Seymour Hersh: How America Took Out The Nord Stream Pipeline (1 Viewer)

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    SaintForLife

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    The New York Times called it a “mystery,” but the United States executed a covert sea operation that was kept secret—until now

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    The U.S. Navy’s Diving and Salvage Center can be found in a location as obscure as its name—down what was once a country lane in rural Panama City, a now-booming resort city in the southwestern panhandle of Florida, 70 miles south of the Alabama border. The center’s complex is as nondescript as its location—a drab concrete post-World War II structure that has the look of a vocational high school on the west side of Chicago. A coin-operated laundromat and a dance school are across what is now a four-lane road.

    The center has been training highly skilled deep-water divers for decades who, once assigned to American military units worldwide, are capable of technical diving to do the good—using C4 explosives to clear harbors and beaches of debris and unexploded ordnance—as well as the bad, like blowing up foreign oil rigs, fouling intake valves for undersea power plants, destroying locks on crucial shipping canals. The Panama City center, which boasts the second largest indoor pool in America, was the perfect place to recruit the best, and most taciturn, graduates of the diving school who successfully did last summer what they had been authorized to do 260 feet under the surface of the Baltic Sea.

    Last June, the Navy divers, 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.

    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 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.

    Asked for comment, Adrienne Watson, a White House spokesperson, said in an email, “This is false and complete fiction.” Tammy Thorp, a spokesperson for the Central Intelligence Agency, similarly wrote: “This claim is completely and utterly false.”

    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.Biden’s decision to sabotage the pipelines came after more than nine months of highly secret back and forth debate inside Washington’s national security community about how to best achieve that goal. For much of that time, the issue was not whether to do the mission, but how to get it done with no overt clue as to who was responsible.

    There was a vital bureaucratic reason for relying on the graduates of the center’s hardcore diving school in Panama City. The divers were Navy only, and not members of America’s Special Operations Command, whose covert operations must be reported to Congress and briefed in advance to the Senate and House leadership—the so-called Gang of Eight. The Biden Administration was doing everything possible to avoid leaks as the planning took place late in 2021 and into the first months of 2022.

    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, which ran side by side for 750 miles under the Baltic Sea from two different ports in northeastern Russia near the Estonian border, passing close to the Danish island of Bornholm before ending in northern Germany.

    The direct route, which bypassed any need to transit Ukraine, had been a boon for the German economy, which enjoyed an abundance of cheap Russian natural gas—enough to run its factories and heat its homes while enabling German distributors to sell excess gas, at a profit, throughout Western Europe. Action that could be traced to the administration would violate US promises to minimize direct conflict with Russia. Secrecy was essential.



    I know this is from a few weeks ago, but it definitely deserves it's own thread
     
    One anonymous source. I think it's more likely Norway blew it up. However, if we did do it GOOD. More work and money for American oil industry.
     
    Also, the nonsense about "this suggests he has more than one source, but it keeping quiet about it..."

    If this was true, the number of people who would actually know about it would be miniscule...outside of the operators and a handful of people in their direct command, say a dozen people knew about it. So, we can estimate the number to be less than 40. The idea that he can say he has one source, but can't say he's got two or three is silly. It's not like saying "I have confirmed this with two different sources" somehow will make the people who know search harder for who leaked it to him.
     
    SFL keeps his perfect record: he will fall for just about any anti-American conspiracy theory out there.

    I still reserve judgement on it. I do have a problem with a serious motivation for America to do this. Biden in a speech told Russia something along the lines of "the oil from the nordstream pipelines would stop". That's vague enough to just mean sanctions though.

    Some people point to LNG, but my understanding is LNG is already at max capacity going to countries like China. So what good does that do you, other then potentially raising the overall price? Sanctions again, accomplish the same thing though.

    Norway, and Ukraine are the top for motive to do the deed.

    I do think people are right to doubt the story of Russia doing it. That doesn't make sense either. Russia would have bombed Norway's pipeline.

    My general opinion is I feel most certain Russia didn't do it, and probably not Germany. Everyone else? Who knows.
     
    I'm surprised he waited until this story had mostly been discredited to post it.

    It would have been way more interesting to post this a week and a half ago.
     
    Two things are clear here.

    1. No one knows what happened or if any state actor knows they wont say; nord stream 1 had evidence of sabotage.
    2. Hersh and his story is full of crap. Now he has a story about Norwegian involved in the gulf of Tonkin from the Vietnam war.

    Let's start with Hersh's credibility. His stories of the my lai massacre and abu Ghraib deserves praise, though the latter had plenty of errors yet the core of the story was correct. Since Those two stories he has been mired in the...to be kind...in the contrarian view points.

    He doesnt believe that bin Laden was responsible for 911.


    He doesn't think Putin killed magnitsky; he moderated a propaganda film screening that argues that Browder was the corrupt one and eventually killed magnitsky.


    He doesnt believe the UK government story that a few Russian agents killed Skipal, but rather was part of an organized crime hit.


    He refutes that Assad used sarin gas, rather it was the rebels. Based on osint reports, the trajectory originated from government held positions. And sarin gas production is highly expensive, suggesting the rebels must devote all their resources just to make a few containers. Highly unlikely.


    He doesn't believe the US account of a CIA operation that tracked and killed Osama bin Laden. Instead it was the Pakistani intelligence that held him prisoner and eventually gave him to the Americans.


    And now he believes that in a highly top secret operation which the US were determined to keep private even from the gang of 8 and other watch dogs...so Biden recruited the Norwegians? Because of course the US lacks the sophistication to find the shallowest part of the baltics and bombing under water....and of course the bomb sites were at the deepest part of the baltic?!?!

    Here is the osint guy who debunks hersh's claims.

    In an interview Harsh incredulous by the us attempt for secrecy screams, "the Alta was there. How do they [the us] deny it". Later after Alexander messaged him that no Alta or equivalent class ships were near the site at that time, Hersh says that the US accounted for the Osint types...that publicly available data were controlled by the us. Conspiracies within conspiracies. Oh the Norwegians played the part because...according to hersh would see their gas export double. Reality is that it increased by 6% or so.

    Finally to the motivation of the state actors. To start, Russian natural gas has not been sanctioned by any country except the US and another....neither imports Russian gas. Biden stated that Nord 2 would not be operational if Russia invaded, which it hadn't. Sholtz flew to the white house early in the invasion and then immediately stated that the nord 2 project is dead. Biden used his political leverage.

    Yet it seems probable that the US, ukraine, brits, norwegian, etc would benefit if the pipelines blew up. But why would those countries risk the back lash of the Germans if caught? And why only blow up 3 of the 4, leaving an operational nord 2 pipeline???

    So here's the thing. Russia too can benefit. Open any Russian media monitor...julia Davis for example and one would find that the Russians were weaponizing energy. They were gleaming with joy as they imagined a cold winter when the West would shiver and cower, capitulating to Russian demands. As the invasion rolled on, Russia increasingly threatened that they would turn off the gas and they did to some European nations. But the problem was, they had contractual obligation on the Nord 1. Had they shut down nord 1, they had to pay the Germans. So of course something like an explosion is a force majeure, thus freeing the Russians of their contractual obligations. And conveniently, 1 nord 2 was operational. Coincidentally nord 2 had a much more lucrative contract. [Edit] side note: it is well known that the Russians had a trained under water sabotage unit devoted to destroying deep see infrastructure such as internet cables.

    So yeah there can be intent on many parties. No one as yet knows who did it. The only two certainty is hersh is full of shirt. And 3 of the 4 pipelines blew up.
     
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    Two things are clear here.

    1. No one knows what happened or if any state actor knows they wont say; nord stream 1 had evidence of sabotage.
    2. Hersh and his story is full of crap. Now he has a story about Norwegian involved in the gulf of Tonkin from the Vietnam war.

    Let's start with Hersh's credibility. His stories of the my lai massacre and abu Ghraib deserves praise, though the latter had plenty of errors yet the core of the story was correct. Since Those two stories he has been mired in the...to be kind...in the contrarian view points.

    He doesnt believe that bin Laden was responsible for 911.


    He doesn't think Putin killed magnitsky; he moderated a propaganda film screening that argues that Browder was the corrupt one and eventually killed magnitsky.


    He doesnt believe the UK government story that a few Russian agents killed Skipal, but rather was part of an organized crime hit.


    He refutes that Assad used sarin gas, rather it was the rebels. Based on osint reports, the trajectory originated from government held positions. And sarin gas production is highly expensive, suggesting the rebels must devote all their resources just to make a few containers. Highly unlikely.


    He doesn't believe the US account of a CIA operation that tracked and killed Osama bin Laden. Instead it was the Pakistani intelligence that held him prisoner and eventually gave him to the Americans.


    And now he believes that in a highly top secret operation which the US were determined to keep private even from the gang of 8 and other watch dogs...so Biden recruited the Norwegians? Because of course the US lacks the sophistication to find the shallowest part of the baltics and bombing under water....and of course the bomb sites were at the deepest part of the baltic?!?!

    Here is the osint guy who debunks hersh's claims.

    In an interview Harsh incredulous by the us attempt for secrecy screams, "the Alta was there. How do they [the us] deny it". Later after Alexander messaged him that no Alta or equivalent class ships were near the site at that time, Hersh says that the US accounted for the Osint types...that publicly available data were controlled by the us. Conspiracies within conspiracies. Oh the Norwegians played the part because...according to hersh would see their gas export double. Reality is that it increased by 6% or so.

    Finally to the motivation of the state actors. To start, Russian natural gas has not been sanctioned by any country except the US and another....neither imports Russian gas. Biden stated that Nord 2 would not be operational if Russia invaded, which it hadn't. Sholtz flew to the white house early in the invasion and then immediately stated that the nord 2 project is dead. Biden used his political leverage.

    Yet it seems probable that the US, ukraine, brits, norwegian, etc would benefit if the pipelines blew up. But why would those countries risk the back lash of the Germans if caught? And why only blow up 3 of the 4, leaving an operational nord 2 pipeline???

    So here's the thing. Russia too can benefit. Open any Russian media monitor...julia Davis for example and one would find that the Russians were weaponizing energy. They were gleaming with joy as they imagined a cold winter when the West would shiver and cower, capitulating to Russian demands. As the invasion rolled on, Russia increasingly threatened that they would turn off the gas and they did to some European nations. But the problem was, they had contractual obligation on the Nord 1. Had they shut down nord 1, they had to pay the Germans. So of course something like an explosion is a force majeure, thus freeing the Russians of their contractual obligations. And conveniently, 1 nord 2 was operational. Coincidentally nord 2 had a much more lucrative contract. [Edit] side note: it is well known that the Russians had a trained under water sabotage unit devoted to destroying deep see infrastructure such as internet cables.

    So yeah there can be intent on many parties. No one as yet knows who did it. The only two certainty is hersh is full of shirt. And 3 of the 4 pipelines blew up.
    This post is a fantastic example of how most conspiracy theories can be debunked with some critical thinking and a bit of basic research, but of course it involves some heavy lifting and work...in this case AGAIN, someone else has to do the OP's homework for him because engaging in such critical thinking and additional research would undermine the purpose of the OP, and that it just to mindlessly parrot propaganda and silly conspiracy theories to fulfill an ideological agenda that has nothing to do with truth-seeking or objectivity.
     
    As to the idea of blaming “organized crime” for Skipal, the Russian oligarchy IS organized crime. And Putin is the leader. So 🤷‍♀️.

    It‘s all so transparent and stupid.
     
    The Hersh report has been widely rejected (even laughed at) by the many in the military intelligence analyst community - because, among other things, it is full of obvious inaccuracies.







    I think some skepticism is warranted due to it strictly being based off of anonymous source or sources, but there plenty of other things that lead one to believe it was the US.

    In regrards to your tweets, I don't buy Bremmer thinking it was Ukraine that most likely did it. Ukraine doesn't have the capability to have pulled off the detonation. Besides Bremmer isn't the most credible person. I've seem him have to walk back quite a few claims he's made. Wasn't he the guy who tweeted out the fake Trump quote about Kim Jong Un?




    Others in the comments have also echoed the same criticisms about the AIS data.

     
    This post is a fantastic example of how most conspiracy theories can be debunked with some critical thinking and a bit of basic research, but of course it involves some heavy lifting and work...in this case AGAIN, someone else has to do the OP's homework for him because engaging in such critical thinking and additional research would undermine the purpose of the OP, and that it just to mindlessly parrot propaganda and silly conspiracy theories to fulfill an ideological agenda that has nothing to do with truth-seeking or objectivity.
    Keep slopping up that US propaganda. You look thirsty.

     
    It’s hilarious that you put forward criticism of the debunking that says it’s bunk because it’s not hard proof. And yet you are willing to believe someone with very shaky credibility who has one anonymous source. Do you not see the irony?
     
    It’s hilarious that you put forward criticism of the debunking that says it’s bunk because it’s not hard proof. And yet you are willing to believe someone with very shaky credibility who has one anonymous source. Do you not see the irony?
    No...the hilarious part is the way he ignores ALL of the other hard evidence, and moves forward with one minor thing that isn't even evidence to show that the debunker isn't credible.

    For example, the guy who was a trusted intelligence asset helping the US in vietnam when he was less than 16 years old.
     
    If we were responsible for destroying Nord Stream 1 and half of 2, why is that a bad thing for the US and Europe?
     
    If we were responsible for destroying Nord Stream 1 and half of 2, why is that a bad thing for the US and Europe?
    If the US is to promote a rules-based, liberal world order, destroying property of another state is hypocritical. Just because we can doesn't mean we should. All those quotes linked expressed that it helped the situation in Ukraine but none has any admission that the US did it. It isn't a secret that it helps Ukraine. Radosław Sikorski, who I respect, even tweeted a thank you to the US when the pipeline explosions news broke and later deleted.

    Regardless, the NORD 2 wasn't even operational. It was functional and can bring Russian natural gas, but effectively Scholtz shut it off. So that leaves NORD 1 as the only operational. Well guess what? The Russians threatened to shut that off. Why would the US destroy that pipeline if the Russians already intend to turn it off? As they had already reduced the pressure? That's why the Biden speech used as "proof" is so ridiculous. First he said NORD 2. Second, we didn't need to take a risk when political pressure had done the job. Just as we pressured Scholtz to send MBT. Plus one NORD 2 is still functional and the Russians declared they can still deliver natural gas through it. The US is that careless to leave one functional Nord 2 pipeline?


    Here the Gazprom sent a letter declaring force majeure on July 14, 2022 and declined by German firms. And the explosion was in September 2022?

    Dated 14 July, the letter from the Russian state gas monopoly said it was declaring force majeure on supplies, starting from 14 June.
     
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    No...the hilarious part is the way he ignores ALL of the other hard evidence, and moves forward with one minor thing that isn't even evidence to show that the debunker isn't credible.

    For example, the guy who was a trusted intelligence asset helping the US in vietnam when he was less than 16 years old.
    Yeah Jens Stoltenberg is very prodigious, obviously? Age matters not to him. He was probably a signal analyst at 6 yo. Seriously, I won't even bother reading Hersh's other gem about Norway's involvement in the Tonkin matter.

    You know the most ridiculous of Hersh's many interviews since his story has been debunked? He said the OSInt guys were "obsessed with facts". WTF??? I had to listen to his garbage interview to verify that.
     
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