Amusingly, since I've spent several hours this week on the phone to Washington and the Pentagon I found myself being Skyped by one of my Internet watchers saying that Tony Bennett has been accusing me of being a fantasist! He has been good enough to apologise and withdraw those remarks and that matter will go no further.
Having been courteous enough to allow me to join your forum please allow me to clear up some misunderstandings. The e-mail from myself Tony circulated was NOT an article, nor was it for publication, nor was it placed on the Internet with my consent, nor would consent have been given had it been sought. It was a reply to an e-mail to me, copied to a private discussion group and was not intended for publication. The e-mail to Tony dealing with the issue of sedation again was not intended to be published. For the avoidance of doubt whilst I believe Madeleine was sedated on the night she was kidnapped I am NOT suggesting that she was sedated by her poor parents, for whom I have the greatest sympathy. Sedation is a standard feature of child kidnap. I have a low opinion of Metodo 3 but then they have a low opinion of me, so we're equal. Had they known CNI (Spanish internal intelligence) read my report they might have been a bit kinder, but there it is.
CNI are quite charming people by the way , and provide good coffee - a lot better than the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, believe me!
A few misconceptions about intelligence - whilst I have survived an assassination attempt and get to do fun things like flying off aircraft carriers, taking the controls of jet aircraft at 40,000 feet and being driven through the streets of Moscow in a blue light car, in the wrong lane, ie against the traffic (great way to get good service at your hotel - roll up from the Kremlin in a government car with a blue light and an FSB driver packing a shooter, I booked a taxi for the short ride to Moscow's great Byelorussia Station the next morning to catch the sleeper express for Berlin and they laid on a limo) intelligence is not usually about parachuting into places wearing a wig and a false moustache, or, sadly, sleeping with the enemy. Intelligence is about analysis and the firepower is intellectual, usually. If you have a brain you may be asked for your opinion. Get it right and you'll be asked again. Get General Pinochet back to Chile and into the good books of Generals Walters and Odom (two of the finest intellects America ever produced) and you're in, and I mean in - CIA picking your brain at 3 am, you canvassing theirs over a Jack Daniels, with the boys packing Magnums, and governments asking you to backchannel stuff that cannot go through the official channels. After a while you will be listened to when you say 'guys this satellite's a bit off-track, it's your call, but could we move it over a few miles, I think we've got the wrong cave.' As Dick Walters told me when we first met you never forget moving your first satellite! The bean-counters hate it.
I've never met Michael Caplan by the way - I was instructed by a second set of lawyers and my role was analysis and negotiation in the Pinochet case, oh and dodging some idiot with a Browning 9 mil, who had threatened to blow me away if I went to Washington on the general's behalf (he never showed, but the good guys did, my Embasssy driver was grinning from ear to ear as he changed lanes unnecessarily and watched who else did in the mirror!)
Tony might meet Michael though if he keeps up the leafletting! I have not seen this wretched leaflet but from what I hear with every respect to Tony it might have been more hesitatingly expressed.
Now the McCann case. I was first involved within about 24 hours of the kidnap, when it started to look like a bad one., ie a paedophile ring. MI6 got an officer down there pretty quickly, no names no pack drill (some stuff I can talk about, some I can't), it was quite clear the poor girl had been taken and that her parents were NOT involved, equally clear blaming them, apart from some childcare arrangements which were not ideal (and didn't make a difference since the bad guys were tooled up, with silencers) was a convenient way out and that there were heavy duty political considerations. Six were hauled off, officially, pretty quickly and the case handed over to Leicestershire Police and the locals. Not good. Of course the intelligence passing across my desk went to the police, but it had an irritating habit of finding its way to Lisbon and we never found a way iof closing down the leak, nor was there a way of keeping material off computers, which were clearly insecure (nothing the police could do about it - trapdoors are integral and if you're using a Chinese made chip you've had it, if Peking are on the other side dishing out the codes).
Poor old Leicester had never handled anything like this case, the biggest child kidnap since the Abwehr snatched the Lindbergh baby. They had never used satellites in an investigation, eg, nor were they used to dealing with the military or overseas intelligence agencies, nor do we have the military/intelligence/police liaison they are now used to in America, since 9/11 - NYPD would think nothing of ringing me up eg, if they thought I could contribute, not so long ago I back-channelled a hook-up for a U-2(there are still some around) to get some real-time downloads on some incoming bad guys where a police helo was just too visible, to a counter-terrorist officer, who was delighted - the bad guys got the message, and left town, indeed the state, which was the whole point, what they thought was a soft target suddenly became a very hard target. A lot of paperwork was avoided, the police had a new weapon in the fight against serious crime and the U-2 boys had a new mission. And the hostile state which was behind it all backed off, everybody had deniability and there was no need to repair the freeway.
The leaked report was prepared at the request of a fomer member of the Joint Intelligence Committee, as it states. Some members of the JIC may have been concerned at the failure to convene either COBRA or the JIC.
It was handled very securely, initially, but the Prime Ministers's first copy went walkies, via a member of the Cabinet, and was leaked, disgracefully, to the Mirror, in modified form, presumably to try and disguise the leak; the idiot who leaked it may have thought by leaving my typos in he's make me look silly, not realising these were verification typos, an old German trick Mossad (lovely people) pointed out to me a few years back.
By the time it was leaked she had been moved, ie the leak did not prejudice a rescue had one been authorised (it wasn't, to my utter fury). We never again got real-time intelligence about where she was being held.
Yes she was moved to Chile - remember the sighting report from Cordoba? That was her; ditto Vicuna, in Chile. The bad guys tripped up there - remember my Chilean client. The Chilean Air Force were wonderful - they had a 707 Phalcon, a lovely bit of kit, which I am told did a high-level fly-over to verify, but they would have needed a new coup to get permission to mount a rescue. If you want to kidnap a child, don't do it in Chile.
She was moved by road back to Argentina, then to Europe, and the next we heard of her was the Montpelier sighting, the tape of which (commercial, not DST) was held back from Task, the judge and the poor family.
Of course she was alive in early 2008 - the sniffer dog evidence is worthless, as the dogs cannot identify the cadaver - they can only scent A cadaver, all you need to lay a false trail is a body, or piece of clothing from a body. I am sorry to say the idea of Madeleine's parents carting her dead body round in a rented Renault is risible. Since there is CCTV footage of her live and well (she was not mis-treated, thank God, according to the video evidence) in 2008 and the Renault was handed back in 2007 very obviously she was never in the Renault, alive or dead, after that fateful Thursday.
I have no reason to doubt that the tragic intelligence that she was murdered, by fatal injection, by the DVD, in December 2008 is correct. There is no credible sighting report postdating then.
I sincerely hope that my request the reports be conveyed to her parents sensitively, by a trained police officer, was acted upon. Of course I alerted my contact with the family, via the channel we had jointly agreed.
I hope this will be the end of suggestions of improper conduct, or fraud, by the McCanns. Since no body can be produced (she would most certainly have been cremated rather than buried) they may well believe she is still alive, and I do not blame them for hoping. God knows I would love to be wrong on this one.
The DVD know they are not going to get away with this one, I think they have a fair idea what's coming. The good news is that the worldwide intelligence effort has disrupted the DVD's paedophile networks. The USN deployed a task group to the Gulf of Guinea last year, with an SSN, officially on a goodwill visit, complete with SEALS, whilst the Brazilian Navy has ordered its first SSNs. As I remarked to a Brazilian defence attache recently analysts puzzled by this move need only read my report. ABIN has a copy. The shameful trade of children out of Sao Paolo all but stopped whilst replacement surface vessels were modified (allegedly one was the MV Arctic Sea) . We failed to save little Madeleine but the exposure of the DVD's paedophile networks may have saved hundreds of young lives. Every serious law enforcement agency in the world now knows that organised crime is organised by states.
Good morning again! You can see what hours I keep.
No, I am not poking fun at you, even though some of you are poking fun at me. I really do know John Bolton by the way - a nice man, I was at his swearing-in at State on 21st June 2001, back in the days of peace, by Justice Thomas of the US Supreme Court, a very able man with respect.
Most abused children are indeed abused by some one known to them, but most child kidnaps are committed by total strangers - eg the Jaycee Dugard kidnap, although that did not stop ignorant relatives blaming poor Carl Probyn, who had to suffer twice. Jaycee was not kidnapped because she was Jaycee but because her kidnapper was attracted to her. Similarly the McCann family was not targeted per se. It was their tragedy that they had a young child matching the description of youngsters wanted for abuse by sick EU officials. If you think about it a father prepared to abuse his children does not have to kidnap them. The failure to appreciate the difference between domestic abuse and kidnap for use has led to unfair and unjust allegations being hurtled at the poor McCanns, compounded by the failure to appreciate that any failings in the childcare arrangements did not and could not make a difference at the end of the day.
I agree that that there has been some evasiveness about these arrangements, but it does not matter. The DVD play for keeps and if you are unlucky enough to have your child targeted by a DVD-backed paedophile ring that child is in mortal danger, mortal because a child abused by say a senior EU official must then be murdered to protect that official. Yes a babysitter would have been a good idea, but she would have been shot.
A number of points. I have e-mailed Tony recently but do not send him 'regular' e-mails. Tony - I find your persistent mocking a little irritating if I may say so. Who said anything about a 'secret service' or 'patrol' boat?
My leaked assessment for the JIC concluded that the boat which left Lagos Marina shortly before the kidnap, waited and sailed after the kidnap was a vessel of interest; I also concluded Madeleine had been transferred to a second vessel, notified to the proper authorities of its country of registry (who have never denied it was involved) and then to a third vessel, clearly indicating a change of plan.
I have never named any EU official and do not comment on the name suggested. There are thousands of officials in the EU.
Tony offensively suggests that the Montpelier CCTV exists only in my imagination. I respectfully suggest (1) he abides by the rules of this well-regulated forum and ceases to make offensive remarks and (2) do what Mila has done and check the facts - the Montpelier sighting was an eye-witness sighting and the existence of a CCTV camera has been confirmed publicly. It is a fact that the CCTV footage has been withheld from the McCanns and Leicestershire Police.
I do not know where the persistent suggestion has come from that the Montpelier footage was shot by an intelligence service. Certainly not from me. It is absurd to suppose that DST would maintain CCTV cameras in Montpelier. All that I am saying is that commercial CCTV security footage was retrieved by the French police and passed by the gendarmes to DST. The French authorities do not deny that.
I am not saying that Madeleine was targeted specifically like the Lindbergh baby, who was kidnapped to put pressure on her father. My assessment is that her photo, tragically for her, was picked out. Once the decision was taken to enter Apartment 5A any adult in that apartment was at risk. It is clear there was surveillance in the preceding 24 - 48 hours and they were not expecting to find an adult, and equally clear that an adult getting in the way would have been shot.
Tony attaches huge weight to positive responses by sniffer dog Eddie and is eagerly awaitig my view on this, neglecting to mention that it has already been pointed out that this dog does not react to only one type of scent. If the dog was reacting to cadaver scent it was only the scent of A cadaver, not any particular person. Such a scent trail can easily be laid after the event - it is not as though the dog was there on the night of the kidnap, or that no one was expecting a dog trained to scent bodies, to turn up with handler. The sniffer evidence doesn't go very far and is consistent with a false scent being laid, which would not have been done by the local police.
If submarines were used we would expect sings of unusual naval activity in the sea areas Gulf of Guinea/Sao Tome and Principe and Plate Estuary/Sao Tome, the suggested transhipment route. Clearly a WW2 U-Boat is not going to pull up at a wharf in Lagos and start unloading bales of cocaine or kidnapped kiddies - I have a lower opinion of the Portuguese police than Tony but even I would expect them to start asking questions if that happened.
Since the kidnap the following has happened - Admiral Moura Neto's request was for SSNs was granted, to the surprise of analysts out of the loop on the McCann case; the 4th Fleet has been re-activated; the USN deployed LPD USS Nashville and a task group, complete with the SSN USS Annapolis (SSN-760); the Russians have deployed 2 Akula class subs to the area and the French have committed an Atlantique ASW aircraft ; an airliner came down in unexplained circumstances consistent with a sub-launched long-range SAM, a diesel slick turned up on the surface of the ocean right where the ASW plane had been operating and the US SOSUS net has been brought up to Cold War readiness levels, permitting the tracking of all under-ocean movements in the South Atlantic. Brazil has been ramping up her ASW capabilities and there are uncomfirmed but persistent rumours of bales of cocaine washing up on beaches with no reported surface activity.
This site does seem to work best with shorter postings, a blessing I am sure for those who read mine.
Several points, bearing in mind I am multi-tasking and having to break off to deal with phone calls etc. Barrister is only my day-job - I am a counter-terrorist and counter-intelligence consultant, and an adjunct professor of intelligence studies, usually teaching at Masters level. I can also advise tv and movie production companies, Spooks being the best known, although they used me for the 5th series and part of the 4th series only. (Please do not blame me for the daft continuity editing of an episode in the 6th series which had some one taking off in a Boeing 737, transferring mid-air to a Boeing 747 and landing in another version of the 73 - I think I counted five different aircraft for one flight, beating Lee Marvin's famous flight in was it Avalanche Express, where he took off in a 707, which became a 727 in mid-air and landed as a DC-9!). I never worked on the McCann case as counsel, nor could I - I have to keep rigid lines of demarcation between case files; I can either work on a case as a lawyer, or an intelligence case as an intelligence expert, and there is a no-switching rule. There are no legal proceedings in the McCann case, save the wardship proceedings and collateral libel suits which were settled and rightly so, with apologies to the McCanns, but I would be conflicted out from acting even in collateral proceedings.
The document Dr. Gerry McCann was asked about on TV was NOT our report to JIC, it was a courteous letter from my CEO, offering to assist. The offer was declined - entirely a matter for the McCanns and their professional advisers. Our assessment for the JIC was a bulky document, severely condensed by the Daily Mirror, which leaked it. The original were bound in red, with classification recommendations for the JIC and the intelligence agencies which received it, and the Pentagon, which would have issued the naval tasking requests had the recommendations been acted upon.
Almost a real-time response! Apology accepted Tony, but you do seem to keep inferring that any one who thinks Madeleine McCann was kidnapped is insane, or suffering from some sort of mental or nervous breakdown, presumably because you have persuaded yourself that the evidence that she died at her poor parents' hands, albeit unintentionally, or in some way which would cause them to want to conceal her body, is overwhelming, when it isn't and, frankly, does not amount in forensic terms to a row of beans, with every respect to those including you who take the contrary view.
I am quite satisfied that some time well after the kidnap material which had been in contact with human remains, not those of Madeleine, who was still alive at the time, was introduced into Apartment 5A, the Renault Scenic motor car and personal items belonging to the family. I would be astonished if the local police were in on it, and equally astonished if DVD assets inside Portuguese civil and military intelligence (remember Portugal was a fascist dictatorship in living memory and was a German client state, permitting U-Boat operations in WW2 from its territory, including the colony of Sao Tome and Principe) were not.
Our report's recommendation for emergency reconnaissance of the Moroccan coast, and an immediate rescue effort if our intelligence was verified, was not acted upon, as we all know. The report went to the Pentagon because the Royal Navy and RAF had limited assets in area. Our recommendation for increased surveillance of the sea area identiifed was acted upon and powerful air and naval assets have been assigned to area.
Answering questions as best I can:
(1) The media will not report the truth about the kidnap of Madeleine McCann. Several newspapers are aware of much more than they have reported; in reality the truth will only appear online, at least for several years; I hope that my frustation with the so-called mainstream media is clear; if you wish to know why you will have to ask them - several of our newspapers have quite competent investigative journalists and there is no obvious reason why the truth could not now be reported;
(2) We did at one time recommend a D-Notice and I was in direct contact with the D-Notice Committee when it became clear two newspapers were getting close to the name of the surface vessel where we then had reason to believe Madeleine (I was told by people in touch with the McCanns that Madeleine hated being called 'Maddy' by the way) was being held, so as to not to prejudice a UK/USA naval rescue mission, but no D-Notice was ever issued and there is no restriction on the media reporting the facts;
(3) Of course we communicated our intelligence re her being murdered to our contact with the McCanns; I hope they were told but it was not our call; channels of communication were agreed with the family's representatives and we abided by that contact protocol;
(4) I asked that a summary of the Intelligence Assessment for the JIC be made available to the McCanns; for that purpose the report was made avialable to their MP on Privy Council equivalent terms.
(5) (breaking up my posting into manageable chunks) What neglect? The child-care arrangements that night were admittedly inadequate but neglect is far too strong a word; I know the Portuguese police attacked the McCanns in the media and persistently and offensively suggested they could be prosecuted - they never were, no doubt because there was insufficient evidence to support a prosecution, indeed such a prosecution would have been borderline malicious. Leicestershire Social Services, I believe, spoke to the parents on their sad return to England without their eldest child, and doubtless concluded these were loving parents who required no advice or guidance from them; if that was their view they were right;
(6) All rings involved in the blackmail of paedophile politicians and officials are state-sponsored and are controlled by one of the hostile state's intelligence services, invariably a covert one; persons involved in the actual kidnaps are invariably armed; of course they will avoid murder if they can, because murder is messy, but they will murder if they have to; they are not nice people. The idea that an unarmed babysitter could have stopped Madeleine being snatched is a joke;
(7) What fraud? There has been no fraud at any time by the McCanns. They have been evasise at times, perhaps understandably, about the arrangements for that night, but when they stated that their child had been kidnapped they were right; they clearly hope their child is still alive and God Bless them I hope they are right about that too, but I am satisfied the poor child was murdered. No one can criticise them for hoping.
(8) I should put the "The Shrimpton Report" in inverted commas; its working title was an "Informal Intelligence Assessment for the Joint Intelligence Committee on the Kidnap of Mistress Madeleine McCann, aged 3, from Praia da Luz in the Republic of Portugal on 3rd May 2007;" it was submitted by a counter-intelligence consultancy on whose Advisory Board I then sat and of which I am now the UK Associate, following a business re-organisation in response to the US recession;
(9) To the best of my knowedge no intelligence has been withheld from the McCanns, certainly not by me; they have not acted on it but that is an entirely different question;
(10) I am puzzled by the repeated suggestions in this forum that I have been party to withholding evidence from the police; as the Intelligence Assessment makes clear full co-operation was extended to Leicestershire Police and intelligence was fired into the Operation Task Incident Room as soon as it became available; at the request of the Chief Constable I spent a day briefing in Leicestershire Special Branch and a Task detective; the Portuguese Police were copied in by Task and non-redacted e-mails referring to me by name were I believe on the DVD; e-mails from the Serious and Organised Crime Agency confirming that I was direct-dialling into SOCA have also been made public by the Portuguese Police; there is also an e-mail in the public domain referring to a call into SOCA from Her Netherlands' Majesty's Government, via the Netherlands legation in London, eliding to my contacts with the HQ of the Netherlands General Intelligence and Security Service, the excellent AIVD; of course the Netherlands authorities were notified of intelligence relating to vessels of Netherlands registry;
(11) Perhaps I should have explained the composition of the JIC - it is the co-ordinating body for British Intelligence; the Directors-General of MI5 and MI6 sit on it, as do the Directors of GCHQ and the Defence Intelligence Service; there are also representatives of the Cabinet Office (usually the Directors will be represented by senior intelligence officers); it has its own assessments staff; how could I be accused of withholding a report from the police which was submitted to the JIC? So far so as I know the D-G of MI5 saw the report personally; MI5 liaised with Leicesershire Special Branch througout; the report also went to Her Majetsy's Government and there was direct-dial contact with a senior official at the Home Office, who have responsibility for policing in England;
(12) Of course there was a turf war - the report firmly recommended that Leicestershire Police be replaced as lead UK agency by the JIC, without criticising Leicestershire; no provincial police force had ever co-ordinated an international naval rescue before, nor come up directly against the German DVD;
(13) The naval authorities of the United States and United Kingdom were informed of all intelligence coming across our desks of relevant naval and maritime movements; US Theater Commands were briefed in - initially SOUTHCOM (partly due to warship movements across the command boundary, partly because I happened to know the Theater Commander) and then at SOUTHCOM request EUCOM (United States European Command); Admiral Stavridis knew General Craddock well and that may have helped inter-command co-operation - at any rate it was excellent. The Intelligence Assessment went to General Craddock's excellent intelligence staff; there is no reflection on the USN and RN - they act under civilian control and the order to mount a rescue never came; had it come they were in a position to respond on an emergency basis; in particular I have no reason to doubt ISAR assets were deployed; and
(14) In response to Tony Bennett's claim that Colonel Lindbergh murdered his own child there is no reason to doubt that Charles Lindbergh Junior was kidnapped and murdered by agents of the German Abwehr intelligence organisation, including Bruno Hauptmann, a German sleeper agent; Herr Hauptmann was fairly tried, properly convicted after due process had been observed and very properly executed on 3rd April 1936; he chose not to disclose his connections with German Intelligence nor his co-conspirators, very probably because his control officer assured him via a prison visitor that the German Government had enough clout in Washington to get his death sentence commuted; sadly for him the Germans had fewer friends in Trenton.
Final post for today - this is an imoprtant issue and I will be responding regularly, but I am busy and there may be gaps of 48 or even 72 hours between posts. It was not my idea by the way to call the Assessment the "Shrimpton Report" - after the Mirror leaked it some one gave it that name on the Internet and it stuck.
Just to finish off this issue of 'withholding evidence', in addition to making the report available to the JIC, including MI5, the Cabinet Office, the Home Office and the Prime Minister, and the relevant command authorities (please bear in mind the report was not my idea - I was asked to do it, in the absence of a formal intelligence appreciation from the Assessments Staff, I would have preferred to move more quickly, quietly and lightly, but I was not the PM) I offered to assist Mrs. Justice Hogg, if need be by way of giving evidence, and the McCanns' lawyers.
Madeleine was made a Ward of Court, quite properly. I attended the public hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice, and introduced myself to the McCanns' representatives, who were assured of every co-operation if they needed it. I am told and have no reason to doubt that a letter was later written by an independent solicitor to the learned judge, who was at liberty to ask me to give my opinion on the kidnap if she felt she needed it. It was a matter for her, with respect. The McCanns' representatives were fully aware of the Intelligence Assessment, as was a senior officer from Task, who was present at the hearing - from recollecion we had already spoken in the phone and I introduced myself, as a courtesy.
I was then and remain strongly of the view that the French authorities should make the Montpelier CCTV footage available to the McCanns and Mrs. Justice Hogg, also Task. It should never have been held back. I have never seen it by the way, nor claimed to have viewed it, save in one phone call to Tony Bennett, where I probably expressed myself inelegantly and rang back to confirm I have not viewed it. So far as I know no one in the UK has ever seen it, unless GCHQ have a copy via an intercept. No one will show it to me, because they know it would go straight to Mrs Justice Hogg and Leicestershire Police.
The intelligence about the CCTV footage is clear - DST retrieved the tape, had it analysed, verified it was Madeleine McCann and were leant on, very high up the payroll, as the Americans say. DGSE have seen it, I gather (they have liaison officers with DST) and so has the DVD's covert stay-behind operation in Paris.
It all fits - Montpelier was a reasonable stopping point on the journey from the south of France to the next safe-house, in the Low Countries. She was taken over the border to Argentina from Vicuna, then moved by SSK to the south coast of France. There was plenty of time for this to have happened by the time of the Montpelier sighting.
If the CCTV footage is not of Madeleine, but another little girl, who is she and why not release a copy of the tape to Operation Task? And the McCanns, on the DVD? And the learned Judge?
(A1) It would be most helpful if the moderators could moderate the discussion! This is a well-moderated forum, but the abusive postings lack intellectual rigour and reflect discredit on the anonymous posters; it is very easy to scream abuse and insults at some one with whom you disagree, but several hundred people are logging onto this discussion, on a matter of intense public interest and some, like Nellie, are with respect making intelligent and thoughtful contributions deserving of a reply;
(A2) It occurs to me some contributors may be from Portugal or elsewhere - the Internet is a worldwide forum after all; this may explain why come contributors are struggling with ordinary English nouns; whilst the concepts of hope, belief and knowledge are expressed differently in English they can be rolled up together in languages with a smaller vocabulary - I well recall struggling as an immigration judge to explain to the Home Office why an answer interpreted two different ways might not be a discrepancy, each case turning on its own facts (the Tamil word for cousin & brother was a classic - I seem to recall it was the same word, so that different interpreters might interpet it as 'brother' or 'cousin'); of course as a judge you don't have to spend too much time bringing the parties on board - you give your view and they can appeal if they disagree;
(A3) I hope, you believe, Johnny knows; the McCanns hope their eldest child is still alive; I believe she is not, the witnesses to her murder know, I wish she were still alive but I know my wish is highly unlikely to be fulfilled;
(A4) I have not published anything on the McCann case until now. The Intelligence Assessment was submitted under conditions of secrecy, delivered by hand where possible, prepared on a computer kept off the Net, printed off campus on a printer also disconnected from the Internet and was never sent by e-mail until after it was blown by the Daily Mirror; the Master copy was kept on a dedicated Mass Storage Device and assigned a codename, the name of a British battleship on which one of the retired Admirals who had contributed had served, as a little courtesy to him. The intent was to keep it secret for 7 days, the designated Rescue Window; we had the surface vessel's call-sign and knew all radio and cell-phone communications to her were being monitored; the DVD's chain of communication was secure but slow and went via Spain and Morocco and the DVD's assets inside CIA and MI6 had themselves to use secure methods of communicating with their controllers, such as dead letter drops; within the Rescue Window we had the priceless advantage of surprise, provided a covert approach was made by SSN; we achieved our aim;
(A5) The Assessment was scanned, modified and leaked - I had nothing to do with that and was horrified, even though it was well outside the Rescue Window; two sources were murdered but not as a result of the leak; ie the Daily Mirror managed not to get any one killed; the Cyprus murder was almost certainly the result of a leak from within the officer's own agency; I believe the assassination tasking came out of COREA Group in Frankfurt, a front for the DVD;
(A6) The invitation to prepare an infiormal assessment came as the Introduction states from a former JIC member, you may assume a retired director of a British intelligence agency; of course there was no formal invoice - all work was pro bono, we have never suggested otherwise;
(B1) The invitation to appear on this forum came from a member; you invited me to join your discussions and I am doing by best to respond to polite questions, trying to ignore the abuse, bearing in mind I have my day job to do, we have a mini-crisis over Lockerbie, I have to backchannel something over to the White House via a dear friend in the Democratic Party who usually says 'uh-oh' when I ring and the FBI are still doing their nut over Megrahi, who no more blew up that Jumbo Jet than did Joanna Lumley (no, Tony, I am not accusing Joanna Lumley of blowing up PanAm 103, nor the McCanns)
(B2) The publication of a private e-mail on this forum was by Tony Bennett, not by myself; inevitably I have been drawn into defending my position;
(B3) There is no 'deal' between myself and Tony - he likes to think he knows more about intelligence than I do, and seems to take a malicious delight in poking fun at my conclusions, not always accurately represented, although in fairness there have been fake postings in my name, some of which might take something I actually wrote, which would then be twisted; Phytophthora Infestans is a classic example - I studied the distribution patterns of this heterokont, without which my great-grandmother would probably never have met my great-grandfather, and concluded they did not match known natural distribution patterns; the Great Famine ought therefore to be revisited; Biological warfare, which is ancient (throwing diseased animals over battlements is a form of it) is a complex phenomenon, and investigations require a great deal of hard work - just ask poor old Dr Jeffrey Taubenberger, eg, who, although he may not know it, got dragged off to Alaska for some very chilly field work on H1N1 for AFIP in DC and CDC in Atlanta on the back of some of my early work on Spanish Flu. Finally, the 'Irish' 'fungus' came in for some serious analysis and as I predicted it turned out not to be a fungus at all. It's an oomycote, a type of heterokont. All previous work in this area is going to have to be updated and as more scientific data becomes available Phytophthora is likely to be completely re-assessed.
(B4) There was no breach of the Official Secrets Act. Any intelligence agency is at liberty to bring in at outside consultant - by the very nature of the work the more deniable the better, so the less paperwork the better; even less is there a breach if the outside work is analysis which is then fed back to the agency; I'm an intelligence academic for heaven's sake; as it happens we would not have published the Assessment without consent from the JIC, if only as a courtesy, but then we didn't publish it - the Daily Mirror did, and they sure as h..l did not get it from us; if the agency is penetrated and the asset is high-level, ie in a position to block in-house analysis, it almost has to be done out of house - if I had previously warned the agency that X reported to the DVD, my warning was not acted upon, and X was found to be blocking work on a DVD black op I would be an obvious person to ask wouldn't I?
(B5) The OSA only applies to British secrets in any event - if I am briefed by a friendly power that's OSA compliant;
(B6) Cyprus was officially and offensively (to the officer's memory and his family) classified as suicide, like Dr. Kelly. The fallen officer was Lt. Colonel Thomas Mooney, US Defense Attache to the Republic of Cyprus. He was a courageous and highly intelligent man who went in harm's way, and paid the price. He fell in the line of duty, trying to save the life of a child, and hundreds of other children besides, and eliminate a major threat to his country's national security. At least one of the Type XXIs was operating near Cyprus, on heroin runs out of Turkey and Syria into the East Coast; it is believed to have surfaced for instructions from the large DVD station in Northern Cyprus; his throat was cut, confidence is high that his killers were ex-EOKA, EOKA being a DVD-sponsored terrorist organisation; an award of a decoration to Lt-Col Mooney would be appropriate in my view, and I will be pursuing this when I next meet senior US Army officers, however it is sensitive, as it may affect Cyprus-US relations and Cyprus is an important intelligence-gathering centre.
(B7) Please remember the version of the report the Mirror published (there was not even the courtesy of consultation, probably because they knew I had direct-dial numbers for the D-Notice committee) was electronic, by definition, and originally no electronic copy of the report was submitted (as I recall the First Lady's copy went over by e-mail, when Dr. Gerry McCann went to the White House, I think he was due to meet her that afternoon, but we were well out of the Rescue Window by then, and the first copies had already started to be circulated electronically); as published it was a real mess, and I'm not surprised 'Vexiana' had trouble following it; no report I have drafted would ever leave my office in that state, and no report I have drafted for the JIC would be published without the JIC's express consent; never mind that the JIC did not ring up and say 'we'd like a report please.'
(B8) If a retired intelligence chief asks you to do a report for the JIC so s/he can pass it along you are doing the report for the JIC, whatever it might say on the label, you drop everything until it's finished and you most certainly don't drop a copy round to the Daily Mirror - who by the way turned up on my doorstep about 6 am two days later and asked if the rumours (that Number 10 had an intelligence assessment prepared by myself confimring Madeleine McCann had been kidnapped by a paedophile ring) were true; the reporter was sent away, politely, empty-handed, although since he'd driven some distance and had been dragged out of bed by his editor at some unearthly hour of the morning I am sure I offered the poor man a cup of tea. He did not see the report, and I quickly sanitised my living room, but it was clear he was taking in the details - the prints on the walls signed by a Marshal of the Royal Air Force and a VC, part of my home library, stacked from floor to ceiling with reference works on defence and intelligence matters, charts and large-scale maps hastily turned over or thrust into a corner, satellite piccies turned upside down and all the usual detitrus of a rush job for the JIC. He went away empty-handed but not empty-headed - he knew something was happening, that Number 10 almost certainly did have a report and if the Mirror got hold of a copy and published it they'd be toast. The Mirror seemed desperately anxious to get hold of a copy and as we now know they eventually did - thankfully, as I have said, it took them months and they didn't get anyone killed.
(B9) In fairness had the Cabinet Minister in question leaked the report to the Mirror within the Rescue Window I doubt a D-Notice would have been necessary - I cannot believe they would have been opposed to a rescue, nor were they out to get Madeleine killed, and they must have known their paper would have ceased publication if they had gotten the poor little girl killed for the sake of a story. There is no mystery as to how the Mirror had my home address - they've consulted me from time to time over stories with an intelligence angle.
(C1) Puzzled by the lengthy discussion over payment; the work wasn't done for monetary gain but to save the life of a child; are people seriously suggesting we should have negotiated payment, using international phone lines, as the invoice would have been in US dollars, when we did not know how long we had before the poor child was moved, frustrating a rescue? Everyone knew the best chance of rescuing her was whilst she was on a surface vessel; covert approaches on land are much more difficult, usually, than a covert approach at sea at night by an SSN (ie nuclear submarine, apologies for the jargon), zodiacs (rigid inflatables) are quite stealthy and the special ops one usually use electric motors;
(C2) The Intelligence Assessment was requested, indeed it was not my idea, I thought it would slow things up when time was at a premium; the idea was that it would take the place of a formal assessment by the assessments staff at a time when JIC had not yet been tasked; some members of the JIC clearly thought JIC should take the lead, and the intelligence available to the JIC staff was clearly incomplete - there was a logjam, holding up eg the critical intercepts of the e-mails from PDL to Brussels, one with the attachments of digital photos of little girls (we thought these were taken on a then-new version of the Blackberry, I recall a scathing remark from someone who was thinking of the the previous year's Blackberry) including Madeleine;
(C3) The Assessment was officially unofficial, but unofficially official. Had the JIC been convened I think the plan was to circulate the Assessment (I've met serving or former directors of every UK intelligence agency, any member of the committee who did not know me, or of me, could quickly have briefed himself in) together with an appraisal by the assessments staff of its strengths and weaknesses; the strength of JIC is its ability to get all our agencies around the same table (this can also be a weakness!);
(C4) MI5 were bound to have doubts about submarines, it's just not their thing, although their eyebrows were apparently raised by the distribution list; DIS could quickly have brought the JIC up to speed on the SOSUS tracks of unusual submarine activity, ie there were subs out there not accounted for, and the US ramp-up of SOSUS; GCHQ could have handled the intercepts and the overheads (satellite imagery), both 5 & 6 could have passed on intel from AIVD on the Dutch end, and the Belgians, CDS could have indicated that contingency plans were in place for a rescue, which I believe involved getting an SBS team out to a Los Angeles Class SSN which chanced to be in area, using a Herc to get them down to Gib (the Gib boys were already in the loop as the surface vessel of interest had previously docked there, ie intelligence officers down there had been involved in the search and had done good work, we had coverage from the Gibraltar Government if needed, as the operation was swung over to the port authorities, the government there is first-rate, and gutsy, not one to back off if a bunch of bad guys are holding a little British girl hostage), the Moroccans were in the loop and keen to help if they got an official request, ie I think it would all have come together nicely at JIC and a board and search of the vessel of interest would have been authorised; once the op was under way the McCanns could have been flown down to Gib from Faro in an RAF aircraft, they would have been treated wonderfully well by the good people of Gibraltar, Madeleine would probably have disappeared from sight under a pile of cuddly toys;
(C5) JIC was not convened however, and the opportunity for a rescue was allowed to slip by. It seemed to me that everyone in the UK wanted to know where Madeleine was, but that was the very last thing Whitehall wanted to know if it meant a colossal row with Germany and Brussels; even at the time the most cynical mandarin must have had doubts, and thought that postponing the inevitable clash would make it much worse when it happened, particularly if Madeleine died at the hands of her captors.
(D2) I have never said I viewed the CCTV footage; to my knowledge no-one in the UK has, British and French Intelligence have however been in contact about it;
(D3) Why the contstant refrain from a minority of posters that I have been withholding intelligence from the police? I thought I had made it quite clear that I had pressed for the Montpelier CCTV footage to be released to Leicestershire Police, the learned judge and the McCanns; that remains my position;
(D4) E-mail intercepts in the UK are mostly done at the switching centre at RAF Minwith Hill, an excellent facility run in conjunction with GCHQ and NSA. The e-mails from PDL to Brussels were intercepted to my knowledge at Minwith, quite properly, as the Assessment suggests - please bear in mind that Assessment was copied to NSA HQ at Fort George G Meade Maryland 20755, an impressive facility, which I have had the pleasure of visiting (they are the good guys after all, and do wonderful work) and was intended to be distrubuted to the JIC, on which the Director of GCHQ is represented; ie the JIC would have had every opportunity of verifying what was being suggested; it was never intended that the Assessment be acted upon without preliminary, official verification by the intelligence agencies represented on JIC;
(D5) Whilst it is flattering to be thought of as a kind of super-hero, able to rescue little girls at will from armed abductors in a foreign country without the consent of her parents, the police, my own government and that of the country where she was being held, without knowing where precisely she was being held, I am not; the best chance of rescue as we thought at the time was whilst she was still on the surface vessel of interest; such a rescue would have required the deployment of (1) ISAR assets to verify the intelligence and ideally provide real-time lowlight TV downlink (the Moroccans have such a capability, on their upgraded UAVs, and we understood they were monitoring the vessel 24/7)(if a low-altitude recon run was required we had the offer of a civilian aircraft with advanced sea-search radar, normally contracted to the military, to do a fly-by without arousing suspicion) (2) an SSN, ie nuclear submarine, to permit a covert approach to the target at night (3) a special ops boarding party, preferably SEALS or SBS - our operational planning envisaged an SBS team airlifted from the UK with a SEALS back-up team (4) medics and (5) a specially trained child psychologist to provide appropriate care for Madeleine, fully versed in the Stockholm Syndrome, not least as the kidnap party on the vessel was unlikely to survive intact, dependig of coure on the degree of resistance offered;
(D6) the Assessment was drafted by myself but submitted on behalf of G, the group on whose Advisory Board I sat, as it states; a number of intelligence agencies and officers, including retired officers, and other specialists had provided valuable input and of course I had already met with the police, including Special Branch, and Warners; at no time was I acting on my own, nor without the knowledge of the police or the family;
(D7) it was perfectly clear the McCanns were told the DVD does not exist, which so far as Leicestershire Police were concerned was probably their genuine opinion; it is the world's highest-powered intelligence agency with tentacles right arcross the Western World but there was no reason for it to go after or penetrate a provincial British police force, nor is Leicestershire a hot-bed of international intrigue; it is not only covert it is able to suppress media discussion about it, applying leverage politically, through banks providing lines of credit to newspapers, shareholders or occasionally by direct action, eg assassinating journalists; the complete lack of media discussion about the leaked Assessment illustrates my point - it was only leaked online; so far as I know the print DM has never reported the story;
(D8) I was not the Belgian source for the Yard - that report was independent verification of a key conclusion in the Assessment that Madeleine had been abducted by a paedophile ring; no doubt the Belgian Government was unhappy, but then it would be wouldn't it? There are at least two DVD-backed rings operating in Brussels - one, this one, supplies kidnapped children to officials in the European Commission, the other to the Belgian Government; NATO are probably also affected, but it is unclear to what extent; I have no reason to doubt the intelligence supplied from Belgium was correct; not only did I have nothing to do with it the first I was aware of it was when the e-mails were released publicly; no one on Operation Task summond the courtesy of saying the Met had received independent confirmation of a key plank of our report;
(D9) As the Assessment suggests the DVD changed plan once the hue and cry went up - it must have been obvious to 'blind Freddie' that they had chosen the wrong family and child, that a media fire-storm was about to brew and that the original, evil, plan was now starting to look insane; the McCanns wanted their child back and for once the parents were not going to stay quiet; good for them; remember the DVD normally prefers poor Latino children, typically from the barrios of Sao Paolo, for whom there is no one to speak, although if my last contact with the Brazilian Armed Forces is anything to go by the Brazilian Navy and Air Force are no longer going to sit quietly by whilst Brazilian children are spirited out of the country; the DVD have assets down there and it looks like some one has had a go at the FS Foch's (renamed by the Brazilians - this is the sister of the Clemenceau (the attack carrier, not the battleship)) turbines; she has dramatically upgraded Brazil's ASW capability and presents a real threat to the covert sub movements out of the Plate Estuary; there is a full-scale Intelligence War going on out there and the Brazilians are keen to join in; we had wonderful co-operation over Air France 447; there was no question of Madeleine being supplied for abuse after the first 24 hours;
(D10) Please remember that with a DVD ring the abusers and the kidnap team are not the same people - very likely any paedophile who happened to be involved in the kidnap would be taken out by their own side if they harmed a child, but it hardly likely a bunch of intelligence professionals (they are pros, as were most of the Gestapo or SD, which were folded into the DVD in 45, Mueller of the Gestapo's death was faked, he was a key player in the DVD in the early years, as was Bormann, who was sentenced to death in absentia at Nuremberg - note these guys are NOT Nazis, Bormann reported to Canaris not Himmler) would choose a paedophile to kidnap children for abuse by abother paedophile;
(D11) I have tried throughout to keep the McCanns informed and offered to meet them; I am concerned about the way in which news is broken to them, and also the manner in which they have been attacked, including on this forum; they must find allegations of concealing their own child's body (where might one ask?) deeply hurtful; I make no apology for having sympathy for them - indeed I have deep sympathy for them - nor for expressing it on this forum. I asked their MP to summarise the Assessment having received it on Privy Council terms; the McCanns may well visit this site, although there is no reason to suppose they have; it is another reason, apart from dictates of common humanity, for moderating criticism of them. Making my e-mail public was not my idea and I would have taken steps to prevent it had I been told - there was not the slightest possibility of the McCanns reading it until it was placed on the Net;
(D12) The best comfort I can offer them is that any mistakes they may have made with the childcare arrangements that night did not matter and may have saved life, given the rigidity of the DVD's command structure and the operational contraints inherent in any covert intelligence agency, which prevent things like calling HQ on a cell-phone; the decision to kidnap Madeleine was taken in Brussels or Dachau, not PDL; once it was taken the ring members in PDL almost certainly did not have discretion to switch to an easier kidnap victim -pushing command authority downwards is not a German thing, one reason they managed to lose two world wars; there is no evidence that their child was abused, so far to the contrary the intended abuser almost certainly has come under sustained intelligence surveillance, as indeed has the European Commission generally; the intelligence we are getting from Paris about the CCTV tape is that she appears well phsyically and was not in any obvious distress, although she must have missed her family dreadfully and if she was murdered, as the intelligence strongly indicates and I firmly believe (we've been this - I don't want to be right about this, i often hate being right) then it was almost certainly by lethal injection whilst she was asleep, ie there is no reason to suppose she suffered at the end; finally the DVD are ruthless at disposing of their own people to cover their tracks, and it is highly unlikely that the ring members who murdered her are still alive.
(D13) As I always tell my intelligence students you have to call it as you see it, and you should never back off a conclusion because you don't like it or think some one else won't. I wish I could offer more comfort to this poor family, but I can't. I wish to God the urgent action recommendations in the Assessment had been carried out but they were not and I wish there not been a turf war between Leicester and London but there was. I wish we could get the DVD out of Whitehall and shut down GO2 but we've not succeeded, yet, and I wish adults, especially politicians and officials, would stick to sleeping with other adults, but they won't.
(E1) Just a few quick comments, as it's 0300! So busy today I was unable to take up my invite to the Prime Minister's address at IISS and had to catch it on Sky; I thought he spoke a great deal of sense on Afghanistan -he at least grasped that terrorism is a state-sponsored phenomenon, something Tony Blair was never able to do;
(E2) Clearly more than one person was involved in the abduction, so there must have been a conspiracy - so why use phrases like 'conspiracy madness'? They lack intellectual rigour and with respect suggest a mindset that if anything bad happens it must have happened by chance, presumably on the theory that no criminal can ever work to a plan; they also reflect a fundamental lack of understanding about the nature of organised crime, which is also state sponsored, reminiscent of Tony Blair's confusion about terrorism; on this theory assassinations presumably just happen and can never be the work of one man - even today millions of people still labour under the delusion that Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated President Kennedy, a theory which is not only incompatible with the facts but demeans a great man; 77 years after the Abwehr kidnapped the Lindberghs' baby many people still have not grasped that the kidnap was the work of a hostile intelligence agency - it was a crime therefore it cannot have been organised and because it was a crime no state could have been involved because states never commit crime, right?
(E3) I have not met Jane Tanner although I have always made it clear that I was willing to speak to any eye-witness - in my experience it is important to see and hear an eye-witness for yourself; the widespread belief in spontaneous organised crime and terrorism, or global warming, illustrate how easy it is for human beings to be deluded, or to delude themselves; eye-witnesses can be utterly convinced about something they never saw, or about the details of what they did see; I once appeared in a case where two eyewitnesses were absolutely convinced two cars had been in a collision, which they saw from only feet away, yet there had been no impact at all, not even a gentle bump - one vehicle had pre-incident damage, the other not even a scuff mark. The Tanner account does not come across as particularly convincing with respect, particularly as she misses the woman and the lookout - the actual kidnap involved three people; yet she may be convinced, utterly, that she saw what she saw, just as she may have convinced herslef that the world is warming up and we're to blame; I've talked to government ministers who are completely deluded about global warming, yet be can quite rational about other subjects. Even politicians can have lucid intervals.
(E4) The discussion here and elsewhere about the kidnap of Madeleine McCann has I suggest revealed five very basic misunderstandings about satellites, some of which were shared by Leicestershire Police, who had to be told they had a satellite ground receiving station a few miles from their HQ (we discussed the possibility of a hook-up with a military satellite (that had never been done before, but it's feasible and in any event the feed could have been bounced off a commercial bird), but my recollection of the conversation is that I may as well have suggested sending the Chief Constable into orbit; literally as well as metaphorically (I think I had already done that):
(i) satellites can only scan over part of their track - I call this the Ice Station Zebra complex; in the old days, when Ernest Borgnine and Rock Hudson were doing their bit (great movie) satellite cameras used film, and had to eject it in cassettes, which needed to be recovered physically - the basis of the plot of course; milsatcams are digital and have been for decades, way ahead of commercial technology, and the cameras run continously;
(ii) satellites only cover interesting bits of the world - no, they can also cover Portugal; a satellite covering say China will pass over all sorts of places during the rest of its orbit, unless it's geo-stationary of course.
(iii) satellites can only see a small part of the earth's surface at any one time - depends on the sensor package of course, but military birds have wide-angle electro-optical sensors, and you can get obliques of targets many miles to the side of the satellite path;
(iv) satellites are a long way up and therefore can only 'see' very large objects, like Australia, or Winnebagos - resolution on the latest generation of mil-sats is measured in millimetres, not metres and
(v) milsats cannot be used in a police investigation because there is a rigid law enforcement/miltary demarcation; that used to be the case, and Iraq, Iran (very much on the fringes) and Al Qaeda would never have been able to implement the DVD's plan for 9-11 had there not been that rigid demarcation, coupled with the semi-demented insistence in the Bush 41/Clinton administrations that terrorism was a law enforcement matter, like burglary, or parking in front of fire hydrants; in fact those barriers are breaking down and where the DVD are involved, as here, the crime has in any event beem sponsored by a hostile state; justifying military aid to the civil power.
(E5) I have no problem with Alex Jones - I don't agree with everything he says, perhaps not with half of what he says, but he speaks his mind, he's fearless and intelligent, and he comes from Texas. I would accept a further invitation to appear on his show. I seriously doubt he has ever been party to deliberate disinformation. He has an eclectic range of guests and topics but it's his show and he can have whoever he wants. The idea that I must somehow share the opinions or theories of other guests frankly is as silly as saying that I must have great musical talent because I've been a guest on Radio Two and so has Neil Diamond, or no musial talent all because so have the Bay City Rollers, apologies if any of you are Bay City Rollers fans;
(F1) Manners maketh the man or woman, and I don't propose to respond to some of the more ill-mannered posts; I am baffled by the belief that the police have accused Drs Kate and Gerry McMann of concealing the death of their child - no such accusation has been made by Leicester Police and in Portugal the allegation was not so much made directly as by improper leaks to newspapers; it is associated mostly with a discredited and comparatively junior local police official, who got no backing from Lisbon and is no longer in post; the McCanns have neither committed nor been charged with any crime;
(F2) It is important with respect not to take too much notice of the police view, given their limited access to the evidence in the UK - Leicestershire Police eg still have not seen the Montpelier CCTV footage - and the limited competence, sadly, of the Portuguese police; the only serious investigations into the kidnap have been conducted within the intelligence community, in the UK, Russia and the US; given the international ramifications of the state-sponsored kidnap and murder of a British toddler on their territory there was also a quite serious Portuguese intelligence investigation, run in parallel with the limited local police inquiry (limited in the sense that they did not close the frontier, failed to follow up leads, were slow on the uptake in the first, vital 24 hours, lacked strategic grasp and were subject to constant political interfrence from Lisbon); the Portuguese military were bound to be concerned about the possibility of an escalation of the dispute and their quite good military intelligence service not only ran their own investigation but opened up a channel to us, as detailed in the Intelligence Assessment;
(F3) Lisbon knows there will be a strategic price to pay for the kidnap and probable murder of Madeleine McCann; defeat of the Lisbon Treaty will most likely be the first strategic outcome - I hear the Czechs have been offered valuable strategic gains in exchange for their splendid efforts in blocking the treaty; the Czechs, who have the most intelligent leaderhsip in Europe, have rightly insisted as a quid pro quo on de-railing the daft Copenhagen climate agreement and the UK has agreed; whilst officially the UK remains committed to a deal the phased release of real climate data has begun, including a solar-related temperature spike, aided of course by the intelligence community (remember much of the data is satellite-sourced); public opinion is slowly being prepared for a change of strategy after the probable collapse of Copenhagen, the UK has resumed the construction of coal-fired generating capacity and rightly so, since human emissions are less than 3.3% of total CO2 emissions - not all government ministers are as stupid as they sound; in the long-run Anglo-European relations have been badly affected -even Peter Mandelson has come to realise the EU is as doomed as the Third Reich; the Portuguese Republic has signed its death warrant; it will linger on for a few years, but the Republic's credibility has been shattered both internally and externally by the episode; the obvious way forward is the restoration of Portugal's legitimate rulers, the Braganza family, which would permit resumption of the Anglo-Portuguese alliance, left in tatters by the German coup before World War One, preceded of course by the German-staged assassination (directed by Max Warburg, of the Imperial German Secret Service) of the King of Portugal;
(G1) In response to Fishie, Amaral was indeed the junior police official I had in mind; of course he was not junior in Portimao, but the Portuguese police do not put their best officials in Portimao;
(G2) Jean-Luc's post was quite interesting, and I await his further comments; he will I suspect find both Lisbon and Copenhagen in jeopardy, and that the abduction and probable murder of Madeleine McCann have played a key role behind the scenes in altering British attitudes to Lisbon; I rather suspect he is from Europe, where the kidnap is coming under increasing scrutiny as its strategic consequences become clearer;
(G3) The posting of the Intelligence Assessment was nothing to do with me - that came from a member of the Cabinet; what appeared on the Daily Mirror's website was an altered version of the report submitted under conditions of great secrecy to the JIC, via a former member; I do not who Emma 2 is, I have never met her nor anyone claiming to be her and she did not get the report from me; so far as I know the report was passed from the Cabinet Minister concerned to a former government spin doctor who in turn passed it to the Daily Mirror; the Cabinet Minister in question met with German intelligence assets at a meeting in Turkey, although he may not have known the people with whom he was talking reported to German Intelligence (DVD) - unbeknowns to him a friend of mine, a former official in the Reagan Administration, chanced to be at the same meeting; where the suggestion to modify and leak the report came from I have no way of knowing at this time;
(G4) Sadly I do not believe Madeleine is still alive, ie I attach credence to the intelligence reports that she was murdered in December 2008 in the Kingdom of Belgium; whilst I believed she was still alive I refrained from making any public comment about the case in the hope she might still be released from captivity or rescued; I did not contribute to the lively discussion on the Daily Mirror's website for that reason; there is very sadly absolutely no reason at all to believe the poor girl is still alive;
(G5) It would seem her parents still believe she is alive, and all credit to them for not giving up hope; there is not the slightest basis for accusing them of bad faith in relation to the raising of funds and they are entitled to do so; short of war with Germany absolute proof, eg in the form of confirmation that the orders from Dachau to murder her were carried out, is unlikely to be forthcoming - if and when we go to war (I am not saying war is imminent, indeed my strategic assessment is that the next war with Germany will not commence until spring 2012 at the earliest - the Russian Army has still not completed its strategic re-alignment and movement of forces west of the Urals (travel on the Trans-Siberian Railway and you will see what I'm getting at), British rearmament is unlikely to commence before next summer, the Poles are nowhere near completing their build-up of munitions and oil reserves, the Polish, Russian and British general staffs have barely begun their war planning and we, the Russians and Poles are still light on critical equipment such as bridging kit, battlefield UAVs, modern AAMs and smart anti-tank weapons) we will get the intelligence yield and this case will be part of it;
(G6) Tony is still obsessing with respect on the sniffer dogs - I do not doubt that the dogs picked up a scent, the questions are (1) what scent (ie blood or cadaver) (2) whose (it was not specific to any individual) and (3) who laid it (clealy not Amaral, since he was intended to act on it and he would be far more convincing if he were out of the loop)? Laying a scent is the easiest thing in the world for an intelligence officer; the trick is telling the difference between a false trail and a real one - the smarter amongst you have clearly picked up that I am not laying a false trail; given the time which passed before the dogs were brought in I am surprised, frankly, at the enormous weight Tony and some others attach to their sniffing; ie I am still very sniffy about the sniffer dog evidence, although I have no doubt they were good dogs and I hope they were each given a bone;
(G7) I have never suggested that Madeleine was kidnapped by intelligence officers - I would have expected professional intelligence officers to have backed out of this one as soon they realised the toddler was British; one of the problems for covert agencies such a the DVD is that they have to stay so deep they end up employing complete rubbish; what's more they mostly employ non-Germans for false-flag reasons; the suggestion is that there is at least one other paedophile ring operating in Brussels in addition to the one exposed a few years ago; that this ring is backed by the DVD and targets senior EU officials, and that the intent was to supply poor little Madeleine to one of those officials for abuse, after which she would have to be murdered to protect that official's identity, probably in the course of a snuff movie, one way the rings recoup their costs; you would have to be pretty naive to think the DVD kidnapped Madeleine because they had a spare space at their day-care centre in Dachau;
(G8) You would also have to be fairly naive not to think that paedophiles abuse girls as young as 4 - sadly there are even paedophiles who are interested only in infant babies; you and I might agree such things are disgusting and indeed they are - wholly beyond the pale of civilised behaviour, like concentration camps; the problem is that just as the concentration camps were real so are the DVD's paedophile rings; I wish they weren't but we have to live in the world as we find it, not as we wish it to be; MI6 covered up Dachau and the other camps, but that did not lessen the horror;
(G9) It is the very horror of what was intended would happen to Madeleine which makes her kidnap and probable murder so politically explosive - as with Auschwitz and Belsen MI6 and others, officially, are covering up the horror, for fear of a massive anti-German reaction; when the British public learns the truth they will want dead Germans and lots of them, and dead EU officials too, unless I am very much mistaken; the Obama Administration is committed to a cover-up on this, apparently, because it does not want to see an Anglo-German war, there is also panic in Washington because the intelligence yield would expose some US politicians and senior military figures as German assets - even today there is still sensitivity in Washington over the fact that George Marshall and Ernest King worked for Admiral Canaris in World War Two and after (only today I had an approach from the German Marshall Fund to attend one of their events - should be interesting!).
(G10) It is unsurprising, given the stakes and the horror of it all, that some should retreat from reality and take refuge in the comforting theory, however improbable, that the parents killed their own child unintentionally and somehow managed to bury her close to their holiday apartment without anyone noticing; even today there are people who think the Admiralty caused World War One by ordering capital ships, or that Poland invaded Germany or that the Holocaust either did not happen or did not see six million Jews murdered;
(G11) I may not have answered the beach point - Madeleine and her family did go to the beach and it was west of PDL, near to Sagres; the camera used seems to have been a Blackberry, ie it would not have been obvious that it was being used, indeed it would have looked as though some one was sending an e-mail, which they later did, with Madeleine's photo as an attachment;
(G12) I thought I had deat with the key point - the ring had some one on the inside at the Warner complex, possibly an ex-employee, and seem to have had a dupicate key; it was an ordinary commercial lock the sort intelligence officers routinely get around and, finally
(G13) Somebody wants Enigma to get mentioned - great encoding machines, but breakable, obviously. I've tried one, a Kriegsmarine 4-rotor - they are very user friendly.
(H1) The idea of numbering is to help people cross-reference;
(H2) I repeat - the leak of the Intelligence Assessment to the Daily Mirror whilst Madeleine was still alive horrified me, however what's done is done - the Assessment is now out in the public domain; in any event we only hoped to stop it being leaked for 7 days and it sleak did not prejudice the only realistic rescue opportunity; of course now it is in the public domain and Madelene, sadly, is no longer with us, I am free to respond to requests such as yours' to comment on it;
(J1) There are two basic confusions in the mind of AA if I may say so: the Assessment is no longer secret because it was leaked by the Cabinet Minister to whom it was handed; once placed in the public domain I had no choice in the matter, ie a document which was once secret was no longer secret; by the way the classification recommendation for the UK was not 'Top Secret', which is a US classification (UK equivalent is Most Secret') but Spoke Equivalent, which a GCHQ guy/gal would understand; since GCHQ held the most sensitive raw data (the COMINT , eg e-mail intercepts, and SATINT, eg the overheads, it made sense to use an old GCHQ internal classification;
(J2) Secondly I work mainly in the field of counter-intelligence, where the aim is exposing what the bad guys are up to; I am not a spy, I just teach spies, but only the good guys, and I help catch bad guy spies from time to time; I am not some sort of James Bond going around in a wig with a false moustache - if I am wearing a wig it will be because I am doing my day job and if I have a moustache it will be because I shaved in too much of a hurry; I drive a Bentley, not an Aston Martin, I may sleep with beautiful women but not a different one every night, I may have worn parachutes but I tend not to jump out of serviceable aeroplanes and I do not carry a Walther PPK - it's a nice little gun but lacks stopping power.
(J3) I agree the truth should be told, which is why I am telling it;
(J4) I am not under the same constraints as I was when Madeleine was alive, in the sense that there are no ongoing rescue operations, sadly
and no negotiations for her release; whilst I thought she was alive I refrained from any public comment whatsoever; now the truth can be told; there is no serious search for her; although her poor parents are doing their best and still believe she is alive;
(J5) Chancellor Merkel is well aware that the DVD have been writing cheques Germany may have to cash; she is only too aware of the possibility of war - the EU by the way was part of Canaris's soft-power strategy after the German defeat in 45, it was only designed to avoid the need for war, not war itself - and Germany is discreetly ramping up her military capability; Spring 2012 is a likely flashpoint because no one wants the Games to be spoilt, the DVD are thought to be planning a spectacular to disrupt the Opening Ceremony - basically we cannot have the Games unless the DVD are shut down firs;, UK and Russia will not be ready until end 2011 at the earliest and the Russians in particular need firm ground for their tanks - long-range forecasting suggests a severe winter in 2011/12; there is particular concern about ground conditions on the North German Plain; we don't want a Russian armoured thrust getting bogged down, do we? Forget the smiles in public - we had those in 1936.
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Does my IP look big in this?
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Mind boggling innit?
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