Two things have my attention today, one is not climate related. CIA contractors in immediate proximity of the American embassy in Benghazi were specifically told to stand down rather than protect the lives of the Ambassador. The head of the CIA in the region repeated the order multiple times and it was after a half hour and against that order (repeated on 3 separate occasions) that the security team overrode the command. The security team was so close to the fighting that they could hear the gunfire and it was only after muslims lit fires around the buildings that our ambassador was safely hidden in, that the team went in – against orders. It was a half a day later before military support was sent. The claim has been made that multiple bases in the region normally react with air support, none of them reacted indicating that a large scale stand down order was given.
Remember, this was the point where the “terrorist” aka muslim story line from the president was that they were no longer a threat. The most likely fit to this data is that the US government, just prior to election, chose to sacrifice the ambassador rather than generate a negative news article. Whether the most likely scenario is true or not, the decision to stand down when our people were in trouble was quite obviously a political calculation of some form. They were left to be killed.
Fox news broke the story last night in an interview with the contractors, like climategate the left-wing media will be very slow to pick up the story, if ever, so I am posting a link here:
The second item which has my attention is Michael Mann’s lawsuit. As you may know conservative commentator Mark Steyn referred to Mann’s work as fraud and bogus and is now embroiled in a lawsuit where Mann claims he was slandered/libeled by Steyn. The problem is that Mann’s suit is being funded by left-wing groups who have a vested interest in the policies brought about with the alleged but only loosely related goal of addressing climate change. Mann has little to lose by the suit but the rulings on this case have the potential long term negative consequences to free speech with respect to critique of government.
It sounds extreme, but it is, and my favorite climate scientologist Michael Mann is right at the center of it. His suit uses the various totally fake climategate inquiries as evidence that his work is somehow exonerated, in addition it uses the EPA endangerment finding on CO2 which foundationally gives power to regulate combustion in the US. Claims of exoneration by the fake inquires into climategate and the even worse EPA findings, were false, because in all cases Mann’s various hockey stick works are not what was being examined, but the line of truth is hardly a barrier to lawyers.
A recent brief to the courts from Mann’s lawyers holds much of the relevant detail.
The way this works is that “Fraud” is being presented as per-se defamatory, Mann’s lawyers are trying to attach the word “bogus” as equally defamatory in their argument. The use of either of these words in describing scientific work, is deemed automatically libelous, unless of course it is proven true. In this case, Mann’s defense that his work is not fraudulent, is based on various government inquiries of climategate, EPA findings, use of other equally tweaked, twisted, impeached, methods in journals to “verify” his findings. Any pro-government science, especially a science with massive government support levels such as climate change, where more than one kid has his hand in the cookie jar, could become unimpeachable in press simply by other politicians/scientists agreeing. Economics, medicine, and political science, are strong examples of other government corrupted fields. Therefore, someone like myself who understands what Mann does for a living, will not be able to safely tell the truth on the subject. I write this with some fear right now because I have examined several of his papers carefully and have repeatedly articulated obvious errors in the methodology Mann has made. With the 501C laundered money of government behind him, a faux-suit from Mann is a scary possibility. Mistakes are not fraud, but the odds of mistakes always falling the same way dozens of times by ACCIDENT are astronomically low. After enough failures, the statistics exceed reasonable certainty that someone is committing fraud with the very slim possibility that they are in fact INCOMPETENT. It is this tenth of a percent chance of incompetence which has prevented me from referring to Mann’s work as fraud.
Considering that it is this vanishingly small chance in my mind that is the only thing left between fraud and incompetence, others could quite reasonably be expected to fail to differentiate the possibility. It is a thin line which many people will, and have, intellectually crossed in the case of Michael Mann. Such opinions are hardly unreasonable at this point and I have no doubt that in a just world, Steyn should win outright based on this alone.
But that is not the only problem. EPA findings, which so many disagree with, are being used as evidence of TRUTH, rather than the political document they are. My understanding is that in this courts decision, it is possible that by accepting this document as truth, such truth being evidence that no fraud existed, future court cases could also be compelled to accept the government’s version as truth. This is certainly an unfortunate consequence of the over-politicized world of climate science. I’m not a lawyer, and not studied enough on the matters of libel cases to understand how this will play out in use as precedent, but if my understanding is correct, it could be substantially bad for free expression.
The case is being tried in DC, which is widely known to be saturated with the most activist left-wing judicial system in the US. Only California and New York providing any apparent competition in that dubious matter whatsoever. With so much corruption visible from the US government in the recent decade, we can be reasonably certain that in a highly politicized case like this, neither truth nor justice will be the deciding factor.
Today is still a sunny day though so I’m not going to let a corrupt over-powerful government stop me from going to do something else with it. Hopefully you will to.