Panel Finds Gaping Holes in OPCW Report on Alleged Syrian Chemical Attack

A whistleblowers’ advocacy group finds “unacceptable practices” by an investigation of the 2018 chemical attack in Douma, writes Caitlin Johnstone.

By Caitlin Johnstone

The Courage Foundation, an international protection and advocacy group for whistleblowers, has published the findings of a panel it convened last week on the extremely suspicious behavior of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in its investigation of an alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria, last year.

After hearing an extensive presentation from a member of the OPCW’s Douma investigation team, the panel’s members (including a world-renowned former OPCW director general) report that they 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.”

I’ll get to the panel and its findings in a moment, but first I should provide some historical background so that readers who aren’t intimately familiar with this ongoing scandal can fully appreciate the significance of this new development.

In late March of last year, President Donald Trump publicly stated that the U.S. military would soon be withdrawing troops from Syria, causing some with an ear to the ground like independent U.S congressional candidate Steve Cox to predict that there would shortly be a false flag chemical weapons attack in that nation. This was because the public had already been shown that highly suspicious chemical attacks tended to happen when the Trump administration begins pushing for a reversal of standing U.S. Syria policy, as I noted in April 2017 immediately following the alleged attack in Khan Shaykhun.

“I was able to predict Douma in 2018 because it happened already almost exactly 1 year prior, at Khan Shaykhun, April 4, 2017,” Cox told me on Twitter on Thursday. “Khan Shaykhun also occurred within days of the Trump Admin saying we’re leaving Syria.”

And, like clockwork, on April 7, 2018, dozens of civilians in Douma were killed in an incident which was quickly reported as a Syrian government chemical attack by all the usual establishment narrative managers on Syria, with everyone from the White Helmets to Charles Lister to Eliot Higgins to Julian Röpcke loudly flagging it on social media to draw the attention of mainstream news outlets who were slower to pick up the story.

U.S. bomber prepares to launch a strike mission from Al Udeid AIr Base, Qatar, April 13, 2018, in support of the multinational response to reports of Syria recent use of chemical weapons. (U.S. Air Force/Phil Speck)

There was immediate skepticism, partly because acclaimed journalists including Sy Hersh have been highlighting plot holes in the official story about chemical weapons in Syria since 2013, partly because Assad would stand nothing to gain and everything to lose by using a banned yet highly ineffective weapon in a battle he’d already essentially won in that region, and partly because the people controlling things on the ground in Douma were the Al Qaeda-linked extremist group Jaysh-al Islam and the incredibly shady narrative management operation known as the White Helmets. Those groups, unlike the Assad government, most certainly would stand everything to gain by staging a chemical attack in the desperate hope that it would draw NATO powers into attacking the Syrian government and perhaps saving their necks.

Long before any investigation into this suspicious incident could even be begun, much less completed, the U.S. State Department declared it to have been a chemical weapons attack perpetrated by the Syrian government, saying “the Assad regime must be held accountable,” and that Russia “ultimately bears responsibility” for the attack. Which was of course mighty convenient for U.S. geostrategic interests.

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On April the 14, 2018, the U.S., U.K. and France launched an airstrike on the Syrian government as punishment for using chemical weapons, citing secret “intelligence” which the U.S. claimed gave them “very high confidence that Syria was responsible.” The public has to this day never been permitted to see this intelligence. This all happened before any formal international investigation could take place.

The OPCW conducted its investigation, and in July 2018 published an interim report saying that “no organophosphorus nerve agents or their degradation products were detected, either in the environmental samples or in plasma samples from the alleged casualties.” This ruled out sarin gas, invalidating earlier reports by Syria war pundits such as Charles Lister who claimed that sarin had been used, but it didn’t rule out chlorine gas.

In March of this year the OPCW issued its final report saying forensics were consistent with chlorine gas use and advancing a ballistics report which strongly implicated the Assad government by implying it was an aerial drop (Syrian opposition militias have no air force). The official Twitter account for the U.K. Delegation to the OPCW tweeted at the time that the report “confirms chemical weapons used, demonstrating the vital importance of OPCW’s work. This confirmed chlorine attack was only the latest example of Asad regime’s CW attacks on its own population.”

In May of this year, a leaked internal document from the OPCW investigation was published by the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media which completely contradicts the findings of the official report published in March. The leaked engineering assessment said that “observations at the scene of the two locations, together with subsequent analysis, suggest there is a higher probability both cylinders were manually placed at those two locations rather than being delivered from aircraft,” which would implicate the forces on the ground in the incident rather than the Assad government.

The OPCW indirectly confirmed the document’s authenticity by telling the press that its release had been “unauthorized.” Climate Audit’s Stephen McIntyre published an excellent thread breaking down how the document invalidates the OPCW’s claims which you can read by clicking here. Establishment narrative managers had a very difficult time spinning the fact that the OPCW had taken it upon itself to hide findings from the public that dissented from its official report on an incident, which preceded an international act of war upon a sovereign nation, and all the implications that that necessarily has for the legitimacy of the organization’s other work.

Throughout this time, skeptics of the establishment-authorized narrative on Douma, including myself, have been aggressively smeared as deranged conspiracy theorists, war crimes deniers and genocide deniers for expressing skepticism of the establishment-authorized narrative on Douma. Which takes us to today.

The Courage Foundation panel, which met with the OPCW whistleblower, consists of former OPCW Director General José Bustani (whose highly successful peace-mongering once saw the lives of his children threatened by John Bolton during the lead-up to the Iraq invasion in an attempt to remove him from his position), WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson, Professor of International Law Richard Falk, former British Army Major General John Holmes, Dr. Helmut Lohrer of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, German professor Guenter Meyer of the Centre for Research on the Arab World, and former Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East Elizabeth Murray of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

So, these are not scrubs. These are not “conspiracy theorists” or “Russian propagandists.” These are highly qualified and reputable professionals expressing deep concerns in the opaque and manipulative way the OPCW appears to have conducted its investigation into the Douma incident. Some highlights from their joint statement and analytical points are quoted below, with my own emphasis added in bold:

“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.”

“The convincing evidence of irregular behavior 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.” – Bustani

“A critical analysis of the final report of the Douma investigation left the panel in little doubt that conclusions drawn from each of the key evidentiary pillars of the investigation (chemical analysis, toxicology, ballistics and witness testimonies,) are flawed and bear little relation to the facts.

Section on Chemical Analysis:

“The interpretation of the environmental analysis results is equally questionable. Many, if not all, of the so-called ‘smoking gun’ chlorinated organic chemicals claimed to be not naturally present in the environment’ (para 2.6) are in fact ubiquitous in the background, either naturally or anthropogenically (wood preservatives, chlorinated water supplies etc). The report, in fact, acknowledges this in Annex 4 para 7, even stating the importance of gathering control samples to measure the background for such chlorinated organic derivatives. Yet, no analysis results for these same control samples (Annex 5), which inspectors on the ground would have gone to great lengths to gather, were reported.”

“Although the report stresses the ‘levels’ of the chlorinated organic chemicals as a basis for its conclusions (para 2.6), it never mentions what those levels were —high, low, trace, sub-trace? Without providing data on the levels of these so-called ‘smoking-gun’ chemicals either for background or test samples, it is impossible to know if they were not simply due to background presence. In this regard, the panel is disturbed to learn that quantitative results for the levels of ‘smoking gun’ chemicals in specific samples were available to the investigators but this decisive information was withheld from the report.”

“The final report also acknowledges that the tell-tale chemicals supposedly indicating chlorine use, can also be generated by contact of samples with sodium hypochlorite, the principal ingredient of household bleaching agent (para 8.15). This game-changing hypothesis is, however, dismissed (and as it transpires, incorrectly) by stating no bleaching was observed at the site of investigation. (‘At both locations, there were no visible signs of a bleach agent or discoloration due to contact with a bleach agent’). The panel has been informed that no such observation was recorded during the on-site inspection and in any case dismissing the hypothesis simply by claiming the non-observation of discoloration in an already dusty and scorched environment seems tenuous and unscientific.”

Section on Toxicology:

“The toxicological studies also reveal inconsistencies, incoherence and possible scientific irregularities. Consultations with toxicologists are reported to have taken place in September and October 2018 (para 8.87 and Annex 3), but no mention is made of what those same experts opined or concluded. Whilst the final toxicological assessment of the authors states ‘it is not possible to precisely link the cause of the signs and symptoms to a specific chemical‘ (para 9.6) the report nonetheless concludes there were reasonable grounds to believe chlorine gas was the chemical (used as a weapon).”

“More worrying is the fact that the panel viewed documented evidence that showed other toxicologists had been consulted in June 2018 prior to the release of the interim report. Expert opinions on that occasion were that the signs and symptoms observed in videos and from witness accounts were not consistent with exposure to molecular chlorine or any reactive-chlorine-containing chemical. Why no mention of this critical assessment, which contradicts that implied in the final report, was made is unclear and of concern.

Section on Ballistic Studies:

“One alternative ascribing the origin of the crater to an explosive device was considered briefly but, despite an almost identical crater (understood to have resulted from a mortar penetrating the roof) being observed on an adjacent rooftop, was dismissed because of ‘the absence of primary and secondary fragmentation characteristics’. In contrast, explosive fragmentation characteristics were noted in the leaked study.”

Section titled “Exclusion of inspectors and attempts to obfuscate:”

“Contrary to what has been publicly stated by the Director General of the OPCW it was evident to the panel that many of the inspectors in the Douma investigation were not involved or consulted in the post-deployment phase or had any contribution to, or knowledge of the content of the final report until it was made public. The panel is particularly troubled by organisational efforts to obfuscate and prevent inspectors from raising legitimate concerns about possible malpractices surrounding the Douma investigation.”

I’ll leave it there for now.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium. Follow her work on FacebookTwitter, or her website. She has a podcast and a book, Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.” 

This article was re-published with permission.

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20 comments for “Panel Finds Gaping Holes in OPCW Report on Alleged Syrian Chemical Attack

  1. steve
    October 29, 2019 at 06:41

    Its at this stage that his story becomes highly unlikely and frankly (in my opinion) ridiculous. He tells us that the bottle broke and splintered and he spilled some on the liquid on his hands. He also said the perfume had no scent or smell to it, so he must have sniffed it.

  2. jeff Davis
    October 28, 2019 at 11:22

    In the lead-up to the Iraq War Colin Powell’s integrity and credibility were exploited — and used up — to gull the world into allowing the criminal invasion of Iraq.

    Powell reports that this was the worst moment in his career, a moment that destroyed the credibility he spent a lifetime building.

    The OPCW finds itself in a similar situation now. What was once considered a reliable and respected source of neutrality and objectivity, is now seen as yet another corrupted tool of the hegemon. All the OPCW has left, is the cloak of shame they have earned, now so clearly seen. (Of course they still get their big fat paycheck, bigger and fatter now that they have thrown their lot in with the Hegemon. ) All we have left is the inevitable disappointment one feels at having been misled for so long, and the “adulthood” we gain and the loss of innocence we endure at discovering that yet another once-trusted organization has been corrupted. So add the OPCW — like Colin Powell — to the list of the victims of the forces of Neocon and Neoliberal degeneracy.

  3. Moi
    October 28, 2019 at 02:46


    Following is a non-MSM report:

    The Pentagon officially announced that the US, France and the UK launched a total of 105 cruise missiles on three targets belonging to the “chemical weapons” infrastructure of the Syrian government. According to the Pentagon, all the 105 missiles hit their targets. 76 of these missiles allegedly hit “Barzah Research and Development Center” destroying its three buildings.

    The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) conducted a round of inspections in Barzeh as late as November 2017 and found no chemical weapons there:

  4. Gerry L Forbes
    October 28, 2019 at 01:48

    Thanks for the details; they may be useful in enlightening those who never read past the first paragraph of a news story but they are unnecessary for those who have learned to recognize the patterns of lies in the deep state media. Terrorists were victims in the first gas attack in Syria but it turned out that the weapon could have only come from “rebel” held territory and was therefore part of the struggle to be first of the worst to get the lion’s share of American support. Subsequently, to the best of my recollection, not a single terrorist fell victim to any gas attacks (even when sarin was allegedly used). All the victims were women and children (or “families” if any adult males were victims since “men” aren’t worth any ink unless they are American). Considering the outrage chemical weapon attacks incur it is ridiculous to believe that anyone would conduct such operations without getting more bang for their buck. The terrorist intelligence was impeccable, however, as they were able to announce in advance when Syria would use gas, especially late in the war when Syria was clearly winning and would have no need to use extraordinary methods to achieve their goals.

    There is also a pattern to the reporting of demonstrations. Demonstrations in favour of the Empire’s goals are always “peaceful” even when police are attacked and killed (Ukraine, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Iran, etc.) but demonstrations against imperial hegemony are always “violent” even though it is the protesters who are beaten and killed.

    I fear there is little hope for the world when the powers that be don’t even have to put any effort into their lies.

  5. CitizenOne
    October 27, 2019 at 01:22

    Nice article Caitlin. One other observation is that the global media hailed the US cruse missile attacks on Syria after the alleged chemical attack on civilians in Syria. The unified message within the global media industry revealed their overwhelming support for the US counter strike.
    It was disturbing to see so many nations applauding the US launch of missiles even before the facts were in. This is wrong on so many levels that we have to ask just what is the “thing” that the media corporations and governments around the planet have become. How can humanity rely upon the better judgement of all nations when all the western nations cheered the launch of cruise missiles that might be quite easily armed with weapons of mass destruction (nukes).

    More disturbing trends:

    1. Trump’s decision to use the military to launch cruise missile attacks happened within 48 hours which is a very short period in which to assign blame for a terrorist act let alone launch a military offensive involving intermediate range offensive weapons before the facts were in.

    2. The main stream media (MSM) acted more like a propaganda arm of the government rather than an independent estate describing US retaliatory action on a grandiose scale as a just revenge action like the Doolittle raid on Japan.

    3. Nobody examined the basic rules of investigation into Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons.. Those rules look to motive and opportunity, (you need both) as fundamental questions that must at least be tentatively answered affirmatively before they are used to solve any crime.

    3. Nobody to date in the MSM

    • Hank
      October 27, 2019 at 18:56

      First of all, the USA is in no position to be a moral leader with regards to the use of WMD’s which they lead the world in selling and using! And for crying out loud, why would Assad use chemical weapons with UN Inspectors close by when the war was being decisively won by Russia/Syria and any such chemical attack would have given Assad’s enemies a “justification” to attack Syria? Are Americans THAT stupid that the government would try this illogical scenario on them? Yes they are, at least millions of them are, because they take the lying mainstream media’s word as gospel when it is PURE PROPAGANDA! Also, why would such an attack be planned when it served little if no purpose to Syria’s war effort? Only an ill-informed person would swallow the bait on this one and I can’t believe Trump to be THAT stupid and/or misinformed. His cruise missile attack did little damage and I suspect it was just a compromise to please the warmongers in the room. Bottom line though is that the REAL aggressor, the REAL bad guy in all this, the one that exacerbated the situation in Syria to deadly and destructive war, WAS the USA. Even if Assad HAD used(stupidly, but he is NOT stupid any more than Putin is!) chemical weapons the blame for it getting to that point would have rested solely on the shoulders of the good ol’ USA!

    • CitizenOne
      October 28, 2019 at 23:21

      Early on Trump had the basic common sense to believe that the War in Syria was just another deep state operation designed to overthrow the Syrian government much in the same way that the secretive US intelligence agencies have used their power to overthrow a whole bunch of foreign national governments that the USA didn’t like. Take Iran and Venezuela as overthrows that were successful in the case of Iran in the 1950s and Venezuela which is yet to be determined as an ongoing effort to overthrow that government since Hugo Chavez won election as a socialist leader. The history of South America is peppered with overthrows of South American governments by the American intelligence agencies. Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Chile, the list goes on.

      But Trump early on was like a fish out of water gasping for a breath of air in the light of what was decried by the world as heinous acts perpetrated by Syria specifically staged gas attacks by the “enemy”. Was Syria responsible for the gas attacks? Trump was in the creel and found he could do little to oppose the group think which went way beyond the USA and included many European allies which all had a sudden shift of heart based on the alleged atrocities and fully blamed Assad for the chemical gas attacks even though it made no sense that Assad would launch a weapons of mass destruction attack on his own people on the eve of Trump wanting to pull out of Syria.

      Even though this made no sense and was logically implausible that Assad would tempt the return of the US into the war after Trump wanted out of the war by Syria committing war crimes on the eve of US withdrawal Trump had to appease his masters and save face by launching a missile attack that was carefully planned so as not to do too much damage. It is perhaps seen as a miracle that the launch of 59 cruise missiles against Syrian targets resulted in few casualties and little damage to Syrian air war infrastructure. The back story was that Trump was communicating with the Russians who supported the Syrians in order to launch an air strike which would be seen around the world as vindication for the Syrian gas attack but would actually not amount to an offensive attack that would draw the anger of Russia.

      Trump has been performing a high wire act trying to appease the war mongering side of the US government and its intelligence agencies that are actually fully operational military departments while simultaneously trying to unwind US military interventionism which is a hallmark of our foreign affairs in hot spot regions around the world.

      I believe that the impeachment of Trump has more to do with his “radical” strategy to end the war in Syria rather than his investigation of the Biden’s. The Military Industrial Complex (MIC) has a big problem with Trump who has resisted going along with their plans. That I believe is the real reason for the impeachment hearings.

  6. Sam F
    October 26, 2019 at 19:13

    The evidence of fraud in the OPCW report looks pretty conclusive.
    I saw one of the original photos of an alleged Douma crater with an alleged CW rocket in it.
    The “crater” appeared to be a road pothole a few inches deep.
    The “rocket” was an undamaged cylinder of maybe 3×20 inches, placed there to look related.
    It appeared that kids had made something to suggest a rocket that had made a crater.
    The standard of evidence is that of Western mass media liars and marketing scammers.
    The cui bono beneficiaries (US and Israel) convict the West alone.
    The UN has truly failed its mission under the guidance of the corrupt US.

  7. SteveK9
    October 26, 2019 at 13:43

    Hersh exposed the first attack in Ghouta as an operation by Assad’s enemies. All the rest were obviously false flags, if you had half a brain and were paying attention. Unfortunately no amount of evidence or logic has any effect whatever on the propaganda narrative. After all, if George Clooney trusts the White Helmets, shouldn’t everyone?

  8. Douglas Houck
    October 26, 2019 at 12:43

    The Section on Chemical Analysis is troubling to me as one would not expect chlorinated organics from the release of Cl gas. I have worked in the wastewater (sewage) area for 30+ yrs. where in the US the use of Cl gas to disinfect treated sewage (not that is a great source of organic chemicals) is common. The same process is used in treating the potable water supply. The only chlorinated organic compounds found in both sewage and drinking water is chloroform, a volatile chlorinated organic compound. As it is volatile (lighter than air), it is not something one would expect to find a month after it’s release.The other major use of chlorine is in the bleaching of wood pulp, such as toilet paper (which finds it’s way into the sewage stream). Even with that source, chlorinated organics at the part per billion (ug/L) level is not generally found from the use of chlorine gas.

    Chlorine is a very strong oxidizer and it breaks down organic compounds into simpler components, i.e., bleaches them. (Fire is another form of chemical oxidation). It does not chlorinate (i.e., adds chlorine atoms) to organic compounds. That generally takes adding a lot energy such as temperature and/or pressure and/or catalyst. It is why when I use household bleach in my bird bath it breaks down the organic acids from the decaying leaves and turns the concrete from orange/brown back to normal concrete grey. Same with using it to bleach socks, white t-shirts, etc.

    Not sure what, or why chlorinated organics were found at the site. It raises the question of if the site was purposefully contaminated at the time of supposed use. Something that one would do in a well thought out false-flag event.

    Because chloroform is found in chlorinated drinking water it would be realeased any time water is boiled (for cooking etc.) or even during shower use. Without a control set of samples there is no way to say what the expected background chemicals and concentrations would be.

    The other part is, the existence of certain chenicals would not provide much evidence of how much chlorine gas was released.

    What is also surprising is the dismissal of not noting any evidence of bleaching. If a large amount of chloring gas was released it should have “whitened” anything organic, like a blanket or cotton mattress cover, (even organic dust such as soot or common dirt) over a large distance. The lack of such evidence would support that little if any chlorine gas was released at the site.

    All in all, a very poor report which would does not stand up to much scrutiny. There don’t appear to be any truly honest, unbiased organizations.

  9. Eugenie Basile
    October 26, 2019 at 05:47

    And the president of the USA was duped into Tomohawk action by the warmongers. At that point he became Presidential…. heard it on CNN.

    • Nathan Mulcahy
      October 29, 2019 at 15:59

      “The president was duped”. A dupe doesn’t need to be duped.

  10. Hide Behind
    October 26, 2019 at 03:45

    During cold war years a prominent Russian defected to US, and of course he gained celebratory status, being a world renowned author of a book smuggled out of Russia and then interpreted to be published in English and Britain, gave him automatic credibility after his defection.
    Talk show host and the DC Beltway movers and controllers with their mainstram media friends either interviewed him or invited him to non stop lectures and both Parties party time circuits
    Trouble was that he had written an honest book upon life in Soviet Russia, and he thought that being honest was the greatest gift US gave to world and when questioned he gave his honest answers and opinions.
    When one of US best known talk show host asked him if he was impressed by US free speech and media coverage over what he had found in Russia he gave an honest answer to whit:
    In Russia one could easily find truth, because one new that whatever a Party Official said or what was written in Pravda were lies.
    But here in US one never could do the same because lies and truths were so mixed together it was hard to tell who or whom to believe because none actually dared to speak or write the full truth.
    It was very confusing to him, but he often found Americans liked it that way because if caught in a lie they could always point to some scapegoat to blame.

    • Frank Munley
      October 28, 2019 at 13:05

      What a wonderful response your defector made to the talk-show host. I would love to have a good reference for it, assuming it wouldn’t endanger the defector.

  11. Tom Kath
    October 26, 2019 at 00:11

    Thank you Caitlin for this conclusive proof of what we already knew. It would be of great benefit if this knowledge were able to be made more “public”.

  12. October 25, 2019 at 18:53 May 3, 2018
    The former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with a dose of liquid nerve agent as large as 50-100 grams, the director general of the international chemical weapons watchdog has told the New York Times. [Soon after publication of the interview with its head, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons withdrew this claim saying it could make no such estimate. See footnote below.]

    Ahmet Üzümcü, of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, said the amount of novichok – a military-grade nerve agent developed by the Soviet Union – used was significantly more than needed for research purposes, which indicates it was likely created for use as a weapon.


    The subsequent clarification by OPCW was that they had no way of making ANY inferences about the quantity of the substance.

    The only motivation of the idiotic an unfounded statement was to raise a panic and provide a bogus explanation why the substance that was never explicitely described by OPCW had to come from Russian military program and not a tiny amount that could be produced in a small lab, e.g. in studies performed on Novichok in Porton Downs and a number of other labs. This is one of the cases when the leader of OPCW revealed himself to be a tool AND an idiot.

    Applying 100 grams of ANYTHING to a door handle in a way that would be unnoticed is not possible, something rather clear to anyone who knows what is a gram and what is a door handle — and who is not an idiot.

    • john wilson
      October 26, 2019 at 06:24

      You only have to examine Charlie Rowley’s story (he was one of the two alleged drug addicts who were said to be poisoned with novichok) to see how stupid the whole novichok farce really is. Leaving aside Charlie Rowley’s account of where he was supposed to have found his famous perfume bottle (first in the park under a bush. then in a dumpster and later he says he found it in a charity shop bin.) its what he said in an interview on broadcast television that brings into question the whole story. He said he took the bottle of perfume home for his friend Dawn Sturgess, but he doesn’t actually give it to her because he said, he, Charlie, cut the cellophane off the package that the perfume bottle was contained in (He constantly refers to the package being wrapped in cellophane thereby implying that its new). he then said that he had to assemble the bottle which was presumably the bottle and the atomizer. It was only then that he gave it to Dawn who he said, sprayed some of the contents on her wrist(s) It seems she then gave him back the bottle.

      Its at this stage that his story becomes highly unlikely and frankly (in my opinion) ridiculous. He tells us that the bottle broke and splintered and he spilled some on the liquid on his hands. He also said the perfume had no scent or smell to it, so he must have sniffed it. He went on to say that the liquid had an oily feel to it, so he must have rubbed it between his fingers. The UK government tells us that such was the potency of the perfume bottle that it could have killed thousands of people. Some parliamentary commentators even went so far as to say half of the people in Salisbury could have died. Yet Rowley spills the stuff on his hands in a quantity such that he needs to wash his hands. He sniffs this deadly weapons grade chemical nerve agent into his olfactory system where some of the most sensitive nerves in the human body are located and he rubs the stuff between his fingers. Surely folks, HE SHOULD HAVE DROPPED ON THE SPOT !! Charlie tells us (remember this is in a public interview on TV and is his story not mine), that Dawn became unwell in 15 minutes and was a hospital case in 30 minutes, yet she had merely sprayed a fine mist of the perfume (novichok) on her wrist(s). Now by anyone’s reckoning Charlie had just had a MASSIVE DOSE of deadly weapons grade chemical nerve agent yet he isn’t take ill until nearly ten hours later and he was apparently able to go to some kind of party during this time as we

      Of course, he said he washed his hands (he didn’t say anything about washing out his nose), but he didn’t become ill until ten hours later. This means that the nerve agent (if that’s what it really was) must have got into his system between the time that he had his massive dose to when he washed his hands, so he should surely have been taken ill in a similar time frame to Dawn Sturgess and not ten hours later. It was after all the same bottle.

      The police have announced quite recently that they didn’t find Rowley’s bottle until nearly two months later and it was apparently found in Rowley’s garage. When Rowley broke the bottle which HE said had no smell to it, he had in his hands a broken bottle of perfume with no fragrance to it, which is to all intents and purposes, a dud bottle of perfume. Surely, most people would have poured the dregs of the bottle down the sink and dropped the bottle into a waste container. So why did Charlie (it must have been him) take the bottle and its packaging out of the house and put it into his garage? In my opinion, there is something wrong with Rowley’s story.

    • Robert Anglin
      October 26, 2019 at 18:01

      100 grams is so wildly erroneous that it must be a result of somebody misspeaking. No one would seriously suggest such a thing.

  13. Jeff Harrison
    October 25, 2019 at 18:48

    So now any report from OPCW can be dismissed as fraudulent and serving the USs global hegemonic agenda. That’s the bad thing about violating trust. Once the trust is gone, it’s very hard to get it back. The frightening thing is that this is just like the run up to WWII. Nazi Germany/Italy/Japan were just ignoring the League of Nations and nobody did anything. Today, it is “The West” with the US in the lead ignoring the UN and the UN isn’t doing squat to even complain about it much less doing something to stop it. With this revelation that OPCW is a worthless organization that can’t be trusted to perform their mission, how much of the UN is a waste of time and money?

  14. Curious
    October 25, 2019 at 17:44

    Thank you Caitlin for the report on OPCW, which has obviously become a compromised entity.

    As an aside: with the supposed withdrawal of US troops from Syria-except the oil fields- I have to wonder why Trump has just given 4.5 Million dollars to the White Helmets in direct support.

    The Washington times reported this figure on Oct 22nd, and wrote the ‘Helmets’ had “saved” 115,000 people during the 8 year struggle. This is beyond belief, as I’m sure the readers of CN know the White Helmets are no heroes. This defies belief in any withdrawal. What is also needed is a comprehensive report on the contractors still in Syria to get a better picture of this ‘shell game’ the US is playing. With OPCW compromised, I believe RT will have better reporting than any corporate US media in the near future.

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