Anthony Watts, what have you done?

Sadly, and reluctantly I decided to publish this post. But Anthony Watts has crossed a line that should not be crossed with this post.

Who gets the most access to network data (like emails at CRU)?

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/06/who-gets-the-most-access-to-network-data-like-emails-at-uea/

First about Anthony Watts: He has my unreserved admiration for his long and unique work on surface stations in USA, revelling their poor locations, quality etc. This is exceptionally good work from a private citizen when the government and “scientific” organisations failed to do their work.

All this work can be found here http://www.surfacestations.org/

And then his dedicated work on his blog (http://wattsupwiththat.com/) to expose the flawed “science” behind the Global Warming Hysteria. All this work has made his blog, rightfully so, one of the must influential ones. This is extraordinary work from a private citizen.  I stand in salute for that.

But, as I said, he has crossed a line that should not be crossed with the above post.

As a former journalist and working in the government, I am deeply troubled. I posted a comment to his post (see at the end of this post), but I like to explain in more detail why I am so troubled by his post.

What shines through is the absolute naiveté, especially the political naiveté. It’s incredulous. And dangerous.

So let’s first recapitulate which persons/groups are behind the greatest scientific/political scandal in modern time – The Global Warming Hysteria:

So called “scientists” (Big science), the political elites, governments, EU, UN, NGO: s (all goes under Big Government and Global Big Government), the mainstream media (Old Big Media), Big Companies (including ironically Big Oil). Many of them have been at it for nearly 30-40 years.

In sum the establishment.

They don’t care about the truth and give no quarters to anybody. Especially if people are perceived as a threat. These people and groups will never give up their power or privileges voluntarily, or because they are “nice”. And they will fight tooth and nail to keep it.

So it is this “charming lot” we are up against.

There are two parts to this.

First:

The first part is the extensive speculations, going through categories of persons that could have done it, and tips on who is behind the leak etc.

As I said in my comment to his post:

Why on earth should you in any shape or form abet them in trying to catch the person/persons behind the leak?”

This is not your job, Anthony. The governments, with ALL their disposable resources; from police via tax authorities to different intelligence agencies and special ops; HAVE ALL the resources in the world to find this person/persons. If they so chose.

As a journalist, the first rule is to protect your sources. And especially you don’t try and go and expose them  through lengthy examinations and discussion about who they can be.

To give you an analogue with one of the most famous of them all “Deep throat”. This exposed the Nixon administration, including the Watergate scandal.

Imagine if Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein had written lengthy articles about who the source could be, which persons actually had access to that kind of information, which department etc he or she could come from.

How many new sources do you think they would get?  – None. Nada. Zilch. Zero. They would be the pariah of investigative journalism. And for a very good reason too.

Her you have a very reliable source with data that can be controlled and verified. And you want to find out who it is. Thereby risking that person/persons untold “unpleasantness”. Just by speculating.

And Anthony, why do you think FOIA after two years of silence published the WHOLE email file this time, even if you could only access 5000 of them? The rest covered by high encryption and a very long pass phrase?

Because this is his or her insurance against the resources the state can put against them.

Remember that FOIA was very naïve to in the beginning. He/she gave it first to the mainstream media (including laughingly enough BBC). Which of course refused to do anything.

It was only after that it was “leaked”. But however FOIA is, he/she have quickly learned the hard political lessons.

Very telling is the absent from the leaked emails of ANY regarding contacts between the so called “scientists” and politicians or person high up in various administrations/agencies etc.

Why, because I am quite sure that they are there among the rest of the 250 000 emails behind that encryption. So if the state or politicians gets “to close” FOIA will release the pass phrase which will reveal everything in the hidden emails.

That alone should give you pass for thought. And stop this helping to find the person/persons behind the leak.

Second:

So let’s again recapitulate which “charming lot” are behind the greatest scientific/political scandal in modern time:

So called “scientists” (Big science), the political elites, governments, EU, UN, NGO: s (all goes under Big Government and Global Big Government), the mainstream media (Old Big media), Big companies (including ironically Big Oil). Many of the have been at it for nearly 30-40 years.

In sum the establishment.

They don’t care about the truth and give no quarters to anybody. Especially if people are perceived as a threat. These people and groups will never give up their power or privileges voluntarily, or because they are “nice”. And they will fight tooth and nail to keep it.

So it is this “prime example of truthful and nice people” we are up against.

And what does Anthony do?

He writes an email to one of the chief architects behind the Global Warming Hysteria Phil Jones (CRU) and Journal of Geophysical Research; and kindly informs them that he has discovered some security holes.

And admonishes that they “should immediately change all passwords access for these CRU members and I would advise against allowing transmission of live links such as the one above in the future. JGR might also consider a more secure method of manuscript sharing for review.”

Let me se if I get this right:

Anthony  writes to Phil Jones, a guy who literally hates him and has done everything possible to smear and stop him, and tells him about security problems on their systems. And how to stop them so there can be no leaks in the future?

HUUHHH??????

Leaks like Climate gate 1 and 2, which showed in black and white these “scientist”, politicians and “journalists” to be lying, breaking the law, “adjusting” and manipulating data to fit their agenda, stopping ANY dissent and  suppressing any person or paper that dared to question them.

Out of respect for Anthony I will not make some very tempting analogies here.

You have accomplished what the Global Warming Hysterics in their wettest dream didn’t dare to dream.

How sad. And what a shame.

I can only conclude by saying that Anthony, you have crossed a line, and even if you do not understand it yourself, you have become Colonel Nicholson (se below).

Here is my comment to his post published 4.24 am today:

______________________________________

Anthony, have you lost it?

Why on earth should you in any shape or form abet them in trying to catch the person/persons behind the leak? As some have pointed out in their comments.

And Charles.U.Farleys comments are spot on

“In fact if the roles were reversed i think theyd have used any foothold, any loophole to ensure they brought you down rather than simply seek the truth. Personally i dont think its wise to assist them in any way shape or form as its simply helping them to continue unabated.

After all, this is a global war theyre involved in, a war based on lies and disinformation, of treachery and vilification of anyone not supporting “the cause”, and comfort shouldnt be given to enemies of freedom, especuially ones who stoop so low as these.”

Sadly, you very much remind me of commander, Colonel Nicholson played by Alec Guinness in the movie The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957).

The prisoners (British soldiers) are working as little as possible and sabotaging whatever they can at the construction of a bridge.

When Nicholson and his officers are released, he conducts an inspection of the bridge and is shocked by what he finds. Against the protests of some of his officers, he orders Captain Reeves and Major Hughes to design and build a proper bridge, despite its military value to the Japanese, for the sake of his men’s morale. The Japanese engineers had chosen a poor site, so the original construction is abandoned and a new bridge is begun 400 yards downstream.

Nicholson drives his men, even volunteering to have them work harder to complete the bridge on time

The commandos who where parachute in, plant explosives to destroy the bridge and a train carrying Japanese soldiers and important dignitaries is scheduled to be the first to use the bridge the following morning

Making a final inspection, Nicholson spots the wire and brings it to Japanese commander attention. As the train is heard approaching, the two hurry down to the riverbank to investigate.  Joyce, hiding with the detonator, breaks cover and stabs Saito to death; Nicholson yells for help, while attempting to stop Joyce from reaching the detonator. Joyce is killed by Japanese fire. Shears swims across the river, but is shot just before he reaches Nicholson.

Recognising the dying Shears, Nicholson exclaims, ”What have I done?”

I think it sums it up quiet well.

Sophia

__________________________________________________________

UPDATE

Well my post made some stir. As it should because it concerns some important principles.

First, let me say that I find it depressing that so few people really understands the need to protect the sources. And doesn’t understand that mindless speculations are very dangerous in this regard

Second, what shines through, still, in the debate is the absolute naiveté, especially the political naiveté. It’s incredulous. And very dangerous.

This is NOT some tea party where you discus things friendly over biscuits and cake. And have a wee argument.

This is about Power and Real Politics. And the persons behind the Global Warming Hysteria have been playing it for a long time. And very successfully so.

Until people understand this, that it always has been a political agenda, the Global Warming Hysterics will have the upper hand. It has nothing to do with science, facts or saving the environment or the Earth.

Here are some who publicly have commented and linked to my post about Anthony Watts:

 

GREENIE WATCH

Controversial action by Anthony Watts

http://antigreen.blogspot.com/2011/12/controversial-action-by-anthony-watts.html

Watts has been assisting prominent Warmists to avoid any further releases of their emails. He is trying to disable any Climategate III.

Why on earth would be do that when the Climategate releases have been so helpful to skeptics? It appears to be out of some misguided sense of honour but I suspect that the real motive is that he is tired of being reviled by the climate establishment and is hungry for some praise from them: Deeply regrettable on many levels.

A Swedish blogger who herself finds great holes in the reporting of climate statistics is particilarly upset because she knows how unprincipled and dishonest the climate establishment is. She sees what Watts has done as akin to aiding and abetting criminals in their crime.

Read her comments HERE

Tom Nelson

http://tomnelson.blogspot.com/2011/12/anthony-watts-what-have-you-done-udrk.html

Anthony Watts, what have you done? « UD/RK Samhälls Debatt

”Anthony wrights to Phil Jones, a guy who literarily hates him and has done everything possible to smear and stop him, and tells him about security problems on their systems. And how to stop them so there can be no leeks in the future?
HUUHHH??????”

Johnosullivan (Legal analyst and specialist writer on anti-corruption, acts as legal consultant to Dr. Tim Ball)

Why Did Anthony Watts Help Climategate’s Phil Jones?

http://johnosullivan.livejournal.com/42573.html

 “A schism in the ranks of global warming skeptics may ensue due to another gaffe by the world’s most popular science website, WattsUpWithThat. WUWT blogger, Anthony Watts has unashamedly boasted to have tipped off Climategate fraudster, Professor Phil Jones, about a potentially critical further security leak on university Internet servers.”

”You got that? It was his “duty,”says Watts, to help FOIA-denying fraudster Jones (the data-destroyer who unlawfully obstructed other researchers from trying to independently verify CRU climate calculations) to hide even more evidence. With such principled ‘friends’ like Watts does Steve McIntyre need any enemies?

Respected Aussie skeptic, Dr John Ray was so stunned by the Watts email that he penned ‘Controversial action by Anthony Watts’ (December 07, 2011) in response. Dr. Ray bemoans, “Watts has been assisting prominent Warmists to avoid any further releases of their emails. He is trying to disable any Climategate III.” Then Watts appeared to give the finger to Ray and fellow skeptics by declaring, “I opted on the side of doing what I felt was the right course of action. If that upsets a few people, so be it.”

Watts: Not the First Fool to Aid Professor Jones

 When roundly condemned by more savvy commenters on his blog Watts responded on December 6, 2011 at 10:38 am:

“I was told in the reply from Phil Jones and from AGU that others had also been made aware of it, so I wasn’t the first.”

This Watts statement gives the game away: by declaring he was not aware that others had already tipped off Jones and in offering no further justification for his tactically inept action, he is merely conceding, “it wasn’t me who did it!”

As such the image of a snivelling schoolboy caught misbehaving springs to mind. Above all else, this ill-advised gaffe by Watts proves, if proof were needed, that Watts acted in haste and probably without consulting others. As such it shows once again that “Our Side” are a rag-tag bunch of renegades and not the “well-funded and well-organized” team that the narrative of Gore, Hansen, Mann, et al. would have the public believe.

I relate entirely to Dr. Ray and others who are now questioning why Watts would act to help the dastardly Phil Jones to block a potentially excellent source of information for skeptics. Ray speculates that Watts’s apoplexy appears to be triggered by some ”misguided sense of honor.” I can’t see any other logical reason so that may be true.

Ray suspects that an underlying motive is that Watts has become “tired of being reviled by the climate establishment and is hungry for some praise from them: Deeply regrettable on many levels.”

Wider International Frustrations Due to Watts

Ray’s frustrations are echoed by a Swedish blogger (read her comments HERE) similarly perplexed that Watts, a champion of exposing flaws in the ground level global thermometer readings, should want to sink to “aiding and abetting criminals in their crime.” 

Watts just doesn’t seem to have the broader expertize to join the dots on this. In legal parlance, both the mens rea and actus reas were there for any jury to convict Jones of such crimes. Watts doesn’t comprehend that the original criminal charge against Jones under the FOIA was not pursued merely because of a tecnicality –  the short six-month time limit had already expired. “

However, only the self-serving elite in the Crown Prosecution Service, police and UK Government refuse to see that Jones may still be prosecuted for his offenses as per the Fraud Act 2006 ( see Ch. 35. Fraud. ‘1 Fraud. 2 Fraud by false representation. 3 Fraud by failing to disclose information’) where no such time limit gets Jones off the hook.Watts, by being so amenable to Jones, is bolstering the edifice of climate criminality.

Watts just doesn’t get it – these authorities to which Jones is but a mere stooge – are not going to suddenly acquire the principles they manifestly lack and actually start playing by the rules. My own view is thatWattsacted hastily and foolishly to tip off fraudster Jones – such a gaffe gains us nothing and may cost us valuable new information. Scum like Jones do not deserve a helping hand because he and his governmental handlers can’t win a fair fight.”

“But why should Watts want to help scum like Jones? Professor Jones is a man patently caught out engaging in criminal misconduct expressing his intent in emails to colleagues and urging them to join him in unlawfully defying Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. “

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10 svar to “Anthony Watts, what have you done?”

  1. TinyCO2 Says:

    Let me comment on your second concern first.

    Anthony Watts was protecting the Journal as much as Phil Jones, a service that will count on his behalf in future dealings with them. Since other people had already contacted Jones, Anthony didn’t actually change anything but he proves himself to be a good person by doing the honourable thing. Don’t underestimate that, it’s what makes him and his site attractive to a wide range of people. It’s a rare trait these days and very refreshing.

    On your second concern I am more persuaded to agree with you, I don’t think we should be trying to out the ‘miracle’ worker. However, nothing in Anthony’s articles about the person shows any unique insight into who it might be. Indeed, most speculation so far might be entirely wrong.

    Is the hacker/leaker at risk? It all depends upon who it is and what sort of risk. Professionally, yes it’s a dangerous thing to do. Companies don’t like to employ people who can’t keep secrets. However that was the risk the person must have known they were taking. If/when it does come out that person may actually benefit from it, it all depends upon how much support for AGW support remains. Think book deals, interviews, etc.

    Physically, I doubt there is much to be worried about. AGW support is collapsing for more prosaic reasons than Climategate and only people like Mann and Jones are affected enough by the email release to want him/her dead. Certainly, the person is not in danger from Western governmental forces because I suspect they are secretly relieved that they’ve got an excuse to delay acting on global warming.

    As for the police investigation – I suspect they can’t work out what all the fuss is about. No secret formula stolen. No dangerous medical research to be shared with terrorists. No sex scandal. Just a bunch of emails about rubbish science. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were on our side.

    • sophiaalbertina Says:

      TinyCO2,

      The problem is that to the untrained eye it looks “so innocent”, no harm done. But just by going through and analyze the “helpful” comments to Anthony’s post, some of them very knowledgeable and authoritative, it is quickly possible to narrow the filed of persons that FOIA can come from.

      And that’s EXACTLY why you should NEVER, EVER under ANY circumstances publicly, in print or on the internet speculate or trying to find out who the source is.

      Because inadvertently, some “helpful” person, without thinking will eventually spill the beans and give the crucial tip to the persons/authorities looking for the source.

      It is really very simple: you protect your sources. Because you either have them or you don’t.

  2. hro001 Says:

    Sophia, I believe you are mistaken, possibly because – while you do write/speak very well – English is not your first language and there are some nuances that you may have missed.

    There are two points in particular, first it was long ago established that Paul Hudson (BBC) as ”first recipient” who didn’t do anything is incorrect.

    This perception arose from a misreading in some parts of the blogosphere of a post on Hudson’s BBC blog in the early days after CG1 broke. The fact of the matter is that Hudson was cc’d on emails in which he was mentioned, and all he was doing was confirming that those contained in the release that matched the ones he received were genuine.

    The second mistake you make is in your incorrect interpretation of what Anthony had actually written about. The issue was that some of the emails in CG2 contain passwords which enable Jones, Briffa (and others) to access secure areas of the Journal (which is completely unrelated to CRU/UEA).

    That being the case, had I been at Anthony’s keyboard, I might have addressed the E-mail to the Journal with cc to the CRU people whose emails contained the passwords, rather than vice versa, but this is a minor point.

    And if you stop to think about it, by acting as he did – and publicly announcing what he had done – Anthony was, in effect, protecting not only FOIA (whom I prefer to call The Saint) but also the thousands of WUWT readers and other skeptics who’ve been looking at the emails.

    You see, anyone of us (or ”them”) might have opened one of those emails with the Journal link – and inadvertently clicked on it. The access attempt (to the Journal) would have been traceable – and you can bet your bottom dollar that whether it was one of ”them” or one of us, the finger would have been pointed at one or more of us.

    Since day one of CG1, Gavin Schmidt has been attempting to point the finger in our direction [pls. see Of Climategate, constabularies and Copenhagen: Gavin Schmidt’s ever-changing story] –

    In short, there is no way that Anthony’s action could harm The Saint – nor does it in any way ”help” Jones et al.

    As for the discussions regarding the ”identity” … there were similar discussions two years ago 🙂 Not that anyone wanted to determine who might have done it, but because we wanted examine the possibilities as to how the files might have come into FOIA’s possession. In my view, Anthony’s post was a continuation of that discussion.

    So, in light of the above, Sophia, please reconsider the validity of your accusations, which you may now want to retract – and offer Anthony an apology.

    Thanks,
    Hilary

    • sophiaalbertina Says:

      hro001,

      As I said in my post:

      “So let’s first recapitulate which persons/groups are behind the greatest scientific/political scandal in modern time – The Global Warming Hysteria:

      So called “scientists” (Big science), the political elites, governments, EU, UN, NGO: s (all goes under Big Government and Global Big Government), the mainstream media (Old Big Media), Big Companies (including ironically Big Oil). Many of them have been at it for nearly 30-40 years.

      In sum the establishment.

      They don’t care about the truth and give no quarters to anybody. Especially if people are perceived as a threat. These people and groups will never give up their power or privileges voluntarily, or because they are “nice”. And they will fight tooth and nail to keep it.

      So it is this “charming lot” we are up against.”

      And this is the context in which we shall se Anthony’s post and his action. He has crossed a line that should not be crossed with this post.

      What most people still, sadly, do not understand is as I have been saying all along, it has always been a political agenda – anti human, anti freedom, anti development and anti capitalism. And this Global Warming Hysteria is part of that agenda. It has nothing to do with science, facts or saving the environment or the Earth.

      All of this, as always, paid by us, the common people, in the form of taxes, high energy costs and reducing our living standard back to the Stone Age.

      And what shines through in Anthony is the absolute naiveté, especially the political naiveté. It’s incredulous. And dangerous. And his post just confirms it.

      “Not that anyone wanted to determine who might have done it, but because we wanted examine the possibilities as to how the files might have come into FOIA’s possession. In my view, Anthony’s post was a continuation of that discussion.”

      This is EXACTLY the kind of “so innocent”, no harm done” kind of talk, speculations and discussions that is SOOOO dangerous.

      As I said in my answer to TinyCO2:

      “The problem is that to the untrained eye it looks “so innocent”, no harm done. But just by going through and analyze the “helpful” comments to Anthony’s post, some of them very knowledgeable and authoritative, it is quickly possible to narrow the filed of persons that FOIA can come from.

      And that’s EXACTLY why you should NEVER, EVER under ANY circumstances publicly, in print or on the internet speculate or trying to find out who the source is.

      Because inadvertently, some “helpful” person, without thinking will eventually spill the beans and give the crucial tip to the persons/authorities looking for the source.

      It is really very simple: you protect your sources. Because you either have them or you don’t.”

  3. Osynlige Mannen Says:

    Sophia,

    I don’t think we have to worry about our mole. He/she is probably already under suspicion together with another dozen or so people with the same access privileges. But how would this person be at risk? All the 250k+ documents were apparantly taken at the same time, and that was two years ago. Unix environments aren’t normally keeping track of which admin does what, at least not in universities. If there had been a possibility to track down someone, it would have been done long ago. This person knows what he/she is doing and will only get caught if he/she accidently speaks about it in a social environment. Which means zero probability. Unix people have no social life! 😉

    • sophiaalbertina Says:

      Osynlige Mannen,

      Yes, I agree, he or she knows what they are doing. Even if they were very naïve in the beginning. That why I wrote the way I did.

      But you are missing a big point here. I wrote:

      The governments, with ALL their disposable resources; from police via tax authorities to different intelligence agencies and special ops; HAVE ALL the resources in the world to find this person/persons. If they so chose.”

      The catch phrase here is of course “If they so chose”.

      Most people have no idea what it means to catch the wrath of “powers that be”.

      And “Unix people have no social life!” Well, I know several who have.:)

  4. chili palmer Says:

    Thank-you for this post. Regarding commenter above that ‘others had already told Phil Jones of security problems.’ I have no problem believing Jones said that. My question is why would you believe him? I’ve read enough of his statements to know he’s a compulsive liar. Why believe him now? You and Watts use the statement to mitigate the seriousness of what Anthony has done, ie, it doesn’t matter because others already told him. What Jones did was try to take the wind out of Watt’s global genius sails by saying ha ha, you groveled and thought you could teach me but I already knew so there. It’s horrendous that Watts believes the guy about anything at this late date, and yet he takes Jones at his word and plasters it on his site. It’s pathetic but not the first time. Reminds me of Scott Brown, Newt Gingrich, so many want so desperately to be liked by the left and all the good stuff that goes with that.

    • sophiaalbertina Says:

      chili palmer,

      Yes it is truly amazing that any one trust these guys. Especially since we have the track record with shows what they say officially and what they say internally. Regarding Phil Jones you just have to read the emails and compare with his official statements.

      Remember this tactic is nothing new. For example Steve McIntyre got the same answer from among others Phil Jones, “we already know about it/we have been made aware of it”, when he called to attention obvious errors in data and statistical methodology.

      By the way, Phil Jones is a guy who CAN NOT calculate a trend on his own in excel.

      “From: Phil Jones
      Sent: 20 December 2007 13:58
      To: Bob Ward
      Subject: Re: More nonsense on climate change
      ….
      I’m not adept enough (totally inept) with excel to do this now as no-one who knows how to is here.…..
      http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2011/11/23/the-scientific-firmament.html

      This is the “stuff” Global Warming is made of.

      What shines through is the absolute naiveté, especially the political naiveté. It’s incredulous. And dangerous.

  5. gnomish Says:

    what a good friend you must be, Sophia.
    you must have some experience in life.

    directly on the topic: unless somebody already knows what to look for, raising the noise level tends to mask the signal.

    speculation: if there is nothing of consequence in the encrypted emails, then they are much more useful as a plump mystery to encourage speculation than they could ever be if revealed to be nothing new or more of the same.

    • sophiaalbertina Says:

      gnomish,

      “unless somebody already knows what to look for, raising the noise level tends to mask the signal. “

      Well, it is very easy to filter out the noise. Just one example: sociograms. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies have been using them for a long time, and it is very effective. Regardless of how much noise you make.

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