Reporter: Biden Fed Media 'False Stories' on Pipeline Blasts

Veteran investigative reporter Seymour Hersh alleged on Wednesday that US Pres. Biden and his administration fed US and German media "false cover stories" of how the Nord Stream pipelines were destroyed following Hersh's exposé.

Reporter: Biden Fed Media 'False Stories' on Pipeline Blasts
Image credit: [via The Washington Post]

Facts

  • Veteran investigative reporter Seymour Hersh alleged on Wednesday that US Pres. Biden and his administration fed US and German media "false cover stories" of how the Nord Stream pipelines were destroyed following Hersh's exposé on how it had allegedly been conducted and who was responsible for the attack.1
  • In February, Hersh — citing an unnamed US source who he claimed had "direct knowledge of the operational planning" of the attack — reported that US Navy divers, operating under the cover of a NATO exercise in the Baltic Sea, planted remotely triggered explosives that were set off three months later to destroy three of the four pipelines.2
  • In early March, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz traveled to the White House for a meeting with Biden. During the talks, according to a source "with access to diplomatic intelligence," the CIA "were [sic] asked to prepare a cover story in collaboration with German intelligence that would provide the American and German press with an alternative version for the destruction of Nord Stream 2," reported Hersh.1
  • Shortly thereafter, stories appeared in the New York Times and the German weekly Die Zeit that alleged that a "pro-Ukrainian group" carried out an "ad hoc 'off the books' operation" in which a luxury sailing yacht was allegedly used to plant the explosives on the pipelines. "It was a total fabrication by American intelligence that was passed along to the Germans, and aimed at discrediting your story," Hersh's source said.3
  • Elsewhere in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Ukrainian officials said on Thursday that the death toll from an earlier drone attack on the Kyiv region rose to nine dead and seven injured. Meanwhile, two civilians were killed and four were injured in Russian attacks on the Donetsk region in the past day. One civilian was killed and two were injured in attacks on Kherson while attacks were also recorded in the regions of Sumy, Kharkiv, and Zaporizhzhia with no additional reports of casualties at this stage.4
  • Meanwhile in Bakhmut, the Donetsk city at the center of months of fighting, the Institute for the Study of War — a US military-affiliated think tank — assessed that Russia continued to make marginal gains in and around the city, but said that its tempo of operations appears to be slowing amid reports that Russian forces are being redeployed elsewhere.5

Sources: 1Seymour Hersh, 2Seymourhersh, 3RT, 4UKRINFORM, and 5Understandingwar.

Narratives

  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by New York Times. While inconclusive, intelligence reviewed by US officials suggests that the attack on the Nord Stream pipelines was carried out by a pro-Ukrainian group that viewed Russia's ability to sell gas to Europe as a threat to ongoing European support for Ukraine. However, the mystery of who was responsible remains largely unsolved.
  • Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Seymour Hersh. The US was responsible for blowing up the Nord Stream pipelines. After Hersh's exposé, the CIA sought to muddy the waters and provide an alternative story to shift the blame elsewhere.

Predictions