OPCW Losing Credibility As Even More Revelations Surface On Douma
During a recent BBC radio interview, award-winning journalist Jonathan Steele said that he attended a briefing by a new whistleblower from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) investigation into an alleged 2018 chemical attack in Douma, Syria, who claimed that the OPCW suppressed his findings which contradicted the organization’s official conclusion that a chlorine gas attack had taken place. This according to Steele is a second whistleblower coming forward on the OPCW’s Douma investigation, the first being the leaker of an Engineering Assessment document which surfaced this past May contradicting the OPCW’s official ballistics report which the organization hid from the public.
I have archived an audio recording of Steele’s statement here for posterity, since the BBC removes its content after a month. I have also compiled a timeline of relevant events here so that people can properly appreciate the significance of these new revelations.
Steele made these comments unbidden by the show’s host Paul Henley. They read as follows (thanks to Tim Hayward of the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media for the transcript):
Jonathan Steele: “I was in Brussels last week … I attended a briefing by a whistleblower from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. He was one of the inspectors who was sent out to Douma in Syria in April last year to check into the allegations by the rebels that Syrian aeroplanes had dropped two canisters of chlorine gas, killing up to 43 people. He claims he was in charge of picking up the samples in the affected areas, and in neutral areas, to check whether there were chlorine derivatives there …
Paul Henley: And?
JS: … and he found that there was no difference. So it rather suggested there was no chemical gas attack, because in the buildings where the people allegedly died there was no extra chlorinated organic chemicals than in the normal streets elsewhere. And I put this to the OPCW for comment, and they haven’t yet replied. But it rather suggests that a lot of this was propaganda…
PH: Propaganda led by?
JS: … led by the rebel side to try and bring in American planes, which in fact did happen. American, British and French planes bombed Damascus a few days after these reports. And actually this is the second whistle blower to come forward. A few months ago there was a leaked report by the person who looked into the ballistics, as to whether these cylinders had been dropped by planes, looking at the damage of the building and the damage on the side of the cylinders. And he decided, concluded, that the higher probability was that these cylinders were placed on the ground, rather than from planes.
PH: This would be a major revelation…
JS: … it would be a major revelation …
PH: … given the number of people rubbishing the idea that these could have been fake videos at the time.
JS: Well, these two scientists, I think they’re non-political — they wouldn’t have been sent to Douma, if they’d had strong political views, by the OPCW. They want to speak to the Conference of the Member States in November, next month, and give their views, and be allowed to come forward publicly with their concerns. Because they’ve tried to raise them internally and been — they say they’ve been — suppressed, their views have been suppressed.