A bombshell report by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersch alleges specialized U.S. Navy diving teams were responsible for blowing up the underwater Nord Stream pipelines that supplied Russian gas to Western Europe.
While U.S. officials say the report, published on Substack, is “completely and utterly false,” Hersch says his source has “direct knowledge of the operational planning.”
He explains the plot, allegedly ordered by the White House:
Last June, the Navy divers, operating under the cover of a widely publicized mid-summer NATO exercise known as BALTOPS 22, planted the remotely triggered explosives that, three months later, destroyed three of the four Nord Stream pipelines, according to a source with direct knowledge of the operational planning.
Two of the pipelines, which were known collectively as Nord Stream 1, had been providing Germany and much of Western Europe with cheap Russian natural gas for more than a decade. A second pair of pipelines, called Nord Stream 2, had been built but were not yet operational. Now, with Russian troops massing on the Ukrainian border and the bloodiest war in Europe since 1945 looming, President Joseph Biden saw the pipelines as a vehicle for Vladimir Putin to weaponize natural gas for his political and territorial ambitions. […]
Biden’s decision to sabotage the pipelines came after more than nine months of highly secret back and forth debate inside Washington’s national security community about how to best achieve that goal. For much of that time, the issue was not whether to do the mission, but how to get it done with no overt clue as to who was responsible.
There was a vital bureaucratic reason for relying on the graduates of the center’s hardcore diving school in Panama City. The divers were Navy only, and not members of America’s Special Operations Command, whose covert operations must be reported to Congress and briefed in advance to the Senate and House leadership—the so-called Gang of Eight. The Biden Administration was doing everything possible to avoid leaks as the planning took place late in 2021 and into the first months of 2022.
President Biden and his foreign policy team—National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, Secretary of State Tony Blinken, and Victoria Nuland, the Undersecretary of State for Policy—had been vocal and consistent in their hostility to the two pipelines […]
From its earliest days, Nord Stream 1 was seen by Washington and its anti-Russian NATO partners as a threat to western dominance. The holding company behind it, Nord Stream AG, was incorporated in Switzerland in 2005 in partnership with Gazprom, a publicly traded Russian company producing enormous profits for shareholders which is dominated by oligarchs known to be in the thrall of Putin. […]
America’s political fears were real: Putin would now have an additional and much-needed major source of income, and Germany and the rest of Western Europe would become addicted to low-cost natural gas supplied by Russia—while diminishing European reliance on America. […]
Nord Stream 1 was dangerous enough, in the view of NATO and Washington, but Nord Stream 2, whose construction was completed in September of 2021, would, if approved by German regulators, double the amount of cheap gas that would be available to Germany and Western Europe. The second pipeline also would provide enough gas for more than 50 percent of Germany’s annual consumption. Tensions were constantly escalating between Russia and NATO, backed by the aggressive foreign policy of the Biden Administration. (Seymour Hersch/Substack)
While the Biden administration initially blamed Russia for sabotaging their own pipeline, suspicions were raised about possible U.S. involvement after the president himself vowed that “we will bring an end” to the Nord Stream 2 if Russia invades Ukraine. Asked by a reporter how that would be possible, pointing out that it was in Germany’s control, the commander in chief replied, “I promise you we will be able to do it.”
State Department official Victoria Nuland made similar remarks, arguing the pipeline would “not move forward…one way or another” if Russia carried out its invasion of Ukraine.
Fox News’s Tucker Carlson was confident of the report’s veracity given the level of detail included.
Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, meanwhile, said he’s “troubled” that he couldn’t “immediately rule out” its claims.
Predictably, the Left responded by working to discredit the journalist.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called for those responsible to be punished.
“The world must find out the truth about who carried out this act of sabotage,” Peskov told reporters, according to Reuters. “This is a very dangerous precedent: if someone did it once, they can do it again anywhere in the world.” He demanded an “open international investigation” of the attack and said “it is impossible to leave this without uncovering those responsible and punishing them.”