Want to understand why the media we consume is either owned by billionaires or under the thumb of governments? The latest developments in the reporting of who was behind the explosions that destroyed the Nord Stream pipelines that brought Russian gas to Europe provide the answer. Although largely forgotten now, the blasts in the Baltic Sea in September 2022 had huge and lasting repercussions. The explosion was an act both of unprecedented industrial sabotage and of unparalleled environmental terrorism, releasing untold quantities of the most potent of the greenhouse gasses, methane, into the atmosphere.
Nord Stream Pipelines
It was no surprise to the agency’s secret planning group when on January 27, 2022, the assured and confident Nuland, then undersecretary of state for political affairs, stridently warned Putin that if he invaded Ukraine, as he clearly was planning to, that “one way or another Nord Stream 2 will not move forward.” The line attracted enormous attention, but the words preceding the threat did not. The official State Department transcript shows that she preceded her threat by saying that with regard to the pipeline: “We continue to have very strong and clear conversations with our German allies.”
Facebook has censored a report by the world’s most famous investigative journalist, Pulitzer Prize winner Seymour Hersh, on the destruction of the Nord Stream pipeline between Russia and Germany. While discouraging its users from posting Hersh’s article, Facebook instead recommends a website that is funded and partially owned by the government of NATO member Norway. Facebook has millions of dollars worth of contracts with the US government, including with the Pentagon and Department of Homeland Security. The Nord Stream system consisted of two sets of two pipelines each (known as Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2) that delivered natural gas from Russia, through the Baltic Sea, to Germany.
On March 27, 2023, the UN Security Council (UNSC) failed to pass a Russia-initiated Resolution calling for a UN investigation into the Nord Stream pipeline bombing. Russia’s co-sponsors were the People’s Republic of China, Belarus, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Eritrea, Nicaragua, the Syrian Arab Republic and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Looking closer at the numbers the result shows a global political divide between rich and non-rich, between “white” states and those “of color,” and between core states on one side and peripheral and semi-peripheral states on the other. This is true even on the Security Council, which represents less than a third of world population (32%).
America’s Central Intelligence Agency is constantly running covert operations around the world, and all must have a cover story in case things go badly, as they often do. It is just as important to have an explanation when things go well, as they did in the Baltic Sea last fall. Within weeks of my report that Joe Biden ordered the destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines, the agency produced a cover story and found willing takers in the New York Times and two major German publications. By creating a story of deep sea divers and a crew who did not exist, the agency was following protocol, and the story would have been part of the first days of secret planning to destroy the pipelines.
The UN Security Council voted Monday against a Russian effort to get an independent investigation into the bombings of the Nord Stream natural gas pipelines that connect Russia to Germany. The only members of the Council that voted in favor of the resolution were Russia, China, and Brazil. The remaining 12 members abstained from the vote, including the US, the likely culprit of the attacks. The resolution had little chance of passing since it needed at least nine votes in favor and no veto from any of the five permanent members of the Security Council: the US, China, Russia, Britain, and France.
On Sept. 26, 2022, a series of explosions rocked the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines in the Baltic Sea off the coast of Denmark. Danish and Swedish authorities quickly determined that the damage done to the pipelines was not caused by earthquakes or other seismic activity, but by “blasts.” The pipelines were a crucial part of Europe’s energy infrastructure, delivering billions of cubic meters of gas from Russia. Over 500,000 tons of methane, a greenhouse gas 80x more damaging for the climate than carbon dioxide, were released from the explosions in the largest ever recorded single methane leak in human history.
History has dealt a tough hand to the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden, who openly confessed his intent to “bring an end” to the Nord Stream pipeline system which delivered Russian natural gas to Europe through four pipelines (Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2, consisting of two pipelines each). Since then, the Biden White House was compelled to deny the president’s stated intent after an explosive report by Pulitzer-Prize winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh detailed damning information which, if true (and there is no reason to suspect it’s not) casts the responsibility for a series of underwater explosions that took place on Sept. 26, 2022, on Biden himself.
In a report Tuesday morning, the New York Times claims new intelligence from anonymous U.S. officials puts Nord Stream pipeline sabotage blame on a pro-Ukrainian group. The information released from the intelligence report offers little detail but asserts the group involved in last year’s terrorist attack in the Baltic Sea “were opponents of President Vladimir V. Putin, but does not specify the members of the group, or who directed or paid for the operation.” The Times also alleges that, “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.”
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. On February 8 the legendary investigative reporter Seymour Hersh published a remarkable similar tale of the story based on insider witnesses. 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.
What’s not in doubt is the remarkable breadth of the news blackout surrounding Hersh’s story. The only major US newspaper to cover it as breaking news was the New York Post (2/8/23). It did appear on the opinion pages—but not the news columns—of two major dailies. The Los Angeles Times (2/11/23) mentioned Hersh’s story in the 11th paragraph of a weekly round-up by the letters editor. On the New York Times opinion page (2/15/23), Ross Douthat included Hersh in a column headlined “UFOs and Other Unsolved Mysteries of Our Time.” Fox News firebrands Tucker Carlson (2/8/23) and Laura Ingraham (2/14/23) collectively gave Hersh’s story a few minutes on their cable TV shows, but their network didn’t post a news story.
“If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” The idea behind this old thought experiment should not be relegated to the realm of philosophy. Present day reality can be used in place of hypothetical falling trees. If the United States blows up the Nord Stream pipelines but the media ignores it, did the attack ever happen? Seymour Hersh has all of the credentials that usually give one gravitas in the world of journalism. As a freelance reporter he exposed the U.S. army’s 1969 massacre of Vietnamese civilians at My Lai and won a Pulitzer Prize for his efforts.
Sy Hersh has a piece at his Substack account entitled How America Took Out the Nord Stream Pipeline. The New York Times called it a, quote unquote mystery. But the United States executed a covert C.I.A. operation that was kept secret until now. For insight into this, let’s turn to our first guest. He works with Tell the World, The publishing arm of the Ecumenical Church of the Savior in inner city Washington; has 27 year career as a C.I.A. analyst, serving as chief of the Soviet foreign policy branch and preparing the president’s daily brief. He is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, and he is, of course, Ray McGovern. As always, Ray, welcome back.
The story that Hersh tells seems incomplete and not researched as deeply as possible. I bet that his sources know more than that. But it still fits with the tale I had constructed from open data a day after the pipeline was destroyed: While the Baltops 22 maneuver already took place in June and July of this year the U.S. Sixth Fleet left the Baltic Sea only a few days ago (in German, my translation): Big Fleet Group From U.S. Navy Passes [German island passage] Fehmanbelt On Wednesday morning the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge, escorted by the Landing Ships USS Arlington and USS Gunston Hall, was en route towards west. Previously, the ships were part of US units that took part in NATO maneuvers and called at numerous ports in Germany, Scandinavia and the Baltic States. The "USS Kearsarge", flagship of the association and largest warship of the US Navy, which was in action in the Baltic Sea in the last 30 years, has 40 helicopters and fighter planes as well as more than 2000 soldiers on board, the escort ships about 1000. For the around 4,000 soldiers are heading back home on the east coast of the US after their six-month deployment.
Absolutely remarkable, Western media’s determination to ignore the recent Baltic Sea detonations, which knocked out the Nord Stream I and II gas pipelines. A major piece of Europe’s energy infrastructure, the joint property of Germany and Russia, has been destroyed. Any chance that Russian gas transmissions westward will be resumed is off the table. The Continent is now sent on a desperate search for new sources of natural gas, inevitably at higher prices. I cannot think of many stories that are more significant. The Western press and broadcasters have reported next to nothing about this momentous development since the September 26 explosions. And it is now clear that the media’s silence reflects a larger silence. On October 14, Reuters reported that Sweden has declined to participate in a joint investigation with Germany and Denmark.