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Douma gas attack: Yet another false flag poisoning?

News False flag operations as important part of demonization of the enemy strategy Recommended Links Syria civil war Operation Stormy Daniels: bombing storage of chemical weapon which magically do not release their content in the air Trump after his Colin Powell moment Hillary role in Syria bloodbath and the first "sarin based" false flag attack
Khan Sheikhoun gas attack Hillary role in Syria bloodbath and the first "sarin based" false flag attack False flag poisonings Skripal poisoning Litvinenko poisoning Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? To whom EuroMaydan Sharp-shooters belong?
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Introduction

Perhaps the British false flag poisoning may have a dampening effect on world reaction to this false flag. There are many governments with egg on their face after rushing to throw out the diplomats.  That is clearly visible in ABC and BBC coverage, but not Fox coverage. They are much less reckless this time.

This was a very convenient timing to take the focus away for the IDF shooting Palestinian kids and journalist, or the botched Skripal false flag operation.  The new memo is Assad, gas, Iran, Russia, Putin.

tangent Mon, 04/16/2018 - 16:15 Permalink

There really is not even a conspiracy theorist out there who would suggest it was a Syrian government operation any way. Only batshit crazy raving lunatics have suggested it was the Syrian government. This is clearly the stupidest thing Trump has done. It makes the USA look like a bunch of circus freak losers. Very sad and shockingly insane. This is the stupidest piece of propaganda in modern history. The USA looks very, very bad. It looks like, from any reasonable perspective, that they are actively aiding terrorists on purpose. Wow. Interesting cosmetics. Interesting optics.

Its almost as if the USA government hates itself and actually wants a nuclear war where everyone dies. I think the only thing that should be considered is whether the nutty freaks in charge are actually humans. Humans are a great disappointment, so likely, yes, human beings really can be that mentally deficient. Trump really is such a level of mental retard that he hates himself and wants to be nuked, so he bombs Syria knowing full well they have nothing to do with it. He hates his career now and wants out.

Based on previous cases, the most plausible hypotheses is that this is a false flag. This is what the answer to the question "Cue bono?" suggests in this case, so this hypothesis should be considered first. Which put this page at some distance of neoliberal MSM coverage, which is fully consistent with slightly skeptical approach adopted for this site. And in the absence of contradictory evidence  this  hypotheses will be  used as primary.  The release of chlorine by itself  is not compete impossibility, if a bomb or shell hits a container with chlorine gas stored by the rebels in a particular building or shelter (and there were at least one such storage facility already uncovered).  The problem is the attribution of this event to government forces, which clearly has no incentives to use such ineffective ammunition, which would clearly produce condemnation and possible military action or retaliation strike by International Community led by the USA. They are not suicidal.  There is a chance Assad did this -- but here's also a chance he would walk in front of a moving train, or jump out of an airplane. There's no military advantage to this. None. On the other hand, there is stupendous value to terrorists to conduct a false flag attack. MoA

Rob , Apr 8, 2018 1:10:36 PM | 69
@psychohistorian (67) Thanks very much for that posting of actual events on the ground in Douma. They are further reason to believe that the alleged chemical gas attack was not the work of the Syrian army. Clearly, the rebels were on the ropes and ready for a knockout blow. We must ask: What might the Syrian government have gained by poisoning civilians and incurring the wrath and condemnation of the "civilized" world? Absolutely nothing! From a military standpoint, it was completely unnecessary, and from a public relations standpoint, a predictable disaster. Hence, being rational actors, they would never have chosen to use chemical weapons under the circumstances. Why is this so hard for Western nations and their media to understand? The only reason that I can give is that it is in their interest not to understand. It does not comport with their agenda, which is to topple Assad and weaken Russia.

In other words the SAA launching a chemical attack on Douma makes no sense. The intention with chemical weapons is not so much to kill as to deny area of land to the opponent. Jihadists are mixed with civilian population  (and often use it a human shields). So what area we can talk about? Being a suicide cult jihadists are not afraid to die, so the demoralizing effect, if any would be small. Wearing chemical protection suits after such an attack hinders movement and this applies to both sides, so nobody benefits.

The key information comes with White Helmets which is British sponsored and MI6 infiltrated (and most probably controlled) organization.  They and their handlers are cable of pretty nasty provocations. And they have proven history of such things such as Khan Sheikhoun gas attack. So any MSM that trust those guys is of a fish wrap quality. That includes WaPo, NYT and Guardian. the difference in treatment of Israeli killing of Palestinians and Syria supposed chemical attack (which most probably is a nasty provocation of White Helmets and associated with them organizations)  are also pretty telling. Here is one comment from MoA (The MoA Week In Review And Open Thread 2018-15): 

lizard | Apr 9, 2018 8:48:53 AM | 73

I will never get used to how easily sentiment can be stirred up by propaganda (America) against some victims of geopolitical violence (Syria) and almost completely occlude others (Palestine). we are a sick and twisted people. so I make what I can in response: https://youtu.be/FS2XBqZQtQQ

We are talking about the scandalous Oscar-winning organization "White Helmets".  Several other similar organizations participated too:  the Pro-insurgent "Guta media Center" and the US-based Syrian-American Medical Society (SAMS). They issued a joint statement with the "Opposition-linked Civil Defense" (The White Helmets). There are lots of details on the attacks and damage at Douma, but only a tiny mention that Jaish al-Islam launched rockets into densely populated Damascus. Why are there no reports of death and damage in those areas? And where did SAMS come from? White Helmets role immediately links this attack to Skripal case.

For mafia style structures like jihadist groups it is very difficult to get to the originators of the attack, as ordinary members are bound by the "omerta" oath and will be killed if they talk something outside approved version. As they themselves committed numerous crimes, defection is not a viable option iether and without relocation (and change of the name) is just a suspected death sentence for the defector.

The attack supposedly happened (or was stage) on April 7, two days before John Bolton, a noted neocon warmonger  begins work as Trump’s national security adviser. So the White House reaction was the last hurrah of And on April 9 CIA Director Mike Pompeo has a confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on his nomination as secretary of state.

Also there are interesting possible connection to Skripal affair. One commenter at Moon of Alabama asked the following question: "Was the expulsion of diplomats and staff scheduled so that the strikes take them in a situation of shifting and not being able to carry their daily work?" 

Total number  of victims  is unclear. Supposedly they include women and children. But  as many sites are reporting the astonishing fact is that there are only children in the broadcast footage.. what amount to a staged play like that of Goutha years ago...

The total number of victims in the range between 40 and 70 is reported. Higher number is from BBC coverage  which refers to anecdotal evidence of various medical and monitoring groups working in Syria – and, coincidentally, funded by the United States and Britain.

The Syrian state news agency SANA said the reports originated with “terrorists”on the verge of collapse due to offensive of Syrian Army. Iran said that The Washington Post

“Such allegations and accusations by the Americans and certain Western countries signal a new conspiracy against the Syrian government and people, and a pretext for military action,”

Russian Foreign Ministry released a statement claiming that information on the reported attack is a false flag operation by terrorists.

“The goal of these false conjectures, which are without basis, are designed to shield the terrorists and the implacable radical opposition, who reject a political settlement”

Looks like large part of US government works against Trump: less than a week ago that Trump announced during a rally in Ohio that he planned to get U.S. troops out of Syria "very soon." He repeated that he wanted the U.S. military out of the country in a press conference on Tuesday.  This attack clearly helps to block the withdrawal. Trump soon changed his tune and it happened even before the attack, which is a weakness of such a hypothesis: "The White House walked back those claims a little on Wednesday, with press secretary Sarah Sanders telling reporters the president isn't going "to put an arbitrary timeline" on withdrawal. " (ABC News)

The crisis over Syria is likely to accelerate worsen already bad ties between Russia and the United States, which is the goal of the Us neocons and is contrary to the desire of Trump (at least as voice during election campaign). On Friday, the administration placed economic sanctions on some Russian tycoons. The sanctions give the United States a potent weapon to pressure international financial institutions not to lend money to the well-connected Russians.

There are a lot of  similarities of this chemical false flag with the Khan Sheikhoun gas attack. Like in previous Syria chemical attacks Even video footage presented by White Helmets can be false and/or staged. As in all similar recent events there are more questions then answers in this story. MoA - Syria - Timelines Of 'Gas Attacks' Follow A Similar Scheme (Updated)

March 30 2017: U.S. priority on Syria no longer focused on 'getting Assad out': Haley

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The United States' diplomatic policy on Syria for now is no longer focused on making the war-torn country's president, Bashar al-Assad, leave power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said on Thursday, in a departure from the Obama administration's initial and public stance on Assad's fate.

April 4 2017: Suspected gas attack in Syria reportedly kills dozens

World leaders expressed shock and outrage Tuesday at reports of a suspected chemical attack in northwestern Syria that killed scores of civilians, with one UK official suggesting the incident amounted to a war crime.

April 7 2017: Trump launches attack on Syria with 59 Tomahawk missiles

The U.S. military attacked a Syria-government airfield with 59 Tomahawk missiles on Thursday evening.

April 10 2017: US envoy Nikki Haley says Syria regime change is inevitable

The US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, has told CNN that removing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power is a priority, cementing an extraordinary U-turn in the Trump administration's stance on the embattled leader.

The Khan Sheikhun incident had been faked. An international investigation found that half of the alleged casualties arrived in hospitals before the incident was said to have happened. Nothing followed after Haley's last announcement. The administration was apparently not willing to go beyond the one-off strike. The flip-flop was attributed to confusion or infighting within the Trump administration.

It looks like a crude false flag designed as the preparation stage for the "decapitating" strike on the Syrian government forces. The White House immediately declared readiness for military action in response this (yet unproven) "chemical attack". Against this background, there are rumors about Russia's intention this time to respond to a missile attack not with just shooing the missiles but attacking launching sites.

Neoliberal MSM as usual are filled with the emotional videos and photos of the victims including  heartbreaking shots with babies.

The attack repeats several elements of previous false flags the allegations of government forces lack any logic (why would Assad use illegal means in the midst of the military success achieved by conventional weapons?)

White House reaction

SecDef Mattis is a key player in this drama. Mattis didn't buy the fake attack a year ago which no doubt contributed to the flashy but ineffective US response. Putting the blame for this latest fake attack on Russia and Iran (a difference this time) suggests an asymmetric non-military response. Trump has sanctioned Russia three times in the past month and bragged about it, so Putin is now his go-to enemy. That Trump strategy (or lack of it) strengthens Russia domestically and internationally, especially with China, which now is also under Trump administration attack with tariffs and intellectual property issue. Some observers suggest  that this supposed false flag was a part of negotiations about captured specialist and munitions as reported by Proof Intel Drop, Trump, Bolton behind Syria chemical attacks, confirmed Veterans Today News - Military Foreign Affairs -

somebody , Apr 8, 2018 3:01:17 PM | 9
@8 the "chemical attack" was part of the negotiations. Trump is talking tough but Russia made a believable threat to hit back.

@Pat Bateman | Apr 8, 2018 1:08:29 PM | 2

Yes, there is a "strategy" to pretend Russia is a criminal worse than other countries. They even mentioned the word "weapons of mass destruction" again. It is a very real campaign in a run up to war.

This here from the opcw meeting

"It is regrettable to say that our Western partners had tried to disrupt today's session. In the beginning they offered to observe a minute of silence in memory of people killed in Khan Sheyhun, Idlib province, Syria. We proposed them to hold a moment of silence to remember all victims of chemical weapons, primarily in Vietnam, Cambodia, Iran, Iraq, and our partners somehow felt uncomfortable. [They] don't want to remember all victims of chemical weapons," said Shulgin."

It has become this transparent.

Donald Trump in his Twitter acted in the best traditions of war propaganda. But there is often a stark difference between what Trump says (or tweets ) and what he actually does. He called the Syrian leader an "animal", and his Russian colleague an criminal accomplices. As usual this was done without any investigation whether the attack really took place or was a staged provocation, and who is really responsible. Trump is definitely above such trivial things:

“President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price to pay,” Trump said in back-to-back tweets. “Open area immediately for medical help and verification. Another humanitarian disaster for no reason whatsoever. SICK!”

This is almost exact replica on his reaction to the previous false flag attack using chemical weapons, when a hit of a rocket on rebels' chemical storage produced a poisoness cloud  (The Washington Post):

Last week was the first anniversary of a sarin attack that killed more than 80 Syrians in the town of Khan Sheikhoun. That occurred shortlyafter the administration said that it did not believe removing Assad from power was a priority. The Syrian government was deemed responsible in a joint inquiry by the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

The use of sarin at Khan Sheikhoun angered Trump and led him to reassess his attitude toward Syria and Assad.

“It crossed a lot of lines for me,” he said. “When you kill innocent children, innocent babies, little babies, with a chemical gas that was so lethal,” then it “crosses many lines, beyond a red line, many, many lines.”

Three days after the attack, Trump ordered a missile strike on the Syrian airfield that had been used by planes that dropped the sarin.

This statement is especially interesting in the light of the upcoming meeting of the presidents of Russia and the United States, the preparation of which is under way, but now is increasingly unlikely to happen (The Washington Post)

Whatever was driving Trump to leave Putin alone, it’s over,” said Cliff Kupchan, chairman of the Eurasia Group, an analytical firm. “Over the course of 48 hours, Trump basically sanctioned the Russian system and fingered Putin for backing the ‘Animal Assad.’

“If the US confirms chemical weapons were used, I think we get a strike on Syria. As harsh as Friday’s sanctions were, they also set the precedent for sanctioning anyone who benefits from the Russian system.”
 

The State Department stressed that there is a history of the use of "Syrian regime" of chemical weapons  and that Assad and his supporters "should be brought to justice, and further attacks – immediately prevented."

However, if last year the main goal of the United States was Bashar al-Assad, now they put emphasis on Russia in the State Departement pres release: On the Chemical Attack in Douma

We continue to closely follow disturbing reports on April 7 regarding another alleged chemical weapons attack, this time targeting a hospital in Douma, Syria. Reports from a number of contacts and medical personnel on the ground indicate a potentially high number of casualties, including among families hiding in shelters. These reports, if confirmed, are horrifying and demand an immediate response by the international community.

The United States continues to use all efforts available to hold those who use chemical weapons, in Syria and otherwise, accountable. The regime’s history of using chemical weapons against its own people is not in dispute, and in fact nearly one year ago on April 4, 2017, Assad’s forces conducted a sarin gas attack on Khan Sheikhoun, which killed approximately 100 Syrians.

The Assad regime and its backers must be held accountable and any further attacks prevented immediately. Russia, with its unwavering support for the regime, ultimately bears responsibility for these brutal attacks, targeting of countless civilians, and the suffocation of Syria’s most vulnerable communities with chemical weapons. By shielding its ally Syria, Russia has breached its commitments to the United Nations as a framework guarantor. It has betrayed the Chemical Weapons Convention and UN Security Council Resolution 2118. Russia’s protection of the Assad regime and failure to stop the use of chemical weapons in Syria calls into question its commitment to resolving the overall crisis and to larger non-proliferation priorities.

The United States calls on Russia to end this unmitigated support immediately and work with the international community to prevent further, barbaric chemical weapons attacks.

It is noteworthy that Russia for a long time warned that the groups in Eastern Ghouta are preparing a chemical attack against the civilian population. At the press conference of the G-3 summit in Ankara, Vladimir Putin spoke about the presence of "irrefutable evidence of militants' training provocations using toxic substances."

Moreover, during the clearing of the territory of Eastern Ghouta from the militants a small factory cabale of producing chrone and chemical munitions, as well as the ammunition themselves was found and pictures of western equipment  used were published.

It is absolutely unclear what should have been the motives of Assad, for whom the situation in Syria is becoming more favorable, to use chemical weapons in Eastern Ghouta, knowing that he will be the first who will be suspected of it.

Government forces are actively advancing, and in fact are close to a complete victory in this province. A humanitarian corridor was created to remove civilians from Eastern ghouta, and the militants themselves eventually agreed to leave the region with their families.

For cornered militants who do not want to give up and leave Eastern ghouta provocation with chemical weapons – the only chance if not salvation, then at least to delay the defeat. No wonder all the sources warned about the upcoming staging, stressed that it is aimed at disrupting the offensive of government troops.

Russia representative stated that "we strongly refute this information and declare our readiness after the liberation of the city Council from the militants immediately send Russian experts of radiation, chemical and biological protection to collect data that will confirm the fabricated nature of these statements."

White house adviser Tom Bossert was in pretty militant mode on Sunday. He did not rule out military action against Syria amid information about himatake. "I would not exclude anything. These are terrible photos. We're looking into assault.», – he said, adding that this issue is being discussed by Trump and his close advisors.

April 2017 Trump already accused Damascus of using chemical weapons in Khan Sheikhoun based in very flimsy evidence and  no investigation by UN,  and ordered a missile strike on the base of the Syrian air force Shayrat, with which the attack was allegedly carried out. Compelling evidence of use by Damascus of chemical weapons in Khan Sheyhun the West was never presented.

As the US goal of the "regime change"  becoming unattainable, Washington is increasingly voiced the idea to launch a military action against Syria. So, in early March, the US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, threatened, if not stop the offensive in Eastern Ghouta, to strike at Damascus. And the current alleged "chemical attack" is a very convenient excuse to do so.

Russia reaction

This time Russia was better prepared to thei false flag operation. They also has  had intelligence  that such attack is planned. Moscow directly accused the West of using provocation with chemical weapons to prepare military actions against Damascus.  Later Russians inspected the area and found no signs that attack took place. Their conclusion is that all was staged ( Syria conflict: Russia says no evidence of Douma chemical attack )

Apr 09, 2018 | www.bbc.com

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said no evidence has been found of a chemical weapons attack in Syria's formerly rebel-held town of Douma.

He said Russian specialists and aid workers had visited the area. Rebel fighters have started leaving the town under a surrender deal.

Medical sources say dozens were killed in Saturday's alleged attack but numbers are impossible to verify.

The US and France threatened a "joint, strong response" to the alleged attack.

The United Nations Security Council is to discuss the allegations later on Monday.

The Russian denial came hours after a deadly attack on a Syrian military airport , which Moscow and the Syrian government blamed on Israel.

Missiles hit the Tiyas airbase, known as T4, near the city of Homs. Observers say 14 people were killed.

Israel, which has previously hit Syrian targets, has not commented. Syria initially blamed Washington for the strike, but the US, UK and France have all denied involvement.

It is unclear if the strike has anything to do with the suspected chemical attack.

Earlier, Russia’s military directly denied that the Syrian army launched this chemical attack and accused Western countries of staging false flag operation to justify strike on Syrian government forces (ABC News):

"We decisively deny that information,” the head of Russia’s Reconciliation Center in Syria, Major Gen. Yuri Yevtushenko, told Interfax, referring to allegations that the chemical attack was caused by a chlorine bomb dropped by pro-Assad forces.

“We express our readiness, after the liberation of Douma from militants, to immediately send Russian specialists in radiological, chemical and biological protection for the collection of data, that will confirm the fabricated character of these statements,” Yevtushenko said.

Yevtushenko then accused “a range of Western countries” of using the allegations of the attack to try to hinder the Russian-Syrian operation to pull out militants from Douma.

“For that, that theme beloved by the West, the use of chemical weapons by the armed forces of Syrian Arab Republic, is being used,” Yevtushenko told Interfax. He also said the allegations were being made by groups like the White Helmets, which he accused of “being widely known for their fake news.”

Yevtushenko said that after Douma has been retaken by the government, Russia is ready to immediately send its own chemical weapons experts in to “collect data that will confirm the fabricated character” of the allegations.

As ABC News reported on April 8, 2018:

Russia is warning the US against any "military intervention" in Syria over the government's alleged chemical attack against civilians this weekend, saying any such response would be "unacceptable" and lead to the "most serious consequences".

The foreign ministry in Moscow also says in a statement on its website that allegations of the chemical attack are "fabricated," suggesting the claims were invented by rebel forces and the Syrian Civil Defense known as the White Helmets.

"It is necessary to warn again that military intervention under invented and fabricated pretexts in Syria, where at the request of the lawful government there are Russian military personnel, is absolutely unacceptable and can lead to the most serious consequences," the statement reads. "The aim of these false speculations, that have no basis, is to shield the terrorists and the irreconcilable radical opposition, who reject a political solution, at the same time while trying to justify possible armed strikes from outside."

Russia this time is unlikely to observe the bombing from the outside. The chief of the General staff Valery Gerasimov in response to the word Hayley said: if there is a threat of life of the Russian military, the armed forces "will take retaliatory measures as a missile, and the launching sites".

According to reports, the Russian air defenses Syria recently were enhances and the number of observation flights increased.

 

Let remind us the general context Khan Sheikhoun gas attack

Only few undisputed facts are know about Khan Sheikhoun attack

  1. It is unknown who is responsible for attack. The major are three
    1. The USA official -- Assad did it. 
    2. Russian Hypothesis  (hit of jihadist chemical lab or storage by Syrian military jets released toxic fumes),
    3. False flag version
      •  Some rogue elements within the US government and/or Israel and KSA. Sen. John McCain and former CIA Director John Brennan were mentioned as responsible for planning the false flag (Ex CIA Agent Mossad And Saudis Are Behind Syrian False Flag - Your News Wire)
      • The speed and determination  to accuse Assad without any serious investigation suggest "Iraq WDM scenario". Which representative of Bolivia in the UN explicitly mentioned. (Bolivia UN Envoy on Syria Attack 'History Teaches Us' US Lies to Justify Wars News teleSUR English)

        Lambasting the United States' aggression against Syria, Bolivian Ambassador to the United Nations Sacha Llorenti compared the basis for the unilateral move to former US Secretary of State Colin Powell's infamous 2003 presentation to the body, when fraudulent evidence of an alleged Iraqi weapons program was presented to justify the US war on Iraq

        Holding up an enlarged photo of Colin Powell's “weapons of mass destruction” speech, Llorenti made an impassioned plea to hold the US to account for Thursday's unprovoked attack on Syria, noting the US history of imperialist interventions in other nations, including Latin America.

        "Now the United States believe that they are investigators, they are attorneys, judges and they are the executioners. That's not what international law is about."

        The Andean nation currently holds a non-permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council.

      "I believe it's vital for us to remember what history teaches us and on this occasion (in 2003), the United States did affirm, they affirmed that they had all the proof necessary to show that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction but they were never found … never were they found," the Bolivian envoy told the emergency Security Council meeting on Friday.

    So far the most plausible is Russian hypothesis.
     

  2. This is the second major sarin attack in Syria (it it was sarin, which is still unclear; some witnesses reported a strong smell) . The previous one was a false flag operation in which over thousand people including women and children died. previous (false flag) sarin attack was staged Syria in 2013 with the explicit goal to provoke Western military response like in Lybia. This was so called "Ghouta chemical attack"; sarin was used in an attack in the Ghouta region of the Rif Dimashq Governorate of Syria during the Syrian civil war.[51] Varying[52] sources gave a death toll of 322[53] to 1,729.[54] It were a part of rebels strategy to weaken and isolate internationally Assad government, which coincides with the desires of the USA and its allies such as Turkey and KSA. 
  3. On Tuesday April 4th 2017, videos and images emerged from sources belonging to Al Nustra within Syria showing what is claimed to be a chemical weapon attack that targeted Al Sheikhun south of Idlib. There were never independent investigators on the ground. All information is from Al Nusra sources. The attack occurred in the city Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province, an area on the Turkish border mostly controlled by al-Qaeda affiliated rebels.
  4. Khan Sheikhoun was bombed by Assad air force  and during or after bombing chemical subscrances were releases.  Coordinates of the target were known to USA as they were communicated as a part of Memorandum about avoiding incidents between the USA and Russia. The USA has a drone in the vicinity which might have the footage of the attack.
  5. Mechanism of delivery is unclear, but is was not sophisticated bomblet-based weapon of Russian origin.. No reliable photos of the weapon exist.
  6. Around than 80 people were killed by suspected chemical weapons in Khan Sheikhoun. A large proportion victims them were children (local inhabitants or hostages is not known) died, possibly of gas poisoning
  7. British Doctor from Khan Sheikhoun who reported about the attack previously held on terror charges in Britain, but managed to escape to Syria.
  8. Turkey  performed autopsies of several victims and claims that they died form  poisoning, althouth they do not say what exactly it was.

The "known unknown" area is much larger.  Even origin and chemical composition of toxic cloud is disputed  (was it "sarin"; was it air attack of munitions depot explosion? what is staged event (aka false flag operation) or a blunder by Assad forces which accidentally hit chemical depot in a school or close to a school.  Here is attempt to collect the most interesting questions about this event that I have found in various forums (collected from foreign sources, mostly from British and German): 

  1. Is not unilateral military intervention in a sovereign country that does not threaten the USA constituting an act of aggression, a war crime by the UN statute? Or, as an exceptional nation, the USA is above the UN...

  2. How can journalists and Western diplomats be so lacking in the desire or ability to question what they are told? http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2017/04/its-wmd-all-over-again-why-dont-you-see-it-.html, The Kremlin issued a statement saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin found it "unacceptable to make groundless accusations against anyone without conducting a detailed and unbiased investigation."

  3. Cue bono?  Effectively the USA acted as Al Nustra (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Nusra_Front) air force. Which promptly initiated an attack on government forces in Palmira.  Does this means that the USA foreign policy in Syria is now aligned with Gulf monarchies policy and Israeli policies of dismembering this country and establishing a permanent Al Nusra Caliphate on the part of the territory as well as  possibly Kurdish enclave ?  The Syrian regime may not have had a compelling motive, believes Günther Meyer, the director of the Research Center for the Arab World at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz. "Only armed opposition groups could profit from an attack with chemical weapons," he told DW. "With their backs against the wall, they have next to no chance of opposing the regime militarily. As President [Donald] Trump's recent statements show, such actions make it possible for anti-Assad groups to receive further support."http://www.dw.com/en/is-assad-to-blame-for-the-chemical-weapons-attack-in-syria/a-38330217 Is not Israel the major beneficiary of this bombing? Syrians shot down an Israeli jet a week before using this airbase. Now this airbase is destroyed.

  4. On April 3, the USA government announced that the US is no longer insisting that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has to step aside. The attack happened on April 4th, a day after.  On April 6 after the attack, but before any investigation, the USA goverment  changed its mind. Did Trump reneg on his promises to fight ISIS and establishing détente with Russia after unprecedented attack by neocons in Washington and folded?   Removal of Bannon might be connected. Does this mean that Trump metamorphosed into Hillary Clinton in around 100 days in office? Or does that mean that the president does not matter and deep state rules the country?

  5. Previous sarin attack was a false flag: The attack took place while UN weapons inspectors were in the country, on Assad's invitation, said Meyer. Assad had asked them to investigate a chemical weapons attack from March 2013 outside Aleppo, which killed Syrian soldiers. Former weapons inspector Richard Lloyd and MIT professor Theodore Postol cast further doubt on Assad's role in the Ghouta attack. They reported in 2014 that the chemical weapons could have only been fired from rebel-held territory, with a range of up to 2.5 kilometers (1.6 miles).

  6. The Nusra Front's weapons include chemical weapons and they inflicted casualties on Syrian army.  This Al Qaeda affiliate is today the most significant rebel group in the northern Syrian province of Idlib. Along with other jihadi groups, it has turned itself into the "de facto ruler of Idlib." Syrian government reiterated the claim, echoed by Moscow, that the tragedy occurred because the rebels had been stockpiling sarin gas, and the Syrian army had no way of knowing it was there.

  7. What will be consequences (other then deserved Nobel Peace Price for Trump) for the USA if the investigation implicated the rebels? BTW none of "volunteers" treating victims died from poisoning, despite working without HASMAT suits, which suggest that at least "sarin" version is bogus. 

  8. What was the function of the buildings hit by air strike (hitting a depot of chemical weapons is the Russian version of events)?  it is clear they they were in or close to residential area were those private residences or not is unclear. What was exact time of Assad forces attack? Rebels are known to store munitions in schools and mosques to protect them from air strikes. Why so many children were affected if only two houses were hit. Outside school,  in Syria  children are usually accompanied by women. There were  less victims among adults.

  9. Are we one step closer to the hot conventional war with Russia instead of promised by Trump to voters "détente"? Will Russia retaliates or not ?  It did not retaliated military when Turkish air forces shot down its bomber which was on mission without fighters escort, so let’s hope it will not this time too.  Russia did suspend 2015 memorandum of understanding on the air operations ( https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/russia-condemns-us-missile-strike-on-syria/2017/04/07/c81ea12a-1b4e-11e7-8003-f55b4c1cfae2_story.html )

    Under the pact, the two countries have traded information about flights by a US-led coalition targeting the Islamic State and Russian planes operating in Syria in support of the Assad government. Moscow was taking its action, the Defense Ministry said, because it sees the US strike “as a grave violation of the memorandum.”

    Which created for them a theoretical possibility to shoot down planes if they threaten Russian forces.


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Oct 20, 2020 | www.rt.com

Cover up of OPSW fiasco with Douma false flag ?

US charges six Russian 'intelligence agents' with hacking Ukraine, Georgia, France and 2018 Olympics 19 Oct, 2020 21:24 Get short URL US charges six Russian 'intelligence agents' with hacking Ukraine, Georgia, France and 2018 Olympics FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich announces charges against 'six Russsian intelligence officers' at the Department of Justice, October 19, 2020. © Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS 14 Follow RT on RT The US Justice Department has announced charges against six alleged officers of Russian military intelligence, accusing them of cyber attacks against Georgia, France, the UK, the OPCW, Ukraine and the 2018 Winter Olympics.

A grand jury in Pennsylvania indicted the six men for "conspiracy, computer hacking, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and false registration of a domain name," the DOJ announced on Monday, describing them as officers in Unit 74455 of the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate, or GRU.

The indictment identifies them as Yuriy Sergeyevich Andrienko, Sergey Vladimirovich Detistov, Pavel Valeryevich Frolov, Anatoliy Sergeyevich Kovalev, Artem Valeryevich Ochichenko and Petr Nikolayevich Pliskin.

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According to the charges, they used malware like KillDisk, Industroyer, NotPetya and Olympic Destroyer to attack everything from networks in Ukraine and Georgia to the Olympics held in PyeongChang two years ago – in which Russian athletes were not allowed to participate under their national flag, due to doping allegations made by a disgruntled doctor.

The six are also accused of undermining "efforts to hold Russia accountable for its use of a weapons-grade nerve agent, Novichok, on foreign soil" – referring to the March 2018 claims by the British government that Russia "highly likely" used the toxin against a former spy and his daughter, an accusation Moscow repeatedly denied.

Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers has claimed that "No country has weaponized its cyber capabilities as maliciously or irresponsibly as Russia, wantonly causing unprecedented damage to pursue small tactical advantages and to satisfy fits of spite."

ALSO ON RT.COM 'State actor' behind NotPetya cyberattack, expect 'countermeasures' – NATO experts

Monday's indictment is hardly a surprise, considering that NATO and US officials have blamed the 2017 NotPetya outbreak on Moscow for years, even though the malware struck numerous Russian companies – from the central bank to the oil giant Rosneft and metal-maker Evraz – as well.

The October 2019 Georgia attack was "in line with Russian tactics," declared CrowdStrike, the same security company that was tasked with dealing with the 2016 "hack" of the Democratic National Committee. CrowdStrike's president had secretly admitted to Congress that they had no actual evidence of the hack itself.

The indictment also accuses the "GRU officers" of trying to breach the Organisation for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The international body faced a scandal after whistleblowers revealed that a report blaming chemical attacks in Syria on the country's government omitted details that did not fall in line with the narrative pushed by the US and the UK.

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In announcing the indictment, the DOJ thanked the authorities in Ukraine, Georgia, New Zealand, South Korea, and UK "intelligence services" – as well as Google, Facebook and Twitter – for "significant cooperation and assistance" with the investigation.

The same "GRU unit" and Kovalev specifically were previously indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller for alleged "meddling" in 2016 US elections. As with Mueller's indictments, Monday's charges have largely symbolic value; the accused are not likely to ever see the inside of a US courtroom. The only indictment that was actually contested in court – against the so-called IRA troll farm – was dropped by the DOJ in March, due to lack of evidence.

Russia's military intelligence has not gone by the name of GRU since 2010.

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14

[Oct 15, 2020] How rock star Roger Waters was hung out to dry by Amnesty and Bellingcat for his views on Syrian 'chemical attack' -- RT Op-ed

Oct 15, 2020 | www.rt.com

How rock star Roger Waters was hung out to dry by Amnesty and Bellingcat for his views on Syrian 'chemical attack' 14 Oct, 2020 14:38 Get short URL How rock star Roger Waters was hung out to dry by Amnesty and Bellingcat for his views on Syrian 'chemical attack' FILE PHOTO: Roger Waters at the 76th Venice Film Festival - Screening of the documentary "Roger Waters Us + Them" out of competition - Red Carpet Arrivals - Venice, Italy September 6, 2019 © REUTERS / Piroschka van de Wouw 146 Follow RT on RT

Kit Klarenberg is an investigative journalist. A leaked phone call reveals that outside pressure caused Amnesty to pull its promotion of a webinar featuring Pink Floyd's Roger Waters – a vocal skeptic of the Douma 'chemical attack' that prompted Western powers to bomb Syria.

In August this year, environmental pressure group Amazon Watch broadcast an online panel discussion in support of Steven Donziger, a crusading attorney who dared try to hold US energy giant Chevron to account for widespread environmental destruction in the Amazon, and was left fighting for his life, livelihood and liberty as a result.

In February 2011, Chevron was found liable by an Ecuadorian court for contamination resulting from crude oil production in the region by its subsidiary Texaco between 1964 and 1992, in a legal action that was many years in the making and led by Donziger.

READ MORE 'Where are the headlines?' Roger Waters points to Syria gas attack 'stench' in wake of leaked report 'Where are the headlines?' Roger Waters points to Syria gas attack 'stench' in wake of leaked report

Chevron is yet to pay a penny of the settlement though, for the landmark ruling was overturned in March 2014 by a US Federal Court on highly dubious grounds – in reaching his decision, presiding Judge Lewis A. Kaplan relied heavily on the evidence of a former Ecuadorian justice who subsequently admitted to fabricating his testimony. Donziger has since been charged with contempt of court and sat under house arrest for over a year awaiting trial.

Dozinger himself was present on the Amazon Watch webinar that August evening, and was joined by a number of prominent campaigners, including Simon Taylor, founder of NGO Global Witness, and Roger Waters, co-founder of rock institution Pink Floyd.

The talk was widely promoted in advance by a number of prominent human rights activists, and NGOs, perhaps most prominently Amnesty International.

However, the organization's endorsement triggered a deluge of criticism on social media from a number of notorious advocates for regime change in Syria. This led to a post advertising the webinar published by Amnesty USA's official Twitter account the day before broadcast to mysteriously disappear without explanation.

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In response to one critic , Amnesty UK Campaigns Manager Kristyan Benedict said promoting the talk was "not good at all" and confirmed that the offending tweet had "been deleted."

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A leaked recording of a September 25 phone call between Waters and two senior staffers at Amnesty International USA – Matt Vogel , head of artist relations, and Tamara Draut , chief impact officer – sheds fascinating light on the episode.

At the start of the conversation, Waters recalls he was not only informed Amnesty would promote the panel discussion on Twitter in advance, but also personally retweeted the endorsement so it reached his circa 375,000 followers at the organization's express request.

However, an associate informed him just before the webinar began that they couldn't locate the post. When the talk was over, he went about getting to the bottom of the tweet's absence.

READ MORE Susan Sarandon, Pamela Anderson & Roger Waters question silence on OPCW report on Douma 'attack' Susan Sarandon, Pamela Anderson & Roger Waters question silence on OPCW report on Douma 'attack'

After conducting "a bit of sleuthing," he determined that the removal followed pressure being brought to bear by a number of individuals, in particular his "old adversary" Eliot Higgins, founder of controversial website Bellingcat, due to Waters' views on the Syrian Civil Defense, aka White Helmets. Seeking answers, he attempted to reach out to Amnesty, but was repeatedly stonewalled before finally being put in touch with Vogel and Draut.

In response, Draut confirmed that the tweet's removal was indeed prompted by a "difference of opinion" on the White Helmets. "We believe they're really champions for human rights, and have fought for their protection and freedom. When the tweet went up on our end, it wasn't fully vetted as it should've been, and immediately we heard from folks in the White Helmets, asking why we were promoting you, due to comments you've made about them. We also heard from other Syrian human rights activists, who were quite hurt by our support of you " she began, before Waters interrupts, asking what relevance his views on the group has to "the plight of rainforest dwellers in northern Ecuador."

"People interpreted our promotion of an event at which you were speaking as promoting your position on the White Helmets. I got involved in this process too late, I wouldn't have taken down the tweet, that's not the policy I like to follow, I would've much rather dealt with this openly and honestly..." Draut explains.

Waters made headlines the world over in April 2018, when he stopped mid-set during a concert in Barcelona to talk about a chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria, which had allegedly taken place six days earlier.

Branding the White Helmets a "fake organization" creating "propaganda for jihadists and terrorists," he suggested that Western public opinion was being manipulated in order that "we would be encouraged to encourage our governments to go and start dropping bombs on people." Mere hours later , his prediction came to pass, as France, the UK and US carried out a series of military strikes against multiple government sites in the country.

ALSO ON RT.COM 'How do they sleep?' Roger Waters calls out US, UK & France over 'faked' Douma chemical attack

In May 2019, Waters was again the subject of intense criticism when he claimed on his official Facebook page that a leaked document had vindicated his position. The file in question was an engineering report produced by an Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) fact-finding team that visited Douma in the days following the contested strike, which concluded there was a "higher probability" that cylinders found at two locations in Douma, alleged by the White Helmets to have been dropped from Syrian Air Force helicopters, were "manually placed rather than being delivered from aircraft."

Photos of the cylinders circulated widely in the Western media and on social networks in the wake of the claimed incident. Such images, along with footage of Douma residents being hosed down in hospitals, children seemingly foaming at the mouth, and piles of dead bodies in a housing complex – all produced and disseminated by the White Helmets – were all damning evidence offered in favor of the idea that the Syrian government had targeted civilians with chemical weapons, a notion which in turn provided Paris, London and Washington with a pretext for military intervention.

The OPCW team's dissenting appraisal was, for reasons unclear, entirely unmentioned in the organization's final report on Douma , published two months prior to Waters' Facebook post.

Despite making few if any public comments about the White Helmets or the ongoing crisis in Syria since, Waters has nonetheless been subject to an unending deluge of online abuse from their Western supporters.

Back on the call, an indignant Waters cites a since-deleted tweet from Eliot Higgins, which stated that Amnesty International "needs to explain why Roger Waters is an appropriate person to talk about human rights." Rather than responding constructively to the question, the organization opted to simply yield to critical pressure.

READ MORE 'Disgusting joke' & mockery of the law: Julian Assange has ZERO chance of fair trial if extradited to US, Roger Waters tells RT 'Disgusting joke' & mockery of the law: Julian Assange has ZERO chance of fair trial if extradited to US, Roger Waters tells RT

Waters said: "Why am I an appropriate person? Because I've been a great advocate for human rights all my life. The White Helmets were clearly involved in something really dodgy. Amnesty has never come out and said, 'It's been brought to our attention the video the White Helmets made in Douma was absolutely fake.'

"Doctors there have said not only were there no deaths that we know about that day, but the people in the hospital were complaining of dust inhalation, not being gassed. Do you still believe that video, do you believe that was real?"

Draut responded: "I appreciate your desire to defend your opinion, I don't think it's productive all I can tell you is you asked why the tweet was taken down, and it was taken down because of the immediate backlash we received, which is in direct opposition to our position on the White Helmets, and is very hurtful the position of Amnesty wasn't that you don't have any right or expertise or commitment to human rights to speak on that panel."

Waters then countered: "Why didn't you explain why I am an appropriate person, and say you weren't going to delete the tweet, because the webinar was important?!

"When I was growing up, you pretended to care about human rights – you've demonstrated to me in this conversation that you don't, particularly by refusing to answer my simple question about the video made by the White Helmets in Douma!" he said.

In response, Vogel hurriedly stepped in, reassuring Waters that Amnesty supports Donziger's "very critical case," and he personally considered the webinar "a very important conversation to have."

ALSO ON RT.COM Roger Waters: Neoliberal propaganda keeping voters 'asleep' like Orwellian sheep

"So this is just a blacklisting of me?! This is you blacklisting me on the basis of evidence given by a scumbag like Eliot Higgins! That's what you're telling me now!" Waters contended.

"You've made a special exception in my case?! To blacklist me, and take a tweet mentioning me down, on the basis of trolls sending in their negative feelings about me – because I don't subscribe to their opinions about regime change in Syria, and the non-existent chemical attack in Douma, Amnesty International will blacklist me and prevent me from acting for the people of Ecuador, in my capacity as a human rights activist. Wow! What a terrible indictment of your organization, if you don't mind me saying!"

Draut then returns to the conversation, apologizing outright for the tweet's removal, and claiming Waters is "in no way" blacklisted by Amnesty, despite the organization "disagreeing" with his position on the White Helmets.

Thanking her, Waters asked whether Amnesty was willing to publicly explain how and why its promotion of the webinar was retracted, an act that was "entirely outside the boundaries that Amnesty International pretends to hold sacred," and apologize to Stephen Donziger and the Ecuadorian people. No commitment to do so was forthcoming from either Amnesty representative on the call, and no explanation or apology for the deletion has been offered by the organization as of October 12.

READ MORE The UK & US alliance brings the UNSC into disrepute by banning Syria chemical weapons briefing from ex-OPCW head The UK & US alliance brings the UNSC into disrepute by banning Syria chemical weapons briefing from ex-OPCW head

While Waters' public comments in April 2018 have clearly made him a target for public vilification and censorship, a great many documents leaked since then strongly suggest his original suspicions were highly adroit – and the OPCW's conclusions that there were "reasonable grounds" to believe a chemical weapons attack had occurred in Douma, and "the toxic chemical was likely molecular chlorine," were directly contrary to the overwhelming majority of the evidence which its investigators collected.

A vast number of the organization's previously suppressed internal files are now in the public domain, and while they've been universally ignored by mainstream journalists, they tell a damning story.

For instance, the documents demonstrate that in July 2018, OPCW chiefs secretly removed all staff from the investigation who had actually visited Douma, bar a single paramedic. Responsibility for completing the probe was handed to an entirely separate team, which had instead traveled to Turkey, and exclusively taken witness statements and soil samples hand-picked by the White Helmets, and staff who hadn't participated in either mission.

The conclusions drawn from this evidence differed sharply from evidence collected in Syria, and this incongruity was repeatedly noted in a draft report – references absent entirely from the version presented to the public.

Other key facts from the draft also indicate OPCW investigators quickly ruled out that a chemical attack of any kind had taken place. For one, no samples of any nerve agent – which the White Helmets, Syrian American Medical Society, Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations and British and American governments all claimed had been employed in the attack – were found anywhere on the site, and this had been established by June 2018.

ALSO ON RT.COM OPCW head FALSELY described Syria whistleblower inspectors to discredit them, new documents show

Moreover, at the OPCW's request, four chemical weapons experts conducted a toxicology review of available evidence from the incident. They concluded that the observed symptoms of alleged victims in Douma, as depicted in White Helmets-provided footage from the incident, "were inconsistent with exposure to chlorine" and "no other obvious candidate chemical causing the symptoms could be identified."

Further undermining the OPCW's public conclusions, the organization's tests of samples collected in Douma showed that chlorine compounds were detected overwhelmingly at trace quantities , in the parts-per-billion range – a finding referenced in the aforementioned draft, again absent from the version deemed fit for public consumption.

At a January 2020 meeting of the United Nations Security Council, former OPCW inspection team leader Ian Henderson, an 11-year veteran of the organization who was part of the Douma fact-finding mission's inspection team , testified that the investigation into the alleged incident unambiguously concluded that no chemical attack had taken place, and suggested it was likely staged by the Syrian opposition, in order to trigger Western military intervention.

That the White Helmets are a Western construct disseminating propaganda to facilitate governments dropping bombs on people, as per Roger Waters' phrase, was amply confirmed by the recent release of internal UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) files by hacktivist collective Anonymous.

READ MORE 'False and fabricated': Syria slams OPCW report blaming it for 2017 chemical weapons attacks 'False and fabricated': Syria slams OPCW report blaming it for 2017 chemical weapons attacks

Among other things, the documents expose a vast and extremely well-funded multi-year operation to produce propaganda targeted both at Syrians and Western populations, forging perceptions of a coherent, credible, moderate opposition to the government of Bashar Assad and extremist groups such as Islamic State alike, and to cultivate support for British-facilitated regime change in the country.

Under the auspices of this project, ARK International – a "conflict transformation and stabilization consultancy" founded by Alistair Harris, a veteran FCO diplomat – developed and ran an "internationally-focused communications campaign designed to raise global awareness" of the White Helmets.

"ARK created and continues to run a Twitter feed and Facebook page on behalf of the Syrian Civil Defense teams, posting photos and updates on their activities in English throughout the day. This has received high-profile recognition from international websites and commentators New York-based advocacy group, the Syria Campaign, reached out to the civil defenders through their Twitter feed, and following subsequent discussions with ARK, selected the civil defense to front its campaign to keep Syria in the news [emphasis added]," a leaked internal document states.

Intriguingly, ARK also extensively trained and equipped over 150 "activists" in Syria on "camera handling, lighting, sound, interviewing, filming a story," post-production techniques including "video and sound editing and software, voice-over, scriptwriting," and "graphics and 2D and 3D animation design and software."

Students were even instructed in practical propaganda theory – namely "target audience identification, qualitative and quantitative techniques, media and media narrative analysis and monitoring,""behavioral identification/understanding," "campaign planning," "behavior, behavioral change, and how communications can influence it [emphasis added]," and more.

Content produced by trainees was then fed to ARK's "well-established contacts" at media outlets including Al Jazeera, the BBC, CNN, The Guardian, the New York Times and Reuters, in some cases the firm's students were hired directly as on-the-ground 'stringers' by these organizations, producing reports and conducting interviews.

The files offer no indication that ARK's trainees were further schooled in how to stage chemical weapons attacks for a Western audience. However, the techniques they learned could clearly so easily be used and abused for such a purpose – making the question of whether they did so worthy of intensive further investigation.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.


NANCY 12 hours ago I have to ask, why is Amnesty International still considered an organization advocating for human rights and political prisoners? They have shown themselves to be hypocritical phonies in the case of Julian Assange and now, the White Helmets and who knows how many other issues. Kudos to Roger Waters for his courage on calling them out. He is a true humanitarian. Reply 103 2 Show 3 previous replies Blue8ball713 NANCY 5 hours ago Amnesty is tainted and hollowed out to be a tool for the war criminals. Reply 24 1 Show 1 more replies Fred Dozer NANCY 7 hours ago They would not let the leader of the WH into the US , to accept an humanitarian documentary award. Why ? His name is on the Terrorist and No_Fly list. Reply 16 1 13Englander 6 hours ago I'm ashamed to say that this is more evidence that the West is now rotten to the core and will pressure any organisation to cooperate in maintaining the fake veneer of decency. It's a sign that the West is desperate for survival. Reply 17 TheRealElDee 9 hours ago There has been a burning desire by the US and UK to get 'boots on the ground' in Syria and for this to result in regime change. Prior to the CIA pushing for and funding this Civil War, Syria was peaceful, stable and able to export it's oil AND have good relations with both US and UK. BUT, Russia uses Syria as a base for it's navy and therefore this (in addition to all that lovely oil) is the premise they can presen to their own people for pushing the Civil War. At every step the public, and many parliaments, have spoke out to prevent war. At every step the US & UK have come up with further premise for going to full out war. 'Barrel Bombs', Chemical Weapons, indiscriminate fire on civilians and hsopitals etc etc. Likewise at every step this has, so far, been debunked - chemical weapons have been shown by our own investigators to have been placed, the inspectors were subsequently removed from being able to report. Previous to that old stock of chemical weapons had been made safe in conjunction with outside help from Russia, the only country that has any right, legally, to be in Syria militarily. The is another part of the jigsaw that wants to restart the Cold War and to close off dialogue whilst having never ending war in the middle east destabilising countries with oil and other assets. There is no other reason for it and that this should be contemplated is criminal - literally.. Reply 18 2 faireymagic 12 hours ago excellent work by Roger Waters, standing up for truth and human decency Reply 73 Tengmo 11 hours ago Amnesty was compromised long ago, so was Greenpeace, Reply 34 shadow1369 12 hours ago Almost all NGOs, originally set up by altruistic people, have been hijacked by NATO regimes. Amnesty is a stooge supporting crimes against humanity. Reply 49 1 Hazmat Fuhrer shadow1369 6 hours ago It's important for the Kremlin to obfuscate it's almost constant attrocities in Syria and those of the Gassad trtr mrdr disaster Reply 1 18 Show 1 more replies Michael Chan shadow1369 9 hours ago Many news media suffered the same fate., They too have been hijacked by the NATO regimes. The most conspicuous of them are Al Jazeera and Asia Times. Both were excellent news sources until they were bought by Western tycoons and turned into propaganda mouthpieces for the NATO regimes. Reply 25 Show 1 more replies GottaBeMe 5 hours ago No further donations to that group from me! I truly believed they were a force for good. I'm with Roger Waters. He has proven time after time that he cares about people. Bellingcat? Never! Reply 12 Wasey Cerner 8 hours ago << ...the documents demonstrate that in July 2018, OPCW chiefs secretly removed all staff from the investigation who had actually visited Douma, bar a single paramedic. Responsibility for completing the probe was handed to an entirely separate team, which had instead traveled to Turkey, AND exclusively taken witness statements and soil samples hand-picked by the White Helmets,... >> Navalny's team followed the same script from the motel to Mass. Reply 8 Sinalco 11 hours ago [1] He was telling the TRUTH [2] Bellingcat is an Establishment Creation, used to push the establishment narrative. [3] Amnesty just swallowed the lies about the White-Helmets - what shame... Reply 29 Blue8ball713 Sinalco 5 hours ago 3 Amnesty is part of this Reply 5 Truthfrees 11 hours ago All those clowns pushing for regime change have no problem with millions killed and multiple nations destroyed for the regime change whim of the day. Cowards that sit in their air conditioned living room pushing for evil destruction on nations and people they know nothing about. Reply 24 frostyboy Truthfrees 3 hours ago Madeleine Albright (born Marie Jana Korbelová) "Yes, we think it was worth it" regarding civilian lives sacrificed during the US invasions of Iraq. Why is it that these people care nothing for innocence, and only crave blood ? Is this tribal ? DavidChu 11 hours ago Let's face it: Amnesty and Human Rights Watch are just too naked tools of Yankee Imperialism and Hegemony! Reply 24 decided 12 hours ago the logic of it, assad used chemical bomb , so to help the people we will bomb their country use all types of bombs and many of them as help, and im to think these politicians are not insane yea ok. Reply 9 Rustofur decided 9 hours ago It's much more humanitarian to blow children to bits than gas them. Reply 4 1 Show 1 more replies Truthfrees decided 11 hours ago Syria is a construction delay for Israel's land expansion projects. They already secured thousands of bulldozers and construction contracts and are losing money every day Syria is not falling. Poor chicken little Israeli leaders and pork project partners. Reply 11 Show 1 more replies UBV76 12 hours ago "Bellingcrap" Funded via HMG to hide-bury the truth and pedal untruths misleading "The Daily Sheep". Higgins just a "Lady's Pantyhose" seller with no experience except for telling lies..! Reply 22 frankfalseflag 9 hours ago L O L . Human Rights Watch, just another outfit, like Greenpeace, with admirable words in its name, whose agenda has been co opted by the US CIA. Another Goody two-shoes organization whose major work is to get on and off the CIA propaganda train when they are told to. You remember in 2013 when Greenpeace boarded the Prirazlomnaya platform in the Arctic? Greenpeace was so concerned about the environmental impact on the Arctic Ocean. That was 2013, before the West - and by the West, I mean Washington DC - realized that they had a vital interest in the Arctic and they would be steaming through there looking to drop anchor and start drilling for oil. Same with Human Rights Watch, who cares very little for the human lives lost in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, etc. Lives that were lost by the murderous invasions of the Lord Defenders of Capitalism. Reply 5 Sancho Panza 10 hours ago White helmets, Brown noses and Black hearts. Reply 9 Carl Cuckproof 10 hours ago he has been a thorn in their side for a long time. the impact of goys like him can never be measured. not just another brick in the wall Reply 8 Tinkerbell_Pan 10 hours ago Thank you and good night, NO MORE MONEY for Amnesty. Reply 7 apothqowejh 7 hours ago Amnesty International is just another sell-out ngo. Reply 5 Midnight10 4 hours ago Sorry Roger, but Amnesty International has become just another tool in the US Administration's propaganda program. Although you were tight about the White Helmets as villagers from the area told the UN regarding the chemical attack, it wasn't in the script Amnesty gets from the US. Just lackeys willing to give up their integrity and the organization's reputation to get their "Atta boys" from Trump. Reply 3 White Elk 12 hours ago Their modern way to execution. Time changes, hypocrisy and envy remain the same. Possessed people at the helm, blind guiding the blind, sure shame and disaster. Reply 4 neeon9 4 hours ago This is, as always, American lies. They think the world is stupid, and blind to the endless garbage spewed forth from Washington! We all know they use torture , we all know they are guilty of war crimes, and are trying to kill Assange by slow emotional torment, for outing them for the callous killers they truly are, and that has only served only to make him a martyr. We all know it was Bush and his cronies, who bombed the twin towers to cover the theft of and 7 trillion off the US tax payers, and make their M.I.C. cohorts, many fortunes off the dead children their endless, lie based wars have killed, after fabricating an enemy, that did not exist, until they murdered their families. We all know that no claim, or attempt to over throw another foreign government, is backed up by nothing more than empirical greed, and the constant nagging fear the US has, that it is slipping into decay, and will loose it's evil grip on the world economy, and it's Ziocorp masters will will stop funding the lunacy that is US domestic politics, and the 'cult of cash' that has poluted the planet. Thank gods there are Ppl like Waters who are still brave enough to call them out for the festering boil they are, on the backside of humanity. As it stands, they are getting what they deserve . The American dream has become the worlds nightmare, and I for one, am happy to see the mourning. Reply 4 Kiro919 5 hours ago Amnesty are worse than compromised these days. Reply 3 dunkie56 8 hours ago They lied now they have to discredit those who would uncover those lies so now they lie to do this and need to lie again to cover up those lies as well and lie again to cover the latest batch of lies.........trick is can they remember the lie that got them here in the first place lying..hmmmm! Reply 4 TrishArch 5 hours ago Amnesty International is Dodgy. Reply 3 fuser 8 hours ago Amnesty and Human Rights, but some humans are more humans than the others. Reply 2 Stranded 1 hour ago Roger is forever my hero for defending Assange Reply 1 frostyboy 3 hours ago Eliot Higgins came from obscurity, and rose into Atlantic Counsel pimphood as a tool to contaminate evidence over MH17. He has only become more discredited since. Higgins is the very last level of State actor puppet - a credulous simp who takes the Kings Shilling and bends over. Reply 1 ahmed nazmy habel 4 hours ago . When the talk was over, he went about getting to the bottom of the tweet's absence Reply 1 1demeneye 7 hours ago From a psychological perspective, you have to wonder what motivates people such as Elliot Higgins. Just money? More money? Is there no point at which people like Higgins have enough money and make a decision to come clean? Has he had his life threatened if he doesn't co-operate? Has he been caught doing something that they are holding over him? Have they threatened to just make stuff up and destroy his life if he tells the truth? Is he just evil? Is he fueled by hate for someone or something? Reply 1 frostyboy 1demeneye 2 hours ago Higgins, as you already appreciate, is a shop window dummy. His 'startup' went from zero to hero under the auspices of the Atlantic Council. Bellingcat is 'trendy' and Hipster-friendly, very much cosmeticized to appeal to anew young adult generation of political naifs. The latte set. The smashed avocado grazers. Higgins is a nobody who parlayed a weak mind into the figurehead of a classic Western propaganda sewerpipe. The damage he did to the honest investigations over MH17 will not be forgotten. Reply 1 Jimbo_jones 3 hours ago Amnesty International is a joke organization controlled by Washington. Always has and always will be, Reply 1 Opus111 5 hours ago Amnesty International is a Fake News bureaucracy controlled by liberal fanatical ruling classes. Reply 2 David9220 4 hours ago follow Money Know Truth Reply 1 Head like a rock 5 hours ago not a huge fan of the music, but Roger makes Bono look like trump Reply MiloDiddlbomb 7 hours ago It still comes down to Waters getting bit by his own dog. You don't follow their rules and say the proper Woke words - seeeeeeeya. They eat their own Reply Richland Yabitches" 13 hours ago Water's being and a Man of his age should've realized by now that his Musical Talent 'Alone' didn't get him to where's he at and in fact he Participated in the Mind Altering of Social Engineering of Zombies, LSD and Dead-Beat Societies which is Awesome for those Lib-miserables, drug/alcohol rehab, mental homes and the likes however, Criticize their Destabilizing Missions and you're fuct" Reply 12 KrautMan Richland Yabitches" 10 hours ago Pretty obvious who the LSD zombie is on this thread, bubba. Reply 5 Show 1 more replies natrep 2 hours ago Just proves that NGO's like amnesty international are fake...

[Oct 11, 2020] Western Allies Block Ex-OPCW Chief's Explosive Testimony On Syria Chemical Weapons -

Oct 11, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Dave DeCamp via AntiWar.com,

This past Monday at the UN Security Council, the US, the UK, France, and allies blocked testimony from a former director-general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). Jose Bustani is a Brazilian diplomat and was the first director-general of the OPCW, which was formed in 1997.

Bustani was pushed out of the organization in 2002 by the Bush administration for his efforts to negotiate with Saddam Hussein. The Brazilian was prepared to deliver testimony to the UN Security Council on Monday over the OPCW's investigation into an alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria , in April 2018.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1313197827712049158&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fgeopolitical%2Fwestern-allies-block-ex-opcw-chiefs-explosive-testimony-syria-chemical-weapons&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

The US, UK, and France responded to the alleged Douma attack with airstrikes on Syrian government targets. After the strike, OPCW inspectors arrived in Douma to investigate.

Since the OPCW released its final report on the alleged Douma attack in March 2019, a trove of leaked documents have surfaced . The leaks, along with whistleblower testimony, suggest the OPCW suppressed evidence and ignored the findings of senior inspectors to fit the narrative that the Syrian government carried out a chemical attack in Douma.

In October 2019, Bustani attended a panel hosted by the Courage Foundation that heard testimony from an OPCW whistleblower who presented evidence that the Douma investigation was corrupted. After hearing the evidence, the panel released a statement urging the OPCW to revisit its investigation into the Douma incident.

The Grayzone published Bustani's prepared statement that he was blocked from delivering at the UN Security Council. In his statement, Bustani urges Fernando Arias, the current OPCW director-general, to hear out the inspectors who were on the ground in Douma and had their findings suppressed:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZgIDlgD_txM

https://lockerdome.com/lad/13084989113709670?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13084989113709670-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com&rid=www.zerohedge.com&width=890

"I would like to make a personal plea to you, Mr Fernando Arias, as Director General of the OPCW. The inspectors are among the Organization's most valuable assets. As scientists and engineers, their specialist knowledge and inputs are essential for good decision making."

"Most importantly, their views are untainted by politics or national interests. They only rely on the science. The inspectors in the Douma investigation have a simple request – that they be given the opportunity to meet with you to express their concerns to you in person, in a manner that is both transparent and accountable."

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Read the full transcript of Bustani's testimony here .

[Mar 04, 2020] The two OPCW whistleblowers respond to the OPCW's attacks on them

Mar 04, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

S , Mar 3 2020 8:18 utc | 108

The two OPCW whistleblowers respond to the OPCW's attacks on them: Justice Denied - How Authority Tried to Ignore and then Bury Honest Dissent by Responsible Scientists ( Peter Hitchens's blog ).

[Feb 28, 2020] Media s Deafening Silence On Latest WikiLeaks Drops Is Its Own Scandal by Caitlin Johnstone

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Yet the mass media, freakishly, has had absolutely nothing to say about this extremely newsworthy story. ..."
"... The mass media's stone-dead silence on the OPCW scandal is becoming its own scandal, of equal or perhaps even greater significance than the OPCW scandal itself. It opens up a whole litany of questions which have tremendous importance for every citizen of the western world; questions like, how are people supposed to participate in democracy if all the outlets they normally turn to to make informed voting decisions adamantly refuse to tell them about the existence of massive news stories like the OPCW scandal? How are people meant to address such conspiracies of silence when there is no mechanism in place to hold the entire mass media to account for its complicity in it? And by what mechanism are all these outlets unifying in that conspiracy of silence? ..."
"... This is the FOURTH leak showing how the OPCW fabricated a report on a supposed Syrian 'chemical' attack," tweeted journalist Ben Norton. "And mainstream Western corporate media outlets are still silent, showing how authoritarian these 'democracies' are and how tightly they control info." "Media silence on this story is its own scandal," "Media silence on this story is its own scandal," "Media silence on this story is its own scandal," tweeted journalist Aaron Maté. ..."
Dec 28, 2019 | caitlinjohnstone.com

This is getting really, really, really weird. WikiLeaks has WikiLeaks has published yet another set of leaked internal documents from within the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) adding even more material to the mountain of evidence that we've been lied to about an alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria last year which resulted in airstrikes upon that nation from the US, UK and France.

... ... ...

[Feb 23, 2020] The US Is World Leader In Bio-Weapons Research, Production, Use Against Mankind

This is mostly fear mongering as an affective bioengineered virus will create a pandemic, but the truth is that Anthrax false flag attack after 9/11 was not an accident...
Trump administration beahaves like a completely lawless gang (stealing Syrian oil is one example. Killing Soleimani is another ) , as for its behaviour on international arena, but I do not believe they go that far. Even for for such "ruptured" gangster as Pompeo
Notable quotes:
"... Consider that a deadly virus created by the U.S. and used against another country was found out and verified, and in retaliation, that country or others decided to strike back with other toxic agents against America. Where would this end, and over time, how many billions could be affected in such a scenario? ..."
"... "In vast laboratories in the Ministry of Peace, and in experimental stations, teams of experts are indefatigably at work searching for new and deadlier gases; or for soluble poisons capable of being produced in such quantities as to destroy the vegetation of whole continents; or for breeds of disease germs immunised against all possible antibodies." ..."
"... Additional notes: here , here , here , here , here and here . ..."
Feb 23, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

... ... ...

Interestingly, in the past, U.S. universities and NGOs went to China specifically to do illegal biological experimentation, and this was so egregious to Chinese officials, that forcible removal of these people was the result. Harvard University, one of the major players in this scandal, stole the DNA samples of hundreds of thousands of Chinese citizens, left China with those samples, and continued illegal bio-research in the U.S. It is thought that the U.S. military, which puts a completely different spin on the conversation, had commissioned the research in China at the time. This is more than suspicious.

The U.S. has, according to this article at Global Research , had a massive biological warfare program since at least the early 1940s, but has used toxic agents against this country and others since the 1860s . This is no secret, regardless of the propaganda spread by the government and its partners in criminal bio-weapon research and production.

As of 1999, the U.S. government had deployed its Chemical and Biological Weapons (CBW) arsenal against the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Vietnam, China, North Korea, Laos, Cambodia, Cuba, Haitian boat people, and our neighbor Canada according to this article at Counter Punch . Of course, U.S. citizens have been used as guinea pigs many times as well, and exposed to toxic germ agents and deadly chemicals by government.

Keep in mind that this is a short list, as the U.S. is well known for also using proxies to spread its toxic chemicals and germ agents, such as happened in Iraq and Syria. Since 1999 there have been continued incidences of several different viruses, most of which are presumed to be manmade , including the current Coronavirus that is affecting China today.

There is also much evidence of the research and development of race-specific bio-warfare agents. This is very troubling. One would think, given the idiotic race arguments by post-modern Marxists, that this would consume the mainstream news, and any participants in these atrocious race-specific poisons would be outed at every level. That is not happening, but I believe it is due to obvious reasons, including government cover-up, hypocrisy at all levels, and leftist agenda driven objectives that would not gain ground with the exposure of this government-funded anti-race science.

I will say that it is not just the U.S. that is developing and producing bio-warfare agents and viruses, but many developed countries around the globe do so as well. But the United States, as is the case in every area of war and killing, is by far the world leader in its inhuman desire to be able to kill entire populations through biological and chemical warfare means. Because these agents are extremely dangerous and uncontrollable, and can spread wildly, the risk to not only isolated populations, but also the entire world is evident. Consider that a deadly virus created by the U.S. and used against another country was found out and verified, and in retaliation, that country or others decided to strike back with other toxic agents against America. Where would this end, and over time, how many billions could be affected in such a scenario?

All indications point to the fact that the most toxic, poisonous, and deadly viruses ever known are being created in labs around the world. In the U.S. think of Fort Detrick, Maryland, Pine Bluff Arsenal, Arkansas, Horn Island, Mississippi, Dugway Proving Ground, Utah, Vigo Ordinance Plant, Indiana, and many others. Think of the fascist partnerships between this government and the pharmaceutical industry. Think of the U.S. military installations positioned all around the globe. Nothing good can come from this, as it is not about finding cures for disease, or about discovering vaccines, but is done for one reason only, and that is for the purpose of bio-warfare for mass killing.

The drive to find biological weapons that will sicken and kill millions at a time is not only a travesty, but is beyond evil. This power is held by the few, but the potential victims of this madness include everyone on earth. How can such insanity at this level be allowed to continue? If any issue could ever unite the masses, governments participating in biological and germ warfare, race-specific killing, and creating viruses with the potential to affect disease and death worldwide, should cause many to stand together against it. The first step is to expose that governments, the most likely culprit being the U.S. government, are planting these viruses purposely to cause great harm. Once that is proven, the unbelievable risk to all will be known, and then people everywhere should put their divisiveness aside, stand together, and stop this assault on mankind.

"In vast laboratories in the Ministry of Peace, and in experimental stations, teams of experts are indefatigably at work searching for new and deadlier gases; or for soluble poisons capable of being produced in such quantities as to destroy the vegetation of whole continents; or for breeds of disease germs immunised against all possible antibodies." ~ George Orwell – 1984

Additional notes: here , here , here , here , here and here .

[Jan 24, 2020] Peter Hitchen to Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat: You're not in the ladies' lingerie trade now, sweetie

Highly recommended!
Kevin Smith: "Higgins is currently frantically trying to prop up the Douma narrative against a mountain of evidence disproving his conclusions. For those who’ve followed his story, it’s clear that Higgins is an intelligence asset, set up to take the fall when the currently collapsing narratives take hold in the mainstream.
Jan 24, 2020 | off-guardian.org

"You didn't think that one through, did you, @eliothiggins sweetie? You're not in the ladies' lingerie trade now. This discussion is about truth, which endures, is not held together by elastic, and is not for sale." ~Peter Hitchens responding to Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat over the OPCW scandal on Twitter – 2 January 2020.

[Jan 24, 2020] Crimes of the century truth, perception and punishment

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... I believe more people nowadays recognise that the devastating wars in Iraq and Libya and events in Syria were pushed by our governments and media. They can even accept, when you explain, that we've been assisting terrorists to unseat governments for years. But they seem hesitant of taking the next step and we need to encourage them on this path. ..."
"... This path leads to recognising the sheer evil in our midst and getting out of this mindset that criminal behavior and lying in governments and in our media is normal or should in any way be tolerated. Perhaps some people appreciate this already but don't want to address it out of concern to what they might find. Maybe some people dread the thought of a global conflict so ignore it. But we need to hammer home the consequences of simply doing nothing. ..."
"... I've been trying to think of an analogy to try to get this point across. I sometimes say to people, we wouldn't have released a serial killer like Harold Shipman from prison and appointed him Foreign Secretary. Therefore, why do we tolerate a long line of Foreign Secretaries complicit in laying waste to the world? Sadly, with this analogy most people usually look back at me blankly so I have been searching for one more complete and rooted in history which people can relate better to events today. ..."
Jan 24, 2020 | off-guardian.org

Kevin Smith

"You didn't think that one through, did you, @eliothiggins sweetie? You're not in the ladies' lingerie trade now. This discussion is about truth, which endures, is not held together by elastic, and is not for sale."
Peter Hitchens responding to Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat over the OPCW scandal on Twitter – 2 January 2020.

Like many, I've been following the Douma scandal for some time and particularly since the OPCW whistleblowers and leaked emails blew the lid off the official narrative that Assad used chemical weapons there.

This issue is being discussed on one of my 'go to' accounts on Twitter – Peter Hitchens who has brought this to the attention of the mainstream .

For the past few weeks he's been debating the topic with Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat, Scott Lucas and various Middle East based journalists who created and then pushed the false narrative.

In fact, it's not really a debate. Peter Hitchens is quite literally slaughtering these narrative managers – his logic and clear thinking – and wit exposing the numerous gaps in their story and their desperate deflections.

Hitchens position is not exactly the same as many of us here hold – that Douma was a clear false flag. What he is saying is the evidence points to there being no chemical attack by the Syrian government, the pretext used for the attack on Syria. He doesn't wish to speculate on matters which aren't conclusively proven, for example precisely on what did actually happen.

I respect that position in many ways and his refusal to comment on the dead civilians in the Douma images makes sense from a journalist in the mainstream. I think by having a position which is clear and unassailable enables him to easily brush off his online detractors and not allow them to deflect to other issues.

While I don't agree with everything he says, Hitchens has a calm and rational argument for all the issues he covers. This puts clear ground between him and his online opponents who often resort to childish abuse.

My 80-year old mum admires him too. She describes him as 'frightfully posh'. Perhaps someone who might have belonged in a previous age – but I'm glad we have him in this one.

Anyway, I think we can be sure that Hitchens will continue his important work within the remit he's chosen and others will investigate the unanswered questions which arise from the Douma incident.

Ultimately the question about the dead civilians in the images is simply too dreadful to ignore.

This is because if a chemical attack did not take place and Assad was not responsible it seems highly likely that the civilians including children were murdered to facilitate a fabrication.

And were our own intelligence agencies involved in a staged event, considering the refusal to even establish the basic facts in the days following?

And then, of course, the resulting air strikes nearly caused us to go to war with Russia, with all that would entail.

While these investigations continue, I think it's timely to see where these events fit into the way the general public think and perceive wrongdoing and to try to radically to change this.

I believe more people nowadays recognise that the devastating wars in Iraq and Libya and events in Syria were pushed by our governments and media. They can even accept, when you explain, that we've been assisting terrorists to unseat governments for years. But they seem hesitant of taking the next step and we need to encourage them on this path.

This path leads to recognising the sheer evil in our midst and getting out of this mindset that criminal behavior and lying in governments and in our media is normal or should in any way be tolerated. Perhaps some people appreciate this already but don't want to address it out of concern to what they might find. Maybe some people dread the thought of a global conflict so ignore it. But we need to hammer home the consequences of simply doing nothing.

I've been trying to think of an analogy to try to get this point across. I sometimes say to people, we wouldn't have released a serial killer like Harold Shipman from prison and appointed him Foreign Secretary. Therefore, why do we tolerate a long line of Foreign Secretaries complicit in laying waste to the world? Sadly, with this analogy most people usually look back at me blankly so I have been searching for one more complete and rooted in history which people can relate better to events today.

So, here follows an analogy of a character who lived in the 17th century. His traits, his crimes, the political climate and peoples misguided perceptions in response can be compared to recent events and one particular individual causing havoc in the world today.

Of course I refer to Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat.

Eliot ( 'suck my balls' ) Higgins and Titus Oates 1. Eliot Higgins and Bellingcat

Higgins probably doesn't need much of an introduction here. It seems he has no specific qualifications relevant to his role and a bit of a drop-out in terms of education.

Higgins has been quoted as saying :

Before the Arab spring I knew no more about weapons than the average Xbox owner. I had no knowledge beyond what I'd learned from Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rambo."

But this didn't prevent him blogging about world events and then setting himself up and his site as investigator for several incidents most notably the shooting down of the MH17 passenger plane over Ukraine and allegations of chemical weapons use in Syria. It's now known that Bellingcat is funded by pro-war groups including the Atlantic Council

Higgins has been accused by chemical weapons experts, academics and independent journalists on the ground of fabricating evidence to reach a predetermined outcome decided on by his funders.

His rise to prominence was fast and apparently some media editors now refer their journalists to Bellingcat fabrications rather than allowing them to do any journalism themselves.

Higgins is currently frantically trying to prop up the Douma narrative against a mountain of evidence disproving his conclusions.

For those who've followed his story, it's clear that Higgins is an intelligence asset, set up to take the fall when the currently collapsing narratives take hold in the mainstream.

2. Titus Oates and the Popish Plot

Oates was a foul-mouthed charlatan , serial liar and master of deception who lived in the 17th century. His earlier life included being expelled from school and he was labelled a 'dunce' by people who knew him. He became a clergyman and later joined the Navy. His career was plagued by various sex scandals and charges of perjury.

In the 1670s during the time of Charles II, religious tensions threatened to spill over into civil war but the pragmatic King, by and large, kept a lid on it.

However, along with Dr Israel Tonge an anti-Catholic rector, Oates started writing conspiracy theories and inventing plots and later began writing a manuscript alleging of a plan to assassinate King Charles II and replace him with his openly Catholic brother.

When the fabrication started to gather momentum, the King had an audience with Oates and was unconvinced and was said to have found discrepancies in his story.

However, the tense political and religious climate at that time was ideal for conspiracy theories and scaremongering. The King's ministers took Oates at his word and over a dozen Catholics were executed for treason. This story created panic and paranoia lasting several years taking the nation to the brink of civil war.

Over time Oates lies were exposed and when the Catholic King James II came to the throne, he tried Oates with perjury and he was whipped and placed in the pillory.

After James II fled England during the so-called 'Glorious Revolution' King William and Queen Mary pardoned Oates and gave him a pension.

For me, this whole episode has many obvious parallels with Higgins, the long-running Russia and the anti-Semitism witch-hunts in the media and the false narratives over Iraq, Libya and Syria. Like those in power today, Oates had a knack for getting away with it. And I guess we can all relate this to Julian Assange – the victims or whistleblowers being punished and the perpetrators getting off.

I had wondered why James II, often ruthless and unforgiving had not executed Oates. But apparently the crime of perjury even then didn't carry the death sentence. The judge who convicted Oates was said to have tried his best to finish him off through the whipping, though he survived.

But perhaps even the King and judiciary in failing in this or not using other means at their disposal, couldn't comprehend the enormity of his crimes. Oates was after all a rather absurd character, open to ridicule.

Perhaps this is a bit similar to people today when discovering that Eliot Higgins is also a foul-mouthed fraud – but they can't reconcile this comical ex-lingerie employee as a menace to humanity.

3. Modern day

In the past few weeks I've read various older articles on Iraq and Syria. US troops shooting people for fun from a helicopter . The perpetrators are still free – the whistle-blowers who exposed that, and other events in prison or exile.

Last year we learned about a shocking massacre of Syrian children, unreported in the mainstream media . Mainstream journalists through their one-sided distortions of the conflict and silence, perpetuating the myth that the terrorists who carried out this mass murder are freedom fighters.

And as I've mentioned, we've seen firmer evidence of what many of us knew along – that Douma was a staged fabrication as a pretext for air-strikes and dangerously escalating the Syrian war. The likes of Eliot Higgins and others in the media, colluding in the cover-up of mass murder which likely facilitated this event. And for those honest journalists and experts who bring the truth of these staged events to us, smears will no doubt continue .

Higgins and others in the media who lie, misinform or remain silent are no better than those shooting civilians from helicopters or starting these wars in the first place. In fact, they have killed more and keep killing.

This modern-day Titus Oates, and others share a big responsibility for death and destruction in the Middle East and a dangerous new Cold War.

As I say, I think people are waking up to the distorted narratives and misdirections which have inflicted war on others. Now they need to take the next step and grasp the sheer enormity of the crimes and the risks of global conflict if we don't act.

So, how do we achieve this and get in a position of holding the criminals and war propagandists to account?

By confronting them directly and mercilessly. As Jeremy Corbyn should have done over the anti-Semitism hoax. Perhaps we should adopt some of the tactics they use against the truth-tellers and whistle-blowers. I don't mean by lies or smears. Maybe even ridiculing these people and their nonsense might have the effect of trivialising the crimes they have committed.

No, I think it is time for plainer, no-holds-barred language describing these people for the true evil they are – until the truth and label sticks.

We need to recognise more the seriousness of the crimes. This commentary from the usually measured Piers Robinson about the staged event in Douma reflects the true gravity of the situation in terms of the OPCW complicity .

4. The hijacking of OPCW

The cover-up of evidence that the Douma incident was staged is not merely misconduct. As the staging of the Douma incident entailed mass murder of civilians, those in OPCW who have suppressed the evidence of staging are, unwittingly or otherwise, colluding with mass murder."

We need to now apply this strong language to all crimes committed, be it from the soldiers on the ground, the governments starting these wars or supplying terrorists or the media which promote mass murder through their lies, distortions and silence when presented with the true facts.

We need to go on the offensive and call out the criminals and spell out in no uncertain terms what we are dealing with. With the evidence and fact-based analogies or arguments we publish we should be using more commentary such as 'mass murderer', 'traitor' or 'terrorist propagandist'.

This is particularly important in light of events in recent days. The assassination of General Qasem Soleimani has been normalised in both mainstream and on social media. The people legitimising state-sponsored murder in offices thousands of miles away from Iran, woefully ignorant of the potential of this causing a chain of events which could visit our door soon.

Above all, we should specifically name and shame the individuals promoting war. This needs to be relentless. The official war narratives which have crumbled so far are ample evidence of wrongdoing on a vast scale. So, we can be confident in doing this with the truth firmly on our side.

Filed under: Douma "Chemical Attack" , historical perspectives , latest , Syria Tagged with: Bellingcat. Eliot Higgins , douma chemical attack , Glorious Revelution , Kevin Smith , OPCW , Peter Hitchens , Titus Oates can you spare $1.00 a month to support independent media

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wardropper ,

No, I think it is time for plainer, no-holds-barred language describing these people for the true evil they are – until the truth and label sticks.
Yes indeed.
I was, however, reminded today of the huge mountain we yet have to climb before it can be normal again NOT to be corrupt and wicked. The scenario was a session of acrimony in a US Senate chamber, and according to the NYTimes, "Tensions grew so raw after midnight that Chief Justice Roberts cut in just before 1 a.m. to admonish the managers and the president's lawyers to "remember where they are" and return to "civil discourse." "
"Remembering where you are", when dealing with Titus Oates and other vulgar frauds is perhaps not entirely appropriate ?

wardropper ,

Apologies, I forgot to set the first sentence in quotes

Thom ,

Hitchens may be on the level on this particular issue but it is part of a wider deception where Hitchens poses as a friend to critical thinkers and then tells them they are helpless and/or can do nothing about it. If he really had journalistic integrity he wouldn't be taking a salary from the Mail on Sunday, a newspaper that relentlessly lied for the Tories at the last election, with the help of the itelligence agencies.

Koba ,

As good as Hitchens has done here he's still at heart a Trotskyist he lives a good split and a toothless display just like the Trotskyists he used to side with. His brother went from Trotskyist to soft neocon and peter went from Trotskyist to an ardent Christian Conservative in a veeeeeery short space of time. Plus there dad was deeeeep in with the establishment and his mum Jewish. So .

Richard Le Sarc ,

what?

Gall ,

Bellingcrap is just another scam like Dupes (Snopes) and Politi"facts". All of them are funded by the Atlantic Council and the CIA front National Endowment for "Democracy". Their cover as an "independent objective fact checking service" is about as transparent as Saran Wrap.

tonyopmoc ,

I really liked this when I read it this morning, before the grandkids came round, but I thought some of the comments a bit severe..

I mean this photo is of some 40 year old kid, who lives in Leicester, and his Mum/wife/sister or whatever works in the local Post Office .

I personally had never heard of Brown Noses, and I have never personnally succeeded in getting anything I wrote, posted above our below the line, since The Manchester Guardian moved from Manchester to London, and whilst I do love reading some of the posters' comments well look face it.

Even though Rhys probabaly doesn't like what this kid writes – Elliot is it? he is hardly going to come round with a chainsaw, to cut his head off is he? He probably never even thought of it.

He did say he is small fry, and he probably is still a virgin (been brainwashed – so he actually belives the model doll is better. What has he got to compare it to?)

So I can't blame any of them.

There are alternatives as well as Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, and all those Dating Websites, when almost everything you write gets deleted.

Just go down the local pub when there is a good band on. Even I can pull there, but I am better looking than both Rhys and Elliot

I Like Girls.

I am a man. It's Normal

Just keep fit dancing and smiling, and you will be O.K.

Tony

paul ,

The prime importance of these endless hoaxes, smears, lies, fabrications and official approved conspiracy theories, lies not so much in the events themselves as what it says about the nature of the people who rule over us and their courtiers and handmaidens in the MSM.

It would take a whole forest of trees merely to catalogue all their lies over the years, whether it's the Iraq Incubator Babies, the black Viagra fuelled rape gangs in Libya, the Syrian Gas Hoaxes, 9/11, Iraq's WMD, Iran's non existent nuclear weapons, Skripal, Russiagate, Ukrainegate, or the communist spy/ terrorist/ anti semitic smear campaign against Corbyn. And that is only the tip of a very large iceberg. You could go back further to Gladio, Operation Northwoods, Tonkin Gulf, the "Holocaust", Zinoviev Letter, Bayonetted Belgian Babies, Raped Belgian Nuns, Human Bodies Made Into Soap. The list is endless.

We have been lied to consistently for years, decades, and generations. And these lies have been peddled endlessly in the MSM, no matter how ludicrous and transparently false they are. In the absence of direct personal knowledge or very convincing evidence to the contrary, you just have to assume that everything we have ever been told, are being told, and will be told, and most of the accepted historical record, are simply false. Nothing, nothing at all, can ever be taken at face value.

And those who rule over us and who are responsible for these lies are psychopathic subhuman filth devoid of any moral values or any redeeming features whatsoever. They are a thousand times worse than the worst mass murderers or child killers who have ever been through our courts. The Moors Murderers, the Ted Bundys, the Jeffrey Dahmers, were seriously damaged individuals who killed a handful of victims. And they did their own dirty work. The Blairs, the Campbells, the Straws, the Bushes, the Cheneys, the Rumsfelds, the Allbrights, the Macrons, the Camerons, the Netanyahus, the Trumps, have the blood of millions on their hands. They and their wire pullers are responsible for the death, starvation and misery of tens and hundreds of millions.

So when Blair, or Johnson, or Trump or whoever is interviewed on television, you have to remember that individual is a thousand times worse than the Moors Murderers, and we would actually be that much better off if Brady or Hindley were ruling over us. They deserve no respect or deference or legitimacy. They plot the murders of millions and the starvation of tens of millions – and laugh and giggle as they do so. They should be simply recognised for what they awe – psychopathic subhuman filth.

austrian peter ,

I do agree with you Paul and of course all you say is true. One of the main problems is that these people have the power to build artificial constructs sufficient for the masses to believe and perpetuated through their bought and paid for MSM whose journalists are mere foot soldiers and wish only to get their pay checks. They have no reason to question the lies and distortions pedaled to them by TPTB – they merely repeat the false narrative:
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" – Upton Sinclair

And we, the great 99%, have little power to change things except within our local network. We can shout all we like on social media but it changes nothing until the great crisis reoccurs and perhaps the masses will rise and demand a just and equitable system. Until that day perhaps this little video will provide an understanding:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/rStL7niR7gs?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Roberto ,

The business of the MSM throughout the ages has been to traumatise or at least just generally worry the public with headlines focused on fear, envy, anger, revenge, and hate. Include all five in your story and you're well on the way to a Pulitzer Prize, bestowed on the profession by one of the great muckrakers of all time. It's not incidental that there have been a disturbing number of winners that have turned out to be dissembling frauds. Add to this the fact that 'journalism' training apparently does not teach entrants to distinguish the difference between opinion and news, and the die is cast: propaganda as news.

Dungroanin ,

Here is what BellEndScat supporting Rusbridger is moaning about.

"For some years now – largely unreported – two chancery court judges have been dealing with literally hundreds of cases of phone hacking against MGN Ltd and News Group, the owners, respectively, of the Daily Mirror and the Sun (as well as the defunct News of the World).
The two publishers are, between them, forking out eye-watering sums to avoid any cases going to trial in open court. Because the newspaper industry lobbied so forcefully to scrap the second part of the Leveson inquiry, which had been due to shine a light on such matters, we can only surmise what is going on.

But there are clues. Mirror Group (now Reach) had by July 2018 set aside more than £70m to settle phone-hacking claims without risking any of them getting to court. The BBC reported last year that the Murdoch titles had paid out an astonishing £400m in damages and calculated that the total bill for the two companies could eventually reach £1bn."

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jan/19/there-is-a-reason-why-royals-demonised-but-wont-read-all-about-it-prince-harry-meghan-markle

On the overall perfidious msm he quips:

"Because the newspaper industry lobbied so forcefully to scrap the second part of the Leveson inquiry, which had been due to shine a light on such matters, we can only surmise what is going on."

-- --

Completely ignoring that the Integrity Iniative infested Guardian ITSELF objected to the recommendation of Levesons thoroughly public Inquiry and opposition to a independent press regulator!

It would have been a building block and certainly stopped most of the continued press misbehaviour over the last 5 years.

Neither Fish nor Fowl Mr Rusbridger. More sinner that saint, more like.

Hugh O'Neill ,

Going to the heart of what Bellingcat, MI6 and CIA is Pompeo's: "We lie, we cheat, we steal." These evil filth are devoid of any moral code and have no respect whatsoever for the laws of God or Man. At which point, consider Moses' (how apt) Ten Commandments. There among them is: "Thou shalt not bear false witness". Think what you will of these Ten, but as a moral code, they were quite useful.

Richard Le Sarc ,

Would that all these scum could share the fate of their progenitor, Streicher-without the ' necktie party'. Life at hard labour would do the lot of them much good.

Brianeg ,

I looked at the Veterans Today link and it all sounds very plausible'

However in today's world nothing makes sense especially when the questions arise.

Is it possible to change the signal of an aircrafts transponder remotely. Can the target acquisition radar on the missile be spoofed remotely. Just why did the flight control officer sanction the take off of this plane in the middle of a war unless they were party to the whole thing.. Just what were the six Israeli F-35 jets doing flying close to the Iranian border?

Okay there is a lot of smoke but just where is the fire.

Just as interesting is that none of the twelve Iranian missiles was intercepted and there are rumours that the Iranians were able to take out of action American air defences.

I am sure that like with Douma when the majority of NATO missiles were intercepted by missiles that were decades old, you wonder what might happen when most of the middle east is covered by the S-300 and later versions.

This is a story that has got a long way to run and we might never hear the ending.

Dungroanin ,

Facts are inconvenient.
Many planes took off.
This one was delayed by the pilot 'to remove overloading'.
Reports of Cruise missiles heading in.

Mucho ,

For the best info on this, go to Brendon O' Connell's channel and watch 1 to 3 and number 22. You will get answers there.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYaLxbD7Rix3p1rdGY3IMjg?pbjreload=10

Also go to the Antedote and listen to Greg and Jeremy's latest offering.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMf1qGR8km1c8vg_dtpzzVQ

Dungroanin ,

It sounds a bit MAGA.

The thing about 'chips' is they could easily be identified by putting them in a black box and watching what they do using a chip which only does that!

The whole bs about it's THEM not US crap falls away. Just need some open source simple 'custodian' chip manufacturer to make that available. If it can be made a 'gate keeper' than we are all safe.

Mucho ,

"It sounds a bit MAGA. "
After this, I will never, ever read any of your comments ever again. Get lost!

Mucho ,

You talk so much crap. Please, keep it to yourself

Dungroanin ,

I ain't saying that is your opinion am I?

The bit I watched was him being gung-ho about getting back 'control of microprocessors' !!!

There is a big difference between designing chips and 'manufacturing' facilities'.

Have you never wondered why most actual building of small electrical component equipment takes place in Asia?

I don't care wherher you read my comments- i am free to post what I want on whatevet article and whoevers comment. And stick to facts.

Mucho ,

"The bit I watched ".
Honestly, I am so tired of people who comment on things they know nothing about. Everything you say is wrong, because you are speaking from a position of total ignorance, because you haven't watched the films.
Watch 1 to 3. Watch 22 and 23 ALL THE WAY THROUGH, not skimming. Then comment. Every inaccurate comment you make is covered in detail. Honestly it's no wonder we're so fucked.

From 2005 after one google search, time spent on this, 10 seconds:
"While Yona was developed in partnership with one of Intel's California centers, the 65nm microprocessor product is the first to be developed in its entirety, both the architecture and strategy, by Intel engineers at its Israel plants in Haifa and Yakum. "
https://www.israel21c.org/intels-new-chip-design-developed-in-israel/

You know zilch, you understand nothing, you make assumptions, you don't watch or read the material, and then in your total ignorance, you spew your feeble thoughts on this forum. Moron

Mucho ,

You define the phrase "ignorant Brit"

Dungroanin ,

Mucho since you FAILED instantly in your promise to ignore me – i will respond to your toy throwing out of the parambulator.

First just telling people to WATCH something without explaining what the salient point to be learnt – is not the way to influence or educate.

I prefer reading an argument- I definitely do not spend hours watching TV or listening to propaganda by msm / indy or 'shock jocks' – that last was the personality I saw and didn't feel the need to hear anymore as I don't when Nigel Farage and his ilk do on the radio here.

If you want to inform or prove something to me or anyone else kindly post a link to a written piece.

Second, chips are designed eveywhere there is such competence. Chip manufacturing mainly improved theough research in top universities.
The UK was a lead chip designer too.

None of that means the Israelis haven't monopolosed tech and own many patents. The fact is the Israelis ARE part of the 5+1 eyed world Empire – they are the plus one. Snowdens whistleblowing makes absolutely clear that the +1 gets a higher clearance than the +4.

That's as nice as I am prepared to be, so finally, that last paragraph is what is known as PROJECTION. Look it up and learn that it comes from your fav bogeymen brainfuckers.

That is some serious self-hate you have going on – work on it.

Take it easy ok?

Mucho ,

Number 23 is totally relevant too, going deep into chips, backdooring and kill switch usage

Koba ,

So the mocking of maga is what set you off? Fuck maga and it's idiot supporters great nations don't slaughter civilians for capital

bevin ,

Has this link been cited?
https://thewallwillfall.org/2020/01/19/important-douma-opcw-update-from-prof-piers-robinson/

norman wisdom ,

chris morris is very funny has a fine body of twisted comedick works
for all his charm his role is too destroy society degrade
he is khazar after all

sacha baron co hen the names speaks for itself an empty cruel tool
never trust a coen cohen khan or cowen or co they cookoo

eliot mcfuck higgins is not oirish
he is not certainly related to snooker loopy or is it darts i cannot remember hero alex higgins.

eliot"s dad is rita katz from site intel group amaq news
his mom barbera lerner spector
or is it vice versa
versa vice
whatever
shirley you

get my the friends of the oirish israel drift
so to speaks
or sum such

Mucho ,

Brilliant, insightful, logical hypothesis of the recent plane downing over Iran by Jeremy Rothe Kushel. Ignore the video, this is about the written article.

The Prime Suspect in Ukrainian PS752 Shootdown: Israel's Unit 8200
https://www.veteranstoday.com/2020/01/10/ps752/

Mucho ,

For further info about Israeli tech domination, what it is, where it comes from and the implications of this, go to Brendon O Connell's YT channel. Number 22 in his list is very important.

Mucho ,

Jeremy Rothe-Kushel is a very important member of the truth community, in no small part due to the fact that he is an Ashkenazi Jew. My personal belief is that in the end, the Jewish community will play a pivotal role in weeding out the evil that rules over us. I wish we didn't have these labels, that we could have true freedom to play our chosen role in our God created realm, but at this stage in the game, we're stuck with our divide and rule labels and systems of control.
Jeremy's style is to the point, he has great depth of knowledge, an encyclopedic knowledge of his field and is a highly astute commentator. He presents a lot of complex information in fairly easy to digest chunks with his co-host, Greg McCarron, on their show "The Antedote" on YT, as well as doing a lot of guerilla style activism in US politics. Highly recommended.

norman wisdom ,

i met elliot many years ago
the chap on the 8 year old lap top above
we called him fat face down the synagogue ohh how we laughed
he laughed as well everytime someone said it
such fun
are rabbi one day organised a trip and lecture tour of chatham house the belly of the beast.
we learnt all about how tough regime change was and how difficult it is to do on a bbc size budget.

what we learnt was that having are people everywhere really helped
scripted up to speed influencer roles in media in public on track on page working cog like.
a kind of khazar collective non semites only for security reasons of course.
we could work from a very low pound dollar and shekels base and still be very effective.

never under estimate the benjamins or elliots it is folks like this that are the real hero of the oded yinon
yes sir
already my life
fat face eliot boy done good

and like all khazar he hates the sephardim jewisher and the unclean arab which is shirley a bonus is it not

George Mc ,

First off, if folks haven't a clue who Harold Shipman is, you're not going to get far with Titus Oats. At the most they might think it's a character from Gormenghast.

Second, I initially misread the article and thought that the figure from the 17th century actually WAS Higgins of Bellingcat. And if that seems an absurd assumption to make, even temporarily, it doesn't seem much more absurd than some of the stuff he says e.g.

I had no knowledge beyond what I'd learned from Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rambo.

The point has been raised that there are psyops perpetrated with a malicious sense of humour as if to say, "These suckers will swallow anything". Higgins with his "education" from Arnold and Rambo may be an example of one of those jokes.

Third, and to end on an optimistic note, I like the 17th century sentencing and recommend we bring it back:

and he was whipped and placed in the pillory.

Dungroanin ,

Admin – a suggestion on keeping recent articles available from the top of the page.

Problem: As you add new aricles at top left the ones on the very right drop away! Almost as if being binned into a memory hole.

Solution: allow a scroll at the right hand edge so that these older links are easily available to readers. Only a minor coding change without any change to your front page.

Tallis Marsh ,

I concur! I'm sure many of us will appreciate a scroll on the right hand edge so we can access the older articles. Thanks in advance, OffG!

Oliver ,

HM Armed Forces operations in Syria follow the doctrine of Major General Sir Frank Kitson who learnt his stuff in Kenya in the 1950s. Murder, torture, rape the staples of the British military's modern terrorist ability. NATO doctrine too.

Joe ,

https://www.youtube.com/embed/0oLfNr4JjeI?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

BigB ,

This is an important article: one of the few that dares to express that Douma et al are not mere false flags they a darkly psychotic form of 'snuff propaganda porn' (including the recycling and rearanging of 'props' that were until recently animate human souls with a lifetime of possibility abnegated for ideology). The Working Group on Syria is part of a small counter-narrative subset – along with Sister Agnes Mariam, Vanessa Beeley, RT (on occasion), UK Column, The Indicter, Prof. Marcello Ferrada de Noli – who are willing to state plainly that this is child murder. Now I wholeheartedly commend Kevin that we should name and shame the culprits and their supporters.

"No, I think it is time for plainer, no-holds-barred language describing these people for the true evil they are – until the truth and label sticks."

I had a similar epiphany in early 2016. The barbaric of murder of starved and thirsty children at Rashidin – Syrian innocence lured by much needed sweets and drinks only to be blown apart in front of their mothers. Anyone who supports the White Helmets terrorist construct and their NATO-proxy child-murderers needs to be exposed. But what if that trail of exposure leads back to the leader of the Labour party: who had just personally endorsed the charity funding of the White Helmets? And continued to support the Jo Cox Foundation of Syrian humanitarian bombers and R2P interventionists? Which itself is a front for the dark money web of 'philanthrocapitalism' that is the shadow support network for regime change crimes against humanity. This is when righteous indignation meets the dark wall of silence around the social construction of reality. Especially if you put Jeremy Corbyn in the frame.

What this means is the ability to frame dark actors for the true evil they are has to be a two-way flow. Meaning is created across networks, not just by naming but by naming and agreeing across narrative communities. Again, this is not abstruse: it is social reality. Social reality is not reality: it is a consensual constructivism. Significant numbers of others have to be in a position of consensual agreement in order to challenge the dominant narrative(s). So I echo the sentiment that many can see that the dominant narrative – especially concerning Syria – is deeply flawed. But they are as yet unwilling to admit that the depth of the flaw is in fact a tear in social reality that cannot be easily healed.

This is the aspect of social reality called 'universe maintenance'. Doxa is the reality constructing belief set – the episteme of interacting beliefs. The narrative has two main aspects: ortho-doxa and hetero-doxa – the orthodox maintaining and heterodox subverting discourses. In order to truly subvert the hegemonic orthodoxy – there has to be a social moment of criticality when the heterodox is no longer deniable. To reach that point: the intrajecting true has to be believable to the hegemonic orthodoxy. Now we have a third mode: para-doxa when the true 'state of affairs' is not believable – it is easily rejected as paradoxical to the reigning consensus covenant of the true. This is universe maintaining: whereby the the totality of the dominant discourse actually subsumes or repels any paradox as a half-truth or ameliorated, disarmed less-than-true ('conspiracy theory'). This is known as 'recuperation'. Anything that meets the dominant discourse has to be explained in the terms of the dominant discourse accommodative and recommending itself to the dominant discourse. Which then becomes a part of the dominant universe of discourse.

A moment of the true is like a barb to a bubble. It has to be contained and wrapped in narrative that describes and explains it into a consumable form. The full realisation of the propagandic child murder in Syria – tacitly supported by the Labour Party and Jeremy Corbyn in particular – would destroy the symbolic universe of social reality. Of which it is my personal experience no one really wants to do. The correlations, direct and indirect links, and universally maintained orthodoxy of narrative discourse point to an accomodation. An explanation or multivariate set of explanations that problem shift and ascribe blame to imaginary actors. To deflect or defend the personal self. Because the personal self is independently situated outside the social sphere. Or is it?

Seeing the real event as it happens requires the perspicacity of social inclusion. We all create social reality together: with our without layers of dualising exclusion that protects us from the way the world really is. Who would vote to legitimise the supporters of NATO and the child-murderers of Syria? 31 million legitimising independent social actors just did. Do you suppose they did so in full knowledge that it is child-murder they were supporting? Or did they create universe maintaining accommodations to the truth? That is how powerful the screening discourses and legitimising orthodoxic narrative mythology is. It is not that it cannot be subverted: its just that calling out the true evil has to be heard in unison by large or social small assemblages willing to totally change everything – including themselves. In order to transition to a different social reality one that accommodates the truth. One which will look nothing like the social reality we choose to maintain as is.

Francis Lee ,

My first attempt didn't get through. Herewith second.

It seems to me that the internal affairs of the Russian Federation, although they may have some impact on external geopolitical issues, are a matter for them. At the present time the relevant question regarding the RF is as follows: Question 1. Is Russia a revionist state intent on an expansionist foreign policy? Answer NO. But it is not going to tolerate NATO expansion into its own strategic zones, namely, Ukraine, Georgia and the North Caucusas. Question 2. Is the Anglo-Zionist empire in open of pursuit of a world empire intent on destroying any sovereign state – including first and foremost Russia – which stands in its way? Answer YES. This really is so blatant that anyone who is ethnically challenged should seek psychiatric help. In Polls conducted around the world the US is always cited as the most dangerous enemy of world peace, including in the US itself. Thus a small influential (unfortunately deranged) cabal based in the west has insinuated its way into the institutions of power and poses a real and present danger to world peace.

This being the case it is imperative to push all and any 'normal' western governments and shape public opinion and discourse (except the nut-jobs like Poland and the Baltics) into diplomacy. Wind down NATO just as the Warsaw Pact was wound down. that will do for starters. Of course the PTB in all the western institutions – the media (whores) the deep state, the Atlantic Council, the Council on Foreign Relations, Chatham House the Arms merchants, the security services GCHQ, the CIA, Mossad and the rest will oppose this with all the power at their command. This is the present primary site of struggle, mainly propagandistic, cultural and economic, but with overtones of kinetic warfare.

Similar diplomatic initiatives must be directed at China. Yes, I know all about China's social credit policy, I don't particularly like the idea of 24 hour system of surveillance, and I wouldn't want to live there, but is already a virtual fait accompli in the west. Again it bears repeating that sovereign states should be left to their own devices. After all 'States have neither permanent friends of allies, only permanent interests. (Lord Palmerston, 19 century British Statesman). No more 'humanitarian interventions' thank you very much. How about Mind our own Business non-interventions.

I make no apologies for being a foreign policy realist – if that hasn't become apparent by this stage!

BigB ,

Francis:

The Russian Federation is involved is strategic partnership with China in consolidating the Eurasian 'supercontinent' into the world island. One which is slowly being drawn together into a massive market covering 70% of the world's population, 75% of energy resources, and 70% of GDP. I'd call that expansionist, wouldn't you?

Market mechanisms and methodology are exponentially expansionist, extractivist, and extrapolative. Market propaganda is free and equal exchange coupled with mutual development through comparative advantage. Everyone benefits, right?

No: markets operate as vast surplus value extractors that only operate unequally to deliver maximum competitive advantage to the suprasovereign core. Surplus value valorises surplus capital which cannot be contained in a single domestic market: so it seeks to exploit underdeveloped foreign markets setting up dependencies and peripheries in the satellite states. Which keeps them maldeveloped. In short: Russia and China's wealth is not just their own.

Russia and China are globalisation now. Globalist exponential expansionism, extractivism, and extrapolation is the repression of humanism and destruction of the biosphere. It can't stop growing in the cancer stage of hyper-capitalism. We are currently consuming every resource at a material throughput increase of 3% per annum year on year. That's a 23 year exponential doubling of material resources. And a 46 year doubling of the doubling. How long before globalisation uses everything? How far into the race to the bottom will the market collapse?

It would be really nice to return to a Westphalian System of non-expansionist, non-extractivist sovereign nation states. It is just not even plausible under market mechanisms of extraction. There can be no material decoupling and development remains contingent on an impossible infinity: because development remains parallel and assymetrically maintained. And all major resources are depleting exponentially too. Including the nominative renewable and sustainable ones.

Degrowth; self-sufficiency; localised 'anti-fragility', steady-state; asymmetric development of the marginalised and the peripheralised; regenerative agroecological agriculture; human development not abstract market development; are just some of the pre-requisites of a return to sovereign states. Russia 'sovereigntist' globalisation is the expansionist opposite to that. The RF is part of the biggest market in the world that hoovers up as much surplus value as it can before sending a large tranche of it to London. As much as $25bn a year in capital flight into the offshore nexus of secrecy jurisdictions. It's a globalist expansionist market mechanism that hoovers all vitality out of the life-ground. That: I call expansionist and imperialist of which Russia and China are now the major part.

Francis Lee ,

"The Russian Federation is involved is strategic partnership with China in consolidating the Eurasian 'supercontinent' into the world island. One which is slowly being drawn together into a massive market covering 70% of the world's population, 75% of energy resources, and 70% of GDP. I'd call that expansionist, wouldn't you?"

No, I wouldn't actually. Building roads, rail connections and other trade routes doesn't strike me as imperial expansion. No-one is being forced to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) or into reconfiguring their internal political and economic structures, as the US does in Latin America or as the British did in India and Southern Africa. (East India Company and the British British South Africa Chartered Company). The SCO is a voluntary arrangement. Uzbekistan for example has decided not to join the central Asian Eurasian Economic Union – well that's its prerogative. No-one is going to send any gun-boats to force them. (I am aware that Uzbekistan is a landlocked country, but I was talking figuratively.)

The EEU's genesis has along with the SCO and BRI has been forced upon the China/Russia axis as part of an emerging counter-hegemonic alliance against the US's imperial aggrandisement with its kowtowing vassals in tow. Russia has no claims on any of its neighbours since it is already endowed with ample land and mineral deposits. China is a key part of this essentially geopolitical bloc quite simply because the US imperial hegemon is determined to stop China's development by all means necessary including the dragooning of contiguous military bases in US proxy states around China's maritime borders.

A distinction should be made between rampant imperialism of the Anglo-zi0nist empire, and the response of an increasingly bloc of states who find both their sovereignty and even their existence threatened by the imperial juggernaut. What exactly did you expect them to do given the hostility and destructive intent of the Empire? Defence against imperialism is not imperialism. The defence of autonomy and sovereignty of international society and the creation of an anti-hegemonic have the potential to finally create a transformative new world order (and goodness knows we need one) announced at the end of the Cold War in 1991. This ambition finds support not only in Russia and China but in other countries ready to align with them, but also in many western countries. I obviously need to put the question again. Who is and who is not the greatest threat to world peace? Surely to pose the question is to answer it.

Dungroanin ,

Agree Francis.
There is a move to suggest that the Old Empire retains a 'maritime' world and the SCO confines itself to the Eurasian land mass.
Dream on.
The Empire is DEAD. Long live the new Empire!

BigB ,

Who is the greatest threat to world peace and to the world itself? We are. The global carbon consumption/pollution bourgeoisie. It is the global expansionist mindset that is increasing its demands for growth – as the only solution to social problems, maldevelopment, and maldistribution caused by excessive growth. Supply has to be met by exponentially expanding markets. Whether this is voluntaristic or coerced makes very little difference to the market cancer subsuming the globe. Benign or aggressive forms of cancer are still cancer. And the net effect is the same.

Russia and China – the 'East' – uphold exactly the same corporate model of global governance that the 'West' does. Which has been made clear in every joint communique – especially BRICS communiques. I have made the case – following Professor Patrick Bond – that BRICS in particular (a literal Goldman Sachs globalist marketing ploy) – are sub-imperial, not anti-imperial. All their major institutions are dollar denominated for loans; BRI finance is in dollars; BRICS re-capitalised the IMF; Contingency Reserve Arrangements come with an IMF neoliberalising structural adjustment policy; etc. It is the same model East and West. One is merely the pseudo-benign extension of the other. The alternative to neoliberal globalisation is neoliberal globalisation. This became radiantly clear at SPIEF 2019: TINA there is no alternative.

The perceived alternative is the reproduction of neoliberalism – which has long been think-tanked and obvious – and its transformation from 'globalisation 3.0' to 'globalisation 4.0' trade in goods and services, with the emphasis on a transition to high-speed interconnectivity and decoupled service economies. Something like the Trans-Eurasian Information Super Highway (TASIM)? With a sovereigntist and social inclusivity compact. So the neoliberal leopard can change its spots?

No. Whilst your argument is sound and well constructed: it is reliant on the early 20th century Leninist definition of 'imperialism' as a purely militarist phenomena. Imperialism mutated since then – from military to financial (which are not necessarily exclusive sets) – and is set to metastasise again into 'green imperialism' of man over man (and it is an andrarchic principle) and man (culture) over nature. Here your argument falls down to an ecological and bio-materialist critique. Cancer is extractivist and expansionist wherever it grows.

Russia is the fourth largest primary energy consumer on the planet. Disregarding hydro – which is not truly ecological – it has a 1% renewable penetration. It is a hydrocarbon behemoth set to grow the only way it knows how – consuming more hydrocarbons. They cannot go 'green': no one can. And a with a global ecological footprint of 3.3 planets per capita, per annum, this is not sustainable. Now or ever.

So a distinction needs to be made between the old rampant neoliberal globalisation model (3.0) – the Anglo-Zionist imperialist model – and the emergent neoliberal globalisation model (4.0) of Russia/China's rampant ecological imperialism? And a further distinction needs to be made about what humanity has to do to survive this distinction between aggressive and quasi-benign cancer forms. Because we will be just as dead, just as quick if we cannot even identify the underlying cancer we are all suffering from.

Koba ,

Big B sit down ultra! China and Russia rent empires and have no desire to be! If you're a left winger you're another poor example of one and more than likely a Trotskyist

Richard Le Sarc ,

Love the nickname, Josef.

Louis Proyect ,

This is because if a chemical attack did not take place and Assad was not responsible it seems highly likely that the civilians including children were murdered to facilitate a fabrication.

And were our own intelligence agencies involved in a staged event, considering the refusal to even establish the basic facts in the days following?

-- -

This is the sort of conclusion you must come to if you are into Islamophobic conspiracy theories. The notion that this kind of slaughter took place to "facilitate" a false flag is analogous to the 9/11 conspiracism that was on display here a while back and that manifested itself through the inclusion of NYU 9/11 Truther Mark Crispin Miller on Tim Hayward's Assadist propaganda team.

Sad, really.

Harry Stotle ,

Go on Louis, remind us about the 'terrorist passport' miraculously found at the foot of the collapsed tower with a page coveniently left open displaying a 'Tora Bora' stamp – I kove that bit.

I mean who, apart from half the worlds scientific community is not totally convinced by such compelling evidence, especially when allied to the re-writing of the laws of physics in order to rationlise the ludicrous 2 planes 3 towers conspiracy theory?

Next you'll be telling us it was necessary for the US to invade Afghanistan and Iraq for reasons few American'srecall beyond the neocon fantasy contructed on 11th Septemember, 2001.

Dave Hansell ,

It's clear to a blind man on a galloping horse from this comment of yours Mr Proyect that concepts such as objective evidence, logical and rational deduction, the scientific method etc are beyond your ken.

Faced with the facts of a collapsing narrative of obvious bullshit and lies you have bought into, which you are incapable of facing up to, it is unsurprising that you are reduced to such puerile school playground level deflections.

So come on, try getting out of the gutter and upping your game. Because this fare is nothing short of sad and pathetic.

We know from the evidence of those who actually know their arse from their elbow on these matters that the claims of an attack using chemical weapons on this site are unsustainable.

Which leaves the issue of the bodies at the site. Given they did not lose their lives as a result of the unscientific bullshit explanation you desperately and clearly want to be the case the question is how did those civilians lose their lives? How did their corpses find their way to that location?

Did Assad and his "regime" murder them and move the bodies to that site (over which they had no control) in order to create a false flag event to get themselves falsely accused of an NBC attack Louis? Because that's the only reasonable and rational deduction one can imply from your argument and approach.

It is certainly more reasoned, rational and in keeping with the scientific method (you might want to try it sometime) to surmise that the bodies on site, having not been the result of the claimed and unsustainable narrative you have naively committed to, either died on site from some other cause or were brought to the site for the purpose of creating your fantasy narrative.

In the latter case it is further a matter of rational and reasoned deduction that such an occurrence could only be carried it in circumstances in which whoever carried it out had actual, effective and physical control of a geographical location and area situated within a wider conflict zone.

Again, it remains a piece of factual reality that this location was not under the control of the Assad 'regime.' Not least because otherwise there would be no logical or rational military reason for the de facto Syrian Government and it's armed forces to waste resources attacking it.

Unless of course he buys I to the conspiracy theory and hat they somehow organised a false flag implicating themselves?

I'm sure everyone else here in the reality based community is waiting with bated breath for you to 'explain' how they did this Louis.

I know I am. I could do with a good laugh.

George Mc ,

This is the sort of conclusion you must come to if you are into Islamophobic conspiracy theories.

Umm – the assumption that Muslims DIDN'T do it is "Islamophobic"? Even on your own terms you're not making much sense these days, Louis.

lundiel ,

There was little doubt that British special forces were captured in Eastern Ghouta when the SAA prevented an all out attack on Damascus. European precursors and British munitions were uncovered along with factories within the tunnel complex, itself a product of western engineering and slave labour. This was no propaganda, evidence was collected, statements were taken and everything was documented. Douma was a direct follow-on from that failure and yet, you refuse the evidence piling up, but accept testimony of journalists based in Jordan and Turkey? The "conspiracy" is wholly yours Louis and you are guilty of malicious intent, false representation and pretending to be a "Marxist" when you are a Zionist neocon.

lundiel ,

Hi I'm Louis an unrepentant Marxist and I willfully refuse to use block-quotes.

Richard Le Sarc ,

More proyectile vomitus in defence of child-murdering salafist vermin. How low can this creature descend?

Louis Proyect ,

Richard, such abusive language only indicates your inability to discuss the matter at hand. In general, a detached sarcasm works much better in polemics. You need to read Lenin to see how it is done. I should add that I am referring to V.I. Lenin, not John Lenin who wrote "Crippled Inside".

Richard Le Sarc ,

You defended the salafist butchers with lies, proyectile-do you not even comprehend your own sewage? Or did someone else write it and you just appended your paw-print?

Dave Hansell ,

Apologies here. There is an open goal and the ball needs to be put in the back of the net:

Seems that Louis here is well ahead of the curve in terms of Fukuyama's well known observation about the end of history.

For Louise history, in terms of the progress and development of human knowledge, stopped around a century ago with whatever Lenin wrote.

But that's what happens to those who only read one book.

Sad really.

Dungroanin ,

You come across more as Yaxley – Lenin mr Tommy Proyect – but he is a MI5 stooge unlike you cough cough.

Koba ,

Lenin hates Trotsky! Trotsky was a power mad maniac who wanted a permanent war state to somehow spread his specific brand of "ahem" socialism, which won't win you friends! "Hi yeah sorry we killed your family in a war we started to save you but yippee Trotsky is now in charge so stop complaining"! You're just a bunch of liars the trots

Maggie ,

learn to use the internet which has the information you need to learn the truth:

Acting out a chemical attack?

https://www.youtube.com/embed/o63VnLJpwuc?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Jimmy Dore hits the nail every time!!

https://www.youtube.com/embed/FLRQSfSKoJo?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Didn't you just love George Carlin, identifies just what the problem is with dicks like Proyect.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/KLODGhEyLvk?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Maggie ,

Here's another Jimmy Dore Vid from 2017
Watch and learn

https://www.youtube.com/embed/MnSAB4qeDug?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Koba ,

Maggie don't take jimmy bore as some truth teller he's a bland progressive with revolutionary slogans like proyect! He also has a habit of equating Stalin with Hitler in that god awful nasal accent of his

Richard Le Sarc ,

Thems White Helmets is always so neat and tidy. Their mammies must have insisted that they always look their best.

paul ,

The British taxpayer funded head choppers and throat slitters in Syria routinely committed massacres and filmed their victims. The resulting footage was passed off by tame media hacks as "evidence" of regime atrocities.

Koba ,

Death to the Trotskyists
Fuck proyect your name calling says it all!
Islamophobes indeed?! What an idiot

Harry Stotle ,

The alternative media, and a smattering of truth tellers are locked in an asymmetrical information-war with the establishment – with an all too obvious 'David & Goliath' sort of dynamic underlying it.

The question asked at the heart of this article is how to break the vice like grip information managers hold over various geopolitical narratives, referencing events in Douma in particular.

Alnost reflexively 9/11 comes to mind – a fairly unambiguous example of mass murder for which the official account does not withstand even the most cursory form of scrutiny.
Professionals even went so far as to purger themselves while the investigating committee admitted they were 'set up to fail' (to quote its chairman).

Yet the public, instead of shredding Bush, limb from limb (for the lies that were told) rolled onto their back while the neoncons tickled their collective belly as you might do with a particulalrly adorable puppy,
So if we can't even get to the bottom of events in the middle of New York what realistic chance of doing so in a hostile war zone like Douma?

On balance racism, together with other forms of collective loathing is the most likely reason why this unsatisfactory state of affairs is unlikely to change.

A collective 'them and us' mindset makes it far easier for information managers to manipulate a visceral hatred and fear of 'the other'.
Today it is Qasem Soleimani westerners are taugyt to despise, yesterday it was Bashar al-Assad, before that Vladimir Putin, Saddam Hussein, Muammar al-Gaddafi, Nicolás Maduro . the list just goes on and on.
Information managers simply wind the public up so that collective anger can be directed toward governments or individuals they are trying to bring down – recent history tells us that the public are largely oblivious to this process, so thus never learn from their mistakes.

Perhaps one thing western leaders, and the US in particular can always rely on, is the ease with which the public can be persuaded to believe that certain bogeymen pose a grave threat to 'our way of life' while failing to notice that it is in fact our own leaders who are carrying out the worst atrocities.

harry law ,

Harry Stotle, .."Perhaps one thing western leaders, and the US in particular can always rely on, is the ease with which the public can be persuaded to believe that certain bogeymen pose a grave threat to 'our way of life'. That's true Hermann Goring had it about right with this quote
"Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But after all it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or fascist dictatorship, or a parliament or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peace makers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."

[Jan 24, 2020] One real Trump crime about which DemoRats are afraid to talk: OPCW Investigator testifies at UN that no Chemical Attack Took Place in Douma, Syria

Notable quotes:
"... Video and a transcript of former OPCW engineer and dissenter Ian Henderson's UN testimony appears at the end of this report. ..."
"... Video of the session follows at the bottom of this article, along with a full transcript of Henderson's testimony ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... Ian Henderson's testimony begins at 57:30 in this official UN video ..."
Jan 24, 2020 | dissidentvoice.org

by Ben Norton / January 23rd, 2020

Video and a transcript of former OPCW engineer and dissenter Ian Henderson's UN testimony appears at the end of this report.

A former lead investigator from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has spoken out at the United Nations, stating in no uncertain terms that the scientific evidence suggests there was no gas attack in Douma, Syria in April 2018.

The dissenter, Ian Henderson, worked for 12 years at the international watchdog organization, serving as an inspection team leader and engineering expert. Among his most consequential jobs was assisting the international body's fact-finding mission (FFM) on the ground in Douma.

He told a UN Security Council session convened on January 20 by Russia's delegation that OPCW management had rejected his group's scientific research, dismissed the team, and produced another report that totally contradicted their initial findings.

"We had serious misgivings that a chemical attack had occurred," Henderson said, referring to the FFM team in Douma.

The former OPCW inspector added that he had compiled evidence through months of research that "provided further support for the view that there had not been a chemical attack."

Western airstrikes based on unsubstantiated allegations by foreign-backed jihadists

Foreign-backed Islamist militants and the Western government-funded regime-change influence operation known as the White Helmets accused the Syrian government of dropping gas cylinders and killing dozens of people in the city of Douma on April 7, 2018. Damascus rejected the accusation, claiming the incident was staged by the insurgents.

At the time, Douma was controlled by the extremist Salafi-jihadist militia Jaysh al-Islam , which was created and funded by Saudi Arabia and formerly allied with Syria's powerful al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra .

The governments of the United States, Britain, and France responded to the allegations of a chemical attack by launching airstrikes against the Syrian government on April 14. The military assault was illegal under international law, as the countries did not have UN authorization.

Numerous OPCW whistleblowers and leaks challenge Western government claims

In May 2019, an internal OPCW engineering assessment was leaked to the public. The document, authored by Ian Henderson, said the "dimensions, characteristics and appearance of the cylinders" in Douma "were inconsistent with what would have been expected in the case of either cylinder having been delivered from an aircraft," adding that there is "a higher probability that both cylinders were manually placed at those two locations rather than being delivered from aircraft."

After reviewing the leaked report, MIT professor emeritus of Science, Technology and International Security Theodore Postol told The Grayzone, "The evidence is overwhelming that the gas attacks were staged." Postol also accused OPCW leadership of overseeing "compromised reporting" and ignoring scientific evidence .

In November, a second OPCW whistleblower came forward and accused the organization's leadership of suppressing countervailing evidence , under pressure by three US government officials .

WikiLeaks has published numerous internal emails from the OPCW that reveal allegations that the body's management staff doctored the Douma report.

As the evidence of internal suppression grew, the OPCW's first director-general, José Bustani, decided to speak out. "The convincing evidence of irregular behavior in the OPCW investigation of the alleged Douma chemical attack confirms doubts and suspicions I already had," Bustani stated.

"I could make no sense of what I was reading in the international press. Even official reports of investigations seemed incoherent at best. The picture is certainly clearer now, although very disturbing," the former OPCW head concluded.

OPCW whistleblower testimony at UN Security Council meeting on Douma

On January 20, 2020, Ian Henderson delivered his first in-person testimony, alleging suppression by OPCW leadership. He spoke at a UN Security Council Arria-Formula meeting on the fact-finding mission report on Douma.

( Video of the session follows at the bottom of this article, along with a full transcript of Henderson's testimony .)

China's mission to the UN invited Ian Henderson to testify in person at the Security Council session. Henderson said in his testimony that he had planned to attend, but was unable to get a visa waiver from the US government. (The Trump administration has repeatedly blocked access to the UN for representatives from countries that do not kowtow to its interests, turning UN visas into a political weapon in blatant violation of the international body's headquarters agreement .)

Henderson told the Security Council in a pre-recorded video message that he was not the only OPCW inspector to question the leadership's treatment of the Douma investigation.

"My concern, which was shared by a number of other inspectors, relates to the subsequent management lockdown and the practices in the later analysis and compilation of a final report," Henderson explained.

Soon after the alleged incident in Douma in April 2018, the OPCW FFM team had deployed to the ground to carry out an investigation, which it noted included environmental samples, interviews with witnesses, and data collection.

In July 2018, the FFM published its interim report , stating that it found no evidence of chemical weapons use in Douma. ("The results show that no organophosphorous nerve agents or their degradation products were detected in the environmental samples or in the plasma samples taken from alleged casualties," the report indicated.)

"By the time of release of the interim report in July 2018, our understanding was that we had serious misgivings that a chemical attack had occurred," Henderson told the Security Council.

After this inspection that led to the interim report, however, Henderson said the OPCW leadership decided to create a new team, "the so-called FFM core team, which essentially resulted in the dismissal of all of the inspectors who had been on the team deployed to locations in Douma and had been following up with their findings and analysis."

Then in March 2019, this new OPCW team released a final report, in which it claimed that chemical weapons had been used in Douma.

"The findings in the final FFM report were contradictory, were a complete turnaround with what the team had understood collectively during and after the Douma deployments," Henderson remarked at the UN session.

"The report did not make clear what new findings, facts, information, data, or analysis in the fields of witness testimony, toxicology studies, chemical analysis, and engineering, and/or ballistic studies had resulted in the complete turn-around in the situation from what was understood by the majority of the team, and the entire Douma [FFM] team, in July 2018," Henderson stated.

The former OPCW expert added, "I had followed up with a further six months of engineering and ballistic studies into these cylinders, the result of which had provided further support for the view that there had not been a chemical attack."

via @ BenjaminNorton

A former OPCW inspection team leader and engineering expert told the UN Security Council that their investigation in Douma, Syria suggested no chemical attack took place. But their findings were suppressed and reversed

Read more here: https://t.co/HI028MZl0k

via @BenjaminNorton pic.twitter.com/rmaSzWzs5Z

-- The Grayzone (@TheGrayzoneNews) January 22, 2020

US government pressure on the OPCW

The US government responded to this historic testimony at the UN session by attacking Russia, which sponsored the Arria-Formula meeting.

Acting US representative Cherith Norman Chalet praised the OPCW, aggressively condemned the "Assad regime," and told the UN that the "United States is proud to support the vital, life-saving work of the White Helmets" – a US and UK-backed organization that collaborated extensively with ISIS and al-Qaeda and have been involved in numerous executions in Syrian territory occupied by Islamist extremists .

The US government has a long history of pressuring and manipulating the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. During the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, the George W. Bush administration threatened José Bustani, the first director of the OPCW, and pressured him to resign.

In 2002, as the Bush White House was preparing to wage a war on Iraq, Bustani made an agreement with the Iraqi government of Saddam Hussein that would have permitted OPCW inspectors to come to the country unannounced for weapons investigations. This infuriated the US government.

Then-Under Secretary of State John Bolton told Bustani in 2002 that US Vice President Dick " Cheney wants you out ." Bolton threatened the OPCW director-general, stating, "You have 24 hours to leave the organization, and if you don't comply with this decision by Washington, we have ways to retaliate against you We know where your kids live."

Attacking the credibility of Ian Henderson

While OPCW managers have kept curiously silent amid the scandal over their Douma report, an interventionist media outlet called Bellingcat has functioned as an outsourced press shop, aggressively defending the official narrative and attacking its most prominent critics, including Ian Henderson.

Bellingcat is funded by the US government's regime-change arm, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), and is part of an initiative bankrolled by the British Foreign Office.

Following Henderson's testimony, Bellingcat founder Eliot Higgins tried to besmirch the former OPCW engineer's credibility by implying he was being used by Russia . Until 2019, Higgins worked at the Atlantic Council , a pro-war think tank financed by the American and British governments , as well as by NATO.

Supporters of the OPCW's apparently doctored final report have relied heavily on Bellingcat to try to discredit the whistleblowers and growing leaks. Scientific expert Theodor Postol, who debated Higgins, has noted that Bellingcat "have no scientific credibility at any level." Postol says he even suspects that OPCW management may have relied on Bellingcat's highly dubious claims in its own compromised reporting.

Higgins has no expertise or scientific credentials, and even The New York Times acknowledged in a highly sympathetic piece that "Higgins attributed his skill not to any special knowledge of international conflicts or digital data, but to the hours he had spent playing video games, which, he said, gave him the idea that any mystery can be cracked."

In his testimony before the UN Security Council, Ian Henderson stressed that he was speaking out in line with his duties as a scientific expert.

Henderson said he does not even like the term whistleblower and would not use it to describe himself, because, "I'm a former OPCW specialist who has concerns in an area, and I consider this a legitimate and appropriate forum to explain again these concerns."

Russia's UN representative added that Moscow had also invited the OPCW director-general and representatives of the organization's Technical Secretariat, but they chose not to participate in the session.

Video of the UN Security Council session on the OPCW's Douma report

Ian Henderson's testimony begins at 57:30 in this official UN video :

https://www.un.org/webcast/1362235914001/B1J3DDQJf_default/index.html?videoId=6125087582001

Transcript: Testimony by OPCW whistleblower Ian Henderson at the UN Security Council

"My name is Ian Henderson. I'm a former OPCW inspection team leader, having served for about 12 years. I heard about this meeting and I was invited by the minister, councilor of the Chinese mission to the UN. Unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances around my ESTA visa waiver status, I was not able to travel. I thus submitted a written statement, to which I will now add a short introduction.

I need to point out at the outset that I'm not a whistleblower; I don't like that term. I'm a former OPCW specialist who has concerns in an area, and I consider this a legitimate and appropriate forum to explain again these concerns.

Secondly, I must point out that I hold the OPCW in the highest regard, as well as the professionalism of the staff members who work there. The organization is not broken; I must stress that. However, the concern I have does relate to some specific management practices in certain sensitive missions.

The concern, of course, relates to the FFM investigation into the alleged chemical attack on the 7th of April in Douma, in Syria. My concern, which was shared by a number of other inspectors, relates to the subsequent management lockdown and the practices in the later analysis and compilation of a final report.

There were two teams deployed; one team, which I joined shortly after the start of field deployments, was to Douma in Syria; the other team deployed to country X.

The main concern relates to the announcement in July 2018 of a new concept, the so-called FFM core team, which essentially resulted in the dismissal of all of the inspectors who had been on the team deployed to locations in Douma and had been following up with their findings and analysis.

The findings in the final FFM report were contradictory, were a complete turnaround with what the team had understood collectively during and after the Douma deployments. And by the time of release of the interim report in July 2018, our understanding was that we had serious misgivings that a chemical attack had occurred.

What the final FFM report does not make clear, and thus does not reflect the views of the team members who deployed to Douma -- in which case I really can only speak for myself at this stage -- the report did not make clear what new findings, facts, information, data, or analysis in the fields of witness testimony, toxicology studies, chemical analysis, and engineering, and/or ballistic studies had resulted in the complete turn-around in the situation from what was understood by the majority of the team, and the entire Douma team, in July 2018.

In my case, I had followed up with a further six months of engineering and ballistic studies into these cylinders, the result of which had provided further support for the view that there had not been a chemical attack.

This needs to be properly resolved, we believe through the rigors of science and engineering. In my situation, it's not a political debate. I'm very aware that there is a political debate surrounding this.

Perhaps a closing comment from my side is that I was also the inspection team leader who developed and launched the inspections, the highly intrusive inspections, of the Barzah SSRC facility, just outside Damascus. And I did the inspections and wrote the reports for the two inspections prior to, and the inspection after the chemical facility, or the laboratory complex at Barzah SSRC, had been destroyed by the missile strike.

That, however, is another story altogether, and I shall now close. Thank you."

• Article first published in The Grayzone

Ben Norton is a journalist, writer, and filmmaker. He is the assistant editor of The Grayzone, and the producer of the Moderate Rebels podcast, which he co-hosts with editor Max Blumenthal. His website is BenNorton.com and he tweets at @ BenjaminNorton . Read other articles by Ben , or visit Ben's website .

This article was posted on Thursday, January 23rd, 2020 at 12:37pm and is filed under Chemical weapons , Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) , Syria , United Nations , WikiLeaks .

[Jan 23, 2020] WATCH Former OPCW Inspector Testifies at the UNSC – OffGuardian

Notable quotes:
"... The definition of a diplomat being one who 'lies abroad for his country' should always be at the front of the mind of anyone seeking truth. Diplomats should always be assumed to be lying, honourably of course, until proven otherwise. ..."
Jan 23, 2020 | off-guardian.org

https://www.youtube.com/embed/YrdXDad0h28

Yesterday the UNSC held a special panel to discuss the reliability and impartiality of the OPCW, most specifically regarding the alleged Douma "chemical attack". The expert panel reviewed and revealed some worrying evidence.

Most important was the testimony of Ian Henderson, former OPCW inspector and leader of the engineering sub-team who visited Douma.

Ian Henderson, the source of the famous leaked "dissenting report" on the placement of gas cylinders at the Douma site, was speaking via video link due to being denied a VISA by the US authorities (we don't know why this happened, but I'm sure it was all honest and above board, and not just petty politicking).

He told the UNSC that findings of the experts on the ground were totally ignored by their OPCW bosses.

He said:

By the time of release of the interim report in July 2018, our understanding was that we had serious misgivings that a chemical attack had occurred."

And added that the final report was a "complete turnaround" on these findings, and authored by a separate group who had never visited the site .

Unsurprisingly, efforts to smear Mr Henderson, or otherwise minimise his testimony, were quick to appear.

Thomas Phipps, a UK diplomat to the UN chimed in with some rather xenophobic snobbery:

Four Russians and one Syrian make up the 'expert' panel at Russia's #UNSC Arria meeting on #Syria Chemical Weapons. Four are diplomats and one an academic whose credentials are unclear. These are not impartial actors without an agenda. pic.twitter.com/y2PSv4QYOw

-- Thomas Phipps (@thomasphipps) January 20, 2020

You'll notice he doesn't mention Henderson at all.

Plus, there were the usual non-arguments from the usual unqualified, NATO-backed mouth pieces:

Meanwhile, the Western press is simply keeping shtum, with the testimony of Henderson, and the UN panel in general, not mentioned in any mainstream outlet we can find.

That seems unlikely to change.


Rhys Jaggar ,

The fact that Thomas Phipps calls himself a diplomat should alert all that he is 'lying for his country', whether that be abroad or if he happened to be based in the UK when he uttered his smear.

The definition of a diplomat being one who 'lies abroad for his country' should always be at the front of the mind of anyone seeking truth. Diplomats should always be assumed to be lying, honourably of course, until proven otherwise.

It is what diplomats do, after all.

JudyJ ,

That would be Thomas Phipps MBE . Having worked for over 5 years at Tate & Lyle he qualified for a 'desk officer' job at the FCO in 2009 as a diplomatic 'fast streamer' (i.e. someone with 'recognised potential' to progress up the grades to the highest level). After just over 2 years he transferred to the diplomatic service, working in Manila until 2016. It was for that work that he was awarded his MBE in 2015.

When I was a civil servant many 'fast streamers who worked for the Foreign Office or diplomatic service' unofficially earned themselves another job title – w..kers! They really considered themselves to be something special when they were anything but. And believe you me, I came across many in my years of service. Once you had your foot in the door the only way was up as long as you were a 'yes' man or woman. Phipps resoundingly meets this criterion. As I have commented previously, he is clearly intended to be Dame Karen Pierce's replacement when she moves on to spread her lies, xenophobia and arrogance elsewhere.

Yarkob ,

"last minute Visa waiver issues" caused Mr. Henderson to have to give evidence by video link instead of in person as planned.

What were they, I wonder an ESTA lasts 2 years last time I checked. Did he forget to renew it before coming to New York? Doesn't sound like something somebody as apparently meticulous as Mr. Henderson would do

Gall ,

Many of us already knew that it was nothing but a false flag brought to you by George Clueless' favorite group the White Helmets since it made no sense why Assad would desperately launch a chemical attack when 1) he was winning 2) he's never done so in the past even and 3)he doesn't have the means to do it even if he wanted to .

Some of us tried to tell Trump this but it seems that his head was so far up Bibi's ass he never listened to us and said damn the torpedos or the cruise missiles in this case and at that point gave the finger to the base that elected him.

He's currently been impeached but like Clinton for the wrong high crimes and misdemeanors so his fat lying ass won't be convicted.

Antonym ,

The CIA is not run from Jerusalem, or Washington for that matter. More from Langley or central New York (not Trump!!).

Tallis Marsh ,

The truth will out, despite the propaganda-by-omission MSM!

On a different (yet also important) subject of the Opposition Leadership Election – good news!

'Long-Bailey backs open selections in "democratic revolution" plan':
https://labourlist.org/2020/01/long-bailey-backs-open-selections-in-democratic-revolution-plan/?amp&__twitter_impression=true

Rebecca Long Bailey is showing her principles, steel, political astuteness, and a true sense of democracy! 'Open Selections' will be immensely popular with the membership and is a game-changer which will help her win. This will put the spanner in the works for Keir "Trilateral Commission" Agent Starmer.

Vote for Rebecca Long-Bailey for Leader and Richard Burgon for Deputy Leader!

Protect ,

After hundreds of years of murder and theft, Western Civilisation is now capable of propping its relevance ONLY by resorting to Lies and Deceit to justify wanton violence against nations they dont like.

unknown drill ,

"Western Civilisation" – that's a good one, that is ! I like the idea of that. When can we start, then.

Jack_Garbo ,

You stole that one from Gandhi

Richard Le Sarc ,

The comment by that swine Higgins MUST win some prize for filthy hypocrisy, but at least they show, emphatically, that the metastasis has NO interest in the truth, just ensuring his NATO pay-cheque keeps on coming.

norman wisdom ,

the chap above mr henderson should avoid country walks with friendly mi5 sas or oded yinon mossad types
and if invited for country supper he should not carry pocket knife
while walking in the country
arm in arm with mossadick henchmen on way 2 n snuff out event
like dr kelly

or mountain top romantick snuff walk like robin cook

henderson should avoid all suicided push jump trip thoughts while mountain high

or avoid suicided pocket knife wrist attacks upon himself
while being carried too the designated ritual killing zone

certainly avoid any khazar company on designated chabad holiday

already

Rhys Jaggar ,

Eliot Higgins discussing 'establishing ones credibility' has to go down as joke of the decade, and we only in January 2020 ..

George Mc ,

Whatever the outcome of the planned challenge to OPCW officials by dissidents at a November 25th conference, the burden will fall upon them to make a compelling case for a false flag.

No, the burden always falls on those who make the initial claim. And that intial claim is what Henderson is disputing.

paul ,

I wouldn't take too much notice of Soros funded CIA Front NGOs if I were you. They'd swear that the moon was made of green cheese for a few bucks from Soros.

There you go with your racist dismissal of the head choppers again. They're not capable of making a hole in a roof or moving a couple of canisters around. And apparently local people (if there are any left in the area) have nothing better to do than scrutinise the activities of the head choppers to report on anything they do that is not 100% kosher.

paul ,

As to where the corpses came from, there are 3 options.
-The plastic dummies they use in their "atrocity" videos.
– The live "extras" who lie on sheets, pretending to be dead, until they get bored and start yawning and scratching their noses.
– Victims chosen at random from the hostages they have seized as human shields,
women and children driven round in cages on the backs of lorries. Or just villagers killed at random as grisly props in their latest theatrical production.

You seem to have a touching faith in the "reputation" of people who like to film themselves cannibalising corpses, beheading children, and slitting the throats of prisoners.

lundiel ,

Yes. I saw such an underground machine shop come munitions factory in a video by Vanessa Beeley filmed just after the liberation of Eastern Ghouta. It was full of European made precursors and British mortar shells in various stages of dismantling. All in preparation for "the final assault on Damascus" which was intercepted by the SAA.

paul ,

Luckily, the British special forces running the show managed to bug out through Israel after donning the obligatory white helmets.

Steve Hayes ,

When General Mad Dog Mattis was the US Secretary of Defence he publicly asserted that the US had no evidence that Assad had ever used chemical weapons. The corporate media largely ignored this admission. After his gaffe, Mattis subsequently stated that he was certain that Assad had used chemical weapons (although he offered nothing other than is certainty to support the assertion). The corporate media, of course, gave this claim a completely acritical platform, reporting it as though it was an established fact.

Richard Le Sarc ,

And isn' t it illuminating of the true nature of the Western Free Press and its presstitute denizens that this stonking great story has had virtually NO coverage, and that which appears is proyectile level disinfo and agit-prop for the child-killer salafists.

Gall ,

Should use quotes around "free". Unless your referring to its use as toilet paper, wrapping fish or lining the bottom of a bird cage.

JudyJ ,

Ian Henderson has more dignity and integrity in his little finger than Phipps and Pierce put together. They are either corrupt or seriously lacking in intellect. As a former UK HQ civil servant myself, I am ashamed that we appear to have sunk to an all time low in what they stand for and their willing subservience to the morally unscrupulous.

SO. ,

Henderson has probably forgotten more about chemical munitions design and deployment than a little turd like Higgins would ever know.

The fact Higgins *didn't* know who he is just goes to show you how well he understands the subject matter.

[Jan 22, 2020] Wikipedia is nothing but a tool for the concealment of truth.

Jan 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Arch Mangle , Jan 21 2020 14:04 utc | 3

The Wikipedia article on the Douma attack makes no mention of the recent OPCW leaks:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Douma_chemical_attack

It's clear to me that Wikipedia is nothing but a tool for the concealment of truth.

somebody , Jan 22 2020 12:39 utc | 96

Posted by: Walter | Jan 22 2020 12:30 utc | 95

Of course. Intelligence services wordwide and their governments knew this as soon as they saw the image.

But Western main stream media does not report on it.

[Jan 22, 2020] The blatant hoax of the OPCW Douma exercise is simply an insult to the common sense of humanity. The fact that so many children were sacrificed to give gravity to this hoax is simply macabre beyond belief.

Jan 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

uncle tungsten , Jan 22 2020 10:10 utc | 93

juliania #66
I do agree with Robert that the visa difficulties would suggest that the UN needs to find a new home in a country that would not bring such matters to that unhelpful conclusion.

Establishing the UN in one country was fine in the days of poor speed telecommunications. The entire Un should be a multi national establishment and distributed across the globe where technical and administrative mechanisms suit. There is no reason for Un to be centralised in USA in these day of excellent communications systems. Multinational corporations and vast states like Russia that span half the planet can achieve these things.

The blatant hoax of the OPCW Douma exercise is simply an insult to the common sense of humanity. The fact that so many children were sacrificed to give gravity to this hoax is simply macabre beyond belief. The OPCW is complicit in a crime against humanity and refuses to acknowledge it. Each and every one of the scientists that participated should give recorded testimony of what they know of the origins and fate of those children. THAT is an absolute priority evidence collection.

Laguerre , Jan 22 2020 15:58 utc | 104

Posted by: bevin | Jan 22 2020 15:38 utc | 103

I entirely agree. The really shocking thing was to denial of a visa for Henderson. That undermines the entire functioning of the UN as an entity at least to an extent independent of the US. The UN cannot function like that. It can only be a puppet of the US - and an open puppet, not concealed control (as many here have accused over the years).

Trump is not very subtle, he has wrecked many US policies, by exposing them in the open - for example, the treatment of the EU as a prime enemy. Nobody knew (though they guessed) how much the US treated the EU as a competitor. Now it's declared in the open.

[Jan 22, 2020] UK elite resorted to typical neofascist provocation in case of Skripal false falg

Jan 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Piotr Berman , Jan 22 2020 16:32 utc | 108

This is a relevant quote from a commentary in NYT, March 26, 2018 by Kadri Liik (@KadriLiik) is a senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations and the former director of the International Center for Defense Studies in Estonia.

"The world does not yet know the full details of the Skripal poisoning, but it does not feel like waiting, as the expulsions make clear. Too often in the past, Moscow has denied its involvement in cases that later end up being traced to the Kremlin or its proxies. The result is that its denials lack credibility. Now, the successful use of "plausible deniability" in all the previous cases collides with the Kremlin's current interests and contributes to the verdict: guilty until proven innocent."

Punishment before the proof, if you reverse the order you [do what Putin wants|make Putin happy], the outcome so ghastly that we cannot risk it. The truth has to be declared, and then, optionally, proven. Another option is to just repeat that, say, Qassim Suleimani was a terrorist. And punish.

Bombing of Barzeh as a punishment for un-investigated crime follows the template, duly approved by the sophisticated Europeans from a myriad of outfits like International Center for Defense Studies in Estonia. I would move all of them to Tiksi (check accuweather), a quiet and somewhat depopulated city on the shore of beautiful Arctic ocean, with an airport, a few thousand of empty apartments should accommodate them (if not, there are also former mining towns in the interior, although the may be colder). Cold Warriors should embrace the cold.

[Jan 22, 2020] Dissilution of the USSR turned the remnants of fascism into heroes

Notable quotes:
"... Many of those who sneaked out to Argentina and concealed themselves would have done better to have waited for Canada and the States to invite them to come and 'do their thing' in Cleveland, Chicago, Montreal and Edmonton, Alberta. ..."
"... Which leads me to the point I came here to make: the astonishing thing about the OPCW hearing is that Henderson was denied a visa. That really is shocking and a measure of how brutal, intellectually and actually, the US government has become. ..."
"... Not to mention the imposition of semi colonial hegemony over Europe. ..."
Jan 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

bevin , Jan 22 2020 15:38 utc | 103

somebody@94
Don't underestimate the transformation of residual 'blood and soil' themes in fascism into foundations of the Green movements. They were not simply dissenters within the communist tradition but rabid anti-communists. It was the intellectual traditions and the residual popular support among generations schooled in fascism-often literally schooled- which were preserved and amplified by the wave of anti-communism which came in from America. Like the legendary 'cavalry' rescuing the embattled settlers the US swooped into Europe, when all seemed lost, and turned the remnants of fascism into heroes.

Many of those who sneaked out to Argentina and concealed themselves would have done better to have waited for Canada and the States to invite them to come and 'do their thing' in Cleveland, Chicago, Montreal and Edmonton, Alberta.

Which leads me to the point I came here to make: the astonishing thing about the OPCW hearing is that Henderson was denied a visa. That really is shocking and a measure of how brutal, intellectually and actually, the US government has become. It has long been bad but things have reached the stage now where it has become clear that the likes Of Al Capone and the models for The Godfather movies, were babes in arms compared with the likes of Bolton or Pompeo.
When we consider Trump and the key, almost impossibly apt, fact that Roy Cohn was his mentor it is easy to forget that, in a sense, Roy Cohn was America's mentor. Cohn, who got the job of McCarthy's counsel, in competition with Bobby Kennedy, turned the Wisconsin Senator from a loose cannon into a guided missile against the residual American left and, a much easier target, the Intelligentsia.

And Cohn and McCarthy and the forces that they represented- the primordial forces of Capitalism- put the fear of poverty into them. It is impossible to understand the USA today, and its role in the world, without understanding that its intellectuals were intimidated into exile, silence, compromise, retreat and impotence as the new Imperialism set about its ruthless work. Look at the late forties, from Taft Hartley (and the crushing of the Unions)to such forgotten but signatory interventions as that in Guyana against Cheddi Jagan (repeated by JFK in 1960) Guatemala and Iran. Not to mention the imposition of semi colonial hegemony over Europe.

All these things have lasted. And Cohn's role in producing them was crucial-it was the bipartisanship of bigotry and brutality and Tammany gangsterism. (An old alliance that, between Jim Crow and the Machines.)

Trump is one of Cohn's kids but much more representative of them is Hillary Clinton, daughter of a John Bircher, a Goldwater girl, a 'feminist'-of the thoroughly sickening variety- and imbued with a hatred of Russia.


somebody , Jan 22 2020 21:00 utc | 118

Posted by: bevin | Jan 22 2020 15:38 utc | 103

Foundation members of the Greens were very diverse, for sure. The right wing ecofascist faction left them soon though - they were incompatible.

There is the elementary conflict between SPD/Linke voters and Greens though on industrial economic growth and consumerism.

karlof1 , Jan 22 2020 17:45 utc | 114

Bubbles @71--

The Soviet Union won the war, the United States won the peace... That didn't happen by accident.

The Outlaw US Empire immediately initiated the Cold War as soon as V-E day happened by collecting SS and Gestapo for redeployment into Eastern Europe to commit acts of terrorism, a preplanned exercise. It later held the farcical trials at Nuremburg. Walter's provided lots of nice insight into the aims of the Manhattan Project and real reason for murdering hundreds of thousands of innocent Japanese. The Great Evil that's today's USA got its start during WW2, but its philosophical underpinnings are as old as the Republic.

If History is going to be remembered correctly, then ALL of that History must be revealed--true and raw, just as Putin and the Russians propose to do with their historical memory project.

pretzelattack , Jan 22 2020 18:01 utc | 115
another benefit for the u.s., all those german scientists via operation paperclip. helped keep the mic running after it would normally ramp down postwar.
pretzelattack , Jan 22 2020 18:01 utc | 115 karlof1 , Jan 22 2020 19:02 utc | 116
bevin @103--

Yes, Standing Ovation!! So much of that's now swept under the rug. Henry Wallace was all too correct about US Fascism in his 1944 essay. During WW2, Charles Beard wrote a book that was initially serialized in Life magazine beginning on 17 Jan 1944, The Republic: Conversations on Fundamentals , which was read by and sold more copies than any of his works--ever--and was the last major book he produced. Yet, when you look at the short bibliography at Wikipedia or the one provided by its link to the American History Association, it is omitted--WHY? I used it as a teaching tool for both history and polisci because of its brilliant construction--the way in which Beard composed it as a series of conversations. This link provides a hint , or you can join the archive and "borrow" it as there's no open downloading of this book available--WHY? Lots of his other works are feely available. It's not hard to find used first editions for under $4, which attests to the number published. But it certainly seems like we're not supposed to know of this work as its airbrushing from his AHA bibliography suggests.

Maybe what Beard wrote about was too contrary to The Plan. Aha!! Beard wrote that it was his rebuttal to Henry Luce--the owner/publisher of Life and Time magazines--and his idea of an American Century meaning American Empire a la Rome/Britain--Pax Americana. The mystery gets deeper upon reading the introduction at the first link above. I wish I could copy/paste, but I'm barred from doing that, so you'll need to read it yourself. One can envision Bradbury's Firemen rushing out to eliminate just such a book with its heretical ideas about how the US federal government's supposed to operate and for whom.

But back to bevin and his recounting of a critical historical chapter that's also being airbrushed. Some of us barflies are akin to Bradbury's "Train People" from Fahrenheit 451 , but how confident are we that the stories we have to tell are being heard AND remembered so they don't vanish with us?

karlof1 , Jan 22 2020 20:04 utc | 117
116 Cont'd--

This is more for Bubbles @71, but applies to all. This is from 2017 upon the release of UN Holocaust files held back on request by the Outlaw US Empire and its vassal Britain as reported in an excellent article by Finnian Cunningham:

"In other words, the Cold War which the US and Britain embarked on after 1945 was but a continuation of hostile policy towards Moscow that was already underway well before the Second World War erupted in 1939 in the form of a build up of Nazi Germany. For various reasons, it became expedient for the Western powers to liquidate the Nazi war machine, along with the Soviet Union. But as can be seen, the Western assets residing in the Nazi machine were recycled into American and British Cold War posture against the Soviet Union. It is a truly damning legacy that American and British military intelligence agencies were consolidated and financed by Nazi crimes.

"The recent release of UN Holocaust files – in spite of American and British prevarication over many years – add more evidence to the historical analysis that these Western powers were deeply complicit in the monumental crimes of the Nazi Third Reich. They knew about these crimes because they had helped facilitate them. And the complicity stemmed from Western hostility towards Russia as a perceived geopolitical rival.

" This is not a mere historical academic exercise . Western complicity with Nazi Germany also finds a corollary in the present-day ongoing hostility from Washington, Britain and their NATO allies towards Moscow. The relentless build up of NATO offensive forces around Russia's borders, the endless Russophobia in Western propagandistic news media, the economic blockade in the form of sanctions based on tenuous claims, are all deeply rooted in history. [My Emphasis]
"The West's Cold War towards Moscow preceded the Second World War, continued after the defeat of Nazi Germany and persists to this day regardless of the fact that the Soviet Union no longer exists. Why? Because Russia is a perceived rival to Anglo-American capitalist hegemony, as is China or any other emerging power that undermines that desired unipolar hegemony.

"American-British collusion with Nazi Germany finds its modern-day manifestation in NATO collusion with the neo-Nazi regime in Ukraine and jihadist terror groups dispatched in proxy wars against Russian interests in Syria and elsewhere. The players may change over time, but the root pathology is American-British capitalism and its hegemonic addiction.

"The never-ending Cold War will only end when Anglo-American capitalism is finally defeated and replaced by a genuinely more democratic system."

The picture becomes clearer as we begin to realize that today's monsters--Pompeo, Pence, Bolton, Abrams, Rove, and others--are the same as yesterday's monsters, although they've moved from one side of the Atlantic to the other. What's currently happening ought to make informed people think again about who the Arc of Resistance is actually defending and what message Trump's murder of Soleimani is meant to convey--it's TINA once again: Neoliberal Fascism. It should also be noted that the release occurred soon after Trump became POTUS, giving a strong secondary motive for Russiagate and the Skripals shortly afterward.


karlof1 , Jan 22 2020 23:51 utc | 123
Bubbles @122--

Thanks for your reply. Are you aware of Operation Unthinkable , Operation Sunrise from which the former sprang, and Allen Dulles's activities in Italy and Germany during 1945?

AntiSpin @121--

Good to hear from you! I had a hard time digging up a copy of Life to read Luce's screed on the American Century which I photocopied. Today, a quick search now finds it online here (PDF), while here's a dissection that sets up the conflicting outlooks of Beard and Luce that IMO's useful. Indeed, Luce's views are quite the read given what the USA's become--do note the political party that feared and predicted such an outcome. It's a great misfortune that a discussion of the two doesn't even enter into graduate seminars about WW2; at least my undergrads got some exposure and learned of the two essay's existence.

AntiSpin , Jan 22 2020 23:11 utc | 121
@ karlof1 | Jan 22 2020 19:02 utc | 116

Thanks much for the information on Charles Beard's "forgotten" book. I just ordered a copy.

[Jan 22, 2020] Journalism as the last escape of mathematically illiterates

Jan 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Walter , Jan 22 2020 12:30 utc | 95

@ Russ | Jan 22 2020 8:33 utc | 86 (about the gas cylinder(s).

Any bright high-school kid who's been through the math curriculum and has some calculus can tell you, give you, a range of terminal velocities in air at that elevation. You have to assume that the thing fell in the "best" attitude, and also the "worst" attitude - a matter of aerodynamic drag. Obviously there's a terminal velocity - somewhere about 200 feet per second. There's a minimum altitude above which it doesn't fall any faster because of drag...and it has a krappy drag coefficient. You have to work with the numbers to get a fine understanding...but it's the sort of question you'd see in a university engineering exam.

The mass is assumed to be something like 100 pounds. Do the math.

Then there's the question of concrete quality...it's highly heterogeneous..but you can assume it's top quality, and estimate the rebar density and thickness from the pretty pictures.

And you can assume zero projectile deformation (not even straps torn off!!?) and the hole's not big enough.

The story's bull.

William Gruff , Jan 22 2020 13:48 utc | 98

somebody @96: "But Western main stream media does not report on it."

Of course not. The western corporate mass media does not have among their workforce "Any bright high-school kid who's been through the math curriculum and has some calculus..." that Walter @95 points out as being a prerequisite to see how bogus is the narrative they are tasked with amplifying. The workforce chose to major in Journalism specifically because they had difficulties with basic arithmetic, with such heartless and unyielding topics as addition and subtraction being forever beyond them in the absence of a calculator.

Many think I exaggerate or am joking, but this is literal truth. These individuals of which the corporate mass media are composed get their conception of physics from crappy syfy movies in which spaceship blasters make "Pew-pew!!" noises in the vacuum of space. If it is necessary for the plot that a flimsy canister is able to punch through steel rebar reinforced concrete with barely a scratch, then they are fine with it. If these new age journalists' "contact" in Langley (what we know to be their "handler" or "operator" ) says it is believable, they won't pause for an instant to question.

After all, earnest delusion and ignorance serves the Mockingbird mass media's handlers in the CIA far better than does cynical and deliberate deception, though that last does have a sizable role to play as well. Deliberate deception is difficult and requires some skill, while any American can do stupidity with the greatest of ease.

[Jan 21, 2020] UN Security Council Hears OPCW Inspector Testimony About The Manipulation Of 'Chemical Attack' Reports

Jan 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

UN Security Council Hears OPCW Inspector Testimony About The Manipulation Of 'Chemical Attack' Reports pretzelattack , Jan 21 2020 14:07 utc | 4

We have long maintained that the alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria, on April 7 2018 was faked by Jihadists shortly before they were evicted from that Damascus suburb.

By the end of last year leaked documents and a whistle blower from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had proven that the OPCW managers had manipulated the report their staff had written about the incident. The OPCW inspectors who had investigated the case on the ground in Douma found that there was evidence that a chemical attack had happened. The murdered people seem in videos from the alleged attack must have died of other causes. The yellow canisters found at the locations of the alleged attack were not dropped from helicopters but clearly manually placed.


bigger

Using the Arria-formula , a procedure to have witnesses testify to the UN Security Council, Russia and China invited other UN members to listen to the testimony of OPCW inspector Ian Henderson. He denounced the false final report the OPCW management had published. Henderson, a South African engineer, was a team leader at the OPCW where he had worked for more than twelve years.

Henderson's testimony can be watched here . Philip Watson transcribed Henderson's speech:

Cont. reading: UN Security Council Hears OPCW Inspector Testimony About The Manipulation Of 'Chemical Attack' Reports

Posted by b at 13:34 UTC | Comments (58) the u.s. can veto any proposed action, but at least the representatives had to sit still and listen. they'll probably look hard for some way to kneecap him like the first head of the opcw ("we know where your kids are") or julian assange.


Piotr Berman , Jan 21 2020 14:22 utc | 6

The Arria meeting at UNSC was skimpily reported. RT and some other sources focused on Russian accusations. Google hits only one western report, The Times of London. I skip here little:

Western nations accused Russia of sowing misinformation ...

Yesterday Russia convened an "Arria" meeting, in which the Security Council hears from civilians and experts outside the United Nations. Alexander Shulgin, Russia's ambassador to the OPCW, said that the gas cylinders had been placed on the scene by Syrian opposition groups "for provocative purposes".

Showing the council a series of slides, he claimed that a hole in a roof did not correspond to the shape of one of the gas cylinders and questioned how one of them had come to rest on a bed. "Now, I weigh about 90kg," he said. "If I incautiously throw myself down on the bed I always break something, the strut falls out, the slat falls out or something else." Yet here, he said, was a gas cylinder, apparently filled with chlorine, that had rebounded "at a wild angle" and came to rest "like a light swan".

Russia presented a video featuring Ian Henderson, who worked with the fact-finding team but differed with the OPCW's conclusions in internal emails that were leaked last year. It also presented Maxim Grigoriev, director of the Foundation for the Study of Democracy, who claimed that his group's research on the ground showed that no chemical attack had taken place.

The German ambassador, Christoph Heusgen, said that the Russian intelligence service itself had conducted a cyber attack on the OPCW last year, adding that this "shows how far Russia is prepared to go" in its efforts to discredit the organisation.

Mr Heusgen also questioned the expertise of the Foundation for the Study of Democracy, saying that its experts "belong to the school of Russian scientists that believes Ukraine invaded Russia".

Mr Heusgen said that, listening to the presentation, "I was thinking of Alice in Wonderland. This belongs in literature to the genre of fantasy and absurdity. While Alice in Wonderland is a great fiction, what we heard today is a very sad fiction."

Karen Pierce, Britain's representative at the United Nations, said that Russia had shut down an investigative body that assigned responsibility for chemical attacks after it showed that the Syrian Arab Republic was responsible for a sarin gas attack in Syria in 2017.

Mr Henderson's challenge to the conclusions of the report reflected "any scientific process" in which "there are bound to be robust exchanges of views" before a conclusion was reached. She added: "Someone in Russia is a fan of English literature, specifically they are very fond of Lewis Carrol."

GMJ , Jan 21 2020 14:26 utc | 7
We should remember that the US, UK, and France (sort of - they missed the launch sequence) attacked without even waiting for this fake report/excuse. And the western media applauded widely. It is sad. https://www.georgemjames.com/blog/what-is-the-us-military-legacy-since-2003 I never thought that I would write such things. GMJ
/div> Time to sue the hell out of these liars and drag them to ICC by Syria. Let them prove their innocence there and it will also solve visa problem when these liars will feel the heat and stop travelling to other countries for the fear of being arrested. State sponsored terror by those who are pretending to fight the terror!

Posted by: Test123 , Jan 21 2020 15:16 utc | 12

Time to sue the hell out of these liars and drag them to ICC by Syria. Let them prove their innocence there and it will also solve visa problem when these liars will feel the heat and stop travelling to other countries for the fear of being arrested. State sponsored terror by those who are pretending to fight the terror!

Posted by: Test123 | Jan 21 2020 15:16 utc | 12

ak74 , Jan 21 2020 15:27 utc | 14
A War Crimes Tribunal is awaiting America, Britain, France, and their allies.

The Douma scandal is merely the tip of the iceberg in terms of the American Axis' lies regarding not only Syria but many other nations (Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, etc.) that these war criminal "democracies" have attacked.

Waging wars of aggression based on deceptions like "Syrian Weapons of Mass Destruction" cannot go unpunished.

somebody , Jan 21 2020 15:38 utc | 15
Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 21 2020 14:37 utc | 8

Just checked. It is outside of the reporting of German main stream media. Same as wikileaks - they don't mention their leaks any longer.

According to opinion polls most Germans are against German military involvement in Syria.

If you ask people in Germany about "disinformation, misrepresentation and absurdities" most would connect it to Trump not Putin. The German government took the extraordinary step to confirm that they had been blackmailed versus Iran by Trump threatening tariffs for the car industry. There is also the case of Nord Stream II which will be built though the US threw everything they had at it.

There is a German-Russian community and they watch Russian media. There used to be a push by Russia to "protect" "our Russians" against immigrants in Germany but after some stern talks this has stopped. I guess Russian support for AFD has also stopped.

It is obvious that Germany will insist on trade with Russia and China. All Putin has to do is wait for Trump (and Boris Johnson) to cut the last Atlantic bridge.

There is a German version of RT, I just had a look, they sound pretty mainstream and relaxed on the disinformation front. Actually most of the non-Western stuff nowadays looks like this - Press TV, Xinhua. I guess they feel they can be a contrast to Donald Trump's post fact era - which Bush's "truthiness" for invading Iraq has started.

john , Jan 21 2020 16:12 utc | 17
ak74 @ 14 says:

A War Crimes Tribunal is awaiting America, Britain, France, and their allies

in 2011 the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal found former US president George W Bush and former British prime minister Tony Blair guilty of crimes against humanity, so they have a head start, but yeah, you just know that these criminal fuckers are shaking in their boots, what with the way things are trending and all. it'll be psychologically devastating for masses of Americans, though perhaps by that time the worst effects will have been ameliorated by all the writing on the wall.

BM , Jan 21 2020 16:33 utc | 18
The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal found Bush and Blair guilty ... and subsequently Malaysia seems to have been forced to pay a heavy price, namely MH370 and MH17.
Bubbles , Jan 21 2020 16:50 utc | 20
More counter official OPCW narrative input,

"Important Douma OPCW update from Prof. Piers Robinson
vanessa beeley / 2 days ago "

https://thewallwillfall.org/2020/01/19/important-douma-opcw-update-from-prof-piers-robinson/


In depth;

"How the OPCW's investigation of the Douma incident was nobbled*"

http://syriapropagandamedia.org/how-the-opcws-investigation-of-the-douma-incident-was-nobbled


Brown Noses aka Bellingcat also receives attention for it's slippery ways above.

frances , Jan 21 2020 16:59 utc | 21
The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal found Bush and Blair guilty ... and subsequently Malaysia seems to have been forced to pay a heavy price, namely MH370 and MH17.
Posted by: BM | Jan 21 2020 16:33 utc | 18

Yes, apparently the final straw was when the President refused to accept US aid, rebellions ensued and a S compliant and apparently quite corrupt govt is now in place.

jayc , Jan 21 2020 18:05 utc | 28
As described by Times of London - an extremely poor response by western representatives at the UNSC, all ad hominem attacks and incredulity. This story has been brewing for months, with a fair amount of established detail on the process used to arrive at the published report. To attempt to use the OPCW's own weak retort that it was merely a "robust exchange of views" rather than conscious manipulation, a line of argument long superseded by the collected facts, shows the western representatives are feigning ignorance, and they do so confident that most news "consumers" are in fact ignorant of these matters because they are simply not reported.
Harry , Jan 21 2020 18:07 utc | 29
Re Pyotr Berman

Lewis Carroll. How apt!

"Alice laughed. 'There's no use trying,' she said. 'One can't believe impossible things.'

I daresay you haven't had much practice,' said the Queen. 'When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast. There goes the shawl again!"

― Lewis Carroll

AriusArmenian , Jan 21 2020 18:15 utc | 30
Corruption and manipulation in western influenced and controlled institutions has become the norm in the West. The public has been normalized to blindly accepting lies by the political and corporate elites. The people are easily kept under control by narratives of fear and hate.

Truth and honesty from anything the western elites touch is now rare and precious.

William Gruff , Jan 21 2020 18:21 utc | 31
A quick note about the chlorine "bombs" that were seen in Douma: Those are 100# propane tanks. ASME, DOT, and UN standards only require they have a burst pressure of up to 400psi (ASME is only 275psi). In normal operation propane only pressurizes the tanks to around 100psi. Because of this the tank walls are usually made of 10 or 11 gauge mild steel... about .125" thick.

For comparison SCUBA tanks operate up to 3000psi and have wall thicknesses of over .25"... twice as thick as a 100# propane tank. They are also made from higher grade steels and not plain old cold rolled.

Large high pressure gas cylinders are fairly rugged items, but even so I have a difficult time imagining one punching through steel reinforced concrete and remaining largely undamaged.

Propane gas tanks are NOT high pressure gas cylinders. They are flimsy in comparison. It is not surprising that the OPCW team that actually visited the site of the supposed bombing dismissed the terrorists' narrative. What is surprising is the number of supposedly non-stupid people who believe that the tanks were dropped from helicopters, punched through steel reinforced concrete, and came to rest in the condition seen in the photographs. It takes habituated suspension of disbelief of a population perpetually plugged into the boob tube to accept that nonsense.

NoOneYouKnow , Jan 21 2020 18:50 utc | 34
Wikipedia is fine for unimportant info. I hope anyone who relies on it for serious subjects reads this: https://medium.com/@helen.buyniski/wikipedia-rotten-to-the-core-dcc435781c45
Also, in the penultimate sentence of Nebenzia's statement, "shelled" should be "shelved."
juliania , Jan 21 2020 19:21 utc | 40
In addition to the falsification of the report, now presented as undeniable fact to the Security Council, b takes note of two other atrocities - first:

"...Videos from Douma at the time of the incident showed some 30 bodies of dead persons. Most were children. It is up to day unknown who they were and who had murdered them. The OPCW manipulation of the original reports of its inspectors' findings is a cover up for that huge crime..."

There should be a thorough investigation of the identities of these victims. I am guessing the atrocities were perpetrated in a school, if most of the victims were children. Was it in this very building? Had some sort of hostage situation been taking place?

Secondly, the building totally destroyed and seen in b's coverage was one which researched medical and agricultural concerns for Syria - a huge loss in itself, not to mention if there were people within. I don't remember seeing news of that, would appreciate a link if anyone has it.

Thanks b, for your coverage here; it is most important. I had mentioned an argument with an anti-Assad person a while back. (Told him to come here and read; I hope he did.) His main point was the lie that Assad had 'gassed his own people.' Maybe I'll encounter him again.

I further think if the UN Security Council ignores this it will take on the same shade of black currently shrouding the USA. It's currently grey in my book.

Robert , Jan 21 2020 19:35 utc | 42
As I see it the real problem is the UN based in the US. Not mentioned is that the OPCW inspector's testimony had to be given by Tele conference because he could not get a visa to attend. Remember too that the Iranian foreign minister has been refused a visa to attend the UN. Remember that Bustani was forced to resign as the head of OPCW because of vile,naked threats against his family.
Paleene , Jan 21 2020 19:38 utc | 43
@ Norwegian # 30

Thank you very much for this absolutely disgusting information. Sheds a different light on the Breivik-affair. :-(

Guy THORNTON , Jan 21 2020 19:39 utc | 44
"What is surprising is the number of supposedly non-stupid people who believe that the tanks were dropped from helicopters, punched through steel reinforced concrete, and came to rest in the condition seen in the photographs."
Posted by: William Gruff | Jan 21 2020 18:21 utc | 31

Agreed. I've never understood why the Russians haven't filmed the dropping of a few similar cylinders from helicopters at various heights....onto flat roofs of concrete apartment blocks.....so that everyone can see the result for comparison instead of endless theorising. You'd have thought the OPCW inspectors would have done this....but no mention of it.

Formerly T-Bear , Jan 21 2020 20:02 utc | 48
Having watched the UNSC meeting concerning the OPCW perfidious economy with fact, the British permanent envoy to the UN's 'performance' made it hard to not think the 'woman' would make the perfect character to fill the part of the lead concubine for Star Wars Jabba the Hutt, the demeanour, the ethics (doubtlessly supplied by Integrity Initiative), the appearance.
Wondrous things are made on that small island just off the coast of Europe, and some should be best kept there. Poor Europe, so far from heaven, so close to Britain.
Jen , Jan 21 2020 21:35 utc | 53
Juliania @ 40:

Based on other online news I have seen in the past, I think it is likely that the dead children shown in the videos had been kidnapped by the takfiris in various villages and other communities, targeted for being Orthodox Christian or Alawite believers, over the years. If the videos have no time stamps on them, then we have no way of knowing how long these children have been dead; they could have been dead for years and the videos themselves of equal vintage before the takfiris decided to make them public. The children may not all be from the same community or school; they could have been grouped together before they were killed or their bodies removed from where they were murdered and then grouped together.

The children may not even have been killed by CWs. I have seen some online photos of Syrian children said to have died from CW suffocation and in some of those photos, there was evidence of blunt force trauma around the hairline near the foreheads and ears.

The only way we'd know the identities of the children is if their families and communities are able to come forward and see the videos and other visual evidence. That's if the relatives are still alive or still in Syria.

Mother Agnes Mariam el Sahib , speaking to RT, on the video footage purporting to show dead victims of CW attacks (August 2013) in East Ghouta:

"... I have carefully studied the footage, and I will present a written analysis on it a bit later. I maintain that the whole affair was a frame-up. It had been staged and prepared in advance with the goal of framing the Syrian government as the perpetrator.

The key evidence is that Reuters made these files public at 6.05 in the morning. The chemical attack is said to have been launched between 3 and 5 o'clock in the morning in Guta. How is it even possible to collect a dozen different pieces of footage, get more than 200 kids and 300 young people together in one place, give them first aid and interview them on camera, and all that in less than three hours? Is that realistic at all? As someone who works in the news industry, you know how long all of it would take.

The bodies of children and teenagers we see in that footage – who were they? What happened to them? Were they killed for real? And how could that happen ahead of the gas attack? Or, if they were not killed, where did they come from? Where are their parents? How come we don't see any female bodies among all those supposedly dead children?

I am not saying that no chemical agent was used in the area – it certainly was. But I insist that the footage that is now being peddled as evidence had been fabricated in advance. I have studied it meticulously, and I will submit my report to the UN Human Rights Commission based in Geneva ..."

The girls may have been separated from other hostages to be married off to takfiris or used in sex trafficking schemes; or if dead, their bodies disposed of somehow. The extreme religious beliefs of ISIS, al Nusra and other takfiris probably don't allow them to touch the bodies of dead women and girls.

[Jan 21, 2020] Russia Asks OPCW to Meet to Resolve Issues Over Report on Chemical Use in Syria Envoy - Sputnik International

Notable quotes:
"... Reports about an alleged chemical attack in Eastern Ghouta's Duma emerged on April 7, 2018. The European Union and the United States promptly accused Damascus of being behind it, while the Syrian government denied any involvement. Syria and Russia, a close ally of the former, said that the attack was staged by local militants and the White Helmets group. ..."
"... A week later, without waiting for the results of an international investigation, the United States, the United Kingdom and France hit what they called Syria's chemical weapons facilities with over 100 missiles in response to the reported attack. ..."
Jan 21, 2020 | sputniknews.com

Russia urged to convene a briefing with the participation of OPCW Fact-Finding-Mission (FFM) experts, who worked on the report on alleged chemical attack in Syria's Duma in April 2018, to reach an agreement on this controversial case, Alexander Shulgin, Russia's envoy to OPCW, said at a Security Council meeting. On Monday, members of the UN Security Council, at the request of the Russian mission, held an informal meeting to assess the situation around the FMM's Final Report on the incident in the Arab Republic .

In November, whistleblowing website WikiLeaks published an email, sent by a member of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) mission to Syria to his superiors, in which he voiced his "gravest" concerns over the redacted version of the report in question, which he co-authored. According to the OPCW employee, the document, which is understood to have been edited by the secretariat, misrepresented facts, omitted certain details and introduced "unintended bias," having "morphed into something quite different to what was originally drafted."

"We once again propose to resolve the conflicting situation through the means of holding of a briefing under the auspices of the OPCW and, possibly, with the assistance of all concerned countries and with the participation of all experts of the Fact-Finding-Mission, who worked on the Duma incident, to find a consensus on this resonant incident," Shulgin said on Monday.

Shulgin also suggested that the working methods of FFM must be improved, stressing the necessity for its members to personally visit sites of alleged use of chemical weapons and collect evidence samples, as well as strictly adhere to the chain of custody over the items of evidence and guarantee geographically-balanced makeup of the mission.

In July, Shulgin said that the head of the mission probing claims of a chemical attack in Duma had never travelled to this city.

Reports about an alleged chemical attack in Eastern Ghouta's Duma emerged on April 7, 2018. The European Union and the United States promptly accused Damascus of being behind it, while the Syrian government denied any involvement. Syria and Russia, a close ally of the former, said that the attack was staged by local militants and the White Helmets group.

A week later, without waiting for the results of an international investigation, the United States, the United Kingdom and France hit what they called Syria's chemical weapons facilities with over 100 missiles in response to the reported attack.

[Jan 03, 2020] Skripals false flag along with Douma false flag and OPCW role in it, as well as DNC hack and Gussifer 2.0 false flags might be a watershed events in terms of the ability of the neoliberal MSM to control public opinion.

Notable quotes:
"... That is if the MSM get their way! Maybe I am being overoptimistic, but Russia - as a permanent member of the UNSC and a member of the OPCW - will do everything in it's powers to pursue this matter, and it seems quite possible they will be able to force it onto the main agenda within 2020. If that happens it will be impossible for the MSM to push it under the rug. ..."
"... The other aspect it is that the MSM ability to suppress this news is dependent on behaviour of the MSM community in its totality, and the relationship to reader plausibility ..."
"... What determines whether one MSM decides to break the pack and publish news on OPCW? Well, for one thing, MoA articles can influence individual journalists and individual editors! ..."
Jan 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

BM , Dec 31 2019 17:18 utc | 15

B, under the "major stories covered" title you should include Skripal, about which you wrote many important articles; I believe ultimately - like OPCW and Russiagate - it will prove to be history-making event in terms of impact on public perceptions of media and the ability of the media to control public opinion. Probably eventually whistleblowers will come forward like the OPCW, and only thin will it have it's maximum impact.

(Well, the original event was 2018 not 2019, but some of the reports were in 2019 anyway)

BM , Dec 31 2019 17:36 utc | 20

My predictions on these issue for next year are:
...
Mainstream media have suppressed all news about the OPCW scandal. This will only change if major new evidence comes to light.

That is if the MSM get their way! Maybe I am being overoptimistic, but Russia - as a permanent member of the UNSC and a member of the OPCW - will do everything in it's powers to pursue this matter, and it seems quite possible they will be able to force it onto the main agenda within 2020. If that happens it will be impossible for the MSM to push it under the rug.

The other aspect it is that the MSM ability to suppress this news is dependent on behaviour of the MSM community in its totality, and the relationship to reader plausibility. There are a few factors that could influence this independently of major new evidence, such as the behaviour of a few outlier MSM's that decide to release information (and whether or not that information then takes off in the public consciousness); pressure that could build up in social media calling for the MSM to respond and attacking MSM credibility; or other forms of pressure from the public calling on the MSM to respond. It is therefore a dynamic that is not entirely predictable.

Both of the above are distinct from the emergence of new major evidence, although both cases would seem likely to provoke new revelations in turn.

What determines whether one MSM decides to break the pack and publish news on OPCW? Well, for one thing, MoA articles can influence individual journalists and individual editors!

[Jan 03, 2020] Skirpals, OPCW, and MH17, Assange, Russian athletic doping. Are there any believers still out there?

Jan 03, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Robert Fisk via The Independent,

In the very early spring of this year, I gave a lecture to European military personnel interested in the Middle East. It was scarcely a year since Bashar al-Assad's alleged use of chlorine gas against the civilian inhabitants of the Damascus suburb of Douma on 7 April 2018, in which 43 people were said to have been killed.

Few present had much doubt that the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which represents 193 member states around the world, would soon confirm in a final report that Assad was guilty of a war crime which had been condemned by Donald Trump, Emmanuel Macron and Theresa May.

But at the end of my talk, a young Nato officer who specialises in chemical weapons – he was not British – sought me out for a private conversation.

"The OPCW are not going to admit all they know," he said. "They've already censored their own documents."

I could not extract any more from him. He smiled and walked away, leaving me to guess what he was talking about. If Nato had doubts about the OPCW, this was a very serious matter.

When it published its final report in March this year, the OPCW said that testimony, environmental and biomedical samples and toxicological and ballistic analyses provided "reasonable grounds" that "the use of a toxic chemical had taken place" in Douma which contained "reactive chlorine".

The US, Britain and France, which launched missile attacks on Syrian military sites in retaliation for Douma – before any investigation had taken place – thought themselves justified. The OPCW's report was splashed across headlines around the world – to the indignation of Russia, Assad's principal military ally, which denied the validity of the publication.

Then, in mid-May 2019, came news of a confidential report by OPCW South African ballistics inspector Ian Henderson – a document which the organisation excluded from its final report – which took issue with the organisation's conclusions. Canisters supposedly containing chlorine gas may not have been dropped by Syrian helicopters, it suggested, and could have been placed at the site of the attack by unknown hands.

Peter Hitchens of the Mail on Sunday reported in detail on the Henderson document. No other mainstream media followed up this story . The BBC, for example, had reported in full on the OPCW's final report on the use of chlorine gas, but never mentioned the subsequent Henderson story.

And here I might myself have abandoned the trail had I not received a call on my Beirut phone shortly after the Henderson paper, from the Nato officer who had tipped me off about the OPCW's apparent censorship of its own documents. "I wasn't talking about the Henderson report," he said abruptly. And immediately terminated our conversation. But now I understand what he must have been talking about.

For in the past few weeks, there has emerged deeply disturbing new evidence that the OPCW went far further than merely excluding one dissenting voice from its conclusions on the 2018 Douma attack.

The most recent information – published on WikiLeaks, in a report from Hitchens again and from Jonathan Steele, a former senior foreign correspondent for The Guardian – suggests that the OPCW suppressed or failed to publish, or simply preferred to ignore, the conclusions of up to 20 other members of its staff who became so upset at what they regarded as the misleading conclusions of the final report that they officially sought to have it changed in order to represent the truth . (The OPCW has said in a number of statements that it stands by its final report.)

At first, senior OPCW officials contented themselves by merely acknowledging the Henderson report's existence a few days after it appeared without making any comment on its contents. When the far more damaging later reports emerged in early November, Fernando Arias, the OPCW's director general, said that it was in "the nature of any thorough enquiry for individuals in a team to express subjective views. While some of the views continue to circulate in some public discussion forums, I would like to reiterate that I stand by the independent, professional conclusion [of the investigation]." The OPCW declined to respond to questions from Hitchens or Steele.

But the new details suggest that other evidence could have been left unpublished by the OPCW. These were not just from leaked emails, but given by an OPCW inspector – a colleague of Henderson – who was one of a team of eight to visit Douma and who appeared at a briefing in Brussels last month to explain his original findings to a group of disarmament, legal, medical and intelligence personnel.

As Steele reported afterwards, in a piece published by Counterpunch in mid-November 2019, the inspector – who gave his name to his audience, but asked to be called "Alex" – said he did not want to undermine the OPCW but stated that "most of the Douma team" felt the two reports on the incident (the OPCW had also published an interim report in 2018) were "scientifically impoverished, procedurally irregular and possibly fraudulent". Alex said he sought, in vain, to have a subsequent OPCW conference to address these concerns and "demonstrate transparency, impartiality and independence".

For example, Alex cited the OPCW report's claim that "various chlorinated organic chemicals (COCs) were found" in Douma, but said that there were "huge internal arguments" in the OPCW even before its 2018 interim report was published . Findings comparing chlorine gas normally present in the atmosphere with evidence from the Douma site were, according to Alex, kept by the head of the Douma mission and not passed to the inspector who was drafting the interim report. Alex said that he subsequently discovered that the COCs in Douma were "no higher than you would expect in any household environment", a point which he says was omitted from both OPCW reports. Alex told his Brussels audience that these omissions were "deliberate and irregular".

Alex also said that a British diplomat who was OPCW's chef de cabinet invited several members of the drafting team to his office, where they found three US officials who told them that the Syrian regime had conducted a gas attack and that two cylinders found in one building contained 170 kilograms of chlorine. The inspectors, Alex remarked, regarded this as unacceptable pressure and a violation of the OPCW's principles of "independence and impartiality".

Regarding the comments from Alex, the OPCW has pointed to the statement by Arias that the organisation stands by its final report.

Further emails continue to emerge from these discussions. This weekend, for example, WikiLeaks sent to The Independent an apparent account of a meeting held by OPCW toxicologists and pharmacists "all specialists in CW (Chemical Warfare)", according to the document. The meeting is dated 6 June 2018 and says that "the experts were conclusive in their statements that there is no correlation between symptoms [of the victims] and chlorine exposure."

In particular, they stated that "the onset of excessive frothing, as a result of pulmonary edema observed in photos and reported by witnesses would not occur in the short time period between the reported occurrence of the alleged incident and the time the videos were recorded". When I asked for a response to this document, a spokesman for the OPCW headquarters in Holland said that my request would be "considered". That was on Monday 23 December.

Any international organisation, of course, has a right to select the most quotable parts of its documentation on any investigation, or to set aside an individual's dissenting report – although, in ordinary legal enquiries, dissenting voices are quite often acknowledged. Chemical warfare is not an exact science – chlorine gas does not carry a maker's name or computer number in the same way that fragments of tank shells or bombs often do.

But the degree of unease within the OPCW's staff surely cannot be concealed much longer. To the delight of the Russians and the despair of its supporters, an organisation whose prestige alone should frighten any potential war criminals is scarcely bothering to confront its own detractors. Military commanders may conceal their tactics from an enemy in time of war, but this provides no excuse for an important international organisation dedicated to the prohibition of chemical weapons to allow its antagonists to claim that it has "cooked the books" by permitting political pressure to take precedence over the facts. And that is what is happening today.

The deep concerns among some of the OPCW staff and the deletion of their evidence does not mean that gas has not been used in Syria by the government or even by the Russians or by Isis and its fellow Islamists. All stand guilty of war crimes in the Syrian conflict. The OPCW's response to the evidence should not let war criminals off the hook. But it certainly helps them.

And what could be portrayed as acts of deceit by a supposedly authoritative body of international scientists can lead some to only one conclusion: that they must resort to those whom the west regards as "traitors" to security – WikiLeaks and others – if they wish to find out the story behind official reports . So far, the Russians and the Syrian regime have been the winners in the propaganda war. Such organisations as the OPCW need to work to make sure the truth can be revealed to everyone. Tags Politics

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[Jan 01, 2020] OPCW fiasco with false flag operation in Douma might inflict serious damages in the long run even taking into account that the USA already lost all the credibility

Jan 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

DontBelieveEitherPr. , Dec 31 2019 22:10 utc | 49

Congratulations from me too!
Especially your work on OPCW! Even a MSM "alpha journalist" like Hitchens was forced to give props to you reporting those otherwise not reported information about the hospital "victims" being there even before the alleged attack!

Sadly i dont see the US pulling out of Iraq. The US is wanted there by a huge part of the Iraqis (As counterweight to Iran), not only by Sunni, but also by many Shias.
Even a totally pro-Shia reporter like Elijah reports that. So with that large Anti-Iran sentiment the US will not be forced to leave until Iraqis from ALL confessions, tribes, political factions and other groups agree to force the US out.(I dont claim the Anti-Iran sentiment in Iraq is as valid as those people think, and it certainly is fueled by Gulf state and US propaganda, but it is a fact this sentiment is prevalent).

As Elijah writes, Iraqis are "emotional", in this context meaning easily manipulated by (anti-Iran) propaganda/fake news, and just like the protests/riots without coherent political plan, and realistic objectives.
Also Iran was pretty crude and Qassem Soleimani not as subtle as needed when they tried to use their soft power in the political struggle, opposed to the gulf states and the US. At least this is the prevailing view of the Iraqis, which makes it real for them, no matter how valid it is or not is.

Many Iraqis felt offended by this, and they now have a very strong patriotism, which fueled the riots and attacks on Iranian linked targets. They felt their honor was attacked, and they acted as their culture and society demands when someone offends you: They hit back, violently.

That the US has this time not used their power as much as before to influence Iraq in the elections, likely made Iran's use of soft power more visible, and therefore led many Iraqis to see the US and gulf states as the smaller evil.

This unreflected, emotional and often violent patriotism now seems to be universally for most Iraqis. Even the Shia religious leaders agitate for a sovereign Iraqis, without any interference from Iran or US. So the US clearly won the battle here for the moment in a hybrid war/soft power view concerning the public image of Iran in Iraq.
Only thing that could turn this around fast would be a public outcry against the US.

If the current air strikes are enough? i dont think so. The US can claim they only attacked Iran linked soldiers, even though they are now part of the Iraqi army command strucure, and many Iraqis have no problem with that.
And as Iraqis are sick of war, understandable, they also dont want those Iranian linked forces to use Iraq as a battleground against the US. And the multiple attacks in the last weeks against US installations to which the US did not react militarily, are seen by many Iraqis as just that; Iran misusing Iraq as a proxy battleground to fight the US. They think the US had to react sometime.

Then there is Al Sadr, who is rumored to be the main man who instigated the riots against Iranian targets with his forces. But he may change sides and now turn (again) against the US, who knows.
All in all, the US now seems less interested to influence politics in Iraq directly like the US always did before. Trump seems to really want to get out of the MENA and focus on China etc.
But Iran would have to act more cleverly with a soft power approach to turn the Iraqis currently bad image of Iran into something more positive and leverage that situation where the US is less focused on the Middle East.

Then, and only then, if the Iraqis would not see Iran as a threat to sovereignty anymore, would they force the US out of Iraq.
But all that may not matter anyway, as Iraq is on a downward spiral, and the whole political system reeks of Weimar.

Democracy is seen by the majority now as the rule of the corrupt. The protesters rallied for the Shia general (connected to the US) who (in their mind) saved them from Isis to take over and clean the corrupt politicians out. Just like Saddam was a hope for most Iraqis back in the day.
An "enlightened despot".

And while it may send shivers down many of our western political minds who believe that our ideology is universal to humanity(Social Democracy, Neo Liberal Democracy, Socialism, ..):
Maybe it is the only realistic option; The best realistic result based on realpolitik.

The Middle East is not Western Europe. Democracy does work not in tribalism, islamic tradition and law, sectarianism, without any real civil society whatsoever.
The only options are living like the last 1500 years politically; Anarchic and tribalistic. Or with a central state hold together by a ruthless despot that gouverns respecting popular demands.
Western Democracy in Iraq is an imperialistic project doomed to fail. As sad as this may be for many of us westerners.

[Jan 01, 2020] Abuse of UN by CIA connected jihadist groups

Notable quotes:
"... New York Times ..."
Jan 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Russia has received a lot of criticism over the bombing of alleged 'hospitals' in Syria which were registered on a UN sponsored list. The Russian military argued that the positions on the UN list were not of real hospitals but of ammunition depots or command centers of the Jihadists. After it had published dozens of articles bashing Russia's campaign the New York Times has finally admitted that Russia was right:

The U.N. Tried to Save Hospitals in Syria. It Didn't Work.

United Nations officials only recently created a unit to verify locations provided by relief groups that managed the exempt sites, some of which had been submitted incorrectly, The Times found. Such instances of misinformation give credibility to Russian criticisms that the system cannot be trusted and is vulnerable to misuse.
...
The groups give locations of their own choosing to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the agency that runs the system.

A document prepared by the agency warned that participation in the system "does not guarantee" the safety of the sites or their personnel. The document also stated that the United Nations would not verify information provided by participating groups.
...
While investigating an airstrike in November, The Times discovered that a relief group had provided coordinates for its health center that were around 240 meters away. When another hospital was bombed in May, The Times found that the coordinates submitted by its supporting organization pointed to an unrelated structure around 765 meters north.

After questions from The Times prompted the organization to review its deconfliction list, a staff member discovered that it had provided the United Nations with incorrect locations for 14 of its 19 deconflicted sites . The original locations had been logged by a pharmacist. The list had been with the United Nations humanitarian agency for eight months, and no one had contacted the organization to correct the locations, a member of the organization's staff said.

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b at 15:42 UTC | Comments (65)


alaff , Dec 29 2019 16:07 utc | 1

Interesting news. ANNA NEWS, in a recent report, announced an investigation into the infamous "White Helmets". The material promises to be very interesting, with an abundance of exclusive video, details, interviews etc. The film should be released tomorrow (December 30 at 19h Moscow time).

Here is the announcement (at 9'55).

Btw, I do not exclude the possibility that when this movie is released, the ANNA NEWS youtube channel account will suddenly be blocked again without explanation. Will see.

Brendan , Dec 29 2019 18:50 utc | 12
Breaking news from the NYT: 19 of the 20 reports so far of the destruction of the last hospital in Idlib were untrue. The incorrect locations were submitted by the White Helmets (just an honest mistake).
Jackrabbit , Dec 29 2019 20:51 utc | 17
Caitlin Johnstone: Narrative Managers Claim White Helmets Founder Was Driven To Suicide By Syria Skeptics

I linked to ZeroHedge's reposting because of the comments which reflect skepticism about the apparent death of Jeffery Epstein as well as James Le Mesurier:

Zappalives
This guy is probably having a cocktail with epstein and his new girl whores.

Kreator
Coroner concluded that this suicide was one of the most unusual ones that he ever saw. Founder of White Helmets was found stabbed, hanged and shot.

Colonel Klinks Ghost
This has CIA/Mossad written ALL over it. And Jeffrey Epstein killed himself. Got it!

Cluster_Frak
White Helmet is a CIA fraud, and the founder retired with full pension and benefits. Suicide was just a cover for a job well done exit.


Baghdadi's killing was also rather strange.

One either believes the Empire kills those in its service when they have become inconvenient liabilities or these guys (Le Mesurier, Epstein, Baghdadi) were extracted and are living comfortably in retirement.

!!

snake , Dec 29 2019 21:03 utc | 19
Thanks B, at my pay grade I am not able to say that White means terror and helmet means ism.

Source in Syria: militants transport chlorine in coordination with White Helmets

the food that feeds and powers the nation state system

http://whatdoesitmean.com/ <= has this site been removed it has been unreachable for days now.. ?/

Brendan , Dec 29 2019 21:59 utc | 25
I didn't see it in the NYT article, but the false reporting of the hospital locations by "multiple NGOs" was supposedly just done "accidently". That's according to an NYT investigator who used to work for Bellingcat.
https://twitter.com/trbrtc/status/1211384089472843778

My previous comment about the last hospital in Idlib was a joke, but the NYT's Mr. Triebert seems to be serious about the accidental fake news about hospital locations. RIP satire.

[Jan 01, 2020] Catlin Johnstone link about the latest Wikileaks dump about OPCW and who Voldemort is

Jan 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

snake , Dec 29 2019 5:30 utc | 60

psychohistorian , Dec 29 2019 5:53 utc | 61

Below is a link to a Catlin Johnstone link about the latest Wikileaks dump about OPCW and who Voldemort is

Media's Deafening Silence On Latest WikiLeaks Drops Is Its Own Scandal

The take away quote
"
Up until the OPCW leaks, WikiLeaks drops always made mainstream news headlines. Everyone remembers how the 2016 news cycle was largely dominated by leaked Democratic Party emails emerging from the outlet. Even the relatively minor ICE agents publication by WikiLeaks last year, containing information that was already public, garnered headlines from top US outlets like The Washington Post , Newsweek, and USA Today. Now, on this exponentially more important story, zero coverage.

The mass media's stone-dead silence on the OPCW scandal is becoming its own scandal, of equal or perhaps even greater significance than the OPCW scandal itself. It opens up a whole litany of questions which have tremendous importance for every citizen of the western world; questions like, how are people supposed to participate in democracy if all the outlets they normally turn to to make informed voting decisions adamantly refuse to tell them about the existence of massive news stories like the OPCW scandal? How are people meant to address such conspiracies of silence when there is no mechanism in place to hold the entire mass media to account for its complicity in it? And by what mechanism are all these outlets unifying in that conspiracy of silence?
"

[Jan 01, 2020] Mike Figueroa from The Humanist Report has got a bunch of angry leftists hating on Tulsi Gabbard for her Christmas greeting today on twitter and youtube,

Imbecilization of discussion of controversial issues like in case of your comment is a normal development typical for the periods of intellectual declines which naturally follows the economic decline of a given empire.
There's growing evidence the West is going through the same process as the USSR.
Jan 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Kali , Dec 29 2019 2:52 utc | 49
Mike Figueroa from The Humanist Report has got a bunch of angry leftists hating on Tulsi Gabbard for her Christmas greeting today on twitter and youtube, they are claiming Tulsi is "too religious" or "she is pandering to evangelicals." They have gone insane obviously and are hating on Tulsi for other reasons (she dares challenge Bernie for president). Pam Ho breaks it all down for you at Like, In The Year 2024

TJ , Dec 28 2019 18:10 utc | 10

OPCW-DOUMA - Release Part 4

We now have Voldemorts real name, Sebastien Braha.

augrr , Dec 29 2019 0:10 utc | 39
Re #10

Voldemort is on LinkedIn. I wanted to congratulate him on his ethics (NOT) but did not have the status with LinkedIn required to email someone.

Perhaps someone else in the bar could send him a message - needs to be a premium member.

psychohistorian , Dec 29 2019 5:53 utc | 61
Below is a link to a Catlin Johnstone link about the latest Wikileaks dump about OPCW and who Voldemort is

Media's Deafening Silence On Latest WikiLeaks Drops Is Its Own Scandal

The take away quote
"
Up until the OPCW leaks, WikiLeaks drops always made mainstream news headlines. Everyone remembers how the 2016 news cycle was largely dominated by leaked Democratic Party emails emerging from the outlet. Even the relatively minor ICE agents publication by WikiLeaks last year, containing information that was already public, garnered headlines from top US outlets like The Washington Post , Newsweek, and USA Today. Now, on this exponentially more important story, zero coverage.

The mass media's stone-dead silence on the OPCW scandal is becoming its own scandal, of equal or perhaps even greater significance than the OPCW scandal itself. It opens up a whole litany of questions which have tremendous importance for every citizen of the western world; questions like, how are people supposed to participate in democracy if all the outlets they normally turn to to make informed voting decisions adamantly refuse to tell them about the existence of massive news stories like the OPCW scandal? How are people meant to address such conspiracies of silence when there is no mechanism in place to hold the entire mass media to account for its complicity in it? And by what mechanism are all these outlets unifying in that conspiracy of silence?
"

ak74 , Dec 29 2019 5:53 utc | 62
"Why do so many people in the West have this knee-jerk need to try to build false equivalencies between their criminal empire and other systems, or voice cynical and unfounded assumptions of malfeasance by those other systems whenever those other systems demonstrate superiority? It is an egotistical tribal sickness."

It is a symptom of the "West is Best" syndrome.

Or in its specific American incarnation, the ideology that America is the Shining City on Hill, Exceptional Country, and Indispensable Nation.

People indoctrinated into this belief system cannot brook the idea that there may be an alternative to their own way of life that is, in some respects, better. Hence, they will instinctively attack and smear this alternative as bad.

In many ways, Western Liberal "Democracy" (or what passes for democracy) is a secular religion and fundamentalist ideology.

As Francis Fuckuyama stated at the end of the Cold War with his pronouncement of the End of History, Western Liberal Democracy is the highest form of human socio-political evolution and government.

There Is No Alternative.

uncle tungsten , Dec 29 2019 9:32 utc | 68
psychohistorian #61

Thanks for pointing that out, Caitlin Johnston may be revealing the extent to which Integrity Initiative or maybe Institute for Statecraft have now bought even more editors than previously revealed in those leaked papers. OUTRAGE is the mildest term that comes to mind. What spineless media bedevils this world.

[Dec 31, 2019] Skripals false flag and Russiagate are birds of the feather

Notable quotes:
"... If the CIA/MI6/FBI did attempt to create a sting it need not be as dramatic as the Skripal fakery. What would you dream up if you were tasked by the CIA to propose something? KISS. ..."
Dec 31, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

librul , Dec 29 2019 22:21 utc | 28

@Posted by: sleepy | Dec 29 2019 17:38 utc | 8

Thanks sleeply,

But underlying your comment is an assumption of *logic* in this world. If it ever existed it certainly does not apply any longer. Look how much mileage the MSM and the anti-Democracy Party got out of the nothingburger Russiagate.

The MSM doesn't even need to smell real blood, they will run with anything to continue the coup.

Anything negative that involves Edward Gallagher between now and election day could be magnified 1 million-fold and
repeated 1000 million times by the MSM and dropped in Trump's lap.

If the CIA/MI6/FBI did attempt to create a sting it need not be as dramatic as the Skripal fakery. What would you dream up if you were tasked by the CIA to propose something? KISS.

[Dec 31, 2019] Skripals false flag and Russiagate are birds of the feather

Dec 31, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

librul , Dec 29 2019 22:21 utc | 28

@Posted by: sleepy | Dec 29 2019 17:38 utc | 8

Thanks sleeply,
But underlying your comment is an assumption of *logic* in this world. If it ever existed it certainly does not
apply any longer. Look how much mileage the MSM and the anti-Democracy Party got out of the nothingburger Russiagate.
The MSM doesn't even need to smell real blood, they will run with anything to continue the coup.

Anything negative that involves Edward Gallagher between now and election day could be magnified 1 million-fold and
repeated 1000 million times by the MSM and dropped in Trump's lap.

If the CIA/MI6/FBI did attempt to create a sting it need not be as dramatic as the Skripal fakery. What would you dream up if you were tasked by the CIA to propose something? KISS.

[Dec 29, 2019] Mike Figueroa from The Humanist Report has got a bunch of angry leftists hating on Tulsi Gabbard for her Christmas greeting today on twitter and youtube,

Imbecilization of discussion of controversial issues like in case of your comment is a normal development typical for the periods of intellectual declines which naturally follows the economic decline of a given empire.
There's growing evidence the West is going through the same process as the USSR.
Dec 29, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Kali , Dec 29 2019 2:52 utc | 49
Mike Figueroa from The Humanist Report has got a bunch of angry leftists hating on Tulsi Gabbard for her Christmas greeting today on twitter and youtube, they are claiming Tulsi is "too religious" or "she is pandering to evangelicals." They have gone insane obviously and are hating on Tulsi for other reasons (she dares challenge Bernie for president). Pam Ho breaks it all down for you at Like, In The Year 2024

TJ , Dec 28 2019 18:10 utc | 10

OPCW-DOUMA - Release Part 4

We now have Voldemorts real name, Sebastien Braha.

augrr , Dec 29 2019 0:10 utc | 39
Re #10

Voldemort is on LinkedIn. I wanted to congratulate him on his ethics (NOT) but did not have the status with LinkedIn required to email someone.

Perhaps someone else in the bar could send him a message - needs to be a premium member.

psychohistorian , Dec 29 2019 5:53 utc | 61
Below is a link to a Catlin Johnstone link about the latest Wikileaks dump about OPCW and who Voldemort is

Media's Deafening Silence On Latest WikiLeaks Drops Is Its Own Scandal

The take away quote
"
Up until the OPCW leaks, WikiLeaks drops always made mainstream news headlines. Everyone remembers how the 2016 news cycle was largely dominated by leaked Democratic Party emails emerging from the outlet. Even the relatively minor ICE agents publication by WikiLeaks last year, containing information that was already public, garnered headlines from top US outlets like The Washington Post , Newsweek, and USA Today. Now, on this exponentially more important story, zero coverage.

The mass media's stone-dead silence on the OPCW scandal is becoming its own scandal, of equal or perhaps even greater significance than the OPCW scandal itself. It opens up a whole litany of questions which have tremendous importance for every citizen of the western world; questions like, how are people supposed to participate in democracy if all the outlets they normally turn to to make informed voting decisions adamantly refuse to tell them about the existence of massive news stories like the OPCW scandal? How are people meant to address such conspiracies of silence when there is no mechanism in place to hold the entire mass media to account for its complicity in it? And by what mechanism are all these outlets unifying in that conspiracy of silence?
"

[Dec 29, 2019] A Newsweek Reporter Resigns, a Counter-Narrative Won't Die by Scott Ritter

Dec 27, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Is the media suppressing evidence that the 2018 chemical 'attack' in Syria didn't happen the way officials said it did? It is perhaps the least reported media scandal about the least reported international controversy in recent times -- the resignation of Tareq Haddad , a well-regarded journalist from Newsweek , a mainstay of the mainstream media.

At issue was what he said regarding the magazine's refusal to cover the scandal unfolding within the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) . Evidence has been building for some time that the OPCW cooked the books in its investigation of alleged chemical weapons use in the Syrian town of Douma on April 7, 2018. These allegations served as the justification for a subsequent joint U.S.-U.K.-France attack against suspected chemical weapons targets inside Syria, despite the fact that the OPCW had yet to inspect the Douma location, let alone issue a report on its findings.

In an announcement on Twitter , Haddad declared, "I resigned from Newsweek after my attempts to publish newsworthy revelations about the leaked OPCW letter were refused for no valid reason," adding , "I have collected evidence of how they [the OPCW] suppressed the story in addition to evidence from another case where info inconvenient to US govt was removed, though it was factually correct." Haddad further noted that he had been threatened by Newsweek with legal action if he sought to publish his findings elsewhere.

The OPCW's Douma investigation has been under a cloud of controversy since shortly after its interim report was released to the public in early March 2019. The document was prepared by Ian Henderson , an engineer working for the OPCW. It challenged the conclusions of the inspection team regarding the provenance of two chlorine canisters located at the incident scene, and was leaked to the press.

The document, which the OPCW subsequently declared to be genuine, raised the probability that the canisters had been manually placed at the scene, as opposed to having been dropped by the Syrian Air Force, raising the question as to whether the entire Douma incident had been staged.

Haddad's story, however, was not about Ian Henderson's report, but rather a series of new documents , backed up by an inspector-turned-whistleblower known only as "Alex," that accused the OPCW leadership of ignoring the findings of its own inspectors in favor of a revisionist report prepared by another team of inspectors based out of Turkey. This second group allegedly relied heavily on data and witnesses provided by the Syrian Civil Defense (the "White Helmets") and the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), two ostensibly humanitarian organizations opposed to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Haddad's new sources emerged after the publication of the OPCW's final report on the Douma incident in July 2019 . That document concluded that chlorine had been used as a weapon at Douma, likely via chlorine canisters dropped from aircraft -- making the Syrian government solely responsible and legitimizing the U.S.-led aerial attacks.

The leaked material was verified by interviews to select reporters (possibly including Haddad, who is seeking whistleblower-like protection from Newsweek ) by "Alex," who claims to have been part of the Douma investigation. The narrative that emerges from a cursory examination of this new data is damning -- the OPCW suppressed the findings of the investigation team, which concluded that chlorine had not been used as a weapon at Douma. The OPCW management then conspired with the U.S. government to manufacture another report, based on an alternate set of facts, which sustained the notion that the Syrian government had, in fact, used chlorine as a weapon.

The OPCW management has largely ignored the leaks. The current director general, Fernando Arias, defended the work of his organization , declaring, "While some of these diverse views continue to circulate in some public discussion forums, I would like to reiterate that I stand by the independent, professional conclusion [of the investigation]." For its part, Newsweek , through a spokesperson, told a reporter , "The writer [Haddad] pitched a conspiracy theory rather than an idea for objective reporting. Newsweek editors rejected the pitch."

Under normal circumstances, the leaked documents and first-hand testimony of a whistleblower like "Alex" would have garnered the attention of the mainstream media, especially given their link to the Trump administration. There was a time when the media wasn't afraid to take a controversial story and run with it, even one that involved multilateral arms control. In August 1998, I resigned from my position as a chief weapons inspector with the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM), which had been charged with the removal, destruction, or dismantling of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in accordance with relevant UN Security Council resolutions. My resignation was front-page news at both The New York Times and The Washington Post (among others), and I was called to testify before the both the Senate and the House about my allegations, which centered on American interference with the work of UNSCOM.

In retrospect, I'd be delusional to believe that the sole reason the media had taken an interest in my story was that they found the intricacies of disarming Iraq fascinating. The reality was that, at least from the perspective of the mass media, my resignation had served as a means to play the story off against competing domestic political power bases, which in my case consisted of an incumbent Democratic president, Bill Clinton, and a Congress where both houses were controlled by Republicans.

My story had relevance not because I was empowered with fact-based truth (I was), but because my cause was taken up by one side (congressional Republicans) and used as a political cudgel against the other (President Clinton). The moment both the president and Congress came together of one mind, choosing military-backed regime change over legitimate disarmament, my utility was eliminated, and the media dropped me like a bad habit . The demonization of Saddam Hussein's Iraq precluded any meaningful discussion of issues of disarmament, with the end result the unquestioning embrace of the notion that Iraq had retained WMD, despite there being no evidence to sustain this, and an acceptance of war as the only viable solution, despite the fact that weapons inspections had proven they could be useful.

While conventional wisdom eventually evolved to accept the fact that the UN disarmament process had worked, and that I was correct when I'd reported that Iraq had been qualitatively disarmed and no longer posed a threat worthy of war, the fact remains that the issue of Iraqi WMD was always secondary to the issue of Saddam Hussein. Even once there was agreement that the WMD had been nonexistent, there was never any rethinking of how we had collectively pigeonholed Saddam into the "evil dictator" category, with the merits of his removal rarely questioned.

There are many similarities between my case and that of the OPCW inspectors, especially when it comes to their defending the integrity of the institution they represent and resisting the corruption of outside influences. The OPCW matter, however, remains a matter of internal dispute, denied the grand stage of American politics and the media attention that would garner.

There are several reasons for this. First, it is hard to rally people around a case where the central debate is over the relevance of particles per billion, or engineering equations concerning the tensile strength of concrete and steel. While the underlying science and math appears to be on the side of Ian Henderson and "Alex," the refusal of the OPCW to engage in any substantive discussion means that what passes for a "debate" has been hijacked by social media personalities. They're led by Eliot Higgins and his cohort of Bellingcat "specialists" who back up their questionable science with well-worn tropes designating all who oppose them as "pro-Assad" conspiracy theorists and/or Russian-controlled trolls who are simply regurgitating "Kremlin talking points."

Newsweek 's suppression of the reporting of Tareq Haddad is disturbing; the failure of the mainstream media to pick up the metaphorical ball and run with it is a damning indictment of the current state of journalism today. There was a time when an intrepid investigative reporter like Seymour Hersh would have sunk his teeth into a story such as this. But Hersh's one-time outlet of choice -- the New Yorker -- and its editor, David Remnick , have foregone the pursuit of truth in favor of publishing stories that demonize Assad and Putin. The same can be said of The New York Times , The Washington Post , and other major media outlets.

The OPCW whistleblower scandal has all the elements of a blockbuster -- heroes, villains, scandal, lies, and cover-up. But fact-based truth is no longer the fuel of the media business that modern journalism is supposed to sustain, especially when the truth can so easily be fobbed off as "pro-Assad" or "pro-Russia." As long as this model remains in place, and the work of genuine journalists such as Tareq Haddad is suppressed by editors, the American people will remain prisoners of their own ignorance.

Scott Ritter is a former Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD. He is the author of several books, most recently, Deal of the Century: How Iran Blocked the West's Road

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minsredmash 2 days ago

Excellent story. Independent journalism in America is dead.
Newton Finn minsredmash 13 hours ago • edited
Yup, there hasn't been any journalism in America since around the time that Cronkite turned against the Vietnam War, and there was damn little of it even back then. ALL we've had since is deep state propaganda pushing false narratives to manipulate public opinion into supporting or ignoring militarism and plutocracy.
Chris Chuba 2 days ago
We accuse Russia and other countries of having state media but we have state media which is why we will never fix ourselves until we are eventually defeated. We are incapable of self-correction. I am very bitter about our MSM and hold them more accountable than our govt officials for our deplorable state. All govts lie, if our MSM cheers on our govt then it encourages them to tell bigger and bigger lies.

As bad as FOX is, CNN is even worse. CNN will dismiss something as a 'Putin talking point', note, there is no regard for whether or not it is true. They will quote a U.S. govt employee as if they are quoting St. Peter. Why should we be surprised, look at how many govt employees now work for the cable and news networks.

Jack Chris Chuba 2 days ago
And I think MSNBC is worse than both FOX and CNN.
Newton Finn Jack 13 hours ago
So does this radical leftist.
Dr. Rieux 2 days ago
Add "Bashir Assad gassed his own people" to the list of the world's biggest lies.

(FWIW, The list now grows wearily long.

We still have the oldies but goodies, like "The check is in the mail" and "I did not have sex with that woman, Miss Lewinsky," to name only two, but in recent years have added others, like "Epstein killed himself" and "Russia colluded in the 2016 election.")

BCZ 2 days ago
Newsweek has been a mainstay of nothing for some time.
Connecticut Farmer BCZ 2 days ago
Au contraire, Newsweek is a mainstay of the Democrat Party.
BCZ Connecticut Farmer 9 hours ago
It's really not tho. I have a pretty heavily skewed progressive network and if say it's only ever need as a source by the least educated progressives... If them. It really has fallen off the radar other than a source of click bait as far as I can tell
Sid Finster 2 days ago
Of course the "ZOMG Assad gassed his own people ZOMG!" story was an obvious hoax.

Of course the OCPW knew this. So did anyone else with the brains God gave a cat.

Of course the story was suppressed. Does Newsweek really think we are that stupid?

The only question is why, and the answer is obvious. Because the "bipartisan foreign policy consensus" (aka the "Deep State") wants its war on Syria, just as it got the war on Iraq that it so craved.

Sid Finster Sid Finster a day ago • edited
And it seems that a senior OCPW official ordered the deletion of all traces of the dissenting report. Just like clockwork. For some reason, TAC is not letting me post the link, but WikiLeaks has an unparalleled track record for scrupulous accuracy.

Nothing to see here, right? Right?

EliteCommInc. Sid Finster a day ago
The real goal here is to provoke a war with Iran Syria's ally.
Sid Finster EliteCommInc. a day ago
That's coming down the pike as well. Syria appears to be first on the neocon list.
Alex (the one that likes Ike) 2 days ago
What to say? Soft (or "soft") 1984 at its finest.
Connecticut Farmer Alex (the one that likes Ike) 2 days ago
Maybe they should change their name to "Newspeak."
stevek9 2 days ago
It's been obvious to anyone with half a brain that there have been no 'chemical attacks' carried out by the Syrian Government. The first one in Ghouta was exposed by Seymour Hersh, the second at Khan Shekhoun supposedly happened after Aleppo was almost liberated from the head-choppers, and one day after the US announced it would no longer seek Assad's removal ... this was mocked by one of my favorite cartoons ... a picture of Sun Tzu with the sarcastic 'quote', 'When your enemy is nearly defeated, and final victory is at hand, gas your own people so that nations greater than yours will intervene and destroy you'.

The final 'gas attack' in Douma was exposed immediately as a fake, because the Syrians and Russians had won and were already busing the terrorists to Idlib. Robert Fisk was there a day later and talked to the people at the clinic where supposed victims were taken and was told by the Doctors there that the people in the clinic were suffering from dust inhalation from the bombing, etc.

The draft report basically cast doubt on the whole story (as noted above) but the final report was doctored by a few people, no doubt under CIA direction.

There is nothing surprising about these revelations. It's nice to have corroboration, but as usual no one listens. We live today in an ocean of never-ceasing propaganda.

Connecticut Farmer 2 days ago
That a story such as this comes as no surprise doesn't make it any less tragic. Verily, but "journalism" has become virtually indistinguishable from agitprop--and it matters not whether of the so called Left or Right. The example of Sy Hersh illustrates how a truly professional journalist is supposed to follow the story, no matter where it leads, and if it doesn't accord with one's world view--so be it.
dean 2 days ago
so chemical and biological weapons (such as mustard gas and anthrax) are just something cooked up on stovetops and dispensed on Kurdish and Iranian opponents through primitive methods?

FYI, sheeples- the systems NECESSARY to effectively deliver to intended targets(without endangering personnel tasked with these attacks) are what was supplied by Soviet Russia as standard equipment with aircraft and armoured vehicles to Iraq and Syria.Saddam's airforce 2nd in command went public with statements to the effect that evidence of Soviet Russian involved in Iraq's WMD programs was removed by Russian security teams accompanied by Yuri Primakov just
ahead of coalition force arrival.Indeed the Soviets kept violating their biochemical arms control agreements,marked by a Urals lab spill which killed numerous local villagers.

Alex (the one that likes Ike) dean a day ago
For your information, deary, you need something more substantial than purported words of a purported insider (whose personality is as verifiable as the one of the purported whistleblower who purportedly heard Trump purportedly intimidating Zelensky with purportedly menacing eyebrow moves) in regards to purportedly Russian purported security teams purportedly removing something for a comment like this to stop making a laughing stock and a neocon sheeple out of you. Cruel galaxy, sob-sob.
yomama dean 10 hours ago • edited
More "Russia!, Russia!, Russia!" nonsense, the result of a lifetime of guzzling "Russia!, Russia!, Russia!" Kool-Aid. US and German companies supplied Saddam with the chemical supplies for his chem- & bio-weapons, weapons he used in his US-supported war-of-aggression against Iran in the '80's, after the Shah and the US were thrown out of Iran.
WorkingClass a day ago
I guess Haddad didn't know he was working for the CIA.

Some of us noticed at the time that Assad had nothing to gain and much to lose by launching this attack. This was one of the more obvious lies connected to imperial aggression in Syria.

Room_237 a day ago • edited
In my mind the worst thing about this is that it makes people who should know better into apologists or even fans of Assad and Putin
Sid Finster Room_237 a day ago
What exactly is that supposed to mean? Neither Assad nor Putin's crimes hold a candle to those of the enlightened West.
Daniel Baker a day ago
"there was never any rethinking of how we had collectively pigeonholed Saddam into the "evil dictator" category. . . . the New Yorker -- and its editor, David Remnick, have foregone the pursuit of truth in favor of publishing stories that demonize Assad,"

This is not the problem. Saddam was, in fact, an evil dictator. Assad, is in fact, a butcher well worthy of "demonization." The problem is that neither of these facts has anything to do with the questions of whether Saddam had an active WMD program in 2003 -- he absolutely didn't -- or whether Assad used chlorine gas in 2018 (I don't know, and this article doesn't help me decide).

The fact that Saddam was an evil dictator also doesn't answer the question of whether it was desirable to remove him. A mature mind is able to simultaneously embrace the fact that Saddam was a horrible butcher, and that removing him caused even worse disasters for Iraq. The best explanation I ever saw of this was from an Iraqi woman named Yusra, who had hated Saddam, but was nonetheless fleeing the Iraq the Americans had created: "In Saddam's time, I knew that if I kept my mouth shut, if I did not say anything against him, I would be safe. But now it is different. There are so many reasons why someone would want to kill me now: because I am Shiite, because I have a Sunni son, because I work for the Americans, because I drive, because I am a woman with a job, because . . . I don't wear my stupid hejab." (Dexter Filkins, The Forever War , p. 326). The key to avoiding more blunders like Iraq is not to convince the American people that Assad and Saddam are really nice, misunderstood guys, but to understand that evil dictators are neither necessarily threats to the USA, nor the worst of all possible calamities that could befall their people.

I certainly agree with Mr. Ritter that Tareq Haddad should not be silenced or ignored. The fact that Haddad's version is "Kremlin talking points" -- of course the Kremlin is going to talk about anything that makes its ally Assad look good -- tells us nothing about whether it's true or false.. The fact that the humanitarian organizations Syrian Civil Defense and Syrian American Medical Association are anti-Assad -- as of course any humanitarian organization would be -- also tells us nothing about whether their version is true or false. Truth or falsehood is determined by, as Mr. Ritter says, "the relevance of particles per billion, or engineering equations concerning the tensile strength of concrete and steel." Show us what the real evidence is, rather than asking us again to fall into the trap of assuming that the facts of reality are dictated by the political preferences of the adversaries.

Leonardo Facchin Daniel Baker 19 hours ago • edited
While I agree with many of the things you wrote, I would like to focus on this part (because it's the only one I find somewhat objectionable. Meaning: deserving of a more nuanced approach, not simply "false")
This is not the problem. Saddam was, in fact, an evil dictator. Assad, is in fact, a butcher well worthy of "demonization."

Can you define "evil"?
Is a person "evil" based on his actions or his intentions? Or both?

Because if we judge by their actions, I'd say many US Presidents can be considered as evil as Assad or Saddam, if not actually worse.

Bush Jr. started a war (based on a false premise) that not only led to the death of hundreds of thousands of people, but also to the destabilization of a whole region of the world, whose consequences we are witnessing to this very day.

Obama, together with Cameron and Sarkozy, helped remove the "evil dictator" Qaddafi, plunging Libya into chaos and preparing the way for the international confrontation that is escalating these very days.
I'm Italian and I can assure you that we have to deal on a daily basis with the tragedy of poor desperate people drowning in the Mediterranean while trying to escape open slave markets in Libya.

In 2001-2003 the US used Syria as a destination for its "extraordinary rendition + torture" program of suspected terrorists. So, if the Assads are evil, how can we define those people who decided to lean onto "evil" in order to be able to do something they wouldn't be allowed to do at home?

Power structures are not about "evil" or "good", They are concerned with "interests" and "self-perpetuation". And while they can be brutal and uncompromising (like in Saddam's Iraq or Assad's Syria), they are not usually gratuitously so. At least, not completely.
For example, while I think no one can argue that the Syrian State is governed with an iron fist by its power structure, the current war - that is entering its ninth year - has shown that the Syrian government is confronted by an armed opposition that is at least as brutal as the government is, but also much more fanatical and sectarian.

So, I guess my point is: we should refrain from implementing simplistic solutions in order to solve complex problems that are the result of the layering of tens (if not hundreds) of years of local power, social and cultural dynamics. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria are proof enough that coming to a country "all guns blazing" and removing its leadership doesn't solve the underlying issues that created the conditions in which those "iron fisted" leaderships prospered. Regime change operations usually leave a country in much worse conditions than it were when they started. Which can be considered an "evil" act in itself.

EliteCommInc. a day ago
""I have collected evidence of how they [the OPCW] suppressed the story in addition to evidence from another case where info inconvenient to US govt was removed, though it was factually correct." Haddad further noted that he had been threatened by Newsweek with legal action if he sought to publish his findings elsewhere."

As usual Inspector Ritter, well done. Excuse me given the above in light of what has been coming to light concerning powerful players in the establishment we are supposed to trust, no less so than the media ---- at the moment I can only

laugh and laugh loud . . . Newsweek is threatening legal action against one of its, now former employees, because of a news story. My how the worm has turned . . .a medium such as Newsweek, a vanguard of freedom of the press and free speech, wants to prosecute one of their to prevent the same.

Laughing.

Oy veh!

It is nice that what appeared skeptical from the beginning is has begun eating its way out of the opaque paper bag of needless intervention.

Leonardo Facchin a day ago
Haddad's new sources emerged after the publication of the OPCW's final report on the Douma incident in July 2019. That document concluded that chlorine had been used as a weapon at Douma, likely viachlorine canisters dropped from aircraft -- making the Syrian government solely responsible and legitimizing the U.S.-led aerial attacks.

The link is to the July 2018 OPCW Interim report and not to the March 2019 Final Report, which is here:

https://www.opcw.org/sites/...

Apart from that, Wikileaks has just released four more documents that prove that:
1) The toxicologists consulted by the original Fact Finding Mission in June of 2018 were convinced that the symptoms the alleged victims were showing in videos and pictures were not compatible with chlorine poisoning.
2) The OPCW management replaced all members of the original FFM sent to Douma except for a paramedic once the first reports began coming in and they realized the inspectors were very skeptical about the Western narrative of a chemical attack happening in the first place.
That is: the OPCW management hand-picked a different team, likely with the intent of getting the kind of report they were looking for.

VERYHAPPY a day ago
We have a state media. It just does not belong to our state. It is an Israel Pravda impressed to propagandized a conquered province.How sad and scary. .
Barry F Keane a day ago
The real scandal is that the US has committed blatant treason in Syria by supporting Al Qaeda. This truth must be downplayed at all costs, and the OPCW cover-up is a minor detail compared to covering up treason. Despite our efforts, Syria and its allies have defeated AQ everywhere except Idlib, and are now preparing the final assault to liberate Idlib. True to form, Western propaganda now whips up View Hide
Taras77 a day ago
https://www.rt.com/news/476...
OPCW official took active steps to conceal dissent and support the coverup.
Dennis Hanna a day ago
Evidence has been building for some time that the OPCW cooked the books in its investigation of alleged chemical weapons use in the Syrian town of Douma on April 7, 2018. ..."

"... OPCW cooked the books ..." means what? The term cooking the books is based in an old secondary definition of the word cook, which is to present something that has been altered in an underhanded way. By the mid-1800s the term cooking the books had come into use to mean manipulating financial records in order to deceive.

The common man or woman understand the meaning to be: lie, fabricate and falsify.

Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind."
"Politics and the English Language" (1946) is an essay by George Orwell

Mr. Ritter is, or, at least once, was better than that ... political language.

"... For its part, Newsweek, through a spokesperson, told a reporter, "The writer [Haddad] pitched a conspiracy theory rather than an idea for objective reporting. Newsweek editors rejected the pitch. ..."

[ then ]
"The Free Press" John Swinton on the Free Press
One night, probably in 1880, John Swinton, then the preeminent New York journalist, was the guest of honour at a banquet given him by the leaders of his craft. Someone who knew neither the press nor Swinton offered a toast to the independent press. Swinton outraged his colleagues by replying:
"There is no such thing, at this date of the world's history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it.
There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with.
Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone.
The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press?
We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes."
(Source: Labor's Untold Story, by Richard O. Boyer and Herbert M. Morais, published by United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America, NY, 1955/1979.)

[ now ]
The press is a gang of cruel faggots. Journalism is not a profession or a trade. It is a cheap catch-all for fuckoffs and misfits -- a false doorway to the backside of life, a filthy piss-ridden little hole nailed off by the building inspector, but just deep enough for a wino to curl up from the sidewalk and masturbate like a chimp in a zoo-cage.
Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

"... The writer [Haddad] pitched a conspiracy theory ..."
the pejorative phrase "conspiracy theory" casts the tin foil cap on the depersonalized and diminished a human being as "... The writer. ..."

Last, but not least, "... The current director general, Fernando Arias, defended the work of his organization, declaring, "While some of these diverse views continue to circulate in some public discussion forums, I would like to reiterate that I stand by the independent, professional conclusion [of the investigation]."..."

José Bustani, the retired Brazilian diplomat and former head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons recalled John Bolton saying, referring to the then-vice president of the United States Dick Chaney.

"We can't accept your management style."

Bolton continued, according to Bustani's recollections:

"You have 24 hours to leave the organization, and if you don't comply with this decision by Washington, we have ways to retaliate against you."

There was a pause.

"We know where your kids live. You have two sons in New York."

In early 2002, a year before the invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration was putting intense pressure on Bustani to quit as director-general of the OPCW -- despite the fact that he had been unanimously re-elected to head the 145-nation body just two years earlier. His transgression? Negotiating with Saddam Hussein's Iraq to allow OPCW weapons inspectors to make unannounced visits to that country -- thereby undermining Washington's rationale for regime change.

Mr. Ritter, of course, has no knowledge or understanding of Iraq or "cooked books" on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Political language, what is that?

Journalists and journalism, what is that?

And, so it goes ...
dennis hanna

Killing time a day ago
US media is so ridiculous and pathetic; former and current Communist nations have been feeling sorry for everyday Americans for years. Little do they know many of us have learned to 20/20 see through the psychopathy...and glance "their stories" as a person would have viewed the National Enquirer 30 years ago.

I'm pretty sure the National Enquirer is much more honest in it's reporting today vs. MSN.

[Dec 28, 2019] We now have Voldemorts real name, Sebastien Braha

Dec 28, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

TJ , Dec 28 2019 18:10 utc | 10

OPCW-DOUMA - Release Part 4

We now have Voldemorts real name, Sebastien Braha.

[Dec 28, 2019] Senior OPCW Official Busted Leaked Email Exposes Orders To Delete All Traces Of Dissent On Douma

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Imagine millions of government employees paid for by America's tax payer class, involved in covert operations undermining nation states for the benefit of war mongering shadow overlords counting on more never ending chaos feeding their hunger for power. ..."
"... This isn't Orwell's 1984, this Team America on opioids. ..."
"... Senior OPCW official had orders from US/ the Donald. Remember that the Donald bombed Syria based on this fake report , after a false flag done by Al Qaeda's artistic branch, the White Helmets. ..."
"... Pray, do tell where are the consequences for these literal demons that engaged in war crimes? It is quite clear: as long as you are a member of the establishment, you can do whatever the f*ck you want. ..."
"... Third rate script, third rate actors and crooked investigators. TPTB seem to have a plan worked out. Their problem now is that we, the hoi-polloi, have seen it all before, many times, and we can now recognise ******** when it's used to try to influence us. ..."
"... If this is not lamentable enough, the OPCW – whose final report came to more than a hundred pages and which even issued an easy-to-read precis version for journalists – now slams shut its steel doors in the hope of preventing even more information reaching the press. ..."
"... Instead of these pieces concentrating on the whistleblower how about putting a little heat on the 50 lying bastards who initiated the coverup? ..."
"... The destruction of the countries of the Middle East for the sake of a dwarf with giant ambitions is the most stupid thing the United States has done over the past 30 years in its foreign policy. And yes, all the wars in the Middle East were grounded in lies. And the Americans paid for it all from start to finish. When Americans realize that they need to defend their national interests, and not other people's national interests, maybe something in the Middle East will change for the better. True, I am afraid that with the hight level of stupidity and shortsightedness that is common among Americans, the United States is more likely to be destroyed faster. No offense. ..."
"... And I propose to remember the Syrian Christians who were destroyed by the Saudi Wahhabis, hired by the CIA with the money of American taxpayers and at the request of Israel. Until the Americans begin to investigate the activities of the CIA (and this activity causes the United States only harm), the responsibility for this genocide (you heard right) will be on the American nation. It turns out that in the Middle East you are primarily destroying Christians. How interesting, why such zeal. ..."
"... According to whistleblower testimony and leaked documents, OPCW officials raised alarm about the suppression of critical findings that undermine the allegation that the Syrian government committed a chemical weapons attack in the city of Douma in April 2018. Haddad's editors at Newsweek rejected his attempts to cover the story. "If I don't find another position in journalism because of this, I'm perfectly happy to accept that consequence," Haddad says. "It's not desirable. But there is no way I could have continued in that job knowing that I couldn't report something like this." ..."
"... New leaks continue to expose a cover-up by the OPCW – the world's top chemical weapons watchdog – over a critical event in Syria. Documents, emails, and testimony from OPCW officials have raised major doubts about the allegation that the Syrian government committed a chemical weapons attack in the city of Douma in April 2018. The leaked OPCW information has been released in pieces by Wikileaks. The latest documents contain a number of significant revelations – including that that about 20 OPCW officials voiced concerns that their scientific findings and on-the-ground evidence was suppressed and excluded. ..."
Dec 28, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Senior OPCW Official Busted: Leaked Email Exposes Orders To "Delete All Traces" Of Dissent On Douma by Tyler Durden Sat, 12/28/2019 - 10:30 0 SHARES

Via AlMasdarNews.com,

Wikileaks has released their fourth set of leaks from the OPCW's Douma investigation, revealing new details about the alleged deletion of important information regarding the fact-finding mission.

RELEASE: OPCW-Douma Docs 4. Four leaked documents from the OPCW reveal that toxicologists ruled out deaths from chlorine exposure and a senior official ordered the deletion of the dissenting engineering report from OPCW's internal repository of documents. https://t.co/ndK4sRikNk

-- WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) December 27, 2019

"One of the documents is an e-mail exchange dated 27 and 28 February between members of the fact finding mission (FFM) deployed to Douma and the senior officials of the OPCW. It includes an e-mail from Sebastien Braha, Chief of Cabinet at the OPCW , where he instructs that an engineering report from Ian Henderson should be removed from the secure registry of the organisation," WikiLeaks writes. Included in the email is the following directive:

" Please get this document out of DRA [Documents Registry Archive] And please remove all traces, if any, of its delivery/storage/whatever in DRA.'"

According to Wikileaks, the main finding of Henderson, who inspected the sites in Douma, was that two of the cylinders were most likely manually placed at the site, rather than dropped.

"The main finding of Henderson, who inspected the sites in Douma and two cylinders that were found on the site of the alleged attack, was that they were more likely manually placed there than dropped from a plane or helicopter from considerable heights. His findings were omitted from the official final OPCW report on the Douma incident," the Wikileaks report said.

It must be remembered that the U.S. launched an attack on Damascus, Syria on April 14, 2018 over alleged chemical weapons usage by pro-Assad forces at Douma.

AP file image.

Another document released Friday is minutes from a meeting on 6 June 2018 where four staff members of the OPCW had discussions with "three Toxicologists/Clinical pharmacologists, one bioanalytical and toxicological chemist" (all specialists in chemical weapons, according to the minutes).

Minutes from an OPCW meeting with toxicologists specialized in chemical weapons: "the experts were conclusive in their statements that there was
no correlation between symptoms and chlorine exposure". https://t.co/j5Jgjiz8UY pic.twitter.com/vgPaTtsdQN

-- WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) December 27, 2019

The purpose of this meeting was two-fold. The first objective was "to solicit expert advice on the value of exhuming suspected victims of the alleged chemical attack in Douma on 7 April 2018". According to the minutes, the OPCW team was advised by the experts that there would be little use in conducting exhumations. The second point was "To elicit expert opinions from the forensic toxicologists regarding the observed and reported symptoms of the alleged victims."

More specifically, " whether the symptoms observed in victims were consistent with exposure to chlorine or other reactive chlorine gas."

According to the minutes leaked Friday: "With respect to the consistency of the observed and reported symptoms of the alleged victims with possible exposure to chlorine gas or similar, the experts were conclusive in their statements that there was no correlation between symptoms and chlorine exposure ."

The OPCW team members wrote that the key "take-away message" from the meeting was "that the symptoms observed were inconsistent with exposure to chlorine and no other obvious candidate chemical causing the symptoms could be identified".

* * *

See full details at Wikileaks.org


JohnFrodo , 28 minutes ago link

pity the human pawns at the center of this mess.

africoman , 38 minutes ago link

There has been a Newsweek reporter who quite over editorial block of this OPCW case here also another interview by Grayzone

https://youtu.be/qqK8KgxuCPI

The isisrahell have such long hand to pull the plug any stories implicating their crime in progress otherwise they can put out some bs spins as bombshell reporting about US lies in Afghanistan war on their wapo for public for those who read it was nothing important revealed except being a misdirected na

ponyboy99 , 40 minutes ago link

If you want to pay off that student loan you're going to print what they tell you to print. You're going to inject kids with what they tell you to inject them with. You're going to think what they tell you to think or you're going to spend your days in a Prole bar drinking Blatz.

ponyboy99 , 47 minutes ago link

If you go thru life assuming every single thing is a farce and a lie (Roddy Piper) these events can not only be explained, they can be predicted.

Ace006 , 57 minutes ago link

SOMEbody's got to ensure the intergrity of the Documents Registry Archive

Weihan , 58 minutes ago link

The globalist deep-state's reach is legendary.

Nothing , 1 hour ago link

yes, an attack was launched, 50 missiles I believe, after loud warnings that it was coming, and none of them actually hit anything significant ... this is the way the game is played .... the good news is that the missiles cost $50 million, and now they will have to be replaced, by the Pentagon, first borrowing the money through the US Treasury offerings, and then paying for them from new money printed by the Federal Reserve. capische?

Greed is King , 36 minutes ago link

That`s the way it`s always been, it`s the eternal war of good against evil.

And when one evil enemy is defeated, it`s necessary to create a new evil enemy, how else can the Establishment Elite make money from war, death and destruction.

africoman , 16 minutes ago link

It's really very awkward & telling how ***** these bunch of western nations are looking tough on taking out poor defenceless country like Syria on ******** & at the satried to ease real kickass Russian as you described when they launch the attacks

I kind wish the US & their Zionist clown launch such huge attacks on Iran based on false flag

I really wanted these evil aggressive powers to taste what it is like to get bombed back even one they used to throw on multiple weaker nations freely with nothing to fear as retribution etc

Thordoom , 1 hour ago link

This organisations are all set up in Europe and US run by the filthiest filth on earth who still think they have God given right to imperial rule over the world.

British elite is the worst of all.

DCFusor , 1 hour ago link

Your military-industrial-intelligence complex at work, creating justification for more funding, like always - and who cares if people die as a result? Like Soros said, if they didn't do it, someone else would. (do I need /sarc?).

They don't like to be shown to be in charge, just to be in charge. And if you think this is a function of the current admin, you've been slow in the head and deaf and blind for quite some time.

I've watched since Eisenhower, and "it's always something". Doesn't matter what color the clown in chief's tie is.

St. TwinkleToes , 1 hour ago link

Imagine millions of government employees paid for by America's tax payer class, involved in covert operations undermining nation states for the benefit of war mongering shadow overlords counting on more never ending chaos feeding their hunger for power.

This isn't Orwell's 1984, this Team America on opioids.

veritas semper vinces , 2 hours ago link

Senior OPCW official had orders from US/ the Donald. Remember that the Donald bombed Syria based on this fake report , after a false flag done by Al Qaeda's artistic branch, the White Helmets.

holgerdanske , 1 hour ago link

It was May that insisted on this attack. Remember the "poison" attack and the evil Russians?

lwilland1012 , 3 hours ago link

Pray, do tell where are the consequences for these literal demons that engaged in war crimes? It is quite clear: as long as you are a member of the establishment, you can do whatever the f*ck you want. Why do we even follow the law, then? Given the precedent that is being set, we might as well not have any.

ken , 1 hour ago link

Well, they are looking forward to using all those Israeli weapons, er, uh, products, that local law enforcement has purchased...so watch out for Co-Intel Pro elicitation going forward....?

WorkingClassMan , 3 hours ago link

Everybody knows the Golem (USA) does Isn'treal's bidding in Syria and elsewhere in the Near East. Hopefully they keep hammering in the fact that this "gas attack" was an obvious set-up to use as a pretext (flimsy itself on the face of it) to brutalize Assad and Syria on behalf of Isn'treal.

The whole thing is built on ******* lies. Worst part about it is, nothing will happen.

turkey george palmer , 3 hours ago link

Only official news is to believed. You see it and it is a lie. they tell you to believe it. A lot of people casually believe whatever is spoken on TV. They become teachers and are taught in college what is right and wrong. We only have a few years before all the brain dead are in charge and robotically following the message like zombies with no brain

adonisdemilo , 3 hours ago link

Third rate script, third rate actors and crooked investigators. TPTB seem to have a plan worked out. Their problem now is that we, the hoi-polloi, have seen it all before, many times, and we can now recognise ******** when it's used to try to influence us.

johnnycanuck , 3 hours ago link

It is difficult to underestimate the seriousness of this manipulative act by the OPCW. In a response to the conservative author Peter Hitchens, who also writes for the Mail on Sunday – he is of course the brother of the late Christopher Hitchens – the OPCW admits that its so-called technical secretariat "is conducting an internal investigation about the unauthorised [sic] release of the document".

Then it adds: "At this time, there is no further public information on this matter and the OPCW is unable to accommodate [sic] requests for interviews". It's a tactic that until now seems to have worked: not a single news media which reported the OPCW's official conclusions has followed up the story of the report which the OPCW suppressed.

And you bet the OPCW is not going to "accommodate" interviews. For here is an institution investigating a war crime in a conflict which has cost hundreds of thousands of lives – yet its only response to an enquiry about the engineers' "secret" assessment is to concentrate on its own witch-hunt for the source of the document it wished to keep secret from the world.

If this is not lamentable enough, the OPCW – whose final report came to more than a hundred pages and which even issued an easy-to-read precis version for journalists – now slams shut its steel doors in the hope of preventing even more information reaching the press.

https://johnmenadue.com/robert-fisk-the-evidence-we-were-never-meant-to-see-about-the-douma-gas-attack-counterpunch-27-may-2019/

5fingerdiscount , 3 hours ago link

Instead of these pieces concentrating on the whistleblower how about putting a little heat on the 50 lying bastards who initiated the coverup?

Helg Saracen , 3 hours ago link

The destruction of the countries of the Middle East for the sake of a dwarf with giant ambitions is the most stupid thing the United States has done over the past 30 years in its foreign policy. And yes, all the wars in the Middle East were grounded in lies. And the Americans paid for it all from start to finish. When Americans realize that they need to defend their national interests, and not other people's national interests, maybe something in the Middle East will change for the better. True, I am afraid that with the hight level of stupidity and shortsightedness that is common among Americans, the United States is more likely to be destroyed faster. No offense.

And I propose to remember the Syrian Christians who were destroyed by the Saudi Wahhabis, hired by the CIA with the money of American taxpayers and at the request of Israel. Until the Americans begin to investigate the activities of the CIA (and this activity causes the United States only harm), the responsibility for this genocide (you heard right) will be on the American nation. It turns out that in the Middle East you are primarily destroying Christians. How interesting, why such zeal.

carbonmutant , 4 hours ago link

You gotta wonder how much the deep state has deleted about their interference in Trump's administration...

dogbert8 , 4 hours ago link

Pretty much everyone with a brain realizes this all was a lie; only the M5M and the DC swamp continue to pretend it wasn't.

Joiningupthedots , 4 hours ago link

Who really made the order though?

ClickNLook , 3 hours ago link

Sebastien Braha, Chief of Cabinet at the OPCW needs to be interrogated to find out.

Condor_0000 , 4 hours ago link

Newsweek Reporter Quits After Editors Block Coverage of OPCW Syria Scandal

December 19, 2019

Aaron Mate

https://thegrayzone.com/2019/12/19/newsweek-reporter-quits-after-editors-block-coverage-of-opcw-syria-scandal/

According to whistleblower testimony and leaked documents, OPCW officials raised alarm about the suppression of critical findings that undermine the allegation that the Syrian government committed a chemical weapons attack in the city of Douma in April 2018. Haddad's editors at Newsweek rejected his attempts to cover the story. "If I don't find another position in journalism because of this, I'm perfectly happy to accept that consequence," Haddad says. "It's not desirable. But there is no way I could have continued in that job knowing that I couldn't report something like this."

New leaks continue to expose a cover-up by the OPCW – the world's top chemical weapons watchdog – over a critical event in Syria. Documents, emails, and testimony from OPCW officials have raised major doubts about the allegation that the Syrian government committed a chemical weapons attack in the city of Douma in April 2018. The leaked OPCW information has been released in pieces by Wikileaks. The latest documents contain a number of significant revelations – including that that about 20 OPCW officials voiced concerns that their scientific findings and on-the-ground evidence was suppressed and excluded.

This is, without a doubt, a major global scandal: the OPCW, under reported US pressure, suppressing vital evidence about allegations of chemical weapons. But that very fact exposes another global scandal: with the exception of small outlets like The Grayzone, the mass media has widely ignored or whitewashed this story. And this widespread censorship of the OPCW scandal has just led one journalist to resign. Up until recently, Tareq Haddad was a reporter at Newsweek. But in early December, Tareq announced that he had quit his position after Newsweek refused to publish his story about the OPCW cover up over Syria.

[Dec 22, 2019] The 12 Strongest Arguments That Douma Was A False Flag

Looks like both Douma and Skripals have the same authors and were carefully pre-planned false flag operations.
Notable quotes:
"... "The convincing evidence of irregular behaviour in the OPCW investigation of the alleged Douma chemical attack confirms doubts and suspicions I already had. I could make no sense of what I was reading in the international press. Even official reports of investigations seemed incoherent at best. The picture is certainly clearer now, although very disturbing" ..."
"... "I have always expected the OPCW to be a true paradigm of multilateralism. My hope is that the concerns expressed publicly by the Panel, in its joint consensus statement, will catalyse a process by which the Organisation can be resurrected to become the independent and non-discriminatory body it used to be." ..."
"... Click this hyperlink to read a BBC article dated five days before the Douma incident, describing how the Syrian government "appears poised to regain control" of the town and how Jaysh al-Islam fighters were already evacuating. The battle was won. Assad would have stood absolutely nothing to gain from tempting a retaliation from western powers (which could have been far more severe than it ended up being) all to drop a couple of cylinders of chlorine gas, which incidentally is a highly ineffective weapon that ordinarily takes a very long time to kill. ..."
"... "The jihadists and the various opposition groups who've been fighting against Assad have much greater motivation to launch a chemical weapons attack and make it look like Assad was responsible," the ex-SAS and Parachute Regiment commander added. "Their motivation being that they want to keep the Americans involved in the war -- following Trump saying the US was going to leave Syria for other people to sort out." ..."
"... Admiral Lord West made similar comments on the BBC around the same time, prompting BBC host Annita McVeigh to flip into frantic narrative management mode suggesting that he's "muddying the waters" during an "information war with Russia". ..."
"... "If I were advising some of the Islamist groups, many of whom are worse than Daesh," West said, "I would say look, we've got to wait until there's another attack by Assad's forces, particularly if they've got a helicopter overhead or something like that and they're dropping barrel bombs, and we set off some chlorine. Because we'll get the next attack from the allies. And there's no doubt that if we believe he's done a chemical attack we should do that. And those attacks will get bigger, and it's the only way they've got, actually, of stopping the inevitable victory of Assad." ..."
Dec 22, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

There have been many US military interventions that were based on lies. This is not a conspiracy theory. It is not some kooky blogger's opinion. It is an extensively documented and indisputable fact .

Nothing has ever been done to address this extensively documented and indisputable fact. No laws were ever changed. No war crimes tribunals were ever held. No policies or procedures were ever revised. No one was ever even fired. No changes were implemented to prevent the Iraq deception from happening again, and, when it happened again, no changes were implemented to prevent the Libya deception from happening again.

When you make a mistake, you take measures afterward to ensure that you never make the same mistake again. When you do something on purpose, and you intend on doing it again, you do not take any such measures.

There is a large and growing body of evidence that we have been lied to about Syria to an extent and to a level of sophistication that may be historically unprecedented . One particular aspect of the US-centralized empire's military involvement in that nation, the 2018 airstrikes by the US/UK/France alliance and the alleged chemical weapons incident which preceded it, has been subject to intense scrutiny ever since it took place. And with good reason: there are many pieces of evidence indicating that the Douma incident was staged to falsely implicate the Syrian government.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Yw0-ASR4sr8

I don't claim to know exactly who would have been involved in such a staging and to what extent. It is technically possible, as the UK's Admiral Lord West speculated at the time , that it was perpetrated independently by the vicious al-Qaeda-linked Jaysh al-Islam forces who'd been occupying Douma, a last-ditch attempt to provoke a western military response that might save them from the brink of defeat at the hands of the surging Syrian Arab Army. Jaysh al-Islam has an established record of deliberately massacring civilians , and of using civilians as military leverage by locking them in cages on rooftops in strategic Douma locations to prevent airstrikes. The narrative management operation known as the White Helmets would also have been involved to some extent, and it's very possible that Saudi Arabia, who backs Jaysh al-Islam , was involved as well.

Any number of other allied intelligence agencies could have also been involved to some degree (perhaps with the more expanded goal of ensuring continued US military commitment in Syria during an administration that is vocally opposed to it), and it's unknown if anyone involved would have had direct contact with any part of any US government agency regarding any of this. All we know for sure is that there's a growing mountain of evidence that the Syrian government was not involved, and that this raises extremely important questions about (A) who really killed those civilians in Douma and (B) how seriously any future demands for military action should be taken from the US power alliance.

That mountain of evidence includes the following 12 items. Taken individually they are reason enough to be skeptical of the narratives that are being promoted by a government with a known history of using lies, propaganda and false flags to advance preexisting military agendas. Taken together, and looked at with intellectual honesty, they are enough to obliterate anyone's trust in what we've been told about Douma.

1. A leaked OPCW Engineering Assessment concluded that the gas cylinders on the scene were manually placed there.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/2l4X3XImy4w

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is a purportedly neutral and international watchdog group dedicated to eliminating the use of chemical weapons around the world. In May of this year, a leaked internal OPCW document labeled " Engineering Assessment of Two Cylinders Observed at the Douma Incident " was published by the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media. The Engineering Assessment was signed by a South African ballistics expert named Ian Henderson, whose name is seen listed in expert leadership positions on OPCW documents from as far back as 1998 and as recently as 2018 , and its authenticity was quickly confirmed by the OPCW in a statement sent to multiple journalists that it was "conducting an internal investigation about the unauthorised release of the document in question."

Henderson ran some experiments and found no scientifically grounded theory for how the cylinders could possibly have been dropped vertically from the air while being found in the condition and locations that they were found in, concluding instead that they were manually placed on the scene. This is a huge difference, since the Assad coalition was the only side with aircraft and Jaysh al-Islam were the only forces on the ground.

"The dimensions, characteristics and appearance of the cylinders, and the surrounding scene of the incidents, were inconsistent with what would have been expected in the case of either cylinder being delivered from an aircraft," Henderson wrote. "In each case the alternative hypothesis produced the only plausible explanation for observations at the scene."

"In summary, observations at the scene of the two locations, together with subsequent analysis, suggest that there is a higher probability that both cylinders were manually placed at those two locations rather than being delivered from aircraft," Henderson concludes.

This is unsurprising, since the hypothetical physics of the empire's airdrop narrative make no sense to anyone with any understanding of how material objects move. To get a simple explanation of this, watch the breakdown in this three-minute animation . For a more in-depth look, check out this long Twitter thread by Climate Audit's Stephen McIntyre.

The existence of Henderson's report was kept secret from the public by the OPCW, which might make more sense after we get through #2 on this list.

2. US officials reportedly pressured the OPCW to find evidence of Assad's guilt.

Journalist Jonathan Steele met with second OPCW whistleblower, who detailed the doctoring of the report on Douma to conform to the phony US/NATO version of events.

He also described direct US pressure on the OPCW in the form of three unnamed officials: https://t.co/YER9WJN4lX pic.twitter.com/4nDNPUbEQq

-- Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) November 18, 2019

In addition to whoever leaked the Henderson report in May, a second whistleblower going by the pseudonym of "Alex" emerged in October to give a presentation before the whistleblower's advocacy group Courage Foundation exposing far more plot holes in the official Douma narrative. This same whistleblower also spoke with award-winning British journalist Jonathan Steele, who published a bombshell report on Alex's revelations in CounterPunch last month.

Among the most stunning revelations in Steele's article was Alex's report that US officials attempted to pressure OPCW inspectors during the Organisation's drafting of its Interim Report on their Douma investigation in July 2018, and that this intercession was facilitated by an OPCW official named Bob Fairweather.

"On July 4 there was another intervention," Steele writes. "Fairweather, the chef de cabinet, invited several members of the drafting team to his office. There they found three US officials who were cursorily introduced without making clear which US agencies they represented. The Americans told them emphatically that the Syrian regime had conducted a gas attack, and that the two cylinders found on the roof and upper floor of the building contained 170 kilograms of chlorine. The inspectors left Fairweather's office, feeling that the invitation to the Americans to address them was unacceptable pressure and a violation of the OPCW's declared principles of independence and impartiality."

It's unknown what forces were at play that enabled the US government to insert itself into into an ostensibly impartial OPCW investigation with the help of an OPCW official, but it wouldn't be the first time the US government leveraged the Organisation into facilitating preexisting regime change agendas against a disobedient Middle Eastern nation. In 2002 Mother Jones reported that the US government, spearheaded by John Bolton, had used the threat of withdrawing its disproportionately high percentage of funding from the Organisation if it didn't oust its then-Director General Jose Bustani. The popular Bustani, who'd previously been unanimously re-elected to his position, had been hurting the case for war with his successful negotiations with Saddam Hussein's Iraq. In March 2018, after Bolton was selected as Trump's National Security Advisor, The Intercept revealed that the campaign to remove Bustani had also included Bolton personally threatening his children.

Bolton was operating at the highest levels of the Trump White House throughout the entire duration of the OPCW's Douma investigation. He was Trump's National Security Advisor from April 9, 2018 to September 10, 2019. The OPCW's Fact-Finding mission didn't arrive in Syria until April 14 2018 and didn't begin its investigation in Douma until several days after that, with its final report being released in March of 2019.

3. Levels of chlorinated organic chemicals didn't indicate any chlorine gas attack took place.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ojItF6MGL-0

"The main point is that chlorine gas degrades rapidly in the air," Jonathan Steele told Tucker Carlson last month detailing what was told to him by Alex. "So coming in two weeks later, you wouldn't find anything. What you would find is that the gas contaminates or affects other chemicals in the natural environment. So-called chlorinated organic chemicals [COCs]. The difficulty is they exist anyway in the natural environment and water. So the crucial thing is the levels: were there higher levels of chlorinated organic chemicals found after the alleged gas attack than there would have been in the normal environment?"

"When they got back to the Netherlands, to The Hague where the OPCW has its headquarters, samples were sent off to designated laboratories, then there was a weird silence developed," Steele continued. "Nobody told the inspectors what the results of the analysis was. It was only by chance that the inspector found out through accident earlier the results would come in and there were no differences at all. There were no higher levels of chlorinated organic chemicals in the areas where the alleged attack had happened where there is some suspicious cylinders had been found by opposition activists. So it didn't seem possible that there could have been a gas attack because the levels were just the same as in the natural environment."

"[Alex] got sight of the results which indicated that the levels of COCs were much lower than what would be expected in environmental samples," Steele reported in CounterPunch . "They were comparable to and even lower than those given in the World Health Organisation's guidelines on recommended permitted levels of trichlorophenol and other COCs in drinking water. The redacted version of the report made no mention of the findings."

"Had they been included, the public would have seen that the levels of COCs found were no higher than you would expect in any household environment", Alex told Steele.

This inconvenient fact was omitted from both the OPCW's Interim Report in July 2018 and its Final Report in March 2019.

4. Many signs and symptoms of alleged chlorine gas poisoning weren't consistent with chlorine gas poisoning.

"It is not possible to precisely link the cause of the signs and symptoms to a specific chemical", but it was definitely chlorine because we said so. No you can't see the evidence, just trust us. pic.twitter.com/2KguY4Lbyu

-- Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ (@caitoz) October 23, 2019

The OPCW's Final Report on Douma in March 2019 assures us that the team found "reasonable grounds that the use of a toxic chemical as a weapon took place. This toxic chemical contained reactive chlorine. The toxic chemical was likely molecular chlorine." A leaked internal OPCW email , featuring an inspector voicing objections to the aforementioned Bob Fairweather over vital information being omitted from the developing Interim Report on Douma, contradicts this assurance, saying observed symptoms weren't consistent with chlorine gas poisoning.

"In this case the confidence in the identity of chlorine or any choking agent is drawn into question precisely because of the inconsistency with the reported and observed symptoms," the email reads. "The inconsistency was not only noted by the FFM [Fact-Finding Mission] team but strongly noted by three toxicologists with expertise in exposure to CW [Chemical Weapons] agents."

So the OPCW's investigative team as well as three toxicologists said what was observed didn't match chlorine gas poisoning symptoms. This information was, of course, hidden from us by the OPCW.

A leaked first draft of the Interim Report on Douma, before OPCW officials started cutting out chunks which didn't suit the US narrative, gives more detail. Here are some excerpts (emphases mine):

"Some of the signs and symptoms described by witnesses and noted in photos and video recordings taken by witnesses, of the alleged victims are not consistent with exposure to chlorine-containing choking or blood agents such as chlorine gas, phosgene or cyanogen chloride. Specifically, the rapid onset of heavy buccal and nasal frothing in many victims, as well as the colour of the secretions, is not indicative of intoxication from such chemicals."

"The large number of decedents in the one location (allegedly 40 to 45), most of whom were seen in videos and photos strewn on the floor of the apartments away from open windows, and within a few meters of an escape to un-poisoned or less toxic air, is at odds with intoxication by chlorine-based choking or blood agents , even at high concentrations."

"The inconsistency between the presence of a putative chlorine-containing toxic chocking or blood agent on the one hand and the testimonies of alleged witnesses and symptoms observed from video footage and photographs, on the other, cannot be rationalised. The team considered two possible explanations for the incongruity:
a. The victims were exposed to another highly toxic chemical agent that gave rise to the symptoms observed and has so far gone undetected.
b. The fatalities resulted from a non-chemical-related incident ."

5. A doctor in Douma told journalist Robert Fisk that there was no gas poisoning.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/jNIp1lZwJts

Shortly after the Douma incident a video was circulated online and redistributed on news media around the world featuring people being hosed down with water in a hospital and an infant receiving a respiratory treatment. A doctor who worked in the hospital Assim Rahaibani gave the following account to journalist Robert Fisk days after the incident, saying those in the video were actually just suffering from hypoxia due to dust inhaled after a conventional bombing:

"I was with my family in the basement of my home three hundred metres from here on the night but all the doctors know what happened. There was a lot of shelling [by government forces] and aircraft were always over Douma at night -- but on this night, there was wind and huge dust clouds began to come into the basements and cellars where people lived. People began to arrive here suffering from hypoxia, oxygen loss. Then someone at the door, a 'White Helmet', shouted 'Gas!', and a panic began. People started throwing water over each other. Yes, the video was filmed here, it is genuine, but what you see are people suffering from hypoxia -- not gas poisoning."

Lest anyone accuse Fisk of having any special loyalties to the Syrian government, in this same report he says it "is indeed a ruthless dictatorship."

6. A BBC reporter said he has proof that the hospital scene was staged.

After almost 6 months of investigations, i can prove without a doubt that the #Douma Hospital scene was staged. No fatalities occurred in the hospital.
All the #WH , activists and people i spoke to are either in #Idlib or #EuphratesShield areas.
Only one person was in #Damascus .

-- Riam Dalati (@Dalatrm) February 13, 2019

The BBC, another establishment that can hardly be accused of Assad loyalism, saw its Syria producer Riam Dalati claiming earlier this year that he had proof beyond a doubt the aforementioned hospital scene was staged. While holding to the establishment line that the attack did happen, Dalati expressed uncertainty as to what if any chemical would have been used and said "everything else around the attack was manufactured for maximum effect." Emphases mine:

"The ATTACK DID HAPPEN, Sarin wasn't used, but we'll have to wait for OPCW to prove Chlorine or otherwise," Dalati tweeted . However, everything else around the attack was manufactured for maximum effect . After almost 6 months of investigations, i can prove without a doubt that the Douma Hospital scene was staged ."

"No fatalities occurred in the hospital," Dalati continued. "All the White Helmets, activists and people i spoke to are either in Idlib or Euphrates Shield areas. Only one person was in Damascus. Russia and at least one NATO country knew about what happened in the hospital. Documents were sent. However, no one knew what really happened at the flats apart from activists manipulating the scene there . This is why Russia focused solely on discrediting the hospital scene."

In other words, Russia knew that these "activists" were staging the scene for the news media, and understandably focused on discrediting their work.

"I can tell you that Jaysh al-Islam ruled Douma with an iron fist," Dalati added . "They coopted activists, doctors and humanitarians with fear and intimidation."

Dalati set his account to private for an extended period after these extremely controversial statements got him a flood of attention, but the thread is up on Twitter as of this writing ( here's an archive in case they vanish again).

7. More evidence the Douma scene was knowingly staged for media.

Pro-rebel activists appear to have staged "Last Hug" photo. It went viral claiming to show young victims of the Douma gas attack in their "last embrace".
Victims can be clearly seen on 2 separate floors in aftermath footage. Placed in position at collection/identification point. pic.twitter.com/9kyGQEtO8p

-- Riam Dalati (@Dalatrm) April 11, 2018

Riam Dalati also tweeted evidence after the attack that people had staged the corpses of two children to make it appear as though they died hugging each other for the purpose of emotional manipulation. If you've got a strong stomach (seriously think hard about whether this is something you want in your head before diving in), Stephen McIntyre also compiled some disturbing proof of dead infants being physically placed on top of other corpses in between video shoots of the Douma incident's aftermath.

Whoever was positioning these bodies for the cameras clearly had a goal of generating an emotional response from the outside world. Which would be precisely the goal of staging a false chemical weapons attack.

8. Witness testimony at The Hague.

It seems the UK govt launched strikes on #Syria - bringing us into potential conflict with nuclear-armed Russia-in response to a CW attack that witnesses (speaking at The Hague), say didn't happen. If that's not a resigning offence, then what on earth is? https://t.co/TMitqbvAQ6

-- Neil Clark (@NeilClark66) April 27, 2018

Seventeen Syrian civilians , including medical personnel and some of the "victims" seen in the aforementioned hospital footage, spoke at the OPCW headquarters in The Hague saying that no chemical weapons attack took place. RT reports :

"There were people unknown to us who were filming the emergency care, they were filming the chaos taking place inside, and were filming people being doused with water. The instruments they used to douse them with water were originally used to clean the floors actually," Ahmad Kashoi, an administrator of the emergency ward, recalled. "That happened for about an hour, we provided help to them and sent them home. No one has died. No one suffered from chemical exposure."

The briefing was boycotted by the US and 16 of its allies and was smeared as an unconscionable Russian hoax by media outlets ranging from Sky News to Al Jazeera to The Guardian to The Intercept , apparently for no other reason than that what these Syrians were saying didn't match the unsubstantiated claims being promoted by the political/media class of the US-centralized empire. If you want to just listen to what the Syrians themselves say and make up your own mind, RT has an English translation video here :

https://www.youtube.com/embed/NVnfUeZ3lp4

9. The first OPCW Director General finds the glaring irregularities and omissions from the OPCW's Douma report "very disturbing".

After the aforementioned Courage Foundation presentation given by Alex this past October, the aforementioned former OPCW Director General Jose Bustani (the one whose kids John Bolton threatened) had this to say :

"The convincing evidence of irregular behaviour in the OPCW investigation of the alleged Douma chemical attack confirms doubts and suspicions I already had. I could make no sense of what I was reading in the international press. Even official reports of investigations seemed incoherent at best. The picture is certainly clearer now, although very disturbing"

"I have always expected the OPCW to be a true paradigm of multilateralism. My hope is that the concerns expressed publicly by the Panel, in its joint consensus statement, will catalyse a process by which the Organisation can be resurrected to become the independent and non-discriminatory body it used to be."

10. This OAN reporter literally just walking around asking people in Douma what they saw.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/iD9C9koRmro

11. MIT Professor Emeritus Theodore Postol speaking about the plot holes and irregularities in scientific protocol with the Douma investigation.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/qqK8KgxuCPI

12. Common sense: Assad stood nothing to gain from launching a chemical attack, while Jaysh al-Islam fighters stood everything to gain by faking one.

This is the initial reason why critical thinkers were so skeptical of the establishment Douma narrative: from the very beginning, it made no sense at all.

Click this hyperlink to read a BBC article dated five days before the Douma incident, describing how the Syrian government "appears poised to regain control" of the town and how Jaysh al-Islam fighters were already evacuating. The battle was won. Assad would have stood absolutely nothing to gain from tempting a retaliation from western powers (which could have been far more severe than it ended up being) all to drop a couple of cylinders of chlorine gas, which incidentally is a highly ineffective weapon that ordinarily takes a very long time to kill.

Jaysh al-Islam (and whoever else they may have been working with), on the other hand, would have stood everything to gain by murdering a few of the civilians they had been holding captive in the town they'd invaded in the hopes that western forces would become their airforce for a bit and hold off the Syrian Arab Army from reclaiming Douma.

"Why would Assad use chemical weapons at this time? He's won the war," Major General Jonathan Shaw told The Mail on Sunday at the time. "That's not just my opinion, it is shared by senior commanders in the US military. There is no rationale behind Assad's involvement whatsoever. He's convinced the rebels to leave occupied areas in buses. He's gained their territory. So why would he be bothering gassing them?"

"The jihadists and the various opposition groups who've been fighting against Assad have much greater motivation to launch a chemical weapons attack and make it look like Assad was responsible," the ex-SAS and Parachute Regiment commander added. "Their motivation being that they want to keep the Americans involved in the war -- following Trump saying the US was going to leave Syria for other people to sort out."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/foj29LIXpy4

Admiral Lord West made similar comments on the BBC around the same time, prompting BBC host Annita McVeigh to flip into frantic narrative management mode suggesting that he's "muddying the waters" during an "information war with Russia".

"President Assad is in the process of winning this civil war, and he was about to take over Douma, all that area," West said. "He'd had a long, long, long slog slowly capturing that area of the city, and there just before he goes in and takes it all over, apparently he decides to have a chemical attack. It just doesn't ring true. It seems extraordinary, because clearly he would know that there's likely to be a response from the allies. What benefit is there for his military? Most of the rebel fighters, this disparate group of Islamists, had withdrawn, there were a few women and children left around. What benefit was there militarily in doing what he did? I find that extraordinary."

"Whereas we know that in the past some of the Islamo groups have used chemicals, and of course there'd be huge benefit in them labeling an attack as coming from Assad, because they would guess quite rightly that there would be a response from the US as there was last time, and possibly from the UK and France," West added.

"If I were advising some of the Islamist groups, many of whom are worse than Daesh," West said, "I would say look, we've got to wait until there's another attack by Assad's forces, particularly if they've got a helicopter overhead or something like that and they're dropping barrel bombs, and we set off some chlorine. Because we'll get the next attack from the allies. And there's no doubt that if we believe he's done a chemical attack we should do that. And those attacks will get bigger, and it's the only way they've got, actually, of stopping the inevitable victory of Assad."

These are not Assad sympathizers or Kremlin assets saying this. These are not a bunch of hippie dippie anti-imperialists. These are lifelong military men, thinking in military terms, describing what they were seeing. And what they were seeing is the thing that a false flag is.

The @OPCW concealing that #Douma was likely staged is a big story.

But perhaps a bigger story is this: if staged, how did the victims (mostly children) die? And what role if any in their deaths did US UK backed #WhiteHelmets 'rescuers' who appear to have staged the attack play? https://t.co/BDY1lSqfmz

-- Charles Shoebridge (@ShoebridgeC) December 15, 2019

This isn't just some idle philosophical question. People died. A massive war crime occurred and the more minutes tick by before a legitimate investigation is launched -- with full transparency and accountability this time -- the less available evidence there will be. Which is why establishment narrative managers on Syria go full dead-weight when asked if they support a full criminal investigation into what happened. They don't actually believe it will go their way, and rightly so.

Meanwhile the illegal occupation of Syria drags on, perhaps until Trump can be replaced with a more compliant puppet, and we're all basically just sitting around waiting to be deceived again.

This cannot continue. This must not continue.

* * *

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[Dec 19, 2019] Chemical Weapons Watchdog Is Just an American Lap Dog -- Strategic Culture

Notable quotes:
"... The FFM was headed by Malik Ellahi , who served as head of the OPCW's government relations and political affairs branch. The appointment of someone lacking both technical and operational experience suggests that Ellahi's primary role was political. Under his leadership, the FFM established a close working relationship with the anti-Assad Syrian opposition, including the White Helmets and SAMS. ..."
"... Once the FFM wrapped up its investigation in Douma, however, it became apparent to Fairweather that it had a problem. There were serious questions about whether chlorine had, in fact, been used as a weapon. The solution, brokered by Fairweather, was to release an interim report that ruled out sarin altogether, but left the door open regarding chlorine. ..."
"... Braha did this by dispatching OPCW inspectors to Turkey in September 2018 to interview new witnesses identified by the White Helmets, and by commissioning new engineering studies that better explained the presence of the two chlorine cannisters found in Douma. By March, Braha had assembled enough information to enable the technical directorate to issue its final report. Almost immediately, dissent appeared in the ranks of the OPCW. An engineering report that contradicted the findings published by Braha was leaked , setting off a firestorm of controversy derived from its conclusion that the chlorine cannisters found in Douma had most likely been staged by the White Helmets. ..."
"... The OPCW, while eventually acknowledging that the leaked report was genuine, explained its exclusion from the final report on the grounds that it attributed blame, something the FFM was not mandated to do. According to the OPCW , the engineering report in question had been submitted to the investigation and identification team, a newly created body within the OPCW mandated to make such determinations. Moreover, Director General Arias stood by the report's conclusion that it had "reasonable grounds" to believe "that the use of a toxic chemical as a weapon has taken place on 7 April 2018." ..."
"... The OPCW's credibility as an investigative body has been brought into question through these leaks, as has its independent character. If an organization like the OPCW can be used at will by the U.S., the United Kingdom and France to trigger military attacks intended to support regime-change activities in member states, then it no longer serves a useful purpose to the international community it ostensibly serves. ..."
Dec 19, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org

Scott RITTER

A spate of leaks from within the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons ( OPCW ), the international inspectorate created for the purpose of implementing the Chemical Weapons Convention, has raised serious questions about the institution's integrity, objectivity and credibility. The leaks address issues pertaining to the OPCW investigation into allegations that the Syrian government used chemical weapons to attack civilians in the Damascus suburb of Douma on April 7, 2018. These allegations, which originated from such anti-Assad organizations as the Syrian Civil Defense (the so-called White Helmets ) and the Syrian American Medical Society ( SAMS ), were immediately embraced as credible by the OPCW, and were used by the United States, France and the United Kingdom to justify punitive military strikes against facilities inside Syria assessed by these nations as having been involved in chemical weapons-related activities before the OPCW initiated any on-site investigation.

The Douma incident was initially described by the White Helmets, SAMS and the U.S., U.K. and French governments as involving both sarin nerve agent and chlorine gas. However, this narrative was altered when OPCW inspectors released, on July 6, 2018, interim findings of their investigation that found no evidence of the use of sarin. The focus of the investigation quickly shifted to a pair of chlorine cylinders claimed by the White Helmets to have been dropped onto apartment buildings in Douma by the Syrian Air Force, resulting in the release of a cloud of chlorine gas that killed dozens of Syrian civilians. In March, the OPCW released its final report on the Douma incident , noting that it had "reasonable grounds" to believe "that the use of a toxic chemical as a weapon has taken place on 7 April 2018," that "this toxic chemical contained reactive chlorine" and that "the toxic chemical was likely molecular chlorine."

Much has been written about the OPCW inspection process in Syria, and particularly the methodology used by the Fact-Finding Mission (FFM), an inspection body created by the OPCW in 2014 "to establish facts surrounding allegations of the use of toxic chemicals, reportedly chlorine, for hostile purposes in the Syrian Arab Republic." The FFM was created under the direction of Ahmet Üzümcü , a career Turkish diplomat with extensive experience in multinational organizations, including service as Turkey's ambassador to NATO. Üzümcü was the OPCW's third director general, having been selected from a field of seven candidates by its executive council to replace Argentine diplomat Rogelio Pfirter. Pfirter had held the position since being nominated to replace the OPCW's first director general, José Maurício Bustani. Bustani's tenure was marred by controversy that saw the OPCW transition away from its intended role as an independent implementor of the Chemical Weapons Convention to that of a tool of unilateral U.S. policy, a role that continues to mar the OPCW's work in Syria today, especially when it comes to its investigation of the alleged use by the Syrian government of chemical weapons against civilians in Douma in April 2018.

Bustani was removed from his position in 2002, following an unprecedented campaign led by John Bolton, who at the time was serving as the undersecretary of state for Arms Control and International Security Affairs in the U.S. State Department. What was Bustani's crime? In 2001, he had dared to enter negotiations with the government of Iraq to secure that nation's entry into the OPCW, thereby setting the stage for OPCW inspectors to visit Iraq and bring its chemical weapons capability under OPCW control. As director general, there was nothing untoward about Bustani's action. But Iraq circa 2001 was not a typical recruitment target. In the aftermath of the Gulf War in 1991, the U.N. Security Council had passed a resolution under Chapter VII requiring Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD), including its chemical weapons capability, to be "removed, destroyed or rendered harmless" under the supervision of inspectors working on behalf of the United Nations Special Commission, or UNSCOM.

The pursuit of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction led to a series of confrontations with Iraq that culminated in inspectors being ordered out of the country by the U.S. in 1998, prior to a 72-hour aerial attack -- Operation Desert Fox. Iraq refused to allow UNSCOM inspectors to return, rightfully claiming that the U.S. had infiltrated the ranks of the inspectors and was using the inspection process to spy on Iraqi leadership for the purposes of facilitating regime change. The lack of inspectors in Iraq allowed the U.S. and others to engage in wild speculation regarding Iraqi rearmament activities, including in the field of chemical weapons. This speculation was used to fuel a call for military action against Iraq, citing the threat of a reconstituted WMD capability as the justification. Bustani sought to defuse this situation by bringing Iraq into the OPCW, an act that, if completed, would have derailed the U.S. case for military intervention in Iraq. Bolton's intervention included threats to Bustani and his family, as well as threats to withhold U.S. dues to the OPCW accounting for some 22% of that organization's budget; had the latter threat been implemented, it would have resulted in OPCW's disbandment.

Bustani's departure marked the end of the OPCW as an independent organization. Pfirter, Bolton's hand-picked replacement, vowed to keep the OPCW out of Iraq. In an interview with U.S. media shortly after his appointment, Pfirter noted that while all nations should be encouraged to join the OPCW, "We should be very aware that there are United Nations resolutions in effect" that precluded Iraqi membership "at the expense" of its obligations to the Security Council. Under the threat of military action, Iraq allowed UNMOVIC inspectors to return in 2002; by February 2003, no WMD had been found , a result that did not meet with U.S. satisfaction. In March 2003, UNMOVIC inspectors were withdrawn from Iraq under orders of the U.S., paving the way for the subsequent invasion and occupation of that nation that same month (the CIA later concluded that Iraq had been disarmed of its weapons of mass destruction by the summer of 1991).

Under Pfirter's leadership, the OPCW became a compliant tool of U.S. foreign policy objectives. By completely subordinating OPCW operations through the constant threat of fiscal ruin, the U.S. engaged in a continuous quid pro quo arrangement, trading the financial solvency of an ostensible multilateral organization for complicity in operating as a de facto extension of American unilateral policy. Bolton's actions in 2002 put the OPCW and its employees on notice: Cross the U.S., and you will pay a terminal price.

When Üzümcü took over the OPCW's reins in 2010, the organization was very much the model of multinational consensus, which, in the case of any multilateral organization in which the U.S. plays a critical role, meant that nothing transpired without the express approval of the U.S. and its European NATO allies, in particular the United Kingdom and France. Shortly after he took office, Üzümcü was joined by Robert Fairweather , a career British diplomat who served as Üzümcü's chief of Cabinet. (While Üzümcü was the ostensible head of the OPCW, the daily task of managing the functioning of the OPCW was that of the chief of Cabinet. In short, nothing transpired within the OPCW without Fairweather's knowledge and concurrence.)

Üzümcü and Fairweather's tenure at the OPCW was dominated by Syria, where, since 2011, the government of President Bashar Assad had been engaged in a full-scale conflict with a foreign-funded and -equipped insurgency whose purpose was regime change. By 2013, allegations emerged from both the Syrian government and rebel forces concerning the use of chemical weapons by the other side. In August 2013, the OPCW dispatched an inspection team into Syria as part of a U.N.-led effort, which included specialists from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.N. itself, to investigate allegations that sarin had been used in attack on civilians in the town of Ghouta. While the mission found conclusive evidence that sarin nerve agent had been used , it did not assign blame for the attack.

Despite the lack of causality, the U.S. and its NATO allies quickly assigned blame for the sarin attacks on the Syrian government. To forestall U.S. military action against Syria, the Russian government helped broker a deal whereby the U.S. agreed to refrain from undertaking military action if the Syrian government joined the OPCW and subjected the totality of its chemical weapons stockpile to elimination. In October 2013, the OPCW-U.N. Joint Mission , created under the authority of U.N. Security Council resolution 2118 (2103), began the process of identifying, cataloging, removing and destroying Syria's chemical weapons. This process was completed in September 2014 (in December 2013, the OPCW was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its disarmament work in Syria).

If the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons was an example of the OPCW at its best, what followed was a case study of just the opposite. In May 2014, the OPCW created the Fact-Finding Mission, or FFM , charged with establishing "facts surrounding allegations of the use of toxic chemicals, reportedly chlorine, for hostile purposes in the Syrian Arab Republic." The FFM was headed by Malik Ellahi , who served as head of the OPCW's government relations and political affairs branch. The appointment of someone lacking both technical and operational experience suggests that Ellahi's primary role was political. Under his leadership, the FFM established a close working relationship with the anti-Assad Syrian opposition, including the White Helmets and SAMS.

In 2015, responsibility for coordinating the work of the FFM with the anti-Assad opposition was transferred to a British inspector named Len Phillips (another element of the FFM, led by a different inspector, was responsible for coordinating with the Syrian government). Phillips developed a close working relationship with the White Helmets and SAMS and played a key role in OPCW's investigation of the April 2017 chemical incident in Khan Shaykhun. By April 2018, the FFM had undergone a leadership transition, with Phillips replaced by a Tunisian inspector named Sami Barrek . It was Barrek who led the FFM into Syria in April 2018 to investigate allegations of chemical weapons use at Douma. Like Phillips, Barrek maintained a close working relationship with the White Helmets and SAMS.

Once the FFM wrapped up its investigation in Douma, however, it became apparent to Fairweather that it had a problem. There were serious questions about whether chlorine had, in fact, been used as a weapon. The solution, brokered by Fairweather, was to release an interim report that ruled out sarin altogether, but left the door open regarding chlorine. This report was released on July 6, 2018. Later that month, both Üzümcü and Fairweather were gone, replaced by a Spaniard named Fernando Arias and a French diplomat named Sébastien Braha . It would be up to them to clean up the Douma situation.

The situation Braha inherited from Fairweather was unenviable. According to an unnamed OPCW official who spoke with the media after the fact, two days prior to the publication of the interim report, on July 4, 2018, Fairweather had been paid a visit by a trio of U.S. officials, who indicated to Fairweather and the members of the FFM responsible for writing the report that it was the U.S. position that the chlorine cannisters in question had been used to dispense chlorine gas at Douma, an assertion that could not be backed up by the evidence. Despite this, the message that Fairweather left with the OPCW personnel was that there had to be a "smoking gun." It was now Braha's job to manufacture one.

Braha did this by dispatching OPCW inspectors to Turkey in September 2018 to interview new witnesses identified by the White Helmets, and by commissioning new engineering studies that better explained the presence of the two chlorine cannisters found in Douma. By March, Braha had assembled enough information to enable the technical directorate to issue its final report. Almost immediately, dissent appeared in the ranks of the OPCW. An engineering report that contradicted the findings published by Braha was leaked , setting off a firestorm of controversy derived from its conclusion that the chlorine cannisters found in Douma had most likely been staged by the White Helmets.

The OPCW, while eventually acknowledging that the leaked report was genuine, explained its exclusion from the final report on the grounds that it attributed blame, something the FFM was not mandated to do. According to the OPCW , the engineering report in question had been submitted to the investigation and identification team, a newly created body within the OPCW mandated to make such determinations. Moreover, Director General Arias stood by the report's conclusion that it had "reasonable grounds" to believe "that the use of a toxic chemical as a weapon has taken place on 7 April 2018."

Arias' explanation came under attack in November, when WikiLeaks published an email sent by a member of the FFM team that had participated in the Douma investigation. In this email, which was sent on June 22, 2018, and addressed to Robert Fairweather, the author noted that, when it came to the Douma incident, "[p]urposely singling out chlorine gas as one of the possibilities is disingenuous." The author of the email, who had participated in drafting the original interim report, noted that the original text had emphasized that there was insufficient evidence to support this conclusion, and that the new text represented "a major deviation from the original report." Moreover, the author took umbrage at the new report's conclusions, which claimed to be "based on the high levels of various chlorinated organic derivatives detected in environmental samples." According to email's author "They were, in most cases, present only in parts per billion range, as low as 1-2 ppb, which is essentially trace quantities." In short, the OPCW had cooked the books, manufacturing evidence from thin air that it then used to draw conclusions that sustained the U.S. position that chlorine gas had been used by the Syrian government at Douma.

Arias, while not addressing the specifics of the allegations set forth in the leaked email, recently declared that it is "the nature of any thorough inquiry for individuals in a team to express subjective views," noting that "I stand by the independent, professional conclusion" presented by the OPCW about the Douma incident. This explanation, however, does not fly in the face of the evidence.

The OPCW's credibility as an investigative body has been brought into question through these leaks, as has its independent character. If an organization like the OPCW can be used at will by the U.S., the United Kingdom and France to trigger military attacks intended to support regime-change activities in member states, then it no longer serves a useful purpose to the international community it ostensibly serves.

To survive as a credible entity, the OPCW must open itself to a full-scale audit of its activities in Syria by an independent authority with inspector general-like investigatory powers. Anything short of this leaves the OPCW, an organization that was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its contributions to world peace, permanently stained by the reality that it is little more than a lap dog of the United States, used to promote the very conflicts it was designed to prevent.

truthdig.com The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation. Tags: Chemical Weapons Mass Media OPCW Syria White Helmets

[Dec 18, 2019] Never Trust A Failing Empire

Dec 18, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

https://www.dianomi.com/smartads.epl?id=4777 Never Trust A Failing Empire by Tyler Durden Wed, 12/18/2019 - 00:05 0 SHARES

Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

The Washington Post , through documents released through the Freedom of Information Act, has published a long investigation into Afghanistan. Journalists have collected over 400 testimonies from American diplomats, NATO generals and other NATO personnel, that show that reports about Afghanistan were falsified to deceive the public about the real situation on the ground .

After the tampering with and falsification of the report of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) , we are witnessing another event that will certainly discomfit those who have hitherto relied on the official reports of the Pentagon, the US State Department and international organizations like the OPCW for the last word.

There are very deliberate reasons for such disinformation campaigns. In the case of the OPCW, as I wrote some time back, the aim was to paint the Syrian government as the fiend and the al-Qaeda- and Daesh-linked "moderate rebels" as the innocent souls, thereby likely justifying a responsibility-to-protect armed intervention by the likes of the US, the UK and France. In such circumstances, the standing and status of the reporting organization (like the OPCW) is commandeered to validate Western propaganda that is duly disseminated through the corporate-controlled mainstream media.

In this particular case, various Western capitals colluded with the OPCW to lay the groundwork for the removal of Assad and his replacement with the al-Nusra Front as well as the very same al-Qaeda- and Daesh-linked armed opposition officially responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

As if the massaging of the OPCW reports were not enough in themselves to provoke international outrage, this dossier serves to give aid and comfort to jihadi groups supported by the Pentagon who are known to be responsible for the worst human-rights abuses, as seen in Syria and Iraq in the last 6 years.

False or carefully manipulated reports paint a picture vastly different from the reality on the ground. The United States has never really declared war on Islamic terrorism, its proclamations of a "War on Terror" notwithstanding. In reality, it has simply used this justification to occupy or destabilize strategically important areas of the world in the interests of maintaining US hegemony, intending in so doing to hobble the energy policies and national security of rival countries like China, Iran and the Russian Federation.

The Post investigation lays bare how the US strategy had failed since its inception, the data doctored to represent a reality very different from that on the ground. The inability of the United States to clean up Afghanistan is blamed by the Post on incorrect military planning and incorrect political choices. While this could certainly be the case, the Post's real purpose in its investigation is to harm Trump, even as it reveals the Pentagon's efforts to continue its regional presence for grand geopolitical goals by hiding inconvenient truths.

The real issue lies in the built-in mendacity of the bureaucratic and military apparatus of the United States. No general has ever gone on TV to say that the US presence in Iraq is needed to support any war against Iran; or that Afghanistan is a great point of entry for the destabilization of Eurasia, because this very heart of the Heartland is crucial to the Sino-Russian transcontinental integration projects like the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and the Belt and Road Initiative. In the same vein, the overthrow of the Syrian government would have ensured Israel a greater capacity to expand its interests in the Middle East, as well as to weaken Iran's main regional ally.

The Post investigation lays bare the hypocrisy of the military-industrial complex as well as the prevailing political establishments of Europe and the United States. These parties are not interested in human rights, the wellbeing of civilians or justice in general. Their only goal is to try and maintain their global hegemony indefinitely by preventing any other powers from being able to realize their potential and thereby pose a threat to Atlanticist preeminence.

The war in Iraq was launched to destabilize the Middle East, China's energy-supply basin crucial to fueling her future growth. The war in Syria served the purpose of further dismantling the Middle East to favor Saudi Arabia and Israel, the West's main strategic allies in the Persian Gulf. The war in Afghanistan was to slow down the Eurasian integration of China and Russia. And the war in Ukraine was for the purposes of generating chaos and destruction on Russia's border, with the initial hope of wresting the very strategically area of Crimea from Russia.

The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry, and this has been on full display in recent times. Almost all of Washington's recent strategic objectives have ended up producing results worse than the status quo ante. In Iraq there is the type of strong cooperation between Baghdad and Tehran reminiscent of the time prior to 1979. Through Hezbollah, Iran has strengthened its position in Syria in defense of Damascus. Moscow has found itself playing the role of crucial decider in the Middle East (and soon in North Africa), until only a few years ago the sole prerogative of Washington. Turkey's problems with NATO, coupled with Tel Aviv's open relation with Moscow are both a prime example of Washington's diminishing influence in the region and Moscow's corresponding increase in influence.

The situation in Afghanistan is not very different, with a general recognition that peace is the only option for the region being reflected in the talks between the Afghans, the Taliban, the Russians, Chinese, Indians and Pakistanis. Beijing and Moscow have well known for over a decade the real intent behind Washington's presence in the country, endeavoring to blunt its impact.

The Post investigation only further increases the public's war weariness, the war in Afghanistan now having lasted 18 years, the longest war in US history. Jeff Bezos, the owner of the Post , is a bitter opponent of Trump and wants the president to come clean on the Afghanistan debacle by admitting that the troops cannot be withdrawn. Needless to say, admitting such would not help Trump's strategy for the 2020 election. Trump cannot afford to humiliate the US military, given that it, along with the US dollar, is his main weapon of "diplomacy". Were it to be revealed that some illiterate peasants holed up in caves and armed with AK-47s some 40 years ago are responsible for successfully keeping the most powerful army in history at bay, all of Washington's propaganda, disseminated by a compliant media, will cease to be of any effect. Such a revelation would also humiliate military personnel, an otherwise dependable demographic Trump cannot afford to alienate.

The Washington Post performed a service to the country by shedding light on the disinformation used to sustain endless war. But the Post's intentions are also political, seeking to undermine Trump's electoral chances by damaging Trump's military credentials as well as his standing amongst military personnel. What Washington's elite and the Post do not know, or perhaps prefer to ignore, is that such media investigations directed against political opponents actually end up doing irreparable damage to the political and military prestige of the United States.

In other words, when journalist do their job, the military industrial complex finds it difficult to lie its way through wars and failures , but when a country relies on Hollywood to sustain its make-believe world, as well as on journalists on the CIA payroll, on compliant publishers and on censored news, then any such revelations of forbidden truths threaten to bring the whole facade crashing down. Tags Politics

[Dec 15, 2019] Ahh, this sweet smell of neocon propaganda in the US MSM...

Dec 15, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jayne , Dec 15 2019 14:26 utc | 4

Hey *Politifact*:

"...Obama did sign H.R. 4310 into law, also passing the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012. But the bill did not make it legal for independent, private-sector media outlets to present outright false information to the public. Instead, it allowed government-sponsored news like Voice of American to be broadcast in the United States. It removed restrictions on U.S.-generated news from being presented to American audiences.'''"

Oki doki so what about those < cough > "independent, private-sector media outlets" that are blatant 'governement funded fronts' that only 'claim' to be our independent, private-sector media...

[Dec 15, 2019] Media Suppressed Evidence Of The OPCW's 'Chemical Attack' Manipulations - There Is Now More Of It

Notable quotes:
"... But perhaps most shocking of all were the actions of a senior OPCW official whose name is known to The Mail on Sunday and who is known to some of the organisation's staff as 'Voldemort'. ..."
"... Mr Henderson tried to get his research included in the final report, but when it became clear it would be excluded, he lodged a copy in a secure registry, known as the Documents Registry Archive (DRA). ..."
"... This is normal practice for such confidential material, but when 'Voldemort' heard about it, he sent an email to subordinates saying: 'Please get this document out of DRA And please remove all traces, if any, of its delivery/storage/whatever in DRA'. ..."
"... This practice of editors telling journalists what to write, with what angle and with headlines already assigned is completely backwards and is the cause of numerous problems. How can journalists find genuine newsworthy developments if what to write has already been scripted for them? ..."
Dec 15, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

A journalist describes why he resigned when his outlet suppressed his reporting about manipulations within the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

Meanwhile Wikileaks published additional evidence that the OPCW Manufactured A Pretext For War By Suppressing Its Own Scientists' Research :

Leaks from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) prove that the OPCW management ignored or manipulated reports its Fact Finding Mission had written about the April 2018 Douma incident in Syria.
...
The OPCW management ignored that the technical, chemical and medical analysis of its own specialists exculpated the Syrian government from the allegation that it poisoned some 40 people in Douma by dropping Chlorine canisters from a helicopter.

The new documents published by Wikileaks include the original Interim Report written by members of the Fact Finding Mission of the OPCW who were on the grounds in Douma to investigate that case. The original Interim Report was suppressed by the OPCW management and a rewritten Interim Report and manipulated Final Report were published. They made it look as if the Syrian government was guilty of a chemical attack.

From Wikileaks' introduction :

WikiLeaks is also releasing the original preliminary report for the first time along with the redacted version (that was released by the OPCW) for comparison. Additionally, we are publishing a detailed comparison of the original interim report with the redacted interim report and the final report along with relevant comments from a member of the original fact finding mission. These documents should help clarify the series of changes that the report went through, which skewed the facts and introduced bias according to statements made by the members of the FFM.

The well respected Mail of Sunday columnist Peter Hitchens reports of additional details of the case :

The Mail on Sunday can reveal that a senior official at the Organisation for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) demanded the 'removal of all traces' of a document which undermined claims that gas cylinders had been dropped from the air -- a key element of the 'evidence' that the Syrian regime was responsible.
...
The original interim report also mentioned for the first time doubts about the origin of the cylinders, saying: 'The FFM [Fact-Finding Mission] team is unable to provide satisfactory explanations for the relatively moderate damage to the cylinders allegedly dropped from an unknown height, compared to the destruction caused to the rebar-reinforced roofs.

The videos from the Douma incident showed the undamaged pressure vessel 'sleeping' on a bed.

bigger
Those who said 'Assad did it' never explained this. A highly pressurized cylinder was allegedly dropped from a helicopter flying at considerable height to escape the 'rebels' air defenses. It then allegedly crashed through a re-enforced concrete roof, bounced off the floor and landed on the bed. How did the cylinder end up with having nearly no damage to itself? My learned engineering 'feel' on this says that any pressurized vessel dropped from more than 500 meters (1,640 ft) height would either have ruptured on impact, or it would have bounced off (vid) and not penetrate through the roof. It would have been severely damaged. This is the primary reason why I never considered the alleged Douma 'chemical attack' to be a truthful story. There are many additional facts and indications (see out previous reports linked at the end) that make it obvious that the Douma incident was staged.

Hitchens also reports of more shenanigans at the OPCW. The impact analysis of the cylinder by the FFM engineering member Ian Henderson, published by Wikileaks , was not only suppressed by the OPCW management but eradicated from its records:

But perhaps most shocking of all were the actions of a senior OPCW official whose name is known to The Mail on Sunday and who is known to some of the organisation's staff as 'Voldemort'.

Mr Henderson tried to get his research included in the final report, but when it became clear it would be excluded, he lodged a copy in a secure registry, known as the Documents Registry Archive (DRA).

This is normal practice for such confidential material, but when 'Voldemort' heard about it, he sent an email to subordinates saying: 'Please get this document out of DRA And please remove all traces, if any, of its delivery/storage/whatever in DRA'.

Next to the Mail on Sunday the Italian newspaper la Repubblica is the only other 'western' mainstream outlet that reported on the manipulated OPCW reports. The author of its two pieces says that the OPCW is blocking all requests for comments:

stefania maurizi @SMaurizi - 10:40 UTC · 15 Dec 2019

3. unfortunately, @OPCW has NOT provided any clarification. Throughout the last 18 years of our journalistic profession, we've worked on another important international agency: @iaeaorg, they have always been cooperative. We find the lack of clarifications by @OPCW unacceptable

Other mainstream media have been silent on the OPCW fraud.

A journalist at Newsweek , Tareq Haddad, wrote and tried to publish a piece about the OPCW manipulations. The piece was suppressed by the editors of Newsweek . Haddad, who resigned in protest, now published a recommendable long-read which explains what happened:

Lies, Newsweek and Control of the Media Narrative: First-Hand Account .

The piece is remarkable for what it provides on the working process in today's media. Discussing a different piece he wrote for Newsweek Haddad writes:

[This] raises another serious problem at the publication: editors tell journalists what to report .

This article was assigned to me by Alfred on Newsweek's internal messaging system, as is commonplace for editors to do, and I felt obliged to report the story, although I had concerns and it is not one I personally would have chosen to do. I raised these concerns with Alfred -- whose background is in video editing, not journalism -- but instead of ditching the story, a new angle was suggested and a new headline was provided too. Feeling that I couldn't challenge his authority any further without being rude, I proceeded as best as I could, ...
...
This practice of editors telling journalists what to write, with what angle and with headlines already assigned is completely backwards and is the cause of numerous problems. How can journalists find genuine newsworthy developments if what to write has already been scripted for them?

I spoke to several Newsweek journalists about this very problem prior to my departure and they shared the same concerns.

In the description of my working process - How Moon of Alabama Is Made - I explained that finding the headline to a piece is one of the very last steps before publishing it:

Then follow the last three tasks - find a headline, write a summarizing intro sentence and formulate the end.

That is simply because serious reporting or analysis of issues can not assume a certain outcome. There are always new aspects to a story which develop only while it is researched and written. To start the writing process with an already assigned headline is not journalism. It is stenography.

Tareq Haddad explains the 'External Control of the Media Narrative' by reflecting on the 'so-called' foreign affairs editor of Newsweek , Dimi Reider:

I glanced at his resume and was honored to be working with such an accomplished foreign affairs journalist. I had genuinely hoped to build a closer relationship to him.

That was why I was so bewildered when he flatly refused to publish the OPCW revelations. Surely any editor worth their salt would see this as big? Of course, I understood that the implications of such a piece would be substantial and not easy to report -- it was the strongest evidence of lies about Syria to date -- but surely most educated people could see this coming? Other evidence was growing by the day.

But no. As the earlier messages showed, there was no desire to report these revelations, regardless of how strong the evidence appeared to be. Dimi was simply happy to defer to Bellingcat -- a clearly dubious organization as others have taken the time to address, such as here and here -- instead of allowing journalists who are more than capable of doing their own research to do their job.

It was this realization that made me start to question Dimi. When I looked a little deeper, he was the missing piece.

It turns out that Dimi Reider is a creature trained by the Council of Foreign Relations , the Wall Street's Think Tank , and was the founder and editor of a magazine funded by the Rockefeller Brother's Fund. He is a member of the insider club.

Hadder concludes :

This conflict of interests may be known to other journalists in the trade, but I will repeat: this is unacceptable to me.

The U.S. government, in an ugly alliance with those the profit the most from war, has its tentacles in every part of the media -- imposters, with ties to the U.S. State Department, sit in newsrooms all over the world. Editors, with no apparent connections to the member's club, have done nothing to resist. Together, they filter out what can or cannot be reported. Inconvenient stories are completely blocked. As a result, journalism is quickly dying. America is regressing because it lacks the truth.

Those words are true and they are the very reason why Tareq Haddad will never again be able to work as a journalist in a mainstream 'western' news outlet. Those 'journalists' are not supposed to reveal the truth. It is on us blogger minions to reveal it.

(This is a Moon of Alabama fundraiser week. Please consider to support our work .)

Previous Moon of Alabama coverage of the Douma incident and its aftermath:

April 8 2018 - Syria - Timelines Of 'Gas Attacks' Follow A Similar Scheme (Update II) April 9 2018 - Syria - Any U.S. Strike Will Lead to Escalation Apr 11 2018 - Syria - A U.S. Attack Would Be Futile - But Serve A Purpose - by M. K. Bhadrakumar Apr 11 2018 - Trump Asks Russia To Roll Over - It Won't Apr 12 2018 - Syria - Threat Of Large War Recedes But May Come Back Apr 13 2018 - Syria - Manipulated Videos Fail To Launch World War III - Updated Apr 14 2018 - F.U.K.U.S. Strikes Syria - Who Won? Apr 16 2018 - Syria - Pentagon Hides Attack Failure - 70+ Cruise Missiles Shot Down Apr 19 2018 - Syria - Who Is Stalling The OPCW Investigation In Douma? Apr 20 2018 - Syria Sitrep - Cleanup Around Damascus - WMD Rumors Prepare For New U.S. Attack Jul 6 2018 - Syria - OPCW Issues First Report Of 'Chemical Weapon Attack' in Douma Jul 7 2018 - Syria - Mainstream Media Lie About Watchdog Report On The 'Chemical Attack' In Douma May 13 2019 - Syria - OPCW Engineering Assessment: The Douma 'Chemical Weapon Attack' Was Staged Nov 16 2019 - OPCW Whistleblowers: Management Manipulated Reports - Douma 'Chemical Weapon Attack' Was Staged Nov 29 2019 - OPCW Manufactured A Pretext For War By Suppressing Its Own Scientists' Research Nov 30 2019 - OPCW Manipulation Of Its Douma Report Requires A Fresh Look At The Skripal 'Novichok' Case Dec 2 2019 - As The OPCW Is Accused Of False Reporting U.S. Propaganda Jumps To Its Help

---

[Dec 15, 2019] The USA neocons tried to control OPSW for a long time

Dec 15, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Noirette , Dec 15 2019 14:52 utc | 5

José Bustani, first director of the OPCW (1997-2002), denounced the reports on Douma. Ex.:

https://timhayward.wordpress.com/2019/10/23/unacceptable-practices-at-opcw-by-jose-bustani-and-international-panel/

Bustani says he was forced to resign by the US Gvmt in 2002. RT.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BeALGKbvlg

"He told me I had 24 hours to resign," said José Bustani, who was director general of the agency, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague. "And if I didn't I would have to face the consequences." (Quote is from NYT.)

Bustani sued for illegal dismissal via the ILO, and won. (Salary, damages, etc.)

https://www.jstor.org/stable/3216704?seq=1

The 'removal' vote:

https://2001-2009.state.gov/t/isn/cwc/fs/9631.htm

I guess that was the beginning and the end of any genuine attempts at impartial assessment! The very first director was booted by Bolton who is the 'he' in the quote above

[Dec 09, 2019] Peter Hitchens visited the OPCW whistleblower and now discusses with Rico Brouwer in caf Weltschmerz what actually happened in Douma and what's at stake with this misleading OPCW report not only in Syria but also with our governments, the international rule of law and the validity of the OPCW.

Dec 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Mao , Dec 8 2019 19:00 utc | 21

OPCW investigated the April 7th 2018 incident in Douma Syria and reported that: "chlorine, or another reactive chlorine-containing chemical, was likely released".

An internal OPCW Email in response however said that the report: "is highly misleading and not supported by the facts".

London based author and journalist Peter Hitchens has closely followed the Syrian conflict and Douma incident. He's recently visited the OPCW whistleblower and now discusses with Rico Brouwer in café Weltschmerz what actually happened in Douma and what's at stake with this misleading OPCW report not only in Syria but also with our governments, the international rule of law and the validity of the OPCW.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxeylNJT7ws


juliania , Dec 8 2019 21:46 utc | 41

mao@21 says 'London based author and journalist Peter Hitchins has closely followed the Syrian conflict...' and posts a video from a Dutch interrogator that had me interested until Mr. Hitchens blandly spouted a derogatory spiel about Assad that is the main source of all 'Assad must go' poppycockery from the west as if it were indeed fact. If he is going to base actual verifiable information upon such a shaky foundation, I would warn folk who proceed further to either accept this poster's message or that of Mr. Hitchins - beware of the underlying falsehoods when you do so.

This video is highly suspect, in my view. I do believe there is merit to the claim that the Douma incident was fabricated. I don't believe Mr. Hitchins is the one to elaborate on that claim.

bevin , Dec 8 2019 22:22 utc | 44
Juliana: count your blessings. Hitchens is a right wing columnist for the very right wing Daily Mail. Most of the time he simply pours out Tory propaganda but occasionally, like Peter Oborne and Jonathan Steele, his impatience with the crude propaganda of the warmongers leads to explosions in which truths are bared. This is one such occasion. And I'm grateful for it. None of the MSM writers is reliable-they would be unemployed if they were- but while the Heirloom media still exists let's praise them when they tell the truth and denounce them when they tell lies.
Hitchens, incidentally and in case you didn't know, is the younger brother of Christopher Hitchens and, like him, a former member of the International Socialist group which at the time and before calling itself the Socialist Workers Party ( a name which its founder Tony Cliff had long admired) described itself as Luxemburgist. The brothers were renegades-Christopher becoming a neo-con and Peter a Tory.
juliania , Dec 8 2019 22:48 utc | 46
Thank you, bevin, but to me the misinformation on Assad is more damaging even than the correction of the record on the Douma attack. I will be happy to be corrected on that. Given that the country of Syria is to be put back on its feet eventually, it seems the lies spread about it prior to now as far as the legitimacy of the presidency ought not to be countenanced. That's taking the long view, not being grateful for small favors that may be hiding a hidden agenda.

I will give Mr. Hitchins credit for prefacing his interview with garbage; perhaps that will draw some into reassessing the entirety of the propaganda they have been subject to. If this was not true, how about looking at the prior stuff? But I'm afraid the underlying message is - I'm telling the truth about this incident, so I must be also correct on the prior stuff. And that simply won't wash.

[Dec 09, 2019] Newsweek Reporter Resigns After Accusing Outlet Of Suppressing OPCW Leak Story by Caitlin Johnstone

Notable quotes:
"... Haddad added that he is now seeking legal advice and looking into the possibility of whistleblower protections for himself, and said at the very least he will publish the information he has while omitting anything that could subject him to legal retaliation from his former employer. ..."
"... Newsweek has long been a reliable guard dog and attack dog for the US-centralized empire, with examples of stories that its editors did permit to go to print including an article by an actual, current military intelligence officer explaining why US prosecution of Julian Assange is a good thing, fawning puff pieces on the White Helmets , and despicable smear jobs on Tulsi Gabbard . ..."
"... Newsweek also recently published an article attacking Tucker Carlson for publicizing the OPCW scandal, basing its criticisms on a bogus Bellingcat article I debunked shortly after its publication . ..."
Dec 08, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

A Newsweek journalist has resigned after the publication reportedly suppressed his story about the ever-growing OPCW scandal, the revelation of immensely significant plot holes in the establishment Syria narrative that you can update yourself on by watching this short seven-minute video or this more detailed video here .

"Yesterday I resigned from Newsweek after my attempts to publish newsworthy revelations about the leaked OPCW letter were refused for no valid reason," journalist Tareq Haddad reported today via Twitter .

"I have collected evidence of how they suppressed the story in addition to evidence from another case where info inconvenient to US government was removed, though it was factually correct," Haddad said.

"I plan on publishing these details in full shortly. However, after asking my editors for comment, as is journalistic practice, I received an email reminding me of confidentiality clauses in my contract. I.e. I was threatened with legal action."

Haddad added that he is now seeking legal advice and looking into the possibility of whistleblower protections for himself, and said at the very least he will publish the information he has while omitting anything that could subject him to legal retaliation from his former employer.

"I could have kept silent and kept my job, but I would not have been able to continue with a clean conscience," Haddad said .

"I will have some instability now but the truth is more important."

This is the first direct insider report we're getting on the mass media's conspiracy of silence on the OPCW scandal that I wrote about just the other day . In how many other newsrooms is this exact same sort of suppression happening, including threats of legal action, to journalists who don't have the courage or ability to leave and speak out? There is no logical reason to assume that Haddad is the only one encountering such roadblocks from mass media editors; he's just the only one going public about it.

Newsweek has long been a reliable guard dog and attack dog for the US-centralized empire, with examples of stories that its editors did permit to go to print including an article by an actual, current military intelligence officer explaining why US prosecution of Julian Assange is a good thing, fawning puff pieces on the White Helmets , and despicable smear jobs on Tulsi Gabbard .

The outlet will occasionally print oppositional-looking articles like this one by Ian Wilkie questioning the establishment Syria narrative , but not without immediately turning around and publishing an attack on Wilkie's piece by Eliot Higgins, a former Atlantic Council Senior Fellow who is the cofounder of the NED-funded imperial narrative management firm Bellingcat.

Newsweek also recently published an article attacking Tucker Carlson for publicizing the OPCW scandal, basing its criticisms on a bogus Bellingcat article I debunked shortly after its publication .

The ubiquitous propagandistic tactic of fake news by omission distorts the public's worldview just as much as it would if mass media outlets were publishing bogus stories whole cloth every day, only if they were doing that it would be much easier to pin them down on their lies, hold them accountable, and discredit them.

A recent FAIR article by Alan MacLeod documents how the Hong Kong demonstrations are pushed front and center in mainstream consciousness despite the fact that to this day not one protester has been killed by security forces, while far more deadly violence is being directed at huge protests in empire-aligned nations like Haiti, Chile and Ecuador which have been almost completely ignored by these same outlets.

This deliberate omission causes a distorted worldview in casual and mainstream news media consumers in which protests are only happening in nations that are outside the US-centralized power alliance . We see the same kind of deliberate distortion-by-omission with the way mass media continually pushes the narrative that Donald Trump is "soft on Russia", while remaining completely silent on the overwhelming mountain of evidence to the contrary .

The time is now for everyone with a platform to start banging the drum about the OPCW scandal, because we're seeing more and more signs that the deluge of leaks hemorrhaging from that organisation is only going to increase. Mainstream propagandists aren't going to cover it, so if larger alternative media outlets want to avoid being lumped in with them and discredited in the same sweep it would be wise to start talking about this thing today. It's only going to get more and more awkward for everyone who chose to remain silent, and more and more validating for those who spoke out.

* * *

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[Dec 03, 2019] Something about Bellingcat credibility

Dec 03, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

The blogger Eliot Higgins made waves early in the decade by covering the war in Syria from a laptop in his apartment in Leicester, England, while caring for his infant daughter. In 2014, he founded Bellingcat, an open-source news outlet that has grown to include roughly a dozen staff members, with an office in The Hague. Mr. Higgins attributed his skill not to any special knowledge of international conflicts or digital data, but to the hours he had spent playing video games , which, he said, gave him the idea that any mystery can be cracked.
...
Bellingcat journalists have spread the word about their techniques in seminars attended by journalists and law-enforcement officials. Along with grants from groups like the Open Society Foundations, founded by George Soros, the seminars are a significant source of revenue for Bellingcat, a nonprofit organization.

[Dec 03, 2019] As The OPCW Is Accused Of False Reporting U.S. Propaganda Jumps To Its Help

Dec 03, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

As The OPCW Is Accused Of False Reporting U.S. Propaganda Jumps To Its Help

An international organization published two false reports and got caught in the act. But as the false reports are in the U.S. interests a U.S. sponsored propaganda organization is send out to muddle the issue. As that effort comes under fire the New York Times jumps in to give the cover-up effort some extra help.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) manufactured a pretext for war by suppressing its own scientists' research :

OPCW emails and documents were leaked and whistleblowers came forward to speak with journalists and international lawyers . Veteran journalist Jonathan Steele, who has spoken with the whistleblowers, wrote an excellent piece on the issues. In the Mail on Sunday columnist Peter Hitchens picked up the issue and moved it forward.

Under U.S. pressure the OPCW management modified or suppressed the findings of its own scientists to make it look as if the Syrian government had been responsible for the alleged chemical incident in April 2018 in Douma.

The public attention to the OPCW's fakery lead to the questioning of other assertions the OPCW had previously made. With the OPCW under fire someone had come to its help.

To save the propaganda value of the OPCW reports the U.S. financed Bellingcat propaganda organization jumped in to save the OPCW's bacon . Bellingcat founder " suck my balls " Elliot Higgins claimed that the OPCW reports satisfied the concerns the OPCW scientist had voiced.

That assertion is now further propagated by a New York Times piece which, under the pretense of reporting about open source analysis, boosts Bellingcat and its defense of the OPCW :

The blogger Eliot Higgins made waves early in the decade by covering the war in Syria from a laptop in his apartment in Leicester, England, while caring for his infant daughter. In 2014, he founded Bellingcat, an open-source news outlet that has grown to include roughly a dozen staff members, with an office in The Hague. Mr. Higgins attributed his skill not to any special knowledge of international conflicts or digital data, but to the hours he had spent playing video games , which, he said, gave him the idea that any mystery can be cracked.
...
Bellingcat journalists have spread the word about their techniques in seminars attended by journalists and law-enforcement officials. Along with grants from groups like the Open Society Foundations, founded by George Soros, the seminars are a significant source of revenue for Bellingcat, a nonprofit organization.

It seems that the New York Times forgot to mention an important monetary source for Bellingcat . Here is a current screenshot of Bellingcat's About page :


bigger

Porticus, Adessium, Pax for Peace and the Postcode Lottery are all Dutch organizations. Then there is the notorious Soros organization the New York Times mentioned. But why did the NYT forgot to tell its readers that Bellingcat is financed by the National Endowment for Democracy which itself is to nearly 100% funded by the U.S. government?

Could that be because the NED, which spends U.S.government money on more than 1.600 U.S. government paid Non-Government Organizations, is a Trojan horse , a cover for the CIA?

Spurred by Watergate – the Church committee of the Senate, the Pike committee of the House, and the Rockefeller Commission, created by the president, were all busy investigating the CIA. Seemingly every other day there was a new headline about the discovery of some awful thing, even criminal conduct, the CIA had been mixed up in for years.
...
What was done was to shift many of these awful things to a new organization, with a nice sounding name – The National Endowment for Democracy. The idea was that the NED would do somewhat overtly what the CIA had been doing covertly for decades, and thus, hopefully, eliminate the stigma associated with CIA covert activities.
...
"We should not have to do this kind of work covertly," said Carl Gershman in 1986, while he was president of the Endowment. "It would be terrible for democratic groups around the world to be seen as subsidized by the C.I.A. We saw that in the 60's, and that's why it has been discontinued. We have not had the capability of doing this, and that's why the endowment was created."

And Allen Weinstein, who helped draft the legislation establishing NED, declared in 1991: "A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA."

In effect, the CIA has been laundering money through NED.

The fact that the NED is doing the CIA's work is likely the reason why the NYT puff piece about Bellingcat forgets to mention its payments and also why it jumps to Bellingcat's and the OPCW's help:

Some journalists and activists hostile to what they characterize as Bellingcat's pro-Western narratives have criticized some of its coverage of the war in Syria.

At issue is an April 7, 2018, attack on Douma, Syria. Bellingcat reported, based on an analysis of six open-source videos, that it was "highly likely" that Douma civilians had died because of chemical weapons. In March, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons reported that there were "reasonable grounds" to say that chemical weapons had been used in the attack.

Critics of Bellingcat have pointed to an email from an investigator with the organization, saying that it raised questions about the findings. WikiLeaks published the email on Nov. 23. In a response, Bellingcat defended its reporting, saying the final report on Douma from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons reflected the concerns of the investigator whose email was published by WikiLeaks.

By playing video games Elliot Higgins learned to identify chemical attacks in dubious video sequences published by terrorist affiliates. If true it is an admirable capability. Still his assertion that the OPCW report "reflected the concerns of the investigator" who criticized it is, a as Caitlin Johnstone demonstrates , utterly false:

Bellingcat simply ignores this absolutely central aspect of the email, as well as the whistleblower's point about the symptoms of victims not matching chlorine gas poisoning.

"In this case the confidence in the identity of chlorine or any choking agent is drawn into question precisely because of the inconsistency with the reported and observed symptoms," the whistleblower writes in the email. "The inconsistency was not only noted by the [Fact Finding Mission] team but strongly noted by three toxicologists with expertise in exposure to [Chemical Weapons] agents."

Bellingcat says nothing about these revelations in the email, and says nothing about the fact that the OPCW excluded them from both its Interim Report in July 2018 and its Final Report in March 2019, the latter of which actually asserted the exact opposite saying there was "reasonable grounds that the use of a toxic chemical as a weapon took place. This toxic chemical contained reactive chlorine. The toxic chemical was likely molecular chlorine."

Bellingcat completely ignores all of these points, ...

In its defense of the OPCW report Bellingcat wrote :

[A] comparison of the points raised in the letter against the final Douma report makes it amply clear that the OPCW not only addressed these points, but even changed the conclusion of an earlier report to reflect the concerns of said employee.

Mail on Sunday columnist Peter Hitchens did not concur with that paragraph:

Apart from the words 'a', and 'the', everything in the above paragraph is, to put it politely, mistaken. Bellingcat have been so anxious to trash the leak from the OPCW that they have (as many did when the attack was first released) rushed to judgment without waiting for the facts. More is known by the whistleblowers of the OPCW than has yet been released ...

Caitlin and Peter should play more video games. I have read in the NYT that they are the true path to learning and to the factual assessment of alleged chemical attacks.

On April 7 2018 terrorists of the Jaish al Islam group ruled in Douma. They killed 40 civilians. The bodies were shown in videos along with chlorine gas canisters to pretend that the Syrian government had killed those people. The OPCW's fact finding team analyzed the evidence and found that the canisters had not been dropped from the air but where manually placed. The symptoms the victims showed were inconsistent with a chlorine attack and chlorinated substances were only found in extremely low concentrations. There were absolutely no "reasonable grounds" to say that chemical weapons had been used in the attack.

But the OPCW management, under U.S. pressure and despite the protests by its own scientists, put out a report that said the opposite. As the manipulation came to light the U.S. funded Bellingcat made a perfunctory attempt to muddle the issue. Thus another propaganda organization, the New York Times , had to jump in to save Bellingcat and the false OPCW claims.

It is not going to help. There will soon be more evidence that the OPCW management published two false reports on Douma, and likely even more on other issue. There will be a public recognition that the OPCW failed.

Posted by b on December 2, 2019 at 16:43 UTC | Permalink


worldblee , Dec 2 2019 17:18 utc | 1

It is "highly likely" that "responsible" outlets like Bellingcat will peddle "widely disproven conspiracy theories" to keep the cash coming from governments of the "free world" to preserve "democracy".
vk , Dec 2 2019 17:22 utc | 2
The difference between Syria and Iraq is former has Russia.

The OPCW can't do shit, and the American people, deep down, know this.

Nothing like an S-400 to sober up the atlanticists. It really works wonders - contrary to those video games Bellingcat has been playing.

Evo Morales, take note: violence is the key to success against the West, not peace.

Red Corvair , Dec 2 2019 17:53 utc | 3
This is a great journalistic job!! The NYT and its readers (we should call... believers?) live in an alternate state of reality! This is horrible!! As horrible as what has been living Julian Assange (or Chelsea Manning) these last 8 years.
It is essential that mainstream "institutions" like the New York Times be exposed for what they are: CIA and US government propaganda outlets!!
Maybe some independent outlets should make a regular report, a regular monitoring, of the real "fake news" such mainstream "monuments" like the NYT go on publishing and dissiminating on a daily basis without the wider public's knowledge. That's what journalists like you are doing on a regular basis.
For what the NYT has become now (but in a recent Mint Press article, Alan Macleod illustrates how the lies/propaganda of the NYT span over so many decades, since the coup against Pinochet in Chile in 1973 in any case), the NYT can disappear,but people like you are essential for a real information of the public.
Thanks again. Keep up the good work!!
psychohistorian , Dec 2 2019 18:31 utc | 4
I had no idea about Elliot "suck my balls" Higgins until going to your link b......I live a sheltered life....grin

Assuredly this man is an impeccable source for truth in our world. How could one think of challenging his findings...and of course he should be a regular source for the NYT...../snark

If this soap opera was not affecting so many lives, it would be fun to watch

Keep up the good work b.

[Dec 02, 2019] British aerial attacks using poisoning gas against Red Army in Russia in August 1919

Notable quotes:
"... "The 'chemical incident' has likely been faked. It suspiciously happened just a few days after U.S. President Trump had announced the he wanted the U.S. military to leave Syria. A year earlier a similar incident was claimed to have happened after a similar announcement by Trump. The U.S. had responded to the 2017 incident by bombing an empty Syrian airfield." ..."
"... Once the dust, smoke, and the fog of war had cleared, it became apparent that this, was yet again a choreographed move, same as the missiles on Shayrat airfield. ..."
"... I may well be wrong, as I do not go along with group think here, but this strike seems a preemptive move by Trump to prevent a push for for US military action in Syria that will take us to WWIII. ..."
Apr 19, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ghost Ship | Apr 19, 2018 3:07:17 AM | 15

OT but very relevant to the Skripal/Douma incidents.

The Guardian has an article today headlined " The taboo on chemical weapons has lasted a century – it must be preserved " which is a bare-faced lie as the Guardian should know because the British used chemical weapons against the Russian in August, 1919, less than a century ago, and the Japanese, among America's closest allies used them against the Chinese in World War 2.

The strongest case for Churchill as a chemical warfare enthusiast involves Russia, and was made by Giles Milton in The Guardian on 1 September 2013, which prompted this article. Milton wrote that in 1919, scientists at the governmental laboratories at Porton in Wiltshire developed a far more devastating weapon: the top secret "M Device," an exploding shell containing a highly toxic gas called diphenylaminechloroarsine [DM].

The man in charge of developing it, Major General Charles Foulkes, called it "the most effective chemical weapon ever devised." Trials at Porton suggested that it was indeed a terrible new weapon. Uncontrollable vomiting, coughing up blood and instant, crippling fatigue were the most common reactions. The overall head of chemical warfare production, Sir Keith Price, was convinced its use would lead to the rapid collapse of the Bolshevik regime. "If you got home only once with the gas you would find no more Bolshies this side of Vologda."

A staggering 50,000 M Devices were shipped to Russia: British aerial attacks using them began on 27 August 1919 .Bolshevik soldiers were seen fleeing in panic as the green chemical gas drifted towards them. Those caught in the cloud vomited blood, then collapsed unconscious. The attacks continued throughout September on many Bolshevik-held villages .But the weapons proved less effective than Churchill had hoped, partly because of the damp autumn weather. By September, the attacks were halted then stopped.

The rest of the article defends Churchill against claims that he wanted to use "poison gas" in India and Iraq against tribesmen by suggesting that he meant tear gas but equally he could have been referring to mustard gas which "only" killed about 2.5% of the 165,000 WW1 soldiers it was used against but that was with a level of medical care I doubt Indian or Iraqi tribesmen could even begin to dream off.

Peter AU 1 , Apr 19, 2018 4:20:05 AM | 23

"The 'chemical incident' has likely been faked. It suspiciously happened just a few days after U.S. President Trump had announced the he wanted the U.S. military to leave Syria. A year earlier a similar incident was claimed to have happened after a similar announcement by Trump. The U.S. had responded to the 2017 incident by bombing an empty Syrian airfield."

Watching reports coming out of Syria in real time, I thought it was a genuine strike. Same as I thought the JK build up was the real thing and also the 59 missiles a year ago.

Once the dust, smoke, and the fog of war had cleared, it became apparent that this, was yet again a choreographed move, same as the missiles on Shayrat airfield.

I may well be wrong, as I do not go along with group think here, but this strike seems a preemptive move by Trump to prevent a push for for US military action in Syria that will take us to WWIII.

[Dec 02, 2019] British aerial attacks using poisining gas against Red Army in Russia in August 1919

British elite is capable to commit any crimes imaginable perusing its goals.
Notable quotes:
"... "The 'chemical incident' has likely been faked. It suspiciously happened just a few days after U.S. President Trump had announced the he wanted the U.S. military to leave Syria. A year earlier a similar incident was claimed to have happened after a similar announcement by Trump. The U.S. had responded to the 2017 incident by bombing an empty Syrian airfield." ..."
Apr 19, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ghost Ship | Apr 19, 2018 3:07:17 AM | 15

OT but very relevant to the Skripal/Douma incidents.

The Guardian has an article today headlined " The taboo on chemical weapons has lasted a century – it must be preserved " which is a bare-faced lie as the Guardian should know because the British used chemical weapons against the Russian in August, 1919, less than a century ago, and the Japanese, among America's closest allies used them against the Chinese in World War 2.

The strongest case for Churchill as a chemical warfare enthusiast involves Russia, and was made by Giles Milton in The Guardian on 1 September 2013, which prompted this article. Milton wrote that in 1919, scientists at the governmental laboratories at Porton in Wiltshire developed a far more devastating weapon: the top secret "M Device," an exploding shell containing a highly toxic gas called diphenylaminechloroarsine [DM].

The man in charge of developing it, Major General Charles Foulkes, called it "the most effective chemical weapon ever devised." Trials at Porton suggested that it was indeed a terrible new weapon. Uncontrollable vomiting, coughing up blood and instant, crippling fatigue were the most common reactions. The overall head of chemical warfare production, Sir Keith Price, was convinced its use would lead to the rapid collapse of the Bolshevik regime. "If you got home only once with the gas you would find no more Bolshies this side of Vologda."

A staggering 50,000 M Devices were shipped to Russia: British aerial attacks using them began on 27 August 1919 .Bolshevik soldiers were seen fleeing in panic as the green chemical gas drifted towards them. Those caught in the cloud vomited blood, then collapsed unconscious. The attacks continued throughout September on many Bolshevik-held villages. But the weapons proved less effective than Churchill had hoped, partly because of the damp autumn weather. By September, the attacks were halted then stopped.

The rest of the article defends Churchill against claims that he wanted to use "poison gas" in India and Iraq against tribesmen by suggesting that he meant tear gas but equally he could have been referring to mustard gas which "only" killed about 2.5% of the 165,000 WW1 soldiers it was used against but that was with a level of medical care I doubt Indian or Iraqi tribesmen could even begin to dream off.

Peter AU 1 , Apr 19, 2018 4:20:05 AM | 23

"The 'chemical incident' has likely been faked. It suspiciously happened just a few days after U.S. President Trump had announced the he wanted the U.S. military to leave Syria. A year earlier a similar incident was claimed to have happened after a similar announcement by Trump. The U.S. had responded to the 2017 incident by bombing an empty Syrian airfield."

Watching reports coming out of Syria in real time, I thought it was a genuine strike. Same as I thought the JK build up was the real thing and also the 59 missiles a year ago. Once the dust, smoke, and the fog of war had cleared, it became apparent that this, was yet again a choreographed move, same as the missiles on Shayrat airfield.

I may well be wrong, as I do not go along with group think here, but this strike seems a preemptive move by Trump to prevent a push for for US military action in Syria that will take us to WWIII.

[Dec 02, 2019] Hitchens If Bodies Like OPCW Cannot Be Trusted... World War 3 Could Be Started By A Falsehood

Notable quotes:
"... Authored by Peter Hitchens via The Mail On Sunday blog, ..."
"... I stood outside the safe house, in a road I cannot name, in a major European city I cannot identify, not sure what I might find inside. I had no way of being sure. ..."
"... In decades of journalism I have received quite a few leaks ..."
"... But I've never seen one like this. It scared me. ..."
"... If bodies such as the OPCW cannot be trusted, then World War Three could one day be started by a falsehood. ..."
Dec 02, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Peter Hitchens via The Mail On Sunday blog,

I stood outside the safe house, in a road I cannot name, in a major European city I cannot identify, not sure what I might find inside. I had no way of being sure.

I had travelled a long distance by train to an address I had been given over an encrypted email.

I was nervous that the meeting might be some sort of trap. Leaks from inside arms verification organisations are very sensitive matters. Powerful people mind about them.

I wasn't sure whether to be afraid of being followed, or to be worried about who might be waiting behind the anonymous door on a dark afternoon, far from home. I took all the amateurish precautions that I could think of.

As it happened, it was not a trap. Now, on carefully selected neutral ground, I was to meet a person who would confirm suspicions that had been growing in my mind over several years – that there is something rotten in the way that chemical weapons inspections are being conducted and reported. And that the world could be hurried into war on the basis of such inspections.

Inside the safe house, I was greeted by a serious, patient expert, a non-political scientist whose priority had until now always been to do the hard, gritty work of verification – travelling to the scenes of alleged horrors, sifting and searching for hard evidence of what had really happened. But this entirely honourable occupation had slowly turned sour.

The whiff of political interference had begun as a faint unpleasant smell in the air and grown until it was an intolerable stench. Formerly easy-going superiors had turned into tricky bureaucrats.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had become so important that it could no longer be allowed to do its job properly.

Too many of the big powers that sponsor and finance it were breathing down its neck, wanting certain results, whether the facts justified them or not.

My source calmly showed me various pieces of evidence that they were who they said they were, and knew what they claimed to know, making it clear that they worked for the OPCW and knew its inner workings. They then revealed a document to me.

This was the email of protest, sent to senior OPCW officials, saying that a report on the alleged Syrian poison gas attack in Douma, in April 2018, had been savagely censored so as to alter its meaning.

In decades of journalism I have received quite a few leaks : leaks over luxurious, expensive lunches with Cabinet Ministers, anonymous leaks that just turned up in envelopes, leaks from union officials and employers, diplomats and academics.

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But I've never seen one like this. It scared me. If it was true, then something hugely dishonest and dangerous was going on, in a place where absolute integrity was vital.

If bodies such as the OPCW cannot be trusted, then World War Three could one day be started by a falsehood.

Last week I reported on the first episode in this story. Within days the OPCW had confirmed that the email I leaked was authentic.

Nobody followed me home or threatened me. A few silly people on social media told blatant lies about me, insinuating that I was somehow a Russian patsy or a defender of the disgusting Syrian regime that I have been attacking in print for nearly 20 years. That was what I had expected.

But there is much more to come. And, as it grows harder for everyone to ignore this enormous, dangerous story, I suspect I shall be looking over my shoulder rather more than usual.

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[Nov 30, 2019] OPCW Manufactured A Pretext For War By Suppressing Its Own Scientists' Research

Nov 29, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
OPCW Manufactured A Pretext For War By Suppressing Its Own Scientists' Research

Leaks from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) provide that the OPCW management ignored or manipulated reports its Fact Finding Mission had written about the April 2018 Douma incident in Syria.

The history of the Douma incident and the OPCW and media manipulation around it is available from the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media under the headline: How the OPCW's investigation of the Douma incident was nobbled . Our own post around the incident are linked below.

The OPCW management ignored that the technical, chemical and medical analysis of its own specialists exculpated the Syrian government from the allegation that it poisoned some 40 people in Douma by dropping Chlorine canisters from a helicopter.

The OPCW scientific staff found that dropping the canisters could not have created the damage that was found. Those canisters must have been placed by hand. The amount of chlorinated organic chemicals found at the two scenes was very low and it is very unlikely that they are the result of a reaction with chlorine gas. The medical symptoms of the casualties as was seen in various videos at the time of the incident were inconsistent with death by chlorine inhalation.


bigger

The OPCW management twisted the interim and the final OPCW report on the incident to make it look as if the Syrian government was guilty of dropping chlorine canisters. The detailed internal technical analysis was ignored. It was replaced by external analysis from unknown sources who claimed the opposite of what the OPCW engineers and chemists had found. The wording of the report suggests that high level of chlorinated organic chemicals were found without giving the very low concentrations (in parts per billions) that were actually found. The internal medical analysis was eliminated from the official report.

OPCW emails and documents were leaked and whistleblowers came forward to speak with journalists and international lawyers . Veteran journalist Jonathan Steele, who has spoken with the whistleblowers, wrote an excellent piece on the issues. In the Mail on Sunday columnist Peter Hitchens picked up the issue and moved it forward:

New sexed-up dossier furore: Explosive leaked email claims that UN watchdog's report into alleged poison gas attack by Assad was doctored - so was it to justify British and American missile strikes on Syria? .

The 'citizen journalists' of the U.S. government financed Bellingcat propaganda shop made a laughable attempt to refute the claims the whistleblower made. Caitlin Johnstone took it apart .

Hitchens also responded to the Bellingcat scam: Bellingcat or Guard Dog for the Establishment? .

Quoting Bellingcat Peter Hitchens (PH) writes:

Bellingcat:
However, a comparison of the points raised in the letter against the final Douma report makes it amply clear that the OPCW not only addressed these points, but even changed the conclusion of an earlier report to reflect the concerns of said employee.

PH:
Apart from the words 'a', and 'the', everything in the above paragraph is, to put it politely, mistaken. Bellingcat have been so anxious to trash the leak from the OPCW that they have (as many did when the attack was first released) rushed to judgment without waiting for the facts. More is known by the whistleblowers of the OPCW than has yet been released , but verification procedures have slowed down its release. More documents will, I expect, shortly come to light.

One, which I have seen, is very interesting. It is a memorandum of protest, written many months after the e-mail of protest published at the weekend. This was sent to the OPCW Director-General Fernando Arias (there is some doubt about whether it ever reached him) by an OPCW investigator (one of those who actually visited Douma), on 14th March 2019. It has reached me through hitherto reliable sources. This is nearly two weeks *after* the release of the 'final' report (on Friday 1st March 2019) which is supposed to have resolved the doubts of the dissenters.

In his discussion of the issue Hitchens also mentions this blog:

[The OPCW report claim] 'Various chlorinated organic chemicals were found in samples from Locations 2 and 4, along with residues of explosive. These results are reported in Annex 3. Work by the team to establish the significance of these results is ongoing.' resulted in some quite remarkable media reports. These are explored here:

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/07/syria-many-media-lie-about-watchdog-report-on-the-chemical-attack-in-douma.html

Bellingcat and its supporters may not like the source, and I do not much like it myself , but it is a unique record, as far as I know, of the initial media response to the issue of the July 6 report. I have in fact checked its claims with Reuters and the BBC and they do not dispute what it says, though they say they later corrected the output.

It is sad, Peter, that you don't like this blog much but I am afraid I can do nothing about it.

A few hours ago Hitchens published another piece: In defense of journalism - 'Citizen journalists' are no such thing . In it he again takes on Bellingcat and other such 'citizen journalist' and 'researchers' to then reveal that he himself now talked to an OPCW whistleblower:

Luckily for me I have had the backing of people who know deep down that journalism must take risks to be any good. Someone had to say 'yes' to me when I headed off at short notice a few days ago, on my complicated way to a safe house somewhere in a major city on the European continent.

Someone had to fork out for my train fares and my cheap station hotels. Someone had to have the guts to let me tell my story about what I found when I got there -- which was an honest man in turmoil. His job was to tell the truth and he was being prevented from doing so. So I could help him. In four decades of journalism, I have seldom felt closer to the Holy Grail, truth that had to be told, and truth that would shake power. Here it was. A pretext for war had been manufactured by suppression of research.

The "pretext for war" can not refer to the missile strike F-UK-US launched on April 16 2018, 8 days after the Douma incident and before any OPCW inspectors had visited the site.

Hitchens must refer to an upcoming war that was supposed to be based on the now disgraced OPCW report.

There is indeed a possible path to war.

The original agreement for OPCW investigations in Syria stipulated that the OPCW would report the results of investigations to a Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) at the United Nations where the Security Council would then attribute guilt to either side of the conflict. The U.S. tried to use the JIM process to attribute dubious chemical incidents in Syria to the government. Russia vetoed those attempts. The U.S. then decided to circumvent the UN process.

In 2018 the U.S. and its proxies manipulated the OPCW statute and added the task of identifying the guilty party of chemical incidents to the OPCW's agenda:

[The decision] also calls upon the [OPCW] Secretariat to put in place arrangements " to identify the perpetrators of the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic by identifying and reporting on all information potentially relevant to the origin of those chemical weapons in those instances in which the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission determines or has determined that use or likely use occurred, and cases for which the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism has not issued a report".

The decision further affirmed that whenever chemical weapons use occurs on the territory of a State Party, "those who were the perpetrators, organisers, sponsors or otherwise involved should be identified" and it underscored "the added value of the Secretariat conducting an independent investigation of an alleged use of chemical weapons with a view to facilitating universal attribution of all chemical weapons attacks".

The manipulated OPCW report, which omitted the OPCW scientists' findings, will now be the basic document which the new OPCW attribution group, the Investigation and Identification Team, will use to find the Syrian government guilty. That guilty verdict can then be used to publicly justify a war on Syria without further UN Security Council interference.

This is what Hitchens means when he writes that "A pretext for war had been manufactured by suppression of research."

Russia, China and several other governments have protested against the change in the OPCW statute. The Russian statement to this years Chemical Weapon Convention (CWC) conference says :

The decision to vest the OPCW Technical Secretariat with functions to identify parties responsible for the use of chemical weapons adopted in June 2018 at the CSP-SS-4 in contradiction of the Convention is illegitimate. This innovation forced on the OPCW goes beyond the scope of the CWC and the Organization, the decision itself was adopted in violation of the Convention, and its implementation is nothing other than an interference with the exclusive competence of the UN Security Council.

As a clearly foreseeable result of this questionable decision, fundamental problems with its realization ensued, namely, the lack of transparency and accountability of the "attribution" mechanism, which is the Investigation and Identification Team, to the OPCW governing bodies. The States Parties have yet to learn about the terms of reference of this entity, its operating conditions, its criteria for selection of "incidents"to investigate or sources and modalities of its financing.

The OPCW scientists found serious evidence that the Syrian government can NOT be guilty of the Douma incident. Under U.S. pressure the OPCW management suppressed its scientists' technical reports or replaced them with those from "external experts" to make it look as if the Syrian government caused the incident. The new attribution group at the OPCW will use that manipulated report to find Syria guilty of causing the incident. The U.S. and others could then use that guilty verdict as pretext to launch a war.

We only learned of this plan because courageous scientists and engineers at the OPCW do not want to see their organization abused to find pretexts to wage wars on the innocent. They came forward and told the public what it needs to know. They deserve our gratitude.

---
Previous Moon of Alabama coverage of the Douma incident and its aftermath:

April 8 2018 - Syria - Timelines Of 'Gas Attacks' Follow A Similar Scheme (Update II) April 9 2018 - Syria - Any U.S. Strike Will Lead to Escalation April 11 2018 - Syria - A U.S. Attack Would Be Futile - But Serve A Purpose - by M. K. Bhadrakumar April 11 2018 - Trump Asks Russia To Roll Over - It Won't April 12 2018 - Syria - Threat Of Large War Recedes But May Come Back April 13 2018 - Syria - Manipulated Videos Fail To Launch World War III - Updated April 14 2018 - F.U.K.U.S. Strikes Syria - Who Won? April 16 2018 - Syria - Pentagon Hides Attack Failure - 70+ Cruise Missiles Shot Down April 19 2018 - Syria - Who Is Stalling The OPCW Investigation In Douma? April 20 2018 - Syria Sitrep - Cleanup Around Damascus - WMD Rumors Prepare For New U.S. Attack July 6 2018 - Syria - OPCW Issues First Report Of 'Chemical Weapon Attack' in Douma July 7 2018 - Syria - Mainstream Media Lie About Watchdog Report On The 'Chemical Attack' In Douma May 13 2019 - Syria - OPCW Engineering Assessment: The Douma 'Chemical Weapon Attack' Was Staged November 16 2019 - OPCW Whistleblowers: Management Manipulated Reports - Douma 'Chemical Weapon Attack' Was Staged

Posted by b on November 29, 2019 at 19:02 UTC | Permalink


Mina , Nov 29 2019 19:29 utc | 1

Macron should take the unique chance of his row today with Erdogan to claim surprise at what has been going on at OPCW under Turkish governance.
Jen , Nov 29 2019 19:35 utc | 2
Oh dear, why does Peter Hitchens dislike Moon of Alabama? Methinks there is some envy behind the dislike, that MoA can find, research and publish real, credible information and news without being subjected to interference, or being able to publish such news only on the condition that one covers puff pieces first or accepts being relegated to the back of the queue of news articles for the day.
annie , Nov 29 2019 19:56 utc | 3
another nail in the coffin
karlof1 , Nov 29 2019 20:04 utc | 4
Thanks, b, and thanks to those with integrity at OPCW! What's missing from this report is the tie-in with BigLie Media's role in the attempt to manufacture a reason for war. Then also there's the entity responsible for changing the OPCW Statute--yes, I know b named the macro-entities, but within them resides one or several individuals who came up with the plan and its verbiage. They need to be outed and removed from whatever government positions they hold ASAP. Another question needing to be asked and answered: What did Trump know about all this and when did he know it? And what was planned to occur if NATO got the "authorization" it tried to manipulate? Did they really desire to destroy themselves by making war on Russia via Syria?!?!

I must also say I'm shocked that anyone at OPCW would think Peter Hitchens a reliable person to confide in. IMO, we really lucked-out.

wagelaborer , Nov 29 2019 20:10 utc | 5
Hitchens may not like this blog because he is jealous of your great journalism, which consistently outshines the imperial media for which he works.
Huggy Bear , Nov 29 2019 20:29 utc | 6
Hitchens loves this blog, he is promoting it.
S.O. , Nov 29 2019 20:33 utc | 7
Remember the individual labs will also have records of the CloC concentrations omitted from the final report and thus represent an additional potential leak source.
DontBelieveEitherPr. , Nov 29 2019 20:35 utc | 8
WOW.
What a Christmas present to you Bernhard. You actually made an impact, that could potentially have prevented a major escalation into open war.
What better gain could there be for your work!

And yes, Hitchens may not like your blog, or may he not dare to say so. What matters is, that Bellingcat and his NATO paymasters must be crying and screaming at you.. Beautiful.

And this development just shows, what can be possible if one would combine true citizen journalism with the resources and reach of MSM. If one could combine the best of both, one could truely shake the corrupted, brainwashed powers that be, and force policy changes on even the most important issues.
A ray of hope.

DontBelieveEitherPr. , Nov 29 2019 20:39 utc | 9
What if forgot: Please Bernhard, take now extra care. Bellingcat will now target you even harder. And the first laughable attempt to dox you (which i watched on Twitter years ago, which was pretty hilariously incompetent, as BC mostly is) will not be the last.
Now you truly got in their way, and they will already plan how to retaliate...
If we can help you, please ask!
ben , Nov 29 2019 20:44 utc | 10
Another brick in the wall of proof, that the power of organised $ almost always conquers truth.

Until that paradigm changes, humanity can not progress.

psychohistorian , Nov 29 2019 20:57 utc | 11
Kudos and thanks to b for his leadership in this failing propaganda effort

Let me repeat ben's comment #10
"
Another brick in the wall of proof, that the power of organised $ almost always conquers truth.

Until that paradigm changes, humanity can not progress.
"

If/when you get into an inter-myth (left/right) discussion with with others I encourage you to stop and ask them whether they support global private finance. I suspect you will find agreement on this issue and will further chip away at the manufactured left/right meme that is a cover for the reality of top/bottom madness that is such a threat to our species evolving.

bevin , Nov 29 2019 20:58 utc | 12
Hitchens has been doing similar things, and getting them published in the Mail, for a while now. It is not unlike the Tucker Carlson phenomenon in the US.
These guys are watching the wheels come off the imperial juggernaut. Perhaps even more significant is the fact that others at these very right wing media sources realise that, to save some of their credibility they have to hedge their bets and allow some of their journalists to practise their profession.
Meanwhile, at the New Yorker (circulation declining rapidly) Seymour Hersh, who was like b one of the first on this story, cannot find room for all the hagiography by the MI6 Press Department.

As to Hitchens' ritualistic disassociation from MoA, who would have it any other way?

cdvision , Nov 29 2019 21:35 utc | 13
This is a war crime, plain and simple, but there will be no justice forthcoming. May the bastards in (primarily) the US and the UK who perpetrated this rot in hell.
snake , Nov 29 2019 21:39 utc | 14
bankers disease and OPCW
james , Nov 29 2019 21:44 utc | 15
kudos to you b.. you do excellent work... peter hitchens knows this too, even if he doesn't have the guts or character to openly admit it.. people speaking truth to power are very hard to find in the media these days...people correctly seek out alternative media, as the msm has become a cesspool..

kudos to the opcw whistleblowers as well..without them, this wouldn't be seeing the light of day.. this con job the usa-uk and ''coalition'' are trying to pull off, rewriting the opcw mandate needs to be confronted..their deception and lies are ongoing... until more in the msm step up to the plate - like peter hitchens, and especially jonathan steele, the msm will continue to be a conveyor of lies and bullshite only... moa is a rare exception in the realm of news, even if it is classified as alternative news..

i hope this path to war they are exploring here has a huge light shined on it.. these so called journalists can all rot in hell if they can't see beyond their paycheck..

Piero Colombo , Nov 29 2019 21:48 utc | 16
Karlof1 @7

"yes, I know b named the macro-entities, but within them resides one or several individuals who came up with the plan and its verbiage. They need to be outed and removed from whatever government positions they hold ASAP."

A bit strange...these several individuals were acting on instructions from their several governments.

Cemi , Nov 29 2019 21:51 utc | 17
To understand how brave these OPCW scientists are in their efforts to save their integrity, just watch how whistleblower Julian Assange is tortured and killed blatantly in the open for everyone to watch. My highest esteem for them, Assange, and also b, who doesn't stop publishing these crimes!
Robert Snefjella , Nov 29 2019 22:06 utc | 18
Here is a key direct war propaganda-quote from the concluding paragraph of the OPCW's so-called ... "evaluation and analysis of all the information gathered":

[The investigations by the OPCW "provide reasonable grounds that the use of a toxic chemical as a weapon took place. This toxic chemical contained reactive chlorine.The toxic chemical was likely molecular chlorine."

This is yet another attempt to energize Obama's 2013 'declaration': that a "red line" would be crossed by use of chemical weapons in Syria. From the Washington Post, 2013: "Because of our concern about the deteriorating situation in Syria, the president has made it clear that the use of chemical weapons -- or transfer of chemical weapons to terrorist groups -- is a red line for the United States of America. The Obama administration has communicated that message publicly and privately to governments around the world, including the Assad regime."

Once the evocative 'red line" terminology had been used, all those who wanted more US military involvement in Syria were motivated to make the red line appear to have been crossed. The presstitute media began to frequently insert and magnify references and accusations re Assad and chemical weapons.

Given that the war waged against Syria has been a war of aggression, with multiple perpetrators, consider some of the defining characteristics of wars of aggression: From Nuremberg:

.. (a) Crimes against peace: Namely, planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing;

.. (b) War crimes: Namely, violations of the laws or customs of war. Such violations shall include, but not be limited to, murder, ill-treatment, or deportation to slave labour or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory, murder or ill treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military
necessity ....

Meaningful use above of the word "preparation" and the phrase "participation in a conspiracy" in regards to wars of aggression includes mental/attitudinal preparation. The corrupt managers of the OPCW, too, are thus by definition war criminals. They have much company.

james , Nov 29 2019 22:30 utc | 19
@ cemi... that is very true... thanks for saying that..
karlof1 , Nov 29 2019 22:59 utc | 20
Piero Colombo @16--

Thanks for noting the contradiction in my comment! However, there are times when planners come up with ideas they weren't directed to generate. The question was probably broad: How can we get Obama's Red Line to be seen as crossed by Syria? then the specific mechanism manufactured.

Thanks to Robert Snefjella @18 showing how those planners are genuine War Criminals. Which brings up an interesting question: Is the Federal government that runs the Evil Outlaw US Empire a War Criminal or are specific members of that government War Criminals. Leading to the next question: The governments of Italy, Germany and Japan were completely destroyed, their national constitutions rewritten and new institutions then established as a result of their perpetrating War Crimes: Should the Federal government of the USA likewise be destroyed, a new constitution written followed by the generation of new institutions? And if so, then what of the individual State governments; don't they also share the guilt of their parent the Federal government? How can it be held that the 50 individual states are innocent while the Federal government's guilty? I know that the Nuremburg Principles say it's the duty of all citizens to resist and attempt to thwart/prevent attempted War Crimes, but I don't believe there's a statute in the US Code that addresses those Principles; although, constitutionally IMO those Principles do apply.

Petri Krohn , Nov 29 2019 23:16 utc | 21
TAKE THEM TO THE HAGUE!

Manufacturing a pretext for the U.S. missile strike on Syria in April 2018 is nowhere near the biggest of OPCW's crimes. The OPCW is an accessory , both before and after the fact to the crime of mass murder.

It should now be clear to everyone that Syrian "rebels" gassed thousands of hostages in cellars, most likely with chlorine gas, and then paraded the victims in White Helmets snuff videos. OPCW conspired in this crime in both encouraging the terrorists to more murder and by protecting them afterward by assigning blame to Assad and the Syrian government.

The worst of these massacres happened in Ghouta in August 2013 when 2000 civilian hostages (rebel claim) were gassed to death by rebels and their pre-White Helmets "civil defence". The OPCW was there to cover up the crime and to fabricate evidence to assign blame to Syria.

We have been documenting these crimes and hoaxes at A Closer Look On Syria from December 2012. OPCW was used from the beginning to manufacture consent for war. See for example:

Yeah, Right , Nov 29 2019 23:47 utc | 22
Caitlin Johnstone gives a master-class in snark when she points her readers to Bellingcat's latest apologia.

Queue the money-shot: "Don't worry about giving them clicks; that's not where they get their money."

Comic Gold.

MadMax2 , Nov 29 2019 23:51 utc | 23
As to Hitchens' ritualistic disassociation from MoA, who would have it any other way?

Posted by: bevin

Well said...! Couldn't put it better.

karlof1 , Nov 29 2019 23:52 utc | 24
Petri Krohn @21--

Of course, the OPCW is already there! I highly suggest Caitlin Johnstone's article b linked be read, which can be found here .

We should expand on Petri's number of people involved in this crime to include all the paid disinformation artists noted in Caitlin's essay at minimum. What becomes very clear in all this is the total collusion with OPCW upper level management--those whom the whistleblowers and their allies within OPCW petitioned--in these crimes as Petri contends. Until they are visibly replaced, nothing issued by OPCW has any credence.

uncle tungsten , Nov 30 2019 0:13 utc | 25
Well done b. Hours later... still no mention at democracy now but lots of odd news and even a landslide in Kenya. No mention of the 'democracy never' strategies of the USA and its paid minions. Here is a story that is a free kick at the war machine and silence throughout. Sad.
Canthama , Nov 30 2019 0:21 utc | 26
OPCW has shown to be a pure political entity, used at will by few regimes in the UN to promote their agenda, b has done a tremendous job to humanity to bring the truth to the public worldwide. Syrians have paid the price for UN leaders support to global terrorism for too long. It must stop now.
Robert Snefjella , Nov 30 2019 0:31 utc | 27
At the risk of derailing this thread by going to a meta level, so perhaps just read and weep, the corruption of the OPCW is precisely normal, in this sense: The challenge: find one high profile institution in 'the west' that is not corrupt. And here I can bring to mind a long list of institutions that have given clear signs of being corrupt, while of course all the time posturing as dignified protectors of their solemn nominal mission statement. I'm hard put to find institutional exemplars of courage and integrity.

The rot seems to be most apparent at the head, but surely many many minor minions contribute. I refuse to bow to the contention that this general corruption is the human condition; I've met too many good and gutsy little people.

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[Nov 29, 2019] Manufacturing a pretext for the U.S. missile strike on Syria in April 2018 is nowhere near the biggest of OPCW's crimes. The OPCW is an accessory, both before and after the fact to the crime of mass murder.

Notable quotes:
"... The worst of these massacres happened in Ghouta in August 2013 when 2000 civilian hostages (rebel claim) were gassed to death by rebels and their pre-White Helmets "civil defence". The OPCW was there to cover up the crime and to fabricate evidence to assign blame to Syria. ..."
Nov 29, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Petri Krohn , Nov 29 2019 23:16 utc | 21

TAKE THEM TO THE HAGUE!

Manufacturing a pretext for the U.S. missile strike on Syria in April 2018 is nowhere near the biggest of OPCW's crimes. The OPCW is an accessory , both before and after the fact to the crime of mass murder.

It should now be clear to everyone that Syrian "rebels" gassed thousands of hostages in cellars, most likely with chlorine gas, and then paraded the victims in White Helmets snuff videos. OPCW conspired in this crime in both encouraging the terrorists to more murder and by protecting them afterward by assigning blame to Assad and the Syrian government.

The worst of these massacres happened in Ghouta in August 2013 when 2000 civilian hostages (rebel claim) were gassed to death by rebels and their pre-White Helmets "civil defence". The OPCW was there to cover up the crime and to fabricate evidence to assign blame to Syria.

We have been documenting these crimes and hoaxes at A Closer Look On Syria from December 2012. OPCW was used from the beginning to manufacture consent for war. See for example:


karlof1 , Nov 29 2019 23:52 utc | 24

Petri Krohn @21--

Of course, the OPCW is already there! I highly suggest Caitlin Johnstone's article b linked be read, which can be found here .

We should expand on Petri's number of people involved in this crime to include all the paid disinformation artists noted in Caitlin's essay at minimum. What becomes very clear in all this is the total collusion with OPCW upper level management--those whom the whistleblowers and their allies within OPCW petitioned--in these crimes as Petri contends. Until they are visibly replaced, nothing issued by OPCW has any credence.

Canthama , Nov 30 2019 0:21 utc | 26
OPCW has shown to be a pure political entity, used at will by few regimes in the UN to promote their agenda, b has done a tremendous job to humanity to bring the truth to the public worldwide. Syrians have paid the price for UN leaders support to global terrorism for too long. It must stop now.
iv>

/div

[Nov 29, 2019] Mainstream Policy Expert Reveals How He Was Silenced On Syria Truth Did Not Matter

Nov 29, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

A mainstream media and academic expert this week issued a rare admission : that pretty much everything the establishment has fed the public on Syria is false or distorted; but it remains that after tragic eight-year long war is slowly coming to a close, new indisputable facts are coming to light. " Truth did not matter at all," he admits after years of providing commentary for mainstream publications.

In a lengthy thread on Twitter, counter-terrorism author and assistant professor of political science and public policy at Northeastern University Max Abrahms exposed how he saw the 'narrative managers' at work from the inside of the establishment think tank world and media. As his own research came to uncover and document the truth of what was happening in Syria, "the media would excise me and the research from their stories" he revealed. His work in the early years of the war appeared in The New York Times and other major outlets, however, he was increasingly censored and pushed out of a number of platforms for speaking inconvenient truths.

Below is his full commentary , written in the wake of the new OPCW leaks which the mainstream is still trying hard to ignore.

Dr. Max Abrahms, screengrab via The Center For Strategic & International Studies.

Every day there are new revelations that the "rebels" were in cahoots not only with Al Qaeda but also ISIS and official reports of Assad using chemical weapons were doctored according to the reports' own authors.

Were you ever skeptical that Assad was authorizing chemical weapons attacks when they were the one thing that put his winning the war at risk?

Authors of the official reports linking him to chemical weapons usage have now supplied evidence that their own reports were doctored .

When I was interviewed about Syria's military using chemical weapons, I expressed skepticism as Assad bucked the political science literature by engaging in the one conduct that would reverse his hard-fought victory.

But the media would excise me and the research from their stories.

The #1 story should be that authors of the official reports linking Assad to WMD usage have supplied evidence that they were doctored in defiance of the scientific evidence and exploited to push regime change in Damascus, which risked creating the Islamic State war with Russia.

Until you get how you were duped into supporting regime change in Syria you'll get duped into supporting other costly ventures to the local population , international stability and our counterterrorism efforts.

Max Abrahms ✔ @MaxAbrahms

The mainstream narrative of the Syria conflict has imploded.

Every day there are new revelations that the "rebels" were in cahoots not only with Al Qaeda but also ISIS & official reports of Assad using chemical weapons were doctored according to the reports' own authors.

The story of doctored WMD reports and Al Qaeda-led rebels must be told.

What happened in Syria is the American political establishment decided that the ends justify the means. Truth did not matter at all. We were told Assad must go based on WMD reports their own authors say were doctored to support "rebels" who were Al-Qaeda-led and helping ISIS.

Watch this interview and determine yourself whether you find trustworthy the official report linking Assad to the chlorine attack which was sold in the

sold in the media as casus belli for toppling Assad and has now been exposed by the fact-finders themselves as doctored.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/SMSyLg1E49M

If you think politicians, think tanks and media got a lot wrong in the Iraq war wait until you hear about the Syria war.

If you cheered for another regime change war then it doesn't matter whether the casus belli lacks evidence. The media is unmoved that multiple scientists who made up the official investigation doubt that the Syrian military was behind the attacks or the use of chlorine at all.


Bernard_2011 , 4 minutes ago link

Apparently Trump is too dumb to question what the Deep State tells him on this matter. Assad did it. End of story.

Justapleb , 29 minutes ago link

This is how they roll out new deep state Mockingbird Media clones.

The older completely discredited clones are replaced with new ones who pretend to have been right there with us all along.

Look at Obama. One solitary vote among so many regarding Iraq and he gained the anti-war vote and a Nobel Prize. Then he went about personally making the kill orders by drone, allowing the wicked witch to overthrow Syria and sodomize their leader with a bayonet. Then on to Syria, various African countries, etc.

I'm sure this *** has written lots on returning the Golan Heights to Syria, returning the West Bank to the Palestinians, renouncing foreign aid to Israel, etc. Right? Not.

uhland62 , 51 minutes ago link

The mendacity of 'the system' can be infuriating when you and your work is targeted.

What I see today is not any different in any way from what my elders told me about the Third Reich and what I heard from East Berlin and the Soviet Union under Stalin and successors. I grew up in West Berlin and we did meet people, heard things.

Heil Hegemon - and Heil to all its lackeys! Heil!!!

truthseeker47 , 57 minutes ago link

Ron Paul was trying to tell everyone right from the git-go that the Syrian gas attacks were a false flag, and the evidence and logic supported a false flag operation. Even more annoying, the 100 or so Tomahawk missiles cost US taxpayers about a $million each. But maybe the missiles were getting old, and the military needed some practice shots.

MrBoompi , 1 hour ago link

We gassed some folks....

cwsuisse , 1 hour ago link

Steele is credible. I believe that the OPCW doctored the reports upon instructions. The narrative management on Syria has totally destroyed the trust in the western governments and has demonstrated that the US, the UK and the EU are not behaving any better than China or Russia.

QABubba , 44 minutes ago link

Someone needs to make an argument as to why we should believe any of these guys. I mean, after you have been proven liars so many times, should we not throw the rotten tomatoes?

strannick , 2 hours ago link

America will tell any lie, commit any atrocity, on behalf of its military industrial complex, bankster, Zionist elite, while manufacturing consent for its evil by its corrupt complicit Mainstream Media. Is that even news?

mailll , 2 hours ago link

It doesn't matter Max, we already knew all this news about Syria was fake. When they were trying to fulfill an agenda, which was to overthrow Syria for the sake of Israel, since Syria is part of this fictitious promised land, their lies help support this agenda. Just like the Zionist attacks on the world trade center and the pentagon with remote controlled airplanes and pre-planted controlled demolition explosives. They were followed up with a bunch of lies to the entire world telling us it was a handful of Muslims who have never flown jumbo jets before. And they performed top gun maneuvers with these jumbo jets and breached perhaps the greatest air defense system in the world with only primitive box cutters. I totally believe the US and Israel covertly created ISIS. And the support funds came from the Zionist controlled printing presses, and from the pentagon budget that was unaccounted for. But unfortunately, most Americans still drink the Kool-aid. They continue to believe their lies. And because of this, they will keep doing what they are doing.

White Nat , 2 hours ago link

Here's Jeffrey Epstein's BFF and Mossad handler Ehud Barak pinning the israeli 9/11 false flag on the Osama bin Laden donkey within hours of the attack.

A chief architect of 9-11, Ehud Barak, interviewed on BBC an hour after attacks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAueLjdKh1s

Married Israeli politician Ehud Barak is seen hiding his face entering Jeffrey Epstein's NYC townhouse

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7250009/Netanyahu-challenger-Ehud-Barak-hides-face-enters-entering-Jeffrey-Epsteins-mansion.html

The Harlequin , 2 hours ago link

...more on AVAAZ and Syria from my own archives, probably already republished here at the time!

http://www.wrongkindofgreen.org/2014/09/17/syria-avaaz-purpose-the-art-of-selling-hate-for-empire/

https://www.activistpost.com/2016/01/avaaz-the-online-pro-war-propagandist-and-color-revolution-ngo.html

https://www.globalresearch.ca/avaaz-the-lobbyist-that-masquerades-as-online-activism/5314829

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2012/03/avaaz-sponsoring-fake-reporting-from-syria.html

JB Say , 2 hours ago link

That was a sloppy *** false flag too. The "agencies" are getting lazy because they own the press and Americans are incredibly dumbed down on foreign policy. The got away with 2 planes collapsing 3 WTC buildings so maybe they figure why bother even making it look convincing.

monty42 , 2 hours ago link

Since it follows a pattern, it's not even just Syria. The US regime is a state sponsor of terrorism, by their own definition, and go into countries and create chaos and revolution, attempting regime change, creating a crisis they then use as "justification" for escalating into open conflict against the victim. Accuse the victim nation of crimes, blanketing the world in propaganda to delude the masses. Try to focus their attention on a single bad guy in their narrative, a "brutal dictator" or whatnot. Attack by proxy and directly, sanction, bomb, etc until the victim is left unable to produce for their own needs, making them dependent, and then going in to apply the chains of debt to the victim to pay the empire to rebuild what they destroyed. Everyone gets rich, increased resources from theft, testing of weapons systems, dominion over the new vassal nation, etc, while the victim is subjugated.

Soloamber , 2 hours ago link

I would like to know who the "narrative managers " are because you know if they do it with Syria they are doing it on everything .

No wonder there is a growing contemptuous distrust of most of the MSM .

It is as if they act in concert and limit anything that doesn't support their agenda.

... ... ...

White Nat , 2 hours ago link

israel and their US sayanim want all of their enemies destroyed using US blood and treasure aka balkanizing the middle east.

Speeches that still matter: Gen Wesley Clark on US going to war in 7 countries in 5 yrs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTbg11pCwOc

The "memo" Wesley Clark refers to came directly from zionist war criminal Paul Wolfowitz who was whispering in the ear of Donald Rumsfeld the whole way.

Wolfowitz is perhaps better known not for writing the Wolfowitz Doctrine but for co-authoring Rebuilding America's Defenses, a report released in September 2000 by Zionist neocon think tank PNAC (The Project for a New American Century). The PNAC membership list is a "Who's Who" of American Zionist New World Order conspirators – in addition to Wolfowitz the list includes **** Cheney Donald Rumsfeld, Robert Kagan, I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, Richard Perle, Doug Feith and many others.

https://thefreedomarticles.com/wolfowitz-doctrine-us-plan-global-supremacy/

PNAC. Greater Israel Project. Oded Yinon Plan.

Long-term the tribe plans to rule the earth from the third temple in Jerusalem.

That's why they are working so hard to shut the goyim up and flood all white countries with third world sewage.

E Michael Jones and Vincent James Discuss the ADL

https://www.bitchute.com/video/CTSjzm8FYH8y/

Fentonbr , 2 hours ago link

Everyone now knows how corrupt it all is now, Thank God Clinton lost!

White Nat , 2 hours ago link

Hillary Clinton Email: 'Syria Must Be Destroyed For Israel'

https://neonnettle.com/features/1360-hillary-clinton-email-syria-must-be-destroyed-for-israel-

lwilland1012 , 2 hours ago link

Puppets have Masters.

The Harlequin , 2 hours ago link

"The mainstream narrative of the Syria conflict has imploded."

"Every day there are new revelations that the "rebels" were in cahoots not only with Al Qaeda but also ISIS & official reports of Assad using chemical weapons were doctored according to the reports' own authors."

IF YOU HAVE BEEN PAYING ATTENTION...

...you would know that the "narrative" imploded from the moment AVAAZ started handing out satellite phones to the "rebels" and "No-Fly Zone" became Clinton's cackling catch-cry ...in 2011!

UBrexitUPay4it , 2 hours ago link

Bless you for trying, but you would do less damage by quietly withdrawing. You just look silly. USA spent 4+ years fighting ISIS, during which time ISIS spread across the middle East. Russia stepped in with 40 aircraft, funded through their normal air force training program, and destroyed ISIS in 9 months.

Either Russians are superhuman warriors, or the west was lying when it claimed to be fighting ISIS. Which is it?

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 , 3 hours ago link

The MSM in the US is compromised and is fully state media, at this point. Deep state, straight from the ******* pond scum suckers in DC.

[Nov 28, 2019] Fox News host Tucker Carlson has crossed an MSM Rubicon and questioned the Douma "gas attack" fraud on air, bringing up the OPCW whistleblower. Then he "rooted for Russia" over Ukraine. Was it a "betrayal," or epic truth-trolling?

Notable quotes:
"... The polarizing Fox host dismantled the official Western media narrative in a seven-minute segment that included an interview with the Guardian correspondent who personally witnessed the second whistleblower present evidence to the agency. ..."
"... "America almost attacked a country and killed untold thousands of people over an attack that may never have happened in the first place – that powerful people may very well have been lying about," Carlson told his audience, replaying footage of his show from the days following the attack to show he'd always been suspicious it had happened as reported. ..."
Nov 28, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Patient Observer November 26, 2019 at 1:06 pm

Tucker Carlson lets it all hang out:

Fox News host Tucker Carlson has crossed an MSM Rubicon and questioned the Douma "gas attack" fraud on air, bringing up the OPCW whistleblower. Then he "rooted for Russia" over Ukraine. Was it a "betrayal," or epic truth-trolling?

Carlson boldly went where no mainstream TV host had gone before, unpacking the explosive story of April 2018's Douma "chemical weapons attack." While the "attack" was attributed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by an altered report from the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons, two whistleblowers within the group accused it of omitting evidence to craft a misleading narrative – a fact that has never crossed the lips of US media until Monday night.

Must Watch @TuckerCarlson Segment Tonight: New Evidence Shows Syria's Assad May Have Been Falsely Blamed for 2018 Chemical Attack"We've been lied to, we've been manipulated, we knew it at the time." pic.twitter.com/vKw6YnphcT

-- The Columbia Bugle (@ColumbiaBugle) November 26, 2019

The polarizing Fox host dismantled the official Western media narrative in a seven-minute segment that included an interview with the Guardian correspondent who personally witnessed the second whistleblower present evidence to the agency.

"America almost attacked a country and killed untold thousands of people over an attack that may never have happened in the first place – that powerful people may very well have been lying about," Carlson told his audience, replaying footage of his show from the days following the attack to show he'd always been suspicious it had happened as reported.

https://www.rt.com/usa/474372-tucker-carlson-syria-russia-ukraine/

Patient Observer November 26, 2019 at 1:09 pm
The next time Tulsi Gabbard is on Carlson's show will be interesting. Can they now speak truth about Syria?

Carlson is the most watched political commentator on US television. He is opening a new can of worms for the MSM.

Like Like

yalensis November 26, 2019 at 2:28 pm
Heroes arise from strange places; nobody would have guessed

Like Like

Patient Observer November 26, 2019 at 2:36 pm
Carlson is politically astute and media smart. He would not make such statements unless he was sure they would not be excessively damaging, advance his message and boost his popularity. A real risk is Fox News pulling the plug though.

Like Like

Mark Chapman November 26, 2019 at 7:17 pm
Fortuitous indeed that I was not eating or drinking anything when he mentioned Samantha Power and 'stupid decisions'; otherwise, there would have been a pressure-diffused spray of it everywhere. He did indeed let it all hang out – I continue to marvel at his transformation. Who would ever have imagined? I would once have liked to hear of him being roasted alive over a slow fire, back when he was snarking and smirking his way through defenses of the Bush administrations ham-fisted policy strangulation. Well, by God, whatever it takes, and hero biscuits to the medium. Rock on, Tucker.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/-XfmHyG8y-g?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Like Like

[Nov 27, 2019] Leaked email on alleged chemical attack shows 2018 strikes against Syria based on lies by Niles Niemuth

Notable quotes:
"... The alleged attack in Douma came as Assad was consolidating control of the areas around Damascus and shortly after Trump had announced that US troops deployed to control the eastern half of Syria would soon be leaving. The purported Syrian government gas attack was seized on as a casus belli . ..."
"... Saturday's WikiLeaks release makes clear that the OPCW report published in July 2018 was shaped to conform with the public allegations made by the US, UK and France. British Mail on Sunday columnist Peter Hitchens, in an article based on the WikiLeaks release, noted that the doctoring of the OPCW fact-finders' report "appears to be the worst instance of 'sexing-up' in support of war since the invasion of Iraq and Tony Blair's doctored dossiers." ..."
"... The investigator who authored the memo, and who remains anonymous, sent the email to OPCW Chief of Cabinet Robert Fairweather and his deputy, Aamir Shouket, on June 22, 2018, to raise "grave concern" about details that had been excluded from or changed in the soon-to-be-published redacted report on the agency's investigation into the alleged gas attack. He wrote that the redacted report had strayed so far from the evidence collected that it "no longer reflects the work of the team." ..."
"... Last May, an unpublished report authored by ballistics expert Ian Henderson, who led the OPCW's engineer sub-team in Douma, was leaked . In it, Henderson raised serious questions about the claim that the attack was carried out by chlorine cylinders dropped from the air, a claim that implicated Assad's forces. Instead, Henderson's report concluded it was more likely that the two cylinders examined by investigators had been placed in their positions, implying that the purported attack had been staged by the Islamist forces that controlled the area at the time of the incident. ..."
"... In the course of the more than eight-year regime-change operation in Syria, during which the US and its allies have used various Al Qaeda-linked Islamist militias as their proxy forces, one CIA-sponsored provocation after another has been used in an (unsuccessful) attempt to stampede US public opinion behind the war. In 2013, a chemical gas attack in Eastern Ghouta was blamed on Assad and used to justify the preparation of massive US air strikes, which were called off at the last minute by Obama. This incident was later exposed by investigative reporter Seymour Hersh as the work of US-backed rebels acting with the support of Turkey. ..."
"... The pseudo-left groups that have lined up behind the criminal US war in Syria and pushed for an even bigger bloodbath stand exposed. The now defunct International Socialist Organization, which dissolved into the Democratic Party earlier this year, used its Socialist Worker publication to promote the CIA-backed opposition and denounce anyone who opposed the US intervention as a stooge of the bourgeois Assad government and "imperialist" Russia and Iran. ..."
Nov 25, 2019 | www.wsws.org

On Saturday, WikiLeaks published an internal email written by a member of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) fact-finding mission to Syria that exposes the far-reaching effort to suppress and distort evidence in order to claim that the government of Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the alleged April 7, 2018, gas attack in Douma, a suburb of Damascus then held by CIA-backed Islamist "rebel" forces.

The revelation once again makes clear the lying character of the campaign to justify the US regime-change operation in Syria, which has turned large sections of the country into a wasteland, killing hundreds of thousands of people and turning millions more into refugees.

The alleged attack in which as many as 49 people were reportedly killed was seized on by the governments of the United States, Britain and France to justify the launching of air and missile strikes just one week later against Syrian government forces. The attacks took place just hours before an OPCW fact-finding team was due to arrive in Syria to begin an investigation. The assault brought the US and its allies to the brink of open war not just against Syria, but also against the Assad government's allies Iran and Russia.

The alleged attack in Douma came as Assad was consolidating control of the areas around Damascus and shortly after Trump had announced that US troops deployed to control the eastern half of Syria would soon be leaving. The purported Syrian government gas attack was seized on as a casus belli .

The U.S. launched an attack on Damascus, Syria on April 14, 2018. U.S. President Donald Trump announced airstrikes in retaliation for the country's alleged use of chemical weapons. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

On April 8, one day after the alleged chemical attack and before any investigation had been carried out, Trump tweeted that there had been a "mindless CHEMICAL attack" by the "Animal Assad" backed by Russia and Iran, and that there would be a "big price to pay." Under the guidance of Trump's newly appointed national security advisor, John Bolton, military options were drawn up to attack Syria. The air and missile strikes were launched on April 13, US time.

Saturday's WikiLeaks release makes clear that the OPCW report published in July 2018 was shaped to conform with the public allegations made by the US, UK and France. British Mail on Sunday columnist Peter Hitchens, in an article based on the WikiLeaks release, noted that the doctoring of the OPCW fact-finders' report "appears to be the worst instance of 'sexing-up' in support of war since the invasion of Iraq and Tony Blair's doctored dossiers."

The investigator who authored the memo, and who remains anonymous, sent the email to OPCW Chief of Cabinet Robert Fairweather and his deputy, Aamir Shouket, on June 22, 2018, to raise "grave concern" about details that had been excluded from or changed in the soon-to-be-published redacted report on the agency's investigation into the alleged gas attack. He wrote that the redacted report had strayed so far from the evidence collected that it "no longer reflects the work of the team."

The email highlights statements that misrepresent the evidence collected in the on-the-spot investigation, including the assertion that the team had found "sufficient evidence at this time to determine that chlorine, or another reactive chlorine-containing chemical, was likely released from cylinders." This was simply not the case. As the whistle-blower explained, while samples were recovered that had been in contact with one or more chemicals containing a reactive chlorine atom, they could have come from multiple sources, including household bleach. Moreover, there was insufficient evidence to show that the cylinders supposedly dropped onto Douma by Syrian helicopters were the source of a chemical release.

Another claim in the official report, that "high levels" of chlorinate organic derivatives were detected at the site of the alleged attack, was also false. According to the investigator, these chemicals were found in trace amounts as a low as 1–2 parts per billion.

The release of the email by WikiLeaks is only the latest episode in the unraveling of the official account, which began to come apart almost as soon as the alleged gas attack was trumpeted in the bourgeois press, accompanied by unverified video footage of children apparently suffering in a hospital.

Already in October 2018, the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media published the results of its investigation into the incident, which found that given the evidence presented by the OPCW, it was impossible to determine if a chemical attack had in fact taken place. Initial claims by the US and France that nerve agent had been used had been dismissed out of hand by the OPCW.

Last May, an unpublished report authored by ballistics expert Ian Henderson, who led the OPCW's engineer sub-team in Douma, was leaked . In it, Henderson raised serious questions about the claim that the attack was carried out by chlorine cylinders dropped from the air, a claim that implicated Assad's forces. Instead, Henderson's report concluded it was more likely that the two cylinders examined by investigators had been placed in their positions, implying that the purported attack had been staged by the Islamist forces that controlled the area at the time of the incident.

Last week, Jonathan Steele, former senior foreign correspondent for the Guardian , reported in Counterpunch on a briefing by an OPCW whistleblower known as Alex, who relayed an incident in July 2018 in which dissenting experts were told in no uncertain terms at a meeting with three unidentified American officials that Syria was responsible for the alleged chlorine gas attack in Douma.

The final OPCW report published in March of this year omits any quantitative analysis of the low levels of chlorinated organic chemicals uncovered by investigators, undercutting the official claims of a chemical gas attack.

The annual conference of the OPCW begins today in The Hague, where the whistleblower who spoke to Steele hopes to raise concerns about the Douma investigation, though there are no indications that the organizers will allow such a discussion.

In the course of the more than eight-year regime-change operation in Syria, during which the US and its allies have used various Al Qaeda-linked Islamist militias as their proxy forces, one CIA-sponsored provocation after another has been used in an (unsuccessful) attempt to stampede US public opinion behind the war. In 2013, a chemical gas attack in Eastern Ghouta was blamed on Assad and used to justify the preparation of massive US air strikes, which were called off at the last minute by Obama. This incident was later exposed by investigative reporter Seymour Hersh as the work of US-backed rebels acting with the support of Turkey.

The pseudo-left groups that have lined up behind the criminal US war in Syria and pushed for an even bigger bloodbath stand exposed. The now defunct International Socialist Organization, which dissolved into the Democratic Party earlier this year, used its Socialist Worker publication to promote the CIA-backed opposition and denounce anyone who opposed the US intervention as a stooge of the bourgeois Assad government and "imperialist" Russia and Iran.

WikiLeak's critical role in bringing the investigator's damning email to light makes clear once again why its founder and publisher, Julian Assange, is rotting away in England's maximum security Belmarsh prison, facing extradition to the United States and 175 years in prison for exposing American war crimes in the Middle East. The US intelligence agencies and the entire political establishment, Democrats and Republicans alike, intend with their persecution of Assange, condemned by United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer as a form of torture, to put a permanent clamp on information about the crimes of US imperialism.

The US government, with its immense resources and vast intelligence apparatus, has not yet succeeded in shutting down one of the most crucial resources in bringing before the public the truth about the operations of US and world imperialism. It is up to the international working class, as a vital part of its struggle to defend its democratic and social rights, to come to the defense of Assange as well as Chelsea Manning and demand their immediate release from prison and the dropping of all charges against them.

Niles Niemuth

[Oct 28, 2019] Expert Panel Finds Gaping Plot-Holes In OPCW Report On Alleged Syrian Chemical Attack by Caitlin Johnstone

Highly recommended!
This implicates State Department in the attempt to run a false flag operation. If we add that the State Department is the key organization behind for color revolution against Trump that picture becomes even more disturbing. This is really a neocon vipers nest.
Notable quotes:
"... This was because the public had already been shown that highly suspicious chemical attacks tended to happen when the Trump administration begins pushing for a reversal of standing US Syria policy, as I noted in April 2017 immediately following the alleged attack in Khan Shaykhun. ..."
"... "I was able to predict Douma in 2018 because it happened already almost exactly 1 year prior, at Khan Shaykhun, April 4, 2017," Cox told me on Twitter earlier today. ..."
"... And, like clockwork, on April 7 2018 dozens of civilians in Douma were killed in an incident which was quickly reported as a Syrian government chemical attack by all the usual establishment narrative managers on Syria , with everyone from the White Helmets to Charles Lister to Eliot Higgins to Julian Röpcke loudly flagging it on social media to draw the attention of mainstream news outlets who were slower to pick up the story. ..."
"... Long before any investigation into this suspicious incident could even be begun, much less completed, the US State Department declared it to have been a chemical weapons attack perpetrated by the Syrian government, saying "the Assad regime must be held accountable", and that Russia "ultimately bears responsibility" for the attack. Which was of course mighty convenient for US geostrategic interests. ..."
"... On the 14th of April 2018, the US, UK and France launched an airstrike on the Syrian government as punishment for using chemical weapons, citing secret "intelligence" which the US government claimed gave them "very high confidence that Syria was responsible." The public has to this day never been permitted to see this intelligence. This all happened before any formal international investigation could take place. ..."
"... The OPCW conducted their investigation, and in July 2018 published an interim report saying that "no organophosphorus nerve agents or their degradation products were detected, either in the environmental samples or in plasma samples from the alleged casualties." This ruled out sarin gas, invalidating earlier reports by Syria war pundits like Charles Lister who claimed that sarin had been used, but it didn't rule out chlorine gas. In March of this year the OPCW issued its final report saying forensics were consistent with chlorine gas use and advancing a ballistics report which strongly implicated the Assad government by implying it was an aerial drop (Syrian opposition militias have no air force). The official Twitter account for the UK Delegation to the OPCW tweeted at the time that the report "confirms chemical weapons used, demonstrating the vital importance of OPCW's work. This confirmed chlorine attack was only the latest example of Asad regime's CW attacks on its own population." ..."
"... In May of this year, a leaked internal document from the OPCW investigation was published by the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media which completely contradicts the findings of the official report published in March. The leaked Engineering Assessment said that "observations at the scene of the two locations, together with subsequent analysis, suggest there is a higher probability both cylinders were manually placed at those two locations rather than being delivered from aircraft," which would implicate the forces on the ground in the incident rather than the Assad government. ..."
"... The OPCW indirectly confirmed the document's authenticity by telling the press that its release had been "unauthorised". Climate Audit's Stephen McIntyre published an excellent thread breaking down how the document invalidates the OPCW's claims which you can read by clicking here . Establishment narrative managers had a very difficult time spinning the fact that the OPCW had taken it upon itself to hide findings from the public which dissented from its official report on an incident which preceded an international act of war upon a sovereign nation, and all the implications that necessarily has for the legitimacy of the organization's other work. ..."
"... "Based on the whistleblower's extensive presentation, including internal emails, text exchanges and suppressed draft reports, we are unanimous in expressing our alarm over unacceptable practices in the investigation of the alleged chemical attack in Douma, near the Syrian capital of Damascus on 7 April 2018. We became convinced by the testimony that key information about chemical analyses, toxicology consultations, ballistics studies, and witness testimonies was suppressed, ostensibly to favor a preordained conclusion ." ..."
"... "The convincing evidence of irregular behaviour in the OPCW investigation of the alleged Douma chemical attack confirms doubts and suspicions I already had. I could make no sense of what I was reading in the international press. Even official reports of investigations seemed incoherent at best. The picture is certainly clearer now, although very disturbing. " ..."
"... "The interpretation of the environmental analysis results is equally questionable. Many, if not all, of the so-called 'smoking gun' chlorinated organic chemicals claimed to be not naturally present in the environment' (para 2.6) are in fact ubiquitous in the background, either naturally or anthropogenically (wood preservatives, chlorinated water supplies etc). The report, in fact, acknowledges this in Annex 4 para 7, even stating the importance of gathering control samples to measure the background for such chlorinated organic derivatives. Yet, no analysis results for these same control samples (Annex 5), which inspectors on the ground would have gone to great lengths to gather, were reported." ..."
"... "One alternative ascribing the origin of the crater to an explosive device was considered briefly but, despite an almost identical crater (understood to have resulted from a mortar penetrating the roof) being observed on an adjacent rooftop, was dismissed because of ' the absence of primary and secondary fragmentation characteristics'. In contrast, explosive fragmentation characteristics were noted in the leaked study ." ..."
"... "Contrary to what has been publicly stated by the Director General of the OPCW it was evident to the panel that many of the inspectors in the Douma investigation were not involved or consulted in the post-deployment phase or had any contribution to, or knowledge of the content of the final report until it was made public . The panel is particularly troubled by organisational efforts to obfuscate and prevent inspectors from raising legitimate concerns about possible malpractices surrounding the Douma investigation." ..."
Oct 28, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

The Courage Foundation , an international protection and advocacy group for whistleblowers, has published the findings of a panel it convened last week on the extremely suspicious behavior of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in its investigation of an alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria last year. After hearing an extensive presentation from a member of the OPCW's Douma investigation team, the panel's members (including a world-renowned former OPCW Director General) report that they are "unanimous in expressing our alarm over unacceptable practices in the investigation of the alleged chemical attack in Douma, near the Syrian capital of Damascus on 7 April 2018."

I'll get to the panel and its findings in a moment, but first I should provide some historical background so that readers who aren't intimately familiar with this ongoing scandal can fully appreciate the significance of this new development.

In late March of last year, President Trump publicly stated that the US military would soon be withdrawing troops from Syria, causing some with an ear to the ground like independent US congressional candidate Steve Cox to predict that there would shortly be a false flag chemical weapons attack in that nation. This was because the public had already been shown that highly suspicious chemical attacks tended to happen when the Trump administration begins pushing for a reversal of standing US Syria policy, as I noted in April 2017 immediately following the alleged attack in Khan Shaykhun.

"I was able to predict Douma in 2018 because it happened already almost exactly 1 year prior, at Khan Shaykhun, April 4, 2017," Cox told me on Twitter earlier today.

"Khan Shaykhun also occurred within days of the Trump Admin saying we're leaving Syria."

And, like clockwork, on April 7 2018 dozens of civilians in Douma were killed in an incident which was quickly reported as a Syrian government chemical attack by all the usual establishment narrative managers on Syria , with everyone from the White Helmets to Charles Lister to Eliot Higgins to Julian Röpcke loudly flagging it on social media to draw the attention of mainstream news outlets who were slower to pick up the story.

There was immediate skepticism, partly because acclaimed journalists like Sy Hersh have been highlighting plot holes in the official story about chemical weapons in Syria since 2013, partly because Assad would stand nothing to gain and everything to lose by using a banned yet highly ineffective weapon in a battle he'd already essentially won in that region, and partly because the people controlling things on the ground in Douma were the Al Qaeda-linked extremist group Jaysh-al Islam and the incredibly shady narrative management operation known as the White Helmets. Those groups, unlike the Assad government, most certainly would stand everything to gain by staging a chemical attack in the desperate hope that it would draw NATO powers into attacking the Syrian government and perhaps saving their necks.

Long before any investigation into this suspicious incident could even be begun, much less completed, the US State Department declared it to have been a chemical weapons attack perpetrated by the Syrian government, saying "the Assad regime must be held accountable", and that Russia "ultimately bears responsibility" for the attack. Which was of course mighty convenient for US geostrategic interests.

On the 14th of April 2018, the US, UK and France launched an airstrike on the Syrian government as punishment for using chemical weapons, citing secret "intelligence" which the US government claimed gave them "very high confidence that Syria was responsible." The public has to this day never been permitted to see this intelligence. This all happened before any formal international investigation could take place.

The OPCW conducted their investigation, and in July 2018 published an interim report saying that "no organophosphorus nerve agents or their degradation products were detected, either in the environmental samples or in plasma samples from the alleged casualties." This ruled out sarin gas, invalidating earlier reports by Syria war pundits like Charles Lister who claimed that sarin had been used, but it didn't rule out chlorine gas. In March of this year the OPCW issued its final report saying forensics were consistent with chlorine gas use and advancing a ballistics report which strongly implicated the Assad government by implying it was an aerial drop (Syrian opposition militias have no air force). The official Twitter account for the UK Delegation to the OPCW tweeted at the time that the report "confirms chemical weapons used, demonstrating the vital importance of OPCW's work. This confirmed chlorine attack was only the latest example of Asad regime's CW attacks on its own population."

In May of this year, a leaked internal document from the OPCW investigation was published by the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media which completely contradicts the findings of the official report published in March. The leaked Engineering Assessment said that "observations at the scene of the two locations, together with subsequent analysis, suggest there is a higher probability both cylinders were manually placed at those two locations rather than being delivered from aircraft," which would implicate the forces on the ground in the incident rather than the Assad government.

The OPCW indirectly confirmed the document's authenticity by telling the press that its release had been "unauthorised". Climate Audit's Stephen McIntyre published an excellent thread breaking down how the document invalidates the OPCW's claims which you can read by clicking here . Establishment narrative managers had a very difficult time spinning the fact that the OPCW had taken it upon itself to hide findings from the public which dissented from its official report on an incident which preceded an international act of war upon a sovereign nation, and all the implications that necessarily has for the legitimacy of the organization's other work.

Throughout this time, critical thinkers like myself have been aggressively smeared as deranged conspiracy theorists, war crimes deniers and genocide deniers for expressing skepticism of the establishment-authorized narrative on Douma. Which takes us to today.

The Courage Foundation panel who met with the OPCW whistleblower consists of former OPCW Director General José Bustani (whose highly successful peacemongering once saw the lives of his children threatened by John Bolton during the lead-up to the Iraq invasion in an attempt to remove him from his position), WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson , Professor of International Law Richard Falk , former British Army Major General John Holmes , Dr Helmut Lohrer of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, German professor Dr Guenter Meyer of the Centre for Research on the Arab World, and former Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East Elizabeth Murray of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

So these are not scrubs. These are not "conspiracy theorists" or "Russian propagandists". These are highly qualified and reputable professionals expressing deep concerns in the opaque and manipulative way the OPCW appears to have conducted its investigation into the Douma incident. Some highlights from their joint statement and analytical points are quoted below, with my own emphasis added in bold:

"Based on the whistleblower's extensive presentation, including internal emails, text exchanges and suppressed draft reports, we are unanimous in expressing our alarm over unacceptable practices in the investigation of the alleged chemical attack in Douma, near the Syrian capital of Damascus on 7 April 2018. We became convinced by the testimony that key information about chemical analyses, toxicology consultations, ballistics studies, and witness testimonies was suppressed, ostensibly to favor a preordained conclusion ."

"The convincing evidence of irregular behaviour in the OPCW investigation of the alleged Douma chemical attack confirms doubts and suspicions I already had. I could make no sense of what I was reading in the international press. Even official reports of investigations seemed incoherent at best. The picture is certainly clearer now, although very disturbing. "
~ Bustani

"A critical analysis of the final report of the Douma investigation left the panel in little doubt that conclusions drawn from each of the key evidentiary pillars of the investigation (chemical analysis, toxicology, ballistics and witness testimonies,) are flawed and bear little relation to the facts. "

From the section on Chemical Analysis:

"The interpretation of the environmental analysis results is equally questionable. Many, if not all, of the so-called 'smoking gun' chlorinated organic chemicals claimed to be not naturally present in the environment' (para 2.6) are in fact ubiquitous in the background, either naturally or anthropogenically (wood preservatives, chlorinated water supplies etc). The report, in fact, acknowledges this in Annex 4 para 7, even stating the importance of gathering control samples to measure the background for such chlorinated organic derivatives. Yet, no analysis results for these same control samples (Annex 5), which inspectors on the ground would have gone to great lengths to gather, were reported."

"Although the report stresses the 'levels' of the chlorinated organic chemicals as a basis for its conclusions (para 2.6), it never mentions what those levels were -- high, low, trace, sub-trace? Without providing data on the levels of these so-called 'smoking-gun' chemicals either for background or test samples, it is impossible to know if they were not simply due to background presence . In this regard, the panel is disturbed to learn that quantitative results for the levels of 'smoking gun' chemicals in specific samples were available to the investigators but this decisive information was withheld from the report ."

"The final report also acknowledges that the tell-tale chemicals supposedly indicating chlorine use, can also be generated by contact of samples with sodium hypochlorite, the principal ingredient of household bleaching agent (para 8.15). This game-changing hypothesis is, however, dismissed (and as it transpires, incorrectly) by stating no bleaching was observed at the site of investigation. (' At both locations, there were no visible signs of a bleach agent or discoloration due to contact with a bleach agent' ). The panel has been informed that no such observation was recorded during the on-site inspection and in any case dismissing the hypothesis simply by claiming the non -observation of discoloration in an already dusty and scorched environment seems tenuous and unscientific ."

From the section on Toxicology:

"The toxicological studies also reveal inconsistencies, incoherence and possible scientific irregularities. Consultations with toxicologists are reported to have taken place in September and October 2018 (para 8.87 and Annex 3), but no mention is made of what those same experts opined or concluded. Whilst the final toxicological assessment of the authors states ' it is not possible to precisely link the cause of the signs and symptoms to a specific chemical ' (para 9.6) the report nonetheless concludes there were reasonable grounds to believe chlorine gas was the chemical (used as a weapon)."

"More worrying is the fact that the panel viewed documented evidence that showed other toxicologists had been consulted in June 2018 prior to the release of the interim report. Expert opinions on that occasion were that the signs and symptoms observed in videos and from witness accounts were not consistent with exposure to molecular chlorine or any reactive-chlorine-containing chemical. Why no mention of this critical assessment, which contradicts that implied in the final report, was made is unclear and of concern. "

From the section on Ballistic Studies:

"One alternative ascribing the origin of the crater to an explosive device was considered briefly but, despite an almost identical crater (understood to have resulted from a mortar penetrating the roof) being observed on an adjacent rooftop, was dismissed because of ' the absence of primary and secondary fragmentation characteristics'. In contrast, explosive fragmentation characteristics were noted in the leaked study ."

From the section titled "Exclusion of inspectors and attempts to obfuscate":

"Contrary to what has been publicly stated by the Director General of the OPCW it was evident to the panel that many of the inspectors in the Douma investigation were not involved or consulted in the post-deployment phase or had any contribution to, or knowledge of the content of the final report until it was made public . The panel is particularly troubled by organisational efforts to obfuscate and prevent inspectors from raising legitimate concerns about possible malpractices surrounding the Douma investigation."

I'll leave it there for now.

* * *

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[Oct 24, 2019] The difference between the reality that we perceive and the way it is portrayed in the media is so stark the it reminds people about the USSR before the collapse

Notable quotes:
"... The difference between the reality that we perceive and the way it is portrayed in the media is so stark that sometimes I am not sure whether it is me who is insane or the world - the MSM and the cool-aid drinking libtards whose animosity against Trump won't let them distinguish black from white. Not that they were ever able to understand the real state of affairs. Discussions with them have always been about them regurgitating the MSM talking points without understanding any of it. ..."
Oct 24, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

ancientarcher , 24 October 2019 at 11:19 AM

Colonel, thanks for spelling it out so clearly.

The difference between the reality that we perceive and the way it is portrayed in the media is so stark that sometimes I am not sure whether it is me who is insane or the world - the MSM and the cool-aid drinking libtards whose animosity against Trump won't let them distinguish black from white. Not that they were ever able to understand the real state of affairs. Discussions with them have always been about them regurgitating the MSM talking points without understanding any of it.

While it will always be mystifying to me why so many people on the street blindly support America fighting and dying in the middle east, the support of the MSM and the paid hacks for eternal war is no surprise. I hope they get to send their children and grandchildren to these wars. More than that, I hope we get out of these wars. Trump might be able to put an end to it, and not just in Syria, if he wins a second term, which he will if he is allowed to contest the next election. There is however a chance that the borg will pull the rug from under him and bar him from the elections. Hope that doesn't come to pass.

[Oct 24, 2019] Trump is now proven war criminal: WikiLeaks Releases New Documents Questioning Syria Chemical Attack Narrative

Highly recommended!
Objectively this should be a death sentence for Trump reelection -- war criminals should never be reelected: he proved to be yet another MIC stooge. And his government is not that different form Hillarie's: it is the same government of lies by lies for liars (from MIC)...
There is no positives heroes in this story. As Colonel W. Patrick Lang noted raving neocon lunatics in congress brainwashed for years with the Iran obsession are yet another danger to us all. ( Joltin' Jack Keane wants your kids to fight Russia and Syria over Syrian oil. - Sic Semper Tyrannis _
Notable quotes:
"... "Based on the whistleblower's extensive presentation, including internal emails, text exchanges and suppressed draft reports, we are unanimous in expressing our alarm over unacceptable practices in the investigation of the alleged chemical attack in Douma," the experts pointed out. ..."
"... Bustani was quoted as saying he had long held doubts about the alleged attack in Douma, on the outskirts of Damascus. "I could make no sense of what I was reading in the international press. Even official reports of investigations seemed incoherent at best." ..."
"... Some dissenting officials as well as countries like Russia have accused the international chemical watchdog body, which operations in coordination with the UN, of being politically compromised when it comes to Syria. ..."
Oct 24, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

A whistleblower with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), responsible for conducting an independent investigation into the alleged chemical attack in the Syrian town of Douma on April 7, 2018, has presented WikiLeaks with a body of evidence suggesting the chemical weapons watchdog agency manipulated and suppressed evidence .

A prior official OPCW report of the investigation issued last March found "reasonable grounds" for believing a toxic chemical was used against civilians, likely chlorine. Long prior to any independent investigators reaching the site, however, Washington had launched major tomahawk airstrikes against Damascus in retribution for "Assad gassing his own people" .

WikiLeaks published documents based on evidence presented by the internal OPCW whistleblower to an expert review panel on Wednesday. "The panel was presented with evidence that casts doubt on the integrity of the OPCW," WikiLeaks editor Kristinn Hrafnsson wrote.

An official WikiLeaks press release said as follows :

Kristinn Hrafnsson took part in the panel to review the testimony and documents from the OPCW whistleblower. He says: "The panel was presented with evidence that casts doubt on the integrity of the OPCW. Although the whistleblower was not ready to step forward and/or present documents to the public, WikiLeaks believes it is now of utmost interest for the public to see everything that was collected by the Fact Finding Mission on Douma and all scientific reports written in relation to the investigation."

"Based on the whistleblower's extensive presentation, including internal emails, text exchanges and suppressed draft reports, we are unanimous in expressing our alarm over unacceptable practices in the investigation of the alleged chemical attack in Douma," the experts pointed out.

"We became convinced by the testimony that key information about chemical analyses, toxicology consultations, ballistics studies, and witness testimonies was suppressed, ostensibly to favor a preordained conclusion ."

The testimony further revealed "disquieting efforts to exclude some inspectors from the investigation whilst thwarting their attempts to raise legitimate concerns , highlight irregular practices or even to express their differing observations and assessments."

The new information was enough to convince José Bustani, former director-general of the OPCW to conclude there is now "convincing evidence" of irregularities .

According to a summary of the latest controversy to cast doubt on the dominant mainstream narrative related to Douma, Middle East analysis site Al-Bab noted Bustain harbored prior doubts :

Bustani was quoted as saying he had long held doubts about the alleged attack in Douma, on the outskirts of Damascus. "I could make no sense of what I was reading in the international press. Even official reports of investigations seemed incoherent at best."

Some dissenting officials as well as countries like Russia have accused the international chemical watchdog body, which operations in coordination with the UN, of being politically compromised when it comes to Syria.


spam filter , 4 minutes ago link

"Because of my great wisdom as a stable genius, i launched major tomahawk airstrikes against Damascus in retribution for Assad gassing his own people" .

I am Ironman!

Has he lost his mind?

Can he see or is he blind?
Can he walk at all
Or if he moves will he fall?

boattrash , 2 minutes ago link

...to appease the neocons...he killed a total of 3 ground squirrels.

monty42 , 41 seconds ago link

Tell that to the Syrians who were killed, both soldiers and civilians, as well as those having to pay for the lost property that was destroyed. It was thrown out there, purely out of thin air, that nothing of substance was hit and it was just a show by Trump, despite reports by those terrorized by the attacks.

NA X-15 , 6 minutes ago link

It's the same lying neocon **** that cried out "Darfur!"..."Donbass!"...the exact same lying ****. **** them all to hell, I wish I could exterminate their voices forever.

Arising , 12 minutes ago link

I have reposted these wikileaks documents on many different sites, especially the one's where the intelligence agencies are active.

I want them to know that we know.

Chupacabra-322 , 16 minutes ago link

The Gas Lighting, PsyOp & False Flags will continue until the masses are completely Frightened & Brainwashed.

US Interference and Regime Change PsyOp

"Secret cables and reports by the U.S., Saudi and Israeli intelligence agencies indicate that the moment Assad rejected the Qatari pipeline, military and intelligence planners quickly arrived at the consensus that fomenting a Sunni uprising in Syria to overthrow the uncooperative Bashar Assad was a feasible path to achieving the shared objective of completing the Qatar/Turkey gas link. In 2009, according to WikiLeaks, soon after Bashar Assad rejected the Qatar pipeline, the CIA began funding opposition groups in Syria."

Regime change is the only reason we or any of our proxies are there. We have NO GOOD REASON being there other than this BS.

I mean C'mon now? These Pure Evil War Criminal Treasonous Seditious Deep State CIA, MI6, Mossad Psychopaths couldn't write up a different Scripted False Narrative PsyOp to sell to the World & American People.

CHEM ATTACK PART III RETURN OF THE ASSAD.

The Lack of creativity among those in the Pentagram & Deep Staters is downright pathetic.

Bolton was nothing more than a mere Agent of Chaos with his mission the for continuation of the Yinon Plan.

I'd respect them more if they'd just said, "we seeking regime change to secure the better interests of Israel, the US & World Community."

Wink, wink, nod, nod...those better interest are the Qatari Pipeline to provide continued SA & Petro Dollar Hegemony among Vassel States. While simultaneously eliminating Russia's & Gasprom's ability to supply European Oil.

Meximus , 23 minutes ago link

The french are having misgivings in supporting this war crime. They are now talking with russia to normalize relations.

Soon we will go from FUKUS to just UKK (united **** kingdom) .

ebworthen , 49 minutes ago link

People are still believing the chemical attack canard? Seriously?

Assad wears a suit and protects Christians and Jews; as does Russia.

I can't say the same for the U.S.A., other than protecting Christians and Jews connected to Wall Street.

NA X-15 , 51 minutes ago link

From Day One, nobody believed the neocon ******** about the alleged "gassings".

[Jun 28, 2019] The OPCW, Douma The Skripals

Notable quotes:
"... It seems that everyone is lying about the Skripal affair. The UK govt. version is riddled with inconsistencies. But it does seem that 2 GRU officers were wandering around Salisbury. Why? And the Russians are lying about that. ..."
"... The likelihood is that the GRU were there to discuss with Skripal his wishes to return to Russia. There is an alternative likelihood that they were there to quiz him on his contribution to the Dodgy Dossier. Both scenarios could well lead to the British secret services deciding to take Skripal out, even down, and blame it on the Russians. ..."
"... I would suggest that Skripal and his daughter are now either living somewhere else in Natoland under different identities and some money to keep them quiet, or else their existence became too awkward and risky and sadly they have been liquidated. ..."
May 17, 2019 | off-guardian.org

In view of the latest revelations from the leaked report, which seem to prove that at least some elements of the Douma "chemical attack" were entirely staged, we want to take look back at the chaotic events of Spring 2018.

The following is an extract from an article by Catte originally published April 14th last year, which takes on a greater weight in light of certain evidence – not only that the Douma attack was faked, but that the OPCW is compromised.

You can read the whole article here .

Primarily UK initiative?

The neocon faction in the US is usually (and reasonably) regarded as the motivator behind much of the western aggression in the Middle East.

Since at least 2001 and the launch of the "War on Terror" the US has led the way in finding or creating facile excuses to fight oil wars and hegemonic wars and proxy wars in the region. But this time the dynamics look a little different.

This time it really looks as if the UK has been setting the pace of the "response".

The fact (as stated above) that Mattis was apparently telegraphing his own private doubts a)about the verifiability of the attacks, and b)about the dangers of a military response suggests he was a far from enthusiastic partaker in this adventure.

Trump's attitude is harder to gauge. His tweets veered wildly between unhinged threats and apparent efforts at conciliation. But he must have known he would lose (and seemingly has lost) a great part of his natural voter base (who elected him on a no-more-war mandate) by an act of open aggression that threatened confrontation with Russia on the flimsiest of pretexts.

Granted the US has been looking for excuses to intervene ever more overtly in Syria since 2013, and in that sense this Douma "initiative" is a continuation of their longterm policy. It's also true Russia was warning just such a false flag would be attempted in early March. But in the intervening month the situation on the ground has changed so radically that such an attempt no longer made any sense.

A false flag in early March, while pockets of the US proxy army were still holding ground in Ghouta would have enabled a possible offensive in their support which would prevent Ghouta falling entirely into government hands and thereby also maintain the pressure on Damascus. A false flag in early April is all but useless because the US proxy army in the region was completely vanquished and nothing would be gained by an offensive in that place at that time.

You can see why Mattis and others in the administration might be reluctant to take part in the false flag/punitive air strike narrative if they saw nothing currently to be gained to repay the risk. They may have preferred to wait for developments and plan for a more productive way of playing the R2P card in the future.

The US media has been similarly, and uncharacteristically divided and apparently unsure. Tucker Carlson railed against the stupidity of attacking Syria. Commentators on MSNBC were also expressing intense scepticism of the US intent and fear about possible escalation.

The UK govt and media on the other hand has been much more homogeneous in advocating for action. No doubts of the type expressed by Mattis have been heard from the lips of an UK government minister. Even May, a cowardly PM, has been (under how much pressure?) voicing sterling certitude in public that action HAD to be taken.

Couple this with the – as yet unverified – claims by Russia of direct UK involvement in arranging the Douma "attack", and the claims by Syria that the perps are in their custody, and a tentative storyline emerges. It's possible this time there were other considerations in the mix beside the usual need to "be seen to do something" and Trump's perpetual requirement to appease the liberal Russiagaters and lunatic warmongers at home. Maybe this time it was also about helping the UK out of a sticky problem.

The Skripal consideration

Probably the only thing we can all broadly agree on about the Skripal narrative is that it manifestly did not go according to plan. However it was intended to play out, it wasn't this way. Since some time in mid to late March it's been clear the entire thing has become little more than an exercise in damage-limitation, leak-plugging and general containment.

The official story is a hot mess of proven falsehoods, contradictions, implausible conspiracy theories, more falsehoods and inexplicable silences were cricket chirps tell us all we need to know.

The UK government has lied and evaded on every key aspect.

1) It lied again and again about the information Porton Down had given it

2) Its lawyers all but lied to Mr Justice Robinson about whether or not the Skripals had relatives in Russia in an unscrupulous attempt to maintain total control of them, or at least of the narrative.

3) It is not publishing the OPCW report on the chemical analyses, and the summary of that report reads like an exercise in allusion and weasel-wording. Even the name of the "toxic substance" found in the Skripals' blood is omitted, and the only thing tying it to the UK government's public claims of "novichok" is association by inference and proximity.

Indeed if current claims by Russian FM Lavrov turn out to be true, a "novichok" (whatever that precisely means in this case) may not have been the only substance found in those samples, and a compound called "BZ", a non-lethal agent developed in Europe and America, has been discovered and suppressed in the OPCW report (more about that later).

None of the alleged victims of this alleged attack has been seen in public even in passing since the event. There is no film or photographs of DS Bailey leaving the hospital, no film or photographs of his wife or family members doing the same. No interviews with Bailey, no interviews with his wife, family, distant relatives, work colleagues.

The Skripals themselves were announced to be alive and out of danger mere days after claims they were all but certain to die. Yulia, soon thereafter, apparently called her cousin Viktoria only to subsequently announce, indirectly through the helpful agency of the Metropolitan Police, that she didn't want to talk to her cousin – or anyone else – at all.

She is now allegedly discharged from hospital and has "specially trained officers helping to take care of" her in an undisclosed location. A form or words so creepily sinister it's hard to imagine how they were ever permitted the light of day.

Very little of this bizarre, self-defeating, embarrassing, hysterical story makes any sense other than as a random narrative, snaking wildly in response to events the narrative-makers can't completely control.

Why? What went wrong? Why has the UK government got itself into this mess? And how much did the Douma "gas attack" and subsequent drive for a concerted western "response" have to do with trying to fix that?

Is this what happened?

If a false flag chemical attack had taken place in Syria at the time Russia predicted, just a week or two after the Skripal poisoning, a lot of the attention that's been paid to the Skripals over the last month would likely have been diverted. Many of the questions being asked by Russia and in the alt media may never have been asked as the focus of the world turned to a possible superpower stand-off in the Middle East.

So, could it be the Skripal event was never intended to last so long in the public eye? Could it be that it was indeed a false flag, or a fake event, as many have alleged, planned as a sketchy prelude to, or warm up act for a bigger chemical attack in Syria, scheduled for a week or so later in mid-March – just around the time Russia was warning of such a possibility?

Could it be this planned event was unexpectedly canceled by the leading players in the drama (the US) when the Russians called them out and the rapid and unexpected fall of Ghouta meant any such intervention became pointless at least for the moment?

Did this cancelation leave the UK swinging in the wind, with a fantastical story that was never intended to withstand close scrutiny, and no second act for distraction?

So, did they push on with the now virtually useless "chemical attack", botch it (again), leaving a clear evidence trail leading back to them? Did they then further insist on an allied "response" to their botched false flag in order to provide yet more distraction and hopefully destroy some of that evidence?

This would explain why the UK may have been pushing for the false flag to happen (as claimed by Russia) even after it could no longer serve much useful purpose on the ground, and why the Douma "attack" seems to have been so sketchily done by a gang on the run. The UK needed the second part to happen in order to distract from the first.

It would explain why the US has been less than enthused by the idea of reprisals. Because while killing Syrians to further geo-strategic interests is not a problem, killing Syrians (and risking escalation with Russia) in order to rescue an embarrassed UK government is less appealing.

And it would explain why the "reprisals" when they came were so half-hearted.

If this is true, Theresa May and her cabinet are currently way out on a limb even by cynical UK standards. Not only have they lied about the Skripal event, but in order to cover up that lie they have promoted a false flag in Syria, and "responded" to it by a flagrant breach of international and domestic law. Worst of all, if the Russians aren't bluffing, they have some evidence to prove some of the most egregious parts of this.

This is very bad.

But even if some or all of our speculation proves false, and even if the Russian claims of UK collusion with terrorists in Syria prove unfounded, May is still guilty of multiple lies and has still waged war without parliamentary approval.

This is a major issue. She and her government should resign. But it's unlikely that will happen.

So what next? There is a sense this is a watershed for many of the parties involved and for the citizens of the countries drawn into this.

Will the usual suspects try to avoid paying for their crimes and misadventures by more rhetoric, more false flags, more "reprisals"? Or will this signal some other change in direction?

We'll all know soon enough.


andyoldlabour

D S Bailey was interviewed by the BBC after leaving the hospital, but that interview simply raised more questions. Why was his family allowed in the hospital without hazmat suits when the hospital staff were wearing them?

We were originally told that Bailey was contaminated whilst wearing police issue gloves, yet the BBC article said he was wearing a hazmat suit.
Nerve toxins kill thousands, yet only three people were initially contaminated and recovered.

Refraktor
It's beyond reasonable doubt that there was no Novichok: assuming that substance even exists. It could be that Sergei and Yulia were stooges loyal to MI5. It could be they were whacked with bz or fentanyl (by MI5) in the restaurant. That's all it would take. Of course army heads of nursing and CID officers would be circulating ready get a handle on developments. Perhaps it later became necessary to kill someone after the complete non-lethality of Novichok was revealed. Perhaps this death was really caused by heroin overdose or else something quite natural. Perhaps not. I concur that the most likely motive for this false flag was an attempt to escalate in Syria. Given the total barking insanity of the Skripal Saga it might be that NATO genuinely contemplated war with Russia at this time. When they lobbed those cruise missiles I thought their dreams were about to come true. Maniacs.
Stonky

Speaking of which, where on Earth IS Sergei Skripal?

Sergei was a double agent who could have had his finger in all sorts of dubious pies. There might easily be logical (if not legitimate) reasons for keeping him under wraps. Surely the more pertinent question is: Where is Yulia?

Because even if you swallow every fragment of the official UK nonsense, you're still left with this oddity:

Yulia Skripal is a young woman who was the completely innocent victim of a dastardly assassination plot masterminded by the evil Vlad. Having survived this attempt on her life, she has responded by deciding that she never again wants to see or speak to anyone at all. Ever.

Nick
It seems that everyone is lying about the Skripal affair. The UK govt. version is riddled with inconsistencies. But it does seem that 2 GRU officers were wandering around Salisbury. Why? And the Russians are lying about that.
Portonchok
Nick,

The likelihood is that the GRU were there to discuss with Skripal his wishes to return to Russia. There is an alternative likelihood that they were there to quiz him on his contribution to the Dodgy Dossier. Both scenarios could well lead to the British secret services deciding to take Skripal out, even down, and blame it on the Russians.

I would suggest that Skripal and his daughter are now either living somewhere else in Natoland under different identities and some money to keep them quiet, or else their existence became too awkward and risky and sadly they have been liquidated.

Stonky

But it does seem that 2 GRU officers were wandering around Salisbury. .. Why?

Nick, even accepting that the two guys were Russian intelligence operatives, there are a million explanations for their presence in Salisbury that day that make more sense than the official UK explanation: They came to assassinate Sergei Skripal by smearing the world's deadliest nerve agent on his door handle in the middle of a Sunday afternoon, while wearing no protective clothing

Jen
There is no proof that the two Russian men Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov were GRU officers. The so-called "proof" for that line of thinking comes from Bellingcat, a known propaganda outfit, who obtained the "proof" in highly suspect ways that suggest it was given cherry-picked information made to fit the narrative.

It is far more likely that out of the many tourists to Salisbury – hundreds perhaps, and many of them from Russia as well – these two men were picked out at random by UK government authorities as targets of suspicion because they happened to be travelling together and must have fit a preconceived template in which secret Russian agents (like Dmitri Kovtun and Andrei Lugovoi before them, when those two fellows were supposed to have poisoned Alexander Litvinenko back in 2006) are believed to travel in pairs.

John2o2o
Two Russians were wandering round Salisbury. That is all we know. Has it never occurred to you that the UK government and/or the people who poisoned the Skripals might be using them as convenient scapegoats? It may even be that they were deliberately lured to Salisbury to be set up in this way and had nothing to do with the poisoning.
OffG
Is there any solid evidence they were GRU? Has that ever been firmed up beyond Bellingcat's 'data dump' of largely unproven documents?
Seamus Padraig
The going theory is that the Russian agents were led into a trap. The GRU may have been made to believe somehow that Skripal intended to re-defect, and that's why they really went to Salisbury–not to assassinate him, but to help him arrange his escape. That's when the MI6 moved in for the kill, hoping to pin the crime on Russia.

To be sure, it's hard to get to the bottom of this cloak-and-dagger stuff when all we have access to is open-source information. But one thing is pretty clear to me: the idea that Russia would have allowed Skripal to defect, then waited all those years and taken crazy risks to kill him after having had him in their direct custody in a Russian prison for over 6 years, where they could have easily killed him at any time, is ridiculous.

John2o2o
They are not proven to be Russian agents.
Reg
John2o2o
No, not proven but is it possible they were low level couriers in a meeting set up by Yulia where information was to be swapped as the price as re-admittance to Russia for Sergei, particularly given Sergei's mothers advancing age.
It would explain the UK's panicked reaction as this was a meeting that must be stopped at all costs. How much would Sergei know of UK security service operations if he was still active? It would also explained why Yulia as also targeted and why there turned off their phones as they sought to shake off their UK handlers. A meeting is more credible in broad daylight than an assassination. An assassination with an escape route involving a train from Salisbury on Sunday is not credible.
It could even be that the UK security services carried out the attack in the hope of blaming Russia if the could convince them it was carried out by Russia. Having kept the OPCW away they could then interfere with the evidence at will with Novachock. They could be filmed propped up in bed blaming Russia (like Litvinenko), but they didn't play ball so have been kept incommunicado ever since apart from a a carefully scripted interview. The attacks on the other two months later could be to add credibility to a narrative that was loosing all credibility even among the general public.
JudyJ

"Having kept the OPCW away "

I always considered it was highly suspicious that the UK was most reluctant to involve the OPCW right from the outset even though that would be the normal internationally accepted practice in the circumstances; and when Russia was imploring them to do so.

Significantly, the UK only brought them into the picture (reluctantly) when they were given legal advice that Russia were entitled to invite the OPCW to investigate, and whoever issued the invitation first would have overall control of the final report (i.e. they could liaise with the OPCW in the drafting, they could redact it, and decide who was to receive copies of the full report as opposed to the summary report).

My suspicion now, knowing what we know about the OPCW Douma scandal, is that the UK were totally in cahoots with the US over the Salisbury events and when the prospect of having no option but to call in the OPCW emerged the US simply said "Don't worry about a thing. Just leave it with us. We'll sort things out".

Kathy
The British seem to me to act, hide and manipulate from behind the USA.
I think that Trump was really not meant to happen. Killery was supposed to take over the reins and continue the waging of wars in the Middle East. Syria being the immediate agenda.
The two above events both link up in an attempt to force Trump into complying. One of the connections is the attempt to try to smear Trump with the dodgy dossier. The chemical false flag was intended to provide the warmongers with enough pressure to force Trump to act and involve America against his better judgement in an all out war in Syria. luckily this became a short term token one off. Much to British annoyance.
It is the connection with the intelligence services that is key. All of these events seem to be designed to push Trump into compliance and conformity. It is the knowledge of /and his probable involvement with Christopher Steele, that suggest poor Sergey knew to much of both events, and so had to be silenced. The Skripal affair was, I think attempting a cherry on the cake demonizing of Russia with the Skripal narrative. A twist of the knife while Trump was under investigation over his supposed puppet status by/ collusion with Russia.
It seems that the latest persecution of Assange is also mostly being pushed by Britain. Assange certainly did play a big part in the narrative not playing out as planned.
crank
Remarkable that despite all that is known, an article (well, two really) like this does not meniton Israel once.
The extract from Catte's piece last year starts with the sentence, 'The neocon faction in the US is usually (and reasonably) regarded as the motivator behind much of the western aggression in the Middle East.'
The 'neocon faction' means what exactly ? Why not just say it ? It means Israel and the international power bloc aligned with Israel.
Perhaps Douma and Salisbury make more sense if they are put into a context of Israel writing and running US (and by extension, UK) foreign policies. And what of Russia's strange and often unmentioned relationship with Israel?
If anyone is serious about unwrapping the onion of lies and misdirection that passes for 'current events', then its time to consider Israel and its networks of supporters as the central focal point.
9/11 only makes sense, I would say, with this in mind. Ditto the Kennedy killings. If you think these events have significance in our present,and you genuinely stand against racist supremicism and crazed plans for world domination, then speak out about Israel before such speech is criminalised everywhere.
Dissidents_unit
Well said Crank. I have always believed Mossad had a hand in the alleged assassination attempt of the Skripals as Israel does have chemical weapons and has refused affiliation with the OPCW in order, I presume, to avoid inspections and having to decommission the chemical weapons they have. If anybody is to be accused of meddling in other nation's elections, politics etc Israel is right up there as the prime suspects – they obviously control Trump, they were caught on Video (at least a non diplomatic representative from the Israeli Embassy in the UK who branded himself as managing 'special projects') offering Joan Ryan – a Labour MP – £1m to run a smear campaign against Corbyn – which she gladly accepted. They have run continuous, spurious, ridiculous anti-Semitism claims against Corbyn and Labour which has only served to turn the public more against them and they are massacring and murdering Palestinians with impunity – all supported by the UK and USA.

I think Mossad were the Government (UK's) agents with respect to the Skripal affair. I am of the firm belief that the Skripals are both dead – after all, the UK Government cannot afford to release them so to speak. I say this because Sergei used to speak to his elderly mother in Russia if not every day, at least several times a week and he has not been in touch with her neither has Yulia. Yulia had a flat, a fiancé, a job and a wedding to arrange back in Russia – I don't believe she just walked away from all that.

Portonchok
And what of Russia's strange and often unmentioned relationship with Israel?
It's not strange at all. By far the largest group of immigrants into Israel are Russians.
John2o2o
Jews under the bed? I don't agree with your analysis. Israel has nothing to do with the Skripal poisoning. I understand your mistrust of Israel, but it is not to blame for all the ills of the world.
crank
How do you know that 'Israel had nothing to do with the Skripal poisoning' ?
You don't.
I know of no connection directly linking the events to agents of the Israeli state, but what does that mean? We don't really know any more than that the UK government story is a transparent fabrication.

If you conclude that Israel effectively runs US foreign policy then the Syrian situation has to be considered in that context. (Likewise Iran).
It's not called the Anglo-zionist empire for nothing.

Catte's article was basically a theorised link between Douma and Salisbury. Douma is in Syria, which is under attack from Israel, according to a plan drawn up in Israel decades ago, with proxy army from Neocon Washington (i.e. Israel)

mark
That's a good point. But I am struck by the leading role currently played by the UK in the recent litany of false flags and smear campaigns. The UK was a prime mover in setting up the "White Helmets" and the various Syrian gas hoaxes. Litvinenko. Skripal. The Steele Dirty Dossier. The Corbyn anti Semitism hoax. Admittedly probably with a large Zionist element.
crank
The Henry Jackson Society would be one obvious hub of neocon organisation within the UK political establishment. There surely are others that we are as yet unaware of (NB the recent Facebook revelations of political interference around the globe.)
In much the same way that the 'special relationship' between the US and Britain basically translates into Britain acting as America's de facto diplomatic poodle, HJS has long seen itself as an outpost to disseminate US neoconservative ideology in the British political establishment, media and civil society.

https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/the-american-far-right-s-trojan-horse-in-westminster-6799f442d6ce

http://spinwatch.org/images/Reports/HJS_spinwatch%20report_web_2015.pdf

JudyJ
O/T I know, but on the subject of the esteemed (!) Henry Jackson Society, I had to laugh the other day when I read about the pending departure of Alexander Yakovenko from the Russian Embassy in London.

A Dr Andrew Foxall, who (according to the Daily Mail) is the 'expert' Head of Russian Studies at the HJC, stated that it was clearly a suspicious move because ambassadorial positions are normally held for 5 or 3 years, not for the 8 years that Yakovenko had been there. He even spoon-fed us with the information that "8 is not divisible by 5 or 3" and therefore this has to be a forced move. I suggest that Dr Foxall needs to stop and think just a touch longer if he is ever asked to comment in public in future and not seriously damage whatever reputation he might claim to have. I ask you.

JudyJ
Sorry, should have made better use of my 'edit' time! HJC should of course read HJS. My proof-reading abilities are as questionable as Dr Andrew Foxall's maths!
crank
If anyone has not reviewed Christopher Bollyn's case against Israel for 9/11, I would suggest that now is the time.
Only a widespread revelation of the role of Israel in 9/11 can stop their war on Iran from proceding.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/5H9RY1N2ljA

crank
https://www.mintpressnews.com/newly-released-fbi-docs-shed-light-on-apparent-mossad-foreknowledge-of-9-11-attacks/258581/
UreKismet
There are only two viable theories about Skirpal IMO. The first is that his daughter had persuaded the old man to come home and the englanders learned this at short notice.

Sergeant Nick Bailey the thug on call that day, really screwed up the attempt to off Skirpal even poisoning himself in order to 'get' Skirpal before he met with the Russian officers who had been sent to negotiate his return home.

Proximity to English chemical weapons determined the method.

The second is also dependent on the proximity of English chemical weapons manufacturing base at Porton Downs. That is the English were responsible for training Syrian headchoppers in chemical warfare and they taught their terrorists about Novichok to false flag in Syria in a way that would make Russia appear culpable.

One of the trainee terrorists went to lunch and overheard the Skripals talking Russian & became so upset the invasion and war had been lost, he decided to poison em.

The latter doesn't fit the known facts as well as the former, but it is more credible than anything the Englander spies have offered.

Dissidents_unit
URKismet – just a comment – it turns out that the first responder apart from Nick Bailey was, in fact, the Head of Nursing of the British Army! No coincidence there I think. Either she or Nick Bailey or both are surely suspects in the administration of the toxic substance?
Wilmers31
Many people forget that Skripal took (according to wikipedia) approximately 300 other agents down with him when he was busted in Moscow.

That makes about 600 individuals (only 1 relative for each) who must be his enemies. Someone was after revenge? Whether that one was in Britain in exile or in Russia we don't know. People ignore such a large group of potential enemies.

Seamus Padraig
So why did the Russians allow the Skripals to emigrate to the UK in the first place? They had Sergei in prison for 6 years; they could have had him bumped off at any time while he was their prisoner. But for some odd reason they chose not to. Strange
Wilmers31
It was a prisoner exchange before Skripal had completed his sentence. The UK must have had an asset which Moscow really wanted, persons or . don't know. It is now time that these prisoner/spy exchanges no longer happen in secret. Why they let him out earlier is not understandable from what we know at the moment.
Wilmers31
The one thumb down is surprising. If that is for the idea to cease prisoner/spy exchanges that is somewhat silly as these exchanges do not make for happiness, as we have seen. If exchanges are so good, why not exchange Kevin Mallory with the Chinese? People need to cop the complete punishment for their crimes, you do not exchange murderers or fraudsters, either.

If the criticism is about the hundreds of people who are tempted for revenge after their cover was blown through Skripal then this is bizarre. What purpose does it serve to sweep it under the carpet that Skripal was only one person in a system? Maybe wikipedia's figure of 300 was wrong – let's have the correct figure then.

We can read in memoirs like Brian Crozier's "Free Agent" and "Gold Warriors" (Seagraves) what operations there were in Chile, Africa, Philippines etc but the many people who were involved are never mentioned. The individuals like Skripal or Crozier are the visible tips of the icebergs and it is legitimate to ask who else was involved in the operations, covert or open, legal or illegal, and who funded.

davemass
Profumo was jailed for lying to Parliament.
Surely May, and all accomplices should suffer the samne fate??
wardropper
I expect the US secret service just asked our secret service to take the initiative for once, since the US were beginning to look like the bad guys
Paul Harvey
I have privately speculated that the raison d'etre of the Skirpal farce was simply to generate the belief system and memetic narrative that Russia is currently producing chemical weapons/ nerve agents and is willing to openly use them on their perceived 'enemies' abroad (and of course that the origin of these chemical weapons, ie Novichok can 'proved' to be exclusively of Russian providence.

Why is the above important? Because if there is ever a chemical weapons attack in Syria on civilians and hundreds die and the nerve agent is 'proved' by the OPCW to be Novichok then of course Russia would get the blame for supplying the 'Assad regime' with this chemical agent. (Sarin, anthrax etc cannot be exclusively traced back to Russia, only Novichok and it alone can be, if we believe the prior Skirpal narrative).

As a side note – the story that Trump was shown images of dead English ducks and hospitalised English children in relation to the Skirpal incident makes me wonder if this was an attempt by British psychological warfare operatives to pre-program Trump and his team, so when videos eventually emerge of dead animals and hospitalised Syrian children, the link is already fixed in their mind as to what a Novichok 'attack' looks like).

One has to admit the story that surfaced last month of dead ducks/hospitalised kids images shown to Trump in relation to the Skirpal narrative was very strange to say the least.

Just as the Skirpal case 'fixed' the Novichok narrative in the MSM as exclusively of Russian providence, one can also speculate that the Douma 'Barrel Bomb' meme (and the fake OPCW Report) was another key part of the narrative – if a speculative Novichok attack occurs and footage emerges of similar containers as used in the the fake Douma chlorine attack, the OPCW can already point to the providence of the delivery system as being exclusively of Syrian military origin and the Douma events as simply a precursor to a current 'Novichok' attack (just as the Skirpal events would be used as a precursor to Russian culpability and perhaps even the suggestion of active Russian involvement in a mass chemical attack on Syrian women and children using the agent Novichok.)

Maybe this is what the Russians mean by UK involvement in Douma – maybe they worked out that the Skirpal events were a precursor to a wider false flag event to be staged down the line by elements of British military and state intelligence networks in conjunction with elements within NATO and U.S. intelligence structures.

I know this is total speculation and I provide it as food for thought and grounds for further research in reference to this article.

Panopticon
All you need to know about Skripalgate : )

https://syrianobservatoryforhumanwrongs.wordpress.com/2018/07/09/an-idiots-guide-to-the-skripal-affair/

CoryP
This was such a treat. Thanks for sharing!
wardropper
That is a tremendous piece of work. It should go down in history, but people are already forgetting Skripal's name. A truly brilliant summary.
mark
Chemical weapons have been used against the Syrian military, inflicting casualties. They have also been used routinely by the British taxpayer funded head choppers and throat slitters to terrorise civilians indiscriminately for years. As for "scant evidence of jihadists weaponizing chemicals", they have been arrested in Turkey by the Turkish police in possession of canisters of sarin nerve gas. Just one of many documented instances. But maybe this just comes from a "conspiracist mindset." Maybe it's totally irrelevant to the issue when terrorists are arrested in Turkey in possession of nerve gas.
mark
The UK taxpayer funded head choppers and throat slitters routinely seize civilians as hostages, then murder them and blame it on Assad. They have massacred entire villages then called in their chums in the BBC to film the evidence of "Assad's latest atrocity." Like they film the devastation in Gaza and try to pass it off as rocket damage in Israel. All in a day's lying for the folks at the Botty Bangers Club.
John
Isn't it odd that you used opcw findings when it matched what you want but it doesn't fit now so you're having a hissy fit! I hope horrid things happen to you fake socialist
lundiel

isn't it odd that sarin gas or even chlorine has only been used to kill their own women and children rather than the Baathist military?

No. Western media aren't going to get in a frenzy if some of Assad's soldiers are killed.

crank
isn't it odd that sarin gas or even chlorine has only been used to kill their own women and children rather than the Baathist military?

– In a word, no. Anyone with even the slightest comprehension of how psychological warfare works would understand this.

Louis Proyec – 'reader'

Maybe read more widely, or start thinking more deeply, or stop bullshitting so lamely.

Loverat
I came across a similar post Louis made on another topic a while ago.

The political language and terms used in his posts always suggest his political position is his starting point then arranging selective facts to support it. First, the classic line of attack is accusing others of 'conspiracy theorists' – a tactic used by mainstream journalists and Bellingcat and el against the academics and experts of the Syria Working Group. As said below, that does not cut it – especially now the 'conspiracy theorists' have for the umpteenth time been vindicated.

Louis, comes out with stuff like 'Baathist troops' (he uses the word 'Baathist' three times in his post as if it was somehow relevant) whereas someone normal, of genuine intelligence and independent, would use the description 'Syrian Army'. Why would you say 'Baathist troops' or use other pointless labels unless you are trying to distract from the real issues while attempting to give the impression of having some knowledge. His political posturing offers nothing by way of getting to the truth and he appears to be another self-serving armchair commentator.

mark
Maybe we could get him a job with Bellingcat.
OffG
You're embarrassing yourself, Louis. Throwing out stale ad homs like 'conspiracist' isn't enough any more. You need to up your game, deal with the developing reality or retire.
Jen
We need the other anti-Assad troll back but the danger is I might get sick of hitting him again with Yassin al-Haj's article for the New York Times where the Syrian activist admits to having stayed with the White Helmets in Ghouta in mid-2013 before fleeing to Raqqa and leaving his wife Samira Khalil behind.
Ken
Take it easy on poor old Louis; what can one expect from a fellow who probably believes that 9/11 was not a false flag either? And that one is a complete no-brainer to see.
Rhisiart Gwilym
Come on! Let's encourage the poor old fart to go on posting here. He's always good for an incredulous laugh. And he's a warning too to anyone trying to make sense of Western criminal realpolitik, an object lesson in what happens to a supposed 'radical thinker' – hah! – who drinks too deeply of the Western propaganda kool-aid, and holds the stuff down, too, until it comes time to regurgitate it as if it were 'original thinking', the poor sucker. Don't off him. He's useful as light amusement.

PS: in case you think I'm being a bit ad-hominy, I'm a poor broken down old fart myself. But I still have my wits about me, and I can still smell the stench of the West's Permanent Bullshit Blizzard when I meet it. Catch up soon Louis! Till then – thanks for all the laffs! :O)

JudyJ
" isn't it odd that sarin gas or even chlorine has only been used to kill their own women and children rather than the Baathist military?"

No, not at all odd.

1. To be clear, when you say "their own" I presume you mean the Syrian women and children who the (mainly non-Syrian) terrorists hold as captives to ensure their men folk co-operate with them, or to be used in propaganda campaigns including 'false flag' scenarios.

2. In what form would you suggest the Jihadi murderers might be tempted to use chlorine in a way capable of killing opposition soldiers? Chlorine is essentially an unpleasant irritant if misused. To kill, it would have to be administered in an enclosed space where there was no means of escape for the victims.

3. We are constantly being fed the lie that the terrorists don't have sarin so it would be rather foolish of them to deploy it against opposition soldiers. Even they've worked that one out.

4. The terrorists are mercenaries paid by western agencies whose primary function is to carry out acts to discredit the Assad Government, thereby providing an ultimate excuse for military action to overthrow the Assad Government. The most obvious way to do this is to murder, as you so sensitively express it, "a bunch of Syrians" in a way that the West finds appropriate to point the finger at the Assad Government and its Russian allies.

This all makes a lot more sense than the idea that the Syrian Government assisted by the Russians would choose to murder innocent Syrian civilians, not least by using outlawed chemical weapons, and incur the wrath of western powers at the point when they were succeeding in defeating the terrorists with relative ease.

WeatherEye
Fantastic piece. The leaked report confirms what many analysts on the left have been saying, including myself. https://flashpointssite.wordpress.com/2019/05/17/chemical-attack-on-dhouma-foam-lies-and-videotape-weathereye/

[Jun 26, 2019] How the OPCW's investigation of the Douma incident was nobbled - Working Group on Syria by Paul McKeigue, David Miller, Jake Mason, Piers Robinson

Notable quotes:
"... The Douma investigation included external consultations with engineering experts and toxicologists. The Final Report does not present the results of these consultations in their original form. The exclusion of the FFM's own Engineering Assessment raises suspicion that other assessments may have been omitted or distorted. ..."
"... As we have previously noted, if the Douma attack was staged the only plausible explanation for the deaths of the victims is that they were murdered as captives by the opposition group in control of Douma at the time. ..."
Jun 25, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Members of Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media 25 June 2019

1 Summary
2 Introduction
3 The Fact-Finding Mission in Syria
4 The boss: Sébastien Braha
5 The Team Leader: Sami Barrek
6 The freelance: Len Phillips
7 The interim and final reports
8 Distortion of evidence in earlier reports where Phillips was FFM Team Leader
8.1 Idlib 2015: refrigerant canisters
8.2 Khan Shaykhun 2017: recorded times of hospital admissions
8.3 Ltamenah 2017: intact sarin persisting after months in the open
9 UK-led information operations associated with alleged chemical attacks
9.1 Ministry of Defence: Targeting and Information Operations
9.2 ARK, Basma, Mayday Rescue and the White Helmets
9.3 SecureBio and the CBRN Task Force
9.4 UK communicators
10 A next step: replication of the engineering studies
11 Role of external engineering experts and toxicologists
12 Acknowledgements

1 Summary

2 Introduction

In response to our release of the suppressed Engineering Assessment, OPCW management produced three explanations in the space of ten days:

  1. The Engineering Assessment "is not part of any of the material produced by the FFM" and Ian Henderson "has never been a member of the FFM". ( Deepti Choubey , 11 May)
  2. Henderson was "on the sidelines of the FFM", but his report was "a dissenting assessment" and "his findings were considered but were a minority opinion as final report was written" (off-the-record briefings to Scott Lucas and Brian Whitaker , 16 May). The Director-General, answering a question on 6 June, confirmed that the Engineering Assessment "was considered and it was analysed, it was part of the investigation", thus contradicting Choubey's email of 11 May).
  3. Henderson was in Douma "to provide temporary support to the FFM" but the Engineering Assessment was excluded because it "came too close to attributing responsibility, and thus fell outside the scope of the FFM's mandate." (Whitaker's "informed source" , quoted 24 May). This was the explanation given by the Director-General in a "Briefing for States Parties" on 28 May: Henderson "was tasked with temporarily assisting the FFM" but his report was "outside of the mandate of the FFM with regard to the formulation of its findings."

These three mutually contradictory excuses bring to mind Sigmund Freud's story of the defences offered by a man who was accused by his neighbour of having returned a kettle in a damaged condition:

In the first place, he had returned the kettle undamaged; in the second place it already had holes in it when he borrowed it; and in the third place, he had never borrowed it at all.

This fumbling response to the release of the document casts doubt on the Director-General's statement that the OPCW first became aware in March 2019 that it might have leaked. No leak investigation was launched at this time. It is however evident that by 14 March 2019 several delegations at the OPCW were aware that there was dissent among FFM team members. A commentary by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted that the Executive Council on 14 March had blocked the Russian proposal to hold a briefing with "all without exception experts of the OPCW Mission" and commented that "such a briefing could reveal very serious inconsistencies in the anti-Syrian conclusions in the Final Report". A gloating tweet from the Netherlands delegation that the Russian proposal had been voted down with "only 5 votes in favour" was retweeted by the Canadian and UK delegations.

The explanations by the Director-General of how the FFM took into account the findings of the Engineering Assessment are somewhat contradictory. In a prepared statement on 28 May he indicated that the FFM report used the raw data collected by Henderson's sub-team but relied for analysis on the assessments of the three "external experts" who analysed these data:

This is what the FFM did with the information included in the publicly disclosed document; all available information was examined, weighed and deliberated. Diverse views were expressed, discussed and considered against the overall facts and evidence collected and analysed. With regard to the ballistics data collected by the FFM, they were analysed by three external experts commissioned by the FFM, and working independently from one another. In the end, while using different methods and instruments, they all reached the same conclusions that can be found in the FFM Final Report.

In an unscripted panel discussion at a conference on 6 June he appeared to imply that the Engineering Assessment had been considered but rejected as "not fit to the conclusion".

all the information given by any inspectors is considered but sometimes it is not fit to the conclusion. This information [the Engineering Assessment] was considered and was analysed, it was part of the investigation

Either of these explanations undermines the OPCW's credibility. If, as the briefing on 28 May indicated, the authors of the Final Report had excluded the OPCW's internal engineering assessment from consideration, relying only on the assessments of experts who had not inspected the sites or examined the cylinders, this would have been difficult to justify. If, as the Director-General indicated on 6 June, the authors of the Final Report had considered Henderson's assessment along with the three external assessments and decided in favour of the three external assessments, their failure to mention the existence of an internal assessment that was discordant with the other three assessments might reasonably be considered fraudulent. We might doubt also that the authors of the Final Report, having excluded the FFM's own engineering subteam, would have had the expertise required to make such a judgement. The rationale that Henderson's assessment was outside the mandate of the FFM appears to have been constructed at a later stage as a way out of this dilemma.

If we are to believe the Director-General, all three external engineering assessments independently reached the conclusions in the Final Report that at Location 2:

the damage observed is consistent with the creation of the aperture observed in the terrace by the cylinder found in that location.

and that at Location 4:

after passing through the ceiling, the cylinder continued altered trajectory, until reaching the position in which it was found.

As noted below, the Director-General has asked "civil society" to "believe in what we do". A first step towards restoring belief in the integrity of the OPCW's investigations would be to make the reports from all three external engineering consultancies publicly available.

The Director-General's briefing does not spell out how the Engineering Assessment was deemed to be "outside of the mandate of the FFM with regard to the formulation of its findings." The Technical Secretariat's response to Russian criticisms, dated 21 May, spells out more specifically its contention that to assess how the cylinders arrived at their respective locations was outside the mandate of the FFM:

the FFM report does not elaborate in any part on the "high probability that both cylinders were placed at Locations 2 and 4 manually rather than dropped from an aircraft". In fact, this type of information is deemed outside of the mandate and methodology of the FFM.

We reiterate that this argument is fallacious, and quote our last briefing note :

OPCW stated that "The FFM's mandate is to determine whether chemical weapons or toxic chemicals as weapons have been used in Syria." In Douma this could be reduced to deciding between two alternatives: (1) the gas cylinders were dropped from the air, implying that they were used as chemical weapons; (2) the cylinders were placed in position, implying that the incident was staged and that no chemical attack had occurred. Although to conclude that alternative (2) was correct would implicate the opposition, this would not be attribution of blame for a chemical attack but rather a determination that chemical weapons had not been used.

As Hitchens has noted , the contention that evidence that the cylinders were manually placed rather than dropped from the air would be "outside of the mandate and methodology of the FFM" contradicts explicit statements in the Interim Report and the Final Report. For instance the Interim Report had stated that "Work is ongoing to assess how the cylinders arrived at their respective locations". Hitchens commented that "I don't think the people who dreamed up this particular escape clause have thought through their ideas very well." the OPCW has not responded to his request for clarification.

In what appears to be a reference to the Working Group, the Director-General complained on 6 June that:

We are attacked with misinformation, with proxies that produced reports to undermine an official report of the Fact-Finding Mission about investigations in Syria, and I ask you, civil society, to believe in what we do.

The "misinformation" was not specified: we should welcome rebuttals showing, with direct quotations and references to original sources, where we have disseminated misinformation. The suggestion that we are "proxies" is a smear of the kind that we have become accustomed to. As for "civil society", if that term means anything it would include entities like the Working Group, whose members collaborate in their spare time unpaid to ask questions that academics in the field of arms control and all but a few corporate journalists have failed to ask. We are well aware that most staff in the OPCW continue to work professionally for the organization's mission of upholding the Chemical Weapons Convention. It should now be evident to OPCW staff, including those in senior management positions, that unless the capture of the Technical Secretariat by the France-UK-US-led alliance of States Parties is reversed, the future of the organization is at risk.

We now report on how the OPCW reports purporting to be the findings of the Fact-Finding Mission investigating the Douma incident were prepared. This is based on combining open source material with information communicated to us by OPCW staff members, whose identities we shall protect.

3 The Fact-Finding Mission in Syria

As we noted in an earlier briefing, the Chemical Weapons Convention (Part XI of the Verification Annex, "Investigations in cases of alleged use of chemical weapons") lays down strict procedures for investigations of alleged use, and does not empower OPCW management to interfere in such an investigation once the inspection team has been selected and dispatched. In April 2014, when the first alleged chlorine attacks were reported from opposition-held areas, the Director-General decided to create a new operation designated the "Fact-Finding Mission in Syria", with a mandate "to establish the facts surrounding allegations of the use of toxic chemicals, reportedly chlorine, for hostile purposes in the Syrian Arab Republic." This was announced on 29 April 2014, before any meeting of the Executive Council had considered it. The first report of the FFM stated that:

the establishment of the FFM was based on the general authority of the OPCW Director-General to seek to uphold at all times the object and purpose of the Chemical Weapons Convention;

This mechanism allowed the Technical Secretariat to set its own rules and procedures for the investigation of alleged chemical attacks in Syria. The first Team Leader of the Fact-Finding Mission was Malik Ellahi , who had been Political Adviser to the Director-General. After coming under fire in May 2014 when attempting an on-site inspection in opposition-held territory, the FFM resorted to collecting evidence in Turkey, with witnesses and materials provided by opposition-linked NGOs.

In early 2015 the Fact-Finding Mission was split into two: Team Alpha, headed by Len Phillips, and Team Bravo, headed by Steven Wallis. This arrangement was criticized by the Russian envoy to the OPCW who complained on 14 April 2017 that:

Under the mandate defined for [ the Fact-Finding Mission ] , its membership should be approved by the Syrian government, and it should be balanced. For some time, these provisions were observed somewhat, but then the mission was split into two groups. One [Team Bravo], led by Steven Wallis from Britain, works in contact with the Syrian government, while the other one [Team Alpha], headed by his fellow countryman Leonard Phillips, deals with the claims filed by the Syrian armed opposition. This latter group is working completely non-transparently. Its membership is classified, and no one knows where it goes or how it operates. They are allegedly using the same methodology as Steven Wallis's group, but they are clearly working mostly remotely, relying on the internet and the fabrications provided by Syrian opposition NGOs, and never go to Syria. At least, we are not aware of a single such trip.

In January 2018 Phillips was replaced as leader of Team Alpha by Sami Barrek. In January 2019 both teams were merged and Boban Cekovic , a former inspector who had worked as a decontamination specialist in the Serbian Ministry of Defence before joining OPCW, was rehired to become the Head of the Fact-Finding Mission.

On 23 January 2018 an initiative named the International Partnership against Impunity for Chemical Weapons was launched at a meeting in Paris. A leaked diplomatic telegram from the British diplomat Benjamin Norman indicated that the second meeting of the secret Small Group on Syria (representing France, UK, US, Saudi and Jordan) was to be held on the sidelines of this meeting, following the first meeting of this group on 12 January in Washington at which the US had confirmed its intention to maintain a significant military presence in Syria. On 4 February 2018 an alleged chemical attack was reported in Saraqib. We have commented elsewhere on the anomalies in the subsequent FFM report which concluded that in this incident "chlorine, released from cylinders through mechanical impact, was likely used as a chemical weapon". The International Partnership against Impunity for Chemical Weapons, to which 38 countries signed up, laid the basis for a UK-tabled resolution passed by the Conference of States Parties on 27 June 2018 deciding that:

the Secretariat shall put in place arrangements to identify the perpetrators of the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic by identifying and reporting on all information potentially relevant to the origin of those chemical weapons in those instances in which the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission in Syria determines or has determined that use or likely use occurred, and cases for which the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism has not issued a report.

We note in passing that the FFM report on the Douma incident did not determine that "use or likely use" of a chemical weapon occurred, but used the more diffident wording "reasonable grounds".

On the basis of this resolution the Technical Secretariat established another operation that had not been provided for in the Chemical Weapons Convention, designated the Investigation and Identification Team (IIT). The newly-appointed director of the IIT, Santiago Oñate, who had been the legal adviser and later special adviser to the OPCW since 2004, cannot be a line manager (under OPCW rules about tenure, he can be employed only as a consultant). This implies that the staff of the IIT report to the Chief of Cabinet. The Principal Investigator of the IIT is Elise Coté , a Second Secretary at the Canadian embassy in The Hague. This is an obvious conflict of interest, as the Canadian government is strongly opposed to the Syrian government and maintains that "use of chemical weapons" by the Syrian government is an established fact for which it should be "held accountable". 4 The boss: Sébastien Braha

OPCW management are collectively referred to as "the first floor", where they have their offices. The current Director-General has a mostly ceremonial role (as was evident from his confused answers in a panel discussion on 6 June), and the effective boss of the OPCW is the Chief of Cabinet, Sébastien Braha, who has been a French diplomat since 2006 and served as the deputy French Permanent Representative to the OPCW from September 2014 onwards. On 22 May 2019, when one of us tweeted a screenshot of his Linkedin profile, this profile showed him to be still in this diplomatic post. Within a few days his profile was updated to show that he left his diplomatic post in July 2018 when he took up his post as Chief of Cabinet. Our sources report that even before he took up his post as an employee of the OPCW, he was frequently in the building giving instructions on expectations from his capital to the Technical Secretariat. 5 The Team Leader: Sami Barrek

The timeline of the Final Report records that the Team Leader "redeployed for information gathering activities from all other available sources" on 17 April 2018 three days after the team had arrived in Damascus, leaving the Deputy Team Leader in charge. A posting dated 22 April 2018 by a pro-government Syrian journalist writing as "Military Zonex" had reported this with more details:

the OPCW special mission headed by Mamadou Yerbanga continues its work in Syrian Douma. The previous head, Saami Barek was called off to another mission, to Turkey, due to unknown reasons. Earlier, the Syrian opposition claimed that Bashar Al Assad used chemical ammunition in Idlib. They also said that the ammunition fragments had been sent to Turkey. It is likely that Saami Barek (from Tunisia) is now in Turkey or at the north of Syria to help the opposition in gathering 'evidences' to blame the Syrian government in using chemical weapon. The Tunisian is likely to have established contacts with "White Helmets" - the organization, which has many times been caught in making fake videos demonstrating 'outcomes' of use of chemical weapon by the Syrian army.

We have confirmed from other sources that the Team Leader who left Damascus was Sami Barrek and that he was subsequently seen in Turkey with the White Helmets. As we pointed out, it is surprising that the Team Leader was suddenly redeployed from on-site inspections to take charge of information gathering activities elsewhere that would have far less evidential value. We have not been able to confirm that the Syrian opposition claimed a chemical attack in Idlib at this time, as Military Zonex reported.

Sami Barrek, originally Tunisian, has a background in analytical chemistry. His affiliation on a paper published in 2009 was with a lab in France. He joined the OPCW as an inspector in January 2010. OPCW employment contracts are term-limited to seven years, though for some inspectors these limits were extended or they were retained on Special Service Agreements (equivalent to consultancy contracts). Some former inspectors were re-hired for up to three years.

The Twitter account @samibarrek was set up in April 2013 but has never tweeted. One of its few followers is @LenP91535865 , an account set up in June 2018. Examination shows that this is Len Phillips , the leader of FFM Team Alpha from 2015 to 2017. As Sami Barrek's account has never tweeted, there is no obvious reason for Phillips to follow it other than to allow private messaging. Phillips's twitter account @LenP91535865 has two followers excluding a relative and authors of this article: the second follower was Sébastien Braha. As the 48 brief tweets posted by Phillips from June 2018 to May 2019 are unlikely to be of wide interest, the most plausible reason for Braha to have followed Phillips's twitter account would have been to allow private messaging. Phillips also follows Braha's twitter account.

We can thus identify what appear to be arrangements for private communication between three people: Barrek, the leader of the FFM team investigating the Douma incident; Phillips, working for the OPCW during 2018 as a freelance; and Braha, the Chief of Cabinet. This itself is not necessarily anything untoward (unless they were using this channel to communicate on OPCW matters) but it leads us to examine the possible role of Phillips. 6 The freelance: Len Phillips

Phillips's Linkedin biography records that after obtaining degrees in chemistry and engineering he worked for twelve years in the chemical industry. His last job in industry was as a process engineer at the Associated Octel plant in Anglesey, which closed in 2003 with the loss of 100 jobs. In January 2008 he began working as an inspector for the OPCW in The Hague, and was promoted to Inspection Team Leader in January 2011. Phillips's bio records for this period that he:

Led fact finding mission team and reported on allegations in Idlib, Spring 2015; Marea, August 2015; Khan Shaykhun, April 2017, Ltamenah, 30 March 2017.

These investigations were based on interviews with White Helmets in Turkey and materials that they provided. We have been told that Phillips met regularly in Turkey with James Le Mesurier, founder of the White Helmets. His biography records that after a sabbatical during the first quarter of 2018 he was from April 2018 a self-employed "Chemical investigations Consultant, with particular focus on use of chemicals as weapons".

On 8 April 2019 Phillips registered a UK company named PhBG Consultants Ltd , with an address in Anglesey. Although the incorporation document records that Phillips is sole director and sole shareholder, the acronym "PhBG" and the plural form "Consultants" in the company name suggest that there may be a partner. The "Nature of Business" registered for this company appears rather close to what an OPCW investigation might commission from "engineering experts".

66210 - Risk and damage evaluation 70229 - Management consultancy activities other than financial management 71122 - Engineering related scientific and technical consulting activities

Phillips's Linkedin profile lists two "Interests" apart from his old universities and the OPCW: the UK Government's Stabilisation Unit, and Bellingcat. On Twitter, Phillips appears to interact with Eliot Higgins and follows three other Bellingcat-associated accounts. He follows accounts associated with three opposition-linked NGOs that have provided evidence of alleged chemical attacks to FFM Team Alpha: the White Helmets, the Chemical Violations Documentation Centre Syria, and the Syrian American Medical Society. The first follower of the twitter account @LenP91535865 was Fahad Abu Waleed ( @c8ll08TZ3FM6e2s , joined in July 2018), who (front row, third from the right in a group photo ) had been based in Douma as a White Helmet and was affiliated to Jaish al-Islam, the opposition group in control of Douma up to April 2018. This affiliation is documented by a Facebook post dated 25 December 2016, in which Fahad commemorated "the first anniversary of the martydom" of Zahran Alloush, the notoriously brutal and sectarian leader of Jaish al-Islam, with the words "my sheikh and higher in the heavens". We note with unease that of the tweets during 2018 "liked" by Fahad, several were announcements of the evacuation of White Helmets to Jordan and their impending relocation to the UK. 7 The interim and final reports

As we pointed out in an earlier briefing note , when the Interim Report and the Final Report on the Douma investigation were examined together, there were several indicators of interference with the investigation:

Our sources have provided information that fills in some details of how the investigation was nobbled. An internal note shared among OPCW staff members dated 23 June 2018 stated that:

the OPCW report on the alleged chemical attack in Douma Syria on 7 April is currently under review by management. As it is currently drafted, the report indicates a high degree of probability that the alleged chemical attack was staged by an opposition group.

The note concluded:

I predict that the OPCW simply will not be allowed to issue a report that raises any doubts on the pre-judged guilty party.

What happened at this stage, leading to the release of an unsigned Interim Report with only lab results, was not transparent to FFM team members. From then onwards the investigation proceeded in secrecy, nominally led by Barrek, with all the FFM team members who had deployed to Douma excluded. The Director-General's statement that Henderson "was tasked with temporarily assisting the FFM" could be applied to all these team members; they do not know who wrote what was released as the final Report of the Fact-Finding Mission . It is presumed that Barrek as Team Leader up to the end of 2018 and Cekovic as Head of the FFM from the beginning of 2019 were the formal lead authors.

OPCW staff members have told us that the subsequent investigation involved consultation with Len Phillips, who was frequently seen in the building with Barrek during the summer of 2018. There is indirect corroboration of his role from his Twitter account:

8 Distortion of evidence in earlier reports where Phillips was FFM Team Leader

In the light of what we have learned about the role of Phillips in the FFM investigation of the Douma incident, it is relevant to examine his track record in three earlier FFM investigations of alleged chemical attacks where he was the Team Leader: these are Idlib (2015) , Khan Shaykhun (2017) , and Ltamenah where two FFM reports were issued: one on an alleged attack on 30 March 2017 (released 2 November 2017) , and the other on alleged attacks on 24 March and 25 March 2017, (released 13 June 2018) .

8.1 Idlib 2015: refrigerant canisters

In March 2015 a series of alleged chlorine attacks began in Idlib. The Report of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission in Syria regarding alleged incidents in the Idlib Governorate of the Syrian Arab Republic between 16 March and 20 May 2015 concluded that:

several incidents that occurred in the Idlib Governorate of the Syrian Arab Republic between 16 March 2015 and 20 May 2015 likely involved the use of one or more toxic chemicals – probably containing the element chlorine – as a weapon.

Larson has examined in detail the contradictions in the story of the most widely-publicized of these incidents: the alleged attack in Sarmin on 16 March 2015 that led to the deaths of the Taleb family. We shall focus specifically on the alleged munitions.

Images from the sites of these alleged attacks showed canisters of R22 (a hydrochlorofluorocarbon refrigerant) and half-litre plastic bottles containing a purple substance that was later identified as potassium permanganate. Potassium permanganate reacts with hydrochloric acid to produce chlorine; this is a convenient and safe way to produce small quantities of chlorine in a laboratory. R22 itself is non-toxic, with or without mixing with permanganate.

The FFM report included a drawing of the alleged munition, made up of R22 canisters and bottles of potassium permanganate wrapped in detonating cord and enclosed in a steel barrel. It should have been clear to Phillips, as a chemical process engineer, that this device was implausible as a munition, as there is no mechanism for the potassium permanganate to mix with the contents of the canisters before the device is detonated. Binary chemical munitions are designed to mix the precursors in flight or before launch. More specifically, the FFM report omitted a key fact that was later noted by the Joint Investigative Mechanism's report : the R22 canisters are disposable and their repurposing or refilling would require technical modification of the valve. Phillips's FFM report did not mention this, though the FFM had been provided with several canisters allegedly used in these munitions. If the canisters could not have been refilled with something else, they could not have been used in chemical munitions either on their own or with potassium permanganate. 8.2 Khan Shaykhun 2017: recorded times of hospital admissions

In the Khan Shaykhun incident on 4 April 2017, a Syrian jet was alleged to have dropped a sarin-containing munition on the town, causing the deaths of at least 70 people who were seen from about 7 am onwards being hosed down by the White Helmets outside their base in a cave complex near the town, and later laid out in morgues. The Joint Investigative Mechanism's investigation of the incident reported that a flight map (presumably provided by the US military) showed that the Syrian jet had passed no closer than 5 km from the town, effectively ruling out an airstrike as the explanation for the incident. Although the FFM did not have access to this flight map, it ignored other observations that should have cast serious doubt on whether a chemical attack had occurred as described. One of these observations was the recorded times of hospital admissions. The report of the Joint Investigative Mechanism noted that hospital records showed admission times before the alleged attack occurred.

The Mechanism received the medical records of 247 patients from Khan Shaykhun who had been admitted to various health-care facilities, Analysis of the records revealed that in 57 cases, patients had been admitted to five hospitals before the incident (at 0600, 0620 and 0640 hours). In 10 of those cases, patients appear to have been admitted to a hospital 125 km away from Khan Shaykhun at 0700 hours, while another 42 patients appear to have been admitted to a hospital 30 km away at 0700 hours. The Mechanism did not investigate those discrepancies and cannot determine whether they are linked to any possible staging scenario or are the result of poor record-keeping in chaotic conditions."

The FFM had reported that they received "699 pages of records (including autopsies, medical records, death certificates and other patient information)" and that:

The team collected a number of patient records, death certificates, and other medical documents from medical facilities throughout northern Syria, collected from medical NGOs, the Idlib Health Directorate (IHD), and the Khan Shaykhun Medical Centre.

The records from the Idlib Health Directorate covered 292 exposed individuals including 50 fatalities. If most of these fatal cases were recorded as not admitted to health-care facilities, the number of medical records collected by the FFM matches approximately the number received by the Mechanism, implying that these sets of records were largely the same. Whatever may be the explanation for the inconsistency of the recorded admission times with the time of the alleged attack, the failure of the FFM to mention it casts doubt on the reliability and integrity of the report. 8.3 Ltamenah 2017: intact sarin persisting after months in the open

The Report of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission in Syria regarding alleged incidents in Ltamenah on 24 and 25 March 2017 dated 13 June 2018 concluded that "sarin was very likely used as a chemical weapon in the south of Ltamenah on 24 March 2017" and that "chlorine was very likely used as a chemical weapon at Ltamenah Hospital and the surrounding area on 25 March 2017". Witnesses of the alleged incident on 25 March 2017 reported that a gas cylinder dropped from the air had pierced the roof of the Ltamenah cave hospital, causing three deaths. Chlorinated organic molecules had been found in samples from this attack but so had sarin degradation products on the clothes of one of the victims. The FFM attributed the sarin degradation products to secondary contamination from a previously unreported sarin attack the day before in which two munitions had allegedly fallen on agricultural land outside the town.

Environmental samples from the alleged incident on 24 March 2017 were received by the FFM team eleven months later on 19 February 2018, after the White Helmets had been prompted to provide them in an "interview process" that had started at the end of July 2017:

Based on information supplied during interviews, the FFM identified munition parts that were of potential interest in relation to the alleged incident of 24 March 2017 and arranged for their collection by an NGO. As a result, further environmental samples, including remnants of alleged munition parts, were received by the FFM team on 19 February 2018.

Surprisingly, despite the delay in obtaining these samples, they were found to contain intact sarin as well as sarin degradation products. Even if the White Helmets had collected the munition parts immediately after the "interview process", sealed them and stored them in a freezer till February 2018, they would still have been lying in the open for at least 15 weeks. A review of studies by western defence research establishments shows that intact sarin does not persist in the open for more than one or two days in warm weather. While it is possible that intact sarin could persist for longer than this, for instance between surfaces or adsorbed, the report does not provide any such explanation, or even record the date when these samples were purportedly collected. As chemistry graduates trained to inspect chemical weapons, Phillips and his successor Barrek could be expected to be aware that this was a key point in evaluating whether there had been a sarin attack as alleged.

As no reports or images of the incident on 24 March 2017 appeared at the time, sceptics might doubt that it happened, and might even suspect collusion between the FFM team and the White Helmets in coming up with this explanation, at least three months later, for the presence of sarin degradation products in the samples from the alleged chlorine attack on 25 March. A more plausible explanation for the presence of sarin degradation products in environmental samples from an opposition base on 25 March is that preparations were being made for the incident in Khan Shaykhun on 4 April.

In summary, in the reports of these three investigations by FFM Team Alpha when Phillips was Team Leader, there are indications that evidence favouring staging over a chemical attack was ignored or distorted. This strengthens the case for retracting all these reports, not just the Final Report on the Douma incident, and allowing independent reassessment of the material collected. 9 UK-led information operations associated with alleged chemical attacks

From combining all available information, it is now clear that several entities involved in reporting and documenting alleged chemical attacks have their origin in a covert programme launched by the UK government in 2012. In this programme, like a low-budget theatrical production, the same actors reappear in different roles. For instance Hamish de Bretton-Gordon (HdBG) appears successively as covert agent collecting samples for Porton Down , as independent chemical weapons expert quoted in the media, as the founder of a small business setting up an NGO to collect evidence for the OPCW, and from 2016, described as a "former spy" , in the role of a humanitarian worker coordinating a network of hospitals . It is likely that this programme would have attempted to co-opt OPCW staff, especially UK nationals.

9.1 Ministry of Defence: Targeting and Information Operations

In June 2012 the UK government established a covert StratCom programme on the Syrian conflict, overseen by former Lt-Col Kevin Stratford-Wright in the Targeting and Information Operations directorate of the Ministry of Defence, later renamed as Military Strategic Effects. Stratford-Wright described this programme as "the UK's largest of its kind since the Cold War". Metadata revealed that tender documents for provision of media operations for the "moderate armed opposition", issued in 2013 by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, were created by Stratford-Wright. This contract was eventually awarded to a company named InCoStrat set up by Paul Tilley, another former Lt-Col who had been working with Stratford-Wright in the Targeting and Information Operations directorate. 9.2 ARK, Basma, Mayday Rescue and the White Helmets

An early step was the establishment in Istanbul of a company named Access Resource Knowledge (ARK) by Alistair Harris, a former FCO diplomat, together with a pro-opposition media outlet named Basma. Basma was the media source for the first alleged chemical attack in Homs in December 2012. As the "stabilisation and development" company ARK Group DMCC based in Dubai, ARK has received £19 million from the FCO since July 2015. The "Mayday Rescue" operation headed by Le Mesurier was spun out of ARK, where Le Mesurier worked . According to publicly available FCO expenditure records, a total of £43 million was paid to "Mayday Rescue" between May 2015 and October 2018, not to the non-profit Stichting Mayday Rescue Foundation registered in the Netherlands but to the company Mayday Rescue FZ-LLC established in 2014 and based in Dubai. 9.3 SecureBio and the CBRN Task Force

In April 2012, the company SecureBio set up a year earlier by HdBG became active with a new split of equity , and a separate company SecureBio Forensics was created. HdBG became prominent during 2013 in his overt role as an expert commentator on chemical weapons, and (as he revealed ) in a covert role collecting samples from Syria for analysis at Porton Down and its French counterpart at Le Bouchet. He went on to establish a CBRN Task Force that provided apparently fabricated evidence of a chlorine attack in Talmenes to the FFM in 2014. He subsequently became affiliated with the ostensibly humanitarian NGOs UOSSM and Doctors under Fire . Recently he disseminated a story of an alleged chlorine attack in Idlib on 19 May 2018, shortly after it was first reported by a media outlet linked to the rebranded al-Qaeda affiliate Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. 9.4 UK communicators

We have noted the role of Brian Whitaker in 2012 when he promoted the blogger Eliot Higgins to prominence as a self-taught expert on the munitions used in the Syrian conflict. Higgins would later be acclaimed as the open source investigator who documented munitions found at the sites of alleged chemical attacks in 2013. Whitaker was the first journalist to devote an article to attacking the Working Group, in February 2018 when its only collective output had been a brief blog post. In May 2019 he took on a new role in channelling an "informed source" within the OPCW.

Professor Scott Lucas 's communications in support of UK foreign policy appear to date back to the establishment of his website Enduring America in October 2008, at a time when UK diplomats were privately expressing concern that the incoming Obama administration might seek an agreement with Iran. Lucas persistently attacked two US foreign policy experts, Hillary Mann and Flynt Leverett, who advocated a US-Iran rapprochement. He stated in a tweet on 16 May 2019 that he had been "developing info/contacts re OPCW process on Syria since 2013". In a tweet on 30 April 2019, he revealed that "One of privileges of this job is meeting a lot of wonderful people on ground who, at risk to themselves, want to get story out. So that is why I have 'facts', in and beyond OPCW report." It is not clear what he meant by "this job", or why anyone whose honest intention was to "get story out" would choose Lucas as an outlet. 10 A next step: replication of the engineering studies

As we have noted , the Final Report recorded that the Syrian government retained custody of the two cylinders used for the internal Engineering Assessment, after they were tagged and sealed by "FFM team members" (presumably the engineering sub-team) on 4 June 2018. With access to the cylinders, and to open source records of observations at the locations where they were found, it should be possible to establish whether the findings of the engineering sub-team can be replicated, and to determine which of the two alternative hypotheses – dropped from aircraft or manually placed – is supported.

Such a study could be undertaken by an international panel of impact engineering experts, hosted by a university department with access to supercomputing facilities, and published in accordance with modern scientific standards for reproducible research so that all raw data and computer code used to generate the results are made freely available. For such a report to be credible it would have to be independent of the OPCW, although the IIT could be invited to participate and to provide the measurements taken by FFM team members at the locations where the cylinders were found. The IIT has no expertise to undertake or assess studies in this specialized field. The forthcoming meeting of the Executive Council would be an appropriate occasion to table such a proposal, on the basis that the proposed replication study will proceed with or without OPCW participation. 11 Role of external engineering experts and toxicologists

The Douma investigation included external consultations with engineering experts and toxicologists. The Final Report does not present the results of these consultations in their original form. The exclusion of the FFM's own Engineering Assessment raises suspicion that other assessments may have been omitted or distorted. We are sceptical of the Director-General's statement that all three external engineering consultants "reached the same conclusions that can be found in the FFM final report". It is evident also that the opinions of the toxicologists have not been presented accurately. The explanation given in the Final Report for why the victims did not attempt to escape is that they were exposed to "an agent capable of quickly killing or immobilising". Toxicologists would have been well aware that chlorine from a cylinder on the roof could not have done this, and would have said so. We invite the Technical Secretariat, if it really believes that it can stand by the FFM report on the Douma investigation, to take a step towards restoring the credibility of the OPCW by making public all the reports provided by engineering experts and toxicologists who were consulted during this investigation. We do not expect the Technical Secretariat to do this, and therefore we appeal to those who have access to the records of these consultations to make these documents publicly available.

As we have previously noted, if the Douma attack was staged the only plausible explanation for the deaths of the victims is that they were murdered as captives by the opposition group in control of Douma at the time. The visual evidence of this has been examined elsewhere . In most civilian and military jurisdictions, the duty to disclose a cover-up of such a crime would override any confidentiality agreement with an employer or with another organization.

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