Jeff Id links to a YouTube video of WikiLeaks’ Assange making a variety of untrue or inflated claims about Climategate and WikiLeaks’ role.
Assange falsely claimed that the Climategate emails were broken by WikiLeaks. This is obviously untrue as CA readers know. I can date WikiLeaks’ entry by contemporary comments. The first notice of the emails at WikiLeaks was 2009/11/21 at 2.50 AM Eastern (12:50 AM blog time). The emails had been downloaded by many people (including me) from a Russian server on Nov 19 and had been downloaded by WUWT moderators on Nov 17. A contemporary comment in a CA thread says that WikiLeaks was down and refers people to megauploads. WikiLeaks has not even been a major reference for Climategate – that belongs to eastangliaemails.com (originally anelegantchaos.org) which was up on Nov 20 and provided a searchable database.
Assange adopted Gavin Schmidt’s disinformation about the “trick… to hide the decline”. While the term “trick” can be used to denote a sophisticated mathematical method, it can also denote something as simple and unscrupulous as deleting adverse data. It is necessary to investigate the facts of the matter and the context. In the example of interest, the Climategate correspondents did not use a sophisticated mathematical method; they simply deleted data that didn’t accord with their expectations. The “investigations” ought to have denounced/renounced such methods and their failure to do so is to their shame.
Given the remarkable lack of speculation about foreign intelligence services hacking into the present WikiLeaks dossier, Assange made some remarkably unsubstantiated fantasies about Russian intelligence, that are almost wild enough for Raymond Pierrehumbert whose similar fantasies were reported on by the NY Times last year.
Assange asserted that UK newspapers had close involvement with UK intelligence, that he had supposedly been told by UK reporters that they had received the dossier from the FSB (presumably FSB, the Russian intelligence) just three days before the Copenhagen conference. Assange then proclaimed that the UK intelligence tried to “frame us as a conduit for the FSB – absolutely outrageous”.
The dates of the Copenhagen conference were Dec 7 to 18, 2009 (see here for example). Gertting the Climategate emails three days before Copenhagen (Dec 4,2009) was hardly a scoop. By that time, even Jon Stewart had done a comedy segment and Minnesotans for Global Warming had issued the Hide the Decline video.
Assange’s lieutenant then observed that the UEA had observed that the Climategate dossier had been selected and that statements had been taken out of context and that the university had promised to “publish the rest of the material to correct the full picture.” In fact, as CA readers know, Acton of the UEA intervened to prevent the panel charged with examining the rest of the material from doing so and the rest of the material remains unexamined and unavailable.
Update: Ross writes in in his usual forceful style:
What a pair of blowhards. They were obviously unnerved by the question. They evidently like leaks that embarrass their political opponents, but in this case they found themselves tagged with a leak that had damaged the side they like; and since it seems to be more about political warfare against governments they dislike than some impartial ideal of transparency and freedom of information, they were stuck scrambling to make up a story about how it really served some nobler purpose. Of course they should simply have said that they weren’t the source of the leak, that it was in full circulation long before anyone looked to them for a copy and they didn’t know much about the details of what followed. But that would have been too humble, especially in front of a room full of simpering hero-worshippers. So they pretended to be insiders and proceeded to deliver a few minutes of sheer drivel.
While I was in the UK last fall, there was brief interest by the UK tabloids in the Russian angle, and an article appeared in the Daily Mail speculating that Russian intelligence officials had hacked the UEA and stolen the emails. But nobody took that line seriously and the story died within 48 hours. If Assange has a shred of evidence to support his lunatic theory he should release it. What’s with these secret communications between him and UK intelligence: out with it, Mr Wikileaks! Bloody poser.
On this issue at least they are nothing but fakes and cretins. Saying that UEA released all the background emails and whatnot to provide the full context is beyond idiocy; and Assange’s discussion of the “trick” is just painful to watch.