Somebody blew up the Nord Stream II pipeline – that much is certain. Yet, since September last year, when the incident occurred, no one has come forward to take responsibility, and the attack has become the subject of intense international debate.
On the one hand, the United States and its allies have maintained that it was likely a stunt by Russian President Vladimir Putin to intimidate the world, while others, including Russia, have pointed their fingers at Washington.
Our guest on “MintCast” is Bryce Greene, a writer, journalist, activist and media critic who has covered the issue extensively in outlets such as “Fairness And Accuracy in Reporting.” Earlier this month, Bryce was invited to speak at the United Nations Security Council to shed light on who is likeliest to have been behind the attack. His full remarks can be read and seen here.
Greene was highly critical of the press coverage of the event, telling “MintCast” host Alan MacLeod that the media seem “almost completely incapable of examining the facts in an objective and dispassionate manner.” While the press is happy to denounce Russia for the attack, despite the lack of concrete evidence, Greene said they have, in effect, enforced an “intellectual no-fly zone around entertaining the other obvious suspects” – i.e., the United States.
Certainly, the U.S. had a lot to gain from ending Nord Stream. The attack has pushed Europe into the arms of the United States, forcing them to buy expensive American liquified natural gas rather than cheap Russian energy. Before the attack, Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland told the press: “If Russia invades, one way or another, Nord Stream 2 Will. Not. Move. Forward.” President Biden made similar remarks. And after the incident, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken seemed delighted, calling it a “tremendous opportunity” for the U.S.
Therefore, it came as little surprise to many when legendary investigative journalist Seymour Hersh released an article claiming that U.S. Navy divers were behind the attack and that President Biden himself had ordered the pipeline be destroyed. Hersh’s claims have largely been ignored in the mainstream press, however. A MintPress study of the 20 largest and most influential U.S. news outlets found only four mentions of Hersh’s claims in the week after his report made worldwide headlines. This included a shrill attack article from “Business Insider.”
Since Hersh’s story, U.S. officials have floated the idea that Poland and Ukraine were, in fact, the culprits. For Greene, this does not mean that Washington is off the hook. Even if they were not directly involved, he explained: “The U.S. almost certainly knew about [the Nord Stream II attack] and kept quiet in the aftermath.” This, for Greene, makes the U.S. at least an accomplice in the attacks, if not more.
Ultimately, Greene did not pull his punches when it came to who he thought was responsible. Yet, while at the United Nations, he stated that he knew his words would come to little, given the limitations of the body.
“Everyone in that room was well aware that the West blew up the pipeline, well aware that it was either the U.S. or Ukraine with the U.S. supporting them. But I was still going to make a speech. So who was I talking to? What will change this idea that the U.N. is going to be a dead end?” he told MacLeod, adding:
The only way that is going to change is if the domestic populations of these countries (the U.S. in particular) put pressure on their governments to make them change their behavior. And the biggest way to make them change it is through the national media… And so, mine was an appeal to them…to push our country in a certain direction.”
Watch the full interview exclusively at MintPress News.
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Alan MacLeod is Senior Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent, as well as a number of academic articles. He has also contributed to FAIR.org, The Guardian, Salon, The Grayzone, Jacobin Magazine, and Common Dreams.