Citing an unnamed source with “direct knowledge” of U.S. Navy operations, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist claimed the U.S. government sabotaged Russia’s Nord Stream gas pipelines in September. On Sept. 27, NPR reported that both the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines, located in the Baltic Sea, had suffered “undersea leaks.” A local seismographer told NPR the leaks were caused by underwater blasts too powerful to have been caused by earthquakes or landslides. Although neither pipeline was active, they contained large reserves of natural gas that were lost in the leak. According to NPR, the pipelines are both owned by Gazprom, a company controlled by the Russian government. Danish government officials believed the leaks were the result of foul play and, on Wednesday, journalist Seymour Hersh seemingly confirmed as much. Hersh has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his investigative reporting on various government conspiracies. According to Hersh, who reported the news independently via Substack, a team of U.S. Navy divers planted remote-controlled explosive devices three months prior to the leak. The team allegedly used a highly publicized NATO training exercise, BALTOPS 22, as cover in order to sidle up to the pipelines. Spokeswomen from both the White House and the CIA denied Hersh’s reporting in response to the journalist’s requests for comment. “With Russian troops massing on the Ukrainian border and the bloodiest war in Europe since 1945 looming, President Joseph Biden saw the pipelines as a vehicle for Vladimir Putin to weaponize natural gas for his political and territorial ambitions,” Hersh said. “Biden’s decision to sabotage the pipelines came after more than nine months of highly secret back and forth debate inside Washington’s national security community about how to best achieve that goal. For much of that time, the issue was not whether to do the mission, but how to get it done with no overt clue as to who was responsible.” “Action that could be traced to the administration would violate US promises to minimize direct conflict with Russia. Secrecy was essential.” Hersh’s source speculated that, if the attack was traced back to the U.S., there would be dire political consequences. “It’s an act of war,” the source said. According to Hersh’s report, planning for the mission began back in December 2021 when Biden tasked national security advisor Jake Sullivan with coming up with a response to a Russian invasion of Ukraine, which had yet to take place. Meetings, led by Sullivan, took place between several agencies, and the CIA began to concoct a plan to sabotage the pipelines. On Feb. 7, 2022, Biden openly suggested the plan existed during a news briefing. “If Russia invades … there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it,” the president said. According to Hersh’s source, the team planning the covert attack was dumbfounded by Biden’s apparent lack of discretion. “It was like putting an atomic bomb on the ground in Tokyo and telling the Japanese that we are going to detonate it,” the source said. “The plan was for the options to be executed post invasion and not advertised publicly. Biden simply didn’t get it or ignored it.” Nevertheless, according to Hersh, the U.S. went ahead with the plan with the help of the Norwegian navy, and on Sept. 26, 2022, “the world learned that something irreversible had taken place.” This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.