Thursday, September 29, 2022


"Of course the U.S. did this. Biden said they'd do it, and the Navy had a ship practically in that exact spot, doing "underwater mine-clearing" operations. Sh'yeah, right; as if. This was totally the U.S." - every 80 IQ lackwit from Hell to breakfast, right now

We've already had proposed, and disposed of, the notion that Emperor Stumblefuck Poopypants I said any such thing, nor has any input, direct or indirect, on US foreign or military policy, nor ever has. The mere suggestion is fatuous, and risible, since ever.

So now, let's examine why what you assume you know is wrong, and why most people beyond their depth can't think their way out of a wet paper bag, and don't know what they don't know.

Above is the USS Kearsarge, LHD-3. The US Navy lists it as an Amphibious Assault Ship. And it is, for reasons we'll get into. It was the USN ship (head of an amphib task force, actually) nearest the recent difficulties with the NordStream I & II pipelines, and that rough proximity has induced every internet window-licker to point at the US and say "J'accuse!".  But let's get serious now.

It's a fucking aircraft carrier. If any one of twenty other nations deployed it, it would be called an aircraft carrier. Starting with the obvious: it carries aircraft. QED.

It's 843' long. For reference, it's the size of a WWII fleet carrier, like the USS Enterprise (only 827' long). The biggest aircraft carrier of WWII, the IJN Shinano, was only 872' long. So if you think Kearsarge isn't an aircraft carrier for all intents and purposes, Zombie Admirals Spruance, Halsey, and Nimitz would like to kick your balls up around your cerebellum for a bit, while they discuss the finer points of naval architecture.

Is has a crew of 1200 squids. They act funny, and they eat too much, but generally, onboard the ships of the Gator Freighter fleet, they're pretty damned good at their jobs, which is taking the Marines where they want to go, and putting them on the beach. They've only had about  250 years of practice at this skillset, and they've definitely gotten the hang of it.

As the above photo shows, it embarks a complement of MV-22 Osprey VTOL a/c (9 of which are visible above). You can also see 4 AH-1W Super Cobra helicopter gunships, 3 AV-8B Harrier II strike fighters, and a UH-60 Seahawk helicopter. For the math-impaired, that's 17 aircraft. Plus whatever's one floor down on the hangar deck. The standard deployment pack is 6 Harriers, 12 Ospreys, the same 4 Super Cobras, 4 Sea Stallion heavy-lift helos, plus 3-4 Uh1s or SH-60s. That's 30 aircraft. Carried onboard, and launchable from the ship while underway.

Aircraft. Carrier.

And 2-3 LCAC or LCU amphibious hovercraft, and/or a dozen amtrac amphibious assault craft.

That's the air component of a MAGTF BLT: a USMC air-ground Battalion Landing Team. If you think a mere hundred fifty or so paratroops from the 82d AB or Rangers in a C-141 are a can of whoop-ass, try on 1900 of Uncle Sam's Misguided Children for size. Rangers seize airfields. (And they do it very well.) BLTs seize capitols. And countries. You could look it up.

That's just the Kearsarge. Also present in the same task force were two other USN ships, with another complement of squids, plus another 2000 or so Marines, plus a company of tanks, a battery of artillery, a Force Recon element, and an entire Marine infantry battalion that's been drilled and checked off on Special Operations.

And because of all that, they're the absolute last guys anyone would use for blowing up an undersea pipeline.

Because what they usually don't embark, at least 99% of the time, are a complement of Navy SEALs.

And blowing up pipelines at 240' depth is not a job for Force Recon. Nor Air Farce PJs. Nor Army SF. It's what SEALs are for.

Onboard a BLT task force like the Kearsarge group, with 3000 guys embarked, there's always a hundred swinging Richards on deck, on the catwalk, at the hull openings, on the hangar deck, on the well deck, and wherever, on duty and off, seeing every damned thing going on. And at least one of the little shits, from the green side or the blue side, is going to write home, or phone home on port call, or these days, whip out his cell phone and video the goings on, or do some other sillyass thing, and OPSEC goes out the porthole or down the shitter.

You don't use BLTs for Sneaky Pete missions. You use them to kick down the door, with embarked CNN camera crews, blow the shit out of some assholes who desperately need it, topple a communist dictator, rescue American hostages, and/or such other duties as the president may direct, televised live to the world. Since fucking ever. It is the antithesis of a clandestine operation. It's a no-knock SWAT raid on an entire city or a country, FFS, with everybody watching.  

The fact that the Kearsarge TF was within a hundred miles is how anybody knows we didn't do it. 

{Doing something with a USN aircraft carrier amphib task force on top of it would be doing it while wearing a rainbow wig, flashing LED bow tie, and size 32 clown shoes, while jingling a stick with 27 cowbells on it. Briefly detail all US clandestine operations from 1900-present that fit that profile. (If the word clandestine has you stumped, click the link).}

Because with a task group like that, those of us embarked assumed (correctly in the 1980s, but now...??) that along with our Gator Freighter/Aircraft Carrier, the BLT, an LST with the tank company and LAVs, and a fleet oiler floating gas can, there was probably an SSN out somewhere in front of us, breaking trail, snooping and pooping, exactly like an undersea cav scout. That's their entire mission set, along with finding and, when directed, servicing enemy targets, like other subs, before they found and sunk us.

That SSN might have an embarked SEAL detachment, which is where you'd want those guys.

So let's talk about that possibility.

SEALs could have taken those pipelines out, with childish ease.

Because the bubbleheads of the Silent Service, unlike the blabbermouthed embarked Marine supercargo and squid crews on an amphib ship, keeps their fucking mouths shut about everything they do. For, like, decades and decades. The crap they pulled in the 1950s and 1960s is just now trickling out. Redacted and sheep-dipped all to hell, btw.

But they have Operational Rules. Like, "If there's no one around for hundreds of miles, but your shit starts exploding, that was us."

So they wouldn't do this with a BLT amphib TF within sonar range of a loud fart when this happened. Just like the predictability of the Air Farce kicking in Saddam's front door was at O-dark-thirty, the one proof the SEALs did something is that there are no US forces visible within an entire time zone, and no one has any idea who pulled it off, or how.

Secondly, they like to use Draeger rebreathers. Pure oxygen, no bubbles. Problem: oxygen gets all fatal to the operator at depths below 30'. So 240'-deep pipelines would be a no-go for their go-to rebreathers. Using scuba or mixed gas rigs would work, but anyone on the surface could see the bubbles, and the lock-in lock-out decompression would be prohibitive at that depth, assuming they had a decompression chamber (big enough to accommodate the entire team) emplaced on the deck of the sub involved.

Thirdly, while 240' is deep for free divers or minisubs, it's pretty fucking shallow for the full-sized ones. The Kattegat, and for that matter, the entire Baltic, is a small, heavily travelled, and effing shallow pond to be operating inside of. Both NATO and the (formerly) neutral countries take a dim view of subs that stray into territorial waters, and more than a few Russian sub captains have been hounded right the hell out of the area. And to surface combatants, all subs are hostile until proven innocent. (And if you think Norway, Denmark, or Sweden would just sign off and become co-conspirators - and keep that secret to the grave - on us slipping in to blow up the gas supply of the rest of NATO, I have a bridge to sell you, cheap.)

That's before we talk about the SOSUS network(s) in the Baltic, which probably comprises both ours and Russia's, and sees anything larger than a Bayliner cabin cruiser coming and going.

Finally, the whole point of a clandestine operation is to do something in such a way that you can plausibly claim "We didn't do it. No one saw us do it. You can't prove a thing."

Instead, the lumpenproletariat internet idiots worldwide assumes just the opposite. Because Biden babbled about what we could  do (not what we would do, short-attention span midwits). Because the Kearsarge TF was within rock-throwing range of the pipeline rupture sites. Because the TF was publicly acknowledged beforehand to be practicing "undersea mine clearance". Because we'd already warned the Germans and other NATO Euros that something was rumbled as about to happen, so presumably they would be watching it too.

Us doing this under those conditions would be dumber than OJ buying a knife, a ski mask, and black gloves, the week before cutting his ex-wife's head off.

And just because he was that stupid, and Emperor Stumblefuck Poopypants I is that stupid, you don't get to bootstrap this into "the entire US defense and intelligence establishment would go along with something so blisteringly stupid, even though doing this would poison NATO forever, drive Europe into Putin's arms, destroy the economies of 14 of our closest allies, give Russia the Victim Card, and open the entire Western society and infrastructure worldwide to whatever retaliation, including via ICBM, Vlad gets it into his silly head to undertake".

Call me when you pull 200 blackjacks in a row at a Vegas table. Then we'll talk about how many moronic stupidities in a row you'd need to line up to pull this one off the way you think it went down, if your excuse is "but the Navy was doing ops there".

And knowing that, anyone pointing to Biden's blather, or the presence of the US dotMil nearby, as being any serious rationale for American involvement, rather than 57 arguments against us doing it, plus the perfect opportunity for Russia to attempt to pin the tail on the scapegoat, to then be swallowed by a world where 50% of the population has an IQ under 99: Put your thinking cap back on, and try again.

Put on your cap, pick up the chalk, and get busy.


Jess said...

High pressure pipe is not infallible. Changes in pressure, too much liquid that causes hammering, temperature differences and uninspected welds can lead to failure. In salt water, corrosion can do tremendous damage in a few short years.
I'd suspect poor workmanship.

Pat H. said...

Yes, the days of Stalin's land gifts to Ukraine are over.

Aesop said...

Color me shocked: Russia Times, house organ to the Putin regime, heartily approves of Putin shifting borders on a whim, despite the fact that Ukraine's borders were set prior to their independence in 1991.

This is why you don't ask the burglar who that sack of loot belongs to.

Anonymous said...

sorry Jess, but "poor workmanship" usually does not occur in three different places, manifested at nearly the same (for 'someone') opportune time. Ditto the claim of "construction material defects".
Nope. Deliberate and intentional is all over this. And no one is completely innocent - just like everything else.
Original Grandpa

quizzme said...

I'll bet the Kearsarge is hollow. They hide a sub inside for special operations. It's small but a real sub. Not just a minisub. The stuff you see on the deck is just for show. Sneaky.

Anonymous said...

So your defense is that the current government can’t be trusted to do what they say they would do? Also that they can’t do something this stupid? Also that if it looks too obvious they did it than it can’t be them…
Sorry but your case of “putin derangement syndrome” is just blinding you

Aesop said...

@Anon 12:24P,

No. And -25 pts for poor reading comprehension.
First, go read Answer #I from the previous post.

Second, you've conflated Biden as "the government". That's another -25 pts. Biden is not the government, and the government is not Biden.

Third, yet another attempt to misstate the proposition and put words in my mouth. Strawman Fallacy, - 25 pts. While Poopypants does things far stupider than this every waking moment, the entire military/intelligence/defense establishment does not. Because they are neither senile, demented, nor insane.

Fourth, this isn't a case of "looks too obvious". It's more like Murder On The Orient Express/Jack Reacher: there are so many ham-fisted half-assed "clues" here it's practically a Wile E. Coyote "Bird Seed" sign on a desert highway. -25 more points.
Final score: 0.

Your paraphilia for Putin's genitals is blinding you.

For the Short Attention Span crowd, the original assignment was clearly laid out in the post immediately preceding:

"Explain in Comments why Saint Putin of the KGB would never, ever do something this devious and evil, and why Emperor Stumblefuck Poopypants I is too savvy to walk into this with his thumb in his mouth, drool running down to his elbow, and his pants around his ankles. Show all work.

If you cannot do that, STFU.

You couldn't explain Putin's lack of mitivation, nor explain Poopypants sudden and wholly uncharacteristic command of the situation, and you have shown no work, merely gainsaying and ad hominem, and been repaid in kind.

Nor could you address any of the points in this post either.

You may now self-relegate yourself to the STFU category, unless and until you can bring something intelligent to contribute to the discussion.
Your choice.

Pat H. said...


First, the land Russia is recovering is a massive steal dictated by Stalin who hated Russian Christians. Stalin wasn't Russian.

Using your sort of illustrations, Aesop, if someone stole my F350 and was protected by the state/UN for decades with me knowing full well where it was located. If I had. the strength to recover it, I'm not a thief at all.

The Russian Federation is not a thief, they're recovering land that is rightfully Russian land.

I don't care who supports rump Ukraine in retaining lands given them by Staling, I'm in full support of Russian recovering them.

Fornicate Stalin and all who support his land gifts to Ukraine.

TGreen said...

All well and true, but assumes semi-competent folks running the White House.

Try this thought experiment: China plays Good Idea Fairy to their WH minions?

EU/UK goes dark, cold, and hungry this winter; and Putin loses a very tasty
carrot to trade them for Ukraine; and USA dons a very public black hat.

What's for China not to like?

No proof, but it surely quacks like a duck.

Night driver said...

JUST a point. MULTIPLE sources indicate that the Kearsarge Group had their complement of SEALs embarked for BALTOPS.
(As per normal for that level of fun n games).

MIGHT want to be SURE that they were NOT embarked just to "confirm" your OWN explanation.
Rather not have the ability to swat aside a strawman of YOUR devising.

Night Driver.

Aesop said...


"The strength to recover it" is a thug's answer. It's the law of the jungle.
It deserves to be opposed by all means possible.

Bummer for Russia they agreed to the present borders in 1991.
If they wanted to adjust them, the Breakup was the time to address that.
They traded land for Ukraine relinquishing nukes and no problems for the Russian Fed.
Now they want to renege, for the third time in 8 years. At gunpoint.

Fuck Putin for thinking that's how you do business. They got a raw deal, which they gave to themselves? Boo frickin' hoo. Shit happens. They should have put on their big boy pants, moved on, and gotten over it. A deal's a deal, and it's not theft when you give it away, so your analogy is inappropriate.

Go looking for a fight anyways? Those terms are acceptable.
We should have handed Ukraine a missile and one large MT nuclear warhead, and told Moscow about it, 5 minutes after they launched the invasion, then relinquished launch authority to the Ukrainian command, and washed our hands of the whole affair.

Putin would be talking tough and blustering from back beyond the border, and the world would be at peace, either way. With or without Moscow and Kyiv. Stupid should hurt.


Trying it at gunpoint is der fürhrer's solution from 1933-1939.

Night driver said...

Also, the actual quotes, as spread Faaar and WIDE were (first) that upon invading Ukraine, NS would be no more, and the reporter involved asked "How can that be? They are German and in German control?"
At which point Stumblefuck looked very directly at the interviewer and said "We have the capability to end NS".
First we WILL, then supporting statement that we CAN.

And the stupid ass is KNOWN to do this sort of thing when something actually clicks in his soi dissont brain.

And given just how intelligent the string pullers around "FJB", I tend to believe they are stupid enough to order it done.

Night Driver.

Aesop said...


1) Granting SEALs were embarked: where...? Surface combatant? Or submarine?
Rhetorical: Navy PIO wouldn't tell anyone anyhow.
Surface combatant: So now they're going to freedive to the pipeline toting "hundreds of kilograms" (Swedish description) of explosives, and then do decompression stops for hours, while an 840-foot aircraft carrier does slow, lazy circles in the vicinity.
Submarine: So they put "hundreds of kilograms" of explosives in their...pockets(?) and then motored over and did the same thing. Google our SDVs. Not a lot of cargo space.

OTOH, a Mk 48 torpedo has a 600+# warhead, and requires no SEALs.
But then there's that SOSUS network that probably covers everything from the North Sea to Lithuania, and torpedoes definitely make some noise at speed.
And the time to do that would be when that TF was weeks away, like in another time zone, not five minutes after it passed by the area.

2) Poopypants said we could end NS 2. Not NS 1.
And given that Russian tanks entered Ukraine last February, the reason for doing something now is...?
That's skipping over the obvious reality that Poopypants no more controls the US military than he controls his own bowel movements.

The points stand: Every reason not to do this, and no good reason to do it, for the US.
Just the opposite for Russia.

One way or another, I think this will end up being Russia's doing. As another commenter pointed out, LawDog has an interesting take on the likelihood of this being simply destruction by typical Russian ineptitude, rather than sabotage.
From the people who gave the world Kursk and Chernobyl.

Jess said...

The pipeline operates at 3600 psi. Since it's 48 inches in diameter, a failed joint can cause the pipeline to move in ways most people will find hard to believe. When one section fails, other sections can too due to stresses beyond the design.

Until actual forensics show intentional sabotage, I'm going with a pipeline failure.

Anonymous said...

Hello Aesop. I’ll preface by saying that I am often an idiot and have no background in these matters. Still I have to wonder and perhaps, in your wisdom, you could advise here. The thought crossed my mind that a ship such as this might serve as a great acoustic and magnetic cloak for a shadowing submarine. It is, no doubt, large and noisy and its presence, in addition to cloaking such signatures, would preclude other vessels from occupying the same space; mitigating someone getting lucky with a fish finder. I am probably completely off base here and eagerly welcome your critique.

Aesop said...

@Anon 3:39P,

Sounds possible, but to what end?

SEAL mission would need to haul "hundreds of kilograms" (Swedish seismological estimate) of explosives to the sabotage point(s).
From slow SDVs.
With an amphib carrier TF steaming forward.

Imagine you're in a Mini-Cooper, next to a moving train providing sound cover, and your job is to ride a unicycle over to an adjacent pipeline, carrying a quarter ton of explosives, stop, rig the pipeline for demo, then pedal your unicycle back to the Mini-Cooper. Before the train is gone. In almost total darkness.

Then do it two more times, all over the Baltic Ocean.

Say you could, and do.

Now you're the submarine or TF CO.

"Right, Admiral Itsatrap, no way in hell every swinging Richard on the internet will ever put "USNavy task force five feet away" and "multiple suspicious Russian pipeline explosions" together, and figure out we dun it. Brilliant, sir! How did you ever come up with such a magnificent plan?"

The last time I heard planning this cunning, it took place in the Arizona desert, and the blueprint was stamped "Acme Products".

Anonymous said...

I'll never forgive the CIA for blowing up the Maine in Havana Harbor.

Anonymous said...

Anon @3:39 back. While ridicule is a man's most potent weapon, the scenario you suggest is comically behind the times. It's like some kind of Guns of Navarone era frogman fantasy. This is the 21st century; a time when we - literally - remotely pilot rovers and helicopters on freaking Mars. The thought that one would need something like a team of SEALs to tie some charges to a big pipe underwater is woefully dated. I'll again admit this is only speculative plausibility I'm engaging in here, but I do love thought experiments. I'm thinking, perhaps, something more akin to a Blackghost or Orca AUV might get such a job done. The duty range would afford a rendezvous well away from areas of attention. So, that's my take on the how.

Moreover, there are likely other state actors with similar technology, so I'm not necessarily putting this on Team USA. I just offer a plausible how. The why is the real question and, in that matter, one need only ask "Cui bono?" Once that list is established, cross reference it with any boats that were proximal to the hot spot flying flags of a country that has this level of technology and you'll have a very short list of suspects.

SL said...

I really want to see Zombie Admirals kicking balls up to cerebellums.

Anonymous said...

You failed to fully research the USS Kearsarge. Google, at least in this case, is your friend. Look up the public pictures of the LST bay under the stern. Especially the ability of the platform to lower craft (like crewed and remote submersibles) into the water.

Considering your ability to spout the .gov party line whenever it's advantageous for them, it makes me wonder if you're really obtuse, or a .gov shill. I guess it doesn't matter either way, you're just WRONG.

'Nuff said.

RandyGC said...

I love how folks who's knowledge of military ops comes from Tom Clancy novels and episodes of M*A*S*H* are out there to educate those of us that learned things the hard way.

I was a spectator at a Watch Center just after the fact of the KAL007 shootdown The conspiracy clowns pointed to an RC-135 in the area as proof that KAL was running a spy mission in cahoots with the US.

They were ignorant or dismissive of little details like

1. The RC had returned to base long before the final interception and shoot down (which is the reason they would be up there, to monitor Voyska PVO reaction times, tactics, etc.)

2. The RC-135 in question had been there to monitor a possible Soviet ICBM test. It was NOT the model that would have been used to monitor Soviet AD reactions (no I'm not going into details, plenty of open source stuff that is almost accurate). It would be somewhat like bringing a still camera to record bird songs.

So, some Deja Vu (again) of "OMG US Navy was in the area!".

Given the sized of the Baltic, you know who else was in the area? just about every other NATO Navy plus the Russians.

Including, I would be surprised if there wasn't, a Russian intelligence ship and/or Sub and several aircraft keeping an eye on the Task Force in question.

I think Law Dog has a good take on the issue

elysianfield said...

Well, the issue debated, at inception, was who would benefit, not who did it. Your arguments have merit regarding the US involvement. But who benefits most?

Whomsoever did it should be receiving Christmas cards (from our State Department) to the forseeable future. We benefit at a strategic level. Bigly.

Russia held the whip, they have nothing to offer the EU. A cold, dark winter?

...So Solly....

Termite said...



My son, Termite Junior, a Recon Marine, stationed on Oahu, is laughing his ass off reading your diatribe.

Because he calls it just like you did...

BTW, me and the wife just came back from there..

Hawaii is nice..... but $$$$$$$

CV-59 said...

Funny, we always called it a helo carrier. It's so much like that cute little Wasp over there!

Aesop said...

@Anon 5:53/3:39P,

I was keeping the op low enough on the tech side (because there's no requirement whatsoever that it was done high-tech) to keep any potential actor in play.
Going to purely ROV cuts it down to a few state actors, plus 500 oil exploration and maintenance companies, of which 20+ are in the region any given day.

The list of those with motives X the list of those with means is actually quite large.

I nominated Russia as the likeliest simply because they have the requisite tech, have the most to gain, and the least to lose.

And people who treat the Russians like capitalists, who'd hesitate to sacrifice a costly item if it benefitted the state's interests, are the problem. They're looking at this like Wall Street bankers, which is something the Russian leadership is not, and never has been.
That was proven beyond all doubt Feb. 24th.

@Anon 7:20,
-50 pts. for abysmal reading comprehension.
I'm intimately familiar with the capabilities of the Kearsarge and her sister ships in the class, including well deck (Not "LST bay", 'lubber) under the stern. I specifically mentioned the presence of lollygaggers in the vicinity 24/7 right in the OP, in ¶15 as a specific reason why you don't launch Top Secret:SCI missions off the ass end of a floating city cruising on the surface of a highly traveled sea.

So now that you whiffed that pitch, stop licking the windows on the short bus, maybe go back and have someone else highlight the relevant parts for you, and save your speculation on my motives, coming as it does from the same lack of basic reasoning skills, for your fellow helmeted buddies at the special ed. playground, SFB.

You're simply not tall enough for the internet.
'Nuff said.

'zackly. The 98% never-served dopes know Jack and Shit about real-world, and most of them couldn't struggle through a Tom Clancy novel either.

The US only benefits strategically if someone else did it, and is publicly perceived to have done so. Take that away, and it's a PR disaster, because as noted in the OP, it's easier to fool people than it is to convince them they were fooled.

Glad I could keep the troops entertained.
Semper Fi,

It ain't the Forrestal or the Nimitz, but Harriers (and now the F-35 Thunderjug, allegedly) put it miles beyond anything Wasp could ever pull off.
It's as much a carrier as what the Brits sent to the Falklands, who won that war; and had it served in 1942, it would have served ably to grease Jap carriers off Midway, even with period aircraft, so I say it makes the cut on the merits.

Anonymous said...

For all those in a lather about US Ships in the area, Putin had ships in the area too...sooooooo...

Just keeping it real folks. Aesop bashing doesn't generally work out well. Keep an open mind at least. JKR

Charlie Hargrave said...

I am not all that worried about a pipeline to fuel the continued insanity of euro greenies, but this bit right here....

"Doing something with a USN aircraft carrier amphib task force on top of it would be doing it while wearing a rainbow wig, flashing LED bow tie, and size 32 clown shoes, while jingling a stick with 27 cowbells on it."

Does that not describe to T the biden gang?

Aesop said...

Of course it does, Charlie.

So which member of the Biden White House planted the explosives, and how did they get there on their own?

Oh, wait, you're trying to claim that the entire NAVY and SpecOps chain of command is as bat-shit crazy as Poopypants and his minions?

♫One of these things is not like the other...♪♪"
Show. All. Work.

Pat H. said...


I don't know the qualifications of others out here, but mine are based on 30 years military service, which began in 1967. I was enlisted for 19 years, trained in electronic intelligence and spent over a year watching the Soviet Union's operations up north of Hokkaido, Japan.

Further, I did attend graduate school at a major University AFTER the above including course work in Russian Geography (including their lifestyle), and European political systems.

While some of you may have more depth of knowledge about the current situation, I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

The Kearsarge is a Wasp class ship. I refer to LHD-1. CV-7 is so WW2