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Climate Change Denial Front Group Heartland Institute Sends Emails to Bloggers Threatening Legal Action

Intimidation
Wingnuts • Views: 35,278

Here’s the email forwarded to me today by Jim Lakely, the Heartland Institute’s director of communications, threatening me with legal action because I wrote a post about the leaked Heartland documents:

February 18, 2012

Mr. Charles Johnson
Editor
Little Green Footballs

Re: Stolen and Faked Heartland Documents

[Link: littlegreenfootballs.com…]

Dear Mr. Johnson:

It has come to our attention that your blog or web site has taken one or more of the following actions:

- Posted links to a document titled “Confidential Memo: 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy.”

- Posted links to certain other documents purporting to be those of The Heartland Institute.

- Posted blogs or web pages discussing any or all of these documents.

Please be advised that the Confidential Memo is fake. It was not written by anyone associated with Heartland. It does not express Heartland’s goals, plans, or tactics. It contains several obvious and gross misstatements of fact. Publication of this falsified document, or blogs or web pages about it, is improper and unlawful.

As to other documents purported to be authored by Heartland, we are investigating how they came to be published and whether they are authentic or have been altered or fabricated. Several of the documents say on their face that they are confidential documents and all of them were taken from Heartland by improper and fraudulent means. Publication or republication of any and all confidential or altered documents is improper and unlawful.

Furthermore, Heartland views the malicious and fraudulent manner in which the documents were obtained and/or thereafter disseminated, as well as the repeated blogs or web site posts about them, as providing the basis for civil actions against those who obtained and/or disseminated them and wrote about them. Heartland fully intends to pursue all possible actionable civil remedies to the fullest extent of the law.

Therefore, we respectfully demand: (1) that you remove links to these documents from your blog or web site; (2) that you remove all posts that refer or relate in any manner to these documents or quotes from them; (3) that you publish retractions of prior postings; and (4) that you remove all such documents from your server, if you have placed them there.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you require any further information.

Very truly yours,
Maureen Martin
General Counsel

UPDATE at 2/19/12 8:52:33 pm

Greg Laden also got one of these lawyer letters: I Just Got an Email From the Heartland Institute About the ‘HeartlandGate’ Documents : Greg Laden’s Blog.

UPDATE at 2/19/12 9:12:53 pm

Desmogblog also received a threatening letter: Heartland Demands DeSmogBlog Remove ”Climate Strategy’ Document.

UPDATE at 2/19/12 9:21:53 pm

This was tweeted tonight by Heartland Institute spokesman Jim Lakely:

Note: Lakely is citing a tweet by Robert Stacy McCain (@rsmccain) — a well-known white supremacist and racist — containing a link to a blog that recently posted a video created by neo-Nazis, praising the racist novel “The Turner Diaries.”

UPDATE at 2/19/12 9:46:53 pm

More threats from the Heartland Institute: Heartland Institute Threatens 71-Year-Old Veteran | Recorder Online.

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