I just got this email. I have no way of telling if it is authentic:

February 18, 2012

By e-mail to: greg@gregladen.com
By Federal Express to:

Mr. Greg T. Laden
Greg Laden’s Blog
44788 265th Lane
Aitkin, MN 56431-4807

Re: Stolen and Faked Heartland Documents

http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2012/02/heartlandgate_anti-science_ins.php

Dear Mr. Laden:

On or about February 14, 2012, your web site posted a document entitled “Confidential Memo: 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy” (the “Fake Memo”), which is fabricated and false.

On or about the same date, your web site posted certain other documents purporting to be those of The Heartland Institute (“Heartland”). Heartland has not authenticated these documents (the “Alleged Heartland Documents”).

Your site thereafter has reported repeatedly on all of these documents.

Heartland almost immediately issued a statement disclosing the foregoing information, to which your web site has posted links.

It has come to our attention that all of these documents nevertheless remain on your site and you continue to report on their contents. Please be advised as follows:

1. The Fake Memo document is just that: fake. It was not written by anyone associated with Heartland. It does not express Heartland’s goals, plans, or tactics. It contains several obvious and gross misstatements of fact. Publication of this falsified document is improper and unlawful.

2. As to the Alleged Heartland Documents your web site posted, we are investigating how they came to be in your possession and whether they are authentic or have been altered or fabricated. Though third parties purport to have authenticated them, no one – other than Heartland – has the ability to do so. Several of the documents say on their face that they are confidential documents and all of them were taken from Heartland by improper and fraudulent means. Publication of any and all confidential or altered documents is improper and unlawful.

3. Furthermore, Heartland views the malicious and fraudulent manner in which the documents were obtained and/or thereafter disseminated, as well as the repeated blogs about them, as providing the basis for civil actions against those who obtained and/or disseminated them and blogged about them. Heartland fully intends to pursue all possible actionable civil remedies to the fullest extent of the law.

Therefore, we respectfully demand: (1) that you remove both the Fake Memo and the Alleged Heartland Documents from your web site; (2) that you remove from your web site all posts that refer or relate in any manner to the Fake Memo and the Alleged Heartland Documents; (3) that you remove from your web site any and all quotations from the Fake Memo and the Alleged Heartland Documents; (4) that you publish retractions on your web site of prior postings; and (5) that you remove all such documents from your server.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any further information.

Very truly yours,

Maureen Martin
General Counsel

Comments

  1. #1 DaveL
    February 19, 2012

    3. Furthermore, Heartland views the malicious and fraudulent manner in which the documents were obtained and/or thereafter disseminated,

    Fraudulently obtained? I thought he said they were fake, as in fabricated, produced, manufactured, etc.

  2. #2 Joshua Zelinsky
    February 19, 2012

    If they claim that some of the documents are real, I can see how they might have grounds to demand their removal. However, if they continue to claim that the Memo is completely fake, I fail to see how they would have any grounds to demand its removal, since it isn’t copyrighted by them. Maybe a libel claim? That seems weak.

  3. #3 Hengist McStone
    February 19, 2012

    “[Heartland] respectfully demand …that you remove from your web site all posts that refer or relate in any manner to the … Documents”

    Which would presumably include this post. I’m reminded of Mission Impossible – this tape will self destruct in five seconds.

  4. #4 Mike Haubrich
    February 19, 2012

    Yeah, I am also waiting for them to retract their statements about the University of East Anglia e-mails, about Michael Mann, blah blah blah.

    Greg, are you willfully using documents you have verified to be fake in order to smear the Heartland Institute? And how can they be both “confidential and internal” memos and still be fake.

    Stupid lawyers.

  5. #5 Erp
    February 19, 2012

    “By Federal Express”

    I would say fake.

  6. #6 Greg Laden
    February 19, 2012

    The email was actually sent from Jim Lakely, the communications director at Heartland: http://heartland.org/jim-lakely

    The lawyer who “signed” the “email” is ironically one of those right wing “law suits are evil and must be stopped” persons, as far as I can tell, who works for Heartland:

    http://heartland.org/maureen-martin

    I’ve checked with the other bloggers whom I know to have been writing about this stuff, and no one so far has said that they’ve gotten a similar “email” but of course it is Sunday morning so many of them maybe in church.

  7. #7 ItPutsTheLotionOnItsSkin
    February 19, 2012

    I once reposted the public information contained at the local county courthouse, showing a listing of all the cases against a local real estate company…

    This company then decided to send me a C&D(cease and desist) letter that was just about as insane as could be. They threatened me with civil penalties, to tie me up in court, and finally CRIMINAL charges. I wondered for about 2 seconds if they planned to send this threat to the source as well; The courthouse.

    Of course, I did what you are now doing, and posted the letter containing all these threats and nonsense online for all to see as well. Once word spread, a webpage that was getting ~10 hits per week, suddenly started getting 10,000 hits/week. And everyone in town who didn’t know about their court cases, did now. They went out of business within 6 months.

  8. #8 NewEnglandBob
    February 19, 2012

    The email must be fake. We can laugh it off, just as we laugh at the Heartland Institute and their evil, nefarious ways.

  9. #9 Dan- o
    February 19, 2012

    I see no reason to take this info down unless it was obtained illegally.
    My guess is that you will say no it as not. I may not agree with you but I also will not accept bullying unless they are correct.

  10. #10 MarkH
    February 19, 2012

    Greg, I am not a lawyer. But….

    Cease and desist letters are primarily for for intimidation. If they had legal grounds to come after you it would have been in the letter.

    You do not owe Heartland a duty of confidentiality. You don’t work for them do you? DO YOU?

    You did not leak the documents, and in the US, it’s the leaker that’s liable, not any media agent that then distributes the documents. See tobacco company leaks, Julian Assange being prosecuted for sex crimes rather than criminal leaks etc.

    Heartland could DMCA you, but then would have to authenticate the documents and claim copyright. They cannot have copyright over fraudulent documents.

    Defamation is pretty slim given this is a topic of public concern, and they would have to prove you maliciously lied. Knowledge and forethought and all that.

    I can not give you any legal advice. Personally, I’d say, screw the chumps.

  11. #11 F
    February 19, 2012

    Yet again we have people with an inability to distinguish documents from links to documents or websites.

  12. #12 Martin Vermeer
    February 19, 2012

    Hmm. If they really sue, there is this thing called “discovery”. Interesting

  13. #13 hibob
    February 19, 2012

    Ask Maureen Martin to individually identify each document as fabricated, altered, or genuine. In return, promise to edit the post accordingly:

    1. You will put up an asterix next to documents she has identified as fabricated, the footnote will explain that Heartland’s lawyer says these documents are fake.

    2. For genuine and altered documents, ask her to submit a DMCA violation notice for those specific documents. Once ScienceBlogs’s ISP has notified you of the DMCA notices, you will edit the post accordingly. Up to you if the edit includes a copy of the DMCA notice and links to other sources for the documents.

  14. #14 NJ
    February 19, 2012

    Did I call it here or what?

    Of course, this was like predicting that an infant was going to crap its diaper…

  15. #15 Les Johnson
    February 19, 2012

    Greg: I am not a lawyer, but a cease and desist letter from the lawyers, is usually followed by a temporary injunction from the courts, while a civil or criminal suit is being filed.

    The best advise is to have a lawyer look at it. Or the letter’s sender may not be the chump that is screwed.

  16. #16 Chimp
    February 19, 2012

    I think you should keep the material up. Once they sue you, should they win, you will have donated to the Heartland cause. I think the irony will be delicious.

  17. #17 Skip
    February 19, 2012

    It’s still up at the new York Times, with all the links.
    Their lawyers must see no problem with it.

  18. #18 anthrosciguy
    February 19, 2012

    As NewEnglandBob points out, how can you be expected to believe the email is genuine, if they’re saying that some of the other stuff was fake? Emails are pretty easy to fake, and address spoofing is, I understand, a trivially easy thing.

    Still, I’d send it on to Chilling Effects for a start.

  19. #19 Jack Savage
    February 19, 2012

    Ignore them, Greg.
    They are starting with you just because you caved so easily in that “Tallbloke” debacle.
    Show a bit of true grit this time!

  20. #20 Narad
    February 19, 2012

    Oh, do share this with Ken at Popehat.

  21. #21 Fred.
    February 19, 2012

    Let’s hope they sue your skanky greenie warmonger ass all the way to hell & back.

    Because you so richly deserve it.

  22. #22 Greg
    February 19, 2012

    I agree with several of the previous comments — 1) I don’t see why you should consider the email authentic; I doubt (but I’m not a lawyer) that a C&D letter via email is legally valid, for one, 2) there’s no way they have any control over a fake document, and 3) in the movie The Rainmaker, stolen documents were proven to be admissible in court — as long as they weren’t stolen by the lawyer presenting them; if that’s true (and being in a film, that means there’s a decent chance that it’s not), then they would have to prove that you stole them. Of course, they could bring you to court, forcing you to pay for a lawyer and wasting your time, to prove your innocence.

  23. #23 Lou Jost
    February 19, 2012

    It sounds real and not unexpected. It also sounds ridiculous— “confidential” only means, in this context, that they don’t want anyone else to see them. So what? That mere wish on their part surely doesn’t give them any legal rights over the distribution of the content. Also, if they had a real legal case, they would have gone after your host, ScienceBlogs.

    I do suspect that the line in the “Fake Memo” saying they wanted to “dissuade teachers from teaching science” is a mis-writing by the author (maybe the author meant “climate science”) or perhaps an edition by the person who distributed the document. It seems hard to believe that even internally and in secret, someone could be that cynical. Then again, a group financed by oil money and paying bloggers and columnists to spread lies is probably capable of anything.

  24. #24 Baa Humbug
    February 19, 2012

    Pop corn futures have gone through the roof thanks to your actions. I urge you to stand your ground so that the entertainment continues.

    A certain Clint Eastwood movie line comes to mind..”you got to ask yourself one question punk, do I feel lucky”

    Well, do you punk?

  25. #25 Phil
    February 19, 2012

    Greg, post those docs everywhere. I guess the Heartland people haven’t heard of the Streisand effect.

  26. #26 Narad
    February 19, 2012

    It sounds real and not unexpected.

    It’s at least consistent with the press release:

    The individuals who have commented so far on these documents did not wait for Heartland to confirm or deny the authenticity of the documents. We believe their actions constitute civil and possibly criminal offenses for which we plan to pursue charges and collect payment for damages, including damages to our reputation. We ask them in particular to immediately remove these documents and all statements about them from the blogs, Web sites, and publications, and to publish retractions.

    That’s right, they’re blustering that mere discussion of the material “constitute[s] civil and possibly criminal offenses.” How Über Heulsuse.

  27. #27 Otter
    February 19, 2012

    Now, Baa… you Know punks have more class than laden.

  28. #28 Lojac
    February 19, 2012

    do us all a favour Greg…put a bullet in your skull.
    nuff said

  29. #29 joe
    February 19, 2012

    Now, Otter… you Know junkies have more class than laden.

  30. #30 Chas
    February 19, 2012

    According to the Bishop Hill blog the email is indeed from the Heartland Institute and he mentions you, Greg Laden, and the Desmog blog as topping the list.
    Imo, you have to decide whether it’s more important to cover your butt or score a few more points with your buddies on this Climate blog. Me? I would cover my butt.
    Chas.

  31. #31 Snapple
    February 19, 2012

    I wonder why Joe Bast doesn’t just post a screen catch of the Heartland email that was sent to the unknown hoaxter by the duped staffer. This evidence would show what documents were attached and the email of the person they were sent to. If the duped staffer didn’t send the allegedly fabricated “Climate Strategy” document, the screen catch of the email would show this. The screen catch would also have the email address of the alleged hoaxter the documents were sent to. How strange that Joe Bast doesn’t want to plaster the evidence of both his own innocence and this hoaxter’s trick on the Internet.

  32. #32 Kozlowski
    February 19, 2012

    Information wants to be free. I support Wikileaks, FOIA of ClimateGate fame, AND I support whomever got these documents. Secrets rarely help civil society. What is the problem with this info being out there? Most of it is already very public because they are a non-profit and must by law disclose such information.

    That said, here is some clarification that might not have made it through all the chatter.

    Heartland is saying that the file 2012 Climate Strategy is fake. Just one document out of several.

    The others are presumably real. They are giving themelves some wiggle room by saying they have not yet verified if the text had been altered in the documents. Seriously, how long could that possibly take? An hour? Two?

    They want you to take down the real documents which they claim were obtained through a crime (identify theft.)

    You risk being sued if you don’t take them down. If you get sued, what is the worst that can happen? They make you take them down later? The cat is out of the bag. Anyone who wanted to see the documents has seen them.

    I’m not a lawyer but my guess is that the fraudulent document has not been copyrighted :) so anyone can put it up. You do not have to take “2012 Climate Strategy” down, BUT, you ought to immediately identify it as parody, or at least as fraudulent. Parody is protected speech. However if you represent a fake document as being real, after you have been told it is a fake, then you are up for libel, which can get real serious real fast.

    It is being presumed, but in no way proven, that the person who obtained the internal Heartland documents needed to sex them up and give them a spin. Hence the 2012 Climate Strategy file. It uses all the keywords to make Heartland look as bad as possible. Why was it done? My guess is that there was so little actually in the real documents that they needed a bit more to gain media traction.

    Koch did donate to Heartland, but only 25K and only for healthcare research! Zero for climate. The 200K Heartland was hoping for has not come through yet and it too was for healthcare research. Zip for climate studies.

    OTOH, I find it very rich that Heartland, the Libertarians, want to keep secrets, want to go after the perps using the very laws they decry, and in general are acting like those they say they oppose.

    Enjoy your BLOG Greg. The public has a right to know. I might not agree with you on some issues, but I will always support *everyones* right to free speech. And this is what it is all about.

    The only person in danger is whomever did the ID fraud. Was it someone at DeSmog? Was it a double agent Karl Rove move by Heartland? Stay tuned :)

  33. #33 joe
    February 19, 2012

    “”How strange that Joe Bast doesn’t want to plaster the evidence of both his own innocence and this hoaxter’s trick on the Internet.””

    Joe’s going to post it in Court.

  34. #34 Les Johnson
    February 19, 2012

    Snapple: He does not post the screen dump
    because its a police investigation.

    And the email is almost certainly dead now.

    Lojac: you are a sick MF. Get help.

  35. #35 Kozlowski
    February 19, 2012

    “”How strange that Joe Bast doesn’t want to plaster the evidence of both his own innocence and this hoaxter’s trick on the Internet.””

    The email address it was sent from is:

    “From: Heartland Insider
    Date: Tue, Feb 14, 2012 at 12:13 PM
    Subject: Files from Heartland Institute”

    That is the header, from David Appell’s BLOG.

    This is part of what was in the subject:

    “Dear Friends (15 of you):

    In the interest of transparency, I think you should see these files from the Heartland Institute. Look especially at the 2012 fundraising and budget documents, the information about donors, and compare to the 2010 990 tax form. But other things might also interest or intrigue you. This is all I have. And this email account will be removed after I send.”

    We will soon know the identify of this person. It is near impossible to hide one’s tracks on the internet these days. But Heartland will need the resources of the FBI, which might not be inclined to get involved in what is a relatively minor affair.

    Cheers!

  36. #36 Narad
    February 19, 2012

    The email address it was sent from is:

    That’s not an E-mail address.

    That is the header, from David Appell’s BLOG.

    That’s not a header. “Blog” is not an acronym.

    We will soon know the identify of this person. It is near impossible to hide one’s tracks on the internet these days. But Heartland will need the resources of the FBI, which might not be inclined to get involved in what is a relatively minor affair.

    Your forensic skills and law-enforcement insight are duly noted.

  37. #37 John Mashey
    February 19, 2012

    Maureen Martin is certainly @ Heartland. With Bast, she wrote Welcome to the Smoker’s Lounge! in 2007. Heartland is still on the tobacco dole ($160K from Altria and Reynolds in 2011).

  38. #38 elspi
    February 19, 2012

    Let me get this straight. The Heartless institute gets caught once again killing people with lies for money, and their response is to send YOU threatening e-mail.

    How do they think this is going to look when the Nuremberg climate-denial trials start? Do they really image that hundreds of millions of deaths will be ignored. Have they forgotten how we hanged all those Nazi’s for a paltry 10 Million?

    They probably have until the first ice free day in the arctic sea to find themselves a new planet, cause the people on this one will be looking for justice.

  39. #39 Neven
    February 19, 2012

    He does not post the screen dump
    because its a police investigation.

    Has it been confirmed yet that there is a police investigation? Or that Heartland filed a complaint, for that matter? Please forgive me for not taking Heartland’s word for it.

    Besides, posting a print screen image interferes with the police investigation how?

  40. #40 Fredrik
    February 19, 2012

    It’s a fairly poor argument from their side. But even if we assume it’s serious, it clearly doesn’t matter whether the documents stay up on this website. They’re freely available elsewhere – I’ve got copies of all of them locally and online.

  41. #41 Aloysius
    February 19, 2012

    Take it to the limit, Greg. Don’t let these deniers tell you what you can post on your own blog. If I were you, I’d look around for more HI documents to put with the ones you already have. Build a regular HI archive of shame. Even hire someone to go out and get them. Whatever it takes.

  42. #42 Wormwood
    February 19, 2012

    If you have the cahoonas to take this to court it could become very interesting, especially if you can arrange it so that Heartland’s science (climate and medical) is tested in front of a judge, and if their establishment of precendent for publicising other institutions’ material (e.g. UEA) is also brought up as relevant to the case.

    So, where do we donate to the fighting fund? I’m sure that Bast will be asking Watts and co to advertise for help any yesterday now.

  43. #43 Bill
    February 19, 2012

    I thought they were so powerful? If you really believed they were powerful (I am speaking also to the majority of the posters here) you would not be so glib about the possibility of a law suit. Think about the psychological implications of this a bit.

    Done yet? I would say that in reality you know they are not powerful. So why do you say otherwise?

  44. #44 Carlton
    February 19, 2012

    According to blog entry “Heartland Institute threatens 71-year-old veteran”, the HI say they’re “working to get those statements removed and retracted” (referring to the “forged memo”):

    http://www.berthoudrecorder.com/?onswipe_redirect=yes&noloop=1

  45. #45 Phil C
    February 19, 2012

    Yeah, so where the write “please don’t hesitate to contact me …” I’d write back and say “I’m confused here. Are you telling me to take down some documents that you won’t even say are yours?”

  46. #46 Matthew
    February 19, 2012

    The best outcome is for them to sue you. I assure you you would have no trouble raising money for a defense, particularly because of a little mechanism called “discovery.”

    Essentially, in civil lible/defamation cases, the onus is on the accuser to provide incontrovertible material evidence that the “libeler” both a) intended harm, and b) caused material harm to the accuser. The bar is set very high – and the lawyers who defend you would be able to “discover” all documents they needed to secure your defense. This would essentially open ALL of Heartland’s internal memos/documents/files to public perusal. So, for example Heartland would have to provide evidence that they’d never tried to undermine climate science, or their staff had never harassed scientists, or bribed members of Congress, or captured members of the media, such as Fox …

    I would kill to be on the legal team that got to do a defense discovery inquiry of the Heartland Institute. And I’m sure there are hundreds of lawyers and legal defense funds that feel the same.

    In the end, it goes one of two ways: Either they run cowering from the disinfectant of sunlight; or they stay stupid, and end their viability as a propaganda machine. So, heads, you win; tails, you win.

  47. #47 Kozlowski
    February 19, 2012

    The email address it was sent from is:
    That’s not an E-mail address.
    That is the header, from David Appell’s BLOG.
    That’s not a header. “Blog” is not an acronym.
    We will soon know the identify of this person. It is near impossible to hide one’s tracks on the internet these days. But Heartland will need the resources of the FBI, which might not be inclined to get involved in what is a relatively minor affair.
    Your forensic skills and law-enforcement insight are duly noted.
    Posted by: Narad | February 19, 2012 6:16 PM

    The email address was included in my post. I am not sure how it did not make it through. Either it was edited out or filtered out.

    For the record, the email address was: heartlandinsider (at) gmail.com. It was in my original post.

    Cheers!

  48. #48 memoryvault
    February 19, 2012

    Hello Greg,

    As an old timer who has been both the instigator and the recipient in so many defamation cases I’ve lost count, please let me offer you some friendly advice:

    Ignore the so-called “advice” above from your fans, immediately comply with the C&D, and go get yourself some proper legal counsel.

    Please understand, Greg, that in cases like this, the court will not be interested “moral stances” or “ethical grounds”, it will only be interested in the facts. And in this case the facts are:

    ONE
    All save one of the documents are the private and confidential property of the Heartland Institute, a private organisation.

    They do not reveal any illegal act by the Institute (and even if they did, the correct course of action would be to alert the authorities). They were clearly obtained by deception.

    As such, any and all use of the documents for whatever purpose is illegal on multiple counts. I repeat; the court will not be interested in your moral or ethical assessment of the Institute’s plans or actions, ONLY in the above, legally establishable facts.

    TWO
    The additional document is clearly defamatory, and has been used by yourself and others to further that defamation. The Institute claims it is a fake.

    In court, your only defense against a charge of defamation will be to prove the authenticity of the document. In reality, only the Institute can do that, so you have no defense there.

    For a time, you MAY have had a defense on the basis that you could claim you honestly and sincerely believed the document to be authentic. However that defense, if it ever existed, was extinguished the moment you were advised by the Institute that it was a forgery EVEN IF IT IS NOT.

    Remember, since the document is defamatory and has been used to defame the Institute, the onus of proof of authenticity lies with you.

    THREE
    Laws on the serving of something like a C&D vary from country to country, so I cannot say whether the notice you have received CURRENTLY carries any weight.

    However, it would seem both reasonable and prudent to assume a copy is on its way to you via Federal Express, which complies with whatever the legal requirements are to make it admissible in court.

    Once you have been served with that copy, the plaintiff’s lawyers will almost certainly provide evidence of BOTH means of advising you, and press the court to adopt the EARLIER notice as the time of you being served.

    Your only two defenses against the court adopting the earlier date of email delivery, are to A) claim you never got it; or B) claim you you genuinely believed it was not authentic (eg that it was not from the Institute).

    You have extinguished any defense at A) by reproducing the contents of the email in your above article.

    You have extinguished any defense at B) with your bolded article heading declaring to the world at large that you “just got an email from the Heartland Institute”.

    I am a well-known “skeptic” commentator, and I will probably cop a lot of flak for even attempting to help you by providing this advice. But, and trust me on this son, you are already in a whole pain of trouble and as a fellow human being I could not just sit idly by and watch you make it even worse for yourself.

  49. #49 Narad
    February 19, 2012

    The email address was included in my post. I am not sure how it did not make it through. Either it was edited out or filtered out.

    Dandy. Now that that’s out of the way, given that envelope-sender is meaningless, perhaps you’d like to get to that “header” business.

  50. #50 Narad
    February 19, 2012

    The best outcome is for them to sue you.

    No, it is not.

    I assure you you would have no trouble raising money for a defense, particularly because of a little mechanism called “discovery.”

    This is an impressive leap. Perhaps you’d like to cut a check preemptively.

    So, for example Heartland would have to provide evidence that they’d never tried to undermine climate science, or their staff had never harassed scientists, or bribed members of Congress, or captured members of the media, such as Fox …

    This, on the other hand, is simply pretend-lawyering, and not a very good version at that. What exactly do you think would fall under the scope of discovery were this vicarious fantasy to come to pass?

  51. #51 joe
    February 19, 2012

    Posted by: Matthew

    Problem Matthew. It’s a criminal investigation
    “”So, for example Heartland would have to provide evidence that they’d never tried to undermine climate science, or their staff had never harassed scientists, or bribed members of Congress, or captured members of the media, such as Fox””

    Criminal charges here, will be as good as convictions whether the perpetrators are convicted or not. As for Greg Layden, he can be charged with misuse of a carriage service.

    Jeez, with you on his team, he’s sure to lose.

  52. #52 John Callender
    February 19, 2012

    This reminds me a bit of the time I got a lawyer letter asserting that I owed the “lies.com” domain name to someone due to his having trademarked the term “lies” (sort of). See:

    http://www.lies.com/wp/2002/03/17/the-liescom-domain-dispute/

    My own I-am-not-a-lawyer advice is that you should probably:

    1) seek competent legal advice on what your actual rights might be, and

    2) to the extent you decide that you want to refrain from carrying out one or more of the actions they are demanding you take, that you write them back to explain as clearly and reasonably as you can what you are doing, why you are doing it, and why you think the law supports your position rather than theirs.

    The operating principle I used in my own case was to assume that I was not primarily writing for the benefit of my antagonists. I was writing to document what I was doing and why I was doing it for the benefit of whatever judge ended up hearing the case, assuming the situation ever did end up in court.

    In my case this worked out great. Which will not protect you at all in your case, of course, since your circumstances are completely different.

    It seems clear they are trying to intimidate you and get you to do more than you should actually be compelled to do under the law. (Like removing all posts that even mention the memos. I’m guessing that’s not something they have the legal authority to compel.) But it might be the case that they could reasonably compel you to do one or more of the things they’re asking for. If that’s the case, then it might be to your advantage to go ahead and do those things, document your having done them, and ask them to give you the specific legal precedent(s) that they believe supports you doing the other things.

    Good luck!

  53. #53 memoryvault
    February 19, 2012

    A necessary additional post to counter the ravings of “Matthew” above at 8.25pm, who has obviously spent far too much time watching American detective shows.

    “Discovery” in no way provides carte blanche to rifle through all the documents and other materials of an individual or organisation (unless of course, you’re the tax man).

    “Discovery” can only be used to establish the “facts” of the particular case before the court, and the case is NOT to establish the moral or ethical worth or intent of the Institute, but rather, the unauthorised use of confidential information obtained by deception, and the use of an alleged forged document to allegedly defame the Institute.

    That’s it. End of story. The matters open to Discovery are:

    1) – With the exception of the alleged forgery, are the documents the confidential property of the Institute?

    2) – Were they obtained by deception?

    3) – Was the subsequent use of the documents authorised by the Institute?

    4) – Was the defendant requested to cease and desist the unauthorised use of the confidential documents obtained by deception?

    5) – Did the defendant comply with the above request?

    6) – Is the alleged forgery in fact, real?

    7) – Was the use of the alleged forgery defamatory?

    8) – Was the use of the alleged forgery DELIBERATELY defamatory with intent (criminal defamation)?

    9) – Was the defendant advised of the forged nature of the document and the defamatory nature of its use?

    10) – Was the defendant requested to cease and desist using the alleged forgery to continue to defame and/or criminally defame the plaintiff?

    11) – Did the defendant comply with the request? If so, when?

    12) – Has the Institute suffered material and/or reputation loss as a result of the continuing defamation and/or criminal defamation?

  54. #54 Discovery?
    February 19, 2012

    Discovery means both sides lawyers get to see documents that they request from the other side. But they must be requests for documents “reasonably calculated to lead to admissible evidence.”

    And where confidential documents are involved, there will be a protective order specifying who the documents may be shared with – some documents might be shared with all members of the other side’s case team, others might be attorney’s eyes only, and so on.

    Discovery does NOT mean you get to trawl all the other side’s documents (there are limits, although liberal). And it definitely does NOT mean you get to plaster the other side’s documents all over the internet or share them with all and sundry.

    IANAL (but I’m not a bozo either). How about some common sense when discussing this kind of issue… Do you really think anybody involved in a lawsuit as plaintiff or defendant immediately loses all right to privacy? And if you’re lacking common sense, there’s thousand of pages, and summaries as well, about what discovery means in wikipedia and elsewhere.

  55. #55 Ian
    February 19, 2012

    Right or wrong, if you’re sued it’s up to you to prove the document ISN’T fake, not the other way round.

    Could end up VERY expensive. As the saying goes,’the law grinds slow, but exceeding fine’.

  56. #56 NJ
    February 19, 2012

    Hmmmmm….I’m smelling a buncha sox here…numerous posts warning you of the DIRE LEGAL CONSEQUENCES!!!!!111eleventy!!!!.

    My guess would be that one of the denier sites is trolling here trying to help Heartland out with suppressing the evidence of their true nature.

  57. #57 Achrachno
    February 19, 2012

    “Right or wrong, if you’re sued it’s up to you to prove the document ISN’T fake, not the other way round.”

    That doesn’t sound right. Is that US law? Doesn’t the person bringing suit have to show that either 1) It’s their property, or 2) It’s fake and libelous?

    I dn’t know why you should have to take an email as anything serious. Don’t they have to send real signed documents to be official?

    It probably would not be a bad idea to have at least a brief consultation with an attorney. Maybe c. $100 worth. If he/she breaks up laughing immediately, you might get out for less.

  58. #58 Narad
    February 19, 2012

    Right or wrong, if you’re sued it’s up to you to prove the document ISN’T fake, not the other way round.

    “Not even wrong,” Majuscule.

  59. #59 Richard Hutchinson
    February 19, 2012

    My apologies for NJ the overflouridated foreigner. He always has his panties in a wad. He tries to keep up with me but his diminished IQ due to overdose of flouride fails him at times.

    NJ is easily recognizable. All ya gotta do is recognize his style, out him and prod him a little bit. And out comes a torrent of looney. The truly funny thing is that he doesn’t realize that he’s making a permanent record of his being unhinged.

    Viewed objectively, it’s a sad testament to the failure of his mother and father to teach him wrong from right.

    Makes him so mad to be called out on his candian IQ that he actually drools on the right side of his face for a change.

    FIFTY.

  60. #60 bubbagyro
    February 19, 2012

    No, in civil law, the burden is shifted in favor of the aggrieved party. If a posting is defamatory, the burden is on the publisher to retract and pay assessed damages. If the grievance is intentional and/or malicious, then the damages are elevated 3-fold.

  61. #61 daedalus2u
    February 19, 2012

    I think you are in the clear. The Heartland Institute has had 4-6 days to authenticate these documents and they haven’t bothered to yet.

    Figuring out whether they are real or fake must be a pretty low priority to them. If whether they are real or fake doesn’t matter to the Heartland Institute, it is hard to figure out what “damages” they could possibly think you are causing them by having these real or fake documents up and still hosting comments on these real or fake documents.

  62. #62 Narad
    February 19, 2012

    No, in civil law, the burden is shifted in favor of the aggrieved party.

    As opposed to “criminal” defamation? Which venue is being imagined to make this statement sensible?

  63. #63 joe
    February 19, 2012

    “”My guess would be that one of the denier sites is trolling here trying to help Heartland out with suppressing the evidence of their true nature.
    Posted by: NJ | February 19, 2012 10:04 PM””

    Is that a conspiracy theory NJ?

  64. #64 Anonymous Atheist
    February 20, 2012

    Kozlowski, when you first tried to post the email address that disappeared, a likely reason for this was that the email address was between a ‘< ' and a '>‘. This is a common format for email display, but causes blog software to ignore everything between those brackets as an invalid HTML tag. To avoid this, remove the brackets or replace them with their character entities.

    Greg, the email you received starts off by saying
    “By e-mail to: greg@gregladen.com
    By Federal Express to:
    [snail-mail address]”

    This indicates they sent an email copy initially so you’d see it as soon as possible, but an official physical copy is also in transit toward you in a FedEx mailer. You’ll probably receive that on Monday or Tuesday, I’d guess.

  65. #65 Anonymous Atheist
    February 20, 2012

    Ha, even separating them with spaces and putting punctuation around them didn’t stop the bracket problem. Using the lt/gt character entities this time:

    “a likely reason for this was that the email address was between a ‘< ' and an '>‘.”

  66. #66 Anonymous Atheist
    February 20, 2012

    Okay, I give up. :) Hadn’t expected this minor point to take 3 posts, sorry. Using lt/gt worked in the preview, but it had reconverted them to the unsafe brackets upon submission. I was trying to talk about the pointy angle brackets used in HTML, appearing on the comma and period keys.

  67. #67 dave
    February 20, 2012

    This is known in the UK as the “Billy Bunter defence”, along the lines of “I didn’t pinch the cakes, and anyway they tasted rotten”.

    To quote the Guardian of 15 February,
    Lakely, in his statement, explains that a staff member, persuaded by “an unknown person”, mistakenly sent the documents to an unfamiliar email address.

    Heartland’s statement said the “stolen documents appear to have been written by Heartland’s president for a board meeting that took place on January 17.”

    However, in an email to the Guardian later on Wednesday, Lakely backtracked on this apparent confirmation that some of the documents were genuine.

    “Considering the fact that the individual who committed fraud and identity theft in correspondence with a staffer yesterday also created a fake Heartland document out of whole cloth, we cannot authenticate any of the documents,” he wrote.

    “At any rate, our standing policy is to not discuss confidential documents. We are also in the process of taking legal action, so our previous statements are all we have to say about the matter at present.”

    So now they’ve got the promised process rolling, just when it looked as though this was going to fade out of the news cycle, so await further news coverage with interest. Wonder if all those defenders of press freedom such as Fox will rush to object to this heavy handed legal letter. . .

  68. #68 StevoR
    February 20, 2012

    Heartland are trying to intimidate you – sounds to me like you have them worried.

    Not a lawyer but it seems to me you have a strong public interest and freedom of expression defence.

    BTW. I would suggest you do what PZ Myers does and have a warning that you reserve the right to publish fulldetails including identification of the sender for messages containing threats of death and violence aimed against you here. I’d also notify the relevant authorities & keep records of any death threats and their sources.

  69. #69 GSW
    February 20, 2012

    Always amused by barrack room lawyers, especially those who aren’t on the hook as it were. Quite bullish as a rule.

    This is going to run. Time for the popcorn…

    ;)

  70. #70 Les Johnson
    February 20, 2012

    NJ: your

    My guess would be that one of the denier sites is trolling here trying to help Heartland out with suppressing the evidence of their true nature.

    I thought conspiracy theories were copyrighted by “deniers”.

  71. #71 Cuppa Cabana
    February 20, 2012

    Funny, the Heartland Institute positively celebrated when CRU computers were hacked. They gleefully pushed the idea that those stolen emails confirmed their asinine “warmist conspiracy” theories. Douches.

  72. #72 NJ
    February 20, 2012

    “Joe”@ 54:

    Is that a conspiracy theory NJ?

    Les Johnson@61:

    I thought conspiracy theories were copyrighted by “deniers”.

    Conspiracies by definition require some degree of organization; you guys seem to be more ‘Keystone Kops’.

  73. #73 Markus Fitzhenry
    February 20, 2012

    Conspiracies by definition require some degree of organization; you guys seem to be more ‘Keystone Kops’.

    Posted by: NJ | February 20, 2012 7:48 AM””

    Better than being one of the ‘Three Stooges’.

  74. #74 Les Johnson
    February 20, 2012

    NJ: your

    Conspiracies by definition require some degree of organization; you guys seem to be more ‘Keystone Kops’.

    You guys? Please define “you guys” for me, and how you have determined that I belong in that group.

    Note that stereotyping an opponent, real or perceived, is a form of de-hunmanizing that “opponent”. This is a bad thing, BTW.

  75. #75 Brian
    February 20, 2012

    The mystery of whether the email is genuine can be solved by proper use of one them fancy telephonic devices that came in use a little under a century ago.

  76. #76 NJ
    February 20, 2012

    Les Johnson@64:

    a form of de-hunmanizing that “opponent”.

    Never let it be said that I tried to make you out as not German…

    Please define “you guys” for me, and how you have determined that I belong in that group.

    OK, I determined that you and your compatriots comprised a set that was closed, contained both an identity and an inverse for each and every member and that you follow the associative property.

    Less snarkily, I noted that there was an influx of commenters offering our gracious host legal advice of dubious quality. All this advice seemed to be aimed at getting him to remove any and all information concerning the (alleged) Heartland Institute documents that have made their way into the public arena.

    Having previously seen other SB posts that received analogous influxes, and recalling that such comment swarms had been conclusively shown to be due to ‘alerts’ posted elsewhere (in particular, climate change denier sites), I hypothesized that these comments had a similar origin.

    The subsequent similar comments about ‘conspiracies’ were suggestive that my hypothesis was reasonably founded. Since this is, of course, only an hypothesis, I remain open to the possibility that your inclusion in said group constitutes a Type I error.

    On the other hand, it’s pretty clear I’ve got “Joe” dead to rights…

  77. #77 John McManus
    February 20, 2012

    I must have a dozen copies of the documents in question scattered about my harddri- gotta go there’s a FedEx truck outside.

  78. #78 Scott Smith
    February 20, 2012

    The PSD file about school policy is a fake. Research on when the file was created proved it was made just prior to distribution. The rest was sent under fraudulent pretenses. They have legal ground to sue you and can be successful on the material obtained through fraud, ie the material whoever obtained by claiming to be a board member. That is clearly fraud and prosecutable. The PSD document actually allows them to file a civil suit for defamation and name anyone distribution material as co-conspirators.

    I am sure they will have no problem lawyering up for the fight and your “defense fund” will evaporate long before theirs.

  79. #79 daedalus2u
    February 20, 2012

    I think you are in the clear. The Heartland Institute has had 4-6 days to authenticate these documents and they haven’t bothered to yet.

    Figuring out whether they are real or fake must be a pretty low priority to them. If whether they are real or fake doesn’t matter to the Heartland Institute, it is hard to figure out what “damages” they could possibly think you are causing them by having these real or fake documents up and still hosting comments on these real or fake documents.

    They very likely won’t sue anyone, and if they did, they would first stipulate that the documents are real. They wouldn’t want to provide a reason for their donors to be subpoenaed to verify that they are donors.

    To establish damages, they have to show what the reputation of the HI was before the leak, that the reputation declined after the leak, and that the decline was a consequence of what Greg did.

    They are also on record as saying that privacy doesn’t matter in the case of the stolen emails, AKA climate gate. They could say their prior statements were just lies, but that sort of damages their reputation more than these documents do.

    There is also the problem of the documents demonstrating illegal activity, the use of a non-profit to do political lobbying. That puts who ever prepared and signed the IRS form in jeopardy for tax fraud.

    I think that there are whistle-blower protections for people who uncover crimes. I think the courts would not look kindly on being used to suppress evidence of crimes.

  80. #80 Lurker
    February 20, 2012

    “Please define “you guys” for me, and how you have determined that I belong in that group.”

    The “Vanilla Denialist” t-shirt you wear is a clue.

  81. #81 Rumplestiltskin
    February 20, 2012

    Scott Smith.

    1. The time of production of the file does not prove that the document is a fake. The scanned paper could have been obtained at any time prior to the scanning.
    2. The timezone listed in the production of the file does not prove that the document is a fake. The scanned paper could have been transported anywere at any time prior to the scanning.
    3. The absence of the file on any Heartland computer or external drive does not prove that the document is a fake. The scanned paper could have been originally typed elsewhere prior to being received and scanned.

    It would appear that proving that the document is a fake is much more difficult than is being made out by the Heartland Institute’s supporters. And as far as the libel aspect of the matter goes, the Heartland Institute would need to explain exactly where the claims made differ from stated Heartland Institute policy. This would require the institute to open its records and have them carefully analyzed. Doing so could prove very embarrassing for them, both because the scanned document might well be corroborated, and because the nature of the institute’s actual policies and its claims about climatology would be carefully weighed …. and found to be based on dubious ideology and crap “science”.

  82. #82 NJ
    February 20, 2012

    SS@67:

    They have legal ground to sue you

    Based upon what, oh, font of legal wisdom? The fact that he linked to sources on this? Do you have any evidence that the host of this blog engaged in fraud to obtain documents?

    No, I thought not.

    Just another denier troll parroting what he’s been told. You can go now, you’ve earned your biscuit.

  83. #83 Greg Laden
    February 20, 2012

    SORRY FOR ALL THE POSTS CAUGHT IN MODERATION!! They should be all freed now except the spam.

  84. #84 GSW
    February 20, 2012

    Ah I see now where you are going wrong.

    “It would appear that proving that the document is a fake is much more difficult than is being made out by the Heartland Institute’s supporters”

    Simple answer is that they don’t have to, the onus is on the party claiming that the statements contained in the strategy document where in fact made by heartland and not some malevolent(?)third party. Good luck with that.

  85. #85 Mack
    February 20, 2012

    Disregard the imagined legal expertise of these comments and consult a real lawyer. Better safe than sorry.

  86. #86 neil
    February 20, 2012

    They’re obviously bluffing. They don’t want to go through discovery.

  87. #87 Les Johnson
    February 20, 2012

    NJ: 1. At no point did I suggest Greg take the post down. I suggested seeking legal advice, and acting on that. Thst is the most prudent advise. If his lawyer advices to leave the postings, and he does, then that is fine.

    2. Also note my response to Lojac.

    While it might appear to be a Type I error on your part, that would only be true if a test had been applied. As none had been applied, that just indicates plain old bias on your part.

  88. #88 Alexander
    February 20, 2012

    Well, I’m no expert on US law, but I want to tell Greg one thing.

    Hold to your guns and kick their butt!

    I’d hate to see you and other bloggers bend down under stupid threats.

  89. #89 NJ
    February 20, 2012

    Les Johnson @ 88:

    At no point did I suggest Greg take the post down. I suggested seeking legal advice, and acting on that.

    True, in comment #15.

    Les Johnson @ 71:

    I thought conspiracy theories were copyrighted by “deniers”.

    This comment followed #64 by “Joe” who also alluded to my referencing a conspiracy. Combining that with the word deniers in apparent ‘sneer quotes’ in your comment raised the probability that you were coming here from a climate change denier site following an alert.

    that would only be true if a test had been applied

    Test 1: Multiple comments referring to my hypothesis of #57 as referencing a conspiracy. Passed (barely, n=2).

    Test 2: Reference to climate change denial with aforementioned probable sneer quotes. Passed.

    Test 3 (new): Referencing ‘de-hunmanizing that “opponent”‘ in #64 and ‘plain old bias’ in #88. Since I know not a thing about anyone except what they have posted, my comments are solely directed at the actions shown here. Attempts to shift discussions from their actions to pearl-clutching about their opponents responses is a well-known wingnut tactic. Passed.

    Despite your responses to the OP and to lojac, you don’t seem to be improving your case here.

  90. #90 jummy
    February 20, 2012

    47 Matthew | February 19, 2012 8:25 PM
    The best outcome is for them to sue you… because of a little mechanism called “discovery.”

    do i know your humid fantasy world or what? i swear i was mocking the living shit out of this very idea the second i heard about the letters going out:

    “@davidnoble: Expect this to backfire” #fakegate Gonna make you sue. Use discovery to expose ties to HITLAAAAAAARRRGGH!

    — jummy (@wristactionblog) February 20, 2012

    this is the part that portrays you as a paranoid clown of the laughing at sort:

    Heartland would have to provide evidence that they’d never tried to undermine climate science, or their staff had never harassed scientists, or bribed members of Congress, or captured members of the media,…

    …b-because you know they’ve done shit like bribe politicians and have journalists being paid from black accounts listed on their second set of accounting books. you know those cards are in the deck because you know what eeeevil hitlars they are.

    i’m not exaggerating; two inches up-screen, comment 39:

    The Heartless institute… once again killing people with lies for money… when the Nuremberg climate-denial trials start? … hundreds of millions of deaths… Have they forgotten how we hanged all those Nazi’s for a paltry 10 Million?

    you guys are hair-on-fire, shrieking, certifiably lost in a swirling landscape of irrational rage and paranoia.

    i really, really want you to go forward with this mentality. it wont payoff for a year, but it will be satisfying to observe the outcome.

  91. #91 MikeB
    February 20, 2012

    Although it would be excellent advice to talk to a lawyer (just in case), I suspect that Greg would be a little down the pecking order for legal action (as opposed to legal talk).

    The story is still up on the NYT’s website, as it is on the Guardian’s and the BBC’s (although its only on Richard Blacks blog). I presume its still on the LA Times website, and it is of course still on the Desmogblog and Think progress. In fact just putting ‘Heartland’ into Google News brings up 15 different blogs and websites (none of the above), including ‘Nature’. It hasn’t broken through to TV as yet, most of the articles are a couple of days old and its seemingly not in the print sections of the papers, but that might change. Remember ‘Climategate’ was a little slow burn at first.

    What I’m trying to point out is that if Heartland is serious about sueing people, they are probably going to start with organisations who buy ink by the barrel, and are pretty used to this sort of thing. If you look at Heartland’s pushback againt the NYT, http://blog.heartland.org/2012/02/heartland-institute-rebuts-outlandish-new-york-times-story-on-stolen-and-fake-documents/ , the first half of the article/rebuttal is spent saying how reasonable, scientifically based and open they are. Its only about half-way down that they start talking about ‘stolen’ and ‘faked’. And then they return to the ‘climate change debate’ again. It’s not a pushback (despite what comments to their website says) which shows that they have a particularly strong case.

    For those who wonder about the ‘strategy document’ because of the style, its interesting to note that the rebuttal contains the sentence towards the end ‘Great, another left-wing organization wants to politicize curriculum. Heartland has never commented on the teaching of evolution, and we want to upgrade, not “water down,” how climate is taught in schools.’ Policize curriculum? If your looking for poor use of English as a sign something is a forgery, you may be disappointed.

    Does Hreatland really want to sue people? Ignore the stuff about ‘discovery’, think about the publicity. A legal case means you stretch out the news-cycle, and elevate it to the front page. Is that something Heartland really wants?

    Its evidently hugely embarrassed about the donor list being (in part) made public. So are (judging by some of the clipped remarks made by GM, GSK and Microsoft so far) many of its donors, who would prefer not to be associated with climate denial, undermining the teaching of science to kids, and especially tobacco money. Its toxic, and I suspect that Heartland might end up like a business where no one wants to do business – it closes. It might need those lawyers fees to stay alive, rather than try to sue people for telling a story with documents even it admits are (in most cases), the real thing.

    Still best to talk to a lawyer (although thinking about the Simpsons, best not to get one who has an office in a mall, and certainly not one who does shoe repair on the side). Good luck!

  92. #92 jummy
    February 20, 2012

    NJ:

    …coming here from a climate change denier site following an alert.

    personally, in my own case, i happened over here because it’s the lead link for the item on memeorandum. but i can’t truthfully deny that all of us wingnuts are beholden to flock whenever we receive a signal from a very sophisticated network of alerts. you might imagine a blinking, red model 500 phone, but it’s more sophisticated than that. the receiver is a tiny rfid chip embedded in the left wrist (this is the only flesh on our bodies which isn’t significantly displaced when we shapeshift to our true forms). i hope however that you haven’t convinced yourself that just because you think you know what you think you know, that you see the truth hidden beyond the veil we’ve cast over the mortal world for millenia. our master, SATANIC MECHA-HITLER will never relinquish THE SIGHT to a puny hew-mon!!

  93. #93 Kev
    February 20, 2012

    Hang in there!
    Don’t let these right wingers push you around. Stand your ground. They will not be able to do anything because they are all just Pi55 and Wind.
    In the next two weeks when HI realise you have called their bluff they will either go quiet or claim that the problem was ‘settled out of court’.
    STICK YOU YOUR GUNS!!!

  94. #94 Daniel J. Andrews
    February 20, 2012

    I wonder what the Heartland folks did with the stolen climate emails? Post them? Or did they cut excerpts from them and then strung them together to make the emails say things they didn’t say? Do they still have the defamation posts up, long since disproven by multiple investigations? Not that “They did it first” is a good legal defence but you have to admire that they can be so hypocritical and still keep a straight face. Maybe Maureen was sniggering the entire time she wrote the letter…???….

  95. #95 Markus Fitzhenry
    February 20, 2012

    Don’t forget me Greg. I haven’t forgotten you.
    You made a big mistake lying about me.

    After all, when the rest have finished, your going to have to deal with me in the end. Your threat of getting friends to deal with me if I visited the States was the threat of a scared little boy.

    I will deal with you, as I have with others, in the fullness of time.

    It’s called Karma.

  96. #96 Melissa
    February 20, 2012

    Based on my experience with this type of thing, your best course of action is to publicly invite a lawsuit so that you can get your hands on the real dirt they’re trying to hide.

    If they are stupid enough to sue you for shining a light on their little nest of rats, you will have them just where you want them.

    Don’t worry, your supporters will fund your defense and you will probably be awarded a hefty sum by the jury. This is a no-brainer for you.

  97. #97 Alexander
    February 20, 2012

    Well, I took my time today carefully reading the Heartland’s official statements on their site, and found them pretty low on substance even though loud in voice. They apparently know perfectly well their case will fall apart in court, which is why they are sending out bullying letters in droves – if at least one person complies, it will be a huge win for them.

    In this situation, I think the best way is to openly and directly challenge them to a lawsuit. Actual lawsuit is the last thing they want, since apparently US law allows you some degree of access to their other documents for your defense. But for as long as nobody openly challenges them to a lawsuit, they can try to weasel out from their threats, and frankly, this is the last thing I would want to see.

    You (and everyone else who is bullied by HI) have a great chance to expose them for what they really are in the court of law. I sincerely hope this chance won’t be missed.

  98. #98 Greg Laden
    February 20, 2012

    Markus, the first time you commented on my blog you threatened to kill me. Is that what you are doing now?

    Do you work for the Heartland Institute by any chance?

    No, wait, a quick check of your IP address (220.238.49.103) shows me that you are in Sydney Australia (Chatwood) and a user of Optus internet services. May you are part of Heartland Oz.

    Also, I see that your email address is markusfitzhenry123@gmail.com

    Don’t comment here again. Also, stop sending me emails. Stop making threats against me and don’t mention my family again in an email or comment.

  99. #99 Markus Fitzhenry.
    February 20, 2012

    DON’T PICK A FIGHT, WHICH YOU DID, IF YOU ARE NOT BIG ENOUGH TO FINISH IT. AND YOUR NOT.

  100. #100 Greg Laden
    February 20, 2012

    Mike, actually, no. They started with me and their spread across other outlets has been slow. Either you are underestimating my readership and reach or missing their strategy (the first you can’t possibly know, the second may note even exist!) or they are being fairly random.

    Within a hour after my posting this blog post I had legal advice and funding to ward off a law suit secured, before I even went looking for it.

    For the moment, though I’m still waiting for the letter to come in the mail. All I’ve got so far is this lousy email with an email address different from the person who signed it. Embarrassingly unprofessional of them.

    One outcome of this will certainly be that individuals interested in funding Heartland will think twice about throwing money at an organization run by mean spirited dunces.

  101. #101 Average Joe
    February 20, 2012

    “One outcome of this will certainly be that individuals interested in funding Heartland will think twice about throwing money at an organization run by mean spirited dunces.”

    Did you actually just say that you believe that Heartland is going to be financially hurt by all this?

  102. #102 Greg Laden
    February 20, 2012

    I don’t see how I could have been more clear.

  103. #103 Chas
    February 20, 2012

    How is it that this creep with his ‘commie sex pervert’ comment gets posted and my newsworthy telling of Peter Gleick’s confession about the Heartland’s docs does not?
    WTF?

  104. #104 Greg Laden
    February 20, 2012

    Chas, your “satement” went into moderation for unknown reasons (lots of comments do that on this site). When I read it I realized it was a highly inaccurate slur, so I deleted it.

    Don’t do that again.

  105. #105 Garth Jenkins
    February 20, 2012

    WOW. Greg.you are the man. My posts dissappeared so quickly. Guess I’ll have to repost them elsewhere.Other blobsters will pleased with you. Good thing I saved them. NJ will be pleased as well.

  106. #106 StevoR
    February 21, 2012

    @69.

    BTW. I would suggest you do what PZ Myers does and have a warning ..

    Ah, here it is cut’n’pasted from PZ myers Pharnygula blog :

    I reserve the right to publicly post, with full identifying information about the source, any email sent to me that contains threats of violence.

    And now I see you’ve just done that already.

  107. #107 StevoR
    February 21, 2012

    Good. Internet psuedo-anonymity should NOT be abused to make threats of physical violence or worse.

    This book :

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/zingularity/2012/02/20/book-review-the-hockey-stick-and-the-climate-wars/

    may be recommended reading inthiscontexttoo for those who haven’t heard of it yet.

  108. #108 Bernd Felsche
    February 21, 2012

    How did James Annan describe you on December the 15th, Greg?

    My scrapbook says “utter moron”.
    You don’t appear to have improved.

    You chose to publish documents obtained by Peter Gleick’s confessed wire fraud.

    You published documents that were OBVIOUSLY fake and attributed them the weight of being genuine in order to indulge in further defamatory comments: To MISREPRESENT The Heartland Institute’s activities and objectives.

    BTW: I note the “Email is required for authentication purposes only.” so publishing email addresses is not only bad form, immoral and unethical (unless you’re following Peter Gleick’s interpretation of “ethics”), it is probably unlawful.

  109. #109 NJ
    February 21, 2012

    Bernd Felsche @ 109:

    You published documents that were OBVIOUSLY fake

    Linking != publishing and quoting limited amounts is covered under fair use, regardless of what you’ve been told to say.

    and attributed them the weight of being genuine

    From the first post on the topic:

    I can not prove that these documents are real or fake. I will certainly pass on to you any information that comes along about this

    Ooops. Helps to read a post before commenting on it, eh?

    Between the denialists trying to have this information declared doubleplus ungood, the Rob Hood sockpuppets “Garth Jenkins”, “Chas”, “Melissa” & “jummy” and the Internet tough guy Markus, this thread is an amazing peek under the floorboards of human IQ.

  110. #110 TTT
    February 21, 2012

    Bernd: publishing email addresses is not only bad form, immoral and unethical… it is probably unlawful.

    Sending death threats through any medium is unlawful, and senders have no institutional recourse nor claim to right of privacy whatsoever. If you knew anything about anything you’d know that, but then, you also wouldn’t be a denialist.

  111. #111 MikeB
    February 21, 2012

    Greg – You must really be getting up their nose to have Heartland try and legally rough you up first. On the other hand, since Peter Gleick has just admitted to obtaining the paperwork, Heartland now have another target. Hopefully he’s seen a lawyer.

    I suspect that their will be lots of fake outrage from various media types and of course the denier crowd. Of course the documents are still hugely embarrasing, and the strategy ‘memo’ turns out, as we suspected, to have been leaked and recast to cover tracks.

    If Heartland are stupid enough to sue Gleick, they will expand the news story and make him a martyr – is that what they really want? As for Gleick, we must do all we can to support him, defend him against the prissy nonsense of people like Revkin, and keep the essentials of the case in the public eye. Come out fighting and Heartland loses. If the pattern over the East Anglia hack is repeated, and a tone of huge defensiveness and fake outrage (Monbiot, we’re looking at you), the battle will be lost.

  112. #112 Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    February 21, 2012

    #109:

    You chose to publish documents obtained by Peter Gleick’s confessed wire fraud.

    You published documents that were OBVIOUSLY fake

    Gleick:

    “At the beginning of 2012, I received an anonymous document in the mail describing what appeared to be details of the Heartland Institute’s climate program strategy. […]

    The materials the Heartland Institute sent to me confirmed many of the facts in the original document, including especially their 2012 fundraising strategy and budget. I forwarded, anonymously, the documents I had received to a set of journalists and experts working on climate issues. I can explicitly confirm, as can the Heartland Institute, that the documents they emailed to me are identical to the documents that have been made public. I made no changes or alterations of any kind to any of the Heartland Institute documents or to the original anonymous communication.” [My bold]

    So at most one “original anonymous communication” can be fake. This seems to be, despite having the youngest time stamp, the document Heartland disavow. This strengthen the hypothesis that it was produced differently (scanned instead of direct pdf print), so less controlled by Heartland. It could be internal, it could be fake.

    All but one document were obviously, if we go by Gleick’s confession, not fake. The remaining document has to be proven fake.

    Everything else aside, quite a coup by Gleick, kudos to him!

  113. #113 NJ
    February 21, 2012

    “Palmer Mansford” aka Rob Hood @ 114:

    Says the canadian with damaged IQ due to excessive flouride consumption.

    All Rob’s comments are about me now…it doesn’t occur to him to be bothered by the ease with which he has let me take up residence in his head.

    Oh well, not like he was using that space to begin with.

  114. #114 Bernd Felsche
    February 22, 2012

    My mistake. I should have written “You published A document that was OBVIOUSLY fake and attributed IT the weight of being genuine in order to indulge in further defamatory comments:”

    @110: Greg quoted liberally from them. His closing “disclaimer” doesn’t wash his hands of using especially the quoted content from the fake document for his own purposes; which appear to be deliberately injurious to The Heartland Institute. The truth may protect Greg from serious consequences, but leaning on an obviously-fake document won’t.
    —-
    @111: I am not a “denialist”. I have for a long time been an un-believer, an infidel and a heretic. It would enhance credibility immensely if people used the correct terminology.

    Your reference to alleged “death threats” is a straw man argument. If death threats were made, then the Police should be tasked with following it up. You don’t publish the email address of those who send you death thtreats. You provide a copy of the email/blog post/digital gerbil to the Police so that the rule of law can prevail.
    —-
    @113: “Everything else aside, quite a coup by Gleick, kudos to him!”

    Kudos for what? Wire fraud? What other serious crimes deserve “kudos” in the pursuit of “the cause”?

    Gleick was on the short list within hours of those who don’t take anything at face value starting their investigations. vis Megan McArdle in The Atlantic “And after reading through it–and the documents–carefully, I was inclined to believe them; the text was all wrong,” The mention of Gleick in the memo stands out TOO prominently in the fake memo, especially in conjunction with Taylor and Forbes. That shouts “This is BS!”. If Gleick didn’t write it himself, then he certainly proved himself to be a useful idiot.

  115. #115 StevoR
    February 22, 2012

    If you haven’t already seen this :

    http://climatecrocks.com/2012/02/20/heartland-panics-over-leak-71-year-old-vet-young-mom-fire-back-at-threats/

    it may be of interest here. Via “Climate Denial Crock of the Week” blog it shows a pattern of legal threats against those who have blogged on the Heartland papers.

    Or google search ‘Heartland Panics Over Leak: 71 Year Old Vet, Young Mom Fire Back at Threats’ published ibid February 20, 2012.

    I think it’s called the Streisland effect isn’t it?

    That blog has quite a few more interesting posts on this latest episode in the long running smoky and gruesome story of Climate Contrarianism versus Climate Scientists.

  116. #116 TTT
    February 22, 2012

    Brend: You don’t publish the email address of those who send you death threats

    You damn well DO. They are not protected by law or any other privilege, nor deserve to be. I also heartily recommend the good ol’ thirty-second Googlesearch required to find out where they work, so you can get them fired. Death threats are terrorism, and if you sympathize with domestic terrorists you have bigger problems than a mere grudge over scientific arcana pertaining to radiative transfer and the albedo effect.

  117. #117 NJ
    February 22, 2012

    BF@116:

    The truth may protect Greg from serious consequences, but leaning on an obviously-fake document won’t.

    Aside from assuming facts not in evidence, this sentence is internally contradictory. Presumably due to repeating talking points without actually understanding them.

  118. #118 High Noon drifter
    February 22, 2012

    “I also heartily recommend the good ol’ thirty-second Googlesearch required to find out where they work, so you can get them fired. ”

    In what normal world can one get fired from their job by doing something unrelated to their job in the privacy of the own home off the clock? Is this a new fad or something?

    Occupy Wall Street is terrorism too. Taking up space and destroying city property is NOT democracy. It is being an ass. Go do something useful with your lives. Here, go refill my glass and stop being a useless herd of cranks.

    NJ is mad becuase my empty head space leaves room for growing new ideas and his empty head space will be for storage of new colloidal flouride molecules.

    NJ, go out and order you a stem cell burger and glass of fetus pepsi and flouride shake for dessert. Want GMO fries with that?

  119. #119 TTT
    February 23, 2012

    In what normal world can one get fired from their job by doing something unrelated to their job in the privacy of the own home off the clock?

    How would you know where Markus was sitting and what time of day it was when he sent his death threats? If he logged into his personal email account at a work terminal or during normal business hours while he was expected to be doing his job, in order to send a terrorist death threat, he’s as good as fired already. If he was at home and not on the clock – honestly, it’s easy enough to use evidence of terrorist / felony activity to humiliate most companies into firing people under that circumstance as well, i.e. “you wouldn’t want someone like that working for you, would you?” It’s less open-and-shut, but still worth a try and I still encourage it.

    Occupy Wall Street is terrorism too. Taking up space and destroying city property

    *FACEPALM*

    Vandalism isn’t terrorism – you can’t be a terrorist against an inanimate object. They were also jaywalking – does that make them super-duper terrorists?

    To be a terrorist you have to KILL CIVILIANS outside of a combat zone – or TRY to, or THREATEN to – in order to extort a behavioral change and achieve a political outcome; in this case, threatening to kill Greg unless he stopped blogging about global warming. That is the DEFINITION OF THE WORD. Only lazy hacks try to use it as a stand-in for whatever they don’t like.

  120. #120 NJ
    February 23, 2012

    TTT@121:

    How would you know where Markus was sitting and what time of day it was when he sent his death threats?

    No need to try and ask serious questions. It’s clear that “High noon drifter” and probably “The Cartoonist” are further sockpuppets of Rob Hood the undertreated mentally ill troll who haunts SB and especially this blog.

    A quick search on his name will show where I’ve outed him multiple times and from there you can read a bit and find out about his obsessions with “flouride” and HAARRP, vaccines and YEC, and of course, Canada, which he seems to have concluded is my country of origin/home.

  121. #121 Lotharsson
    February 23, 2012

    Exactly what kind of crime is NOT a hate crime?

    All the crimes that don’t fit the legal definition of “hate crime”. Go look up the definition before you make yourself look any more silly.

  122. #122 TTT
    February 24, 2012

    I didn’t know the the twin towers and the pentagon and the OKC building were NOT inanimate objects

    You don’t know much, do you?

    If there hadn’t been people in those buildings, it wouldn’t have been terrorism. Just like if you shoot a gun in an empty field and don’t hit somebody, it isn’t murder.

  123. #123 Lotharsson
    February 25, 2012

    I suspect you will simply repeat your claim over and over again, but for others on the thread…

    Every crime commited it a hate crime becuase no one commits crimes against other out of love.

    Rubbish.

    That is the fallacy of excluding the middle: in other words, absence of love does not imply hate. (And yes, there are crimes committed out of love: “crimes of passion” arise out of extremely strong feelings which may include love.)

    That alone demonstrates that all crime does not arise out of hate and thus your claim is false.

    But your argument is worse than that. You seek to redefine a specific term with your own definition, thereby removing that specific meaning from the conversation.

    Hate crimes must meet certain specific criteria. (“Absence of motivation by love” is decidedly not one of them.)

    The reason why “hate crimes” are legally defined is that they target a whole class of people – they are a form of terrorism, if you like – by selecting the targeted individuals on the basis of class membership. Hate crimes are used to intimidate and “send a message to” entire subsets of a population, so their impact is far broader than just the specific individual victims.

  124. #124 me
    February 26, 2012

    normally I don’t use wiki for a source, but in this instance it’s the only site I know of that can explain what you can do because you’ve been made aware of their intent (cease and disist) what’s not in your favor is that they can actually file a lawsuit against you before you’re ever made aware that something is amiss and there’s no telling in what jurisdiction or for what amount in damages.

    and regardless of the authenticity of the said documents, you may have to answer in court, not on your blog.

    do what you may, but please read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declaratory_judgment

    I think HI will end up suing a whole bunch of mofos and actually make money doing it. I don’t think that the muddied legalities surrounding the authenticity of any documents will be the focus, what’s important is the notice of confidentiality.

  125. #125 Me
    February 26, 2012

    I’ve enjoyed reading the huge amount of reponses on your blog. I found you quite by accident by following this issue from a critical thinking website and hoping to clarify the questions at issue in what the HI alleges, I’ve been reading ish on both sides- and your blog came out quite randomly, but I’m glad I found it nevertheless.

    and speaking from a certain amount of so-called exertise by being an “activist” with certain demographics (such as prison reform, anti-capital punishment, and helping families deal with long term incarceration or the loss of a loved one while in prison or CP)I beg you not to take any lawyer at their word while inquiring about their services: please try to do some research yourself or perhaps get an opinion from a trusted colleague and/or call your state bar. lawyers are often the foxes guarding the henhouses, they’ll say/do anything to secure your status as their client, then the BS starts. I do not think that many judges will worry about anything except “Confidential” and the cease and disist- also, the fraudulent/libelous document only further muddies the waters, there’s no telling how this may end up for you

    it was said somewhere in all that mess that “the wheels of justice go very slow, but they grind exceedingly fine” and they’re correct in that assessment.

    I wish you the best with this and I’ll be sure to check back on this and even check out all of the data/facts/info and/or implications/consequences and whatever else that you have to offer in both science and global warming. I’m still out on GW so I look forward to the information you provide.

  126. #126 Bernard J.
    February 27, 2012

    Several sock puppets claim, with a liberal basting of illiteracy:

    Every crime commited [sic] it [sic] a hate crime becuase [sic] no one [sic] commits [sic] crimes against other [sic] out of [sic] love.

    The puppeteer should consider the case of mercy killings – ‘crimes’ committed exactly as a consequence of love.

  127. #127 NJ
    February 27, 2012

    Rob Hood sockpuppets @ 128 & 129:

    NJ is going to keep on arousing me

    Quoted w/o comment…

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