By now you’ve likely forgotten the name of that Bill Clinton aide who feebly testified that he had lied to his own diary when recording events of the time. But you haven’t forgotten the pitifulness of the spectacle.

I suggest we may have just passed that one in Climategate.

The following passage is from John Tierney’s column in the New York Times, discussing “Mike’s Nature trick … to hide the decline”:

In fact, one skeptic raised this very issue about tree-ring data in a comment posted in 2004 on RealClimate, the blog operated by climate scientists. The comment, which questioned the propriety of “grafting the thermometer record onto a proxy temperature record,” immediately drew a sharp retort on the blog from Michael Mann, an expert at Penn State University:

“No researchers in this field have ever, to our knowledge, ‘grafted the thermometer record onto’ any reconstruction. It is somewhat disappointing to find this specious claim (which we usually find originating from industry-funded climate disinformation Web sites) appearing in this forum.”

Dr. Mann now tells me that he was unaware, when he wrote the response, that such grafting had in fact been done in the earlier cover chart, and I take him at his word.

But isn’t it “Mike’s trick” that is being described here? Grasped and described as such by CRU’s Phil Jones as having been performed on Mike’s graph?

By Mike?

So — Mike’s defense is that no one had told him what he, himself, was up to?

These guys need to call for a RealInvestigation to get to the bottom of their actions. The more they stumble around, the worse they make it for themselves.