Here are Bob Denton’s insightful remarks:
It’s now possible to analyse how the absence of any formal “truth seeking” process in the Muir Panel procedure permitted it to finesse the damning evidence of the e-mails and meander into inconclusiveness.
The first stage was for the Panel to determine that the e-mail enquiry was not really about the e-mails – it was about what the accused, in the event, achieved. The e-mails evidenced the “guilty mind” and prospective conduct of the conspirators. By moving away from the content of the emails they then suggest that the intent of the conspirators became irrelevant. This is a well recognised and rarely successful ploy. If you shoot at a man with malice and miss the consequence of your malice is mitigated, but not its criminality. The Panel, in the absence of any permitted challenge, have equated absence of success to absence of malice.
By focusing on what they actually achieved the accused are given credit for what others have done to thwart their conspiracy. There are checks and balances within the IPCC and Academic Editing processes which prevented the conspirators to a greater or lesser extent from succeeding. Matters which they excluded from the first draft, as a result of the diligence of others, appear in the second or third draft. Papers which they effectively blackball at one journal are published by another where they hold less sway. Thus the Panel give the credit due to the “have a go heroes” who prevent the crime to the criminals themselves.
The degree of their success in blackballing or devaluing competing views then becomes a matter of judgement. The Panel members give them every benefit of the doubt. Their efforts are diluted by other contributors who lack their animus, to the point where the Panel can opine that they achieved none of their objectives.
The accuseds’ degree of success can easily be read differently – there’s a fear of non-conformity with modal thought which pervades climate science, created as a result of their endeavours, which the panel doesn’t acknowledge, but which many others see as the major damage inflicted by them in the field of climate research.
It could be thought that this aberration of procedure was simply a result of a sloppy approach by panel inexperienced in conducting enquiries. However, there are strong pointers to the contrary.
By adding a lawyer to the panel they would have instantly have added a thousand years of experience to the conduct of its proceedings – Muir, perversely, eschewed this advantage from the start.
From the outset the basic rules of impartiality were abandoned. Geoffrey Bolton, who had a close personal connection with the accused, the department they worked for and the University under scrutiny was chosen as the principal inquisitor. He had no reason to seek to impeach his former colleagues and former university.
In the event, Boulton failed to ask even the most basic questions, such as: “Prof Jones, did you delete any e-mails”. It’s the sort of embarrassing question you can rely on a friend not to ask.
The Panel first failed even to attempt to obtain access to the complete email correspondence until after the originally anticipated publication date for the report. When , at last, they did make an attempt , it was perfunctory. Presumably, in the expectation that things could only get worse if they were inspected, they abandoned the attempt, citing “standard form” spurious reasons. What was initially trumpeted as being one of the main parts of the review – reading the released e-mails in their full context – did not take place., notwithstanding that the complete set of emails were available on a memory stick and could be very quickly made searchable, and searched, as was done with the original release. The panel had simply to start from the emails they had and follow the trail backward and forward. Neither a major task, nor an expensive one, nor would it take that long.
Finally, where the Panel was compelled to a conclusion, as in the case of the WMO graphic, – they found it was deceptive, no ifs, no buts, no maybes – they make no finding about Jones culpability:in a meally mouthed way they merely note that Prof Jones continues to maintain his innocence.
Given all the above I am of the view that the Panel resiled from its remit by intent rather than inadvertence, seeking nothing more from the accused than accounts which would be plausible if unchallenged.
The UEA bought in an Ad-Hoc review panel in much the same way as a lawyer buys in an expert opinion. You buy in the opinion you want.