Update 1 December 2019, OPCW Conference closes with consensus on other issues but with Syria reporting regarded as unfinished business by Non-Aligned States along with Russia and China. Meanwhile, Peter Hitchens meets whistleblower and intimates that there is much more is to come.
Update 26 November 2019. On the eve of the OPCW’s 24th Conference of States Parties, Wikileaks released an email revealing claims of what Peter Hitchens, writing in the Mail on Sunday, called a ‘sexed up dossier’. On the first day of the conference, the whistleblower revelations were referred to by the OPCW director general only to downplay their significance, a line uncritically followed by Reuters, AFP, CBS News, The Guardian, etc. In the evening, however, the story received prominent coverage from American TV on Tucker Carlson Tonight.
The new leak reinforced the message of the earlier whistleblower revelations that this post began by noting:
On 23 October 2019, the Courage Foundation and Wikileaks released a statement arising from a panel meeting with the OPCW whistleblower on irregular practices in the OPCW’s investigation of alleged chemical attack in Douma, on 7 April 2018. This was signed by seven figures of international standing, including the OPCW’s first director general, José Bustani.
Within hours of its release, this statement was reported in La Repubblica (Italy) and NachDenkSeiten (Germany), but no mainstream outlet in English-speaking countries mentioned it on the day. Meanwhile, though, alternative and non-Western outlets have been alive with discussion of the statement and its implications, as have social media.
This post will keep a note of significant media comment on the revelations and the issues they give rise to, being updated as and when items appear.
Links to coverage (most recent first)
Peter Hitchens (1 December 2019) My secret meeting with mole at the heart of The Great Poison Gas Scandal, Mail on Sunday
Xinhua (30 November 2019) Dispute mars conclusion of OPCW conference, XinhuaNet
Peter Hitchens (29 November 2019) In Defense of Journalism, Spectator USA
Peter Hitchens (28 November 2019) Bellingcat or Guard Dog for the Establishment?, Mail on Sunday
Peter Hitchens (26 November 2019) Trump’s Syria missile strike was a scandal. But almost nobody dares say so, Spectator USA
Karin Leukefeld (25 November 2019) The OPCW board is accused of manipulating the investigative report on an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria, NachDenkSeiten (in German)
Tucker Carlson with Jonathan Steele (25 November 2019) Tucker Carlson Tonight, Fox News (video)
Greg Norman (25 November 2019) Syria watchdog accused of making misleading edits in report on chemical weapons attack, Fox News (video & text report)
Peter Hitchens (24 November 2019) Sexed Up to Make War – an astonishing leak from the Poison Gas Watchdog the OPCW, Mail on Sunday
Stefania Maurizi (24 November 2019) Wikileaks: nuove rivelazioni sull’attacco chimico a Douma, in Siria, La Repubblica
Jonathan Steele (27 November 2019) speaking on Weekend, BBC World Service
Peter Hitchens (27 October 2019) Mail on Sunday column
(scroll further down for more)
Karin Leukefeld (24 October 2019) Giftgas in Duma: über mutmaßlich manipulierten OPCW Bericht (RT video, 14 minutes, German)
La Repubblica (23 October 2019) Whistleblower denuncia che l’OPAC, l’Organizzazione per la proibizione delle armi chimiche, ha manipolato le indagini sull’attacco chimico a Douma, in Siria, By Stefania Maurizi
Nachdenkseiten 23 October 2019) Whistleblower – der OPCW-Bericht zum angeblichen Giftgasangriff in Duma entspricht nicht der Wahrheit, by Karin Leukefeld
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) (23 October 2019) OPCW-Inspektoren widersprechen offiziellem Abschlussbericht
Wikileaks (23 October 2019) OPCW Whistleblower Panel on the Douma attack of April 2018
Courage Foundation (23 October 2019) Panel Criticizes ‘Unacceptable Practices’ in the OPCW’s investigation of the Alleged Chemical Attack in Douma, Syria on April 7th 2018