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Is Hersh Telling The Whole Truth?

On February 8, American journalist Seymour Hersh revealed that U.S President Joe Biden ordered the September 26, 2022 attacks on the Nord Stream pipelines, which was built to supply cheap gas from Russia to Germany.

But is Hersh telling the whole truth? What is remarkable is that even Moscow has reacted to the report with reserve. Of course, the Kremlin has known for a long time who is behind the attacks, but surprisingly, the Kremlin’s official reaction to the Hersh report has not been to confirm its accuracy.

Instead, Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin’s spokesperson, told the Russian state news agency Tass that Western media need to pay more attention to “this very serious, and probably controversial, publication by Mr. Hersh”:

“it is so crucial for the media, not just for Russian [media], but for the foreign [press] as well, to pay attention to this very serious, and probably controversial, publication by Mr. Hersh on the alleged involvement and direct guilt of the White House for organizing the act of sabotage and terrorist act on critical energy infrastructure in the Baltic Sea, namely the Nord Stream pipelines,”

Russian presidential spokesman, Dmitry Peskov.

Moscow: Information on the”involvement of the Anglo-Saxons”

The report should have made Moscow happier. It’s what Russia has been saying all along – that it had information “on the involvement of the Anglo-Saxons in the organization of this act of sabotage,”

On September 30, four days after the Nord Stream attack, Russian President Putin alluded to the “Anglo-Saxons” who “believe sanctions are no longer enough and now they have turned to subversion…It is clear to everyone who stands to gain. Those who benefit are responsible, of course.”

On October, 30, the founder of Megaupload, Kim Schmitz, also known as Kim Dotcom, tweeted that Truss sent Blinken the message “it’s done” a minute after the explosions on the Nord Stream pipelines.

Reaction from Moscow was swift. The Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zhakharova, urged the former UK Prime Ministe Liz Truss for an explanation.

“Honestly, I don’t care who and how (they) got this information. I am interested in London’s response to the following question: Did Britain’s Prime Minister Liz Truss send a message to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken right after the explosion at Nord Stream gas pipeline with the words ‘it’s done?’,” Maria Zakharova wrote on Telegram.

”Millions of people all over the world are waiting for an answer to this question,” stressing that they “have the right to know what happened to the global energy security and what is the role of Anglo-Saxons in the committed terrorist attack.”

Earlier, on October 29, 2022, the Russian Defense Ministry revealed that the UK Royal Navy was involved in the attack on Nord Stream. In a statement, the Ministry said: “According to the obtained data, the UK Navy representatives took part in planning, organizing, and carrying out the terrorist act in the Baltic Sea on September 26, 2022, to blow up the Nord Stream-1 and Nord Stream-2 gas pipelines.”

Shortly after, Russia summoned Britain’s ambassador to the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow to make “A resolute note of protest” about the “active role that British military experts took in training and supplying Ukrainian special forces, including with the purpose of carrying out acts of sabotage in the sea”.

But no such “resolute note of protest” was given to the US, suggesting Moscow was betting the revelations would eventually come along. It was only a matter of time.

What’s the Matter, Moscow?

So when the Hersh published his report, why wasn’t Moscow more pumped? Why did Peskov call it “very serious, and probably controversial, publication by Mr. Hersh”. What’s in the report that’s “controversial”

What’s more, Peskov said the investigative report cannot be regarded as the primary source of information, “since some points could be challenged and some points need proof,”.

Adding that such material should have “accelerated an international investigation,” he said, “However, we see the opposite, with attempts to silently curtail this international investigation,”

So, what makes the Hersh report a “probably very controversial report?” The fact that Hersh relies only on one anonymous source that he cannot and will not reveal?

No, that’s not it. Moscow doesn’t care about that.

It’s about the other claims in the report. Hersh’s source unwittingly revealed more than Hersh was prepared to digest.

Take this claim, for example, when Hersh says it took “more than nine months of highly secret back and forth debate” for Biden to authorize the Nord Stream attacks:

“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.”

Between the start of the war (February, 24, 2022) and the date of the Nord Stream attacks, there is 7 months. So, if there were “more than nine months of highly secret back and forth debate”, this means the U.S was planning to attack Nord Stream regardless of the war in Ukraine, and that the war had been planned in advance by Washington to manufacture an excuse to stop the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which it had failed to stop after years of intense lobbying and veiled threats, because the Germans saw it in their paramount economic interest. With Nord Stream 2 pipeline, Germany was going to get cheap gas from Russia which increased its competitiveness and prosperity.

“More than nine months”. This is quite the detail, but Hersh passes it over like it means nothing. He does not even notice the inconsistency, while his source does not realize the devil is in the details, and he just told Hersh something he wasn’t planning to – something he did not want to be part of the bombshell Nord Stream revelations.

If the “nine months” detail might just have been an inaccuracy on the part of the Hersh’s source, the report makes another claim that shows planning for the Nord Stream attacks started well before the war:

“The Biden Administration was doing everything possible to avoid leaks as the planning took place late in 2021 and into the first months of 2022.”

More clues yet:

“President Biden and his foreign policy team—National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, Secretary of State Tony Blinken, and Victoria Nuland, the Undersecretary of State for Policy—had been vocal and consistent in their hostility to the two pipelines… From its earliest days, Nord Stream 1 was seen by Washington and its anti-Russian NATO partners as a threat to western dominance…”

“America’s political fears were real: Putin would now have an additional and much-needed major source of income, and Germany and the rest of Western Europe would become addicted to low-cost natural gas supplied by Russia—while diminishing European reliance on America.”

Hersh is here repeating Washington’s favourite talking point: the danger that Germany “would become addicted to low-cost natural gas supplied by Russia.”

But the question is: since when did free trade become an “addiction”? Since when did getting the best price for your gas become something bad for Germany – the largest economy of Europe? And, the one exciting question that has never been answered: when has there been a conflict in which Putin used Russian gas or oil to blackmail Germany. Even during the Cold war, Soviet Russia maintained gas supplies to Europe.

There is more. Stopping Nord Stream at all costs was always the plan for Biden. In the Hersh report, we learn that U.S Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, would not have passed his confirmation in the U.S Senate unless he expressly vowed to stop Nord Stream:

“Opposition to Nord Stream 2 flared on the eve of the Biden inauguration in January 2021, when Senate Republicans… repeatedly raised the political threat of cheap Russian natural gas during the confirmation hearing of Blinken as Secretary of State…. Would Biden stand up to the Germans? Blinken said yes…. “I know his strong conviction that this is a bad idea, the Nord Stream 2,” he said. “I know that he would have us use every persuasive tool that we have to convince our friends and partners, including Germany, not to move forward with it.”

Washington’s real concern about Nord Stream is not that Germany would be addicted to Russian gas, or that Putin would blackmail Europe’s largest economy. The real concern was that it would make both Germany and Russia rich and friendly, creating an enormous economic free zone on the Eurasian continent that would effectively terminate America’s dominance over Western Europe. If Germany and Russia have reason to get along with each other because of cheap gas, then there is really no reason for the US to protect Germany from Russia.

But what was the necessity for the US of going to the extent of blowing up the pipelines? The reason why Washington was ready to attack Nord Stream, regardless of whether Russia would actually go to war in Ukraine, is because the US is in an existential crisis. The American economy is broken and the only way for the U.S to preserve its dominant position is by crushing the rise of potential competitors. Both Germany and Russia fit that description.

Report Without Context

The biggest failing of the Hersh report is the complete absence of geopolitical contextualization. Hersh is either ignorant or naive about the real geopolitical factors that led the U.S to blow up the Nord Stream pipelines. He refers unquestioningly to Russia’s “invasion”. That has been the narrative so far – the narrative of “unprovoked Russian aggression”. But is it true?

For the past 8 years, the CIA has been training Ukrainian paramilitaries to take a critical role if Russia invades. In other words, the US has been grooming Ukraine for 8 years for a war with Russia. The plan to prepare for an “impending Russian invasion” did not start in 2021, as the Hersh report suggests, but 8 years earlier – in 2015!

On March, 30, 2021, about a year before the Ukraine war broke out, Russian President Vladimir Putin started sounding the alarm. In a video conference with German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and French President, Emmanuel Macon, Putin “expressed serious concern about the escalation of armed confrontation on the contact line being provoked by Ukraine,”

The Kremlin communiqué states:

“During an in-depth exchange of views on the situation in Ukraine, the leaders confirmed the lack of alternatives to the 2015 Minsk Package of Measures as the basis for a settlement of the internal conflict in that country. The President of Russia emphasised that it is important that the Kiev authorities implement all the previous agreements reached at the top level, primarily on establishing a direct dialogue with Donetsk and Lugansk and settling the legal aspects of a special status for Donbass. The Russian leader expressed serious concern about the escalation of armed confrontation on the contact line being provoked by Ukraine and its refusal to implement the additional measures to strengthen the ceasefire coordinated by the Trilateral Contact Group in July 2020. The leaders’ political advisers will continue their joint efforts.”

Speaking on the day the Ukraine war started, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was “forced” to order a military action in Ukraine because the West refused to heed to Russia’s security demands:

“I was surprised that didn’t move a millimeter on any issue,” Putin said. “They have left us no chance to act differently.”

The Hersh report is only the tip of the iceberg.

The real story of “unprovoked Russian aggression” could be that stupidly simple as a war that was going to happen, regardless of what Putin did or didn’t, because that’s what Washington wanted.

On the day the war was announced, Putin said he was surprised by the West’s “intransigence” regarding Moscow’s security demands. That was the American plan all along: to be intransigent through and through so there is no other option but war.

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