine vs. made a deliberate change to Starlink to thwart Ukraine. At no point did I or anyone at SpaceX promise coverage over Crimea,” Musk wrote.
“Moreover, our terms of service clearly prohibit Starlink for offensive military action, as we are a civilian system, so they were again asking for something that was expressly prohibited. SpaceX is building Starshield for the U.S. government, which is similar to, but much smaller than Starlink, as it will not have to handle millions of users. That system will be owned and controlled by the U.S. government.”
Isaacson on Saturday denied Ukrainian claims that Musk sabotaged a Ukrainian drone attack by not activating his Starlink satellite communications.
“To clarify on the Starlink issue: the Ukrainians THOUGHT coverage was enabled all the way to Crimea, but it was not,” Isaacson posted on X. “They asked Musk to enable it for their drone sub attack on the Russian fleet. Musk did not enable it, because he thought, probably correctly, that would cause a major war.”
Charlie McCarthy ✉
Charlie McCarthy, a writer/editor at Newsmax, has nearly 40 years of experience covering news, sports, and politics.
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