The Speaker of the Russian parliament Vyacheslav Volodin branded US President Joe Biden a “terrorist” after a report by veteran US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh blamed Washington for sabotaging the Nord Stream pipelines last year. Russia is calling for a special session of the UN security council, while the German AfD party wants a parliamentary investigation.
Volodin called the purported US Nord Stream sabotage “an act of intimidation of its vassals, who decided to develop their economy in the interests of their own citizens.” He demanded an international investigation to “bring Biden and his accomplices to justice,” and to make sure that the nations affected by this “terrorist attack” are paid compensation.
The AfD (Alternative for Germany) party has called a special session of the German Bundestag (parliament) on the charges for Friday, and is demanding a parliamentary inquiry.
Seymour Hersh is one of the most renowned investigative journalists in the United Sates, who revealed the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, receiving a Pultizer Prize 1970. He also reported that the CIA was involved in Watergate 1974, and broke the Abu Ghraib scandal in Iraq 2004.
On Wednesday, Hersh posted a story on his substack claiming that the US Navy blew up the Nord Stream pipelines Sept. 26.
The story largely echoes what Gateway Pundit recently reported on the attack.
“It shouldn’t be necessary to do this, but for those wondering, I can confirm this is indeed an article by Seymour Hersh, with whom I’ve been in touch during the preparation of this article”, Matt Taibbi wrote on Twitter.
“Last June, Navy divers (from the U.S. Navy’s Diving and Salvage Center), 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”, Hersh writes.
“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.”
Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called on the White House to comment on the report. Russia intends to convene an official UN Security Council Meeting regarding the incident, she said.
Asked for comment, Adrienne Watson, a White House spokesperson, told Hersh: “This is false and complete fiction.”
Tammy Thorp, a spokesperson for the Central Intelligence Agency, similarly wrote: “This claim is completely and utterly false.”
Speaking to TASS news agency, Hersh affirmed the credibility of his source. “It’s somebody who seems to know quite a bit about what was going on,” Hersh told TASS. “I can’t name people obviously.”
“The investigation carried out by American journalist Seymour Hersh is not sensational news,” Bulgarian foreign relations expert Boyan Chukov told TASS. “It was clear to experts almost immediately after the terrorist attack that a major state with financial, technological and military resources was behind the explosion on the gas pipeline.”
“I have no way of verifying this particular report”, deputy spokesperson for the UN secretary general Farhan Haq said Wednessday. “Obviously, it would be up to US journalists to determine the veracity of these claims.”
Hersh reports that “In December of 2021, two months before the first Russian tanks rolled into Ukraine, (National Security Adviser) Jake Sullivan “convened a meeting of a newly formed task force—men and women from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the CIA, and the State and Treasury Departments—and asked for recommendations about how to respond to Putin’s impending invasion… What became clear to participants, according to the source with direct knowledge of the process, is that 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.”
“Over the next several meetings,” Hersh reports, “the participants debated options for an attack. 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,” Hersh quotes his unnamed source. “If the attack were traceable to the United States, “It’s an act of war.”
CIA director William Burns ” quickly authorized an Agency working group whose ad hoc members included—by chance—someone who was familiar with the capabilities of the Navy’s deep-sea divers in Panama City. 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.”
Throughout “all of this scheming,” Hersh’s 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.’” In early 2022, the CIA working group reported to Sullivan’s interagency group: “We have a way to blow up the pipelines.”
“What came next was stunning”, Hersh writes: “On February 7, less than three weeks before the seemingly inevitable Russian invasion of Ukraine, Biden met in his White House office with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who, after some wobbling, was now firmly on the American team. 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,” Hersh’s source said. “The plan was for the options to be executed post invasion and not advertised publicly. Biden simply didn’t get it or ignored it.”
However, Biden’s gaffe meant that the act of sabotage was no longer considered a “covert operation” by the CIA, “because the President just announced that we knew how to do it.”
The plan to blow up Nord Stream was downgraded from a covert operation, requiring that Congress be informed, to a “highly classified intelligence operation with U.S. military support,” Hersh reports. “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”, his anonymous source said: “Bill Burns comes back and says, ‘Do it.’”
Working from American Navy and Air Force facilities in Norway, the planners set about trying to identify the best place to hit the pipelines. “The Norwegian navy was quick to find the right spot, in the shallow waters of the Baltic sea a few miles off Denmark’s Bornholm Island,” Hersh writes. “The pipelines ran more than a mile apart along a seafloor that was only 260 feet deep. That would be well within the range of the divers, who, operating from a Norwegian Alta class mine hunter, would dive with a mixture of oxygen, nitrogen and helium streaming from their tanks, and plant shaped C4 charges on the four pipelines with concrete protective covers.”
Originally, the plan was for the pipeline to be blown 48 hours after the BALTOPS exercise, but then the geniuses in the White House realized that might be a bit two obvious. So, they tasked the CIA with coming up with a way to detonate the charges remotely three months later.
“On September 26, 2022, a Norwegian Navy P8 surveillance plane made a seemingly routine flight and dropped a sonar buoy. The signal spread underwater, initially to Nord Stream 2 and then on to Nord Stream 1. A few hours later, the high-powered C4 explosives were triggered and three of the four pipelines were put out of commission. Within a few minutes, pools of methane gas that remained in the shuttered pipelines could be seen spreading on the water’s surface and the world learned that something irreversible had taken place”, Hersh writes.
“Everyone is interested in our comments on the investigation by the American journalist Seymour Hersh”, the Spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova wrote. “In brief, he wrote the following: Biden personally ordered a terrorist act; the preparations lasted for 9 months; National Security Advisor to the President Jake Sullivan was in charge of all this; US secret services divers planted explosives on the pipelines during NATO exercises; the Norwegian military took part in the operation; attacks from a submarine and air bombing were also considered as options.”
“We have repeatedly expressed Russia’s position on the involvement of the US and NATO” Zakharova said. “We have noted that they did not try to hide this, boasting before the world of their ability to destroy civilian infrastructure via which Europe received Russian energy resources. We also regularly noted the reluctance of Denmark, Germany and Sweden to conduct an open investigation and their objections to Russia’s participation in it, although our country sustained enormous losses due to this incident. Now the White House needs to comment on these facts.”
⚡️ Russian MFA Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on the investigation by S.Hersh:
We have repeatedly expressed Russia’s position on the involvement of the US & NATO. We also noted the reluctance of Denmark, Germany & Sweden to conduct an open investigation.
— MFA Russia 🇷🇺 (@mfa_russia) February 8, 2023