Hersh: West's Hesitance to Conclude Nord Stream Probe Implicates Culprits
© Photo : Swedish Coast GuardGas leak location on Nord Stream 2
© Photo : Swedish Coast Guard
Sweden's decision to abruptly quit an investigation into the Nord Stream sabotage attack raises new questions about who the real culprits behind the blast are, and turns the spotlight on the German probe.
Almost a year ago, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh published his bombshell story about the US' and Norway's participation in the September 26, 2022, sabotage attack on Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines.
To date, none of the Western countries involved in the subsequent investigation - Sweden, Denmark, and Germany – have presented explanations of what happened or named a culprit. Moreover, Sweden announced on February 7 that it would drop its investigation into explosions.
❗️Sweden closes investigation into Nord Stream explosions because suspects could not be identified - Prosecutor's Office— Sputnik (@SputnikInt) February 7, 2024
The Swedish prosecutor's office has determined that Sweden and Swedish citizens were not involved in the attack on Nord Stream.
Sweden and Denmark announced they would conduct an inquiry within days of the attack, Hersh recalled in his Tuesday's piece. Germany followed suit on October 2, 2022. Remarkably, very soon, Sweden said it would not join any joint investigations because "it would involve the transfer of information related to Sweden’s national security," the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist pointed out.
"Nothing more about the cause of the underwater bombings has been heard since from either Sweden or Denmark, although both nations knew, as I have written, that the US was practicing underwater diving in the Baltic Sea for months before the explosions," Hersh wrote. "The failure of the two nations to complete their inquiry may have stemmed from the fact, as I was told, that some senior officials in both countries understood precisely what was going on."
For its part, the Kremlin announced on September 28, 2022, that Russia was ready to consider applications from EU countries for a joint investigation into the Nord Stream incident. However, not only did the West reject Moscow's request but also blamed Russia for destroying its own pipelines. On October 12, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin qualified the incident as "an act of international terrorism".
14 December 2023, 16:11 GMT
However, it was not only Sweden and Denmark that demonstrated little if any curiosity in digging to the bottom of the incident. The US also seemed uninterested, according to Hersh.
"After the explosions, which became an international sensation, it took four days for a White House correspondent to bring up the Nord Stream issue," Hersh wrote.
He particularly cited the White House stating at the time that it would not make a "definitive determination" until its allies in the region concluded their work.
"There is no evidence that President Biden, in the sixteen months since the pipelines were destroyed, has 'tasked'—a word of art in the American intelligence community—its experts to conduct an all-source investigation into the explosions," Hersh wrote.
Moreover, "the US has since vetoed at least one attempt by Russia to get an independent United Nations investigation into the explosions," he added.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist pointed out that despite Germany suffering the most from the blast (which deprived its industries of the source of relatively cheap and reliable energy flow from Russia), Chancellor Olaf Scholz or any other senior German leader didn't make any significant push to determine who did what.
"A subsequent investigation sought by some members of the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament, was undertaken but its conclusion has been withheld from the public for what are said to be security reasons," Hersh pointed out.
The investigative journalist pointed out that the US and German mainstream media were circulating the story of "a 49-foot yacht said to be the vessel for the high-risk technical diving involved" instead.
In his previous articles, Hersh debunked the Andromeda yacht plot, suggesting that the CIA invented the story and fed it to the Western press to distract the public attention from his bombshell. Remarkably, some Western media soon found numerous gaps in the Andromeda story and called them out.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist believes that "the sabotage in the Baltic Sea was the result of a long-standing US policy of driving a wedge between Russia and Western Europe."
He quoted Emmanuel Todd, a French demographer and political scientist, who said in his recent interview that "one of the great goals of American politics, and therefore of NATO, was to stop the inevitable reconciliation of Russia and Germany." Therefore, according to Todd, Washington "blew up the Nord Stream pipeline."
"At the time Biden ordered the destruction of the pipelines, the American fear was that [German] Chancellor Scholz, who at the request of Washington had shut off 750 miles of Russian gas in the new Nord Stream 2 pipeline that was ready in the fall of 2021 to be delivered to a port in Germany, might change his mind and let the gas flow, easing German economic worries and reinstating an important energy force for German industry. That would not be allowed to happen, and Germany has been in economic and political turmoil since," Hersh concluded.
Having dropped the probe Sweden is expected to hand evidence uncovered in the probe over to Germany.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on February 7 that Russia would watch closely how German investigators proceed with the probe.
"Of course, now we need to see how Germany itself reacts to this, as a country that has lost a lot in relation to this terrorist attack," Peskov said. "Taxpayers in Germany suffer, German firms and companies suffer, lose their competitiveness, lose their profitability without this gas. It will be interesting to see how scrupulously the German authorities will conduct this investigation."