A US intelligence source has told journalist Seymour Hersh that President Joe Biden ordered the destruction of the Nord Stream gas pipelines to prevent Germany from backtracking on promises to abandon Russian energy.
In a blog post on Tuesday, the veteran reporter alleged that the German economy was of no concern to the White House.
The Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines, which connected Russia and Germany through the Baltic Sea, were destroyed in a series of underwater explosions a year ago.
Competing theories have emerged as to who was to blame, with mainstream media in the West blaming a Ukrainian commando unit and Hersh claiming that the CIA carried out the operation under direct orders from Biden.
In his blog post, Hersh alleged that US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan convened a series of meetings in late 2021, tasking intelligence officials with coming up with a means of deterring Russian President Vladimir Putin from sending troops into Ukraine.
- “The White House’s policy was to deter Russia from an attack,” an intelligence source told Hersh.
- “The challenge it gave to the intelligence community was to come up with a way that was powerful enough to do that, and to make a strong statement of American capability.”
By January, as Russian forces were massing on the Ukrainian border, the CIA had “solved the problem,” the source said.
- With a plan in place to plant remotely-detonated explosives on the pipelines under the Baltic Sea, Biden warned in early February that in the event of military action by Russia, “there will no longer be a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it.”
Following Biden’s statement, which was delivered alongside German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the CIA team tasked with sabotaging the pipelines received new orders, Hersh claimed.
Instead of immediately destroying Nord Stream, the team was instructed to plant the explosives for detonation at a later date.
- “It was then that we understood that the attack on the pipelines was not a deterrent because as the war went on we never got the command,” a member of the team told Hersh.
- “We realized that the destruction of the two Russian pipelines was not related to the Ukrainian war,” the source continued.
- “But was part of a neocon political agenda to keep Scholz and Germany, with winter coming up and the pipelines shut down, from getting cold feet and opening up.”
According to Hersh’s earlier reporting, CIA divers planted the explosives last summer with the help of the Norwegian navy, using a NATO exercise in the region as cover.
By the time the bombs were triggered in September, the flow of Russian gas to Germany via Nord Stream 1 had already been slowed to a trickle by Russia in response to Western sanctions, while Nord Stream 2 was never certified to begin operation by Scholz’s government.
However, with the German economy heavily dependent on Russian gas, Biden reportedly feared that Scholz would choose reproachment with Moscow over support for Ukraine.
“The President of the United States would rather see Germany freeze than [see] Germany possibly stop supporting Ukraine,” Hersh declared earlier this year.
Header: FILE – Pipes at the landfall facilities of the ‘Nord Stream 2’ gas pipline are pictured in Lubmin, northern Germany, on Feb. 15, 2022. The German government said Wednesday it was triggering the early warning level for gas supplies amid concerns that Russia could cut off supplies unless it is paid in rubles. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File)