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OPCW attack on whistleblowers only proves its own credibility is shot

Nebojsa Malic
Nebojsa Malic

is a Serbian-American journalist, blogger and translator, who wrote a regular column for Antiwar.com from 2000 to 2015, and is now senior writer at RT. Follow him on Twitter @NebojsaMalic

is a Serbian-American journalist, blogger and translator, who wrote a regular column for Antiwar.com from 2000 to 2015, and is now senior writer at RT. Follow him on Twitter @NebojsaMalic

OPCW attack on whistleblowers only proves its own credibility is shot
Attempting to discredit the whistleblowers casting doubt on its report about a chemical attack in Syria, the OPCW has only confirmed the authenticity of the leaked documents, the expertise of individuals involved, and its own rot.

For months now, two whistleblowers – an individual only identified as “Alex” and former specialist Ian Henderson – have testified and presented documents indicating that the final report on the April 2018 incident in Douma was doctored to suggest Syrian government forces may have used chemical weapons, and therefore retroactively justify US, UK and French missile strikes against Syria, which had been carried out before the OPCW mission even got there to investigate.

On Thursday, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons tried to discredit them by arguing they were not actual whistleblowers, but disgruntled employees who breached confidentiality, and lacked expertise and access to all the evidence.  

Also on rt.com OPCW responds to Douma leaks... by arguing whistleblowers are not credible & calling for tighter internal security measures

That was enough for the legion of mainstream propagandists (looking at you, Bellingcat) to declare that they had been vindicated, the whistleblowers discredited, and the Douma report 100 percent correct.

They must have not bothered to read the OPCW’s little exercise in semantics, because what it actually did – perhaps inadvertently – was confirm that the leaked documents were authentic and that the whistleblowers did have access to the evidence they discussed.

For example, it says that one of the whistleblowers was “not a member” of the fact-finding mission in Douma – but then also says that he “accompanied” and “assisted” the FFM, and was later “assigned to conduct an inventory” of the sensitive evidence gathered.

The OPCW has only itself to blame for this predicament. After all, the organization certified back in 2013 that Syria had dismantled its chemical weapons laboratories and handed over the agents to the US and UK to destroy, having supervised the process and inspected the facilities. Yet it allowed itself to be used by Western powers, and the jihadist militants they’ve backed – in a campaign to effect “regime change” in Damascus anyway.

Way back in 2012, the Obama administration set chemical weapons use as a “red line” that would trigger a Libya-style “kinetic military action” in Syria. The Russian diplomatic initiative that saw Syria disarm had thwarted that plan, but didn’t stop “moderate rebels” such as the Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra from staging incidents that could be blamed on President Bashar Assad’s government, all in the hope of provoking an outside intervention and winning the war for them.

The thing about these “chemical attacks” is that they always happen when the “rebels” are losing and the Syrian army is advancing with ease. This means that the Syrian government has absolutely no need to use chemical weapons for any reason, military or political – unlike the militants, who absolutely need such incidents to keep their cause alive.

Also on rt.com OPCW report on 2018 Syria chemical ‘attack’ politicized, new probe may be needed – Russian envoy

By publishing a report on Douma filled with omissions and insinuations, the OPCW effectively sided with these terrorists – as well as countries that unilaterally launched attacks against Syria in open defiance of international law. 

Then it chose to address criticism of its complicity in the biggest lie since the Iraqi WMDs, by attacking the whistleblowers. For an organization that’s supposed to safeguard the world from the proliferation of dangerous weapons, that’s not just a bad look – it’s a credibility killer.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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