| Nord Stream 2 | MR Online Nord Stream 2

U.S. prefers frozen Germany over one not aiding Ukraine: Seymour Hersh

Originally published: Al Mayadeen on February 15, 2023 by Berliner Zeitung (more by Al Mayadeen)  | (Posted Jun 08, 2023)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told a press conference days after the Nord Stream pipelines were blown up that an important factor of Russia’s power had been taken away from President Vladimir Putin’s hand, famed U.S. investigative journalist and Pulitzer award winner Seymour Hersh told German newspaper Berliner Zeitung in an interview published on Tuesday.

Hersh recalled how Blinken said destroying the pipelines was a tremendous opportunity to deprive Russia of its ability to use its pipelines as a weapon, and it would no longer be able to use the pipelines to pressure Western Europe to end U.S. support of Ukraine in the war.

Additionally, Victoria Nuland, the U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, said that “the [US] administration is very gratified to know that Nord Stream 2” would no longer be operational.

The reason for this decision, Hersh told the German daily, was that the war was not going well for the West, and the U.S. was scared that the cold winter would push Germany into lifting the sanctions imposed on the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, which was put on hold by Berlin in the wake of the Ukraine war.

Asked about the motives of the attack on the pipelines, Hersh underlined how the United States was against the pipeline for various reasons since the early stages, with some saying it was opposed because Washington wanted to weaken Russia or its relations with Western Europe, especially Germany. Meanwhile, others said Washington sought to undermine the German economy, a competitor of the U.S. economy.

“I don’t think they’ve thought this through thoroughly. I know that sounds strange. I don’t think Secretary of State Blinken and some others in the government are profound thinkers,” the journalist said.

There are certainly people in American business who like the idea that we are becoming more competitive. We sell liquefied natural gas (LNG) at extremely high profits, and we make a lot of money from it.

He said those in the White House were obsessed with re-election and wanted Ukraine to win the war, however. He also noted that certain parties might have thought that the German economy being weak would benefit the U.S. economy.

I think we got caught up in something that won’t work. The war won’t end well for this government.

Asked about how he thought the war could end, Hersh told the German daily that his thoughts on the matter did not count.

What I know is that there is no way this war will end the way we want it to, and I don’t know what we will do as we look further into the future.

He expressed his awe at President Joe Biden authorizing an attack of this sort, stressing that those carrying out the mission were aware of what Biden was doing to the people in Germany and how he was “punishing them” for a war that was not going according to plan.

The White House, Hersh told the German newspaper, was scared that the war might be lost and that Germany and Western Europe would stop supplying the weapons Washington asks them to, with Berlin giving the green light to the pipeline again.

The operation was top secret and the President wasn’t supposed to tell anyone about our ability, “but he likes to chat. He sometimes says things he shouldn’t say,” Hersh said about Biden.

Finally, the investigative journalist talked about the attacks he was subjected to once his story about the United States carrying out the Nord Stream bombing was reported on, as he only had one source who was both anonymous and “unreliable”. He wondered:

How could I talk about my source?

I have written many stories based on uncredited sources. If I named anyone they would be fired or worse, jailed. The law is very strict. I’ve never unmasked anyone, and of course, when I write I say, as I’ve done in this article, that it’s a source, period.

Furthermore, he dismissed the attacks on him as “missing the point,” which is that Biden decided to “let the Germans freeze this winter.”

Hersh accused Biden of preferring a frozen-over Germany rather than a Germany that does not offer support to Ukraine. He said this was “devastating” for the Biden administration.

“The people involved in the operation saw that the President wanted to freeze Germany for his short-term political goals, and that horrified them,” Hersh told the newspaper.

“The CIA, as I put in my article, works for power, not the constitution,” he concluded.

The Pulitzer winner had said last week that U.S. Navy divers had planted explosives to destroy the Nord Stream pipelines in late 2022.

“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,” Hersh wrote in his Substack newsletter.

The White House responded and dismissed the claims as “false and complete fiction.”

Hersh later confirmed to the Russian news agency Sputnik that he authored the investigative report in question.

“Of course,” Hersh told Sputnik when asked whether he authored the article published on a Substack account created shortly before its publication.

Flightradar24 data showed in late September that U.S. military helicopters habitually and on numerous occasions circled for hours over the site of the Nord Stream pipeline incident near Bornholm Island.

A U.S. Navy Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk helicopter spent hours loitering over the location of the damaged natural gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea near Bornholm for several days in a row, September 1, 2, and 3, in particular.

According to the article, the United States decided to sabotage the pipelines after a lengthy debate that lasted more than nine months inside the U.S. national security community.

“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,” the report read.

The explosions occurred on September 26 at three of the four strings of Nord Stream 1 and 2 underwater pipelines, which are designed to transport a total of 110 billion cubic meters of Russian gas to Europe each year.

Separate investigations were launched by Germany, Denmark, and Sweden into the suspected sabotage, with German media reporting trust issues among the three EU nations. The Russian prosecutor’s office announced an investigation into possible international terrorism.

However, Denmark and Sweden have barred Russia from investigating the attack. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said this exclusion highlighted the West’s double standards.

Additionally, Russian Ambassador to Denmark Vladimir Barbin said Denmark does not provide any information on the progress and results of the investigation into the explosions at the Nord Stream gas pipelines, which raises concerns.

Barbin said that the Danish side was currently not providing any information on the progress and results of the investigation into gas pipeline sabotage.

With the anniversary of the Ukraine war nearing, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was asked about Russia’s plans to mark this date. The Foreign Minister noted that there were many things that need to be remembered and demonstrated that would depict how the U.S. establishes its hegemony.

“We are preparing a sort of a report of what happened this year, what we managed to discover, and this is not only the U.S. military biological programs, from which they are trying to disown, they lie, as always, and not only the direct participation of the United States in the explosions at Nord Stream,” Lavrov said.

Monthly Review does not necessarily adhere to all of the views conveyed in articles republished at MR Online. Our goal is to share a variety of left perspectives that we think our readers will find interesting or useful. —Eds.