US complicity in Nord Stream bombing stands exposed

On September 30, 2022, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was asked by a reporter if the US or its allies were to blame for the attacks that destroyed the Nord Stream pipelines between Russia and Germany three days earlier.

“I really have nothing to say to the absurd allegation from President Putin that we or other partners or allies are somehow responsible for this,” Blinken said.

Asked about claims by Russian officials that the US was responsible for the attacks, US President Biden replied after the bombings, “Just don’t listen to what Putin’s saying. What he’s saying we know is not true.”

Six months later, on Tuesday, the New York Times and Washington Post carried news reports, based on interviews with intelligence officials, asserting that a “pro-Ukraine group” destroyed the pipelines.

In a separate article, the German newspaper Die Zeit stated that the attack was carried out from a yacht owned by two Ukrainians operating from Germany. Building on that narrative, the Times of London reported that the attack was carried out via a “private venture originating in Ukraine.” The newspaper added, “The name of the suspected private sponsor, a Ukrainian not affiliated with President Zelensky’s government, has been circulating in intelligence circles for months but not revealed.”

This flood of news reports follows the publication by veteran journalist Seymour Hersh of a report that the US Navy directly planted the explosives that destroyed the pipelines, using military operations in the Baltic Sea as a cover.

Based on his contacts within the military and state apparatus, Hersh reported that the plan for the attack began in December 2021, months before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

All variants of the story have one thing in common. They show that Blinken was lying on September 30. The US “or other partners or allies” clearly did carry out the bombing.

With regard to the reports in the Times and the Post, the notion that a massive, highly sophisticated international undersea terror attack simultaneously destroying four separate pipelines would have been launched by Ukrainians operating from Germany without the knowledge of the Ukrainian government, Germany or the United States is laughable. If a “pro-Ukrainian” group was in fact responsible, it was, at the very least, carrying out the openly stated wishes of the White House, which vowed to “end” the existence of the pipeline.

Whether the US Navy carried out the bombing, or had its Ukrainian proxy forces do it, the United States is clearly to blame.

Biden himself had declared that the US would “bring an end to” the pipeline as part of a war over Ukraine, and US officials gloated over the destruction after it happened. In congressional testimony in January, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland said, “I think the administration is very gratified to know that Nord Stream 2 is now, as you like to say, a hunk of metal at the bottom of the sea.”

These revelations confirm what the World Socialist Web Site wrote on September 28:

Accusations of Russian involvement in the bombings lack all credibility and detract from the far more likely perpetrator: the United States. The first question that has to be asked about the Nord Stream bombing is: Cui bono? Who benefits, and who had the motive to carry it out?

The revelations also fully implicate the entire US media in an effort to blame Russia for the crime. Responding to the attack on Russian energy infrastructure, the Washington Post wrote on September 27:

The leaks are more likely a message: Russia is opening a new front on its energy war against Europe. First, it weaponized gas supply, halting shipments, including via the Nord Stream pipeline. Now, it may be attacking the energy infrastructure it once used to ship its energy.

The Heritage Foundation, a US think tank, declared, “Russia’s Attack on Nord Stream Pipelines Means Putin Has Truly Weaponized Energy.”

Critically, even after the exposure of Washington’s lies, the cover-up continued. German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius suggested that the evidence of Ukrainian involvement means the attack may have been a “false flag” operation conducted by Russia. “We have not been able to determine who was behind [it],” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday.

The exposure of the involvement of the US or its proxy forces in Ukraine fits a definite pattern, including the assassination of the Russian fascist intellectual Daria Dugina and the bombing of the Kerch Bridge, in which US and Ukrainian officials categorically declared that they had no involvement, only for subsequent media reports to attribute the attacks to the Ukrainian government.

Just minutes after Blinken flatly denied that the US had carried out the bombing on September 30, he gave a very clear explanation of the United States’ motive for the attack. Blinken declared:

And ultimately this is also a tremendous opportunity.  It’s a tremendous opportunity to once and for all remove the dependence on Russian energy and thus to take away from Vladimir Putin the weaponization of energy as a means of advancing his imperial designs.  That’s very significant, and that offers tremendous strategic opportunity for the years to come.

Indeed, major US energy companies profited massively from this “opportunity,” selling Europe record quantities of liquified natural gas, at record prices, and fueling record profits. The US and NATO allies utilized it as an “opportunity” to justify a further expansion of the war.

There can be little doubt that the collapse of the official narrative of the bombing was a major subject of discussions between US President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz last week. But the concern of Biden and Scholz was how to manage the popular reaction and outrage to the exposure, and how to ensure that this criminal act would not lead to the expansion of popular opposition to the war.

The exposure of US complicity in the bombing of the Nord Stream pipeline raises ominous and troubling questions. If the United States was capable of carrying out what was in effect an act of war and international terrorism, not only against Russia but also against Germany, what else is it capable of?

It remains an inescapable fact that after the US pledged itself to the most sweeping and far-reaching goals in the Ukraine war, the Ukrainian military is suffering major setbacks on the battlefield. There exists no public support for further escalation of the war, much less the deployment of NATO troops necessary for the achievement of these aims.

There has been a definite tendency in the history of US imperialism to respond to the exposure of one reckless lie by concocting another, even bigger and more reckless lie to take its place. The working class must be on the lookout for another US provocation that would suit this purpose.