Ex-OPCW Chief Defends Syria Whistleblowers and Reveals He Was Spied on Before Iraq War

From The Grayzone:

In a Grayzone exclusive, José Bustani, the former head of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, speaks out in support of two veteran OPCW inspectors who challenged a US-backed cover-up of their investigation in Syria.

Bustani also reacts to the recent US-UK-France-led effort to prevent his testimony at the UN Security Council about the OPCW’s Syria cover-up scandal. And Bustani reveals new details of how he was targeted in the lead-up to the Iraq war, when the Bush administration engineered his ouster for impeding its plans to invade.

Bustani discloses for the first time that his office was bugged – and that the OPCW’s then-head of security, a U.S. citizen, vanished right after this was discovered. It’s a case of history repeating itself, with the world’s top superpower once again trying to silence a veteran diplomat from the Global South, whose courage and principle challenges a pro-war deception.

Guest: José Bustani, veteran Brazilian diplomat and the first Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

OPCW Syria Whistleblower and ex-OPCW Chief Attacked by US, UK, France at UN (video)

From The Grayzone:

Ian Henderson, a veteran OPCW inspector who challenged a cover-up of his organization’s investigation of an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria, recently testified before the United Nations Security Council. At the meeting, Henderson was both attacked and ignored by U.S., UK, and French diplomats whose governments bombed Syria over allegations that Henderson’s censored investigation undermined.

At another UNSC gathering one week later, the U.S. and its allies continued their censorship campaign by voting to block the testimony of the OPCW’s former chief, José Bustani, who had come to speak out in support of the whistleblowers.

Pushback host Aaron Maté recaps the extraordinary events with excerpts of Henderson and Bustani’s comments, as well as those of the Western ambassadors who tried to silence them.

Read/watch José Bustani’s full statement for the UN Security Council

Aaron Maté’s UNSC remarks

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Aaron Maté Testifies at the UN Security Council on the OPCW Syria Cover-Up

At an Arria-Formula Meeting of the United Nations Security Council, Aaron Maté of The Grayzone delivers remarks on the OPCW’s ongoing Syria scandal.

Veteran OPCW inspectors who investigated an alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria in April 2018 say that their probe was censored and manipulated. Under direct US government pressure, the OPCW concealed evidence that pointed to the incident being staged on the ground, and instead released a report that suggested Syrian government culpability. The allegation against Syria led to the bombing of Syria by the US, France, and UK just days after the alleged Douma incident.

In his remarks, Maté calls this “one of the most important, and overlooked, global stories in recent memory” and urges the UN and OPCW to let the OPCW inspectors air their concerns, and present the evidence that was suppressed.

Debating the Senate Intel Russia Report

Pushback with Aaron Maté

The Senate Intelligence Committee’s final report on alleged Russian interference focuses on “a wide range of Russian efforts to influence the Trump Campaign and the 2016 election.” Does the report advance our understanding of the Trump-Russia story? Mattathias Schwartz, contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, joins Pushback.

Guest: Mattathias Schwartz, contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine.

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In Navalny Poisoning, Rush to Judgment Threatens New Russia-NATO Crisis

Pushback with Aaron Maté

Claims that Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny has been poisoned by the nerve agent Novichok are threatening a new standoff between Russia and NATO states, with calls for punitive measures against Moscow, including cancelling the Nordstream 2 German-Russia pipeline.

Navalny’s opposition activism is “marginal in Russian politics — it’s not currently a threat to the Kremlin,” says Fred Weir, a veteran Moscow correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor. “Navalny is little more than a nuisance [to the Kremlin]. And I can’t believe that Putin would rocket him to the top of the world political agenda through a botched attempt to assassinate him, or even an effective one. It just does not make sense to me.”

Weir also discusses the flaws of Russia coverage in Western media, including the recent case where Russians were accused of staging a fake left-wing website to deceive U.S. audiences.

US Protects Global Empire During Pandemic, Not Its Own Population

Pushback with Aaron Maté:

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Colin Powell, discusses the connections between the global US empire and the record US death toll during the coronavirus pandemic. “We’re really not doing anything very well or right, and that’s a consequence in part at least of our fascination with an attempt to maintain and even expand this empire that we’ve created since 1945,” Wilkerson says. He also discusses the breakdown of US-Russia talks on expanding a key nuclear weapons treaty, and new revelations about the Bush administration’s drive to invade Iraq.