Blasted Assumptions

 

Which came first, the pipeline failures or the explosions? Do not be too quick to answer, as our media, left, right, and populist have done. Some on the right seem to be playing the same game the American left played from the dawn of the Cold War to 2015. No one is blaming America for the world’s ills, no, just the corrupt capitalism warmongers, uhh, the forever war neocons and the powers behind President Biden.

AND.

There is a very solid basis for suspecting the U.S. government instigated the Nord Stream pipelines explosions. First, understand that the order of events could have been 1. Pipeline rupture, 2. Massive explosion as escaping gas ignited or what seemed explosions but were actually massive releases of natural gas under very high pressure, 3. Surface signs of gas escaping. This scenario does not require explosives to be set on the underwater pipeline by submarine or robots.

Then look back to President Reagan’s response to the first oil and gas pipeline from Russia to Western Europe. He had the CIA sell bad pipeline software to the KGB, that was in the black or grey market for pipeline technology. After running long enough to cloud suspicion, the software caused pumps and valves to wildly malfunction, causing surges that created pressure well beyond the fail point of pipeline welds.

The results were massive explosions below nuclear weapon magnitude.

So, we did it before. AND.

We all know that one of our pipeline systems was shut down for days after ransomware infected their controls. We feared catastrophic failures and even explosions. No one has been arrested or droned, at least to public knowledge. Oh, we were told the hackers likely had ties to Russia, but who is really to say? Software, rather than plastic explosives and deep water subs or robots, opens a much wider field of suspects. It has been done before.

Whatever the news, however persuasive the commentator, it ain’t necessarily so.

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  1. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    While I don’t think all of the world’s ills are caused by warmongering neocons, are you saying none of them are?

    • #1
  2. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Hang On (View Comment):

    While I don’t think all of the world’s ills are caused by warmongering neocons, are you saying none of them are?

    While I don’t think all of the world’s ills have been caused by warmongering capitalists, are you saying none of them have been?

    • #2
  3. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):

    While I don’t think all of the world’s ills are caused by warmongering neocons, are you saying none of them are?

    While I don’t think all of the world’s ills have been caused by warmongering capitalists, are you saying none of them have been?

    What if they’re the same people?

    • #3
  4. Chuck Thatcher
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    And Putin says it was an “act of terrorism.”

    • #4
  5. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Chuck (View Comment):

    And Putin says it was an “act of terrorism.”

    I mean, . . . he’s not wrong. But terrorists usually identify themselves, or what’s the point?

    • #5
  6. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    Chuck (View Comment):

    And Putin says it was an “act of terrorism.”

    I mean, . . . he’s not wrong. But terrorists usually identify themselves, or what’s the point?

    (Im)plausible deniability. Give the German Govt. A fig leaf when temperatures drop.

    • #6
  7. Chuck Thatcher
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    Zafar (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    Chuck (View Comment):

    And Putin says it was an “act of terrorism.”

    I mean, . . . he’s not wrong. But terrorists usually identify themselves, or what’s the point?

    (Im)plausible deniability. Give the German Govt. A fig leaf when temperatures drop.

    I figured it was what someone might say if they didn’t really want to say what they thought – or knew.

    • #7
  8. E. Kent Golding Member
    E. Kent Golding
    @EKentGolding

    Clifford A. Brown: Whatever the news, however persuasive the commentator, it ain’t necessarily so. 

    If this was front of mind for everyone,  people would vote more wisely.

    • #8
  9. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Chuck (View Comment):

    And Putin says it was an “act of terrorism.”

    If anyone can recognize terrorism, it’s him.

    • #9
  10. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    There’s a good explainer here. Makes a plausible case for incompetence, not sabotage. 

    • #10
  11. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    I’m not questioning whether Reagan did this, but I can’t imagine why he would have done it. Russia selling natural gas or oil to European customers is none of our business. Isn’t that up to the Europeans to decide?

    • #11
  12. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I’m not questioning whether Reagan did this, but I can’t imagine why he would have done it. Russia selling natural gas or oil to European customers is none of our business. Isn’t that up to the Europeans to decide?

    Well, sure, I’d love it if they purchased from us, but we’re draining our reserves because [REDACTED] Joe Biden’s Puppet Masters won’t let us access our own natural resources.

    • #12
  13. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    Barfly (View Comment):

    There’s a good explainer here. Makes a plausible case for incompetence, not sabotage.

    This is the best explanation I have seen.  It makes no implausible assumptions.  It is consistent with the maxim “Never assume malice if incompetence is possible”.  And it fits the behavior of every party.  Thank you for posting it, Barfly.

    • #13
  14. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Barfly (View Comment):

    There’s a good explainer here. Makes a plausible case for incompetence, not sabotage.

    That would be my other favorite explanation, having just a bit of knowledge from my days as a petroleum qualified logistics officer.

    • #14
  15. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I’m not questioning whether Reagan did this, but I can’t imagine why he would have done it. Russia selling natural gas or oil to European customers is none of our business. Isn’t that up to the Europeans to decide?

    Well, sure, I’d love it if they purchased from us, but we’re draining our reserves because [REDACTED] Joe Biden’s Puppet Masters won’t let us access our own natural resources.

    No. We have liquid petroleum, crude oil, strategic reserves, not natural gas. Natural gas is tougher to store and much riskier. However, delivery to a new market overseas requires major port terminal construction and you really have to get it right or the port will effectively be under near nuclear explosion threat. Not a weeks or months project for the needed scale.

    • #15
  16. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Barfly (View Comment):

    There’s a good explainer here. Makes a plausible case for incompetence, not sabotage.

    That fits what I’ve been reading too.

    Engineering issues make the most sense to me. 

    They’ve said it will be fixed in two weeks, and the pipes were shut down anyway. 

    It might be the company’s own disgruntled-employee deed. :-) :-) I read a great book on computer security years ago in which the author, an old security guy, said that nearly all security problems are internal. 

     

    • #16
  17. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I’m not questioning whether Reagan did this, but I can’t imagine why he would have done it. Russia selling natural gas or oil to European customers is none of our business. Isn’t that up to the Europeans to decide?

    Well, sure, I’d love it if they purchased from us, but we’re draining our reserves because [REDACTED] Joe Biden’s Puppet Masters won’t let us access our own natural resources.

    Marci, you fundamentally misunderstand the Cold War. Reagan and the Soviet version of Russia were both seeking to influence and control Western European ground and mind space. The Communist controlled gas and oil company would generate cash income they could then pore into more new military equipment, supplies, and training. 

    • #17
  18. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    duplicate

    • #18
  19. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Barfly (View Comment):

    There’s a good explainer here. Makes a plausible case for incompetence, not sabotage.

    I don’t really buy this lawyers apparently incidental knowledge of old technology from his childhood.

    Firstly, I don’t know from undersea pipelines, but from what I’ve read there was virtually no pressure in at least one of the pipelines, so how could a spontaneous, non-combustion breach create a Richter explosion of 2.6 or whatever two of the “explosions” were?

    Secondly, these were pipelines of two different ages, one old and one new.  How likely is it that they both breach from the same causes, specifically lack of maintenance, within a 24-hour period?

    And thirdly, and this is the weakest argument against, but why did US voices, and (if I recall) European voices, say so quickly, within 24 hours, that these were “sabotage”?  Granted, these could be propaganda or jumping to conclusions but I would think that someone in at least the US government would have some reasonable comment and explanation other than “sabotage” by now.

    • #19
  20. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):
    Marci, you fundamentally misunderstand the Cold War.

    You are right about that. I’ve never really grasped the essence of it. :-)

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):
    Reagan and the Soviet version of Russia were both seeking to influence and control Western European ground and mind space. The Communist controlled gas and oil company would generate cash income they could then pour into more new military equipment, supplies, and training.

    I can certainly see that.

    However, it still seems that the nobler course of action would have been to convince Western Europe to not allow itself to become dependent on the untrustworthy Soviets, not to sabotage the project.

    How weird is it that NATO exists because of a fear of the Soviets, yet those same countries were and still are willing to allow themselves to become dependent on the USSR and now Russia.

    Thank you for your explanation.

    • #20
  21. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    MarciN (View Comment):

    However, it still seems that the nobler course of action would have been to convince Western Europe to not allow itself to become dependent on the untrustworthy Soviets, not to sabotage the project.

    Sometimes people put self interest above principle.

    How weird is it that NATO exists because of a fear of the Soviets, yet those same countries were and still are willing to allow themselves to become dependent on the USSR and now Russia.

    NATO exists to keep America in (Europe), the Russians out and Germany down.

    • #21
  22. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I’m not questioning whether Reagan did this, but I can’t imagine why he would have done it. Russia selling natural gas or oil to European customers is none of our business. Isn’t that up to the Europeans to decide?

    Well, sure, I’d love it if they purchased from us, but we’re draining our reserves because [REDACTED] Joe Biden’s Puppet Masters won’t let us access our own natural resources.

    No. We have liquid petroleum, crude oil, strategic reserves, not natural gas. Natural gas is tougher to store and much riskier. However, delivery to a new market overseas requires major port terminal construction and you really have to get it right or the port will effectively be under near nuclear explosion threat. Not a weeks or months project for the needed scale.

    I’ve been reading up on the gas issue. Pipelines are really the only way to make natural gas work over the long term. The need to chill it to liquid and ship it, plus the losses along the way, makes LNG by ship cost five times as much as pipeline gas.

    • #22
  23. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Barfly (View Comment):
    I’ve been reading up on the gas issue. Pipelines are really the only way to make natural gas work over the long term. The need to chill it to liquid and ship it, plus the losses along the way, makes LNG by ship cost five times as much as pipeline gas.

    User pays, so….

    • #23
  24. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Barfly (View Comment):

    There’s a good explainer here. Makes a plausible case for incompetence, not sabotage.

    I don’t really buy this lawyers apparently incidental knowledge of old technology from his childhood.

    Firstly, I don’t know from undersea pipelines, but from what I’ve read there was virtually no pressure in at least one of the pipelines, so how could a spontaneous, non-combustion breach create a Richter explosion of 2.6 or whatever two of the “explosions” were?

    Secondly, these were pipelines of two different ages, one old and one new. How likely is it that they both breach from the same causes, specifically lack of maintenance, within a 24-hour period?

    And thirdly, and this is the weakest argument against, but why did US voices, and (if I recall) European voices, say so quickly, within 24 hours, that these were “sabotage”? Granted, these could be propaganda or jumping to conclusions but I would think that someone in at least the US government would have some reasonable comment and explanation other than “sabotage” by now.

    You have to pay close attention to the methane hydrate explanation. This is really tricky stuff. There are vast quantities naturally occurring, including just off our Pacific Coast, but we have yet to find a way to exploit this fuel source because of its tendency to suddenly transition from solid to gas. Dude actually knows whereof he speaks, technically. If you were trying to resolve obstructions at several points in the pipelines, and you were not sufficiently careful and skilled, then you would be much more likely to have multiple failures in the same clearing operation.

    However, feel free to go with the pipeline control malicious code explanation. And. There are a number of nations in the region that have advanced submarine and deep water construction knowledge/skills. See all the offshore oil and gas platforms. So, setting explosives is not impossible. However, I was a bit dismayed at the mockingbird media effect, everyone going with the narrative of physical sabotage. How did we not get the cyber attack hypothesis along side the bomb hypothesis?

    • #24
  25. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Barfly (View Comment):

    There’s a good explainer here. Makes a plausible case for incompetence, not sabotage.

    I don’t really buy this lawyers apparently incidental knowledge of old technology from his childhood.

    Firstly, I don’t know from undersea pipelines, but from what I’ve read there was virtually no pressure in at least one of the pipelines, so how could a spontaneous, non-combustion breach create a Richter explosion of 2.6 or whatever two of the “explosions” were?

    Secondly, these were pipelines of two different ages, one old and one new. How likely is it that they both breach from the same causes, specifically lack of maintenance, within a 24-hour period?

    And thirdly, and this is the weakest argument against, but why did US voices, and (if I recall) European voices, say so quickly, within 24 hours, that these were “sabotage”? Granted, these could be propaganda or jumping to conclusions but I would think that someone in at least the US government would have some reasonable comment and explanation other than “sabotage” by now.

    You have to pay close attention to the methane hydrate explanation. This is really tricky stuff. There are vast quantities naturally occurring, including just off our Pacific Coast, but we have yet to find a way to exploit this fuel source because of its tendency to suddenly transition from solid to gas. Dude actually knows whereof he speaks, technically. If you were trying to resolve obstructions at several points in the pipelines, and you were not sufficiently careful and skilled, then you would be much more likely to have multiple failures in the same clearing operation.

    So it keeps coming down to supposed Russian incompetence in manufacture and maintenance.  In two lines, one older and one brand new — so maintenance cause for the old one, and manufacture cause for the new one, and both at the same time, and violent enough to cause two or more earthquake-scale tremors.  I think that’s not as far fetched as Putin purposefully blowing both of them up together, but far more far fetched than others purposefully blowing both of them up together.

    That’s my thinking unless we start getting into Spy vs. Spy propaganda thinking.

    • #25
  26. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    Flicker (View Comment):
    So it keeps coming down to supposed Russian incompetence in manufacture and maintenance.  In two lines, one older and one brand new — so maintenance cause for the old one, and manufacture cause for the new one, and both at the same time, and violent enough to cause two or more earthquake-scale tremors.

    You are ignoring that hydrates sitting untouched tend to sit there.  If Russia chose to begin hydrate clearance tasks on both pipelines “to get them ready to resume transport”, maintenance-induced hydrate explosions/hydrodynamic shocks (again, not combustion) are entirely plausible 17 hours apart on both pipelines.

    • #26
  27. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):
    So it keeps coming down to supposed Russian incompetence in manufacture and maintenance. In two lines, one older and one brand new — so maintenance cause for the old one, and manufacture cause for the new one, and both at the same time, and violent enough to cause two or more earthquake-scale tremors.

    You are ignoring that hydrates sitting untouched tend to sit there. If Russia chose to begin hydrate clearance tasks on both pipelines “to get them ready to resume transport”, maintenance-induced hydrate explosions/hydrodynamic shocks (again, not combustion) are entirely plausible 17 hours apart on both pipelines.

    If … Russia were doing this.  Yes.  Anything could happen.

    Putin says it was sabotage.  But Putin lies.

    Brennan says it was Russian sabotage, but Brennan lies.

    Lawdog says it was an accident, and that Putin and Brennan are lying.

    • #27
  28. randallg Member
    randallg
    @randallg

    Putin blew the pipelines so that a replacement regime, should he become demised somehow, couldn’t say to Europe “Sorry about that, we got rid of that guy, let’s make up, here’s some gas as a good-will gesture.”

    • #28
  29. Richard Easton Coolidge
    Richard Easton
    @RichardEaston

    Jeffrey Sacks thinks the U.S. did it.

    https://twitter.com/0ddette/status/1576916509766451200?s=21&t=ups8lU0mcjMxEeIaK1gUdA

    • #29
  30. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Richard Easton (View Comment):

    Jeffrey Sacks thinks the U.S. did it.

    https://twitter.com/0ddette/status/1576916509766451200?s=21&t=ups8lU0mcjMxEeIaK1gUdA

    But, naw, it was just Russian incompetence.

    • #30
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