BBC Has ‘Evidence’ Of Syrian Chemical Weapons, But There’s One Major Problem

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BBC Has 'Evidence' Of Syrian Chemical Weapons, But There's One Major Problem

Written by Darius Shahtahmasebi; Originally appeared at TheAntiMedia.org

The BBC reportedly has exclusive proof that the Syrian government is continuing to produce chemical weapons in violation of a deal reached in 2013. Pursuant to that deal, the Syrian government was supposed to remove its entire stockpile, which the U.N. said had already been achieved in 2014.

According to a document provided to the BBC by a “Western intelligence agency,” chemical and biological munitions are being produced at three main sites near Damascus and Hama. The document also alleges that Iran and Russia are well aware of these activities.

Even though the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) monitors these sites, the document alleges that the manufacture of chemical weapons continues behind closed doors.

According to the BBC, the OPCW has confirmed that it has asked the Syrian authorities to declare the relevant parts of the sites per Syria’s obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). The Syrian authorities have declared sections of those sites, but the OPCW was not in a position to “confirm that the [Syrian] declaration is complete and accurate.”

In its report, the BBC then tied the information from the document into the wider issue at hand — that the Syrian government is deemed by Western powers to be the number one culprit behind the most recent chemical weapons attack at the beginning of April.

Most disturbing, however, is the fact that the BBC advanced this information with the following provisos buried in the final paragraphs of its report:

“The intelligence information about the suspected weapons manufacturing sites was shared with the BBC on condition the agency providing it would not be named.

“It does not give detail about how the alleged evidence was gathered.” [emphasis added]

It wouldn’t be surprising to most people if the Syrian government is still producing chemical weapons at those sites (or any other sites, for that matter). However, there is a glaring problem with these claims: What is the standard of proof? An unnamed “intelligence agency” shares information with a media network without providing any detail as to how it actually assessed or compiled its data?

This is the same media network that in 2013 reported on U.N. investigator Carla Del Ponte’s view that, in fact, Syrian rebels likely used sarin gas to attack civilians in the major attacks in 2013. So far, very little concrete evidence regarding the Syrian government’s culpability in any of the chemical weapons attacks throughout the conflict has emerged, including the most recent one in April. As such, it is no surprise that the BBC has to resort to these kinds of tactics.

Despite the disclaimer mentioned in the article, the title of the BBC report was “Syria government ‘producing chemical weapons at research facilities,’” though the editors likely knew full well very few people would even bother to read the first paragraph, let alone the last few paragraphs, which acknowledged the absurdity of the information presented.

A parallel can be drawn between this narrative and the numerous allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections. As noted by Glenn Greenwald in December, the allegations presented by the mainstream media regarding Russian interference were no substitute for concrete proof:

“There is still no such evidence for any of these claims. What we have instead are assertions, disseminated by anonymous people, completely unaccompanied by any evidence, let alone proof.”

Sound familiar?

Regardless of the accusation, the political nature of the issue at hand, and the parties involved, employing Greenwald’s words of warning are the only way to distinguish fact from fiction. If we don’t know the facts for sure, we shouldn’t promulgate them without question, especially given the ulterior motives of the corporate media and the agencies that advise them (in the case of Syria, the agenda of these parties is regime change).

Real journalism requires a much higher standard than that, assuming our job is to publish the truth. The stakes are high in Syria, and we can’t afford to let the U.S. government and allies employ a shoot-first-ask-questions-later mentality — the same kind we have seen cause such widespread catastrophe in countries such as Iraq and Libya.

As the New York Times was forced to admit in 2004, approximately a year after the U.S. invasion of Iraq:

“But we have found a number of instances of coverage that was not as rigorous as it should have been. In some cases, information that was controversial then, and seems questionable now, was insufficiently qualified or allowed to stand unchallenged. Looking back, we wish we had been more aggressive in re-examining the claims as new evidence emerged — or failed to emerge.”

This time, let’s question the propaganda before the invasion – not after it.

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  • rudy

    bbc ARE WELLKNOWN LIARS !

    • rudy

      My information is from a wellknown source that i can divulgate, my grandma’s from MI 5 and MI 6 ! MI stands for Mental Institution !

  • EL ZORRO

    “The intelligence information about the suspected weapons manufacturing sites was shared with the BBC on condition the agency providing it would not be named.

    “It does not give detail about how the alleged evidence was gathered.”…The BBC FAKE NEWS MEDIA is a propaganda tool of the DEMONIC, GLOBALIST NWO AGENDA.

  • FlorianGeyer

    More fake news from the British Bullshit Corporation that is ‘backed up’ by complete bollocks.

    • NeoLeo

      B.ullshit B.rainwashing C.rap- they are nothing but dirty propaganda, like almost all british media (especially The Guardian- they are probably the worst). Even during the cold war BBC had some integrity and objectivity, now they are just spamming cheap lies.

  • PlatosLittleSister

    Anonymous source equals the editor and 3 prestitutes drumming this story up over a 6 pack and a curry, you would be better off listening to tokyo rose, who on balance has more integrity.

    The Real kicker is the U.K charges its citizens fees, to be brainwashed you could not make this stuff up

  • Douglas Houck

    If the Syrians are back to making sarin, why is it of such poor quality. What happened, did they forget the formula? And Biological weapons? Why haven’t we seen a ricin attack?

    Where is the evidence? And when are people going to wake up and understand that Chemical and Biological weapons are of little value anymore? It’s why everyone is destroying their stockpiles, as nobody wants to nor sees a need to use them. The US did the Syrians a big favor by destroying the 100s of tons of toxic compounds for them for free.

    For the Syrian situation, they need to get rid of the weapons of Mass destruction (WMD) nomenclature, as their use has been of little destructive significance. It’s only killed a few people. It should be changed to Weapons of Mass-media Hysteria (WMH).

    • Bob

      That’s amazing thing – the sudden profusion of Syrian and chemistry ‘experts’ amongst the western MSM journalists – with little background in either subject. The MSM continue to peddle the Pentagon’s narrative of chemical weapons and middle eastern dictators, the same tired old rationale for aggression since 2001 and Iraq. All of which shows nothing but contempt for public knowledge over issue of chemical weapons. As it was well illustrated in Iran-Iraq war from 1980-88, that chemical weapons are largely, tactically, useless, apart from as a means of large scale area denial against another conventional fixed army on a defined battlefield. Thus chemical weapons are utterly useless against an insurgency made up of small groups of militants who are highly mobile in non fixed capacity – yet that tactical reality is repeatedly skipped over by all these MSM self appointed Syrian and chemistry experts flogging the Pentagon’s party line.

  • Real Anti-Racist Action

    This is all in typical Israeli fashion. They have the closest relationships with global media conglomerates.
    They provide the “facts” based on you just trusting whatever they said at their word.
    Does not matter if they are established liars, because if you call them that or reject their often made up reports, then you are somehow anti-Shemitic. Even though hating Palestinians itself is anti-Shemitic, and Arabs are all also descendants of Shem.
    http://faithandheritage.com/

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    NEIL SHAPIRO, president of NBC News

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    MICHAEL EISNER, major owner of Walt Disney, Capitol Cities, ABC.

    RUPERT MURDOCH, Owner Fox TV, New York Post, London Times, News of the World (Jewish mother)

    MEL KARMAZIN, president of CBS

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    MAX MUTCHNICK, co-executive producer of NBC’s “Good Morning Miami”

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    HOWARD STRINGER, chief of Sony Corp. of America

    AMY PASCAL, chair of Columbia Pictures

    JOEL KLEIN, chair and CEO of Bertelsmann’s American operations

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    IVAN SEIDENBERG, CEO of Verizon Communications

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    • Rakean Jaya

      Thank you for your research, agree with you 100%

  • David P Kervin

    The BBC cannot be trusted.

  • martin aguilar

    BBC : BRITISH BASTARDS COMPANY !! NATO.: NORTH ATLANTIC TERRORIST ORGANIZATION !!

  • The Farney Fontenoy

    So BBC’s idea of “proof” is: ‘some guy in a bar said so, and we’d be fools not to believe him’.

  • Simon Gunson

    The BBC is disingenuous. The OPCW noted in 2014 that they could not certify two CW production sites because they were in Rebel hands and the OPCW could not gain access. These sites are in Rebel hands. Not under control of the Syrian Government.

  • gustavo

    This news is important in the sense that Western countries still are looking for an excuse to invade Syria, and continue their support to terrorists. In other words, this fake news means that the war in Syria will continue as long as Western Countries decide. I really do not see a strong desire of Russia to win this war. It is looking for deals, and ceases fire agreements, not fly zones, and good will from opposition (traitors to their country). I wonder what would happen if during the WWII the Soviet Union would look for cease fire agreement with Hitler, to give safety pass to german troops, to establish safety zones, and so on….. I am sure that Russia would not exist at all now.

  • TRG-42

    ‘Evidence’ delivered by Mossad, same reliable source which provided the affirmative evidence of WMD in Iraq.

  • ZP

    There is one more, huge problem with all of this and that is: BBC is by no means a good character witness. They have no credibility what so ever and ANY court would laugh them out of the witness stand…

  • John Mason

    It has come to this that those knowingly, wantonly distribute, publish and accuse using false information should be put in prison. Their information warmongering is endangering the world.

  • zman

    The NYT ” Looking back, we wish we had been more aggressive in re-examining the claims as new evidence emerged — or failed to emerge.” …what a load of crap. As if even with hindsight, they would have made any effort at all. The desired outcome was achieved. Just more phony posturing.