Conversations with the BBC – Mayday Rescue/White Helmets cover-up

The BBC producer, Chloe Hadjimatheou, of the latest in a long line of White Helmet cover-ups, the Mayday Intrigue series, first contacted me on my Vanessa Beeley journalist page on Facebook, on message:

16th May 2020

Chloe: 

Hi Vanessa, I’m a journalist at the BBC and I would like to talk to you about something I’m currently researching for BBC R4. How can I reach you? Thanks!! Chloe

Vanessa: 

Hi Chloe, you reached me. I need some more details before giving personal contact details, especially with BBC history of smearing me, thanks.

Chloe

Hi Vanessa, 

Thanks so much for getting back to me. I’m working on a documentary for BBC Radio 4 about the death of James Le Mesurier and about the White Helmets.

I really want to hear from those who believe there’s more to the White Helmets than would at first seem – an area where you are certainly not alone but you are one of the leading voices.

I would like to talk to you about some of the main points you make about the White Helmets being involved in staging CW attacks and being involved with Jihadists etc. I’ve read some of your articles and watched your videos and I feel pretty clear that I understand most of your criticisms of them.

You seem to be the first person who ever had any doubts about the White Helmets – which you voiced in your blog. Am I right about that?

I understand that you spent time as an NGO worker and activist fighting for Palestinian rights in Gaza. I would like to understand what first took you to Damascus and what it was that lead you on a very different path in your reporting of the war.

I wonder if I am reading too much into it to believe that your father’s love of the Arab world and his support of the Palestinian people might have had something to do with it?

Ideally what I am after is a pre-recorded interview (audio only) about your own personal journey from the UK to Gaza and then Syria – from activist to blogger to RT journalist and also your conclusions about the White Helmets and James Le Mesurier. 

Yours gratefully, Chloe

Vanessa: 

Hi Chloe, I am not an RT journalist, I am 100% independent. I occasionally write for RT Op-ed as a freelance journalist.

I don’t mean to be rude but actually there are several inaccuracies in your summary above, very elemental ones. I would never agree to a pre record for the BBC, too much experience of BBC editorial distortion.

Chloe: 

Would you please clarify the inaccuracies?

Vanessa: 

1. I am not an RT journalist. 2. Please send me what you consider to be my first article on the White Helmets.  3. I was not the first to highlight their nefarious role. At least two other investigative journalists preceded me.

Chloe then sends me Cory Morningstar’s article from 2014. She says – I think Cory is possibly the only other person to have raised concerns before you./..

Vanessa: 

War by way of deception was republished at my website, it was first published exclusively for 21st Century Wire. Rick Sterling also. Other notable journalists raising serious concerns are John Pilger, Robert Parry, Gareth Porter, Scott Ritter, Ray McGovern, Philip Giraldi & countless others.

Chloe: 

But it does seem that along with Stirling [Sterling] and Morningstar you were one of the first to draw attention to this subject. I wonder how you first came to uncover it?

Vanessa: 

Apologies Chloe, I dont have the time to respond to any further questions. I have corrected your initial research. Unless BBC is prepared to give me the full unedited interview, I will go no further. Thanks for your interest.

Chloe: 

Hi Vanessa, It’s a shame you don’t want to engage further. I think you know it’s impossible for me to get Radio 4 to change their schedules and give you unlimited time on air. My doc series is structured and everyone gets edited but I am not in the business of distortion. This is an opportunity to present your perspective yourself and for our audience to hear your personal story. The invitation is there.

Vanessa: 

Hi Chloe, I think you misunderstood me, I am asking for a copy of my interview unedited. I understand that you will edit it. I doubt you empathise with the “witch hunts” that BBC and multiple other media have conducted against me and anyone challenging the dominant Syria narrative, but it makes us extremely wary.

Chloe: 

Hi Vanessa, I wanted to check if you received my email. I’m sure you understand that my hands are tied but any interview we do would be over the internet so you would have as much access to the audio as I would. Please let me know if you are happy to proceed and we can work out a time that suits you – meanwhile I can send you a list of areas I’d like to talk about. Many thanks. Chjloe

Then we switched to email:

1st June 2020

Chloe:

Dear Vanessa,

Apologies for taking so long to get back to you. I have been dealing with your request. It’s not BBC practice to give people unedited interviews for a whole host of reasons so it hasn’t been easy.

What I have managed to get my editors to agree to is for you to get a full transcript of the unedited interview on the day of broadcast. The reason for this is that the audio interview would be the BBC’s property and we would not want any part of the series to be broadcast by anyone else or for it to go out before schedule.

The transcript would allow you to see how your interview has been edited and – if you felt the need – to go to Ofcom and lodge a complaint against the BBC if you felt you were in anyway misrepresented.

I’m hoping that will make you feel more comfortable with the idea of a BBC interview.

Let me know if you are still happy to go ahead and I will send you a list of subject areas I plan to cover in the interview. I can’t send exact questions because I don’t have such a list – it will be a relaxed conversation – a bit like the podcasts you often appear in.

I’m really looking forward to talking to you about your father, your time in Gaza and about your work in Syria.

Let me know if you are happy with all that and send me some possible dates please.

Thanks,

18th June 2020

Chloe:

Hi Vanessa,

I haven’t heard back from you but I’m hoping you are still onboard and that you saw my Facebook message about the fact that we would be recording the interview remotely over the internet.

It seems important to allow our listeners to hear your perspective on a series about the White Helmets and James Le Mesurier since you have spent so much of your time researching them and focusing on them specifically.

I wanted to send you an outline of the kinds of areas I would like to cover in the interview.

I want to get a sense of  your father, Sir Harold Beeley. I’d like for you to tell us a bit about his work and whether his career and love for the middle east might have awakened a passion in you for the region. He was close friends with President Nasser and I wondered how you might have heard stories about those times.

I wanted to hear from you about your time in the Middle East and why you chose to help old people in Gaza, if I am right about that. I’d like to ask you about what you learnt from the Palestinian situation and you felt the experience opened your eyes to the global political landscape more broadly. And also about how you first started writing.

Then I would like to ask about when you started to take an interest in Syria and how you came to distrust the received narrative about the White Helmets. I would like to hear about the first time you go to travel to Syria and what you found there. I want to ask you about President Assad and what you think of his leadership.

I would also like to ask about your publications, videos and interviews to ask you about the articles in which you publish specific information about the White Helmets in order for you to show they are not who they say they are.

I want to ask more broadly about why you believe there is a push by the British government and secret services (among others) for regime change in Syria and how those intentions have manifested themselves on the ground in the war.

I am really flexible about when we record an interview but ideally it needs to be by the end of this month.

Please let me know your thoughts.

Regards,

Chloe

At this point I declined and gave no reason.

August 2020.

Chloe:

Hi Vanessa,

I understand you have declined to be interviewed for this series…I wonder if you can help me with getting some facts straight in my reporting?

In this video of a presentation you gave at the Keep Talking meeting in 2019 https://bit.ly/30ulZFD you say at 43’25” that the Guardian Newspaper has confirmed that James Le Mesurier was former Mi6. You don’t give any more information. I wonder if you could help point me to that Guardian article? I have scoured the paper and found nothing so it would be extremely helpful if you could send me a link to where you saw this…  If true I would like to include this fact in my reporting.

Huge thanks

Vanessa:

I sent her the Guardian article in question

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/22/israel-evacuates-800-white-helmets-in-face-of-syria-advance

Amended to military *intelligence* and original MI6 not MI5 as clearly MI6 is foreign interference.

Chloe:

Ah I see. You think they let it slip and were forced to change it?

Vanessa:

Perhaps you should ask them?

Chloe:

Thanks, I will.

Chloe: 

Can you tell me where I can find details about the Sir Harold Beeley Trust?

I can’t seem to find a website for it.

 Vanessa:

It was mothballed until a later date

Vanessa: 

Can’t help wondering what on earth it has to do with any investigation into the White Helmets. Is the focus on the potential for war crimes committed by a UK FCO created and financed operation in terrorist held areas of Syria or on trying to find an opportunity to smear those who are raising concerns [again]. I know which one springs to mind.

Chloe:

I’m not interested in smearing anyone Vanessa. I want to make sure I get things right. If you want to help, that would be great. 

September 2020

Chloe:

I wonder if you could help me with something. This article about White Helmets recycling the same kids looks like its your work but I see someone else’s name on it. 

Who wrote it? 

Vanessa:

It clearly says Shawn Helton.

Chloe: 

Thanks – the only reason I asked was because it just struck me that a lot of your research that week had made its way into the article. Similarly this tweet :

 Why did you need the pictures so urgently? And after it [the article] was published, you were the “only one” who retweeted it. 

I guessed you might have been busy and asked someone else to write up your work… [my comment, is this an indication of what happens at the BBC?]

Vanessa:

I have never written about those particular images. I had no input in the article. I might have asked for the photos in order to study them. You seem to be grasping at straws to associate me with the article? 

Chloe: 

Ok, just checking. Thanks for clarifying. 

Vanessa:

Perhaps you could comment on the latest developments in the investigations into Panorama Saving Syria’s Children? 

After all, the White Helmets were involved. 

Chloe:

Thank you for the suggestion but I have a very specific focus and I don’t have enough time to get into every single accusation against the White Helmets.

I will focus on some of the big ones and on my own findings that are not public. [emphasis added]

Vanessa:

You appear to be investigating the minutiae with regards to the analysts, researchers and journalists who have exposed the White Helmets, yet you feel you don’t have equivalent responsibility to examine every crime the White Helmets are accused of, in particular by the Syrian people who lived under their occupation? 

I am astonished that you don’t consider the evidence suggesting the BBC collaborated with the White Helmets and armed groups to produce a fabricated report is unworthy of mention in your investigation.  You can’t get much bigger. 

Chloe:

Thanks for the suggestion. 

October 2020

Vanessa:

Good morning Chloe,

I see that you have contributed to a specialist research paper for Kings College war department. Have you had any interaction with Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat? 

Also, I am really interested – you are apparently considered an expert on “Jihadism”, a term I dislike intensely as it misrepresents Islamic culture. I think I have already asked you but did not receive a response – have you ever entered Syria legally and spoken to any Syrians who lived through the terrorist occupation and who experienced, first hand, the White Helmet brutality against them? I don’t count former FSA fighters as qualifying by the way, particularly as you interviewd them outside Syria. 

Just one other question, in the research paper, I found an interesting paragraph: 

“Particularly challenging is the Syrian conflict because nearly all of the groups involved in opposing the Assad government are Islamic in character and profess to be involved in some kind of “jihad”. Based on our analysis of their statements, membership and overall character, only three Syrian groups can be classified as Jihadist in the sense of fighting for a Salafist political order – Ahrar Al Sham, Jabhat Al Nusra [Al Qaeda] and the Islamic State.”

During the filming of BBC Panorama’s Saving Syria’s Children, BBC producers were effectively embedded with Ahrar Al Sham militants – could you please let me know if you have ever queried how it is possible for BBC production teams to collaborate with an extremist Salafist politically motivated armed group without 1. being harmed 2. declaring a clear conflict of interest and potential collaboration with a terrorist group that has committed numerous war crimes and atrocities in Syria.? 

Another question – you have identified Ahrar Al Sham alongside Al Qaeda and ISIS. Have you or the BBC ever questioned the British government as to why they are including such an organisation in the externally managed “Syrian political process”. 

Particularly as the Dutch Foreign Ministry has recently been accused of financing the leadership of a “terrorist organisation” – Ahrar Al Sham. 

Chloe:

I didn’t contribute to a paper for Kings College. What I did was a produce a data journalism project for the BBC World Service attempting to track the number of reported deaths caused by jihadist violence around the world in one month. I brought Kings College into the project because I am not a jihadist expert and I needed an academic who was to draw up parameters and define jihadism and make a list of groups who fit the definition. Here is the result of the project:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-30080914

And here are the details of the methodology with which Kings College helped:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/111214_global_jihad_counting_cost_methodology.pdf

I have travelled to Syria legally before the war. I have not been to Syria since the war began.

I understand you have questions and concerns about a Panorama film. I was not involved in any way in that production and can’t answer questions about it. If you require answers I suggest you submit a particular question or complaint to the programme makers directly. They tend to be very diligent about replying. https://www.bbc.co.uk/contact/

As to your last email, I would suggest that if you have a specific question for the British government that you ask them yourself.

I have sent you an email asking you if you have any comments or clarifications you wish to make before the broadcast of my series and inviting you – again – to give us an interview. I wait to hear your reply.

Vanessa:

I have prepared a statement which I hope will be aired in full. I will not dignify the tired character assassination that you have conveyed with a response other than to issue the same warning that was given to the BBC’s Mike Wendley. If the BBC infers in any way that I receive funding from any government, in particular Syria or Russia, I will be taking legal action. Equally if the BBC seeks to discredit me with inaccurate or slanderous information, I wll be seeking legal advice. Your list reads like a Gestapo charge sheet, it does not warrant respect. 

My response will be sent before your deadline. 

My comment:

The list of questions and the deadline for response which demonstrated perfectly why I chose to decline the “interview” which would have been nothing more than a staged entrapment with an edited version aired, if aired at all. Chloe Hadjimatheou and the BBC are dishonest extensions of UK state power, in my opinion.

The “questions” were sent on the 12th October 2020: 

Chloe: 

I am writing to inform you know that I will be broadcasting a series called ‘Mayday’ about James Le Mesurier and the White Helmets on BBC Radio 4 and it will also be available to download on BBC Sounds.

I want to let you know that you and your views on James Le Mesurier and the White Helmets are likely to be discussed in some detail. Although I tried on numerous occasions to invite you to contribute in the form of an interview and tried to accommodate your concerns, you declined to take part in the programme. 

I would like to let you know some of the things which we are currently considering for inclusion that concern you and your ideas in case you would like to provide any clarifications or statements or indeed an interview.

That you are an anti-establishment activist who has devoted a lot of your time over the last few years to the idea that James Le Mesurier was a secret service agent running a fake group of rescue workers in Syria.  

That you promote a story of the war in Syria in which the Syrian and Russian states are the victims of a huge Western conspiracy involving the White Helmets and James Le Mesurier.

That you contribute to and spread conspiracy theories. 

That the Russian government and Russian funded and controlled media such as RT and Sputnik Radio have helped promote you and your ideas.

That the Syrian government has provided you with visas and state escorts and suggested places you could visit. 

That you were motivated by the suffering of children during your experiences in Gaza.

That you have expressed anti-Semitic views, including blog posts and images posted on social media.

That you see Britain as the corrupting force behind a lot of the horror in the world. 

We have investigated many of your claims in relation to the White Helmets and James Le Mesurier – for example that the White Helmets fake their rescue videos or that James Le Mesurier and the White Helmets were involved in organ trafficking – and we found them not to have any substance.

That you self-identify as a journalist although you have no formal training and do not conduct yourself with the rigour of a professional journalist.

That you have not contacted the White Helmets, Mayday Rescue or James Le Mesurier (when he was alive) and his family in order to check your facts or to get their response to your allegations about them.

That you are pro-Assad and you allow yourself to be used as a tool by and that you promote the propaganda of the Syrian government, turning a blind eye to human rights violations carried by the Syrian military and that you give public talks as part of state sanctioned tours for visitors to Syria.

That you promote the propaganda of the Russian government.

That when questioned about whether you are paid by the Russian or Syrian states you have said that you are self-funded through the sale of your house. Do you have anything you wish to add to this?

That you have shifted your focus in recent months to conspiracies about Covid-19.

That you call the White Helmets a ‘legit target’ in order to back the right of the Syrian and Russian military in their efforts to bomb them.

One lawyer who we have spoken to tells us that someone who spends time with Syrian ministers and who is publicly calling for humanitarian workers to be bombed may be liable to face charges of aiding and abetting, inciting or conspiring to commit a crime under international law. This could appear to apply to you.  Do you have anything you wish to respond to this?

If you would like to respond in any way, either with clarification or else to comment on the above please do so within the next 5 working days.   If you have not replied by 5pm on Monday 19th October we will say in the programme that we approached you for a response but that you declined.

Regards,

Chloe

BBC Current Affairs

Chloe Hadjimatheou

Senior Reporter/ Producer

*****

My final statement in response is below. As far as I know, Chloe did not quote one sentence from my statement or from those given to her by other targets of her smear campaign:

Email to Chloe,

Here is my response to your charge sheet that did not include any real engagement with my evidence and research. It merely repackaged the familiar smears that have been used by the majority of colonial media to discredit my work. Your “list” demonstrates to me that there was never any genuine agenda from the BBC to actually investigate claims against the White Helmets, therefore dehumanising and “disappearing” the Syrian people who have made those claims and who have been ignored by the international community, the UN and humanitarian organisations and the state-aligned media such as the BBC. 

I am aware that chances are high you will cherry pick from my response but in the interests of transparency my response will be published in full. 

I hope you will respond to questions I may have both leading up to and after the airing of the “documentary”.

Response: 

My work, as a journalist, is to search for the truth and I am not incentivised by any government agencies. Any inference by the BBC that I am funded by either Russia or Syria will be responded to legally.  It is well-established that the BBC itself receives funding from the British state and that its output, especially with regards foreign affairs, is usually closely aligned with UK foreign policy objectives. In the context of the 2011-present war in Syria, this has resulted in a systematic pattern of omission and censorship that has underpinned UK FCO efforts to foment conflict within Syria and to overthrow the internationally recognised government of a sovereign nation. The result has been an illegal war that has caused death and suffering for millions of people.

Regarding the White Helmets and James Le Mesurier, the BBC should be considered complicit in manufacturing consent for this ‘humanitarian’ war through the systematic omission of the following undisputed facts:-

1) The White Helmets have received millions in equipment and financial support from the UK, US and other members of an interventionist coalition that has a publicly declared objective of removing the internationally recognised Syrian government. Mayday Rescue received UK FCO- funds on behalf of the White Helmets. [1]

2) The Dutch government has withdrawn funding from Mayday Rescue because they concluded that there were no assurances that the funds were not being given to the armed groups in Syria, dominated by Al Qaeda. [2]

3) The UK Government has been involved in the promotion and support of the armed groups inside Syria which include Jaish Al Islam, responsible for the deaths of hundreds if not thousands of Syrians, murdered, tortured and executed by this group frequently with the White  Helmets in close proximity. [3]

4) The White Helmets are allegedly tasked with documenting war-crimes, but they have never” documented the multitude of war crimes committed by the armed groups with whom they are exclusively embedded. The White Helmets provide surveillance for Al Qaeda in Idlib using Hala Systems technology to warn the armed groups of incoming Syrian and Russian war-planes [4]. Members of the White Helmets carry arms. Members of the White Helmets have called for the extermination of the Shia Muslim residents of Kafarya and Foua in Idlib. Members of the White Helmets have participated in and cleaned up after Al Qaeda extra-judiciary executions of civilians and Syrian Arab Army prisoners of war. These incidents have been filmed by the White Helmets or the armed groups.

5) The White Helmets are not recognised by the International Civil Defence Organisation in Geneva. The only authentic civil defence is the REAL Syrian Civil Defence established inside Syria in 1953. The RSCD are a volunteer organisation and are inclusive of all religious sects in Syria. The White Helmets are a sectarian organisation, a fact admitted by James Le Mesurier, himself.[5] The Syrian government, the ICDO and the majority of the Syrian people do not recognise the White Helmets as a “humanitarian organisation” or a genuine “civil defence” group. A number of eminent analysts, authors and journalists have determined that the White Helmets are not a “humanitarian” organisation – these include John Pilger, Gareth Porter, Phillip Giraldi, Scott Ritter, Robert Parry, Stephen Kinzer, Ray McGovern and many more.

6) With regards to the claim that I am not a journalist of merit. I was shortlisted for the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism, considered one of the most prestigious journalism awards, won by some of the most famous names in Fleet Street. In 2017, the year I was shortlisted, the award was won by Robert Parry who was best-known for his coverage of the Iran-Contra affair. Documentary filmmaker and acclaimed journalist John Pilger has publicly endorsed my work, particularly with regards to the White Helmets. In 2018, I was named as one of the 238 most respected journalists in the UK by the British National Council for the Training of Journalists.

7) The producer of this BBC “documentary, Chloe Hadjimatheou, has admitted that she has not entered Syria since the war against this country began in 2011. Therefore, the BBC has clearly not interviewed Syrian civilians who accuse the White Helmets of organ trafficking and child abduction for use in the staging of chemical weapon events such as Douma, April 2018 [6]. The evidence recently presented by experts who were members of the OPCW investigative teams reveals the fraud that is the OPCW final report and indicates that the White Helmets were responsible for the production of propaganda in order to further criminalise the Syrian government and allies. [7]

8) A BBC producer, Riam Dalati, has stated publicly that the Douma hospital scenes, the site of the alleged chemical weapon attack in Syria, 2018,  were staged. As has been pointed out repeatedly to Riam Dalati and the BBC, if the hospital scenes at Douma were staged so too were the films of the deceased in the Douma apartment block. The BBC have never reported this information, nor has it passed the information obtained by its producer to either the OPCW FFM or the IIT. It is extraordinary and completely unjustifiable that the BBC should be withholding this vital information from a UN linked organisation.[8]

9) The BBC has never adequately investigated the role that the UK government and intelligence agencies have played in fomenting the war in Syria. James Le Mesurier who co-founded the White Helmets as part of the UK FCO- managed operations to provide support for armed groups overlorded by Al Qaeda (Jabhat Al Nusra in Syria) [9] was posthumously found to have embezzled funds from Mayday Rescue and admitted fraud three days before his death in Istanbul [10].

Recent UK FCO leaked documents have demonstrated the extent of the UK Government role in providing support and media PR for the armed groups that are known to have have committed atrocities against the Syrian people – groups that include Al Qaeda, Ahrar Al Sham, Jaish Al Islam and various other splinter extremist groups all of whom work in close cooperation with the White Helmets. [9]

References:

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/may/10/uk-aid-syria-white-helmets-trump-pulls-funding

[2] https://www.mintpressnews.com/netherlands-cuts-funding-to-white-helmets-over-likely-links-to-terrorism/249447/

[3] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/03/how-britain-funds-the-propaganda-war-against-isis-in-syria

[4] https://www.ukcolumn.org/article/white-helmets-and-hala-systems-grotesque-militarisation-%E2%80%9Chumanitarianism%E2%80%9D-syria

[5] https://georgetownsecuritystudiesreview.org/2015/05/13/syrian-civil-defense-a-framework-for-demobilization-and-reconstruction-in-post-conflict-syria/

[6] https://truth-about-whitehelmets.org/#p=1

[7] https://www.couragefound.org/2019/10/opcw-panel-statement/

[8] http://syriapropagandamedia.org/public-statements-and-media-appearances/email-correspondence-with-chloe-hadjimatheou-senior-reporter-bbc-current-affairs-24-july-to-17-august-2020

[9] https://thegrayzone.com/2020/09/23/syria-leaks-uk-contractors-opposition-media/

[10] https://nltimes.nl/2020/07/17/dutch-accountant-uncovers-fraud-behind-syria-rescue-organization-white-helmets-report

Conversations after Mayday series:

16th November 2020

Vanessa: 

I am currently going through the episodes and highlighting the disinformation and inaccurate research.

1. Please issue an immediate correction regarding the Sean Penn meeting. It was Eva Bartlett who met with Sean. I was in Aleppo during the final liberation of East Aleppo from terrorist groups and White Helmets. 


So much for “rigorous” journalism. 

Please attend to this promptly.

Chloe: 

Hi Vanessa,

We interviewed Sean Penn who said he met you. There has been no mistake made by us – if there was a mistake, it was Sean’s. But at this stage it is your word against his.

Do you have any evidence that it was Eva [Bartlett] and not you who met Sean? If so, please provide the evidence. 

Vanessa: 

Are you serious? You prompted Penn to say it was me. The onus is on the BBC to provide evidence. You broadcast my name in relation to the meeting with Penn  which is misinformation. I was in Aleppo. Now, YOU prove I was with Penn.

I await your reply and correction. 

Did the BBC use a Nour Al Din Zinki supporter as researcher for the Mayday series? 

Transcript of conversation with Chloe Hajimatheou and Su Pennington of BBC – 20th November 2020

Vanessa:

Good morning

Please would you let me know what advice you secured from medical experts to support Habak’s “autopsy” theory with reference to Syrian civilian testimony that “lightly injured” children & adults were taken to the Turkish border and their bodies returned with a scar running the length of their torso and without organs. How does the BBC explain Habak’s ability to work with armed groups such as Nusra Front (Al Qaeda) without being killed, imprisoned or kidnapped?

Thank you

Chloe:

Hello Vanessa,

Your reporting about Habak is frankly shockingly bad – full of terrible inaccuracies and you are doing the same with my programme.

“lightly injured” – this phrase does not appear in my programme  – you have made it up.

The wording used was: sometimes some people get hurt, get shot or something like that and… the hospital transferred them to Turkey. ….you have like a very, very like serious hurt or serious surgery and you don’t have ….the good doctor … The specialist doctor. So they transport him to Turkey.

My programme DID also include the script line: I should stress that this is a theory. It’s impossible to know for sure.

Can I suggest you listen to the episode properly.

Habak has never worked WITH any armed groups. Like many other civilians he has been in areas where armed groups were in control. This is very far from the same thing. Many media activists and cameramen and other civilians were operating in those areas without being killed. This does not imply collaboration and you have absolutely no evidence for that.

Your published talks and writing about the bombing incident at which Habak was present is full of obvious inaccuracies easily fact checked by looking at the photos and video from the incident. And of course you never bothered to check any of it with him directly.

Vanessa:

Lightly injured is my wording. Based on my experience interviewing the Syrian civilians you ignored in your report. Please answer the very simple question. Did the BBC seek any expert advice about the “autopsies” theory?

The huge difference between your reporting and mine is that I was on the ground when the Rashideen attack happened and my report is based on survivor testimony and what I saw. Yours is based on videos filmed by journalists who could only operate with the express permission of Nusra Front leadership. Those include Habak.

You keep telling me that I am wrong but without answers to my questions and without addressing the evidence. Please expand. What is inaccurate?

You seem to have a problem reading. Please answer my very clear and simple questions. I really don’t understand what makes you so defensive.

Vanessa:

Resending questions

Good morning

Please would you let me know what advice you secured from medical experts to support Habak’s “autopsy” theory with reference to Syrian civilian testimony that “lightly injured” children & adults were taken to the Turkish border and their bodies returned with a scar running the length of their torso and without organs. How does the BBC explain Habak’s ability to work with armed groups such as Nusra Front (Al Qaeda) without being killed, imprisoned or kidnapped?

Thank you

Chloe:

I have answered your questions. I am working and very busy.

Vanessa:

Me too. Where have you answered the question? Did the BBC take any medical expert advice about the “autopsies” theory? Simple yes or no required.

Does the BBC have any suggestions how Habak escaped any Nusra Front attacks, detainment etc while clearly working as a journalist in areas they controlled when it is a well known fact, even reported by mainstream journalists, that it is high risk unless they receive special dispensation from Nusra Front leadership. Simple question.

Chloe:

Dear Vanessa,

I see that you haven’t found my responses satisfactory. Could I recommend that instead of continuing to send Su and myself or the rest of our team so many emails you could follow this link for more information on how to complain to the BBC, where you will also be able to log your concerns and you will be guaranteed a reply: https://www.bbc.co.uk/contact/complaints.

Regards,

Vanessa:

You didn’t respond at all, you obfuscated. I inform you that our conversation will be published.

Just to clarify, you are not prepared to answer two very simple questions? You hounded myself and others during your “research”, we never failed to provide an answer. Yet, in this case, the BBC cannot provide clarification that is very important to the public understanding of the context of your suggested reasoning for missing organs in Syrian civilians.

I wonder how this will be viewed by your audience.

Chloe:

Vanessa,

You have sent me 6 emails today – I question who is doing the hounding. I refer you once again to the BBC complaints site.

Vanessa:

I am forced to send 6 emails because you have failed to respond at all.

*Just to clarify, you are not prepared to answer two very simple questions? You hounded myself and others during your “research”, we never failed to provide an answer. Yet, in this case, the BBC cannot provide clarification that is very important to the public understanding of the context of your suggested reasoning for missing organs in Syrian civilians.*

***

Related – Paul McKeigue’s conversations with Chloe Hadjimatheou: 

****

2 thoughts on “Conversations with the BBC – Mayday Rescue/White Helmets cover-up

  1. Your integrity and honesty ,why I support and send you all my best regards.This post saved in my folder od “British Bullshit Corporation ”
    Guy from Winnipeg .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Here in Canada, we have been subjected to the BBC Mayday Chloe what’s her name’s whitewash of the White Helmets at 5.30 am on CBC Radio. Being old, I get up around that time and brew my coffee, so this morning I blearily listened to her try to badger some chap from Sheffield University, who apparently doesn’t agree with MI6 and Chloe. He hung up on her, because she’s an annoying prat, and exhibits that same annoying-ness in the conversations you quote here.

      No point rehashing everything, but I do recall the last so-called “barrel bomb” attack day. There was one video in particular by some right wing Christian US TV journo at the scene ( I think Fisk was there in the area as well), who was trying to figure out why he hadn’t heard any explosions whatsoever — because his “official” satellite feed from back home was saying he should have, and that White Helmets were rescuing gassed civilians, it was chaos etc etc. No evidence of that either, no panic and doctors were calmly treating existing patients in a makeshift hospital underground bunker where nobody was choking for breath. No sign of damage, no smell of chlorine. He was mystified. His experience and the official narrative were at odds. So someone was making up horse manure on the trot to malign Assad — who else but our saviours in the UK and US intelligence agencies?

      Sorry to be short of details, but I try to keep up with the “news” to maintain a balance in my own mind, and it’s a hobby only. I read MSM, I read alternative, throw away what seems propaganda on either side and try to sift the likely truth from the reports and opinions. So much passes through my head on so many topics, I don’t concentrate deeply enough to keep details to my forefront, just to get a flavour of what’s going on.

      On my “don’t believe a word they say” list is: the BBC, UK newspapers and the New York Times, unless proven otherwise, on Bellingcat, White Helmets, Assange, Novichok attacks by Russkies, Corbyn as an anti-Semite, Putin is behind everything “bad” and has hacker farms working away, the notions that US Democrats are benign, Maduro is a mad dictator and Morales the same so must be crushed.

      Chloe claims she’s factual. As if. More like she’s trying to make a name for herself as a reliable person to propagate establishment “truths”. Makes for a good living, and she couldn’t care less who she maligns. I’ve lived too long to be taken in by obvious scammers.

      Liked by 1 person

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