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Washington Examiner
Restoring America
11 Feb 2023

NextImg:Was the US responsible for the Nord Stream pipeline explosions?

The world was shocked last September to learn that explosions 260 feet below the surface of the Baltic Sea had destroyed both of Nord Stream 1's underwater pipelines that carried natural gas from Russia to Europe and one of Nord Stream 2 ’s lines (which was not yet operational). Although U.S., NATO, and European officials immediately blamed the attacks on Russia, these accusations lacked evidence.

They also didn’t make much sense. Why would the Russians sabotage the pipelines that had for years provided them with a steady stream of revenue and that now, during a time of war, gave them leverage over NATO-member countries that had become utterly dependent on Russia’s cheap natural gas?

Speaking in Moscow just days after the explosions, Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed the attacks on “Anglo-Saxons” in the West who had gone from imposing sanctions on his country to “terror attacks.”

White House National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson immediately dismissed Putin’s remarks in a statement: “We’re not going to let Russia’s disinformation distract us or the world from its transparently fraudulent attempt to annex sovereign Ukrainian territory.”

The following month, Russia’s Defense Ministry accused the U.K. Navy of blowing up their pipelines: “According to available information, representatives of this unit [British specialists] of the British Navy took part in the planning, provision, and implementation of a terrorist attack in the Baltic Sea on Sept. 26 this year — blowing up the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines.”

The British Defense Ministry vehemently denied these charges in a statement that read, “To detract from their disastrous handling of the illegal invasion of Ukraine, the Russian Ministry of Defence is resorting to peddling false claims of an epic scale.”

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh, a longtime reporter for the Associated Press and the New York Times, offered a much more plausible culprit: the U.S. But the very idea that the Biden administration may have orchestrated the plan was met with quick denials — and indignation — by both senior officials and their communications arm, the legacy media.

But this week, Hersh once again alleged that the U.S. was behind the attacks. In an extremely detailed and quite credible post on his Substack site , he laid out what he had learned from a source who had “direct knowledge of the operational planning.”

He claimed that highly-trained U.S. Navy divers placed remotely-controlled explosives on the pipelines under the cover of the “widely-publicized” joint NATO maritime exercises in June 2022, called “BALTOPS 22.”

Hersh explained that in December 2021, a series of top-secret meetings began. Participants included top-ranking officials from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the CIA, and the State and Treasury Departments. “What became clear to participants,” his source had informed him, “is that [national security adviser Jake] Sullivan intended for the group to come up with a plan for the destruction of the two Nord Stream pipelines — and that he was delivering on the desires of the President.”

“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,” according to Hersh. “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.”

Public comments made by President Joe Biden and several other administration officials underscored the U.S.’s interest in putting an end to the Russian energy project long before the explosions occurred.

In January 2022, State Department spokesman Ned Price told NPR : "I want to be very clear: if Russia invades Ukraine one way or another, Nord Stream 2 will not move forward. I'm not going to get into the specifics. We will work with Germany to ensure it does not move forward."

At a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz the following month, Biden told reporters, “If Russia invades — that means tanks or troops crossing the border of Ukraine, again, then there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it.”

A reporter asked, “But how will you do that exactly, since the project and control of the project is within Germany’s control?”

Biden replied, “We will, I promise you, we’ll be able to do it.”

Asked for a comment on the story, White House spokeswoman Adrienne Watson wrote in an email to Hersh, “This is false and complete fiction.” Likewise, CIA spokesman Tammy Thorp wrote, “This claim is completely and utterly false.”

Despite these unequivocal denials, it’s clear the U.S. government had the motivation, the opportunity, and the means to carry out this operation. Perhaps Hersh’s theory should not be so easily dismissed.


Elizabeth Stauffer is a contributor to the Washington Examiner and the Western Journal . Her articles have appeared at MSN, RedState, Newsmax, the Federalist, and RealClearPolitics. Follow her on  Twitter  or  LinkedIn .

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