The steel pipe covered by concrete for Nord Stream 2. (Photo: Wikipedia)
There was, at least up to 8 March 2023, a general unanimity about the fact that the attack on the Nord Stream 1 & 2 on 26 September 2022 was an act of “state terrorism”. Both the Danish and the Swedish authorities investigating the case said that the destruction was enormous. The explosion at a depth of about 80 meters was registered as an earthquake of 2.3 on the Richter scale. It was registered as far north as the northern tip of Sweden 1600 km further north. The pipelines were built in sections of 12 meter and with a diameter of 116 cm, an inner pipe of 4 cm thick steel and with a cover of 6-11 cm thick concrete. Each 12-meter section had a total weight of 24 tons. The explosion had blown away 50 meters or about 100 tons of the pipeline. This operation demanded deep-sea divers with specialized equipment and a special ship with decompression chamber. It demanded specially trained divers that were able to bring several hundreds of kilos of explosives down to the seabed and to attach these explosives to the pipes professionally. The attack was, according to the two Scandinavian countries, definitely carried out by a state agency. It would have been impossible for private individuals to accomplish it.
This was perhaps the most monumental attack on physical infrastructure in peacetime. Tens of billions of dollars of infrastructure were apparently demolished, but more importantly: the vital physical link between Russia and Germany was disrupted. The prospect of a Russian-European “union of gas and industry” was destroyed. This Russian-European cooperation was as important as the Coal and Steel Community of the 1950s, which had created mutual interests among former enemies (France and Germany) and developed into the European Union with its explicit goal of avoiding a future war in Europe. Similarly, the Russian-German integration was much more than an industrial enterprise, it was also a peace project to prevent a future war between the Cold War antagonists. Accordingly, the Nord Stream attack was not only an act of war against Russia (Gazprom) owner of 51 % of the pipeline and against German companies (and individual European companies) that owns the remaining 49 %, but also against their vital bonds that had opened for a new European integration. It was an act of war against the European reassurance policies and détente policies that around 1990 had made the end of the Cold War possible.
On 11 October 2022, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg declared that any attack on infrastructure critical to the NATO military alliance would trigger a “united and determined response”. Stoltenberg indicated that an attack on such infrastructure, such as gas pipelines, might trigger NATO’s article 5 and be considered an act of war. The attack on the Nord Stream pipelines should accordingly be considered an act of war against both Germany and Russia. Jens Stoltenberg was apparently worried that Russia might retaliate and attack Norwegian and others’ pipelines. Russia pointed to the Anglo-Americans responsibility for the attacks on 26 September. However, no country came forth to take responsibility for these attacks. Nor did any country expose their findings on the identity of the perpetrators of this act of terror
Map of Nord Stream 1 with two pipelines (green) and Nord Stream 2 with two pipelines (blue). The explosions are in red. (Image: Wikipedia)
The American rhetoric and Seymour Hersh’s article
What we all know is that in January-February 2022 US Under Secretary Victoria Nuland as well as President Biden himself had promised to eliminate the pipeline if Russia entered Ukraine. But already in 2021, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee had said that they wanted to end the pipeline “permanently”. President Trumps National Security Advisor John Bolton said: “We should cut it off. We should have cut it off in the Trump Administration”. Trump considered it but did nothing, Bolton said. And already in 2014, former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that the Europeans would have to replace their dependency on Russian gas with American gas, which presupposed the elimination of the Nord Stream pipelines. These US neoconservatives wanted Europe to depend on US and not on Russian gas. But even more important, this US security elite wanted Europe to define Russia as its enemy, because this would force Europe to rely fully on the United States. The US decision to destroy the Russian pipelines was probably taken many years ago, but the problem was how to justify it. Not even the 1982 CIA attack on the Russian Yamal Pipeline and the danger of a nuclear war in 1983 were enough to persuade the Germans and the Russians to rethink their pipeline project. To cut off Russia from Europe almost certainly pre-supposed a European-Russian war to justify the attack. The United States would have to provoke Russia into a war before taking out the pipelines. And after they had been destroyed, Secretary of State Blinken and Under Secretary Nuland were both enthusiastic. Blinken said it gave the US a “tremendous opportunity”, while Nuland said that we are “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”.
On 8 February 2023, after months investigation, Seymour Hersh published a detailed article on the planning of the attack as well as about its execution. He wrote that President Biden, in December 2021, months before the Russian invasion, had appointed National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan to chair an inter-agency group with participants “from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the CIA, and the State and Treasury Departments” to solve the problem with the pipelines. They had a series of meetings on the “top floor of the Old Executive Office Building”. In early 2022, the CIA came up with a credible plan “to blow up the pipelines” with the use of special Navy deep-sea divers from the diving center in Panama City Florida, which “just happens to be the location of the CIA Maritime branch in the Directorate of Operations”, to quote former CIA officer Larry Johnson. Everyone understood that it was serious. If it is traceable to the US, “it’s an act of war,” Hersh source told. In order to handle local problems in Europe, the group turned to Norway.
According to Sy Hersh, a “very competent American team went to Norway”, “sometime in March” 2022, “to meet with Norwegian Secret Service and Navy” to prepare for the destruction of the pipeline. The team approached the Norwegians, who identified a shallow place close to the Danish Island of Bornholm to plant the explosives. Hersh had gathered information from the team, and they prepared a cover, to use the NATO BALTOPS 22 exercise (5-17 June 2022), which was scheduled to take place east of Bornholm. The exercise was to be held in exactly the right place, where the four pipelines passed an enough shallow area, and where the divers would be able to plant the explosives. The exercise was supposed to train “mine-warfare”, which was ideal as a cover to justify diving operations. It included a couple of US ships including the USS Kearsarge capable of carrying small midget submarines that could have been used by the divers.
By the end av the exercise, the US special Navy divers had planted the explosives, Hersh writes. They had used very special equipment for deep-sea diving with a mixture of helium in the tanks, and these divers had nothing to do with the exercise itself. The very presence of such divers was confirmed by a BALTOPS coordinator for the divers, German journalist Thomas Röper writes. These divers were flown in by helicopter. They brought deep-sea diving equipment with them, which the coordinator believed was MK29, a rebreather system with a mixture of helium (that Hersh mentioned) and had been developed by the Naval Warfare diving Center in Panama City. Such equipment was neither necessary nor useful for divers in a mine warfare exercise, and their use of it had surprised the coordinator. These divers also met with the US Admiral and “with a group of American men in plain clothes that had arrived a few hours earlier. We all suspected them to be some sort of intelligence officers”. The divers went out in their rubber boat to a totally wrong area, and “they disappeared under the water for over six hours. There is no self-contained underwater gear that I know of that could keep a diver under for six hours”. They must have met with a small submersible that could have brought them down for their job, all according to the diving coordinator’s letter.
This is a confirmation of an essential point in Sy Hersh article: US Navy divers using state-of-the-art deep sea diving equipment from Panama City Florida. They were coming in at the end of the exercise and they clearly did deep sea dives that had nothing to do with the exercise. Röper wrote about this immediately after Sy Hersh article, and some people may have been hesitant to believe in it, since Röper presented the coordinator’s letter after Hersh’s article had been published. But this letter was actually brought up in a video already in October 2022 by Röper’s colleague John Mark Dougan without many people knowing about it.
I wrote an article in Norwegian Ny Tid, already on 1 December 2022, where I pointed to the BALTOPS 22 exercise and the possible use of USS Kearsarge. The BALTOPS was the obvious cover, and almost everyone would understand that the perpetrators would have used this exercise to plant the explosives, particularly if the explosions had taken place shortly afterwards. The Americans certainly needed a more sophisticated cover.
Pipelaying vessel laying the pipe for Nord Stream 2. (Photo: Gazprom)
Norway and the US need for “plausible deniability”
The Americans had to come up with another layer of cover, which leads us to Norway. One might ask oneself: why would the US need Norwegian help to find where to plant the explosives in the Baltic? They could easily have found such a suitable spot on their own. They could have run the whole operation themselves, and the ones who really knew the area were the Danes and the Swedes. It seems that the US had approached the Norwegians, not because of their detailed knowledge of the Baltic, but for “plausible deniability”. The US needed a plausible “suspect” if something would go wrong. They needed a gas producer, whose profits would increase radically if its major Russian rival and its Nord Stream Pipeline, was taken out. Norway was the perfect “fall guy”, the obvious suspect that the Americans could throw under the bus, if necessary.
After the West had sanctioned Russia, the prices of oil and gas increased. US LNG producers as well as Norway made a fortune, which increased further after the destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines on 26 September. After the Sy Hersh article, people would say: “Of course, that is why Norway destroyed the pipeline”. However, this is not the way Norwegians think, but it may very well be the reason why the US would choose Norway for such very sensitive operations. The US would always seek “plausible deniability”. One will find someone with interest in the case that could be presented as the “primary suspect”. If the US had approached the Swedes or the Danes, one would ask: “Why did they do that?” In the US, one would ask: who benefits? “Cui Bono?” And the answer would present itself readily: Norway. While the Norwegians, or rather a few senior officers, might have been convinced that they were making a valuable contribution to an extremely sensitive US covert operation that would give Norway some credit. It is the same logic as in the criminal world when the guy on the street does dirty jobs for the mafia boss. This is the way you will gain acceptance and gain higher positions. This is deeply tragic.
According to Sy Hersh, President Biden wanted to be able to trigger the explosions at the time of his own choosing. It would have been too obvious if the explosions had been triggered by a timer shortly after the BALTOPS 22 exercise. Consequently, the American experts arranged for the explosives to be triggered by a specific “pulsed signal” from a sonar buoy that would be dropped in the area at any chosen time. By mid-September, many Germans were upset about the gas prices and about the fact that Chancellor Scholz had closed Nord Stream 2. People demanded that he opened the pipeline. On 16 September Vladimir Putin said that if you have problems with the gas supply, you can always open the Nord Stream 2. There was a concern in the US that the Germans would give in to popular demands and the US President felt the need to act.
On September 22-24, two or more Swedish naval vessels operated in the area of the pipelines east of Bornholm, also at the exact positions of the upcoming explosions. The two ships had turned off their AIS transponders, a technical device showing their location, for 22 hours indicating that their positions should not be revealed. Some Swedes had apparently been notified about the explosives. They might have been asked by the Americans to check if everything was in order and they probably wanted to check whether the explosives would damage the Swedish electrical cable to Poland, which passed in between and close to the two northern positions.
A US Navy Poseidon P-8A at Sola Air Base, southern Norway in 2017. (Photo: Wikipedia)
A Norwegian, British or US Poseidon
Perhaps at midnight to 26th of September, the Americans supposedly used a Norwegian P-8A Poseidon to fly over the target area to drop the sonar buoy sending the signal to trigger the explosions with a certain delay using a timer. This is what Sy Hersh’s sources claim. It is more than likely that such a Poseidon would have turned off its transponder because one wouldn’t want anyone to be able to track the plane’s trajectory during such a sensitive operation.
However, there is evidence that a P-8 Poseidon was coming from the area of southern Norway at night to the 26th of September (Monkey Werx flight tracking). The transponder was turned on. One could track the aircraft, though its exact identity was masked. The aircraft passed northern Denmark at 01:45 in the night Central European Time (1:45 AM CET) flying towards the Baltic Sea, to the southern tip of Sweden, and then turning east towards Bornholm. According to the tracking of the Poseidon, her passage over the position of the detonation is estimated to about 02:05 CET (according to the speaker voice, but we do not know if this estimate is correct; it might very well be 02:06 or 02:08 CET if we accept the time given by the flight tracking).
According to Swedish seismic data, the first explosion was registered at 02:03 CET (02:03.25; one minute and 35 seconds before the estimated passage above, which makes it unlikely that this aircraft had been able to drop a buoy that triggered the explosion). The Poseidon then entered Polish territory at about 02:17 and was refueled for more than an hour over Poland by a US tanker aircraft KC-135R/K35R coming up from Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany. At about 03:30, the Poseidon went back over the Baltic Sea and circled east of Bornholm, from the position of the detonation in the west to the area further east, notably for more than three hours. The aircraft then went back over northern Denmark at 07:00 towards southern Norway.
The precise identity of this Poseidon is not known. This raises several questions:
Firstly, this Poseidon could not have been the Poseidon that triggered the explosion (or at least not the first explosion), but rather a Poseidon that verified the explosion. However, we still do not know if this was a Norwegian Poseidon from Evenes Air Base in northern Norway or a US Poseidon flying from Keflavik, Iceland. Or was it a British Poseidon from the Royal Air Force Base Lossiemouth in northeastern Scotland? A British or US plane could have gone eastwards towards the southern tip of Norway and then down to the southern tip of Sweden. A Norwegian Poseidon could easily have been confused with a plane from the US or the UK.
Secondly, why did this Poseidon circle in the area east of Bornholm for more than three hours? To circle over the southern Baltic in the middle of the night after the most devastating sabotage operation ever, indicate that this aircraft had something to do with the operation, but it was hardly the perpetrator. The latter would have left the area as soon as possible. “This second Poseidon” was apparently arriving in the area just after the first explosion. Its task might have been to confirm that the explosion had been executed and then to survey the southern Baltic Sea to find out e.g., if there were any Russian ships or submarines in the vicinity that one possibly could blame for the takeout.
Thirdly, why did the airplane refuel over Poland? The P-8A Poseidon is said to have a ferry range of 7,200 km without refueling. To fly from Evenes, from Scotland or from Iceland to the southern Baltic Sea and back did not necessitate refueling. Therefore, the circling over the southern Baltic in the middle of the night would already have been part of the plan.
We can now conclude: a Poseidon responsible for an extremely delicate operation, blowing up a pipeline, would not have its transponder turned on and would not hang around in southern Baltic for three hours afterwards. But the Poseidon that appeared shortly afterwards and was visible to the flight trackers was almost certainly involved in the operation possibly to verify the explosion and to survey the southern Baltic. And when this aircraft passed over the very position of the explosion, it would, if this was a British Poseidon, inform the British Headquarters in real time. The British would then contact the Americans. The Secretary of the Russian Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, said that this would then “confirms London’s involvement”.
Also, if you have an airplane passing just after the explosion took place, you can prove that this Poseidon did not trigger the explosion. This fact could be used to discredit the claim that this Poseidon was the perpetrator. Its very identity, also its nationality, was masked, but not the fact that it was a Poseidon aircraft. Such a set-up would possibly indicate the use of a British or US Poseidon passing southern Norway on its way to Bornholm sending an ambiguous signal about the nationality of the plane. But let us first look at Norway’s capability.
Norway had just bought five Poseidon from the US Navy. The first was delivered in November 2021 and arrived at Evenes Air Base (at Narvik, Northern Norway) in February 2022. A second Poseidon arrived at Evenes in March. The third Poseidon arrived in May. Flight training was supposed to start in March, but the testing of the aircraft forced them to postpone this training. Not until 2 June did the first aircraft leave Evenes for training flights with a US-Norwegian crew. Training went on in 2022 and 2023, also at US Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida. The last two aircraft are about to arrive in the summer of 2023. In August, Norway’s five Poseidon are expected to be operative and to replace today’s six P-3 Orion. They may also operate from the Royal Air Force Base Lossiemouth in Scotland. To use a Norwegian aircraft not yet integrated in the Defence Forces, gives you an opportunity to utilize it for other purposes.
In the 1970s, Swedish SAAB had used a J-35 Draken, not yet handed over to the Swedish Air Force, to approach the Soviet Baltic coast during the very week when the responsible Soviet air defense aircraft were on an exercise close to the Urals. I was told so by the Deputy Chief of Swedish Defense Staff Intelligence, Björn Eklind. The Swedish J-35 triggered the Soviet air defense radars that could then be surveyed and registered by the Swedish signal intelligence agency. But for whom? Sweden was not supposed to attack the Soviet Baltic coast. Most likely Swedish SAAB did this on behalf of the US to receive some advanced technology or some other favors in return. The same might have been the case with the use of a Norwegian Poseidon in a US special operation. It is an obvious advantage to use a formally not yet operative aircraft for such an operation, because you do not have the same requirements for reporting.
Norway’s Chief of Intelligence Major General Alf Roar Berg (1988-93) and his counterpart, the Director of the CIA and later Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates together with US Ambassador Loret Miller Ruppe in Oslo, June 1992. (Photo: private archive)
The US-Norwegian Intelligence Community
We can now conclude that quite a few people in the US would have been in the know. So would some Norwegians and probably some on the British side. And Sy Hersh says that some people “in Denmark and Sweden were also briefed”, which was indicated by the Swedish naval operation on 22-24 September as well as by the Swedish claim that their investigation was so sensitive that neither the Russians, nor the Germans or the Danes could be briefed. All in all, this could only mean that this was an operation carried out by close allies or friends. It points to the US, the UK and possibly Norway. Perhaps also someone else, but still this kind of information would be too sensitive to be shared within NATO. If we look at similarly sensitive operations in the 1980s conducted by the US (the CIA and the Navy) and the UK, NATO as an organization was not involved although several US and British NATO officers were in the know. The destruction of the Nord Stream pipeline was probably very much a “need-to-know operation”.
Norwegian intelligence and the Norwegian Navy have for a long time had very close US ties. When former chief of the Norwegian Intelligence Service (NIS), Major General Alf Roar Berg (1988-93) realized that people inside his Service did not make a distinction between the US and Norway, particularly among the technical staff, Berg had to point out to them and stress that Norway is a sovereign state different from the United States and that Norway and the United States often have different interests. This became apparent in the 1980s, when the US pushed for its confrontational “Forward Maritime Strategy”, while Norway wanted to have low-tension and to avoid any provocative activity. At a NATO Intelligence Steering Committee meeting in autumn 1988, the British and US chiefs of Defense Intelligence claimed that the war was “imminent”, and that this should be NATO’s official policy, while Norway and General Berg was able to stop this by showing that the Soviet readiness in the north had been reduced considerably. The US and UK had to back down and their attempt to prolong the Cold War was stopped by Norway. However, this Cold War experience is now forgotten. At the top-level, Norwegians now speak about the United States as Norway’s closest ally as if their interests were almost identical and as if Norway had to adapt to the US. In 2022, the US succeeded to get the Norwegian Parliament to accept four “Agreed Facilities and Areas”, the naval base Ramsund and the airbases of Rygge, Sola and Evenes, which in practical terms are US military bases with US sovereignty and US police forces. When you talk with retired generals or admirals in Norway, they were not surprised that the US would try to use the Norwegians for any kind of special operation. The US always tried to test how far they could get in Norway.
If we assume that Seymour Hersh is right and that the US had used a Norwegian Poseidon to go to the southern Baltic Sea at midnight of 25-26 September to drop a sonar buoy that triggered the explosion, would the Norwegians in the crew know about it? Not necessarily, though some senior Norwegian officers would most likely have known about the operation in some detail. But to what extent had the political leadership been informed? Had Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre received a general briefing about the necessity of letting the United States use a Norwegian Poseidon in a US special operation in order to receive these aircraft with their most advanced equipment? Did he know that they were going to destroy the Nord Stream pipeline? And in that case, when did he know that the pipeline would be taken out on the 26th of September?
Director of Central Intelligence Robert Gates (1991-93) with Joe, wife of Norwegian Chief of Intelligence Alf Roar Berg, and Berg himself with Robert Gates wife Becky, June 1992. In the background, you can see the towers of Oslo City Council. Despite the very close US-Norwegian intelligence ties, there was, at the time, a recognition of the two states very different interests (Photo: Private Archive).
The Norwegian Prime Minister and the destruction of the pipeline
The inauguration of the new Baltic pipeline from Norway to Poland over Denmark was scheduled for the following day, the 27th of September, in the Polish city of Szczecin, with the Norwegian, Danish, and Polish prime ministers and president. Because of Jonas Gahr Støre’s cancellation of the trip, we now know almost exactly when and who had briefed him about the upcoming attack. Present at the inauguration in Szczecin were the Polish President Andrzej Duda, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and some others like the Danish, Polish and Norwegian Minister of Energy including Norwegian Terje Aasland, but not Prime Minister Støre, despite the fact that this was a most highly profiled Norwegian-Polish-Danish event, probably the most significant inauguration for Norway these years. Jonas Gahr Støre should have been present, but he wasn’t. Euronews, Reuters, The New York Times, Frankfurter Allgemeine as well as Polish, Italian and other news agencies, all showed the three top leaders: Duda, Morawiecki and Frederiksen but no Norwegian.
On the 20th of September, the Norwegian Prime Minister’s Office had announced that Prime Minister Støre would go to Poland to Szczecin on the 27th of September for the inauguration of the “Baltic Pipe”, the Norwegian-Polish pipeline (Regjeringen.no, NTB, ABC Nyheter, Nettavisen, Adressavisen, Dagsavisen and Bergens Tidende [23 September]). The Prime Minister’s Office edited the post on the 22nd of September, saying that the Minister of Oil and Energy, Aasland, would act as a substitute for the Prime Minister. This notice was not published on the regular Government Calendar. The original notice about Støre’s trip to Szczecin was removed from the Calendar.
What was Prime Minister Støre’s whereabouts these days? On Sunday the 18th of September, Støre and his defense minister Bjørn Arild Gram went to the United States. The following day they visited US aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford and the NATO Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, close to Washington DC. They were guided by the US Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro. They visited the headquarters of US Second Fleet and of the NATO Command, where they also spoke with its Norwegian officers. In the evening, Prime Minister Støre met Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell at the Congress. On the 20th of September, Støre attended the opening of UN General Assembly in New York and had a meeting with the UN Secretary General António Guterres. Støre delivered Norway’s speech before the General Assembly on 22nd of September, and at the Security Council the same day. In the evening, he participated at a transatlantic foreign ministers’ meeting led by Anthony Blinken before returning to Norway.
In Norway, on the 22nd of September, the Prime Minister’s Office issued a notice that Støre would be going to southern Norway (Kristiansand/Arendal) on the 26th of September to mark the founding of a new battery factory and to meet pupils at a school competition. On the 23rd of September, the Prime Minister’s Office announced Støre’s schedule for the next week. Nothing was said about the inauguration of the Norwegian-Polish pipeline on the 27th of September, but the Ministry of Oil and Energy announced that Minister Terje Aasland would attend the ceremony in Szczecin on the 27th. Støre may have returned from the US on the 23rd. There are no reports for the weekend of 24-25 September. On the 26thof September, on the day of the explosion, Støre was as scheduled in the south of Norway to see pupils in Kristiansand. Nothing is stated about his whereabouts on the 27th of September. He would have had plenty of time to attend the inauguration in Szczecin.
The Prime Minister’s Office claimed that Støre stayed in Oslo on 27th of September to work with the budget, but this is not a credible argument: firstly there was almost nobody in Oslo he could talk to (practically everyone in the Cabinet were travelling on the 27th); secondly, the only reason why Støre would cancel such an important inauguration (together with the Danish and Polish prime ministers) would have been something very serious. But nothing serious had happened. He had even taken the time to visit an upcoming factory and a school competition the previous day, and the decision to cancel the trip to Poland had been taken - not on the day before - but on the 21st or 22nd of September.
On the 28th of September, Støre gave two press conferences, one at 08.30 accompanied by Minister of Finance and one at 15.30, where Støre spoke about the sabotage against the Nord Stream pipelines. He brought up the increased threat towards Norwegian pipelines and the increased readiness to protect them. Støre also had a telephone conversation with President Emmanuel Macron.
Støre’s problem was that an attack on the Nord Stream pipeline on the 26th of September would make it impossible for him to attend the inauguration ceremony in Poland. His participation in Szczecin would have appeared as a Norwegian celebration of the destruction of the Nord Stream. It would have appeared as if Norway was celebrating the elimination of Russia as Norway’s major gas competitor and as if Europe now was entering a new era with Russian gas being replaced by Western gas (by the Norwegian-Polish pipeline).
We know that Polish leaders were more than happy to celebrate the destruction of Nord Stream. Polish Member of European Parliament and Chair for its Delegation to the US, former Defence and Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski wrote on Twitter on the 27th of September after the attack on the pipeline: “Thank you, USA”. It would have caused a major outrage in Norway, had a Norwegian minister or politician expressed such a sentiment. A Norwegian prime minister would never make a similar statement, not even secretly. Støre’s presence in Szczecin would be similarly outrageous drawing attention to Norway’s increased profits after the destruction of the Russian-German pipelines. This would have been extremely embarrassing for Norway. It was therefore completely out of the question for Støre to attend the inauguration in Poland.
Member of the European Parliament and former minister of Defense and Foreign Affairs Radoslaw (Radek) Sikorski’s Twitter comment “Thank you, USA”, 27 September 2022.
Subsequently, we have to ask: when did Støre take his decision to cancel his trip to Szczecin? Or more precisely, what happened between the 18th of September, when Prime Minister Støre left for the US, while the Prime Minister’s Office soon announced his attendance at the inauguration in Szczecin the following week, and the 22nd of September, when the Prime Minister’s Office notified that Støre had cancelled his participation in Szczecin? The time difference indicates that Støre most likely informed Oslo about the cancellation on the 21st of September, while he had his first meeting in the US on the 19th of September. He must have been given some crucial information between the 19th and the 21st of September by the Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro, by the US Naval Command or perhaps by the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. The meeting with Secretary General Guterres the next day would hardly be relevant in this case. We can thus conclude that the only credible explanation to Støre’s cancellation of his visit to Szczecin must have been a briefing about the upcoming Nord Stream attack, and he was almost certainly briefed about it by Secretary Del Toro or by someone else on the 19th of September. He would then need a day or two to decide what to do about the inauguration ceremony in Poland.
To destroy Nord Stream on the 26th of September, the day before the inauguration of the Norwegian-Polish pipeline in Szczecin, was the ultimate insult to Norway. It would point to Norway as responsible and make Norway the “fall guy”. Even worse, it was a US-Norwegian declaration of war against Russia and Germany. This was a total turnaround of Norwegian policy from its former policy of reassurance and low tension during the Cold War, to a blunt attack on Russia, which would open Norway for Russian retaliation. The US Ambassador to Norway,Marc Nathanson, declared in March 2023: “Norway has been the best example. It’s not just me who thinks so, but everyone in the Biden administration says the same: Norway has been best in class as an ally. You have taken responsibility, and even changed your policy of not sending weapons [but this is true for several countries, the author’s comment]. Norway has also changed its security policy […] Norway has been a first-class ally”, Nathanson said.
The Prime Minister's Office press announcement from 20th September about Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre´s trip to Poland on 27th September for the Norwegian-Polish-Danish inauguration of the Baltic Pipe. Two lines are added on 22th September saying that Minister of Oil and Energy, Terje Aasland, will replace Støre, who had to cancel his trip to Poland (Norwegian Government Historical Archive).
The Times and the attempt to bury the Hersh article
Exactly one month after Seymour Hersh’s article, The New York Times, the London Times and the German Die Zeit and ARD presented information pointing to a group of Ukrainian citizens (five men and one woman) that supposedly destroyed the pipeline using a small Polish sailing boat. The New York Times referred to anonymous “intelligence sources”. The boat departed from the German city of Rostock on the 6th of September to plant the bombs. This was presented as “news” all over the world. Very different from the Hersh article, all major news media took this story seriously, despite that they, similar to Hersh, merely referred to “anonymous sources”. It was obvious that some very influential people pushed for this latter version in an attempt to bury the Hersh article. However, this new articles can easily be disproved for at least four reasons.
Firstly, there was already after the early Swedish and Danish investigations a consensus that the attack was executed by a state, a state with capabilities for large deep-sea underwater operations. For divers to go down and work on these depths, you will need a decompression chamber for the divers to survive. This is something you cannot bring with you on a small sailing boat run by six people. Secondly, the Swedish Navy operation on 22-24 September in the exact positions of the upcoming explosions is difficult to explain unless Swedish intelligence was notified in advance. Why did the Swedish naval vessels turn off their transponders for 22 hours? The Swedes must have been briefed by allied services. This does not point to some private individuals. Thirdly, why was the Swedish investigation so sensitive that the Swedes could not share this information, neither with the Russians, nor with the Danes or the Germans? If the perpetrators had been a team of private individuals, this would not make sense. Fourthly, it is almost impossible to imagine that Norwegian Prime Minister Støre would have cancelled his participation at this very important inauguration of the “Baltic Pipe” in Szczecin if he hadn’t been briefed about the upcoming attack on the Nord Stream, probably at the US Naval Base in Norfolk on the 19th of September. The cancellation would not make sense if the perpetrators had been a small private group. There is evidence that some Norwegians were involved in one way or the other.
There is enough evidence to say that the story of The New York Times, Die Zeit and Times was launched as a cover to divert attention from the Seymour Hersh story. The “Times Story” is definitely proven false, although it may have included some factual correct information. When such very sophisticated covert operations are conducted, there will always be deliberate leads that point in different directions. Some journalists have claimed that the British had trained Ukraine divers for deep sea diving, and for an attack on the Nord Stream. This may very well be the case, and this is not done in a few months’ time. The planning must have started a year or so earlier, and it is most likely right that the British were onboard already at an early stage. But that does not alter the general analysis about who planted the explosives and who triggered them. One would always utilize other players to create a few layers of cover stories that would provide necessary “plausible deniability”.
Wonderful and reliable description of the facts around the first and most Act of War against Europe since WWII and before... The economic repercussions against our Continent are enormous as against the policies we, as european citizens, have appreciated and shared regarding the strategic relationships with Russia and Eurasia.
It clearly and strongly shows the level of Nazism that lives inside USA Governments, Agencies and many of american citizen that support them.
Thanks a lot, I posted today the italian translation of your great article that deserve more diffusion.
thanks for this piece--incredibly dense and informative.
Here's my question for you: while I 'buy' the arguments you write about Norway and its (deep state) movers, my sense is this--since you also mention the Swedish navy's activities and all but imply their participation, what are the odds that the U.S. had brought in the Norwegians, Danes, Swedes, and Poles (as well as possibly some German deep state actors, but quite likely not Scholz) without putting them in touch with each other?
In other words: do you think it feasible/plausible that the Norwegians, Danes, Swedes, and Poles would all be approached independently of each other with the U.S. promising whatever to each of them?