latest, media watch, Syria

BBC redacts article on Idlib to hide unwelcome facts

The push for “action” following the alleged chemical attack in Idlib, Syria is reaching fever pitch. Indeed, it may already have had disastrous consequences. The spokespeople for power that are the Western press consider the case against the Assad regime air-tight. Absent any forensic, or even circumstantial, evidence the mainstream media have resorted to simple arguments from authority looks of bewilderment.

The trouble is “authority” doesn’t seem have any cohesion in this matter – so the press have carefully chosen who they will listen to…and who they will remove from their websites.

Col. Hamish de Bretton-Gordon is the favored voice of “reason” on these matters, he has dismissed any idea other than a deliberate attack by the Syrian government as “fanciful”. And has been cited everywhere from Channel 4, to the Daily Mail to the Guardian, to the BBC. He is universally credited as a “chemical weapons expert” who works as the director of “Medics Under Fire”….but that’s not his only job, just his most recent.

He was originally in the British army, filling an important role at NATO:

Previously Commanding Officer of the UK CBRN Regiment and NATO’s Rapid Reaction CBRN Battalion, Hamish is one of the most operationally experienced CBRN practitioners in the World and is regarded as one of the leading experts in Chemical and Biological Counter Terrorism and warfare.

With other hints from his biography suggesting some work in espionage or military intelligence:

He has also worked with US networks and British newspapers to smuggle chemical samples out of Syria for verification in UK and France.

…so he’s hardly an objective source.

Of course, “Medics Under Fire” is nothing like what it appears to be, either. Its name conjures up imagery of global charities, along the lines of Medecins sans Frontieres. It is nothing like that, in truth it is a Western-backed NGO working out of Syria, very much like the White Helmets. In fact, their websites are almost completely identical.

On the other side of this narrow divide is Jerry Smith, a chemical weapons expert who took part in the removal of Syria’s chemical weapons stocks in 2013. He is hardly a frothing pro-Assad alternative voice, but he takes a measure approach. He wrote in the Guardian:

Russia’s claim that the latest poisoning is a result of a conventional attack on an opposition arms storage facility should not be dismissed out of hand. While it is true that nerve agent can be destroyed by explosion, it is perfectly possible that some agent could survive and be ejected out as a result of an explosion.

…but obviously nobody there was listening, because “dismissing it out of hand” is exactly what they have done.

Mr Smith was also interviewed on Channel 4 news (curiously absent from their online archive), and ABC news in Australia, both times saying very similar things.

The BBC referenced and quoted his Channel 4 interview in their article on the attack, this quote was included in an article headlined Syria chemical ‘attack’: Trump condemns ‘affront to humanity’:

…the official who led the UN-backed operation to remove Syria’s chemical weapons told the UK’s Channel 4 News that the Russian version of events could not be discounted.

“If it is Sarin that was stored there and conventional munitions were used, there is every possibility that some of those [chemical] munitions were not consumed and that the Sarin liquid was ejected and could well have affected the population,” Jerry Smith said.

This paragraph was completely removed just 35 minutes later. The current version of this article makes no mention of Mr Smith at all. No reason is given, and there is no note referencing that the article had been amended.

A reminder that these are standards deemed acceptable by the “news service” for which we are all forced, by law, to pay.

Our thanks to the media lens twitter for bringing this issue to our attention, and to newssniffer for the very important work they do.


  1. archie1954 says

    I stopped paying any attention to the American MSM over a decade ago. Now it seems that I will have to add the BBC to my list of unreliable news sources.

  2. aaronmicalowe says

    I’ve seen the BBC do this before on articles about the IRA. They’re just a state propaganda mouthpiece.

  3. Yonatan says

    One other important point. Zakharova, the Russian spokeswoman, points out that the missile strike was planned before the allged gas attack, which was then used as a retrospective justification. This view is supported by the RUssian military

    “It is evident that the US cruise missile strikes against a Syrian airbase have been prepared long before today’s events. A large system of measures of reconnaissance, planning, preparation of flight tasks and bringing the missiles to launch readiness needs to be carried out to prepare such an attack,”

    It would be interesting to track down the movements of the US navy vessels involved in the attack. That could support or refute their arguments.

  4. summitflyer says

    What we are seeing/hearing is a totally obvious manipulation of the narrative .Facts and evidence be damned .
    With the majority of people led by the main stream news manipulation ,we are now on the brink of WW3 .Never before has it been so obvious of what it is they are doing and how they are doing it, in order to get what it is that they wanted in the first place , the Golan and regime change.

  5. John says

    I think that this event was agreed in advance between Trump, Putin and Assad in order to take the pressure off of Trump, to shut up Trump’s detractors and boost his poll ratings, and ensure his Supreme Court “pick” gets through the nomination process.
    Reports of the missile (NOT planes’) strike suggest only minimal damage and a few light casualties.
    Everyone directly involved knows this is a charade – a pantomime.
    All the posturing western politicians can now go on to deal with really important matters, such as whether or not eggs have any connection with Easter or not.
    I mean, let’s all get our priorities right – yes?

    • I also suspect as much. Though that maybe wishful thinking on my part.

      Certainly everyone was given a heads up as to what was coming so as to get out of the way.

      6 MIG-23(s) destroyed and no damage to the runways. And apparently, only 23 out of 59 to missiles made their destination.

      To my mind, some munitions makers along with the neocon warhawks were given a bone to lick. At least I hope so . . .

    • Michael Leigh says

      Well JOHN yes, this USA sea-launched half-a-billion US dollar salvo of say 50 of the latest Missiles, ( at say 10 million dollars each ) are only stored in the region at NATO Naples Italy, or NATO Bahrain in the Persian Gulf, and in either case with loading and the arming procedures, I guess that could be at least 36 hours or more, before the Sheikhan Houn gas- attacks ( if they the attacks actually happened ) took place ? And therefore the current Russian/Scandinavian/and USA Politicals in and out of both House(s) who jointly claim; that the USA planned and launched the most recent sovereign breaches of Syrian territory well before the gas attacks, is international illegality as usual !

        • Michael Leigh says

          I would agree with your lower estimates of 1.5m dollars USA certainly LERUSCINO,
          if these were the basic 25 year old original design Missililes, but my 10m US dollar estimate was based upon the latest in-flight steerable and ” strings and bell-ringing ” models which were only available last year at the two pre-arming centres. mentioned. This is according to the earlier press reports, but given the actual dismal record of these missile used in Syria ( only one third hitting an undefended target ? ) this week then your own estimate is probably closer to the actual costs, ( my apologies here-under ) !

  6. How many more times will the West fall for these lies? When Iran is destroyed and Lebanon occupied by the IDF and Gaza wiped off the map, will the mass-murdering stop?

    The war in Iraq was conceived by 25 neoconservative intellectuals, most of them Jewish, who are pushing President Bush to change the course of history. Two of them, journalists William Kristol and Charles Krauthammer, say it’s possible.

    This is a war of an elite. [Tom] Friedman laughs: I could give you the names of 25 people (all of whom are at this moment within a five-block radius of this office) who, if you had exiled them to a desert island a year and a half ago, the Iraq war would not have happened.

    Yes laugh Tommie, war, death and destruction is soooo funny.

  7. Michael Leigh says

    When will we be told why the SYRIAN defence forces turned-off their westward seeking anti-missile defence shield, and the very same question applies to to those later and more intelligent defence installations of the latest Russian equipments, at it’s long term base in Syria recently rent-renewed by the Russian air/naval defence forces, who are allegedly defending Syria from the USA/NATO invading forces of evil and murderous regime-change ?

      • BigB says

        A 23 out of 59 strike rate suggests that either their Tom Cruise missiles are sh#t, or effective ECM (Electronic Counter Measures) were deployed – so no, no evidence yet that Syrian air defence was stood down. Also, looking at the emerging images, I’m yet to be convinced the alleged 23 got through. In the images I’ve seen so far the base looks pretty intact. How did they know were sarin was stored? starting to smell of #FakeNews?

        • Goat_Moag says

          That would be my best assessment also. That so relatively few allegedly got through was what prompted the question.

    • We second GM – can you cite a source for this? It’s obviously very significant if true.

  8. michaelk says

    The dreadful media church have an incredible amount of responsibility for the disasterous course of current events. The journalists, like the Guardian’s Freedland, act and think and give sermons from their powerful media pulpet, like a priesthood. They now assert that they have ‘facts’ and the ‘truth’ on their side. They know the difference between ‘fake news’ and the ‘Truth.’ Without them we’d all be lost and be duped by the clever and subtle words of Satan, who wants to trick us into losing our souls. In their world Putin is Satan. The great trickster. The evil prince of propaganda.

    That we’re rapidly leaving the last shreds of rationality behind us as we move seemingly inexorably towards open war with Russia, is a tragedy. Can it be stopped, or are we doomed? I’m not optimistic. Democracy is virtually dead and there is no real opposition anywmore. Our leaders can get away literally get away with anything. There is no political opposition allowed. Not only that dissent or challenging the drift towards more war has been virtually outlawed in our media. Hardly a voice is raised in our parliaments opposing war. The public has never been more passive and silenced, even though we are moving closer and closer to WW3.

    • And an obviously staged London event will likely go down in history as a real ‘terrorist’ incident – just like the one on 7/7 – because the majority have bought into the “war on terror” lie and the manufactured Muslim threat. It’s also possible that one – possibly the major – purpose of the chemtrails is precisely to dumb us down and make us docile. But , hey, that’s just another ‘urban myth’ ….

  9. Goat_Moag says

    I’m I the only one who see the absurdity of bombing an airfield that they say is where the chemical attacks originated from? Would that not mean there is likely chemical weapons there? So are they not risking the same horrendous result they accuse Assad? One thing you can count on just about 100% is the logic of their cover stories holding up to critical thinking. However, I really doubt they are worried to much about critical thinking going critical mass. It would pretty much be a first.

  10. michaelk says

    Trump is president, but he doesn’t have an independent powerbase, a party or a movement behind him. Sure, he was elected, but that doesn’t really count for much anyamore. He’s an isolated and weak figure, because he’s surrounded by a monolithic state/military/media apparatus that did everything in their power to stop him becoming president and just because the American people voted for him that doesn’t mean the deep state will bow to the will of the people. Even if he wanted to Trump cannot rule without the support of powerful vested interests. America’s version of liberal democracy, rapidly becoming a quaint concept, doesn’t allow for victories like Trump’s, change that isn’t agreed to and sanctioned by powerful interests.

    It’s almost like the peasants, rejecting the advice and orders of the medieval church, choose a fool to be king. He mounts the throne, but he has no real power because the powerful court, the church, the knights and the barons, don’t accept his legitimacy and have contempt for the peasants, whose role is to work the fields and not interfere in how the country is run. The face of the person sitting on the throne changes from time to time, but that person is only as powerful as the barons surrounding the throne allow him to be. The king reflects and balances the power of the barons. The king can be changed every few years. The barons can not be, they are permanently in power regardless of who’s sitting on the throne.

    • Goat_Moag says

      Nice. Have said much the same, but never so poetic.

    • Very well put but is it not about time when we, the peasants, recognised the sheer satanic malevolence of these “Barons” and set about organising ourselves to remove them.

  11. Kaiama says

    As usual the US shoots first and asks questions later, but by design rather than stupidity.
    We are no nearer understanding what happened. I’ve seen one “bomb?” in a very small crater and a chemical weapons sign on it. I’ve seen 3 partly obscured people lying on the ground. I haven’t seen any analysis of why Assad would gain anything. There has been no investigation. If you have destroyed your weapons under US/Russian supervision, and IF you had kept some back, why would you then use them and provke a response (taking the piss out of the US). No gain for Assad, lots of gain for the terrorists. Thank God there is an ex UK Ambassador to Syria saying what should be said.
    No open comments on Trump’s strike. Every comment I made since pre-mod never made it through. It’s censorship. The Guardian is a total disgrace.

  12. Frank says

    Just learned of the US missile attack on Syria. This means a de facto state of war between Syria and the US, and a de facto alliance of the US with the Salafists. Looks like the war party in the Anglo-zionist empire has finally got its way. In terms of escalation there is now only one way up. Trump is simply a puppet of the American regime (I call it a regime since it is hardly a constitutional government any more). Same CIA/Pentagon playbook: find a country with a view to regime change, then find a pretext for war, then go to war. As in Iraq and Libya. Next stop Iran, thence on to China and Russia. I hope the Liberals are proud of their handiwork.

  13. rtj1211 says

    Just remember that 95% of the world’s nations do not watch UK or US TV. As a result, expect attitudes at the UN to be somewhat different. Not that the BBC will report that either, slavish MI6 substation that they are.

    IF a few high profile BBC ‘journalists’ have FB or Twitter accounts, love bombing them with ‘how can you continue to work for an organisation whose ethics have gone from depraved to inhumane over Syria?!’ might be worthwhile, assuming they do not have agents managing their anodyne PR.

    US foreign policy is drawn up like the Green Nutters the Republicans hate so much. Decide what you want to happen, then distort/fabricate the evidence
    to justify your ends, rather than collecting evidence, sifting it and drawing up a realistic policy framework.

    Telling the Republicans that will not make them best pleased either.

    Can anyone here tell me that they prioritise making genocidal warmongers their best friends?!

  14. Putin is like Hitler who held on to the ridiculous dream of teaming up with Britain to defeat Communism. He could have wiped out almost the entire British army at Dunkirk but let them go home in the hope we would see Germany as a friend.
    Putin harbours the same futlie hopes regarding Washington.
    Here’s hoping that he recognises all you can do with The USA or the UK (bankster-led now as during WW2) is realise you are dealing with globalist Luciferianism. Everybody’s enemy. A force that can NEVER be trusted.

  15. Trump has fallen to the globalist Zionists. he has caved in. The media will drop the absurd “he’s in Putin’s pocket” propaganda and will start to treat this absolute f*cking degenerate as a “real” and “respectable” President.

    God help us all. The warmongering, lying, sand-nigger-murdering, world-devouring bankster criminals have us all by the throat. They will sacrifice our children’s lives as happily as they will slaughter brown-skinned people to get what they want which is TOTAL CONTROL OVER EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING.
    The great pity of it is that our gentile military, police, and intelligence services will help them. we are suicidalists.

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