In his first interview since publishing his bombshell Nord Stream report, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh said it was “not a hard story to find” and that it was obvious that NATO was involved in the Nord Stream attack. Hersh was astonished at his colleagues’ , who “don’t seem to have anyone inside”.
“I saw that the Germans are starting to cope with this story,” host Gary Brecher of Radio War Nerd remarked. “Would you call what they’re doing coping?” said Hersh.
Throughout “all of the scheming,” Brecher quoted Hersh’s source, “some working guys in the CIA and the State Department were saying, ‘Don’t do this. It’s stupid and will be a political nightmare if it comes out.’ Isn’t it incredibly stupid?”
“But they didn’t see it that way”, Hersh said. “They saw the gas coming from Russia. Russia had pipelines supplying gas to Germany, very cheap, so much so that some of the German companies were reselling (the gas) for a profit.”
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Nord Stream was controlled by Gazprom “controlled by oligarchs who are respectful of Putin. But 49% were (owned by) four different European companies, who were selling gas downstream all over Europe. So youj had a tremendous source of cheap gas for Europe. Germany’s a real powerhouse, Mercedes and BASF, the largest chemical company in the world. They soak up gas.”
“And so the fear was…” Hersh said, “Brandon wants this war. Don’t ask me why Presidents want war. I think it’s good for their ratings. But Brandon was very big on … showing we can stand up to Russia (with Ukrainian soldiers. It’s good politically in America too.”
Brandon “saw that gas as a weapon”, Hersh said. “As long as Russia was selling that much gas, they thought Russian would weaponize it if there was a war.” The planning began before the war, Hersh said.
Speaking at a press conference with German chancellor Olaf Scholz Feb. 7, 2022, Brandon said, if Russia invaded Ukraine, “there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2”. Pressed to explain how, Brandon doubled down: “We will – I promise you – we will be able to do it.”
On January 27, 2022, State Department Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland said that ‘With regard to Nord Stream 2, we continue to have very strong and clear conversations with our German allies, and I want to be clear with you today. If Russia invades Ukraine, one way or another, Nord Stream 2 will not move forward…. we’ve had extensive consultations at every level with our German allies. I’m not going to get into the specifics here today, but we will work with Germany to ensure that the pipeline does not move forward.’
On January 26, 2022 US State Department spokesperson Ned Price told NPR: “I want to be very clear: if Russia invades Ukraine one way or another, Nord Stream 2 will not move forward. I’m not going to get into the specifics. We will work with Germany to ensure it does not move forward.”
“That’s called a threat”, Hersh said. “People are asking me, ‘How did you find this story?’ A friend of mine put it this way: ‘You’re an expert at deconstructing the obvious.’ What else was it?”
“Particularly the German newspapers are very nasty to me”, Hersh said. “The New York Times and the Washington Post just ignore me.” The mainstream media want Hersh to reveal his source’s name and “get him put in jail”, Hersh said.” Which would end my career. I‘ve been doing this for 50 years… I protect people. I have a source. I’m taking heat, but that’s my job. But it’s their job to understand the business a little better,” Hersh said.
“They understand the business at the New York Times and the Washington Post”, Hersh said.
“The problem is, it’s all been cheapened. Because now the New York Times and the Washington Post think an unnamed source can be a press guy, a press secretary, that whispers something to them on the side. I don’t know, they don’t seem to have anyone inside,” Hersh said.
The coverage of the Ukrainian war “compared to what I’m hearing from my friends who have access to the information… The war I know about is not the war you’re reading about,” Hersh said.
BASF has shuttered factories and is “talking to China bout moving facilities there, Hersh said. Crippling the German economy was “shooting off your left foot for no reason whatsoever”, Hersh observed. “It’s stupid beyond belief. Is it criminal? It’s unquestionably a wonderful degree of stupidity at the White House and on the part of the President. It’s just damn stupid.”
“You have to ask yourself, what is it with Presidents? Why do they like war so much? (Maybe) because it’s politically useful,” Hersh said. “It’s colossally bad. Inexcusable.”
“The White House has the New York Times, Washington Post, MSN and CNN fronting for them,” Hersh said. “The enemy is Fox News. The only reporters that called me from any TV station … was Tucker Carlson.”
“He’s smart guy. I wouldn’t go on his show,” Hersh said about Carlson, “but he’s been dead right… on the war in Ukraine,” Hersh said.
The Nord Stream story “stunned me because it was such an obvious story”, Hersh said. “The Russians didn’t do it. And if the Russians didn’t do it, which country in NATO (did?)… I was joking with a friend: Maybe Macedonia did it. Are they in NATO?
“It’s not even a hard story to understand,” Hersh said. “The President of the United States, the Undersecretary of State both said they were gonna do it. And they did it.”
Secretary of State Antony Blinken “within a month of the event, he gave a speech in which he talked about stopping Russia from weaponizing oil and gas… He clearly was among the people who knew what happened.”
“The New York Times has a lot of terrific reporters, but when it comes to this type of reporting, they underestimate the American people. We’re ready to accept the fact the President did this,” Hersh said. “You have to hold the President to account.”
Hersh stands by his story while insisting on protecting his sources, while indicating they may be related to the pipeline industry: “The one thing government’s good at is tracking down people.”
“This isn’t a hard story to find”, Hersh said. “There’s something called the pipeline industry. American companies. They build pipelines around the world. They know what happened.”
Regarding the media onslaught on him from state-funded media sources like Bellingcat, Hersh said: “I can’t care about Bellingcat. Once you get to a certain level with the intelligence community, you get to know who’s who. I can’t worry about that. But there are legitimate people who complain.”
Glenn Greenwald had noted Bellingcat is funded by the National Endwoment for Democracy, founded by the CIA and State Department (Gateway reported).