Talya Lador-Fresher, Israel’s deputy chief of mission at the Israeli embassy in London, had to be shuffled out a side door and into a “get-away” car by Manchester police on Wednesday, following a lecture she gave at the University of Manchester that was crashed by pro-Palestinian student protestors.
The lecture, on the situation in the Middle East, which was originally supposed to take place months ago, was delayed because of early security concerns at the university – but went ahead Wednesday after university officials promised Ambassador Ron Prosor that his deputy’s security would be guaranteed.
And indeed, Lador-Fresher managed to give her talk, although she was interrupted several times by students who hoisted Palestinian flags and called out anti-Israel slogans. But when she had finished speaking and was trying to head out of the auditorium, it became clear to her security that the way out was blocked by more demonstrators who had been waiting there throughout the hour-long event. The demonstrators had identified the Israeli embassy car and were surrounding it.
As such, it was decided by embassy security, together with the Manchester police, to evacuate her through a side door and drive her off campus in a police car. As she was leaving the area, demonstrators attacked the car, in an attempt, she says, to try and break the windshield. Lador-Fresher stressed that it was indeed an “unpleasant” experience which goes to highlight the decreasing lack of civility on campuses in Britain when it comes to Israel.
Ambassador Prosor, in turn, commended his deputy on “her fighting spirit” and said he expected a condemnation of such behavior from the university.
Israeli settlers from the illegally constructed area known as Yitzhar south of Nablus rioted Thursday morning, destroying Palestinian property in the town of Huwwara, following the Israeli occupation military arrest of seven settlers.
Palestinians said settlers set fire to agricultural lands and vandalizing homes and kindergartens as dozens of right-wing setters gathered in the Huwwara Park.
According to the Palestinians, the settlers threw stones, shattered windows and destroyed the roofs of local Palestinian homes. The Palestinians said Israeli occupation soldiers did not prevent the settlers from venting their rage.
According to an Israeli police spokesman, settlers were arrested for earlier vandalism and destruction targeting Palestinians, known by setters as a “price tag” policy, aimed at causing harm to Palestinians and making trouble for soldiers who one settler leaders told reporters were “out to get” the settlers.
“At least 60 or 70 settlers came down to the village and destroyed Muhammad el-Sabata’s home; then they entered a public garden and began torching olive trees and destroy trees. They burned at least 60 trees,” a Huwwara resident told Ynet.
Last week Nablus-area residents woke up to smashed and burning cars with the words “price tag” spray painted on torched vehicles.
Jon Stewart, shame on you. You’re a propaganda spewing puppet and you’re no better than Glenn Beck.
In fact, the episode had been on the South Park website for viewing at any time for the past few years (they just removed it)… and nothing happened.
For 4 seasons they had that image in their opening segment for every single show… and nothing happened.
So for years on end no Muslim group, “radical” or otherwise, has threatened Matt and Trey or Comedy Central about the image of Muhammad that has been available for all to see every single day.
All of a sudden last week a group called “Revolution Muslim” threatened violence against Comedy Central if they aired an image of Muhammad which forced Comedy Central to censor the show and now you have even liberals talking about those “radical Muslims” and their threats of violence. Karl Rove couldn’t have done it any better.
Problem is, Revolution Muslim was started and run by a “converted” Israeli settler who studied at an orthodox rabbinical school in Israel before becoming a settler in the occupied territories.
You don’t think a orthadox Israeli settler would have any desire to see progressive Americans start to hate “radical Muslims” do you? You think “Revolution Muslim” helps or hurts the Israeli PR campaign after Operation Cast Lead and the Goldstone Report?
Here’s the research your team should have done before you went out and spun-up the neoconish ”radicalized Muslim” hype for your progressive audience…
“Revolution Muslim” is always there to say just the wrong thing to make Americans hate “Radical Muslims”. They praised the killing of Daniel Pearl with a childish puppet show. They sent “Get Well” wishes to the guy who shot those 13 people at Fort Hood.
Yousef al-Khattab, 41, a radical Muslim in the borough of Queens who runs RevolutionMuslim.com, claims on the site that the soldiers massacred at the Texas base deserved to be massacred, and he insists the victims are in “eternal hellfire.” As for the suspected gunman — Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan — Al-Khattab hails him as a hero. Fox News
You can count on “Revolution Muslim” to say the wrong thing at the right moment to get Americans to hate all those “radical” Muslims.
But the only thing is… “Revolution Muslim” (his creative fake “Scary American Terrorist” website) was started and run by a man named Yousef al-Khattab. Yousef al-Khattab was born Joseph Cohen, in Brooklyn, New York. He was jewish. But not just jewish, he was a settler who went to Palestine to live on the illegal Israeli settlements.
Joseph Cohen isn’t alone though. There is another “radical Muslim” convert from Judaism (the original fake “scary American Terrorist“) who makes sure that “radical” Muslims are hated in America, his name is Adam Pearlman and he went by the “radicalized” Muslim name “Adam Gadahn.” Adam Pearlman is actually the grandson of a (deceased) member of the board of directors of the Anti-Defamation League.
Gadahn grew up on a goat farm in rural Riverside County and moved to Santa Ana to live with his grandparents, the late Dr. Carl Pearlman and his wife, Agnes, in the mid-1990s. It was here that he learned of Islam via the Internet and later fell in with a radical sect at the Islamic Society of Orange County OC Register
And the funny thing is, after all that hate speech and those calls to violence, Cohen never got arrested. Hell, even Fox News knew exactly where he was. Guns, death threats, and all the rest and amazingly Yousef al-Khattab (Joseph Cohen) was never arrested.
A New York City bicycle cabbie who mocked the murder of journalist Daniel Pearl and posted a prayer on the Web calling for the murder of Jews is now sending a ‘Get Well Soon’ message to the suspected Fort Hood gunman, the New York Post reported.
After growing up in a Jewish neighborhood in New York and attending a orthodox rabbinical school in Israel, Joseph Cohen went to live in a settlement in the West Bank to help steal Palestinian land from Palestinians.
His story is that he “converted” to Islam after meeting someone in a chat room. You know what “settlers” are like in the occupied territories don’t you Mr. Stewart? Ever see that video of them beating the old Palestinian woman with a baseball bat?
Al-Khattab has claimed that he has nothing to do with the site anymore but the person he founded it with left prior to all of this earlier this month. al-Khattab claims to have quit the site in late Dec. last year. His partner who started it with him also claims to have quit the site earlier this month. I guess no one wanted to go to jail for issuing death-threats over the internet. But someone did it.
I find it funny that after being born and raised as a jewish person, after attending orthodox rabbinical school in Israel, and after being radical enough to move to occupied territories in Palestine to live as a settler (the most hard-core of Israeli Zionists), ALL OF A SUDDEN Joseph Cohen dropped all of that teaching and suddenly became a “radical Muslim’ after a chat in a chat room. He became a “radical Muslim” then just HAPPENED to move back to the city he lived in before… Brooklyn, N.Y.
Anybody believe that crap? Jon Stewart does. So much so he mocks “radical Muslims” for threatening South Park.
Now, go here and watch Jon Stewart joke and make derogatory comments about the group that threatened the creators of South Park for showing the image of Muhammad on their recent show. Then he thanks all the “other” religions for not behaving like the “Radical Muslims” did when Stewart makes fun of their religion. He then shows clip after clip showing how they have made fun of Jewish people without anyone threatening violence.
Radical Muslim is a COINTELPRO site, run by a “converted” Jewish settler pretending to be a “radical Muslim”. He is the ONE Muslim that complained about the South Park episode… an ex-radical Israeli settler, Mr. Stewart… real Muslims haven’t threatened South Park once since 2001 when they FIRST ran an image of the prophet on their show.
On 16 April, approximately 100 Palestinian villagers and internationals walked towards the construction site of Israel’s wall in the occupied West Bank village of al-Walaja, four kilometers northwest of Bethlehem. When the protesters were leaving the village, four Israeli army jeeps and one police vehicle entered and surrounded a Palestinian home. At least 40 persons, including women and children, were trapped for two hours.
Meanwhile, Israeli forces raided several other homes, detaining three young men for allegedly throwing stones at Israeli forces. During the raids al-Walaja was closed off, and soldiers prevented the media from entering the area.
Six days later, Israeli bulldozers were working full speed deeper inside the village’s lands, leaving destruction in their wake. Ma’an news agency reported that border guards and soldiers had imposed a curfew early in the morning. A cameraman was denied entry to the village by the army, according to representatives of the village’s Popular Committee.
The following day approximately 200 villagers, together with a few internationals, came together for yet another demonstration. They walked from the mosque, which has an Israeli-imposed demolition order against it, to the lands which were bulldozed the previous day. Standing on the bulldozed lands, representatives of the village held speeches calling for more demonstrations. Youths used boulders to block the road used by the Israeli bulldozer operators.
A day later, approximately 50 Palestinians and internationals managed to stop the work of the bulldozers for several hours. The Israeli soldiers had to violently drag the villagers away one by one.
|An uprooted olive tree in al-Walaja with the Har Gilo settlement seen in the background.|
History of injustices
The residents of al-Walaja have protested the confiscation and demolition of their property for many years. The Israeli settlements of Har Gilo and Gilo, established in the 1970s, are built on land confiscated from the village. While Israeli forces try to silence the protesters with harsh measures, Volvo and Caterpillar equipment is used by the Israeli forces in the illegal construction of the wall on the village’s land.
The old village of al-Walaja was occupied and destroyed by Zionist forces in October 1948 and its 1,200 Palestinian residents expelled. The 1948 Armistice line passed through the southern lands of the village and while most of the villagers fled to Jordan and Bethlehem, some villagers stayed on the lands of the village that were unoccupied at the time and eventually rebuilt a new town.
The remains of the old village of al-Walaja are two kilometers outside the new town, on the western side of the armistice line between Israel and the West Bank. According to Palestinian historian Walid Khalidi, a few stone houses still stand on the old village site. Today the old village of al-Walaja is used by Israeli settlers for picnicking and bathing.
Following the June 1967 war, Israel annexed the rest of al-Walaja’s lands, bringing them under the authority of the Israeli-controlled Jerusalem municipality. The villagers did not receive the right to live in Jerusalem, however, and they live under constant threat of expulsion. And while the villagers of al-Walaja are not allowed to build on their own lands, the settlement of Har Gilo is expanding.
After the Oslo accords of 1993, al-Walaja was designated “Area C,” giving Israel full military and administrative control. As a consequence, villagers who want to build a house on their own land have to ask permission from Israel. Israel denied 94 percent of the building permit requests of Palestinians in Area C of the West Bank from 2000 to 2007, according to Peace Now.
Villagers are facing increased pressure from the Israeli occupation forces to leave their land. The wall which is currently under construction will surround the village from all sides, isolating the villagers completely from their land, East Jerusalem and the old village.
|Israel uses Volvo equipment to destroy homes and farmland in al-Walaja.|
Volvo equipment destroying homes
At the end of the 1980s Israel started to demolish Palestinian homes in al-Walaja and residents had to pay fines for their “illegally”-built homes. Since the outbreak of the second Palestinian intifada, Israeli forces demolished more than 24 houses in the village, according to the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem.
On 18 March two house owners in al-Walaja found military orders in Hebrew on the front doors of their homes. The orders concern the demolition of the two houses because they are located too close to the path along which the wall will be built. The following day, volunteers from the Stop the Wall Campaign, the YMCA and other international volunteers gathered with the owners of the houses under demolition in order to show their solidarity.
ActiveStills photographer Anne Paq witnessed Volvo equipment being used to destroy a home in the nearby village of al-Khader. Two days earlier she had taken pictures of Volvo and Caterpillar equipment working between the road and the fence of Har Gilo settlement, just a few meters away from Palestinian houses in al-Walaja. There was an Israeli police car parked next to the works. When Paq asked what they were building, they refused to answer.
Two years ago The Electronic Intifada first reported the use of Volvo equipment in Israel’s violations of international law in the occupied West Bank. So far the company has taken no action to investigate the use of its equipment in Israeli violations of Palestinian rights.
Volvo Group’s vice president of media relations and corporate news, Marten Wikforss, wrote in response to The Electronic Intifada’s report: “we do not have any control over the use of our products, other than to affirm in our business activities a Code of Conduct that decries unethical behavior.”
While the villagers of al-Walaja steadfastly continue their protest against the construction of the wall, the confiscation of their land and the destruction of their property, Israeli forces are increasing the oppression. Some houses have been rebuilt three or four times. Director of the Joint Advocacy Initiative of the East Jerusalem YMCA and YWCA, Nidal Abu Zuluf, explained: “Israel’s current repressive policies aim to prevent acts of popular resistance. They don’t want the media and internationals to be around.”
Perhaps neither does Volvo, as its equipment continues to be photographed destroying Palestinian homes and violating Palestinian rights.
Israel has long been waging war on the US by way of deception. To date, its operatives have worked from the shadows, hoping not to be detected. Their duplicity typically includes the displacement of facts with what the American public can be deceived to believe.
Thus, the need to create a widely held belief around Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, Iraqi ties to Al-Qaeda, Iraqi meetings in Prague, Iraqi mobile biological weapons laboratories and Iraq’s purchase of uranium from Niger. Though all five “facts” were false, only the last claim was conceded as phony prior to inducing our invasion of Iraq.
There lies our national security challenge as the groundwork is being laid for another 911.
The same fact-displacing modus operandi is again at work. In the parlance of national security analysts, psy-ops specialists are “preparing the mind” to accept another generally accepted truth at odds with the facts. This time the objective is Iran. Or Pakistan.
Except that this time national security is shining a bright light in the shadows where such operations are launched.
The displacement process
As a reasoning species, we depend on rationality to stay alive and thrive. That’s why the displacement of facts requires preparation. First, the public’s shared field of consciousness is flooded with thoughts and impressions to ease the displacement process.
A decade before the thematic Clash of Civilizations was used as a rationale to invade a nation that played no role in 911, Harvard Professor Samuel Huntington published this thesis in Foreign Affairs, a publication widely read by opinion-makers. The Clash premise first appeared in the writings of Bernard Lewis, a Jewish-Zionist academic at Princeton.
By the time Huntington’s book with that title appeared in 1996, 100 organizations were prepared to promote it. As that process gained momentum, the Cold War consensus was replaced by a new generally accepted truth: the Global War on Terrorism. The widespread embrace of that theme was catalyzed in September 2001 by a mass murder on US soil.
Such a seamless segue from one generally accepted truth to another requires both mental preparation and an emotionally wrenching event. In combination, those two influences create an ideal framework for explaining to ourselves what we now know was a pre-staged storyline. A myth need not be true; it need only be plausible – and only temporarily so.
Prompted by false intelligence fixed around a predetermined goal, The Clash emerged as the latest generally accepted truth. With the rebranding of Saddam Hussein, a former US ally, as a plausible Evil Doer, the stage was set. As the war began, the term “Islamo-fascist” crept into the rhetoric to reinforce the theme that a new enemy had emerged – by consensus.
Anyone not outraged at this mental and emotional manipulation is ill informed about the common source of this ongoing deceit. In the information age, this is how wars are catalyzed. And how treason is committed in plain sight and, to date, with legal impunity.
The next provocation
With chilling consistency, the myth makers responsible for this latest corruption of US intelligence have proven adept at inducing serial conflicts that hollowed out our economy, damaged our credibility and undermined our faith in our own government.
There was no Gulf of Tonkin incident, the rationale that took us to war in Vietnam. Israel was not endangered in 1967 when it began the Six-Day war. Phony intelligence rationalized a massive land grab guaranteed to provoke antagonisms that undermined our security.
In rationalizing the war in Iraq, who deceived us? Who had the means, motive and opportunity? Are our minds again being prepared to wage yet another war that is not in our interest? Are we again being subjected to a seductive psy-ops as a prelude to war, awaiting only the emotional catalyst of another mass murder?
The mental threads have been laid. For example, in March 2005, author Jerome Corsi published Atomic Iran, urging that either the US or Israel kill the “mad mullahs” of Iran.
In July 2006, Corsi released Minuteman. Citing the president’s “failed immigration policy”, this Israeli asset claimed that Iran-supported terrorists are “invading from Mexico” to stage another 911. “We have definitive proof that we have Hezbollah – the terrorist group that Israel is fighting today – sleeper cells that are here.”
This prepare-the-minds publication appeared two weeks after Israel invaded Lebanon to combat “Hezbollah terrorists”. Where was the book launched? If you answered Ground Zero, the 911 site in Manhattan, you understand how psy-ops experts deploy the power of association to displace facts with fictions.
Such “associative” duplicity can only succeed in plain sight. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer broadcasts from “The Situation Room” with its White House-associative branding. What “the most trusted name in news” fails to tell you is that Blitzer worked 17 years for The Jerusalem Post and authored a sympathetic book on Israeli master spy Jonathan Pollard.
Treason in plain sight
The mental preparation is well advanced. The missing ingredient is another mass murder. Strongly-provoked emotions are critical when staging psy-ops designed to displace facts with what “the mark” can be deceived to believe. Plus, of course, it helps to muster some evidence that plausibly links the attack to Iran or Pakistan. That will suffice.
Or perhaps not. This time around, those who took an oath to defend this nation from all enemies – both foreign and domestic – may well have better tools to do their job.
There is but one possible source able to sustain such operations with impunity inside the US. Only one nation has the requisite intelligence capabilities to operate from within our government in plain sight yet non-transparently.
As yet, few dare speak its name. Instead, four-fifths of those in “our” Congress recently proclaimed themselves loyal to a foreign nation and insisted that our commander-in-chief maintain an “unbreakable bond” with what the facts confirm is an enemy within.
Will the US again be attacked? If so, will we focus our forces on the real enemy? Our veterans’ community is 27 million strong. Let your voice be heard. Our nation is at stake.
Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said that the verdicts in Egypt against the freedom fighters who were offering support to the resistance in the Gaza Strip are politicized and unfair.
Speaking to the Kuwaiti Al-Rai television to be broadcast Thursday, Sayyed Nasrallah said that “when those brothers were arrested in Egypt, we stressed – and I’ve said this personally – that those are honest resistance fighters, not outlaws, criminals, and terrorists as the judge described them. They are honest people and their only crime is that they were supporting their brothers in Gaza and giving help to the legitimate Palestinian resistance which should be embraced by everybody. Those men were fulfilling their duty and everything beside this are mere fabrications to cover the measures that were taken against them.”
The Secretary General addressed the detained resistance men and their families: “When you chose the path of backing the Palestinian people, you knew that you could be arrested or maybe killed as martyrs at any time. What you have gone through in jail and the sentences that have been issued today is a badge of honor on your chests.” [...]
Sayyed Nasrallah added: “Of course the doors are not closed in Egypt, and we are surely not going to let those brothers in prison. We will follow up this case even if a sentence was issued, and we’ll seek to resolve the matter as we did in the past, through legal and judicial channels…This case is no longer a judicial matter, so perhaps the only available exits are political ones.”
The Hezbollah leader concluded: “We will seek, through political and diplomatic channels to resolve this issue, establish our brothers’ rights, and not letting them in prison.”
A Cairo court on Wednesday handed down jail sentences against 26 men it convicted of plotting attacks against ships in the Suez Canal and on tourist sites, among other charges.
The defendants said in a hand-written letter obtained by AFP that they never planned attacks in Egypt. They said they had tried to help the Hamas movement during Israel’s devastating December 2008-January 2009 offensive against the Palestinian territory.
The White House has reportedly called on Congress to provide waivers in the Iran sanction bill that would allow Chinese and Russian companies to do business with Iran.
The Obama administration is pressing Congress to provide an exemption from sanctions against Iran for certain companies of “cooperating countries,” Foxnews reported on Thursday.
Congressmen believe the decision is aimed at relieving concerns about possible penalties for Chinese and Russian companies and garnering Moscow and Beijing’s support for a fourth round of sanctions against Iran in the UN Security Council.
The move has raised some objections and strong feelings in the Congress.
“These exemptions clearly are aimed at Russia and China, which have business ties to Iran,” Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who is a conference committee member, told reporters. Appointed by the House of Representatives and the Senate, the conference committee has been formed to resolve disagreements on this particular bill.
On April 28, an Obama administration official confirmed that the White House was pressing the conference committee to adopt the exemption of “cooperating countries” in the sanctions bill. According to reports, once a country is listed among “cooperating countries,” the administration would not have to identify companies from that country as doing business with Iran and can waive the penalties.
OCHAoPt — November 11, 2009 — Walled Horizons is narrated by and features Roger Waters (founding member of the rock band Pink Floyd), who visits the Wall in the Palestinian territories and comments on his observations as a musician and a songwriter who has written on walls. The film explores how Palestinians in urban and rural areas have been impacted by the Walls construction since the International Court of Justices Advisory Opinion in 2004, which declared the Wall’s route in the West Bank illegal. Several senior Israeli security officials are interviewed in the film, two of whom were directly responsible for planning the Wall route and who explain the Israeli position for constructing it. The film was made by the United Nations Jerusalem. http://www.ochaopt.org
January 6, 2009: email 1231257056
Ben Santer writes to many:
I am forwarding an email I received this morning from a Mr. Geoff Smith.
The email concerns the climate model data used in our recently-published International Journal of Climatology (IJoC) paper. Mr. Smith has requested that I provide him with these climate model data sets. This request has been made to Dr. Anna Palmisano at Department Of Energy (DOE) Headquarters and to Dr. George Miller, the Director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL).
Another request for data. One would think that, by now, Santer has his data in order.
I have spent the last two months of my scientific career dealing with multiple requests for these model data sets under the United States Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). I have been able to do little or no productive research during this time. This is of deep concern to me.
Santer still seems unable to comprehend that proper documentation and archiving of data is a crucial part of his job.
He seems unwilling to learn from his last dressing-down:
I would like a clear ruling from DOE lawyers—ideally from both the National Nuclear Security Administration and DOE Office of Science branches—on the legality of such data requests. They are troubling, for a number of reasons.
1. In my considered opinion, a very dangerous precedent is set if any derived quantity that we have calculated from primary data is subject to FOIA requests. At LLNL’s Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison (PCMDI), we have devoted years of effort to the calculation of derived quantities from climate model output. … The intellectual investment in such calculations is substantial.
Santer wants “exclusive rights” to the publicly-funded data. Even if he had managed to secure such a lucrative arrangement, he should not have publicly published papers based on the data.
2. Mr. Smith asserts that “there is no valid intellectual property justification for withholding this data”. I believe this argument is incorrect. The data used in our IJoC paper—and the other examples of derived data sets mentioned above—are integral components of both PCMDI’s ongoing research, and of proposals we have submitted to funding agencies (DOE, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration).
So, this is about money.
Can any competitor simply request such data sets via the United States FOIA, before we have completed full scientific analysis of these data sets?
Santer’s characterization of independent researchers as “competitors” is disturbing. Climate scientists should not seek to profit from their research—particularly not when their public pronouncements on the issue are used to lobby for political policy changes.
3. There is a real danger that such FOIA requests could (and are already) being used as a tool for harassing scientists rather than for valid scientific discovery. Mr. McIntyre’s FOIA requests to the DOE and the NOAA are but the latest in a series of such requests. In the past, Mr. McIntyre has targeted scientists at Penn State University, the United Kingdom’s Climatic Research Unit, and the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville. Now he is focusing his attention on me. The common denominator is that Mr. McIntyre’s attention is directed towards studies claiming to show evidence of large-scale surface warming, and/or a prominent human “fingerprint” in that warming. These serial FOIA requests interfere with our ability to do our job.
That would sound like a reasonable set of studies for McIntyre to target. Again, Santer misunderstands that “doing his job” properly in the first place would have obviated the need to clean up his mess at this late date.
As many of you may know, I have decided to publicly release the data that were the subject of Mr. McIntyre’s FOIA request … These data sets have been through internal review and release procedures, and will be published shortly on PCDMI’s website, together with a technical document which describes how they were calculated. I agreed to this publication process primarily because I want to spend the next few years of my career doing research. I have no desire to be “taken out” as scientist, and to be involved in years of litigation.
Santer brought upon himself the years of prosecution now facing him.
If Mr. McIntyre’s past performance is a guide to the future, further FOIA requests will follow. I would like to know that I have the full support of LLNL management and the United States Department of Energy in dealing with these unwarranted and intrusive requests.
I do not intend to reply to Mr. Smith’s email.
Santer has learnt nothing.
I had a similar experience—but not FOIA since we at Climatic Change are a private institution—with Stephen McIntyre demanding that I have the Mann and coworkers cohort publish all their computer programs for papers published in Climatic Change. I put the question to the editorial board who debated it for weeks. The vast majority opinion was that scientists should give enough information on their data sources and methods so others who are scientifically capable can do their own brand of replication work, but that this does not extend to personal computer programs with all their undocumented parts, etc. It would be an odious requirement to have scientists document every line of code so outsiders could then just apply them instantly. Not only is this an intellectual property issue, but it would dramatically reduce our productivity since we are not in the business of producing software products for general consumption and have no resources to do so. The National Science Foundation, which funded the studies I published, concurred—so that ended that issue with Climatic Change at the time a few years ago.
This is a startling admission on the part of Schneider: that computer programs throughout climate science are so shoddily written and poorly documented—or even completely undocumented—that they do not even reach the minimal standards required of high school students. His allegation that his funding agency, the National Science Foundation, supported this stance is, no doubt, under investigation by that agency.
This continuing pattern of harassment, as Ben rightly puts it in my opinion, in the name of due diligence is in my view an attempt to create a fishing expedition to find minor glitches or unexplained bits of computer programs—which exist in nearly all our kinds of complex work—and then assert that the entire result is thus suspect.
Again, this demonstrates a hopelessly amateurish attitude to computer programming. Glitches could indeed render the entire result false: that is why good documentation, verification, and replication are vital parts of science.
Our best way to deal with this issue of replication is to have multiple independent author teams, with their own programs and data sets, publishing independent work on the same topics—like has been done on the “hockey stick”. That is how credible scientific replication should proceed.
It is ironic that Schneider quotes the discredited “hockey stick” in support of his suggestion—which is one possible arm of a validation and verification process, but most certainly not a comprehensive blueprint.
Let the lawyers figure this out, but be sure that, like Ben is doing now, you disclose the maximum reasonable amount of information so that competent scientists can do replication work, but short of publishing undocumented personalized programs etc. The end of the email Ben attached shows their intent—to discredit papers so they have no “evidentiary value in public policy”—what you resort to when you can’t win the intellectual battle scientifically at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or the National Academy of Sciences.
The most disturbing aspect of this commentary is that Schneider completely understands the enormous public policy ramifications of this research—yet still expresses such remarkably naive sentiments. He still thinks enormous public policy decisions should be based on the results from undocumented and unchecked personal computer programs.
Good luck with this, and expect more of it as we get closer to international climate policy actions. We are witnessing the “contrarian Battle of the Bulge” now, and expect that all weapons will be used.
PS Please do not copy or forward this email.
The need for confidentiality is becoming more apparent to the co-conspirators. Do they sense a dissenter or a whistle-blower in the ranks?
January 30, 2009: email 1233326033
Geoff Smith writes to Ben Santer:
Dear Dr. Santer,
I’m pleased to see that the requested data is now available on line. Thank you for your efforts to make these materials available.
My “dog in this fight” is good science and replicability. I note the following references:
The American Physical Society on line statement reads (in part):
“The success and credibility of science are anchored in the willingness of scientists to:
1. Expose their ideas and results to independent testing and replication by others. This requires the open exchange of data, procedures and materials.
2. Abandon or modify previously accepted conclusions when confronted with more complete or reliable experimental or observational evidence.”
Also I note the National Academy of Sciences booklet “On Being a Scientist: Responsible Conduct in Research” (2nd edition) states “After publication, scientists expect that data and other research materials will be shared with qualified colleagues upon request. Indeed, a number of federal agencies, journals, and professional societies have established policies requiring the sharing of research materials. Sometimes these materials are too voluminous, unwieldy, or costly to share freely and quickly. But in those fields in which sharing is possible, a scientist who is unwilling to share research materials with qualified colleagues runs the risk of not being trusted or respected. In a profession where so much depends on interpersonal interactions, the professional isolation that can follow a loss of trust can damage a scientist’s work.” I know that the 3rd edition is expected soon, but I cannot imagine this position will be weakened. Indeed, with electronic storage of data increasing dramatically, I expect that most of the exceptions are likely to be dropped.
I understand that science is considered by some to be a “blood sport” and that there are serious rivalries and disputes. Nevertheless, the principles above are vital to the continuation of good science, wherever the results may lead.
Again, I thank you for making the data available, and I wish you success in your future research.
I couldn’t express it better myself.
Ben Santer’s reply:
Dear Mr. Smith,
Please do not lecture me on “good science and replicability”. Mr. McIntyre had access to all of the primary model and observational data necessary to replicate our results. Full replication of our results would have required Mr. McIntyre to invest time and effort. He was unwilling to do that.
Santer is still laboring under the misunderstanding that his research remains “private”.
Mr. McIntyre could easily have examined the appropriateness of the Douglass and coworkers statistical test and our statistical test with randomly-generated data (as we did in our paper). Mr. McIntyre chose not to do that.
Santer’s arrogance and narrow-mindedness extend to dictating that McIntyre must do only as Santer and his coworkers did. It does not seem to occur to him that the principles of statistics are not the exclusive domain of his small group of colleagues.
He preferred to portray himself as a victim of evil Government-funded scientists. A good conspiracy theory always sells well.
Ironic, given that Tom Wigley has described themselves in precisely those terms.
Mr. Smith, you chose to take the extreme step of writing to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the Department Of Energy management to complain about my “unresponsiveness” and my failure to provide data to Mr. McIntyre.
Let us see if Santer has decided to become more “responsive”.
Your email to George Miller and Anna Palmisano was highly critical of my behavior in this matter. Your criticism was entirely unjustified, and damaging to my professional reputation. I therefore see no point in establishing a dialogue with you. Please do not communicate with me in the future. I do not give you permission to distribute this email or post it on Mr. McIntyre’s blog.
Sadly, he has not.
Now where have we seen the phrase “Please do not communicate with me in the future” before? In his reply to Steve McIntyre on November 10, 2008. There’s not much chance of “the open exchange of data, procedures and materials” with Ben Santer.
February 2, 2009: email 1233586975
Geoff Smith writes to Phil Jones, trying to clarify the situation:
Dear Prof. Jones,
(provides reference to the paper in question)
As you are a co-author of the referenced paper, you may be interested to know of developments (in case you have not heard already).
You will be aware that intermediate data … had been requested from the first author, Dr. Santer. A refusal has been posted online, but in the mean time the data is now available at (link).
Perhaps you had this data already, but other co-authors have reportedly claimed (earlier) they did not have the data. A typical reported response to a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request was, “I have examined my files and have no data from climate models used in the paper referred to, and no correspondence regarding said data.”
No one disputes Dr. Santer’s claim that the “primary model data” is publicly available, but there is a strong case to be made that intermediate results, e.g., collation of such data and the relevant computer programs should be made available in studies such as this one, since there is an important possibility of errors in trying to replicate such a collation. The archiving of such intermediate results is required for econometrics journals, among others.
It is further reported online that the posting of the data was not pursuant to an FOIA order, but posted voluntarily (although likely at the request of the funding agency, the Department of Energy, Office of Science). I hope other scientists will take this type of voluntary action. You may have heard that Professor Hardaker, the Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Meteorological Society, which publishes the International Journal of Climatology, has confirmed that the issue of data archiving will be on the agenda for the next meeting of the Society’s Scientific Publishing Committee. There is a need for journals as well as funding agencies, and publishing scientists themselves, to establish and enforce good data and computer program archiving policies. A more precise definition of “recorded factual material commonly accepted in the scientific community as necessary to validate research findings” is probably overdue.
I hope the Hadley Centre will take a lead in this issue. From time to time I’ll look at the progress on archiving, but in the mean time, no reply is necessary.
Jones writes to Ben Santer:
Is this the Smith who has emailed? …
I’m not on a Royal Meteorological Society committee at the moment, but I could try and contact Paul Hardaker if you think it might be useful. I possibly need to explain what is “raw” and what is “intermediate”.
I wasn’t going to give this guy Smith the satisfaction of a reply!
Instead of improving their data and computer program archiving standards, Jones is only interested in influencing the committee that will revise the minimum requirements.
Yes, this is the same Geoff Smith who wrote to me. Do you know who he is? From his comments about the Royal Meteorological Society, he seems to be a Briton.
I think it would be useful to raise these issues with Paul Hardaker.
Agreement has been reached that the best way forward is to influence the Royal Meteorological Society.
Today… the NANSEN is reporting that both Arctic Sea Ice area and extent are above the normal line. Usually we don’t see both in this mode. Here’s area:
And here is extent:
By itself, this is just a small thing, but it is just one more indication that there’s some improvement in the Arctic Ice situation again, and the indications are that we’ll have another summer extent that is higher than the previous year, for the third year in a row.
Of course our friends will argue that extent and area don’t matter now, that only volume and ice quality (the rotten ice meme) matters.
Interestingly, if you go back to the press releases on the record minimum extent in 2007 at NSIDC here:
And search the entire set of release for the word “volume”, you won’t find it used anywhere that year. The volume worry is a more recent talking point that first appeared in October 2008 when it became apparent that extent wasn’t continuing to decline. They couldn’t tout another record low extent, so volume became the next big thing:
Please see the NSIDC press release, “Arctic Sea Ice Down to Second-Lowest Extent; Likely Record-Low Volume” for a detailed analysis of this year’s Arctic sea ice minimum and a synopsis of the 2008 melt season.
With nature still not cooperating with “death spiral predictions”, what will be the press release ice meme this year? Color? Texture? Cracks per square kilometer? It will be interesting to watch.
Abu Zuhri demanded Egypt to conduct an immediate probe into the issue, and to prosecute those in charge.
Speaking at a press conference in Gaza, Abu Zuhri said that Hamas is following the developments, and strongly denounced Egypt for using gas against the residents. Besides the four who were gassed to death, two residents are currently in serious conditions. He added that this is not the first time Egypt uses gas in the tunnels as 45 residents previously died after being gassed in different tunnels, and a total of 145 residents were killed in different accidents and incidents.
The Hamas spokesperson said that the Palestinians need the tunnels, and resorted to them due to the urgent necessity due to the ongoing siege on the Gaza Strip. He further stated that the solution is not killing the residents, and added that the solution is opening all border terminals.
Abu Zuhri demanded the Arab League to act immediately and end the siege.
Photo credit – Ma’an Images