Asia Times: Nord Stream explosions hard to cover up – Award-winning journalist Seymour Hersh has exposed the Biden administration’s role in sabotaging the pipelines By GEORGE KOO FEB 15, 2023
The report “How America Took Out the Nord Stream Pipeline” by Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Seymour Hersh states beyond any reasonable doubt that US President Joe Biden ordered the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines.
Thus if it wasn’t clear before, it is emphatically clear now that the US will impose its proprietary version of “rules-based international order” by any means possible including committing a crime against humanity.
The Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines are jointly owned by the Russian energy corporation Gazprom and four European energy companies. Nord Stream 1 had been providing low-cost natural gas from Russia to Germany, which redistributed some of it to other parts of Europe. Nord Stream 2 was in the process of coming on stream and would have doubled the supply to Europe.
The explosions that took place on September 26, 2022, stopped the flow of Russian gas, and left hundreds of millions of Europeans facing the prospects of a cold winter.
The economic consequences of the Nord Stream sabotage were the quadrupling of energy costs and triggering rampant inflation in Europe the likes of which hadn’t been seen for decades.
President Biden wanted to make sure that Germany would strongly support Ukraine in its conflict with Russia. Blowing up the pipelines would ensure that Russia could no longer supply cheap energy to Europe and Germany wouldn’t have natural gas from Russia as a source of distraction from its support for Ukraine.
Biden had absolutely no justification for destroying property that did not belong to the US. Doing so would be naked aggression, an act of war, devoid of concern that the people and economies of friendly allies would suffer. He wouldn’t care that to achieve his sense of security for the US required committing a war crime.
Heretofore, we Americans have been telling the world that the United States of America is the citadel on top of the hill, a shining beacon of integrity and an example of what a freedom-loving democracy should be. Other nations are supposed to admire what we stand for and aspire to be just like us.
Shining beacon no more
Now, the world sees that Fortress America is corrupt, dishonest and shameless. The US suppresses other countries by force, intimidation or sanctions or a mixture of the above. Other nations comply with our demands not because they admire us but because they fear us.
If the US did indeed destroy the pipelines as Hersh reports, some in the inner circle of the Biden administration might try to defend its action by claiming that it was a reprisal for Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. In fact, according to Hersh, planning to blow up the pipelines was under way months before the Russian invasion began.
He further explained that the government of Norway was enlisted to help with the execution of the sabotage. One of the reasons for recruiting Norway was that it knew the shallow waters of the Baltic Sea better than anyone.
“On September 26, 2022, a Norwegian Navy P8 surveillance plane made a seemingly routine flight and dropped a sonar buoy,” Hersh reports. “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.”
Norway’s participation is full of irony. The annual winner of the Nobel Peace Prize is selected by a committee appointed by the Norwegian parliament. One year, they rushed to give Peace Prize to incoming American president Barack Obama even before he assumed office.
History will credit Obama as the president who first popularized the use of drones as deadly killing machines, cold-blooded and indiscriminate. They were deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq. In hindsight, these were not exactly the kind of credentials consistent with those of a Peace Prize laureate.
In a podcast interview subsequent to his exposé of the Nord Stream explosion, Hersh said that putting the story together was not difficult. Any reasonably competent investigative reporter could have followed the trail of telltale clues leading directly to the White House.
For months before the invasion of Ukraine and the explosion of the pipelines, President Biden and his foreign-policy team – national security adviser Jake Sullivan, Secretary of State Tony Blinken, and Victoria Nuland, the undersecretary of state for policy – had been vocal and consistent in their hostility to the two pipelines.
Biden gave the secret away
Biden and Nuland even publicly hinted to the media that the pipelines would “go away.” At the press briefing that followed German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’ visit to Washington in February last year, Biden said, “If Russia invades … there will no longer be a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it.”
Undersecretary Nuland also said at a State Department briefing, lightly covered by the media, “I want to be very clear to you today. If Russia invades Ukraine, one way or another Nord Stream 2 will not move forward.”
The reason the mainstream media did not bother to ask the obvious question as to who blew up the pipelines and why was either being lazy and uninquisitive or because they knew the answer and did not want to embarrass the Biden White House.
Even after the publication of Hersh’s report, mainstream media outlets such as The Washington Post and The New York Times did not even bother to contact him and interview him. By deliberately ignoring this story, they are not living up to their obligation as members of the fourth estate and protecting their integrity. In other words, they have betrayed public trust and sold out to the White House.
The US has always acted above the laws of other sovereign nations, even ignoring the laws of the United Nations. With compliant and docile media, the Biden team can go wild and run roughshod over anyone without a tinge of concern.
The worldwide disrespect for the US will grow. In time, The US will find itself alone and friendless in a unipolar world of its own making.
George Koo retired from a global advisory services firm where he advised clients on their China strategies and business operations. Educated at MIT, Stevens Institute and Santa Clara University, he is the founder and former managing director of International Strategic Alliances. He is currently a board member of Freschfield’s, a novel green building platform. Follow him on Twitter @george_koo.