Seymour Hersh claims the US Navy blew up the Nord Stream pipelines. Not too surprisingly but there are some interesting details. The NYT and others have articles on it but the best one IMO is by Eugyppius:
The Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist has the story from a single high-level anonymous source, and it's not without problems.
For months, the Nord Stream story
has lain dormant; investigations have yielded no news, except to confirm the obvious sabotage
. Only the occasional delighted remarks by American officials
have made headlines in the meantime. All of that changed seven hours ago, when Seymour Hersh posted a lengthy Substack article on How America Took Out The Nord Stream Pipeline
Hersh has a high-level anonymous source, who alleges that the attack was conceived by the Biden administration in late 2021, and carried out by U.S. Navy divers from their Diving and Salvage Center in Panama City in collaboration with Norway. Explosive charges were allegedly attached to the pipelines during the June BALTOPS 22 naval exercises in the region
. The plan was originally to use timed explosives, but the administration opted at the last minute instead for a trigger mechanism that could be set off with a sonar buoy. This buoy, according to Hersh, was dropped by a Norwegian navy plane on 26 September 2022, triggering the explosions.
The story appears poised to make it into major media; as I type this, it’s already been picked up by the Times
As always, you should read Hersh’s piece and make up your own mind. I confess to some substantial reservations. As written, the account is broadly plausible, particularly in light of the open and blunt statements of American officials
, but it also seems, at the very least, incomplete.
I’m having particular problems with this part of Hersh’s reporting:
Remember that there were actually two distinct explosions – the first one to the south, on Pipe A of Nord Stream 2 alone, at 2:03 in the morning; and the second on both Nord Stream 1 pipes and again on Pipe A of Nord Stream 2, at a separate location miles to the north and exactly
seventeen hours later, at 19:03:
Hersh’s article, describing explosives laid at a location where both Nord Stream pipes ran parallel, seems to be only about the second, more northerly attack. This is a fairly glaring omission in a piece full of very precise details on other matters, including other operational specifics.
I also wonder about the source’s claim that Biden and Nuland, via early statements that the US would block Nord Stream 2 in the event of a Russian invasion, effectively “downgraded” the action from a covert operation requiring Congressional oversight to a lower-level merely classified action that dispensed planners of having to seek such approval. Perhaps that’s totally believable, but I need more persuading here. The avoidance of Congressional oversight is a recurrent theme in the piece; it’s also allegedly why US Navy divers, rather than special forces, were chosen to carry out the operation. One could argue that, with these claims, Hersh’s source is simply trying to make his story robust to falsification by the House and Senate leadership.
The story is now making its way into the German press. This t-online article
gives a hint of how they’ll try to downplay it:
The ex-DDR tabloid Berliner Kurier
meanwhile leads with Seymour Hersh’s investigative reporting credentials, and Sahra Wagenknecht’s essential endorsement of his reporting
(Link to article)