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Is Sy Hersh’s account of the Nord Stream incident credible?

Oliver Alexander looks into the nuts-and-bolts details and says no, probably not.

Seymour Hersh’s recent Substack post claims to provide a highly detailed account of a covert US operation to destroy the Nord Stream pipelines in order to ensure that Russia would be unable to supply Germany with natural gas through them. All the information in Hersh’s post reportedly comes from a single unnamed source, who appears to have had direct access to every step of the planning and execution of this highly secretive operation.

When first reading through Hersh’s account of the events, the level of detail he provides could add credence to his story. Unfortunately for Hersh’s story, the high level of detail is also where the entire story begins to unravel and fall apart. It is often stated that people who lie have a tendency to add too much superfluous detail to their accounts. This attempt to “cover all bases” is in many cases what trips these people up. Extra details add extra points of reference that can be crosschecked and examined. In Hersh’s case, this is exactly what appears to have happened. On the surface level, the level of detail checks out to laymen or people without more niche knowledge of the subject matter mentioned. When you look closer though, the entire story begins to show massive glaring holes and specific details can be debunked.

Already in the accounts of the early top-secret planning meetings between high level US military, CIA and Biden Administration officials, some of the proposals seemed more akin to Tom Clancy fan fiction than plausible suggestions. The US Air Force officials reportedly proposed “dropping bombs with delayed fuses that could be set off remotely”. One could write an entire post on the reasons why (this) sounds entirely made up by someone with no real grasp of what that suggestion would actually technically entail.

During the supposed initial planning of this operation, from the way it is described by Hersh and his source, it appears that the CIA and entire interagency group were unaware of the fact that the Nord Stream pipelines were in fact pipelines.

Okay, that sounds a LOT more in line with what we know about USG and military levels of competence nowadays.

As Hersh’s article begins to move into the detailed account of the supposed operation, this is where the factually incorrect statements that can be crosschecked begin to appear.

The next major question mark comes after this description by Hersh of how the Norwegian navy found the “right spot” to sabotage the pipeline. It makes it sound like the explosions all took place in close vicinity of each other. There was in fact 6.17km between the site of the two blasts that caused the two leaks in the Nord Stream 1 pipeline. The third blast which caused the leak in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline was 80km away from Nord Stream 1 blasts.

Immediately after this Hersh begins to mention some of the details of the diving aspect of the operation. He starts of by mentioning that the divers would deploy off a “a Norwegian Alta class mine hunter”. No Alta-class minesweepers took part in BALTOPS22. One Oksøy-Class mine hunter, the Hinnøy, did take part in the exercises though. The two classes of ship are very similar, though not identical.

While this ship took part in the exercise, its positioning during the time period does not match what would be expected of a ship supporting deep sea divers.

Joe Galvin used open source AIS data to track the Hinnøy during BALTOPS22 and as we can see from the map in his tweet, the movements of the Hinnøy are not consistent with three lengthy dives at the locations of the three seperate blasts.

That’s only a small sample of what amounts to a quite interesting analysis. I still have no trouble at all believing that the Biden junta would attempt such a thing, particularly in light of the fact that various admin puppeteers had openly declared their intention to eliminate the Nord Streams, up to and including Pedo Joe himself.

That said, though, the chief justification for skepticism still comes back to the motive/opportunity/means triad, with the FederalGovCo buffoons falling far short in the “means” department. I have a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that the Insane Clown (Car) Posse could ever actually pull off such a complex and difficult op without the whole thing blowing up in their faces like an exploding cigar.

(Via Bayou Pete)

14 thoughts on “Is Sy Hersh’s account of the Nord Stream incident credible?

  1. Do not doubt the capability of the US to pull off the destruction of those already “closed by the russians” pipelines. Not only could the US Navy pull it off with ease, and do it in the dark with near zero possibility of detection, but so could most of the deep water platform oil companies, albeit without the near zero detection capability.

    Navy seals can deploy from submarines while remaining underwater. Given the ability of our subs to travel silently, it means no cover operation is required. That was, IMO, always strike one against the Hersh story, no cover needed.

    Who dun it? I don’t know. I only know that we could have, and we could do it undetectably. OTOH, I find the arguments made that the russians would not have done it to be lacking. They already shut down the delivery of gas. Who can say what goes through the mind of a KGB thug, things like “let’s take Ukraine” no matter the cost.

    And then there are submersibles, some are probably operated by the CIA.

  2. By the way, that is about as thorough a fisking as one will ever read. A fisking done by an intelligent fellow that understand the operations and took the time to discover all the Hersh bullshit that makes little to no sense at all.

    It doesn’t mean Hersh is lying, but if not then it means what is undoubtedly true, Hersh is a complete ignoramus and simply believes the false narrative someone painted for him.

    Now, given the complete and utter fisking that Hersh takes here, one must ask the obvious question:

    Who and why was Hersh fed this fantasy?

    1. Somebody did it, because they could.

      This is the .mil and ex-mil guys’ version of sending the FNG to “go get me a box of grid squares from the motor pool”, and seeing how far around the base you can get him to go before he figures out he’s being hazed.

      Hersh would probably have printed the narrative that included the Tooth Fairy and Elvis being in on the op.

        1. When it came out right after the incident, there was zero proof.

          It takes a lot of chutzpah to wait a few months, then try and sell the same empty bag of gas as sirloin steak a second time.

          1. Just think about the number of people that find it credible simply because the anti-American Hersh put it out.

            chutzpah is probably the definition of people like Hersh.

  3. Lee Smith, a damned fine writer who I don’t link to near often enough, has done another debunking of Hersh that’s pretty solid too. I’ll probably try to post something from that here later, if I get a moment. Got such a backlog of open blogfodder tabs waiting to be cleared at the moment it ain’t even funny, plus a good friend of mine I haven’t seen in a while is coming for a visit in a cpl hours, so time is gonna be kinda tight today.

  4. Hersh is jumping in front of the parade. Most of what he says is guesswork that sounds reasonable at first, but isn’t. BUT, there is a parade, the pipeline was blown up by somebody.

    Who did it is the question. The most likely answer is, we did it.

    No ally would dare do it unless green lit by the US. No one is going to risk the wrath of the Deep State.

    Russia was using it as a lever to try to get EU leaders to falter in their support for the War. It was his most effective carrot. Turn off the War Support to Ukraine and we might be persuaded to Turn on the Gas. This was looking especially enticing given Winter was coming, oil and gas prices were still very high, inflation was soaring, and governments were falling. They would not blow up their own Pipeline when it provided such an advantage to them.

    That just leaves US. As Barry notes, we are perfectly capable of pulling off an operation like that. The Afghanistan withdrawal was deliberately thrown in the worst possible way and even a layman can see that. Biteme and the Insane Clown Posse surrounding him ain’t running shit. Biteme has shit running down his legs.

    For Deep State, Failure, for America, is The Plan™. Joetato is just there as a lightning rod to absorb all the slings and arrows and keep us from looking behind the curtain. A Reverse Wizard of Oz charade.

    They had the means, they had the motive, they had ample opportunity and NO ONE else has those three and would dare cross us.

    1. To be the contrarian 🙂

      “The most likely answer is, we did it.”
      As I have acknowledged, we may have. Most likely though? You’re looking through the single lens of a corrupt US regime and a corrupt Ukraine regime to get that conclusion. I have no “most likely”. I have only the countries with the capability and those with an incentive. Russia is included in that group for the very reasons you state they are not.

      “No ally would dare do it unless green lit by the US. No one is going to risk the wrath of the Deep State.”
      Are the deep state rulers American? What would the wrath be?

      That just leaves US.
      No, not even close. There are others in the region that might have wanted to make sure the russians never shipped any more gas to europe. There are a number of states that hate the russians, deeply. And for good reason.

      They would not blow up their own Pipeline when it provided such an advantage to them.
      The advantage was gone the moment they shut down the delivery of gas. From that moment on the europeans, that had been fooling theirselves, now knew the russians would hold them hostage over the energy. They communicated quite clearly through back channels that they would not be held hostage by the russians, they would take no more deliveries of gas. Advantage gone, lets blow the pipelines and blame it on the USA.
      Is that what happened? I don’t know, but to eliminate the fucking corrupt to the core KGB led russians is a mistake. Who fed Hersh the bogus story?

      1. No, the Deep State rulers of the US are not American. The US Government is not American. Which is why I wrote the US. To be clearer from here on out I’ll try to use DC. But DC is the de facto rulers of the US by virtue of their Coup.

      2. Russia’s motive as you state is highly unlikely.

        The Pipeline was their ONLY hope they could get the EU to falter in their support of Ukraine. Therefore, the MOTIVE to blow it up was ALL Deep State cui bono and 0 benefit to Russia.

        Sorry, but this whole idea that Russia is a bunch of clowns doesn’t square with your contention that they’re out to Rule Europe and therefore a threat to America.

        They answer lies in the middle. They are not clowns but also know they are too weak to conquer Europe. Thus they took the opportunity to strengthen their position in a limited way by taking Donbas and a land bridge to Crimea in order to have a better Defensive position for their military base in Crimea.

        This shows they are rationale and using their heads.

        So, they would never blow up their own pipeline and destroy their leverage over Europe.

        Only the US benefits. No one else would dare do it without getting Deep State to greenlight it.

        It was Sullivan and Nuland and Blinken that had it blown, under orders from whomever they take orders from.

        1. Never said they were clowns. What they are, the russians, is pure evil. As evil as the deep state. In fact they are part of the deep state. Are the russians now allied with the CCP? Is the CCP the owner of the the bidens? Square all that up if you can.

          You are unable to conceive what the long game is so you are certain that it is something else. You cannot conceive of motives beyond your limited understanding (none of us have the knowledge), motives that are much longer, motives supported by others and reasons you do not comprehend.

          It was Sullivan and Nuland and Blinken that had it blown, under orders from whomever they take orders from.

          Those three are ignored by the people capable of carrying out this kind of operation. Perhaps the U.S.A. did it, but they were not part of the loop.

          The russians, putin, did not enter the Ukraine as a defensive move. We now have two more border states wanting to join NATO. That is all the proof you need to know that either that was not the motive or the russians are stupid. The russians aren’t stupid.

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