Monday, 22 July 2013

NO APOLOGIES FOR REPEATING THIS COMMENT

This from the Delaware Times USA (July 9th 2013):

"By CHRIS FREIND
Times Columnist

In past columns, I have championed Don Imus keeping his job, defended Barry Bonds’ achievements and stood up for the falsely accused Duke lacrosse players long before it was “fashionable” for the media to do so. I even opined that Paris Hilton was wrongly jailed, receiving unfair treatment because she was a celebrity.

But no matter how much I try, I simply cannot find anything worth defending about British couple Gerry and Kate McCann.

The McCanns, for a reason that wholly escapes me, have been worldwide media darlings since their then-3-year-old daughter, Madeleine, disappeared from a Portuguese resort in 2007. A disappearance, mind you, that was 100 percent preventable had Maddy’s parents — both well-to-do physicians — not left her alone, along with her twin 2-year-old siblings, in a ground-floor unlocked apartment not once, but repeatedly, while they sampled the local paella far from their children.

Such gross negligence should have made them pariahs, but instead, their vaunted PR machine fashioned them into something akin to “heroic victims.”

Over the years, they have raised millions, engendered the support of (misguided) icons such David Beckham and J.K. Rowling, had a private audience with the Pope, met with high-ranking staff of then-First Lady Laura Bush, wrote a book, and otherwise lavished in the limelight as globetrotting celebrities.

Along the way, lawsuits have been threatened against anyone who dared question the McCanns’ complicity in their daughter’s fate, despite significant inconsistencies in their stories. Quite sickeningly, their actual search for Maddy all too often seemed like an afterthought, as it was much cooler to hang with stars and dignitaries than do the grunt work.

Yet for all the baggage that should accompany them, their star power still shines bright, as the Scotland Yard, upon the direction of Prime Minister David Cameron himself, just re-opened the investigation, citing new leads and “persons of interest.”

Really? After six years and millions of British taxpayers’ money later, they finally have persons of interest?

Aren’t there laws on the books in Britain against child endangerment? Reckless behavior? Negligence? And to those who say Britain can’t prosecute for a crime committed overseas, you can’t have it both ways, as British investigators are reaching out across Europe in a (likely ill-fated) attempt to interrogate and possibly have suspects arrested in other countries.

It seems increasingly clear that McCann case is no longer about what happened to a little girl, but an attempt — some say cover-up — to absolve “upstanding Brits” of any responsibility, conveniently blaming Portugal, the poor man of Europe, for a botched investigation and overall ineptness.

Looking past the gushing pro-McCann headlines, many the world over believe the parents, accidentally or otherwise, were directly responsible for Maddy’s fate. I certainly cannot make that claim, though Gerry and Kate would seem to be guilty of child endangerment. That said, there remain inconsistencies which, to this day, remain unanswered.

Therefore, if Scotland Yard wishes to retain its legendary reputation, it needs to investigate the case from Square One, objectively, free from outside influence. No sacred cows, and no one off the table. And the only way to do that is to start with Gerry and Kate, (and their friends who accompanied them that fateful night), forcing the parents to answer tough questions. The taxpayers, and those who have so faithfully followed this saga for so long, deserve no less.

You don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to ask the following:

1.) Will the McCanns and their friends take lie-detectors tests? While not guaranteed, they’re a good barometer. If there is nothing to hide, releasing the results would be a public relations boon, and the investigation could center on Madeleine — for a change.

2.) What time was Madeleine discovered missing? Was it 9 o’clock, as Kate states, or 10 o’clock as others report, and why the discrepancy? How long did it take for anyone to initially call the police, as there are reports of a significant delay. Kate stated that the shutters were forced open, but the police and hotel staff said there was no evidence of tampering. And Kate, why, upon discovering that your daughter was missing, did you return to the restaurant, leaving the 2-year-old twins alone (again!), while a predator could still have been lurking nearby?

3.) Kate yelled, “They’ve taken her”, but how did she know Madeleine was abducted? After all, the doors were unlocked, and Madeleine was known to sleepwalk.

Or perhaps this little girl just happened to awaken, scared,in a dark, unfamiliar place, and looked for the comfort of her parents. Not seeing them, might she have walked out the unlocked door to find them? And when Kate initially yelled “they” took her, to whom was she referring?

4.) The resort was extremely child-friendly. Why not use its inexpensive baby-sitting services? Some reports state that the McCanns did not want the children to be around people with whom they were unfamiliar. Yet, the same people who ran the day camp the children attended were also the baby sitters. And how could “strangers” be any worse than leaving three young children (with a combined age of 7) alone in an unlocked apartment?

5.) How often did the parents check the children before Madeleine went missing? Every hour, half-hour, or not at all? (The statements of the resort staff differ markedly from the McCanns). Since the room was a considerable distance away from the restaurant, and its view blocked, how could the McCanns compare that “secure arrangement” to eating in their backyard garden?

6.) During a BBC interview, Kate was adamant that the children would not awaken while she and Gerry were dining. Yet, since Madeleine reportedly had a history of sleepwalking, how could Kate be so sure of this?

7.) How many nights did the McCanns dine out while leaving the children alone? What were the distances of those restaurants from their room? Were any away from the hotel?

8.) How much money raised has actually has been allocated to the physical search for Madeleine? A thorough and independent forensic audit should be conducted.

9.) In an earlier interview, the McCanns stated, “Looking at it from where we are now, I don’t feel we were irresponsible, I feel we are very responsible parents.” Do they still feel that way?

10.) Assume that the police dog was accurate in its detection of death in the room, and the death was that of Madeleine. Why then would the perpetrator take away a dead child?

At a minimum, these questions are a logical starting point to get to the bottom of Madeleine’s disappearance.

As a wise man once said, lies reveal more than they conceal. If Scotland Yard does its job, perhaps we shall put that saying to the test.

Chris Freind is an independent commentator who operates FreindlyFireZone.com. He can be reached at CF@FreindlyFireZone.com. His column appears every Wednesday."

20 comments:

Claire Baker said...

You are a cold, ignorant excuse for a human being. Do you honestly think that the mistakes that were made warrant the punishment of having your child taken!!! People like you make me feel physically sick and instead of focussing your attention on the mistakes if this poor mother and father, you would do well to take a long look in the mirror and question if you have an ounce of humility in you!! This is nobody's fault, but the horrible vile people that took that little girl away, and comments like yours put you in just the same category as them.

Blogger said...

OK. So this Blog is commenting on the disappearance of little Madeleine McCann, who, it is alleged, has been abducted.
Apart from the fact that she has disappeared, there is absolutely no evidence that she was actually abducted. Until the Police or some other Authority comes up with a solution to the incident that has supporting evidence, it will remain a mystery and probably an unsolved one. Lets see what comes out of the UK Police's investigation of the 38 "suspects" they say they have details of. Don't hold your breath waiting for an answer.

Blogger said...

I would add that the Post on which you have commented was written by a well respected Journalist, not this Blog!

Unknown said...

Excellent article.

Unknown said...

Claire Baker (born 4 March 1971) is a Scottish Labour Party politician, and Member of the Scottish Parliament for Mid Scotland and Fife since 2007. She is Labour's Shadow Minister for Education in the Scottish Parliament. From Wiki

Blogger said...

Despite being a politician we do allow such people to make comments. This one as useless as probably others that she utters!

Nothing positive to say, just pure criticism of a great in depth article.

Anonymous said...

I have been watching a programme we have in the UK called Crime Watch.
It solicits the help of the public to help solve crimes.
Tonight it was given over almost exclusively to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann .
I have watched over the past six years this tragic story unfold and read many articles about who may or not to be to blame for this little girl’s disappearance.
I keep coming back to a couple of questions, that no one seems to ask, which many law enforcement agencies may think is ridiculous because I do not understand the world we live in.
There may be many horrible reasons why someone would abduct a 3 year old child but why take such a risk of breaking into a property where there may have been a baby sitter?
Surely a holiday complex with so many people around at all times is the last place to try to abduct a child particularly if it involves breaking into a window not at 3 or 4 in the morning, but 9 or 10 in the evening.
Apparently the parents did not share the same room as the children.
If a gang who had been employed to abduct a child for a couple who wanted a child to bring up as their own why step over, and I mean step over the baby twin boy and girl and take a three year old?
Anyway I am not a police officer only the parent of two grown up kids who when they were babies in a separate room would not trust the baby monitor and get up in the middle of the night to watch them breathe.

Anonymous said...

I have been watching a programme we have in the UK called Crime Watch.
It solicits the help of the public to help solve crimes.
Tonight it was given over almost exclusively to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann .
I have watched over the past six years this tragic story unfold and read many articles about who may or not to be to blame for this little girl’s disappearance.
I keep coming back to a couple of questions, that no one seems to ask, which many law enforcement agencies may think is ridiculous because I do not understand the world we live in.
There may be many horrible reasons why someone would abduct a 3 year old child but why take such a risk of breaking into a property where there may have been a baby sitter?
Surely a holiday complex with so many people around at all times is the last place to try to abduct a child particularly if it involves breaking into a window not at 3 or 4 in the morning, but 9 or 10 in the evening.
Apparently the parents did not share the same room as the children.
If a gang who had been employed to abduct a child for a couple who wanted a child to bring up as their own why step over, and I mean step over the baby twin boy and girl and take a three year old?
Anyway I am not a police officer only the parent of two grown up kids who when they were babies in a separate room would not trust the baby monitor and get up in the middle of the night to watch them breathe.

Anonymous said...

if the window hadn't have cause a draught kate wouldn't have known she was missing! if the taker was still in the room when kate looked he probably slammed the door and jumped out of the window to make the curtain fly and any sensible person would have ran to the window and looked outside to see how the shutters were open not run round the house shouting!

Anonymous said...

if the window hadn't have cause a draught kate wouldn't have known she was missing! if the taker was still in the room when kate looked he probably slammed the door and jumped out of the window to make the curtain fly and any sensible person would have ran to the window and looked outside to see how the shutters were open not run round the house shouting!

Anonymous said...

i totally agree with the above comment my thoughts exactly this column is right i want answers the parents should be tried in a court of law with the evidence and questions we all have on our minds !!!!!!!

Blogger said...

Anonymous 16, 2013, that evidence is not clear and if you read Amaral's book, see later post, you will get the police version.

Anonymous said...

McCanns played tennis of a day and went jogging on the beach while their children were in the crech, they got picked up at 5 in the night and given tea then bed. Wasn't much of a holiday for them was it.

Anonymous said...

Only people that stick up for the Mcanns are ones that prob leave their kids alone too

Anonymous said...

The folks who continue to refute the evidence and make excuses in any way possible for the "poor parents" are disturbing. It's almost as if they don't want to know the truth. They support "poor Kate and poor Gerry" to the point of near insanity. Any comments on blogs that rightly question the parents motivations, behaviour, parenting etc. are shot at as if they were being spoken about sacred cows! Kate has not answered many questions--how can an investigation be effective while she sits closed mouthed, about circumstances surrounding the "disappearance" of her own child. I really think that it is time for her to be arrested, perhaps then she would co-operate? Or does she, by virtue of her profession, her husbands profession, and their respective associates or contacts in 'high places" get a free pass on this? If she is not willing to answer the questions then how can she keep this vigilant "plea for help" in finding the child? Is there something wrong with her that we are not aware of?

Simon said...

@Clare Barker - fair enough, that's your opinion.

One must bear in mind though that you are approaching it from the stance that she was abducted (I'm assuming that's your view).

With so many irregularities and contradictions it would seem presumptuous to conclude anything above and beyond the single irrefutable fact. She is "missing".

Not "abducted". "Missing".

Of course, if she was abducted then this article might come across as cold to some, but from where I am it still raises valid and salient points that need addressing. Yes, it would mean putting people through hell; but that's an everyday job for many who constantly deal with the many abductions, murders, rapes and so on.

And it's that construct that affords us the right to have opinions, regardless of their saliency. The police can't avoid asking questions because it might hurt somebody's feelings, you know.

I'm sorry if this comes across as patronising, but it seemed to me that you were not considering what increasingly seems to be an elephant in the room - that which is not being said. What we do know could well be a castle in the sand - they are all coming from one source after all. And there seem to be a lot of unanswered questions.

Long and short, somebody is unfortunately missing. Anything beyond that seems to be speculation and propaganda. Obviously, I haven't read everything on the subject, and I'm not a forensic detective - this is just another armchair opinion.

Anonymous said...

I would do anything I could to find my missing child no matter what people say or think ! and as for the media believe nothing you read and only half of what you see.

Blogger said...

All opinions are welcome but do not criticise other people or you will not get published.

Anonymous said...

"Believe nothing you read and only half what you see" ? Richard D Hall ?

Anonymous said...

I feel the parents and I use the term loosely are as guilty as guilty can be. be it of neglect or something more sinister. One day the truth will out and I hope all those that talk down to those who have opinions will apologise and take back their obviously biased words