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Stolen CRU emails: Who are the criminals behind the conspiracy theorists?

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Former Republican strategist Marc Morano is having as much fun with the stolen emails from the Climate Research Unit that he did with the Swift Boat Veteran's for Truth attack he led against John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election.

Morano and his site Climate Depot has become the climate conspiracy hub since this story broke on late Thursday.

This cabal of climate deniers seems to think that 12 year-old emails between climate scientists somehow refutes the thousands of research papers produced over decades by thousands of researchers at some of the best scientific institutions in the world.

While Morano is the master of right-wing spin and is using these emails for his political agenda, the bigger question here is:

Who stole all this private data from the University in the first place?

The folder of information contains over 3,800 separate files and it is clear that someone has taken a lot of time to pull together what they thought would be the most damaging. This is not the work of a hacker, unless that hacker is extremely well-versed in climate science, and specifically the conspiracy theories of the climate denial movement.

This package of stolen data and emails would have taken hundreds of hours to compile and someone out there knows exactly how all this went down.

Terry Hurlbut at the Examiner has a time line of the stolen data going public which is a good start. I am sure one of our intrepid readers will get to the bottom of this. Tell you what. I'll race you.