Top Chemical Weapons Expert Highly Skeptical of U.S. Case Against Syrian Govt
Source: zerohedge.comJean Pascal Zanders is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s top chemical weapons experts, having been quoted in the last two weeks about Syrian chemical weapons by McClatchy, Time, the Los Angeles Times, Post-Gazette, Huffington Post, Der Spiegel, Agence France-Presse, Global Post, the Telegraph, and many other publications.
We interviewed Zanders by phone.
Q: You were quoted in the Huffington Post on August 30th as saying that the Youtube videos cited by the American government were not conclusive, as you couldn’t tell where or when the videos were taken … or even whether they were from the same incident or different incidents.
Do you still hold that view, or have you seen other videos that change your mind?
Zanders: No, I have not changed my mind. The general observation still stands, and it will stand until we have the actual report from the U.N. investigation.
I do not deny that a chemical with toxic chemicals has taken place. But I am just as concerned about how people are interpreting things in terms of a particular goal … which in this case is military intervention.
Living in a democracy we have the rule of of law, and we collect and analyze a variety of evidence collected at certain scenes before passing any kind of final judgment.
One of the concerns I have is if we look over the periods starting in March 19th with the major allegation of chemcial weapons use near Aleppo, Syria, everything is being reinterpreted as sarin.
When I look at video images that have been going around, what I see is a large number of people suffering from aspyhixia, but only a minority (if the photos are representative of the total picture) display symptoms that would correspond to exposures to neurotoxicants.
John Kerry used the term “signatures of sarin”. But signatures of sarin are things one can have from other organophosphorus compounds.
Q: You’re talking about the fact that pesticides or other nerve agents can give “false positives” for sarin? [Background]
Zanders: Yes, but not just that.
Somebody could have been – and this is purely hypothetical – exposed to an organophosphorus compound neurotoxicant which is produced in large volumes in industry. For example, for agricultural purposes.
On the low end of the spectrum, we have insecticide sprays which we can buy in the supermarkets. On the middle of the spectrum, we have organophosphorus compounds which are intermediaries of other products, or that are used in agriculture for pest and rodent control. I know specifically that the use of such compounds for pest and rodent control is common in the Middle East.
So, if someone were exposed to that in the right volume, there would be clear signatures of neurotoxicant exposure.
So it’s not just a question of false signatures in the sense of chemical tests giving a false positive, but also physiological symptoms that someone might show due to exposure to these commonly-used chemicals.
Read the full article at: zerohedge.com
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