Tuesday, December 15, 2015

No McCann Cover-Up! Willful Ignorance Then?

Because they amount to exactly the same thing.

Incidentally, Dr Roberts and I, quite independently, picked up on the very same talking points.

Which leaves me but to ask just the one question: What is it that police detectives normally do when there is "such a lack of evidence" and I don't mean fit someone up?

To borrow a phrase: Operation Grange, a twelve million pound denial. 

By Dr Martin Roberts
15 December 2015

Optical illusions confirm that the human brain exercises a degree of expectancy when evaluating visually ambivalent information, context playing a major role in how we see things (the Ames room is a powerful demonstration of the effect). It is no less true of our efforts at reading. A duplicated word is often missed. Focussing attention on the semantic architecture of a piece can allow the occasional ‘stray brick’ to pass unnoticed. However, if we’re not careful, oversight can afflict our interpretation of meaning even.

Such is the case with matters McCann.

The much discussed outcome of Tony Bennett’s persistence in securing something of an apology from the Daily Express is held up by some as an admission of guilt on the part of the newspaper, for which they have at last apologized. Regrettably it is not and they haven’t. Here, verbatim, is the comment in question, as published on 7 December under the heading, ‘Amplifications and Corrections’:

“Goncalo Amaral – Correction

“On 29 April 2015 we published a headline on the front page which said “Maddy detective did lie about death cover up claim”. We would like to make it clear that there was no determination by the Portuguese court that Mr Amaral lied. In fact the court ruled that Mr Amaral had breached the McCann’s right to reputation and ordered him to pay damages to them.”

Note: The word ‘apology’ is conspicuous by its absence.

This ‘correction’ is not suggesting that Mr Amaral did not lie. The Portuguese court may not have reached a determination in that regard, but guilty suspects are sometimes freed by the courts. Oscar Pistorius, for example, has only now been found guilty of murder, since his trial was concluded.
Elsewhere ‘Blacksmith’, who “finished writing about the McCanns some months ago”, has resumed writing…. about the McCanns. His arguments are as refined and penetrating as ever, save this one:

“..if there is general agreement that no evidence exists of the commission of a crime by any of the group and none to be found in the case files – and nobody with the slightest legal knowledge disputes this – then there is, of course, no need of any cover-up assistance for the group, whether by politicians, media people or, literally, anyone else.”

This being an ‘if – then’ proposition, its conclusion depends entirely on the validity of the premise. It sounds solid enough, but ‘general agreement’ does not represent ‘total agreement’ necessarily. Nor does the absence of evidence from the case files signify the complete absence of evidence. Of course it might. But it doesn’t. As for putting one’s faith in those with ‘the slightest legal knowledge’, well….

Personally, I disagree that ‘no evidence exists of the commission of a crime by any of the group and none to be found in the case files’, since interfering with a police investigation (to its ultimate detriment) is a crime, and there is evidence in the files of this having happened. Whilst it might not have been viewed as such at the time, retrospective assessment is as valid as a retrospective verdict.

The author’s conclusion that “there is, of course, no need of any cover-up assistance for the group, whether by politicians, media people or, literally, anyone else” is on less than solid ground therefore. If there were ‘no need of cover-up assistance’, then why was it afforded? Clarence Mitchell’s despatch to Praia da Luz was a government initiative after all. And if that were merely an instance of concern for their citizenry, why should Mitchell have proceeded personally to lie on the McCann’s behalf (“They got out of the window fairly easily” indeed!) and feed the media with misleading information? The principal reason for telling a lie is to hide the truth. That wouldn’t be a ‘cover-up’ would it?

Martin Roberts


Anonymous said...

Well said, Martin. Your insight, style and bite are impressive as ever.

Thank you.


Anonymous said...

Concerning the fate of Madeleine, there is no legal agreement. That question has not been tested. There is, however, an investigative remit. Insofar as that remit concerns `evidence against the parents` then it might be said:

There is a wholly innocent explanation for any material the police may or may not have found.

i.e. The parents should not be regarded as suspects and an investigation can safely proceed as if the abduction occurred.

Of course it might be argued that the position adopted by Operation Grange (above) is that of a ruse. It might be said that the investigation must inevitably turn towards the parents' story, and that with the media once silenced, toast will be served at the Old Bailey. The pig farmer and the schizophrenic man have nothing to fear.

It is an alluring scenario, though clearly based upon clairvoyance (as was Mitchell's) rather than "evidence", of which we must understand, there is none.

Strangely enough the pig farmer and the schizophrenic man can, by the same token, be assured that no harm will come to them.


Anonymous said...

As you say rtgr 15.12 @20:04


Clarence Mitchell


Investigation may last a year

Maria Barbosa
29 September 2007
Thanks to 'maya' for translation

“Q: Was it your decision to use the media so that the case may not be forgotten? Some specialists argue that this exposure might be fatal...

A: The parents trusted my instincts. They only told me that they wanted to do everything to find her. It was them that decided on a tour around Europe, that started in Amsterdam. After they had been to Germany, Kate was inclined to go to the North of Africa. Actually it is in that area that Kate suspects that Maddie might be.”

Apart from the fact that a tour around Europe started in Berlin, in Amsterdam Kate McCann said “We don’t deal with that...”


(from the 3:40 mark)



Anonymous said...


As you say rtgr 15.12 @20:04

Yes indeed. I ought to have said the same!

As always, thanks to both..and of course to Martin!


Anonymous said...

In addition to comment @09:31, on May 30, 2007, the McCanns meet the Pope at a general audience in Rome at the start of a "European tour".

Good morning everyone. Mx

Anonymous said...


Himself said...

Clarence Mitchell

Conservative, former PPC Brighton Pavilion, ex BBC. Likes the media, Tory Party, Triumph TRs, photography + BHAFC. Communicates here and there. Views personal
Brighton, UK

Why anyone would include being a failed politician in their CV I have no idea?

Why that same person should exclude his role in the McCann affair, I do have an idea.

Surely Clarence, just like Adam Tudor, wasn't the McCann affair your finest hour?

Anonymous said...

“The principal reason for telling a lie is to hide the truth”

Dr Martin Roberts

And lied and lied they have.


Agnos 16 December 2015 at 07:40

Hi, Agnos

You have risen and shone: smashing post yours is and, like Martin’s, ‘prosodicaly’ very seductive.

There is a wholly innocent explanation for any material the police may or may not have found.”

I challenge this as others before me must have done, for there are many known to the police incidents, both alleged and established, and ramifications thereof which have no reasonable (the ‘man-in-the-street’ test) “wholly innocent” explanation, among them are the two alleged incidents referred to in the Gasper statements together with the subsequent Gaspars’ materially unaltered welcoming attitude towards both Dr McCann and Dr Payne.

Is there a justification for anticipatory pronouncements on the capability of being reasonably explained as “wholly innocent” of any material the police have not yet found? I don’t think there is.

Furthermore. We have grounds to reason that the ‘abduction’ premise has been undermined beyond salvation by the known to us “material”, also readily available to OG.

I would love to be corrected if I’m wrong.

Be it as it may, Martin’s arguments under discussion are unassailable.

Kind regards.



Dear all

You write quicker than I am able to think. That is if ‘I’ is capable of 'thinking’!



Himself said...

Agnos 07:40

Of course it might be argued that the position adopted by Operation Grange (above) is that of a ruse.

But not by you I hope? There are more than enough individuals out there who, in spite of the evidence to the contrary, grasp the "ruse" theory tighter than the proverbial straw.

And I despair.

Anonymous said...


Fear not! My opinion of Operation Grange is precisely that of your graphic.

I hope that Veni... does not mind me sharing this link to an article that he tweeted some time ago. I bookmarked it!!

He [Clarence Mithcell] also chaired a seminar on UK police-media relations post Leveson for the Metropolitan Police Senior Leadership Group, co-presenting with the Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe.


Himself said...

O/T but something to think about.

Court Rules Bush Administration Can Be Sued for Its "War on Terror" Conduct


O/T entirely, but I quite like Mike Whitney's take on a lot of stuff. (sidebar this blog)

Putin Throws Down the Gauntlet


Anonymous said...

Agnos 16 December 2015 at 07:40
Himself 16 December 2015 at 13:33

To clarify.

My above 16 December 2015 at 13:26 comments have been addressed to but not aimed at Agnos.

I love you, guys and gals.



Anonymous said...

"Not for Us the Silence of Suppression."

H.M. the King, speaking at the opening of the New House of Commons, 26th October, 1950

Jolly well said. Must not be forgotten.


Himself said...

Edward VIII the traitor king

ROYAL BABYLON: The Criminal Record Of The British Monarchy

"the Queen is famously frugal" LOL

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

Thank you all for the links.



“Q: How do you explain the cadaver scent detected in the vehicle rented 25 days later?

A: [Clarence Mitchell] It is not up to me to reply. There has never been anything that has happened that has led me to suspect the McCanns. And I was only not with them at night time, for obvious reasons. But the story about the car is not the only one that makes no sense: it was suggested in the press that Kate and Gerry went to F├ítima to bury Maddie's body. I went with them in this trip and I guarantee that we did not bury any body.”

For obvious reasons, not for operational reasons.




Anonymous said...

@16 December 2015 at 22:35

24 May 2007


“Mr and Mrs McCann spent two hours "seeking strength and solitude" in prayer. First they prayed privately at the chapel of Our Lady of Sorrow and then moved to heart of the sanctuary, the Chapel of Apparitions, passing a picture of Madeleine inside a green frame left there by locals.”

Mr and Mrs McCann spent two hours "seeking strength and solitude" in prayer, together with Clarence Mitchell?

Just a theory.


Himself said...

Just a theory.

And not a bad one Chuck.

"Find the body and prove we killed her." As fathers say!

Anonymous said...

As far as I can see the 'cover up' preceded the need for it. Lies, half truths, omissions and confusions emerged AFTER the 'cover up' was already firmly in place. Now why would that be? Was the unpalatable truth already known by interested parties?

Martin Roberts said...

Anonymous @19:43

"Was the unpalatable truth already known by interested parties?"

I would say so. In fact I have done. You might find this little item of relevance: The Cerberus Problem (McCannfiles, 13.8.2011)at http://www.mccannfiles.com/id356.html (Scroll down page)



Anonymous said...

Thanks for that. Your articles are much appreciated.