Fishy. Some days ago, the excellent Bishop Hill site broke the news that – rather bizzarely – the police National Domestic Extremism Unit is involved in investigating the ClimateGate leak at the University of East Anglia. The BBC has finally woken up to the story, and there are worrying signs that it is somehow part of the saga. First of all, it adamantly describes the leak as a “hack” even though this has not yet been established. Second, they have this extremely odd quote from the police:
“At present we have two police officers assisting Norfolk with their investigation, and we have also provided computer forensic expertise. While this is not strictly a domestic extremism matter, as a national police unit we had the expertise and resource to assist with this investigation, as well as good background knowledge of climate change issues in relation to criminal investigations.”
If I had been the journalist covering this story, I’d be asking first of all what the hell a terrorist unit is doing involved in ‘climate change’and what “expertise” in this field they claim to have. Second, with the world still on terrorist alert after the latest attempt to blow up a plane, how can a terrorist unit spare resources to investigate file hacking (if indeed, that is what it was) when the only ‘victim’ of this alleged crime is academic internal mail – and the leak was in any case in the public interest?
But not the BBC. It’s creepy beyond words that Climategate should be bracketed by the police as a terrorism incident, and equally so that the BBC should broadcast this chilling quote without asking such basic questions. My guess is that the police asked the BBC to carry the story as damage limitation because they suddenly realised that linking Climategate to terrorism was extremely questionable. In overall terms, the BBC has dismissed the importance of Climategate, but if it will provide material to attack ‘deniers’, they are on the case like a rat up a drain pipe.