Heartland Institute Releases Peter Gleick Emails Detailing Fraud, Identity Theft

Correspondence Began Same Day He Rejected Invitation to Debate

FEBRUARY 24, 2012 – The Heartland Institute today released all the emails Pacific Institute President Peter Gleick sent to The Heartland Institute for the purpose of fraudulently obtaining internal Heartland documents. The emails can be found at Fakegate.org.

The emails reveal how Gleick “phished” the documents by stealing the identity of a Heartland board member, an act to which he publicly admitted in his February 20 Huffington Post confession. Minor redactions have been made to the emails to protect the individual privacy of those involved.

Gleick originally portrayed all of the documents he circulated, including the fake climate change strategy memo, as originating from Heartland. Now he claims he received that memo from an “anonymous source” before his theft. But the emails Heartland released today reveal Gleick never asked for either of the two documents that are specifically cited and summarized in the memo, suggesting the memo was written after, not before, he received the phished documents.

The newly released emails also reveal the first email from Gleick to Heartland was sent on January 27, 2012 – the same day he rejected a cordial invitation to debate climate science at The Heartland Institute’s 2012 anniversary benefit dinner in August. Email correspondence between Gleick and Heartland Institute Director of Communications Jim Lakely can be found here. That correspondence makes it evident Gleick was aware of Heartland’s policies concerning the confidentiality of its donors.

We repeat our request that the fake climate change strategy memo be removed from Web sites and blogs such as DeSmog Blog, Think Progress, and the Huffington Post, along with documents that were stolen from Heartland. It is the ethical thing to do.

Previous press releases from The Heartland Institute plus links to dozens of news reports and commentary on Gleick’s transgressions can be reviewed at Fakegate.org.

###

Here is a screencap from one of the email sets, click to enlarge:

more at Fakegate.org.

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pat

Classy/

Harold Ambler

I describe Al Gore’s justifications for bizarre actions concerning climate his “Broken Moral Compass.” There is a chapter about same in Don’t Sell Your Coat.
Gleick’s actions, seen up close in the e-mail presented here, are chilling. Almost enough so, but not quite, to make me not want any more popcorn.

Thomas

This is pretty shocking stuff, and the requesting of contact info for the whole board tells us he had bigger plans in mind than just uncovering the info behind the “Strategy Document”. However, I’m a little shocked that Heartland would just take at face value that this was an legitimate board member request. I would have expected policies to be in place to contact the board member directly to confirm that the request was legit, or at least send all communication to both email addresses simultaneously.

AdderW

The phishing tactics are almost on a par with those of wealthy nigerians …

Frank K.

The revelations here are just shocking for someone as supposedly “bright” as Peter Gleick. I hope they prosecute him to the full extent of the law.
RE: Phishing
The company I work for requires all employees to complete an online phishing awareness training. Phishing is a REAL threat in the business world today, and with a few easy steps (e.g. examining closely any embedded links in e-mails, and e-mail addresses of individuals), you can thwart most phishing scams. Be particularly wary of anything related to online financial transactions, such as Paypal, your personal bank, Amazon.com,etc.

stanj

This was no spur of the moment act of anger or revenge but systematic and deliberate fraud over a period of 14 days.
I don’t see how he can get away with this.

Given this info, I think Gleick can easily get off with a temporary/permanent insanity plea…

AdderW

Looking at the emails and the attachments, it would be no problem to exclude the fake memo.
Just count files received by Gleick and what later emerged.

jeanparisot

His lawyer must also be drinking the green coolaid, if he 1.) thinks Heartland is afraid of discovery, and 2.) thinks he is going to get fishing license in a criminal case against the victim.

oh dear!
he has admitted impersonating a board member, here is the evidence that he did this.
Over several days (not spur of moment) I have heard that the law is rather more forceful in the USA than perhaps the UK on this sort of behaviour.
I hope Peter Gleick is getting some veryvery good, rational advice from somebody..
Ie *IF* somebody sent him a fake document, he has no obligation to that person at all !!
and to assist Heartland in this.
If he knows who was involved in the creation of the document (hopefully not Peter, but very many people only thought of him, because of it in the first place) is to confess all now, apologise.
seek making reparations (very publically) and hope that Heartland would be satisifed..
If there was a MAJOR, MAJOR correction very publically, possibly might avoid a civil damages case?
Just my thoughts… Proper lawyers required on this now…

More Soylent Green!

I have to watch an online video at least once a year about this kind of phishing attack. Surely Heartland has updated its internal security policies and training now.
This is a teachable moment for everyone. The weakest link in security is always the human factor.

ChE

If I’m reading this right, Gleick created a fake gmail address, and it seems that Heartland wanted to highlight that fact. Heartland screwed up by not having a policy of no confidential documents to webmail addresses. This wasn’t exactly high-tech hacking.
There’s a lesson for everybody here: email is insecure. No confidential documents should sent unencrypted. Period. Secretaries shouldn’t be authorized to hand out keys. Period. Even if Gleick phished this, an encrypted payload would have been useless to him. The keys need to be treated like … keys. Handed out on a need to know basis by the IT guy. In person. Only.

kbray in california

Calculating.
Obsessed and possessed.
Screwed.

ChE

Jean Parisot says:
February 24, 2012 at 10:36 am
His lawyer must also be drinking the green coolaid, if he 1.) thinks Heartland is afraid of discovery, and 2.) thinks he is going to get fishing license in a criminal case against the victim.

What he said.

Michael Larkin

I keep reading this:
“But the emails Heartland released today reveal Gleick never asked for either of the two documents that are specifically cited and summarized in the memo, suggesting the memo was written after, not before, he received the phished documents.”
And I don’t quite follow the logic. Maybe I’m just feeling dense today – could some kind soul help me out? TIA

Jere Krischel

Interesting…by my count, he held back one pdf (the resume) in his document dump.
Of course, the IRS form and the forged memo aren’t anywhere to be seen.

DGH

Love the use of parenthesis and commas in that first email. Someone needs to add that text to the opensource project…

Paul Westhaver

Why do I have this ominous feeling that Anthony knows way more than is being posted. All the posts betray that Anthony et al are playing chess when the greens assumed they are playing hop scotch….bad assumption.
I read ostensible “breaking” news here and it is all slightly stale news in reality for those in the know. I do understand why the news needs to be released is such a controlled fashion.
Gleick made the one mistake so-called geniuses always make, he thought Anthony et al were dumber than him. Turns out, the Heartland guys did everything right and let Gleick ravel himself…Gosh… though chilling are the fake emails, I almost pity the dumb-@55.
He’s been caught, hook line and sinker and Heartland gave him every opportunity to behave ethically. There is an Aesop’s fable for this…
The Frog and the Scorpion.
Gleick did this because in the end, it is within his nature to do it.

klem

Hmm, aren’t there laws against identity theft?

It appears that the email requesting confidential board member information meets the criteria for proof of the crime of cyber impersonation under CA law. Criminal wire fraud under federal law also seems evident.
It is time to compose a farewell hyku for Peter Gleick. How about a contest, Anthony?

philincalifornia

Jean Parisot says:
February 24, 2012 at 10:36 am
His lawyer must also be drinking the green coolaid, if he 1.) thinks Heartland is afraid of discovery, and 2.) thinks he is going to get fishing license in a criminal case against the victim.
________________________________
….. or a civil case. It’s probably a scare tactic to imply that there’s going to be a big fight. Like the opening scene in Gladiator …. and it will end the same way. There’s no defense here.
My oh my, are those e-mails vile. This freak wants to save my planet ??

ChE

Love the use of parenthesis and commas in that first email. Someone needs to add that text to the opensource project…

Mosher commented on that. In fact, that’s what led him to Gleick. I’m not seeing what’s so unusual. Can someone point out exactly what’s so unusual/idiosyncratic?

Paul Westhaver

Anthony, Heartland gets a win on this eventually, but the Greens will not underestimate you guys again. They will regroup and lay a trap for Heartland.

JJ

In his “confession”, Gleick says that he did not alter any of the documents he stole from Heartland.
However, one of the files that HI sent to Gleick was called Binder1.pdf. The version on DSB is called Binder1 (2).pdf
That (2) is added when you open a pdf, make changes, and then save the changed document to the same directory as the original.
Also, Gleick was provided the minutes of the Jan 17 board meeting, but he did not include those in the slur package to his “15 friends”. Surely there is a reason for that. One wonders what exculpatory info was in those minutes …

John Whitman

Did anyone else experience a cold damp skin crawling sensation when they read the emails? It was caused by the cold-blooded dishonesty of Gleick’s politeness toward the HI staff members.
Yuck.
The CAGWist’s got themselves a real sick ‘hero’ there.
John

Montani Semper Liberi

It’s such a dumb mistake by the HI staffer to send the info out like that without some way of verifying Gleick was actually the board member he claimed to be. I’m actually wondering if HI figured they were the target of a phishing attack and went along with the whole thing to give Gleick enough rope to hang himself, and of course, he obliged spectacularly.

ChE

Why do I have this ominous feeling that Anthony knows way more than is being posted. All the posts betray that Anthony et al are playing chess when the greens assumed they are playing hop scotch….bad assumption.

Shhh.
Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Phil

Jere Krischel said on February 24, 2012 at 10:53 am:

Interesting…by my count, he held back one pdf (the resume) in his document dump.
Of course, the IRS form and the forged memo aren’t anywhere to be seen.

The IRS Form 990 is a public document.

JJ

Same issue WRT filenames on the Budget document. HI sent (1-15-2012) 2012 Heartland Budget.pdf, DSB has (1-15-2012) 2012 Heartland Budget (2).pdf.
And the fake document is 2012 Climate Strategy (3).pdf. What did Gleick’s first two drafts say? 🙂
Also, the “Board Meeting Package January 17” file from Gleick has only one page in it. Odd to call one page a “package”. And Gleick got 2 separate transmittals of that file fro HI.

Alexander L.

JJ:

That (2) is added when you open a pdf, make changes, and then save the changed document to the same directory as the original.

Incorrect. That (2) is added by browsers and email clients when you try to save the file into a folder where it already exists. When you open a file in editing software, it will usually save it over the old version, or prompt the user for a new name, and most people don’t use (2) as suffix, usually something more meaningful is used instead.
Further, that (2) could be added on Gleick’s PC (when he was saving files from Heartland emails) or on one of his recipients’ PC, when they were saving the files from Gleick’s letter. In short, those suffixes aren’t telling us anything at all.

TerryS

Re: Michael Larkin
Gleick claims that the reason he did this was to confirm the memo. If he was attempting to confirm it then it would be logical for him to specifically request the 2 documents. He doesn’t do this. What he does is ask for the schedule of board meetings, most recent Board minutes and agenda materials. He is then sent the documents.
If he had the memo in his possession then it would have been logical for him to simply say “can you send me the proposed 2012 budget and fund raising documents?”. There is no guarantee that asking for the agenda materials would get him the documents since they might not have been on the agenda (they may have been on December’s agenda for example).
This leaves us with 2 possibilities.
1. Gleick had the memo and was fortunate to obtain the documents without specifically asking for them.
or
2. Gleick obtained the documents and crafted the memo based on the documents he received.

JJ

Jere Krischel says:
Interesting…by my count, he held back one pdf (the resume) in his document dump.

The resume shows up in the Binder document. Was it there to begin with, or one of some edits to tthat doc made by Gleick?
He also held back the Jan 17 mtg minutes.

mpaul

How do we know that Gleick acted alone? Much of the narrative so far has assumed that Gleick was a lone wolf, acting on the spur of the moment — a crime of passion, it you will. Gleick’s “confession” was carefully crafted to leave this impression. But this email suggests that Gleick had information that would take a bit of time to collect. He needed to know the name of the board member (easy, available on HI website), he probably needed to know the timing of the Board meeting (not so easy to obtain), he needed to know the email address of the admin who deals with this kind of stuff (this isn’t the kind of email you would send to info@heartland.org) and perhaps he knew that this particular board member would not check his/her email in time to catch the subterfuge. On that last point, it would seem like there would be a reasonably high probability that the admin who dealt with this request would send a confirming email to the real email address of the board member along with the fake address. If they were to do that, the jig would be up — unless Gleick and Co knew that this board member would not be looking at email for a while. All in all, this seems like a carefully planned, premeditated operation. And it seems like the kind of thing that someone who really understands how the media operates would be behind (like the kind of specialized PR firms who do opposition research for political advocacy groups).
So who else was involved? Maybe Gleick can avoid jail time if he has some information to trade with the DA. On the other hand, maybe that’s why Gore’s big time lawyer friends jumped in so quickly — to make sure Gleick doesn’t get a lawyer who cares more about saving Gleick than saving the cause.

TerryS

Re: Alexander L.

Incorrect. That (2) is added by browsers and email clients when you try to save the file into a folder where it already exists…

Not in this case. I have downloaded, from DeSmog, the files both with and without the (2) and they are different files. They contain different meta data. They are different sizes, and in some cases are even encoded using different versions of PDF.

Morph

Which of the file names in the attachments match the ones on Desmogblog ?

Jimbo

Gleick originally portrayed all of the documents he circulated, including the fake climate change strategy memo, as originating from Heartland. Now he claims he received that memo from an “anonymous source” before his theft. But the emails Heartland released today reveal Gleick never asked for either of the two documents…..

“Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive”
It should all come out in court in due course. Bring on the popcorn.

JohnH

How does discovery work in a Federal case where the US is the injured party compared to a civil case where Heartland would be the injured party ?

Morph

Actually I’m more interested in what the “42 ways to lose…” website is all about… 😉

kbray in california

Dr. Gleick has created some self-inflicted CACC…
Catastrophic Anthropogenic Career Change.
Maybe something shovel ready in the penn ?

dtbronzich

I just looked at the Pacific Institute’s web site, and they have this memo up.
http://www.pacinst.org/press_center/press_releases/heartland.html
February 22, 2012
PACIFIC INSTITUTE BOARD OF DIRECTORS STATEMENT
The Board of Directors of the Pacific Institute is deeply concerned and is actively reviewing information about the recent events involving its president, Dr. Peter Gleick, and documents pertaining to the Heartland Institute. Neither the board nor the staff of the Pacific Institute knew of, played any role in, or condones these events. As facts emerge and are confirmed, the Board will inform all stakeholders of our findings and of any actions based on these findings. In the meantime we maintain our commitment to the smooth operations, governance, and mission of the Pacific Institute.

Billy Blofeld

I’m a bit lost on Gleick’s version/s of what happened.
But as well as the parentheses and commas there is also his weird use of dashes “address — just add this”

JJ

Alexander L. says:
Incorrect. That (2) is added by browsers and email clients when you try to save the file into a folder where it already exists. When you open a file in editing software, it will usually save it over the old version, or prompt the user for a new name, and most people don’t use (2) as suffix, usually something more meaningful is used instead.

In my line of work, we frequently use the (1), (2), (3) naming convention, among others, to indicate sequential revisions. Neither my browser nor my email client does this.
Further, that (2) could be added on Gleick’s PC (when he was saving files from Heartland emails) or on one of his recipients’ PC, when they were saving the files from Gleick’s letter. In short, those suffixes aren’t telling us anything at all.
They are telling us, at minimum, that there were multiple versions of some of these files coexisting at some point. That requires an explanation. Some of the potential explanations contradict current claims. This is a legitimate line of inquiry.

Hexe Froschbein

Heartland do not really have top secrets or proprietary to protect — their business is to get information out, not to hide it.
So, the idea that someone who phish them for documents is slightly paranoid — note Gleick didn’t actually find anything and had to use a fake document to make his case somehow.
Besides that, as was pointed out, Gleick committed wirefraud and if the promise of jail and public shame didn’t stop him here, he would have found another way, making the already illegal ‘extra illegal’ has never stopped anyone so far from committing crimes.
It’s people who commit crimes, not the opportunities they have to be criminal…!

JJ

TerryS says:
Not in this case. I have downloaded, from DeSmog, the files both with and without the (2) and they are different files. They contain different meta data. They are different sizes, and in some cases are even encoded using different versions of PDF.

So is DSB changing files to confound investigation – either by changing the content of the documents, changing the metadata, or both?
I recall the board contact info being part of the release, but it isnt out there now. Perhaps i am misremebering. Anyone have the originals?

Glacierman

It’s pretty clear this guy was setting the stage for becoming a climate superhero upon starting his position at NCSE.

CW - code monkey with a wrench

AdderW says:
February 24, 2012 at 10:29 am
The phishing tactics are almost on a par with those of wealthy nigerians …
=====
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v47/snowdog65/Gleick419.jpg

Jenn Oates

“Why do I have this ominous feeling that Anthony knows way more than is being posted. All the posts betray that Anthony et al are playing chess when the greens assumed they are playing hop scotch….bad assumption.”
Indeed, which makes this that much more entertaining as the facts dribble out. Sneaky in a good way.

AGW_Skeptic

Interesting that it appears Gleick never received the 2010 Form 990 from Heartland. But he stated that all the doc’s, except the strategy memo, came directly from Heartland.
I know it is available to the public, but Gleick stated he got it from Heartland.
I can’t believe he lied about the source of the 2010 Form 990 too!

Joachim Seifert

Tallbloke’s computers were raided by the police…..in search of truth and justice…..
whereas, in California it seems, clocks go reverse….
….. where heavily armed gangs with Hell’s angels outfits raid houses for
handcuffing naked people in their bed, who are on bail and could not show
up for a court order in time, because they had to bring the pregnant wife to
the hospital….all with TV camera at hand to sell the raid on German TV in the
name of justice….
I guess there is nothing on G.’ computers to warrant action…..
JS

Morph

I’m no defender of PG’s actions but having perused the emails and documents for a couple of days and looking at these screenshots I have to say that the HI’s procedures for handling confidential data are at best “shoddy”, in fact I would add the word “very” to the start of that.
At least if someone had an email from a “board member” saying they had now changd addresses, why not contact them to make sure ? Maybe by phone ? How hard can it be !
If this is the best and the brightest of libertarian thought then the “left” is perfectly safe.