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. Anyone who is ignorant of the CIA’s colour revolution and subsequent ignored Minsk agreements will remain the chump until they get educated about Russia’s need to enforce the Minsk agreements with the SRO.

  2. I don’t understand why the $7 Billion amount is being used to describe the value of equipment left behind in Afghanistan. We all know it’s closer to $80 billion. I’ve seen various methods and excuses for using the $7 Billion value so it doesn’t look as bad for the Biden administration but I’m not buying it as a taxpayer. I’ve seen the lists of equipment and military hardware that I helped pay for. And yes…I believe the Pentagon has a direct responsibility to me to be good stewards of the resources I help provide.

  3. Mr. Strom

    We have heard all this nonsense before.

    Throughout Trump’s presidency – we were told the evidence of collusion with Russia was overwhelming.
    In fact it was a hoax.

    Regardless those of you on the left have atleast two insurmountable legal and constitutional problems.

    The docs are Trump’s property.
    By virtue of being moved to MAL they are declassified.

    Those are matters of law and constitution – you can not overcome them with Evidence.

    You can have video of Trump breaking the window of a car, hotwiring it and driving it out of a public parking lot.
    If Trump has the title of the car – you can not charge him with theft.

  4. Trump has been indicted – proof that our government is corrupt.

    Clinton actually steals 3000+ classified documents and does not even get a slap on the wrist.

    Trump follows the law – Presidents are ALLOW to take whatever whitehouse documents they want – classified or not – Smith should read JW. V NARA – and we get a 37 count indictment.

    We have a president – who appears to have taken $5M From Burisma to sack a prosecutor who was investigating the business paying his son, and Trump gets impeached for asking for an investigation ?

    The democratic party – the DOJ, the FBI and our government are corrupt.

    There must be a thorough house cleaning.

    Regardless -= Turn about is fair play.

    1. “Regardless -= Turn about is fair play.”

      Turnabout only occurs if there is a nation. That is why all disliking tyranny needs to rally against it by supporting anyone opposed to Democrats and the left. People have to put away their grudges and unify. Those that don’t are taking their eye off the ball and punching themselves in the face.

  5. Ukraine pulls a Murphy Brown ” I’ll provoke You, … Just to claim to be the Victim “

  6. 10 -15 years ago,, those Americans who tried to do business with Ukraine learned First Hand & In Spades how Absolutely Corrupt the ‘systems’ were there.. e.g., Banking, Oil sectors.. we learned that the Ukraine is a perfect place for Crooks to do business there.. A colleague, a CA lawyer, gave a Top Bank in Ukraine money to put into trade for him.. for 6 months they told him they were still setting it up.. a lot of obstacles.. finally he hired a forensics banking investigator who found out it had been trading for 6 months, all the profits kept by the ‘esteemed’ bank….

  7. Really! Even if Ukraine had an advanced navy, which they don’t, how did Ukraine travel thousands of miles from a naval base on the Black Sea to the Baltic Sea to blow up the pipelines? The route is heavily trafficked and well monitored by NATO, multiple EU countries, the USA, and Russia. According to reports, the CIA was made aware of the plot but did nothing to stop the demolition of the pipelines from being carried out. Members of the Democrat- dominated federal government are on record threatening the pipeline with violence if Russian troops attack Ukraine. Our federal government is corrupt, is a bully on the world stage, Biden is illegitimate and the whole world knows it.

  8. Unfortunately, just because WAPO reported this doesn’t make it true… it MAY be true, but we (I) have reached the point that I don’t believe a single thing (on either side) that is reported today. And that my friends is a sad indictment of where the present state of the world is right now…

    1. WAPO is a Propaganda tool – Along with Jamie Raskin, WAPO LIED that Bill Barr has closed the Biden corruption investigation when he had to send it to DE as Biden was a private citizen 4 years ago….

    2. Amen.

      I do not beleive the WaPo story. I think Hersch is more credible.

      But Ukraine was at war with Russia – if it blew up Nord II – it was fully within its powers – if not its capability to do so.

      The US is not at war with Russia.

      Too many left and right do not seem to grasp the important differences.

      I think there is a great deal wrong with Ukraine. But I STILL want them to prevail against Russia.
      I support them. I cheer for them.

      But the US is not – at war with Russia, and as Reagan noted – we can not allow a war with a nuclear power to occur.

      During War – acts like – blowing up the nord II pipelines are legitimate.
      Nuking your enemies is also legitimate.

      A nuclear exchange with Russia will result in 300M deaths in about 20minutes, and 3 billion in a year.
      Most of the west, most of the norther hemisphere will be dead.

      If Ukraine blew up Nord II – that is their business – though that is highly implausible, it is not an easy task, and not likely within their military capabilities.

      If the US blew up Nord II – that is an act of war against Russia, and Biden is playing an incredibly dangerous game.

  9. Joe Biden has received millions of dollars in bribes, directly and indirectly, from the most corrupt, authoritarian countries on planet earth. At some point, the mainstream press will abandon him in order to preserve the microscopic remnants of their integrity.

    1. “At some point, the mainstream press will abandon (Biden) in order to preserve the microscopic remnants of their integrity.” They’ll be forced to search high and low for those remnants only to learn they threw them out decades ago. Once lost integrity, like trust, is next to impossible to earn a second time.

        1. Indeed, Bob, they’re all-in on Leftist’s scorched-earth policies, for sure. And if they ever have the slightest inkling of resurrecting their former integrity – the barely-a-smidgen they once had – they’ll only find it’s like virginity: once you lose it, you can’t get it back.

    2. Would that were so.

      What we have seen over the past decade is government actions – by the left that combine all the worst of Sen Joe MacCarthy, The abuses of the FBI and intelligence community found by the Church Commission. Watergate, the Teapot Dome affair, Johnson’s ballot stuffing. and much much more.

      And those on the left – even ordinary democrats could care less.

      The media is not going to come to their sensense and develop integrity any time soon.

  10. Dear Prof Turley,

    Sadly, with respect to Nordstream and the Ukraine conflict more broadly, I no longer believe a word I read and only half of what I see. .. unless it’s true.

    The truth is, scuba diving at 260′ is a very dangerous and complicated thing. Unless the diver(s) have ‘atmospheric diving suits’ (limiting movement), scuba diving at that depth requires special equipment, special air-gas mixtures and, most importantly, decompression. Basically, every minute a diver spends at that depth, requires a corresponding amount of time decompressing on the way up.

    Moreover, high explosives would most likely need to be shaped charges to penetrate the pipelines concrete encasement. Those type of explosives can be chemically identified to manufacture.

    So, I guess, I’m leaning towards Sy Hersh’s highly detailed reporting for the time being.

    *plus, we have president Biden’s confession .. . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWUuhNd37WI

    1. I usually appreciate Turley. This is a stupid article; perhaps his worst in the last few years.

      1. Professor Turley is not stupid .. . I don’t care what they say.

        >”This is a stupid article; perhaps his worst in the last few years.”

        You mean this part: “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.”?

        Obviously, the Holy writ Sanctions are the stupidest economic policy in the history of economic policies. It’s like US/NATO shooting themselves in the foot, then in the buttocks for good measure. A gaping self-inflicted wound that will have far reaching consequence well into the 21st century.

        And, of course, Zelenskiy does not speak for *all* Ukrainians. .. and most certainly not for me.

        *I think it’s difficult for people like Turley, and other good, honest folk, to really appreciate the depths of depravity inherent in U.S. global ‘sovereignty’ today .. . but I’m in a good mood, so I’ve taken him under my wing, like a protege’, and have high hopes for a full recovery.

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