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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Letter from Cindy Baxter, Greenpeace, to Joe Bast of the infamous fakegate Heartland Institute, demanding that he repost the audio tape of an imposter from Heartland trying to get her to release a media list during the Bali conference

702 North H Street, NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20001
Tel: 202-462-1177  Fax: 202-462-4507

12 March 2012

Joseph Bast
Heartland Institute
One South Wacker Drive #2740
Chicago, Illinois 60606, USA

Dear Mr. Bast,

I’ve read with interest the angry statements by Heartland officials against Dr. Peter Gleick’s impersonation of a board member to obtain information from the Heartland Institute. Reading statements such as, “Gleick’s crime [emphasis added] was a serious one,” (1) Americans reasonably assume that you and the Heartland  Institute abhor deception to obtain information for a public issue debate.

Help me understand, then, how your public position squares with the fact that the Heartland Institute did the same thing – to me – when it suited its interests.

To refresh the record:
  • In December of 2007, I was in Bali for the United Nations climate treaty negotiations managing media for Greenpeace International. 
  • On Tuesday, December 4th, I received a call shortly after 4 a.m. from someone calling himself “John” and saying he was with a US environmental NGO. 
  • “John” asked about the UNFCCC media list and if he could get it from me. I declined not only because the call was strange, but because the list wasn’t public.
  • Unbeknown to me, “John” was recording the call. 
Two days later a partial audio recording of that conversation was made public by the Heartland Institute in a press release. In it, Heartland Senior Fellow for Environment Policy James Taylor attacked (2) the United  Nations for sharing its media list with NGOs. The recording has since been taken down from the Heartland website.

To recap, the Heartland Institute used a false organizational identity in order to obtain an internal document. It also surreptitiously recorded a telephone conversation (illegally, I believe, if it was done from your home state of Illinois) then posted it online to attack me in the same sort of privacy invasion you’ve been complaining about.

Does any of this sound familiar? It should, not only because your organization did all this, but it recorded  itself doing exactly what you’ve been howling about was done to you. I’m calling on you to show the same level of post-action forthrightness of Dr. Gleick, admit what you did, and re-post the audiotape of the full conversation.

From there, we can figure out if you or your organization violated applicable state, U.S. or even Indonesian law, and if there are statutes of limitations that haven’t lapsed.

I look forward to your prompt response.


Cindy Baxter

cc:   Dr Peter Gleick
cc:   The Pacific Institute

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