It’s not just Tallbloke who’s in the firing line; you are too.

Tallbloke’s fighting fund has been set up and people are generously donating whatever they can afford. This post at his place gives the current situation and how you can contribute to it. You don’t have to read very hard between the lines to see how difficult the last few days have been on him and his family. People are being very supportive of him and angry at the way he’s been treated, and quite rightly so.

There are a number of basic democratic freedoms at risk here as well as some potentially large impacts on how the blogosphere will evolve.

I have not seen nor can I imagine what just cause lay behind the search and seizure warrant being issued and used to violate his home. He had cooperated fully with the police at the time of Climategate 1 (CG1) and there was no reason to suppose he wouldn’t cooperate with them over Climategate 2 (CG2).

The argument I’ve seen advanced in some circles, that it’s okay to ransack someone’s home just so you can be sure they did nothing wrong, is completely fallacious. Without “just cause”, that’s the approach used by the Stazi and Gestapo. Whose home is next? Your home? Just so you can be “eliminated” from an enquiry? Did they really need six detectives trampling all over his home? They knew precisely the shock that would cause. If they were really there to look for the leaker’s electronic fingerprint on Tallbloke’s computers, why did they only take two of the twenty computers in his house? The basis on which that search warrant was granted needs to be looked at very hard.

The presumption of innocence, without just cause to the contrary, is the basis of all law.

Not only has he and his family had to contend with a home invasion but his good name has been bandied around scurrilously and in my personal judgement, libelously in a number of articles on the internet. This aspect of the affair now looks as if it might be heading for resolution in courts of law, so there’s only so much one can comment about it with prejudicing that process. I will say that going to law about anything is a long and tiresome process. Should Tallbloke decide to proceed on any of the possible avenues of litigation open to him, he’ll be taking on an arduous task for us all, in which case we’ll all owe him a debt.

If a comment added to your blog can result in you being raided by law enforcement, then we all know what’ll happen; we’ll still have blogs but no comments will be allowed. No blogger would have any other choice. Indirectly, it’s not just the bloggers who are threatened by such oppressive actions but the commenters too.

Personally, while I think the topic posted by a blogger is important, it’s only half the story. It’s the discussion of it and any thoughts arising, as expressed by the comments on it, which are so often the food for thought. A blogosphere with all commenting disabled, would be a very sad development both for the blogosphere and democracy in general.

Ultimately, this has real implications about shutting you up too.

If you haven’t already done so, please make a donation for a person who’s fighting that solitary battle against faceless authority, which is, in my judgement, abusing its power over an ordinary citizen. What’s more, Tallbloke is not just additionally fighting to clear his good name but also to protect your right to comment.


UPDATED 20 Dec 2011 :

Congratulations to Tallbloke, his legal team and all the people around the world who rallied to his side. Mr. Laden has suitably and publically amended his offending blog, so it no longer reads like a piece of what some people might well think of as extremely libelous and therefore extremely expensive prose. If you’re a connoisseur of grovelling, it’s a tad awkward but his command of English is certainly not up to the fine standard of say, Mr. Shahan’s, who, some might say, managed to wiggle out of a smaller but similarly thorny potential problem.

If Tallbloke should decide to accept such a complete and humiliating capitulation on Mr. Laden’s part, then to my mind, that would only appear to leave the problem of getting some answers about why his house was searched by six detectives from three different police forces for nearly four hours. Should he and his legal team decide to pursue that, I can only wish them similar success.

One person, with the courage to stand up against oppression, can win. Thank you for reminding us of that, Tallbloke and your good lady.


Related articles by Pointman :

Skeptic blogger raided by the police because he was sent a link to the Climategate 2 release.

Click for a list of other articles.

25 Responses to “It’s not just Tallbloke who’s in the firing line; you are too.”
  1. thojak says:

    I aint going shutting up… regardless topic & especially ‘the threat della climate’!
    Although very tight economics (yes, they ARE tight!), I’ll at least will try finding some way to sponsor the very good bloke of tall!

    Brgds from Sweden


  2. ingvarE says:

    I will not shut up. But I will make some “technical adjustments” and I have contributed.

    More regards from Sweden 🙂



  3. I have also donated. It has also dragged me back into blogging about climate. Regardless of which side is right, and I am aware the sceptics could be wrong and the hijacked science right, my right to say whatever the hell I like – as long as it is constructive and not libelous – should never, ever be called into question or threatened.

    The effect Mr Laden’s article has had is to send me into investigative mode……


  4. Pointman says:

    Another wannabe Greg Laden, even getting a bit of “help” from Laden himself. Read the comments …

    UPDATE : This article has been taken down now.



    • hro001 says:

      Hi Pointman,

      The powers behind “planetsave” appear to have had a moment of sober second thought (albeit obviously somewhat delayed) on this entry – as it is no longer available (with no indication is given that it ever existed!) except via GoogleCache (of which I now have a .pdf if you need it)

      The last two (of 38) comments on the page were from Shahan trying to rationalize his post!


  5. Edward. says:

    Tallbloke is a bloody good and rigorous [PURE] scientist, they don’t like that.

    Zach wothisface is pi**ing in the wind, outcome – you get wet Zach.


  6. Scud1 says:

    Splendid P!

    This story seems to be gathering strength by the day and I think Roger has played a blinder. Looks very much to me that they’ve chosen the wrong bloke (be he short or tall) for their lame attempts at intimidation….no doubt designed, as you suggest to scare us all who do not appreciate this grand hoax to pilfer our hard-earned.
    Also it demonstrates quite magnificently that we are far from dealing with the sharpest knives in the drawer…the lies keep on mounting and the squirming becomes ever more palpable.

    Christmas prezzy on the way to our good man…

    Cheers fella!


  7. Jack Wilder says:

    Reposting a comment from WUWT by Stephan Wilde

    First ‘win’ for Roger. Email message just in from Zachary Shahan, Director of Planetsave who seems a nice guy but was taken in by the initial defamatory reporting.

    “Hello Guys,
    Given the actual request of the DOJ order and the changes in some of the Guardian text I quoted, it’s more worth my time (and everyone else’s probably) to just remove the story — there wasn’t much of interest in the story anyway (except that the police are trying to find out who the hacker was — but that’s nothing new), but I’m curious to hear what you find as to why they seized your equipment. That’s still completely unclear, right?

    On the misinformation bit: there’s no intention on my part to make you (Roger) look like you have nefarious motives. I think you are genuine in your thought that the science is not settled (while, obviously, I am confident that it is — certain key parts of it, of course). As I think I mentioned before, I have one or two good friends in your boat. I don’t consider them nefarious and don’t think they or you intend to misinform people. I think there are nefarious people in the fossil fuel industry or working for them that originate much of this misinformation, but I have never assumed you are such a person (and I don’t assume most people who ascribe to your beliefs are). And I think it’s a shame people get carried away in that type of thinking!”

    Perhaps some good can come of all this?


    • Pointman says:

      Poor Greg. That ominous flushing sound you get when people bale on you …



    • Pointman says:

      Guess what? Exactly the same comment at the Daily Telegraph was transformed into –


      That ominous flushing sound you get when people bale on you …


      (Edited by a moderator)


      Spot the missing bit?



    • hro001 says:

      Sorry, I should have read through all the comments here before posting above (but I’m not about to delete the .pdf)!


      • Pointman says:

        Hi Hilary, hang onto the pdf; you never know. Shahan’s “apology”, as I’ve heard it referred to, doesn’t look much like one to me. If it had the words “sorry” or “apology” or even a phrase like “any distress caused”, I’d be more likely to think of it as one. It’s subtly but suitably grovelling though.

        Considering the original article was subtly edited after its original publication, I think that “apology” was a wiggle out of a possible legal bind. Never mind though, certain parties have been reminded that free speech, as ever, does have to fall withing the bounds of not libelling or slandering another person.

        When one of our bloggers gets in a bind, we rally around. When one of theirs gets his butt in a sling, it’s every man for himself …



  8. Well said Pointman. Good article. He has my support.


  9. Peter Crawford says:

    Are we really in the firing line, Pointman? I have passed the link to the C2 emails to dozens of people including my local Member of Parliament. They can’t go after everyone.

    Anyway as I once told a copper “Don’t get into a battle of wits with me. It would be like walking into a gunfight armed only with a cudgel”. He cheerfully agreed.

    This was the same cop who thought the answer to a crossword clue; 1 across, nocturnal predatory bird; was “bat”


    • Pointman says:

      LOL. Seriously though, if you like to comment on a topic, then a blogosphere with commenting disabled will have an impact. You couldn’t make the comment you just have …



  10. NoIdea says:

    The CRU clucks clan

    Infowarriors of the blogosphere
    Shout with joy, smell their fear
    And so the end draws near

    They will face the final curtain
    A bin laden man has made this certain
    His foot in his mouth and it has dirt on

    Now the smelly CRU clucks clan
    At the behest of a very stupid mann
    With a really idiotic melon collie plan

    Tweet like twits and crabs with nits
    The dirt on feet tastes like… bits
    Of putrid spittle from greenie fits

    They pluck at the cusp of giants
    None of them get the science
    So they use lies and malfeasance

    Now is the time for us to unleash
    The leaches of law, bringers of piece
    A few pretty pennies to gain some surcease

    The bull Store High In Transit splitters
    Muttering pliable spam fritters
    A crew of obnoxious anal hitters

    No resemblance intended to living or dead
    If you see libel it is all in your head
    It’s not what I write but how it is red



  11. Pointman says:

    If you’re a connoisseur of grovelling, I present Greg “grovelling” Laden, assidiously acting in a civilised and civil fashion. I wonder why …




  12. Jack Wilder says:

    Congratulations Tallbloke on getting that significant retraction from Greg “Has Been” Laden! Lets hope that Science Blogs also has a long hard look at their writing team.

    It’s been a hard week for “Has Been” Laden, his wife waiting in bed, him stressing about the state of the world, because there’s always somebody who’s wrong on the interwebs! And these past few days he’s been hard at his computer, pudgy fingers bashing the… keyboard, going mediaeval on our asses in this, our digital age:


  13. Pointman says:

    An interesting development. Norfolk police are rumoured to be handing over the enquiry, but to whom? The pin’s pulled and they’re all playing pass the hand grenade at the moment. I wonder who gets it?



    • Mack I Avelli says:

      Richard S Courtney in comments on tallblokes blog has an interesting take on the developments. He suggests that the global warming scam is about to collapse and the powers that be are going to make the team the scapegoats. Wouldn’t that be poetic justice. It sounds too good to be true. What is your take on that?
      Merry Xmas,


      • Pointman says:

        Hey Mack.

        Pretty much, it’s already collapsed. I know there are a few local difficulties in Oz but they’ll be sorted out at the next election (you know, the one where the ALP gets eviscerated for a generation or two).

        Nobody will ever go to prison over the scam; the oldest defense going – “If I go down on this, I’ll be taking some other people with me.” Always works with politicians unfortunately.

        The cops decided to do something speculative by turning over Tallbloke and his joint. The roof fell in on them. I think a lot of supposedly powerful people have been running around in a panic for the last few days, just hoping a libel case never came to court, never mind trying to put a whistleblower on trial.

        Have a good Christmas. All the best to you and yours.



  14. Blackswan says:


    Here we are, several weeks after the raid on Tallbloke, and I find this in the Sydney Morning Herald …

    “Getting warmer in the hunt for climate change email leaker.”

    Getting warmer? They are kidding themselves.

    “A second release of private emails between climate-change scientists has offered more clues this time, writes Leslie Kaufman.”

    The only “clue” this long tedious waffle offered was that FOIA is probably a “student prank”.

    Gee, I was on the edge of my seat over that one.


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