Portsmouth Resident Plotted Nord Stream Sabotage, says Hersh

A Little Harbor homeowner plotted last September’s bombing of the Nord Stream gas pipeline, according to investigative reporter Seymour Hersh.*

Jake Sullivan, 46, has been President Biden’s National Security Advisor since January, 2021. The 28th person to hold that position, his predecessors include John Bolton, a Vietnam War chickenhawk; Michael Flynn, a QAnon follower and admitted perjurer, later pardoned by a seditionist; and Henry Kissinger, a nonagenarian war criminal.

Hersh—who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1970 for his work exposing the My Lai massacre—wrote, in a piece published online February 8th, “In December of 2021, two months before the first Russian tanks rolled into Ukraine, Jake Sullivan convened a meeting of a newly formed task force—men and women from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the CIA, and the State and Treasury Departments—and asked for recommendations about how to respond to Putin’s impending invasion. …

“What became clear to participants, according to the source with direct knowledge of the process, is that Sullivan intended for the group to come up with a plan for the destruction of the two Nord Stream pipelines—and that he was delivering on the desires of the President.”

By Hersh’s account, the plan used specially-trained divers selected from the ranks of the regular Navy. The more obvious choice—using Navy SEALS from the Special Operations Command—would have required Biden to get prior approval from top Congressional leaders.

Hersh wrote that explosives were placed surreptitiously in early June under cover of a routine NATO exercise, BALTOPS 22. A Norwegian Navy surveillance plane dropped a buoy equipped with a transmitter. Hours later, the explosives detonated.

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, tweeted at the time, “Paramount to now investigate the incidents, get full clarity on events & why. Any deliberate disruption of active European energy infrastructure is unacceptable & will lead to the strongest possible response.”

Hersh’s literally explosive report caused a momentary stir, bookended, before and after, by remarkable silence. A notable exception came on February 13th, when Mick Wallace, a Member of the European Parliament for Ireland South, delivered the following impassioned speech:

“Only last September, Commission President [Ursula] von der Leyen stated that it was ‘paramount to now investigate the Nord Stream pipeline attack,’ and that any deliberate disruption of active European energy was unacceptable and will lead to the strongest possible response. The strongest possible response.

“Well, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Seymour Hersh, probably the most legendary investigative journalist alive, just published a report that presents detailed claims that, on President Biden’s orders, the U.S., with Norway’s help, blew up the Nord Stream pipelines.

“Hersh has a long track record of journalistic integrity. This was a premeditated terrorist attack on European critical infrastructure. It was also environmental terrorism.

“Does the E.U. care? Do yous need to know who did it? Or do yous want to know? Or do yous ask them questions any more?

“Hersh says the U.S. did it. Did yous ask them? Did yous ask them ‘did you do it?’

“Have we become so subservient—has the EU become so subservient to U.S. Empire—that yous can’t even ask them if they did it?

“Yous are a fuckin’ joke.”

White House spokeswoman Adrienne Watson called Hersh’s story “complete fiction.”

* https://seymourhersh.substack.com/p/how-america-took-out-the-nord-stream

† This quotation has been transcribed from a Twitter video which included subtitles. The idiosyncratic spelling ‘yous’ is in the original, and accurately renders Wallace’s speech.


Recent events set our Wandering Photographer out to gawk at local railroad tracks. A parking lot at right will soon be affordable housing for the well-heeled. Everything looks fine, so long as the cars don’t go sideways.


Anti-War Voices Accuse Super Bowl of ‘Hijacking the Pat Tillman Story’

by Brett Wilkins

Advocates of peace, truth, and basic human decency excoriated the National Football League’s “whitewashing” of former Arizona Cardinal and Army Ranger Pat Tillman’s death in Afghanistan by so-called “friendly fire” and the military’s subsequent cover-up—critical details omitted from a glowingly patriotic Super Bowl salute on Sunday, February 12th.

As a group of four Pat Tillman Foundation scholars chosen as honorary coin-toss captains at Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Arizona were introduced via a video segment narrated by actor Kevin Costner, viewers were told how Tillman “gave up his NFL career to join the Army Rangers and ultimately lost his life in the line of duty.”

The video did not say how Tillman died, what he thought about the Iraq war, or how the military lied to his family and the nation about his death. This outraged many viewers.

“Obviously the army killing Pat Tillman and covering it up afterwards is the worst thing the U.S. military did to him, but the years they’ve spent rolling out his portrait backed by some inspirational music as a recruiting tool is a surprisingly close second,” tweeted progressive writer Jay Willis.

“Pat Tillman called the Iraq invasion and occupation ‘fucking illegal’ and was killed by friendly fire in an incident the military covered up and tried to hide from his family,” tweeted Washington Post investigative reporter Evan Hill.

“I’m writing a book for FIRST GRADERS on Pat Tillman that contains more truth about his life and death than the NFL just provided at the Super Bowl,” wrote author Andrew Maraniss.

“Another year of hijacking the Pat Tillman story and not telling that he hated the Iraq War and was killed by the military,” said one Twitter user.

“Tell the real story of Pat Tillman or get off the screen,” fumed yet another.

Tillman, 25 years old at the time, turned down a $3.6 million contract with the Cardinals to enlist in the U.S. Army in May 2002 after the 9/11 attacks on the United States. He expected to be deployed to Afghanistan. Instead, he was sent to invade Iraq—a country that had no ties to 9/11. Tillman quickly came to deplore the “fucking illegal” war, and even made “loose plans” to meet with anti-war intellectual Noam Chomsky, according to The Intercept’s Ryan Devereaux.

As Tillman’s brother Kevin sardonically wrote:

“Somehow we were sent to invade a nation because it was a direct threat to the American people, or to the world, or harbored terrorists, or was involved in the September 11 attacks, or received weapons-grade uranium from Niger, or had mobile weapons labs, or WMD, or had a need to be liberated, or we needed to establish a democracy, or stop an insurgency, or stop a civil war we created that can’t be called a civil war even though it is. Something like that.”

Pat and Kevin were sent to Afghanistan on April 8, 2004. Stationed at a forward operating base in Khost province, Pat was killed on April 22, 2004 by what the army said was “enemy fire” during a firefight.

However, the army knew in the days immediately following Tillman’s death that he had been shot three times in the head from less than 30 feet away by so-called “friendly fire,” and that U.S. troops had burned his uniform and body armor in a bid to conceal their fatal error.

“The deception surrounding this case was an insult to the family, but more importantly, its primary purpose was to deceive a whole nation,” Kevin Tillman testified before Congress in 2007. “We say these things with disappointment and sadness for our country. Once again, we have been used as props in a Pentagon public relations exercise.”

Tillman’s father, Patrick Tillman Sr., told the Washington Post in 2005 that after his son was killed, “all the people in positions of authority went out of their way to script this. They purposely interfered with the investigation, they covered it up.”

“I think they thought they could control it, and they realized that their recruiting efforts were going to go to hell in a handbasket if the truth about his death got out,” he contended. “They blew up their poster boy.”

The following year, Tillman’s mother Mary was interviewed by Sports Illustrated and blamed U.S. military and George W. Bush administration officials all the way up to then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld for covering up her son’s killing.

“They attached themselves to his virtue and then threw him under the bus,” she said. “They had no regard for him as a person. He’d hate to be used for a lie. I don’t care if they put a bullet through my head in the middle of the night. I’m not stopping.”

Brett Wilkins is a staff writer for Common Dreams. This work licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0).


In the unfocused background lies the North Cemetery, and the tomb of Founding Father William Whipple. In the foreground, all too sharply, we see what seems to be a rather shabby little violation of the Flag Code.


Sanders Proposes ‘New Deal for Journalism’ to Ensure Media Serves Public Interest

by Julia Conley

Appearing on “Face the Nation” on CBS Sunday, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders discussed a number of issues he covers in his upcoming book, It’s OK to Be Angry About Capitalism, including his proposal to ensure the news media acts in the interest of the general public and not wealthy corporations and powerful interest groups.

Host Margaret Brennan described his proposal as “a New Deal for journalism.”

As some European countries do, the Vermont Independent senator said, the U.S. should have “nonpartisan public funding of media” to ensure local news outlets can stay afloat and keep communities informed about “their city council, their school board.”

Such a system would also prevent news networks like CBS from relying on advertising dollars, which Medicare for All advocates have blamed for playing a role in the corporate media’s hostility towards a nationalized healthcare system and other progressive proposals for the public good.

“What I say in the book is that look, I’ve done 1,000 interviews, like I’m doing with you right now,” Sanders told Brennan. “And nobody has ever come up to me, not one reporter—not you, not anybody else—and said, ‘Bernie, why are we spending twice as much on healthcare as any other country and yet we have 85 million uninsured or underinsured?’ How many programs at CBS, NBC, ABC had on why we have a dysfunctional healthcare system? Does that have anything to do with who owns the major networks? ‘Bernie, what are you going to do about income and wealth inequality?’ … ‘Why are billionaires paying an effective tax rate lower than working class people?’ No one asked me those questions.”

As Luke Savage reported at Jacobin following the 2020 presidential election, viewers of the Democratic primary debates weren’t informed by moderators that Medicare for All was supported by a majority of Americans, and ad breaks featured “health insurance and pharmaceutical companies seizing every opportunity to bombard viewers with misleading industry agitprop about the breathtaking wonders of profit-driven healthcare.”

He added: “CNN’s Detroit debate is a case in point; the network was demanding at least $300,000 from companies advertising, with a single thirty-second spot costing an estimated $110,000—and groups like the so-called Partnership for America’s Health Care Future (in practice, a front for various corporate interests), filled out many of the slots. Regardless of how anchors or hosts think about an issue like healthcare, the networks’ basic model essentially precludes meaningful critique of the status quo by design. As long as it persists, don’t expect to see the public interest or popular opinion reflected anywhere on cable TV.”

To counter that dynamic, Sanders argued on “Face the Nation,” a New Deal for journalism including publicly funded media is “an idea that we should explore.”

In the interview, the senator spoke about his support for attaching “some strings” to U.S. funding for Israel to help pressure the country to end its human rights abuses against Palestinians.

Sanders also reiterated his call for the Democratic Party to focus on representing the interests of all working people.

“What we need to do is have a movement of Black workers, Latino workers, white workers, gay workers, straight workers, and understand that we’re all in this together,” said Sanders. “I don’t care if you’re living in rural Iowa, where I spent a lot of time, alright, you can’t afford health care, you can’t afford to send your kid to college, or you’re living in San Francisco. So too often we forget about the economic issues that unite us. The vast majority of the people know the pharmaceutical industry is ripping us off. The vast majority of the people understand that we have to improve our educational system. Let’s work on that.”

Julia Conley is a staff writer for Common Dreams. This work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.


In Honor of Presidents Day

We hereby salute the North East Ohio Regional Sewer District, aka @neorsd on Twitter, which did a tremendous job of honoring Presidents Day. We were so impressed by their work, we’re pilfering their thread. Here, without further ado, is the complete list of U.S. presidents who died from waterborne diseases. It has been lightly edited to adhere to this paper’s fastidious style in regard to dates and punctuation.

1) William Henry Harrison, our 9th president (March 4, 1841 – April 4, 1841). The prevailing theory had been that his illness was caused by bad weather at his inauguration. But, analysis in 2014 concluded he likely died of typhoid—caused by sewage upstream of the White House water supply.

2) James K. Polk, our 11th president (March 4, 1845 – March 4, 1849). Polk developed gastroenteritis, a common condition that causes diarrhea and vomiting, but recovered. He eventually died of cholera, an infection of the intestine, just a few months later.

3) Zachary Taylor, our 12th president (March 4, 1849 – July 9, 1850). For a long time there were conflicting theories as to his official cause of death, but analysis concluded Taylor contracted and died of acute gastroenteritis: Washington had open sewers; his food and/or drink may have been contaminated.

Bonus: The first flushing toilet in the White House? It was reportedly installed during Millard Fillmore’s presidency in 1853. Fillmore did not die of waterborne illness. He died of a stroke in 1874.


Warren and Porter Demand Answers From Big Egg Over ‘Massive Spike’ in Prices

by Jake Johnson

Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Katie Porter demanded answers last week from the five largest egg producers in the United States over recent price surges that companies have blamed on an avian flu outbreak—a narrative that advocates view as an effort to distract attention from rampant profiteering in the industry.

Warren (D-Mass.) and Porter (D-Calif.) invoked that criticism in letters to Rose Acre Farms, Cal-Maine Foods, Hillandale Farms, Versova Management, and Daybreak Foods, writing that they are concerned by the “massive spike” in prices and “the extent to which egg producers may be using fears about avian flu and supply shocks as a cover to pad their own profits at the expense of American families.”

“American families working to put food on the table deserve to know whether the increased prices they are paying for eggs represent a legitimate response to reduced supply or out-of-control corporate greed,” the lawmakers wrote. “Although wholesale prices have decreased, consumers are still waiting for relief at the grocery checkout, which could take several more weeks.”

Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that the average price for a carton of a dozen large Grade A eggs was $4.80 in January, up from $1.93 a year earlier. Consumers in some states have been paying more than $7 per carton in recent weeks.

To explain the price surge—which has been eyebrow-raising even amid elevated inflation throughout the U.S. economy—egg-producing companies have pointed to a large avian flu outbreak that has impacted an estimated 58 million birds, including around 43 million egg-laying chickens.

But the advocacy group Farm Action has argued that the industry’s explanations “don’t stand up to the facts.”

“Cal-Maine’s net average selling price for a dozen conventional eggs increased by 150.5 percent from a year ago,” the group observed last month. “The average size of egg-laying flocks never dropped more than six to eight percent lower than it was a year prior. Moreover, the effect of the loss of egg-laying hens on production was itself blunted by ‘record-high’ lay rates throughout the year.”

“And there’s one other critical piece missing from this industry narrative—Cal-Maine, which controls 20 percent of the egg market, hasn’t reported a single case of avian flu at any of its facilities,” Farm Action added.

In a recent letter to Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan, Farm Action demanded an investigation into the highly concentrated industry, noting that top companies such as Cal-Maine “have a history of engaging in ‘cartelistic conspiracies’ to limit production, split markets, and increase prices for consumers.”

Warren and Porter spotlighted Farm Action’s work in their letter, decrying industry practices as “a pattern we’ve seen too often since the Covid-19 pandemic: companies jacking up their prices to pad their own profits, putting an additional burden on American families and the economy as a whole.”

“Cal-Maine Foods, which controls approximately 20 percent of the retail egg market, was reporting record profit margins and no positive avian flu cases on any of its farms,” the lawmakers wrote. “In December, Cal-Maine Foods reported a gross profits increase of more than 600 percent over the same quarter in 2021, which the company claimed was ‘driven by record average conventional egg selling price.”

The two progressive Democrats asked the egg giants to promptly answer a series of specific questions, including, “To what extent has your company met or exceeded quarterly profit margin goals during the 2022 avian flu outbreak?”

The lawmakers also asked whether the companies’ “executives, officials, or any other affiliated individuals” had “any direct or indirect communication with other egg producers about production or prices for eggs?”

“Given corporations’ rampant profiteering during the Covid-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic crisis, and the egg industry’s history of anticompetitive practices,” Warren and Porter wrote, “[we] ask that you provide transparency about the rationale for the increase in egg prices and the financial impact on your company.”

Jake Johnson is a staff writer for Common Dreams. This work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.


“Newspapers—and nearly every western town had at least one—are valuable sources. Often the reporting was good, and just as often the writing was opinionated, a fact one should easily detect, for people of the time—and that included newspaper reporters—made no secret of their opinions. Many a western editor set his type with a six-shooter on the table beside him, ready to back up his opinions, if need be.”

– Louis L’Amour, The Sackett Companion


 “The newspapers! Sir, they are the most villanous—licentious—abominable—infernal—not that I ever read them—no—I make it a rule never to look into a newspaper.”

– Richard Brinsley Sheridan,

The Critic, Act I, scene 1.


 “I still believe that if your aim is to change the world, journalism is a more immediate short-term weapon.”

— Tom Stoppard, playwright

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