Pajamas media update: There have been some developments since this was published. The short version is that a series of coincidences led Gabriel Calzada to believe a package was a bomb threat. Let’s just review what Calzada was responding to: he received an unsolicited package addressed as from a “green” company. Thermotechnic. When he called to ask about it, he was told: “It’s our response to your study [on green jobs].”
It didn’t look like, or feel like, a letter or report, so at that point Calzada got a security guard to scan it — and what was inside was a cylindrical object with wires attached. At that point, the security guard got an expert to examine it, with others in attendance. The contents were a container for diesel of some sort, and some other parts. The expert saw this as a bomb threat, based on a pattern used by, eg., ETA: “This one is a hoax bomb. The next one might not be.”
So Calzada took this as a threat based on the experts’ opinions. Remember that Calzada has been viciously attacked for having had the temerity to publish a study that questioned the economic effectiveness of “green jobs” in Spain, including having been threatened personally and professionally. It was at that point Horner wrote this piece.
Since then, especially following the controversy becoming public in the Spanish press, the company contacted Calzada; what appears to have happened is this:
- A package containing car parts was swapped for a package containing a report intended for Calzada.
- The Thermotechnic person Calzada contacted said something that was ambiguous.
- Calzada, already the subject of threats and intimidation, relied on expert opinion that it was a bomb threat.
As further information became available, it became clear it was a misunderstanding based on several coincidences. Calzada has written an open letter explaining this in detail, and now agrees there was no threat from Thermotechnic.
The author of a damning study about the failure of Spain’s “green jobs” program — a story broken here at PJM — received the threatening package on Tuesday from solar energy company Thermotechnic.
June 24, 2010 – by Christopher Horner
Spain’s Dr. Gabriel Calzada — the author of a damning study concluding that Spain’s “green jobs” energy program has been a catastrophic economic failure — was mailed a dismantled bomb on Tuesday by solar energy company Thermotechnic.
Before opening it, I called [Thermotechnic] to know what was inside … they answered, it was their answer to my energy pieces.
Dr. Calzada contacted a terrorism expert to handle the package. The expert first performed a scan of the package, then opened it in front of a journalist, Dr. Calzada, and a private security expert.
The terrorism consultant said he had seen this before:
This time you receive unconnected pieces. Next time it can explode in your hands.
Dr. Calzada added:
[The terrorism expert] told me that this was a warning.
The bomb threat is just the latest intimidation Dr. Calzada has faced since releasing his report and following up with articles in Expansion (a Spanish paper similar to the Financial Times). A minister from Spain’s Socialist government called the rector of King Juan Carlos University — Dr. Calzada’s employer — seeking Calzada’s ouster. Calzada was not fired, but he was stripped of half of his classes at the university. The school then dropped its accreditation of a summer university program with which Calzada’s think tank — Instituto Juan de Mariana — was associated.
Additionally, the head of Spain’s renewable energy association and the head of its communist trade union wrote opinion pieces in top Spanish newspapers accusing Calzada of being “unpatriotic” — they did not charge him with being incorrect, but of undermining Spain by daring to write the report.
Their reasoning? If the skepticism that Calzada’s revelations prompted were to prevail in the U.S., Spanish industry would face collapse should U.S. subsidies and mandates dry up.
As I have previously reported at PJM (here and here), Spain’s “green jobs” program was repeatedly referenced by President Obama as a model for what he would like to implement in the United States. Following the release of Calzada’s report, Spain’s Socialist government has since acknowledged the debacle — both privately and publicly. This month, Spain’s government instituted massive reductions in subsidies to “renewable” energy sources.