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White House Counters Hersh’s Reputation With Weak ‘Intelligence’

Above Photo: The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in Lubmin, Germany, last year.

On September 28 2022, a day after the Nord Stream pipelines were blown up, I published the available open source evidence which strongly suggested that the U.S. had done it:

Whodunnit? – Facts Related to The Sabotage Attack On The Nord Stream Pipelines

On February 8 the legendary investigative reporter Seymour Hersh published a remarkable similar tale of the story based on insider witnesses.

Hersh: “How America Took Out The Nord Stream Pipeline”

I then suggested some minor corrections to Hersh’s version of the story.

While Hersh’s story found an echo in Europe’s newspapers, U.S. mainstream media did all they could to avoid it:

Scores of hits from publications across the globe pop up from an internet search for veteran investigative reporter Seymour Hersh’s claim that the US destroyed Russia’s Nord Stream gas pipeline.

But what is most striking about the page after page of results from Google, Bing and DuckDuckGo in the weeks following the February 8 posting of Hersh’s story isn’t what is there, but what is not to be found:

  •  The Times of London (2/8/23) reported Hersh’s story hours after he posted it on his Substack account, but nothing in the New York Times.
  • Britain’s Reuters News Agency moved at least ten stories (2/8/23, 2/9/23, 2/12/2, 2/15/23, among others), the Associated Press not one.
  • Not a word broadcast by the major US broadcast networks—NBC, ABC, CBS—or the publicly funded broadcasters PBS and NPR.
  • No news stories on the nation’s major cable outlets, CNN, MSNBC and Fox News.

Is there justification for such self-censorship? True, Hersh’s story is based on a single anonymous source. But anonymous sources are a staple of mainstream reporting on the US government, used by all major outlets. Further, countless stories of lesser national and international import have been published with the caveat that the facts reported have not been independently verified.

Doubts about Hersh’s story aside, by every journalistic standard, the extensive international coverage given the story, as well as the adamant White House and Pentagon denials, should have made it big news in the United States.

More important, if Hersh got it wrong, his story needs to be knocked down. Silence is not acceptable journalism.

Some papers later mentioned the Hersh story but only in other context. Still the pressure on the U.S. government and media to react to the story continued to build.

The results came today, a full month after the Hersh story, with New York Times publishing another of the usual ‘intelligence’ fairytales:

Intelligence Suggests Pro-Ukrainian Group Sabotaged Pipelines, U.S. Officials Say
New intelligence reporting amounts to the first significant known lead about who was responsible for the attack on the Nord Stream pipelines that carried natural gas from Russia to Europe.

All fine – except that there is no ‘intelligence’. There are only claims by anonymous ‘officials’ to NYT reporters that some vague ‘intelligence’ may exist.

WASHINGTON — New intelligence reviewed by U.S. officials suggests that a pro-Ukrainian group carried out the attack on the Nord Stream pipelines last year, a step toward determining responsibility for an act of sabotage that has confounded investigators on both sides of the Atlantic for months.U.S. officials said that they had no evidence President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine or his top lieutenants were involved in the operation, or that the perpetrators were acting at the direction of any Ukrainian government officials.

That is, so far, believable. Any combination of Joe Biden, Victoria Nuland, Anthony Blinken and various White House and NATO minions can certainly be called a ‘pro-Ukrainian group’.

U.S. officials declined to disclose the nature of the intelligence, how it was obtained or any details of the strength of the evidence it contains. They have said that there are no firm conclusions about it, leaving open the possibility that the operation might have been conducted off the books by a proxy force with connections to the Ukrainian government or its security services.

Can you get any more vague?

Officials who have reviewed the intelligence said they believed the saboteurs were most likely Ukrainian or Russian nationals, or some combination of the two. U.S. officials said no American or British nationals were involved.

The explosives were most likely planted with the help of experienced divers who did not appear to be working for military or intelligence services, U.S. officials who have reviewed the new intelligence said. But it is possible that the perpetrators received specialized government training in the past.

I call bullshit on this one. Hersh has in the meantime confirmed that at the pipelines were mined at eight places and that six of the eight planned explosions went off. This was a way too big task and too difficult for anyone to do but for an experienced national military.

U.S. officials who have been briefed on the intelligence are divided about how much weight to put on the new information. All of them spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss classified intelligence and matters of sensitive diplomacy.U.S. officials said the new intelligence reporting has increased their optimism that American spy agencies and their partners in Europe can find more information, which could allow them to reach a firm conclusion about the perpetrators. It is unclear how long that process will take. American officials recently discussed the intelligence with their European counterparts, who have taken the lead in investigating the attack.

I am pretty sure that all European intelligence services know exactly who the perpetrators were. They have all read Hersh’s piece and they do have their ways to confirm it.

By the way- we are now down to paragraph 22 of the Times story and the name Hersh or a summary of his story have not yet been mentioned.

They only come in the next paragraph and only to be immediately dismissed.

Last month, the investigative journalist Seymour Hersh published an article on the newsletter platform Substack concluding that the United States carried out the operation at the direction of Mr. Biden. In making his case, Mr. Hersh cited the president’s preinvasion threat to “bring an end” to Nord Stream 2, and similar statements by other senior U.S. officials.U.S. officials say Mr. Biden and his top aides did not authorize a mission to destroy the Nord Stream pipelines, and they say there was no U.S. involvement.

Not a word about the insider source who told Hersh the whole story, nor about the other unmentioned source who confirmed the story to Hersh. (In his autobiography Reporter Hersh writes that he always has had more than one source even when he at times could not say so.)

The purported claims of the ‘intelligence’ as published by the Times are no believable. That such ‘intelligence’ exists is dubious. This just chaff thrown up to divert the views of the public from the real perpetrators of the Nord Stream terror attack – those who sit in the White House.

You may wonder who the New York Times was chosen for the ‘leak’ of this smoke grenade.

In 1977 the Rolling Stone published a story by Carl Bernstein:

How Americas Most Powerful News Media Worked Hand in Glove with the Central Intelligence Agency and Why the Church Committee Covered It Up

MURKY DETAILS OF CIA RELATIONSHIPS WITH INDIVIDUALS and news organizations began trickling out in 1973 when it was first disclosed that the CIA had, on occasion, employed journalists. Those reports, combined with new information, serve as casebook studies of the Agency’s use of journalists for intelligence purposes. They include:■ The New York Times. The Agency’s relationship with the Times was by far its most valuable among newspapers, according to CIA officials. From 1950 to 1966, about ten CIA employees were provided Times cover under arrangements approved by the newspaper’s late publisher, Arthur Hays Sulzberger. The cover arrangements were part of a general Times policy—set by Sulzberger—to provide assistance to the CIA whenever possible.

Sulzberger was especially close to Allen Dulles. “At that level of contact it was the mighty talking to the mighty,” said a high‑level CIA official who was present at some of the discussions. “There was an agreement in principle that, yes indeed, we would help each other. The question of cover came up on several occasions. It was agreed that the actual arrangements would be handled by subordinates…. The mighty didn’t want to know the specifics; they wanted plausible deniability.

Nothing has changed since.

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