Questions surrounding the demise of Russia’s Nord Stream pipeline are again flooding social media after an explosive report from Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh claimed the bombs that blew it up were planted by the U.S. Navy.
In the report, which was published to Substack, Hersh alleges that in June, “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.”
It isn’t a hard scenario for Hersh to sell, considering President Joe Biden stated very clearly for the world to hear that, should Russia invade Ukraine, the Nord Stream pipeline would be taken out.
Remember? Biden promising to end Nord stream 2 if Russia invades Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/v3jbbToONo
— Jennifer G Rewis (@oldbroadindixie) February 9, 2023
“We will bring an end to it,” Biden stated at the time, and if Hersh’s source is to be believed, that’s exactly what he did.
Via Nord Stream 1, Russia had been supplying Germany and a good chunk of Western Europe with inexpensive natural gas for more than ten years. Nord Stream 2 was not yet operational when the pipelines exploded, “causing the single largest human-caused environmental disaster in all of history,” according to Fox News’s Tucker Carlson.
💥Pulitzer winner Seymour Hersh claims US Navy behind Nord Stream 2 pipeline explosion
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I’ve included @TuckerCarlson as he says the details are too much to ignore plus hear BIDEN’s own words “I promise you we will be able to do it”
— 🦅 Eagle Wings 🦅 (@CRRJA5) February 9, 2023
In an email, Hersh says White House spokesperson Adrienne Watson denied the allegations, writing, “This is false and complete fiction.”
CIA spokesperson Tammy Thorp echoed the sentiment, saying, “This claim is completely and utterly false.”
And Pentagon spokesman Marine Corps Lt. Col. Garron J. Garn told the New York Post, “The United States was not involved in the Nord Stream explosion.”
But according to Hersh, the White House began planning to destroy the pipelines two months before Russia invaded Ukraine.
In a series of top-secret meetings, a task force that included National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and “men and women from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the CIA, and the State and Treasury Departments” got together and “debated options” for attacking the pipelines.
The Navy proposed using a newly commissioned submarine to assault the pipeline directly. The Air Force discussed dropping bombs with delayed fuses that could be set off remotely. The CIA argued that whatever was done, it would have to be covert. Everyone involved understood the stakes. “This is not kiddie stuff,” the source said. If the attack were traceable to the United States, “It’s an act of war.”
“Throughout ‘all of this scheming,’ the source said, ‘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,'” Hersh reports.
Those involved with the alleged act of sabotage reportedly weren’t happy when Biden blurted out that he’d end the pipelines if Russian President Vladimir Putin enters Ukraine.
“It was like putting an atomic bomb on the ground in Tokyo and telling the Japanese that we are going to detonate it,” according to Hersh’s source. “The plan was for the options to be executed post invasion and not advertised publicly. Biden simply didn’t get it or ignored it.”
Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee said he was “troubled” over the report. “I can’t immediately rule out the suggestion that the U.S. blew up Nord Stream,” Lee stated on Twitter. “I checked with a bunch of Senate colleagues. Among those I’ve asked, none were ever briefed on this. If it turns out to be true, we’ve got a huge problem.”
Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has called for “an open international investigation of this unprecedented attack on international critical infrastructure.”
On Thursday, Peskov said, “It is impossible to leave this without uncovering those responsible and punishing them,” according to Reuters.
“The world must find out the truth about who carried out this act of sabotage,” he told reporters. “This is a very dangerous precedent: if someone did it once, they can do it again anywhere in the world.”
While Peskov did encourage caution when it came to Hersh’s one unnamed source, he noted that it was “unfair” to ignore his article, saying it was “remarkable for the depth of analysis.”
And Peskov isn’t the only Russian who is taking Hersh’s claims seriously.
“I think there will be consequences from this,” Russian state news agency RIA quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying on Thursday.
Vyacheslav Volodin, chairman of the Russian State Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, said Hersh’s report should be the foundation for an international investigation aimed at “bringing Biden and his accomplices to justice.”
According to Volodin, the United States should pay “compensation to countries affected by the terrorist attack.”
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