One year ago this week, I wrote an article for the American Spectator in which I accused Peter Gleick, then head of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security, of being a likely suspect in the theft (via e-mail using a false idendity) of confidential documents and information from the Heartland Institute, where I once served on the Board of Directors and remain a Senior Fellow. (For purposes of full disclosure, I have in the past been a donor to Heartland, but have never received a penny in compensation from them.)
In my article, I noted evidence such as a Pacific time zone timestamp on at least one of the documents, even though Heartland’s offices are in the Central Time Zone. Furthermore, it showed the document scanned on an Epson device even though none of the original Heartland documents have such a source.
In addition to trying to pressure donors out of contributing to the Heartland Institute, Gleick also distributed to several Heartland-hating climate alarmist web sites a “strategy document” which he claimed was part of his cachce of Heartland documents. However, the document was a forgery designed to make Heartland look especially bad by claiming that Heartland was engaged in a project to stop teachers from teaching science. It’s particularly crazy, given that the science, such as the planet not having warmed for 16 years, is arguably on the side of the skeptics, and is certainly not “settled” as alarmists (mostly anti-capitalists posing as tree-huggers) claim. But it was picked up by many major news outlets, and that bell is impossible to unring, not least because most major media outlets oppose pro-free market organizations like Heartland and are happy to collaborate in hurting such groups.
Heartland termed the affair “Fakegate” and has a website devoted to following the story.
I closed my article with this: “One has to wonder if Peter Gleick or an alarmist fellow traveler he knows is concerned about an FBI agent knocking on the door sometime soon. Perhaps people should keep an eye on the dumpsters around Gleick’s house for discarded computers or an Epson scanner.”
Comments made on left-wing sites which picked up my article were along the lines of “I wonder when Kaminsky will apologize” and “Kaminsky should be charged with slander.” (Yes, I know, the troll should have said libel, even though he was fundamentally wrong, not least because I made it clear that my suggestion was “just my speculation.”)
Just two or three days later, Gleick admitted to being the theif, and even the NY Times covered the story, twice referring to my AmSpec article which I believe was an important factor in causing Gleick to confess though I doubt I’ll ever know for sure.
Tomorrow (Thursday, February 14th), Peter Gleick will get a most memorable Valentines Day present when the Heartland Institute releases a presentation of the arguments for a criminal prosecution of Gleick for multiple crimes, the specifics of which I have read but am not free to mention until after the document is released.
The document, which I will link to tomorrow and which should be available at fakegate.org tomorrow, has been presented by Heartland’s legal counsel, Jones Day, to the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois “in support of a criminal prosecution in the matter.”
Generally speaking, what I hope people will take away from this tawdry episode is that liberals seem willing to do almost anything, including commit crimes, to try to silence those they disagree with. I have never heard of any conservative or libertarian organization trying to steal information, publicly shame donors who intended to be anonymous, or create fake documents, to muzzle liberals. Instead, the “right” simply tries to win the arguments with facts and logic.
But then, as I’ve said in another context just this week, liberals don’t have principles. They just have desired outcomes. So in their hateful minds, anything they can do to hurt their opposition is OK.
In this case, let’s hope that the Department of Justice believes otherwise. My real fear is that no office under the thumb of Eric Holder will pursue the matter because Holder, his senior staff, and his boss in the White House, probably have greater interest in hurting Heartland than in upholding the rule of law. They are birds of a feather with Gleick. The good news is that the US Attorney in Chicago, Gary Shapiro, who has been called “a prosecutor’s prosecutor” seems like a no-nonsense, non-partisan guy, more likely to do the right thing than not, and not likely to succumb to pressure from Washington not to pursue a case if he believes it’s worth pursuing.
Anyway, we’ll soon see…
Happy Valentines Day, Peter Gleick. Couldn’t happen to a nicer thief…