On the sixth of July last year, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) released its interim report on its findings regarding an alleged poison gas attack in Douma, Syria in April 2018. The incident, which resulted in dozens of civilian casualties, was blamed on the Syrian government by the US, UK and France, who launched retaliatory airstrikes on multiple targets in that nation.

The interim report claimed that “various chlorinated organic chemicals were found” in different locations on the scene, but strangely said nothing about the levels at which those chemicals were found. The Moon of Alabama blog highlighted this suspicious exclusion on the day the report came out, noting that levels are absolutely essential in determining chemical weapons use when you’re talking about compounds which are found virtually everywhere at some level in any industrialized region.

“The preliminary OPCW report says nothing about the concentrations in which these substances were found,” MoA observed. “Without knowing the concentrations, which may be extremely low, one can not come to further conclusion.”

“The ‘various chlorinated organic chemicals’ are unsurprising,” MoA wrote. “Chlorine is widely used for water purification and cleaning and ‘chlorinated organic chemicals’ will be found in any household.”

A new addition to the body of leaks which have been hemorrhaging from the OPCW shows that such skepticism was indeed entirely warranted. A leaked email sent shortly before the interim report was published reveals that the chlorinated organic chemicals which OPCW investigators found on the scene were as low as one or two parts-per-billion, meaning, just as Moon of Alabama speculated last year, that they were found at trace quantities you’d expect to find in any industrialized area.

The leaked email, which has been published by WikiLeaks and several other outlets, was sent by an unnamed OPCW investigator to the OPCW’s then-cabinet chief Bob Fairweather, outright accusing OPCW leadership of misleading the public with the information it was omitting from the report it was drafting. Those who’ve been following this scandal closely may remember Fairweather as the man who journalist Jonathan Steele recently reported was responsible for calling investigators into his office to be intimidated by unknown officials from the United States government.

The email was sent to Fairweather on June 22nd, laden with pointed words and phrases like “misrepresents the facts”, “selectively omitting”, “highly misleading”, “disingenuous”, “inaccurate”, and “a major deviation from the original report.” Less than two weeks later, on July the fourth, the investigators were reportedly called into Fairweather’s office for a disturbing meeting with US officials which deeply rattled them.

“On July 4 there was another intervention,” Steele’s report reads. “Fairweather, the chef de cabinet, invited several members of the drafting team to his office. There they found three US officials who were cursorily introduced without making clear which US agencies they represented. The Americans told them emphatically that the Syrian regime had conducted a gas attack, and that the two cylinders found on the roof and upper floor of the building contained 170 kilograms of chlorine. The inspectors left Fairweather’s office, feeling that the invitation to the Americans to address them was unacceptable pressure and a violation of the OPCW’s declared principles of independence and impartiality.”

It’s worth noting at this time that the US government already has a known and established history of leveraging the ostensibly neutral and international OPCW to conform to its preexisting military agendas.

Fairweather’s intimidation ploy appears to have been a response to comments made in the email, and probably other similar internal objections made by other investigators at that time. The email reads as follows (transcript and parenthetical annotations made by Daily Mail):

Dear Bob,

I wish to express, as a member of the FFM (Fact Finding Mission) team that conducted the investigation into the alleged chemical attack in Douma on 7 April, my gravest concern at the redacted version of the FFM report, which I understand was at the behest of the ODG. (Office of the Director General). After reading this modified report, which incidentally no other team member who deployed into Douma has had the opportunity to do, I was struck by how much it misrepresents the facts. Many of the facts and observations outlined in the full version are inextricably interconnected and, by selectively omitting certain ones, an unintended bias has been introduced into the report, undermining its credibility. In other cases, some crucial facts that have remained in the redacted version have morphed into something quite different to what was initially drafted. If I may, I will outline some specific aspects to the redacted report that are particularly worrisome.

The statement in paragraph 8.3 of the final conclusions ‘The team has sufficient evidence at this time to determine that chlorine, or another reactive chlorine-containing chemical, was likely released from cylinders’, is highly misleading and not supported by the facts. The only evidence available at this moment is that some samples collected at Locations 2 and 4 were in contact with one or more chemicals that contain a reactive chlorine atom. Such chemicals could include molecular chlorine, phosgene, cyanogen chloride, hydrochloric acid, hydrogen chloride or sodium hypochlorite (the major ingredient of household chlorine-based bleach). Purposely singling out chlorine gas as one of the possibilities is disingenuous. It is also worth noting that the term ‘reactive chlorine-containing chemical’ used in the redacted report is, in fact, inaccurate. It actually describes a reactive chemical that contains chlorine which itself (the chlorine) is not necessarily reactive e.g. chlorophenol. The original report uses the more accurate term ‘a chemical containing reactive chlorine’.

The redacted report states that the gas was likely released from the cylinders (in Locations 2 and 4). The original report purposely emphasised the fact that, although the cylinders might have been the source of the suspected chemical release, there was insufficient evidence to affirm this. It is possible the error was simply a typo. This is a major deviation from the original report.

Paragraph 8.2 states that ‘based on the high levels of various chlorinated organic derivatives, […] detected in environmental samples’. Describing the levels as ‘high’ likely overstates the extent of levels of chlorinated organic derivatives detected. They were, in most cases, present only in parts per billion range, as low as 1-2 ppb, which is essentially trace quantities.

The original report discusses in detail the inconsistency between the victims’ symptoms, as reported by witnesses and seen in video recordings. Omitting this section of the report (including the Epidemiology which has been removed in its entirety) has a serious negative impact on the report as this section is inextricably linked to the chemical agent identified. It either supports or detracts from the confidence in the identity of any possible chemical. In this case the confidence in the identity of chlorine or any choking agent is drawn into question precisely because of the inconsistency with the reported and observed symptoms. The inconsistency was not only noted by the FFM team but strongly noted by three toxicologists with expertise in exposure to CW (Chemical Weapons) agents.

The original report has extensive sections regarding the placement of the cylinders at both locations as well as the relative damage caused to the impact points, compared to that caused to the cylinders suspected of being the sources of the toxic chemical. These sections are essentially absent from the redacted report. This information was important in assessing the likelihood of the ‘presence’ of toxic chemicals versus the ‘use’ of toxic chemicals.

A feature of this investigation and report was the robust and extensive scientific basis for sampling plans and analysing the data collected. A comprehensive bibliography of peer-reviewed scientific literature was attached to support and enhance the credibility of the work of the mission. This has unfortunately been omitted from the redacted report.

By singling out chlorine above other equally plausible substances containing reactive chlorine and presenting it as a fact in isolation creates, I believe, a level of partiality that would negatively impact on the perceived credibility of the report, and by extension that of the Organisation. I am requesting that the fact-finding report be released in its entirety as I fear that this redacted version no longer reflects the work of the team. The original report contains facts and observations that are all equally valid. The fact that inconsistencies are highlighted or observations not fully understood does not justify their omission. The inconsistencies and observations are based on the evidence and data collected. Further information in the future may help resolve them but the facts as they stand at present will not alter and need to be reported.

If the redacted version is to be released, I respectfully request to attach my differing observations, in accordance with the spirit of paragraph 62 of part II of the Verification Annex of the CWC.

Yours sincerely

The OPCW’s final report published March of this year continued the pattern of crucial omissions even more egregiously than the interim report.

“Regarding the alleged use of toxic chemicals as a weapon in Douma, the evaluation and analysis of all the above-referenced information gathered by the FFM provide reasonable grounds that the use of a toxic chemical as a weapon has taken place on 7 April 2018,” the final report claims. “This toxic chemical contained reactive chlorine. The toxic chemical was likely molecular chlorine.”

Again, the information complained about in the leaked email remained omitted.

The unfolding scandal about the US and its allies once again deceiving the world about yet another military intervention in yet another Middle Eastern nation is a major story, and hardly anyone’s been on top of it.

Back when I published an article about the first OPCW whistleblower this past May it was shared by actress Susan Sarandon on Twitter, who captioned it with the question, “This is really important. Why aren’t we talking about it?” Click on the tweet and read through the comments if you want to see the platoon of blue-checkmarked narrative managers who converged on her post telling her I’m a crazed conspiracy theorist who mustn’t be listened to. I got this story right, and everyone who’s been ignoring it or dismissing it has made an ass of themselves.

So congratulations to me. Congratulations to Moon of Alabama for getting this story right from day one. Congratulations to Piers Robinson, Tim Hayward, and the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media who published the first OPCW leak back in May of this year in the face of numerous obnoxious smear pieces from the mainstream media. Congratulations to Jimmy Dore, Aaron Maté and the handful of other alternative media figures who’ve been keeping this story alive while all the “reputable” mainstream news outlets tried to let it die.

We were right, they were wrong. Maybe going forward people should listen to us a bit more and listen to them a bit less.


Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, checking out my podcast on either YoutubesoundcloudApple podcasts or Spotify, following me on Steemitthrowing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandisebuying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2

Liked it? Take a second to support Caitlin Johnstone on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!

32 responses to “New OPCW Leak Further Vindicates Skeptics Of Establishment Syria Narrative”

  1. If everyone was as well informed as Caitlin, and could think as clearly and analytically, and was as fair, compassionate, and empathetic, humanity’s problems would be over within one generation. As it is, most people rely on “authorities” to tell them what to think. These authorities control the narrative, which most people just parrot mindlessly. As a result, humanity’s problems just escalate.

  2. I am not a skeptic on this issue. I know for a fact that the Sociopaths In Charge lie when the truth would serve them. They can’t help it. They’re SIC. We have descended to the point of zero credence in any gubmint action or statement. Good for us. We couldn’t before, we just didn’t know any better. Now we do. Which SIC will you vote for? Me, None Of The Above. Voting gives them justification.

  3. Godless Nihilist Avatar
    Godless Nihilist

    I’m still waiting on the media and politicians to start apologizing to Tulsi Gabbard…oh wait, Kamala “Free Mnuchin” Harris and Pete “Indiana Juan Guaido” Buttigieg just called her an Assad apologist two days ago on the debate stage. Thanks for having her back Bernie…not.

  4. Mr. Bloomberg has thrown his hat into the stew that is the democratic pot for the presidency. 2020 is going to be a great year for the political writers. This recent article sums it all up perfectly:

  5. Tom Luongo, matthew ehret, eric zuesse at strategic culture foundation spell everything out in simple clear terms. read them before it becomes illegal and the Deep State takes that site over.

    1. Without a doubt a great website for the whole truth every day.

    1. “And their percentage of the population?” Less than one fifth of 1%. Everyone should be aware of this, because this particular group dominates in positions of world power and control.

  6. Unspeakable Memories: Unless one is a government disinformation agent or is unaware of the enormous documentary evidence, one knows that it was the CIA that carried out JFK’s murder. Confirmation of this fact keeps arriving in easily accessible forms for anyone interested in the truth. Peruse the entire article here:

  7. USA-ma Bin Laden Avatar
    USA-ma Bin Laden

    To be frank, it would be an absolute shock if the American Empire, its allied crime partners, or the self-styled Free Press were NOT lying about the Syrian government’s (non) use of chemical weapons, as evidenced by the OPCW whistleblowers.


    All you have to do is look at how they are mostly the same countries, civil society institutions, and Free Press who peddled the massive lies about mythical Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction–lies which were utilized to justify America and its Coalition of the Killing’s ongoing crime against humanity that is the bombing, sanctioning, invasion, and now colonial occupation of Iraq.

    These Iraqi WMDs lies are even more outrageous than the lies about Syria.

    And then there are the lies about the fake War on Terrorism that America is leading since Sept. 11th, in which the USA claims to be fighting jihadist terrorism–even as it bankrolls and arms jihadist terrorists against Syria, Libya, and other nations as far away as Russia and China.

    These lies are deceptions on a world historical scale–not merely one-off fibs.

    So of course the United States, its allies, and media would be lying.

    Lying is what they do.

    Deception is fundamental to their vaunted “core values” and indeed Way of Life itself.

  8. Just like most other people I went through life working and paying bills, etc.; now in retirement I have time to think and become aware of many different things that I overlooked or did not pay attention to. Ms Johnstone’s website is a blessing in that regard. This morning I had a chance to catch up on some very important articles that I had saved on my desktop. As a young man JFK was one of my heroes and every November since has been trying for me. This article brought more to light about the forces that killed him:
    This article is about ” Ethnic Cleansing ” and is also enlightening and then some:
    Have a Nice Day Everyone!

  9. Your careful attention to this issue is very much appreciated Caitlin!!

    Keep up your excellent work.

  10. I made my living as a lab tech in fossil-fuel and nuclear power plants. I know a bit about chlorine, but nobody will believe a G D thing I say about chlorine, so:
    Chlorine use in drinking water:
    Chlorine use in swimming pools:
    Chlorine solutions to disinfect surfaces:
    In short, if the potable water supply in the area where the supposed chemical attack occured was chlorinated, and that water was used to wash down people and areas near the supposed attack, the chlorine in the water may very well be the source of the chlorine in the samples sent to the OPCW.
    If the water supply is not chlorinated, it is likely that the people living in that area would be more likely to be using bottled, store-bought sodium hypochlorite (bleach) for a variety of purposes, including for all of the above references, and this could also be the source of the chlorine in the samples.

  11. Comments from UK Foreign Secretary and our Canadian Foreign Minister at the time…
    (Former) Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:
    “Few people have to make the kind of moral choices that faced White Helmet Raed al-Saleh, who I was privileged to meet today. The White Helmets risked life and limb to save over 115,000 lives during the Syrian conflict, despite attacks at the hands of the Syrian regime and the Russian military. The UK is proud to stand behind them.”

    Former-Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland condemned the attack at the time, saying the “repeated and morally reprehensible use of chemical weapons” by the Assad regime has been confirmed by independent observers.
    “Canada condemns the Assad regime — and its backers, Russia and Iran — for its repeated, gross violations of human rights and continued, deliberate targeting of civilians,” Freeland said in a statement.

    Thank you Caitlin, Tracey, Blumenthal, Dore, Norton, Mate and others who keep the truth telling out there.
    and AmirAminiMD for letting the anger come out in such a tension releasing way.

  12. TRUTH is good. The U.S. lies are terror. Free Assange and others. Thank you wikileaks and all truth tellers. Get the fuck out of our way you war criminal pigs.

  13. Just a commendation to journalist Robert Fisk who reported on the area shortly after the event!

    1. Ah yes. Fisk’s report was damning.

  14. Russians killed thousands of CIA proxy ISIS terrorists in Syria….
    “We killed hundreds of Russians in Syria” ~ madman Pompeo

    I wept when I saw Christian Syrian children being dragged into the forced organ donor butcher shops….I wept when Princess Kushy begged daddy to bomb Assad, both times over staged gas attacks….can we somehow make America great without starving and killing other countries….

    1. No, my good man. You can’t.

  15. Thank who ever you believe in for people like Caitlin who have the courage to tell the truth, in a world, where the truth is called fake by the powerful!

    1. What a bizzaro world we live in. Trump calls MSM fake news on their reporting of him which is true but also endorses the same effect on the false news he wants us to believe. I commend Trump for one thing, he has increased our distrust in the MSM which is good.

  16. Zionist fascism Hindu fascism Islamic fascism Christian fascism and all their window dressings same shit different buckets
    All the while ordinary people suffer from their evil conniving

    Julian Who

  17. John Sanguinetti Avatar
    John Sanguinetti

    When will we be able to talk about the malign influence of zionists and Israel firsters and identify
    individuals within organizations like OPCW the CIA, the FBI, M16 and other numbered departments. The US military, US and Foreign governments. Military contractors, Congressional staff and committee. So called “think tanks” and anywhere else they may lie. Is the fear of being labeled “anti-semitic” going to be our death?
    The evidence of the existance of some sort of plan to implement the zionist agenda has been around for many years but they are so strong, well organized, financed, directed and thorough in their planning and implementation and social conditioning through the Mass Media that we are afraid to even mention the work Israel and zionism. Most people I know think our wars are about oil ! Lets TALK about this ! Lets identify the members of this 5th column, lets get them to talk about what is going on and who is running this VERY effective campaign.

    1. Another nice conspiracy theory which may be true but with little concrete evidence like most based on circumstantial evidence. Like AG Barr says, just a bunch of coincidences.

    2. Tom Luongo, matthew ehret, eric zuesse at strategic culture foundation spell everything out in simple clear terms.

  18. Ah, the Buddha Ms Caitlin speaks the truth! The ” Evil Empire ” is gradually losing its control and blind belief of the ” masses “. A month from now ” the masses ” with have to deal with the ” other side of the story ” in regards to the folly in Ukraine as well as ” the regime-change operation ” that the United States employed to take over that government. Perhaps the year 2020 will bring a rude awakening to the sleeping United States population.

  19. And to those alternate truthsayers ;-

    … do something and do it again, from morning till evening… and to think of nothing except doing this well, as well as (you) can do it ;see[ing] to it that our own influence on all that is yet to come balances and outweighs his…. Let our brilliance make them look dark. No, let us not become darker ourselves on their account, like all those who punish…. Let us look away.
    GS 321, Nietzsche

  20. Meanwhile, Wikipedia insists on smearing Jimmy Dore by stating that the UN said the Syrian govt did it.

    1. probably that philip cross identity ( don’t think it’s one guy).

  21. Congratulations to you!!!!! And, what can I say to others? Avoid billionaires like the plague, No Walmart, no Starbucks, no Facebook, no EBay, no Amazon; boycott them all, no television, boycott all companies that advertise on television, don’t buy papers from major presses; starve the billionaires. Even Elon Musk is now starting to talking about eliminating people just like the Rockefellers did before they brought the Nazis to power. Rich people are evil people, no way around it.

  22. This should come as no surprise to anyone. I had serous reservations from the jump. It made absolutely no sense for Assad to test the resolve of this bellicose nation.

    Along the way, we found out just who the White Helmets were, a construct.

    When PBS and the administration are building up the same propaganda, you know what’s up.

  23. Excellent article. Truly shines a light on how these so-called regulatory agencies are scampering to support an unsupportable imperial agenda, with all its concomitant distortions of fact and downright lies.

Leave a Reply