SCOTT RITTER: Pipelines v. USA

Intent, motive and means: People serving life sentences in U.S. prisons have been convicted on weaker grounds than the circumstantial evidence against Washington for the attack on the Nord Stream pipelines.

Seafox special warfare patrol craft practicing in 1986. (U.S. National Archives)

By Scott Ritter
Special to Consortium News

Circumstantial evidence, just like direct proof, can be used to prove the elements of a crime, the existence or completion of certain acts and the intent or mental state of a defendant. Generally speaking, a prosecutor, to obtain a conviction, needs to show beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant committed a certain act and that the defendant acted with specific intent.

Nord Stream 1 is a multi-national project operated by Swiss-based Nord Stream AG intended to supply some 55 billion cubic meters (bcm) of Russian natural gas annually to Europe by directly transporting it from Russia, through twin 1,224 kilometer-long pipelines laid beneath the Baltic Sea, to a German hub, from which the gas would be distributed to other European consumers.

The first of the twin pipelines was completed in June 2011 and began supplying gas in November 2011. The second was completed in April 2012 and began supplying gas in October 2012. Gazprom, the Russian gas giant, owns 51 percent interest in the Nord Stream 1 pipeline project.

Nord Stream 2 is a near clone of the Nord Stream 1 project, consisting of twin 1,220-kilometer pipelines laid beneath the Baltic Sea connecting Russia to Germany. Started in 2018, it was completed in September 2021. Like Nord Stream 1, the Nord Stream 2 is designed to deliver approximately 55 bcm of natural gas from Russia to Europe through Germany. Nord Stream 2, like Nord Stream 1, is operated by a multinational company in which Gazprom has 51 percent ownership.

Unlike Nord Stream 1, Nord Stream 2 was never allowed to begin supplying gas.

Nord Stream 2 area map. (Berria Egunkaria, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

The Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines are anathema to U.S. national security policy, which for decades has been sour on the degree to which Russian natural gas dominates the European energy market. This animus was perhaps best captured by a column published in the German newspaper DieWelt in July 2019.

The piece, co-authored by Richard Grenell, Carla Sands, Gordon Sondland (respectively, the U.S. ambassadors to Germany, Denmark and the European Union), was entitled “Europe must retain control of its energy security” and made the argument that the “Nord Stream 2 pipeline will drastically increase Russia’s energy leverage over the EU,” noting that “[s]uch a scenario is dangerous for the bloc and the West as a whole.”

Observing that “a dozen European countries rely on Russia for more than 75 percent of their natural gas needs,” the ambassadors concluded “This makes United States allies and partners vulnerable to having their gas shut off at Moscow’s whim.”

Moreover, the ambassadors claimed,

“European Union reliance on Russian gas presents risks for Europe and the West as a whole and makes U.S. allies less secure. The Nord Stream 2 pipeline will heighten Europe’s susceptibility to Russia’s energy blackmail tactics. Europe must retain control of its energy security.”

The ambassadors also wove in some critical geopolitical context as well, declaring

“Make no mistake: Nord Stream 2 will bring more than just Russian gas. Russian leverage and influence will also flow under the Baltic Sea and into Europe, and the pipeline will enable Moscow to further undermine Ukrainian sovereignty and stability.”

Russia’s “weaponization” of energy against Europe was the topic of a “debate” that Gary Peach and I carried out in December 2018 on the pages of Energy Intelligence, which monitors issues pertaining to global energy security. Gary, one of EI’s senior writers, covers Russian energy.

Gazprom headquarters in the Lakhta Center skyscraper in Saint Petersburg, Russia, February 2021. (CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

I argued that “Russia has never sought to use its status as a major supplier of energy to Europe as a vehicle of policy influence,” noting that:

“[t]he weaponization of Russian energy comes in the form of sanctions imposed against Moscow and the pursuit of policies designed to curtail development of Russia’s energy sector. It is far easier to make a case that the U.S. and Europe pose a threat to Russian energy security rather than vice versa.”

Gary, on the other hand, noted that

“Gazprom’s supply contracts exhibit the underlying economic threat from Moscow: The pricing formula is roughly the same for all countries, but those countries in Russia’s good graces receive an arbitrary ‘discount.’” He concluded that “when Gazprom is the only conceivable gas supplier, it has shamelessly abused the monopoly.”

In December 2019 the administration of President Donald Trump imposed sanctions in a desperate last-second bid to prevent the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from being completed.

These sanctions were waived by the administration of President Joe Biden in May 2021 in an effort to be seen as repairing relations with Germany that had been severely frayed during the Trump administration. However, upon completion, Nord Stream 2 was prevented from operating by objections raised by German regulators regarding licensing issues, which were not expected to be resolved until mid-2022.

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In the lead up to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Biden administration devised a plan to punish Russia by imposing severe economic sanctions which would target the Russian energy sector, including measures designed to halt the delivery of gas from Russia to Germany via the Nord Stream pipelines.

One of the issues confronting U.S. policy makers was finding the right mix of sanctions that would succeed in harming Russia without destroying the European economy in the process. Policy makers on both sides of the Atlantic, however, recognized that meaningful sanctions which targeted Russian energy contained collateral risk to the European economy which could not be avoided. 

One of the mechanisms that U.S. and E.U. policy makers were hoping would alleviate the economic consequences of sanctioning Russian energy was to increase the supply of U.S. liquified natural gas (LNG) to Europe. Since 2016 the amount of LNG supplied by the U.S. to Europe has increased, with more than 21 bcm delivered in 2021.

Deck of the LNG tanker Energy Atlantic in Port Arthur, Texas, 2016. (U.S. Coast Guard, Dustin R. Williams)

But 21 bcm couldn’t begin to offset the quantity of natural gas being shipped by Russia to Europe in case of any large-scale disruption of Russian energy supplies brought on by the imposition of economic sanctions that targeted the Russian energy sector.

After the Russian invasion of Ukraine — and the realization that the energy disruption to Europe was going to be far greater than had been anticipated — Biden made good on his promise to increase the supply of U.S. LNG to Europe. But the quantities still fell far short of demand, and at prices that were, literally, bankrupting all of Europe.

The Victims

With Germany blocking the operation of Nord Stream 2 and sanctions precluding the repair of the Nord Stream 1, the German population began bearing the brunt of the sanctions on Russian energy.

Despite their government’s insistence that it would remain resolute in confronting what it perceived as Russian aggression against Ukraine, the German people had other plans. By Sept. 26 they began taking to the streets in large numbers to demand that their government open the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and provide the German people and economy with the energy needed to survive.

The Crime

On Sept. 26, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline reported a massive drop in pressure. The next day, the Nord Stream 1 pipeline reported the same. A Danish fighter jet, flying over the pipeline route, reported seeing a one-kilometer diameter disturbance in the water off the island of Bornholm, directly over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, created by the massive release of natural gas underwater. (Danish authorities have estimated that between the two pipelines the total amount of methane released into the atmosphere was around 500,000 metric tons.)

Locations of the explosions caused by the Nord Stream attacks on Sept. 26. (Lampel, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

The incident took place in the exclusive economic zone of Sweden, and the Swedish Security Service took the lead in investigating what had happened. (Curiously, Russia was not invited to participate, despite having a vested economic and security interest in the matter.)

“After completing the crime scene investigation,” the Swedes reported, “the Swedish Security Service can conclude that there have been detonations at Nord Stream 1 and 2 in the Swedish economic zone,” noting that the blasts had caused “extensive damage” to the lines.

The Swedes also declared that they had retrieved some materials from the incident site, which were being analyzed to determine who was responsible. This evidence, the Swedes stated, “strengthened the suspicions of gross sabotage.”

While all parties involved with the Nord Stream pipeline “sabotage” concur that the cause was manmade, no nation outside Russia has named a suspect. (Russian President Vladimir Putin has attributed the attack, which Russia has labeled an act of “international terrorism,” on the “Anglo-Saxons” — the British and Americans.)

Biden dismissed the Russian claims. The pipeline attack “was a deliberate act of sabotage and the Russians are pumping out disinformation and lies,” the U.S. president said. “At the appropriate moment, when things calm down, we’re going to be sending divers down to find out exactly what happened. We don’t know that yet exactly.”

But we do know. Biden told us himself. So did Secretary of State Antony Blinken. So did the U.S. Navy. Between the three, we have incontrovertible evidence of intent, motive and means — more than enough needed to prove guilt beyond any reasonable doubt in a court of law.


Speaking to reporters on Feb. 7, Biden declared “If Russia invades, that means tanks or troops crossing the border of Ukraine again, there will no longer be a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it.”

When a journalist asked how Biden could do such a thing, given that Germany was in control of the project, Biden retorted: “I promise you: We will be able to do it.”

No prosecutor has ever had a more concise statement of intent — a veritable confession before the event — than this. Joe Biden should be taken at his word.


When asked by reporters on Oct. 3 to comment on the Nord Stream pipeline attacks, Blinken responded in part by noting that the attack was “a tremendous opportunity to once and for all remove the dependence on Russian energy and thus to take away from Vladimir Putin the weaponization of energy as a means of advancing his imperial designs.”

Blinken further declared that the U.S. would work to alleviate the “consequences” of the pipeline attack on Europe, alluding to the provision of U.S. LNG at exorbitant profit margins for U.S. suppliers — another “opportunity.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken. (State Department, Freddie Everett)

Prosecutors often speak of cui bono, a Latin phrase that means “who benefits,” when seeking to import motive for a crime committed, under the presumption that there is a high probability that those responsible for a specific crime are the ones who stand to gain from it.

Blinken. Tremendous opportunity.

Cui Bono.


In early June, in support of a major NATO exercise known as BALTOPS (Baltic Operations) 2022, the U.S. Navy employed the latest advancements in unmanned underwater vehicle, or UUV, mine hunting technology to be tested in operational scenarios.

[Related: DIANA JOHNSTONE: Omerta in the Gangster War]

According to the U.S. Navy, it was able to evaluate “emerging mine hunting UUV technology,” focusing on “UUV navigation, teaming operations, and improvements in acoustic communications all while collecting critical environmental data sets to advance the automatic target recognition algorithms for mine detection.”

One of the UUV’s used by the U.S. Navy is the Seafox.

Crewmembers aboard a German mine hunter lower a Seafox marine drone into the water on Oct. 26, 2018, during NATO drills in the North Atlantic and the Baltic Sea. (NATO/WO FRAN C.Valverde)

In September, specialized U.S. Navy helicopters — the MH-60R, capable of employing the Seafox UUV — were tracked flying off the Danish island of Bornholm, directly over the segments of the Nordstream 1 and 2 pipelines that were later damaged in the sabotage incidents.

To quote TASS,

“On November 6, 2015, the NATO Seafox mine disposal unmanned underwater vehicle was found during the scheduled visual inspection of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline. It lay in space between gas pipelines, clearly near one of strings. NATO said the underwater mine disposal vehicle was lost during exercises. Such NATO exercises when the combat explosive device turned out to be exactly under our gas pipeline. The explosive device was deactivated by Swedish Armed Forces at that time.”

Italian explosive ordnance disposal team operates a UUV, unmanned underwater vehicle, in NATO exercises in September in Portugal. (NATO)

Guilty Beyond Reasonable Doubt

The burden that exists to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt “is fully satisfied and entirely convinced to a moral certainty that the evidence presented proves the guilt of the defendant.”  In the matter of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 attacks, this burden has been met when it comes to assigning blame to the United States.

Biden all but confessed the crime beforehand, and his secretary of state, Blinken, crowed about the “tremendous opportunity” that was created by the attack. Not only did the U.S. Navy actively rehearse the crime in June 2022, using the same weapon that had been previously discovered next to the pipeline, but employed the very means needed to use this weapon on the day of the attack, at the location of the attack.

Guilty as Charged

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on banning Russian energy imports on March 8. (White House, Carlos Fyfe)

The problem is, outside of Russia, no one is charging the United States. Journalists run away from the evidence, citing “uncertainty.” Europe, afraid to wake up to the reality that its most important “ally” has committed an act of war against its critical energy infrastructure, condemning millions of Europeans to suffer the depravations of cold, hunger and unemployment —all the while gouging Europe with profit margins from the sale of LNG that redefine the notion of “windfall” — remains silent.

There is no doubt in any thinking person’s brain as to who is responsible for the attacks on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines. The circumstantial case is overwhelming and fully capable of winning a conviction in any U.S. court of law.

But no one will bring the case, at least not at this moment.

Shame on American journalism for ignoring this flagrant attack on Europe.

Shame on Europe for not having the courage to publicly name their attacker.

But most of all, shame on the administration of Joe Biden, who has lowered the U.S. to the same standard of those it hunted down and killed for so many years — a simple international terrorist, and a state sponsor of terrorism.

Scott Ritter is a former U.S. Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD. His most recent book is Disarmament in the Time of Perestroika, published by Clarity Press.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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60 comments for “SCOTT RITTER: Pipelines v. USA

  1. doris
    October 15, 2022 at 11:55

    The US criminals running the hideous show just keep on destroying countless lives to reach their pathological goal of total global domination. Thanks, Scott Ritter for always being a voice of truth in a vast sea of lies.

  2. K Lee
    October 15, 2022 at 06:15

    No mention of this?

    “The Leviathan falls almost exclusively in Israeli territorial waters, but neighboring states have demonstrated a mutual interest in seeing the reservoir and surrounding plays developed. Indeed, the vast economic potential of Eastern Mediterranean hydrocarbons has galvanized diplomatic and economic ties between Israel, Cyprus, and Greece. In December, the three nations held a trilateral summit in Beersheba, Israel, where they agreed to launch the EastMed pipeline project, a $7 billion endeavor that would see Israeli gas pumped to Greece via Cyprus and Crete at a rate of 10 billion cubic meters (bcm) per annum. Once in Greece, the gas would then connect to the 20 bcm per annum Poseidon pipeline in Italy, and then onward to the rest of Europe.”

  3. eddie escobar
    October 14, 2022 at 19:48

    Russia’s response to the NS-2 sabotage was decidedly low-key; what with their Eurasian development projects and record-setting petroleum sales to China, they can afford to be..
    To put the NS story to bed, Mr Putin has now offered Turkey the opportunity to become the gas-hub for Europe; a scenario which should silence any criticism from the Western 15%.. It should be an interesting development, and a test for the European cry-babies as to how far they plan to go with their lies & obstruction

  4. October 14, 2022 at 16:10

    I am a retired engineering physicst with 30 years experience working for defense contractors. In 1995 Raytheon acquired a small compsny in San Diego that had developed a UUV. I was sent to CA to close that company and transition the technology to Portsmouth RI. Having first hand knowledge of state of UUV art in 1995 I have no doubt that the US navy is now capable of doing what Scott claims.

  5. evelync
    October 14, 2022 at 13:41

    Thanks to Scott Ritter and CN for working so hard to inform the public of what’s done in our name with our tax dollars.
    $85B. to State? – they’ve done a bang up job…
    what about intel? military? black sites? god knows what we don’t; know about….

    (No wonder, as Randy Newman writes:)

    Mafia and Keystone COPS rolled into one.

    I wonder if these people in our government felt nothing but admiration for Tonya Harding’s 1994 role in plotting a hit job with a telescopic baton on the leg of competitor Nancy Kerrigan “to prevent Kerrigan from taking part in the ongoing 1994 United States Figure Skating Championships and the forthcoming Winter Olympics, thus increasing the prospects of Harding in both figure skating events”.

  6. Realist
    October 14, 2022 at 00:53

    “Nord Stream 2 pipeline will drastically increase Russia’s energy leverage over the EU,” so says Washington as it goes about blowing up the only pipelines bringing natural gas directly to the EU via Germany from Russia. Who, in the real world, was the greater threat? Russia or the US? Who actually pulled the plug on energy access to the EU? Russia or the US? Which narrative was truly the most twisted? The false accusations against Russia or the actual deeds of the US? And there at the podium stands yet another president of the United States spewing bullshit like the kid who wants his teacher to believe that the dog actually ate his homework. Now somebody has been detected trying to sabotage the Turk Stream natural gas pipeline to Southern Europe. Who are we to believe–logically–have been the perpetrators of this latest treachery? Russia? Turkey? Or your gangster uncle named Sam?

  7. nighthawk
    October 14, 2022 at 00:39

    Intuitively irrefutable. On a par with the supply of typhoid infested blankets to the Native Americans by the logical suspect’s antecedents, as the spirit has surpassed, greater and greater, in lust for growth and power.

  8. robert e williamson jr
    October 13, 2022 at 20:33

    Try to think world banking and Bush 41’s new world order. Deep State + World Deep Government intimate business intercourse and the purse strings of the bankers who back the IMF and you may get closer to who actually is calling the shots here, the “who done it” is secondary to the main task at hand for them.

    Thanks CN

  9. renate
    October 13, 2022 at 18:48

    How could anyone believe a word they say in Washington? The world knows, they respect no laws, they lie, break contracts, and they steal and destroy nations and their governments. They destroyed the ME. They killed millions of civilians, made them homeless, and starve people to death and then say they did not do it, Putin did it. They weaponized energy and expect Germans to trust the ally who stabbed them in the back. Telling the German people they can’t trust Russia after decades of the best business experience with Russia. Americans, the elite, are liars, and killers as immoral and unethical as they come, intellectually and morally bankrupt. Mr. Kissinger said many years ago,” to be a friend of the USA is fatal”. Biden is bad news for the planet and so is his retarded neocon cabal.
    For PR purposes the Germans are not honest, Germany is still occupied with limited sovereignty, and the 30 000 troops stationed in Germany are still occupying troops, just never say it, don’t even think it. They will not get out of Ramstein.

  10. Mark Anderrs
    October 13, 2022 at 17:03

    The German greens are paid agents unwitting or otherwise of the great Satan. Notice how much they all hate Russians more than they like Germans as well? They tick every box of the current US state dept requirements.

  11. Mark Thomason
    October 13, 2022 at 16:39

    Yes, but in those domestic cases there was no better circumstantial evidence against anyone else. They just took down the “best” defendant no matter how bad “best” happened to be on the evidence.

    So, is there better evidence of this being done by Ukrainian or Polish secret services? Maybe. Both have motive and opportunity, and Ukraine has been active in projects of similar distance and complexity. Poland is right there, with its own pipeline just opened in the same place, and so all the tools to do this ready to hand.

    On this evidence, the US system would convict Ukraine or Poland, even if with real doubt that they did it. “Beyond a reasonable doubt” is nonsense, which is of course the underlying premise of this article.

  12. Eric Arthur Blair
    October 13, 2022 at 16:20

    Legal eagles usually use the categories of motive (intent is included here), means and opportunity, the latter which was well described by Pepe Escobar and simply summarized here:

    Russia had zero opportunity to deploy subs or drones in shallow waters so heavily surveilled by NATO

    • Common Sense
      October 14, 2022 at 14:58

      “Russia had zero opportunity to deploy subs or drones in shallow waters so heavily surveilled by NATO”


      Seems to be “overseen” ;)

  13. October 13, 2022 at 12:01

    Not only has Europe lost a cheap regular supply of gas it has also lost a market for the goods Russia brought from them billions and billions worth. Now we can have freedom gas at 4 times the price.The demented NATO warmongers are going to bring misery to the working class of Europe for the coming winter and maybe even longer.Thank you Scott Ritter for a really well written and informative piece.

  14. Annie MCSTRAVICK
    October 13, 2022 at 11:42

    Everyone knows who did it and that is why there will be no serious “investigation”.

  15. rosemerry
    October 13, 2022 at 11:38

    I noticed soon after the attack, that the Swedish minister describing the NS2 damage would not say what the crime someone would be charged with, was. She said that depended on who did it!!! what a fair investigation!!

  16. rosemerry
    October 13, 2022 at 11:35

    The whole story that Russia would be a danger, that Russia weaponizes oil and gas, that Russia cannot be trusted etc is just projection of the fact that it is the USA which behaves likes this and assumes others do. The USSR then Russia has traded its oil and gas with the Europeans since the 1960s. It has proved a reliable supplier, the use of these products has been the main factor allowing Europe’s success in manufacturing and exports. The hatred of Russia, for no rational reason, is the real cause of the disgusting blaming of Russia for anything which can by any stretch of imagination be found. Never is any blame attached to the Western “allies” or friends,as we see now in the rock solid support for “sanctions against Russia”, which they have all accepted 8 times despite complete failure in Russia but disastrous effects on themselves. NATO is pretending its demise would make the world more dangerous!!! It would in fact remove an enormous burden from the 87% of the globe NOT in the “democratic West” and would mean that Europe would not need the “help” of the USA in its “defence” because the enemy would be gone! It is NOT Russia, China, India, Iran etc causing the chaos in the world.

    • Common Sense
      October 14, 2022 at 14:54

      I totally agree ^^

  17. Mike
    October 13, 2022 at 10:30

    As Russia went about completing Nord Stream 2 without any cooperation from its supposed but craven 49% partners, President Zelensky was jumping up and down shouting: “Stop them, Hit them with more sanctions, Send us more weapons – Putin is planning to cut us off from our $6bn (yearly) gas transit fees”. Germany and USA obliged with income (gas transit fee) guarantees – to be paid by Russia, of course.
    For two years from 1 October, the British government is committed to limiting UK electrity and gas prices for residential consumers to the current so-called capped levels. Unfettered, UK consumers would be paying double these prices by early 2023. The UK government is not controlling prices but is paying the difference between what the industry charges and what the customer pays. So the USA (with our special relationship), Norway and Qatar along with others like Australia can continue to bleed the UK economy leaving the masses unaware that they will be paying for an easing of a dire, but manipulated to only difficult, two years long into the future.
    And all the while, the Britsh government will continue to pump weaponry into Ukraine to rain down on Russians but complete the destruction of a country the Soviets rebuilt after the war into, but for the Western induced oligarchy, a thriving economy.

  18. Packard
    October 13, 2022 at 09:18

    I found it far more informative to simply watch the American MSM and Silicon Valley crew as they all fell dutifully into line with the US State Department/CIA talking points. Together, it was agreed that blaming the least likely suspect, Russia was indeed responsible for…wait for it…blowing up their own pipeline. Everyone got that?

    Not sure if even Joseph Goebbels would have tried to pass such nonsensical news logic on the German people in late 1944. Then again, Germans are not your average Americans, are they?

    • Common Sense
      October 14, 2022 at 14:48

      “Then again, Germans are not your average Americans, are they?”

      They appear to behave more and more similar.

      Shaming as it is.

  19. Mary Caldwell
    October 13, 2022 at 08:08

    Isn’t it disturbing to realize that our own Secretary of State is a simple warmonger, not a man of peace or diplomacy .

    • Tim N
      October 13, 2022 at 16:09

      He’s also an idiot. In any other country, he would be at best an aide to an aide, fetching coffee.

      • Em
        October 13, 2022 at 17:07

        Re: Antony Blinken:


        The aforementioned posted video event occurred some years before he was selected as deceitful Secrete(ary) of US State hypocrisy.

        Isn’t it interesting how “an idiot” was accepted to sit in on intellectual discussion by those who are definitely not idiots, yet today, it appears that some of those same, more critical intellects, are gullibly buying into every word out of his mouth!

      • Common Sense
        October 14, 2022 at 14:44

        “In any other country, he would be at best an aide to an aide, fetching coffee.”

        Not so sure about that in Germany, looking at a larger number of their representatives ;)


  20. Dave
    October 13, 2022 at 07:51

    The UUV is one means and there’s possibly another. There’s a military hobbyist guy on youtube who tracks flights around the world every day using satellite data. In his podcast, searchable on YouTube as, SITREP 10-03-22, he discusses from 10:10 for about twelve minutes the path of a US bomber that, on the date of the attack, left the US, did not refuel in England, refueled for about an hour hooking up to a refueling plane from a US base in Germany, flew over the site of one of the pipeline attacks, circled around and came back to the site, underwent a minor altitudinal wobble consistent with dispatching a 2000 lb bomb at just the right time to have caused one of the breaches in the pipeline, and returns to the US without ever having landed anywhere.

    I’d be curious to know what Scott thinks of this. The Podcaster is clearly not unbiased. He likes to use nicknames like, “Brandon”, but his hobby is tracking flights. He doesn’t appear to have any journalistic background. He’s ex-military. His data seems legit to me. He names the open-source intelligence sites he used. I haven’t had the time to look to see if he has info related to the other explosion.

    In the interest of not getting the sitrep podcasts pulled from YouTube, if you, the editors, want to not publish this comment until you’ve had a chance to review the October 3rd podcast and any others you can find related to this issue (maybe 11-26?) that would be fine with me. I just wanted to let you know about this in case you hadn’t seen it. I know NewsGuard and people like that are probably watching Consortium every day looking for things to censor.

  21. Laurie Meadows
    October 13, 2022 at 07:42

    The only element that niggles and niggles away at me is the abundant and conspicuous public display of ‘look, here we are, near the Nordstream pipeline, playing with explosives, ‘losing’ a drone nearby prior to a scheduled inspection….

    And then the flat denial by the US.

    Incompetent or cunning?

    Let’s wait.

  22. Matthew
    October 13, 2022 at 06:44

    Imagine if China destroyed all road, rail and air links between the US and Mexico and a day or so later announced…
    ” Excellent news for Californian lettuce growers as this removes their dependence on Mexican farm labour.”

  23. maljoffre
    October 13, 2022 at 06:29

    Case closed, really.

  24. Manifold Destiny
    October 13, 2022 at 04:49

    Scott Ritter ends by shaming those who either ignore or lack courage to name the obvious culprit.

    The unanswered question is, why? We all know mainstream journalists are mere stenographers for an Empire that has long practiced State terrorism. But what is the European reason?

    Could it simply be the 100 or so US military bases scattered around the continent, and the “protection” payments these countries receive from Uncle Sam?

    If so, is it really worth risking the rising tide of European economic hardship for millions of people?

  25. Elisa
    October 13, 2022 at 04:49

    It seems that when German people started to protest demanding the opening of Nord Stream 2, the US decided to promote more “freedom and democracy” in Germany

  26. Nihil
    October 13, 2022 at 03:54

    Far from seeking to avoid -ve impact on Europe it’s more likely the US would see this as a bonus – weaken the EU, weaken the Euro – one less competitor. Likely also that the US would relish another Europe wide war, after all the last one “WW2” gifted the US with almost a century of world domination. Now that has come to an end why not rinse & repeat? Also a great way of solving insurmountable financial issues & none of it fought on American soil.
    Surely the Europeans are not so stupid as to allow this to happen. But then again…..

  27. BP
    October 13, 2022 at 00:16

    > “Gazprom’s supply contracts exhibit the underlying economic threat from Moscow: The pricing
    > formula is roughly the same for all countries, but those countries in Russia’s good graces receive
    > an arbitrary ‘discount.’”

    That;s kind of like how the American people receive and arbitrary FU from our health care industry … in reverse.

    Welcome to American capitalism …. Americans …. and Russians.

  28. Django
    October 12, 2022 at 23:53

    It’s also worth considering that the Swedes may have been removing evidence of their own involvement, since this “investigation” was in their home zone.

  29. robert e williamson jr
    October 12, 2022 at 23:14

    Sept 28, 2022 left a comment to Diana Johnstone’s, “Omerta in the Gangster War”, “The who done it has officially began.”

    Talented Mr. Ray McGovern left a great comment himself. It’s well worth reading if you have not done so.

    Now we have the very astute Scott Ritter here with his latest offering.

    I have a couple nuggets for those who were not following the LNG politics and policies of the U.S. during 2015. ~ Dec 7, 2015

    (Key topic, the 30 years time span is based on the US ship yard capacity to Build them) ~ Aug 18, 2022

    SEE linkedin Whats going on with shipping ? with Sal Mercogliano Chair of Dept of History, Criminal Justice, and Political Science, Campbell University, merchant mariner fire fighter.

    search the youtube Whats going on with shipping? | Import of LNG to Europe | G7 Price Cap ib Russian Oil | FW Roundtable W/ Greg Miller dated 9-22-2022 disclaimer I do not know the actual date of this round table but the youtube date is listed as 9-22-2022

    Maybe it’s just me but this all seems to be very interesting at this point in time, especially when we consider the time line. Think shipping rates in $$$$ US and listen closely to what is said about where the lions share of these ships are currently built.

    The Who Dunnit plot thickens!!

    Thanks CN

    • Laurie Meadows
      October 13, 2022 at 20:55

      The marine executive URL has a typo.

      It should be


  30. Jeff Harrison
    October 12, 2022 at 23:12

    Indeed, Scott. The minute I heard it happened, I said, the US did it. Means, motive, and opportunity, never mind all the threats. At some point, we are going to lose the support of our vassals. And soon, we’ll lose reserve currency status and when we lose the petrodollar, it will be all over. A perfect storm. The US doesn’t seem to realize how much of what it takes for granted depends on the status of the US dollar. From my perspective this is called cruisin’ for a bruisin’.

    • Tim N
      October 13, 2022 at 16:11

      Same here. The moment I heard the news, I knew it was the US.

  31. Charle St-Jacques
    October 12, 2022 at 23:10

    Bingo! And yes anyone with half a brain knew this right away.
    The US is the evil empire.

    • BP
      October 13, 2022 at 00:26

      > The US is the evil empire.

      Much as I agree with the sentiment, it is a non-starter for any kind of rallying of
      Americans. All countries are the same, all people are the same – we are greedy
      self-serving beings, at least for purposes of defending and protecting ourselves.

      Too much honesty and fairness doesn’t get you much in this cold world, and
      America has prospered with Zero-Sum Game strategies, i.e. being AH’s.

      I think it is the exceptionalism of Americans and the fair play we are all programmed
      with that we have “won” and therefore can be a little generous. fair to try to usher
      in a NEW New World Order. A world order where it is clear we need to accept all
      of us are humans and we must work together so we don’t destroy ourselves – and
      it is our constant disappointment that not only does it not happen, but things are
      getting even worse.

      This is such a depressing time in history.

  32. Paula
    October 12, 2022 at 23:02

    It’s very disturbing to listen to Michael Hudson, read an opinion piece by the Asian Times that turned me on to my country’s foreign policy in an article written in 1904 and how ALL of this is intertwined with my country’s actions everywhere. It’s been quite an education to know that little has changed since Columbus arrived on the shores of an already beautiful and great nation of indigenous peoples full of love and acceptance and recorded them as being excellent for future slavery and having no weapons so that it would be easy to subdue them. This westward expansionism has NEVER stopped and has been fueled by a system that allows ordinary people to invest and grow richer without even knowing the damage they cause thru this capitalistic/cannabalistic system. I went to a protest in Seattle with a sign that read “CHECK THE BLOOD ON YOUR STOCK PORTFOLIOS. A man came up to me and said he dare not.

    This long time project of dominating the world has already been outlined many years ago in that 1904 paper by H.J. Mackinder called The Geographical Pivot of History and has been handed down from one administration and their closed elitist society to the next and was also talked about in an opinion piece from the Asian Times. (Where I learned about its existence). It has been US policy to prevent economic development of other countries so that we can dominate them and insure their resources are in the hands of private US companies, rather than the recognizing the sovereignty of all nations and cultures. Real rather than invented history tells us this is true.

    I love my country, not for the europeans who came here and began claiming everything and wiping out indigenous cultures, but for the beauty and majesty of a land untainted by western/euro expansionism, imperial colonialism, stealing the commons from their own people to force them into labor. I love this country for native ability to survive euro onslaught with at least a modicum of their culture intact. That’s called resilience. We immigrants who are not or no longer the product of imperialists, colonialists, fascists, slave owning capitalists, are the immigrants who can make America great again.

  33. Nathan Mulcahy
    October 12, 2022 at 21:41

    Everyone knows who did it – the country that has started more wars than any other country in human history.

  34. Jose Gomez
    October 12, 2022 at 21:30

    The case presented by Mr. Ritter against USA culpability is concise and beyond reproach. Any person can reach who the guilty party is by analyzing simply the facts. The case is so clear that it takes a conscious effort not see the obvious. A well penned article.

  35. bardamu
    October 12, 2022 at 20:18

    The US blowing up the pipelines to bring gas to Europe for the winter of ’22-23 might make an interesting end to debates about “Russian influence” in Europe.

  36. Litchfield
    October 12, 2022 at 18:41

    Right on, Mr. Ritter.

    When will the Germans come to their senses?

    They will have to get rid of the current crop of craven, incompetent, and compromised politicians.

    Someone in Germany needs to call out the machinations of the WEF in putting idiots like Olaf Scholz, Robert Habeck, and Annaliese Baer-Bock in power in Germany.

  37. C. Parker
    October 12, 2022 at 18:28

    All Americans would benefit if at least one European country would speak out on the world stage to shame the Biden administration’s criminal actions. The USA is playing a risky game with the world facing extinction. You’d think by now, a few European leaders would foresee the hardships their countries will suffer this winter, all due to the USA’s belligerence against Russia’s president. On behalf of the human race is there not one country, other than Russia, willing to hold a mirror up to the USA? Someone, somewhere must talk sense to the American neocons. Please Europe…help stop the American craziness!

  38. Bushrod Lake
    October 12, 2022 at 17:46

    Before Ritter (and after Biden) Putin’s speech fingered the U.S.A. Who benefits? he asked.

  39. EEan_Phlegming
    October 12, 2022 at 16:01

    Excellent article. Great to see the UUV material as well.

    Means, Motive, and Opportunity.

    Blaming Putin/Russia for this is ludicrous. Putin would love nothing more than to say to Germany, “Just drop the sanctions, and I’ll open the valve.” This would put an even more severe strain on U.S./EU/Germany relations, to the point where the U.S. & Germany might have to re-think Germany’s membership in NATO.

    U.S. foreign policymakers would never accept the embarrassment of Germany ditching the sanctions.

    I’d love to be a fly on the wall at NATO HQ.

    It’s hard to see how the EU survives the winter.

    When will the Biden administration start discussing an EU bailout, with $billions from U.S. taxpayers, while our own economy is collapsing?

    It’s clear that the U.S. is focused on one “solution” only — “regime change” in Russia. Nothing else matters.

    “Never let a perfectly good crisis go to waste.”

  40. Rob Roy
    October 12, 2022 at 15:57

    I knew the responsible culprit before reading this article. Thanks, Scott, for always telling it like it is, expressed and backed up, as is real reporting. Try finding this on the front page of the NYT.
    It’s past time for Europe to stop licking the boots of America.

    • Jose Gomez
      October 12, 2022 at 21:36

      The USA propaganda system would never allow any serious discussion about the case brought by Mr. Ritter. Why? Because this case has met the burden of proof very easily. In addition, Europe has been an American vassal for several decades so the licking will continue unabated.

    • Lorraine B.
      October 12, 2022 at 23:26

      Thank you for having the courage to openly state what should now be obvious to your followers – to wit, the U.S. is a rogue state, committing war crimes, inflicting collective punishment on its enemies AND SO-CALLED ALLIES. Much like an controlled spouse who cannot leave his/her abuser, the Europeans yet meekly submit as the abuse grows more deranged. But eventually the bond will break… and there will be hell to pay.

  41. d4l3d
    October 12, 2022 at 15:50

    Ritter seems to exist as a one man equivalent to a medical review journal, a situation I see as incredibly unfair. Some equivalent needs to exist to address these societal/political matters with an impeccable/no agenda board of reviewers everyone respects who will apply unbiased rigor and research to whatever is presented. I know what you’ll say; good luck with that. But scientific analysis is the only way, accepted or not.

  42. Peter Loeb
    October 12, 2022 at 15:36

    Scott Ritter is brilliant in his analysis. But then we already knew that.

    • Jose Gomez
      October 12, 2022 at 21:40

      Mr. Ritter points what should be very obvious to any reasonable person. That is why his post is accurate.

  43. BB
    October 12, 2022 at 15:34

    No wonder that Putin calls West an ‘Empire of Lies’.

    • Jose Gomez
      October 12, 2022 at 21:42

      Well said.

    • Rebecca Turner
      October 13, 2022 at 03:20

      Putin also called the Russian Revolution a disaster and hearkens back to the Tsars as the glory years. He’s no friend of the Russian working class.

      • Em
        October 13, 2022 at 15:18

        Can it be factually claimed that the clandestine regime undergirding the Biden ‘Presidency’ is any more of a “Progressive Era” for the working classes (90% of us)?

      • Tim N
        October 13, 2022 at 16:17

        He is not. However, either is the leadership of the “West, ” especially the US. The US started this lunacy decades ago, and is the most dangerous country in the world. By far. Certainly the US has no compunction about destroying the Ukrainian working class or the entire European working class. They’re doing it right now. They’re doing to their own working class too, and it’s going to get worse.

      • Akash
        October 14, 2022 at 17:59

        Can you provide an actual Putin quote for that assertion?

        I’ve heard it said that Putin stated the following recently regarding the USSR:

        “Whoever does not miss the Soviet Union has no heart, whoever wants it back has no brain”

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