BBC’s outright fake news tonight on Douma ‘chlorine attack’

The BBC has been freely critical of Russia Today/RT, Iran’s Press TV and other similar state broadcasters, routinely hosting ‘talking heads’ who dismiss those broadcasters as mere mouthpieces.

Tonight, the BBC dropped any pretence that it is any different or better with an astonishingly misleading article about the OPCW‘s (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) ‘fact-finding mission‘ to the Syrian town of Douma, where the Establishment narrative insists that the Syrians used both chlorine gas and probably nerve agents to attack civilians:

bbc douma

Anyone expressing caution about those conclusions – as did serious journalists from other countries – was derided and condemned as a ‘conspiracy nut’ or a puppet of the Russian government, which has supported the Syrian government and has denied chemicals were used.

The Tories, backed shamefully by ‘red Tories’ on the Labour back benches, fell over themselves in their haste to use the ‘chlorine attack’ as a pretext for more military adventurism – and of course, to attack Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s measured, statesmanlike refusal to leap to conclusions.

And tonight – if you simply believed the BBC – the use of ‘chlorine gas’ in the ‘attack’ was . confirmed by the OPCW.

The OPCW’s report issued this (Friday) evening states – and the BBC admits, as it has little choice –  that no traces of ‘organo-phosphorous nerve agents’ were found during its visit Douma, either in the environment or in samples from alleged victims.

But the OPCW report emphatically does not say that chlorine gas was used.

What does it say? See for yourself:


The key passage, regarding Douma:

Along with explosive residues, various chlorinated organic chemicals were found in samples from two sites, for which there is full chain of custody. Work by the team to establish the significance of these results is on-going. The FFM team will continue its work to draw final conclusions.

Not only does the report not say that chlorine gas was used, but it says clearly that the OPCW team has not yet established the significance of what it found and is not yet ready to draw conclusions.

This could not be clearer: “we found some residues but we’re not sure what they mean yet”.

Yet the BBC put out a completely-false headline claiming a definite conclusion by the OPCW that chlorine gas was used in an attack.

Note that the OPCW report does not even say that ‘chlorine’ was found. It describes ‘various chlorinated organic chemicals‘ (COGs).

‘Explosive residues’ are also mentioned, but such residues will be almost universal in Douma – the city has been almost levelled by high-explosive munitions over many months.

But COGs are astonishingly common pretty much everywhere. A US worker-protection site lists some of their uses:

degreasers, cleaning solutions, paint thinners, pesticides, resins, glues, and a host of other mixing and thinning solutions.

Others include CFCs in fridges, plus the related CFHs – and carbon tetrachloride, which is a common ingredient in fire extinguishers and as an insecticide fumigant.

Fire extinguisher residue in a city bombed almost flat? Go figure.

There are a host of possible explanations for the presence of ‘chlorinated organic chemicals’ that have nothing to do with ‘chlorine gas attacks’ – so many that the world’s experts on chemical weapons haven’t been able to reach any conclusions after two months of work.

Footage shown by the BBC of the aftermath of UK bombing of Syrian ‘chemical weapons facilities’ made extremely clear that there were no dangerous chemicals present.

Yet the BBC ignored all that on Friday evening and put out ‘news’ of a level of fakeness that might embarrass the North Korean state television presenter.

The BBC was not available for comment.

The OPCW also reported that it had been unable to find evidence for any particular chemical use in an earlier attack.

The utter degradation of mainstream journalism in this country was put nakedly on show on Friday – yet the BBC is touring the country teaching schoolchildren how to identify (unofficial) fake news.

The BBC’s threadbare veil of impartiality has been torn apart brutally – by its own hand. The eagerness to justify the Establishment’s rush to war must be overwhelming.

Edit: the BBC News Channel has now joined in with the outrageous deception.

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  1. The report mentions three sites. The way I read it is NOTHING was found in DOUMA from environmental samples or samples from casualties to prove a chemical attack but in a NEIGHBOURING COUNTRY i.e. Iraq, they found explosive residues etc., but as yet have not been able to establish their significance.

    The report as above is confusing because it does not attribute what it found to which site. It also mentions samples from a neighbouring country yet it places all three sites in Syria when in fact Al-Hamadaniya appears to be in Iraq.

    As SKWAWKBOX says, the BBC’s version of the report bears no relationship to the OPCW report.

  2. The whole case is undermined from the beginning by implying the BBC is a state broadcaster like RT. The BBC is not without faults but it is not an arm of government.

    1. Huge numbers of people would vehemently disagree with you on that. It has been just that, at least since the Tories started installing all their people into the key positions – and probably well before

      1. So much so that TV licence payments should count as Tory campaign contributions.

      2. During the ‘Battle of Orgreave’ the BBC ‘accidentally’ reversed the footage to misrepresent what actually happened.

        How could that have happened ‘accidentally’?

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