International Russia Scott Ritter

Scott Ritter: Pipelines v. USA

Intent, motive and means: People serving life sentences in U.S. prisons have been convicted on weaker grounds than the circumstantial evidence against Washington for the attack on the Nord Stream pipelines.
Seafox special warfare patrol craft practicing in 1986. (U.S. National Archives)

By Scott Ritter / Consortium News

Circumstantial evidence, just like direct proof, can be used to prove the elements of a crime, the existence or completion of certain acts and the intent or mental state of a defendant. Generally speaking, a prosecutor, to obtain a conviction, needs to show beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant committed a certain act and that the defendant acted with specific intent.

Nord Stream 1 is a multi-national project operated by Swiss-based Nord Stream AG intended to supply some 55 billion cubic meters (bcm) of Russian natural gas annually to Europe by directly transporting it from Russia, through twin 1,224 kilometer-long pipelines laid beneath the Baltic Sea, to a German hub, from which the gas would be distributed to other European consumers.

The first of the twin pipelines was completed in June 2011 and began supplying gas in November 2011. The second was completed in April 2012 and began supplying gas in October 2012. Gazprom, the Russian gas giant, owns 51 percent interest in the Nord Stream 1 pipeline project.

Nord Stream 2 is a near clone of the Nord Stream 1 project, consisting of twin 1,220-kilometer pipelines laid beneath the Baltic Sea connecting Russia to Germany. Started in 2018, it was completed in September 2021. Like Nord Stream 1, the Nord Stream 2 is designed to deliver approximately 55 bcm of natural gas from Russia to Europe through Germany. Nord Stream 2, like Nord Stream 1, is operated by a multinational company in which Gazprom has 51 percent ownership.

Unlike Nord Stream 1, Nord Stream 2 was never allowed to begin supplying gas.

Nord Stream 2 area map. (Berria Egunkaria, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

The Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines are anathema to U.S. national security policy, which for decades has been sour on the degree to which Russian natural gas dominates the European energy market. This animus was perhaps best captured by a column published in the German newspaper DieWelt in July 2019.

The piece, co-authored by Richard Grenell, Carla Sands, Gordon Sondland (respectively, the U.S. ambassadors to Germany, Denmark and the European Union), was entitled “Europe must retain control of its energy security” and made the argument that the “Nord Stream 2 pipeline will drastically increase Russia’s energy leverage over the EU,” noting that “[s]uch a scenario is dangerous for the bloc and the West as a whole.”

Observing that “a dozen European countries rely on Russia for more than 75 percent of their natural gas needs,” the ambassadors concluded “This makes United States allies and partners vulnerable to having their gas shut off at Moscow’s whim.”

Moreover, the ambassadors claimed,

“European Union reliance on Russian gas presents risks for Europe and the West as a whole and makes U.S. allies less secure. The Nord Stream 2 pipeline will heighten Europe’s susceptibility to Russia’s energy blackmail tactics. Europe must retain control of its energy security.”

The ambassadors also wove in some critical geopolitical context as well, declaring

“Make no mistake: Nord Stream 2 will bring more than just Russian gas. Russian leverage and influence will also flow under the Baltic Sea and into Europe, and the pipeline will enable Moscow to further undermine Ukrainian sovereignty and stability.”

Russia’s “weaponization” of energy against Europe was the topic of a “debate” that Gary Peach and I carried out in December 2018 on the pages of Energy Intelligence, which monitors issues pertaining to global energy security. Gary, one of EI’s senior writers, covers Russian energy.

Gazprom headquarters in the Lakhta Center skyscraper in Saint Petersburg, Russia, February 2021. (CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

I argued that “Russia has never sought to use its status as a major supplier of energy to Europe as a vehicle of policy influence,” noting that:

“[t]he weaponization of Russian energy comes in the form of sanctions imposed against Moscow and the pursuit of policies designed to curtail development of Russia’s energy sector. It is far easier to make a case that the U.S. and Europe pose a threat to Russian energy security rather than vice versa.”

Gary, on the other hand, noted that

“Gazprom’s supply contracts exhibit the underlying economic threat from Moscow: The pricing formula is roughly the same for all countries, but those countries in Russia’s good graces receive an arbitrary ‘discount.’” He concluded that “when Gazprom is the only conceivable gas supplier, it has shamelessly abused the monopoly.”

In December 2019 the administration of President Donald Trump imposed sanctions in a desperate last-second bid to prevent the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from being completed.

These sanctions were waived by the administration of President Joe Biden in May 2021 in an effort to be seen as repairing relations with Germany that had been severely frayed during the Trump administration. However, upon completion, Nord Stream 2 was prevented from operating by objections raised by German regulators regarding licensing issues, which were not expected to be resolved until mid-2022.

In the lead up to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Biden administration devised a plan to punish Russia by imposing severe economic sanctions which would target the Russian energy sector, including measures designed to halt the delivery of gas from Russia to Germany via the Nord Stream pipelines.

One of the issues confronting U.S. policy makers was finding the right mix of sanctions that would succeed in harming Russia without destroying the European economy in the process. Policy makers on both sides of the Atlantic, however, recognized that meaningful sanctions which targeted Russian energy contained collateral risk to the European economy which could not be avoided. 

One of the mechanisms that U.S. and E.U. policy makers were hoping would alleviate the economic consequences of sanctioning Russian energy was to increase the supply of U.S. liquified natural gas (LNG) to Europe. Since 2016 the amount of LNG supplied by the U.S. to Europe has increased, with more than 21 bcm delivered in 2021.

Deck of the LNG tanker Energy Atlantic in Port Arthur, Texas, 2016. (U.S. Coast Guard, Dustin R. Williams)

But 21 bcm couldn’t begin to offset the quantity of natural gas being shipped by Russia to Europe in case of any large-scale disruption of Russian energy supplies brought on by the imposition of economic sanctions that targeted the Russian energy sector.

After the Russian invasion of Ukraine — and the realization that the energy disruption to Europe was going to be far greater than had been anticipated — Biden made good on his promise to increase the supply of U.S. LNG to Europe. But the quantities still fell far short of demand, and at prices that were, literally, bankrupting all of Europe.

The Victims

With Germany blocking the operation of Nord Stream 2 and sanctions precluding the repair of the Nord Stream 1, the German population began bearing the brunt of the sanctions on Russian energy.

Despite their government’s insistence that it would remain resolute in confronting what it perceived as Russian aggression against Ukraine, the German people had other plans. By Sept. 26 they began taking to the streets in large numbers to demand that their government open the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and provide the German people and economy with the energy needed to survive.

The Crime

On Sept. 26, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline reported a massive drop in pressure. The next day, the Nord Stream 1 pipeline reported the same. A Danish fighter jet, flying over the pipeline route, reported seeing a one-kilometer diameter disturbance in the water off the island of Bornholm, directly over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, created by the massive release of natural gas underwater. (Danish authorities have estimated that between the two pipelines the total amount of methane released into the atmosphere was around 500,000 metric tons.)

Locations of the explosions caused by the Nord Stream attacks on Sept. 26. (Lampel, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

The incident took place in the exclusive economic zone of Sweden, and the Swedish Security Service took the lead in investigating what had happened. (Curiously, Russia was not invited to participate, despite having a vested economic and security interest in the matter.)

“After completing the crime scene investigation,” the Swedes reported, “the Swedish Security Service can conclude that there have been detonations at Nord Stream 1 and 2 in the Swedish economic zone,” noting that the blasts had caused “extensive damage” to the lines.

The Swedes also declared that they had retrieved some materials from the incident site, which were being analyzed to determine who was responsible. This evidence, the Swedes stated, “strengthened the suspicions of gross sabotage.”

While all parties involved with the Nord Stream pipeline “sabotage” concur that the cause was manmade, no nation outside Russia has named a suspect. (Russian President Vladimir Putin has attributed the attack, which Russia has labeled an act of “international terrorism,” on the “Anglo-Saxons” — the British and Americans.)

Biden dismissed the Russian claims. The pipeline attack “was a deliberate act of sabotage and the Russians are pumping out disinformation and lies,” the U.S. president said. “At the appropriate moment, when things calm down, we’re going to be sending divers down to find out exactly what happened. We don’t know that yet exactly.”

But we do know. Biden told us himself. So did Secretary of State Antony Blinken. So did the U.S. Navy. Between the three, we have incontrovertible evidence of intent, motive and means — more than enough needed to prove guilt beyond any reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Intent

Speaking to reporters on Feb. 7, Biden declared “If Russia invades, that means tanks or troops crossing the border of Ukraine again, there will no longer be a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it.”

When a journalist asked how Biden could do such a thing, given that Germany was in control of the project, Biden retorted: “I promise you: We will be able to do it.”

No prosecutor has ever had a more concise statement of intent — a veritable confession before the event — than this. Joe Biden should be taken at his word.

Motive

When asked by reporters on Oct. 3 to comment on the Nord Stream pipeline attacks, Blinken responded in part by noting that the attack was “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.”

Blinken further declared that the U.S. would work to alleviate the “consequences” of the pipeline attack on Europe, alluding to the provision of U.S. LNG at exorbitant profit margins for U.S. suppliers — another “opportunity.”

Prosecutors often speak of cui bono, a Latin phrase that means “who benefits,” when seeking to import motive for a crime committed, under the presumption that there is a high probability that those responsible for a specific crime are the ones who stand to gain from it.

Blinken. Tremendous opportunity.

Cui Bono.

Means

In early June, in support of a major NATO exercise known as BALTOPS (Baltic Operations) 2022, the U.S. Navy employed the latest advancements in unmanned underwater vehicle, or UUV, mine hunting technology to be tested in operational scenarios.

According to the U.S. Navy, it was able to evaluate “emerging mine hunting UUV technology,” focusing on “UUV navigation, teaming operations, and improvements in acoustic communications all while collecting critical environmental data sets to advance the automatic target recognition algorithms for mine detection.”

One of the UUV’s used by the U.S. Navy is the Seafox.

Crewmembers aboard a German mine hunter lower a Seafox marine drone into the water on Oct. 26, 2018, during NATO drills in the North Atlantic and the Baltic Sea. (NATO/WO FRAN C.Valverde)

In September, specialized U.S. Navy helicopters — the MH-60R, capable of employing the Seafox UUV — were tracked flying off the Danish island of Bornholm, directly over the segments of the Nordstream 1 and 2 pipelines that were later damaged in the sabotage incidents.

To quote TASS,

“On November 6, 2015, the NATO Seafox mine disposal unmanned underwater vehicle was found during the scheduled visual inspection of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline. It lay in space between gas pipelines, clearly near one of strings. NATO said the underwater mine disposal vehicle was lost during exercises. Such NATO exercises when the combat explosive device turned out to be exactly under our gas pipeline. The explosive device was deactivated by Swedish Armed Forces at that time.”

Italian explosive ordnance disposal team operates a UUV, unmanned underwater vehicle, in NATO exercises in September in Portugal. (NATO)

Guilty Beyond Reasonable Doubt

The burden that exists to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt “is fully satisfied and entirely convinced to a moral certainty that the evidence presented proves the guilt of the defendant.”  In the matter of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 attacks, this burden has been met when it comes to assigning blame to the United States.

Biden all but confessed the crime beforehand, and his secretary of state, Blinken, crowed about the “tremendous opportunity” that was created by the attack. Not only did the U.S. Navy actively rehearse the crime in June 2022, using the same weapon that had been previously discovered next to the pipeline, but employed the very means needed to use this weapon on the day of the attack, at the location of the attack.

Guilty as Charged

The problem is, outside of Russia, no one is charging the United States. Journalists run away from the evidence, citing “uncertainty.” Europe, afraid to wake up to the reality that its most important “ally” has committed an act of war against its critical energy infrastructure, condemning millions of Europeans to suffer the depravations of cold, hunger and unemployment —all the while gouging Europe with profit margins from the sale of LNG that redefine the notion of “windfall” — remains silent.

There is no doubt in any thinking person’s brain as to who is responsible for the attacks on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines. The circumstantial case is overwhelming and fully capable of winning a conviction in any U.S. court of law.

But no one will bring the case, at least not at this moment.

Shame on American journalism for ignoring this flagrant attack on Europe.

Shame on Europe for not having the courage to publicly name their attacker.

But most of all, shame on the administration of Joe Biden, who has lowered the U.S. to the same standard of those it hunted down and killed for so many years — a simple international terrorist, and a state sponsor of terrorism.

Scott Ritter
Scott Ritter

Scott Ritter is a former U.S. Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD. His most recent book is Disarmament in the Time of Perestroika, published by Clarity Press.

22 comments

  1. Biden makes such a big deal about environmental issues with the release of Methane and what does he authorize? This insanity must stop. The Elitist Imperialistic motives of the US , GB and Israel are aligned to defeat all Russian interest wherever it may be. Humanity has come to a point where it must recognize the sovereign rights of not only Nations but individuals as well worldwide and their plight for peace, and basic human rights. Conflict and War are a major part of an old energy that is based in Might makes Right. This neanderthal approach to politics and global control must end now. The earth is dying, the food chain is broken, and we have been lied to about everything, and all the government wants to do is go tit for tat on every little subject and expand NATO to enforce its sick game of global domination at the cost of the people who are the recipients of the bad decisions made throughout history. We must now focus on Truth, Simplicity and Love and move forward on this basis. The old ways are history and do not serve the interests of the people.

    1. I am not betting on truth and love when big money and world domination are at stake an in play.Read some.history about.the US.depredations of other countrys and the third world It is a sordid story.Why would any rational person.believe.that Putin.would damage.his major.souce.if income.It.defys.believe especially.given the history.of the US.obeying.treatys.

  2. Intent and motive were also clearly stated in the 2019 RAND report. https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR3063.html

    And as A European I am hoping that the US bombing of the pipelines will at last mark a turning point in Europe’s relationship with the US. That she at last follows general De Gaulle’s advice to manage her own defence, and energy and works towards creating a pan-European collaboration. “From the Atlantic to the Urals”, “from Lisbon to Vladivostok” De Gaulle quote, paraphrased by Gorbachev, Macron repeating him and Putin quoting Gorbachev paraphrasing him:).

    1. I am Austrian, but I doubt it will change anything – I just do not understand how absolutely STUPID these people in power are (I listened to a video by Michael Lueders, he explained very well why the antiwar standpoint of the Green Party is gone, obviously they all think this already ongoing WW3 is sort of a video game – mainly of course because they cannot remember how Europe looked like after WW2. Everybody is so brainwashed by the MSM it is unbelievable (anybody saying something against delivering more weapons or money or whatever these Ukrainian government clowns demand is an outcast … How to start a discussion, how to start negotiations that are ABSOLUTELY necessary if we do not want to end as a burning ash heap. In the US – I guess nobody really cares, after all the war will take place in Europe – or so they say/hope (I do not think it can be contained once started) … Is nobody willing to stand up for PEACE?? Are we really willing to die for the most corrupt state in Europe?? (or is it just the riches of the Russian Federation we are after??)

  3. This is an excellent analysis by Scott. But if we are honest – is it not a fact that this whole debacle is centred on the obsession of the USA with the overthrow of Putin and the ruin of the Russian Federation. That has been the plan from the outset which continues to rest on the presumption that Russia is the aggressor and provocateur, when the exact opposite remains the case. The liar and the hypocrite will always project their misdemeanour on others. However, the truth will eventually be borne out through the breaking of all this censorship and the open presentation of factual evidence. And the Russian military have amassed enough evidence in this respect along with that of independent reporters which can be exhibited at this war crimes tribunal the West are calling for. But just make sure that when this comes around that this kangaroo court of the United Nations has no hand in the matter. It must be an independent tribunal conducted by a coalition within the nations of the ASEAN partnership and the BRICS alliance. Washington and London should have no part in it because there is now sufficient evidence of the crimes they have committed over many decades now.

  4. Washington committed a state terrorist act, destroying critical infrastructure worth billions of dollars that supplied critical energy to an ALLY, Germany. Perhaps the story of the decade, it got glossed over by the major media, on a level that can only be described as Orwellian.

    These are dark times my friends. I walk around every day in utter amazement watching civilization itself crumble before my eyes, yet the entirety of the media along with virtually all the people I meet have little to no knowledge or understanding of the titanic social, political, and military shifts happening under their feet.

    How does one deal with the knowledge of catastrophe when everyone around you will neither acknowledge it or recognize the danger. It is INSANE. This country is INSANE. The media is INSANE.

    There are days where I feel that Armageddon will be an improvement….

    1. Your post is about yourself not about events in the world. You walk around, you are amazed, you meet unlearned people, you practice psychology so you can diagnose insanity. You you you. It’s valueless.

      For vague personal thoughts to have value, their author must either write well or be a significant & serious character. You do/are neither.

      Anyone who has studied history understands and can find comparable periods in the past when really awful large scale events where put into play by powerful interests while the people remained in the dark. It’s the fundamental story of mankind in cultures, and repeats endlessly. All you are stating is that this is news to you.

  5. One wonders what it will take for the Europeans and other NATO allies of the US Empire to wake up? The United States needs to be brought before the international criminal court along with its president and other leaders and charged for this crime and the utter disregard for human and all life on this planet. Biden is both a war criminal and environmental terrorist and must be called to account. However, nations like not only Germany’s leadership but Canada, Australia, Britain and France haplessly and cluelessly fall in line with this international criminal behaviour. So much for the rules based international order. Thank you Scott for your clarity in this case.

  6. There isn’t a judge in existence (outside Russian kangaroo courts, perhaps, and left-ish, Neo Progressive pundits and flock) that wouldn’t throw Scott’s list of haphazard anecdotes and suppositions, masquerading as circumstantial ‘evidence’, as a complete (if not criminal) waste of the court’s time.

    (It is somewhat amusing that Scheerpost uses Scott’s US military past as credentials, given the length to which the publication goes to denigrate both the US, and specifically its military.
    How do you spell H Y P O C R I S Y ?)

    1. Ritter might not have bothered with the court analogy rather just gone the route of a common sense and still arrived at the same conclusion. It’s certain that the pipeline break is a US intelligence project, likely using that old standby of evil; US Special Forces. If you had a better supposition you would have offered it.

      Ritter’s points are not haphazard, and they do constitute circumstantial evidence. The US has the motive and means. The US has proven itself for 50 years to have the grossly vile national character capable of committing the most inhumane and egregious acts against other nations, while lying up a cover story for public consumption. It’s not a Left Right issue; the US public is irresponsible, the US deep state & military are monsters.

      Ritter has a resume, Scheerpost uses it, this is normal not as you say amusing. The glaring hypocrisy is out of you, who plays low-rent Solomon when in fact you are a shill. The US military, particularly the US Navy and Air Force, are perhaps the most criminal organizations in human history. I’m not a pacifist, and I’m not a neoliberal, but I am a historian.

      1. @C.

        NordStream I was shut down by Russia long before the leak was found, as a mean to pressure Germany.
        NordStream II gas was off the table by Russia’s own colonialism in Ukraine, as part of the sanctions Putin’s imperialist war had unleashed.

        Further, facing rolling defeats in Ukraine, and serious calls to cap energy prices by the EU, Putin escalated the conflict by the annexation of 4 additional occupied Ukrainian provinces and the conscription of Russian reservists, cementing anti-Russian sentiments in Europe and in fact guarantying the permanent closure of the pipes.

        The pipes, than, were already non functional at the time the ‘sabotage’ was discovered (and the bizarre idea that the US was unaware of it, or that it would tip its hand in an admission of intent or guilt while a clandestine operation was in the works for that matter, is simply beyond naive).

        By bombing the pipes himself, Putin can pretend that the reason one of his main instruments of blackmail against the EU is useless is not because of his criminal militarism but because of ‘western criminality’, and both counter growing Russian skepticism for his actions in Ukraine and prepare the ground for realizing his nuclear threats.

        In short, the propaganda value of fabricating western attack (that could possibly be repaired with minimal efforts, by the way) far exceeds non-operating pipelines that are not likely to be used in the foreseeable future due to the EU war sanctions which, considering Putin’s intended escalation, are only likely to increase.

        This is the Russian motive, which seem more likely than not if one considers that each and every action by Putin in Ukraine was wrapped with an obvious propaganda fabrication, from the trumped up story of the supposed US-led coup, through the so-called ‘denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine’ excuse for the colonial invasion, the excusing of indiscriminate bombing of Ukrainian cities that began as a response to Ukrainian military advances with the Kerch bridge attack, and so on.

        As to means and opportunity, Russia certainly has the former, and the US presence Scott mentions provides the latter.

        As for Scott’s resume, he has an impressive authorship and anti-war activism that in the context of a supposed progressive publication is far more meaningful and impressive than being a member of “the most criminal organizations in human history.”

        (Incidentally, the fact you fail to see the irony in defending a military past as laudable in one paragraph while denigrating and defiling that exact same military as the most heinous criminals in world history in the following one is in itself telling of a deep seated, non-self conscious H Y P O C R I S Y that is both funny and sad at the same time…)

        Finally, even if we accept Scott’s haphazard anecdotes as pertinent and true, at best they merit a deeper investigation. The fact you and Scott view unrelated anecdotal listings as “common sense” and as establishing “guilt beyond a reasonable doubt”, which practically preclude the need for a more orderly look at the event, and designate any further investigation as superfluous is, unfortunately, symptomatic of the poor, amateurish state of the ‘progressive’ narrative resembling, more and more, Russian propaganda BS or the right-wing extremist barrage of alt-facts emanating from media outlets such as Breitbart and FOX.

    2. Hey, DGA, you offered nothing substantive in your “rebuttal”. Just empty rhetoric. That crap doesn’t work here. Go back to your conservative bubble.

      1. @Mike

        It wasn’t a rebuttal. mikey, but a mockery, which in fact is more than Scott’s amateurish BS deserves.

      2. HYPOCRISY IN ACTION: Thanks, @DGA

        It’s appropriate you know how to spell “hypocrite.” Besides functioning as a de facto Dem party apparatchik, your entire approach consists of deflections, ad hominems, and assertions.

        An old political trick–accuse the other of what you yourself are guilty of. However, you aren’t even clever enough to disguise your intent by making your argument the least bit plausible.

        I say Dem rather than conservative since to a real right-winger, “leftish” would not be separate from anything left; it’s all communism. Whereas center-right Ds still insist they’re progressive. Despite the war-mongering.

        The Ds have added the Neocon lust to build empire through war to their lust for neolib econ empire. And they have the gall to demand we believe their own little elite cabal to be the exclusive source of truth. Therefore all dissent, even the least criticism, becomes denigration, and denigration becomes anti-American by definition. As demonstrated by DGA.

      3. Mike you are exactly correct, DGA (presuming he believes his own rhetoric) is a transparent ideologue, low info ax-grinder with no argument. That said I’d not dis-invite him to comment, better he be refuted right here, easily enough done.

  7. What I find most significant in Mr. Ritter’s analysis is its irrefutable proof the USian Empire and its plutocratic owners are actually fostering terminal climate change rather than attempting to ameliorate it.

    In which context we should also note the following:

    (1)-Our Masters’ deliberate escalation of ecogenocidal terror to its all-time high is their declaration they now believe themselves sufficiently bunkered to survive whatever horrors they inflict on the rest of us;

    (2)-Thermonuclear war fulfills their intent of genocidally reducing the 99 Percent to an extent its few survivors can be readily and permanently enslaved;

    (3)-The resultant nuclear winter is probably the only 100-percent-certain way to reverse terminal climate change; for us of the 99 Percent, it makes the planet inhabitable by only those given sanctuary — that is, enslaved — by our bunkered overlords.

    Note too the parallel to the factors used to inflict inescapable centuries of serfdom and slavery on European peasants after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in 476 CE.

    1. THE D ELITE 20%ers ENABLE THE 1%ers.

      I basically agree with you, except for “99%.” That came out of the Occupy movement; the majority of which was upper middle class demographically. The Dem party benefits by the pretense of 99% since they are, with few exceptions, not 1%ers, and even less likely to be of the 1/10 of 1% plutocracy.

      But the truth is that the upper middle class professionals, administrators, and Ivy educated elite who run the D party don’t care about the 80% majority working class. I call these Ds 20%ers; they who benefit from the current status quo. The bureaucrats whose function is to enable the 1%ers.

      Dem elite 20%ers talk about ecological preservation–but look at what they actually do. Or more, don’t do. As neolib apologists for the econ system, they allow the devastation of human communities and entire ecosystems to continue.

      Anti-war and peace sentiments have disappeared from the Dem elite oligarchy altogether. In fact, anything resembling those sentiments is defined by Ds, now cozy with neocons, as anti-American.

      Every empire depends on its bureaucracy and that includes the U.S. version.

  8. Legal eagles usually use the categories of Motive (intent is included here), Means and Opportunity, the latter which was well described by Pepe Escobar and simply summarized here:
    https://thesaker.is/whodunnit-a-pipeline-mystery-not-really/

    Russia had zero opportunity to deploy subs or drones undetected, in such shallow waters very heavily surveilled by Sweden and Denmark. The USA had deployed drones under the pretext of “exercises”

    1. There just came out another very troubling fact: the German Government refuses to publish ANY findings regarding the attacks on the pipelines (this inquiry was done by one of their own members, Mrs Wagenknecht). So in spite of all the other pieces that point to someone else then the Russians, what does this mean now???

  9. I see an enthusiasm for detecting in such events as the sabotage of the pipelines the signs of a false flag operation, an indication that DGM wants to be the smartest guy in the room. He wants to demonstrate this by out-thinking the war strategists, perhaps thinking: how hard can that be? But let him look at Russia’s core interests. Energy and minerals are what they have to sell. Do the Saudis blow up their own refineries to blame their enemies? No. What would they then have to sell?
    Even if it were to cross the Russian President’s KGB- tuned mind to mount such an operation, the trick with false flags is to break something small and to benefit from blaming someone, not to burn down your own house just to accuse someone of stealing your box of matches. As Mr Ritter says, the question of motive is the question: Cui Bono? Who benefits? Oh look, the U.S. Secretary of State has detected a tremendous opportunity to turn their client states into inelastically- demanding energy clients while the competition is excluded due to this regrettable event arising out of the chaos in Europe that the US wisely foresaw would happen if Putin crossed into Ukraine. Capitalist market theory reveres competition. Perhaps it wasn’t them.

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