On Bradley: Blackmail or Let’s Make a Deal.

Guest Post by Steven Mosher

Not the funniest Monty Python sketch, but for me it illustrates what the climate wars have finally come down to: blackmail. The examples range from the benign–pressuring journalists not listen to skeptics– to the professional– pressuring colleagues to avoid working with skeptics, to the petty–Ammann refusing to do a paper with McIntyre because it would be bad for his career– to the bizarre, blowing up people who refuse to sign a pledge to cut their carbon emissions.

Aptly titled, “no pressure”, this video depicts the common fantasy people have about those with whom they disagree. “Why can’t we just blow them up? “ When reasoned words don’t work, there is an ineluctable progression through the following stages—naming calling, caricature, demonizing, dehumanizing, through fantasy attacks which culminate in action. Doing something about it. Showing them you mean business.

Wegman is the perfect target. Perfect because he is not central to the skeptical position. Perfect because he’s just doing a job. Perfect because it will send a message. Shooting the messenger always does.

And the message it sends is that they will come after you with every sort of pressure if you refuse to comply. To be sure there are weak forms of pressure from the skeptic side: the recent legal action taken against Mann is a useful example. For the most part, however, the skeptics have no power, and so they are left  using the meager legal tools they have: the FOIA and the subpoena.

Skeptics cannot impanel committees to whitewash and they cannot go on witchhunts. This is most clear in the case of the NCDC misappropriating the work of Anthony Watts. As Watts details here when his work was misappropriated he really had no recourse except to write a strong letter. To their credit NCDC remedied the matter by fixing the attribution, something Wegman could do by climate science corollary.

What if Watts, however, had taken legal action against NCDC and had offered to withdraw that action if  the NCDC retracted its work. Blackmailing the science because of a mistake made in the preparation of a document.  What would be next, asking that papers be withdrawn because of grammatical infelicities, or typos?

And so Bradley now walks in Anthony’s shoes. How well does he fit them? Did he write to Wegman and ask for proper attribution? Or did he follow in the 10:10 path and try to blow Wegman up ?

In a comment at CA Donald Rapp tells us

“The issue is not whether Wegman committed plagiarism as a technicality, but rather, who cares? Obviously, Wegman had nothing whatever to gain from using words written by Bradley in reviewing Bradley’s work. Lost in all this is the question of whether Wegman was right – and I believe that he was. If Wegman was right, then the various hockey sticks prepared by Mann, Bradley and Hughes, Esper Cook and Schweingruber, Mann and Jones, and Mann et al. are all bogus. While dozens of people continue to file their comments on whether it was plagiarism or it was not, that is akin to fiddling while Rome burns. Meanwhile, the hockey stick continues to spread through our schools and textbooks like a plague, while Bradley desperately tries to protect his turf from the truth by discrediting Wegman personally. Proof of this is that Bradley has offered to stop his prosecution (persecution?) of Wegman if Wegman will remove his report from the Congressional Register. It is like a burning of the books. Farenheit 451 all over again.”

Steve McIntyre quotes from Bradely’s mail.

I filed a complaint with George Mason University (where Wegman is a Professor) & they have set up a committee to investigate my complaint. I[A] recent letter from their Vice-Chancellor indicates that they expect the committee to report their findings by the end of September.

That’s the long & short of it. I have told the University that I am prepared to drop this matter if Wegman makes a request to have his report withdrawn from the Congressional Record. No response on that.


Ray [Bradley]

Maybe Bradley had a different game show in mind.

Jim-“I’m not a criminal lawyer” Edwards frames  the issue nicely

“That would be amazing because, if so, it may be evidence of an honest-to-goodness crime [not the imagined crimes AGW-debaters are constantly crowing about].

It looks like Bradley is threatening to ruin Wegman’s career unless he alters his prior Congressional testimony.

That smacks of post-facto extortion or witness tampering. [both potential felonies]

I don’t practice criminal law, but it does not look good to me.”

Or we can be charitable and suggest that Bradley is a Burro for even contemplating bringing this pressure to bear on Wegman. Finally, Wegman’s University is in Virginia, my sense is that Cuccinelli might take notice of it, were it brought to his attention.

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October 21, 2010 4:48 pm

Didn’t anything happen with Bradlys (far more serious) plagiarism problem?

October 21, 2010 5:06 pm

Wait, he said that? He said he would drop a lawsuit if someone decided to alter sworn testimony to congress?
Much like Cartman, this has broken my sense of humor.

Doug in Seattle
October 21, 2010 5:19 pm

Bradley says that GMU would finish in September. Have they?

John M
October 21, 2010 5:28 pm

Not only alter, withdraw.

October 21, 2010 5:30 pm

J**** C****
Whats next?
Denouncing your wife and children as Heretics, confessing you knowingly infected your colleagues and their children with Skepticism?
In a race to the bottom, the Warmist crowd have all the Gold medals.

a jones
October 21, 2010 5:32 pm

I am bemused by this.
I am not an expert on US constitutional law but it is not dissimilar to its UK equivalent.
And as far as I understand it, as I pointed on this blog some time ago, the Wegman reports was published under the imprimatur of Congress. Which means it is not within the jurisdiction of any state or federal court of the USA.
I am sure that an attempt to force someone withdraw evidence given to Congress trespasses on the privilege of Congress: but I do not know what the procedures might be. No doubt, if little used, they exist: and presumably there is precedent.
I am fairly sure that state and federal courts would have jurisdiction over any such attempt without invoking Congressional authority. But whether that constitutes a criminal offence under state and/or federal law is another matter.
Moreover I am not at all sure that an academic body either could or should even consider this because they might not only trespass of the constitutional rights of Congress itself not to mention, given the disclosure made of the intention to force withdrawal of evidence to Congress, being complicit in what might be a criminal offence.
The whole thing reeks of hubris and utter asininty as though the law does not apply to these very superior people.
Still time will tell.
Kindest Regards

October 21, 2010 5:41 pm

Steve Mosher,
Good post. Thanks.
This isn’t chess or croquet. It is more fun than that!
This is a hybrid version of 5 card stud poker (guts poker) and no-holds-bared lacrosse. We see allegorical climate scientist violence everywhere and high stakes (grant money) in the middle of the poker table. John Wayne should have played Steve McIntrye in his ‘True Grit’ persona. Lee Van Cleef of ‘The Good Bad and the Ugly’ fame could have been Bradley. Mann could have been . . . . ahhhh, Golem.

John from CA
October 21, 2010 5:50 pm

Wegman Report is available here:
from the report
“The Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce along with Chairman of the Subcommittee of Oversight and Investigations have been interested in discovering whether or not the criticisms of Mann et al. are valid and if so, what are the implications. To this end, Committee staff asked for advice as to the validity of the complaints of McIntyre and McKitrick [MM] and related implications. Dr. Wegman formed an ad hoc Committee (Drs. Edward J. Wegman – George Mason University, David W. Scott – Rice University, and Yasmin H. Said – The Johns Hopkins University). The Committee was organized with our own initiative as a pro bono committee.”
The House Committee on Energy and Commerce along with the Subcommittee of Oversight and Investigations asked Professor Wegman to determine if criticisms are valid and the implications of the complaints.
Of course Wegman isn’t going to request to have his report withdrawn from the Congressional Record and if he did they wouldn’t comply because they requested it.

October 21, 2010 6:04 pm

I respectfully disagree.
“Blackmail” is one of their funniest skits.

October 21, 2010 6:09 pm

OT but breaking news in Canada. Major US Corporate Wealth funds sponsoring “Canadian First Nations against Climate Change” and Environmental Groups to attack Oil companies to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Environmental Organizations may not be as “grassroots” as they appear – that they are funded by arms-length intermediary companies for the sole purpose of distancing donors from the ear-marked actions prescribed by millions in donations appears highly suspicious if not downright underhanded.
“These Big Five have poured at least US$190-million into Canada’s environmental movement over the last decade, but their American logos are nowhere to be seen. Instead, we see a pageant of Canadian icons: dogwood, herds of caribou, wild salmon, First Nations and loons. U.S. tax returns show that the David Suzuki Foundation has been paid at least US$10-million from American foundations. This hasn’t exactly been out in the open.”
“U.S. tax returns for 2008 show that Tides Canada paid two coastal First Nations US$27.3-million in a single grant. This mega-grant was “to fund conservation planning projects and conservation initiatives” and was earmarked for the Nuxalk and the Lax Kw’alaams. Tides Canada’s objective was to pay for “Mobilizing First Nations Against Climate Change in B.C.” and for “support of Coastal First Nations to hire a co-ordinator to engage with government, industry, environmental groups, media and the public regarding the proposed Enbridge Gateway tar sands pipeline.””

Rhoda R
October 21, 2010 6:29 pm

The Tides foundation receives a good chunck of its funding from the Heinz Foundation – John F. Kerry’s wife.

October 21, 2010 6:37 pm

It is strange that USA Today et al were happily reporting Bradley vs. Wegman, even quoting the supposedly wronged Bradley (“Clearly, text was just lifted verbatim from my book and placed in the (Wegman) report,” says Bradley…).
Yet, when it subsequently transpires that:
1) The Bradley text in question was heavily reliant on a previous text book by a previous author
2) That Bradley’s main contribution to the text had been to delete the known role of CO2 in directly determining tree ring widths
3 That Bradley has apparently admitted to attempting to trade the end of his complaint, for a requested withdrawal of the Wegman report from Wegman
…then the newspapers fall completely silent!
I guess ‘news’ needs to be carefully defined in the modern world.
It is almost as though the journalists were being fed the ‘approved’ news by a team of CAGW activists.

October 21, 2010 6:59 pm

“The ends justify the means,” and all, but what justifies the ends? Especially when they are the same as the means = naked Totalitarian thought control.

October 21, 2010 7:00 pm

Those who scream the loudest tend to have the most to hide. The cry of plagiarism is a red-herring meant to turn your attention away from the real issue.

The Heinz Foundation is also thick as thieves, literally, with James Hansen. It was during the Kerry-Bush presidential election that James Hansen cried about being “silenced” by the Bush administration regarding climate change. It was all a political ploy.

A report revealed just this week, shows the ‘Open Society Institute’ funded Hansen to the tune of $720,000, carefully orchestrating his entire media campaign. OSI, a political group which spent $74 million in 2006 to “shape public policy,” is funded by billionaire George Soros, the largest backer of Kerry’s 2004 Presidential Campaign. Soros, who once declared that “removing Bush from office was the “central focus” of his life, has also given tens of millions of dollars to MoveOn.Org and other political action groups.
But the issues don’t stop here. Hansen received an earlier $250,000 grant from the Heinz Foundation, an organization run by Kerry’s wife, which he followed by publicly endorsing Kerry. Hansen also acted as a paid consultant to Gore during the making of his global-warming film, “An Inconvenient Truth,” and even personally promoted the film during an NYC even.
George Deutsch, the NASA intern who resigned over the censorship fallout, said he was initially warned about Hansen when starting the job, “People said … you gotta watch that guy. He is a loose cannon; he is kind of crazy. He is difficult to work with; he is an alarmist; he exaggerates.'”

That was dated September 26, 2007.

Doug in Seattle
October 21, 2010 7:00 pm

Tides is more a George Soros operation than a Kerry/Hines one.

Ben D.
October 21, 2010 7:20 pm

Soros, who once declared that “removing Bush from office was the “central focus” of his life,
Only a true idiot…..
I don’t even know where to begin, but that line alone takes the cake.
On the bright side, his life’s ambition has been accomplished for almost two years now. Not sure what else to say without reaching into snip territory.

October 21, 2010 7:24 pm

Yet, when it subsequently transpires that:
1) The Bradley text in question was heavily reliant on a previous text book by a previous author
2) That Bradley’s main contribution to the text had been to delete the known role of CO2 in directly determining tree ring widths
3 That Bradley has apparently admitted to attempting to trade the end of his complaint, for a requested withdrawal of the Wegman report from Wegman
…then the newspapers fall completely silent!
I guess ‘news’ needs to be carefully defined in the modern world.
It is almost as though the journalists were being fed the ‘approved’ news by a team of CAGW activists.
Absolutely right ZT. Disgraceful and lazy, Very frustrating. Jo Nova hits the nail on the head here.

October 21, 2010 7:31 pm

Jeremy this is amazing!
I wonder if we can read about this in Hoggan’s book… LOL
The link, once again:

October 21, 2010 7:38 pm

So if the real motives behind Bradley’s GMU complaint are those stated in his email, then this is a game changer and it puts Mashey and Deepclimate in a very interesting position…

October 21, 2010 7:38 pm

I find this to be appalling. Insane. I am suffering a serious disconnect.

October 21, 2010 7:58 pm

“I have told the University that I am prepared to drop this matter if Wegman makes a request to have his report withdrawn from the Congressional Record. ”
Don’t know how they got the name of ‘the gang who can’t shoot straight’ when they keep shooting themselves in the foot. In this case, I think the appropriate criminal charge might actually be blackmail – although I know very little about US law, a quick google turned up:
“Blackmail is gaining or attempting to gain anything of value or compelling another to act against such person’s will, by threatening to communicate accusations or statements about any person that would subject such person or any other person to public ridicule, contempt or degradation. ”
I think it says a lot about the man in question that having pulled a sneaky move, he has to tell everyone about it so they know how clever he is.

JRR Canada
October 21, 2010 8:39 pm

What else is Bradley going to do? The AWG emperor is exposed as naked and pretty ugly to boot. Damn right he is gonna kick and scream that we are too stupid to understand how pretty the imaginary clothes are. And then say look over there….Blackmail is exactly what we see and its all part of the group think of team IPCC. The CRU email dump showed the ethics of this bunch, this is normal and expected behavior for persons of this caliber. But so funny too, every time he protests and threatens, more people are drawn to read the Wegman report.Just another example of truth will out and the problem with lying is that you have to remember your lies.Once you buy your own BS you are lost and the public seems to be saying the AWG meme is lost. Up here we measure Global Warming in inches for the next 6 months.

October 21, 2010 8:45 pm

I don’t understand what’s behind the final sentence in the article:

Finally, Wegman’s University is in Virginia, my sense is that Cuccinelli might take notice of it, were it brought to his attention.

What’s up with that?

October 21, 2010 8:52 pm

As usual you are missing the obvious
1. Elsevier believes that its copyright has been damaged and has complained to GMU
2. GMU has, after holding an inquiry, opened an investigation into complaints (more than one) against Wegman and Said which means that a fairly high barrier has been met

October 21, 2010 9:30 pm

Silly rabbit, your tricks are for kids. Eli Rabett proudly, nay boldly, shows us all how nothing can be too obvious for a committed swingman to miss.
Other than that, how did you like the play, Mrs. Lincoln?

October 21, 2010 10:41 pm

Can I help Wegman write that letter? Please? Can i, can i, huh, can i? Here is first draft:
Dear Members of Congress,
As you may recall I some time ago provided a report to you in regard to the now famous “hockey stick” report on climate by Mann and his team. I write this letter now to advise that I neglected to provide proper attribution in regard to a commonly in use definition. A certain member of Mann’s team by name of Bradley, has initiated legal action against me, which he has advised he will drop, provided that I request that my report to you be withdrawn.
I respectfully request, in light of this situation, that this letter be accepted by Congress to that end, and that the original commission be reconvened. This will allow me to add the attribution in regard to the definition that appears to be so aggregious, though I must advise that it being in common, use determining the original writer may prove challenging. I feel up to that challenge, as are, I believe, the remaining members of the commission. By reconvening the commission at this time, we will also be able to correct other ommissions and elaborate on other matters that have come to light since then. I will leave the matter of Bradley’s attempt to blackmail both me an you on this matter in your hands. I am more interested in turning my attention to matters related to the “hockey stick” which should be added to the original report including, amongst other charges, massive amounts of plagiarism, verbatim quoted text with key words such as CO2 redacted in order to appreciably alter accuracy and perception, continued research founded upon selective use of data, inverted data, discredited data…….
….. and so I apologize for the length of this letter but it really did require 28 pages to list all the matters of scientific malfeasance that require proper analysis and documentation in addition to all the original criticisms found in my original report which remain unaltered regardless.
Lastly, while I stated early in this letter that I was requesting my original report being withdrawn, I trust you understand that this communication meets the letter of the law in regard to that request, but I have no problem in admitting that it does not meet the spirit of the request, and I have no personal issue with Congress retaining the report. By writing this letter I have accepted Bradley’s agreement to discontinue legal action, there is no need to actually withdraw the report. Indeed, my comment earlier in regard to the matter of blackmail may in fact prevent you from even considering such an action, but that is just an observation on my part. Of more importance is that you reconvene my commission so that we can continue the original work and extend it into the darkest recesses of the team’s labs and shine a light on the balance of their work which appears to have been…. worse than I thought.

October 21, 2010 10:53 pm

If Wegman gets the same kind of investigation as Michael Mann and Phil Jones did, he has nothing to fear.

October 21, 2010 11:27 pm
October 22, 2010 12:04 am

davidmhoffer says:
October 21, 2010 at 10:41 pm

“A certain member of Mann’s team by name of Bradley, has initiated legal action
against me…”

David, in your second draft of a letter for Professor Wegman, please switch the
legal action to “an academic administrative action in the third
sentence in the second paragraph.
As some have noted above, a “legal action” for plagiarism would fail due to the
principal of “latches … waiting too long to file an effective action due to
time limits having passed. Unless George Mason University’s complaint
procedure has time limits, the Bradley complaint and subsequent investigation
keeps on ticking.
Meanwhile, Bradley, Mann, Hadley, and the CRU cheerleaders will happily
tack on “currently under academic investigation” when referring to Wegman,
the Wegman Report, and especially the opening of McShane and Wyner, 2010.
Since there’s no Attorney General to smear with political epithets, and no
publisher to brow beat or ostracize, this is one of the few openings left for
the “Team” to attack the M&M (2003, 2005) Wegman 2006, the National
Research Council (NRC, 2006) and McShane & Wyner, 2010.
As crabs scuttle at you sideways, so too does the Team in their approaches
to silence their critics. This instance seems to be a refinement of the tactics
exposed in the Climategate e-mails.

UK Sceptic
October 22, 2010 1:22 am

Gobsmacked by Bradley’s hubris.

October 22, 2010 1:29 am

I posted this at CA
The report was issued four years ago and presumably Professor Bradley was provided with a copy.
It would have been remiss for him not to have read the report at the time.
One can only conclude therefore that he was content with the report in its composition if not in its findings.
As my earlier post (at CA), why now?
I now add to this, Whilst his attempt to get the report withdrawn is absolutely pathetic. Then is it arrogance because he sees he has no legacy and if the report is withdrawn then somehow his reputation will be restored. I think the Team are a busted flush.
Questioner: Well Ray how do you feel about this.
Ray: I feel hurt and humiliated that someone should use my work without proper referencing.
Questioner: Well Ray I thought there was in excess of ten references to you and if you take the use of MBH then that’s a lot more.
But I understand your pain when did you feel the pain Ray.
Ray: I felt the pain of all this yesterday.
Questioner: Ray when did you read the report.
Ray: Oh about 2006.
Questioner: What a strong person you are Ray.

Alan the Brit
October 22, 2010 1:36 am

I say chaps, we could start up a brand new phrase to illustrate the mentality of the warmists. It could go something like this……”Lower your shields & prepare to be assimilated, Resistance is Futile!” Do you think it might catch on, anybody?

Atomic Hairdryer
October 22, 2010 2:34 am

First they tried to hide the decline, now they try to remove the evidence.

October 22, 2010 2:58 am

Bradley is just jealous that Mann gets all the attention.

October 22, 2010 3:04 am

A friend once gave me valuable advice which i have never forgotten. He said “never be seduced by your own advertising” Unfortunately for mr Bradley, he never met my friend.

stephen richards
October 22, 2010 5:24 am

Silly Wabbit

Malaga View
October 22, 2010 5:39 am

Great post… on a day of great posts… the week is ending on a real high note…
Unless, of course, you are one of the climate faithful… in which case you are no doubt feeling a distinct chill in the air 🙂

October 22, 2010 6:22 am

Dr Wegman should send David Hoffer’s letter. The reply would inform him that this is the 111th Congress, a different Congress than the 109th, to which Prof Wegman reported.
At least one member of the 109th Congress has since died in office. No doubt the Democratic majority could use its extensive experience and dig her up for approval of Wegman’s request.

October 22, 2010 8:34 am

Mining AGW promotional material for unattributed references and wholesale cut-n-pastes is called for.
My bet is a search find massive examples of both.

October 22, 2010 8:45 am

Ammann, not Annann.
[fixed, thanks ~mod]

October 22, 2010 10:00 am

Eli Rabett says:
October 21, 2010 at 8:52 pm
As usual you are missing the obvious
1. Elsevier believes that its copyright has been damaged and has complained to GMU

Oh Really? Maybe you should take a look at this little thing called “Fair Use” when dealing with copyright law:
§ 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use40
Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include —
(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.,

October 22, 2010 8:30 pm

There is only one thing to do when attacked like this, counterattack. Problem, what to counterattack with? “That smacks of post-facto extortion or witness tampering. [both potential felonies]”. You now have bullets in your gun, aim and fire. The AGW crowd has been getting away with criminal behavior for too long (such as abridging freedom of speech by censoring oppsing views, a violation of the highest law of the land, the US constitution), it’s time to jerk their chain and put them on notice that this will no longer be tolerated.
Be ruthless, make an example.

October 23, 2010 4:21 am

Any readers live in Texas, perhaps in Joe Barton’s district? Since the Republicans will very likely control congress in a couple of months, and Barton will likely be restored to power, he may be very interested in talking to Bradley about late hits wait post mortem how about TARDY tampering with his committee’s earlier investigation.
Could the appropriate Texan please send him a polite note?

October 23, 2010 9:49 am

I’m beginning to think more and more that the “scientists” on realclimate.org are more like the mafia than scientists or directly linked to it. Their tactics certainly are no less demeaning than the images we see in The Godfather when business owners are threatened to pay money for their ‘protection’ or else pay the consequences.

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