National Security Council spokesman John Kirby denied U.S. involvement in the sabotage of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 undersea pipelines.
“It is a completely false story; there is no truth to it, Shannon,” Kirby said to “Fox News Sunday” host Shannon Bream. “Not a shred of it; it is not true. The United States, and no proxies from the United States, had anything to do with that. Nothing.”
The administration spokesman, who often appears at press briefings with White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, spoke to international concerns the U.S. blew up the pipelines.
Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh claimed in a February 8 report published on Substack that the Nord Stream pipeline explosives were placed by U.S. Navy divers disguised as participants in a nearby NATO military exercise.
President Joe Biden fueled speculation about American intentions regarding the pipeline when he hinted in February 2022 the Nord Stream pipelines would be shut down.
“There will be no longer a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it,” Biden remarked. “I promise you, we will be able to do it.”
Hersh reported that U.S. Navy divers placed remotely triggered explosives three months prior to September’s pipeline explosions that caused extensive damage to Nord Stream 1. That pipeline carried the bulk of gas sent from Russia to the European Union.
Nord Stream 2 was completed in late 2021, but Germany refused to sign off on opening the pipeline in early 2022 after Russia invaded Ukraine.
Swedish, Danish and German officials are conducting separate investigations to determine the nation-state responsible for the explosions. Ukraine had quickly asserted that Russia destroyed its own pipelines, shortly after the sabotage was detected.
After Hersh’s report was published on Substack, Russia demanded the U.S. prove it was not involved in sabotaging the pipelines.
“We qualify the incident as an act of international terrorism that requires a comprehensive and independent investigation,” Igor Girenko, a spokesman for the Russian Embassy to the U.S., said in a statement.
Critics complain Hersh’s articles often rely too much on anonymous sources. But, he has published substantial stories on important subjects beginning with revealing the My Lai massacre of hundreds of Vietnamese civilians by U.S. Army soldiers.
He later covered the Watergate scandal for The New York Times. Former President Richard Nixon’s White House Counsel, John Dean described Hersh’s 1973-1974 articles as “the most devastating pieces that strike awfully close to home.
Reports by Hersh unveiled the U.S. bombing of Cambodia with more than 100,000 tons of bombs dropped on Vietnam’s neighbor. He later revealed a covert CIA operation to recover a Soviet K-129 submarine from the floor of the Pacific Ocean, according to a Wikipedia report. The CIA convinced him to delay publication while the operation was active but he noted the request when published a year later.
The investigative reporter also revealed the CIA spent $8 million in 1974 to destabilize Chile’s leader, whose government was soon overthrown.
Hersh exposed a massive CIA program that conducted wiretapping of U.S. citizens in America and the infiltration of antiwar groups during the Nixon administration, according to the Wikipedia report.
Administration denouncements of Hersh must be balanced by decades of accurate, hard-hitting investigative journalism that has exposed other deeply held government secrets.
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