Who bombed Russia’s gas pipelines?

February 12, 2023 - 23:12

TEHRAN- As warring sides trade blame over the Nord Stream blasts, an award-winning journalist makes a bombshell revelation.

 In September, a series of strong explosions caused significant damage to the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines that run under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany and supplied cheap gas to mainland Europe.
Both pipelines are owned by Russia’s energy giant Gazprom and the explosions were quickly revealed to have been a deliberate act of sabotage but no culprit had been identified.
Western leaders were quite quick to blame Russia, claiming that Moscow wanted to further disrupt the flow of energy to Europe ahead of winter so that NATO military and financial support for Ukraine slows down.
The problem was that no Western government had any evidence to back up the claim.
And slowly but surely, after months of investigations, the same Western governments backed down saying there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that Moscow was behind such a major act of sabotage.
The question that many failed to answer was why would Russia destroy one of its biggest assets?
The other big question is why would Moscow destroy its energy infrastructure at a time when it was supplying gas to Europe (albeit at a lower level than before the war broke out), but nevertheless still a valuable asset contributing to Russia’s economy.
What crippled Russian gas supplies to Europe of which the continent relied for 40% of its energy needs before the Ukraine conflict erupted was Western sanctions against Russian energy and its Nord Stream pipelines. This led to the energy crisis in Europe.
The veteran journalist Seymour Hersh now says a source has revealed to him that the explosions were a covert military operation ordered by the White House and carried out by the CIA.
Hersh is not your average journalist.
The award-winning 85-year-old reporter was the one who broke major international news headlines such as the mass U.S. murder of 500 civilians at My Lai in Vietnam and the U.S. torture of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison.
The investigative journalist has concluded and published his findings, with the help of an inside source. The findings reveal that American deep-sea divers, using a NATO military exercise as a cover, had planted mines along the Russian pipelines that were later detonated remotely.
The U.S. establishment has long been obsessed with Russian gas being sent to Europe via the Nord Stream pipeline 1 and sold at a cheap price.
At one point, the administration of former U.S. President Donald Trump imposed sanctions on all the firms that were in the process of building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which was expected to be finished before the Ukraine war broke out.
This would have increased the European Union’s dependency on Russian energy even further but was setting off alarm bells in Washington.
The U.S. sanctions were condemned by EU members who saw it as an attempt to force the bloc to buy American liquified natural gas (LNG) rather than Russian pipeline gas.
Some say the Ukraine war was all about cutting off Russian gas supplies to Europe and replacing them with American LNG, and they do not appear to be too far off the mark.
Today, EU members are waiting in line to buy American LNG despite the German economy minister accusing the U.S. of “astronomical prices” for its supplies.
Experts say these cases further highlight how the EU has failed to establish its own sovereign and independent foreign policies and continues to follow American orders when it comes to international affairs.
Following the Ukraine war, the EU remained dependent on Russian gas and Hersh says as long as the EU remained dependent on the Russian 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.
According to the investigative journalist, planning for the attack began in December 2021, months before the Ukraine conflict, but it was at this period in time, with the EU still relying on Russian gas after the war began, that President Joe Biden authorized his national security advisor Jake Sullivan to bring together an interagency group and come up with a plan to destroy the Russian pipelines.
According to the inside source with direct knowledge about the pipeline explosions and who provided Hersh with the details, Sullivan instructed the group to plan the destruction of both Nord Streams 1 and 2.
During a number of meetings, the participants debated options with ideas proposed such as the U.S. Navy using a newly commissioned submarine to strike the pipeline directly. The U.S. 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 told the veteran journalist. If the attack was to be traced back to the U.S., “It’s an act of war”.
Over the next few weeks, members of the CIA’s working group began to draft a plan for a covert operation that would use deep-sea divers to trigger an explosion along the pipeline.
In his extensive and detailed investigation report published online, Hersh reveals that a hand-picked team of Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency operatives was assembled somewhere in the Washington area, under deep cover, and worked out a plan, using Navy divers, modified submarines and a deep-submarine rescue vehicle, that succeeded, after much trial and error, in locating the Russian cable. The divers planted a sophisticated listening device on the cable that successfully intercepted the Russian traffic and recorded it on a taping system.
After much hesitation about the risks of conducting an attack in waters where the Russian navy has a presence, in early 2022, the CIA working group reported back to Sullivan’s interagency group: “We have a way to blow up the pipelines.”
On February 7, less than three weeks before the Ukraine war broke out, Biden met German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
At the press briefing that followed, Biden defiantly said, “If Russia invades . . . there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it.”
“It was like putting an atomic bomb on the ground in Tokyo and telling the Japanese that we are going to detonate it,” the source told Hersh.
“The plan was for the options to be executed (after the conflict broke out) and not advertised publicly. Biden simply didn’t get it or ignored it.”
This is reported to have frustrated the planning group and the mission to blow up Nord Streams 1 and 2 was suddenly downgraded from a covert operation requiring that Congress be informed to one that was deemed as a highly classified intelligence operation with U.S. military support.
But it was also a blessing in disguise for Washington.

Under the law, the source explains “there was no longer a legal requirement to report the operation to Congress. All they had to do now is just do it - but it still had to be secret. The Russians have superlative surveillance of the Baltic Sea.”
Following the revelations, Russia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said NATO should hold an emergency meeting to discuss recent findings about the explosions.
"There are more than enough facts here: the explosion of the pipeline, the presence of a motive, circumstantial evidence obtained by journalists," Zakharova wrote on social media.
"We have repeatedly stated Russia's position on the involvement of the United States and NATO, noting that they did not hide it, bragging to the whole world about their intention to destroy the civilian infrastructure through which Europe received Russian energy resources," Zakharova said.
"We have also regularly underscored the reluctance of Denmark, Germany, and Sweden to conduct an open investigation and the opposition to Russia's participation in it. And this is despite the fact that our country has suffered huge costs. Now, the White House should comment on all these facts," she noted.
"So when will an emergency NATO summit meet to review the situation?"
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that Hersh's blog needs more attention and the Western media must cover it fully.
Peskov has called for an international investigation into the blast saying that the world needs to know the truth. He further cautioned that the latest revelations must not be dealt with as a primary source of what had happened.

In the meantime, U.S. energy firms, just like U.S. arms manufacturers, are making a very lucrative profit.

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