War’s First Casualty: Ukraine Reportedly Sabotaged Nord Stream and Then Lied About It

It is often said that “The first casualty when war comes is truth.” The line is attributed to Hiram W Johnson in 1929 in a debate over a dubious effort to legislatively ban war.  That line is not original to Johnson but what followed should be equally notable: “this mode of propaganda whereby … people become war hungry in their patriotism and are lied into a desire to fight. We have seen it in the past; it will happen again in the future.”

This week, a new story suggests that Johnson’s prediction may be proven  . . . yet again.  The Washington Post is reporting that material leaked by Jack Teixeira, a Massachusetts Air National Guardsman, revealed that the Biden Administration knew three months ago that it was Ukraine that was planning to sabotage the Nord Stream pipelines. Teixeira is now criminally charged under the Espionage Act.

If true, the Administration withheld the information for months as the media widely speculated that Russia blew up its own pipeline. Russia accused the United States of approving the attack by Ukrainian forces.

President Joe Biden was presumably informed by the intelligence agencies. Yet, as speculation continued and Russia pointed fingers as Ukrainian and the U.S., Biden told the public “the Russians are pumping out disinformation and lies. We will work with our allies to get to the bottom (of) precisely what happened. Just don’t listen to what Putin’s saying. What he’s saying we know is not true.”

As Biden “worked with our allies to get to the bottom of what happened,” the Administration knew that months previously it was told by a Ukrainian whistleblower that the CIA was told that a six-person team of Ukrainian special forces were planning to rent a boat, dive to the seafloor and blow up the Nord Stream project. The operation was reportedly led by Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi, commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces.

It is not clear what president Volodymyr Zelenskiy knew or when he knew it. However, we knew of this report long before the pipeline was destroyed in the very way described by the whistleblower.

Not even the environmental damage by the alleged Ukrainian attack or the blow to our allies was enough for the Administration to reveal the alleged plot. The sabotage reportedly resulted in “more than 115,000 tons of natural gas escap[ing] the damaged pipeline in just six days, with a greenhouse gas contribution of approximately 15 million tons of CO2—or the amount of carbon that can be absorbed by roughly 580 million trees in a year.”

It was also not inclined to tell the press in multiple press conferences or presumably Congress as the Administration demanded billions for the war.

Now a new environmental disaster is building after sabotaging the Kakhovka hydro-electric dam in the Russian-controlled part of Ukraine. Russia has accused Ukraine and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused “Russian terrorists.”

This follows new evidence that Ukraine appeared responsible for the drone attack on the Kremlin recently. Zelenskyy also denied any involvement in that attack. Ukraine stood back as many of us speculated that this seemed like a false flag attack by Russia. After all, it seemed almost laughable in its objective if it sought to kill Putin or cause serious damage to the government.

Western countries have stressed that their military aid to Ukraine was premised on the country not attacking Russia on Russian soil. However, the larger question is whether such intelligence should be kept from Congress and the public when we have already spent over $75 billion on Ukraine.

It also raises a continued question over the Biden Administration withholding evidence that contradicts its national security claims. The Republicans have fought to gain access to a critical State Department cable that appears to refute President Biden and other officials who insisted that they had no prior warning of the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan.  We ended up leaving $7 billion in top military equipment to terrorists, costing the lives of service members, and left thousands of allies behind.

The lack of candor over Ukraine denied critical information on the conduct of our ally at a time when the public is debating the increasing costs of the war. If Ukraine is engaging in sabotage against our other allies (and the environment), we have a right to know.  If committed by Ukraine, the drone attack on the Kremlin was remarkably stupid. It threatened an escalation of the conflict with little obvious military advantage. With tens of billions of dollars going to Ukraine and a world teetering on the brink of a large conflict, we (and particularly Congress) need to know if our allies are telling us the truth or whether they are reliable allies. Likewise, if Zelenskyy did not now of these major operations, it is a fair question to ask who is really in charge of the country or whether Zelenskyy is engaging in willful blindness.

It is even more troubling when Administration officials are presenting conflicting accounts or denying any knowledge of countervailing facts.

Throughout our history, Administrations have jettisoned truth when embarking on war. The most glaring example is the Tonkin Bay Incident that was used to justify the Vietnam War, an attack on U.S. vessels that was later debunked. Likewise, the Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam War revealed, according to the New York Times, the government  “systematically lied, not only to the public but also to Congress.”

This is precisely why Congress is given oversight authority and why war powers are shared with Congress. The most important power held by Congress is the power of the purse. It has an obligation to guarantee that money is being spent wisely and based on accurate information.

Many of us supported the sanctions against Russia and still support the Ukrainians in their fight to protect their homeland. However, that does not mean that we should be played for chumps.

134 thoughts on “War’s First Casualty: Ukraine Reportedly Sabotaged Nord Stream and Then Lied About It”

  1. Climate change is very bad except when Ukraine does it. Ukraine didn’t blow up Nordstream and if they did it’s a good idea because war is war. Turley is showing his right-wing sentiments by writing things nominally against a war that most right-wing politicians really like. Ukraine is a bona fide democracy that is utterly corrupt, suppresses the opposition and locks up dissenters, just like the USA. Can’t blame them for following our example.

  2. “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.”

    – William Casey, CIA Director 1981-1987

  3. Now a new environmental disaster is building after sabotaging the Kakhovka hydro-electric dam in the Russian-controlled part of Ukraine. Russia has accused Ukraine and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused “Russian terrorists.”

    Matt Taibbi’s former colleague Mark Ames discovered a WaPo article that indicates the Ukrainians last year considered destroying the Nova Kakhovka dam to flood the area and deprive Russians access. The Ukrainians even conducted a test strike in 2022 using US supplied missiles. If true this may mean that Joseph Biden and Democrats in the US Congress enabled this catastrophe by supplying billions of taxpayer dollars that devastated both human victims and the global ecology. Ironic or predictable?

    Rule #1: Biden and Democrats lie
    Rule #2: when in doubt defer to Rule #1

    Inside the Ukrainian counteroffensive that shocked Putin and reshaped the war

    Failing that, the goal was to force them to flee. The 25,000 Russian troops in that portion of Kherson, separated by the broad river from their supplies, had been placed in a highly exposed position. If enough military pressure was applied, Moscow would have no choice but to retreat, Kovalchuk said.

    Russia had to arm and feed its forces via three crossings: the Antonovsky Bridge, the Antonovsky railway bridge and the Nova Kakhovka dam, part of a hydroelectric facility with a road running on top of it.

    The two bridges were targeted with U.S.-supplied M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems — or HIMARS launchers, which have a range of 50 miles — and were quickly rendered impassable.

    “There were moments when we turned off their supply lines completely, and they still managed to build crossings,” Kovalchuk said. “They managed to replenish ammunition. … It was very difficult.”

    Kovalchuk considered flooding the river. The Ukrainians, he said, even conducted a test strike with a HIMARS launcher on one of the floodgates at the Nova Kakhovka dam, making three holes in the metal to see if the Dnieper’s water could be raised enough to stymie Russian crossings but not flood nearby villages.

    The test was a success, Kovalchuk said, but the step remained a last resort. He held off.


    1. Speculation about who blew up the dam is reasonable at this time.

      We do not have enough information – and what we have is contradictory.

      But it is likely we will find out. There are arguments for Russia doing it.
      There are arguments for Ukraine doing it.

      I am SLIGHTLY more inclined to beleive Russia did it.

      But it is complex – atleast some evidence is suggesting the dam was blown from the inside – not buy taking out the flood gates.

      If that proves true – it is highly unlikely that the Ukrainians did it.

      In the short run this thwarts a ukrainian attempt to cross into crimea over the Dniper – for probably atleast 6 weeks.

      But in the long run it makes it far harder for Russia to hold Crimea.

      Regardless, someone did this – and we likely will know fairly soon who.

  4. The drone attack on Moscow indeed seems to have no military value. But, it may bring home to the Russian public, especially elites living in Moscow, that this war may involve them directly, and possibly provoke more internal pushback against the war.

  5. Can’t believe anything that’s being reported by Biden, Ukraine or Russia. It’s a total mess and a sham that Americans are supporting this fiasco.

  6. NATO should bring the war to an end by invading Moscow and capturing Putin.
    Russia should be deputinized just like Germany was denazified.
    There should be a surrender ceremony in Moscow as there was with Japan:


    8:40 proves that the government of Taiwan is the legitimate government of China.
    The Republic of China should have continued without any interference from Mao and the communists.
    It was, and still is, the only legitimate government of China.
    No one voted for Mao in free and fair elections.
    Taiwan should invade China to liberate mainland China from the communists, just like
    how French exiles invaded France to liberate France from the Nazis.

    1. The problem with you and people like you is you have no idea of what war is really like. You do not understand how many able bodies it takes for what you are suggesting. Nor do you take into account those killed or wounded. The logistics involved.
      You just spout off mindless courses of action without real thought.
      Are you going to be on the front lines for the invasion of Moscow? Your kids? How about your grandkids?
      No. You make meaningless comments about how you are not a plumber so you hire one to do the job. And that citizens should not be expected to fight when it is the professional soldiers job to do for the common citizen, as they are the customer.
      What sense does that make?
      The military is made up of citizens to fight all threats foreign and domestic. Currently we have a all volunteer military. As such I suggest you enlist in a combat MOS so you can carry out the invasion of Moscow yourself rather then just sit on the sidelines and expect others to do the real fighting. If you cannot do it, then it should be your kids, or grandkids who do it. Stop expecting the poor, and the blacks and brown people to fight and die for you.
      As I stated previously in a different comment, bring back the draft. No exceptions. Rise the draft age to 30. Oh, and sorry ladies, why am I excluding you from equality. You are to sign up for the draft too. All you biological men who are trans or identify as women, sorry. In this all new, all woke military, we expect you to to represent a part of the combat MOS.
      BTW, history shows us marching on Moscow has never been a good idea.
      And you might want to read up on WWII French history. You really believe it was only the French exiles who liberated France from the Nazis? Ah, no. There was this little invasion called Operation Overlord. A whole lot of young men died there.
      Taiwan invade China. Liberate the mainland from the communist government. Right.

    2. Or invade Serbia, then establish Kosovo. For its part, Russia waited eight years to assist Ukrainians with a civil war in progress against the regime in Kiev and axis of domestic and transnational powers.

    3. Anonymous, are you wacky. Just what do you think Putin would do with his hundreds of nuclear warheads if Nato invaded Russia. Do you think that the lives of your relatives and other millions of Americans would be spared. You must be speaking in jest because no one could take your comment seriously. Par for the course.

      1. TiT,
        This anonymous spouts off this kind of drivel on a semi-regular basis. He never takes into account of the men who would die fighting in his mindless courses of action. He just thinks someone can give an order and poof! It happens with no one dying, wounded. And if he did, he expects others to do the fighting. Not him. Not his kids or grandkids. I see it all the time,
        “All we have to do is put NATO troops on the ground and push the Russians back!”
        “Are you volunteering to be on the ground, on the front lines, pushing the Russians back?”
        “Ummm, well no. That is the job of the military!”
        “You can always enlist. You are young enough.”
        “Ummm, well, no. I have a medical condition!”
        “Like what?”
        “. . . ”
        Also like to see all those antifa types who #IStandWithUkraine, enlist. What excuse would they come up with?
        Yeah, march on Moscow. How to get nuclear Armageddon. Good idea.

  7. From the beginning, I was opposed to the US being involved in a war between Russia and Ukraine. Most of this opinion was formed by the actions of some of the US’ elected leaders through the past 30 years in the nation’s relations with Russia.

    One thing that people say is an irrational fear (a real phobia, if you prefer) is the thought that Ukraine would directly attack Russia. But Russians know their nation’s history. Russia was attacked by Europeans twice, both within the past 200 or so years. Both of those attacks (by Napoleon and Hitler) were through Ukraine. In fact, the Donbas region is south of Moscow! Putin has said for over 20 years that for Russia to exist peaceably with Europe, Ukraine would have to be neutral territory; it cannot be aligned with Europe.

    This was fine, until Ukraine elected Pietro Poroschenko in 2013. Poroschenko was an ally of Putin; this was not acceptable to Europe or the US. For some reason, Europe thought Ukraine would become a Russian ally instead of neutral territory. So they staged a revolution to get Ukraine back into the European field.

    Over the past year, we have been treated to such fake news as “Putin destroyed his own pipeline!” This made so little sense, especially since we had already heard Biden threaten to destroy the pipeline before it was destroyed! These types of claims have reduced the veracity of any claims being made by the US government in regard to anything they say. And the longer this pattern of lies continues, the less credibility the Biden administration maintains toward its allies.

  8. It needed to happen to get Europe out from under Russia’s LNG thumb. Between Germany’s idiotic decision to dismantle their nuclear infrastructure and the rest of Europe’s addiction to Russia’s cheap gas, they were never going to make the hard decisions necessary to stop Moscow before they were rolling into downtown Warsaw and Bucharest.

    1. I have not heard evidence thus far that Ukraine was capable of this.
      It is still my view that The US/Biden did this as Seymour Hirsch has reported.

      That said – it is far LESS of a problem if Ukraine did. Russia invaded Ukraine – they are at war.
      Blowing up the pipelines is an act of War.
      Acts of war are commonplace during war.

      The US blowing up Nordstream would risk nuclear retaliation by Russia

      I am far less concerned about what Ukraine does than what he US does.

      Most of us prefer that Ukraine prevail over Russia.

      But that is not the same is supporting the US risking global nuclear war.

  9. I’m all for full investigations. I’m not ready to buy a fairly odd story from a single whistleblower as Gospel, however. The US didn’t really benefit. Russia did benefit by slowing down Europe’s stockpiling of NG with plausible deniability for the eventual lawsuits. How, exactly, did Ukraine benefit?

    If the Ukrainians just wanted to cut off Russian gas, a massive military invasion with things blowing up everywhere is a great way to cover up blowing up all the pipelines through Ukraine. Those pipelines remain largely intact.

    Ticking off Germany? Scaring Europe? Russia did that already.

    Seriously, I don’t see the benefit. So let’s get the investigative show on the road.

    But we continue the aid until we have proof. Not merely to be nice to Ukraine but because it is in the US’ best interest to let Russia burn itself out on a pointless exercise.

  10. “…that does not mean that we should be played for chumps.”

    Correct, we SHOULDN’T but come on Counselor, where have you been? The cabal running DC are now, and have been for decades (probably longer), ‘playing us for chumps.’ It’s who they are and what politicians *DO*. They hide information, they lie about hiding information, they continuously misdirect and practice psyops upon the masses – all of this for a singular purpose: Power and Control over everyone who has *less* power and control than themselves. These actions have become their primarily-focused purpose in life. As time goes on, fewer and fewer of them give less than a hoot what you and I might think about ‘what should happen next’, regardless of the topic. They’re going to do what THEY want, not what the other 90+% might say they SHOULD do, then lie to our collective faces about it.

    Thankfully, there are still enough in the population – at least in the area between I-5 and I-95 – who are able to recognize when the shineola is being spread thick and are able to see right through it.

  11. I wouldn’t be surprised if the root of this wasn’t when a bloody coup to overthrow a pro-Russian government occurred in Ukraine in 2014. It is alleged to have been orchestrated by the CIA. 100 civilians and police were massacred by snipers in Kiev. Then VP Biden was made the point man on policy decisions in the now pro-American/NATO Ukraine. The Biden Crime family took the advice of Obama’s advisor and decided to not let this crisis go to waste. With the amount of aid being thrown at Ukraine at that time and without any concern for oversight, Biden bragged about a quid pro quo and withholding $1 billion to protect his son’s vacuuming cash out of Burisma and into the family business.

    I have no doubt Zelensky knows where all of Biden’s (and Obama) bodies are buried and with a recent disclosure from a whistleblower that Biden was paid $5 million to make policy decisions favoring Ukrainian interests, Biden has been quid pro quo’d by Zelensky. Keep the money, intel and covert ops (Nord pipeline) flowing in this proxy war and in exchange, the Obama/Biden corruption in Ukraine will remain secret.

  12. Ukraine, who I support, can pull off a massive ecological disaster and the left/media says nothing, but you better turn in your gas stove and stop eating beef.

    The green movement is a scam supported by the CCP and greedy Americans in on a grift. The movement will weaken us and make the CCP stronger. Why doesn’t the “movement” ever criticize China? Why no need for China to stop using coal? They can build coal plants and we shut oil down??? Our oil evil, their coal…crickets. THEY ARE SUPPORTING THE “MOVEMENT”, the way the old Soviets supported the anti-nuke “Movement”. The leftists DEMANDED we disarm and never said a peep about Soviet arms. They DEMANDED that Reagan unilaterally stop putting nukes into Europe while allowing the Soviets to keep theirs. Reagan held tough and guess what happened…we pulled ours and their out. The left always wants to harm America. They never complain about treatment of gays in Iran, but they want to boycott NC for their bathroom policy. They demand reparations here as they support slave labor in today’s China. They want to boycott Israel and yet they love the Palestinians that bomb them and demand their eradication. Go on any campus and check out the support for the Palestinians but you better not speak in favor of Israel because that is hate speech.

    1. The green movement is a scam supported by the CCP and greedy Americans in on a grift. The movement will weaken us and make the CCP stronger.

      yes. Its been shown USSR was neck deep in organizations like greenpeace. Anything to throw sand in the gears.

      Biden has negated the United States position of Energy independence. Under Trump a net energy exporter, one year after Trump, net energy importer. Biden and Democrats work hard to weaken the United States on the World Stage It was none other than King Kastup Kerry, that declared the United States would not remain the globes #1 Super Power. I missed the part about the Democrat Party laying down and surrendering. China is working hard to displace the $ as the worlds reserve currency. Another plank in thepolitical platform of the Democrats.

  13. It is the Democrat/Biden/KJP level of stupidity (along with how stupidly they treat the citizens of our country) that allows them to say, with a straight face, that the Russians blew up their own pipeline. Only a party in bed with the media could get away with something so obviously dumb and illogical and not have any of the “reporters” hit them hard with follow ups and reasoned questions.

    I support Ukraine over Russia, but I also believe that Ukraine has dirt on Biden, that the CCP wants us to cripple our military stocks and that Biden and his “staff” are way over their heads in dealing with this crises. We saw Blinken get his backside handed to him by the Chinese early on and it has been downhill ever since.

    1. Good Post.

      The fundimental issue is NOT about Ukraine. It is about the US.

      Russia invaded Ukraine. That is an act of war – they are free to bring that war to Russia in anyway they can.

      While I trust the Semour Hersch story more than this one – it does not matter all that much if Ukraine blew up these pipelines.

      But it is a huge deal if the US did.

      The US is not at war with Russia, and while I cheer every Ukrainian success against Russia – that does NOT mean I support what the US government has done in this war.

      It is NOT our job to assure Putins defeat -or push russia into a corner where they might use nuclear weapons.

      While I think the actual odds of Russia resorting to nukes is low.

      “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”
      Reagan 1985

  14. The Ukraine Military forces in defending their Nation and its people from aggressive war by Russia are in fact fighting a war….a war of survival….and in War…unless you fight it like you are the third monkey on the loading ramp of the Ark and the rain is falling….you lose.

    Drone attack on the Kremlin….God Bless them…taking the War to the seat of government of the Russian government that kicked off this War and who have caused very possibly the most tragic humanitarian crisis in this Century….shame the drone attack was not successful in removing the Russian leadership.

    In Life, if you open up a giant can of Whoop Ass….first thing you do is ensure none of it gets spilled on you…..which Putin ad the Russians are finding out they failed to do.

  15. I have no problem with Ukraine doing anything it feels it has to do win its civil war.
    I have no problem with our government not telling us about intelligence it has received through secret means.
    I have a lot of problems with our government lying to us… but I got over that about 60 years ago with the release of the Warren Report… 55 years ago vis a vis Tonkin Gulf… 50 years ago vis a vis Chile… 45 years ago… well you get the point

  16. Its fairly well established, in the real world, that the US blew up the Nord Stream pipelines. Seymour Hersh published a very clear report on this about six months ago, and a simple analysis “cui bono?” from the event points to the US. The changing lies in the media, and from the White House need to be viewed only as confirmation of the fraudulent representation of this conflict by its principal instigator and beneficiary, the US military equipment industry, and Joe Biden, for whom it is an easy cover for the multiple disasters of his administration, including the accelerating decline of US political and economic power worldwide.

  17. Are we ever going to know the truth of what happened?
    Least a whistleblower, likely not in our lifetimes.
    Would it be great if the Ukraine could defeat Russia, force them back to pre-war national boundaries?
    Of course.
    Based off what I have read, not going to happen.
    Unless you want WWIII with US and NATO troops on the ground actively fighting head on against the Russians and risking nuclear war and millions dying. Dont forget that possible China invasion of Taiwan at the same time. Just read US officials stated US munitions were extremely low.
    Best course of action is to get both sides to agree to a cease fire. Get them to the peace table. They both have to compromise. Neither side gets everything they want. Hammer out a truce. Stick to it. End the fighting.
    Oh, and bring back the draft with no exceptions. Increase the age to 30 too.
    Then let us see how willing the US public will be to get into a fight when it is EVERY military aged male, their sons, who gets drafted to go to WWIII.
    Not talking about the poor, and the black and brown people either. I want to see whites, the middle and upper class sons get drafted.

    1. That’s likely to happen…when pigs fly. Upper class sons and daughters will never be drafted. WWIII will be big ole nukes killing millions without an infantryman in sight.

      1. Yeah, I know.
        But in this day and age of cancel culture those sons and daughters may not be able to show their faces in public again.
        De facto exile to some far away place where we never have to see or hear from them again.
        What is not to like?

    1. With much of Europe leaning to the right, it is easy for them to minimize or protect the right in Ukraine. The right is re-emerging in France, Poland, Germany (to an extent) and Italy. When you swing too far to the Left, the swing to the Right follows later. Voters begin to recognize the extremes. The problem is we seem to deny it exists in Ukraine. Who helped Victoria Newland overthrow the Ukraine government and start the whole thing? Discontent pre-Nazis backed by a Leftist US Government. Oh, the tangled webs.

  18. Some pretty serious accusations without proof, professor. Some would call your musings reckless and rabble rousing. Even if your accusations are all accurate, can you imagine being in Ukraine’s position– your property destroyed and families killed, and you can’t stop it because the enemy is firing and launching from beyond a line on the ground. Put your family in that position and tell me what you’d do.

    1. Perhaps a closer, more detailed look at Ukraine, its president and our compromised president may shed some light on the truth here. Burisma didn’t pay hunter millions just because of his technical expertise in energy – lol.

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