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Grooming the McCanns: Amber Alert, the Prüm Treaty and Government Interference in the McCann Case
In response to the question, how will the McCanns be remembered, one Mirror Forum member wrote:
“they will become a leading force in the world to get rid of the hidden evil in our society, and to out those who try to cover up for the tragedies these criminals can cause”.
For a couple who were at this time suspects in their daughter's disappearence, the statement brokered something of a paradox; just how could these two ordinary individuals who had been openly pilloried for their routine negligence transform themselves into credible figureheads for law-enforcement overnight? Within the time it took to finish one glass of wine and discover one of your children missing, the McCanns exchanged their prison-issue denims for outfits tailored to a more 'practical' design.
And what at first had sounded like a most absurd suggestion by one deluded forum member steadily acquired some semblance of authority.
GERRY IS HONOURED AT POLICE BRAVERY AWARDS FOR A LIFETIME (WELL 6 WEEKS OR SO) OF SERVICES TO … MISSING KIDS AND STUFF ... JULY 2007
Retracing our steps to mid-July 2007 and we find ourselves standing alongside hundreds of dumbfounded uniformed officers at the Dorchester Hotel, invited from our seats by senior personnel to applaud one Gerald P McCann at the Police Bravery Awards. First we’d had the poignant video of his daughter, then the speech praising both UK Officers and the Polícia Judiciária, now we had the standing ovation. And for what? Just what were we honouring? Gerry’s contribution to ‘what’ exactly? One of the serving South Yorkshire officers receiving an award there that night described it as one of the most surreal events of his life. Sitting at his table was none other than Gerry McCann, 1500 metre junior running medallist and celebrated kidnap personality. And he wasn’t just down on the guest-list; Gerry was guest of honour. It was like having Mark Stanley - the man responsible for shutting the doors on the Herald of Free Enterprise as it left Zeebrugge - guest-of honour at the annual Maritime and Coastguard awards.
Naturally, not even this prepared us for what was to come. But just how did we get to this stage?
I HAVE A DREAM – GERRY’S EPIPHANY – FIRST WE TAKE MANHATTAN THEN WE TAKE BERLIN
In mid-June, in an interview given to the Catholic newspaper, The Tablet, Gerry McCann told of an "extraordinary experience" inside the church in Praia da Luz just days after Madeleine's disappearance:
"I had this mental image of being in a tunnel and instead of the light at the end of the tunnel being extremely narrow and a distant spot, the light opened up and the tunnel got wider and wider and went in many different directions .... I can't say it was a vision because I am not clear what a vision is but I had a mental image and it certainly helped me decide. I became a man possessed that night. The next day I was up at dawn, making phone calls."
At this point in time Madeleine has been missing, presumed abducted, for little more than 3 weeks. But in what can only be described as an epiphany or profound breakthrough, Gerry McCann is sufficiently inspired and transformed enough to pursue a totally new direction. At a time when most people in his position are coming round from the effects of a mild sedative Gerry decides to resign his position at Glenfield Hospital and spearhead a campaign on behalf of missing and exploited children everywhere. His mission starts modestly enough; a meeting with SOS Crianca, the main child welfare non-governmental organisation in Portugal and then to London for a meeting at the Headquarters of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre. And then things start getting a little giddy. Gerry visits the National Centre for Missing & Exploited Children in Washington, bonds with the US attorney general Gonzales at the justice department, grapples at the White House with the First Lady's deputy chief of staff, Sarah Armstrong and follows it up with a mid-afternoon jog up Capitol Hill for meetings with Democrat congressman Nick Lampson and Republican Senator Robert Shelby.
And then, of course, we have that ill-timed appointment in Edinburgh with Kirsty Wark who interviews Gerry at the Edinburgh International TV festival, shortly before he and his wife are declared formal suspects.
Not bad for a couple from Leicester who were presumed reckless enough to leave their daughter unattended for several nights of the week on a jolly old Summer Holiday with their mates in Portugal.
THE TONY AND GORDON SHOW – WITH GUESTS THE FORENSIC SCIENCE SERVICE AND THE SUSPECT NATION
In comedy, timing is everything. Get to the punch line too quick, too slow, don’t weight it right, don’t say it right – and the whole collapses. And it’s much the same in politics. Get the audience on your side and they’ll pretty much laugh at anything. Sometimes you have to wait for the right time and sometimes you have to adlib. But if you get them when they’re laughing already you ‘re as good as home and dry.
And it’s in this way we might look at Gerry and Kate as warm-up artists for the Tony and Gordon Show.
Gerry's timely statement that 'Portugal has no DNA database of known sex offenders' also coincided with Blair and Brown's plans for extending the UK's National DNA database and creating a single European-wide database - from those that drop litter to those with traffic offences. The DNA database, they argued 'should include all'. His statement also coincided with Britain's plans to join the controversial, Prüm Treaty on June 12th - a decision widely criticized by opposition parties, human rights groups and a good proportion of the British Public, who had begun to foster concerns of sleepwalking into a 'Big Brother Europe'. The Prum Treaty, first signed in May 2005 by Belgium, Germany, Spain, France, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, and Austria, allowed the police forces of those countries to compare and exchange data more easily.
On June 12 2007, the 27 member states passed a slightly revised version of the treaty into EU law - a move which - had it not been for the emotional furore surrounding the McCanns and Madeleine - would most likely have dragged Blair and New Labour even further into the mire, and upsetting no end Blair's final lap of honour: his farewell tour of Africa and the Middle East.
In 2006 The Guardian ran the headline: “Suspect Nation” and was duly followed up in September 2007 with the headline, Judge wants everyone in UK on DNA database when it was announced that Lord Justice Sedley, one of England's most experienced appeal court judges, expressed the view that every UK citizen, 'guilty or innocent' should be on the DNA database. The Daily Telegraph, The Times, The Independent and BBC News followed suit.
Whilst Brown and the Home Office distanced themselves comfortably from Sedley's remarks, they did not rule it out entirely and the Home Office continues to guage public reaction on the issue using a number of high profile cases as a catalyst for debate (and, let's face it, as a means of testing and building consensus concurrently. See how the whole issue is again now being framed within the Sally Anne Bowman and Ipswich Murder cases, The Press Association, Feb 23rd 2007)
From the very first moment Tony Blair visited the Forensic Science Service's London headquarters in October 2006 he and Downing Street began to extol the DNA Database as a major crime-busting tool. He called for the national DNA database to be expanded to include every citizen. While at the centre, he heard how advances in DNA technology are not only boosting detection rates in current cases but also helping police in reviews of so-called cold cases - some several decades old - where there was no new evidence.
In the months immediately following Blair’s visit to the FSS, debate on the issue increased. Noise was produced on both sides of the fence; from the Association of Chief Police Officers (who backed the expansion) on the one side and civil liberties groups and partisan newspaper columnists on the other, attracting the greater volume of headlines in Summer 2007.
And in July 2007 the shit really hit the fan. In light of issues discussed in the context of the Madeleine McCann investigation and Gerry’s statement about ‘no known sex-offenders’ database in Portugal, the EU drive to produce the world's largest criminal DNA database gathered pace. Naturally it was deeply unpopular and controversial. It always had been. Even when the issue had first been broached in February 2007 broadsheets ran the headline: ‘DNA data deal 'will create Big Brother Europe'. The proposition from the EU was that Police across Europe would be given free access to every other member’s DNA, fingerprint and car registration databases.
SOMETHING FALLS INTO THEIR LAP – NEVER LOOK A TROJAN GIFT HORSE IN THE MOUTH
At a meeting in Brussels, the Home Office agreed to a deal that would set up a network of national crime records across 27 states. All member states would have access to other countries' DNA and fingerprint data, as well as direct online access to vehicle registries. The exchanges would eventually lead to the creation of a single Euro-wide database - produced under the aforementioned, Prüm Treaty. The treaty had been drafted originally by then holders of the EU Presidency, Germany.
Signed initially by Germany, Austria, Spain, France, Belgium and the Netherlands in May 2005, the treaty was extended to all Member States in June 2007. The move was hugely unpopular. Brown was to be placed under the same considerable pressure to ditch the treaty as Blair had been under to veto it. The deal - signed by Home Office Minister Joan Ryan in Luxembourg - also paved the way for police from different EU states to set-up joint patrols. (Britain's initial sluggishness in backing the treaty was made all the more ironic by the fact it has the biggest DNA Database in the world - clocking in at around 3.5 million people - but given that access to this information would yield no small amount of embarrassment to the UK, hesitation seemed somewhat inevitable).
The Tories described the so-called "Prüm Convention" as a "sell-out", but such was the attention whipped up by the Madeleine case that it didn't meet with quite the same level of objection from the British Public - who - contrary to expectations - seemed quietly philosophical (and needless to say, compromised) about the whole issue.
All that Blair and the original Prüm signatories had really needed was the public on their side, something to trigger a climate of anxiety about the issue, a pan-European ‘catalyst’ event, a gateway, a prelude. Let's face it, any politician worth their salt thesedays needs a good 'catalyst event', something that greases the wheels of contentious, unpopular policies and legislature both at home and on foreign soil. Just as politicians are accused of hijacking the terrorist attacks in New York and London in the first half of this decade, politicians in this country and in Europe hijacked the Madeleine tragedy for dubious political gain.
It was political opportunism with a compassionate expression, a bunch of flowers and a cuddly toy. Just as 9/11 provided the right moral pretext for war, the Madeleine investigation provided the right moral pretext for extending the Prum Agreement to all 27 member states.
Madeleine’s abduction arrived in rather a timely fashion for Blair and the original member states - helping them negotiate a rather tricky passage, especially if the PM was to hold onto his dreams of bagging the future EU presidency. What better way to rally support for extending the UK DNA Profiling Database and building support for the contentious Prüm Treaty than monopolising the crisis engendered by a missing pre-schooler. It cut through the demographics like a knife through butter, appealing to everyone regardless of age, regardless of class, regardless of gender. It was something children could identify with. It was something grown ups could identify with. Even famous authors and football celebrities. And more importantly (much more importantly) it crossed all geographical boundaries.
Those insensitive 'Where's Wally' lampoons at least highlighted an uncomfortable truth: Madeleine was popping up everywhere, and so too were her alleged captors: if ever we had needed access to other countries' DNA and fingerprint data and cross-border cooperation it was now.
It was the trigger that would launch a fleet of vessels:
"Was this the face that launched a thousand ships and burnt the topless towers of Ilium?"
Historians might be interested to note that Ilium is modern day Turkey: gateway to the 'diabolical Middle East’. Did we envisage Madeleine, just like Helen, being bundled onto a boat by a swarthy looking arab called, Paris?
Had New Labour (and ultimately, the orginal EU states: Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands) just been waiting for this accident to happen? Another 'catalyst' event?
Is this what the McCanns were being groomed for: ambassadorial duties for Prüm and Prüm-related declarations like the much touted, Amber Alert System? But who had initially applied the pressure and had drafted the original blueprint for this consensus build? Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, Spain? New Labour? All five? Were the McCanns aware of it or were they just unforunate, unwitting pawns caught up in an elaborate psychodrama staged by Europe’s crafty elite, the purpose of which they could only guess at?
As the Daily Telegraph quite rightly points out: " When Labour took office in 1997, it held only 700,000 samples. By next year, it will hold the samples of some 4.2 million people – seven per cent of the population – and is growing by about half a million a year.”
That’s a lot of bums on seats. And a hullva lot of bumprints.
Kate and Gerry McCann fly to Brussels to launch a child safety scheme while Portuguese police quiz their Tapas Seven friends in Britain.
UK: Freedom of Information: Cabinet Office refuses to reveal “personal and political contacts” between the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and Rupert Murdoch.
The Observer - January 21st 2007
Germany calls for unrestricted across European borders
Daily Express - July 13th, 2007
Gerry McCann at Police Bravery Awards
The Times - August 2nd 2007
The Association of Chief Police Officers Call For Mandatory DNA Profiling For Everyone
The Sun - 24 July 2007
Gerry McCann at The White House
Daily Express - August 28, 2007
Gordon Brown Tells Gerry McCann To Scale Down Media Campaign
Times Online - September 18, 2007
Gerry McCann and Gordon Brown in Search For More Powerful Backers
Daily Telegraph - December 12, 2007
Gerry McCann Nominated For Scot of the Year
The truth behind the McCann's 116 000 alert number
More on Gary Titley - Labour MEP who was fighting Gerry and Kate's corner in June and July 2007.
In July last year, Gerry McCann, told the UK journalists that a pan-European database would "help prevent child abuse and track those responsible for such crimes". He also called for "greater consistency across the European Union". Like Gerry, Gary Titley is very fond of the phrase 'pan European'.
In April 2006 Socialist Group member, Titley was similarly requesting a 'pan-European' emergency call system' - the implementation of eCall from Brussels.
On other another occasion it was 'action to facilitate cross-border mergers and acquisitions in financial services' (oct 2006) And here he is again, on the issue of a Pan-European Defence system: "British Socialist MEP Gary Titley, a leading exponent of a single European arms industry, deplores the current situation, insisting: "We need to establish a (Pan) European defence company. Without one we cannot compete."
In January 2007 Titley addressed the 'Making EU Enlargement Work' conference - an invitation only event held in Central London: "What steps need to be taken to deal with cross-border issues, such as transnational organised crime and people trafficking" "Can effective pan-European strategies be formed – and does an EU of 27 need institutional or policy reforms to achieve this? "What is the key to an effective strategy to maintain sufficient public consent for enlargement in both established and new member states? If this cannot be done, could this be the last EU enlargement?"
Titley was present at a meeting in Brussels in January and May 2007 to resolve the scope and the legal basis of the new Prum Treaty.
Gary Titley is also a member of the Socialist Fabian Society along with folks like Blair and Brown. They appear to approach EU Enalargement with much the same passion as the average US Neocon approaches expansion in the Middle East. They wish to keep the EU door open to Turkey. Something the vatican also supports. I think the McCann's friend Titley was an early campaigner for the Pan-European 'Missing Children's Hoteline, '116-000' through his work with Missing Children Europe. Missing Children Europe partner Oracle (the software company). Titley has supported a number of cross-border surveillance projects (vehicle registration being one). Could be a lot of money in having increased surveillance technology in place. Oracle are the EU ICT Supplier of choice and Orcale have been looking to expand in Andalucia/Malaga - which is where the McCanns' first witness, Mari Olli Pollard lives with her husband (Huelva is also in this region).
In April 2008 the McCanns address the Press in Brussels on the deployment of a 'new' alert number: 116 000
Press Association April 2008
"The McCanns will carry out a presentation to MEPs about the need for greater co-ordination between European countries when a child is abducted.
Their plan includes the introduction of a new dedicated information hotline. They have already reserved the number - 116 000 - but it has yet to go live."
However the reservation of this number predates the disappearence of Madeleine by several months. The number was already reserved. Gerry and Kate had nothing to do with it. Here is a press release from the European Federation for Missing and Sexually Exploited Children dated December 2006:
"COMMUNICATION TO THE PRESS
The European Federation for Missing and Sexually Exploited Children welcomes “116 000” as the European telephone number for missing children Brussels, 20 December 2006 - The European Federation for Missing and Sexually Exploited Children welcomes today’s decision of the Extraordinary Communications Committee, reserving “116 000” as the European telephone number for missing children. The European Commission initiated this number as an example of services of social importance in itsdecision “on reserving the national number range beginning with ‘116’ for harmonised numbers for harmonised services of social value”. The European number for missing children constitutes a major step towards strengthening the assistance offered by emergency hotlines across Europe in cases of disappearances of minors."
And it's again mentionened by EU Labour Leader, Gary Titley in February 2007:
Gary Titley went on to champion the McCann's cause directly as of May/June 2007.
Weird how such a massively high profile abduction case fell into their lap at exactly the right time - just as people like Gary Titley and Catherine Meyer set out to lobby MEPS for the implementation of the alert scheme throughout Europe.
Could just be a coincidence.
Catherine Meyer is behind both PACT and a committed campaigner for the US Amber Alert System which the McCanns are looking to adapt for Europe. Her husband is Sir Christopher Meyer - former British Ambassador to the US and now Chairman of the British Press Complaints Commission.
Sir Christopher Meyer was speaker at the Fabian Society's 'Change The World' conference in New York in January 2008.
In April 1999, Catherine Meyer co-founded the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC) and a year later, she set up her own organisation, PACT, which works in close association with ICMEC.
Gerry McCann visited ICMEC's HQ in Virginia in June 2007.
The couple quickly became the 'human face' of a powerful and determined lobby.
The strangest thing is not the McCanns are claiming ownership of the 116 000 alert number - it's that everybody in Brussels is allowing them to do so. Given that the McCanns are formal suspects in their daughter's disappearence one might expect Brussels to give this couple a wide girth. If, on the otherhand, the couple's supporters in Brussels and the US knew for a fact that Madeleine was alive and well and that the McCanns were not responsible for their daughter's disappearence - it is quite conceivable that they would continue to lend their support. But they would have to know for a fact.
Quick recap. Catherine and Sir Christopher have been using the McCanns to lobby support for a pan-European Missing Children's Alert System based on the US 'Amber Alert' system - a system that utilises a broad range of telecommunications and wireless media:
"AMBER Alerts are distributed via commercial radio stations, satellite radio, television stations, and cable TV by the Emergency Alert System (where they are termed "Child Abduction Emergency"), as well as via e-mail, electronic traffic-condition signs, and wireless device SMS text messages. Those interested in subscribing to receive AMBER Alerts in their area via SMS messages can visit Wireless Amber Alerts."
Its an area that Sir Christopher Meyer should be more than a little au fait with, as he was named Chairman of the Board Of Directors for GlobeTel in 2005 (until 2006). He nows chairs Globtel's newly formed International Advisory Board.
"GlobeTel is changing the global landscape of how people communicate, interact and transact. To accomplish this mission, we provide our customers with access to an integrated suite of telecommunications products and services that leverage the advances we have made in our Stored Value, VOIP and Wireless Access technologies."
Although there is no evidence to suggest Globetel would benefit commercially from an EU-Wide Amber Alert, it's inevitalble that one company out there will (the world's leading enterprise software company, Oracle currently partner Missing Children Europe in terms of IT systems).
As it is, any such contracts that arise as a result of implementing an EU-Wide 'Amber' Alert are likely to be awarded by the EU's Information Society and Media Commission headed by Viviane Reding.
In the early 1980s Sir Christopher was posted to Brussels where he was active in the UK's representation to the European Union (EU) specializing in trade policy and later returned to Moscow in 1982 as Political Counselor.
The Amber Alert System is now integrated into The Emergency Alert System (EAS) - a national system in the U.S. put into place in 1994, superseding the Emergency Broadcast System (EBS) and the CONELRAD System and is jointly coordinated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Federal Emergency Managemant Agency (FEMA), and the National Weather Service (NWS). The official EAS is designed to enable the President of the United States to speak to the United States within 10 minutes (this official federal EAS has never been activated).
The FCC requires all broadcast stations to install and maintain EAS decoders and encoders at their control points. These decoders continuously monitor the signals from other nearby broadcast stations for EAS messages.
30.04.08. Just wanted to draw people's attention to Liz Lynne, the Liberal Democrat MEP from the West Midlands who has been supporting the McCanns and their lobbying for a EU-Wide Alert Scheme. Interesting to see Lynne was high up the chain at Amnesty International for a time. It seems she is involved with a large volume of Human Rights issues. JK Rowling who supported the McCanns also used to work for Amnesty International and is still an active human rights campaigner.
Liz Lynne, a former actor, tried unsuccesfully to have MEPs sign the EU-Wide Alert Scheme in July 2006. She claims it was rejected due to a lack of knowledge and a lack of appreciation of just how successful the Amber scheme was. I believe the EU-Wide Alert Scheme was part of a much broader initiative called 'Towards an EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child' supported by Lynne, Glenys Kinnock (wife of former Labour Leader, Neil Kinnock), Diana Wallis and Roberta Angelilli in 2006 (Glenys Kinnock - of Cardiff - also belongs to the Cooperative Party, often synonymous with The Socialist Fabian Society. Ed Balls is preseident of both).
Human Trafficking - especially women and children - was also an area that was targeted by the commsion's report. In fact, it was in 2006 that they first registered the hotline number 116 000 for use.
It makes you wonder just how incredibly valuable the McCanns have become to key lobbying figures in the European Parliament like Liz Lynne and Glenys Kinnock (of Cardiff). The fact Mitchell's PR Machine has raised the spectre of human trafficking on several occasions is also interesting. The Madeleine Case alsmost reads like a case study in the human rights of the child.
Let's face it, it was a 'happy coincidence' that Madeleine went missing when she did for the people behind this declaration:
If I was ever confused why the McCanns have enjoyed so much support, I am not confused now.
They must have invested a lot of hope in the McCanns resolving their declarations to the EU Parliament of the Human Rights of Children.
30.04.08. I don't know whether this is relevant but I noticed Gerry McCann was asked by a reporter in Brussels when he first learned about Amber Alert (Missing Child Alert). Gerry said he learned about it from a friend a 'few hours' after Madeleine went missing (it was asked as part of the Q & A s from reporters during the press address. I think it was asked by a writer from The Sun newspaper).
Last May it was reported in the UK Press Gazette that the McCanns, their friends and their family had invited the 'alleged psychics' Diane Lazarus (of Cardiff) and Amanda Hart across to Portugal to see if they could discover what happened to Madeleine (Amanda is an ex-resident of Portugal and Spain).
What's interesting is that Amanda Hart registered a website domain for her new company on April 28 2007 called Amber Connections Ltd.
Hart registered the actual company name on April 26th 2007 with the UK's 'Companies House'.
This 'psychic detective' company was to specialise in Missing Persons and Miscarriages of Justice. It was to behave in principle rather like the 'psychic wing' of Gerry's Amber Alert Sysyem.
http://amberconnections.com (the site has been removed from the server in the last 2-3days but links to a Google Cache of the site can be found at the bottom of this page)
Amanda Hart registered this domain just 5 days before Madeleine went missing. It's alleged both she and Diane Lazarus were then invited across to Portugal by friends of the McCanns. Did Amanda have a clairvoyant experience about Gerry backing Amber Alert and Madeleine going missing?
Amanda Hart alleges she too had a child taken away from her at a very early age:
see her Madeleine - Psychic Tracker diary
Catherine Meyer - the woman behind Amber Alert in the US also had her children taken away from her by her first husband. This is why Catherine developed the Amber Alert System and support groups like PACT:
PACT's patrons include Cherie Blair and Laura Bush.
Did any of these people know each other prior to Madeleine going missing, maybe through a support group like PACT? Not that any of it really matters, as it's entirely likely that once the EU-Wide Alert declaration is passed in Brussels this time around, Madeleine will be coming home. May is the month of miracles afterall. Perhaps tonight's ITV documentary will be enough to tip the 'abductor' into giving Madeleine back.
01.05.08 Didn't bother with the ITV documentary although I might YouTube it at some point. More interesting are some comments in the 3arguidos forum from Clear and DrachenSachen who suggest that only a third of the MEPs required have signed the Amber declaration. There is a good link here:
If anything it brings it right back round to the Prum Treaty. The objective was never really about 'missing children' although that would be happy consequence. The objective was to increase the exchange of criminal data between countries, an objective that was outlined specifically in the updated Prum Treaty of June 2007: more cross-border cooperation, a central pan-European DNA database. Some might wish to argue that this was always about National Security and that the Madeleine 'event' was used to weaken the resolve of those countries opposed to such exchanges. Was an attempt made to use a humanitarian and moral pretext for issues relating more to EU expansionism and homeland security? I think this was obvious right from the very beginning. I think it was hijacked for political gain.
Was the ITV Documentary Madeleine McCann: One Year On aired on April 30th a last ditch attempt to attract more signatures to the declaration? Well tell me what you think after reading the following report releaed by the Press Association on May 1st. The timing is a little suspect if nothing else:
" European Parliament declaration demanding a child alert system opened for signatures last week, but needs the names of at least half the 785 MEPs before it has formal status as a resolution.
So far the declaration has attracted 127 names, but needs at least 393 by the end of June.
A similar initiative failed to attract sufficient signatures two years ago - but the case of Madeleine McCann is expected to tip the balance this time."
03.05.07. ""What is the key to an effective strategy to maintain sufficient public consent for enlargement in both established and new member states?" - Gary Titley, MEP, Amber Alert Campaigner for 'Making EU Enlargement Work' , January 2007
I wonder if either Kate or Gerry can provide a suitable answer?
06.05.07. I've just had an email from Liz Lynne, the Lib Dem MEP who has been supporting Kate and Gerry in their campaign for an EU-Wide 'Amber' Alert System. She explains that it was EU Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security Mr Franco Frattini who first launched the concept of a missing children alert system in 2006 and again in January 2007. It has already been pointed out that Frattini was one of the major 'cheerleaders' for the Prum Treaty which embraced the whole issue of cross-border cooperation between Police across Europe, an increase in DNA profiling and more rigid control of human-trafficking. Frattini reiterated his commitment to this campaign during his speech at the Second Europa Forum on the Rights of the Child on March 4th this year.
What's interesting is that the First Europa Forum on the Rights of the Child occurred on June 4 2007 in Berlin - which happened to coincide with Gerry and Kate's trip to Berlin the following day on June 5th. Frattini and his commission arrive in Berlin to discuss the Missing Children Alert within 24 hours of Kate and Gerry - the commission's future ambassadors - arriving. A coincidence or not?
Frattini, described by the BBC as a 'softly-spoken technocrat' was a member of the Italian Socialist Party before replacing the controversial Rocco Buttiglione as Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security (in 2004, the departing Rocco Buttiglione famously outed Frattini as a Freemason).
Freemasonry, which was banned under Mussolini, flourished under the Christian Democrats in postwar Italy, and remains legal. But it is still viewed with suspicion by the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church. It has been a highly sensitive issue in Italy since 1981, when a secret and illegal right-wing Masonic lodge known as P2 — Propaganda Due — was broken up amid public scandal.
Furthermore, Frattini is also vice President of the Barroso Commission led by former Prime Minister of Portugal; José Manuel Barroso.
Other members of the Barroso Commission include fellow Socialist, Peter Mandelson and Viviane Reding. Readers of the Editorial Intelligence thread might recall that the former architect of New Labour and Blair's greatest ally (and fellow Fabian Society member) said this of the media:
'Of course we want to use the media, but the media will be our tools, our servants; we are no longer content to let them be our persecutors."
- Peter Madelson, 'Silence of The Sheep' by Peter Oborne
New Labour have since managed to gain substantial and unprecedented control of the British Media.
Fellow Barroso member Viviane Reding is presently Commissioner for the EU's Information Society and Media, the Commission who are most likely to be responsible for awarding any commercial ICT contracts that might arise as a result of the EU-Wide Amber Alert scheme being implemented.
"The public support shown throughout Europe to the parents of Madeleine McCann has illustrated European citizens' solidarity with the families of missing children and the importance they attach to ensuring a safe and secure environment for our children." - Franco Frattini, 'EU marking Missing Children's Day', May 2007
"What is the key to an effective strategy to maintain sufficient public consent for enlargement in both established and new member states? If this cannot be done, could this be the last EU enlargement?"
- Gary Titley, EU-Wide Missing Children Alert Campaigner, Janaury 2007
"So far the declaration has attracted 127 names, but needs at least 393 by the end of June.
A similar initiative failed to attract sufficient signatures two years ago - but the case of Madeleine McCann is expected to tip the balance this time."
- 'McCanns drive Needs More Support Press', Press Association, May 1st 2008
Franco Frattini - 'What Should Malta Do With Immigrants?'
'Agreement on a pan-European network of police databases for more effective crime control' , Frattini, Feb 2007
'Commissioner urges adoption of French missing-children system', Frattini, January 2007, Euractiv
15.05.08. Bearing in mind the profile of Frattini and Barroso in this Amber Alert spectacle it might strike some people as a further coincidence that the man who replaced former British Ambassador in Portugal, John Buck is none other than Alexander Wykeham Ellis:
Full Name: Alexander Wykeham Ellis
Ellis - the new British Ambassador - served as adviser to EC President Barroso immediately prior to September 2007 when Ellis replaced Buck in Portugal.
Just who is being held to ransom in this case? The McCanns or you and me?