Peter Hitchens – Mail on Online March 1, 2020
Long ago, a wise teacher told me to remember these words: ‘Truth is the Daughter of Time, not of Authority.’ I had no idea how important they were. Now, after many years of experiencing official dishonesty, they are my motto.
One day, a lot of other people, in the media and politics, will accept that in the past few months they have failed in their duty to the truth, by staying silent or – worse – joining in a braying attempt to suppress crucial facts.
But by then it is quite possible that the peoples of the Western world will have been whipped into a warlike frenzy by false information, just as happened in the Iraq disaster 17 years ago. Because if nothing is done about the scandal I have been writing about, such an outcome is highly possible, even likely.
A few months ago I was told of an attempt by authority to suppress an important truth about an alleged atrocity in Syria. Claims that poison gas had been used by the Syrian state at Douma in April 2018 were not, in fact, confirmed by the scientific evidence.
This was deeply embarrassing to three governments – our own, France’s and the USA, all of which had bombed Syria soon afterwards in the unchecked belief that the claims were true.
All three are members of the UN Security Council, and are supposed to uphold international law with special care. But the facts suggested they had all violated that law.
I did not much welcome the knowledge. It was frightening to possess it. I knew that if I published it, I would face trouble. But I had to.
And I duly did. I was immediately smeared on social media as a ‘war crimes denier’, an absurd accusation. I was falsely accused of being a patsy for the horrible Assad regime in Syria, despite my record of hostility to the Assads going back more than 20 years.
I actually have a more consistent anti-Assad record than the British Government, which in 2002 compelled the poor Queen to invite President Bashar Assad to Buckingham Palace.
The vicious slanderers who attacked me paid no attention to my rebuttals, and repeated the smears, from behind false names. Their purpose was to scare others away from the story.
I suspect there have been, and will be, other consequences. I have annoyed some powerful people. But I was a minor victim of this spiteful rage.
The brave dissenters who had protested against the hiding of the truth are very serious men, totally unpolitical scientists who simply could not abide the suppression of the evidence they had gathered and examined. They have been hosed down with slime by their former employers.
They have also been attacked by a slippery operation known as Bellingcat, which far too many journalists and politicians treat with wide-eyed indulgence, as if it was a brave independent enterprise.
Why do they never mention that it is partly funded by the US government, through its front organisation the National Endowment for Democracy? Could it be that it would not be quite such a convincing source if it was known to be subsidised by Donald Trump? I imagine so.
The two scientists remain absolutely confident that their doubts are justified.
But their reward was to be severely, publicly attacked by their former employers, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
Again, a lot of people lazily or weakly accepted this official attack on powerless individuals as true. They did not notice, or did not care, that the two men had been given no opportunity to defend themselves, that the resulting indictment was completely one-sided.
Well, it is now my privilege to publish their defence in detail.
It is on the Peter Hitchens Blog at hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2020/02/a-and-b-respond-to-the-opcws-attacks-on-them-the-full-rebuttal.html
I hope it will stand as a vital resource for anyone seriously interested in the truth about what I regard as the biggest scandal of its kind since the dodgy dossiers and non-existent WMD that were used to hurry us into invading Iraq.
I, and others who have read it, have found it impressive and powerful. I do not think that anyone could read it without seeing that something has gone seriously wrong. Let us hope that we have enough time, before the next war, for the truth to prevail.