Re: [asa] Climate Progress

From: Iain Strachan <>
Date: Wed Dec 16 2009 - 07:35:18 EST

On Wed, Dec 16, 2009 at 11:55 AM, John Walley <> wrote:

> I would like to add some more to my reply to this yesterday after having
> some time to cool down.
> "Yes, but stealing is violating GOD's laws. It is to that point that you
> seem impervious. Furthermore you are implying that you have already tried
> and condemned Phil Jones in your mind as being as guilty as Hitler was. I
> think you really need to get some sense of perspective here. Some sleazy
> hacker who knows all the devious tricks for breaking into secure computer
> systems is hardly a Bonhoeffer."
> I agree that if it was an outside hack job then that would be wrong. But I
> don't think it is and the evidence points to it being an inside job because
> it was filtered to be only emails pertaining to their work. In fact, I
> suspect they might be concerned that there may be other emails that may
> still be released. Plus an outside hacker is not likely to get access to
> mail files and all the program code since they are likely stored in
> different places.
> Yes I have arrived at the conclusion in my mind that Phil Jones is guilty
> of ethical and professional lapses of judgment and possibly way more. And I
> think that should be obvious to anyone that is not in denial. But I did not
> make a comparison with him and Hitler nor did I say that the leaker was
> Bonhoeffer. On the contrary I said both Bonhoeffer and slavery were extreme
> examples and a closer to home example would be gov't sponsored
> whistleblowing.
> So for someone that likes to qoute the commandments to people you should
> consider yourself and not bear false witness.

Dear John,

I strongly reject your accusation that I am bearing false witness over this
and am deeply offended that you should say so.

(a) It was you, and not I, who made the Bonhoeffer/Hitler analogy. I
remind you about what you wrote:

No I don't agree. I think it was an act of conscience and a superb display
of moral clarity. j*ust like Dietrich Bonhoeffer's unfortunately
unsuccessful attempt to assasinate Hitler*. When this is over he should be
awarded some whistleblower award by Congress or our new President. He could
have saved civilization.

(Emphasis mine) Evidently you wished to make a direct comparison between the
two situations - I was responding to your comparison. So in your
comparison, the whistleblower/thief/whatever is directly analogous to
Bonhoeffer, and Phil Jones (and other scientists implicated) are directly
analogous to Hitler.

(b) Even given the above, I took care to phrase what I wrote so as NOT to
say you were comparing Phil Jones to Hitler. What I said was you had made
up your mind that Phil Jones* was as guilty as* Hitler. This subtlety of
the text may have missed you, and maybe it wasn't the best way of putting
it, so I shall explain precisely what I meant, which is this: there is
absolutely no doubt that Hitler was guilty of genocide/persecuting and
killing Jews, etc etc. Not the slightest doubt. However, the jury is still
out on whether Phil Jones is guilty of professional misconduct, pending an
enquiry during which he has inevitably had to step down from his post.

Now in my country the rule is "innocent until proved guilty". But you seem
to already have made up your mind that there's no doubt about his being
guilty. That is what I meant by "as guilty as Hitler".

Now it is of course possible that this is not the case for you; that given a
thorough and neutral investigation, if Jones gets exonerated, you might be
prepared to say "I was wrong".

I am left thinking it is high time to leave the list. However hard I try to
qualify what I write, none if it gets noticed; what I write gets twisted
(this is the second time you have done this), and being accused of lying is
just about the last straw.

A retraction of your accusation might help me to decide to stay, but at the
moment, carrying on the battle for reasoned debate in this atmosphere seems


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Received on Wed Dec 16 07:35:40 2009

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