NORD STREAM UPDATE: Danish authorities invite the Russian company that operates Nord Stream 2 to observe the recovery of an unidentified object resting near the sole intact pipe
Last week, Danish authorities said a tubular object, protruding around 40 cm (16 inches) from the seabed and 10 cm in diameter, had been found during an inspection of the last remaining intact pipeline by Swiss-based operator Nord Stream 2 AG.
“With a view to further clarifying the nature of the object, Danish authorities have decided to salvage the object with assistance from the Danish Defence,” the country’s Energy Agency said in a statement on Thursday.
“The Danish Energy Agency has in that context invited the owner of the pipeline, Nord Stream 2 AG, to participate in the operation,” it said, adding it was awaiting a response from the operator.
Spiegel reports that the Danes are saying it could be a smoke buoy, which is interesting, because Seymour Hersh’s original report on How America Took Out The Nord Stream Pipeline featured a sonar buoy allegedly dropped to trigger the pipeline charges. Naturally, I have no idea whether such a buoy would be so small, and it seems improbable that it would’ve ended up directly adjacent to the intact Nord Stream 2 pipe. Perhaps this is all part of a publicity operation to disarm this aspect of the sabotage story.
At any rate, the timing is odd, for this latest report comes two days after Seymour Hersh’s follow-up piece on the origins of the sailboat-saboteur account of the attack. This, you’ll recall, is the story that appeared simultaneously in major American and German media, directly after the early March meeting between German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and U.S. Presdent Joe Biden in Washington. Hersh seems to confirm widespread suspicions about how that report originated:
I was told by someone with access to diplomatic intelligence that there was a discussion of the pipeline exposé and, as a result, certain elements in the Central Intelligence Agency were asked to prepare a cover story in collaboration with German intelligence that would provide the American and German press with an alternative version for the destruction of Nord Stream 2. 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 pipelines’ destruction.
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