Grâce à la liberté dans les communications, des groupes d’hommes de même nature pourront se réunir et fonder des communautés. Les nations seront dépassées.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Fragments posthumes XIII-883)

13 - OCT 15/29 NOV 5 - Hume/PT/Elstein



Why so many are still missing ‘Our Maddie’

Mick Hume - 15.10.2013


Here are the news headlines. Madeleine McCann is still missing. In a new Crimewatch special, the BBC has exclusively reported that Madeleine McCann has not been found, six-and-a-half years after the young British girl disappeared from her family’s holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal. Her parents remain heartbroken. In other developments, the team of Metropolitan Police detectives now running the high-profile re-investigation of the British three-year-old’s disappearance have announced that they still have no real information about what happened to her. The police have also released new e-fit pictures of a man – brown hair, average build, aged 20-40 – they say they ‘urgently’ want to question. These images were first created five years ago…. Where is the news? What practical difference can any of this make? It is not too difficult to feel somewhat cynical about the apparent British obsession with Madeleine. Her case has rarely been out of the headlines since she disappeared in May 2007, with every sighting of a blonde child anywhere in the world seemingly reported as a ‘new lead’ before quietly being dropped. Her parents have become prominent public figures, appearing everywhere from the Vatican to the Leveson Inquiry. This week, Madeleine is once more all over the media, after the BBC Crimewatch special on the Met investigation that was plugged as a ‘breaking news story’ for the past week. Yet throughout all of this, there has been no discernible advance in the actual investigation, no hard new evidence at all to sustain or explain the neverending story. In Portugal, where the disappearance and suspected abduction occurred, media reports and vox pops show widespread bewilderment at the continued British focus on the events of one evening six-and-a-half years ago. The Portuguese police have long since concluded what many feel but are reluctant to say: that she is most probably dead, and died on the day she went missing.
Voilà les nouveaux gros titres. Madeleine McCann est toujours portée disparue. Dans un nouveau numéro spécial de Crimewatch, la BBC a annoncé en exclusivité que Madeleine McCann n’avait pas été retrouvée six ans et demi après la disparition de la jeune Britannique de l’appartement de vacances de sa famille à Praia da Luz, au Portugal. Ses parents ont le cœur brisé. Par ailleurs, l’équipe de détectives de la police métropolitaine chargée du réexamen très en vue de la disparition de la fillette âgée de trois ans a annoncé qu’ils ne disposaient toujours pas de vraies informations sur ce qui lui était arrivé. Ils ont également publié de nouveaux portraits-robots d’un homme - cheveux bruns, corpulence moyenne, âgé de 20 à 40 ans - et disent qu’ils veulent «de toute urgence» l'interroger. Ces images ont été créées pour la première fois il y a cinq ans…. Où est la nouvelle? Quelle différence pratique cela peut-il faire? Il n’est pas bien difficile d’être un peu cynique face à l’obsession apparente des Britanniques pour Madeleine. Cette affaire a rarement été absente de la une des journaux depuis sa disparition en mai 2007, chaque signalement d’une enfant blonde, où qu’elle se trouve dans le monde, semble constituer une «nouvelle piste» avant d’être abandonné discrètement. Ses parents sont devenus des personnalités publiques, apparaissant partout, du Vatican à la Commission d'enquête sur Leveson. Cette semaine, Madeleine est à nouveau dans tous les médias, après l’enquête spéciale du BBC Crimewatch sur le Met présentée comme une "breaking news". Pourtant, pendant tout ce processus, aucune avancée notable n’a été constatée dans l’enquête, aucune nouvelle preuve solide ne permet d'étayer ou d’expliquer cette histoire qui n'en finit pas. Au Portugal, où ont eu lieu la disparition et les l’enlèvement suspecté, les médias et les micros-trottoirs montrent une perplexité largement répandue face à la fixation de la Grande-Bretagne sur les événements ayant eu lieu il y a six ans et demi. La police portugaise a depuis longtemps conclu ce que beaucoup pensent, mais hésitent à dire: elle n'est probablement plus en vie et est morte le jour de sa disparition.

In Britain, too, some have now started to criticise what they see, with some justification, as the ongoing media ‘circus’ surrounding the case. But they have trouble answering the question: why Madeleine? One shallow attempt at an explanation is to claim it is down to her middle-class professional parents and their media-savvy advisers – ‘Team McCann’ – who have spun the story so successfully. (If that were true, it would hardly be a scandal; if anybody has a reason to remain preoccupied with the case it is of course Kate and Gerry McCann.) Another cheap shot is, inevitably, to blame ‘tabloid sensationalism’ for keeping Madeleine in the headlines. That avoids the fact that the liberal ‘serious’ media has played a central part in promoting the circus from the start, as illustrated by the BBC clearing its schedules and news bulletins to re-promote the story this week. There’s far more going on here than Team McCann’s spinning skills or morbid tabloid sensationalism. That would hardly explain how so many, from Downing Street and Fleet Street to Scotland Yard and across social-media websites, have apparently remained in thrall to the drama all of this time. Madeleine has been turned into a symbol, a sort of metaphor, of several trends in our society and culture. Almost from the first, it was clear to some of us that there were two girls involved here. There was the real Madeleine McCann, the subject of the fruitless police investigation in Portugal. And then there was ‘Our Maddie’, a media creation with a name dreamt up by headline-writers but not recognised by her family. Over time, the imaginary ‘Maddie’ has taken over the story. The latest high-profile Metropolitan Police probe, with its vague theories and probably useless e-fits, looks less like a practical criminal investigation to find out what physically happened to Madeleine than a public-relations exercise, promoted by the BBC, to demonstrate that the British authorities and the public still care about Our Maddie.

En Grande-Bretagne également, certains commencement maintenant à critiquer ce qu’ils voient, avec une certaine justification, comme le «cirque» médiatique qui entoure l’affaire. Mais ils ont du mal à répondre à la question: pourquoi Madeleine? Une tentative superficielle d’explication consiste à affirmer que c’est la faute de ses parents, des professionnels de la classe moyenne et de leurs conseillers férus en médias - «Team McCann» - qui ont bien embobiné avec leur histoire. (Si cela était vrai, ce ne serait pas un scandale. Si quelqu'un a une raison de se soucier de l'affaire, c'est bien sûr Kate et Gerry McCann.) Un autre écueil est de blâmer le "sensationnalisme tabloïd" pour avoir maintenu Madeleine dans les titres. Cela évite de voir que les médias «sérieux» libéraux aient joué un rôle central dans la promotion du cirque depuis le début, comme illustré par la BBC qui a modifié ses horaires et ses bulletins d’information pour promouvoir à nouveau l’histoire cette semaine. Il y a là-dedans bien davantage que l'embobinage talentueux du Team McCann ou le sensationnalisme tabloïd morbide. Cela expliquerait difficilement comment tant de gens, de Downing Street et Fleet Street à Scotland Yard en passant par les sites de médias sociaux, sont apparemment restés sous le drame tout au long de cette période. Madeleine a été transformée en un symbole, une sorte de métaphore, de plusieurs courants de notre société et de notre culture. Presque dès le début, il était clair pour certains d'entre nous qu'il y avait deux fillettes impliquées. Il y avait la vraie Madeleine McCann, objet de l'enquête infructueuse de la police au Portugal. Et puis, il y avait ‘Our Maddie’, une création médiatique dont le nom a été imaginé par des auteurs de titres, mais que sa famille n’a pas reconnue. Au fil du temps, la ‘Maddie’ virtuelle a envahi l’histoire. La dernière enquête très médiatisée de la police métropolitaine, avec ses théories vagues et ses portraits-robots probablement inutiles, ressemble moins à une enquête criminelle pratique visant à découvrir ce qui est réellement arrivé à Madeleine qu'à un exercice de relations publiques promu par la BBC pour démontrer que les autorités britanniques et le public se soucient toujours de Our Maddie.

This has become an ongoing focus for many in search of some sort of Shared Emotional Experience in the UK today. Ours is an increasingly atomised society, where old common traditions such as patriotism or religion have little hold and it has become rare to feel part of something larger than oneself. As a substitute, over the past two decades we have witnessed periodic national outbreaks of a sense of shared ersatz grief and loss around deaths and tragedies. Most such outbreaks of ‘mourning sickness’ prove fairly short-lived; even the cult of Princess Diana appears to have lost its charm. But, perhaps because of her uncertain fate, ‘Maddie’ has become a peculiarly permanent excuse for indulging in a Shared Emotional Experience. After her disappearance, this led to many thousands of British households putting newspaper posters about the missing Madeleine in their windows, and football crowds and teams displaying her image, in a way that could have nothing to do with the real police investigation. Today it explains why the BBC Crimewatch special, scripted by the Met, was shown in primetime in the UK, not in Portugal.
La BBC n'a pas voulu vendre au Portugal, elle fournissait les éléments à charge pour la chaîne étrangère de reconstruire. Seuls les Hollandais et les Allemands l'ont fait. 
The police announced with delight that the response of the British public has been ‘overwhelming’. The response is likely to have a lot more to do with emotionalism than new evidence. Feeding into this is the way that ‘Maddie’ has been turned into the poster girl of the UK’s burgeoning child-protection industry. A society in which many feel vulnerable and victimised by uncontrollable forces has become obsessed with the dangers facing our children. As Frank Furedi recently analysed on Spiked, the defenceless child has become the all-purpose symbol of human frailty. And what more emotive symbol of vulnerability could there be than that of a three-year-old apparently taken from her bed while her parents dined nearby? Emphasising victimhood is the way that campaigners on all manner of issues claim moral authority today – which helps to explain why the McCanns have featured so prominently in the crusade to tame and sanitise the tabloid press.
L'affaire MC est devenue une obsession pour ceux qui recherchent une sorte d'expérience émotionnelle partagée au Royaume-Uni aujourd'hui. Notre société est une société de plus en plus atomisée, où d'anciennes traditions communes telles que le patriotisme ou la religion ont peu de poids et où il est devenu rare de se sentir partie de quelque chose de plus grand que soi. À titre de solution de remplacement, au cours des deux dernières décennies, nous avons assisté à une recrudescence nationale périodique du sentiment de partage d'ersatz de deuil et de perte vis-à-vis des décès et tragédies. La plupart de ces épidémies de «maladie du deuil» sont de courte durée; même le culte de la princesse Diana semble avoir perdu son charme. Mais, peut-être à cause de son destin incertain, "Maddie" est devenue une excuse particulièrement permanente pour se livrer à une expérience émotionnelle partagée. Après sa disparition, plusieurs milliers de ménages britanniques ont collé sur leurs fenêtres des posters de Madeleine, tandis que les équipes de football affichaient son image, en marge totale de l'enquête policière. Aujourd'hui, cela explique pourquoi le Crimewatch spécial de la BBC, orienté par le Met, a été diffusée en prime time au Royaume-Uni et non au Portugal. La police a annoncé avec plaisir que la réaction du public britannique avait été "étourdissante". La réponse a probablement beaucoup plus à voir avec l'émotion qu'avec la découverte de nouvelles preuves. C'est ainsi que ‘Maddie’ a été transformée en tête d'affiche de l’industrie naissante de la protection de l’enfance au Royaume-Uni. Une société dans laquelle beaucoup se sentent vulnérables et victimes de forces incontrôlables est devenue obnubilée par les dangers auxquels nos enfants sont confrontés. Comme Frank Furedi l'a récemment analysé sur Spiked, l'enfant sans défense est devenu le symbole universel de la fragilité humaine. Et quel symbole de vulnérabilité plus émouvant pourrait-il y avoir que celui d'une fillette de trois ans qui a apparemment été retirée de son lit pendant que ses parents dînaient à proximité? Aujourd'hui les militants de toutes sortes de questions revendiquent l'autorité morale en mettant l'accent sur la victimité - ce qui explique en partie pourquoi les McCann sont si présents dans la croisade pour apprivoiser et assainir la presse à tabloïd.
All of these cultural trends around Maddie have been given shape and strength by the intervention of powerful institutions. The media, from the highbrow BBC to the redtop newspapers, have taken every opportunity to keep the circus on the road, in the hope of making an emotional connection with their audience. The Metropolitan Police, damaged of late by assorted scandals, have seized the chance to turn the Search for Madeleine into an image-polishing PR exercise, a rare opportunity to emphasise their sensitivity and professionalism in contrast to their Portuguese counterparts. The police have been more spinning than spun. Whether they can have any more hope than the Portuguese of solving the case seems almost beside the point. And never far away is the political class, which can see the emotional tragedy of Our Maddie as a chance to unite the nation – something they can no longer achieve with politics or even wars. Thus New Labour prime minister Gordon Brown gave the McCanns government backing from the first, embracing them and helping to set up their widely publicised meeting with Pope Benedict in 2007. And soon after he replaced Brown, Tory prime minister David Cameron effectively ordered the Met to devote their stretched resources to a full-scale re-investigation of the case in Portugal – the sort of political intervention in dictating police priorities that would normally cause a stir, but the Opposition did not want to be seen questioning Cameron here. There can be few who still seriously expect the story of Madeleine to have a happy ending. In fact, with so little practical progress, and so much cultural baggage now attached to the tragedy, there seems little immediate prospect of it having an ending at all.

Toutes ces tendances culturelles autour de Maddie ont été renforcées par l'intervention d'institutions puissantes. Les médias, de la BBC aux journaux redtop, ont saisi toutes les occasions pour maintenir le cirque en marche, dans l’espoir de créer un lien émotionnel avec leur public. La police métropolitaine, récemment touchée par de nombreux scandales, a su saisir l’opportunité de transformer la recherche de Madeleine en un exercice de relations publiques à la finition brillante, une occasion rare de mettre en valeur leur sensibilité et leur professionnalisme par rapport à leurs homologues portugais. La police a plus embobiné qu'elle ne l'a été. La question de savoir s'ils peuvent espérer résoudre l'affaire là où les Portugais ont échoué ne semble plus pertinente. Et la classe politique n’est jamais très éloignée, car elle peut voir la tragédie émotionnelle de Notre Maddie comme une chance d’unir la nation - une chose qu’elle ne peut plus réaliser avec la politique ou même les guerres. Ainsi, le nouveau Premier ministre travailliste, Gordon Brown, a offert aux MC le soutien du gouvernement dès le début, en épousant leur peine et en collaborant à l'organisation de leur rencontre très médiatisée avec le pape Benoît XVI en 2007. Peu de temps après avoir remplacé Brown, le premier ministre conservateur David Cameron a enjoint le Met de consacrer une partie de ses ressources humaines à une vaste re-lecture du dossier de l'enquête criminelle portugaise - ce type d'intervention politique dictant les priorités de la police ferait normalement sensation, mais l'opposition ne voulait pas être vue en train de questionner Cameron. Il y en a peut-être quelques uns qui s'attendent encore sérieusement à ce que l'histoire de Madeleine se termine bien. En fait, avec si peu de progrès concrets et à présent tant de bagage culturel attaché à la tragédie, il semble peu probable que celle-ci ait une fin tout court.




Requête et Exécution  
29.10.2013
traduit par Joana Morais
 
Pedro Pinto [News Anchor] - The English police requested to the Judiciary Police to investigate the possibility that Madeleine McCann was killed linked to an abduction. As to the Portuguese investigation, reopened last week, new diligences have not yet been defined.

Marisa Rodrigues [Reporter/Voice Over] - The first diligences requested by the English authorities are concluded, and the inspectors of the Judiciary Police in the Algarve await for new indications. The diligences were requested in the rogatory letter and are entirely part of the investigation that is taking place in England. Witnesses were heard, a new film was made of the reconstruction of the events that took place in the night of May 3, 2007, and some leads which sustain the thesis of abduction were followed, not excluding the hypothesis of death.
It is now known that there are other probable suspects to whom the English police wishes to get hold of: those are three men of gipsy ethnicity that were seen roaming around the resort of Praia da Luz [four months] before the disappearance and the driver of a white van, where there would be a child similar to the English girl.
Albeit without having reached objective results, the English investigation, ordered by the British prime minister David Cameron, in the field is ahead of the Portuguese especially because it has been going on for five months.
Here, the process archived in 2008 was reopened last Thursday, it still is in Portimão's court, without a team of PJ inspectors entrusted to the process. Only after that step will the guidelines of the investigation be defined, and the diligences to be carried out set, all under secrecy of justice.
The investigations taking place in Portugal and in England are independent, but have in common the fact that Kate and Gerry are not considered suspects of the disappearance of their daughter. TVI knows, that both, at this stage and until certainties exist, are not searching for a body but for the answers to two questions: What happened and where is Madeleine McCann. 

Crimewatch: dupers or duped?
David Elstein - 05.11.2013

The October edition of Crimewatch, focussing on the case of Madeleine McCann, featured new photofits of a potential suspect -
only, they weren't new. According to the Sunday Times, they had been repressed by the McCanns themselves. The failure of the BBC to report this is extraordinary.
 

The newly released photofit in the Maddy McCann case 
For nearly thirty years, Crimewatch has been a regular part of the schedule of the BBC’s main channel, BBC1. By using video reconstructions of unsolved crimes, and accepting help and advice from the UK’s police forces, it has contributed to the conviction of over one hundred major criminals, including murderers and rapists.

These days, Crimewatch no longer has a monthly slot, but it can still pull in a large audience. The October 14th edition, including a 25-minute report on the mysterious disappearance of 3-year-old Madeleine McCann during a family holiday in Portugal six years ago, attracted over 6.5 million viewers, along with a mass of publicity before and after transmission. The occasion of the programme was the decision by Scotland Yard to present the main findings of its renewed efforts – involving a 37-strong investigative team – to find the child, prompted by an assurance given by Prime Minister David Cameron to Madeleine’s parents, Gerry and Kate, that the closing of the Portuguese investigation into the case would not be allowed to be the final word.

The programme item was curiously inept. Real footage of the McCann family was constantly intercut with shots of (not very) lookalikes: 
confusing and distracting at the same time. Towards the end, there was reference to a search for a number of long-haired men who had been seen hanging around the apartment block in the holiday resort: yet the only video the “reconstruction” managed to offer was of several men with close-cropped heads.  ;) Much of the publicity the programme attracted centred on new electronic photofits that featured prominently in the programme. They had been generated in the course of interviews with an Irish family, the Smiths, who had also been on holiday in the Praia da Luz resort where the McCanns and some friends of theirs had gathered in April 2007.

Attentive viewers might have been puzzled as to how the Irish witnesses were able to provide such detailed images, six years after the event. We were not to
ld. The interview with the detective leading the Scotland Yard inquiry did not touch on the subject. The next day, October 15th, the Daily Express – part of the newspaper group owned by Richard Desmond which has paid out over half a million pounds to the McCanns in compensation for libellous stories about Madeleine’s disappearance – noted that these photofits were actually five years old, but had never been released publicly.

On October 27th, we learned more. The Sunday Times claimed that the photofits had actually been compiled in 2008 by a team of private investigators hired by the Find Madeleine Fund, which had been set up by the McCanns. The investigation had cost £500,000, and had been led by Henri Exton, a former head of MI5 undercover operations. But the company Exton had worked for, Oakley International, had fallen out with the McCanns. Ostensibly, the dispute was over money, but
the McCanns also imposed a ban on any publicising of the contents of the Exton report. According to the Sunday Times, it had contained criticisms of the evidence provided by the friends of the McCanns, and by the McCanns themselves, even raising the possibility that Madeleine might have died after wandering out of the family’s rented apartment through unsecured doors.

Over the years, the McCanns have issued seven different photofits, including one provided by their friend Jane Tanner, who t
hought she saw a man carrying a child at about 9.15 on the evening Madeleine disappeared. Exton discounted this sighting, and thought the Smith sighting, at about 10 pm, was the most significant. Yet the McCanns, despite passionately pursuing the quest to find their lost child, chose never to issue the Smith photofit. The Scotland Yard team has now satisfied itself that the Tanner sighting can be excluded, agrees that the 10 pm timeline is the correct one and regards the Smith photofit as the most promising lead: five years after the McCanns themselves suppressed all this information, according to the Sunday Times.

Whatever their reasons for doing so, the McCanns are not accountable to the publi
c, despite Gerry’s regular lectures on how the press in general should behave, 
On sait que pour les donneurs de leçon est implicite le "faites ce que je dis et non ce que je fais".
and why a Royal Charter version of the Leveson recommendations is needed to keep newspapers honest and straightforward in their reporting. 

The story in the Sunday Times also indicated that the Exton report included a section in which the father of the Smith family, Martin Smith, noted that his observation of how Gerry McCann used to carry Madeleine Sean profondément endormi on his shoulder reminded him of the man he saw carrying a child at 10 pm on the night Madeleine disappeared.  
Ce n'était pas la position, c'était la manière inconfortable de porter, le manque de symbiose entre l'homme et l'enfant. 
He does not think the man actually was Gerry, Martin S a déclaré que l'homme pouvait être GMC, à 60-80% but it is not hard to work out why the leader of the Portuguese inquiry concluded that the McCanns were implicated in the disappearance. The McCanns are suing him for libel, and both the Portuguese police and Scotland Yard are satisfied they had no part in the disappearance, but fear of inciting more press speculation in the UK may explain the decision to suppress the entire Oakley report. Clarence Mitchell a bien essayé d'en convaincre la presse, mais, non, un procureur de la république n'est pas habilité à délivrer des certificats d'innocence. Le MP a 1) déclaré que la nature du crime était indéterminée, ce qui excluait toute accusation et 2) qu'il classait l'affaire faute d'éléments de preuve à charge.

It is hard to believe that the Crimewatch team was ignorant of this history. It would have been incredibly unprofessional of them not even to ask how and when Scotland Yard had obtained the “new” photofits. The programme referred to the Irish family, and a “fresh” investigation, but the absence of any reference to “new” photofits strongly suggests that Crimewatch knew the background perfectly well.
Does this matter? Crimewatch occupies an uneasy space between entertainment and information. Its brief is undoubtedly one of public service, but it is not in the business of journalism. No journalist would go out of his way to mislead the public in the way this edition of Crimewatch managed to do.

The essence of Crimewatch is complicity: close co-operation with the police and the purported victims of crime, to the point of eliminating anything awkward that might get in the way of that joint endeavour. The Sunday Times quoted a source close to the McCanns as saying that release of the original Oakley investigation might have distracted the public from their objective of finding their child. Yet the bottom line of this story is that the parents deliberately withheld, for five years, the photofits that Scotland Yard now says are the most important evidence in the search for the supposed culprits. For any journalist, that would have been at least as important a fact to reveal to the public as the photofits themselves.
Yet the most important area of journalism in the UK – the BBC, which accounts for over 60% of all news consumption – has remained silent on the revelations in the Sunday Times. Even the BBC website, with over 900 stories related to the disappearance over the years, has not found room for that startling information (though you can find links to the Daily Star’s website, which repeated much of the Sunday Times material on October 28th). It would be dismaying if some kind of misguided loyalty to the non-journalists at Crimewatch was inhibiting the 8,000 BBC staff who work in its news division.

It is, of course, just possible that Crimewatch was itself duped by the McCanns: but I doubt it. Instead, the editor chose to join the McCanns in trying to dupe the public. Neither option shows the BBC in a good light. Whatever the failings over the two Newsnight items – the untransmitted one on Jimmy Savile, the transmitted one that libelled Lord McAlpine – no-one can argue that there was any definite intention to mislead the public. Sadly, the same cannot be said of October’s Crimewatch.
Puisque Martin et Mary S ont pensé à Smithman quand ils ont vu Gerald MC à la TV, avec un enfant lourdement endormi sur l'épaule, et bien qu'ils ne soient pas (ou parce qu'ils ne sont pas) les auteurs des portraits-robots, on ne sera pas étonné de constater que l'un des portraits-robots ressemble à Gerald MC, ce qui dit peu de choses car GMC ressemble assez à Monsieur Toutlemonde. Nonobstant, prudence oblige-t-elle  de garder les portraits-robots au fond d'un tiroir ?