Stolen and Faked Heartland Documents: Letter from General Counsel

Source:  Heartland Insitute

February 18, 2012
By e-mail to:
By Federal Express to:
Mr. Brendan G DeMelle
DeSmog Blog
9527 13th Avenue NW
Seattle, WA 98117-2303
Re: Stolen and Faked Heartland Documents
Dear Mr. DeMelle:
On or about February 14, 2012, your web site posted a document entitled
?Confidential Memo: 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy? (the ?Fake Memo?),
which is fabricated and false.
On or about the same date, your web site posted certain other documents
purporting to be those of The Heartland Institute (?Heartland?). Heartland has not
authenticated these documents (the ?Alleged Heartland Documents?).
Your site thereafter has reported repeatedly on all of these documents.
Heartland almost immediately issued a statement disclosing the foregoing
information, to which your web site has posted links.
It has come to our attention that all of these documents nevertheless remain on
your site and you continue to report on their contents. Please be advised as
1. The Fake Memo document is just that: 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 is improper and unlawful.
2. As to the Alleged Heartland Documents your web site posted, we are
investigating how they came to be in your possession and whether they are
– continued –
Mr. Brendan G DeMelle
February 18, 2012
Page 2 of 2
authentic or have been altered or fabricated. Though third parties purport to have
authenticated them, no one ? other than Heartland ? has the ability to do so. 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 of any and all confidential or
altered documents is improper and unlawful.
3. Furthermore, Heartland views the malicious and fraudulent manner in which the documents
were obtained and/or thereafter disseminated, as well as the repeated blogs about them, as
providing the basis for civil actions against those who obtained and/or disseminated them and
blogged 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 both the Fake Memo and the Alleged
Heartland Documents from your web site; (2) that you remove from your web site all posts that
refer or relate in any manner to the Fake Memo and the Alleged Heartland Documents; (3) that
you remove from your web site any and all quotations from the Fake Memo and the Alleged
Heartland Documents; (4) that you publish retractions on your web site of prior postings; and (5)
that you remove all such documents from your server.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any further information.
Very truly yours,
Maureen Martin
General Counsel