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Russia rejects any closed-door discussion of Syrian chemical case at UN Security Council

Press TV – January 25, 2021

Russia’s permanent ambassador to the United Nations says Moscow will oppose any attempt to return to closed-door discussions on the purported use of chemical arms in Syria at the UN Security Council.

Vassily Nebenzia, the permanent representative of the Russian Federation to the UN, said on Monday that the United Kingdom, which will become the head of the Council for the month of February, has proposed to return to discussing Syria’s chemical case behind closed doors.

He added, in an interview with TASS news agency, that such discussions would be held “without video conference and also without the participation of the representative of Syria, but we’ll oppose that.”

“With our initiative, these sessions have become open, and we do not see why they should hide from the public community,” Nebenzia further said, as cited by Syria’s official SANA news agency.

The Russian envoy said the international community must be aware of what is going on about the chemical file in Syria, “so we would insist that the meeting be open.”

The Syrian government surrendered its stockpiles of chemical weapons in 2013 to a joint mission led by the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which oversaw the destruction of the weaponry.

However, Western governments and their allies have never stopped pointing the finger at Damascus whenever an apparent chemical attack has taken place.

Damascus has time and again strongly denied any use of chemical weapons, saying it is not in possession of such weapons and remains committed to cooperating with OPCW.

On January 5, Syria lambasted Western pressure aimed at forcing the OPCW and its member states to adopt a French-Western draft resolution that falsely claimed its “Syria’s non-abidance” by the obligations according to the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Damascus further stressed that any resolution that would be released by the Executive Council based on the fabrications of the OPCW Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) was a politicized resolution with the aim of accusing the Syrian government of using chemical weapons and acquitting the terrorists and their sponsors.

Back in December, Syria also emphasized the necessity of closing its chemical file for good after it fulfilled all the obligations entailed by its accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention 2013.

January 25, 2021 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 2 Comments

OPCW chief dodges questions on Syria cover-up after new leaks, attacks on whistleblowers

By Aaron Maté · The Grayzone · January 3, 2021

For the first time, OPCW chief Fernando Arias was asked a series of direct questions at the United Nations about the cover-up of a Syria chemical weapons probe. He answered none of them.

Russia’s UN ambassador asked Arias about several damning leaks, some revealed by The Grayzone, as well as ongoing deceptive attacks on the veteran scientists who challenged the censorship of their investigation. Arias refused to answer in public session, and gave vague, non-substantive answers in private.

Aaron Maté recaps the unanswered questions to Arias, as well as recent attacks on the OPCW whistleblowers via Western state-funded outlets Bellingcat and the BBC.

Read more:

Draft debacle: Bellingcat smears OPCW whistleblower, journalists with false letter, farcical claims

Questions for BBC on new White Helmets podcast series attacking OPCW whistleblowers

OPCW executives praised whistleblower and criticized Syria cover-up, leaks reveal

January 6, 2021 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | Leave a comment

OPCW, its teams serve as tools in hands of states hostile to Syria: UN envoy

Press TV | January 6, 2021

Syria says the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and its investigation teams have become tools in the hands of countries hostile to the Damascus government, and that reports compiled by the organization lack credibility.

Speaking at a virtual UN Security Council session on Tuesday, Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Bashar al-Ja’afari said OPCW teams have frequently prepared reports without visiting sites and inspecting realities on the ground, and thus such accounts fail to meet the minimum standards of credibility, professionalism and objectivity.

“The reports rely on speculations and proposals, which themselves count on so-called local sources as well as allegations, fabrications and false testimonies of terrorist groups and [the so-called civil defense group] White Helmets,” Ja’afari said.

He condemned actions intended to force the OPCW to adopt a draft decision submitted last November by France to the organization’s secretariat, which falsely alleges Syria is non-compliant with the Chemical Weapons Convention.

The Syrian diplomat denounced the resolutions against Syria as a politicized move intended to incriminate the Damascus government and acquit terrorists and their sponsors of their crimes.

“Syria condemns the use of chemical weapons and other weapons of mass destruction at any time or in any place, by anyone or under any circumstance,” Ja’afari highlighted.

He recalled that the first chemical attack by anti-Damascus terrorist groups took place on March 19, 2013, when Takfiris launched a shell laced with toxic fumes at the town of Khan al-Assal, west of the city of Aleppo, killing 25 people, including 16 army soldiers, and wounding many more.

Ja’afari pointed to striking examples of egregious irregularities in the investigations of chemical attacks in Khan Shaykhun in April 2017 and Douma in April 2018, stressing that Damascus has been unjustly accused despite the fact that its chemical program is completely closed and its chemical weapons stockpiles and production facilities have been destroyed.

Syria surrendered its entire chemical stockpile in 2013 to a mission led by the United Nations and the OPCW.

On April 7, 2018, an alleged chemical attack was reported near the Syrian city of Douma near the capital Damascus. Western countries were quick to blame it on the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

A week later, the US, Britain and France launched a coordinated missile attack against sites and research facilities near Damascus and Homs with the purported goal of paralyzing the Syrian government’s capability to produce chemicals.

Damascus, however, said that no chemical attack had happened and that the Douma incident had been staged by foreign intelligence agencies to pressure the government in the face of army advances against foreign-backed terrorists.

It also specifically pointed to the role of the White Helmets, a group which claims to be a humanitarian NGO but has long been accused of working with anti-Damascus militants and staging false-flag gas attacks.

January 6, 2021 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , | Leave a comment

OPCW director worried truth about Syria ‘chemical attack’ report would feed ‘Russian narrative’

By Nebojsa Malic | RT | December 7, 2020

While praising the OPCW whistleblower’s integrity and professionalism, one director worried that seeking truth about the altered report on a ‘chemical attack’ in Syria might help Russia, which he denounced as the enemy.

“I fear there is little one can do since the report is final and out – unless one wants to feed in the Russian narrative and that I would never do as they really are not bona fide friends of this organization, that’s for sure,” was the message of one director to Dr. Brendan Whelan, one of the whistleblowers who challenged the ‘interim’ report by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) as doctored for political purposes.

This is according to emails published on Monday by Grayzone, an investigative outlet that has been following the OPCW whistleblower story since the beginning.

The director – whose name was redacted to protect his privacy – is the same one who in 2018 praised Whelan for his initial objections to the report, saying his email was “very carefully crafted, without emotions, not accusing anybody but laying out the facts and concerns very clearly.” Whelan’s June 22, 2018 email “took all the steps to maintain your moral and professional integrity,” he added, according to documents published by Grayzone.

Robert Fairweather, a British diplomat who was OPCW chief of cabinet at the time, requested that Whelan’s email be “recalled” – erased from the organization’s documents and archives – without explanation, having previously said the report was not “redacted” at the behest of the OPCW director-general, and that he only asked “that the report did not speculate.”

The “core” team appointed from new OPCW hires was then tasked with writing the final report, but apparently waited until Whelan’s term at the organization expired in September 2018 to publish its version of the report. Ironically, it did nothing but speculate – conveniently omitting any evidence actually gathered by the Douma inspectors to blame the government of President Bashar Assad in Damascus for what might have been a “chlorine” attack on the town held by Jaysh al-Islam militants. Fairweather was later made an officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for “services to international relations.”

Four whistleblowers have since come forth to challenge the OPCW’s alterations of the initial report. The organization’s response has been to defame them as disgruntled employees, while NATO-affiliated narrative management outfit Bellingcat actually doxxed Whelan.

The 16-year veteran of the organization, who was praised for his professionalism and integrity by multiple directors – as Grayzone documented – was thus hung out to dry because challenging the report would help “Russian narratives.”

He wasn’t the only one. In October, OPCW’s founding director general Jose Bustani was blocked from addressing the UN Security Council by the US, UK and France – the same countries that launched missile strikes against Syria without waiting for the Douma investigation, and have been accused of pressuring the OPCW into publishing the report retroactively validating that action.

The OPCW director mentioned above also told Whelan that talking about the report was “difficult to pursue out in the open, knowing that it is already being played by parties who are decidedly not bona fide supporters of the [Chemical Weapons Convention].” This is according to an April 17, 2019 email.

The “parties” referenced here are highly likely to be Russia, which the UK had accused of a chemical attack on a former spy in Salisbury, without any evidence but Bellingcat speculation. The US didn’t exactly object, choosing to take London’s word for it.

Western governments are trying to politicize the OPCW and “in fact, turn it into an obedient tool to realize their military and political agenda,” Russia’s envoy to the OPCW Alexander Shulgin told RT last month. These emails appear to support his assessment.

Meanwhile, mainstream media coverage of the OPCW whistleblower complaints has consisted of repeating the official defamatory claims about them or citing Bellingcat, leaving the job of digging for actual documents to outlets like the Grayzone and other independent journalists.

December 7, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | Leave a comment

COVID Criminals Accused of Crimes Against Humanity

New World Next Week with James Evan Pilato

Corbett • 10/08/2020

Watch on Archive / BitChute / LBRY / Minds / YouTube or Download the mp4

Story #1: The German Investigation Into the Covid Scandal

Covid Experts Say: There Is Another Way

ANOTHER 10 Experts Questioning the Coronavirus Panic

Parents In France Vow to Fight Planned Home-Schooling Ban

COVID-19 ‘Phase 3’ Vaccine Trial Participants Report Day-Long Migraines, Fever

Second AstraZeneca Volunteer Reportedly Suffers Rare Neurological Condition, But UK Company Says It’s Not Related To Vaccine

Ha! My second maskless attempt did *not* go as rad… “SIR?! YOU NEED A MASK!”

Story #2: US, UK & France Block Ex-OPCW Chief’s Testimony At UN

Journalist Aaron Maté’s Live Tweet Thread on Blocking Bustani

Media Support OPCW’s Novichok Poisoning of Navalny Hoax

NWNW Flashback: OPCW Losing Credibility As Even More Revelations Surface On Douma

Episode 368 – The Douma Hoax: Anatomy of a False Flag

How To Read The News

Story #3: Two Female CRISPR Scientists Make History, Winning Nobel Prize In Chemistry For Genome-Editing Discovery

Latest Round In CRISPR Patent Battle Has Apparent Victor, But Fight Continues

NWNW Flashback: CRISPR Gene Editing Can Cause Hundreds Of Unintended Mutations (Jun. 23, 2017)

Interview 1486 – Jonathan Latham on Gene Editing

“Crispr” Search On Corbett Report

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October 8, 2020 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , | Leave a comment

The War on Truth, Dissent and Free Speech

Syria, the OPCW Douma Investigation and the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media

Dr Piers Robinson | OffGuardian | October 6, 2020

On Saturday 13 June 2020 the Times newspaper published its third attack on academics associated with researching British government propaganda and the war in Syria. This time the attack focused on smearing myself and Professor David Miller with the objective of discrediting an academic organization we established, the Organisation for Propaganda Studies (OPS), designed to foster research and writing on propaganda.

The article contained multiple falsehoods and distortions and was similar in style to previous attacks aimed at character assassination mainly through employment of the ‘conspiracy theorist’ smear. Most prominently the hatchet pieces misleadingly conflated work by members of the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media (WGSPM), of which myself and Miller are also members, with the OPS. Formal complaints from the OPS are in process and the Times has already been forced to issue a number of corrections.

Of course, character assassination as a propaganda tactic is widespread and there is even a Routledge academic handbook on the subject, the Routledge Handbook of Character Assassination and Reputation Management’, which was published in 2019 and contains 30 odd chapters. The attacks by the Times have been amplified by similar pieces written by Chris York for the Huffington Post.

In total, approximately 20 articles have been produced attacking those of us who are working on the war in Syria and questioning important aspects of UK propaganda operations. The bulk of these articles have been written by just two journalists, Dominic Kennedy for the Times newspaper and Chris York for the Huffington Post. This represents an extraordinarily intensive and sustained campaign against us.

Why on earth have we gotten into so much trouble?

A history of the attacks is instructive. Attention first started to be paid by former Guardian journalist Brian Whitaker in February 2018 when he penned a series of crude hatchet pieces on his blog smearing academics associated with the then newly established WGSPM. At that point Huffington Post journalist Chris York had already been attempting for several months to make contact with me, Professor Tim Hayward and journalist Vanessa Beeley.

But it was several weeks after Whitaker’s smears that the attacks started in earnest. Following the now controversial alleged chemical weapon attack in Douma, Syria, on 7th April 2018, the US UK and France bombed Syrian government targets claiming Syria was responsible for the attack. At the same moment these air attacks were underway, the Times of London published four articles which included one on the Front page, photographs of some of us from WGSPM and an editorial.

These articles smeared the academics as ‘conspiracy theorists’ for questioning official narratives regarding chemical weapon attacks in Syria, as ‘Assadists’ and also implied the existence of nefarious links with Russia. Chris York of the Huffington Post then followed the Times attack with multiple articles attacking us. The articles followed a similar pattern to the Times’ hatchet pieces involving allegations of ‘conspiracism’, ‘war crimes denial’, being pro Assad and pro Putin etc. More than two years later, attack pieces are still being published.

The vast bulk of the output of WGSPM has concerned the issues of alleged chemical weapon attacks in Syria and, in particular, the Douma event. The working group’s briefing notes documented serious anomalies and issues regarding these attacks and, in particular, critically analysed both the OPCW investigations of these alleged attacks and also identified the involvement of UK-linked actors, including the late James Le Mesurier (founder of the White Helmets) and Hamish de Bretton-Gordon.

The evidence, as the working group briefing notes set out, is that the OPCW Douma investigation was manipulated in order to ensure the finger was pointed at Syrian government responsibility for the alleged chemical weapon attack. In reality, the evidence did not demonstrate an attack had occurred and, in fact, pointed toward the attack having been staged.

Our findings have been presented at an event at the UK House of Commons and at the Harvard-Sussex Program on Chemical and Biological Weapons.

The WGSPM has not been alone in raising questions and a wide body of material now corroborates its work. For example, even at the time of the Douma attack credible individuals voiced doubt about the likelihood of the Syrian government launching a chemical weapon attack in Douma just as its forces were on the brink of retaking the enclave.

For example, both retired Major General Jonathan Shaw and Admiral Lord West questioned the tactical logic of any such an attack and the latter raised the possibility the event was carried out by opposition groups.

Following the publication of the final OPCW report on Douma in March 2019, an engineering report was leaked to WGSPM and which concluded that the chlorine gas cylinders had likely been manually placed at the alleged attack scenes rather than having been dropped from a Syrian air force helicopter. This engineering report, it subsequently transpired, had been rejected by OPCW management on spurious grounds.

During the Autumn of 2019 the Courage Foundation hosted a panel at which a former OPCW official briefed a panel of trusted and authoritative individuals, including José Bustani the first Director General of the OPCW, about significant procedural and scientific flaws regarding chemistry, ballistics, toxicology and witness statements.

An open letter addressed to OPCW states parties from the Courage Foundation followed and was signed by eminent voices such as Professor Noam Chomsky, Hans von Sponeck (former UN Assistant Secretary-General), GCHQ whistleblower Katharine Gun, former UNSCOM weapons inspector Scott Ritter, film director and producer Oliver Stone and John Pilger.

Since then, multiple documents have been published by Wikileaks evidencing irregularities with respect to the Douma FFM investigation whilst journalists such as Peter Hitchens (Mail on Sunday ), Stefania Maurizi (formerly of La Repubblica ) and Robert Fisk (The Independent ) have reported on the issue.

Peter Hitchens has been a particularly vociferous voice defending the reputations of two OPCW staff who have been subjected to a malicious internal investigation aimed at smearing their reputations. In 2020, further leaks have been published by The Grayzone in the United States including statements from further OPCW persons and, most recently, Aaron Maté published an article in the leading US current affairs magazine The Nation.

Finally, and by no means least, former OPCW inspector Ian Henderson addressed an Arria Formula meeting of the UN Security Council at which he detailed the irregularities and misconduct he had experienced with respect to the FFM Douma investigation. In September 2020, a second Arria Formula meeting was held at which OPCW Syia FFMs and the Douma investigation were again debated and which included, again, the former OPCW Inspector Ian Henderson. And, this week at a UN Security Council meeting, a statement from OPCW First Director-General José Bustani was read out in which yet again raised concerns about the conduct of the OPCW Douma investigation.

To any casual observer it should be abundantly clear that the activities and output of the WGSPM is entirely legitimate. Our work has been at the forefront of an issue that has been discussed by mainstream media journalists and has been corroborated by information from people within the OPCW itself.

Why then have the Times of London and the Huffington Post published approximately 20 articles (including three Times leaders) in 2 years targeting us?

In general, the behaviour of both the Times and the Huffington Post is disturbing and suggestive of a deliberate campaign aimed at suppressing public debate regarding both the war in Syria and the involvement of the UK government in supporting activities aimed at the overthrow of the Syrian government.

UK involvement in the Syrian war has included direct support for opposition groups as well as potentially criminal activity relating to the OPCW and connection with the staging of alleged chemical weapon attacks.

In the last few weeks, a large volume of FCO documents have been leaked which document a vast ‘strategic communication’ operation aimed at supporting the war against Syria. According to Ben Norton from the Grayzone:

[V]irtually every major Western corporate media outlet was influenced by the UK government-funded disinformation campaign exposed in the trove of leaked documents, from the New York Times to the Washington Post, CNN to The Guardian, the BBC to Buzzfeed.

In fact, there are some indications that the media attacks might be the direct result of deliberate media alignment with the UK government position on Syria and its well-established policy seeking to overthrow the existing Syrian government. Specifically, two of the authors of the original Times attack on the academics, Dominic Kennedy and Deborah Haynes, are identified in leaked documents as being associated with the UK government-funded propaganda operation known as the Integrity Initiative.

The Integrity Initiative leaks provided powerful insights on how propaganda operations were being built around “clusters” of journalists. Haynes has subsequently denied involvement with the article whilst Kennedy has repeatedly refused to answer questions regarding the relationship between his articles and the Integrity Initiative.

Most notably, Times columnist Oliver Kamm has stated in public that the late James Le Mesurier ‘had reached out to this newspaper to urge us to keep on their [the academics] case’.

Regarding Huffington Post, Chris York’s line manager, Jess Brammar, is a member of the Defence and Security Media Advisory Committee which works with the UK government on influencing and controlling media reporting of defence and security related issues. Further information regarding the organizational details and scale of media-related activities aimed at suppressing criticism of UK Syria policy is still being investigated and information will be published in due course by WGSPM.

However, even if it is, as of yet, unclear whether the attacks are at the behest of those involved in UK government/FCO strategic communication operations related to Syria, it is certainly the case that they have a deleterious impact on open public debate and academic research. People might reasonably expect mainstream media to uphold, defend and encourage research and debate, as opposed to smear honest academics who are simply doing their jobs.

Even more seriously, the available evidence indicates that the alleged attack in Douma involved the murder of captive civilians. That means the event surrounding Douma likely involve an extremely serious, and indeed horrific, war crime. Those seeking to hinder those in pursuit of the truth run the risk of complicity, whether knowing or unknowingly, in a war crime and run legal jeopardy as a result.

A final note. The late Julian Perry Robinson, one of the world’s leading experts on chemical and biological weapons, was in communication with the Working Group. In an earlier era, Robinson played a key role challenging the false claim made by the US government that Soviet-backed forces in Laos and Cambodia were deploying toxins.

At the time of his death, he was completing a chronology regarding chemical weapons and the war in Syria. Writing about the events surrounding alleged chemical weapon attacks in Syria and the vicious attacks against WGSPM, he noted that:

It is not immediately clear from their pronouncements that the critics of the WGSPM just quoted have in fact adequately studied the Group’s publications. They certainly seem not to have done their reading with the care that might have been expected ahead of such vicious denigrations.

So is the Group simply becoming a victim of the fake news and other acts of information warfare it has itself been seeking to counter? Is the WGSPM being maliciously targeted by enemies that its principled research and outreach seem to have created?

— Part 8: The Chemical Warfare Reported From Syria: a documented chronology detailing reports of events in Syria since 1982 said to have involved use of chemical weapons, by Julian Perry Robinson

It was Julian Perry Robinson who subsequently invited WGSPM member Professor Paul McKeigue to present at the Harvard-Sussex Program on Chemical and Biological Weapons roundtable meeting in March 2020.

If a figure of such standing and brilliance wished for his colleagues to hear our analysis, where does this leave the Times and the Huffington Post who have so relentlessly sought to silence us through character assassination and smears?

Not, I would suggest, in a very good place.

Dr Piers Robinson is a director of the Organisation for Propaganda Studies and convenor of the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media. He writes here in a personal capacity.

October 6, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Leave a comment

Russia slams ‘disgraceful’ ban on founding OPCW chief speaking at UN Security Council on Syria

RT | October 6, 2020

An ex-OPCW chief, sacked under US pressure, has been barred from briefing the UN Security Council about a controversial probe into an alleged 2018 chemical attack in Syria. Russia called it a “shame” and published his speech.

Jose Bustani, a Brazilian diplomat who led the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) from 1997 until 2002, was invited by Moscow to speak at a UN Security Council meeting about the so-called “Syrian chemical dossier,” but his appearance was blocked at the last minute by Belgium, Germany, Estonia, France, the US and the UK.  

“What has happened now is yet more sad proof that Western delegations fear the uncomfortable truth,” Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, stressed while addressing the UN global body on Monday.

He said the six countries had “made history” because the Security Council has never voted “on the presence or absence of a briefer proposed by the [UNSC] president.” Prohibiting the former OPCW director general from speaking was a “shame and disgrace,” Nebenzia concluded, promising to publish Bustani’s statement after the meeting.

UK envoy Jonathan Allen said that Bustani is not in a position to “provide relevant knowledge or information.”

Shortly afterwards, the undelivered speech appeared on the website of the Russian mission to the UN. In it, the sacked OPCW chief raised “serious questions” over “whether the independence, impartiality, and professionalism of some of the organization’s work is being severely compromised, possibly under pressure from some member states.”

As a major example, Bustani cited an OPCW investigation into the alleged use of chemical weapons in the Syrian city of Douma on April 7, 2018. Western governments, and media outlets, maintain that forces loyal to Damascus dropped two gas cylinders as part of an offensive against jihadist forces, killing scores of civilians.

The allegations were used as a pretext for a major US-led airstrike against Syrian government forces later that year. The OPCW launched a probe into the “chemical attack,” and in early March of 2019, the final report by the Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) of the OPCW stated that there were “reasonable grounds” to believe that canisters filled with “molecular chlorine” were dropped from Syrian aircraft in Douma.

The final report gave credence to the Western show of force by implicating the Syrian government of Bashar Assad in conducting the attack, which the Syrian authorities vehemently deny.

Shortly after the release of the OPCW report, an internal memo by OPCW engineers was leaked, suggesting the canisters were likely just placed at the site of the “attack,” and did not come from the skies. Still, the final report did not include such information, and a senior OPCW official reportedly ordered the removal of “all traces” of the dissenting opinion, according to WikiLeaks.

Months later, Bustani noted that he was invited to an expert panel which heard the testimony of an unnamed OPCW investigator, who came forward with damning evidence that his own organization had engineered a report based on a flawed conclusion and likely deliberately steered toward the outcome favored by the West.

That expert provided “compelling and documentary evidence of highly questionable, and potentially fraudulent conduct in the investigative process,” Bustani’s statement recalled. The Brazilian diplomat had been so stunned by the testimony that he personally called on the OPCW to be “resurrected to become the independent and non-discriminatory body it used to be.”

However, he continued, the chemical weapons watchdog did not respond to any calls for greater transparency about the controversial Douma investigation. The probe was “hidden behind an impenetrable wall of silence and opacity, making any meaningful dialogue impossible.”

In conclusion, Bustani called on Fernando Arias, the current OPCW chief, to hear the grievances of OPCW inspectors who voiced dissenting opinions on the Douma incident. They “have dared to speak out against possible irregular behavior in your organization,” Bustani argued, adding that it is “in the world’s interest that you hear them out.”

Bustani noted that he had been removed from his OPCW position “following a US-orchestrated campaign in 2002.” Back then, he was trying to send chemical weapons inspectors to Iraq prior to the 2003 US invasion there. A UN tribunal ruled that his sacking was unlawful.

October 6, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ex-OPCW Member Says Syria 2018 Chemical Attacks Report May Not Reflect Actual Events

Sputnik – 29.09.2020

A former lead investigator from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ian Henderson, said the final report of the Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) into the alleged use of toxic chemicals in an attack in Douma, Syria, in 2018, may not reflect what happened on the ground.

Henderson was speaking at an informal meeting of the UN Security Council, organised by the Russian Mission, to openly discuss the treatment of the Syrian chemical dossier, in contrast to traditionally closed gatherings of the council on the issue.

“I speak for myself, but I know there are other Douma FFM inspectors who hold the similar concerns that I do about the manner in which the investigation was controlled, locked-down… [as well as] the findings reflected in the final FMM report”, Henderson said. “We believe that there is more than sufficient information out there today that has demonstrated our points that the findings of the FFM report on Duma may not reflect the actual situation”.

Henderson said the launching of a transparent technical inquiry aimed at clarifying the actual course of events in Douma in 2018 is justified, given the scope of the available information and facts on the alleged incident.

“And this needs to be done in a way that demonstrates scientific rigour and integrity because that currently has not been done”, he said. “perhaps, more importantly, we continue to hope that there’s someone who’s willing and able, someone who has the courage to do something about this”.

The OPCW concluded that chlorine was most likely used in the suspected April 2018 attack on the city, which lies on the northeastern outskirts of the Syrian capital. This led the United States, France and the United Kingdom to launch missile strikes on Syrian targets.

The OPCW relied in its probe on data provided by the White Helmets, a rebel-linked group that bills itself as a volunteer rescue force.

However, the group has faced severe criticism from the Syrian and Russian governments who accuse the organisation of supporting terrorists and staging provocations involving chemical weapons aimed at justifying potential foreign interventions.

In December 2019, whistleblowing website WikiLeaks made public documents from the OPCW on the accuracy of the investigation in Douma.

One is an internal email exchange between a senior OPCW official, Chief of Cabinet Sebastian Braha, and his colleagues regarding a technical assessment by Henderson into allegations that the Syrian government had dropped two gas cylinders in a civilian area of Duma from an aircraft.

Henderson, who was assisting the FFM with information collection in Douma, in particular, found that all evidence from the ground suggest that cylinders were placed there manually and, given that the area was not controlled by Damascus at the time, most likely by no one else but the anti-government rebels.

The final report of the OPCW has no mention of these findings. Henderson faced pressure from the OPCW leadership and was eventually fired.

September 29, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | Leave a comment

Stoltenberg to Convene NATO Meeting on Friday to Discuss Navalny Situation

Sputnik – 03.09.2020

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg will convene an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss the situation involving Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny, the alliance’s spokeswoman, Oana Lungescu, said on Thursday.

Navalny is currently undergoing treatment in a German hospital after suffering a medical emergency in late August. Berlin on Wednesday said that a German military laboratory possessed undeniable proof of the 44-year-old’s intoxication with a nerve agent from the Novichok group. The Russian Foreign Ministry noted in response that the German government’s claims of Navalny’s poisoning lacked evidence and added that it was perplexing why Berlin first addressed the EU, NATO and third parties, such as the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, instead of contacting Russia directly.

Lungescu took to Twitter to announce the upcoming meeting.

​Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier in the day that there had been no contacts between Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the issue of Navalny. He also noted that Russia was interested in shedding the light on the situation as much as anyone else, however, Germany did not provide any information.

EU Urges Russia to Cooperate With OPCW in Navalny Case for Impartial Probe, Borrell Says

The European Union urges Russia to cooperate with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in the situation with Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny to ensure an impartial international investigation, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement.

“The European Union condemns in the strongest possible terms the assassination attempt on Alexei Navalny. … The European Union calls upon the Russian Federation to fully cooperate with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to ensure an impartial international investigation,” the statement says.

The EU is calling for an international response to the situation with Navalny and reserves the right to impose sanctions, Borrell added.

The EU will continue to closely monitor the situation and consider possible implications, he said.

September 3, 2020 Posted by | Economics, False Flag Terrorism | , , , | 2 Comments

More Explosive Leaks From OPCW Show Trump Bombed Syria On False Grounds

By Tyler Durden | ZeroHedge | July 27, 2020

As the ongoing increased sanctions regimen on Syria demonstrates, Washington’s pursuit of regime change against Assad is not over, despite Damascus clearly having won the war, and with the US having wisely ditched talk of some kind of overt major Iraq-style military intervention (as was the case under Obama in August 2013).

While mainstream media has largely “moved on” from coverage of Syria (so much for feigned humanitarian “concern” for millions of Syrians suffering under severe American-led sanctions!), some analysts like independent journalist Aaron Maté have been detailing damning leaks from the chemical weapons watchdog Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

“A series of leaked documents from the OPCW raise the possibility that the Trump administration bombed Syria on false grounds and pressured officials at the world’s top chemical weapons watchdog to cover it up,” Maté’s latest report in The Nation begins.

“Two OPCW officials, highly regarded scientists with more than 25 years of combined experience at the organization, challenged the whitewash from inside. Yet unlike many whistle-blowers of the Trump era, they have found no champion, or even an audience, within establishment circles in the United States,” the report continues.

Recall that President Trump bombed Syria on two occasions. On the last occasion, in April 2018, Damascus was pummeled with a series of major tomahawk missile strikes ostensibly in response to claims by the primarily Saudi-backed jihadist group Jaysh al-Islam that the Syrian Army had carried out a chemical weapons attack on civilians. It was the all too familiar pattern which went back to 2013: “rebels” on the brink of being wiped out make a last ditch unverified claim in order to draw Western military support, then the mainstream media runs with it because it already fits the narrative of the “monster” Assad, and then right away it’s American and allied “bombs away” with no questions asked.

But Maté now documents an avalanche of leaks and internal dissent within the global chemical weapons watchdog group OPCW to say the US once again attacked a Middle East country based on lies (and just like in neighboring Iraq, don’t forget that some 1,000 or more American troops occupy the oil-rich northeast section of Syria).

Maté’s report finds that “Since May 2019, internal OPCW documents, including a trove published by WikiLeaks, reveal that the Douma investigators’ initial report reached different conclusions than their organization’s published version. They were overruled by senior officials who kept evidence from the public.”

The Nation report outlines leaks’ key revelations as follows:

Senior OPCW officials reedited the Douma investigators’ initial report to produce a version that sharply deviated from the original. Key facts were removed or misrepresented and conclusions were rewritten to support the allegation that a chlorine gas attack had occurred in Douma. Yet the team’s initial report did not conclude that a chemical attack occurred, and left open the possibility that victims were killed in a “non-chemical related” incident.

Four experts from a OPCW and NATO-member state conducted a toxicology review at the OPCW team’s request. They concluded that observed symptoms of the civilians in Douma, particularly the rapid onset of excessive frothing, as well as the concentration of victims filmed in the apartment building so close to fresh air, “were inconsistent with exposure to chlorine, and no other obvious candidate chemical causing the symptoms could be identified.”

Chemical tests of the samples collected in Douma showed that chlorine compounds were, in most cases, detected at what amounted to trace quantities in the parts-per-billion range. Yet this finding was not disclosed publicly. Furthermore, it later emerged that the chemicals themselves did not stand out as unique: According to the author of the initial report, the OPCW’s top expert in chemical weapons chemistry, they could have resulted from contact with household products such as bleach or come from chlorinated water or wood preservatives.

The author of the initial report protested the revisions in an e-mail expressing his “gravest concern.” The altered version “misrepresents the facts,” he wrote, thereby “undermining its credibility.”

Following the e-mail of protest over the manipulation of the team’s findings, the OPCW published a watered-down interim report in July 2018. Around that time, OPCW executives decreed that the probe would be handled by a so-called “core team,” which excluded all of the Douma investigators who had traveled to Syria, except for one paramedic. It was this core team—not the inspectors who had been deployed to Douma and signed off on the original document—that produced the final report of March 2019.

After the e-mail of protest, and just days before the interim report was published on July 6, a US government delegation met with members of the investigation team to try to convince them that the Syrian government had committed a chemical attack with chlorine. According to veteran reporter Jonathan Steele, who interviewed one of the whistle-blowers, the Douma team saw the meeting as “unacceptable pressure and a violation of the OPCW’s declared principles of independence and impartiality.” Interference by state parties is explicitly prohibited under the Chemical Weapons Convention.

The inference drawn from the OPCW’s final report—widely disseminated, including by the Trump administration—was that gas cylinders found in Douma likely came from Syrian military aircraft. An unpublished engineering study reached the opposite conclusion. The study evaluated competing hypotheses: Either the cylinders were dropped from the sky or they were manually placed. There is “a higher probability,” it concluded, “that both cylinders were manually placed… rather than being delivered from aircraft.” At “Location 4,” where a cylinder was found on a bed, the study determined that the cylinder was too large to have penetrated the hole in the roof above; at the other site, “Location 2,” the observed damage to the cylinder and to the roof it allegedly penetrated were incompatible with an aircraft bombing. Ballistics experts also said it was more likely that the crater had been made by an explosion, probably from an artillery round, a rocket, or a mortar. With both cylinders, the study concluded, “the alternative hypothesis”—that the cylinders were manually placed and that the craters were caused by other means—”produced the only plausible explanation for observations at the scene.”

Of course, the media is seeking for these revelations to be memory-holed right way.

They are being conveniently ignored, and not just ignored, but covered up.

* * *

Read the full in-depth investigative report at The Nation.

July 28, 2020 Posted by | Deception | , , | 3 Comments

OPCW Gives Syria 90 Days to Declare Chemical Weapons

Sputnik – 09.07.2020

Syria has until October to declare to the UN chemical weapons watchdog its stockpile of illegal toxins or face “appropriate action,” the OPCW executive council agreed Thursday.

An investigative team of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons concluded in April that the Syrian government used sarin and chlorine in aerial attacks on the town of Ltamenah in March 2017, hurting dozens of people.

The OPCW’s 41-member executive council requested in its decision that Syria “declare to the Secretariat all of the chemical weapons it currently possesses… as well as chemical weapons production facilities and other related facilities.”

It is also expected to declare facilities where the chemical weapons used in the attacks on March 24, 25, and 30 in 2017 were developed, produced, stockpiled and stored for delivery.

If Syria fails to “redress the situation,” the council warned it will recommend action against it at the next annual conference of all 193 member states, scheduled from November 30 to December 4.

Syria has repeatedly denied using chemical weapons after having them destroyed as part of a Russia-brokered agreement with OPCW in 2013. The government accuses militants of staging chemical attacks, used by Western powers to justify strikes on its territory in 2018.

July 9, 2020 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | | 3 Comments

Russia Conducting Its Own Investigation Into Alleged Chemical Attacks in Syria – Ambassador to UN

Sputnik – 12.05.2020

UNITED NATIONS – Russia is conducting its own investigation into alleged chemical attacks in Syria and will share its conclusions with the world, Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia told reporters on Tuesday.

“We are conducting our own expert investigation and we will share its results with you and international community”, Nebenzia said during a video briefing.

In late April, the Russian Foreign Ministry said the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had sacrificed its reputation to serve the West’s geopolitical ambition in Syria, after the body published the first report of its newly created investigation and identification team two weeks ago, blaming the alleged chemical attacks in the Syrian town of Al Lataminah in Hama province in March 2017 on the country’s government.

Russia argued that the investigative body had been set up in violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention. Only the UN Security Council has the right to apportion blame for chemical attacks.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry has slammed the OPCW document as fabricated, adding that it is based on materials provided by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly known as Al-Nusra Front, an offshoot of Al-Qaeda).

May 12, 2020 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | Leave a comment