Michael Flynn was one of a number of people pushing the “Middle East Marshall Plan”. His job seems to have been acting as the project’s spokesperson and operative within the administration. That position came to an end on February 13, 2017, when he was fired from his job as National Security Advisor.
The idea person behind the scheme seems to have been Alex Copson. Copson promoted a number of ideas relating to nuclear power starting as early as 1997, when he helped pitch a plan “to buy enriched uranium from Russia and the U.S., lease it to utilities worldwide, and collect the spent radioactive rods and store them on a tiny volcanic island in steel casks made in, of course, Arkansas,” to President Bill Clinton. The plan was looked upon favorably by Russia’s Minatom and is mentioned by Viktor Mikhailov in a 2006 interview.
In 2001, the scheme was the Non-Proliferation Trust (NPT – same acronym as the treaty!), which would send “10,000 tonnes of high level uranium waste to Russia.” The article is not clear on what that “waste” would consist of. Apparently the US would send along $15 billion to clean up some of Russia’s nuclear environmental problems and $50 million for the Russian Orphans Fund. And a percentage to Alex Copson, the man behind this NPT. Copson managed to enlist Thomas Cochran (not Cochrane, as it is misspelled in the article) of the Natural Resources Defense Council. Cochran also was (is?) a scientific advisor to ACU.
In 2016, Michael Hewitt and others split from ACU to form IP3. I listed their management team earlier. The team includes former members of Congress and retired admirals and generals, but only one person with experience in electrical power and nuclear power plants, Michael J. Wallace, who was Vice Chairman and COO of Constellation Energy and Chairman of Constellation Energy Nuclear Group. Cochran is not listed on the IP3 website.
Listed as Co-founder and Director is Robert “Bud” McFarlane, who was involved in the Iran-Contra scandal during Ronald Reagan’s presidency and pleaded guilty to four misdemeanor counts of withholding information from Congress as part of the Iran-Contra cover-up. He was sentenced to two years’ probation and a $20,000 fine but was pardoned by President George H.W. Bush.
Emails from Bud McFarlane quoted in the House Oversight Committee report have an address at the United States Energy Security Council (USESC), which promotes nuclear energy. McFarlane and General (ret.) Keith Alexander, are members of both the IP3 board and the USESC board, with McFarlane as Co-Chair. According to the USESC website, “The Issue” is reducing the strategic importance of oil. However, the statement is vague about exactly how that objective is to be achieved.
Listed as advisors to the USESC board are Anne Korin and Gal Luft, Co-Directors of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, and David M. Sweet of the World Alliance for Decentralized Energy. The Institute for the Analysis of Global Security seems to be a creature of the USESC. Luft is a member of WikiStrat, an organization run by Joel Zamel, who also runs Psy-Group, referred to in a recent New Yorker article as a “private Mossad for hire.”
Tom Barrack has been enlisted in the effort as the companies have gone to the government for support. Barrack is a friend and confidant of Donald Trump.
The cast of characters, like the ever-changing and grandiose plans of ACU and IP3, suggest a scheme to make lots of money for the participants. Copson, who seems to have incubated the basic ideas, has developed multiple grandiose schemes involving nuclear energy. Without expertise in the area, the military officers and others on the board signed up, just as national security experts signed up with the Theranos con. They seem not to have done any due diligence before they joined their boards.
Although the companies claim that the countries of the Middle East would pay for the operation, with no funding needed from the United States, they have been working to get US government support. In the timeframe around Trump’s inauguration, that support would have been needed to lift sanctions so that Russia might be included as a reactor supplier. IP3, however, has eliminated Russia as a part of the operation. One of the current objectives is to have Barrack named as a special Presidential representative for the project.
However, in the interaction with the government, the companies have avoided 123 agreements, which are necessary for export of nuclear technology. Secretary of Energy Ric Perry has been traveling to the Middle East to sell American reactors, but it is not clear whether he has been pushing IP3 and their plans.
The persistence with which the companies have pursued government support can be explained by greed and the hope that somehow this plan can obtain significant government support, whether of influence or funding. The inconsistencies may result from a lack of full understanding of the project and what IP3 is looking for from the government.
For now, the evidence suggests that this plan is primarily a grift. But Flynn’s involvement and the explicit attempt to remove Russian sanctions suggest that more may be involved. Hearings before the House Oversight Committee may provide more information.