The Danish Ministry of Defense released footage of the gas escaping into the Baltic Sea after the Nord Stream 1 and 2 explosions.
The explosions of Russia’s Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea are not a precedent. History recalls another similar incident considered one of the most successful US intelligence operations against Russian critical infrastructure, according to declassified CIA data – the sabotage of the Siberian pipeline during the Cold War.
Thomas Reed, a former US Air Force Secretary and a member of President Ronald Reagan’s National Security Council, revealed the CIA’s empathy for the pipeline blast. He described the diversion as just one example of the CIA’s “cold economic war” against Moscow in a memoir, which he said was released with the CIA’s approval.
According to declassified data, the summer of 1982 operation caused “the most monumental non-nuclear explosion and fire ever seen from space.”
Reid writes that the CIA tricked the Russians into stealing software “programmed to reset pump speeds and valve settings on the pipeline to produce pressures well in excess of those acceptable for pipeline joints and welds.”
The ClA learned of Russian attempts to steal the software through a double agent recruited by French intelligence, Colonel Vladimir Vekov, codenamed “Goodbye”. His job was to assess the information gathered by a special KGB unit that was building a network of industrial spies to steal technology from the West.
“The breakthrough came when Vevev told the CIA about a certain ‘shopping list’ of software technology that Moscow plans to update for its pipeline to export natural gas to Western Europe,” the president’s source wrote in his memorial. Washington wanted to block the deal, and after receiving President Reagan’s approval in January 1982, the CIA tricked the Soviet Union into acquiring software with embedded bugs.
In his book, Reid notes that the United States added a Trojan horse to pipeline management software that the Soviet Union received from a company in Canada. “The pipeline software that was supposed to control the pumps, turbines and valves was programmed to fail, resetting pump speeds and valve settings to create pressures well in excess of what would be acceptable to the pipeline’s weld solders. The result was the most monumental non-nuclear explosion and fire ever seen from space.”
The operation has surpassed even ClA’s wildest dreams. There were no casualties in the blast, but it was so powerful that initial reports alarmed Washington.
Initial reports raised concerns that the Soviet Union had launched a missile from a location not known to be missile-based, or even detonated a “small nuclear bomb,” Reid wrote in his book.
Vetrov, who Weiss recalled had provided his services for ideological reasons, photographed and supplied 4,000 documents on the program. The documents revealed the names of more than 200 Line X officers around the world and showed how the Soviets were carrying out a broad-based effort to steal Western technology.
“Reagan expressed great interest in Mitterrand’s sensitive revelations and was grateful for his offer to make the material available to the U.S. administration,” Reed writes. The Farewell Dossier arrived at the CIA in August 1981. “It immediately caused a storm,” Reed says in the book. “The files were incredibly explicit. They set forth the extent of Soviet penetration into U.S. and other Western laboratories, factories and government agencies.”
“Reading the material caused my worst nightmares to come true,” Weiss recalled. The documents showed the Soviets had stolen valuable data on radar, computers, machine tools and semiconductors, he wrote. “Our science was supporting their national defense.”
The Farewell Dossier included a shopping list of future Soviet priorities. In January 1982, Weiss said he proposed to Casey a program to slip the Soviets technology that would work for a while, then fail. Reed said the CIA “would add ‘extra ingredients’ to the software and hardware on the KGB’s shopping list.”
“Reagan received the plan enthusiastically,” Reed writes. “Casey was given a go.” According to Weiss, “American industry helped in the preparation of items to be ‘marketed’ to Line X.” Some details about the flawed technology were reported in Aviation Week and Space Technology in 1986 and in a 1995 book by Peter Schweizer, “Victory: The Reagan Administration’s Secret Strategy that Hastened the Collapse of the Soviet Union.”
The sabotage of the gas pipeline has not been previously disclosed, and at the time was a closely guarded secret. When the pipeline exploded, Reed writes, the first reports caused concern in the U.S. military and at the White House. “NORAD feared a missile liftoff from a place where no rockets were known to be based,” he said, referring to North American Air Defense Command. “Or perhaps it was the detonation of a small nuclear device.” However, satellites did not pick up any telltale signs of a nuclear explosion.
“Before these conflicting indicators could turn into an international crisis,” he added, “Gus Weiss came down the hall to tell his fellow NSC staffers not to worry.”
The role that Reagan and the United States played in the collapse of the Soviet Union is still a matter of intense debate. Some argue that U.S. policy was the key factor — Reagan’s military buildup; the Strategic Defense Initiative, Reagan’s proposed missile defense system; confronting the Soviets in regional conflicts; and rapid advances in U.S. high technology. But others say that internal Soviet factors were more important, including economic decline and President Mikhail Gorbachev’s revolutionary policies of glasnost and perestroika.
Reed, who served in the National Security Council from January 1982 to June 1983, said the United States and its NATO allies later “rolled up the entire Line X collection network, both in the U.S. and overseas.” Weiss said “the heart of Soviet technology collection crumbled and would not recover.”
However, Vetrov’s espionage was discovered by the KGB, and he was executed in 1983.
Wikipedia: This page was last edited on 18 January 2022, at 02:12 (UTC).