gas leaking at Nord Stream 2
© Danish Defence/Anadolu Agency via Getty ImagesDanish Defense shows the gas leaking at Nord Stream 2 seen from the Danish F-16 interceptor on Bornholm, Denmark on September 27, 2022.
The idea that a US president commissioned a move aimed at a close ally, however, remains taboo in the West

The attack on the Nord Stream pipelines commissioned by US President Joe Biden was primarily aimed at Germany rather than Russia, investigative reporter Seymour Hersh has claimed. The decision to destroy the key pipelines was prompted by US fears that Berlin might not follow Washington's lead amid the Ukraine conflict, Hersh wrote in a new article on the affair on his Substack blog on Friday.

The sabotage of the pipelines was ordered weeks before the conflict between Russia and Ukraine began in February 2022, Hersh wrote, adding that the American operatives assigned to it believed it was meant to deter Moscow. The attack on the pipelines was ready by late May, but "the plan was called off on short notice by Biden," the journalist claimed.

Instead, the team was tasked with planting explosives on the pipelines, which could be detonated remotely at a later date, he said. The timing of the attack, which ultimately occurred in late September 2022, appeared to be aimed at Berlin rather than Moscow.

"Biden's timing seemed aimed at Chancellor [Olaf] Scholz. Some in the CIA believed that the president's fear was that Scholz, whose constituents were lukewarm in their support for Ukraine, might waffle with winter coming on and conclude that keeping his people warm and his industries prosperous was more important than backing Ukraine against Russia," Hersh wrote.

The destruction of the pipelines played a major role in Germany's economic hardships - the country, which once "dominated the world's markets with its luxury cars and industrial machinery... is now in a process of what some have called rapid deindustrialization," Hersh said. Apart from this, Germany has experienced a surge in popularity of right-wing parties, including Alternative for Germany (AfD), and its economic woes have contributed to this.

However, Washington's "most controversial factor in Germany's recent hard times" - the Nord Stream sabotage - remains largely ignored in the West, according to the journalist.

"In the ten months since I published my first account of the Nord Stream sabotage the German government and media, as in the United States, have either ignored or provided alternate accounts of the how and why the pipelines were destroyed. The idea that a sitting US president would deliberately destroy a vital source of energy and of a close ally has been, as Freud would say, taboo," Hersh wrote.

The veteran journalist provided his first detailed account on the pipeline attack on February 8, 2023, publishing a lengthy article relying on anonymous sources "with direct knowledge of the operational planning." The allegations prompted strong denials from Washington, with US National Security spokesman John Kirby dismissing the report as a "completely false story" at the time.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in March that he "fully agrees" with Hersh's findings, suggesting the attack only benefited Washington to reinforce its position as a competing gas supplier to Europe.

Comment: Due to space limitations for a comment, it is split up in two. The first includes mainly articles from before the sabotage event in September 2022, while the second part includes those after.
One difficulty with searching for articles about "Nord Stream" is that it is also spelled Nordstream, and even Northstream, though the first option, in two words, is the most frequent.

As a general introduction, reviewing past media coverage about Nord Stream pipeline, reveals that before its completion, there was intense pressure from the US to drop the project. Europe, on the other hand, saw an opportunity to secure its economy and build trade ties not just with Russia, but within Europe.

That later none of the European countries closest to the action - Germany, Denmark, and Sweden - have shown serious interest in investigating the incident is deplorable. Germany already has US bases, and both Denmark and Sweden this month signed bilateral agreements with the US military - ostensibly to 'protect' themselves from Russia, and allow NATO to get closer to Russia, as if that would increase security...

The agreements are still to be signed into law, but they are expected to take effect about a year from now.

1) US action and commentary before the Nord Stream sabotage
To avoid losing control of Europe, the U.S. has a war plan for Europe and Russia (2014)
West Overplayed Its Hand, Now Things Are Going Moscow's Way (2016)
US protectionism bears down on Europe in form of economic war (2017)
Pentagon's plan for Europe? Make it the frontline in a war with Russia (This was 2017!)
Washington's lack of diplomacy is isolating them from the rest of the world (2018)
How China can unite Eurasia and help avert the West's psychopathic war against it (2018)
Nordstream 2 pipeline project reveals the extent of US weakness (2018)
Germany now admits it needs a heck of a lot more from Russia than Nordstream 2 (Oct 2019)
US Senate approves Trump's sanctions on Nord Stream 2, but it won't stop the Russian pipeline (2019)
US envoy to Germany claims Nord Stream 2 sanctions "extremely PRO-european" despite Berlin & EU criticism (2019)
The Empire sets 30-day deadline for European contractors to withdraw from Nord Stream 2 gas project: Obey immediately or face sanctions (2019)
Last-ditch attempt to stop Nord Stream 2: US Senate passes $740 BILLION Pentagon budget that includes Russian pipeline sanctions (2019)
Trump loses more than just battle over Nordstream 2 (Oct 2019)
Nord Stream 2: Washington to "free" Europe from freedom to decide for itself (Dec 2019)
Nordstream sanctions, the sad coda to US foreign policy (Dec 2019)
'Very serious threats': US ramps up pressure on Nord Stream 2 contractors (2020)
Pompeo: US will 'do everything' to stop Nord Stream 2 project! (2020)
US House approves more baseless sanctions in attempt to stop Nord Stream 2 (2020)
Germany offered to build $1.2 billion LNG terminals to stop US' sanctions on Nord Stream 2 (2020)
US triples gas shipments to Europe, Germany profits from its blockade of Nord Stream II by selling Russian gas at a mark up (2021)
Republicans slam Biden administration on report of Nord Stream sanctions wavers (2021)
Germany offered US 'dirty deal' to drop Nord Stream 2 sanctions (2021)
US drops Nord Stream 2 sabotage attempts, revealing true motivation was not 'security' (Jul 2021)
Nord Stream 2 sanctions could have 'poisoned' US ties with Germany & failed anyway - US Sec Blinken (2021)
US votes for sanctions on Nord Stream 2 despite record energy prices crippling Europe (2021)
US senators planning to introduce new sanctions on Russia's Nord Stream 2 as it nears completion (2021)
US senators push for Germany to cancel recently completed Nord Stream II gas pipeline amid EU energy crisis (2021)
Will Washington Launch a Mass-Casualty "False Flag" to Sabotage Nord Stream? (Feb 2022)
NATO has completed its post-Cold War transformation from Europe's guard dog into America's attack dog (June 2022)
American Diplomacy as a Tragic Drama (July 2022)
The New York Times on Ukraine: Vietnam déjà vu (Sepember 26, 2022)

2) European action and commentary before the Nord Stream sabotage
French Economy Falls Victim to U.S. Allegiance, Zionist lobbying (2012)
The neo-Nazi junta in Kiev does everything to provoke Russian into an intervention (2014)
Leaving the herd: European countries breaking EU's united front on Russia amid gas needs (2014)
On NATO's economic war against Russia and Putin's response (2014)
Austria and Russia sign $45 billion South Stream gas pipeline treaty... as Gazprom seeks to bypass US-occupied Ukraine (2014)
Dear Mr. Putin, We were only playing hard to get (2014)
Russia's offer to Greece (2015)
Russia, Syria and the anglo-American existential gas war in the Middle East (2015)
Are the E.U. and Asia turning a blind eye to Russian sanctions? (2015)
Manufacturing a crisis: Poland to divide Europe over Russia-Germany Pipeline (2015)
Political challenges: Nord Stream 2 pipeline risks delays due to Polish hurdle (2016)
Evolution of 'Turk Stream': Western geopolitics vs. Russian energy projects (2016)
Polite analytics: Causes, results and effects of failed Ukrainian sabotage on Crimea(2016)
France ignores Eurasian integration at her own peril (2016)
Despite West's failed attempts at isolation, Russia is becoming an "indispensable nation" (2016)
Unacceptable! Former German Chancellor Schroeder lambastes Washington's economic war against Russian gas supplies to Europe (2017)
Germany buckles under new US sanctions: Abandons 5 projects of the Nord Stream-2 (2017)
March 2018 is Proving to be a Truly Historical Month for the Future of our Planet(2018)
Trump is rattling the West's Cold War mindset (2018)
Greece expels Russian diplomats: The hidden agenda behind an unfriendly move (2018)
The end of the US unipolar world is unstoppable (2018)
Lavrov: US forcing Europe to abandon Russian gas & buy more expensive American LNG (2018)
Germany disregards US sanctions, approves North Stream 2 pipeline with Russia (2018)
Vasily Livanov MBE: An open letter to the people of Britain (2018)
Sanctions And Tariffs Have Turned American Exceptionalism Into Isolationism (2018)
The end of the US unipolar world is unstoppable (2018)
US assures Germany it won't stand in the way of Nordstream pipeline linking Germany and Russia (2018)
Germany confirms continued support of Russia's Nord Stream 2 project despite sanction pressure from US (2019)
Russia will counter Washington's pressure on Nord Stream 2 via close cooperation with Europe (2019)
Russian economy minister: Extra-territorial US sanctions on Nord Stream 2 bringing Russia & Europe closer together (2019)
Ukraine President Zelensky's interview on Trump, Putin, and a divided Europe: 'I don't trust anyone at all' (2019)
Key takeaway from Ukraine peace talks in Paris is that Zelensky's best friend is Putin (2019)
Trump's 'pro-European' Nordstream 2 sanctions are an obvious market grab. But does Europe have the guts to resist? (Dec 2019)
Bully at work: Firm laying Nord Stream 2 pipeline halts activity faced with 'crushing' US sanctions (2020)
"No evidence": EU Parliament using Navalny's alleged poisoning to stop Nord Stream project - German MEP (2020)
German parliamentarians suggest that Berlin sanction US in retaliation for boycotting Nord Stream 2 (2020)
US sanctions move for Russia's Nord Stream 2 pipeline spells end of Transatlantic bond - German ex-Chancellor Schroeder (2020)
US sanctions on Russian gas pipeline illegal & 'an assault on Europe's sovereignty' - Bundestag member to RT
Berlin mulls taking US threats over Nord Stream 2 to UN - head of German Energy Committee to RT (2020)
'Unfair competition': Moscow blasts US move to enable sanctioning of Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream pipelines (2020)
Germany warns US against imposing sanctions on Nord Stream 2, says no country has right to 'dictate' its energy policy (2020)
Is Trump using Nordstream 2 to exit NATO? (Jul 2020)
Merkel: Washington's stance is wrong! Nord Stream 2 project benefits Germany AND Europe (2020)
Novichok, Navalny, Nordstream, Nonsense (Sep 2020)
Navalny, Pevchikh are barking dogs: Merkel and Nord Stream-2 are the caravan which moves on (2020)
Novichok reloaded, Belarus and other insanities in a world gone mad (2020)
German FM links Nord Stream 2 to Navalny, threatens sanctions as Moscow accuses Berlin of dragging feet on alleged poisoning probe UPDATE (2020)
Nord Stream 2 work in Germany is complete: 'We won't do US bidding, even if Biden is in charge', FM Maas says (Dec 2020)
Putin and Merkel join forces to resist cynical US sanctions on Nord Stream 2 pipeline (2020)
Ukrainian lobbyists pitted US against EU over new Russia-Germany Nord Stream 2 pipeline (2020)
Europe embraces multipolar world with Nord Stream 2 and China investment deal while US presents obstacles (2020)
Russia & Germany's cunning plan for Nord Stream 2 (2020)
German Minister warns against jeopardizing Nord Stream over Navalny case (2021)
Germany rejects France's call to halt construction on Nord Stream 2 pipeline over Navalny detention (2021)
US strikes Ukraine-centered Nord Stream 2 'deal' with Germany - Putin & Merkel 'satisfied' with pipeline's near-completion (2021)
The EU and Russia: The headless chicken and the bear (2021)
In January, Paris asked Berlin to suspend Nord Stream 2. In February, the French govt purchased 43% MORE GAS from Russia! (2021)
Putin: First stretch of Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline completed on Friday morning, despite vehement US objections (2021)
Reading Putin at Valdai(2021)
Washington's new Nord Stream 2 deal 'hostile' to Russia & betrays spirit of Putin-Biden summit, Moscow's ambassador to US fumes (Jul 2021)
Nord Stream 2 to be completed in few days, America's efforts to stop it failed - Russian foreign minister (September 6, 2021)
Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline construction fully completed (September 10, 2021)
Nord Stream 2 pipeline a political defeat for US, but a victory for Russia, Germany and, in the long run, possibly Ukraine (September 11, 2021)
German officials block certification for completed Nord Stream 2 pipeline (Nov 2021)
Pepe Escobar: Exit Nord Stream 2, enter Power of Siberia 2 (Dec 2021)
European gas prices surge again to "astounding" new record highs, Germany's block on Nord Stream II gas pipeline continues (Dec 2021)
Gas prices spike in Europe as flow through Nord Stream pipeline reduced further due to repair problems caused by sanctions (June 2022)
Germany accuses Russia of reducing gas supplies for 'political' reasons whilst in reality sanctions are preventing repair parts being sent from Canada (June 2022)
The ´Rape Russia´ plan backfires (July 2022)

3) Other commentary on US-European relations
French Finance Minister accuses US of 'dividing' France & Germany with trade war (2018)
Macron is right, Europe must come out of America's shadow and reject the bipolar, Cold War era world view pedalled by Washington (2020)
German general tells US generals to lose the Ukraine war as soon as possible to prevent losing the empire in Europe (2023)

4) Nord Steam 2 and Gazprom commentary
Nord Stream 2's complaint rejected by EU court to amend unfair gas transport rules instated by EU Gas Directive (2020)
Nord Stream 2 to challenge German regulator's decision denying waiver of 'discriminatory' EU rules for gas pipeline from Russia (2020)
Gazprom warns investors that Nord Stream 2 could be canceled as Trump announces more US sanctions in 'parting gift' (Jan 2021)
NATO mine destroyer was discovered at Nord Stream 1 in 2015, says Gazprom (Oct 2022)
Russia didn't blow up gas pipeline - Nord Stream boss (Jan 2023)