There is much more in the SouthFront report but I want to move to Moon of Alabama's July 7 analysis of the debacle. The mainstream media were not fazed by the release of the OPCW finding. They switched the unfounded accusation of sarin to chlorine, and in the process several of these paragons of the journalism profession unequivocally lied to the public. But MOA's Bernhard makes mince pie out of their attempts to cover up the OPCW finding. Bravo, b:
Syria - Mainstream Media Lie About Watchdog Report On The 'Chemical Attack' In Douma
Some mainstream media are outright lying about the OPCW report on the alleged 'chemical attack' in Douma.
The Washington Post writes:
[A] global watchdog concluded that chlorine was indeed used in the city of Douma a day before rebel forces surrendered there.
In an interim report released Friday, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said its inspectors had discovered traces of “various chlorinated organic chemicals” across two sites it inspected.
The OPCW did not conclude at all that "chlorine was indeed used". It found some chemical compounds which have chlorine, carbon and hydrogen in various configurations as their main elements. There are hundreds if not thousands of "chlorinated organic chemicals". A plastic pipe made from polyvenylchlorid (PVC = (C2H3Cl)n) is made of the same elements. One could call it a "chlorinated organic chemical".
Burning something made of PVC will releases various compounds many of which will themselves be "chlorinated organic chemicals". But finding residues of a burned plastic pipe or isolation in a home does not mean that chlorine gas was used in that place.
Several of the compounds the OPCW found result from using chlorine to disinfect water. They can be found within the chlorinated water and about anywhere where chlorinated water was used.
The BBC made a similar 'mistake'. It headlined "Syria war: Douma attack was chlorine gas - watchdog".
It took extensive social-media outrage and several hours for the BBC to correct its 'mistake'. It now headlines: Syria war: 'Possible chlorine' at Douma attack site - watchdog. That is better but still a lie.
Nowhere do the OPCW report or its Technical Statement (pdf) use the expression 'possible chlorine'. No editorial note was added by the BBC to reveal that the original dispatch was changed.
The Daily Beast headlines: Watchdog: Chlorine Was Used in Syria’s Chemical Attack
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons determined that chlorine was used in the chemical attack in the Syrian town of Douma, but found no evidence that nerve agents were involved.
That is an outright lie. The OPCW report does not say that chlorine was used. It mentions chlorine only twice and only in relation to previous incidents.
A possible reason why so many outlets made this [same] 'mistake' is [because they copied] the British news agency Reuters, which first published the false claim:
Reuters has since changed the headline and text of that item from "chlorine" to "chlorinated chemicals" but attached no note of that change. Moreover it does not explain that "chlorinated chemicals" will be found about anywhere.
It is doubtful that these 'mistakes' were made out of sloppiness. The writers likely intend to create the false impression that Syria was responsible for a 'chemical attack' that did not happen. They would further have to explain that the U.S., France and the UK launched a large cruise missile attack on Syria without any reason.
[END OF ANALYSIS]