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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Hatred of Putin makes US officials ‘do dumb things’ – Seymour Hersh

The journalist who broke the Nord Stream sabotage story has claimed that America's leaders still behave like “cold warriors”

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Legendary investigative journalist Seymour Hersh on Sunday offered a theory for what he sees as “complete idiocy” in foreign policy from US officials. He told Chinese state television that he believes they’re so consumed by hatred of Russian President Vladimir Putin that they stumble into bad decisions.

Hersh, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who reported last month that US President Joe Biden ordered last fall’s sabotage of the Nord Stream natural gas pipelines, has called the alleged plot one of Washington’s “dumbest” decisions in years. However, the blunder didn’t reflect a lack of intelligence among top officials in Biden’s administration, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, Hersh said in an interview with CGTN.

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Top administration officials “all have high degrees of, plenty of, intelligence,” Hersh said. “It’s just what they’re so driven by, I think, hatred of all things particularly Putin, and also communism per se. They’re so cold warriors, they’re really out of sorts. It makes them do dumb things.”

The White House dismissed Hersh’s bombshell report on the Nord Stream blast as “complete fiction.” The New York Times, where Hersh did award-winning work on the Watergate scandal and other stories as a star reporter in the 1970s, claimed earlier this month that a “pro-Ukraine group” was behind the Nord Stream attack. The story cited unidentified US officials.

Hersh told CGTN that neither the Ukrainian navy nor a non-state actor had the resources to carry out the sabotage, which involved planting C4 explosives on four concrete-encased steel pipelines at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. He said the false claim was made to distract from the fact that US Navy divers planted the remotely detonated explosives under cover of a NATO exercise in the Baltic.

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“They’re trying to divert attention from the story that I wrote, which included enormous specifics,” Hersh said. “I was describing a process that began before Christmas of 2021. . . . They had a series of meetings at a secret room in the White House, that I gave clues I know the title of the room.”

The veteran journalist argued that being “antagonistic” with China and Russia is counterproductive for Washington. “They make it personal. They don’t make it professional.” He added that Biden’s foreign policy has alienated governments around the world since Russia’s military operation in Ukraine began last year.