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Last time I googled 2526.txt to see if this email had been commented upon I did not find any. This is as near the smoking gun proof as we will get, that Professor Phil Jones’ instruction to delete all emails “re AR4” was complied with – at least using the team definition of the word “delete”. Note that on 29 May 2008 Jones had emailed,

“Mike [Mann], Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4? Keith [Briffa] will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – minor family crisis. Can you also email [Eu]Gene [Wahl] and get him to do the same? I don’t have his new email address. We will be getting Caspar [Ammann] to do likewise. I see that CA claim they discovered the 1945 problem in the Nature paper!! Cheers Phil”

Now read the Palutikof email that Jones sent on 4 June 2008 to his former CRU Co-Director, then at the Met Office, just 6 days after telling Mann to delete his emails and that Briffa would do likewise. Note particularly these statements.

“John Mitchell did respond to a request from Holland. John had conveniently lost many emails, but he did reply with a few. Keith and Tim have moved all their emails from all the named people off their PCs and they are all on a memory stick.”

Note also that in a pdf file created on 14 July 2010, a week after the Russell Review published its Report, Jonathan Colam-French told Sir Muir Russell at the very start of his Review in December 2009

“for example Keith Briffa took home emails that were subject to FOI to ensure their safekeeping”.

Remember also those strenuous assertions on 27 October 2010 from Professor Acton to the Commons Science and Technology Committee that Jones never knowingly deleted an email that was the subject of an FOIA request. We knew in 2008 that Mitchell had not really deleted his emails and we now have good reason to believe that no one did. All they now appear to have done was to move them off their PC’s and onto memory sticks. Whether deliberately or not, no one seems to have asked the right questions of these people, which are whether they held the emails on any electronic device or third party server and, if they had deleted them from their PCs, was it to avoid their disclosure. I dare the UEA to add email 2526.txt to their Cherry-picked phrases explained page.

Update on Dec 18, 2011 by Registered CommenterBishop Hill

A correspondent emails with a correction to this post:

David Holland incorrectly calls Jean Palutikof “his former CRU Co-Director, then at the Met Office”. Palutikof was indeed director of CRU. Phil Jones was director for research, while Palutikof was managing director (and thus responsible for such things as FoI).

However, at the time the email was sent, Palutikof was not someone at the Met Office.She was just based there. Palutikof was head of the Technical Support Unit of the IPCC WG2.

This email thus implicates the IPCC.