The Heartland Institute is obviously not happy about those leaked documents. In fact they are so unhappy that they have threatened to sue anyone who has dared comment on the documents stating in a press release that “The individuals who have commented so far on these documents did not wait for Heartland to confirm or deny the authenticity of the documents. We believe their actions constitute civil and possibly criminal offenses for which we plan to pursue charges and collect payment for damages, including damages to our reputation.”
This is of course absurd as a recent article by Mike Masnick over at Techdirt makes clear:
Now, I don’t care what you think of Heartland, climate change or anything along those lines. Whether you think it’s a wonderful organization or an evil organization… one thing I would hope we could agree on is that threatening people for “commenting” on documents with legal action, even if the documents later turn out to be fake, is not a good idea. I can certainly understand the temptation to try to get people not to comment, but the threat is pretty clearly bogus. The documents — and the leak of the documents — even if faked or altered, are still a public interest issue, and it’s hard to see how there’s any law broken in commenting about what’s in the documents. There may be legal issues for whoever leaked the documents, but those who are commenting on them? Sorry, that’s just silly.
Or as Phil Plait put it:
Let’s hope the Heartland Institute pursues this perfidious document leaker with the same vigor, moral certitude, and righteous fury with which they went after the criminal who stole the climate scientist emails.
It must be nice to have an angry pack of lawyers to do your bidding.