Yesterday the UNSC held a special panel to discuss the reliability and impartiality of the OPCW, most specifically regarding the alleged Douma “chemical attack”. The expert panel reviewed and revealed some worrying evidence.
Most important was the testimony of Ian Henderson, former OPCW inspector and leader of the engineering sub-team who visited Douma.
Ian Henderson, the source of the famous leaked “dissenting report” on the placement of gas cylinders at the Douma site, was speaking via video link due to being denied a VISA by the US authorities (we don’t know why this happened, but I’m sure it was all honest and above board, and not just petty politicking).
He told the UNSC that findings of the experts on the ground were totally ignored by their OPCW bosses.
By the time of release of the interim report in July 2018, our understanding was that we had serious misgivings that a chemical attack had occurred.”
And added that the final report was a “complete turnaround” on these findings, and authored by a separate group who had never visited the site.
Unsurprisingly, efforts to smear Mr Henderson, or otherwise minimise his testimony, were quick to appear.
Thomas Phipps, a UK diplomat to the UN chimed in with some rather xenophobic snobbery:
Four Russians and one Syrian make up the ‘expert’ panel at Russia’s #UNSC Arria meeting on #Syria Chemical Weapons. Four are diplomats and one an academic whose credentials are unclear. These are not impartial actors without an agenda. pic.twitter.com/y2PSv4QYOw
— Thomas Phipps🇬🇧🇺🇳 (@thomasphipps) January 20, 2020
You’ll notice he doesn’t mention Henderson at all.
Plus, there were the usual non-arguments from the usual unqualified, NATO-backed mouth pieces:
Meanwhile, the Western press is simply keeping shtum, with the testimony of Henderson, and the UN panel in general, not mentioned in any mainstream outlet we can find.
That seems unlikely to change.