Seymour Hersh, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist, has claimed the U.S. intentionally provided false stories to the media to cover up Washington’s involvement in the destruction of Russia’s Nord Stream pipelines.
In a post on his Substack blog on Wednesday, the veteran reporter claims the CIA was tasked with preparing a cover story – in collaboration with Berin’s BND intelligence service – to provide the U.S. and German press with an “alternative version” of the Nord Stream 2 explosions.
“In the words of the intelligence community, the agency was ‘to pulse the system’ in an effort to discount the claim that Biden had ordered the pipeline’s destruction,” Hersh wrote, citing an anonymous source with access to diplomatic intelligence.
He noted that the CIA had completed its task and, with the help of Germany, planted stories in the New York Times and German weekly Die Zeit. These referred to a supposed “ad hoc ‘off the books’ operation” carried out by a “pro-Ukrainian group,” which allegedly used a luxury sailing yacht to plant explosives on the Nord Stream pipelines.
“It was a total fabrication by American intelligence that was passed along to the Germans, and aimed at discrediting your story,” a source within the American intelligence community reportedly told Hersh.
“The disinformation professionals inside the CIA understand that a propaganda gambit can only work if those on receiving are desperate for a story that can diminish or displace an unwanted truth. And the truth in question is that President Joe Biden authorized the destruction of the pipeline,” he added.
In February, Hersh published a bombshell report on last September’s Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipeline blasts, accusing Washington of orchestrating the attack. The White House denied responsibility. Last week, several Western media outlets claimed the culprits may have been linked to Ukraine. Moscow dismissed the reports as “a coordinated media hoax campaign.”
Danish Navy Present Near Nord Stream 2, Reports Media
The Royal Danish Navy is believed to be conducting a diving operation to the east of the island of Bornholm, not far from the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline damaged by a blast. Newspaper Berlingske reported on Tuesday that a Flyvefisken-class patrol vessel used by military divers had been seen there along with two other military ships. The Danish military confirmed its presence east of Bornholm but would not comment on the ships’ mission, Berlingske said.
Last week, Denmark’s Foreign Minister Lars Rasmussen announced that his government could corroborate a report by the Russian gas giant Gazprom, the operator of the undersea pipeline, about a strange object found near Nord Stream 2.
The company sent pictures of the item to Danish authorities, while the Russian government made a formal inquiry through its embassy, the minister said. Copenhagen treats the discovery seriously and will investigate further, Rasmussen pledged at the time.
The object was mentioned last week by Russian President Vladimir Putin in a TV interview. He said it was found during a Gazprom survey about 30 kilometers away from where the pipeline was breached. The device may be an antenna used in remotely detonating a charge, the president suggested, citing experts.
Moscow asked for permission to explore further, Putin added, necessary because the object is located in Denmark’s exclusive zone. Russia could organize a mission “on its own, jointly with the Danes, or, better yet, with an international group of experts in explosives who are trained to work at such depth.”
Rasmussen said such permission would not be granted, triggering a rebuke from the Russian Foreign Ministry.
The sabotage of the two Nord Stream pipelines, which mostly run next to each other but divert a bit near Bornholm, involved explosions in two different general locations, one in Danish waters, the other in the Swedish zone. Three of the four strings comprising the key energy links were ruptured.
According to a report by veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, the operation was ordered by US President Joe Biden, with the militaries of the U.S. and Norway planting the charges. Both nations have denied any responsibility.