Tucker Carlson Covers For Assad, Says He Didn’t Gas His Own People (He Did)
On two occasions this week, Fox News host Tucker Carlson came out in support of Russia, first saying he was rooting for the American adversary in its aggression against Ukraine and then pushing the Russian and Syrian talking point that Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad did not gas his own people.
According to Newsweek, Carlson “claimed that there's no evidence Syrian President Bashar Assad was behind the 2018 attack on Douma and argued the attack might never have happened.”
The Fox host played a clip from one of his shows in 2018 during which he said Americans should be skeptical of the international consensus that Assad attacked his people with chemicals.
"Universal bi-partisan agreement on anything is usually the first sign that something deeply unwise is about to happen, if only because there is nobody left to ask skeptical questions, and we should be skeptical of this, starting with the poison gas attack itself," said Carlson. "All the geniuses tell us that Assad killed those children, but do they really know that? Of course they don't really know that, they're making it up. They have no real idea what happened."
Carlson’s latest mention of the matter came after WikiLeaks published an internal email from a staffer at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which was tasked with investigating the attack, that accused the team of covering up “discrepancies,” Newsweek reported.
However, the email was misleading, as investigative journalists at Bellingcat discovered: “the leaked letter, which supports Carlson's narrative, actually referred to an "interim report" released in July 2018. This was before the OPCW released its final conclusions about Douma which reflected the concerns of the employee behind the email.”
The investigation found that the email published by WikiLeaks was only “superficially damaging” to the OPCW report:
"A comparison of the points raised in the letter against the final Douma report makes it amply clear that the OPCW not only addressed these points, but even changed the conclusion of an earlier report to reflect the concerns of said employee,” the journalists wrote. "Although this letter appears to be at least superficially damaging to the OPCW, after reading the actual reports published by the OPCW it is clear that this letter is outdated and inapplicable to the final Douma report.”
Carlson also said that because no American had witnessed the attack, it is impossible to know if it even occurred.
"The justification for this was a supposed chemical weapons attack in the town of Douma. Now, no one in Washington had seen the attack—no American had seen it," the host said. "Nobody in Congress could tell you what proof existed that the attack had actually taken place or that Assad's government was behind it, rather than some other faction—and there were many in the country's civil war."
Again, the evidence does not support Carlson’s suggestion — a claim also made by Russia and Syria, both of which have said the attack was not perpetrated by the Syrian government but rather some other faction in the region.
The New York Times broke down the evidence after examining “dozens of videos and photos of the attack with academics, scientists and chemical weapons experts.”
The evidence showed that “at least 34 bodies inside and outside the building could be seen in videos recorded after the attack,” the newspaper reported, and dents in the bomb’s nose, lattice markings and rigging that could be seen in the debris revealed that the bomb was dropped from a plane.
“Because the Syrian military controls the airspace over Douma,” The Times noted, “it would be almost impossible for the attack to have been staged by opposition fighters who do not have aircraft.”
Further, the presence of black corrosion indicated that chlorine was used in the attack.