The American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) provided the Western media with an alternative story for the destruction of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline to cover up Washington’s involvement, according to American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh.
In a post on his Substack blog on Wednesday, the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter claims the CIA was tasked with preparing a cover story to provide the American and German press with an “alternative version” of the Nord Stream 2 explosions.
The US agency collaborated with the Federal Intelligence Service (BND) of Germany.
Citing an anonymous source with access to diplomatic intelligence, Hersh wrote, “In the words of the intelligence community, the agency was ‘to pulse the system’ in an effort to discount the claim that Biden had ordered the pipeline’s destruction.”
He added that the CIA in collaboration with Germany’s BND had completed its task and planted stories in the New York Times and German weekly Die Zeit.
These planted stories referred to a supposed “ad hoc ‘off the books’ operation” conducted by a “pro-Ukrainian group.”
“It was a total fabrication by American intelligence that was passed along to the Germans, and aimed at discrediting your story,” a source within the American intelligence community reportedly told Hersh.
“The disinformation professionals inside the CIA understand that a propaganda gambit can only work if those on receiving are desperate for a story that can diminish or displace an unwanted truth. And the truth in question is that President Joe Biden authorized the destruction of the pipelines,” he added.
Hersh said last month that US Navy divers had destroyed the pipelines with explosives. He said that President Joe Biden personally issued the orders.
Earlier this month, American and German media reported claims of the US intelligence that a "pro-Ukrainian group" bombed the Nord Stream gas pipelines last year.
The New York Times said that US officials "believed the saboteurs were most likely Ukrainian or Russian nationals, or some combination of the two." It did not identify the source of the intelligence and the suspected group involved.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on March 14 rejected as “complete nonsense” the idea that an autonomous pro-Ukraine group was behind the attacks. He said no amateur group could commit such an act of sabotage.
He said the blasts targeting the Nord Stream gas pipelines were carried out on a state level.
He also reiterated the Kremlin’s stance that the US has the capability to blow the natural gas pipelines.
The Russian embassy to the United States said earlier this month the United States should try to prove it was not behind the destruction of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines connecting Russia and Germany under the Baltic Seathat connected Russia to Western Europe.
The embassy said in a statement Moscow considers the destruction of Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines "an act of international terrorism" and will not allow it to be swept under the rug.
Russia is asking the United Nations Security Council to order an independent inquiry into the September attacks on the Nord Stream gas pipelines.
Russia gave the 15-member council a draft resolution on Friday which would ask UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to establish an international investigation into the "sabotage" and identify who was to blame.
The US and NATO had called the September incident an act of sabotage. Moscow has blamed the West but neither side has provided evidence.