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There are few things more infuriating than being lied to by your own government, the government you pay for, the one your ancestors risked their lives to protect. Does that happen to you? Of course, it has. It enrages you.

But if it happens again and again, if it happens often enough, if your government makes a habit of lying to you, then over time it becomes something else. Over time, you realize you're not really living in a democracy. You can't be because in a democracy, the government has a moral and legal obligation to tell you the truth always. Period.  

That makes sense because in a democracy you are not a subject or a mere consumer. You're a citizen. You are a shareholder in the system. You are an owner of it. The people who run your government are your employees. They're like your cleaning lady. You may appreciate the work they do ("Good job"), but the minute you catch them stealing your cufflinks, you fire them. Those are the rules because it's your house, not theirs.


But what if the rules were inverted? What if you caught an employee stealing, but instead of seeming ashamed and penitent, he whipped around and attacked you like you were the criminal? Well, that is the experience of watching White House spokesman John Kirby talk about the destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines. Anyone who imagines, who thinks for a moment the Biden administration was in any way involved with that sabotage, directly or indirectly, is not simply wrong, no. Anyone who imagines that is a bad person, a tool of Vladimir Putin. Watch. 

BRET BAIER: Did the U.S. or a proxy for the U.S. have anything to do with the explosion on the Nord Stream pipeline?  

JOHN KIRBY: The United States had nothing to do with it. That's just Russian propaganda and disinformation. Now we know it was an act of sabotage, but there's an investigation going on right now. I don't think we're going to get into credentialing that in terms of who was responsible. We're going to let the investigators take a look at that, but clearly, this was an act of sabotage.  

John Kirby at press briefing

John Kirby, National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications, takes part in White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre's press briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., August 1, 2022. REUTERS/Leah Millis (REUTERS/Leah Millis)

BAIER: So, you can officially say that the U.S. was not involved in any way in this attack?  

KIRBY: That's right. That's correct. 

BAIER: Not to belabor this, but for the people who look at this and say, why would Russia attack its own pipeline? That creates leverage over Europe and perhaps the West, what do you say to them? 

KIRBY: Again, I can't speak to specific accountability for this act of sabotage. I can just assure you the United States had nothing to do with it. Of course, that's just Russian propaganda.  

Notice Bret Baier asked the question, "Did the U.S., did the Biden administration or any of its proxies have anything to do with the sabotage?" To which John Kirby says we didn't do it and then moves right to the point, which is anyone who says we did it is repeating Russian propaganda. That's what John Kirby said. It's disinformation from quislings more loyal to Vladimir Putin than our own country. 

That's the kind of thing the only truly bad people say. Ok, if the White House says so, obviously we have no choice but to believe it, but you still have to wonder not everyone does believe that. Why?  


Where might some Americans have gotten the notion that the Biden administration might have been involved directly or through a proxy in the destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines? Why would they think that? They certainly didn't watch it on Russia Today. RT has been pulled off the air. They didn't hear it from Putin or any of his ministers. 

You can barely find anything from the Russian government on Google and of course, any book sympathetic to Putin has been banned on Amazon. In fact, every piece of information that reflects the modern Russian point of view has been censored in the United States because this is a free country fighting for democracy. You just can't read what you want or think what you want. 

So actually, if you think about it, if Americans are deluded about what happened to the Nord Stream pipeline, the delusion didn't come from Moscow because there's no way for Moscow to get this disinformation to the United States because the U.S. government has blocked it along with the tech companies. So, where did that idea come from? Why might they think that?

Well, maybe they learned it from Joe Biden himself. He's the president. Here's Biden this winter on American television pledging to destroy the Nord Stream pipelines if Russia does something he doesn't want them to do.  

PRESIDENT BIDEN: If Russia invades, that means tanks or troops crossing the border of Ukraine again, then there will be, there will be no longer on Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it. 


Joe Biden

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during an event to celebrate passage of the "Safer Communities Act," on the South Lawn at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 11, 2022. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo)

REPORTER: But how will you do that exactly since the project and control of the project is within Germany's control?  

BIDEN: We will. I promise you we'll be able to do it.  

So, that's about as clear as it gets. Biden doesn't say we will shut it down. He will say, "There will be no Nord Stream pipeline. We will put an end to it." And the reporter says, "But wait a second, it's not your pipeline. How will you be able to do that?" So, he has a chance to reframe the question, to revise his answer, to be more precise, but he doesn't. He says flat out, "I promise you will be able to take out Nord Stream." Joe Biden, president of the United States.  

So, there's that clue and that is as if that wasn't enough, last week, last Friday, the secretary of state in the Biden administration, Mr. Tony Blinken, bragged about how great the sabotage of Nord Stream was and we're quoting "It's a tremendous opportunity," said Tony Blinken. It's a great thing, not a tragedy, a victory, something we're in favor of. We're excited about it. Destroy the natural gas pipeline? We're for that. So, that might be another clue that the Biden administration may have had something to do with it.  


Oh, but no, says the White House, despite the fact that we promised we would do it, and then we crowed about how great it was after it happened, we had nothing at all to do with it. Who did it? Well, Russia did it. They blew up their own pipeline, making their own country poorer and weaker in the middle of a major war because that's how crazy but also diabolically effective the Russians are: suicidal, yet brilliant and if you don't buy that story uncritically, if you have any questions about how exactly that might work, you're a disloyal American. Shut up. 

Here's Chris Stewart, a Republican member of Congress from Utah, making the very same point. 

BAIER: John Kirby with the National Security Council was on earlier in no uncertain terms, said the U.S, was not behind and a proxy of the U.S. was not behind the explosion on the Nord Stream pipeline. From your perspective, both of you, do you agree with that?  

REP. SETH MOULTON, D-MASS.: Oh, absolutely. This is the last thing that we want to raise gas prices further in Europe. It's pretty obvious this is a Russian sabotage operation. 

BAIER: And for the people, Congressman Stewart, that say, why would Russia do that on its own pipeline, what do you say?  

REP. CHRIS STEWART, R-UTAH: Well, the people who are suggesting the U.S., that is exactly what Vladimir Putin wants.  


It's just so great. I mean, it's perfectly bipartisan here. You have a Republican from Utah, Chris Stewart, and a Democrat from Massachusetts, Seth Moulton, agreeing precisely. It's exactly what Vladimir Putin wants. He wants you to blame the Biden administration for something he did. That's the bipartisan view in Washington. What's interesting is they don't really know that. They have no evidence that that's true. Briefers from the intel agencies have, as of this afternoon, told members of Congress they have no idea who committed industrial terrorism against these pipelines. Now, that itself is a lie, of course. The CIA has no idea at all? Right, they have no idea, but as far as members of Congress, Chris Stewart and Seth Moulton know, there is no evidence either way. They have no facts. That is a fact. They have no facts.  

So, again, as a factual matter, neither of those guys nor any member of Congress, no matter what committee they sit on, has any idea who did this, but if you suggest the obvious, Russia probably didn't do it, because why would they do it, it's against their own interest, no matter what dumb story you're trying to sell us, if you suggest that, if you apply common sense, you're evil, and then they go farther and say things that are like completely implausible. Seth Moulton and we're quoting, "The last thing we want is to raise gas prices in Europe." Really? Seth Moulton, is that true? Because isn't the Biden administration philosophically opposed to low gas prices? Aren't they opposed to all fossil fuels? Oh, right, they are. How do we know that? Is that Russian propaganda? No, because we can't read Russian propaganda because it's been banned in favor of our propaganda. We know that because Joe Biden himself has said so many times on television. Okay. So maybe there is a motive here. Maybe there's more than one motive, but don't ask because, warn the media, asking obvious questions is forbidden.  

KATIE PHANG: Fox News host Tucker Carlson irresponsibly claiming the United States was responsible for the leak. 


JOSH ROGIN, WASHINGTON POST: Other than Putin and Tucker Carlson, it seems pretty clear that everyone knows that Putin did this himself.  

JONATHAN KARL: And Tucker Carlson this past week, actually once again directly repeated Russian propaganda, suggesting it was somehow the United States behind the attack on the Nord Stream pipeline. How real is that movement? Is it growing?  

It's Russian propaganda! How dare they! Really? Is it really? Probably just a thought experiment here. A lot of Americans who don't feel any allegiance whatsoever to Russia, don't like Putin (Why would you, if you're an American?) but care a lot about their own country and the behavior of their own government. So, their own government (Again the one they pay for. The one they supposedly control), is doing things contrary to their interests and then lying about it.  

Maybe they think they have a right to know and ask obvious questions like, "Are you lying? And if you're not lying, speak slowly and tell us how your story, the one you're expecting us to believe, makes sense." It's possible that asking questions is a patriotic duty of Americans. Shut up. That helps Putin. You're not allowed to say it. You're not allowed to quote the president of the United States promising to eliminate the Nord Stream pipelines. You're not allowed to quote his secretary of state celebrating that sabotage. You're required to believe that Putin took out his own infrastructure. You must.  


Vladimir Putin speaks at meeting in Sochi, Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting on the country's transport industry via a video link in Sochi, Russia May 24, 2022.  (Sputnik/Mikhail Metzel/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.)

PAM BROWN, CNN: How does this fit into Putin's playbook? Of course, as you would expect, Susan, Russia says, "Oh, we had nothing to do with this. We're going to launch an investigation," but come on.  

SUSAN GLASSER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Look, you know, the indications are that foul play was involved and that it appears that, you know, Russia is certainly the likeliest suspect of this.  

JOHN BRENNAN, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: I think this is clearly an act of sabotage, of some sort and Russia is certainly the most likely suspect. I think this might be just the first salvo of some additional things that might be coming toward Europe. 

BILL BROWDER, CEO, HERMITAGE CAPITAL MANAGEMENT: What Putin is saying to us with, by blowing up his pipeline is, "Look, I can blow up a pipeline if need be. I can blow up the Internet cables coming into your country. I can blow up functioning pipelines. I could do all sorts of stuff." 


Oh, it's Bill Browder. He's an expert on the subject. Believe Bill Browder. Don't believe your own lying eyes. There was a moment after it was very clear that the war in Iraq was not helping the United States in any way and in fact, hurting the core interests of the United States that the media engaged in a rare nanosecond of self-reflection. How do we get here? What role did we, for example, the New York Times, play in convincing the public that Saddam had WMD when he didn't?  

For that one moment you thought, "Wow, maybe they're learning something. Maybe they won't do it again." But it turns out the opposite happened. Now they're just completely doubling down on what's very obviously a lie and attacking anyone who asks to hear it explained rationally.

And it's not just the media, by the way. D.C. think tanks, whose purpose is long in telling what's the point of a D.C. think tank? Oh, to run interference for the ruling class, to bolster the regime of the Pretorian Guard. The Brookings Institution filled that role for many years. They just produced this analysis: "U.S. podcasters spread Kremlin narratives on Nord Stream sabotage."  

What's interesting about this analysis is that nowhere in it does the august Brookings Institution rebut the evidence that the U.S. or a proxy of the Biden administration had something to do with this. There's in fact, no evidence either way. Instead, they just attack anybody who ask questions. "The theories pushed by these podcast hosts align with Kremlin messaging." Oh, align with Kremlin messaging? They used to be called guilt by association. Vladimir Putin likes dogs, but you like dogs. What are you, a Russian sympathizer, right? In alliance with Russian propaganda? 


The point is, it doesn't matter whether or not it's true, it aligns with Kremlin messaging. Therefore, you must be censored.

But not everybody got the memo. There are tucked away in the deep recesses of American society, a few honest liberals still left. Maybe they've been, I don't know, in St. Barts for the last three years and didn't realize that you can no longer exercise free speech in this country. One of them is a professor at Columbia called Jeffrey Sachs. So, he went to Bloomberg the other day and was asked about the Nord Stream pipelines and he decided to respond rationally and he said, well, actually, there's quite a bit of evidence of the Biden administration was involved, but rather than follow up, the anchor, realizing that forbidden topics were being broached, (We’re not allowed to talk about this) this just shut down the segment, but not before Jeffrey Sachs said this.

JEFFREY SACHS: The destruction of the Nord Stream pipeline, which I would bet was a U.S. action, perhaps U.S. and Poland.  

BLOOMBERG HOST: Jeff, we got to stop there. That's quite a statement as well. Why do you feel that that was a U.S. action? What evidence do you have of that? 


Vladimir Putin stands at a podium

Vladimir Putin delivers an address flanked by men in military uniforms. (AP) (Pavel Bednyakov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

SACHS: Well, first of all, there's direct radar evidence that U.S. helicopters, military helicopters that are normally based in Gdansk were circling over this area. We also had the threats from the United States earlier in this year that one way or another we are going to end Nord Stream. You're not allowed to say these things in in the West, but the fact of the matter is, all over the world, when I talk to people, they think the U.S. did it. Well. By the way, even reporters and our papers that are involved tell me privately, "well, of course." Well, it doesn't show up in our media. 

The anchor is clearly getting instruction.  

Stop him! Stop him! 

What evidence do you have?  

Well, there's radar evidence.  


What? Be quiet. Shut up. Just cut them off. Never invite them back. Stop.

The only explanation allowed, of course, is the one the government wants you to believe: Vladimir Putin is so evil, he's destroying his own pipelines.