I have read the Seymour Hersh story. It's plausible, to be sure; however, it is based on a single, unnamed source. That means the reader must necessarily rely on Hersh to have done
due diligence -- and even then, well, everyone is fallible. Meanwhile, it is naive to assume that anyone at Hersh's level of access, whether his level of access to top sources, or their level of access to top information, does not have agendas that lurk between the lines.
Hersh describes the source of his Nord Stream article as having "direct knowledge of the operational planning" and "the process." This source could well have relayed the facts as they happened; he or she could well have relayed something else. Hersh, too, could be relaying what a manipulative source convinced him were the facts as they happened; and so on, and so on.
Let's revisit the piece, critically.
Once upon a time --
Last June, the [US] Navy divers, operating under the cover of a widely publicized mid-summer NATO exercise known as BALTOPS 22, planted the remotely triggered explosives that, three months later, destroyed three of the four Nord Stream pipelines, according to a source with direct knowledge of the operational planning. ...
Asked for comment, Adrienne Watson, a White House spokesperson, said in an email, “This is false and complete fiction.” Tammy Thorp, a spokesperson for the Central Intelligence Agency, similarly wrote: “This claim is completely and utterly false.”
On their face, Fraudulent-Regime-Denials would seem to bolster the veracity of Hersh's story. Always, though, we must keep reverse-double-whammies in mind with these inveterate liars who occupy our stolen seat of power.
Hersh writes on for the next 17, 18 paragraphs, drawing from the public record. Then comes the juicy, insider stuff.
In December of 2021, two months before the first Russian tanks rolled into Ukraine, Jake Sullivan convened a meeting of a newly formed task force—men and women from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the CIA, and the State and Treasury Departments—and asked for recommendations about how to respond to Putin’s impending invasion.
It would be the first of a series of top-secret meetings, in a secure room on a top floor of the Old Executive Office Building, adjacent to the White House, that was also the home of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB). There was the usual back and forth chatter that eventually led to a crucial preliminary question: Would the recommendation forwarded by the group to the President be reversible—such as another layer of sanctions and currency restrictions—or irreversible—that is, kinetic actions, which could not be undone?
What became clear to participants, according to the source with direct knowledge of the process, is that Sullivan intended for the group to come up with a plan for the destruction of the two Nord Stream pipelines—and that he was delivering on the desires of the President.
There is so much here. Take the two words, Jake and Sullivan. Together, they conjure up the long-serving Hillary-Obama henchman, a 2016 mouthpiece of Trump-Russia-Hoaxing, who is now known as the National Security Adviser. Then there is the timing of these alleged Sullivan-led meetings: two months before the Russians invaded Ukraine.
Question: Why was Senior Regime Official Jake Sullivan leading a secret war council -- blowing up the Russian pipelines being an act of war -- before Russia went to war with Ukraine? Contingency planning is a weak explanation of the meetings Hersh has described. The Blowing-things-up-department is over the Pentagon, anyway. If Hersh's story/source is correct, Sullivan's meetings were predicated on a war that was not a certainty. Or was it? Forget about Congressional debate: The run-up to war in Ukraine skipped all the usual peace talks, U.N. Security Council deliberations, "shuttle diplomacy," street demos, and other efforts usually mounted by "the international community" in the name of avoiding bloodshed. As described, the Sullivan meetings did not include any planning efforts to avert catastrophe.
No, Sullivan wanted a plan to blow up the Russian pipelines, according to Hersh's source, in order to "[deliver] on the desires of the president."
Of course, Biden is a fake president, a puppet, installed, not elected, in the Coup of 2020. HIs motto could be: Rubber-stamped by all, but installed by whom? In any case, what Sullivan was in fact "delivering on" was the agenda of some unknown entity which controls this puppet. Foreign? Domestic? We do not know.
The question then becomes: Who or what entity or interests were served by planning to blow up the Russian pipelines under a covert American flag during a Russia-Ukraine war that had yet to begin? At the very least, assuming Hersh's story is correct, it seems obvious that committing an act of war against Russia, thereby providing Russia with the right to retaliate against this country, is not a decision made in an interest that could conceivably be described as American. Then again, opening the Treasury and arsenal to defend the borders of Ukraine while simultaneously destroying the borders of our own country does not amount to an American interest, either. Who are these people who usurped power, really?
Pondering Jake Sullivan, it's useful to remember that he seems to be one of those persons, from William Barr to Robert Mueller to John Podesta to, big kahuna, Henry Kissinger, who sets forth at a tender age in Washington at the very top -- set there, like a diamond, by the powerful fixtures he will one day replace. Yes, he's brilliant -- or so his summa this and Oxford that, tell us. Yes, he was precocious and remains essentially ambitious. Yes, he's a political radical, just as his political radical patronage tells us. Indeed, it turns out that "Red Thread"-One-World-Strobe Talbott, who, as Bill Clinton's deputy secretary of state, was, bonus, a "special unofficial contact" of Russian intelligence, tapped Sullivan for greatness during the lad's college days at Yale.
There's just something about these people -- but, sorry, it's not dedication to public service.
Back to Seymour Hersh and his bombshell claims: Two months before the Russians invaded Ukraine, Jake Sullivan, acting for interests unknown to (and perhaps foreign to) the American people, planned to destroy the Nord Stream pipeline.
How strange to realize that just ten short years earlier, Jake Sullivan was assisting Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Vladimir Putin (or was it Medvedev?) in putting the finishing touches on a "Russian Reset" project known as "Skolkovo." Never heard of Skolkovo? Here's a 2011 email about Skolkovo from Jake Sullivan to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at Wikileaks. (This reminds me: Free Julian Assange.)
Skolkovo is the name of a tech center outside of Moscow. What the Obama-Biden-Hillary administration did via Skolkovo may amount to the biggest White House high tech/military transfer to Moscow since the KGB's special buddy Harry Hopkins and FDR turned the Soviet Union into a Super Power via "Lend Lease." (It's a long story.) Hopkins stuffed everything he could into the supply line to Moscow, up to and including uranium, which at the time was under wartime embargo by order of the top-secret Manhattan Project. (Hopkins also tipped off the Soviets to hush-hush FBI surveillance of their atomic spies.) Seventy years later, Hillary and Obama and Biden, eagerly "resetting" Russian relations, established a veritable Silicon Valley for Putin, where a bunch of high tech companies (many of which were donors to the Clinton Foundation) set up shop. Call it Lend Lease In Place. As the US Army discovered by 2013, the goodies Moscow gained included hypersonic missile know-how. No kidding.
Ever wonder where Putin's hypersonic missile technology came from? Or China's? Take another look at Skolkovo.
Peter Schweizer would break the Skolkovo story in 2017; I wrote about it here and elsewhere because it was such an extremely important story. Here's an example of Schweizer's reporting:
The U.S. Army Foreign Military Studies Program at Fort Leavenworth issued a report in 2013 (written in 2012) about the security implications of Skolkovo. The report declared that the purpose of Skolkovo was to serve as a “vehicle for worldwide technology transfer to Russia in the areas of information technology, biomedicine, energy, satellite and space technology, and nuclear technology.”
Note that no one asked why the Obama/Biden/Clinton administration thought this was a good idea for the USA, or how "Russian influence" might have brought about this completely unexamined national security disaster. Schweizer continued:
Of course, technology can have multiple uses—both civilian and military. And the report noted that “the Skolkovo Foundation has, in fact, been involved in defense-related activities since December 2011, when it approved the first weapons-related project—the development of a hypersonic cruise missile engine."
Schweizer's giant national security scoop never received a fraction of the attention Hersh's latest has already garnered. Acts of treason and acts of war both should rate high in the headlines, no? Interesting to speculate what might have happened if people like Seymour Hersh had seen fit to dig into Skolkovo back in the day.
But they didn't.
Back to the Nord Stream story. Hersh goes on to describe the debate underway inside the Sullivan group, as the CIA took the planning lead. Incredibly, the Biden creature and the ever-egregious Victoria Nuland began hinting publicly at the destruction of Nord Stream.
Biden’s and Nuland’s indiscretion, if that is what it was, might have frustrated some of the planners. But it also created an opportunity. According to the source, some of the senior officials of the CIA determined that blowing up the pipeline “no longer could be considered a covert option because the President just announced that we knew how to do it.”
The plan to blow up Nord Stream 1 and 2 was suddenly downgraded from a covert operation requiring that Congress be informed to one that was deemed as a highly classified intelligence operation with U.S. military support. Under the law, the source explained, “There was no longer a legal requirement to report the operation to Congress. All they had to do now is just do it—but it still had to be secret. The Russians have superlative surveillance of the Baltic Sea.”
Talk about violating of the spirit of the law. Anyway:
The Agency working group members had no direct contact with the White House, and were eager to find out if the President meant what he’d said—that is, if the mission was now a go. The source recalled, [CIA Director] “Bill Burns comes back and says, ‘Do it.’”
The rest of the article tells the nuts-and-bolts story of how the deed was done.
On the second read, Hersh's story is still quite plausible. Let's consider the backstory. Any appraisal should be weighed against the understanding that Seymour Hersh, famous, infamous, legendary for so long many don't remember why, is himself an actor in our politics. In some ways, the veteran journalist and Pulitzer-Prize-winner is as much a player as his secret sources are. What I am getting at is this: It stands to reason that if Seymour Hersh has a high-level source, for example, who will "do a favor" for the journalist and "go and read a file" at the FBI for him -- as Hersh once explained in a recorded phone call about DNC data director Seth Rich, murdered in 2016 -- Hersh seems likely to do favors of some kind for his high level sources as well. That's how these games are played.
Let's also consider the fact that the Nord Stream pipeline story is the first Big Story from Seymour Hersh in a long time. More recently, I associate Hersh with ducking a Big Story; with squelching a Big Story; with hampering the development of a Big Story.
The Big Story I'm thinking of concerns the aforementioned Seth Rich, and, specifically, the long- denied but ultimately proven FBI involvement in the Seth Rich murder aftermath.
Thanks to lawyer Ty Clevenger, we finally began to get the truth about the FBI and Seth Rich in late 2020. Despite its repeated denials -- i.e., lies -- the FBI did indeed investigate Seth Rich's 2016 murder. This investigation seems to have amounted to little more than locking down evidence -- laptop evidence -- pertaining to Seth Rich's activities before his death. Given that Julian Assange strongly implied that Seth Rich was a Wikileaks' source of the DNC emails, the Rich case has staggering implications for the entire Trump Russia Collusion Hoax, which Sen. Ron Johnson just this past week called, "the most destructive dirty political trick in U.S. history." If Rich (or anyone else) was a Wikileaks source for the DNC emails, the original Big Lie of Russian collusion -- "Russia" "hacked" the DNC to help Donald Trump -- collapses.
Having withheld the facts from the People until after the Coup of 2020, the FBI is still stonewalling. The latest is that the Bureau is currently trying to get a judge to delay release of its Seth Rich files for sixty-six years.
But hey -- guess what? Seymour Hersh had the whole story of the FBI and Seth Rich as far back and 2017.... and did nothing with it.
That's not entirely true. He talked about it, thank goodness. You can listen to a recording of him here speaking to Ed Butowsky. In the recording, Hersh says that a very high-level source did him "a favor" and read Seth Rich's FBI file for him. (Remember, this was at the time when the FBI denied any involvement in the Seth Rich case; also when anyone who questioned the case was branded a conspiracy theorist, sued into shutting up, or targeted for political destruction.)
Here are some of the sensational claims Hersh made per his high-level intelligence source: Seth Rich's computer was in FBI possession; the computer revealed Seth Rich had been in touch with Wikileaks; Seth Rich conveyed "extensive samples" of DNC emails to Wikileaks and arranged to convey more via Dropbox. Further, Hersh, himself, had already concluded that the Trump-Russia story was a fake -- "a Brennan operation," he said, calling it "American disinformation" and name-dropping DNI James Clapper and NSA chief Mike Rogers. Hersh said Trump was correct to say that everyone was lying about him. And more.
Wait -- Sy Hersh said he had a high-level intelligence source confirming that Seth Rich of the DNC was working with Wikileaks and that the Trump-Russia hoax was a "Brennan operation" back in 2017? Stop the presses? Hardly. As Ty Clevenger writes, Hersh "spent the next three years trying to disavow what he'd told Mr. Butowsky."
Let's pick up the story from December of 2020, when Clevenger announced at his blog, Lawflog (links in the original), that he had been authorized to release the transcript of a July 15, 2020 deposition of Seymour Hersh "wherein Mr. Hersh is forced to admit that he did speak with a senior intelligence official about an FBI report about Mr. Rich and Wikileaks. That contradicts much of what Mr. Hersh has said publicly since early 2017 (more on that below)."
Under the heading, "Sy Hersh finally comes clean," Clevenger writes:
In a conversation recorded in 2017, Mr. Hersh told my client Ed Butowsky about an FBI investigation concerning Seth Rich and Wikileaks, but he then spent the next three years trying to disavow what he told Mr. Butowsky. ...
In the July 15, 2020 deposition, however, he reluctantly admitted that he did discuss the FBI investigation with a senior intelligence official whom he had known for more than 30 years. See, e.g., pp. 198-199 of the transcript.
It’s a long deposition, and I find it disappointing that Mr. Hersh was so evasive when questioned. I’m a former journalist, as my readers know, and I understand the need to protect sources, but it is almost as if Mr. Hersh ran away from the story because it was so radioactive. Even at the time of the July deposition, he seemed to believe what his source told him, yet he had zero interest in pursuing the story.
Why? Why would Seymour Hersh have had "zero interest" in pursuing this bell-ringing, game-changing, history-making, and, yes, Swamp-cleansing story? Was there someone, a high-level person owed a favor, perhaps, who didn't want him to pursue it? Foolish question. It's hard to imagine anyone in Washington, DC wanting Hersh to pursue the Seth Rich story with the possible exception of Donald Trump. And that goes right across the aisle. Clevenger underscores the gross failures of all of the GOP to seek the truth about Seth Rich -- not to mention Julian Assange and Wikileaks. No one in Washington, left, right or center, wanted to expose the massive disinformation operation against Trump (and the American people who elected him) while it was in progress. This includes Trump officials and then-House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes. My hunch is that it was Swamp-wide fear of exposure that explains in large part why Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange remains a political prisoner in a limbo of psychological torture and other horrors to this day.
But now we know something about how Seymour Hersh operates. He abandoned the Seth Rich story, and the Swamp was with him. He went ahead with the Nord Stream story -- and where is the Swamp? Quiet. Dismissive. Uneasy?
Maybe building up Putin militarily through Skolkovo during the "Russian Reset" was one thing they could all agree not to disagree on. Maybe stopping Trump at all costs to kick off the endgame of the "Great Reset" was something they could all agree on. What now? What does it feel like looking back over the past couple of Democratic administrations and realizing that the people who provided Putin with hypersonic missile technology may have now provided him with an excuse to use it -- against us?
But what is "us"? Or, better, what is representing "us"? Who is in charge of this country?
At least one thing is clear. There's more to this story than the story, just as there was more to the Seth Rich non-story than the non-story. Journalists who take favors and do them may not even know what it is.
Nord Stream Pipeline destruction
U.S. Navy explosive
Biden foreign policy
Julian Assange and Wikileaks