Damaged Nord Stream gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea. LEHTIKUVA

International news

Six weeks ago, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh published a report claiming that President Joe Biden ordered the destruction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline last September. The $11-billion pipeline was set to double the volume of natural gas delivered from Russia to Germany. While the story gained attention in Germany and Western Europe, it faced a near media blackout in the United States.

After a recent visit by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to Washington, US and German intelligence agencies allegedly attempted to spread false cover stories through the New York Times and German weekly Die Zeit to counter Hersh's report. Since Hersh’s bombshell exposé, Biden administration has gone to extreme and often redisclose length to distract attention from the topic, ranging from hot air balloons, UFOs, and going back to the origins of Covid, to fabricating stories about private Ukrainians in sailing boats diving to over 70m deep waters, placing hundreds of kilos of explosives and detonating it remotely.

Hersh's sources within the intelligence community claim that President Biden has not ordered a deep investigation into the incident, possibly because he already knows the answer.

Energy expert Sarah Miller explained the significance of the pipeline story in Germany and Western Europe. The destruction of Nord Stream 2 in September led to a surge in natural gas prices, peaking at 10 times pre-crisis levels in October. European governments reportedly spent up to 800 billion euros to shield households and businesses from the impact. Gas prices have since fallen to a quarter of the October peak, but they remain between two and three times pre-crisis levels.

The Nord Stream 2 controversy resurfaced during Chancellor Scholz's visit to Washington in early March. Hersh's source with access to diplomatic intelligence revealed that there was a discussion of the pipeline exposé during Scholz's visit, and certain elements in the CIA were asked to collaborate with German intelligence to prepare a cover story for the American and German press.

"The agency was 'to pulse the system' in an effort to discount the claim that Biden had ordered the pipelines' destruction," Hersh's source said.

As the Biden administration continues to deny responsibility for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline destruction, and Sweden and Denmark refuse an independent investigation taking place, the controversy remains unresolved. The alleged cover-up raises questions about transparency and accountability in both the United States and Germany.