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Media Suppressed Evidence Of The OPCW's 'Chemical Attack' Manipulations - There Is Now More Of It

Published: December 15, 2019
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Source: Moon of Alabama

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. At least two whistleblowers have gone public and some 20 OPCW inspectors have internally protested to their management.

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.


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

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