The Hersh report is a devastating revelation of U.S. and NATO international terrorism as well as Western media complicity. It exposes the lawlessness of U.S. government, the total disregard by Washington for its so-called European allies, the supine nature of European governments, Germany in particular, and the real geopolitical reasons behind the war in Ukraine, and subsequently the shocking servility of Western media in refusing to cover what is an astounding act of criminality.
This is an explosive story in more ways than one and indeed in more ways than we can perhaps even calculate at this stage. Only one week after its publication, the fallout and reverberations continue to amplify. Such is the parlous and pathetic state of Western journalism, Hersh was obliged to publish his account on his resources, knowing that mainstream outlets would not touch it. That systematic media censorship and exposure of propaganda functioning is itself a huge scandal that will grow further. This is while the European Union sanctions and bans Russian media, even though Russian media have been vindicated by Hersh’s revelations while Western media is shown to be an utter disgrace.
On September 26, 2022, the Nord Stream pipelines were blown up. European states have since acknowledged that, albeit with muted reports. For its part, Russia has from the outset blamed Western powers for an act of terrorism. Washington initially made the preposterous claims that Russia had carried out the attacks in revenge against Europe. And Western media went along with the ridiculous ride.
There is no disputing that the damage was deliberate sabotage. The 1,222-kilometer undersea civilian infrastructure was the biggest of its kind in the world, involving a consortium of companies from Russia, Germany, France and the Netherlands. It took more than a decade to construct at an estimated cost of over €12 billion. The enormous loss of natural gas volumes from the explosion could also be monetized in billions of euros.
So, without even attributing specific culpability, this sabotage constitutes an egregious act of state-sponsored terrorism that violates international law on numerous counts. And yet Western media have acted like the proverbial monkeys who see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil.
At the time of the spectacular event, many critical observers immediately suspected foul play. In our Strategic Culture Foundation weekly editorial of September 30, the headline stated: “Blatantly Obvious Who Gains From Nord Stream Sabotage”.
We postulated back then only days after the incident that a plausible cause was “deliberate sabotage” by the United States and its NATO allies.
“If that’s the case, then it is an act of terrorism against civilian infrastructure and a grievous blow to Russia’s national interests. It could be construed as a criminal act of war,” we wrote.
Our editorial cited U.S. President Joe Biden’s own words of warning issued at a White House press conference when he spoke on February 7, 2022. Biden appeared to stray off script and cryptically asserted to reporters that the Nord Stream would be “brought to an end” if Russia were to intervene militarily in Ukraine, as Russia did two weeks later on February 24 (as a result of deadly NATO provocations, we should add).
“His [Biden’s] cryptic assertion, over-riding European governments, suggests that a contingency plan had already been authorized to take out the Nord Stream. And, it seems, the nefarious action duly went ahead this week,” we wrote.
(We modestly take pride in the objective perspicacity of our assessment. And yet this online journal is smeared and banned by the United States and European governments as a Russian propaganda tool.)
Seymour Hersh’s investigative report published last week corroborates what many observers had suspected at an early stage. The irrefutable fact is the Nord Stream gas pipelines were blown up by U.S. military forces. Not only that, but the Americans were aided and abetted by NATO member Norway, and quite possibly by other NATO members including Poland, Denmark and Britain.
This is an earth-shattering scandal. The repercussions are going to keep cascading and cascading. Hersh has followed up with promises of more indicting details in forthcoming articles. Other journalists are now corroborating his details about U.S. navy divers planting explosives under the cover of NATO war games in the Baltic Sea last June. Hersh claims that some of the C4 bombs did not detonate as planned. That means there could still be evidence to be found on the seabed conclusively implicating the United States.
Then there was the earlier report by Swedish divers who had inspected the site in the aftermath of the explosions. Did they try to clean up the crime scene? The Swedish authorities have refused to disclose the contents of their report. They have a case to answer, as do the Danes, the Norwegians, the Brits and most of all the Americans.
Russia has called for a United Nations Security Council meeting to convene next week on the subject, based on the latest investigative report by Seymour Hersh. China has also called for an independent international commission to study the matter.
Questions are also urgently required from the German government on what it knew about the sabotage. As our columnist Martin Jay pointed out this week, Chancellor Olaf Scholz was in the White House on February 7 last year when Biden made his clumsy threat to take out the Nord Stream. The implication is that Scholz knew in advance of the demolition plan.
Western Media’s Damning Silence
We are talking here about multiple malfeasance and cardinal crimes. Terrorism, destruction of sovereign property, aggression and incitement of war, treason and an orchestrated media cover-up involving supposed bastions of Western journalism. The New York Times and Washington Post have so far ignored the Hersh report. Western media have stubbornly refused to investigate this urgent story. How damning is that?
Internationally renowned legal expert Professor Francis Boyle has assessed (in email correspondence with SCF) that a prosecution case can be brought against the United States over the Nord Stream incident under the auspices of the International Criminal Court. The U.S. is not a signatory to the foundational Rome Statute but the incident occurred in territory belonging to European states that are. Whether such a prosecution proceeds and whether the UN Security Council takes action later this week are moot points. But at the very least, the whole scandal is blowing up in the court of international public opinion.
Seymour Hersh (now aged 85) is to be commended for his journalistic service. We may quibble about some details in his report. Has he covered the full picture of all the actors involved? Perhaps not. His report is not a geopolitical analysis and some of his premises suggest he is not critical of the U.S. or NATO involvement in the war in Ukraine. These reservations are relatively minor to his main point of understanding what actually took place.
Those caveats aside, however, one can say that Hersh’s report is a blockbuster. His lifetime work is impeccable. He uncovered the My Lai massacre in Vietnam in 1968 when hundreds of men, women and children were murdered gratuitously by American troops. Hersh also exposed in 2004 the torture practices by the US military in Iraq at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison.
Hersh’s reporting in the past has had a historic impact. It mobilized public understanding and opinion about the nefarious nature of U.S. wars in Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
As many analysts and our own weekly editorials at SCF have repeatedly pointed out, the war in Ukraine is a bigger geopolitical cause than the absurd narrative put out by Western governments and news media about “defending Ukraine and Western freedom from Russia aggression”. We have consistently analyzed that the expansion of NATO, the weaponization of Ukraine, and the current conflict are all about the American imperialist ambition for hegemonic control. Destroying normal relations between Europe and Russia and most especially destruction of the strategically important energy trade are all part of the objective. Pursuing that objective has created a most dangerous war that could escalate into a nuclear conflagration.
As eminent American commentator Jeffrey Sachs has noted, the criminal conduct of Washington regarding the blowing up of the Nord Stream is totally characteristic of U.S. criminal behavior that has been practiced over many decades since World War Two. The difference now is that this criminality directly impinges on many more people’s lives – from the danger of catastrophic war to the economic misery caused by wanton American aggression.
The Hersh article – despite the Western media shamefully ignoring it thereby exposing their own criminal complicity in U.S. terrorism – has made the world more aware than ever of the rogue state that is the United States and its capitalist, imperialist dynamics.
Inciting war in Europe, antagonizing a nuclear Russia with unprecedented aggression, inflicting mass poverty and hardship on European civilians, and lying about it all the time through its propaganda media. Washington is a war-criminal state par excellence along with its European Quislings.
As Russian President Vladimir Putin remarked several weeks ago, the historic situation is revolutionary.