White House denies journalist’s claims it blew up Russian gas pipeline

Seasoned reporter Seymour Hersh claimed Joe Biden gave orders

William Mata
Friday 10 February 2023 11:49 GMT
<p>The Nord Stream 2 pipeline </p>

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline

The White House has denied reports that the US was behind the explosions of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh had reported last Friday that the blasts last September were carried out on orders given by president Joe Biden.

The White House National Council said on Friday the claims were "utterly false and complete fiction" while the CIA and state department were also critical.

The Nord Stream 2 is a major pipeline which was designed to send gas from Russia into Europe via Germany through a tunnel under the Baltic sea. However, it has not been used since its completion in September 2021, with the Reichstag backing out.

Seymour Hersh pictured in the 1970s

While the US agrees with the judgement of NATO, Sweden and Denmark that the explosions were a deliberate “act of sabotage", nobody has claimed responsibility with the Kremlin blaming the West. Sergei Ryabkov, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, has warned of “consequences” for the US and its allies but there has been scant detail.

Seymour Hersh has a long career as an investigative reporter. In 1969, he exposed the massacre of South Vietnamese villagers by US troops in the hamlet of My Lai and his syndicated report was credited with helping end the Vietnam War.

However, he ignited a storm of controversy with a 2013 article in the London Review of Books blaming a sarin nerve agent attack that killed hundreds of Syrian civilians in a rebel-held Damascus suburb on rebels acting under Turkey's direction. Turkey denied involvement and the United States and other countries blamed the attack on the Assad government.

Then in May 2015, the London Review of Books published an article quoting Pakistani and US sources as saying those governments lied about details of the raid that killed al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden at his hideout in Pakistan. Both governments denied Mr Hersh's allegations that Pakistan had been holding bin Laden prisoner and knew about the raid in advance.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in