From: Gary Wamsley [mailto:email@example.com]and the response he received (which Wamsley forwarded to me when I asked; it looks legitimate) included this (emphasis mine):
Sent: Friday, February 17, 2012 5:16 PM
To: Joseph Bast
Subject: Heartland Institute disinformation campaign
You should be ashamed of yourself. The United States already has a problem in keeping up with the rest of the world in science education and now you want to play a role in further destroying our nation as well as our planet.
You are a traitor to your own country. I did not spend 30 years in the military to protect the likes of you.
Colonel, USAF, Retired
From: Joseph BastThe next reply from Bast wasn't any better -- see Wamsley's site for the full correspondence.
Date: Sat, 18 Feb 2012 09:46:00 -0600
To: Gary Wamsley
Cc: Jim Lakely
Subject: RE: Heartland Institute disinformation campaign
I assume your intemperate comments are based on a forged memo that misrepresents our efforts in the area of global warming research education, so let me explain before demanding an apology.
The Heartland Institute has never tried to “dissuade teachers from teaching science, “undermine” any other sources of research, or “keep opposing voices out” of the debate over global warming. In fact, our goals and activities are just the opposite: We have helped thousands of teachers upgrade the ratio of science to rhetoric in their classes on climate change. We have complied two hefty reports – one 800 pages long and another 400 pages long – summarizing peer-reviewed literature on climate change. We have sought to promote debate and a free exchange of ideas, despite efforts by the most alarmist voices in the debate to try to shut down discussion and ruin the reputations of any who doesn’t toe the ideological line of a small but politically powerful faction of the global science community.
The forged memo has been quoted in scores of articles and hundreds of blog posts. We are working to get those statements removed and retracted. Meanwhile, and regrettably, many people like you are being misled about our work and intentions.
Now that you know the truth, I ask that you apologize for your intemperate and very offensive letter. Since your letter is threatening, I’ve forwarded it to our legal counsel, forensics team, and the FBI. It is important that you not delete the email from your sent file, or any other emails you may have exchanged with other people while preparing it, since this could be evidence in criminal and civil cases.
Please write back to let me know if you will comply with my requests.
The Heartland Institute
One South Wacker Drive #2740
Chicago, IL 60606
Unfortunately this doesn't surprise me, based on stuff I've received from "skeptics" every once in awhile.
How about a little grace under pressure?