Seymour Hersh, the famous investigative journalist, has slammed U.S.’s alleged involvement in bombing the Nord Stream gas lines as one of the “dumbest” decisions taken in years, warning that the move will have “horrific” consequences for Europeans and further undercut the already “supremely useless” NATO alliance.
Speaking to Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman for an interview on Wednesday, Hersh outlined his recent report on the destruction of the pipelines last year, which found that the U.S. played a key role in planting and detonating explosives on sections of the Nord Stream pipelines under the Baltic Sea.
“I think the consequences politically for us are enormous,” he said, adding that the long-term effects for Europe would be “horrific” and “cut into the notion that they can depend totally on America, even in a crisis.”
The world famous journalist said: “I think that this has probably been, in the view of some of the people who did it, one of the dumbest things the American government has done in years – and we have had four years of Trump.”
Hersh argued that U.S. officials have long seen cheap energy alternatives for Europe as a “threat,” noting that Washington has “always wanted to isolate Russia” to prevent oil and gas sales to the EU.
He said the Joe Biden administration feared Europe would “walk away” from the conflict in Ukraine and felt the need to pressure allies to stay the course.
“What Biden did is he said, ‘I am in a big war with Ukraine. It is not looking good. I want to be sure I get German and West European support,” Hersh continued.
He added that the president did not want Berlin to reverse course and reopen the Nord Stream lines, which had been under sanctions, “so he took away that option,” effectively telling his European partners “You are second rate.”
I know people that are paying five times as much now for electricity. People are paying three or four times more for gas. There is not enough of it. It is very expensive,” he said, arguing that Europe is now forced to obtain energy from other sources than Russia, including the United States itself.
He added: “And I think it is going to undercut NATO, which I always found to be supremely useless.”
While the Biden administration has vocally denied Hersh’s report, with State Department spokesperson Ned Price calling it “utter and complete nonsense,” the journalist has stuck by his unnamed source, insisting the information relayed to him was accurate.
He told Democracy Now! that he would continue to report on the issue in the future, saying there are “still things I need to write about.”
More Nord Stream ‘Bombshells’ To Come
Seymour Hersh has promised to reveal more incriminating information linking the U.S. to the demolition of the Nord Stream gas pipelines. President Joe Biden ordered the lines destroyed to prevent Germany from resuming the purchase of cheap Russian gas, he claimed.
In a post to his Substack page on February 15, 2023, Hersh slammed the mainstream media – singling out the New York Times and Washington Post – for refusing to “run a word” on the pipeline story, and for ignoring Russia and China’s calls for an international investigation.
Both papers, he said, published his exposés on the U.S. military’s war crimes in Vietnam, but are now seemingly uninterested in “national security or matters of war and peace.”
Nord Stream 1 and 2, which connected Russia and Germany under the Baltic Sea, were damaged in a series of underwater explosions last September. Hersh, a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist, released a report last week blaming the US for the attack and detailing how the Biden administration and the CIA planned the operation. The White House dismissed the allegation as “utterly false and complete fiction.”
The article backed up Moscow’s repeated assertions that the U.S. carried out the strike in order to prevent rapprochement between Russia and Germany, while making Berlin dependent on more expensive American liquefied natural gas.
Germany halted certification of Nord Stream 2 in the days before Russian troops entered Ukraine, and EU sanctions throttled the flow of gas through Nord Stream 1 since late summer by impeding vital repairs.
However, Hersh told Germany’s Berliner Zeitung newspaper on Tuesday that the Biden administration feared Berlin would lift these sanctions and resume gas transit as temperatures dropped over the winter.
He asserted: “the president of the United States would rather see Germany freeze than see Germany possibly stop supporting Ukraine.”
“There may be more to learn about Joe Biden’s decision to prevent the German government from having second thoughts about the lack of cheap gas this winter,” Hersh wrote on Wednesday.
“Stay tuned,” he said. “We are only on first base …”
Russia Demands UN Probe Of Nord Stream Blasts
Other media reports said:
Lawmakers in the Russian State Duma, the lower house of parliament, unanimously voted on Thursday to adopt an appeal to the UN demanding a probe into the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines in September.
The Russian MPs described the incident as a “crime committed by the US.”
The move comes after a bombshell exposé was published by veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh last week revealing how Washington and its NATO ally Norway cooperated to develop a plan to destroy the pipelines.
Russia’s appeal was prepared on behalf of State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, who, during Thursday’s parliament meeting, called the blasts a terrorist attack.
Volodin said: Just think about it: a terrorist act aimed against Russia, Germany, the Netherlands, and France. The USA, shamelessly, brought it into motion, with President Biden publicly endorsing it.”
He also noted how the countries involved in the incident were “working on instructions from both the CIA and the U.S.”
The appeal was initially introduced to the State Duma by the Parliament Committee for International Relations on Tuesday.
The document states that “the Biden administration, which issued unlawful order, bears full responsibility for causing multibillion-dollar damage to the owners of the most important energy infrastructure for the Eurasian Continent.”
The document insists that Washington must answer for the “long-term detrimental effect of this attack on the economic development of the countries of the region” and the “catastrophic damage to the environment.”
According to the Russian lawmakers, Washington’s “cynical desire” for geopolitical hegemony and the “physical elimination of natural competitors” puts U.S. leaders “on par with ruthless terrorist and war criminals.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov responded by saying that Moscow “respectfully disagrees,” and Russia has asked the UN Security Council to convene later this month to discuss the matter.
Germany Must Investigate Pipeline Sabotage, Says German MP
Berlin must not obstruct the creation of an international inquiry into the explosions on the Nord Stream gas pipelines, Sevim Dagdelen, a German MP from the Left Party (Die Linke), said on Tuesday.
Dagdelen’s appeal came after Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh claimed that the US and Norway were behind the September 2022 blasts on the Baltic Sea pipelines, which were built to transport gas from Russia to Germany.
“It appears that the federal government has neither the strength nor the will to properly investigate these terrorist acts,” Dagdelen said.
The lawmaker urged the authorities to “find the strongest possible response to a terrorist attack on German and European infrastructure.”
Dagdelen argued it was the duty of Chancellor Olaf Scholz to ensure a full investigation into the explosions on the pipelines, which were vital to the country’s energy supply.
The MP warned it has become “obvious to an increasing number of people in Germany” that foreign policy should not lead to “entering into serfdom to the U.S.”
“I call upon the federal government to at least refrain from preventing the creation of an international investigative commission, ideally under the aegis of the United Nations,” Dagdelen said.
The office of the German Public Prosecutor General, which is conducting Germany’s official probe into the incident, has yet to release any results. Peter Frank, the country’s top prosecutor, said this month that there was no evidence that Moscow was involved in the attack.
UN Secretary General
A spokesman for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres stated this week that the organization has no mandate to initiate the investigation. In response, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov insisted that Moscow would continue to seek an appropriate format for the probe.
When asked about a UN probe into the Nord Stream sabotage, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Tuesday that the world body would need to “have a mandate, which we do not, clearly.”
Partners Should Investigate Nord Stream Blasts, Says U.S.
As the 2022 Nord Stream pipeline explosions did not take place in U.S. waters, Washington believes it is more appropriate for the countries whose territory was involved to investigate the matter, State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters on Wednesday.
“I would leave it to our partners on whose territory – on whose soil as it were – these blasts occurred to speak to the appropriate investigative mechanism,” Price said during a daily briefing.
Price declined to comment on the news that Russia has called a session of the UN Security Council for next week, with the intent to seek an international investigation into the September 2022 explosions that damaged the Baltic Sea pipelines previously supplying Russian natural gas to Germany.
“I will repeat what we have said before: What we have heard from Moscow, what we have heard from the Kremlin, is nothing but a lie. It is pure disinformation that the U.S. was behind what transpired with Nord Stream 2, the Nord Stream blasts,” Price said. “This is the message that we have conveyed consistently in the face of these lies that have been parroted by Russian officials, and will convey them again if we need to, in any form.”
Russia has previously said that the UK and U.S. “benefited” from the destruction of the pipelines, but stopped short of accusing Washington outright.
Maria Zakharova, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, accused Price of “once again lying live on air, openly mocking journalists who asked fully justified questions.”
Denmark, in whose waters the explosions happened, is a NATO member. Both Denmark and Sweden – which is trying to join the U.S.-led bloc – have refused to even respond to Russian requests for an investigation. NATO’s current secretary general is a former prime minister of Norway.