“Major Revelation” from OPCW whistleblower: Jonathan Steele speaking to the BBC

The following is a transcription of an interview given by Jonathan Steele (former Senior Middle East Correspondent for the Guardian) to Paul Henley, on the BBC World Service programme, Weekend, on 27 October 2019

Jonathan Steele: “I was in Brussels last week … I attended a briefing by a whistleblower from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. He was one of the inspectors who was sent out to Douma in Syria in April last year to check into the allegations by the rebels that Syrian aeroplanes had dropped two canisters of chlorine gas, killing up to 43 people. He claims he was in charge of picking up the samples in the affected areas, and in neutral areas, to check whether there were chlorine derivatives there …

Paul Henley: And?

JS: … and he found that there was no difference. So it rather suggested there was no chemical gas attack, because in the buildings where the people allegedly died there was no extra chlorinated organic chemicals than in the normal streets elsewhere. And I put this to the OPCW for comment, and they haven’t yet replied. But it rather suggests that a lot of this was propaganda…

PH: Propaganda led by?

JS: … led by the rebel side to try and bring in American planes, which in fact did happen. American, British and French planes bombed Damascus a few days after these reports. And actually this is the second whistle blower to come forward. A few months ago there was a leaked report by the person who looked into the ballistics, as to whether these cylinders had been dropped by planes, looking at the damage of the building and the damage on the side of the cylinders. And he decided, concluded, that the higher probability was that these cylinders were placed on the ground, rather than from planes.

PH: This would be a major revelation…

JS: … it would be a major revelation …

PH: … given the number of people rubbishing the idea that these could have been fake videos at the time.

JS: Well, these two scientists, I think they’re non-political – they wouldn’t have been sent to Douma, if they’d had strong political views, by the OPCW. They want to speak to the Conference of the Member States in November, next month, and give their views, and be allowed to come forward publicly with their concerns. Because they’ve tried to raise them internally and been – they say they’ve been – suppressed, their views have been suppressed.

 

For more on the story

Media Coverage of OPCW Whistleblower Revelations 

“Unacceptable Practices at OPCW” – by José Bustani and international panel

Flawed OPCW Douma Report: key criticisms

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This entry was posted in BBC, chemical weapons, disinformation, Guardian, guest blog, international institutions, media, OPCW, propaganda, Syria, UK Government, Uncategorized, war, White Helmets. Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to “Major Revelation” from OPCW whistleblower: Jonathan Steele speaking to the BBC

  1. kenricashe says:

    There is a typo in the html source of the first link which is supposed to be:
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/w172wyjcsxxfg3w

      • Thomas Ward says:

        Did the OPCW ever have ANY credibility to lose in the first place? I think. NOT… I am of the opinion that they were “Compromised” at inception.. A feature which they seem share with the White Helmets… They are part of the idealogical fog of war the wealthy war mongering thieves exude as ideological flatulence for the poorly informed and their monkey see and monkey do non-association.

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  19. Mark Chapman says:

    All part of living in Spin City, where the witless support iniquity because it is fed to them on The Box; kind of like money-laundering for the mind. It enters the accepting mind of the well-meaning, and comes out as common wisdom.

    Perhaps this would be a good time to mention there is no longer any excuse for that. You don’t have to be a cutting-edge critical thinker to know the mainstream media has been caught lying so many times that it has to be deliberate. That’s probably why there’s a powerful trend toward censoring what you can see and hear, all in the name of protecting you from disinformation.

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