22 January 2020 — 21st Century Wire
Yesterday, a former engineer and ballistics expert with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) delivered testimony via video link to an audience at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), accusing the chemical weapons watchdog of intentionally burying exculpatory evidence from its Fact Finding Mission (FFM) report – evidence which would have exonerated the Syria government in an alleged chemical weapons incident in Douma, Syria, in April 7, 2018.
The UNSC meeting was called by representatives from Moscow, calling for public transparency on the matter.
The meeting’s featured presentation was given by former OPCW engineer Ian Henderson, who told UN representatives about ‘serious reservations’ raised by the actual FFM team, reservations which were systematically ignored and covered-up by OPCW executives.
It is believed that the FFM’s real findings were particularly embarrassing for the US, UK and France, who had immediately attributed blame to Damascus before any investigation took place, relying completely on speculative conclusions as the pretext to launch their joint missile strike against Syria on April 14, 2018.
Henderson went on to inform members of the UNSC what really happened with the OPCW cover-up, and why this scandal has serious implications going forward.
The findings in the final [Fact Finding Mission] report were contradictory, were a complete turnaround with what the team had understood collectively during and after the Douma deployments.
In my case, I had followed up with a further six months of engineering and ballistics studies into the cylinders, the result of which had provided further support for the view that there had not been a chemical attack.
According to leaked emails, the watchdog’s executive ordered that ‘all traces of Henderson’s report be removed’ from the OPCW’s internal document archives.
He testified that The FFM team “had serious misgivings that a chemical attack had occurred”, the OPCW’s final report had simply ignored crucial “findings, facts, information, data or analysis” collected by the team on the ground – including ballistics, chemical analysis, and important toxicology determinations – all of which would have completely changed the body’s conclusions.
The Twitter thread below shows key parts of Henderson’s incredible admission:
— Len Zoo (@LennyZuber) January 20, 2020
Henderson’s engineering report was initially leaked to the Working Group on Syria Media and Propaganda (WGSMP) last May.
Later, WikiLeaks published several sets of emails which further demonstrated a clear cover-up at the OPCW, but more shockingly, the revelation that US intelligence officers were seen inside the OPCW’s offices in The Hague, Netherlands, where they were allowed to intimidate employees, while demanding they tow the Washington line on the narrative surrounding the Douma attacks.
21WIRE also revealed how members of the mainstream media, along with US, UK government-backed ‘investigative organization,’ Bellingcat, have been actively involved in an online defamation campaign designed to damage the credibility of both OPCW whistleblowers and any dissenting journalists and academics, in the hopes of steering the public away from the explosive findings detailed in successive leaks. Instead, mainstream gatekeepers and intelligence cut-outs are working in concert to convince the public to accept the official narrative issued by US, UK and French governments back in April 2018.
Whistleblower Henderson’s testimony was met with anger from US and UK representatives, who accused Russia of ‘politicizing’ the OPCW and UN forum.
Britain’s ambassador to the UN, Karen Pierce, took to Twitter and lashed out at Russia saying, “Today we heard the Russians trying to deny facts that have been established by an independent body, trusted by the international community to do its work, OPCW. This is frankly a shameful response to the very real horrors on the ground in Syria.”
Despite all of their protestations though, neither Pierce or her US counterpart, Cherith Norman Chalet, dared to contest any of the information presented by OPCW whistleblowers, preferring instead to frame any new information forthcoming as “Russian disinformation.”
— Ruptly (@Ruptly) January 21, 2020
Their ad hominem tactic was reflected in the Murdoch press as well, with The Times of London running the headline, “Russia accused of misinformation over claim Syrian chemical attack was faked“.
“Western nations accused Russia of sowing misinformation yesterday after it held a meeting at the United Nations to argue that a notorious chemical attack in Syria never happened,” said the Murdoch paper.
It is believed that more leaks and documents pertaining to the OPCW Douma cover-up are still forthcoming.