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Heartland Institute Threatens To Sue Anyone Who Comments On Leaked Documents

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the stop-talking dept.

Earth 517

Layzej writes "Bloggers around the world have been commenting on recently leaked Heartland Institute documents that reveal their internal strategies to discredit climate science. These posters are now under threat of legal action. According to the Heartland Institute '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'"

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what does waiting have to do with anything? (4, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#39092949)

If the documents are false they were talking about someone else and it's good for them in the long run because they'll have lots of independents to point to and say "these people are the cause of all this!" But if they are real then they're only going to make it look like they're trying to bury the truth (which would, in fact, be the case) and it can only go against them.

Re:what does waiting have to do with anything? (5, Insightful)

SadButTrue (848439) | about 2 years ago | (#39092999)

They seem to be a bit confused about the authenticity of the documents:

"Therefore, the authenticity of those documents has not been confirmed." (in bold none the less)
then at the bottom:

"How did this happen? The stolen documents were obtained by an unknown person who fraudulently assumed the identity of a Heartland board member and persuaded a staff member here to “re-send” board materials to a new email address."

Err so they are your documents but you cannot confirm that they are your documents?

Re:what does waiting have to do with anything? (5, Insightful)

MisterMidi (1119653) | about 2 years ago | (#39093139)

They claim at least one document has been faked (the climate strategy memo) and others may have been altered. If this is indeed the case, the documents aren't authentic.

Re:what does waiting have to do with anything? (5, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 2 years ago | (#39093229)

Of course they claim one is faked. It's so damaging to them they don't have any other means of defence other than to claim fake. We can expect them to say it's faked either way.

Whether it actually is faked or not is another matter. There's no evidence one way or the other. But it being in a bundle with genuine documents does put the balance of probabilities on it also being genuine.

Re:what does waiting have to do with anything? (5, Insightful)

sed quid in infernos (1167989) | about 2 years ago | (#39093327)

"But it being in a bundle with genuine documents does put the balance of probabilities on it also being genuine." No, it doesn't. We know the person who obtained whatever genuine documents are there is dishonest and has an agenda.* How does the "balance of probabilities" say that this person didn't do something else dishonest to further his agenda? We have no knowledge on this point one way or the other.

*I know some people say the same thing about the institute itself. Which is why I have no idea whether that document is fake or not.

Re:what does waiting have to do with anything? (1)

MisterMidi (1119653) | about 2 years ago | (#39093339)

I agree. They look legit to me. I was just pointing out the error in gp's reasoning. If the documents are indeed altered (and that's a big if), they're not authentic. FWIW, I don't believe them, as they could easily have verified the documents by now. Select all, copy, paste in new text document, diff with the original files, done.

How about the power of rumor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39093379)

One way to deal with threats of libel suits is to present data from the documents as if they were rumors. Yes, the data will be less believed, but it will also be impossible to keep the data from spreading. And, of course, any data-item that gets proved-to-be-true simply reinforces the believability of all the other data items.

Re:what does waiting have to do with anything? (4, Informative)

demonlapin (527802) | about 2 years ago | (#39093389)

There is actually a pretty significant amount of evidence it's faked. Every document in the bundle except the strategy memo and an IRS document was printed to PDF in the central time zone. The IRS document was printed to PDF in GMT-4. The strategy memo was scanned in with an Epson scanner to a PDF by someone in the Pacific time zone. All documents except the strategy memo and a board directory were printed to PDF on January 16, the day before a board meeting. The board directory was printed January 25. The strategy memo was created at 3:41 PM on February 13. If you want more, read over here [theatlantic.com] .

In short, it really looks like someone got a bunch of real documents and then threw something in to sex it up a bit. The problem for them is that they did it so damned badly. The problem for Heartland is that they're acting like dicks toward a lot of people, when they should be upending heaven and hell to find the memo forger and crucifying him for libel.

Re:what does waiting have to do with anything? (5, Insightful)

FirstOne (193462) | about 2 years ago | (#39093397)

The first thing a defendant's lawyer is going to do is subpoena a true copy of the originals. Then the cat will be out of the BAG for sure.

Re:what does waiting have to do with anything? (1)

gox (1595435) | about 2 years ago | (#39093147)

Not that I believe them but the article is quite clear:

Some of these documents were stolen from Heartland, at least one is a fake, and some may have been altered.

Re:what does waiting have to do with anything? (1)

niftydude (1745144) | about 2 years ago | (#39093053)

As if anyone is going to trust Heartland to confirm the authenticity of documents that damaging. Ridiculous.

Anyway, if they try to sue anyone, then their lawyers are going to get spanked. Truth is a complete defence against defamation.

Re:what does waiting have to do with anything? (2)

sed quid in infernos (1167989) | about 2 years ago | (#39093347)

"Truth is a complete defence against defamation." And you know the disputed document is authentic how, exactly?

Re:what does waiting have to do with anything? (5, Insightful)

Gideon Wells (1412675) | about 2 years ago | (#39093295)

The innocent have nothing to fear, yes, I know that.

If they fear commenting on these documents to such a degree, I have to ask why, All they have to do is never confirm the documents (or wait a few months, on a Friday, at midnight). So there is an easy route of censorship there.

Second, the whole climate change is bunk movement's claim is that politics is being played, and you can't trust the results saying it is happening. We have a memo here implying that politics might be being played, and research/motives to be questioned. Revealing this is grounds for being sued.

Third, lawsuits potentially coming? Even ignoring the chilling effect, do we really need to reach that stage of escalation int his subject where every time someone speaks for one side the other side begins suing?

They are all attacking the messengers and trying to cease the message. They have yet to put out anything to show these are false. Just silencing the people trying to talk about this.

reputation? you never HAD one, sorry (4, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 years ago | (#39092953)

we plan to pursue charges and collect payment for damages, including damages to our reputation.

lol

you guys are fundies. your rep is what it is, memos or no memos.

enjoy your 'moment of babs', you losers.

Re:reputation? you never HAD one, sorry (5, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | about 2 years ago | (#39093381)

we plan to pursue charges and collect payment for damages, including damages to our reputation.

Translation: we're going to sue everyone we possibly can, because the papers were correct, our position is publicly indefensible, and the only resource we have is lawyers and money to threaten people with like mafia leg-breakers.

This from the same money-laundering front group (I call them this as they REFUSE to disclose their donor list) who commissioned bogus "studies" to try to claim cigarette smoke isn't dangerous.

What, no comments? (5, Funny)

salvorHardin (737162) | about 2 years ago | (#39092955)

Strangely, there don't seem to be many comments on the subject of "Heartland Institute Threatens To Sue Anyone Who Comments...".

Interestingly (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39092959)

Their view of law is very similar to their view of science.

Re:Interestingly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39093365)

A lot of hot air...?

How much could they sue (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39092963)

For a first post?

Posturing (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 2 years ago | (#39092965)

Of course, it all those that published the documents now cower in fear, then mere posturing can be quite effective. Manipulating emotions (as they do not have any rational arguments at all) is, after all, a specialty of this truly and utterly evil organization.

Streissand (5, Funny)

Sqr(twg) (2126054) | about 2 years ago | (#39092969)

Hiring Barbara Streissand as a legal consultant was not their smartest move.

Re:Streissand (4, Insightful)

bagorange (1531625) | about 2 years ago | (#39093069)

Maybe the Streisand Effect will get more eyeballs on their sites?
They claim that their message is being suppressed by the forces of evil anyway. Their target audience might just see the leaks as the work of the conspiracy of freedom haters and lap up the message.

Re:Streissand (1)

Hrdina (781504) | about 2 years ago | (#39093165)

I wish you were joking...

Re:Streissand (5, Informative)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 2 years ago | (#39093251)

Their target audience might just see the leaks as the work of the conspiracy of freedom haters and lap up the message.

Of course they will. The very same people that were so pleased that the CRU email server was hacked into in the so called "Climategate" affair. That said how great it was that this information was now in the public domain.

Cretins.

Re:Streissand (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39093105)

They want the Streisand effect. Their job is to create the impression of widespread doubt, the opposite of consent. What better way to do that than a heated debate? Observe how they will redirect the publicity away from their motives to the "topic at hand: climate change".

Re:Streissand (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39093217)

Science,
Like the corners of my mind
Misty water-colored Science
Of the way we were

Scattered pictures,
Of the Lies we left behind
Lies we gave to one another
For the way we were

Can it be that it was all so simple then?
Or has time re-written every line?
If we had the chance to do it all again
Tell me, would we? could we?

Science, may be beautiful and yet
What's too painful to remember
We simply choose to forget

So it's the laughter
We will remember
Whenever we remember...
The way we were...
The way we were...

Re:Streissand (1)

jo_ham (604554) | about 2 years ago | (#39093405)

They were hoping to nose ahead in the legal proceedings.

Comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39092971)

Heartland institute.. A bunch of lying douchebags!

Come sue me.. You'll fuck that up too.

authenticity confirmed (4, Insightful)

Lehk228 (705449) | about 2 years ago | (#39092973)

'the individuals who have commented so far on these documents did not wait for Heartland to confirm or deny the authenticity of the documents.

well I guess that confirms the authenticity now

Re:authenticity confirmed (3, Informative)

PapayaSF (721268) | about 2 years ago | (#39093059)

Many of the documents seem to be genuine, but the "smoking gun" document that everyone is quoting looks like a fake. This possibility seems to have been raised first here on Slashdot by eldavojohn [slashdot.org] , and Megan McArdle of The Atlantic has written extensively about it. [theatlantic.com]

The Heartland people are making themselves look bad with these silly threats, though, which will lose them the sympathy they should get as victims of a forgery-based smear job.

Re:authenticity confirmed (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39093151)

Megan McArdle? Really?

Just what does an economics writer who knows nothing about either economics or simple math have to do with document authentication?

Re:authenticity confirmed (4, Insightful)

Jiro (131519) | about 2 years ago | (#39093255)

If the documents made the left look bad instead of the right everyone would be falling over themselves to claim that Internet people with no professional training who figured out the documents were fake were doing the people a valuable service and a prime example of how the Internet empowered the common man.

There certainly have been cases in the past where fake documents were exposed by people on the Internet with no professional training. Remember Dan Rather's Killian documents? (Another case where the documents made the right look bad, but turned out to be fabricated). It wasn't the mass media that exposed those--it was guys on the Internet.

Re:authenticity confirmed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39093305)

The problem is listening to anything that Megan McArdle says, considering that she's an extreme right-wing hack with a huge axe to grind, not a journalist.

Re:authenticity confirmed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39093111)

Some of these documents were stolen from Heartland, at least one is a fake, and some may have been altered.

RTFA

Under what pretense ? (4, Interesting)

zero.kalvin (1231372) | about 2 years ago | (#39092981)

Even if they were written by his holiness Satan himself, I don't get how that would stop me from 'commenting' on them!

Re:Under what pretense ? (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#39093049)

I guess they're hoping that their opponents are as gullible as their supporters.

Right Wingers (0)

kurt555gs (309278) | about 2 years ago | (#39092983)

And some of you want Republicans in public office?

Re:Right Wingers (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#39093079)

As opposed to Democrats? Some of us want to kick both parties out of our government.

Re:Right Wingers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39093143)

I hope that is your true belief, but many who profess that claim turn right around and vote for one party regardless.

Not that I blame them, the party ffactionalism makes character less relevant than pattern

Re:Right Wingers (5, Interesting)

History's Coming To (1059484) | about 2 years ago | (#39093163)

You'll probably like the Lamb Of God frontman [tumblr.com] who's standing for election.

My first act as President of the United States will to be shot. That’s right, SHOT. With a high-powered assault rifle. Immediately after taking the oath of office, I will be escorted about twenty yards away and be shot publicly in a non-lethal area of my body by a highly trained Navy SEAL sniper. It will hurt like fuck. Why would I do this? Because I will now be commander-in-chief of the armed forces. This means that during my term I will probably have to make some tough decisions affecting the survival of other men. And as commander-in-chief, I shouldn’t expect anyone in our military to do anything I’m not willing to do myself. That includes getting shot. Me being shot will be broadcast live world-wide via satellite, with no bleeping out of the incredible string of curse words I will undoubtably let fly with. I will be required to walk/limp/crawl on my own power a minimum of 50 yards through the mud to an ambulance that will take me away to patch me up. If I can’t make it on my own, I’m not tough enough to be your President.

Re:Right Wingers (3, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | about 2 years ago | (#39093329)

Shot in a known nonlethal way. Bah. Many sociopaths would do that if it means they get what they want.

Here's how to really be commander-in-chief, risk your life on the line and lead the soldiers out to battle in spirit:
http://slashdot.org/journal/208853/how-to-reduce-unwanted-wars [slashdot.org]

That would make even sociopaths think harder before telling others to put life and limb on the line. When you send soldiers to war you're not sending them to be shot in nonlethal parts of their bodies.

Re:Right Wingers (3, Insightful)

forkfail (228161) | about 2 years ago | (#39093191)

Just remember - power abhors a vacuum. Maybe you're right to want to kick both out (as I'm sometimes inclined), but if the power structure of government is torn down, others will move quickly to fill that void. And the power poised at this time is corporate power, which when allowed to be unchecked is not controlled by the invisible hand, but rather, becomes an heriditary feudalistic system.

Yeah, they're corrupt as all getup. But when the question is tear it all down or try to fix what we've got, and tearing it all down opens things up to even worse scenarios, one is only left with trying to find a way to fix what is.

At least, until it gets so bad that everyone takes to the streets and we wind up shooting each other until the rage is burned out and the next generation of politicians of some stripe take the reigns.

Re:Right Wingers (2)

TheLink (130905) | about 2 years ago | (#39093443)

At least, until it gets so bad that everyone takes to the streets and we wind up shooting each other until the rage is burned out and a Dictator of some stripe takes the reins.

Fixed that for you.

When you have a violent revolution, the odds are the person or group willing AND capable of exerting the most violence will rise to the top. Once they rise to the top, they are unlikely to give up their power or hold democratic elections. At which point who in the country can kick them out? They already have proven to be capable of the most violence.

And that's why Communist revolutions end up as dictatorships - the Communist Manifesto has violence as part of the implementation plan. When the process of selecting your leaders is not by votes but by violence what do you expect? Once in a while you may get a benevolent dictator, but generally you have to wait for the Dictator's children or grandchildren's generation for things to start changing for the better.

Re:Right Wingers (3, Interesting)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | about 2 years ago | (#39093107)

Well, to be fair, the Democrats are only slightly better... And are in bed with the RIAA and the MPIAA. (Among other things.)

It's really a matter of 'who will do the least damage to the country', not 'who will make the country better'.

(Personally, I refuse to vote for either party, but I know that it's a vain hope that my vote will make any difference.)

Comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39092997)

This is a comment. Will you sue me now?

Re:Comment (1)

cvtan (752695) | about 2 years ago | (#39093091)

I'd like to comment on your comment. They are going to sue anyone with the initials "AC". I feel good commenting on this because, according to the Heartland site, they support "Ideas That Empower People". They also admit that some of the stolen documents are genuine. Why not just claim that everything made public is a fabrication?

MAKE MY DAY (1)

mbone (558574) | about 2 years ago | (#39093001)

Go ahead. Make my day. Sue on that basis. Let me make some popcorn.

Heartland Institute? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39093007)

I have never heard of it, and have no comment about it.

So sue me! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39093011)

Heartland, you suck. And you are fraudulent shills whoring out to the highest bidder. Not that we didn't know that before.

Your turn!

bored (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39093021)

And then maybe if YOU'RE bored, you can learn the difference between your and you're.

My comment on the leaked documents (1)

SloWave (52801) | about 2 years ago | (#39093023)

My opinion is that if these documents are true then Heartland Institute should be dragged across burning hot coals and their stomachs roasted and eaten.

Fuck Heartland Institute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39093025)

These are all my opinions, 100% protected by the first amendment, so go fuck yourselves.

A) You're not in the heartland
B) You have no heart
C) Fuck You!
D) You deserve to be sued out of existence for trying to do the country and the people of the country irreparable harm just to cash in by spewing non accurate drivel.

Mission accomplished (2)

pecila (1647383) | about 2 years ago | (#39093029)

"Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems."

Re:Mission accomplished (1)

Torinir (870836) | about 2 years ago | (#39093415)

I dunno... I think a more accurate description of their mission is: "to discover, develop and promote social and economic problems to free-market solutions."

Hypocrisy at its finest (5, Insightful)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | about 2 years ago | (#39093031)

The most fascinating thing about this is the general hypocrisy involved. Whenever the whole "ClimateGate" matter occurred, Heartland was at the front of trumpeting the documents from that (which incidentally turned out to be utterly benign), with zero concern about the ethics of taking confidential documents from other people using hacking. Yet now, when the same thing happens to them, they use every bit of the legal system to go after not just the people who actually did do it but anyone who is then commenting or reproducing the documents. Really charming behavior.

Re:Hypocrisy at its finest (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#39093113)

I can't sort out what part of the legal system they plan on using. If you can find the leak, then certainly you can persue them criminally and civilly. Perhaps if it's being reproduced word for word on websites, then you can probably go for copyright infringement, though by now the document has spread to the four corners of the planet and it's far past the point when that's really a meaningful option. As to suing people that comment on the document, that's patently absurd. In most Western countries there are protections on that sort of speech. I guess you could try to claim libellous conduct, but by now tens of thousands of people have likely commented on it, and the idea that you can actually bring any fraction of them into court is highly unlikely, and that's not even talking about the odds of conviction (pretty low in the US, that's for sure).

I've seen some pretty pathetic legal threats, but this more resembles the kind of nonsense I used to see on some Internet forums where some nasty little prick, when cornered, would make some vague legal threat. Might as well threaten that Jesus will come down and stomp on your balls.

Re:Hypocrisy at its finest (2)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about 2 years ago | (#39093247)

I guess you could try to claim libellous conduct

That would only work if they could prove the documents were indeed forgeries and that the commenters knew about them being forgeries. Neither of which applies in this case, so no libellous conduct - defense for them. In short, there is nothing they can do about this, they're just pushing out lots of hot air right now.

Re:Hypocrisy at its finest (2)

mbone (558574) | about 2 years ago | (#39093281)

That would only work if they could prove the documents were indeed forgeries....

For some reason, Wilde vs Queensberry comes to mind here.

Re:Hypocrisy at its finest (1)

demonlapin (527802) | about 2 years ago | (#39093417)

If they can find the memo forger, though, they will have an excellent case against him or her.

Re:Hypocrisy at its finest (2)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 2 years ago | (#39093257)

In most Western countries there are protections on that sort of speech.

All you need to do is find one jurisdiction where there aren't. For the English language, the jurisdiction of choice is England and Wales. It's called "libel tourism [wikipedia.org] ."

Re:Hypocrisy at its finest (2)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | about 2 years ago | (#39093285)

The most fascinating thing about this is the general hypocrisy involved. Whenever the whole "ClimateGate" matter occurred, Heartland was at the front of trumpeting the documents from that (which incidentally turned out to be utterly benign), with zero concern about the ethics of taking confidential documents from other people using hacking. Yet now, when the same thing happens to them, they use every bit of the legal system to go after not just the people who actually did do it but anyone who is then commenting or reproducing the documents. Really charming behavior.

You want to see even greater hypocrisy? Go to the Heartland Institute site and look up their articles on Tort Reform. Hypocrisy indeed!

Re:Hypocrisy at its finest (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39093383)

The Climategate emails have never been proven to have been stolen. Many people believe they were in fact leaked.

The Climategate emails were true. At least one of these documents was almost certainly faked.

Climategate involved emails that were created by people working for the public, with public funds, and making recommendations to the public. These documents were a private organization, working with private funds.

In short, it's different. As someone else said in this thread, the Heartland Institute is making itself look bad. And probably has no real legal case. On the other hand, bloggers who spread the faked document all over the internet when it was pretty obvious from the start that it was villian-monologuing over-the-top and noticeably different from the rest of the documents pretty much deserve what they get legally.

Sins of omission (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39093041)

The critical detail missing from the original post is that Heartland claims that one of the documents in question - the "incriminating" one - is a forgery. Unlike some other recent leaks - any Wikileaks scandal and Climategate, for example, the authenticity of the documents is in question. If the docs have been faked, it's an important change in the context.

How should an organization (or individual) respond to something falsely attributed to them?

Re:Sins of omission (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#39093123)

State it's a forgery. What else can you do? Do you think threatening every person who comments on the document is a rational response?

Re:Sins of omission (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39093429)

About 0% percent of the sites that published the story will follow up with a retraction if it is shown the documents are fake, though. That's how the media rolls.

TFS artfully avoids mentioning their assertion that the frequently-quoted "strategy document" was a fake, which is a pretty important piece of context for the discussion.

Hell, it even continues to state that the documents "reveal their internal strategies to discredit climate science". That makes it sound like the institute hasn't disavowed the strategy document. That is pretty libellous when the very page it links to state that it's a fake.

Feeling lonely. (1)

TaBuNiW (827374) | about 2 years ago | (#39093045)

Can't wait for the letter from the legal department of these science hating fuckers. Feeling lonely.

Scientology (3, Insightful)

David Gerard (12369) | about 2 years ago | (#39093055)

Because it worked so well for Scientology [suburbia.net] .Yeah, I can't see this going wrong in any way at all.

Pants on fire. (3, Funny)

sgt scrub (869860) | about 2 years ago | (#39093061)

The best way to win in the court room is to prove a witness has a history of lying. This begs the question, "Who from Heartland could be a credible witness"?

Re:Pants on fire. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39093129)

Although I agree with your sentiments wholeheartedly I don't think 'begs the question' [wikipedia.org] means what you think it means

Re:Pants on fire. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39093341)

and if they sue, then there is the small issue of discovery. Where the defense team can ask for backup tapes, other access to prove/disprove these items. They are already on the defensive. Even suing someone, though it might seem as an attack, would open them up even more (though I am sure there is a bit of house cleaning going on now).

Gee, this was never a problem for "Climategate" (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39093067)

The Heartland Institute didn't find it necessary for following this protocol for commenting on leaked documents when it came to Climategate [heartland.org] .

the most logical /. response is to organize... (2)

acidfast7 (551610) | about 2 years ago | (#39093071)

everyone to comment on it! Where is the FB group? or where is published link so that I can refer to the referenced blog in a status update. it's about time that /. realized that it has a moral duty to combat stuff like this. without organization, ACTA would still be a huge deal.

GIant... (1)

Ryanrule (1657199) | about 2 years ago | (#39093077)

...assholes. They are kock connected to. I would if anon would do a group mob hit buy?

Fake. (1, Interesting)

cryptical (128203) | about 2 years ago | (#39093081)

The "smoking gun" memo is most likely faked, see Megan McArdle's analysis at http://www.theatlantic.com/megan-mcardle/ [theatlantic.com]

Re:Fake. (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#39093223)

I read it and I don't find it compelling. Also she is dumb or a shill, read down to the story collection she posted before the "analysis"

Pharma shoots self, the rest of us, in the foot:

But what you didn't hear from Sen. Kagan today is what happened behind the scenes. It turns out that big pharma helped to kill an earlier version of the TREAT Act, which would have created an entirely new "progressive and exceptional approval" pathway for innovative new drugs: something that could have turbocharged drug development in several fields.

Big Pharma does NOT repeat NOT want it to be easier to bring new drugs to market, that would make competition feasible, and it would eliminate their competitive advantage over naturopathic medicine, which is being forced off store shelves firstly by being prevented from making even those claims supported by science, and secondly by assertions that citations from scientific research or historical data is the same as making claims. This does not represent a self-foot-shooting, only the usual crapping-on-us. Again, she's dumb or a shill and I'm not interested in her opinion. We've seen out-of-style memos in larger releases of information before, so unless there's some compelling evidence either way I will just continue to ignore it like I am the whole flap.

Re:Fake. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39093357)

I never read The Atlantic before but I always used to think it was a real news source but now I see it's just conservative infotainment. Good to know.

shakespeare's answer: (2)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 2 years ago | (#39093083)

"methinks the lady doth protest too much"

if the documents were fake, they wouldn't elicit such a strong reaction. therefore, the documents are real

Re:shakespeare's answer: (2)

Jiro (131519) | about 2 years ago | (#39093291)

if the documents were fake, they wouldn't elicit such a strong reaction. therefore, the documents are real

By your reasoning, it should be okay to run around saying that black people are low IQ and are stealing all the white women. I mean, you know there would be a strong reaction to that, right? So it must be true.

Re:shakespeare's answer: (4, Informative)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | about 2 years ago | (#39093315)

"methinks the lady doth protest too much"

if the documents were fake, they wouldn't elicit such a strong reaction. therefore, the documents are real

Not to be nit-picky, but when the queen said this in Hamlet, she meant "promise" too much, as the word was sometimes used then.

Re:shakespeare's answer: (1)

sessamoid (165542) | about 2 years ago | (#39093421)

Plus GP misquoted the Shakespeare.

Re:shakespeare's answer: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39093399)

"methinks the lady doth protest too much"

if the documents were fake, they wouldn't elicit such a strong reaction. therefore, the documents are real

You don't understand that (mis)quote, methink.
http://www.enotes.com/shakespeare-quotes/lady-doth-protest-too-much-methinks

Re:shakespeare's answer: (1)

sed quid in infernos (1167989) | about 2 years ago | (#39093433)

And anyone who says they're not an alcoholic is just in denial, right?

AWWW... (2)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | about 2 years ago | (#39093089)

Perhaps some of their funding is under threat as the pendulum slowly moves away from anti-science craziness to wondering why the Greenland glaciers are melting and whether buying beachfront property is now only a short term investment. Perhaps, I don't know, some very rich people are looking at San****m* and Romney and thinking that, just perhaps, the time has come to start repositioning themselves as progressives, because rich people like to be on the winning side. And perhaps suing John Doe for punitive damages for commenting on a leaked document looks like a way of restoring some of that funding.

*letters omitted to protect sensitive but uninformed Slashdot readers from the effects of a Google search.

sue this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39093097)

all people at the institute rim goats and kiss underage boys. climate science is as false as my statement

Re:sue this (1)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | about 2 years ago | (#39093325)

all people at the institute rim goats and kiss underage boys. climate science is as false as my statement

Slanderous nonsense! Everyone knows they kiss goats and rim underage boys.

Here iz me commenting on ur leaked docz. (4, Funny)

forkfail (228161) | about 2 years ago | (#39093109)

And to make sure that there's some substance:

My read on the documents is that they provide conclusive proof that the Heartland Institute promoted systematic criminal fraud, corrupted science and effectively engaged in treasonous activity.

There. Now sue me.

Re:Here iz me commenting on ur leaked docz. (2)

ixnaay (662250) | about 2 years ago | (#39093293)

I would have modded this up, but I am terrified that could possibly be construed as a 'comment' by our Heartland masters.

Climategate policy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39093133)

"Lessons: Disagreement over the causes, consequences, and best policy responses to climate change runs deep. We understand that.

But honest disagreement should never be used to justify the criminal acts and fraud that occurred in the past 24 hours. As a matter of common decency and journalistic ethics, we ask everyone in the climate change debate to sit back and think about what just happened."

They're right, of course. But I wonder if their condemnation was as strong over the "Climategate" affair.

Incidentally, from their website (4, Funny)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | about 2 years ago | (#39093137)

Those persons who posted these documents and wrote about them before we had a chance to comment on their authenticity should be ashamed of their deeds, and their bad behavior should be taken into account when judging their credibility now and in the future.

Presumably they have the same attitude to the leaked University of East Anglia emails, and have campaigned to have the people responsible for the leak, and the many, many denialists who misrepresented their contents, taken to court.

Heartland Institute Corruption? (4, Funny)

andydread (758754) | about 2 years ago | (#39093197)

I would seem that the Heartland institute [arstechnica.com] is a truly corrupt entity. The Heartland institute [arstechnica.com] cannot expect to stifle discussion of their seemingly corrupt behaviour. The Heartland institute [arstechnica.com] must not have heard of the Streisand Effect. Maybe the Heartland institute [arstechnica.com] should get a a clue and stop trying to squelch discussion. Its funny that the Heartland institute [arstechnica.com] is trying to squelch speech yet the Heartland institute [arstechnica.com] claims to be for free speech. The Heartland institute [arstechnica.com] were at the front of the line waving internal documents of climate scientists. Yet The Heartland institute [arstechnica.com] is now threatening to sue anyone who discusses their internal Documents. Such pathetic doublestandards highlight the hypocrisy of the Heartland institute [arstechnica.com] A poster child for corruption.

Sue me (2)

2Y9D57 (988210) | about 2 years ago | (#39093227)

So sue me. If the district court judges here can stop laughing long enough, they'll sanction your lawyer and award me costs.

My comments on these documents: (4, Insightful)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | about 2 years ago | (#39093235)

FUCK YOU HEARTLAND INSTITUTE. FUCK YOU. FUCK YOU. FUCK. YOU.

Whew... Now that that is off my chest...

This is completely unacceptable. We really ought to have laws in place to smack down people that try to use the legal system to suppress protected speech -- this type of prosecution, regardless of the ultimate outcome, causes great harm to the people that are caught up in it. It can cost tens of thousands of dollars to defend yourself, which is financially ruinous to the average person. This creates a chilling effect on free speech, which we really cannot allow if we want to remain free. I honestly believe that the people from the Heartland Institute belong behind bars for even attempting such a thing. So, in short, fuck off Heartland Institute. Keep your shit-digging hands off of my civil liberties. Even if you weren't a braindead anti-science piece of shit of an organization, I would think that it is time for you to go. The fact that everything your institute stands for is a huge, fat, retarded lie does not help your case.

Re:My comments on these documents: (0)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#39093387)

This is completely unacceptable. We really ought to have laws in place to smack down people that try to use the legal system to suppress protected speech

The easiest such law would be the protection of free speech. Sadly, free speech isn't implemented in its ideal form anywhere, and this is a fine example how libel/slander laws can be used to silence the opposition.

Heartland Institute = propaganda machine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39093245)

Various groups want to convince the public that things which
might not be true are "facts".

So these groups fund "studies".

These groups do NOT care about the truth or the consequences
of acting on lie.

Vote accordingly, this November.

I'm leaving Slashdot (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39093301)

Hi, I'm Anonymous Coward and I've been posting to slashdot from the very beginning.

However you lot have just become too fucking old. You've lost your idealism, and become shitty old men, which is why I'm moving to Reddit.
At first I was concerned by the lack of editors, but it's not like the editors here are worth a damn, and the new censorship system is just unacceptable. The mod system doesn't even go up to 11.

Well, it's been fun but fuck you all. And your mothers.
Good bye sirs.

SLAPP! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39093307)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic_lawsuit_against_public_participation

Even worse, this isn't even the lawsuit, but the threat of the lawsuit. Does that count as racketeering?

From Internets to Heartland (2, Informative)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | about 2 years ago | (#39093309)

Come at me bro.

As it turns out, we do know what burden of proof is. We know that you have it. And I am prepared and willing to watch yourself just try to violate the axiom of non-contradiction. Either they're your documents or they're not.

See there is this thing called the first amendment...

Always idiots... (4, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | about 2 years ago | (#39093335)

OK, suppose everything Heartland says about the documents is true: someone leaked a bunch of real documents, and slipped a bogus "smoking gun" memo in there.

Any PR firm worth its salt could have a field day with that, portraying the Heartland Institute as the victim. Why would they then ruin it by making ridiculous statements implying it's an individual's legal obligation to fact check a document before commenting on it? Do they just have an institutional need to twirl their evil mustache?

Document already shown as fake. (2, Informative)

will_die (586523) | about 2 years ago | (#39093367)

There have been plenty of places that have shown the document is a false.
Here is one from a liberal source so some of you will not automatically ignore the truth http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/02/leaked-docs-from-heartland-institute-cause-a-stir-but-is-one-a-fake/253165/ [theatlantic.com]

NO U, Heartland (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39093375)

Dear Heartland: I "believe [your] actions constitute civil and possibly criminal offenses for which WE THE PEOPLE should plan to pursue charges and collect payment for damages". Your actions are roughly comparable to convincing residents of a burning building that it's not actually on fire and that they shouldn't evacuate or try to put out the fire. Fucking die, you worthless Christianist oil-whore scum.

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