Longtime investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has produced a blockbuster report, claiming it was President Joe Biden who blew up Russia’s Nord Stream natural gas pipelines last year — using expert divers trained in Panama City.
The White House rejected the new report that the US was behind the sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipelines last year, calling it “complete fiction.”
Hersh’s report came a week after German authorities claimed there was no evidence Russia sabotaged its own pipelines. That was the immediate theory in the West after the pipelines blew up in September.
Hersh, writing at Substack, claims America “took out” the pipelines.
The longtime journalist’s story begins with deep-water divers trained at the Navy’s Diving and Salvage Center in Panama City. During a NATO exercise known as BALTOPS 22, the divers planted the bombs in June for remote detonation three months later.
Hersh’s source is an unnamed source who had “direct knowledge” of the planning for the operation.
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“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,” Hersh wrote.
Hersh’s claim was denounced. Adrienne Watson, a White House spokeswoman, said, “This is false and complete fiction.” Tammy Thorp, a Central Intelligence Agency spokeswoman, added, “This claim is completely and utterly false.”
Yet Hersh persists.
He tells the history behind the pipelines. Nord Stream 1 had been in existence for years, allowing Russia to serve Germany’s energy needs. Nord Stream 2, built alongside it, was almost complete and ready for operation. It would double the output of cheap gas to Germany.
As The Free Press has reported, the Trump administration opposed the new pipeline and imposed sanctions on Russia to block its completion.
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Biden reversed those. And the reason was Ukraine.
Hersh argues, “As long as Europe remained dependent on the pipelines for cheap natural gas, Washington was afraid that countries like Germany would be reluctant to supply Ukraine with the money and weapons it needed to defeat Russia.”
Biden directed Jake Sullivan, his national security adviser, to convene a group of defense and intelligence officials to plan a response to Russia’s pending invasion of Ukraine. Taking out the pipelines emerged from those talks.
“Over the next few weeks, members of the CIA’s working group began to craft a plan for a covert operation that would use deep-sea divers to trigger an explosion along the pipeline,” Hersh wrote.
Hersh reported that his source told him, Some working guys in the CIA and the State Department were saying, ‘Don’t do this. It’s stupid and will be a political nightmare if it comes out.’”
Some cautioned it would be “an act of war” if America’s fingerprints were discovered on the explosives.
Hersh’s source now sheds light on Biden’s assertion a year ago, less than three weeks before Russia invaded. He told reporters at the time, “If Russia invades Ukraine, one way or another, Nord Stream 2 will not move forward.”
Hersh then shared that the U.S. divers, aided by Norwegian officials, found a spot to blow the pipelines about 260 feet below the water’s surface. The saboteurs developed a plan, at Biden’s insistence, to do so months after the joint naval exercise BALTOPS.
When the U.S. believed the time was right, a Norwegian navy plane dropped a sonar buoy that detonated the explosives with sound waves.
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“While it was never clear why Russia would seek to destroy its own lucrative pipeline, a more telling rationale for the President’s action came from Secretary of State [Anthony] Blinken,” Hersh wrote.
At a press conference in September, Blinken said the bombing provided “a tremendous opportunity to once and for all remove the dependence on Russian energy and thus to take away from Vladimir Putin the weaponization of energy as a means of advancing his imperial designs.”
Concluding his provocative report, Hersh quoted his unidentified source: “I gotta admit the guy [Biden] has a pair of balls. He said he was going to do it, and he did.”
“It was a beautiful cover story. Behind it was a covert operation that placed experts in the field and equipment that operated on a covert signal. The only flaw was the decision to do it.”
White House National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson described the Hersh report, published on his page on the Substack web service, as “complete fiction.”
A Central Intelligence Agency spokesperson echoed the White House denial, calling the report “completely and utterly false.”
The September explosions were blamed by Western countries on Russia, adding to the anger against Moscow in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine.
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