News that individuals have over the years, used what they consider as journalistic licence to hack into people's phones has shocked plenty, however what makes it all the more appalling are the people they've abused... Milly Dowler, Jean Charles de Menezes, dead service personnel, the victims of the London bombings. Now the scandal has reached across the pond - victims of the 9/11 bombings may also have been hacked.
When these individuals gaze into the looking glass, what do they see? Bad enough having the moral bankruptcy to do it once, but there are over 10,000 names, mobile and landline numbers paramount in this investigation. What kind of person hacks into the phone of a missing child, deletes her messages and then goes back for more?
Wrong, legally and morally.
But let's go further down that rabbit hole, because there festers the real crime...an investigation that was originally deemed not relevant. In the smoke and mirrors of hacks, resignations and gossip there lies a force who ignored 17 black bags of evidence and failed many innocent people.
In true Wonderland fashion, it's been revealed that the paths of the police, prime minister, politicians and royal staff regularly crossed during private dinners, drinkies and jollies with members of News International. Like a game of musical chairs, the Assistant Commissioner in charge of the initial hacking inquiry, retired and was employed by News International as a columnist. The close friend of the current Assistant Commissioner and ex News International executive was hired by the Commissioner. You really couldn't make it up.
Down the rabbit hole and into a huge warren.
Behind the scenes, phones pinged, the hacking carried on, brown envelopes passed and the mountain of black bags got bigger and bigger.
A huge conflict of interest arose during the initial inquiry and despite the pain and suffering of the victims, the reasons why there was no investigation should be fully scrutinized. The hacking is one crime, the 'pretty crap decision' not to investigate is another one and cannot be set aside.
After he left News International, Neil Wallis was hired as an adviser by current Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson. Sir Paul also admitted to having many dinners with News International staff. At the direction of the prime minister, he was passed the investigative review of the missing Madeleine McCann case. A review which is costing the tax payer £3.5 million and which will not be made public when concluded. Understandable whilst the case is still open, but its secrecy should not be of benefit to the wrong people.
A missing child, a lot of money and the Portuguese police force is at stake. Not to mention the current freedom of the guilty perpetrator/s, whoever they may be...
Given the suspicious nature of the Madeleine case and the scrutiny already gathered, including rumours of preferential help given to certain individuals involved, will this review be conducted properly? The whole case already seems to be compromised... is it really appropriate that the man in charge still appears to have one foot in the rabbit hole with much more to answer?