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22 Feb, 2023 19:21

Nord Stream investigator recalls hidden history of covert US-Norway ops

Decades before allegedly helping it bomb European gas lines, the Norwegian military aided the CIA’s undeclared war in Vietnam
Nord Stream investigator recalls hidden history of covert US-Norway ops

Six decades before Norway helped the CIA destroy the Nord Stream gas pipelines, it gave the agency heavily-armed boats that it used to target North Vietnam, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh claimed on Wednesday. Norway’s involvement in this secret war was deeper than previously reported, Hersh noted.

Hersh, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist, claimed earlier this month that the CIA sabotaged the Nord Stream lines on President Joe Biden’s orders. The Norwegian Secret Service and Navy reportedly helped CIA divers choose the correct spot to plant the explosives, and ferried the Americans out on a boat to the location, near Denmark’s Bornholm island in the Baltic Sea.

Explaining why the US chose Norway as its partner in destroying the Russia-to-Germany gas lines, Hersh said on Wednesday that the “Norwegian Navy has a long and murky history of cooperation with American intelligence.”

Historical reports show that Norway sold a number of fast attack boats to the US Navy, which were used by the CIA to conduct clandestine attacks along the North Vietnamese coast. By 1964, prior to the US’ official entry into the Vietnam war, at least two Norwegian sailors had confessed to taking part in these raids, while unconfirmed reports claimed that Norwegian officers and crew manned some of these boats.

However, according to Hersh’s source “within the intelligence community,” the CIA was given more boats than previously reported. Manned and captained by Norwegian sailors, these vessels carried US Navy SEALs to missions against “far more aggressive targets that included heavily defended North Vietnamese radar facilities.”

While the CIA’s previously reported clandestine attacks were controlled by the American command in Saigon, these more aggressive missions were commanded by the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington.

“It was a secret war within a secret war,” Hersh wrote, adding that at least two Navy SEALs were wounded on these missions, and received the Medal of Honor in secret.

“This bit of top secret and heretofore unknown history raises, to this reporter, an obvious question: what else do we not know about the secret operation in Norway that led to the destruction of the pipelines?” Hersh concluded.

The Biden administration has described Hersh’s reporting on the Nord Stream explosions as “utterly false and complete fiction.” Moscow considers the destruction of Nord Stream an act of “terrorism,” and Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, argued this week that Hersh’s reporting was “more than a smoking gun” suggesting US involvement. Prior to Hersh’s initial article, Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed the explosions on the West, arguing that the US in particular benefited from the attack due to its position as a supplier of LNG to Europe.