The Biden administration is trying to push back against Seymour Hersh’s Nord Stream bombshell through its subservient mainstream media, but a ridiculous tale about two divers blasting the pipeline is failing the apparent damage-control operation, international experts told Sputnik.
“The new narrative that a handful of civilians blew up the Nord Stream pipelines on their own is on its face ridiculous,” Hans Mahncke, a US investigative journalist and lawyer, told Sputnik. “I assume The New York Times realized how preposterous this tale is, which is why they left out all the details.”
“Zeit however did print the details and they are beyond absurd. We are supposed to believe that someone rented a private boat, sailed to the heavily monitored Nord Stream site, and then had two lonely divers carry out the extremely sophisticated operation. What is more, these divers are said to have operated at 100m depth, which is beyond the limit of most technical divers. To top it off, Zeit also claims that after this motley crew of private citizens pulled off the crime of the century, they forgot to clean the boat,” the US lawyer continued.
On March 7, The New York Times and Die Zeit released two separate articles claiming that international investigators had managed to trace the September 26, 2022 sabotage attack to a “pro-Ukrainian” group unaffiliated with either Kiev or Moscow. In early September 2022, the purported gang of six, which included one woman and five men, sailed a yacht to the area over Gazprom’s pipelines and attached explosives to them. The media outlets said that there are still many unknowns pertaining to the story, adding that the authorities are not disclosing the nature of the new intelligence or its specifics.
“My first thought was: Here we (they) go with an attempt at distracting people away from Hersh’s story and from the truth. Another psyops has started,” Norwegian investigative journalist and intelligence veteran Geir Furuseth told Sputnik.
Furuseth does not rule out that the release of the two articles was intentionally scheduled for a day ahead of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh’s weekly Substack publications related to the Nord Stream sabotage. “It could very well be, but I think it would have appeared anyway,” the Norwegian intelligence veteran said.
“The timing of The New York Times and Zeit stories could be connected to a number of ongoing issues,” echoed Mahncke. “It could be a deflection from Biden’s domestic problems, such as the new revelations about the January 6 protests. It could be that Biden is preparing the ground for uncoupling himself from [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky, by ultimately blaming him for the sabotage. In my view, the most likely explanation is that Biden is trying to push back against Hersh and this ridiculous tale about the two divers is all they could come up with.”
Indeed, it took a staggering four weeks for the US mainstream media to come up with some sort of an alternative to Hersh’s story following months-long silence of the European authorities, which have been conducting their own Nord Stream inquiries since at least October 2022. And still the two mainstream reports appear to be great cry and little wool, according to Charles Ortel, a Wall Street analyst and investigative journalist.
“Against a famed, living legend, Hersh’s former employer – The New York Times – could only wait so long before trying to address his startling and certainly not debunked claims. Now they have and others will have to follow suit into dangerous territory,” Ortel told Sputnik.
Is Washington Ready to Throw Zelensky & Ukraine Under the Bus?
Remarkably, before tracing the blasts to Ukrainians on Tuesday, the NYT singled Kiev out as having a clear motive to destroy the Nord Stream pipelines on December 26, 2022. Having said that the pipelines “had no shortage of adversaries,” the newspaper at the time quoted a 13-page letter to Poland written by Ukrainian regulators as part of a coordinated effort to stop Nord Stream 2 from coming online. The letter, obtained by the newspaper, claimed that Nord Stream 2 “will negatively impact on Ukraine’s national security.”
The newspaper noted that Ukraine received an average of $1 billion a year in transit fees for Russia’s pipelines heading to Europe through the country. Attacking the pipeline may have made financial sense for Ukraine, the newspaper claimed last December, adding that Kiev’s capability to carry it out is “unclear.”
On March 7, 2023 the NYT doubled down on chastising Ukraine. Despite mentioning that there is no evidence that Zelensky or his lieutenants ordered the attack, the media lamented the fact that Kiev is “not always transparent with their American counterparts about their military operations,” which “have frustrated US officials.”
Among the Ukrainian ops “unnerving” the White House, the newspaper cited a strike in early August on Russia’s Saki Air Base on the western coast of Crimea, a bombing attack on the Crimean Bridge, December drone strikes against Russian military bases in Ryazan and Engels, and an August car bomb that killed Daria Dugina, the daughter of Russian philosopher Alexander Dugin. The newspaper particularly underlined that the explosions that destroyed the Nord Stream pipelines took place five weeks after Dugina’s killing. Does this unusual ramble mean Washington is about to throw the Ukrainian leadership under the bus?
“I would say it may rather be a preparation for it. It could also be a subtle warning to the hard-liners in- and outside of the US,” said Furuseth.
“Biden and the US establishment are too invested in Ukraine to ever throw Zelensky under the bus,” argued Mahncke. “In fact, they helped create the image of Zelensky as the new Churchill. However, it is entirely possible and even likely that Biden is trying to create some distance to Zelensky so that defeats on the battlefield, out of control corruption, and other failures aren’t directly attributable to Biden. Biden is effectively sending a message that Zelensky is doing his own things, outside of US command and control.”
For his part, Ortel drew attention to the fact that “the US has no significant national interest in Ukraine of all possible places,” so it may easily sacrifice it.
“[H]istorical tensions in Europe have already brought America into two horrible World Wars,” the Wall Street analyst said. “While America has ties with many European nations and while there are deep reserves of friendship towards European peoples, at this time with open borders, rampant crime, failed schools and other vexing challenges, America should not be instigating dangerous conflict, in particular, for a nation such as Ukraine that stands credibly accused of improperly paying off the Biden family. In contrast, Donald Trump was impeached (but not convicted) for asking Zelensky to enforce anti-corruption laws that likely had ensnared Hunter Biden and his father by 2019.”
Germans Need to Wake-Up
The release of the two reports, which were followed by Wall Street Journal and Der Spiegel pieces on March 8, came on the heels of European peace protests, which brought together over 50,000 in Berlin alone. German right-wing and left-wing politicians are calling on the government to kick off an investigation into Hersh’s story, which alleges that Berlin’s two NATO allies, the US and Norway, nixed the Nord Stream gas infrastructure.
However, Mahncke is not optimistic about the Germans’ willingness to fight against the globalist establishment:
“The German public has been completely brainwashed about the situation in Ukraine,” the US lawyer noted. “The nascent peace movement faces an uphill battle, far more so than in the US, where skepticism of the war is far more widespread, at least among the general public. For instance, the US public is beginning to understand that the ridiculous notion that Russia will attack a NATO country next is a fake narrative put forward to convince people to send weapons and money to Ukraine. Even Elon Musk, whose provision of Starlink services to Ukraine has been immensely important, has tweeted about no one is pushing this war more than Victoria Nuland.”
At the same time, a looming recession, the unfolding energy crisisб and skyrocketing prices could force the Europeans to take a tougher stance towards the military adventurism of their respective governments, according to Ortel.
“In Germany in particular, losing inexpensive energy sources and also being forced into much higher military spending will create uniquely difficult choices for a nation with a dangerous history from which my own family left in 1853, hoping for opportunity which quickly materialized in a free America,” the Wall Street analyst said. “If I were German today, I would demand to learn the whole truth on the Nord Stream attacks before committing one more euro in support of the Ukraine project and I would be prepared to dramatically adjust my relationships with foreign governments that may have attacked an important part of my energy infrastructure.”
Western Governments Know Pretty Well Who Blew up the Pipes
Meanwhile, the Western establishment’s apparent hope that it could overshadow Hersh’s narrative is likely to prove futile, according to Furuseth.
“Initially I think it did [distract the public], but judging by the way the Norwegian MSM have treated this story, I think it’ll do the opposite!” the Norwegian investigative journalist remarked. “If you start talking about ‘another theory,’ even poor journalists will have to at least mention Hersh’s story. That will at least make the more awake segments of the public, so long kept in the dark by their keepers in the MSM, think again. Maybe even some of them will start reading Hersh’s stories now.”
Furthermore, the US has a long record of false flags, subversive ops, and disinformation operations – something once summarized by ex-CIA Director Mike Pompeo in his famous line: “We lied, we cheated, we stole.” Against this backdrop, Hersh’s story appears to be one deserving close attention, according to Ortel.
“Hersh’s claims that actors in the US and Norway governments, possibly in league with UK and other government actors opened a path hurtling towards military conflict with Russia certainly seems plausible to me, having learned of the Tonkin incident Hersh covered in a later piece and considering how Libya was bombed and Gaddafi was killed. In the latter case, we must remember that Biden was vice president then, that Hillary Clinton has still not explained the wider context of what happened September 11, 2012 [during the Benghazi embassy attack – Sputnik], and that many Obama alumni are centrally pulling strings for Biden against Russia.”
On top of this, one needs to bear in mind, that there is no interest among US or EU leaders to investigate anything, Mahncke pointed out: “They know the truth already and are merely trying to maintain the appearance of an impasse, making it look as if we’ll never find out who did it,” he said. “Western narratives about the Nord Stream bombing are simply part of the propaganda war.”
Hersh’s Latest Piece: One Would Go to Prison to Stop War
The day after the US and German newspapers broke their story, Hersh released his op-ed “My Fifty Years With Dan Ellsberg” on Substack. The story had no direct relation to Nord Stream, but described a story of former United States military analyst Daniel Ellsberg who in 1971 leaked portions of a classified 7,000-page report that detailed the history of US intervention in Indochina from World War II until 1968.
The Pentagon Papers leak appeared to axe the publicly stated justification for the US involvement in the Vietnam War. Ellsberg was unmasked and brought to the US attorney’s office in Boston, where a journalist asked him what he thought about going to prison. Hersh quoted the military analyst as answering: “Wouldn’t you go to prison to help end this war?”
Ortel does not rule out that this story sends a sort of a veiled message to the NYT, Zeit, and their government backers that Hersh’s source may start talking publicly if the ongoing US proxy war on Russia gets tougher.
“I suspect further that Hersh may have multiple sources,” said Ortel. “Moreover, it is likely that numerous Biden ‘loyalists’ are losing their stomachs for supporting him or Kamala in 2024. So, as the geopolitical and economic landscapes continue to darken more, I believe Democrat and globalist puppeteers may throw Biden-Harris under the bus to hope for better results in November 2024. In all this, Hersh in 2024 may prove more successful than Ellsberg was in 1972.
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