Tuesday, April 4, 2023

'Don't Talk About Nord Stream': WaPo Report Further Demolishes Official Narrative

By Tyler Durden - April 04, 2023 at 09:43AM


German investigators are now expressing severe doubts about the official Nord Stream sabotage narrative that was pushed hard in the aftermath the bombshell Seymour Hersh report which pointed the finger at a joint CIA-US Navy covert operation, with help from Norway. Last month, Hersh published an article on Substack that said the CIA planted a cover story for the Nord Stream bombings that was fed to The New York Times and the German newspaper Die Zeit. Likely this was in direct reaction to Hersh's findings. A source within the US intelligence community told the famed Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, "It was a total fabrication by American intelligence that was passed along to the Germans, and aimed at discrediting your story."

The favored narrative became one that said pro-Ukraine partisans did it in a rogue op. Hersh has maintained this was by design concocted in order to shield the US and Biden administration for ordering the operation. The Die Zeit report cited German officials to assert that the pipeline sabotage bombings were carried out by six people using a yacht rented in Poland that was owned by two Ukrainians. In the days that followed, several Western media outlets seized on that narrative and published similar articles reinforcing the cover story.

But now a fresh, lengthy investigative Washington Post story published Monday is actually confirming many of Hersh's conclusions. Indeed the 'cover story' is already fast unraveling. What's more is that the WaPo article bluntly states Western officials are not at all eager to talk about the Nord Stream sabotage, suggesting a continued cover-up in progress, or in effect a limited hangout. Also very telling is that Western accusations directed at Russia have long ago quieted down. 

Below are some surprising and damning excerpts from the WaPo report - again which reveal a dramatic narrative shift once again in progress... [emphasis ours]

* * *

Doubts about the suspicious sailboat and the ability of any entity without the direct backing of a government (which has the resources and means) to be able to pull it off:
But after months of investigation, law enforcement officials now suspect that the 50-foot yacht, the Andromeda, was probably not the only vessel used in the audacious attack. They also say the boat may have been a decoy, put to sea to distract from the true perpetrators, who remain at large, according to officials with knowledge of an investigation led by Germany’s attorney general. 

...Experts noted that while it was theoretically possible to place the explosives on the pipeline by hand, even skilled divers would be challenged submerging more than 200 feet to the seabed and slowly rising to the surface to allow time for their bodies to decompress.
More on the sailboat as "decoy" - and 'evidence' which seems planted and overly obvious:
The German investigation has determined that traces of "military-grade" explosives found on a table inside the boat’s cabin match the batch of explosives used on the pipeline. Several officials doubted that skilled saboteurs would leave such glaring evidence of their guilt behind. They wonder if the explosive traces — collected months after the rented boat was returned to its owners — were meant to falsely lead investigators to the Andromeda as the vessel used in the attack.

"The question is whether the story with the sailboat is something to distract or only part of the picture," said one person with knowledge of the investigation.
Polish and Ukrainian state connections?
The German investigation has linked the yacht rental to a Polish company, which is in turn owned by a European company that’s connected to a prominent Ukrainian, fueling speculation from Berlin to Warsaw to Kyiv that a deep-pocketed partisan may have financed the operation. The identity of the Polish company and the Ukrainian individual, as well as his potential motive, remains unclear.

Based on the initial German findings, officials have been whispering about the potential involvement of the Polish or Ukrainian government in the attack.

Secretive "tips" given to German investigators which were suspiciously concrete
As the Nord Stream mystery has turned into an international game of Clue, German investigators have scoured the Andromeda for leads. Officials first became interested in the vessel after the country’s domestic intelligence agency [Germany] received a "very concrete tip" from a Western intelligence service that the boat may have been involved in the sabotage, according to a German security official, who declined to name the country that shared the information.
Andromeda's whereabouts and past stopovers left a virtual "trail of breadcrumbs" that were a bit too obvious:
Mola Yachting rented out the boat on Sept. 6 from Hohe Düne harbor in Warnemünde, a German port town on the Baltic, near Rostock, which is about 145 miles north of Berlin. The rental location is in plain sight of a huge vacation complex, home to a five-star hotel, seven restaurants and a high-end shopping area, with views across the harbor.

Investigators said the boat then traveled in a northeasterly direction, stopping in Hafendorf Wiek, or “Wiek harbor village,” on the northernmost part of Rügen island.

...A stop in Hafendork Wiek may have offered the Andromeda’s crew a final chance to stock up on supplies before heading to the explosion site.

“Lots of things are loaded on the boats … including groceries,” Redmann said. “Some people stop to tank up on fuel.” Redmann would not confirm that the Andromeda stopped there, citing the continuing law enforcement investigation.

Crucially, the WaPo report features a very telling subheading: 'Don’t talk about Nord Stream':
For all the intrigue around who bombed the pipeline, some Western officials are not so eager to find out.

At gatherings of European and NATO policymakers, officials have settled into a rhythm, said one senior European diplomat: "Don’t talk about Nord Stream." Leaders see little benefit from digging too deeply and finding an uncomfortable answer, the diplomat said, echoing sentiments of several peers in other countries who said they would rather not have to deal with the possibility that Ukraine or allies were involved.
Incentives not to "talk" as well as self-willed ignorance:
Since no country is yet ruled out from having carried out the attack, officials said they were loath to share suspicions that could accidentally anger a friendly government that might have had a hand in bombing Nord Stream.

In the absence of concrete clues, an awkward silence has prevailed.

"It’s like a corpse at a family gathering," the European diplomat said, reaching for a grim analogy. Everyone can see there’s a body lying there, but pretends things are normal. "It’s better not to know."
* * *

Once again, all of the above is more in line with what Hersh has reported from the beginning - and yet his detractors have remained just as fierce in their attacks and denunciations, despite his legendary track record of getting things right, from My Lai to Abu Ghraib to Syria.

Reprinted with permission from ZeroHedge.



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