Heartland Institute urges action on 'Fakegate'

By Joseph Bast | Feb 14, 2013

Today (Feb. 14) marks the one-year anniversary of “Fakegate,” the day Pacific Institute President Peter Gleick sent to liberal activists and reporters documents he stole from The Heartland Institute and claimed to have obtained from a ‘Heartland insider’ and later from an ‘anonymous source.’

The documents included Heartland’s annual budget, fundraising plan, and other confidential documents. Media outlets in the U.S. and around the world reported on the ‘leak’ of ‘secret plans’ by an anonymous ‘insider’ at the world’s most prominent think tank promoting skepticism about man-made global warming.

Gleick eventually confessed to being the ‘insider’ and explained that he had stolen the identity of another person – a member of Heartland’s board of directors, it soon became known – in order to steal the confidential documents. There was no ‘leak.’ Gleick also admitted to lying about the nature of one document he originally claimed had come from Heartland, a ‘strategy memo’ that purported to describe Heartland’s plans to address climate change in the coming year. That document was quickly shown to be a fake, written to misrepresent and defame The Heartland Institute. Gleick denied he was the author of the fake memo.

The Heartland Institute, a nonprofit organization, retained legal counsel to formally request that the U.S. Attorney prosecute Peter Gleick for the federal crimes of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Today, one year after the crime was revealed and nearly one year after Gleick’s confession, the U.S. Attorney still has not filed charges against Gleick.

We urge everyone who has an interest in the global warming debate to review the “Criminal Referral of Dr. Peter H. Gleick Talking Points” presentation and decide for themselves whether Peter Gleick should be tried for his crimes. We ask the reporters and activists who were fooled by Gleick’s lies and who used the documents he stole and may have forged to attack The Heartland Institute, rather than come to our defense as the victim of a serious crime, to revisit their decisions and cover the story again, this time honestly.

And we urge everyone to ‘look under the hood’ at the real science behind the global warming scare and recognize that man-made global warming is not a crisis.

Joseph Bast is president and CEO of The Heartland Institute, a 29-year-old national nonprofit research center located in Chicago, Illinois. According to a recent telephone survey, among state elected officials The Heartland Institute is among the nation’s best-known and most highly regarded “think tanks.”

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