In Pursuit of Those with the Wrong Opinion

A few hours ago, British detectives from multiple agencies apparently supported by the US Department of Justice raided the home of a climate skeptic. They showed a search warrant, took computers, and apparently told him that he would get his equipment back after the government was done copying his information.

Here’s a collection of links on this breaking story.

Was he guilty of some crime? Apparently not. But he was one of the first people to possess the Climategate files. Perhaps they think that this skeptic (who posts under the name “Tallbloke”) has clues as to who at the University of East Anglia provided the emails and files that form the Climategate releases.

WordPress has passed along a notification to several skeptic sites not to destroy any information in certain sought-after date ranges, and I’d guess that they are privately cooperating with authorities here since they are doing so publicly.

Why now, and not after the first Climategate in 2009? Because, it seems to me, the new files also contain a massive amount of additional information — but protected by a password which is currently unknown. The file is in the possession of many people already; I have a copy. So when and if the password becomes known, these additional 220,000 files will be wide open.

The people whose blogs were contacted first are the first ones hit by the authorities, including last night’s raid. If you are a prominent skeptic about the very flawed science supporting catastrophic global warming, you are now a target it seems — of more than one government.

This strikes me as a tacit admission of fear on the part of authorities regarding release of the rest of the encrypted emails. And there’s no real way to prevent that, if the passwords are released by anyone (broken or known). The original encryptor knows the passwords, of course; he (or she) does not require a brute force method. (The encryption used is in practical terms not likely breakable.)

So, this action is to preserve the thread of Damocles. It seems futile, and risky, and guaranteed to cause concerns among much of the (voting) public, and yet it is being done anyway. Thus, it smells of desperation, as if at least one of the driving parties feels that there is not much time left.

If, for example, US Attorney General Holder expects to be impeached over his perjury and other acts involving “Fast and Furious,” overreaching here can’t cause him any more grief than he is already lined up for — but he has to initiate things while he still can. I’ve no idea if any logic like that is going through the perpetrators’ minds (in this case, I’m using “perpetrators” to refer to our “limited” government), but that seems plausible to me based upon the bits revealed so far.

It is also troubling to see the happiness on the catastrophists’ side at these doings: the vicarious satisfaction that governments are moving to squash an irritant. Can they truly be so naive as to believe that they could never irritate this or any future administration?

Other things strike me as interesting about this affair: The same media who were so keen to defend Julian Assange and the Wikileaks business are incensed over the Climategate leaks, and have launched “crowdsourcing” attempts to find the whistleblower/hacker and bring that person to “justice.” Never mind that elsewhere, the same paper encourages exactly that sort of whistleblowing. In this case, climate catastrophe skeptics have the wrong opinion, thus it is open season on them. Ah, but the Climategate emails show that media conniving with catastrophist non-government organizations and the scientists involved. No wonder they’re annoyed.

But this is obviously more than media now — the US and UK government (so far) are pushed to do something colossally stupid from a PR perspective. My role in these doings is tiny, but not invisible. (I am more visible in the US for having broken a couple of odd little stories that embarrassed Barack Obama; he described me as “some nut in a basement” which is not quite true.)

I have fought lawsuits in the past when the stakes were measured in the tens of millions, and I am not completely defenseless. But today others are in need of good wishes, from all who care about liberty, and about truth and the freedom to pursue it.

Even if you think that skeptics have it wrong, this heavy-handed squashing of opposition should cause you concern.

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle