It is instructive to see how having a captured press, in addition to well seeding the public with fables of Ukraine’s bravery, allows the administration and its co-conspirators to publish stories insulting intelligence. A colleague who describes himself as possessing cold blood somewhere between that of a Chinese sage and a dead dog was enraged at the latest howl, that of the New York Times and German press articles, published very close to each other, presenting the bombings of the Nord Stream pipelines as the actions of a mysterious pro-Ukrainian group.
What raised my friend’s dander was not just the ridiculousness of the claim, but also the suspicious media imprints. The Germany and New York Times stories came out so close to each other, with the New York Times story posing as a completely independent source, that they were clearly coordinated. As we will explain, the German stories, with Die Zeit first, relied on reports from German prosecutors. The New York Times article did not mention German reports or German officials, but only cited US officials.
German speakers tell me Politico’s summary is accurate. The “connection to Ukraine” part is terribly slippery, because leasing a Ukrainian-owned vessel does not establish that the owners were on the land. From Politics:
German prosecutors have found “traces” of evidence indicating that Ukrainians may have been involved in the explosions that blew up Nord Stream gas pipelines in September 2022, according to German media on Tuesday.
Investigators identified a boat that was potentially used to transport a crew of six, diving equipment and explosives in the Baltic Sea in early September. Accusations were then made over the pipelines, according to a joint investigation by German public broadcasters ARD and SWR as well as the newspaper Die Zeit.
German reports indicated that the yacht had been leased to a Poland-based company which was “apparently owned by two Ukrainians”.….
According to the investigation by German prosecutors cited by German media, the team that placed the explosive charges on the pipelines consisted of five men – a captain, two divers and two dive assistants – as well as a female doctor, all of them of unknown nationality and operating with false passports. They left the German port of Rostock on September 6 on the rented boat, according to the report.
Compare that with the New York Times version in Intelligence suggests pro-Ukrainian group sabotaged pipelines, US officials say. As we will show as the article progresses, it is specified that this “intelligence” was developed separately from the European investigations:
New intelligence reviewed by US officials suggests a pro-Ukrainian group carried out the attack on Nord Stream pipelines last year, a step towards determining responsibility for an act of sabotage that has baffled investigators on both sides of the Atlantic for months…
Ukraine and its allies were seen by some officials as having the most logical potential motive to attack the pipelines.
How cute is that? Pro-Ukraine covers a huge amount of ground, including the Poles, who John Helmer said were the culprits. And the Times manages to ignore that the United States was the biggest, as well as the nastiest, opponent of pipelines.
And then the Times admits that this “intelligence” is sketchy:
US officials declined to disclose the nature of the intelligence, how it was obtained or any details about the strength of the evidence it contains. They said there were no definitive conclusions on this, leaving open the possibility that the operation was carried out informally by a proxy force with ties to the Ukrainian government or its security services.
And this “information” does not come from European surveys:
A CIA spokeswoman declined to comment. A spokesperson for the White House National Security Council referred questions about the pipelines to European authorities, who conducted their own investigations.
Needless to say, the Twitterverse treated this news with the respect it deserved:
‘pro-Ukrainian group’ gives impression Ukrainian Cultural Association of Ohio recruited deep-sea military divers with 1,000 pounds of explosives
— Sam Biddle (@samfbiddle) March 7, 2023
BREAKING NEWS: The CIA alleges that 5 random clowns in a sailboat entered the most guarded body of water in the world, drilled concrete to incredible depths and planted 1,000 kilograms of highly unstable C4 plastic, then l remotely detonated with pulse sonar.
— Garland Nixon (@GarlandNixon) March 8, 2023
🇺🇸🏴☠️💥🛢️🇷🇺 “Aaaaa there was an attack on the Nord Stream pipelines aaaa an act of sabotage aaaaaa but we could not aaaaa determine who was behind aaaaa there are ongoing national investigations” – Jens Stoltenberg pic.twitter.com/jkK4uYE2cI
— AZ 🛰🌏🌍🌎 (@AZgeopolitics) March 8, 2023
Remember kids, Sy Hersh’s Nord Stream report is unreliable because it is untested and based on anonymous sources. pic.twitter.com/vu3RjlxgFf
— Caitlin Johnstone (@caitoz) March 7, 2023
Remember that even though the United States managed to bury the story of Sy Hersh describing Biden and his top foreign policy officials as the instigators of the bombing, it gained momentum in Germany .
The timing of the sudden discovery of “new” US intelligence just as German prosecutors were leaking (or were unable to stop leaks) about their discovery is miraculously convenient. In fact, it doesn’t sound new at all. But now that the news is coming out of channels the US doesn’t fully control, it seems to have gone into “Stand in front of a crowd and call it a parade” mode:
— AZ 🛰🌏🌍🌎 (@AZgeopolitics) March 8, 2023
Alabama Moon provided a more detailed teardownbased on the Die Zeit account:
The new claim is that a rather small sailing yacht, which would not even be able to carry the equipment necessary to perform such an act, was the main instrument:
Following joint research by [German main public TV news unit] (ARD capital studio), ARD political magazine Kontraste, [German public TV] SWR and DIE ZEIT, it was possible to reconstruct to a large extent during the investigation how and when the explosive attack was prepared. According to this, traces lead in the direction of Ukraine. However, investigators have so far found no evidence of who ordered the destruction.
More specifically, according to information from [these news sources], the investigators managed to identify the boat which was probably used in the secret operation. It would be a yacht rented from a company based in Poland, apparently owned by two Ukrainians. The clandestine operation at sea was carried out by a team of six people, according to the investigation. It allegedly involved five men and one woman. According to the report, the group consisted of a captain, two divers, two dive assistants and a female doctor, who transported the explosives to the crime scene and placed them there. The nationality of the perpetrators is apparently unclear. The assassins used professionally forged passports, which would have been used, among other things, to rent the boat. According to the investigation, the commando sailed from Rostock on September 6, 2022. The equipment for the clandestine operation had been transported before. to the port in a van, they say. In the continuation of the course, the investigators managed to locate the boat the next day again in Wieck (Darß) and later on the Danish island Christiansø, northeast of Bornholm, according to the search. The yacht was then returned to the owner in uncleaned condition. On the cabin table, investigators were able to detect traces of explosives, according to the research. According to information from [the mentioned news sources], a Western intelligence service allegedly sent a denunciation to European partner services in the fall, shortly after the destruction, according to which a Ukrainian commando was responsible for the destruction. Subsequently, there were reportedly further intelligence indications suggesting that a pro-Ukrainian group might be responsible.
No. You don’t dive deeper than 80 meters for industrial-scale work, involving placing hundreds of pounds of explosives in eight individual charges on very sturdy pipelines, from a sparsely manned sailboat. Such deep dives require special gases, special breathing equipment, special training, a decompression chamber for emergencies and lots of well trained people to maintain it all.
This is just another straw thrown to distract from Seymour Hersh’s revelations that the The US military, under orders from the White House, committed the act of sabotage.
There is the cynical idea that “blaming people who love Ukraine” is meant to weaken support for Ukraine. It seems unlikely. Pinning the blame on mysterious agents with superpowers deflects scrutiny from government actors as much as possible, and the bottom line is to exculpate the United States, especially its top brass. Conveniently, this kind of caper is such a staple of action movies that large swathes of audiences have been pre-programmed to believe it.
But the so-called “link” may further blunt Germany’s sympathy for Ukraine:
German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius says the pro-Ukrainian group behind Nord Stream SABOTAGE could have consequences for Western support for Ukraine. 😂🤡💩 pic.twitter.com/o28CqhMhwl
— 🅰pocalypsis 🅰pocalypseos 🇷🇺 🇨🇳 🅉 (@apocalypseos) March 8, 2023
Until you get your hopes up, until Robert Habeck and Annelina Baerbock get lobotomies, I don’t see German politics changing. They are diehard hawks and always very present in the driver’s seat.
It is clear that the United States hopes that this deviation will make the “polar” of the Nord Stream disappear. But Sy Hersh was already promising more stories on this case, and this mini-dam gives him extra water. Pass the popcorn.