Friday, June 10

Natalee Holloway and The West Wing

Glad to learn this morning that the FBI is finally getting around to talking to Natalee Holloway's classmates! I hope they're including all of the chaperones, as well. There definitely is legal culpability there -- among them all, but especially among the chaperones.

The story I heard was that shortly before she disappeared, Natalee Holloway was in a bathroom near the hotel bar and she was sick. Her friends were tending to her. Then, the next thing reported is that she was seen leaving the bar with three young men -- a Dutch student and two Arubans. After that, no Natalee. In spite of the fact that the three young men say they returned her to the hotel, no security camera recorded her return.

Cut away now to a West Wing episode (which is where I gained my entire knowledge of the drug culture).
The President's daughter, Zoe, goes to a party on graduation night with her French boyfriend. He slips a drug called "ecstasy" into her drink. Feeling dizzy and sick, she excuses herself, goes to the bathroom and disappears. Her secret service agent is found shot between the eyes in the back alley.

Sounds a bit like what might have happened to Natalee.

At this point, with the little bit of information reported, we have enough to begin asking questions. If her friends knew Natalee was not feeling well, why did they not call a chaperone? For that matter, what were 18-year-olds doing in a bar WITHOUT chaperones nearby? If there were adults keeping an eye on the kids, why did an adult not take over the care of a sick Natalee while she was in the bathroom?

Back to Natalee's friends, though. Let's assume that the adults with the party were totally irresponsible and partying somewhere else, leaving the group of children (and just because you can vote at age 18 doesn't mean you're mature enough either to vote or to look after yourself) to entertain themselves in the bar. Why did her friends let her leave with three strangers, especially men? Why did no one report that to chaperones immediately? (Or did someone tell an adult who did not respond and now there's a coverup of some kind?)

If her condition was obvious enough to her friends that they initially tried to help her, why didn't they follow through? If these children were not warned of the danger of going alone with strangers -- which any 4-year-old should know -- what were they doing in a place that is known for drug trafficking and the slave trade? Were they not taught the dangers of drugs and alcohol?

For that matter, what were teachers thinking of, taking a class trip to a place like Aruba? Why weren't they in Washington DC or at the UN in NYC or at some other equally educational place. It's a SCHOOL trip, people. You know, education? Or is that too much to ask of modern educators, who have little education themselves?

So Natalee, drugged and sick, goes off, alone, with these three young men. They are the last to see her alive. They say they took her back to the hotel and point an accusing finger at two hotel workers.

What's their relationship with those two hotel workers? How did they even know about them? Why pick those two? One has an alibi -- and he should be the one most suspect between the two. Why? Because the guilty person is the one most likely to have set up an alibi to protect himself.

The blame here, obviously, lies with the chaperones. They probably will, and definitely should be held legally responsible for Natalee's disappearance. But some of the blame lies with her friends, as well. Friends don't let friends go away with strangers.

What probably happened was that Natalee was so sick that the three boys simply abandoned her. Or she died of a drug overdose and they threw her into a bay, thinking that if they tried to take her to a hospital or for help somewhere, they would be blamed.

We can only pray that Natalee's story will turn out as happily as Zoe's on The West Wing. But realistically, we doubt it. We just hope those chaperones and those students are held legally responsible.

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