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BBC, Instances smear UK professor skeptical of Syria regime change drive as would-be traitor after his rival’s sting op

A UK professor investigating a Western-funded group gathering proof in opposition to Syrian officers was contacted by his goal’s employees posing as a Russian agent. The communications have been framed as doubtlessly traitorous by the media.

The BBC wrote a prolonged piece blasting Edinburgh College Professor Paul McKeigue, a member of a group of lecturers referred to as the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media (WGSPM). The group seeks to show Western efforts to defend from public scrutiny a long-term marketing campaign to destabilize and topple the Syrian authorities.

One a part of this media spin operation, as suspected by McKeigue and different dissenting figures, is the Fee for Worldwide Justice and Accountability (CIJA, previously SCJA – the Syrian Fee for Justice and Accountability). The group has an archive of Syrian authorities paperwork, a few of which have been bought from armed teams preventing in opposition to Damascus, which it says it collected to assist prosecute criminals who labored for the Syrian authorities. Skeptics imagine its major objective will not be justice however producing unhealthy publicity in opposition to Damascus.

For 3 months, McKeigue was involved about CIJA with an individual calling themselves ‘Ivan’ and hinting that they have been working for a well-informed group with headquarters in Moscow. The pretend Russian intelligence officer was really folks working for CIJA and its founder, William Wiley, the BBC reported.

Wiley, who McKeigue suspected of being a CIA agent, says he ran the sting operation to study what McKeigue knew about his group. He says he was nervous {that a} former worker would leak to the WGSPM.

“This wasn’t some form of revenge operation. It was pushed fully by considerations for our safety, and in the end our findings justified these considerations,” he instructed the BBC.

“Except for defending our sources, witnesses and our personnel, we have to shield our fame. As a result of if our fame is dragged by way of the mud, our funding will cease. And if the funding stops that can have a extremely unfavorable impression on justice.”

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The ‘not-revenge’ expose goes to nice lengths to color McKeigue as a conspiracy theorist with a grudge in opposition to the ‘justice-seekers’ from the CIJA and no second ideas about hurting folks. If Ivan have been certainly a Russian agent, who is aware of what hurt would befall individuals who McKeigue recognized as engaged on the West’s behalf, the BBC recommended, implying that Russian intelligence wanted the sort of path from the professor.

Curiously, one of many people mentioned within the communications on this approach was BBC journalist Chloe Hadjimatheou, the creator of the expose. One can solely praise her for being held in such excessive regard by her employer that it doesn’t doubt her means to cowl in a balanced and honest method a person who referred to as her “a dim-witted one that has been flattered into taking up one thing past her competence,” in response to her report.

The sting was described in fewer particulars however alongside the identical strains by the Instances. It cited a former UK army officer whose title popped up within the communications, as accusing McKeigue of “treacherous exercise.” The newspaper beforehand referred to as the WGSPM “apologists for [Syrian President Bashar] Assad.”

Regardless of its size, the BBC story does miss some particulars that would offer essential context in regards to the battle between McKeigue and Wiley and their respective teams. For instance, the BBC didn’t point out that the funding Wiley was nervous about comes from Western governments, together with the US, UK, Canada, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, and the EU.

The BBC solely briefly speaks in regards to the alleged chemical weapons incident in Douma in 2018 to tell the readers that McKeigue stated, “the Syrian regime won’t have been accountable for [it] as inspectors for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) concluded.”

At the very least some OPCW inspectors who have been on the scene of the incident really recommended in any other case, however their opinions have been allegedly silenced by the watchdog and didn’t make it into its closing report. McKeigue’s WGSPM occurs to be the writer of a leaked engineering evaluation by OPCW inspector Ian Henderson, which stated proof his crew present in Douma pointed to a staging of the purported assault.

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Extra whistleblower testimonies and paperwork have since emerged to again the allegation that the OPCW wrote its closing report back to justify the missile assaults which the US, UK, and France carried out in retaliation for the purported Syrian Military atrocity. The watchdog responded by describing the whistleblowers as rogue components and refused to conduct an open assessment of the scientific proof underlying its conclusions in regards to the incident.

McKeigue himself acknowledged that Wiley ran “a intelligent deception operation” in opposition to him and recommended it was meant to distract him from wanting into alleged monetary irregularities in CIJA and Wiley’s companies. The CIJA founder baited him by citing his alleged CIA affiliations, which can or might not be actual, the professor stated.

“The folks on the opposite finish of this sting managed to get me to disclose data supplied by others that was not supposed to be shared, together with different data which will have been embellished. This was a failure on my half for which I settle for duty and have apologized to these involved,” McKeigue wrote in a private assertion.

The WGSPM responded to the publications by saying they exemplified “smear campaigns and hatchet journalism” waged within the West to silence dissent on the Syrian conflict.

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