Seymour Hersh claims Biden ordered the attack on the Nord Stream pipelines
A report is circulating that Biden expressly ordered U.S. Navy divers to blow up the Nord Stream pipelines through which Russian natural gas flowed to Europe. If that’s true, Biden committed an act of war. I have a proposal, though, to keep Putin from launching an ICBM in our direction.
The allegation comes from Seymour Hersh, 85, the journalist the highlight of whose long career Wikipedia describes. In 1969, Hersh broke the story of the My Lai massacre that had happened the year before. Since then, Hersh has alleged that U.S. intelligence tricked the Soviets into shooting down Korean Air Flight 007 in 1983; claimed that Nicholas Davies, an editor for the Daily Mirror, was a secret Mossad agent (something Davies denied); broke the Abu Ghraib story; claimed that the U.S. was trying to destabilize the Iranian mullahs during the George W. Bush presidency; alleged that the Obama administration systematically lied about every detail of Osama bin Laden’s death, except for the fact that he was dead; and has a laundry list of “interesting” claims revolving around John F. Kennedy.
Sometimes Hersh nails things (e.g., My Lai; Abu Ghraib), but his record for accuracy, in my opinion, can be hit or miss (based on my observations over the years). I’ve also felt that he dislikes America and Israel, a perceived bias that prevents me from trusting his reporting in the first instance. He’s also deeply suspicious of America’s intelligence agencies, although (sadly) events of late have proven that he’s probably right to be.
Image: The Nord Stream pipeline explosion. YouTube screen grab.
All of this means that, when Seymour Hersh alleges something, I wait before reaching a conclusion. That’s definitely my attitude regarding Hersh’s latest allegation at his new Substack; namely, that Biden ordered the attack on Russia’s Nord Stream pipelines in September 2022. Here’s the key language, which relies solely on an anonymous source:
Last June, the Navy divers [from the U.S. Navy’s Diving and Salvage Center], 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.
Now, with Russian troops massing on the Ukrainian border and the bloodiest war in Europe since 1945 looming, President Joseph Biden saw the pipelines as a vehicle for Vladimir Putin to weaponize natural gas for his political and territorial ambitions.
Asked for comment, Adrienne Watson, a White House spokesperson, said in an email, “This is false and complete fiction.” Tammy Thorp, a spokesperson for the Central Intelligence Agency, similarly wrote: “This claim is completely and utterly false.”
Biden’s decision to sabotage the pipelines came after more than nine months of highly secret back and forth debate inside Washington’s national security community about how to best achieve that goal. For much of that time, the issue was not whether to do the mission, but how to get it done with no overt clue as to who was responsible.
Hersh has a lot of details but names no names to back his key assertion, which is that Biden gave the order to blow up the pipelines.
Do I think Biden would give that order? Yes, especially if his handlers pushed him to do so. Do I think he did give that order? I sincerely hope not because it seems to me—and beware that I’m not versed in international law—that destroying another country’s pipeline is an act of war. My understanding further says that Putin would be within his rights to respond with an attack on the U.S.
For the moment, let’s assume solely for the sake of argument that Biden did what Hersh alleges. Is there a way to prevent Putin from attacking? Well, I think there is. It’s a simple three-step plan: Immediately impeach Biden (who will have started a war without Congress's permission); try him for war crimes; and, if he’s found guilty, hand him over to Putin for a punishment consistent with the Geneva Convention. (As an added bonus for those who believe in anthropogenic climate change, keep in mind that blowing up the pipelines is said to have released up to 32 billion pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere.)