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Seymour Hersh: Navy Divers + Spooks + Norway Took Out Nordstream 2 on Biden’s Orders, Using Timer



#Seymour #Hersh #Navy #Divers #Spooks #Norway #Nordstream #Bidens #Orders #Timer

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

It was by no means onerous to determine — despite best efforts of our famously free press — who blew up the Nordstream 2 Pipeline (and even the Germans say there’s no evidence [makes warding sign] that Russia did it). Biden stated he would do it:

Then he did. And The Blob, within the individual of Radosław Sikorski, AEI member, former Minister of Nationwide Protection for Poland, and Member of the European Parliament, thanked him for it:

Sikorski deleted the tweet, however fortuitously we now have the Wayback Machine. (Hilariously for Blob stans, Sikorski is married to CFR member Anne Applebaum, who can also be on the board of the Nationwide Endowment for Democracy. One large glad!)

* * *

So we’ve had the who for a very long time, together with the what (“Blam!”), the the place (the Baltic), and the why (rework Germany right into a deindustrialized vassal state). However we’ve been lacking the how. Right here, “muckraking legend” Seymour Hersh — who broke the My Lai massacre story throughout Vietnam and the Abu Ghraib torture story throughout Iraq — breaks one other story: How America Took Out The Nord Stream Pipeline. Awesomely, the story is Hersh’s first (!) Substack submit[1] (by the way validating not solely the Substack business model, but the platform itself; hat tip to the founders and employees). You should go read it now. And subscribe, when you’re at it.

On this submit, I’ll first look briefly at Hersh’s sourcing. I’ll then excerpt among the excessive factors. (The excerpting is difficult to do, for 2 causes: First, the story is exceptionally taut and driving, so I really feel I’m chopping into muscle every time I lower in any respect; second, Hersh has a lifetime’s value of data of the nationwide safety forms; that is necessary to the story, however the element of the interagency course of is such that I might find yourself with a group of excerpts equal to the unique in size, hardly a helpful train.) Lastly, I’ll take a fast have a look at the state of play within the media, no less than as of this writing. Helpfully, each the CIA and the White Home, apparently unwitting of the Streisand Effect, have already denied the story. Never imagine something till it’s been formally denied.

First, then Hersh’s sourcing. Let me quote from the start after which the tip. Hersh summarizes the story in a single sentence. Paragraph 3:

Final June, the Navy divers, working below the duvet of a extensively publicized mid-summer NATO train often known as BALTOPS 22, planted the remotely triggered explosives that, three months later, destroyed three of the 4 Nord Stream pipelines, based on with direct data of the operational planning.

That’s the indefinite article, there. And now paragraph 77, on the finish:

had a way more streetwise view of Biden’s resolution to sabotage greater than 1500 miles of Gazprom pipeline as winter approached. “Effectively,” he stated, talking of the President, “I gotta admit the man has a pair of balls. He stated he was going to do it, and he did.”

Requested why he thought the Russians failed to reply, he stated cynically, “Perhaps they need the potential to do the identical issues the U.S. did.

“It was a fantastic cowl story,” he went on. “Behind it was a covert operation that positioned specialists within the subject and gear that operated on a covert sign.

“The one flaw was the choice to do it.”

And that’s the particular article. Hersh’s scoop, in different phrases, is single-sourced. I actually wouldn’t write it off on that account, and it could be that this story will trigger some footwear to drop that Hersh can use for a follow-up.

Now let’s flip to the story itself. I’m going to pluck out what I regard because the juiciest nuggets to your delectation in feedback, expensive readers.

Hersh begins with the Navy Divers, in paragraphs one and two:

The U.S. Navy’s Diving and Salvage Heart could be present in a location as obscure as its identify—down what was as soon as a rustic lane in rural Panama Metropolis, a now-booming resort metropolis within the southwestern panhandle of Florida, 70 miles south of the Alabama border.

The middle has been coaching extremely expert deep-water divers for many years who, as soon as assigned to American navy models worldwide, are able to technical diving to do the nice—utilizing C4 explosives to clear harbors and seashores of particles and unexploded ordinance—in addition to the unhealthy, like blowing up international oil rigs, fouling consumption valves for undersea energy vegetation, destroying locks on essential transport canals. The Panama Metropolis heart, which boasts the second largest indoor pool in America, was the right place to recruit the perfect, and most taciturn, graduates of the diving faculty who efficiently did final summer season what they’d been licensed to do 260 ft below the floor of the Baltic Sea.

Utilizing the Navy divers enabled the gamers to bypass Congress:

There was a significant bureaucratic cause for counting on the graduates of the middle’s hardcore diving faculty in Panama Metropolis. The divers have been Navy solely, and never members of America’s Particular Operations Command, whose covert operations have to be reported to Congress and briefed upfront to the Senate and Home management—the so-called Gang of Eight.[3]

Listed below are the perps gamers who ran the interagency course of that culminated within the operation’s authorization:

(John Helmer[2] notes that both Blinken and Nuland, together with our future NATO Secretary Normal, Chrystia Freedland, are Ukrainian… Effectively, I gained’t use the phrase irredentists however be happy to suppose it.)

Planning started in 2021:

In December of 2021, two months earlier than the primary Russian tanks rolled into Ukraine, Jake Sullivan convened a gathering of a newly shaped activity power—women and men from the Joint Chiefs of Employees, the CIA, and the State and Treasury Departments—and requested for suggestions about how to reply to Putin’s impending invasion…. What grew to become clear to individuals, based on , is that Sullivan supposed for the group to give you a plan for the destruction of the 2 Nord Stream pipelines—and that he was delivering on the needs of the President.

Heck yeah. What’s the purpose of a planning course of in the event you can’t engineer the result?

Enter the spooks, who’ve had expertise with underwater cables:

[CIA Director William] Burns shortly licensed an Company working group whose advert hoc members included—by likelihood—somebody who was acquainted with the capabilities of the Navy’s deep-sea divers in Panama Metropolis. Over the following few weeks, members of the CIA’s working group started to craft a plan for a covert operation that might use deep-sea divers to set off an explosion alongside the pipeline. … In early 2022, the CIA working group reported again to Sullivan’s interagency group: “We have now a technique to blow up the pipelines.”

In the meantime, each Nuland and Biden (see above) blabber publicly that Nord Stream 2 is within the crosshairs. Giving the gamers a chance for some bureaucratic knifework:

Biden’s and Nuland’s indiscretion, if that’s what it was, may need pissed off among the planners. Nevertheless it additionally created a chance. Based on , among the senior officers of the CIA decided that blowing up the pipeline “not may very well be thought of a covert choice as a result of the President simply introduced that we knew how you can do it.”

The plan to explode Nord Stream 1 and a pair of was instantly downgraded from a covert operation requiring that Congress be told to at least one that was deemed as a extremely categorized intelligence operation with U.S. navy help.

Biden provides the thumbs up:

The Company working group members had no direct contact with the White Home, and have been keen to seek out out if the President meant what he’d stated—that’s, if the mission was now a go. recalled, “Invoice Burns comes again and says, ‘Do it.’”

Enter the Norwegians:

Again in Washington, planners knew they needed to go to Norway. “They hated the Russians, and the Norwegian navy was filled with very good sailors and divers who had generations of expertise in extremely worthwhile deep-sea oil and gasoline exploration,” stated. In addition they may very well be trusted to maintain the mission secret. (The Norwegians could have had different pursuits as properly. The destruction of Nord Stream—if the Individuals might pull it off—would permit Norway to promote vastly extra of its personal pure gasoline to Europe.) … The Norwegian navy was fast to seek out the best spot, within the shallow waters of the Baltic sea just a few miles off Denmark’s Bornholm Island. The pipelines ran greater than a mile aside alongside a seafloor that was solely 260 ft deep.

(The Norwegians have been additionally useful in determining BALTOPS ought to be the duvet and wrangling different Baltic states.)

Plot twist!

After which: Washington had second ideas. The bombs would nonetheless be planted throughout BALTOPS, however the White Home apprehensive {that a} two-day window for his or her detonation can be too near the tip of the train, and it could be apparent that America had been concerned.

As an alternative, the White Home had a brand new request: “Can the blokes within the subject give you some technique to blow the pipelines afterward command?”

And the technical answer:

The C4 [explosives] hooked up to the pipelines can be triggered by a sonar buoy dropped by a aircraft on brief discover, however the process concerned probably the most superior sign processing expertise. As soon as in place, the delayed timing gadgets hooked up to any of the 4 pipelines may very well be unintentionally triggered by the complicated mixture of ocean background noises all through the closely trafficked Baltic Sea—from close to and distant ships, underwater drilling, seismic occasions, waves and even sea creatures. To keep away from this, the sonar buoy, as soon as in place, would emit a sequence of distinctive low frequency tonal sounds—very like these emitted by a flute or a piano—that might be acknowledged by the timing gadget and, after a pre-set hours of delay, set off the explosives.


On September 26, 2022, a Norwegian Navy P8 surveillance aircraft made a seemingly routine flight and dropped a sonar buoy. The sign unfold underwater, initially to Nord Stream 2 after which on to Nord Stream 1. Just a few hours later, the high-powered C4 explosives have been triggered and three of the 4 pipelines have been put out of fee. Inside a couple of minutes, swimming pools of methane gasoline that remained within the shuttered pipelines may very well be seen spreading on the water’s floor and the world realized that one thing irreversible had taken place.

Thanks, USA!

* * *

Just a few media reactions. First, Mark Ames:

Effectively, naturally. The Times of London is first out of the field:

As soon as hailed “the best American investigative reporter”, Hersh’s newer tales have been known as into query. These included articles about how the US discovered Osama bin Laden [OBL] and calling into query using chemical weapons on Syrian civilians by Syria’s regime, which have been criticised for relying closely on nameless sources and missing onerous proof.

(Right here is Hersh’s 2015 OBL story; right here is his 2017 White Helmets story, which Aaron Maté has been all over. You possibly can determined for yourselves.)

* * *

I’d hate to wager the farm on a single-sourced story, any single-sourced story. That stated, Hersh’s piece certain hangs collectively, and his supply appears to have distinctive entry. Hopefully there can be a follow-up submit from Hersh — or perhaps others? — within the coming days. In the meantime, kudos as soon as extra to Substack. What a time for an old-school blogger to be alive!


[1] It’s actually Hersh. Each Maté and Taibbi checked.

[2] Helmer has posited a quite plausible alternative (see also NC): “The navy operation on Monday evening which fired munitions to blow holes within the Nord Stream I and Nord Stream II pipelines on the Baltic Sea ground, close to Bornholm Island, was executed by the Polish Navy and particular forces. It was aided by the Danish and Swedish navy; deliberate and coordinated with US intelligence and technical help; and accredited by the Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.” Evaluating Hersh’s principle and Helmer’s is past the scope of this submit, since I’m pressed temporally, however readers could want to strive. Moon of Alabama got BALTOPS right away.

[3] “The Gang of 8 consists of the highest two congressional leaders in every chamber — Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Chief Mitch McConnell, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Home Minority Chief Kevin McCarthy — in addition to the highest Democrat and Republican on the Home and Senate intelligence committees.”

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