Heartland Claims 'Fraud' Over Leaked Documents, Offers Scant Evidence

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Common Dreams

Heartland Claims 'Fraud' Over Leaked Documents, Offers Scant Evidence

by
Common Dreams staff

Two days after misinformation watchdog website DeSmogBlog posted leaked internal documents from the Heartland Institute that seemed to show its operational and funding strategy for its ongoing 'global warming denial' campaigns, the rightwing think tank has now come out and said in a statement that the "documents were stolen from Heartland, at least one is a fake, and some may have been altered."

But, as The Guardian's Suzanne Goldenberg reports:

the statement from Heartland communications director, Jim Lakely, identifies only one of the eight documents posted online on Tuesday night by the DeSmogBlog website as a "total fake". That document, two pages headlined "Confidential Memo: Heartland Climate Strategy", largely duplicates information contained in the other documents."

And as DeSmog itself reports:

The Heartland Institute has confirmed in a prepared statement that it mistakenly emailed its board materials to an anonymous third party - confirming the source of the documents released here on the DeSmogBlog yesterday.

Heartland then goes on to allege that one of the documents (the Climate Strategy) is a fake.

The DeSmogBlog has reviewed that Strategy document and compared its content to other material we have in hand. It addresses five elements:

The Increased Climate Project Fundraising material is reproduced in and confirmed by Heartland's own budget.

The "Global Warming Curriculum for K-12 Classrooms" is also a Heartland budget item and has been confirmed independently by the author, Dr. David Wojick.

The Funding for Parallel Organizations; Funding for Selected Individuals Outside Heartland are both reproduced and confirmed in the Heartland budget. And Anthony Watts has confirmed independently the payments in Expanded Climate Communications.

The DeSmogBlog has received no direct communications from the Heartland Institute identifying any misstatement of fact in the "Climate Strategy" document and is therefore leaving the material available to those who may judge their content and veracity based on these and other sources.

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