Saturday, 27 November 2010

Truth is by nature self-evident

I thought it might be prudent to make these McCann examples of terminological inexactitude, available as easy reference, or shall I say, as fast food, eat in or take away.

Truth is by nature self-evident. As soon as you remove the cobwebs of ignorance that surround it, it shines clear. - Gandhi

Truth is like the town whore. Everybody knows her, but nonetheless, it's embarrassing to meet her on the street. - Borchert

Friday, 26 November 2010

Kate McCann's Book To Be Truthful (and Scathing)

I'm glad that is to be the case; no doubt she will be clearing up a discrepancy or two.

Perhaps she might like to start here with this little lot.

I thought I would take this opportunity to bring together on one page certain discrepancies relating to the night of May third 2007. These discrepancies, or McCann sound bites if you will, are fundamental, nay, they are the cornerstone for the McCann's claim that Madeleine was a victim of stranger abduction.

That this case has progressed to the point it has without these inconsistencies and disparities being addressed, I find not only staggering but scandalous. That such conflicting and contradictory statements made by the parents have never been investigated by any law enforcement agency in this country, is, as I say, not only staggering and scandalous, but shameful. And please, don't give me it's jurisdiction issue.

That parents, in a case of a three year old girl seemingly disappearing off the face of the earth, can make such contradictory statements with impunity, says much for the state of this Nation, it's law enforcement, and not least it's Government.

It matters not that books are written, that documentaries are made, or whatever tripe the press wishes to print in their obsession to sanctify this loathsome pair , it matters not because it is all worthless, it is all utterly without worth until these fundamental questions are answered.

Related post Joana Morais: They think about what they can do to help themselves

The Window: Kate McCann's Red Herring

A red herring born of a red face perhaps.

A first rate article by Then There Were 4, in which he argues the absurdity of the window playing any part of an abduction, when in actual fact all the window theory did, was to allow the McCanns to incriminate themselves further. No longer available.

And do you remember this little bit of damage limitation after the cornerstone of the abduction, the window, now given the status of red herring, by someone sounding increasingly more desperate by the day.

[Kate McCann] The window: I described to the police officers exactly what I found that night, as it was and is highly relevant and I knew that every little detail could be helpful in finding my daughter which is our only aim. The window which is a ground floor window was completely open and is large enough for a person to easily climb through it. Whether it had been opened for this purpose remains unknown.It could of course have been opened by the perpetrator when inside the apartment as a potential escape route or left open as a 'red herring' more Complete article now below: Let's Not Concern Ourselves.

Damage Limitation

Kate McCann's attempt at damage limitation after a few previously known and unknown facts became available to a wider audience after the Lisbon hearing.
eta: If this statement is anything to go by, the book is going to be a doozy.

We are currently in Lisbon for the trial to determine whether the injunction against Mr Amaral's book and DVD should remain in place. This trial is about whether the book is a true reflection of the official judicial process in to Madeleine's disappearance and whether its contents damage the ongoing search for Madeleine, her siblings and our reputations.

Mr Amaral's book and DVD contains some information from the PJ files but there is a lot in the files which is not in Mr Amaral's book. Hence it is highly selective and therefore biased. Mr Amaral's book contains his opinions rather than fact. His opinions differ from the findings in the PJ file. The conclusions of the latter are: 1.there is no evidence that Madeleine is dead and 2. there is no evidence that Gerry or I are involved in Madeleine's disappearance. This is very different to the theories and conclusions of Mr Amaral. It is logical and common sense that spreading these theories as Mr Amaral did (and continues todo) damages the search to find our little girl. If the general public (and the Portuguese people in particular) are bombarded day in and day out with such theories, this will eventually 'colour' their understanding and judgement -lies and inaccuracies become fact. If people subsequently believe that Madeleineis dead and that we are involved in her disappearance then they will not look for Madeleine, will not consider any suspicions about others which they may have and will not come forward with information. We consider this highly detrimental to the search for Madeleine.

There are few points which have been raised in the last few days which I would like to address specifically:

Abduction theory:For us, there is only the abduction theory possible because we were not involved in Madeleine's disappearance and we know Madeleine did not wander off by herself. It is obvious and right that the police should consider other theories initially.

The window: I described to the police officers exactly what I found that night, as it was and is highly relevant and I knew that every little detail could be helpful in finding my daughter which is our only aim. The window which is a ground floor window was completely open and is large enough for a person to easily climb through it. Whether it had been opened for this purpose remains unknown. It could of course have been opened by the perpetrator when inside the apartment as a potential escape route or left open as a 'red herring'

The dogs: We realise that the behaviour of the dogs was the turning point in the investigation for the PJ. The use of dogs has proved to be problematic and unreliable in previous cases

(please refer to the Jersey ‘Haut de La Garenne' case and other research published about their use and reliability). It is vital to note that alerts by such dogs are classified as intelligence rather than evidence, as police officers familiar with their use will verify. These alerts must be supported by forensics in order to be used as evidence. The results of the forensic examinations did not identify any blood or Madeleine's DNA. To suggestor use the dogs´ reactions as evidence is simply wrong and abusive.

The proposed reconstruction: The suggestion of a reconstruction of our movements and other key witnesses at the crime scene and/or surrounding area in the early days following Madeleine's abduction was declined by the PJ as 'not usual' for Portugal. When the PJ finally requested a reconstruction to take place in 2008, Gerry and I were still arguidos and as such would have attended for a reconstruction. Some key witnesses (including some of our friends)declined to attend the planned reconstruction as they were not convinced of the aims and usefulness of it. In particular, as the reconstruction was not to be shown to the media (and hence the general public), they did not feel it would help to find Madeleine. Had the intention been to show it to the general public, it may have 'jogged' memories and encouraged people to come forward with information. It should be added that other key witnesses were not invited to attend.

Our team is confident that the injunction will remain in place because none of the witnesses thus far have been able to prove in court that Mr. Amaral's right to express his opinion is superior to the rights of our family to peace, respect and protection of reputation, and above all, the right to continue the search for our daughter Madeleine effectively and without hindrance. As has been made clear this week, Mr Amaral's ‘thesis' is not supported by any evidence. The search for Madeleine must go on until we find her and bring her abductor(s) to justice.

Kate McCann
Damage Limitation

Let's Not Concern Ourselves, They're Only Details

Just what does it take to get arrested by the Leicester police?

The corner stone of this nonsensical abduction story offered by the McCanns has always centred around the window and the "jemmied shutters."

I have written about the shear impossibility of such a scenario here, and Dr Martin Roberts addresses the same likelihood and can be found at this link.

Below in black and white and on video tape are the accounts of McCann family members and friends, etched in stone as it were, and there is only one indisputable source for these accounts, Kate and Gerry McCann.

But firstly, prior to reading these accounts, we have to take a good look at the latest incredible words of Kate McCann.

This single paragraph is but one of many taken from the McCanns feeble effort to limit the fallout from what came to light in Lisbon. This latest blog entry written by Kate McCann? after their failed and misguided attempt to silence Goncalo Amaral and as such silence the truth.

The window: I described to the police officers exactly what I found that night, as it was and is highly relevant and I knew that every little detail could be helpful in finding my daughter which is our only aim. The window which is a ground floor window was completely open and is large enough for a person to easily climb through it. Whether it had been opened for this purpose remains unknown. It could of course have been opened by the perpetrator when inside the apartment as a potential escape route or left open as a 'red herring'

In the immortal words of John McEnroe, you cannot be serious, you really really cannot be serious.

Apart from a few lines by way of introduction, I have just posted the relevant parts of various articles.*


Agony as 3-yr-old vanishes from holiday flat

A HUGE hunt was going on last night for three-year-old Maddy McCann, feared snatched from her holiday flat.

Maddy is believed to have been taken as she slept in the complex on Portugal's Algarve as her doctor parents ate at a bar 120ft away. Her scent was picked up by a police sniffer dog. But it petered out after 400 yards.

Yesterday, 24 hours after the young child vanished in quiet Praia da Luz, anguished parents Gerry and Kate, both 38, of Rothley, Leics, begged for her return.

A friend said: "Kate rang us totally hysterical, saying Maddy was abducted. They're devastated."

The appalling news that three-year-old Maddy McCann was feared kidnapped from her holiday flat came in a distraught phone call early yesterday from her dad.

Heart specialist Gerry McCann rang his sister Trish in Scotland after Maddy vanished from her cot placed between two-year-old twins Sean and Amelie.

Trish revealed yesterday: "He was breaking his heart, saying 'Madeleine's been abducted, she's been abducted'."

Trish said: "When Kate checked, she came out screaming. Maddy had gone. The door was open and the window in the bedroom and shutters were jemmied open. Nothing had been touched and no valuables taken.

"They think someone must have come in the window and gone out the door with her."

Close family friend Gill Renwick, of Liverpool, who also spoke to GP Kate yesterday, said: "Poor Kate and Gerry don't know where to turn.

"Madeleine has obviously been taken. She couldn't have gone out on her own and the shutters were forced."

"The window shutters, which had been closed since we arrived on Saturday, were open along with the window. They can be opened from the outside.

"The window opens on to a car park. The door to the room was shut. It looks as if someone has come through the window and possibly left through the door."

~ ~ ~

Close family friend Jon Corner, of Liverpool, told how tearful Kate sobbed down the phone early yesterday: "Someone has taken my little girl."

Jon, godparent to the McCanns' twins, said: "She was in an absolutely hysterical state - very, very distressed. She blurted out Madeleine had been abducted.

"Kate said the shutters of the room were smashed. Madeleine was missing It looks as though someone had gone straight past the twins to get to her. Kate was incredibly upset. I've spoken to her since, and she's still completely devastated.
"She's also very upset that the police don't seem to be doing more to find Madeleine. She thinks there's too little happening."

Mark Warner management denied there were signs of forced entry at the flat claiming instead that roller shutters had been slid up and the bedroom window opened.
~ ~ ~

Jon Corner, a close friend of Mrs McCann and godparent of the twins, said Kate telephoned him in the middle of the night distraught.

He said: "She just blurted out that Madeleine had been abducted. She told me, 'They have broken the shutter on the window and taken my little girl.'

"They had left the apartment locked while they were having their meal, but when they went back the last time they saw the damage."

After speaking to her a second time, he repeated his earlier account, but this time in stronger language

He told how tearful Kate sobbed down the phone early yesterday: "Someone has taken my little girl."

He continued: "She was in an absolutely hysterical state - very, very distressed. She blurted out Madeleine had been abducted.

"Kate said the shutters of the room were smashed. Madeleine was missing It looks as though someone had gone straight past the twins to get to her. Kate was incredibly upset. I've spoken to her since, and she's still completely devastated.

"She's also very upset that the police don't seem to be doing more to find Madeleine. She thinks there's too little happening." (Get it in early.)

~ ~ ~
Brian Healy Grandfather.

"Gerry told me when they went back the shutters to the room were broken, they were jemmied up and she was gone," said Mr Healy. "She'd been taken from the chalet. The door was open."

I reiterate, Just what does it take to get arrested by the Leicester police?

Madeleine McCann was a three year old girl and a Leicestershire resident.


Let's Not Concern Ourselves

~ ~ ~

Lastly, the curtains.

Your Witness Stu

Just a little reminder.

4003 to 4004 Email from Stuart Prior to the PJ (in English)
15-Processos Vol XV Page 4003 to 4004



Date: 18th January 2008

From: Stuart Prior

To: Ricardo Paiva

Subject: BC4 Memo, Gail Cooper doc. Gail Cooper statement, Iris Morgan doc, report Morgan doc, Rex Morgan doc.


All the docs attached in this and the next two emails as discussed earlier today.

We are still working on one or two aspects and I will get back to you over this and for any further direction from yourselves over facial recognition.

As we have discussed I have given Gerry a brief update just saying that the other descriptions are different to the artists impressions completed by Gail and identified by Jane. That the witnesses appeared genuine which indicates a number of charity collectors in the area prior to Madeleine being taken. I informed him everything has been forwarded to yourselves.

We have not spoken with Jane at all and will not share our e fits with anybody except yourselves unless you request this from us. It appears there were at least three charity collectors if not more in the area in the weeks prior to Madeleine being taken.

I am told that the artist impression by Gail Cooper is likely to hit the media over the weekend and I will update you on the effects of this next week, although we are not involved in this in any way at all.

Hope all is well.

Spk soon.


~ ~ ~
Your witness.

At around 10pm, the interviewee went to check on the children. She went into the apartment by the side door, which was closed. She noticed that the door to her children's bedroom was completely open, the window was also open, the shutters raised and the curtains open, while she was certain of having closed them all as she always did.
Kate McCann, in a statement to the Policia Judiciária, may 4th, 2007

At 10pm, Kate went to check on the children. She went into the apartment, using her key and saw that the bedroom door was completely open, the window was also open, the shutters raised and the curtains open. The doors were locked except the one at the back as already noted above.
Gerry McCann, in a statement to the Policia Judiciária, may 4th, 2007

It wasn’t until Kate walked into the villa at 10 and felt a sickening breeze—the front window had been jimmied open—that she realized something terrible had happened. “The scene was stark,” Gerry tells me. On one bed the twins lay sleeping. In the next lay only the plush cat toy Madeleine was never without. That was when Kate came out screaming, “Madeleine has gone!”
Vanity Fair January 10, 2008


K: I did my check about 10.00 ‘clock and went in through the sliding patio doors and I just stood, actually and I thought, oh, all quiet, and to be honest, I might have been tempted to turn round then, but I just noticed that the door, the bedroom door where the three children were sleeping, was open much further than we’d left it. I went to close it to about here and then as I got to here, it suddenly slammed and then as I opened it, it was then that I just thought, I’ll just look at the children and I could see S and A in the cot and then I was looking at M’s bed which was here and it was dark and I was looking and I was thinking, is that M or is that the bedding. and I couldn’t quite make her out. It sounds really stupid now, but at the time, I was thinking I didn’t want to put the light on cos I didn’t wanna wake them and literally, as I went back in, the curtains of the bedroom which were drawn,… were closed, … whoosh … It was like a gust of wind, kinda, just blew them open and cuddle cat was still there and her pink blanket was still there and then I knew straight away that she had, er, been taken, you know.
Kate McCann in C4 Cutting Edge documentary - Madeleine was here, april 2008

Kate: Yeah, so I thought well I'll just close it over again, and as I went to close it over it slammed shut and I thought and it was like sort of you know a draught had caused it to shut so I turned behind me and I thought are the patio doors open and they were closed and I thought well that's strange so then I opened the door thinking I'll open it ajar a bit again and that was when I kind of looked into the room and when I just looked and it was quite dark and I was just looking and looking at Madeleine's bed and I was thinking is that her that I was looking for why isn't Madeleine there? And then in the end I walked over and thought oh, she's not in bed and then I thought maybe she's wandered through to our bed and that's why the door's open so I went through to our bedroom and she wasn't there and then I kind of see then I'm starting to panic a bit and I ran back into their room and literally as I went back into their room the curtains that were drawn over just "foooosh" flew open and that's when I saw that the shutter was right up and the window was pushed right open. And that was when I just knew that erm someone had taken her. So I, I mean I ran to the window and I didn't know what I thought was going to see but I ran to the window and then I quickly hmm quickly looked through the wardrobes I had I suppose this temporary thought she was cowering in a wardrobe or something anyway she wasn't there and I just ran out and soon as...
Kate McCann on the Oprah show, may 2009. Your Witness Stu


A couple of clips and a link relative to this nonsense.

Trish Cameron: They last checked at half past nine; they were all sound asleep, sleeping; windows shut; shutters shut. Kate went back at ten o'clock to check; the front door was lying open; the window had been tampered with; the shutters had been jammied open... or whatever you call it, and Madeleine was missing.
McCann Files: 'Frantic search for toddler' Video BBC

Straight from the off we get a lesson in McCann style child care, better to leave the kids on their own rather than with a baby sitter they don't know. But it's not Phil McCann's spin that really concerns us here, it's other stuff, stuff like:

Gerry and Kate are in a clear line of sight of their kids.
No they weren't. and

It is obvious that someone with malicious intent went through that window and took Madeleine from the safety and security of her family.
No they didn't, nobody went through the window and took Madeleine 'from the safety and security of her family'

A little later:

Ian Woods: And it must be very frustrating for them to just be sitting, waiting for news. Is there... is there a temptation for them to... to get out and... and try and search themselves,

Philomena McCann: Yeah, well, I mean, for Gerry and Kate, they want to get out there. They want to search everything; they want to leave nothing unturned but,....... source McCann Files - 'It Is Abhorrent To Suggest Bad Parenting'

And we all know about getting out there.

Footnote: It's not an impossible scenario to imagine, although a lot less likely, (and even less likely knowing the parents) although a lot less likely because of the age of the child involved, but I have taken other people's kids on on foreign holidays. And anybody who has ever had kids of their own will know why, Daaaad, Muuum, I'm bored.

But had for instance the McCanns taken one of our Matty's sprogs, or our Stu's kids abroad, and one of them was "abducted." I can't help but ask myself, would 'because Gerry McCann says the kid was abducted' be good enough for any of these parents and upholders of the law?

Answers on a postcard please.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

A re-up for this previous common sense observation, and analysis on the same theme from Dr Martin Roberts.

Just Who IS loooking?
By Dimsie The Maddie Case Files.

I've never been sure who these people who've stopped looking for Madeleine because of GA's book actually are. They can't be the McCanns' friends and relations because obviously they believe every word Kate and Gerry say about the 'abduction' and so will be ignoring anything Amaral says to the contrary. They can't be the pro's that keep popping up in forums to tell us how we're all wrong and how dreadful Amaral is (and Tony Bennett too, of course), because they too are convinced Amaral is a monster for not believing in the 'abduction' and so they'll ignore him. They can't be members of the public because most members of the public have jobs to go to, families to look after, lives of their own to lead, and are far too busy to head off somewhere looking for Madeleine. So who are they? Who has stopped looking for Madeleine because of Amaral's book?

Come to think of it, who has STARTED looking for Madeleine? I haven't read any reports in the papers about the friends and relatives of the McCanns combing the wilder parts of the area around PdL where Edgar informs us she's being held. I can't see how the pro's who spend their time writing rubbish about the rest of us can have any time left over to join search parties; how many of THEM are in Portugal, knocking on doors and asking to inspect people's cellars? I don't know of any member of the public who's gone anywhere looking for Madeleine, let alone join Dave and Arthur for a tramp around the lawless wastelands of the Algarve, where presumably white man has not yet laid foot. I don't think either of Madeleine's parents is in Portugal, co-ordinating the search, though of course I could be wrong. Maybe we'll hear tomorrow that now that Kate has translated the files she's off to Portugal to tell the PJ how to start this most important search. But until I see it on tv I won't believe it.

Hmm, it seems NO ONE is looking for Madeleine, except a couple of incompetent (according to the Mail on Sunday) ex-cops, whose opinions change from one week to the next and who think that the way to find a child they're sure is entombed in a cellar in Portugal is to take a trip to Australia.

By Dr Martin Roberts
20 November 2010


So, esteemed Portuguese lawyer Isabel Duarte, acting on behalf of the McCanns, is progressing with plans to 'appeal the appeal', so to speak.

Just as Gonçalo Amaral had to present grounds for calling into question a judge's decision to uphold an injunction against him, Duarte has to furnish an argument sufficient both to endorse the original decision and to outweigh, rather than merely counter, the basis of the appeal court's reversal of that decision. In talking openly to the press she gives the impression of being quite confident she can do exactly that. Her optimism is founded on her view that 'essential facts' had not been taken into account by the appeal court judges. And what might these 'essential facts' be? Ms Duarte helpfully goes on to clarify:

1. Gonçalo Amaral's book was published to make money.

2. Gonçalo Amaral's book had inflicted pain and suffering on her clients, the McCanns.

3. Gonçalo Amaral's book had impeded the search for Madeleine by entertaining the hypothesis that Madeleine in fact died on the night of her disappearance.

It is as well to bear in mind that we are not talking about a professional 'also ran' here. Ms Duarte is a pre-eminent legal representative and a candidate for election to the presidency of the Portuguese equivalent of our bar association. Any client of hers is entitled therefore to suppose her own grasp of Portuguese law to be complete. As far as is possible, subtlety of interpretation should position her advocacy several degrees above mere recourse to common sense. So what do the McCanns get for their money?

Gonçalo Amaral published a book to make money

Who doesn't? The McCanns themselves have just announced an intention to reap the benefit of their own 'account of the truth' in due course. Gonçalo Amaral is not a public information service. Even if he were, he would be entitled to recover his costs, surely. How is he supposed to do that without making money? Think of public transport services even. Buses, trains etc. carry passengers, but not before they've bought tickets.

Some years ago I bought my own daughter a 'teach yourself flute' video. She and I were both disappointed to discover that lesson one amounted to 'open the box and put the instrument together.' Isabel Duarte's 'essential fact' number one is itself so obvious, as well as irrelevant, that like the many such leads previously filed by the PJ, it scarcely warrants a second glance. Does Ms Duarte really suppose the Supreme Court in Portugal is likely to see it another way?

Gonçalo Amaral's book has inflicted pain and suffering on the McCanns

We might be dealing with a case of double entendre here, in as much as the hypothesis of Madeleine's death, be it right or wrong, might well cause the McCanns pain either way. However, supposing that said hypothesis is in error, and painful for that reason, it would have been painful when first put before the public. Amaral's book was published, in Portuguese, in July 2008. The McCanns libel action was commenced over a year later.

Pain and suffering is something we generally try to alleviate at the earliest opportunity. To suffer unduly over time is indicative either of a masochist or someone more fearful of the treatment than the malady. Self evidently the McCanns' pain and suffering was not sufficiently acute for them to do anything about it for a year at least. And in January this year they arranged and attended a society dinner, to be seen and photographed in the company of a variety of T.V. personalities. At £150 per head, this particular social gathering was a serious fund-raising event, not a vehicle for the relief of pain and suffering, of which there has been no public sign whatsoever since the McCanns 'got over' the first 48 hours, much less since publication of A Verdade da Mentira.

Question: Ms Duarte, could you please quantify, or at least evidence, the pain and suffering endured by your clients as a direct consequence of the material discussed in Dr Amaral's published work?

No? Then let us turn to 'essential fact' number three:

Gonçalo Amaral's book has impeded the search for Madeleine

The search for something lost carries a transitive connotation. Besides the person or object searched for there are the locations searched. It implies an active endeavour on someone's part. We may remind ourselves, ad nauseam almost, that searching, in these terms, is something the McCanns themselves have completely failed to do. We know also that their various investigative mercenaries have been remiss in this very same regard. Not so the host of Portuguese and others who dedicated their time and energy to that very task, in the immediate aftermath of the McCanns' protestations on the evening of May 3, 2007. They 'searched' alright.

Are the McCanns therefore concerned that Amaral is in some way inhibiting the actions of those who have already done their bit? Should all these good people, having once searched in vain, search anew? If so, how frequently? The McCanns, as we know, retain a team of staff whose job it is to search, co-ordinate the search, or raise money to fund the search, none of whom will have been in any way dissuaded by disparaging comments written in a foreign language. 'He who pays the piper...' and all that. Perhaps by 'searching' the McCanns really mean to describe the actions of the countless conscientious citizens worldwide who might be inclined to keep a watchful eye out for any child resembling Madeleine's description and who could conceivably be she. If so, then we are no longer talking about searching per se, but addressing behaviour which would not be influenced by third-party opinion in any language.

Consider, if you will, a rather outlandish analogy: A hypothetical team of 'Indiana Jones' types believe they are just a few clues from discovery of the Holy Grail, when along comes Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown and explains, in print, why they are all wasting their time, because the Holy Grail is not actually a drinking vessel after all. So, to a man, the intrepid archaeologists give up their search. Having invested time, money and energy in pursuing their quarry, they down tools and go home, on Dan Brown's say so. Do they indeed? And if one or other of them happens to discover, in a not inappropriate location, a goblet conforming to his or her understanding of what the Holy Grail should be like, is that person likely to dismiss it as 'not the Holy Grail' because it contradicts Dan Brown's theory? Similarly, would anyone catching sight of a young girl with a conspicuous coloboma in her right eye and answering to the name Maddie ('She hated it when we called her that' - KM) ignore her completely on account of Gonçalo Amaral's opinion? This is a little girl's life we're talking about remember.

Question (We've been here already): Ms Duarte, could you please quantify or evidence the extent to which the search for Madeleine has been impeded by Dr Amaral's published work?

No? Then why on earth has this court been convened? Give the man his books back and stop wasting our time! And while you're at it you might just review your own career objectives (Plan B could come in handy).

H/t McCann Files. No permanent link.

Great Scott Holmes! exlaimed Watson, this is a fantasy

"....whose pupils now loomed huge and crazy in his drug filled eyes..."

More great stuff from The Bureau, covering some excellent points , and if not in a new style, certainly new to me.

Stranger and stranger
by John Blacksmith

“And so,” said Holmes, “of the nine members of the group, four told the authorities that they were checking the well-being and safety of their children every fifteen minutes, two, the parents of the abducted child, said every half an hour, and two more had availed themselves of a telegraphic device, newly invented, which enabled them to listen to their children from afar.”

Outside daylight was beginning to fade. Baker Street resounded to the reassuring bustle of tradesmen, the clop and rattle of hansom cabs and the fierce cry of a passing fishwife. The pole of a lamplighter could be seen, turning on the bright yellow flare of gas. It was a homely scene, Dr Watson reflected, in deep contrast to the unsavoury mystery that Holmes was outlining.

“That’s eight,” said Watson, with unwonted sharpness, did you not say there were nine?”

“One of them apparently suffers from dementia praecox,” said Holmes, reclining in what he called his “thinking chair””. He reached out to the small table at his side and took a large pinch of cocaine from a Willow Pattern saucer. “I regret to say that she has some difficulty in remembering her own name. At least in matters concerning this affair.”

“Holmes, old man, do you remember writing once about impossibility? Hang on, I think you said, whatever is left after one excludes –”.....more

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Words Fixed For Ever. A Brave Decision

New post; Your Questions Answered

More good stuff from the Bureau.

A brave decision?
by John Blacksmith

It is good news that the McCanns are going to write a book.

If the parents wish to earn money to search for the child, what harm can it do? No, it won’t assist the search, we all know that: three and a half years have shown that any private investigators with a bit of nous familiarise themselves with the evidence, note where it’s pointing and either turn the job down or ruthlessly exploit the parent’s vulnerabilities. The others, the lowly ex-cops who are willing to accept the way the wind blows from Camp McCann, have found nothing. So it will continue.

They are going to find it very tough indeed to write, but that’s their problem, not ours. At the end of it, after the serializations which, like their version of the archiving report, will be the spin, not the reality, we, and the reviewers, will have their book before us, the words fixed for ever.

The blog specifically avoided the whole question of truthfulness, for “operational reasons” and the needs of judicial secrecy; the introduction of spokespeople guaranteed that they could not be held to account for their words because spokespeople are always “deniable”; the interviews they have given, all rigidly structured beforehand, tell us literally nothing except about their demeanour.

Now they will be heard in their own words and it is Mission Impossible....more

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

BBC East Midlands. Let Me Answer That

The same motive that drives us all, it is called justice. But unlike yourselves, we are impartial to where that justice falls.

We desire justice for Madeleine McCann and we desire justice for Kate and Gerry McCann.

Even in this day and age, it's not a too radical a concept for you to comprehend is it, not too inconceivable, this principal to which we all aspire, this thing called justice?

I don't know what it is that I should accuse you of, being unable to grasp this concept, or that it is indeed firmly in your ken, within your cognizance. I don't know which to accuse you of, because frankly, I don't know which is the more damning, but were I to hazard a guess, it would be fair to assume into which sphere that guess would fall, and how damning is that?

How the mighty are fallen, how reduced now this BBC, so reduced that it is now indistinguishable from that most repugnant of establishments, the gutter press of this country. As indistinguishable as you are complicit and as complicit as you are contemptible.

As equally do the press, so equally do you offend me, offend my country, offend decency, but above all these things, for an organisation that presumes to call itself a news agency, you offend the truth. I know your truth I know your worth, it is as contemptible as it is base.

It falls upon me to ask a question that has arisen from reading your few lines of blurb about the up-coming program, about your, I can't say investigation for you do not know the meaning of the word, what should I call it, a McCann puff piece, you tell me how I should call the thing?

The "discredited detective" I shall choose to ignore, although you might find that he is far from that, nevertheless ignore it I shall and ask of you this one question.

Apart from yourselves and your Haridan colleagues of fleet Street, would you care to explain from which source, and upon what grounds, you feel free make a statement thus:

Her parents were cleared of playing any role in her disappearance

Were they, were they really? Do you know, in spite of the many thousands of collective hours spent by myself and my colleagues around the world, in spite of all those hours, neither I nor those colleagues have ever seen one word in print that would justify making such a statement. Only the words of yourselves of course, and we have already discussed their value.

Next on:
Monday, 19:30 on BBC One (East Midlands only)

What happened to Madeleine McCann remains a mystery. Her parents were cleared of playing any role in her disappearance, but a controversial group continues to campaign in support of a discredited detective who claims Kate and Gerry McCann covered up the truth. Inside Out investigates the members and motives of the Madeleine Foundation.

The case files from the investigation, translated from Portuguese into English, can be found at The Maddie Case Files. I was about to suggest that you...... no best forgotten I think.

Disclaimer. I have no connection whatsoever, active or otherwise, with Tony Bennett or the Madeleine Foundation.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

And on the Long List, iiiiiit's Kate and Gerry McCann

I thought I might update this piece with the same reply that I posted in the comments section.

This then in reply to being, light-heartedly accused must be said, of taking the piss.


Me take the piss? Louise, compared to these two I'm a rank amateur at the game, a mere beginner. I couldn't aspire to anything near close, not to the level that these two have achieved, not a hope in hell, not in a million years could I.

The McCanns are going to write a book. As things finally seem to be moving in the right direction, a direction that hopefully will lead to that which will damn them, the truth. That truth set to bring their world crashing down around there ears, crashing down equally on untold, but most deserved others, and what are the McCanns doing?

They are writing a book.

Two people, who for the life of them couldn't lie straight in bed, two people who's constant and innumerable lies are catalogued here on these pages, as equally as they are catalogued at a myriad of other sites throughout the net, these same two people are going to write a book. They are going to write a book in order that they may, "give an account of the truth."

And you accuse me of talking the piss?


It's not Christmas just yet it is it?

I shall never be stuck for inspiration ever again, pennies from heaven?!! it don't come anywhere close. I'm still trying to imagine it, "Madeleine Illustrated." I think I need to lie down, I have a touch of the vapours.

Forgive them, for they know not what they do.

"Maddie" Parents to write a book about her search

Europe Online
From APD correspodents
Sunday 14 November 2010
With thanks to Joana Morais for translation

London (APD) - The parents of Madeleine McCann, who has been missing for more than 3 years, want to write a book about the search for their daughter. The book will carry the simple title of "Madeleine" and will be published on 28 April 2011, about four years after the disappearance of the child, said the publisher Transworld this Sunday in London.

The proceedings from the sale will go to the fund to search for "Maddie", who has been specially set up by the family. The British media reported a few days ago that the money in the fund - mostly donations from around the world - would be depleted next year. Several publishers fought for the rights to publish the book.

"The reason why I am writing this book is simple - to give an account of the truth," said Kate McCann, Madeleine's mother. "For us there is nothing more important than to find our little girl." Her husband Gerry said he hoped that the book could help solving of the case. "Our hope is that people who have useful information - knowingly or unknowingly - will report and share it with our team."

The then nearly four-year-old child, Madeleine, disappeared from a hotel room when the British family were on holiday in Portugal in 2007. The parents went to have dinner that night in the vicinity. A highly media-covered search investigation ensued.

The case has not yet been solved. The couple were accused several times, of the possibility of having simulated the kidnapping of Madeleine themselves, after they had found the child dead in the apartment. The family denies it.

h/t The McCann Files / Joana Morais

Friday, 12 November 2010

Collusion For Beginners

Collusion For Beginners
by John Blacksmith


Three people are known to have been involved in the creation of the first two, illustrated yesterday: Gerry McCann, David Payne and Russell O’ Brien. Where? In apartment 5A. When? Between, say, 11.30 PM- 2AM on the night of May 3/4. More details? Few: only O’ Brien – who’d been seen in possession of them by the Portuguese police – has been questioned about them: that was in 2008 and by then he’d forgotten all about them, even their very existence.

The Third Timeline

This is different from the other two. It is a typed document which, according to David Payne, “represented the views of the whole group”. It was finalised after the first police statements had been given on May 4 but before the second round of questioning on May 10.

The group asked if they could take it into their second interviews so that they could refer to it! The request was refused. So far, so daylight.


The possible motivations are numerous and obvious. What is the “innocent” explanation – the one that the participants have given and that, out of fairness, we should accept? There isn’t one – after three and a half years! They will not agree to clarify them or reconstruct the movements they claim to describe. That is the heart of the “why won’t you?” question.

Taking all the evidence together the explanation that is most favourable to the group is that they conspired to stretch the evidence in order to protect themselves against potential accusations of child neglect.

All other credible explanations are less favourable to the group. more

Blogger Etiquette: Don't Rob The Blogger

Blogger Etiquette. Don't Rob The Blogger Of His Pay (Expanded from the original)

For the vast majority of Bloggers, that pay, the only pay, is knowing that they are being read.

If you take for example, any respectable blog, usually the American ones, for it is they that led the blogger revolution, you will find that the following code of practice is adopted by the majority.

Blogger Etiquette:

If a person/blogger spends a great deal of time and goes to extraordinary lengths researching, and then penning an article; it is neither mannerly nor morally correct for you to copy paste the COMPLETE article on your blog.

Post just enough to attract the interest of your reader and then link back to the authors blog.

The author deserves recognition for his work, and this is only achieved by traffic to the article/site.

It's only fair and it's only polite.

Which of course it is, and more importantly, the blogger who has produced the work gets recognised in his own right and his blog worthy of a visit. (or not)

If the complete article is posted, all the attribution in the world won't compensate for direct traffic. How many times do any of us click through to the original source having once read the complete article? Try putting yourself in the Blogger's shoes for a week; having spent X number of hours/days researching and constructing your article, you post it on your blog and then you sit back for a while with a cuppa and a ciggy, or your drug of choice, and wait. But more often or not you would working on your next little creation, but that's by the by. What isn't by the by however, is when that Blogger (you) takes a look at his site metre after a day or two and sees numbers that might be worthy of being described as abysmal.

How is he/her/you going to feel? pissed I shouldn't wonder, pissed and robbed. And then, in a worse case scenario, might think to themselves, why bother?

There is of course a practical side to doing this, if you are posting a dozen items or more a day, you don't end up with a blog a mile long, as you would do otherwise.

And I do practice what I preach by the way, it would only be under special circumstances or out of necessity that I do otherwise. And believe me please, it's not for my benefit that I write this, it's for the numerous authors who's work I see constantly plastered around the net like cheap wallpaper.

Stop please, I beg of you.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Now I know Why

Update: Ed Smart seems to be topical at the moment, but what gives my hinky meter a jolt is not just hinky Ed, but the fact that Brian Mitchell was committed rather than standing trial. Something is alarmingly wrong here, mental disorder is normally about as important as a zit to prosecutors when it comes to trying and frying perps.

And of course, let us not forget, Utah is run by the batshit crazies, who themselves seem to have a penchant for young brides. The power and sway of the Mormon Church in Utah must be frightening.

Jim Gamble, giving hinky, a bad name. 

Now I know why Jim Gamble felt comfortable giving his unequivocal support to the McCanns, in spite of them both being Arguidos at the time. And the answer is simple, he's fucking insane.

In truth I have done little more than follow the links supplied by OBU Investigators, and copied the articles I found there. There is a bit of interesting stuff down the page, a Guardian article from yesterday, plus a couple of other bits of interest, not least a piece featuring MP for Leicester East, Keith Vaz, who I have to say, is just as crazy as gamble. When you read these articles, please I beg you, don't loose sight of what it is they are actually talking about.

But first I would like to put this 2008 article before you. I have only highlighted a couple things, but listen to the man, stroll on! I'm not surprised Theresa May said, mind the door on your way out, not surprised at all at all.

The consensus of opinion at the OBU on ITVs "Exclusive," seems to be that it's old stuff re-hashed. But this is a by the by as far as this post is concerned.

Concerns raised over online child safety
Ben Dowell
Tuesday 18 March 2008

Jim Gamble, chief executive of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, has said that some internet service providers were not doing enough to protect children online.

"Some people who say they are co-operating aren't," Gamble told the Commons culture, media and sport select committee today, but admitted that they were a "minority" of service providers.

"We talk about the industry as this large single entity but it isn't like that," he said. "Most of the industry partners are very good, some are mediocre, some are just not good."

Gamble declined to name individual ISPs, despite being pressed by the committee chairman, Conservative MP John Whittingdale, and another committee member, the Tory MP Nigel Evans, to specify which companies he was referring to.

Insisting that it would not be "fair" to identify companies he felt were not being sufficiently co-operative, Gamble did insist that his patience was being "tested" and suggested that ISP's who were not being as co-operative were harming children.

"I am a father of three children and I am not having them [ISPs] hiding behind my organisation if they are a danger to children," he said. "There comes a time when enough is enough."

Gamble added that the CEOPC, which has 115 full time staff and is affiliated to the national police unit the Serious Organised Crime Agency, was "under resourced".

There was currently a backlog of about 700 uninvestigated cases relating to possible exploitation of children on the interet, he told the committee, although the most serious incidents are prioritised by Soca.

"Do we need greater investment and do we need it now? The answer to that is simply yes," he said.

Gamble called on the internet industry to show more "clarity of purpose" and to co-operate on providing and developing software blocking devices and other ways of protecting children.

"But if various companies bring out four or five packages schools will wonder 'which ones do we choose?'," he said.

Gamble also called for a new crime of adults having "cybersex" with a child avatar, or character, in a virtual online game.

"If you want to have sex with a child and would fantasise about having sex with a child, either in this one or a virtual one, we need to investigate whether they are a danger to children," he said.

Gamble added that his organisation did not act on anonymous reports, suggesting there were many unregistered incidents and each one could relate to several hundred offenders.

Activities that have been brought to the CEOPC's attention included paedophiles coaxing children into providing explicit images of themselves in return for "virtual" rewards on internet gaming sites, Gamble said.

Giving evidence later Nicholas Lansman, secretary general of the Internet Service Providers' Association, said that blocking and monitoring of potentially harmful content was working effectively but added that it was "incumbent upon the industry to address the bad parts".

Camille de Stempel, director of policy at AOL, and Mike Galvin, BT's director of customer experience, defended their companies' attempts to protect children online.

"I don't have the feeling that some companies are not co-operating," said de Stempel. "There is a real willingness to get involved in Home Office initiatives against cyber bullying and so on."

Galvin told the committee that most parents are failing to make use of internet content filtering controls to protect their children online.

He said that BT estimated that only 42% of its broadband customers with children between five and 15-years-old had set up BT Yahoo! content filtering control settings. Gruniad

Case could clear names of hundreds of men accused of child pornography
Afua Hirsch and Louise Shorter
Wednesday 10 November 2010

Hundreds of men who say they were wrongly accused of child pornography offences could have their names cleared after a case to be heard in the court of appeal tomorrow.

One of the 3,700 men arrested as part of Operation Ore in 2002, who says his life was ruined after he was falsely associated with one of the UK's biggest online child-abuse rings, will argue that his credit card details were stolen and used on paedophile sites.

The case stems from Operation Ore, an unprecedented police investigation that led to the arrest of 3,700 men in 2002 after they were linked to an American US-based website, "Landslide.

Police and prosecutors claimed that the men had all clicked on a banner advert on the site, which read: "Click here for child porn," and that police had obtained the names and addresses of more than 7,000 UK users who had followed the link.

But the lawyer acting for the man mentioned said that many of the suspects were innocent.

"Criminal webmasters would use stolen credit card details or take them from their own legal adult pornography sites and re-enter them to sign up for subscriptions to their illegal sites for child pornography," said Chris Saltrese. "There is evidence of bundles of different cards all being entered from one place, one after the other. It was simple fraud."

The appeal court will also hear that the banner was only ever one of a series of rotating ads that led to a legal adult pornography site.

Operation Ore has attracted controversy in the UK for the number of suspects it targeted. Critics claim that, whereas in the US, details were available of 35,000 users of the site but only 100 were prosecuted, the UK authorities prosecuted 1,800.

Thirty-nine of the men are reported to have killed themselves as a result of being prosecuted during the Ore inquiry, and campaigners say many others pleaded guilty to avoid the publicity of a trial.

The case, which has been strongly contested by officers involved in the original investigation, comes amid continuing controversy over efforts to target child exploitation online in the UK.

In July the government announced that CEOP, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, which is responsible for prosecuting offenders, would be absorbed into the National Crime Agency, following the coalition's programmme (sic) Policing in the 21st Century, announced in June.

Senior politicians close to CEOP have said that absorbing the organisation into the National Crime Agency will put children at risk.

"CEOP's effectiveness will be lost," a senior source said. "Effective child protection relies on knowledge running throughout an agency. It will be difficult to develop this in a large organisation like the National Crime Agency."

Last month head of CEOP Jim Gamble resigned, four months earlier than his expected departure, in protest at the plans, four months earlier than his expected departure, and has been placed on gardening leave. A number of other senior managers in the organisation are also thought to have resigned.

Although Operation Ore was conducted by the National Criminal Intelligence Service, a forerunner of CEOP, the investigation has attracted criticism for the organisation, as today's appeal could pave the way for other men to have their convictions overturned.

"I have clients who have lost everything: their jobs, their homes, their marriages, their children and their health," Saltrese said. Gruniad

The CEOP Jim Gamble Affair
Saturday, 23 October 2010

I realise I am going to be on very unsteady ground here but I'm usually a straight down the middle guy who doesn't rock the boat so I'm going out on a limb with a slightly controversial piece here.

In the few days since Jim Gamble announced his resignation from his role as Chief Executive of the Child Exploitation and On-Line Protection Centre (CEOP) he has been accorded almost universal adulation by the British Media and has been followed out of the door by three other senior executives at CEOP. To believe the media Mr. Gamble was an irreplaceable hero who single-handedly protected our children from online harm. Here are a selection of stories from the last 48 hours
"Top Abuse Boss Quitting Puts Kids in Danger" says The Sun; "Resignation A Sad Day" says BBC News; "Victim's Group Slams Home Secretary" says the Daily Mail and in this weeks most tabloid friendly collision of stories "Kate and Gerry McCann "Very Upset" at Resignation" says the Daily Mail natch. Now I'm not denying Jim Gamble was/is a man with a mission and a very laudable one at that. His aim is to prevent the abuse of children. This is something which is unarguable and inalienable. I though have met Mr. Gamble on more than one occasion (and more than two for the wags at the back) and there was something very undesirable about his methods and his message. In a cry that echoed back to the radical feminist cry "All Men are Rapists" Mr. Gamble in public speeches seemed to suggest that all men were paedophiles. The role of CEOP was to protect children at all costs from these almost primeval urges. He also seemed to be suggesting that only CEOP could fulfil this role in the UK. The view of many in industry and the legal profession is he was an empire builder who had a particularly narrow and skewed view of society and in particular the relationship between adults and children. I still have a marginal note I made at one of his speeches where I noted down "I am not a paedophile and I resent the implication I am because I happen to be a man." More The IT Lawyer

Modern games feature ‘virtual rape’, MP tells Parliament
Monday, 3rd March 2008

MP for Leicester East Keith Vaz has put forward the questionable claim that players can “rape women” in modern games to Parliament..........

....Keith Vaz said: “People who are watching a film at the cinema cannot participate in what is happening on the screen, or if they do they are removed from the cinema.
"However, someone sitting at a computer playing a video game, or someone with one of those small devices that young people have these days, the name of which I forget… PlayStations or PSPs, something of that kind. "Well, whatever they are called, when people play these things, they can interact. They can shoot people; they can kill people. As the honourable Gentleman said, they can rape women."more

This kind of zealous fuckwit thinking is nothing new to me, I've got a blog full of it. Try this for size. Hazard a guess at what good old boy, Representative Ralph Davenport of South Carolina is talking about, and what he proposes to do to rectify the situation should the chance arise that, if someone is caught kidnapping someone and using these devices on an unwilling victim.

Three guesses, no? vibrators, he's talking about goddamned vibrators, and his solution? a state wide ban on vibrators. Ridiculous you say? certainly, but not that ridiculous, South Carolina, if the bill passed, would join the global war on vibrators along with the other flat earth states of, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and Texas.

Beware of zealots and nutters.

Update: Talking of which, I've just come from Joana's blog. In spite of the court ordering that some ten thousand copies of Amaral's book be returned, it would appear that McCann's lawyer, Isabel Duarte, ain't so keen on the idea. I wonder if she's married to that other chancer? they'd make a grand pair.

And then haven't we got the McCanns over there doing whatever it is they're doing, which given the mood in Portugal these days, makes me feel that it all might end in tears.

Beware of zealots and nutters.

Update: I quite like it when folk have a coherent rant, this is the end of the first comment on the Isabel Duarte post at Joanas.

What makes them think they will win a libel trial? They and their friends did not cooperate with the PJ. They allowed archival of their child's case. They do not request re-opening of their child's case. They harmed their child when they decided to leave her in the circumstances they chose to. They still harm her by not allowing her to have an active police investigation into her disappearance. Who's fault is it that there is no law enforcement agency actively looking for their child? Zodiac

Beware of zealots and nutters.

Let's go for one more, and I agree equally with this one as I do the one above.

The McCanns are done for. Game over. They can thrash around and make as much noise as they like now, because they know the end is nigh. They never showed themselves to have anything like good manners when they were being cossetted and everything was going their own way ..... so God knows how appaling their behaviour will become now that they are f*cked. They won't be seeing rainbows anymore .......

And Roy Orbison says it in song far better than I can...(Youtube link)now embedded.

Beware of zealots and nutters.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

High Court to Hear Operation Ore Appeal Today

An application for permission to appeal a specimen or test case, will be heard in the High Court on November 11th and 12th.

An immediate ruling is not expected.

General link OBU Investigators Operation Ore class action clear to begin

Let's hope they get a better deal than this fellow.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Justifications, Like Details, You Can Have Too Many

Update. Joe Wilson/Plame on Dubya's memoir.

Particularly when you're trying to absolve yourself from starting a war of aggression and being tagged as a war criminal and mass murderer.

And it has to be said, there's no justification like self justification; and not for one minute do I have to remind you of that little castle in the sky.

I read on two subjects yesterday, the first being George Dubya's latest passel of lies in his forthcoming memoir, Decision Points, crayons optional. And t'other, the scribblings of Keir Simmons.

But of all that I read, one thing jumped off the page more than any other. Let me deal with that first then I can move on. See if you can pick out in these few lines just what that something might be?

In clips from a wide-ranging interview in advance of the publication this week of Mr Bush's memoir Decision Points, the former president also discussed his widely-reported decision to give up drinking at his 40th birthday.

"I didn't like the person I was," he said, noting his preference for beer, martini and bourbon. "I was a drinker. Now, I wasn't a knee-walking drunk."

Mr Bush agreed with interviewer Matt Lauer's suggestion that he was a "habitual drinker" rather than an alcoholic. source

Yes that's the bit, kind of sets the tone for what kind of interview one might expect.

(pics below are from the early days, so they might be a tad amateurish in places.)

A few talking points then regarding Bush Forty Three, aka Dubya.

Three people were waterboarded,
now call me a tad cynical, but I do have a little trouble with that figure.

The next few lines are not without interest, shedding a little light on Tony Blair's, what I can only describe as a runaway attitude and supportive of Dubya's little folly whole heartedly, no matter what the cost. In short, George and Tony's private war.

I will say though, that the arrogant little fuck has lost none of his arrogance, special relationship did I hear you mention?

With arrogance only matched by his shamelessness, the Forty Third President of the United States of America, treats us to another of his innumerable little gems regarding the present day lot of the Iraqis, post invasion. I won't even give the man the comfort of tagging him deluded on that little issue.

But nothing comes close, as you can well imagine, nothing comes close to Bush's shear audacity as when he treats us to lies, so abject, so utterly contemptible, as when he talks of his disappointment in there being no WMD in Iraq. Mind you I don't want to be so terribly unfair to Dubya, we do need to spare a thought for Tony, 45 minutes, Blair, when all said and done.

Mr Bush's memoir, Decision Points, is being serialised in the Times.

In an interview with the paper the former president said: "Three people were waterboarded and I believe that decision saved lives.".........

.........In Mr Bush's interview with The Times, the 64-year-old former president described his close relationship with Tony Blair, but was dismissive of public opinion in Britain about the war in Iraq.

"It doesn't matter how people perceive me in England. It just doesn't matter any more. And frankly, at times, it didn't matter then," he said.

Mr Bush said when Mr Blair faced a possible vote of no confidence in Parliament on the eve of war, he offered him the chance to opt out of sending British troops into Iraq.

However, Mr Blair told him: "I'm in. If it costs the government, fine."

Mr Bush said he still had "a sickening feeling" about the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

But he defended his decision to invade Iraq, saying Iraqi citizens were better off without the former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and the US was better off without Saddam pursuing biological or chemical weapons.

Mr Bush admits that he was shocked when no weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq after the 2003 invasion. source

We all know the bottom line concerning this shabby pair, of course we do. But as Bill Maher says,"You can't lie anymore." (with the internet) Sorry video pulled. Never mind, try this pertaining to 1999.

War on my mind
By Russ Baker

Houston: Two years before the September 11 attacks, presidential candidate George W. Bush was already talking privately about the political benefits of attacking Iraq, according to his former ghost writer, who held many conversations with then-Texas Governor Bush in preparation for a planned autobiography.

“He was thinking about invading Iraq in 1999,” said author and journalist Mickey Herskowitz. “It was on his mind. He said to me: ‘One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief.’ And he said, ‘My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it.’ He said, ‘If I have a chance to invade….if I had that much capital, I’m not going to waste it. I’m going to get everything passed that I want to get passed and I’m going to have a successful presidency.” more

So much for WMD.

Before we leave our erstwhile President, just a note on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. If you were following the story at the time you would know just what the man held his hand up for, about the only thing he didn't cop to was the Kennedy assassination, but then I'm not so sure about that. So much for the quality of intel resulting from torture.

Right, the other fellow then, and yes I'll also hold my hand up to cherry picking, but at the end of the day I'm doing no more than playing by the oppositions' rules.

Why I was prepared to stand up for journalism and stand up to Lily Allen.
Keir Simmons 22 July, 2010

Which is why it worried me so much that last night Lily Allen accused Channel 4 News of only targeting Zac Goldsmith because he is rich. In other words she questioned the motives of Channel 4 News and their integrity…………

And that would never do would it, I mean who are we to question Channel 4? But wasn't it Channel 4 that brought us.......
I think that statement more than anything epitomises the attitude of Simmons, as described by John Blacksmith in the post below this.

…………It seems to be fashionable to attack journalists and journalism these days. And we should be able to take the criticism and be forced to defend our decisions like anyone else. But it’s worth remembering how crucial to democracy journalism is and that in general journalists’ guiding principles are to tell people what’s happening and to question those in power.
Indeed for their investigation Channel 4 News worked with the ‘Bureau of Investigative Journalism’, a not for profit organisation that aims to promote the kind of difficult journalism that is under threat in these difficult times.
Difficult times in which it’s worth remembering the old adage ‘don’t shoot the messenger’ and perhaps adding another, ‘you’ll miss us when we’re gone’. source

But it’s worth remembering how crucial to democracy journalism is. Stop for fucks sake. And.

and perhaps adding another, ‘you’ll miss us when we’re gone’. Just like I'd miss Leprosy, what a puffed up delusional fuckwit if ever there was.

Keir Simmons 6 July, 2010

At ITV News our fundamental purpose is to discover the truth and share it with our viewers.Yet there are rare occasions when we agree to put that aim on hold. Yesterday was one such occasion………..

..........We hate it when we can’t tell people everything we know. It goes against everything we stand for. But we also know that ITV viewers expect us to act responsibly. Over the last 24 hours that is what we have done. (a Raoul Moat story)

I think I'm starting to loose the will to live. Last dollop.

Keir Simmons 11 June, 2010

What is the job of journalism? It is to spread word, to ask questions, to hold to account – all of them noble principles. Which is fine in principle, the trouble is doing the job can be not very noble at all.

Because beyond the principles of journalism are real people, suffering real heartache. Their story may need to be shared with the nation, it may raise crucial questions that must be answered, but it is also their life.

A reporter should never forget that our stories aren’t just stories.
At ITV News we are daily faced with the challenge of reconciling our duty to report the story with our duty to care about the people we report on. The two do not always fit neatly together – far from it at times…………………..

……..And as ever – I will welcome your feedback as to whether we strike the right balance between the fair and the firm, the inquisitive and the intrusive. After all ITV News is, ultimately, about the people who watch us. source

Noble! bleedin' noble! principles of journalism! For fuck's sake! one of us needs locking up, but in the meantime, I've got me razor blades, got me box of matches, and all I need now is a busy intersection where I can play.

And let me leave you with this pearl, it is a permanent fixture in the side bar at Only in America.

I think the Iraqi people owe the American people a huge debt of gratitude, and I believe most Iraqis express that. I mean, the people understand that we've endured great sacrifice to help them. That's the problem here in America. They wonder whether or not there is a gratitude level that's significant enough in Iraq.view 60 Minutes 1/14/07