Two whistleblowing inspectors at the center of an Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) cover-up scandal are demanding that their suppressed findings get a fair, transparent, and scientific hearing. In formal letters to the OPCW Director-General, the two veteran officials also refuted the OPCW’s leadership’s efforts to impugn their credibility.
“Why would a pair of the top Inspection Team Leaders, both with impeccable records… suddenly ‘go rogue’?” wrote one whistleblower in his letter.
“Why would we risk so much?” asked the other, answering, “Something had gone wrong inside the OPCW.”
Both inspectors were part of the team that deployed to Syria to investigate allegations of a chemical weapons attack in the eastern Damascus suburb of Douma in April 2018. The US government accused the Syrian government of a chemical attack, justifying missile strikes on the country by Washington and European allies.
But the inspectors in Douma found evidence that raised serious doubts that a chemical attack ever occurred, and which pointed instead to the staging of the incident by anti-Assad extremists. Their findings were suppressed by OPCW leaders who re-wrote their initial report, then excluded the investigators from the ensuing process.
The letters by the two whistleblowers are a response to a recent OPCW inquiry that dismissed them as rogue actors “who could not accept that their views were not backed by evidence,” and which baselessly accused them of “deliberate and premeditated breaches of confidentiality.”
The pair of veteran inspectors are described by the OPCW as “Inspector A” and “Inspector B.” The letters formally addressed to OPCW Director-General General Fernando Arias were obtained by The Grayzone.
Letters and full report: