By Dave DeCamp / Antiwar.com
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) on Wednesday wrote on Twitter that he “can’t immediately rule out” the idea that the US blew up the Nord Stream natural gas pipelines that connect Russia and Germany.
Lee’s comments came after veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh published an explosive report that detailed how the US sabotaged the pipelines with the cooperation of Norway, allegations the White House denies.
“I’m troubled that I can’t immediately rule out the suggestion that the US blew up Nord Stream. I checked with a bunch of Senate colleagues. Among those I’ve asked, none were ever briefed on this. If it turns out to be true, we’ve got a huge problem,” Lee wrote on Twitter.
According to Hersh’s report, which cites a source “with direct knowledge of the operational planning,” Congress didn’t need to be notified of the plan to blow up the pipelines because it was downgraded from being a covert operation.
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The reason it was downgraded was that President Biden publicly threatened Nord Stream 2 after the CIA came up with a plan of attack. “If Russia invades … there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it,” Biden said on February 7, 2022.
Hersh’s source said that after Biden’s threat, senior CIA officials determined that the plan was no longer a covert operation because “the President just announced that we knew how to do it.”
According to the report, the operation was then downgraded from a covert operation to a “highly classified intelligence operation with US military support.” The source said that because of the change, there was “no longer a legal requirement to report the operation to Congress.”
The report said that US Navy divers planted C4 explosives on the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines in June during NATO drills in the region. The explosives were later detonated on September 26, 2022, by a sonar buoy dropped by a Norwegian spy plane.