Comment of the week – counterpoint to Fuller on Cuccinelli

This rebuttal comment to I’ll Trade You Cuccinelli For Splattergate With A Player To Be Named Later was so well written, and so extensive, I felt that it deserves the honor of a guest post status.

– Anthony

D. Patterson says:

Guest Post by Thomas Fuller

But it didn’t rise to a criminal level (that was the UK deleting emails in advance of Freedom of Information requests, not Michael Mann). What Ken Cuccinelli is doing is going fishing for wrongdoing without an allegation of such wrongdoing–and that’s not how we should be doing things in this country.

I’ll get a lot of flack from you on this–and don’t be shy, I can take it. But remember as you write–District Attorneys are not always Republican, and controversial scientists can be skeptics at times, too. Don’t let your desire for a short term victory in the daily news cycle let you ignore what would be an erosion of all our civil liberties, I beg of you.

Let’s begin by examining the validity of your statement, “But it didn’t rise to a criminal level (that was the UK deleting emails in advance of Freedom of Information requests, not Michael Mann). What Ken Cuccinelli is doing is going fishing for wrongdoing without an allegation of such wrongdoing–and that’s not how we should be doing things in this country.” On the contrary, there are outstanding allegations of wrongdoing.

Michael Mann and the University of Virginia refused to comply with the law and a citizen’s lawful FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request for e-mail held by the University, claiming the e-mail no longer existed. When Virginia Attorney General Cuccinelli served a subpoena on the University to deliver the e-mail, the supposedly deleted and non-existent e-mail was recovered from the University computer servers. Consequently, it appears there is every reason to suspect a crime was committed when the citizen’s FOIA request was denied on the basis of a fraudulent claim of destruction of the e-mail. Unlike the case with the University of East Anglia, the statute of Limiitations is likely to remain in force in the Virginia case. It remains to be determined whether or not the evidentiary discovery will support misdemeanor and/or felony charges. That is the purpose and due process of law for which the CID is needed and proper.

Then there is the issue of the $466,000 (nearly a half million dollars) in grant monies Michael Mann solicited and received from the State of Virginia and its taxpayers, in addition to the huge sums of money he and the University of Virginia received from the U.S. Government. It has been argued by a group of scientists and others that Michael Mann and the University of Virginia should somehow be uniquely immune from a Civil Investigative Demand (CID) in a prima facie FOIA and/or fraud criminal case on the basis of some unwritten gentleman’s agreement to avoid interference with the intellectual freedom of scientists. Thusly, these same people see no cognitive dissonance, hypocrisy, or injustice when they punished, sanctioned, threatened, intimidated, and/or defrauded non-scientists and dissenting scientists by dismissing state climatologists, dissenting climate scientists, dissenting meteorologists, academics, students, political appointees, and others without any Civil Investigative Demand, administrative board hearing, arraignment and trial, or other due process of law thay are now claiming for Michael Mann and the University of Virginia without any statutory or constitutional right.

Rubbing salt into the wounds of the public they have wronged for many years, they are trying to carve out a privileged position of immunity for themselves just as the Members of Congress have done so before them. Discriminating against other classes of citizens, these so-called scientists want to enjoy an immunity from investigation and prosecution not enjoyed by other citizens in our society. Expressing outrage that anyone would seek to interfere with the privacy of their communications and right to publish their communications while remaining immune from due process of law, members of their class of citizens have been running rampant in innumerable criminal cases of defrauding governments, businesses, private citizens, and causing the deaths of private citizens.

For one example, Dr. Scott Reuben pled guilty to numerous charges of fraud in which he faked numerous medical studies published in medical journals as peer reviewed research for such companies as Pfizer. Despite the peer reviews, Dr. Reuben didn’t even have any patients enrolled in his faked patient studies. Physicians relied upon these faked perr reviewed papers to provide medical care to their patients. It was subsequently determined that Dr. Scott Reuben had been faking a number of medical studies for some thirteen years without being discovered and prosecuted.

Somewhere there is someone reading the forgoing and saying Dr. Reuben is just an isolated case, and his fraud is not representative of any widespread scientific fraud. Unfortunately, they are just plain wrong and ignorant of the facts.

Take for another example, the problem with widespread fraud due to ghostwritten peer reviewed science papers. Acta Crystallographica Section E was compelled to retract more than 70 peer reviewed papers ghostwritten by Chinese scientists as faked or fraudulent studies. Pharmaceutical companies have a reputation for ghostwriting peer reviewed studies in-house and then paying medical doctors and scientists to permit their name to b used for publication of the studies. This fraudulent practice has been reported to be widespread in the pharmaceutical industry and some academia for many years as an outgrowth of the academic practice of using graduate students to perform service for their superiors holding doctorates. The University of Alabama at Birmingham has been yet another academic institution which had to retract a number of fraudulent peer reviewed papers and remove eleven proteins registered in a database of such proteins used in science.

The fallout from the notoriously fraudulent stem cell research of Hwang Woo-suk and the investigation of his associate, Professor Gerald P. Schatten of University of Pittsburgh have been ongoing.

Closer to NASA there is the case of Samim Anghaie, his wife, and their business, NETECH, which fraudulently obtained 2.5 million dollars in contracts from NASA among the 13 U.S. government contracts totalling 3.4 million dollars.

Within climate science there has been a number of incidents of suspected fraud, one of which was reported by Dr. S. Fred Singer described the allegations of either fabrication of Chinese weather station data or plagiarism by Wei-Chyung Wang, University of Albany, from work by his colleague in China, Zhaomei Zeng.

Suffice it to observe, scientific fraud is not at all uncommon, and some commentators describe scientific fraud as being rampant. Looking at the known incidents of scientific fraud, it can be seen the perpetration of such fraud is highly rewarding with grants and contracts amounting in various examples as $70,000, $466,000, and $3,400,000. Whistleblowers are typically punished for their honesty, resulting in great reluctance to disclose such scientific fraud or enthusiastic cooperation with such fraud.

In your statement, “But remember as you write–District Attorneys are not always Republican, and controversial scientists can be skeptics at times, too,” you indulge in a fallacy seemingly common to many so-called Liberal-Left Democrats. You see opponents as necessarily being some kind of badly fundamental religious Right-wing extremist or at least some misguided minority Right-wing-nut Republican. Well, such ideas are extremist fantasies. There ae a great many people who describe themselves, as Republicans, yes, but also Democrats, Libertarians, independents, and others who insist upon honesty, integrity, and impartiality. A great many of these people cheerfully wish a pox on all politicians, activists, and Lamestream journalists who seek to frustrate the ability of ordinary citizens to govern their own lives free of interference by by people who think they know better what is best for other people besides themselves and seek to make themselves immune from the same rules and burdens they would impose on others. Whether it is the special immunities and privileges the MainStream Media (MSM) seek to deny ordinary citizen journalists or the climate data and information climate scientists attempt to deny ordinary citizen observers of climate science, you don’t have to be a Republican, a political conservative, or a right-wing-nut, to join with our political opponents in demanding non-discriminatory application of the due process of law to scientists the same as other citizens and professions.

At the very least, the University of Virginia and/or Michael Mann appear to be liable to investigation and prosecution for the violation of laws relating to the FOIA release of the e-mail evidencing Michael Mann’s involvement in the handling of $466,000 of state grant funds. There is more than ample evidence that scientific fraud is a common enough crime to warrant investigations, and convincing evidence of at least some violations of law with respect to FOIA disclosures. Scientists are not yet privileged with the immunity needed to commit FOIA violations and scientific fraud with complete immunity from investigation and prosecution. let the Attorney General represent the citizens of Virginia and safeguard their taxpayer monies and their right to the freedom of information guaranteed by written laws.

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218 thoughts on “Comment of the week – counterpoint to Fuller on Cuccinelli

  1. Mr. D. Patterson
    Congratulations your letter is precise, eloquent and easy to understand and gets to the heart of the matter with pinpoint accuracy without belaboring the principle involved. Truth and honesty will always bubble to the surface of even the dirtiest scum pond eventually thanks to people such as yourself.
    Thank you.

  2. A high five for D. Patterson! Or, if you live in Ohio, I owe you a beer at the very least. Consider also that there may be actual frauds to be uncovered in the Anglia emails that involve US monies. I will again point to this particular email as an instance where the communication certainly lends a person to believe that a US government agency has been cheated out of money:
    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=332&filename=1056478635.txt
    This email is probable cause all by itself, if only the British government were concerned with securing US taxpayer monies. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Since it is not, it is best to determine if there has been additional frauds with taxpayer money by investigating those who had professional contacts with this agency (CRU) in and around 2003. Does Michael Mann fall into that category?

  3. Let the investigations proceed.
    I don’t like it when my tax dollars are misused, no matter what political party the offenders belong to.
    Neither does most of America.

  4. Ok, this is weird. Second time in two days, and on the same topic, that I have included a link from the East Anglia Emails website and had a comment not show up as waiting on moderation. Is the link dumping me into the spam filter?
    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/index.php
    I popped that in to see if it is.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/06/comment-of-the-week-counterpoint-to-fuller-on-cuccinelli/#comment-501498
    That is the URL of the comment I am talking about. Sorry to be a bother, but the only link I can find between the two is the link I posted my guess is that the link got me rejected. It’s like prom all over again, haha. 😀

  5. Good letter. I am glad to see that this blog is still a source for open, rational debate. Which is probably in contradiction to the desires of all politicians, activists, and Lamestream journalists, whom I cheerfully wish a pox upon.

  6. Of course, we should not overlook the very obvious fact that if Mann was: i) an honest individual, and/or ii) his ‘science’ was real, he would have released the original emails a long time ago.
    If he was innocent, he would have nothing to hide – it is as simple as that.
    Anyhow, great article.

  7. Well written.
    I don’t always agree with them, but thank God for all those state Attorneys General, who often combine to bring actions, sometimes against the Federal Government. Sometimes I think they overstep their bounds, but at other times, it is their work that keeps us as free as we are.

  8. I completely agree with Peter Miller; science is honesty.
    Mann (et al) should have nothing to fear or oppose.
    Their scientific responsibility is to be honest.

  9. Mr. D Patterson
    Kudos!! Nice piece.
    Mr. Cuccinelli:
    Go for it, though I note the judge is giving you a hard time.
    Mr. Fuller:
    Very thoughtful, but as they say in 10:10, “no problem”. What thoughtful, objective, fair-minded, political party members have created that label for themselves? I see no need to label Mr. Cuccinelli. He’s doing his job.

  10. I suspect that Dr. Mann shall have to answer some very pointed questions along with certain other folks at the university. I suspect that we shall have to also watch out for the possibility of grant monies being used to “lawyer up” pending the progress of the investigations. I wonder how many times the 5th Amendment will be used during these interesting sessions. I do hope that at some time they become public and some reputable media outlets cover the proceedings.
    Bill Derryberry

  11. …FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request for e-mail held by the University, claiming the e-mail no longer existed. When Virginia Attorney General Cuccinelli served a subpoena on the University to deliver the e-mail, the supposedly deleted and non-existent e-mail was recovered from the University computer servers. Consequently, it appears there is every reason to suspect a crime was committed when the citizen’s FOIA request was denied on the basis of a fraudulent claim of destruction of the e-mail.
    Interesting.
    Most people think that when they delete something it’s gone. But it is still on hard drive. Just in a different place.

  12. Very interesting post for someone in the UK considering that our Information Commissioner stated that the UoEA did break the law, but cannot be prosecuted because here in the UK there is a stupid 6 month period after which any FoI request “falls through the cracks”.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jan/27/uea-hacked-climate-emails-foi
    So from this side of the pond – I say go for it! – and if your legal process as applied to Mann identifies and brings to a wider audience the wrongdoing of the CRU at the UoEA, then that would be a bonus given that in the UK, the law is an ass and allowed Jones et al to slip of the hook.

  13. While I have some doubts about the intentions of politicians of all stripes, Mann’s deliberate evasion of polite requests for data and code from Steve McIntyre looks suspicious, and his email exchanges with others in the climategate disclosures provides further justification for suspicion.
    I think it is important for the UVA CID to be followed to its conclusion. Perhaps Cuccinelli will end up looking like a fool, but perhaps it will end otherwise. I don’t think Cuccinelli will be able lay charges without clear evidence of wrong doing. And if he does not succeed it will help Mann more than harms him.
    My only hope is that what Cuccinelli is doing will help make climate science more open to outside scrutiny. Something that won’t likely happen in the absence of a proper inquiry – Which has not occurred to date with respect to any of the Climategate principals.

  14. Definitely well-written. I knew that CID against Mann was going to be interesting. I also knew the statement:
    “What Ken Cuccinelli is doing is going fishing for wrongdoing without an allegation of such wrongdoing”
    ..is incorrect. The allegations are in the CID, and the evidence, as we all know, is all over the net.

  15. the mere fact that FOIA laws were broken, Mann and the university lied about the e-mails which were subject to the law, and they were not destroyed as purported is primafacia evidence to continue investigation at full speed.
    One must ask why they knowingly hid the data? this act does not bode well fro Mann or the college… it indicates premeditation.

  16. Thomas Fuller:
    This is just a minor misunderstanding. I always like your posts and will continue to read them.. 🙂

  17. AGW folks and U.Va. want their asymmetrical application of civil and legal rights:
    Excerpted from http://www.thegwpf.org/climategate/1050-us-university-at-center-of-battles-over-climate-change.html
    … U.Va. has before it separate demands for information — a civil subpoena from the state attorney general and a Freedom of Information request from Greenpeace…
    [Protect the AGW side]
    U.Va. last month filed a petition in Albemarle County Circuit Court seeking to block Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s civil investigative demands, or CIDs, for climate research by former U.Va. professor Michael Mann. [Judge ruled in their favor.]
    [Help the AGW side attack the sceptics]
    The university has sought an extension to the FOI request that Greenpeace filed in December for information on former state climatologist Patrick J. Michaels and another retired professor, both of whom are outspoken skeptics of global warming, as is Cuccinelli. [not denied, just give us more time]
    What’s not mentioned, but implied, is when U.Va. said that they don’t have the Mann emails and papers, they told Grenpeace that U.Va. only needed more time to produce the Michaels and Singer materials that would be used by Greenpeace to discredit the skeptics.
    In short, denial for Mann papers and “just a second” for the Michaels and Singer papers. Could it be any more clear that they wish “special privileges for me, but not for thee.”

  18. Anyone who has studied the way climate science works realises that this area is obviously susceptible to fraud: no one can re-measure the global temperature, it simply isn’t possible to retrospectively investigate the measurements -particularly where you have a small group of people of a like mind who control the collection, storage and analysis of data.
    Unfortunately, if the climategate inquiries did anything it was to give a green light to the sloppy practices, poor standards and lack of first class resources & personnel which encourage & nurture fraud.
    To be frank, there’s no independent scrutiny of climate “science”, dissenting voices have been eliminated by the likes of Mann and therefore far from increasing confidence, the public have rightly lost all confidence in this “science”.
    Paradoxically, if these lawsuits do come to court, and the public do see that climate scientists are “not above the law”, there may be a short term dip in confidence as the ardent warmers lose confidence, but long term the effect is bound to increase confidence by the general public if they see that there is effective independent scrutiny.
    Ironic isn’t it!

  19. D. Patterson,
    Well said. Thank you.
    Additionally, I think the UoV will start to cooperate, probably is cooperating as we speak.
    John

  20. Mr. Patterson,
    You make a cogent argument for the prosecution. However, I still must defend my previous post and disagree with you.
    Regarding the FOI request, I believe the University has a lower level of diligence required of it to search for and produce information for FOI than say, in response to a subpoena. If I’m wrong, I’ve no doubt we’ll hear of it quickly here in comments. If I’m correct, it explains without need for wrongful intent or action why an email not found in one instance can be found in another.
    I don’t believe scientists are more honest than other humans and I do believe they should be bound by law. If prima facie evidence exists of a crime then I believe action is warranted. To date, I don’t see evidence of that. You cite numerous other cases where criminal behaviour has been found, but I don’t see their applicability to Mann’s situation or the University’s, for that matter.
    The United States has seen fit to treat differing classes of industry sectors differently in regards to various laws. The most obvious is the greater license granted to journalists, given what the state recognizes as a compelling need for a fourth estate to monitor the behaviour of the great and mighty. A scientist resorting to desperate measures to defend his work can be by turns disgusting, pitiable and infuriating. I would submit that Michael Mann has been all of these. But given the adversarial nature of scientific publishing–very much like litigants–it does not venture far from the norm in this type of case.
    The threat of creating a chilling environment for scientific publications must be considered. Do we not have enough of a perverse incentive leading to piggy back publications regarding climate change and other controversial topics? Is it not possible that overzealous prosecution will impede scientific progress?
    When I wrote that district attorneys (should have been Attorneys General) are not always Republican, what I should have probably said was that the scientist in the crosshairs may not always be from the well-defended and funded consensus position. I greatly fear that this may serve as a precedent that will be used to marginalize and even silence scientists that publish papers that may offend the majority rather than support it, as in Mann’s case.
    So although I think you make a strong case, for me it fails.

  21. Tom Fuller, I think the world of your work and contributions here but I think your last comment misses a key point.
    Many of those that offend the Mannian-Jonesian line are already subjected to tyrannical and overbearing forces. From blacklists to Judith Curry’s published advice to climate science students to Ross McKitrick’s experiences attempting to publish the nefarious consequences you warn us against are already afoot.
    As much as a I love you Tom, I have to give my thumbs up on this one to D. Patterson.
    Peace and thanks to you both.

  22. Mr Patterson,
    A lovely counterpoint and well written. It confirms my personal experience of life which has taught me that a significant degree of scientific research is fraudulent and underpins the careers of those who make it to the top, even in the hard sciences such as physics. At the softer end of science fraud seems to me to be the norm either in the research itself or in its interpretation for policy by vested interests, for example: The AGW corpus and the pharmaceutical/medical/media complex. The latter is now commiting genocide for profit across the world and the former is attempting to emulate the latter.
    I hope the good guys are able to stop it.
    JM

  23. Tom Fuller says (October 6, 2010 at 11:40 pm): “So although I think you make a strong case, for me it fails.”
    Too bad. For me it works. Well said, D. Patterson.

  24. Thanks to both Mr Fuller and Mr Patterson. I enjoyed reading both of your views. Well presented debate is a great learning experience. Keep up the good work both of you.

  25. How strange that we were prompted to stop talking about certain subjects because Thomas Fuller had finished with them. Very strange indeed. He was happy to provide links to his own article and book. He also linked to Judith Curry’s strange website, mainly devoted to the abstract noun and the notion that everyone has been wrong on climate except Judith Curry. Thomas even tells us that “at WUWT you can easily scroll down to find interesting and relevant reports on papers and discoveries.” This would have to be at least as illuminating as Judith Curry’s links to wiki definitions of common English words.
    I should add that it’s great to see alternative views given prominence by Anthony, however much they irritate me. I whinge about what Thomas Fuller and Judith Curry have written on WUWT, not about the fact that they have been permitted to do so.
    Anyway, a great job, Mr. Patterson. I really needed that!

  26. Tom Fuller says:
    October 6, 2010 at 11:40 pm
    … I don’t believe scientists are more honest than other humans and I do believe they should be bound by law. If prima facie evidence exists of a crime then I believe action is warranted. To date, I don’t see evidence of that…
    I think that is the whole point of an investigation. Think of it as a police investigation. Someone thinks a fraud has been committed and reports the matter to the police. The police know the suspect, and have one sided evidence of the crime (from the complainant). Do the investigators dismiss the investigation?
    I would say “No”, they should investigate the allegation. If the evidence presented by the complainant warrants further investigation the police would then move to look at supporting evidence of the crime. They look at documentary evidence and interview the suspect. The police would then examine the evidence and decide whether any further action should be taken.
    If the allegation is found to be probably true then the alleged offender should be taken to court. If the allegation is found to be probably false then no prosecution should follow. Are you saying that scientists should be above these types of investigation? Are we now to believe that any scientist should be able to produce peer reviewed papers and their findings should not be open to scrutiny?
    It seems to me that anyone under investigation has two options. Keep silent, do not assist the investigators, and wait to see the evidence in court (if that is what the investigators deem the correct thing to do). Or, explain what happened, provide supporting documentation. I know that if I was accused of any crime I would fight it all the way. I would try to ensure the case did not end up in any court, and that my version of events was heard, and possibly judged.
    As you state:
    To date, I don’t see evidence of that…
    A possible crime has been reported. It is being investigated. Let the investigation continue and let us see where it goes. If Mr Mann has done nothing wrong he will be found innocent after the investigation. What is wrong with that scenario?
    I greatly fear that this may serve as a precedent that will be used to marginalize and even silence scientists that publish papers that may offend the majority rather than support it, as in Mann’s case.
    I think the process of law must be followed in every case. You, as a scientist, should recognise that this case is not about marginalising or silencing anyone, but detering those who would consider being fraudulent in presenting their results. Or in the case of Mr Mann what did he do with the grant money?
    Do you honestly believe that Dr. Reuben, Hwang Woo-su and Professor Gerald P. Schatten and others should have been immune from investigation because they are scientists? What do you think the impact on the scientific community would be then?

  27. This was an excellent post by D. Patterson. I sincerely wish you were enroute to DC to occupy one of those 535 seats, we could use you there.
    Particularly salient was the point:

    “… these so-called scientists want to enjoy an immunity from investigation and prosecution not enjoyed by other citizens in our society.”

    This is spot-on. There is far more scrutiny (although not quite enough) at both the state and federal level for programs such as student grants, student loans, welfare payments, and yes, even Wall Street insider trading and other shenanigans.
    The EPA and DEC routinely crucifies companies and private citizens for largely political reasons. State AG’s nearly destroyed the Tobacco industry all the while setting up a protection racket that Al Capone or Michael Corleone would never dare to dream of (did Big Tobacco hide their emails?). And later, (now hidden deep in the socialist memory hole) it was only ten years ago that several state AG’s and the Clinton’s AG Reno crashed the stock market while attempting to break Microsoft (did Microsoft hide their emails?).
    At least this kind of action by the Virginia AG carries the moral authority of Fiscal Responsibility without anything near the draconian Iron Fist seen in the many other show trials. It is a baby’s first step toward Accountability, but I truly believe the first of many. And if we stick to Fiscal Responsibility without regard to party politics we will at least have a fighting chance to recede the Government Glacier.
    What would be great is if all fifty state AG’s began doing this simultaneously, and let the chips fall where they may. And then later we can finally replace that disgusting political hack AG Holder with a real constitutional attorney (I nominate Mark Levin).
    In the future when people/groups/agencies are seeking funding, the TaxPayer funded state/federal governments will become the avenue of LAST resort instead of the first (or only).

  28. Two spelling/typo corrections.
    “Physicians relied upon these faked PEER reviewed papers to provide medical care to their patients.”
    “There ARE a great many people who describe themselves …”

  29. “I don’t believe scientists are more honest than other humans and I do believe they should be bound by law. If prima facie evidence exists of a crime then I believe action is warranted. To date, I don’t see evidence of that.”
    ______________________________________
    Virginia Qui Tam Law Blog excerpts:
    “Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli used his powers under the VFATA to serve a civil investigative demand on the University of Virginia. He seeks records and other information related to work of a guy named Michael Mann (who is a leading scientist studying climate change a/k/a global warming) while he was a professor at UVa.
    The CID was issued based on information from the “Climategate” incident last fall. Climategate involved thousands of emails from Dr. Mann being leaked to the public. The emails allegedly show Dr. Mann conspiring to rig research results; apparently, reasonable people can disagree about what is said in these emails.
    It is also a fact that if Mann’s emails do in fact contain evidence of Mann falsifying research results, he has liability to the Commonwealth under the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act. This is so because he received hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of state and/or federal grants to continue his research while he was at UVa.”

    http://vaquitamlaw.com/2010/07/06/is-uva-allowing-a-political-bias-to-inhibit-cooperation-with-the-virginia-attorney-general.aspx
    ——————-
    The strategy of Mann and UVa has been simple since day one—they have continually sought to turn this into a battle about academic freedom, rather than a simple investigation into whether or not Mann made misrepresentations on several grant applications.
    As I have pointed out before, most lawyers representing targets of a CID take advantage of the opportunity to try to convince the government that there has been no wrongdoing, and that the client has nothing to hide.
    There are very good reasons for this, because this epic battle over this CID is much ado about nothing. Even if a target “wins” and the CID gets set aside, they haven’t really won anything at all, because
    a CID is just a preliminary investigative tool .
    http://vaquitamlaw.com/2010/08/18/hearing-to-be-held-on-uvas-challenge-to-the-oags-civil-investigative-demand-this-friday-august-20-2010-at-200-pm.aspx
    As stated elsewhere, arguing that there is no evidence of fraud to avoid an IRS audit doesn’t fly. The climategate emails raised suspicion regarding the actions of Micheal Mann, these suspicions have only increased with the various whitewashes.
    The Virginia AG, the powers of the Virginia CID & Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act really doesn’t care how many people jump up and down and say move along, there is no evidence of fraud visible at this time. The CID or if invoked the VFATA discovery process will determine if fraud may exist.

  30. “Consequently, it appears there is every reason to suspect a crime was committed when the citizen’s FOIA request was denied on the basis of a fraudulent claim of destruction of the e-mail.”
    &
    “It remains to be determined whether or not the evidentiary discovery will support misdemeanor and/or felony charges. That is the purpose and due process of law for which the CID is needed and proper.”
    The deletion of emails in response to a FOI request perverts that legal process. If such actions can be seen to have no consequences for the perpetrator then FOI, one of the most important pieces of legislation to have been enacted IMHO, becomes a busted flush. The fact that this is being pursued in such a high profile and polarised case is immaterial to the process but could have ramifications far in excess of any crime that may be uncovered. For scientists to seek impunity and others to support that is an attempt at pervertion of justice. If scientists wish to do some special pleading let them do so at the correct time and place; this is not it.

  31. Thank you very much Patterson for making such a clear and well-informed case.
    It leads me to disagree further with Tom Fuller (a) that there is already evidence of wrongdoing (b) that this action, in challenging Mann’s totalitarian bullying, will help the cause of freedom for minority scientific opinions, not diminish it.
    It also makes me aware that while words cannot express the depth of my support for Steve McIntyre and all he has done, and his right to distance himself from Cuccinelli, there is an issue here, which is, at a deeper level, in line with Steve’s work of audit.

  32. Re: Tom Fuller says:
    October 6, 2010 at 11:40 pm
    “I greatly fear that this may serve as a precedent that will be used to marginalize and even silence scientists that publish papers that may offend the majority rather than support it, as in Mann’s case.”
    I do not understand this. Knowing that all your publicly funded research is potentialy open to FOI requests would, or should, only engender a level of professionalism in all your work, not just your methods and data, ( which always should be available and allow ones work to be reproduced before anyone should take it seriously) but in your communication and e-mails as well.
    Placing ones work in the open should never be a concern. In my work for twenty years their was not one e-mail to any co-worker involving a subject at work which I would feel apprehensive about reproducing. The degree of unprofessionalism exhibited in the climate gate e-mails was quite astounding.

  33. Good heavens. Another effortless demonstration by Anthony Watts and the WUWT team on how to run a large online discussion on a difficult and complex subject with complete impartiality, ready humo(u)r, reason, etc. etc.
    Thank you, people. I had a creeping sense of unease, on occasion, when reading Thomas Fuller’s posts, and was unable to quite pinpoint why. D. Patterson’s lucid observations have somewhat resolved this.
    I really think that visiting this site should be part of education. My youngest daughter is having to weather the storm – UK Government-subsidised Inconvenient Truth, her school signing up to the 10:10 lunacy (!), and so on.
    She’s sailed through the whole cloud of scare-mongering and disinformation unscathed. Largely thanks to WUWT and its commenters. There are other beacons of course, but for us, surfacestations.org came first.
    And it’s not only the subject matter: the whole style and manner of WUWT stands as an example. Hard-edged, and unfailingly courteous.
    Got that, team? We loves ya –
    RLawrence

  34. “When I wrote that district attorneys (should have been Attorneys General) are not always Republican, what I should have probably said was that the scientist in the crosshairs may not always be from the well-defended and funded consensus position.”
    Mr. Fuller, you are correct on that one. But the only consequence will be that they too must obey the law. They must follow the FOIA request. And so what? Give them the emails, and be done with it. Right?

  35. Tom,
    In creating a CID Cuccinelli does not have to have prima facie evidence of a crime committed. There needs only evidence to suspect a crime has been committed. The whole point of a CID is to seek information to determine if a crime has been committed.
    While you make the point that the emails may show only the nastier side of scientific publishing, it is the information that Steve McIntyre uncovered, and ably presented in Andrew Montford’s Hockey Stick Illusion, that is relevant. Mann broke numerous rules of scientific standard practice in producing the hockey stick, creating a misleading graph through his failure to either stick to scientific practice or reveal the true extent of his deviations from standards. An example would be the padding out of the Graybill proxy series backwards 4 years to be able to include it in the group of longer proxy series. He needed to do this because otherwise there was no proxy to create the hockey stick. (Damn, I’ve handed back the copy of Montford’s book that I borrowed and I’m doing this all from memory.)
    The fact that he then used this graph in material to elicit further funding can be construed as fraud.
    I am an academic myself and I have no sympathy for a scientist who deviates that far from accepted practice to reach a preconceived conclusion and then hides all evidence that he has done so. I believe in academic freedom but not the freedom to defraud the government or the taxpayers.

  36. The sanctity of reporters and their sources are a general
    extention of the U.S. Constitutional right to a “Free Press”.
    Saying that “the state” recognizes the need for a “greater
    license granted to journalists”, does a form of revisionist
    violence to the fact that “the state” has no
    choice but to do so. Our founding fathers made that choice
    for us over 200 years ago.
    They made no such choice to give reseachers, especially those
    employed by public institutions, any form of sanctuary should
    they need to take “desperate measures to defend” their work.
    Private researchers and their work product may
    be protected from casual public inspection if they have some
    proprietary considerations or patents on a process.
    I respectfully suggest both D. Patterson and especially
    T. Fuller review the numerous U.S. Supreme Court
    rulings over the past 25 years covering the rights (or lack
    thereof) and the general parameters regarding “public
    employees” be they hourly civil service, contract staff, or
    academic staff and their various assistants.
    The State of Virginia has it’s own rules and regs for it’s public
    employees. There are Virginia court rulings that define what
    state employees can and should expect as far as their “rights”
    can be generally defined.
    There are no loop holes for researchers at “public institutions”
    under Federal FOIA giving academics an exception to allow
    withholding of requested information they’ve created,
    assembled, deduced, or by analysis formed while on the
    public payroll.
    Virginia FIO law doesn’t carve out or even hint at
    a special exception for academic reseachers.
    There is no violation of either Dr. Mann’s civil rights
    of the University of Virginia’s instutional rights in
    question here.

  37. Mr Fuller:
    I write to comment on your post to D Patterson at October 6, 2010 at 11:40 pm.
    You – I think rightly – claim;
    “I believe the University has a lower level of diligence required of it to search for and produce information for FOI than say, in response to a subpoena”.
    But if your claim is correct, then so what?
    The University would want to present information that supported its case and has an obvious reason to “lose” information that hindered its case. Hence, the University’s failure to provide the information (which was later shown to exist) is – of itself – a reason for suspicion.
    And you say to D Patterson;
    “You cite numerous other cases where criminal behaviour has been found, but I don’t see their applicability to Mann’s situation or the University’s, for that matter.”
    Such cases do not directly relate to “Mann’s situation” but they demonstrate
    (a) that such malfeasance is not rare behaviour by scientists
    and
    (b) that scientists can benefit from such malfeasance which can go undetected for years.
    Therefore, the cases prove there is a need for investigations to reveal or disprove such malfeasance in any case where there is reason to suspect it exists. Indeed, an innocent scientist who finds him/herself under a cloud of such suspicion could be expected to welcome and assist the investigation that could clear his/her name. And the ‘Climategate’ emails provide significant evidence of misuse of funds by associates of Mann; e.g. see
    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=332&filename=1056478635.txt
    Hence, Mann is under a cloud of suspicion provided by his apparent ‘guilt by association’. And, therefore, there is a need for investigations to reveal or disprove his malfeasance if only as a method to provide exoneration of Mann.
    And you assert;
    “But given the adversarial nature of scientific publishing–very much like litigants–it [i.e. the behaviour of Mann] does not venture far from the norm in this type of case.”
    Say what!?
    The ‘Climategate’ emails provide a complete demonstration that the self-titled Team with the direct involvement of Michael Mann
    (i) usurped the peer review process by conspiring to review (and approve) the papers of each other
    (ii) usurped the peer review process by concerted effort to use the peer review process to prevent publication of papers which did not support their agenda,
    (iii) attacked journals that published papers which did not support their agenda,
    (iv) attempted to remove a journal Editor who would not reject all papers that did not support their view (soon after he did leave the job),
    (v) wrote to the University that employed another journal’s Editor in an attempt to discredit her because she refused to reject for publication a paper which did not support their view
    (vi) attempted to redefine peer review as a method to excuse refusal to mention a paper in the most recent IPCC Report (it was not mentioned in the Report but several not-reviewed papers were).
    All these matters are spelled-out in their own words in their hacked (?) emails that can be read at e.g.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/22/bishop-hills-compendium-of-cru-email-issues/
    Each item on the above list is far, far from “the norm” of behaviour in “the adversarial nature of scientific publishing”.
    Perhaps most importantly you assert and ask;
    “The threat of creating a chilling environment for scientific publications must be considered. Do we not have enough of a perverse incentive leading to piggy back publications regarding climate change and other controversial topics? Is it not possible that overzealous prosecution will impede scientific progress?”
    The threat you mention most certainly does need to be considered because Mann and his associates have created “a chilling environment for scientific publications” (see my list above) which needs to be corrected because it is an impediment to scientific progress.
    And the answers to your questions are that the investigation leading to possible prosecution is needed if the impediment to scientific progress is to be removed. But this will not affect the “perverse incentive leading to piggy back publications” in any way because that incentive derives from the view of academia that number (and number of citations) and not quality indicates worth of publications.
    And you make an inverted assertion when you say;
    “I greatly fear that this may serve as a precedent that will be used to marginalize and even silence scientists that publish papers that may offend the majority rather than support it, as in Mann’s case.”
    Scientists who attempt to “publish papers that may offend the majority rather than support it” on climate science have been marginalized (see my list above). The investigation with possible prosecution of Mann can only help to correct this.
    And you conclude by saying to D Patteron;
    “So although I think you make a strong case, for me it fails.”
    Well, I think you provide a weak case which defeats itself.
    Richard

  38. “Consequently, it appears there is every reason to suspect a crime was committed when the citizen’s FOIA request was denied on the basis of a fraudulent claim of destruction of the e-mail.”
    &
    “It remains to be determined whether or not the evidentiary discovery will support misdemeanor and/or felony charges. That is the purpose and due process of law for which the CID is needed and proper.”
    The deletion of emails in response to a FOI request perverts that legal process. If such actions can be seen to have no consequences for the perpetrator then FOI, one of the most important pieces of legislation to have been enacted IMHO, becomes a busted flush. The fact that this is being pursued in such a high profile and polarised case is immaterial to the process but could have ramifications far in excess of any crime that may be uncovered. For scientists to seek impunity and others to support that is an attempt at perversion of justice. If scientists wish to do some special pleading let them do so at the correct time and place; this is not it.

  39. Mods.
    This is a test post for this thread. I have posted a comment twice at some time apart & neither have materialised as awaiting mod….
    [REPLY: Sometimes, especially if they contain links, a post gets automatically shoved into the spam pile. At that time it will not appear, even as waiting for mod, until a mod moves it out of the spam pile. Hence, occasionally a bit of patience is required… bl57~mod]

  40. Tom Fuller I am a great fan of your writing and I admire the stand you have taken although I disagree with you.
    With the enquiries that we have seen Penn state, and the two Cru and UEA enquiries. Which in noway enquired or considered any adverse evidence but totally ignored it. It seems that the only way forward must be in a court of law where all the evidence can be duly considered. With politics involved and vast amounts of taxes and power at stake I cannot see anyway a scientist who goes against those forces will not be under the same pressure as the late UK government scientist Dr.David Kelly. So however distasteful I would like to see some sort of legal challenge.

  41. Tom,
    You say there is a threat to chilling the environment in climate science if this goes shed.
    I say the chilled environment already exists, but it’s been created by Mann, Schmidt, Ward et al and is used against anyone who questions mans role in Mann Made Global Warming.
    Mailman

  42. @ Tom Fuller (October 6, 2010 at 11:40 pm)
    A scientist resorting to desperate measures to defend his work can be by turns disgusting, pitiable and infuriating. I would submit that Michael Mann has been all of these. But given the adversarial nature of scientific publishing–very much like litigants–it does not venture far from the norm in this type of case.
    If that is “the norm” (or even close to “the norm”) then all the more reason to clamp down on the whole industry and start enforcing some standards of practice.
    The threat of creating a chilling environment for scientific publications must be considered. Do we not have enough of a perverse incentive leading to piggy back publications regarding climate change and other controversial topics? Is it not possible that overzealous prosecution will impede scientific progress?
    Talk about alarmism! “The threat of creating a chilling environment for scientific publications must be considered”! Lets just leave the scientists alone to do whatever they want, in privacy, without independent investigation, and lets not ask too many difficult questions. Lest we create a “chilling environment for scientific publications.”
    I greatly fear that this may serve as a precedent that will be used to marginalize and even silence scientists that publish papers that may offend the majority rather than support it, as in Mann’s case.
    Tom, you don’t get it. We as sceptics don’t care about whether something offends or supports “the majority.” If a scientist is suspected (with reason), and subsequently found to be guilty, of having committed fraud, or of having broken any number of codes of practice in order, for example, to present misleading or false information, then that scientist should be silenced, and yes, marginalized, and stripped of his title.

  43. Tom Fuller says:
    October 6, 2010 at 11:40 pm
    “If I’m correct, it explains without need for wrongful intent or action why an email not found in one instance can be found in another.”
    If a staff member asked the IT administrator to recover some of his e-mails, surely that would take only a matter of a few seconds to get a print out.
    Are there any IT administrators reading this? Surely if e-mails are stored then there must be a system for rapid recovery, otherwise why bother storing them?

  44. Sorry I have to agree with Tom.
    I see a rather tedious recitation of other cases of fraud. Having read though Mann’s mail, having looked through his code, I can say there is no case of fraud. Mann’s methods are certainly aggressive, and he often makes assumptions that are unwarranted, but he truly appears to believe that his approach is correct and he defends it vigorously even to those in his camp who disagree with him. I think we need to hold a very high bar for the charge of fraud.
    With that said: can anyone state clearly, siting the papers and the exact fraud that Mann committed. Precisely.
    For example, did Mann do anything remotely like this case
    “Closer to NASA there is the case of Samim Anghaie, his wife, and their business, NETECH, which fraudulently obtained 2.5 million dollars in contracts from NASA among the 13 U.S. government contracts totalling 3.4 million dollars.”
    Lets look at the facts in that case:
    “Sousan Anghaie talked NASA into awarding NETECH “several fully funded contracts.” This included about $600,000 to develop and study uranium-related technology. But the FBI and NASA allege that in reality, Sousan and Samim used that money for personal luxury use. Among the purchases made were a $480,000 home, a 2007 BMW, a 2005 Toyota Sienna, a 2008 Toyota Corolla, a 2007 Toyota Corolla and properties for their sons. Then there was another $528,000 project. Wow…
    Not surprisingly, federal agents have raided the Innovative Nuclear Space Power and Propulsion Institute.”
    . Comparing this case to mann, alluding to this case, demonstrates the weakness of the argument it seeks to support. I suppose the word “NASA” was key.
    This is the kind of innuendo that a smart opponent of mann’s (McIntyre for example) would never make. I’m sorry, but having followed Steve’s tireless work for all these years, I think it does a huge disservice to him to present such a weak case, when he has laid out the real case. And don’t fool yourself, when this case fails, Steve will be blamed. They will write things like “Mcintyre and the critics of mann were dealt a blow today, when Michael mann was vindicated” They elide the sloppy critics of Mann in with the real critic.

  45. Tom Fuller says: October 6, 2010 at 11:40 pm
    When I wrote that district attorneys (should have been Attorneys General) are not always Republican, what I should have probably said was …

    The ones who bring the bogus prosecutions tend to be Dems. I doubt that Dr Mann will be answering any questions now that he has fled the state.
    Since all the climate research is govt funded, we have a right to inspect the process as well as the results. The only valid reason for withholding publicly funded climate data is prior to publication of results, and that’s only a matter of professional courtesy. (Not always observed, as we have seen in the surfacestations.org case)

  46. D.Patterson
    A heartfelt thanks for putting the case so well
    Tom Fuller,
    I’m sorry but now you are beginning to lose credibility
    eg “Is it not possible that overzealous prosecution will impede scientific progress?”
    Hasn’t overzealous funding by govts promoting only one side of the argument already impeded scientific progress to a considerable degree.
    http://www.hoover.org/publications/policy-review/article/43291

  47. One factor that explains why universities continue to shield people like Mann is the profits the university enjoys.
    Sometimes called “Indirect Cost Recovery”, a percentage of money of a grant is taken off the top for overhead and support. At my university, it’s $.44 on the dollar, or 44%. That money goes to paying the light bill, administrator salaries, and all the way down to enhancing the football stadium. But regardless of how it’s used, it is a LOT of money at stake, and they’ll fight viciously to protect anyone who brings it in, without regard to motive or method.

  48. I read in the Washington Post that the U of V has spent $350 K on legal and clerical expenses–not sure how much the AGs office has spent. The grant being investigated, the only state grant, is about land use in Africa and completely unrelated to the Hocky stick controversey. Mann doesn’t really have anything to do with the investigations since he is at another university and the question is really about whether the university administered the grant properly and whether they should give out large numbers of emails that are on unrelated topics. Interestingly, the AG does not even list Mann’s collaborators for the African grant as being among those under investigation. Part of the ag’s evidence comes from something that Mann wrote for a book review on Real Climate. Interesting that scientists can even be attacked for writing book reviews.

  49. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:
    October 6, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    Most people think that when they delete something it’s gone. But it is still on hard drive. Just in a different place.

    That is not quite how that works. Simply causing a file to be deleted will not move the file to another place on the hard drive. In the case of a simple deletion of a file, the first character of the file name is replaced with a $-character.
    That means that the HD-space used by that “deleted” file is then available to be over-written for other files. Still, file recovery software makes it possible to recover a deleted file if nothing, some of it or all of it has been overwritten.
    The extent of the success of the recovery of the data in the space designated for overwriting depends on how thoroughly (that is, how often and with how many different characters) the HD-space originally used by the “deleted” file was overwritten.
    That is it in a nutshell. More of the principles involved are described here: http://www.aumha.org/a/recover.php

  50. Mr Patterson’s case would make more sense if Cuccinelli was alleging that the grant money recieved to study ‘Resolving the scale-wise sensitivities in the dynamical coupling between the climate and biosphere’, issued several years before FATA legislation became law, was used to commit scientific fraud. He is not, because there is no evidence for this.
    The allegation is that because Mann had MBH98 and MBH99 on his CV at the time of the grant application, and [Cuccinelli alleges] these studies were flawed and failed to show the scientific and statistical equivalent of ‘due diligence’ then the grant was obtained under false pretences, and he is justified in using the law to demand 10 years worth of documents and correspondence between Mann and a list of scientists so long it runs out of letters of the alphabet (but not the two other researchers who applied for the grant, whats up with that?)…..
    The two papers were groundbreaking at the time and Mann has conceded that he would not go about the statistics in the same way today (indeed he has not). But a successful prosecution would require Cuccinelli to prove (inter alia) that the statistical flaws in the papers amount to deliberate scientiic fraud, and that Mann’s co-authorship of the papers was material in his being awarded the research grant for a study that had nothing to do with paleoclimate. The probability of success approximate closely to zero, What is this costing the taxpayer?
    “The attorney general’s logic is so tenuous as to leave only one plausible explanation: that he is on a fishing expedition designed to intimidate and suppress honest research and the free exchange of ideas upon which science and academia both depend”
    Not my words but those of the Washington Post….

  51. Tom Fuller says: October 6, 2010 at 11:40 pm
    “I greatly fear that this may serve as a precedent that will be used to marginalize and even silence scientists that publish papers that may offend the majority rather than support it, as in Mann’s case.”
    Initially, I might agree. Sorry Tom, I can’t wholly support that view. Much like when the Commodore Amiga computer company destroyed itself and support for the PeeCee broadened (due to Microsoft’s incessant advertising their hopeless OS), Amiga stalwarts in their droves continued to write source code for the Amiga machine (I was one), because it simply WAS better. They believed in it due to ample evidence.
    The case will always be somewhat to-and-fro.. But REAL evidence speaks for itself, and will always win. You – as well as the rest of us – aren’t stupid. We all know what makes sense, scientifically as well as economically. Rejoice in being a lateral thinker.. 🙂

  52. Steven Mosher October 7, 2010 at 2:47 am
    Steve McIntyre wrote on May 2, 2010 “This is a repugnant piece of over-zealousness by the Virginia Attorney General, that I condemn.” And more in like vein.
    It is silly to misinterpret this clear statement the way you have. Did you not read this May 2 statement?
    You are attempting a diversion in any case. (We have a roadside sign in Oz “Please use main road while detour is under repair”).
    Try reading the full Cuccinelli request for data from the University. It’s not about FOI, it’s more about using scientific data whose flaws were allegedly known, to build a case for more funding, without mention of the flaws. The analogy for me is selling a private home without disclosing that it has fatal concrete cancer.
    You can see the backbone of the claim in pages 1 & 2 of the CID to the University Rector dated 29 October 2010.
    It is not for me to claim that the action of the A-G is over-zealous or has political or special interest motives. That is for the A-G to decide, perhaps at his peril. But at least the clear words available on paper should not be replaced by interpretative innuendo.

  53. Tom Fuller says:
    October 6, 2010 at 11:40 pm
    When I wrote that district attorneys (should have been Attorneys General) are not always Republican, what I should have probably said was that the scientist in the crosshairs may not always be from the well-defended and funded consensus position. I greatly fear that this may serve as a precedent that will be used to marginalize and even silence scientists that publish papers that may offend the majority rather than support it, as in Mann’s case.

    Tom – you and others seem to be treating this as a privacy or scientific privilege issue and it is not.
    In this case the ‘contract’ between UVa and the State (and probably Federal government as well) would have a vesting clause that made everything that is done with the State’s funding property of the State. EVERYTHING not just what the funded establishment or scientist wants to allow them to have. If a university does not like these aspects of being publicly funded, then they should not bid for public funds for their researchers.
    There are also very strict laws on the documentation provided by researchers in their support of funding requests. If these appear to have been breached then the State has every right to request supporting evidence – or alternatively – limit, prevent or withdraw all funding from the researchers’ establishment until such time as the State believes that they are being told the truth in bids from that establishment.
    Again – if a researcher doesn’t like the rules applied to ALL applicants and recipients of State and Federal funding, then they should not apply for and use State and Federal research funding.
    You are conflating an imagined single independent minded researcher working in a garret being bullied by an Attorney General – with a researcher who has requested and used State taxpayer funding and now refuses to provide the State Attorney General supporting evidence for the claims in the application and evidence of how the funds were spent. These are two totally separate cases.

  54. Tom Fuller says:
    October 6, 2010 at 11:40 pm
    “The threat of creating a chilling environment for scientific publications must be considered.”
    So fearing the consequences we must now keep a certain group of people exempt from our laws?
    Now that is really lame….. Surely you can do better.
    What a wonderful precedent to set. Who’s next?

  55. What is more, if you have a slightly suspicious mind and if you wonder about the mindsets of others, you can put aside the dates of employment at various Universities for Michael Mann and re-examine the leaked CRU emails. It’s easy to search for “money”. Maybe a dozen hits come up. If you read them, you will perhaps be left wondering if adequate attention was paid by the circle of friends to the actual allocation of approved funds to approved projects.
    The main hits are about Russian/British work and involve Keith Briffa more than most, but you might be left with the impression that Keith was a bit loose about paying researchers with diverse funds – with an interest in obtaining specific stated outcomes. To the extent that Michael Mann was copied in, if there was misallocation, he should have attempted to stop it.
    OTOH, there might have been proper and correct allocation. The released emails are not adequate to allow a firm conclusion. Please draw your own conclusions. I have made no allegations here.

  56. Tom Fuller, Oct 6, 11:40 PM. There is a First Amendment. Media folks are protected by this and, as noted, have expanded it to include very high bars for libel and slander. But that is, after all, a red herring or misplaced strawman. Even free speech does not extend to simple fraud. You cannot hide behind a privilege or Constitutional right if crime is involved. Claiming privilege in the Mann-UVA-VA AG case is like claiming you can’t even be investigated for murder because you hold a CCDW permit. That’s the society you’d choose to live but most would prefer potential crimes be investigated.
    And don’t become confused with legal inference and some sort of supreme moral position about chilling science as somehow alluding to chilling free speech. For example, your right to advertise and make outrages claims is of no avail if you know, or should have known, what you were claiming was wrong. Depending on the inferences and details of the case , you’re civilly liable and possibly criminally as well. That’s what juries are for. First Amendment rights simply will not protect you. It is not absolute. And remember, the First Amendment only blocks, as in short circuit, an action from proceeding, there is still that jury thing, facts and appeals to protect the innocent. Better for UVA and/or Mann to claim the Fifth – it’s really absolute.
    All in all, it just means you need to be a tad responsible in huffing and puffing while begging for taxpayers money under the guise of grants. Fraud is fraud. Civil liablity is just that. Crime is crime. If one relies on the hockey stick, make sure it’s not made out of tree sap else one may be considered a sap and will likely be proven to be one in court. It’s a sticky business when one lies.

  57. In reading D. Patterson’s entry, I see reference to a cases of scientific fraud, meant to illustrate the possibility of such fraud and its successful prosecution. Illustration is not the same as comparison.
    Mr. Patterson then refers specifically to the possibility of a prosecution of Mann over an FOI matter. It may be minor, and the outcome may be unsuccessful, but it’s worth pursuing.
    Michael Mann has cost the world too much. If Mann has to pay a fifty dollar fine, I say, let’s see his fifty. The price of AGW promotion – by those we are still obliged to call scientists – is now being felt sharply here in Australia. The worst impositions are still to come. They are massive, and consist of the following:
    -Ruinous state and federal and government subsidies of expensive and/or inefficient energy generation, recouped, of course, through innumerable taxes, fees, charges, sundries
    -A whole new layer of consumption tax called “carbon tax”, not replacing but superimposed on all other taxes, and with its own specialised scientific bureaucracy
    -Worst of all, an ETS, the wet dream of Enron and Lehman Bros, New El Dorado of all the shills, touts, shysters, skimmers, scammers and stock-jobbers we haven’t locked up yet
    What concerns me is that there are “moderates” in this climate debate – some may well be contributors to WUWT – who would quite happily see the above iniquities come into full force. With moderates like that, who needs fanatics?

  58. Adam says:
    October 6, 2010 at 10:10 pm
    Good letter. I am glad to see that this blog is still a source for open, rational debate. Which is probably in contradiction to the desires of all politicians, activists, and Lamestream journalists, whom I cheerfully wish a pox upon.”
    I agree. This is why I come back to this site three or four times a day: because all sides of the debate are welcome and I believe it’s fair and honest. Anthony (and the mods) do their best to keep people civil, respectful, and on the topics. Kudos to WUWT.

  59. Interesting, for the ones here that disagree with the investigation, it seems the position is we shouldn’t investigate until we can prove a crime has been committed……..well, at least not academics. Amazing! What a radical idea that the Attorney General of a state do his job…….Washington Post or not.

  60. Tom Fuller says:
    October 6, 2010 at 11:40 pm
    “Mr. Patterson,
    …”The threat of creating a chilling environment for scientific publications must be considered. Do we not have enough of a perverse incentive leading to piggy back publications regarding climate change and other controversial topics? Is it not possible that overzealous prosecution will impede scientific progress?
    When I wrote that district attorneys (should have been Attorneys General) are not always Republican, what I should have probably said was that the scientist in the crosshairs may not always be from the well-defended and funded consensus position. I greatly fear that this may serve as a precedent that will be used to marginalize and even silence scientists that publish papers that may offend the majority rather than support it, as in Mann’s case.
    So although I think you make a strong case, for me it fails.”
    For me, it’s always fair to prosecute suspected criminal misconduct. Our judicial system assumes innocence until proven guilty. If Mike Mann and UoV are innocent, then they have nothing to worry about from the due process. To say that simply prosecuting the case would lead to a chilling environment for scientific publication makes no sense to me. To the contrary, not prosecuting this case sends a message to dubious scientists that they never have to fear for their actions. I came from the academic environment: potential for fraud is huge. Scientists for the most part are honest but the protection from the universities and academic “old boys network” can be too tempting for the most desparate of scientists.

  61. In entomology I know of one episode where researchers determined a “pest” was essentially harmless and pesticide companies effectively intervened to prevent publication. I think environmentalists should have a problem with this sort of distortion. Mann’s case of distortion/manipulation/deception/fraud is similar. If this sort of thing is not illegal, it should be. Scientists should not betray the public trust.

  62. I think if the Virginia AG was a democrat seeking information on a possibly corrupt conservative icon academic, the docs would have been released immediately and without hesitation.

  63. I come to this site for science that might be persuasive against AGW. But posts like this basically destroy the credibility of this site. Anyone who believes or agrees with this post well, I just have to look at everything you say with extreme circumspect.
    Let’s start with the FOIA nonsense. Has anyone here read Cookinellli’s new CID? Because it never mentions FOIA. And even assuming some FOIA fraud occurred (rather than an honest mistake), did Mann have anything to do with that? The author of this guest post never says.
    Then there’s the reliance on fraud committed by other scientists. Please. If the AG went into court with that, the court would be horrified. Fraud by other scientists is not remotely sufficient to support an allegation of fraud by Mann.
    Then there’s the idea that Mann should be investigated by the AG because AGW skeptics have been subjected to various alleged injustices. Wow again. Is anyone here a lawyer? Because arguing that to a court might get you thrown out of the court room.
    This new request is going to be denied. I can almost guarantee it. You see in the US, prosecutors like the AG are not unfettered in their powers to pursue and prosecute. The court acts as a limit. The court said no once, because it doesn’t think that even if Mann did practice bad science, the way to address that is by investigating or prosecuting him for criminal fraud. I see nothing in the AG demand that is going to change the judge’s mind.

  64. Tom Fuller states; “I believe the University has a lower level of diligence required of it to search for and produce information for FOI than say, in response to a subpoena”.
    On this I disagree. FOI was enacted for a purpose. Interpretation of it falls to the courts, not the recipients.

  65. Michael Mann is the grant rainmaker. But many of these grants appear to be nothing more than bribes, such as geologist Mann’s $1.8 million gift to study “mosquito vectors”. Ken Cuccinelli is right to investigate the perversion of science that results because the public is forced to fund this hifalutin’-sounding payola:
    Mann’s recent government/NGO grants:
    Development of a Northern Hemisphere Gridded Precipitation Dataset Spanning the Past Half Millennium for Analyzing Interannual and Longer-Term Variability in the Monsoons:
 $250,000
    Quantifying the influence of environmental temperature on transmission of vector-borne diseases: $1,884,991
    Toward Improved Projections of the Climate Response to Anthropogenic Forcing: Combining Paleoclimate Proxy and Instrumental Observations with an Earth System Model: $541,184
    A Framework for Probabilistic Projections of Energy-Relevant Streamflow Indices: 
$330,000
    AMS Industry/Government Graduate Fellowship:
 $23,000
    Climate Change Collective Learning and Observatory Network in Ghana: $759,928
    Analysis and testing of proxy-based climate reconstructions: 
$459,000
    Constraining the Tropical Pacific’s Role in Low-Frequency Climate Change of the Last Millennium,: $68,065
    Acquisition of high-performance computing cluster for the Penn State Earth System Science Center (ESSC): $100,000
    Decadal Variability in the Tropical Indo-Pacific: Integrating Paleo & Coupled Model Results:
 $102,000
    Reconstruction and Analysis of Patterns of Climate Variability Over the Last One to Two Millennia: $315,000
    Remote Observations of Ice Sheet Surface Temperature: Toward Multi-Proxy Reconstruction of Antarctic Climate Variability:
 $133,000
    Paleoclimatic Reconstructions of the Arctic Oscillation: $14,400
    Global Multidecadal-to-Century-Scale Oscillations During the Last 1000 years: $20,775
    Resolving the Scale-wise Sensitivities in the Dynamical Coupling Between Climate and the Biosphere: 
$214,700
    Advancing predictive models of marine sediment transport:
 $20,775
    Multiproxy Climate Reconstruction: Extension in Space and Time, and Model/Data Intercomparison: 
$381,647
    The changing seasons? Detecting and understanding climatic change:
 $266,235
    Patterns of Organized Climatic Variability: Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Globally Distributed Climate Proxy Records and Long-term Model Integrations: $270,000
    Investigation of Patterns of Organized Large-Scale Climatic Variability During the Last Millennium: 
$78,000
    Mann was recently just an adjunct professor. Those defending him should ask themselves why various governments and NGOs are shoveling so much money at him.
    Why is Michael Mann the recipient of this immense payola? Is it because he promotes the [repeatedly debunked] notion that CO2 drives the climate – and so therefore “carbon” must be regulated by governments?
    Those who believe this is all innocent have no understanding of human nature, or of Machiavelli’s dictum: Men are evil, unless compelled to be good.
    If the Virginia Attorney General is barred from compelling fiduciary honesty, who will represent those of us paying the freight? Anyone? Or do these ravenous tax-sucking hyenas get unfettered access to our tax dollars, without restrictions of any kind?

  66. The barometer in this legal battle is UVa, since they know far better than the AG and perhaps even as much as silent Mann if there are serious legal problems. And guess what? They’re fighting it just like a guilty party, using every legal maneuver and silly canard to avoid having to comply with the laws of Virginia. They’ve invented defensive arguments that makes them look foolish.
    A telling barometer, indeed!
    And to what end? What degree of openess and thruthfullness do they wish to convey and how does this improve their credibility with tax-paying citizens of that great state, prospective and current students, and especially to alumni who are now embarrassed to admit they have degrees from that institution. The UVa is seriously misguided in their approach.
    So anyone that defends Mann, UVa, or other would-be “scientists” because such action may tarnish scientific reputations is devoid of common sense and should be required to take a course in ethics and have to PASS it. You’d think the UVa, who supposedly offers such courses, would understand this better than anyone.
    I no longer look at the UVa as a bastion of truthful education. They are corrupt.

  67. Cliff says:
    October 7, 2010 at 5:24 am
    I come to this site for science that might be persuasive against AGW. But posts like this basically destroy the credibility of this site.
    (…)
    Let’s start with the FOIA nonsense. Has anyone here read Cookinellli’s new CID?
    ———Reply:
    You destroy your own credibility when you distort people’s names on purpose.

  68. Obtaining and accepting a driver’s license comes with the assumption that by doing so you waive certain rights and freedoms. Your only recourse is not to drive on public roads. If you don’t like the rules, don’t play the game. This should apply to anyone who seeks and accepts public money, whether it be a research grant or welfare. Acceptance comes with the assumption that we, the people who provide that public money, have an unalienable right to investigate any circumstance that is suspect involving use of those funds.

  69. Smokey:
    Mann is really working cheap on this stuff. For example: “Paleoclimatic Reconstructions of the Arctic Oscillation: $14,400” If that’s all he’s getting for this project, I wouldn’t expect much of a reconstruction. Hopefully, this is just a plus-up for another contract. $14k is like 4 months of a grad student, converence, pub fees, supplies and overhead plus a small percentage of Mann’s time. There seem to be too many grants and not enough money in any one of them to really accomplish the task proposed.

  70. This is an entertaining thread. I am enjoying it.
    But this post and previous posts are like a discussion of the merits of a movie before the movie has even been produced yet.
    FACT: Cuccinelli is acting based on the laws of Virginia that he is empowered to use. The legal system of that state is in the process of deciding the appropriateness of both Cuccinelli’s actions and the UoV actions. It is a fine example of the rule of law that the USA should be proud of (with all it’s warts). IT IS LIKE WATCHING A DUCK. You are only seeing what the UoV and Cuccinelli are doing in public. You are not seeing theier interactions in private.
    Don’t be naive. Do you really think that the UoV and Cuccinelli haven’t been talking behind the scenes already and haven’t been working on an understanding? Don’t you think it is probable that they are working to separate out UoV from Mann to keep the UoV in the clear? I think the UoV tried to bluster initially, but I think they know it is in their best interests to discuss this with Cuccinelli privately.
    John

  71. If Dr Mann produced the Hockey Stick during his work in Virginia, then he is guilty of fraud. There is absolutely no way that the Hockey Stick graph was produced by innocent manipulation of data. The selectivity impressed on the data and the clearly spurious computer programming used to process the selected data cannot be done by mistake or by normally applied data processing techniques. He had to know that he was crafting a graph that did not honestly represent the data.
    Creating an honest graph and misinterpreting it is fine, stupid, but fine. But producing a dishonest graph and then “properly” interpreting it is wrong; it is fraud when policy decisions are known to rest on the conclusions from such a graph.

  72. Smokey, I came close to spitting a cup of coffee over my keyboard when I read the figures in your post. If these are correct (and I have no doubt they are) Mann is not and academic, he’s an industry, with a higher turnover of cash than some small banana republics. Knowing that a large proportion of any grant gets spread around the employing university, small wonder he is being protected fiercely!

  73. @D. Patterson

    “Michael Mann and the University of Virginia refused to comply with the law and a citizen’s lawful FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request for e-mail held by the University, claiming the e-mail no longer existed.”

    This claim raises several important questions that remain unanswered:
    Which FOIA request are you referring to?
    What is the nature of the specific email that you are claiming was deleted?
    How does acknowledging the non-existence of a requested email constitute non-compliance with the law?

    “When Virginia Attorney General Cuccinelli served a subpoena on the University to deliver the e-mail, the supposedly deleted and non-existent e-mail was recovered from the University computer servers”

    Again, what email are you referring to? The original subpoena didn’t mention any specific email but instead made a blanket request for all correspondence that matched certain criteria. Furthermore, the University never bothered to comply with the subpoena because their legal team filed suit to have it dismissed and won. Hence, no emails were ever delivered to the Attorney General.
    In light of the above non-controversial and well established facts, how could this mysterious (and increasingly hypothetical) email have been “recovered from the University computer servers”? Are you privy to some internal UVa data archiving secrets that the rest of us are not?

  74. Rockyroad,
    “So anyone that defends Mann, UVa, or other would-be “scientists” because such action may tarnish scientific reputations”
    This is a strawman. Nobody is arguing that. The AG is going to be laughed out of the courtroom as a kook. His argument is bad science = criminal fraud. The judge hasn’t bought it, and he’s not going to buy it.
    You guys just don’t get it. Fraud is reserved for deliberate efforts to lie to obtain money. Can’t we stop with the conspiracy theory wacka do stuff and focus on the science for or against AGW. Mann at best was wrong, or practiced bad science. The process in science to address that is more science, not criminal investigations and prosecutions.
    I almost think you guys are afraid of the science – if you want to focus so much on criminalizing those that take views opposed to yours.

  75. Rockyroad,
    “Cliff says:
    October 7, 2010 at 5:24 am
    I come to this site for science that might be persuasive against AGW. But posts like this basically destroy the credibility of this site.
    (…)
    Let’s start with the FOIA nonsense. Has anyone here read Cookinellli’s new CID?
    ———Reply:
    You destroy your own credibility when you distort people’s names on purpose.”
    YOu’re right, I shouldn’t have mispelled his name. I got a little overheated because what he is doing is outright crazy.
    Now do you want to address any of my points, or should we assume you have no answer.

  76. Well written and argued. If there is nothing to hide then documents would be freely released. This has nothing to do with academic freedom but maybe everything to do with academic skullduggery. Look what happened when Steve M eventually got hold of the data.
    The majesty of the Law is the only way to stop our governments from committing economic hari-kari.
    A notable first for the Kiwis may signal a tipping point.

  77. Anthony are you going to allow this nonsense?
    Smokey says:
    October 7, 2010 at 5:37 am
    Michael Mann is the grant rainmaker. But many of these grants appear to be nothing more than bribes, such as geologist Mann’s $1.8 million gift to study “mosquito vectors”.

    For the record the grant in question was awarded to Matthew Thomas Professor of Entomology at Penn State!

  78. kim says:
    October 7, 2010 at 6:38 am
    We have rule of law, and of the tomtoms.
    ================

    kim,
    Thanks for the ‘spewing / coughing my coffee on the keyboard’ moment. Do you write for JOSH?
    Great line.
    John

  79. Given the fact that someone, somewhere, is fairly regularly having to “apologize” for the scientific sins committed in the past, I must ponder when I realize no overt efforts to prevent that same mind set from re-occurring are now in place. The same club exists. The same form of peer review is in place. The same “Access Denied” ivory tower stands on a hill. Decades from now, someone, somewhere, will fairly regularly be “apologizing” for the scientific sins being committed now.

  80. @ Thomas Fuller

    When I wrote that district attorneys (should have been Attorneys General) are not always Republican, what I should have probably said was that the scientist in the crosshairs may not always be from the well-defended and funded consensus position. I greatly fear that this may serve as a precedent that will be used to marginalize and even silence scientists that publish papers that may offend the majority rather than support it, as in Mann’s case.

    You seem to have an improper juxtaposition of examples here. You’re saying that the target of an investigation into a scientist who received large amounts of recognition and government funding might be ok if he broke the law, but it would have a chilling effect on the scientists who publish papers that are on the fringe. The problem with that argument is that the scientists who are on the fringe are almost never government supported, and certainly are not high-profile. A representative government by its nature will choose fund public research that is palatable to it’s constituents. You will *rarely* see such a body get away with spending money on “fringe” science.

  81. Smokey.
    Wow, omigosh and other expletives. Amazing figures. No wonder UVa don’t want anyone to look too closely.

  82. We don’t need a reason to investigate. It’s public money. Anything to do with the grant should be available to investigators at any moment in time. They should be able to walk into any state office and immediately see any documentation related to state money. And they should be treated efficiently and courteously.
    The IRS doesn’t need a reason to audit someone. They just pick people and check out their records. Whenever they want to. Tom in Florida is exactly correct.
    Good grief, Smokey. It’s for sure the guy doesn’t have any time for actually doing research! No wonder they are trying to protect him. Who does he know?
    Also, I’m mostly unconcerned with the academic issues. Did Mann do good science? As to his grants, I agree it doesn’t matter a whole lot. What did he do with all of that money? How was it managed? Who in the university manages that? Were all the forms filled out? Who signed those public documents? Did the grantors receive all of the results, data, and conclusions, in correct form, that were spelled out in the grant agreements?
    Did the US Federal Government receive EVERYTHING promised in it’s agreements with UEA? All of the data, results, conclusions, etc that were originally specified? Did someone check? Who checked? I have no problems with grants like Mann’s and UEA’s being investigated every couple of years. Completely and thoroughly. The accounting by the university being audited by the state is fine with me. Whether they think there is cause or not.
    Who are you people out there that think that public, taxpayer funded projects cannot, and should not, be audited any time of the day or night by the state or federal government. It’s our money and we should be cheering everytime they go take a look. If everyone is clean, so much the better. Everyone walks out of the room feeling good. It should be like the health inspector. Walk in the door, poke around, look at all of the documents, what got spent, who got employed, what got bought, everything!

  83. From Smokey’s listing of Mann’s grants, I wonder for how many is Mann the sole or even primary researcher? I assume that he played a small role in most of them. The biggest part of academic grants is often for supporting postdocs and graduate students. How many graduate students does Mann have? How many years did the grants cover and were all of these grants funded?

  84. Tom –
    Overall, I think that you are probably right in your assessment that we need to be cautious in our decisions regarding when to criminalize scientific misbehavior. Not having read Mann’s code, I will accept other’s statements that it does not rise to the level of fraud. One would hope that the scientific community would police itself, much like we hope that lawyers and doctors police themselves; but that hope is misplaced and society needs to make rules.
    My modest proposal for a “safe harbor” for scientists would be that if all source data, methods and notes are published and freely available, then a scientist is presumed to have acted in good faith.
    I must take one exception to your comments posted in response at October 6, 2010 at 11:40 pm. You wrote:
    “The United States has seen fit to treat differing classes of industry sectors differently in regards to various laws. The most obvious is the greater license granted to journalists, given what the state recognizes as a compelling need for a fourth estate to monitor the behaviour of the great and mighty. ”
    This statement is false.
    In Citizens United v. FEC, the Justices noted that “the court has consistently rejected the proposition that the institutional press has any constitutional privilege beyond that of other speakers.” [see WSJ, “Of Scoundrels and Speech”, 10/7/2010]
    The first amendment is not a law or a regulation, but a right. It is true that the current congressional leadership has discussed trying to grant the MSM special privilege with regards to reporting on political speech, and that one could interpret current campaign finance law as providing such a privilege, but the court, despite the best efforts of congress, clearly tries to keep rights equal amongst citizens.
    Congress routinely exempts themselves from the regulations and laws they burden us with — all the more reason to throw them all out — but those are not rights.
    Brent.

  85. Tom Fuller:
    “I greatly fear that this may serve as a precedent that will be used to marginalize and even silence scientists that publish papers that may offend the majority rather than support it, as in Mann’s case.”
    Surely a legal process is an expensive and time consuming process. It is not something that an attorney working for an elected government would undertake lightly – in effect the end result of the science being accepted has to have a high impact on society. If you publish science which the government has taken seriously enough to enact laws on the back of it – at great expense to the taxpayer it is perfectly proper that the legal system holds you to a higher level of proof than if you publish a paper on the mating behaviour of tapeworms.
    If this were rich individuals – who had not paid for the science – requesting the information I could agree it would be able to be used to suppress dissent – the attorney office would be looking pretty vindictive if the University were co-operating.
    Imagine a company paid the University a million dollars in research grants for a particular piece of science. When attempting to use it it seemed to be faulty. They asked the university to provide details of what they had done, and how they spent the money. The university refused. Is that company then supposed to hire a different University to repeat the science – or should they follow the legal process to get the information? Imagine a university did a drug trial, found the substance was safe, people started dieing from the drug and the university refused to provide details of the trial.

  86. RockyRoad says:
    October 7, 2010 at 5:55 am
    Cliff says:
    October 7, 2010 at 5:24 am
    I come to this site for science that might be persuasive against AGW. But posts like this basically destroy the credibility of this site.
    (…)
    Let’s start with the FOIA nonsense. Has anyone here read Cookinellli’s new CID?
    ———Reply:
    You destroy your own credibility when you distort people’s names on purpose.

    We should remember that when someone on here distort’s Gore’s name or Mann’s name for example.

  87. @Tom Fuller
    You speak of chilling effects of overzealous prosecution.
    I’m reminded, and will now remind you, that Michael Mann threatened legal action against the Minnesotans for Global Warming in their famous viral video “Hide the Decline” if they did not remove it from YouTube. The poor youngsters from Minnesota having no finanical resources to fight back against Mann knuckled under and removed it.
    All I have to say to Mann is: Live by the sword, die by the sword.
    It couldn’t possibly be happening to a more deserving [snip].
    As

  88. Daniel H says:
    October 7, 2010 at 6:25 am

    In light of the above non-controversial and well established facts, how could this mysterious (and increasingly hypothetical) email have been “recovered from the University computer servers”? Are you privy to some internal UVa data archiving secrets that the rest of us are not?

    re; archiving secrets
    It’s no secret among anyone who has anything to do with setting up and maintaining computer networks that stored data undergoes daily, weekly, and monthly (progressively more rigorous) automated archiving so that should corruption or loss occur in primary storage the archival copies can be retrieved and the data restored with the loss limited in time to the last uncorrupted archive.
    Now you know. Common wisdom in the trade is that you should never send any email that you wouldn’t want to see published on the front page of tomorrow’s newspaper. The network never forgets. Deleting emails only removes the topmost of many copies. In fact there’s even a record of the deletions that can come back to haunt someone if they selectively remove certain correspondences while leaving others intact.

  89. BillD says:
    October 7, 2010 at 6:59 am
    From Smokey’s listing of Mann’s grants, I wonder for how many is Mann the sole or even primary researcher? I assume that he played a small role in most of them. The biggest part of academic grants is often for supporting postdocs and graduate students. How many graduate students does Mann have? How many years did the grants cover and were all of these grants funded?

    Indeed but you have to remember that Smokey is a liar (note to mods sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander). There’s a reason why Smokey removed the names of the PI from his list! He for example highlights the ‘fact’ that a ‘bribe’ was paid to a geologist (Mann) in the form of a grant to study malaria when in fact he knows full well that the award was made to an entomologist and that Mann was one of four co-PIs. For those unaware how the awarding of funding at universities work the PI is the one who controls the lion’s share of the funding and the co-PIs are like sub-contractors for special expertise. If as an entomologist you’re going to research in the effect of temperature on a disease vector it’s a good idea to have a climate specialist on the team submitting the proposal in order to pass the review stage.

  90. Phil. says:
    October 7, 2010 at 7:46 am
    Does anyone have a complete list (with PI’s) of the grants received for Mann or the Team, the relevant details and how they performed (as in pubs & conferences, etc)? A spreadsheet would do. It would save a lot of time on future discussions.
    BTW, I still suspect Mann isn’t getting a huge amount of public money for work he’s proposing to do, given the scope of the proposed work. It would be good to see numbers. Does he get private grants?

  91. Phil. @ 7:46 AM
    Perhaps the names were deleted to protect the innocent. Perhaps the P. I.s should witness. What a great idea.
    ============

  92. From the Washington Post,
    By Jim Nolan | TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER
    Published: October 05, 2010:
    “U.Va. said it has spent $352,874.76 in legal fees on the CID litigation, which has been financed through private funds.”
    Hmmm, the first thought that came to my mind was – Wouldn’t it be a lot cheaper to let Cuccinelli see the documents? Unless…. Is there something they don’t want the AG to see? With that amount of money on the table I don’t buy any of the “protection of the sanctity of Academia philanthropic blah, blah, blah”. And, “financed through private funds”? This gets more interesting by the minute. The bottom line in legal expenses is that you always weigh how much it’s going to cost you one way or the other, and you take the cheapest way out. That is a serious chunk of cash to pay for the cheapest way out…….

  93. Larry says:
    October 7, 2010 at 7:10 am
    Imagine a company paid the University a million dollars in research grants for a particular piece of science. When attempting to use it it seemed to be faulty. They asked the university to provide details of what they had done, and how they spent the money. The university refused.

    But that’s not what happened is it, grants always have provisions for audits and approval of line items, UVa has not refused an audit by the grant awarding body as far as I’m aware. There is no indication that the study in question; “Resolving the Scale-wise Sensitivities in the Dynamical Coupling Between Climate and the Biosphere”, was faulty. What has happened is that someone outside the process has taken a dislike to the work of one of the co-PIs on a particular grant based on other work and has taken it upon himself to see if that person aided the PI in fraudulently obtaining a grant (he also tried to investigate awards outside the scope of the law he was using). To do this he asked for Mann’s communications over an extended period of time but didn’t apparently ask for anything from the PI of the grant! UVa challenged the legality of such an approach in court and won and he has now come back with a more tightly focussed search.

  94. I personally cannot see any course of action for UoV except to deal away Mann to Cuccinelli in private in return for immunity.
    I conjecture that once UoV has protected itself, then Cuccinelli’s focus would be strictly on Mann. If I was Cuccinelli, that would have been my strategy all along.
    By my conjecture, Cuccinelli would start by investigating Mann’s (not UoV’s) ‘misuse’ of grant funds and it will lead to getting into Mann’s private finances. In my view such public disclosure of Mann’s finances will then lead to . . . . . an oops moment.
    Who is going to direct the movie version of this? Curtis?
    John

  95. Smokey says:
    “Michael Mann is the grant rainmaker. But many of these grants appear to be nothing more than bribes, such as geologist Mann’s $1.8 million gift to study “mosquito vectors”. Ken Cuccinelli is right to investigate the perversion of science that results because the public is forced to fund this hifalutin’-sounding payola”
    =====================
    That’s a lot of grants. It reminds me of something.
    One of the primary missions of the National Science Foundation is to investigate grant fraud. I wonder how many here have heard of this report in 2009. The story was picked up by many news sources at the time, including Scientific American. It explains (in part) why they don’t do their job very well.
    Google search for this item:
    http://tinyurl.com/22p6hys
    Some parts of the story are rather funny, like that senior executive who was addicted to chatting with naked women online (331 days!) and, when he was caught, tried to justify the time spent on this activity by saying he was just trying to help poor women oversees.
    The Washington Times broke the story as follows:
    —-
    Employee misconduct investigations, often involving workers accessing pornography from their government computers, grew sixfold last year inside the taxpayer-funded foundation that doles out billions of dollars of scientific research grants, according to budget documents and other records obtained by The Washington Times.
    The problems at the National Science Foundation (NSF) were so pervasive they swamped the agency’s inspector general and forced the internal watchdog to cut back on its primary mission of investigating grant fraud and recovering misspent tax dollars.
    “To manage this dramatic increase without an increase in staff required us to significantly reduce our efforts to investigate grant fraud,” the inspector general recently told Congress in a budget request. “We anticipate a significant decline in investigative recoveries and prosecutions in coming years as a direct result.”
    The budget request doesn’t state the nature or number of the misconduct cases, but records obtained by The Times through the Freedom of Information Act laid bare the extent of the well-publicized porn problem inside the government-backed foundation.
    For instance, one senior executive spent at least 331 days looking at pornography on his government computer and chatting online with nude or partially clad women without being detected, the records show.
    When finally caught, the NSF official retired. He even offered, among other explanations, a humanitarian defense, suggesting that he frequented the porn sites to provide a living to the poor overseas women. Investigators put the cost to taxpayers of the senior official’s porn surfing at between $13,800 and about $58,000.
    “He explained that these young women are from poor countries and need to make money to help their parents and this site helps them do that,” investigators wrote in a memo.
    The independent foundation, funded by taxpayers to the tune of $6 billion in 2008, is tasked with handing out scientific grants to colleges, universities and research institutions nationwide. The projects it funds ranges from mapping the genome of the potato to exploring outer space with powerful new telescopes. It has a total of 1,200 career employees.
    Recent budget documents for the inspector general cite a “6-fold increase in employee misconduct cases and associated proactive management implication report activities.” The document doesn’t say how many cases were involved in the increase, and officials could not immediately provide a figure.
    [Story Continues]
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/sep/29/workers-porn-surfing-rampant-at-federal-agency/

  96. JDN says:
    October 7, 2010 at 8:01 am
    Phil. says:
    October 7, 2010 at 7:46 am
    Does anyone have a complete list (with PI’s) of the grants received for Mann or the Team, the relevant details and how they performed (as in pubs & conferences, etc)? A spreadsheet would do. It would save a lot of time on future discussions.
    BTW, I still suspect Mann isn’t getting a huge amount of public money for work he’s proposing to do, given the scope of the proposed work. It would be good to see numbers. Does he get private grants?

    It’s freely available on his CV on the PSU website. From the list given above the two largest grants totalling M$2.5 were to PIs other than Mann.

  97. In his revived crusade against UVA and Dr. Mann, AG Cuccinelli is demanding information related to a “study of natural land-vegetation-atmosphere interaction in the African savanna”, according to Mann. Right winger Cuccinelli has jumped the shark as his “investigation” is no longer focused on alleged fraud or misuse of grant funds by Mann. He’s just wasting tax dollars because he didn’t like the fact that he was slapped down by Judge Paul Peatross.
    http://www.cavalierdaily.com/2010/10/06/cuccinelli-orders-new-investigation/

  98. Larry Geiger,
    “We don’t need a reason to investigate. It’s public money. Anything to do with the grant should be available to investigators at any moment in time.”
    Actually, a prosecutor that issues a CID and then seeks to enforce it in court does have to have a reason to investigate. Basically, they have to show some information that fraud was actually committed. They can’t go on a fishing expedition. You may not like it that the law works that way, but it does. Frankly, that’s the way the law should work for criminal investigations. Otherwise, people will be harrassed without cause. Prosecutors will be able to browbeat people into things like confessions of guilt to avoid the harassment. That’s not a society I want to live in.
    The AG is citing no evidence of fraud except alleged bad science. The court hasn’t bought that, and is not going to. Sorry.
    “Who are you people out there that think that public, taxpayer funded projects cannot, and should not, be audited any time of the day or night by the state or federal government. ”
    Well, why is the “auditing” directed at a climate scientist by an AG that is a member of a political party that increasingly opposes the theory of AGW. Why not audit researchers generally. I doubt the IRS would be allowed to audit registered democrats exclusively when republican administrations are in power, or democratic administrations direct the IRS to audit only republicans. This whole thing smells like a giant witch hunt to any judge. The judge has got that, and he’s not going to allow the AG to go forward . SORRY GUYS

  99. Tom Fuller:

    The United States has seen fit to treat differing classes of industry sectors differently in regards to various laws. The most obvious is the greater license granted to journalists, given what the state recognizes as a compelling need for a fourth estate to monitor the behaviour of the great and mighty. A scientist resorting to desperate measures to defend his work can be by turns disgusting, pitiable and infuriating. I would submit that Michael Mann has been all of these. But given the adversarial nature of scientific publishing–very much like litigants–it does not venture far from the norm in this type of case.

    Tom, the First Amendment – here involving your own Freedom of Speech and the Press – doesn’t have anything to do with the issue we are discussing, which is the public funding of science, and therefore the issue of the applicability of FOI requests and any other legal audits of the totality of the “work” thereby funded, which themselves are certainly partly designed to oversee the “propriety” of this publically funded work and thus also protect the Public from any potential abuses – including, say, those deriving from a potential unconstitutional alliance between Government and Science which intends to defraud, loot, and control the People, for example by means the grant process itself which then generates “Political” Science instead of real Science.
    Why you think any such legal inquiry into a publically funded body of scientific work will somehow end up in your own First Amendment backyard is a mystery to me, except that you seem to be confusing the Scientific Method or process with the advocacy of a personal or political position – which is exactly what is wrong with “Climate Science” and why oversight by the Public is necessary in the case of publically funded science; especially when the other mechanisms available in a free society such as review by “official scientific bodies” – including professional organizations, Publications, and other governmental entities such as the EPA and Congressional Oversight Committees – and also the Press, have not been adequate to slow down the manifestly political nature of Mann’s, enc., Climate Science, which also in a prima facie way, imo, at the very least intends or conspires to either loot or control the Public, or both, thus potentially depriving us of our Constiltutional Civil Rights and liberties.
    Regardless, at the very least, although perhaps exactly what this kind of Public oversight turns out to be is yet to be deterimined by working through the actual Legal Process itself, still why you or anyone thinks Mann’s work would or should be a priori exempt from it, is certainly not in any way established, and I don’t see how it has anything to do with your own First Amendment Rights, except perhaps to try to protect them from the potential development of a Totalitarian State.

  100. Michael Mann has cost the world too much.

    To be sure. But that post reminded me of the player who is IMHO a lot more to blame than Michael Mann who seems like a jumped-up egotist who has found a nice gravy train to ride. Mann could simply become the fall guy for his sponsors.
    IPCC.
    The IPCC put Mann onto his pedestal, because he happened to deliver the goods they wanted. But to whom are IPCC answerable, for corrupting the course of science?
    Then there is Richard Courtney’s excellent analysis of the unholy feedback involving politicians of all colours and the MSM of all colours in the corruption of science.

  101. When you use tax money (taken by threat of force remember) one should be held to a higher standard, not a lower standard as Mr Fuller seems to desire. On your own dime you can be all the things that the Mann apologists claim and enjoy the privileges and immunities Fuller et al wish to grant.
    Well written Mr Patterson!

  102. When I wrote that district attorneys (should have been Attorneys General) are not always Republican, what I should have probably said was that the scientist in the crosshairs may not always be from the well-defended and funded consensus position. I greatly fear that this may serve as a precedent that will be used to marginalize and even silence scientists that publish papers that may offend the majority rather than support it, as in Mann’s case.
    It’s too late to worry about silencing “scientists that publish papers that may offend the majority. . . .”
    Ask noted astrophysicist Dr. Willie Soon, who is being vigorously persecuted for his non-consensus views by Greenpeace, with the full cooperation of Harvard University, whether there is freedom of scientific inquiry in the climate research community. Or fellow professor Sallie Baliunas, who has been subjected to incredible abuse at the hands of fellow “scientists” who will brook no dissent from the official “climate change” doctrine. Today, any professor brave enough to expose the machinations and manipulations of consensus scientists risks public ridicule, ostracism and career suicide.
    The notion that Attorney General Cuccinelli’s investigation will stifle scientific freedom is patent nonsense. That freedom, if it ever existed, has been under attack by the global warmist camp for decades. And those attacks continue unabated, aided in no small part by government and university officials who spend most of their time engaging in and covering up scientific malfeasance on a grand scale.
    “Protection of scientific freedom”? There is no freedom left to protect.

  103. >>Climate Change Collective Learning and Observatory Network in Ghana: $759,928
    It was a 3 year project. That works out at c250K / year to enagge 6 students, a PI and 5 co-PIs, one of whom was Mann. Bargain! If you think research is expensive, you should try ignorance. To list it as ‘Mann’s grant’ does nothing for the credibility of the poster.

  104. This is probably the only issue I agree with T. Fuller on, and I posted as much in the previous thread, but basically to sum it up…
    This prosecutor like anyone who gets zealous will end up finding some small technicality and prosecute on that. That is generally how things like this go. As for the fraud, I think its difficult for me to say its that even based on what I know. Beyond reasonable doubt? I do not think so.
    Sheer incompetence, yes. He should be fired and have his degrees revoked.. but like I said earlier, its a catch 22 either way. There is no good result that can come from an investigation like this, as the likely precedent will damage science, but in the end, this particular branch of science has opened itself up to this. Science in general will fare terribly like this, which is my largest worry.
    But then again, climate science should have policed itself or the universities should have done this, but every step of the way they simply let him be “because he got money well.” or his “message was good”. That is not the litmus test for good science as I think it should be, which in the end may be the largest issue with universities in general, so how this investigation might go will be to change that…But like I said, it will end as a witch trial with Mann getting prosecuted for some small issue that no doubt plauges all universities and with the law interpretating the way it does, just about any professor can be prosecuted like this.
    But what else can be done? None of us have any good ways this can be changed without something this drastic, and I admit I do not have any ideas either. Classic Catch 22, your are damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.

  105. Phil. is frantically posting here, trying to excuse all the grant money changing hands with a wink and a nod. Phil. states unequivocally: “Smokey is a liar.” That’s the kind of ad hominem name-calling Phil. makes when his arguments have run out of steam.
    The grant amounts posted above came from a number of sources including this article, and a WUWT article and thread specifically written about Mann’s $1.8 million mosquito vector grant here. There’s also this Mann exposé. A search would probably bring up more connections between Mann and his dubious mosquito grant.
    Mann also listed the $1.8 million mosquito grant as an accomplishment on his CV:

    “Quantifying the influence of environmental temperature on transmission of vector-borne diseases, NSF-EF [Principal Investigator: M. Thomas; Co-Investigators: R.G. Crane, M.E. Mann, A. Read, T. Scott (Penn State Univ.)] $1,884,991”

    Mann is a co-investigator [or ‘et al.’] on this grant and many others. Getting listed as a grant recipient gives Mann substantial control over how the cash is spent. Since Mann himself takes credit for the grant, asking questions about it is fair game, no?
    Maybe Phil. can try to explain how relaying the information linked in this comment would make anyone a “liar.” How about it, Phil.? Does that really make me a liar? Everything posted is out in the open.
    What Phil. is really trying to do is put Mann’s fallen halo back on his head by making news aggregating into a strawman argument.
    The grant gravy train generally operates with teams going after the grant money. This is just one grant out of many that Mann lists on his personal CV [under “Funded Proposals“].
    Michael Mann brings in a lot more loot than most researchers, but it has nothing to do with his scientific ability. As we seen in the comments here, the argument has devolved into one of only two possibilities: either Michael Mann committed scientific misconduct, or we are told by Mann’s defenders that being incompetent isn’t a crime. So there’s your guy, Phil: a crook, or an incompetent.

  106. Charles Higley says:
    October 7, 2010 at 6:14 am (Edit)
    If Dr Mann produced the Hockey Stick during his work in Virginia, then he is guilty of fraud. There is absolutely no way that the Hockey Stick graph was produced by innocent manipulation of data. The selectivity impressed on the data and the clearly spurious computer programming used to process the selected data cannot be done by mistake or by normally applied data processing techniques. He had to know that he was crafting a graph that did not honestly represent the data.
    #############
    be specific.
    1. which hockey stick
    2. NONE of the hockey sticks has “spurious” computer programing. Did you even LOOK at the code? can you even read it? You will find a smattering of minor errors
    in mann’s work. Mistakes that were corrected, but not attributed. egotism, not fraud.
    3. Mann’s method’s are opportunistic and not fully vetted. He basically didnt know how to test them. As problems became evident he has moved on to other methods.
    4. Data selection: which data? and how is it fraudulent
    The people making vague, unspecified, charges on Mann do an absolute disservice to the people who have studied him in detail. If you dont know the case on the science inside and out, I’ll suggest silence. if people took that suggestion then there are probably less than handful of people qualified to speak. And none of them sees fraud. Mistakes are not fraud.
    .

  107. Cliff says:
    October 7, 2010 at 6:39 am
    “Mann at best was wrong, or practiced bad science. The process in science to address that is more science, not criminal investigations and prosecutions.”
    I agree.
    What science needs is better peer review, such as by blogs like this. That is the court of public opinion, not the courts of unrepresentative lawyers and judges with their own agendas.

  108. Mann also listed the $1.8 million mosquito grant as an accomplishment on his CV:
    “Quantifying the influence of environmental temperature on transmission of vector-borne diseases, NSF-EF [Principal Investigator: M. Thomas; Co-Investigators: R.G. Crane, M.E. Mann, A. Read, T. Scott (Penn State Univ.)] $1,884,991″
    Mann is a co-investigator [or ‘et al.’] on this grant and many others. Getting listed as a grant recipient gives Mann substantial control over how the cash is spent. Since Mann himself takes credit for the grant, asking questions about it is fair game, no?
    Smokey, you have no idea what a PI does on a grant. As a former PI on millions of contracts and studies I will tell you what I PI does: A PI controls All the money.
    So, there you go again, you merely assert that mann has control over money, when you know no such thing. When you have people who have served as PIs tell you that the PI controls the budget and the schedule, you ignore evidence that falsifies your theory.
    Again, the people who make broad baseless charges demean and belittle the work of their betters who have dissected Mann’s work in detail and found no scientific fraud.
    Question: we bemoan the fact that the climategate whitwash commisions did not call steve mcintyre as a witness. we scream that they did not talk to the critic most knowledgable. Well, did the AG here ask steve for the best case he had? no.
    why not? because then he couldnt launch a witch hunt.
    witch hunt and white wash. neither gets to the truth. And they dont because the reasonable voices are left out of the picture.

  109. Steven Mosher says on October 7, 2010 at 10:48 am

    [Deletia]
    Smokey, you have no idea what a PI does on a grant. As a former PI on millions of contracts and studies I will tell you what I PI does: A PI controls All the money.

    Your hyperbole is excused because I understand and agree with your message, but the problem is that it is not about the science. Those on the AGW side long ago saw that they could not use the scientific method to achieve their goals so they moved to the political and media spheres to do that.
    It then became an arms race. Those on the other side found a bigger hammer, and so forth.

  110. witch hunt and white wash. neither gets to the truth. And they dont because the reasonable voices are left out of the picture.

    Important point, Steve. But there IS an issue of integrity where, because of the nonexistence of adequate protective legislation, Mann is able to wrap the whole world round his little finger. I can stand in my integrity and be a pacifist. But I cannot condemn others who in their deeply-considered integrity feel it is right for them to fight fire with fire. Nor can I prevent those who, from a more shallow integrity feel it is right to fight. I have to work with the total situation. I can go in as Red Cross to help put the members of all sides of the dispute together again, in a more just framework.
    How about we reconsider the culpability of the IPCC in allowing Mann to deal such harm to Science. And how about we consider how to move out of blame altogether, and focus on how to rebuild. And if Mann needs to be “taken out” for such reconsideration by using battle tactics, perhaps that would be good, so long as his eventual welfare is built into the reconsideration process. No revenge. No 10:10. Just lessons learned.

  111. Fantastic piece. As a contracts professional, I fully support this investigation. Public funds are a public trust! If you believe you should not be subject to additional scrutiny, then don’t accept government funding.

  112. “Mistakes are not fraud.”
    Steven Mosher,
    Misrepresentation is fraud. I have trouble believing you classify the behavior under scrutiny here as a “mistake”.
    Do you really believe it’s a “mistake”?
    Andrew

  113. Mr. Patterson, let me add to the chorus of “well written” and “well said”. Thank you.
    My favorite line was this one:
    “A great many of these people cheerfully wish a pox on all politicians, activists, and Lamestream journalists who seek to frustrate the ability of ordinary citizens to govern their own lives free of interference by by people who think they know better what is best for other people besides themselves and seek to make themselves immune from the same rules and burdens they would impose on others.”
    This is where we find the climate debate (among many other topics) today. The good news is there is a growing groundswell of backlash against those who feel their role is to tell the rest of us what is best for us.
    I, for one, am “mad as hell and am not going to take it anymore”. Time to vote these elitists out of office. For those of us in the USA, November 2nd can’t arrive quickly enough.
    K Denison

  114. Lucy Skywalker
    October 7, 2010 at 11:19 am
    —–
    Lucy,
    Appreciate you speaking to the issue of integrity.
    I agree with you also about not speaking of revenge in the issues that surround Mann. I just want to see cool headed & open evaluation.
    John

  115. Lucy,
    There is a small group of us who are interested in moving the science forward in the best way possible. Mann has had his best day. some key victories in access to data and code have been won. More focused effort in that direction will yield lasting results. Truth will out. always does.
    Shanti, Shanti, Shanti

  116. Your hyperbole is excused because I understand and agree with your message, but the problem is that it is not about the science. Those on the AGW side long ago saw that they could not use the scientific method to achieve their goals so they moved to the political and media spheres to do that.
    ### sorry meant millions of dollars of contracts.

  117. Steven Mosher,
    “And none of them sees fraud. Mistakes are not fraud.”
    Reminds me of the MP’s (UK parliament) who, when caught with their hands in the cookie jar, responded: “Sorry, mistakes were made. . . Sorry, accounting errors.”
    Yeah, sure, Steven.

  118. Flash! Flash! Flash!
    I urge participants in this thread to take a look at the
    Richmond Times Dispatch item here:
    http://www2.timesdispatch.com/mgmedia/image/full/16399/blog-va-politics/
    So far, the University has paid
    nothing in tax dollars
    to resist the investigative efforts of the Commonwealth of
    Virginia’s Attorney General. The funding for the UofV
    efforts have come from an unnamed “private” source
    So far the Office of the Attorney General has shelled out
    less than $1,000.oo in pursuit of requested UofV held
    information.
    …and now back to your regular program

  119. Bad Andrew says:
    October 7, 2010 at 11:32 am (Edit)
    “Mistakes are not fraud.”
    Steven Mosher,
    Misrepresentation is fraud. I have trouble believing you classify the behavior under scrutiny here as a “mistake”.
    Do you really believe it’s a “mistake”?
    Andrew
    ##################
    I draw a very bright line on what I consider fraud to be. unlike others who use the word to mean ” bad stuff my opponent said or did”
    Lets try a role reversal: ( that will start a fight)
    lets take Smokey’s representation that Mann as co investigator would have a lot of control over the money.
    1. Smokey doesnt know what he is talking about: (Mann is no statistician.)
    2. A strong claim is made for political effect in both cases
    3. There is evidence the claim is unwarranted.
    4. The person making the mistake, refuses to come clean
    So would I call Smokey’s claim a fraud? or misreprsentation. No, he doesnt know any better. He’s made strong forcefull claims out of his area of expertise. I expect him to make mistakes. he doesnt know any better. When called to account, we would like him to admit his mistake. Perhaps he wont. Just like mann refused in certain cases to admit his mistakes.
    in my mind a fraud would be this: if smokey looked at the funding documents, looked at the records, KNEW that mann didnt have control over the funds, and then Suggested or represented facts CONTRARY to his own beliefs. Now, I believe that Mann and Smokey, at worst, are just fooling themselves. They don’t know any better and cannot be brought to reason together.
    That analogy is sure to cause a fight, but you watch what happens when people get out of their areas of expertise. you watch how vigorously they defend their mistaken claims, or how they ignore contrary evidence. its like they have to believe what they said. A fraud, knows he is a fraud. The merely deluded have no such awareness.

  120. Steve Mosher:
    Question: we bemoan the fact that the climategate whitwash commisions did not call steve mcintyre as a witness. we scream that they did not talk to the critic most knowledgable. Well, did the AG here ask steve for the best case he had? no.
    why not? because then he couldnt launch a witch hunt.

    So Steve McIntyre, who we already know doesn’t agree with Cuccinelli’s attempt at the oversight of Mann’s publically funded sceince, determines if or when publically funded science can be audited? He’s not even a Czar!

  121. Phil Clarke says:
    October 7, 2010 at 9:45 am (Edit)
    >>Climate Change Collective Learning and Observatory Network in Ghana: $759,928
    It was a 3 year project. That works out at c250K / year to enagge 6 students, a PI and 5 co-PIs, one of whom was Mann. Bargain! If you think research is expensive, you should try ignorance. To list it as ‘Mann’s grant’ does nothing for the credibility of the poster.
    ##
    and we all know how little work the PI actually does in studies like this. The PI is just doing budgets and schedules and reports. The Co PIs are also thinly involved and the grunt work is done by those 6 students.
    On a serious note, do these grants have SOWs? that could clarify some things with real detail as opposed to speculation ( al beit from folks with experience)

  122. Mann’s grant money is spent. Intellectual and sometimes actual fraud in climate science is normal. Why support a lawyer wasting more of your money and who has his own agenda.
    Do something useful. Complain to O2, sponsors of the 10:10 cutting carbon campaign about the disgusting Splattergate film. I just have.

  123. The only readers likely to find author’s invocation of fraud in Acta Crystallographica relevant are devotees of medieval climatology who believe the weather depends, sub specie aeternitatis ,on the revolutions of the crystalline spheres.
    Cuccinelli’s antic barratry reflects the compulsion that led him to cover the breasts of Liberty on Virginia’s Great Seal: being a relatively small state, its Attorney General’s office can only accommodate one boob at a time.

  124. Doug UK says:
    October 6, 2010 at 10:59 pm
    The problem with the UEA FOIA denial was that the offence is a ‘summary’ offence tried in a magistrates court. The statute of limitations for that is 6 months.
    The new denialists anyone? (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)
    DaveE.

  125. Steven Mosher says:
    October 7, 2010 at 10:38 am
    The people making vague, unspecified, charges on Mann do an absolute disservice to the people who have studied him in detail. If you dont know the case on the science inside and out, I’ll suggest silence. if people took that suggestion then there are probably less than handful of people qualified to speak. And none of them sees fraud. Mistakes are not fraud.
    Steven Mosher says:
    October 7, 2010 at 10:48 am
    Again, the people who make broad baseless charges demean and belittle the work of their betters who have dissected Mann’s work in detail and found no scientific fraud.
    Question: we bemoan the fact that the climategate whitwash commisions did not call steve mcintyre as a witness. we scream that they did not talk to the critic most knowledgable. Well, did the AG here ask steve for the best case he had? no.
    why not? because then he couldnt launch a witch hunt.

    ——————-
    Steven Mosher,
    Are you speaking for Steve McIntyre & the ” less than handful of people qualified to speak” regarding whether they have or have not had official contact with Cuccinelli’s office?
    In other words, do you have information from them that they have not been contacted by Cuccinelli’s office?
    If you haven’t that specific information from them then you also are making some (in your own words, not mine) “some broad baseless” assumptions.
    Let’s stick to the facts or when we are conjecturing clearly state we are conjecturing. Are you conjecturing?
    John

  126. @Steve Mosher
    “If you dont know the case on the science inside and out, I’ll suggest silence. if people took that suggestion then there are probably less than handful of people qualified to speak.”
    Would you, in your own esteemed opinion, be one of the qualified few?

  127. After reading Patterson’s Chinese Crystallographic fire drill , I wonder if his definition of “is” will prove any better than our most recently disbarred ex-Presidents.
    in case Patterson hasn’t noticed, Singer’s last academic refuge , GMU ,is erupting into a plagiarism scandal that revolves around the Wegman report.

  128. Russell Seitz says:
    October 7, 2010 at 3:12 pm
    After reading Patterson’s Chinese Crystallographic fire drill , I wonder if his definition of “is” will prove any better than our most recently disbarred ex-Presidents.

    ————–
    Russell Seitz,
    A propos your comment;

    John

  129. Russell Seitz says:
    October 7, 2010 at 3:12 pm
    After reading Patterson’s Chinese Crystallographic fire drill , I wonder if his definition of “is” will prove any better than our most recently disbarred ex-Presidents.

    What does Richard Nixon have to do with this?

  130. You’re all missing the point. If it’s not the University’s money funding the defense, then who is putting out the cash? Follow the money!
    From the Washington post:
    “Jose Suro says:
    October 7, 2010 at 8:05 am
    From the Washington Post,
    By Jim Nolan | TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER
    Published: October 05, 2010:
    “U.Va. said it has spent $352,874.76 in legal fees on the CID litigation, which has been financed through private funds.””

  131. I’m probably a bit literal minded, or maybe, as an Aussie, I’m not attuned to a certain type of humour. But I just read Steven Mosher’s entry implying the existence of a small enlightened elite, of which he is a member, advancing toward truth. He concludes by creepily writing Shanti three times, then links to a schlocky youtube mantra clip.
    I’m missing some satirical reference, some in-house humour…right?

  132. mosomoso says:
    October 7, 2010 at 4:51 pm
    I’m probably a bit literal minded, or maybe, as an Aussie, I’m not attuned to a certain type of humour. But I just read Steven Mosher’s entry implying the existence of a small enlightened elite, of which he is a member, advancing toward truth. He concludes by creepily writing Shanti three times, then links to a schlocky youtube mantra clip.
    I’m missing some satirical reference, some in-house humour…right?

    ————-
    mosomoso,
    I am a bred and raised Yankee of the ole USA.
    So in the regard you being an Aussie reading what an American says (Mosher), I would say you are missing nothing. To me your analysis is right on.
    John

  133. Heaven help WUWT if any public funds have supported editor Watts abortive pretension to fact checking.

  134. Russell Seitz says:
    October 7, 2010 at 5:55 pm
    Heaven help WUWT if any public funds have supported editor Watts abortive pretension to fact checking.

    ————-
    Russell Seitz,
    Ahhhh, with your present comment to the contrary notwithstanding, I say “NUTS!”.
    [I always wanted an opportunity to say that, thanks Russell Seitz for the opportunity]
    John

  135. Why does Bubbles come here and engage in Romm-style character assassination? If he has evidence that Anthony is taking public funds, he needs to man up and produce it – or shut his pie hole and change his depends.
    Of course, it’s all projection, and a lame attempt by Mr Bubbles to cover up the fact that really big money is propping up his child prodigy, the debate fearing Michael Mann…
    …which reminds me, has a ‘consensus’ been established as to whether Mann is another Wei-Chyung Wang, or just a garden variety incompetent? Enquiring minds want to know. ☺

  136. WOW, if I wanted to form another good “whitewashing committee” for the AGW hoax, I would certainly try to get a couple of the prominent commenters here on that Committee. LOL.
    One primary job of an AGW is to investigate possible abuses of the taxpayers assets. It’s really that simple, folks. The AG is doing his job. Period.

  137. Steven Mosher says: October 7, 2010 at 2:47 am
    “Sorry I have to agree with Tom. …I can say there is no case of fraud. Mann’s methods are certainly aggressive… I think we need to hold a very high bar for the charge of fraud.”
    Thank you Steven Mosher. The charge of fraud is a very strong accusation and the onus of proof very demanding. Mistakes are not fraud. Misunderstandings are not fraud. I defend any scientist’s right to publish free of political or legal interference. If Mann’s scientific work is deficient it will be shown as such without need of any witch hunt.
    My only beef with Steven’s comment is the “sorry” at the front. Freedom to express the truth as each individual understands it is a hallmark of the United States of America and no apology needs mention in its defence.
    Ammonite
    Mark Oliver

  138. Tom Fuller says:
    October 6, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    Thank you for your kind words, Tom. We do agree to greater and lesser degrees on some issues, including the risks associated with having Attorneys General using their political office inappropriately in scientific disputes. Our disagreements appear to center on many of the intitial views of the facts. I’m especially concerned with what I see as one-sided applications of these concerns. In response to your objections, the objections of other commenters, and some questions, I’ll compile some information and details which people on both sides of the debate may find at least provocative, if not informative.
    Special thanks to Anthony et al for the use of this forum, without which Tom and I could not discuss this issue without undue censorship.

  139. Phil says:

    Russell Seitz says:
    October 7, 2010 at 3:12 pm
    After reading Patterson’s Chinese Crystallographic fire drill , I wonder if his definition of “is” will prove any better than our most recently disbarred ex-Presidents.
    What does Richard Nixon have to do with this?

    He’s talking about Clinton. I would think it’s obvious.

  140. Tom Fuller, from the/his previous post:
    The ‘system’ of science has dealt with other frauds, incorrect research findings and fad-inspired papers many times in the past. It can do so again with Michael Mann.
    Yet your own book was based upon leaked “work” materials. So, no, the “system of science” apparently needs some help? And, once again, why shouldn’t Cuccenelli have what he needs in order to do his job?

  141. Roger Clague says:
    October 7, 2010 at 1:48 pm
    Mann’s grant money is spent. Intellectual and sometimes actual fraud in climate science is normal. Why support a lawyer wasting more of your money and who has his own agenda.
    Yeah, after all, why even vote?

  142. These legal wranglings are just the beginning. As the AGW scandal unfolds the legal fights over stock manipulation, wire fraud, and misrepresentation outside of academia and Government are going to make this look like a tempest in a teacup.

  143. Steven Mosher;
    The people making vague, unspecified, charges on Mann do an absolute disservice to the people who have studied him in detail. If you dont know the case on the science inside and out, I’ll suggest silence. if people took that suggestion then there are probably less than handful of people qualified to speak. And none of them sees fraud. Mistakes are not fraud.>>
    While I agree on many of the points you raised in this thread, your summation above is dead wrong. Mistakes are not fraud if they are honest mistakes. If they are deliberate errors to achieve a goal, they are fraud. If they were honest mistakes that the researcher later became aware were mistakes, and continued research based them anyway, the later work is fraudulent.
    More troubling however is your contention that there are only a handful of people qualified to speak on the science, and none of them sees fraud. That sounds like a message I’ve heard only too much of from the AGW crowd, the ‘only we understand the science so you geneticaly deficient, poorly educated peasants should be quiet and accept our opinion’.
    The fact is I don’t need to be an expert in biology to idenitfy the odor of rot. I’ve read some of Mann’s excuses for not releasing data and code in regard to transportability to other computer systems, and they were ridiculous to anyone with expertise in high performance computing for research. That’s my turf now, having been selling HPC to researchers, academic and private alike, for 20+ years, and the answers have a reek of advanced biological degradation of food stuffs. I read the whitewash investigations into his conduct, and noted the meticulous cared that was taken to build a process that would avoid investigation of any of the tough questions, and focus in detail on inconsequential matters, prompting one of the witnesses called (Lindzen I think?) to ask ‘what’s going on here?’ I am not a statistiscian like M&M, so I am, in fact, not qualified to judge the science. But on those peripheral issues where I can judge…something reeks.
    If the AG is competent, then he is proceeding based on the knowledge he has and is investigating accordingly. If he is incompetent, then he may well do more harm than good. But since I don’t know what knowledge he is proceeding on, nor his level of competence, I can’t judge. But something reeks and if this AG thinks he can discover what it is, then hat tip to him. If nothing else, it serves notice to all researchers that their records and communication are open to scrutiny, and any “known mistakes” had better be dealt with pronto. Some will bury them and some will recant. I don’t know that raising awareness of the potential fall out of twisting results to achieve an agenda, even through a failed investigation, is a bad thing. The next investigation could well turn over a spadefull of rot.

  144. davidmhoffer says:
    October 8, 2010 at 2:35 am
    “I’ve read some of Mann’s excuses for not releasing data and code in regard to transportability to other computer systems, and they were ridiculous to anyone ”
    David:
    Back in the 1990s it was rather uncommon for scientists to supply raw data and code along with publications. However, I have read Mann’s 2008 publication in Nature and I’ve looked at the massive amount of supplemental materials that are available to anyone who wants to look on line. The idea that Mann was not releasing code is true for the papers published over a decade ago, but not for the more recent work.

  145. BillD says:
    “The idea that Mann was not releasing code is true for the papers published over a decade ago, but not for the more recent work.”
    Michael Mann still refuses to release his data and methods twelve years after MBH98/99, for one simple reason: if he did, they – and his debunked conclusions – would be instantly falsified, and he would be exposed as the scientific charlatan that McIntyre & McKitrick showed him to be.
    Now that Mann is releasing more of his methodologies and data… Abracadabra and *Presto Change-0!*… the MWP and LIA magically re-appear.
    He is quite the scoundrel, isn’t he?

  146. @davidmhoffer
    “But since I don’t know what knowledge he is proceeding on, nor his level of competence, I can’t judge.”
    Well you could read his latest submission since it was supposed to include his best reasons for wanting the requested data. I’m seeing people continually assert the existence of some secret “Gotcha!” information which will win the day. This reduces my confidence in the case rather than increase it.
    ” If nothing else, it serves notice to all researchers that their records and communication are open to scrutiny, and any “known mistakes” had better be dealt with pronto.”
    I rather think Tom Fuller’s point is the chilling effect upon scientific work if any scientist at any time can be subjected to criminal fraud investigation on the basis of an Attorney General thinking their research could be “done better” (i.e. could instead have reached conclusions more consistent with their political platform).
    There is no piece of scientific work which couldn’t have been “done better” in someone‘s opinion particularly years after the fact. The normal process is for that person to publish their own work not to rifling through their emails to see if there’s anything interesting in there.

  147. Cliff says:
    October 7, 2010 at 6:39 am
    Rockyroad,
    (…..)
    I almost think you guys are afraid of the science – if you want to focus so much on criminalizing those that take views opposed to yours.
    ———-Reply:
    I don’t have time to repeat what about 90% of the posters have said on this site, particularly on this thread. I’ll let you re-read them to your heart’s content.
    See, I’m a geologist myself (I’m embarassed to say Mann supposedly is a geolgist, too); I’m also an engineer that has had a fair amount of legal dealings with the work I’ve done in developing precious metals deposits.
    But that said, you bring up an excellent point–“afraid of the science”. I’m not afraid of the science–MANN IS!
    Michael Mann has NOT been open about his data, methodologies, calculations, etc. etc. He’s not a scientist in my estimation. So before you go throwing dispersions against anybody here, first look to Mann; he’s the culprit.
    By the way, have you read the emails from Climategate? Particularly, have you read the “Harry Read Me” file? I’m currently working 2 full-time jobs as a computer systems engineer (a properly execute life is simply one large system) and the contents of that file says just one thing to me:
    LET US SEE IT ALL! OPEN UP EVERYTHING THAT GOES ON ABOUT CLIMATE RESEARCH.

  148. David Mhoffer.
    Mann’s bogus reasons for ‘refusing’ to release code and data have NO BEARING on the factual matter of whether he committed scientific fraud.
    I tell you this. I have an algorithm in my possession which calculates a square root. I will not share the code with you, and will not show you my test data.
    How is that a fraud? you may decide not to believe my answers if I fail to provide this, But you have no reason, no reason based in fact, to speculate that my answers are deliberately misleading or fraudulant.
    finally:
    1. i did not say there were only a few qualified to speak on the SCIENCE. I said there are only a few who know the facts of this case. the data sets, the code that was actually released. the code that was held back.
    2. That you dont like the smell, is hardly justification for the AG to take the action he did. What I am saying is THIS. the AG needed to do some DUE DILIGENCE. That would include contacting the ‘expert” on mann. Steve Mc. He should have asked steve for the best case steve could make. He didnt. He’s going on a fishing expedition. AND HE DIDNT EVEN ASK THE BEST FISHING GUIDE WHERE THE FISH ARE. incompetent dolt. Stupid case by a man concerned with making headlines rather than good cases. Stupid. if you are going to going on a fishing expedition, the least you can do look in the right places for the right things. for that, you better call in the guy who knows the ins and out of mann’s mischivey
    Once again, when I ask for specifics on the fraud case nobody can step up and cite chapter and verse. and when they try, the switch to topic ( he held back data) and even THERE they get the facts wrong. people dont even know which data mann held back and which he released and the importance of it and what it pertains to.

  149. Rocky.
    The harry readme file?
    ya. I read that. probably the first day the files plopped in my lap. not important. But you would have to know a few things to see why its not important.

  150. Oh, really, Steve Mosher. And how do you know? Do you have all of Cucinelli’s files? Are you sitting in the meetings where ANY of this is discussed? Have you bugged Cucinelli’s office?
    I would venture to say you do not; that you have not.
    So you look pretty silly thinking you can fully ascertain (or even partially ascertain) what the AG has in the way of content to pursue his case at this point or what he knows or doesn’t know .
    So call names all you like, but I say let’s see where this all goes. As far as I’m concerned, the AG has broken no laws in his pursuit of Mann and or the UVa. And I’m sad to see you so suspicious and denigrating of the legal process that you’d resort to name calling. It serves no beneficial purpose.

  151. Steven Mosher says:
    October 8, 2010 at 5:24 am
    Rocky.
    The harry readme file?
    ya. I read that. probably the first day the files plopped in my lap. not important. But you would have to know a few things to see why its not important.
    ————Reply
    Oh, please enlighten me–what is it not important? Does it not raise serious questions about methodology? Or is this just the common way science is pursued and data is manipulated?
    I surely hope not!

  152. WOW, if I wanted to form another good “whitewashing committee” for the AGW hoax, I would certainly try to get a couple of the prominent commenters here on that Committee. LOL.
    One primary job of an AGW is to investigate possible abuses of the taxpayers assets. It’s really that simple, folks. The AG is doing his job. Period.
    #################
    really? “doing his job”
    The idiot did not even contact Mcintyre to get a data dump on what the hottest leads were. I sure hope the next time he has a real case that people dont remember him as the boy who cried wolf.
    The power to investigate, the power to supena, the power to bring charges requires discretion. The AG has no discretion. OF COURSE he can do what he has done. OF COURSE its his job to do what he has done.
    my point and toms point is this. exercising that power requires discretion. It also requires brains. you don’t win an argument with me by arguing that the AG is just doing his job, when MY ARGUMENT is this:
    1. he’s doing his job STUPIDLY
    sheesh.

  153. Steve Mosher:
    Maybe, just may, Cucinelli or one on his staff will read your comments and expand his scope of inquiry. Or you could write a letter to him indicating problems he may not have considered. Either way, I say “thank you”.

  154. #
    #
    Dave Springer says:
    October 7, 2010 at 3:06 pm (Edit)
    @Steve Mosher
    “If you dont know the case on the science inside and out, I’ll suggest silence. if people took that suggestion then there are probably less than handful of people qualified to speak.”
    Would you, in your own esteemed opinion, be one of the qualified few?
    #########################
    On Mann? On the specific topic of what EXACT areas would be the best places to make a case? No. I would defer to SteveMc, and perhaps jeanS and UC.
    When I speak about people qualified to speak I mean this. If you want to charge Mann with fraud, you had better talk to somebody who has
    1. read manns papers
    2. read his code
    3. used his data
    4. emulated his code
    5. read all the emails
    6. understands the math
    7. understands the science.
    MANY understand the science and the math. FEW understand all the details.
    question, which proxy did mann misplace?
    do you know? without googling? if not, go read all of CA.

  155. In this stream of comments there is the argument that the scientists should sort out potential cases of fraud within the scientific process /community. It is implied that would not be a witch hunt, whatever witch hunt means. OK, fine and I can accept that. However, the problem is the argument in this stream extends beyond that. It goes on to say investigative actions by a legal body (Va AG Cuccinelli for example) should not occur because it is not qualified to judge the scientific process. I do not accept that. Add to the mix that public money is involved then it re-enforces the focus.
    Also, what if during the idealistic case of science itself sorting out of fraud in the scientific process /community (without a meddlesome body of law involved) the scientists see fraud . . . . what do they do? Do they rationalize that it is a mistake and don’t care if it is an intentional mistake? They, as rational thinkers, immediately call the local law enforcement . . . . right? No cover up inside the honored halls of rational thought . . . . right?
    Do we know in this stream of comments that science hasn’t been involved in Cuccinelli’s investigation? Do we know, as Steven Mosher implies, that Cuccinelli’s office hasn’t contacted McIntyre and (in Mosher’s words) the “less than handful of people qualified to speak”? Is that conjecture on Mosher’s part?
    Finally, if I was the AG pursuing an investigation I wouldn’t show my whole hand until a lawsuit is filed. I wager that a lawsuit will eventually be filed no matter what the court decisions on any CIDs.
    John

  156. Mosher mumbles:
    “my point and toms point is this. exercising that power requires discretion. It also requires brains. you don’t win an argument with me by arguing that the AG is just doing his job, when MY ARGUMENT is this:
    1. he’s doing his job STUPIDLY”
    Er, I guess the AG would be better off if he also consulted YOU before proceeding? Could he be planning to bring Steve Mc in later? Are you a lawyer? He probably has a couple of good lawyers on his team and maybe a couple of aces up his sleeve. Whatever. I don’t agree with your argument. I still think he is doing his job.
    You can have the last word, if you like. I’ll wait and see what happens.

  157. Steven Mosher:
    I am fascinated by your strong assertions that Mr Cuccinelli should not be investigating the probity of the aquisition and spending of grant money by Dr Mann.
    As I said at October 7, 2010 at 2:18 am;
    “Therefore, the cases prove there is a need for investigations to reveal or disprove such malfeasance in any case where there is reason to suspect it exists. Indeed, an innocent scientist who finds him/herself under a cloud of such suspicion could be expected to welcome and assist the investigation that could clear his/her name. And the ‘Climategate’ emails provide significant evidence of misuse of funds by associates of Mann; e.g. see
    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=332&filename=1056478635.txt
    Hence, Mann is under a cloud of suspicion provided by his apparent ‘guilt by association’. And, therefore, there is a need for investigations to reveal or disprove his malfeasance if only as a method to provide exoneration of Mann.”
    The only reasons I can think of for your assertions that such investigations should not be conducted are:
    1. you want Dr Mann to remain under a cloud of suspicion although you think he has not conducted any misappropriation and/or misuse of grant monies,
    or
    2. you do not want that revealed that Dr Mann is guilty of misappropriation and/or misuse of grant monies when you think he is guilty of such misconduct .
    I stress that I can think of no other reasons for your opposition to the investigation by Mr Cuccinelli . But each of these reasons is reprehensible.
    So, would you please enlighten me as to which of these reasons or whatever other reason you have for your assertions.
    Richard

  158. @
    @John Whitman
    In this stream of comments there is the argument that the scientists should sort out potential cases of fraud within the scientific process /community.
    No it’s argued that the process of arriving at correct answers should be carried about the scientific community and that others should not intervene to criminally prosecute those who are alleged to be wrong. In the case of Mann this is exactly what’s being
    alleged, that there are those who say his 98 paper is wrong, that Mann included it on his CV as part of a grant application for someone else and that therefore this is fraud.
    It goes on to say investigative actions by a legal body (Va AG Cuccinelli for example) should not occur because it is not qualified to judge the scientific process.
    The AG is absolutely not qualified to judge the scientific process. If there was a trial he need expert testimony showing that Mann’s work was outright fraud. As pointed out by Steven Mosher to closest thing you’ll find to such an expert is Steve McIntyre and while we don’t know for sure that he hasn’t been contacted as part of building a case (a step you might expect to occur BEFORE trying to subpoena emails) and that he does have a negative opinion of this whole thing.
    If Steve McIntyre doesn’t think Mann is guilty of fraud what is it you know about Mann’s work that he doesn’t? What is it that Cuccinelli knows about it?
    What you and others are relying on is the existence of some unknown and secret evidence that will implicate Mann. Apparently even The University of Virginia doesn’t know it because they’re vigorously defending him.

  159. Steve Mosher;
    If he’s doing his job stupidly, then he will suffer the consequences. If he is doing his job stupidly, the courts will thwart him. That’s the purpose of an indepedent judiciary.
    As for his strategy, I’m leaning toward stupid myself, but the fact is I don’t know. You suggest I read the CID for instance. That would tell me little. In legal investigations, as in business negotiations, sometimes the question you ask is meant to expose information which tells you what question to ask next. Not knowing what has prompted this particular request, what piece of the puzzle is sought as a result, I can’t judge.
    As for your suggestion of the list of things required to charge Mann with Fraud, two points. First, he’s not being charged, he’s being investigated. If the investigation bears fruit, THEN he will be charged and I suspect that many of the elements you list would go into formulating that charge. But the current matter isn’t a charge. It is data collection.

  160. jae says:
    October 8, 2010 at 6:47 am

    Amen, Mosher’s beginning to sound like a Post Normal Scientist: “forget the regular ways to provide oversight, society needs next-quantum-level-up oversight by a new breed of self-annointed abiters of all acts to make the quality decisions now required to ensure that the world operates correctly: me and my buddies.”
    Either that or an Ostrich.

  161. And once again, Mosh, you and Tom can write your very helpful book based upon leaked, possibly FOIA susceptible “work”, but Cuccinelli can’t have or at least try to get the info he needs to do his job? And did you let anyone of AG rank shoot holes in your draft but then not alter it?

  162. sharper00 says:
    October 8, 2010 at 7:27 am

    ————-
    sharper00,
    Thank you for your reply.
    First, Steven Mosher is making claims that science wasn’t consulted by Cuccinelli in his legal preparations. Which i take to imply therefore his (Cuccinelli’s) case cannot be scientifically supported. I have asked Steven Mosher twice whether he is conjecturing or is he speaking from knowledge. If he is speaking from knowledge but unwilling to admit it, then what the heck does that imply? Well, I don’t know what it implies but it makes me think about it at length . . . . that is for sure.
    Secondly, it is nothing special that legal adversaries (like AG versus UoV) with hold what they know in the pre-trial phase. UoV is withholding the info AG requests, AG is very likely withholding info they have to see if UoV is acting in open truthful manner. It is allowed in the legal process and is not a matter of morality or politics or science. It is not a mysterious conspiracy, just normal legal tactics / practice. No conspiracy here . . . move along, move along. What argument are you making against this normal legal maneuvering?
    Thirdly, your statements about scientists sorting out within their own process the bad science (even possibly) fraudulent science are actually in agreement with me saying that. I will say again that I have no problem with that. It is someone going on to claim that an AG has no right . . . . . that is false.
    Fourth, I respect McIntyre profoundly. Therefore, I am very concerned about what you say about him in your comments. I advise you to be very careful if you are in any way publically saying or implying, without quoting him specially, that McIntyre has formally pre-judged the case in law about guilt or innocence of Mann / UoV. For you to imply without quoting him is highly inappropriate. Please clarify your source knowledge.
    Time will tell. I am saying, the chance of a lawsuit independent of CID is >>90%.
    John

  163. Moderators,
    Something appears to have changed regarding the submitting of comments at WUWT since yesterday morning.
    Previous to yesterday morning a comment submitted by me would normally immediately be shown as “waiting moderation”.
    Now on this thread most comments since yesterday morning disappear completely.
    Can you kindly explain?
    Thank you.
    John
    REPLY: Probably because you continue using some flagged word. This one was front and center – Anthony

  164. Anthony,
    Thanks for your quick reply. I would avoid flagged words if I knew what they were. If there a list somewhere?
    John

  165. JPeden says:
    October 8, 2010 at 9:04 am
    And once again, Mosh, you and Tom can write your very helpful book based upon leaked, possibly FOIA susceptible “work”, but Cuccinelli can’t have or at least try to get the info he needs to do his job? And did you let anyone of AG rank shoot holes in your draft but then not alter it?
    ##############
    strawman. Nobody is arguing that the AG should not do his job. We are arguing this:
    he is not doing his job well.
    A. not availing himself of the right experts
    B. not picking winning cases.
    So the argument “he’s just doing is job” is a really a non sequitor to my argument. The AG can obviously do what he is doing. That is mere tautology. The issue is As I stated it. To answer my points one has to
    A. demonstrate that he did engage the relevant experts
    B. Show the case is one that is winnable. This means presenting some details.
    For example: In a typical case of fraud the PI uses the funds programmed to purchase a piece of equipment for purchasing personal items. Dollars programmed to pyrchase a computer are used to purchase a car. So, if the AG had the SOW and the SOW showed that equipment was supposed to be purchased by Mann, then auditing that would be a good thing to do. If, however, the thought is that mann engaged in fraud by getting new grants based on bad science, then people need to state that. They need to state the new grant, pull the proposal, and demonsatrate that the new grant ACTUALLY relied on the older science to “sell” the proposal. That is all public record, and people have not done their jobs to at least show that the grants ACTUALLY relied on the mann science. Instead, people just assume a connection and on the basis of that connection they demand emails. Not good practice. Fishing expedition.

  166. @John Whitman
    “It is someone going on to claim that an AG has no right . . . . . that is false.”
    Everyone accepts that the AG has the right (and perhaps even the duty depending) to investigate fraud. The problem here is the reasoning he’s given for this investigation and the troubling manner in which he’s gone about it.
    You can read the most recent filing for yourself. Cuccinelli is claiming that flaws in Mann’s 98 paper constitute fraud in a later grant application on which Mann was not the principal applicant and for which the topic was not paleoclimatology.
    If you accept that Cuccinelli has a legitimate basis for investigating fraud on this basis then you’re saying any AG can investigate practically any working scientist at any time. It will always be possible to take a published paper and find someone who thinks it could be done better.
    If there was actual evidence Mann committed fraud then I think you’d find the balance of opinion was entirely different. If the AG presented a good reason for why he needed Mann’s emails (and yet oddly not that of the other people on the same grant application) then the balance of opinion would be entirely different. Instead what I see are a lot of people who desire access to those emails and have no love for Mann thus they’re willing Cuccinelli’s claim pass.
    I’m reminded of A Man for All Seasons
    Roper: So now you’d give the Devil benefit of law!
    More: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
    Roper: I’d cut down every law in England to do that!
    More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country’s planted thick with laws from coast to coast — man’s laws, not God’s — and if you cut them down — and you’re just the man to do it — do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake.
    What Tom Fuller, Steven Mosher and others are imploring you to do is to not cut down the law to get to Mann. If Cuccinelli wins this case then you may get Mann’s emails and who knows what juicy quotes where he expresses anger or frustration but you might not be ready for the winds that blow as a result when AGs the country over can investigate any scientist they want. Perhaps Lindzen will be next or Dr Spencer. After enough investigations scientists will soon learn not to risk the ire of politicians.
    “Fourth, I respect McIntyre profoundly. Therefore, I am very concerned about what you say about him in your comments. I advise you to be very careful if you are in any way publically saying or implying, without quoting him specially, that McIntyre has formally pre-judged the case in law about guilt or innocence of Mann / UoV. For you to imply without quoting him is highly inappropriate. Please clarify your source knowledge.”
    I actually assumed people familiar with the case would be well aware of McIntyre’s extremely forthright statements
    Cuccinelli v Mann
    This is a repugnant piece of over-zealousness by the Virginia Attorney General, that I condemn.
    […]
    I might add that this is not the first time that I’ve volunteered support to Mann in this sort of nonsense. I was copied on one of Keenan’s attempts to instigate a fraud investigation against Mann and immediately made it clear that I did not support or endorse the request, strongly disapproved of it and even offered Mann my support.
    There’s absolutely no room for confusion on McIntyre thinks of this and similar investigations and I applaud him for being able to step back from his own dealings with Mann where others wouldn’t be able to.

  167. I spent some time tracking down the FOIA angle and posted the following to Dr. Curry’s blog (http://tinyurl.com/2btvsjp):
    Dr. Curry: Yes, there is a FOIA issue. UVA refused a FOIA request for Mann’s emails by saying that the emails had been deleted, then later admitted that the emails might exist on a backup server, but still refused access to the emails because the emails could not be implicated under Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act (FATA) on a legal technicality.
    You can read a newspaper account (about 3/4 down) here: http://tinyurl.com/25nbofy
    You can read Cuccinelli’s 7/24/2010 petition (pp.13-15) here: http://tinyurl.com/22ubcpv
    As far as I’m concerned, given the questions raised by the CRU emails, the questions about Mann’s procedures in developing the hockey stick, and this FOIA request, Cuccinelli has more than enough reasons to investigate Michael Mann and UVA.
    The high talk of academic freedom versus witch hunts reminds me of nothing so much as Nixon’s insistence during Watergate that he would not turn over the White House tapes because doing so “would cripple all future presidents.”

  168. I spent some time tracking down the FOIA business and posted a comment about it on Dr. Curry’s blog: http://tinyurl.com/2btvsjp . (I’m having trouble getting this comment through perhaps because of multiple links.)
    Dr. Curry: Yes, there is a FOIA issue. UVA refused a FOIA request for Mann’s emails by saying that the emails had been deleted, then later admitted that the emails might exist on a backup server, but still refused access to the emails because the emails could not be implicated under Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act (FATA) on a legal technicality.
    You can read a newspaper account (about 3/4 down) here: [see link in paragraph 1]
    You can read Cuccinelli’s 7/24/2010 petition (pp.13-15) on the FOIA request here: [see link in paragraph 1]
    As far as I’m concerned, given the question raised by the CRU emails, the questions about Mann’s procedures in developing the hockey stick, and this FOIA request, Cuccinelli has more than enough reasons to investigate Michael Mann and UVA.
    The high talk of academic freedom versus witch hunts in this case reminds me of nothing so much as Nixon’s insistence during Watergate that he would not turn over the White House tapes because doing so “would cripple all future presidents.”

  169. I spent some time tracking down the FOIA business and posted a comment about it on Dr. Curry’s blog: http://tinyurl.com/2btvsjp . (I’m having trouble getting this comment through perhaps because of multiple links.)
    Dr. Curry: Yes, there is a FOIA issue. UVA refused a FOIA request for Mann’s emails by saying that the emails had been deleted, then later admitted that the emails might exist on a backup server, but still refused access to the emails because the emails could not be implicated under Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act (FATA) on a legal technicality.
    You can read a newspaper account (about 3/4 down) here: [see link in paragraph 1]
    You can read Cuccinelli’s 7/24/2010 petition (pp.13-15) on the FOIA request here: [see link in paragraph 1]

  170. sharper00 says:
    “…the process of arriving at correct answers should be carried about the scientific community and that others should not intervene to criminally prosecute those who are alleged to be wrong…”
    and:
    “The AG is absolutely not qualified to judge the scientific process.”
    and:
    “What you and others are relying on is the existence of some unknown and secret evidence that will implicate Mann. Apparently even The University of Virginia doesn’t know it because they’re vigorously defending him.”
    Well, where to start on this target-rich environment?
    First, the self-selected members of the ‘scientific community’ have all been playing Mann defense up until now. Thus, every previous ‘investigation’ has been nothing but a whitewash. The motive is to keep the grant gravy train from being derailed. In the process, the truth — the normal outcome of the Anglo-Saxon adversarial system of justice — has been jettisoned by those self-appointed kangaroo courts.
    Next, saying that the AG is unqualified to judge Michael Mann completely misses the point, and it raises the issue that Mr sharper00 is also unqualified to judge. In fact, only a judge and/or jury is qualified to judge. The prosecutor is supremely well qualified to prosecute, and he is doing the job he was elected to do. At this point it is an investigation which may or may not lead to a trial, depending on whether the AG believes the law was broken, or simply bent.
    Further, a mysterious, un-elected, secretive NGO is heavily funding a tax-supported university to prop up its star rainmaker. That is certainly not beneficial to the public, which is of course why the source of that money is being kept secret.
    Finally, Mr sharper00 presumes to know everything Mr Cuccinelli knows. And he seems to believe that the AG arbitrarily picked Mann’s name out of the phone book in order to have someone to prosecute. It doesn’t work that way.
    An investigation begins with a complaint. We don’t know who complained, just like we don’t know who leaked the Climategate emails. What we do know is that an elected AG does not want the bad publicity that would come from losing a case. So if Mann is charged, there is a high likelihood of a conviction.
    But at this point the AG is simply responding to a complaint. Attorneys General constantly receive complaints, and they have the duty to decide which ones to investigate. At this point, it is only an investigation. But it is entirely different from all previous *bogus* investigations, because it is an adversarial setting: Mann will be forced to answer very pointed questions — not the softball set-up questions he was asked in his previous whitewashes.
    Witnesses will be interviewed, presumably including individuals and editorial board members harmed by Mann’s documented scheming. Mann will not be the only fish caught in the AG’s net. Mr Mann will find that most people will not perjure themselves — and he will also find that some people who worked diligently for decades with no recognition did not appreciate the young IPCC star arrogantly stepping on toes and throwing his weight around.
    If this investigation proceeds, those questions and answers will be enough to open most folks’ eyes to Michael Mann’s shenanigans. Climategate desperately needs a fall guy. Who better than the guy whose supporters defend him by explaining that he was only incompetent, but not actually dishonest?

  171. John Whitman says:
    October 8, 2010 at 9:26 am
    Thirdly, your statements about scientists sorting out within their own process the bad science (even possibly) fraudulent science are actually in agreement with me saying that. I will say again that I have no problem with that. It is someone going on to claim that an AG has no right . . . . . that is false.

    I agree with most of what Mosh says which in itself fairly unusual but not so much in cases like this. Lets get something clear the AG does have rights and responsibilities within the law but as the judge made clear he does not have the right to try to do something beyond the scope of the law. Several have made the specious argument here that if UVa were innocent they would reveal all the information just to clear their name. That is only true if the request is a lawful one, they do us all a disservice if they submit to actions beyond the law. The courts exist to adjudicate such matters, let them do so. In order to investigate an organization for fraud there should exist a good reason to believe that fraud might have been committed. Asserting that Mann’s science was based on a dubious statistical procedure, therefore there is a reasonable belief that he committed fraud while at UVA and that the administration and other faculty were complicit, is a huge stretch way beyond any reasonable action by the AG.
    If that were the case why not go after Michaels after his misleading testimony to Congress where he substituted altered graphs as if they were Hansen’s, or Wegman following his plagiarism (definitely meets the academic criterion for such) in his report?
    Following up on Mosh’s hypothetical there is no way that any university I have worked at and no grant awarding body that would allow such fraud to take place. Even sole sourcing an item which had been included in the proposal would require written justification, changing an apportionment of a grant after receipt because of changed circumstances would require written permission from the donor. Some posters here think that once you’ve been awarded a grant you can spend it on anything you like, that is far from the truth, doing anything other than spending it on what you said you were going to spend it on is almost impossible.

  172. sharper00 says:
    October 8, 2010 at 11:12 am

    ————–
    sharper00,
    Thank you for your reply.
    Thank you also for the McIntyre quote. It is always good to put his words in quote instead of saying what he said. Professional loyalty does exist for him, and I would respect his view.
    So, it is clear McIntyre probably did not support Cuccinelli. Who else didn’t or did support Cuccinelli in the science area? I do not know. Are all scientists 100% behind Mann? It would be nice to find out.
    If Cuccinelli persists, and I think he will, the law process will work itself through. I see no problem. If he is wrong he loses, if Mann /UoV are found lacking then the law will deal with them. Again, no problem. This is no longer strictly internal maneuvering within a scientific clique; an outsider is finally looking in. It won’t be a whitewash like we are used to.
    Doom & Gloom/ Apocalypse of Science by the Legal Profession: To say that science has special fears from legal action against scientists is no different than saying the same for any doctor, engineer, lawyer or businessman fearing legal action. They (scientists) are just not special compared to other groups. They just aren’t privileged. Legal action in all professions has not doomed those professions . . . . nor does it /will it science. That is ridiculous. Legal responsibility helps the reputation of a profession.
    Witch hunt? Imprudent or prudent legal investigation? Just a case of when in doubt investigate it (CID)?
    Witch hunt sounds like hyperbole, emotional flag waving. So carries no weight.
    Time will tell.
    John

  173. @Smokey
    “The motive is to keep the grant gravy train from being derailed. “
    Ok but you’re simply widening the scope of the fraud from Mann to what I can only assume includes nearly every working scientist. So presumably you know Mann is a fraud and the only reason he hasn’t been exposed to date is every other scientist being a fraud too. You can use this reasoning to defend pretty much any position you like and of course conspiracy theorists do.
    “Next, saying that the AG is unqualified to judge Michael Mann completely misses the point, and it raises the issue that Mr sharper00 is also unqualified to judge. “
    I am simply offering my opinion and Mr Cuccinelli is welcome to his own as well. However in his capacity as Attorney General he is seeking to investigate Mann for fraud on the basis that one of his papers could have been done better. This is putting himself in a position of judging the science, something he is simply not qualified to do nor should he be.
    “Finally, Mr sharper00 presumes to know everything Mr Cuccinelli knows.”
    I presume only to know the reasoning Mr Cuccinelli has himself given for the investigation. If he is in possession of secret reasoning or evidence then obviously I cannot speak to that and nor can you.
    If the court accepts Cuccinelli’s stated reasons then working scientists have much to fear in the years ahead. Any Attorney General can begin proceedings against them on the basis one of their papers could have been done better (in the opinion of someone or the other).
    “And he seems to believe that the AG arbitrarily picked Mann’s name out of the phone book in order to have someone to prosecute.”
    Well it’s actually pretty obvious Cuccinelli is unduly focussed on Mann which is part of the whole problem and creates a perception of harassment.
    “Who better than the guy whose supporters defend him by explaining that he was only incompetent, but not actually dishonest?”
    The point being made is that Mann is at worst incompetent. I believe many people coming from a wide range of opinion on AGW are disturbed by this investigation and consequently have put their differences on Mann’s work aside for the moment. Whether you think his papers are terrible, impressive or somewhere in between very very few people believe he’s actually fraudulent.
    Reducing your enemies or those who disagree with you to mere frauds who secretly know you’re right is the easy way out.

  174. @John Whitman
    “To say that science has special fears from legal action against scientists is no different than saying the same for any doctor, engineer, lawyer or businessman fearing legal action”
    I’m not saying scientists are “special” I’m saying this investigation makes working scientists a target in particular.
    If an AG was attempting to prosecute a surgeon for murder or manslaughter simply because someone died on the operating table I’d be similarly aghast and so would you. If “a patient died” was all that was needed you’d say “But you could investigate any surgeon you wanted that way!”. The same goes for any other individual where spurious reasoning is invoked to use the force of law against them.
    Once you make the bar so low any individual can meet it then the only real criteria are which individuals the state finds convenient to prosecute.

  175. sharparoo:
    “If you accept that Cuccinelli has a legitimate basis for investigating fraud on this basis then you’re saying any AG can investigate practically any working scientist at any time. It will always be possible to take a published paper and find someone who thinks it could be done better. ”
    I don’t know how much you know about this particular issue, but I think you are greatly oversimplifying it here. There are many other nuances besides “it could be done better.” Why won’t the university comply with FOIA? Can you explain just where you would draw the line in the sand (i.e., just how much evidence of possible malfeasance would you require to take some action to find out more)?

  176. John Whitman says: October 8, 2010 at 12:41 pm
    “To say that science has special fears from legal action against scientists is no different than saying the same for any doctor, engineer, lawyer or businessman fearing legal action.”
    Hi John. My concern is not that scientists or any other professionals be held above the law. My concern is that the legal process is being abused to harass an individual. How long would it take you and what would it cost to respond to a submission that you hand over all your emails and writing to be searched for anything that might implicate you in any wrongdoing (despite the fact that email exchanges are usually informal and often missing the nuance to adequately place their context)? Vague misgivings are not sufficient grounds and nor should they be for such a request. We will all see what transpires soon enough.

  177. @JAE
    “Why won’t the university comply with FOIA?”
    What FOIA are you referring to? You mean Cuccinelli’s attempt to get all emails sent by Mann to various people? My understanding is that this is not being made under FOI provisions.
    ” Can you explain just where you would draw the line in the sand (i.e., just how much evidence of possible malfeasance would you require to take some action to find out more)?”
    I’d like to see some indication the money that was supposed to be spent investigating the issue for the stated grant was not spent for that purpose. I’d also like to know why it’s purported the existing auditing and reporting mechanisms are apparently insufficient and require action by the AG.

  178. All,
    I think you are saying that you somehow trust the academic climate science establishment to do what is right but not the legal body of the USA. I say the track record of the former in climate science is highly questionable. My life has depended (quite succesfully) on the track record of our legal profession. Go with the legal process to see which prevails. No Problem.
    John

  179. @John Whitman
    “I think you are saying that you somehow trust the academic climate science establishment to do what is right but not the legal body of the USA.”
    No. What people are saying is that there are appropriate and inappropriate ways to handle issues. The appropriate way to handle scientific issues is through science, not through criminal prosecution of scientists.
    Doctors Spencer and Christy produced erroneous satellite temperature measurements for years at UAH. Should they be investigated for possible fraud? Can an AG start collecting up their emails to see if there’s anything interesting in there?
    They have nothing to hide right? They won’t mind a little bit of a look at their correspondence or maybe their financial records.
    “Go with the legal process to see which prevails. No Problem.”
    Well again this is not abstract problem. This is legal action specifically targeting Mann. If this is allowable then every scientist publishing a paper has to decide if they potentially want to “go with the legal process” investigating them for fraud possibly years later.

  180. sharper00 says:
    October 8, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    —————
    sharper00,
    Thank you for your comment.
    Still, a legally constituted body of the state of Virgina is pursuing a legal process within the body of the legal structure of the state of Virginia. Who will persist and prevail is in the pale of the process of law. I do not know the outcome, nor do critics of the process.
    The legal process that is the basis of my society is legally progressing under the full pervue of the the United States of America in public. I have absolutely no problem. The process will yield a result within the legal system. Who could fear that?
    Who could fear that?
    I say that anyone who fears that has issue with the legal process of the USA , not with Mann, UoV or the State of Virginia. Do you want to go to challenge the basis of US law? Over what? Over a specific questionable climate science issue?
    John

  181. sharper00 says on October 8, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    @JAE
    “Why won’t the university comply with FOIA?”
    What FOIA are you referring to? You mean Cuccinelli’s attempt to get all emails sent by Mann to various people? My understanding is that this is not being made under FOI provisions.

    It us my understanding that a valid FOIA request was made for the correspondence which the university denied on the basis that they had been deleted, and that this was subsequently found to be incorrect (the emails were still available).
    There does seem to be relevant questions for the university to answer, in that case.

  182. Gentlemen
    In my view, Mr. Patterson’s points are well taken and well supported by the State of Virginia’s Office of Attorney General’s (OAG) brief . For a copy of the brief see: http://vaquitamlaw.com/files/116785-109034/AG_Mann_file_July_13.pdf
    As former a project manager for a federal national laboratory who has managed millions in public research funds (including co-managing projects with up to a half-dozen principal investigators at a time), I am acutely aware that all of our agency’s employees have a public responsibly to ensure no fraud occurred in our requests for funding or the in execution of our projects. It does not matter it the funding source is an inter-agency agreement, grant, or congressional appropriation. Nor does is matter if we have sub-contracted tasks to a state university or private lab.
    Moreover, as one who currently recommends expenditures for my agency’s research grants (including active CO2 related research grants), it is my responsibility to ensure no fraud occurs and to investigate and report even the appearance of fraud. Therefore I cannot and do not accept Mr. Mosher’s points above.
    Indeed, only this morning, I was consulted on an issue related to federal law that prohibits the agency from engaging in any act “to deceive any director, officer, or employee” of the agency or “make any false report or statement” for the agency – upon penalty of imprisonment and/or fine. And further that we are subject to “all general penal statues relating to the larceny, embezzlement, conversion, or to the improper handling, retention, use or disposal of public moneys or the property of the United States”. The purpose of this morning’s consultation was to eliminate the appearance of impropriety.
    In my view, the State of Virginia’s Office of Attorney General’s (OAG) is acting properly and his concerns are legitimate. For example, let us look at the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. On page 19 of the OAG brief, the Attorney General points out the University of Virginia did not do a proper search for its servers for the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) information requested. Indeed the University requested an extension to respond to the OAG information request so it could search a server that was not searched during the FOIA request. See where the brief states
    “The University’s then counsel indicated that an e-mail server with potentially responsive documents that had not been searched in response to the FOIA request had been located and secured. Based, in part, on that representation, the extension was granted.”
    Shorty after the University of Virginia requested the extension the University abruptly changed attorneys and filed its Petition to block the OAG’s investigation. Under the circumstances, a reasonable person could conclude the University found damaging information in the previously unsearched server. Perhaps information showing it failed to properly response to an FOIA request and/or information supporting possible fraud charges. The mere fact the University felt compelled to switch attorneys gives one pause.
    Mr. Patterson’s point that the academic community does not enjoy special immunities – even when “cleared” by investigate thru University panels and other outside parties – is well taken and well support by federal case law. For a good example, see United States v. University of Pittsburgh, 192 F.3d 402, 405 (3rd Cir. 1999). Where investigatory actions under the federal False Claims Act for allegedly making false claims to the NIH under federal research grants were allowed to proceed despite investigations conducted by the University of Pittsburgh and NIH determining that no material misconduct had occurred. (See page 21 of the Virginia OAG’s brief.)
    Even “the University [of Virginia] concedes that the federal False Claims Act (including the law of administrative subpoenas) is an appropriate analogue for reviewing CIDs under the States FATA.” (See the University’s Brief p.10, n. 8 and page 18 of the OGA brief).
    Additional discussion on the merits and limitations of an “Academic Freedom Shield” are thoroughly discussed beginning in the OAG’s brief on page 35-36. The relevant point being that “Academic Freedom” arguments apply only to First Amendment speech issues and “offers no protection for things that fall outside of the protections of the First Amendment – such as fraud and fraud investigations” or “prevent the Attorney General from investigating potential fraud in applications for and the performance of government funded research grants”.
    The Attorney General rightly points out that in Urofsky, 216 F3d at 412 n12. The court firmly stated university faculty members do not have First Amendment rights that “normal” citizens do not. The Court noted:
    “that the argument raises the specter of a constitutional right enjoyed by only a limited class of citizens. Indeed, the audacity of Appellees’ claim is revealed by it potential impact in this litigation.” … “Such a result is manifestly at odds with a constitutional system premised on equality”
    The idea that the academic community is entitled to First Amendment rights not reserved for all Americans is repugnant at its very core and a violation of the principal of “equality before the law”. Therefore, I would suggest Mr. Patterson’s eloquently made point is well supported by law and tradition.
    The Attorney General has also made it clear that “It is irrelevant under the FATA what the original source of the funds may have been [i.e. State or Federal grants] so long as any portion of the funds was paid out by the Commonwealth in response to the claim.” In other words; the University is part of the Commonwealth of Virginia; hence any funds flowing though it, or disbursed by it, to individual grant recipients are “funds paid out by the Commonwealth”. (OAG Brief page 28)
    It is inconceivable that any State’s Attorney General could be prevented from conducting an investigation of potential fiscal impropriety while dispersing funds granted to a State, being administered by State officials, using State facilities and resources, and utilizing State employees. Dr. Mann himself is alleged to have identified the grants in question as “U.Va. award”, U.Va. Subcontract”, and/or “U.Va. internal award”. (OAG brief page 28; see also supporting details on page 29) So, it is difficult to conceive of any rational argument as to why the Attorney General’s investigation should not be allowed proceed.
    Furthermore, as a federal officer, I would not distribute federal funds to a State institution which can claim immunity to investigation by the states’ own Attorney General. For if the State is incapable of insuring the integrity of its own processes, then I would not be engaging in due diligence with respect to those federal funds entrusted to me.
    With regard to Mr. S. Mosher’s point that Dr. Mann may have merely been a co-author in some studies (i.e., was not a principal investigator) and therefore was not responsible for the disbursal of “money” now being obtained. It is illrelevent with respect to a fraud investigation. Generally, fraud occurs when one knowing uses deception to obtain funds or assists to further the purpose of obtaining funds thru deception. If a researcher obtains funds, as a co-author, as the result of fraud occurring at an earlier date then the fraud remains an active crime.
    Therefore I say, Bravo Mr. Patterson.
    You have distilled important practical, ethical, legal, and constitutional principles into a practical guide for ensuing public accountability – with a simple and elegant style. I stand in firm admiration and agree whole heartily.
    Kforestcat

  183. sharper00 October 8, 2010 at 3:41 pm:
    “Well again this is not abstract problem. This is legal action specifically targeting Mann. If this is allowable then every scientist publishing a paper has to decide if they potentially want to “go with the legal process” investigating them for fraud possibly years later.”
    I think you are confusing making a mistake with fraud. No doubt you are aware that there have been examples of scientific fraud, so you must recognise it does happen. If you or your loved ones suffered as a consequence of, say, fraudulent claims in medical research I imagine you would not have a problem with legal process offering you some recourse? This is not the same as a scientist either making an error or, as science progresses, having their work disproven. I agree to be on the end of unjustified litigation is no fun, but I think that by working to proper standards of transparency most scientists would be unlikely to be at risk from accusations of fraud.

  184. sharper00 says:
    “The point being made is that Mann is at worst best incompetent.”
    There, fixed it for you. And it still gives Mann the “incompetence” excuse.
    sharper00, you are not up to speed on this subject. I suggest that you read The Hockey Stick Illusion, which will open your eyes regarding the corruption endemic within the government/university climate clique. You might also read The Crutape Letters, which showed what goes on behind the scenes, using the crooked scientists’ own incriminating emails.
    Michael Mann figures prominently in both books, and after reading them no reasonable person would conclude that Mann is at best incompetent. He is certainly statistically illiterate. But most people would come to the inescapable conclusion that Mann deliberately censored out data that would have brought about exactly the opposite conclusion that MBH98/99 reached. It is being generous to a fault to allow the ‘incompetence’ defense as one possible explanation of Mann’s claim of an unvarying temperature for almost a thousand years, until the industrial revolution. As if.
    In order to get a taste of those two books, I suggest you read this short exposé by A.W. Montford [the author of The Hockey Stick Illusion], then report back if you care to defend the actions of the ethically-deficient principals. It is an easy read, only a few pages long.
    You might also read this explanation of the UN/IPCC’s shenanigans, and its deliberate misuse of GCMs. It was written a dozen years ago – and the IPCC’s propaganda has gotten much more blatant since then.
    As a tie-in with today’s Hal Lewis resignation article, you would better understand what is happening if you read this paper by Prof Richard Lindzen, who knows as well as anyone in the world how these games are played behind the scenes. And of course Hal Lewis’ letter of resignation from the APS is required reading.
    When you’ve finished with these, I double dog dare you to come back and try to explain to us why any rational person would believe that the present day mainstream climate science clique, in cahoots with the IPCC, is not thoroughly corrupt.
    In addition to the pointers here, reading the WUWT archives will also help you get up to speed on the problem of money corrupting science. And in large part, it is our own money being used to fund the ongoing climate fraud.

  185. I have to say that seeing this gives me a certain frisson:
    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/sciencefair/post/2010/10/wegman-plagiarism-investigation-/1
    My, didn’t the Virginia AG cite Wegman six times in his Appendix B? Hmm…
    Now, this in no way denigrates his finding that the error (not fraud) that Mann made in his initial analysis technique was wrong (and it was, as even Mann admitted in the Climategate emails http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=591&filename=1132094873.txt). The important point is, as shown in Wahl and Ammann (2007), that it didn’t make any difference to the conclusions. It does however speak to the level of overall scholarship in the report.
    Put it on the front page, Anthony…

  186. schapar00:
    WTF? Are you real, or what? Robot? Spam? Troll? You evidently have no knowledge about the details of this issue, but you keep posting your ?? point?? We need some FACTS from you in order to continue the ??discussion??

  187. @jae
    “WTF? Are you real, or what? Robot? Spam? Troll? “
    How wonderful for you that everyone who disagrees with you has something “wrong” with them.
    “You evidently have no knowledge about the details of this issue, but you keep posting your ?? point?? “
    I keep posting the facts of the issue (which is the reasoning Cuccinelli has given) in response to people forming conclusions not based on the facts of the issue. The people claiming to have facts beyond those that are known are those who claim there’s some secret information in Cuccinelli’s possession which has yet to even allude to.
    “We need some FACTS from you in order to continue the ??discussion??”
    Well actually what we need is to agree on the facts that are already available not new ones. You can see a multitude of errors in the comments on this and the other discussions some of which Steven Mosher has attempted to correct, for which you labelled him a “post normal scientist”.

  188. 00:
    “I keep posting the facts of the issue (which is the reasoning Cuccinelli has given) in response to people forming conclusions not based on the facts of the issue. The people claiming to have facts beyond those that are known are those who claim there’s some secret information in Cuccinelli’s possession which has yet to even allude to.”
    Sorry to get so worked up. My point is that ANYONE familiar with this specific issue and who is not biased and who is not a “climate scientist,” (dependent on grants) and who is not a protected academic (or one who is hoping for tenure), and who IS actually a real impartial scientist—HAS to be simply outraged about the whitewashing and dishonesty that has ocurred in “paleoclimatology.” We need a REAL investigation about what has been going on. “Climategate” is a very big deal, bro.

  189. “Go with the legal process to see which prevails. No Problem.”
    Well again this is not abstract problem. This is legal action specifically targeting Mann. If this is allowable then every scientist publishing a paper has to decide if they potentially want to “go with the legal process” investigating them for fraud possibly years later.

    Apart from the State’s right to oversee/audit the work it funds, who said that this is an abstract problem? No, there are very good reasons to target Mann, and no good reasons why publically funded scientists, especially those who are working on science which will significantly impact the Public, shouldn’t be very worried about avoiding doing fraudulent science by proceeding according to the ethics and process of the Scientific Method, and should therefore accept the possibility that they might be targeted based upon the specific facts surrounding their work, just as Mann has been.
    From what I’ve seen of Mann’s practice of “science”, I wouldn’t trust him to make change in a convenience store.
    .

  190. Steven Mosher:
    “Fishing expedition”
    Granted that the State has the right to audit or review the “work” of science it funds, it helps to then “fish” where the fish seem to be – in this case that would be James Mann, whose trustworthiness is, imo, nil, and that is a very important consideration, for me at least.
    In the case of Climate Science, obstruction of an FOI request has also been a fairly reliable “fish finder”.
    Cuccinelli might be stopped via the legal process itself, or if not maybe he’ll find nothing. But, me, at this point I’d still be going for it full bore – noting your misgivings. We’ll see!

  191. Kforestcat says:
    October 8, 2010 at 4:53 pm – discussion of management of grants etc –
    Many of us who might be foreign or from other states, would be interested to know whether a grant provided for a specified purpose is regarded as a candidate for a fraud investigation if it is applied without permission to another study, by the grantee.
    How much attention do you have to give, in your work, to the possibility of wrongful application of funding? Does it sometimes require a scientist to identify a wrong allocation?
    This is not a trick question; it merely arises from a desire to know.

  192. “JPeden says:
    October 10, 2010 at 12:41 am”
    correction: Michael Mann, of course, not “James Mann”.

  193. Tom Fuller says:
    October 6, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    The United States has seen fit to treat differing classes of industry sectors differently in regards to various laws. The most obvious is the greater license granted to journalists, given what the state recognizes as a compelling need for a fourth estate to monitor the behaviour of the great and mighty. A scientist resorting to desperate measures to defend his work can be by turns disgusting, pitiable and infuriating. I would submit that Michael Mann has been all of these. But given the adversarial nature of scientific publishing–very much like litigants–it does not venture far from the norm in this type of case.


    No, the most obvious difference arises when academics (unlike journalists et al) are compensated by public funds doled out by others paid by public funds. The State is charged with a fiduciary responsibility to assure public monies are neither obtained nor expended based on fraudulent representations of established fact as the basis for monetary solicitations.
    There is no more reason for a special “establishment” relationship to exist between Academia and State than between Church and State. While unbending dogma of religion is dangerous, unbending dogma of academia may be even more so owing to its thin veneer of perceived “objectivity”. How reality differs appears in a recent published comment by S. Budiansky describing his direct experience with the academic breed:

    My three years at Nature left me painfully aware that scientists are about the worst people on earth when it comes to confusing their political inclinations with objective fact — and absolutely the worst in the concomitant certainty that one’s opponents must be liars, frauds, or corruptly motivated, since (obviously) no honest person could possibly have reached a contrary conclusion through objective reasoning. As absurd and unwieldy as democracy is in handling scientific matters, I found myself constantly thankful that scientists weren’t running things, mainly because of this supreme intolerance for differing political conclusions.
    Read more: http://budiansky.blogspot.com/2010/09/you-may-be-right.html#ixzz11xxapmAG

    Academic freedom is not a right of citizenship acknowledged either by the people at large nor by their respective constitutions. It is solely a privilege created by academics to govern as lords of their own domain at public expense. It would be absurd to allow them the further privilege to surround themselves with a moat of immunity to any intrusion upon their cozy operations by officials of the state, who are also paid by the people to perform that very duty.
    If abuse of the public trust and public funds to falsely influence public policy are afoot, perhaps a “chilling effect” on perceived academic license to steal should be welcomed as a very good thing.

  194. With all respect to Anthony’s cherry-picked opinion by Patterson, I think Cuccinelli goes too far. This thing is turning into some layer’s bonanza, while the grants in dispute are now only for a single study (some $200,000 in grant money).
    I’m sure Cuccinelli has spent more of Virginia’s tax dollars than that on the CID filing and court case itself so far. If not him, then surely the University and their lawyers.
    [mod: curious to be worrying about VA’s tax dollars at this point when austerity is hardly a current government policy…]

  195. If money is not the issue as [mod] asserts, then this would invalidate Patterson’s second paragraph, and the officially stated reasons for Cuccinelli’s inquiry.
    In that case, one may wonder what Cuccinelli’s real intentions of filing a subpoena, and also why he did not file a similar subpoena on Wegman, who after all, is under internal investigation for pagiarism in the Wegman report. Not to mention that a 250 page report has surfaced that seriously exposes political motivations underlying the Wegman committee and it’s use of tax payers funding.

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