Of Goldenberg and Gleick: What did she know when … and how does she know it?

As I had noted yesterday, the notorious Peter Gleick has been granted absolution by the Board of Directors of the Pacific Institute (PI).

PI stonewalled on releasing the name of the firm that did the “investigation” on which they evidently relied, while Gleick’s primary media cheerleader – the U.K. Guardian‘s Suzanne Goldenberg, along with her colleagues in the MSM Gleick cheerleading section – was most uncharacteristically silent until Thursday 7 June 2012 17.03 BST when she posted [backup link]:

For the record, the “Article History” on this page indicates: “It was last modified at 20.43 BST on Thursday 7 June 2012”. But in true Goldenberg foggy fashion, her text gives no indication of what she might have modified. Her article recycles the myths and memes of Gleick’s mysteriously acquired – but obviously fake – memo, as though they were established “fact”. No comments are allowed.

As Anthony Watts has noted:

UPDATE4: Apparently feeling the blowback from the lack of transparency, Pacific Institute Communications Director Nancy Ross sent me an email this morning stating:

The investigator is Independent Employment Counsel, LLP.

I am waiting for confirmation that they performed the review from one of the two partners at the firm. http://www.iecounsel.com/ If I get credible confirmation, I’ll edit the headline to fit the facts as they are known.

The Independent Employment Counsel (IEC)’s website indicates that this is a two-person shop whose principals’ expertise is limited to the field of employment and labour law.

Now, I might consider contracting with such a firm if my employees were about to unionize, or if some of my employees had expressed some ethical concerns about the conduct of the CEO – and/or if I were desperately seeking an excuse not to fire this CEO as a consequence of his admitted disgraceful behaviours.

But I cannot imagine why any organization would even dream of contracting with such a firm if they wanted to investigate his involvement in the acquisition and/or production of an obviously faked “memo” – which he subsequently forwarded to 15 unnamed but friendly “fences” along with a number of documents he had acquired illegally over an extended period.

It is curious – if not amazingly coincidental – that The Guardian and/or Goldenberg should have been privy to the “findings” of IEC as early as May 21 when she published [backup link] her first recycling of this fake memo’s myths and memes while announcing that Gleick had been “cleared”:

For the record, according to the article history (which does not record its now-you-see-it, now-you-don’t, now-you-do trail), this post of Monday 21 May 2012 16.01 BST was “last modified at 16.19 BST on Monday 21 May 2012”. Again, the article gives no indication of which part of the text might have been modified – and no comments were allowed.

One has to ask: Who prematurely disclosed IEC’s “findings” to Goldenberg? Was it Gleick (he likes to leap ‘n leak)? Was it someone else aboard the sinking Pacific Institute ship? Surely it would have been highly unethical for IEC – and very damaging their “reputation” (whatever it might be) – to have made such a premature disclosure to a member of the media.

In light of all the known facts to date – in particular, IEC’s conspicuous lack of the expertise required for such an “investigation” – surely it is not beyond the realm of possibility that IEC might have sub-contracted with an “investigative” journalist of Goldenberg’s “calibre”, and known lack of …ethics. Conflict of interest has never seemed to concern her, so I can well imagine that she would have no qualms about publishing a story – well over two weeks before its time – which she could readily do if she was the source!

Stay tuned, folks! Who knows what twists and turns might be revealed in the days ahead :-) At this point, as far as I know, IEC have not responded to Watts’ request for confirmation that they conducted this so-called “investigation”.

It wouldn’t surprise me to learn – if/when they do respond – that they have done so with something along the lines of “For confidentiality reasons, we do not disclose, confirm or deny the names of any of our clients and/or sub-contractors and/or the specific service(s) IEC might have provided directly or via sub-contract”.

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