by Eric Zuesse for The Saker Blog
U.S., UK, and French ‘news’-media hide the fact, but it is now incontestably a fact, that they committed an international war-crime on 14 April 2018. The OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) does everything they can to hide this fact. Therefore, starting with the latest, and then proceeding in chronological order, with the earliest and then the subsequent ones that had been issued prior to that latest one, here are the real and verified news-reports which have been published (none in the mainstream press), proving both this international war-crime, and the OPCW’s hiding of it:
F. 27 December 2019
The leadership of the chemical weapons watchdog [OPCW] took efforts to remove the paper trail of a dissenting report from Douma, Syria which pointed to a possible false flag operation there, leaked documents indicate.
In an internal email published by the transparency website WikiLeaks on Friday [see it here], a senior official [Chief of Cabinet] from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) ordered that the document be removed from the organization’s Documents Registry Archive and to “remove all traces, if any, of its delivery/storage/whatever.”
Email from the Chief of Cabinet at the OPCW, demanding deletion of dissenting engineering assessment: “Please get this document out of DRA [Documents Registry Archive]… And please remove all traces, if any, of its delivery/storage/whatever in DRA”https://wikileaks.org/opcw-douma/#OPCW-DOUMA%20-%20Release%20Part%204 …
9:30 AM – Dec 27, 2019
The document in question [here ordered deleted] is a technical assessment written by [the chief] inspector Ian Henderson after a fact-finding mission [by Henderson] to Douma, a suburb of Damascus, in the wake of an alleged chlorine gas attack. Western politicians and media said at the time that the government forces had dropped two gas cylinders [on Douma] as part of an offensive against jihadist forces, killing scores of civilians.
The OPCW inspector [Henderson] said evidence on the ground contradicted the airdropping scenario [which had falsely implicated Syria’s Government as having dropped both from a plane] and that the cylinders could [and this was actually the only alternative scenario proposed] have been placed [there] by hand. Considering that the area was under the control of anti-government forces, the memo lands [RT meant “lends”] credence to the theory that the jihadists had staged the scene [in order] to prompt Western nations to attack their [the jihadists’] opponents [Syria’s Government forces, which the U.S., UK, and France, missile-attacked on 14 April 2018, in alleged retaliation for the alleged Syrian Government gas-attack].
The final report of the watchdog [the OPCW] all but confirmed that Damascus was behind the incident, but in the past months an increasing amount of leaked documents and whistleblower testimonies have emerged, pointing to [the alleged chemical-weapon event’s having been] a possible fabrication. The OPCW leadership stands accused [now is actually proven in this leaked document from the OPCW’s Chief of Cabinet] of withholding opinions [by the OPCW’s on-the-ground expert investigators] contravening the West-favored [actually its only] narrative and using misleading language to report what the inspectors [had] found on the ground.
ALSO ON RT.COM
15 December 2019
“A new cache of internal documents [from Wikileaks] reveal that members of the OPCW team tasked with probing the Douma “chemical attack” protested the organization’s final report on the incident, which they said misrepresented their conclusions. In a memo addressed to OPCW Director General Fernando Arias, one scientist who participated in the OPCW’s fact finding mission (FFM) wrote that there are “about 20 inspectors who have expressed concern” over how the OPCW presented its findings on the alleged Syrian chemical attack. According to the memorandum, the organization’s final report does not reflect the FFM’s findings, presented in their interim report, which is also part of the new document dump.”
The alleged [here RT.com is insinuating that Wikileaks could be releasing here a faked] email was written by Sebastien Braha, Chief of Cabinet at the OPCW. Its authenticity is yet to be confirmed, but the organization never said any of the previously leaked documents were not real. [RT.com is here alleging that Wikileaks’s publication of a document does not, in itself, constitute an official allegation by Wikileaks that the document is, in Wikileaks’s opinion, authentic — a bizarre and undocumented allegation by RT.com, asserting that Wikilweaks is untrustworthy. If RT considers Wikileaks untrustworthy, then isn’t RT obliged to provide some evidence of that?]
Another document published on Friday outlines a meeting with several toxicology experts and their opinions on whether symptoms shown and reported in alleged victims of the attack were consistent with a chlorine gas poisoning. “The experts were conclusive in their statements that there was no correlation between symptoms and chlorine exposure,” the document said, adding that the chief expert suggested that the event could have been “a propaganda exercise.” [The OPCW’s official published conclusion was that this event definitely wasn’t a sarin-gas attack but might possibly have been a chlorine gas attack. But now, Wikileaks has revealed that the OPCW’s technical experts, who had actually performed the investigation, said that it also wasn’t a chlorine gas attack, if there was, indeed, even any chemical-weapons attack there at all.]
The Douma incident in April 2018 spurred Western governments into action, with the US, the UK and France delivering a barrage of  missiles at what was dubbed chemical weapons sites in Syria days after [on April 14th]. This didn’t prevent the government from seizing control over the neighborhood, but put the reputations of the three governments [U.S., UK, and France] at stake. The OPCW report [now discredited by the OPCW’s own technical experts] gave credence to [i.e., alleged to have been possibly a reaction to an actual war-crime by Syria’s Government] the Western show of force. [In other words: RT here is trying to assert that the “credence to” those three Governments’ 14 April 2018 missile-attacks against Syria is in doubt — instead of having been disproven — because the OPCW’s management had trashed and rewritten their technical investigators’ reports about the on-site findings, which were that there was no evidence whatsoever that any gas-attack at all had occurred in Douma on 7 April 2018, and that if one had been done, then it hadn’t been done by Syria’s Government (i.e., by air-drop).]
ALSO ON RT.COM
15 December 2019
“Tareq Haddad announced his resignation from Newsweek last week, claiming that his editors had shot down his attempt to report on a leaked email which casts doubt on the OPCW’s findings regarding an alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria, in April 2018. … ‘The US government, in an ugly alliance with those [that] profit the most from war, has its tentacles in every part of the media — imposters, with ties to the US State Department, sit in newsrooms all over the world. … Inconvenient stories are completely blocked. As a result, journalism is quickly dying. America is regressing because it lacks the truth.’”
Eric Zuesse, 19 May 2019
UPDATE: On 4 June 2019, WashingtonsBlog headlined at Zero Hedge “Eminent American Scientist: Syrian Chemical Weapons Attack Was STAGED” and Dr. Postol presented there a detailed analysis of who and how and why at the OPCW the report from their engineering team had been hidden from the public (prior to that team’s report having become leaked to the public on 13 May 2019 — and yet still suppressed by the press, just as Dr. Postol’s June 3rd report likely also will be).
On May 13th, Tim Hayward of the Working Group on Syria made public on his website an utterly damning document that had been suspiciously excluded from the final investigative report by the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) regarding the U.S.-and-allied allegation that on 7 April 2018 the Syrian Government had sarin-attacked residents in its town of Douma and had killed a large number of non-combatants. Seven days after that alleged incident, the U.S. and two of its allies, UK and France, massively missile-invaded Syria on April 14th, in alleged international ‘response’ to that alleged national war-crime on the part of Syria’s Government. It now turns out that that alleged national war-crime was totally staged by America’s own proxy-soldiers, Islamic terrorists who were trying to overthrow Syria’s Government, and so the attack against Syria on 14 April 2018 by U.S., UK and France, constitutes an international war-crime, an unequivocal violation of the U.N.’s Charter.
This excluded finding by the OPCW is proof that “the US Government’s Interpretation of the Technical Intelligence It Gathered Prior to and After the August 21 Attack CANNOT POSSIBLY BE CORRECT”. That’s the way an independent detailed study by the two top U.S. experts had concluded their study of the U.N.’s evidence concerning the U.S.-and-allied allegations that there had been a 21 August 2013 sarin-attack by the Syrian Government against its town of East Ghouta. Their finding then was virtually identical regarding that U.S.-alleged sarin-use by Syria’s Government — identical to this recent OPCW finding. And that finding regarding the earlier ‘incident’ likewise was suppressed, instead of reported by the ‘news’-media. The two investigators in that earlier report, which was issued on 14 January 2014, were MIT’s Ted Postol and Richard Lloyd.
The clearest summary-report about the newer suppressed finding was “signed by Ian Henderson (an investigative team leader for the OPCW” and is best summarized by Kit Knightly’s May 14th “Leaked Report: Douma ‘Chemical Attack’ Likely Staged” at Off-Guardian.org (a terrific website of investigative journalism that exposes lies by mainstream ‘news’-media, such as Britain’s Guardian). As Knightly especially pointed out, that OPCW investigative team’s report to OPCW had concluded:
“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 dropped.”
As we shall later show, that statement at the end of the OPCW team’s report, was a huge understatement: they had, in fact, proven that “both cylinders were manually placed at those two locations [by the anti-Government side, as a set-up to stage the event and blame it on the Government] rather than being dropped [by a plane, from the Government, as the U.S. alleged].”
So: that’s virtually a clone of the earlier Postol-Lloyd finding regarding the 13 August 2013 incident, except that, whereas the earlier incident was real and had been carried out by America’s Syrian proxy-forces (fanatic Islamists), this more recent ‘incident’ was (as now is clear not only from the latest revelation) entirely staged by the U.S.-and-allied side. It had not existed at all.
Obviously, if that finding is confirmed by an international tribunal not for internal war-crimes but for international war-crimes, then Donald Trump, Theresa May, and Emmanuel Macron, could be sentenced to prison, or worse, but is there any tribunal anywhere that could handle such cases? Almost certainly not. Leaders, such as those, stand above any law. And isn’t that the real problem here?
On 17 May 2019, Russia’s Tass news agency headlined “Militants preparing provocation with chemical weapons in Syria” and reported that, “Militants from Jebhat al-Nusra terrorist group (banned in Russia) are preparing a provocation to accuse Russian servicemen of using chemical weapons in Syria, the Russian Center for reconciliation of the conflicting sides said on Friday [May 17th].” Jabhat al-Nusra is Syria’s branch of Al Qaeda, and U.S. President Barack Obama’s efforts to overthrow the Syrian Government depended very heavily upon that organization to train the non-Kurdish proxy-forces that the U.S. regime and its press called ‘rebels’ instead of jihadists (which they actually were). The U.S. armed and protected al-Nusra.
Back on 13 February 2018, less than two months prior to the faked 7 April 2018 Douma chemical ‘attack’, Russia’s RT had headlined “Tip-off received on Al-Nusra, White Helmets plotting chemical weapons provocation in Syria – Moscow”, and reported that:
Russia’s Center for Reconciliation in Syria says it’s been warned that Jabhat Al-Nusra terrorists brought in chlorine containers to a local village, where they aimed to work with the White Helmets to stage “a provocation.” … According to the source, on the afternoon of February 12, rebels from the Jabhat Al-Nusra (Al-Nusra Front) terrorist organization brought three cars packed with more than 20 cylinders of chlorine along with personal protective equipment to Serakab. Additionally, according to the caller, representatives of the local branch of the White Helmets, wearing individual means of protection, conducted rehearsals of “giving first aid” to “local residents” who were supposedly suffering from poisoning.”
That appears to have been an accurate description of what the OPCW investigators found in Douma after the faked 7 April 2018 incident there. However U.S.-allied press didn’t report anything of the kind, neither before nor after that faked incident. The reality was suppressed instead of reported there. The latest suppressed finding by the OPCW is a repeat of that pattern.
Further indication of how clear the evidence actually is that the 7 April 2018 Douma incident was staged has been presented by the excruciatingly detailed May 12th document from the team of Paul McKeigue, David Miller, and Piers Robinson, headlined “Assessment by the engineering sub-team of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission investigating the alleged chemical attack in Douma in April 2018”. It explains “that the cylinders were manually placed in position is ‘the only plausible explanation for observations at the scene’,” BECAUSE (and this is quoting now directly from paragraph 32 of the OPCW Engineer’s suppressed report of his team’s findings) “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. In each case the alternative hypothesis produced the only plausible explanation for observations at the scene.”
The full paragraph 32 opened by saying that “At this stage the FFM engineering sub-team cannot be certain that the cylinders at either location arrived there as a result of being dropped from an aircraft.” But when it went on to say “In each case the alternative hypothesis produced the only plausible explanation for observations at the scene,” that “alternative hypothesis” referred to the alternative to the cylinder’s “being dropped from a plane.” That “alternative hypothesis” refers to people on the ground having placed it there. That “alternative hypothesis” referred to the event’s having been staged by people on the ground. That “alternative hypothesis” referred to the U.S. side’s proxy-forces — America’s ‘Syrian rebels’) having staged this event and filmed its alleged aftermath so that the U.S.-UK-led White Helmets could then feed it to the U.S.-and-allied ’news’-media so as to enrage their publics against Syria’s Government enough for those publics to think that the subsequent U.S.-and-allied bombing of Syria, On 14 April 2018, was a ‘humanitarian’ action.
The OPCW’s Engineering team stated there, very clearly, that the U.S.-and-allied allegations that those cylinders had been dropped from a plane or planes “CANNOT POSSIBLY BE CORRECT,” as Postol and Lloyd had previously said about the U.S.-and-allied alleged Syrian Government 21 August 2013 sarin gas attack against East Ghouta. This is a tactful way of saying that the U.S. and its allied regimes had lied about it.
Britain’s Daily Mail headlined on May 16th “Strange News from the OPCW”, and Peter Hitchens, at his blog there, reported that “I have received the following reply from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.” It said that, “the OPCW Technical Secretariat is conducting an internal investigation about the unauthorised release of the document in question.” This had been an “unauthorized release”; no question was being raised as to the document’s authenticity.
Who will get the rope to hang Trump, May, and Macron? Of course, nobody. This is the type of world we are living in. Accountability and punishment are only downward, to the individuals below (and many of them are railroaded); credit and rewards are only upward, to the masters above; and so there is no ultimate downside for the people at the very top to perpetrate any crime. There really is no legal jeopardy for people in the positions of Trump, May, and Macron. Such people administer whatever laws actually apply to themselves. There is no accountability for such people, in our world. They are above the reach of any law. And their press say that they are a free press, and that their nation is a democracy. Has the term “democracy” now lost all significant meaning? Or is everything that’s important now, just propaganda, just lies? Is that what we should expect? How can democracy even function under such conditions? It obviously can’t.
The lengthy presentation and analysis of this Engineering report, that the group to which the document had been leaked issued, closed by saying “We thank the OPCW staff members who have communicated with us at considerable personal risk.” All of the decent people there must be terrified, much like a woman who has just been raped is. But this is on a much bigger scale.
Eric Zuesse, 6 November 2019
It is now clear that on 14 April 2018, the three Governments of U.S., UK, and France, fired over a hundred missiles against Syria, on no more ‘justification’ than staged videos that had been done by those regimes’ own proxy boots-on-the-ground fighters in Syria, who are trying to overthrow Syria’s existing, non-sectarian Government and replace it by a Sharia-law regime that would be selected by agents of Saudi Arabia’s ruling family. In other words: the fighters whom the U.S., UK, and France, had been arming and training, had themselves created this pretext of a faked ‘gas attack’ having been perpetrated against civilians, as an excuse in order for those three national regimes (which Governments are those jihadists’ own foreign supporters and backers — the real international “Deep State” imposing the empire of which they themselves are already a part as the empire’s proxy boots-on-the-ground army) to, additionally and now directly, invade Syria, by means of over a hundred missiles against Syria, on that date: 14 April 2018. The U.S.-and-allied Deep State worked in conjunction with these jihadists in order to wage their war against Syria. This international war-crime, of “aggression” against a sovereign state — or, in common parlance, unprovoked aggression, for conquest — is now clear, and will be fully documented in the following news-report, providing the evidence for prosecution of those three Governments, in an appropriate forum:
On 27 October 2019, Caitlin Johnstone posted to Twitter a 2:18-long audio clip from the BBC World Service in which Jonathan Steele, who specializes in reporting on the Midddle East, reported that now a second whistleblower from within the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) (the U.N.-authorized agency to investigate possible chemical-weapons attacks) is alleging that the OPCW’s final report, regarding the alleged 7 April 2018 chemical attack against Douma Syria, had lied in some significant ways in order to avoid concluding that the ‘attack’ (which had been the excuse for the 14 April 2018 invasion) had been staged and never actually occurred. Johnstone then posted to the American Herald Tribune and other non-mainstream online news-media, an article “The USA’s History Of Controlling The OPCW To Promote Regime Change”, saying:
When the Courage Foundation and WikiLeaks published the findings of an interdisciplinary panel which received an extensive presentation from a whistleblower from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) investigation of an alleged 2018 chlorine gas attack in Douma, Syria, it was left unclear (perhaps intentionally) whether this was the same whistleblower who leaked a dissenting Engineering Assessment to the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media this past May or a different one. Subsequent comments from British journalist Jonathan Steele assert that there are indeed two separate whistleblowers from within the OPCW’s Douma investigation, both of whom claim that their investigative findings differed widely from the final OPCW Douma report and were suppressed from the public by the organization.
The official final report aligned with the mainstream narrative promulgated by America’s political/media class that the Syrian government killed dozens of civilians in Douma using cylinders of chlorine gas dropped from the air, while the two whistleblowers found that this is unlikely to have been the case. The official report did not explicitly assign blame to Assad, but it said its findings were in alignment with a chlorine gas attack and included a ballistics report which strongly implied an air strike (opposition fighters in Syria have no air force). The whistleblowers dispute both of these conclusions.
CONCLUDING NOTE: If this sort of thing doesn’t make clear why the U.S. and UK regimes have, for over a decade, imprisoned Julian Assange without trial, and are now slowly murdering him, in solitary confinement, then what ever possibly could make these dictatorships clear?
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.