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Oh Look! (What. a. surprise.)

Written By: - Date published: 10:41 am, February 8th, 2020 - 20 comments
Categories: Free Trade, International, making shit up, Propaganda, Syria, United Nations, us politics - Tags: , , ,

So this predictable crap was in The Guardian today. I’m not going to go through the evidence brought to light by two whistle blowers who were involved in collating evidence from the scene of an alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma. (I’ll leave links to comprehensive pieces and interviews around what was brought to light at the foot of the post for anyone so inclined)

I’m just going to make the obvious observation that smear and character assassination is the port of call for those who have nothing of substance with which to counter a claim laid against them.

Even if you know nothing about the issues surrounding the OPCW reports on Douma, reading the Guardian article (there will be others from msm echoing themselves spread around the net) should raise a red flag in the mind of even a fairly cursory reader.

There is nothing contained in the Guardian article that rebuts or challenges any of the substantive claims made by the two people who stepped up and called out the OPCW for its reports on Douma.

Instead, there is the usual sly dismissal of the messenger, or in this case, messengers.

Sadly. In this day and age, that will probably suffice to shut down any one not toeing the “official line” . They will be dismissed as conspiracy theorists because, you know, those two guys didn’t know diddly and were just disgruntled ex-employees…it said so in the Guardian (And they’re probably Russian stooges to boot).

With that in mind, I’m just going to drop a quote from José Bustani, who was integral in creating the OPCW, when he read the information provided  by the whistle blowers.

“The convincing evidence of a regular behaviour in the OPCW investigation of the alleged Douma chemical attack confirms doubts and suspicions I already had. I could make no sense of what I was reading in the international press. Even official reports of investigations seemed incoherent at best. The picture is certainly clearer now, although very disturbing.”

The ouster of José Bustani as Director General of the OPCW in 2002 by the then US administration – specifically the role of John Bolton in that affair –  makes for ‘an interesting’ read. aye?

So I know. Cue the charges of “anti-american!” (apparently that’s true according to some). The US has a benign foreign policy and wouldn’t ever seek the economic and/or military destruction of another country by any means necessary – including getting into bed with terrorists –  just in order to control its resources, or to take its resources out of the picture altogether to ensure US corporate dominance across major sectors of the global economy. (It’s called “ensuring free trade”.)

k. I hear my auld granny calling from beyond the grave and telling me that’s enough pissing in the wind for one day. 😉

Here’s some links for people who suffer from the curse of curiosity.




20 comments on “Oh Look! (What. a. surprise.) ”

  1. Bazza64 1

    The Guardian article seems reasonable & genuine to me, especially the bit about the two individuals involved “They could not accept that their views were not backed by evidence” These people probably think the moon landing was a hoax & the earth is flat. Why let the facts get in the way of a good story ?

    • Brigid 1.1

      The Guardian article is designed exactly to do that – "seem reasonable and genuine".

      'These people' are, were, OPCW scientists who examined the evidence and wrote their report, which did not fall into line with the the required propaganda.

      The report that one of these inspectors has written is discussed here:

      "In testimony before the United Nations Security Council, former OPCW inspection team leader and engineering expert Ian Henderson stated that their investigation in Douma, Syria suggested no chemical attack took place. But their findings were suppressed."


      Read it

    • adam 2.1

      The first post – starts with the old chestnut – the russians did it.

      Then it goes on to claim wikileaks has not posted all the emails, so the 'alex' is lying.

      And last, but not least, it finishes with personal attacks. By which stage I'd had enough of the condescending emotive propaganda the authour was writing.

      What a waste of time reading that crap was. I'm not going to bother with the other two when the first one was so much bullshit.

      • Andre 2.1.1

        So you aren't interested in looking at the actual evidence? Documentation of likely chlorine induced rapid corrosion and the presence of unusual chlorinated organic compounds in close proximity to the cylinders? Damage to the cylinders and buildings consistent with dropping the cylinders aerially that would be extremely difficult to replicate any other way? Plus a whole lot more.

        None so blind as those who have already chosen what to believe.

        And no, it doesn't say the russians did the attack. It does suggest, and provides evidence why, that the russians may be involved in spreading disinformation. This is a tiny portion of the report, a mere two paragraphs.

  2. Brigid 3

    The Courage Foundation convened a panel of concerned individuals from the fields of disarmament, international law, journalism, military operations, medicine and intelligence in Brussels on October 15th.

    Panel members:

    José Bustani, Ambassador of Brazil, first Director General of the OPCW and former Ambassador to the United Kingdom and France,

    Richard Falk, Professor of International Law, Emeritus, Princeton University; Visiting Professor, Istinye University, Istanbul

    Kristinn Hrafnsson, editor-in-chief, Wikileaks

    John Holmes, Maj Gen (retd), DSO OBE MC

    Dr. Helmut Lohrer, MD, Board member of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) and International Councilor of its German Affiliate

    Prof. Dr. Guenter Meyer, Centre for Research on the Arab World (CERAW) at the University of Mainz

    Elizabeth Murray, former Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East, National Intelligence (retd); member, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity and Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (http://www.samadamsaward.ch)

    "Based on the whistleblower’s extensive presentation, including internal emails, text exchanges and suppressed draft reports, we are unanimous in expressing our alarm over unacceptable practices in the investigation of the alleged chemical attack in Douma, near the Syrian capital of Damascus on 7 April 2018. We became convinced by the testimony that key information about chemical analyses, toxicology consultations, ballistics studies, and witness testimonies was suppressed, ostensibly to favor a preordained conclusion."

    https://couragefound.org/2019/10/opcw-panel-statement/The Courage

    • Andre 3.1

      Link that works:


      tl;dr October 2019 The undersigned think the OPCW should take another look at their report in light of the claims of the dissidents within OPCW.

      It seems that is exactly what the OPCW have done. The conclusion the OPCW came to was that the dissidents "could not accept that their views were not backed by evidence".

      • Brigid 3.1.1

        Actually it is not what the OPCW have done. They simply refused to reply to Ian Henderson for 6 months. Their latest report does nothing to address Ian's concerns but instead simply seeks to insult him and all other scientists who have expressed their concerns at the doctored report.

        For those interested

        "The OPCW's director general finally issued a statement – attacking his staff and whistleblowers, saying that the official narrative is sacrosanct, and that any dissent from the organisation's experts and engineers will not be tolerated."

  3. Adrian Thornton 4

    Hi Bill here is a belated thumbs up for writing this piece yes

    Always interesting how the many defenders of status quo around these parts are always so quiet after the many obvious propaganda projects that they so vigorously defend finally get exposed for what they are..

    But you can be sure they will be out defending the next one just as hard..very strange behaviour when you think about it really.

    • McFlock 4.1

      Damned if we do, damned if we don't. Andre did a pretty good job this time, though.

      Always interesting how many deluded individuals regard silence as some sort of consent for their warped assertions of reality..

    • Bill 4.2

      Thanks Adrian.

      But I disagree when you say the behaviour's is strange – it's just some people will only see what they're told.

      And when that's a person's mentality, I guess there's a chosen higher authority that's a "go to". And anything seen as challenging that authority will be treated at a level of threat to personal security.

      The clearer cut examples probably exist around the likes of religious extremists who will, y'know, chop your head off for not going for what's in "the book". And that just exists on a continuum, so in a space like this blog, articles and opinions by expert after sound investigative reporter can be brought to bear on an argument or issue, and the tedious routine by those who see what they are told is to launch straight past any evidence and logic and zero in on the messenger.

      I mean, they'll engage with controversies that are within safe parameters, but beyond that, they are just simple noble defenders of a bullshit paradigm they need to believe in.

      Hmm. So whereas I can have a debate with a CV about 9/11 (he has a soft spot for conspiracies, yes?), it's not as though I either a) dismiss everything he has to say on every other topic or b) engage at a simple minded level of "that is wrong, therefore the opposite is true"…which, again, those who see what they are told don't tend to be capable of moving beyond official narratives, and so fall into simple minded black hat/white hat positions.

      And just for the record, no, I don't think people within some US agency planted explosives or such like.

      Maybe a more topical example would be the current Primary in the US. In the other thread the usual suspects have been doing the "nothing to see here" arm waving routine with regards Iowa with a little sly ad hom on the side. And that's in spite of the fact that Shadow and the parent company have deep ties to the establishment Dems and New Knowledge who, as Russiagate hucksters, did in Alabama in 2017 precisely what they kept claiming Russia had done vis a vis election interference (Actually, they went much further than some few facebook ads that no-one saw and created a fictitious candidate to bleed votes away from their target candidate….while claiming Russian bots were interfering on behalf the same candidate)

      But any suggestion things might be awry in Iowa and any suggestion there are questions deserving answers, well…that's not a conversation falling within safe parameters and so gets trashed by the usual suspects before it gets started.

      The green light only blinks for boring lowest common denominator debate. And the effect is an ongoing downward trajectory for this site.

  4. Adrian Thornton 5

    oh thats right Bill I forgot to say…except for the crazies of course…but then it has always been plainly obvious that that lot will believe and defend anything told to them by their chosen authority figure/organization.

    Well at least we don't have to get into any guessing games as to who the camp guards would be around here do we…nope it seems Mcflock and Andre are just waiting for their chance to show how faithful to power they can be..

    • McFlock 5.1

      See? Damned if we don't (because some fool says something like you did in comment 4), but damned if we do (because some fool says what you did in comment 5).

  5. RedLogix 6

    I've not been following this story so I won't comment directly on it; but I'm happy to assure you I'm not one of those lining up to yell 'anti-American'.

    What does irks me is the usual lazy line of thinking that reflexively opposes anything and everything American with no regard for context or nuance. But in this case we can point to specific policies and individuals within the current US govt shitshow who are responsible for clear cut lies and deceptions to advance an ugly agenda; and with that I’ve no issue whatsoever.

    • adam 6.1

      I agree redlogix, and I wish people would apply the same logic to russia and other places. I do wonder how people are handling the fact putin is giving up power – as it does not fit the narrative so many have spun.

      Let not forget that friends of mine are locked up in putin's prisons for political reasons. So I'm no fan of the muppet. But a bit of nuance in discussing russia and the usa would help us all.

      Would should not forget that both the usa and russia are on the cusp of falling into totalitarianism, and no matter what form totalitarianism takes – it's always, always bad for working people.

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