In this April 9, 2010 file photo, a Russian construction worker speaks on a mobile phone in Portovaya Bay some 170 km (106 miles) northwest of St. Petersburg, Russia, during a ceremony marking the start of construction for the Nord Stream pipeline. InternationalIndiaAfricaThe US mainstream media is continuing to peddle the story of a “pro-Ukrainian group” destroying the Nord Stream pipelines in September 2022. However, the narrative does not hold water and looks more like an attempt to divert the public attention from the real culprits, US counter-terror expert Scott Bennett told Sputnik.”The Nord stream pipeline destruction was a terrorist act that was orchestrated and planned with the United States, Britain and other countries playing crucial roles. They may have dressed up sailors and divers in Ukrainian uniforms to pretend or rather delude themselves into believing their own lies that somehow this could be used to escape accountability,” said Scott Bennett, former US Army psychological warfare officer and US State Department counterterrorism analyst.”Additionally the technical requirements of such a mission essentially disqualify Ukraine and point to a few countries as responsible; and indeed the NATO vessels that were conducting drills in the area indicate are most likely the culprits,” the counter-terror expert continued.
Mysterious Six-Member ‘Pro-Ukrainian Group’
On March 7, The New York Times and Die Zeit, a German online newspaper, broke two separate stories claiming that a pro-Ukrainian group carried out the attack on the Nord Stream pipelines last year. To back its allegations, the US mainstream newspaper cited “new intelligence,” specifying that the nature of the intelligence, how it was obtained or any details of the strength of the evidence it contains, remains unclear.For its part, the German newspaper referred to the nation’s investigative authorities who have reportedly managed to detect traces leading to Ukraine. They allege that the Nord Stream attack was conducted by a team of six people, comprising five men and one woman. The sabotage group reportedly consisted of a captain, two divers, two diving assistants, and a doctor, who are said to have embarked on their mission from Rostock on September 6, 2022. The following day, the boat allegedly reached Wieck, (Rügen) and later it sailed to the Danish island of Christiansoe, north-east of Bornholm. After that, the vessel was returned to the owner in non-clean condition. Having gained access to the yacht, European investigators found traces of explosives on the table in the vessel’s cabin, according to the media.
"The technical requirements of performing a deep sea diving mission are enormous in order for a diver to be sufficiently trained in the necessary mix of oxygen and other gases for deep sea operations in extremely cold water [and] is something only Navy frogmen can do, not volunteers from a Ukrainian group," said the former US State Department counter-terrorism analyst, ridiculing the assumption that six people on a yacht could conduct such a sophisticated mission.
Nord Stream SabotageKremlin: Russia Insists on Transparent Probe Into Nord Stream Terror Attack Amid ‘Media Leaks’09:43 GMTMeanwhile, both newspapers went on to claim that there is no evidence that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky or his lieutenants were involved in the operation, or that the perpetrators were acting at the direction of any Ukrainian government officials. While saying that the nationality of the perpetrators is unclear, US officials asserted to the press that no American or British nationals were involved. Instead, they alleged that the plot could have been implemented by Russian and Ukrainian saboteurs.At the same time international investigators do not rule out that it could also be a false flag operation. As per the media, Western officials no longer suspect Russia of ordering the alleged attack, suggesting that the alleged Russian culprits were “opponents of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.”
Sy Hersh’s Story Looks More Credible
The Western media’s Nord Stream yarn was met by distrust by international observers, who referred to multiple gaps and discrepancies in the newly-released story. In contrast, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh’s description of the sabotage attack has far more details and has even been corroborated by independent observers.”Clearly this is a feeble attempt to generate a highly imaginative narrative and is in reality simply a maneuver by the United States to escape the incoming investigation and exposure that Russia is demanding at the United Nations level,” said Bennett. “It is interesting that this followed the visit of Germany’s leader Scholz and his meeting with Biden [on March 3 – Sputnik].”In early February, Hersh published a report saying US Navy divers during NATO BALTOPS 22 exercises in June 2022 planted explosives to destroy the Nord Stream pipelines, which Norway activated three months later. According to the bombshell, US President Joe Biden decided to sabotage Nord Stream pipes after more than nine months of secret discussions with the national security team.AnalysisWhy Hersh’s Nord Stream Bombshell May Become Legal Nightmare for Team Biden & Its Nordic Allies11 February, 15:39 GMTOn February 16, an email forwarded to Sputnik by a US journalist from an individual identifying themselves as a servicemember that took part in last summer’s NATO BALTOPS 22 drills in waters near the site of the Nord Stream pipeline explosions provided information about an American diving team which arrived at the area equipped with MK29 military-issue rebreather systems, which use an oxygen-helium mixture for deep-sea diving. The team had other expensive high-grade equipment not in use by ordinary Navy units, and they brought small boxes with them, contents unknown.Earlier, on February 9, former CIA analyst Larry Johnson drew attention to a September 30, 2022 report from a YouTube channel that focuses on tracking US civilian and military flights. The report showed strange aerial maneuvers by P8 Poseidon jet on September 26, 2022 exactly over the area where underwater explosions in the Baltic Sea took place later on that day.As per Hersh, a Norwegian Navy P8 surveillance plane made a seemingly routine flight on September 26, 2022 and dropped a sonar buoy which triggered the detonation of high-powered C4 explosives which were attached to the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines. Johnson, a veteran of the CIA and the State Department’s Office of Counter Terrorism, who provided training to the US Military’s Special Operations task force for 24 years, does not rule out that the YouTuber and Hersh spoke about one and the same plane.Nord Stream SabotageProminent Ukrainian Businessman Probed Over Alleged Links to Nord Stream Attacks, Reports Say07:26 GMT
Notorious CIA Mouthpiece
Bennett is by no means surprised that the US government’s “bombshell” revelation about the alleged “pro-Ukrainian group” behind the sabotage was first reported by the NYT.
"The New York Times has been notorious as a CIA mouthpiece and no doubt has released this story in response to German [Chancellor Olaf] Scholz desperately crying to [US President Joe] Biden for help because he realizes the German people are very close to overthrowing him and the German government and abandoning the reckless self-destructive and indeed suicidal policies the United States has forced Germany to undertake against Russia, and indeed the entire European continent is about to explode into revolution and desperate measures as they realize half of the continent may freeze to death next winter without Russian gas and the United States is not coming to their aid. Indeed, the Europeans have at last seen the face of the gorgon and they are now turning to stone."
On March 3, Scholz held talks with Biden as the German economy appears to be spiraling into recession and de-industrialization. Thus, BASF, the German chemical giant, announced on February 24 that it would cut 2,600 jobs, or about 2.3% of its global workforce, stop share buybacks, and increase investment to improve competitiveness as it expects a further decline in earnings due to rising costs. Out of 2,600 jobs, 1,800 will be cut at the Ludwigshafen headquarters in Germany. AnalysisGermany Got a Slap in the Face From US, But Can Do Nothing But Obey: Political Scientist 3 March, 15:28 GMTThe EU energy crunch, amplified by the Western anti-Russia energy embargo, has taken a toll on the Old Continent’s economy. Peace protests and demonstrations against plummeting standards of living have recently swept through Europe, bringing together tens of thousands in Berlin on February 26 and around 1.28 million people in France on March 7.Germany’s right-wing AfD and left-wing Die Linke parties earlier urged Berlin to release information about the ongoing Nord Stream investigation and launch a new probe based on Hersh’s revelations. For its part, Hungary has called for an independent international inquiry into the sabotage under UN auspices. One might wonder whether the Western mainstream media’s latest yarn will manage to calm down soaring tensions and the emerging peace movement in Europe. As per Bennett, that mission seems impossible.