Washington ?took out? the Russian gas pipelines, Seymour Hersh has claimed
The Nord Stream pipelines were destroyed last September by the US in a covert operation, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has claimed. The legendary reporter made the bombshell revelation in an article posted to his newly launched blog on Substack on Wednesday.
The explosives were planted at the pipelines back in June 2022 by US Navy divers under the guise of BALTOPS 22 NATO exercise, Hersh reported, citing a source with direct knowledge of the operational planning.
The journalist noted he had reached the White House and the CIA for comment, with both firmly rejecting the claim as "utterly false."
The bombs were detonated three months later on September 26 with a remote signal sent by a sonar buoy. The buoy was dropped near the Nord Stream pipelines by a Norwegian Navy P8 surveillance plane, according to the report.
The operation came to fruition following months of back-and-forth between the White House, the CIA and the military, with the officials focusing on how to leave no trace of the US involvement in the attack. The planning process began back in December 2021, when a special task force was created with the direct participation of US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.
"The Navy proposed using a newly commissioned submarine to assault the pipeline directly. The Air Force discussed dropping bombs with delayed fuses that could be set off remotely. The CIA argued that whatever was done, it would have to be covert. Everyone involved understood the stakes," the report read.
The source told Hersh that everybody involved understood the operation was not some "kiddie stuff" and was actually an "an act of war." Throughout "all of this scheming" certain officials urged the White House to drop the idea entirely. "Some working guys in the CIA and the State Department were saying, 'Don't do this. It's stupid and will be a political nightmare if it comes out,'" according to the source.