All weekend, I've listened to people on the political left describe the hacking into those climate change emails at East Anglia University's database as a crime. In the U.K., the BBC is actually calling for a criminal investigation.
That's pretty funny to me. Whenever confidential data was exposed about any suspected wrong- doing in the Bush Administration or any other Republicans, it was never seen as a crime to the political left. Instead, it was described as the highly respectable act of "whistle-blowing".
Simply speaking, the exposure of ClimateGate is whistle-blowing and should be protected. There were numerous requests for access to these files before the hacking; yet, no access was ever granted. This was despite the fact that all of the climate data collection and studies were primarily paid for by Federal and U.K. government grants. In fact, some of the emails that were uncovered actually talked about how to avoid public scrutiny due to any "Freedom of Information Act" requests. That does not sound like scientists participating in "ethical" behavior.
All of this reminds me of those ACORN videos showing ACORN personnel ready and willing to advise the two young filmmakers on how to skirt the law for what was obviously underage prostitution. In the liberal cities, the District Attorneys wanted to prosecute the filmmakers; rather than go after ACORN. To them, the filmmakers, not ACORN, were the law breakers because they broke privacy laws. Isn't it funny how the left conveniently embraces the "whistleblower" laws when it is to their benefit, and are so quick to call up the "privacy laws" when caught in wrongdoing.
Like it or not, the cat is out of the bag on ClimateGate. How that happened is less important than what was being exposed. Every whistleblower in the world is in violation of privacy and secrecy laws. However, in America, we have developed whistleblower laws because we value the truth more than privacy when there is illegal or unethical behavior involved. And, that is the way ClimateGate should be handled.
Update: Barbara Boxer calls for a "criminal probe" over ClimateGate: (Click to See Full Story).