Vital information that would have exonerated the Syrian government over claims its military used chemical weapons to attack its own citizens was purposely suppressed, according to a whistleblowing chemical weapons inspector.
By John Friend
An inspector with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), an international organization that has investigated the alleged use of chemical weapons by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, has recently come forward claiming that key evidence was suppressed by senior management at the organization that would have exonerated the Syrian government over claims its military had used chemical weapons to brutally attack its own helpless citizens.
Neocon warmongers in the U.S. and other Western nations, including France and the United Kingdom, have long alleged that Assad’s government has systematically targeted civilians with chemical weapons in the civil war that has wreaked havoc on the Arab country. Opposition forces hostile to Assad have been supported and funded by Western states and the Israelis in order to destabilize and ultimately overthrow the once-stable government.
Allegations that Assad’s forces have utilized chemical weapons in the war have largely been manufactured by the West and the mass media, with international organizations such as the OPCW providing cover, despite their own internal investigators’ findings casting doubt on such allegations.
The inspector, who is using the pseudonym “Alex” so as not to reveal his identity, recently came forward after failing to internally resolve the dispute with management at OPCW.
“Most of the Douma team felt the two reports on the incident, the interim report and the final report, were scientifically impoverished, procedurally irregular, and possibly fraudulent,” Alex told several reporters in Europe. Douma refers to the city in Syria where the alleged chemical attack took place. Alex hopes that the internal investigators involved with scientifically investigating the scenes, analyzing evidence, and drafting the original reports will be able to address the upcoming OPCW annual conference, which brings together representatives of the various members states comprising the OPCW. Allowing the investigators, such as himself, to address the conference and answer questions would “demonstrate transparency, impartiality and independence,” which clearly have been lacking at the organization.
Alex is not the first whistleblower at OPCW to come forward with allegations that senior management has suppressed information damaging to claims that the Syrian regime used chemical weapons. Ian Henderson, a South African ballistics expert, led a team that examined two cylinders that forces hostile to Assad alleged were dropped from helicopters on areas occupied by rebels. The cylinders were said to have been filled with chlorine gas. After assessing the situation, Henderson’s team overwhelmingly viewed the cylinders as having been staged by the rebel forces themselves in an effort to indict the Syrian government, which Assad and his backers have long claimed. Henderson’s findings were omitted in later reports on the investigation.
“Ian and I wanted to have this issue investigated and hopefully resolved internally, rather than exposing the failings of the organization in public, so we exhausted every internal avenue possible including submission of all the evidence of irregular behavior to the Office of Internal Oversight,” Alex recently stated after going public. “The request for an internal investigation was refused and every other attempt to raise our concerns was stonewalled. Our failed efforts to get management to listen went on over a period of nearly nine months. It was only after we realized the internal route was impossible that we decided to go public.”
Evidence indicating that chemical weapons were not in fact used by Assad’s forces was systematically suppressed by OPCW in subsequent reports, essentially contradicting the findings of objective scientific experts and investigators. The doctored findings of the OPCW were used, at least in part, to justify military strikes on Syrian targets and to demonize Assad in the international press.
John Friend is a freelance writer based in California.