Patterico's Pontifications

1/26/2010

James O’Keefe Arrested

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:24 pm

For allegedly attempting to bug Mary Landrieu’s office. [UPDATE AND CLARIFICATION: Now that I have read the FBI affidavit, and looked at the linked story again, I see there is no accusation of an attempt to "bug" the office. The accusation is an attempt to "tamper" or "interfere with" the phones.]

Thanks to Neo.

UPDATE: This should go without saying, but: while I have admired O’Keefe’s work, and have defended him against unfair attacks, the activity he is accused of is illegal and wrong. I won’t declare him guilty without hearing his side. But if he did do it, there is no defending it.

The worst part is that ACORN claims this as some kind of vindication, which is absurd. I believe they have released the full audio of all the ACORN encounters. Those people hung themselves, and this has nothing whatsoever to do with that.

Andrew Breitbart was interviewed by Hugh Hewitt about this. The transcript is here. He says he knew nothing about this. I believe him and I agree with Hugh that it’s slanderous to maintain otherwise.

UPDATE x2: It might also be worth noting a theory that makes sense to me. Allahpundit says the defense “would likely be that they never really intended to tap any phones but were simply trying to show how easy it would be to do so.” Doesn’t that ring true?

Allahpundit quotes a story that says:

An official close to the investigation said one of the four was arrested with a listening device in a car blocks from the senator’s offices.

Yes, but my immediate reaction is one that Allah points out in an update: “it’s possible that it was linked up to a mic on O’Keefe or one of the two fake repairmen, not to some bug that was meant to be planted in Landrieu’s phone.”

She’s on the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Wouldn’t it be bad if it were easy to bug her phone?

UPDATE x3: OK, final word. I’m sticking out my neck and declaring that I think this will prove to be a big nothing.

I just don’t believe this guy was wiretapping phones or trying to do so. I really don’t.

It might not even have been an attempt to show how easy it would be to bug phones. Maybe there is another explanation. But I don’t think he was acting in a criminal fashion. I don’t.

You can quote me.

UPDATE x4: I lied when I said that was the final word.

I don’t know why I’m linking this. Sometimes, we bloggers, we link things. That’s what we do.

165 Responses to “James O’Keefe Arrested”

  1. Whoops!

    Icy Texan (2406e4)

  2. No one will agree with me on this, but anything that is said in a Senate office ought to be public information anyway.

    If he committed a crime he should pay the penalty, but I wish we knew what this Senator’s office was up to behind the scenes. I wish we didn’t have to wiretap and commit crimes just to get behind those closed doors that Obama promised to open.

    That doesn’t mean it’s OK to wiretap (if that happened… both sides may lie about what really went on). But it’s certainly understandable. Our government is running away from accountability. This senate seat belongs to the people. There’s no such thing as executive privilege for this Senator. ACORN had some kind of right to privacy too, and yet I don’t give a flip that this right was violated to expose horrible stuff.

    It’s a shame the reaction to this will not be for the Senator to expose exactly what has been going on in her office, or what negotiations have been ongoing for the health care bill. It’s a shame ACORN will pretend this exonerates them. It’s a shame Holder would never prosecute democrats waving nightsticks at voters, but will probably use O’Keefe as leverage against Breitbart or out O’Keefe in prison.

    Obviously, this isn’t different from that kid who hacked into Sarah Palin’s email account, but the press will surely see a huge difference, and so will the law.

    As a tactical matter, this was a very bad idea. It will be used to make the TEA efforts and the ACORN efforts look extremist. I wish O’Keefe hadn’t done this (if he did this), but I understand why people would want to know what the hell is going on in DC.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  3. Funneeeeee.

    chaos (9c54c6)

  4. Now what’d he have to go and do that for? They were batting a thousand.

    no one you know (196ed7)

  5. I think Ellie Light had something to do with this…

    voiceofreason2 (8e6b90)

  6. Geeze, kid. Bad idea.

    mojo (8096f2)

  7. And why Landrieu? She’s not on the top ten list of Senators I’d want to listen in on.

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  8. NOYK said exactly what I thought. If true, it was a dumb thing to do, as well as being wrong and illegal.

    Bradley J. Fikes, C. O.R. (a18ddc)

  9. Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals:

    “2. Never go outside the experience of your people.”

    Wiretapping federal offices in ridiculous outfits is a bit different than acting weird in a direct services agency.

    imdw (842182)

  10. mmm, yeah, i know enough about Louisiana to be suspicious of this. not saying he is innocent, either, just color me skeptical.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  11. direct services agency.

    Even funneeeer.

    chaos (9c54c6)

  12. In the interest of accuracy, O’Keefe and three others were arrested.

    Based on the FBI agent’s affadavit, this does not look good for James and Company. I fear hubris might have come into play here.

    It’s one thing to walk into a community organizer’s local office, quite another to traipse into a Senator’s office in her home state and try to tap her phone.

    .

    BumperStickerist (4ccc78)

  13. “”And why Landrieu? She’s not on the top ten list of Senators I’d want to listen in on.

    Comment by steve sturm”

    Perhaps he had some kind of tip. It’s not like he tapped all those ACORN offices without knowing what to expect. Someone may have tipped him to something worth uncovering. Perhaps something that would justify the immoral and illegal behavior of wiretapping (and I think it should be stressed that he may not have been wiretapping. I haven’t seen a report about any equipment in his possession… they may be stretching just as they did with the black panthers in the other direction).

    It seems like he did something pretty stupid. The scheme sounds hammy and unrealistic. Hopefully we find out what really was going on, but I still understand the frustration at the closed doors and secrets up there.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  14. What if they had a tap all along and were trying to retrieve it ? It may have to do with the Louisiana Purchase but was way too clumsy.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  15. F*cking stupid. Good Allah, that was a horrific idea.

    And imdw remains a douchenozzle.

    JD (7cdb18)

  16. You’re right, Dustin; in that, 1) most of your analysis and comparisons are spot-on, AND, 2) I totally disagree with your call for a U.S. Senator to forgo privacy in her office.

    Icy Texan (2406e4)

  17. personally, i blame Bush.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  18. It’s hard to know how to feel about this, exactly. One the one hand, the ACORN videos did provide valuable insight into an organization that had, to put it mildly, strayed from its purported path, lost sight of its proper purpose in a very serious way. And the desire to reintroduce some measure of accountability into government is something to which I can certainly relate.

    On the other hand, the ends don’t justify the means, and to attempt to reintroduce accountability into government by violating some separate but equally important rules is a fairly shortsighted thing to do.

    Someone said hubris, above, and I think that’s right.

    Leviticus (f0f166)

  19. It’s easy to jump to the conclusion that there was intent to wiretap (the outfits, touching the phones, asking to see the main phone box), but what if all of that was a ruse to get O’Keefe inside her office so he could take those pics with his cell? Maybe he just wanted to confirm that she has a copy of Mao’s ‘little red book’ on her office bookshelf.

    Icy Texan (2406e4)

  20. jd

    > imdw remains a douchenozzle.

    Now that is not fair. those nozzles serve a purpose, unlike I’M Dead Weight.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  21. “No one will agree with me on this, but anything that is said in a Senate office ought to be public information anyway.”

    The speech and debate clause already immunizes senators from a lot of what they say on the floor. I wonder if it applies to their offices.

    But you know sometimes classified or otherwise secret information is discussed in senate offices.

    [note: fished from spam filter. --Stashiu]

    imdw (fe1e3d)

  22. Icy Texan, no doubt it’s radical to call for someone to open their doors to all who want to listen in.

    It’s actually pretty unfair of me to ask this right when it looks like someone tried to violate their privacy. It’s kinda like that gestapo ‘who cares if you don’t have anything to hide!’ line. I know it’s a bullshit argument.

    I still think it’s ridiculous, and not just in this era of democrat power, that it’s so hard to learn what’s going on in legislating. I want to know what’s going on… what deals are being made that are worth so much money.

    Still, like I said, I don’t expect anyone to agree with me that Senate offices should expect privacy from the people. I can think of times when privacy would make tons of sense. O’Keefe (if he really did wiretap) could have learned private secrets of a constituent who needed help and wasn’t trying to get some backroom deal on health care.

    No sweat. Wiretapping is a crime, and O’Keefe should pay a penalty if he’s proven to have done it, even if I understand why he’d do that a little too well.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  23. I totally disagree with your call for a U.S. Senator to forgo privacy in her office.

    From the folks who brought you Cheney’s energy policy, the screaming of the release of public documents re: torture, and the championing of the “State Secrets” defense to law suits, we now get a call to have no privacy inside a Senate office! Wait until you guys hear about the Senate cloakroom…

    timb (449046)

  24. Fox website seems to imply he was there maybe taking pictures and 2 others were arrested actually trying to do something with the phones. In any case not good.

    elissa (e2dd14)

  25. btw, big government doesn’t seem to have anything on this, yet.

    they should say something. even if its a giant “i don’t know.”

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  26. timb,

    I distinguished carefully between this and executive priviledge, which does have important security implications.

    I also noted that I am frustrated with legislative secrecy going back to when the GOP was in power.

    I know it’s easy to be a partisan here, but honestly not where I’m coming from on this. I understand the frustration, and I think it’s unfortunate most of us have no idea what’s going on with most of our legislative process… and that’s an understandable source of frustration (and as I said, not an excuse to break the law).

    did imdw just say that the only reason this is bad is that they didn’t have competence? That if their plan was better it would satisfy rule 2 and be OK? What a maroon.

    Timb, I also think that we deserve to know what went on behind closed doors in the Bush white house. Even if it’s related to national security, we should know about it as soon as revealing it wouldn’t screw with security by outing sources and methods.

    These people should work for us, and when the level of secrecy gets to the point where a man wins tons of support just promising CSPAN coverage… the people clearly aren’t being served properly in this regard.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  27. Ahhhh, Gee! How dumb can one be not to know that phone tapping is illegal. Shades of the plumbers unit.

    GM Roper (a0b04a)

  28. “did imdw just say that the only reason this is bad is that they didn’t have competence? That if their plan was better it would satisfy rule 2 and be OK? What a maroon.”

    Or maybe satisfying rule two would start with… not doing this.

    imdw (05d41e)

  29. imdw, no doubt, if the plan is as reported, they are not competent.

    And did not satisfy your rule. That’s your contribution, that they should have been better criminals.

    Thanks. I’ll let O’Keefe know.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  30. btw, brietbart responds basically saying, “we don’t know nothing.”

    http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=ZWY2NWI1N2I2NzQ1YTY4MmVkYWE1M2QzOTQ4ZjZkNmI=

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  31. Okay, timmah. First of all, Dustin made that call, not me. I opposed it. Second, Dustin has already clarified his position — both in his original post, and in his response to me — as wanting President Obama to come through on his promise for more openness and disclosure regarding the debate on public policy. May I assume that, despite taking the all-too familiar tack of turning the question around (screeching “hypocrites! you wouldn’t say that if your people were in-charge!”) INSTEAD OF ACUTLLY ANSWERING IT, that you would agree with the call for more openness & disclosure in government? Or, is it a tenet of liberalism that “as long as they’re taking care of us we don’t need to know — and should not ask — what’s going on”?

    As for the Senate cloakroom, if Rep. Barney Frank wants to come over and “hang out” there during his lunch hour, that’s his own affair.

    Icy Texan (2406e4)

  32. “That’s your contribution, that they should have been better criminals.”

    Yes I can see you are quite familiar with interpreting “rules for radicals” and that the lesson to take from this one is that your people need more experience, rather than limiting yourself to what your people are comfortable doing.

    imdw (241c75)

  33. Honestly, I’m not that familiar with Alinsky. I’m just taking your words at face value for once. It seems like you are endorsing a better class of criminal than these allegations suggest O’Keefe is.

    I get where you’re coming from. You probably think O’Keefe caught wind of something so serious that it was worth breaking the law and risking a serious penalty, just for a chance to bring it to light and stop an injustice. And now you are disapointed that O’Keefe didn’t have the right stuff… that he cribbed his plan from Zach Morris.

    It’s unfair to Landrieu to assume this is true. As i said above, the ‘why do you have something to hide’ argument is a poor one. I just wanted to note that our government keeps too many secrets, and if this is the only way to open these doors, that’s a huge shame and I understand the frustration that would motivate this crime (a crime that would need to be punished).

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  34. 26.timb,

    I distinguished carefully between this and executive priviledge, which does have important security implications.

    But but but… that’s different!

    Intelliology (00d844)

  35. Guess what what made the front page of the Times in nothing flat, complete with photo of Landrieu looking stupid.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  36. Intelliology, indeed, that is different. If there is an active method for capturing communication from Al Qaida, it’s wrong to expose that program while the secret is protecting us. Once it no longer is relevant, go ahead and disclose it. I doubt you disagree… you just think you’ve found some great hypocrisy. I guess I could turn it around… the left will treat this as different from the NYT revealing secrets.

    I see a few people around are wondering if O’Keefe was victim of an elaborate scheme.

    Don’t be fooled by theories that somehow the left set O’Keefe up. The democrats aren’t actually that clever, and wouldn’t hand such a story over to Breitbart. No, if these allegations are correct, it kinda jives with O’Keefe’s Borat-ish loose cannon style.

    I admire him for what he did to ACORN. But I would be pissed if SEIU bugged Scott Brown’s office. Like I said before, O’Keefe shoule pay the penalty if the government can prove these charges. The FBI is an honorable organization at the investigation level (for the most part) and usually is able to get a conviction.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  37. From TPM:

    “Flanagan and Basel admitted to federal agents that they entered Landrieu’s office under false pretenses. It also alleges that O’Keefe and Dai admitted they helped plan and execute the operate, and that O’Keefe admitted he recorded his companions in Landriee’s office.”

    Maybe they realize that Miranda and the right to silence is for liberals and terrorists.

    imdw (4e28b4)

  38. “I get where you’re coming from. You probably think O’Keefe caught wind of something so serious that it was worth breaking the law and risking a serious penalty, just for a chance to bring it to light and stop an injustice. And now you are disapointed that O’Keefe didn’t have the right stuff… that he cribbed his plan from Zach Morris.”

    Indeed you are phenomenal.

    imdw (00bfab)

  39. I am shocked, shocked I tell you, that someone’s response was basically BUUUUUUSSSSHHHH!

    JD (e68c1a)

  40. Breitbart’s comment is smart, cautious, and reminds me to wait for this to be confirmed.

    “We have no knowledge about or connection to any alleged acts and events involving James O’Keefe at Senator Mary Landrieu’s office. We only just learned about the alleged incident this afternoon. We have no information other than what has been reported publicly by the press. Accordingly, we simply are not in a position to make any further comment.”

    With that, it’s hard for me to imagine O’Keefe being so reckless. After the ACORN lawsuits brought against him, you would think he would exercise extreme caution and prudence in the name of investigative journalism.

    Dana (1e5ad4)

  41. If what has been reported is in fact true, I hope they throw the book at them.

    The idea that a Senator, even a hoo-er like Landrieu, should not be afforded some measure of privacy in their office is laughable.

    JD (e68c1a)

  42. The idea that a Senator, even a hoo-er like Landrieu, should not be afforded some measure of privacy in their office is laughable.

    Comment by JD

    Obviously it is, and yet I really wish they’d have a cspan camera in there whenever she’s doing our business. Once in a while I know of a constituent service that justifies privacy, but maybe some special channel for that kind of communication (and classified oversight stuff) should be set up apart from the rest of the Senator’s work.

    We share the view that they should prosecute this kind of crime. But just because wiretapping is a crime doesn’t mean we should scoff at the notion that we should know about every meeting and every deal and every backrub every congressperson is involved with.

    This is so unrealistic I should club myself in the face.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  43. [...] trouble in wake of the left-wing organization’s latest scandals Patterico’s Pontifications: James O’Keefe Arrested and L.A. Times Issues Months-Overdue Correction on Quote from Anti-ACORN Activist James O’Keefe [...]

    Breaking… Journalist James O’Keefe Arrested in Louisiana on Wiretapping Charges « Frugal Café Blog Zone (a66042)

  44. They should know better than to go full retard.

    Techie (43d092)

  45. “The idea that a Senator, even a hoo-er like Landrieu, should not be afforded some measure of privacy in their office is laughable.”

    I think the situation here goes beyond privacy, to security.

    imdw (253f1d)

  46. The involvement of O’Keefe has gotten a lot of knickers wadded up, but what about the involvement of the son of the Acting U.S.Atty for the Eastern District of LA?

    AD - RtR/OS! (6c8faf)

  47. Oopps…Flanagan is the U.S.A. for the WESTERN District of LA.

    AD - RtR/OS! (6c8faf)

  48. AD, that kid is going to be in a world of hurt.

    Flanagan is Shreveport’s U.S.A.. The office said they expect his son to be “prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law”.

    All the (alleged) wiretappers were released on $10,000 bonds.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  49. Every reform movement has a lunatic fringe.- Theodore Roosevelt

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  50. The reason AD’s correction matters is that this crime happened in the Eastern District. So likely Flanagan is a close colleague of the person who will be responsible for this case.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  51. There is something very, very strange about this story!

    Katnandu (32190b)

  52. Who blew the International Man of Parody’s dog whistle?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  53. 49- And now we’ve heard from ours.

    AD - RtR/OS! (6c8faf)

  54. At this point, the story does not really make much sense.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  55. One way this might “make sense” (though still illegal) would be to bring to light similar actions by someone else that have not been prosecuted.

    Anonymous NYer (1dd84c)

  56. I guess he just wasn’t paying attention when those ACORN staff people were explaining how to hide illegal acts.

    Aplomb (6e45ba)

  57. Remember when the Dems excused (and still excuse) Clinton’s perjury and obstruction of justice charges? If O’Keefe did something illegal he should be punished. And if he didn’t that will also come to light.

    O’Keefe should be defended only if you believe your tribe is more important than your country. The Dems failed on that score a dozen years ago.

    EBJ (2fd7f7)

  58. Overreaching? Or just a narcissist looking for more attention? Place not your faith in fake pimps.

    nk (df76d4)

  59. This story will get traction. The main stream media will finally expose ACORN for the fraud machine that it is. Wait and see.

    highpockets (40ce09)

  60. Dscsa/IMP knows all about lunatic finges, being part os same himself.

    What kind of bugging equipment was found on these gentlemen/idiots?

    JD (28f89b)

  61. What is it with these kids from Shreveport? In 2007 Richard Wargo was arrested for threatening Hillary’s life and now this…
    Too much spice in the crawfish I guess

    voiceofreason2 (b0febc)

  62. I bet this gets covered by the MSM more than the ACORN scandal.

    JD (28f89b)

  63. If he had gone into Vitter’s office with his Pimp/Ho setup they might not have gotten questioned at all /sarc ;)

    voiceofreason2 (b0febc)

  64. Maybe in jail he saw ways in which taxpayer money provides advantages to minorities? Hopefully new exposes of jailhouse injustice will follow.

    imdw (00bfab)

  65. “Here fishy, fishy, fishy.”

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  66. Which conservative blogger will be the first to use the catchphrase “under the bus” in this situation?

    imdw (05d41e)

  67. Stashiu3, lol

    I actually typed out a response. I am such a jerk.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  68. I smell a setup.

    creeper (eaae13)

  69. Interesting. Granting the usual for-the-sake-of-the-law disclaimers, it looks like they are cold-stone-dead guilty of the one charge: entering the federal building under false pretenses.

    However, the tampering-with-a-phone charge looks weak. For one thing, none of them seems to have had any telephony equipment, let alone a bug (if they had, there would likely have been more serious charges, and odds are it would be in SA Rayes’s affidavit).

    If they did not tamper with a phone, how much evidence does the FBI have that they intended to tamper with a phone system? As far as I can tell, they only used the phone as a prop to try to establish their cover.

    A lot of people are saying that they were “wiretapping” but you can’t do that with your bare hands and a cell phone. Something else was on their minds.

    By the way, if you’re ever going to do a conspiracy like this with a risk of capture, everybody needs to be briefed on and able to use an innocuous cover story (they had that, phone men) and a less innocuous, but plausible, and not seriously criminal secondary story. The authorities will never press on to the third (true) story, if you have made them try hard enough to extract the second from you, and if each member’s second story agrees.

    This is not as good a plan for resistance to legal/police questioning as simply clamming up is; but it is very difficult for an ordinary human being to simply clam up. Most crimes are solved because most criminals can’t help talking.

    Kevin R.C. O'Brien (5e7b8e)

  70. “By the way, if you’re ever going to do a conspiracy like this with a risk of capture, everybody needs to be briefed on and able to use an innocuous cover story (they had that, phone men) and a less innocuous, but plausible, and not seriously criminal secondary story. The authorities will never press on to the third (true) story, if you have made them try hard enough to extract the second from you, and if each member’s second story agrees.”

    Or your story could be the fifth amendment.

    imdw (ae4236)

  71. Sullivan had his sniggers and yucks. Now he gets is own, uh, reality show, which will not be televised. Probably complete with a big ‘ol lifer taking him on as, not a pimp this time but rather, a ho. Sweet meats comin’ to the slammer. Jammin’.

    Larry Reilly (45c8f2)

  72. Mawy Reilly used a racist hatey racisty word.

    JD (8cb8de)

  73. Sullivan had his sniggers and yucks. Now he gets is own, uh, reality show, which will not be televised. Probably complete with a big ‘ol lifer taking him on as, not a pimp this time but rather, a ho. Sweet meats comin’ to the slammer. Jammin’.

    Comment by Larry Reilly

    Prison rape isn’t funny. imdw likes rape humor too, though. You two should get help. Rape just isn’t funny.

    If they really intended to wiretap a Senator, then yes, they deserve to go to prison. However, sometimes the connected are able to avoid paying the penalty for their crimes. That will be a shame, if that’s the case here.

    for all I know, the facts are totally different. Hope we find out soon.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  74. One way this might “make sense” (though still illegal) would be to bring to light similar actions by someone else that have not been prosecuted.

    Comment by Anonymous NYer – 3:41 pm

    I’m wondering about this too. It’s certainly the only way to get the left to cover the story first, if it does lead elsewhere (although it may not).

    Vermont Neighbor (1a9eb2)

  75. Comment by Dustin — 1/26/2010 @ 2:43 pm

    I totally agree with you. If Dick Cheney is going to be exposed as a war criminal and a dirty old man, I think we need to keep that hidden.

    Intelliology (00d844)

  76. Your comments are not getting any more coherent, Intelliology.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  77. “We have no knowledge about or connection to any alleged acts and events involving James O’Keefe at Senator Mary Landrieu’s office. We only just learned about the alleged incident this afternoon. We have no information other than what has been reported publicly by the press. Accordingly, we simply are not in a position to make any further comment.”

    And um….please disregard that I pay the man a salary.

    My, how rude of Breitbart to simply let his friend hang in the breeze like this. What happened to that famous right wing loyalty? I mean Breitbart tries to remove himself so far away from O’Keefe, so fast and so thoroughly that he almost sounds like he’s worried about something.

    Time to follow the money again boys, this going to get good.

    *Goes to make some popcorn.*

    Assclown doodyheads (f0d390)

  78. I totally agree with you. [...] I think we need to keep that hidden.

    Comment by Intelliology

    I’m thinking maybe you didn’t comprehend what I said. Probably because you didn’t read what I said out of pure fear of the challenge to your insecurity. I had a good point, I promise. Even if you don’t agree with my point that everything our government does out to be disclosed as soon as it has no negative security implications, you still must (and I mean must) acknowledge the distinction between disclosure of national security secrets and a Senator negotiating pork or other legislation. Laws are public… how they are made should be public.

    Assclown,

    Are you sure that Breitbart pays O’keefe a salary? Can you back that up with some evidence? I don’t know what you mean by “famous right wing loyalty”. It would be wrong to support crimes like this. I call for exposing these secrets by legal means, and that’s probably as far as anyone here is going to go. Crimes should be punished. Hell, even of it turns out that O’Keefe did expose something big, he should pay the penalty for any charge the state can prove.

    Aren’t you being pretty unfair? I know the left feels desperate about ACORN and Breitbart’s huge success in media, but even with the ACORN story, it wasn’t like Breitbart ever planned out the recordings… he just managed the way the story was disclosed. Like with Fitzmas, you aren’t going to be able to blame everyone you really hate for something they didn’t do. And if you oversell your case, you’re undermining your efforts.

    You probably have a strong argument for not trusting O’Keefe, but you ain’t got shit on Breitbart and you know it.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  79. “The truth is, these are not very bright guys– and things got out of hand.”– Hal Holbrook as ‘Deep Throat’ – “All The President’s Men,” 1976

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  80. Logic worthy of an Assclown:

    My, how rude of Breitbart to simply let his friend hang in the breeze like this. What happened to that famous right wing loyalty? I mean Breitbart tries to remove himself so far away from O’Keefe, so fast and so thoroughly that he almost sounds like he’s worried about something.

    Time to follow the money again boys, this going to get good.

    Ah. So if Breitbart did nothing — as I am confident is the case — he damns himself by making that clear.

    Assclown.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  81. My, how rude of Breitbart to simply let his friend hang in the breeze like this. What happened to that famous right wing loyalty? I mean Breitbart tries to remove himself so far away from O’Keefe, so fast and so thoroughly that he almost sounds like he’s worried about something.
    Comment by Assclown doodyheads — 1/26/2010 @ 7:58 pm

    But if you re-read his statement, he did no such thing. What Breitbart did was to make a reasonable statement that assumed nothing, didn’t jump the gun, didn’t defend, didn’t accuse. In other words, he was measured and cautious, not accepting or rejecting anything until the facts came in.

    Of course in your world, journalists perhaps jump the gun, falsely accuse, are too impatient to wait for the full story, and certainly don’t assume innocence before guilt.

    And that “right-wing loyalty”? When are you going to figure out that because people share a political point of view doesn’t mean we are willing to compromise integrity for the sake of it. that might bean unfamiliar concept to you but there you go.

    Dana (1e5ad4)

  82. I guess this is progress, DCSCA. At least it’s not the president or a leader of a political party sending idiots to rummage about people’s spaces and bug their offices.

    I can’t even imagine if Obama did something like this. It would be insane. Or if W did something like this… I mean, to a 9/11 truther this is pattycakes, but most democrats probably would be amazed if Bush had sent a crew of fuckwits over to the Obama or Kerry campaign.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  83. Breitbart doesn’t jump the gun on things. Like Ellie Light.

    imdw (6eb217)

  84. “please disregard that I pay the man a salary”

    Citation Assclown. Not what Breitbart said.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  85. Love to my brotha james all u h8trs be h8tn

    hf (9bda9c)

  86. So…I would gently suggest that our little trollish friend knows a great deal about “jumping the gun,” in several senses of the term.

    Notice how the trolls are all over this. Clearly, they are pretty worried about recent reverses in their brand, and need to distract. After all, look at the numbers of lawbreakers who they do not find worthy of mention, critique, or joke. What is the common denominator of all them?

    Yup. The letter after their name.

    Surprising, given the posting history of these internet gnats—intergnats?

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  87. “Breitbart doesn’t jump the gun on things.”

    Like saying ACORN was an illegal criminal enterprise.

    Like saying Obama was an unqualified empty suit socialist presidential candidate.

    He was right on time.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  88. I agree with the wait for the details approach.

    I would think that O’Keefe would know better than to try any more surveillance in person, especially in a high ranking political office.

    I agree that “the end justifies the means” is usually not true, and that if crimes have been committed the penalty needs to be paid. But I can envision situations where something is justified even though “illegal”.

    IF you knew that illegal activities were being done and that a DOJ that lets voter intimidation go unpunished and would rather investigate our CIA than deal seriously with terrorists was not going to deal with it, would it be a defensible position (ethically, not legally) to perform the “crime” in order to get to the truth? In one way it could be looked at as an act of civil disobedience, morally defensible even if legally not.

    IF they had obtained information illegally, I assume no matter how damning it was, it could not be used in any legal proceedings. Could the information still be distributed for whatever public reaction it would evoke, or would it be considered evidence and under the custody of the legal system? (Though I guess it would be easy enough for them, if they had a copy, to distribute it anyway and pay the consequences.)

    Those “IF’s” are truly theoretical in principle, as to what is really going on I stay with the “wait for the details” approach.

    MD in Philly (d4668b)

  89. MD, indeed, I’d like to know what the hell O’Keefe thought he was going to discover.

    Whatever it was may have been worth this risk. If it was worth the risk of committing this crime, he has to face the music. It’s going to have to be a pretty damn big deal to morally justify doing this, though.

    We know the people are being sold out daily to the Ruling Elites. Without a wiretap and regardless of which party is in power. I’d love to see that exposed, as a rule, without the need for subterfuge.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  90. I suggest everyone read UPDATE x2.

    imdw says: “But you know sometimes classified or otherwise secret information is discussed in senate offices.”

    Yeah. Maybe that’s what O’Keefe was trying to demonstrate.

    The only evidence I have seen of someone having a listening device was someone in a car outside. That sounds more like a device to monitor the goings-on of the other three than it does like a device they planned to plant. If nobody INSIDE the building had a bug, why would we assume they were actually trying to plant one?

    Hmm?

    Patterico (c218bd)

  91. either way it would be neat to tell the dirty socialists that extralegal procedures may in fact be encountered in actual game play

    just for the looks on their dumb dirty socialist faces

    happyfeet (164ead)

  92. I, too, am going to wait to see how this develops … I admit to being intrigued as I try to work out how O’Keefe being arrested can turn out to be a positive thing – and, so far, all I can think is that, if someone prosecutes him, that it might entitle him to some form of discovery (can you tell I am not a lawyer?) …

    I also do not understand how, in *this* day and age, how *any* form of unknown individual, particularly in a “… Federal Building … owned and operated by the United States of America and managed by the United States General Services Administration …” can not only gain entrance to public areas but can also be shown to other areas by “WITNESS 1, a member of Senator Landrieu’s staff” all without being asked to produce *any* ID …

    Later on in the Affidavit, it says that “WITNESS 2 asked the men for credentials, and FLANAGAN and BASEL stated that they had left their credentials in their vehicle.” – yet it says nothing about ‘WITNESS 2′ refusing the men entry …

    So – I wonder if that may be the reason behind the situation, documenting a less-than-reassuring lack of reasonable security in a Federal Building in 2010 …

    A legal question, if I may – can someone explain to me how O’Keefe and Dai actually “aided and abetted” any of this ? From the Affidavit, O&D were in Landrieu’s office and recorded the interaction of Flanagan and Basel … how is that “aiding and abetting” ?

    On a different note, however, I *am* an automatic proofreader/multi-tasker/compulsive reader … so I actually went and read the Affidavit

    And the person who put together the Affidavit doesn’t seem to like Senator Landrieu – I don’t know if it was Steven Rayes, himself, or some other person … it does, however, seem a tad unkind to refer to Senator Landrieu, as it does on the second line at the top of the second page of the Affidavit, as

    “Untied States Senator Mary Landrieu”

    Not merely as a loose female Senator, but an actual “Untied” one, at that !

    Alasdair (205079)

  93. Doesn’t that ring true? Not as ‘true’ to skeptical ears since June 17, 1972. Still, it’s a plausible argument to try. A refresher read is the first story the Washington Post ran when the Watergate break-in was still a story for the city desk. The byline is WP staff reporter Alfred E. Lewis, not Woodward or Bernstein.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2002/05/31/AR2005111001227.html

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  94. Life During Wartime…

    Tapping phone lines? I know that that ain’t allowed:
    Alleging a plot to wiretap Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu’s office in the Hale Boggs Federal Building in downtown New Orleans, the FBI arrested four people Monday, including James O……

    Ed Driscoll (a3d746)

  95. I have added two more updates.

    I am sticking my neck out on this one.

    Sometimes you have to do that.

    I don’t think there was any intent to wiretap Landrieu. It does not fit with what I know of this guy and I don’t believe it.

    3 people inside and nobody has a listening device on them???

    Patterico (c218bd)

  96. [...] Hmmmm. Here’s Patterico’s take… OK, final word. I’m sticking out my neck and declaring that I think this will prove to be a big [...]

    Michelle Malkin » Ugh: ACORN-buster busted at Sen. Landrieu’s office in alleged bugging plot; affidavit link added; Update: “Veritas”? (e2f069)

  97. Um. DCSCA, you were still a teenager then. Remember? Give it a rest.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  98. Alasdair, great comment. Apparently, in this day and age, if one is without proper identification, they can either board an international flight and/or enter an Untied Senator’s Homeland Security office. Just make sure the story is good or that the less motivated security personnel are on shift. Piece of cake. And *if* O’Keefe was trying to prove the point, he did but it also shows him to be reckless and foolish …IOW, like a lot of 20-something males…

    Dana (1e5ad4)

  99. Patterico – What exactly do you know of this guy, other than his having a penchant for exposes?

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  100. Maybe a little undercover work to show that Landrieu intentionally unplugged phones so that constituents couldn’t register disapproval?

    cthulhu (ca0fc5)

  101. 18 USC Section 1036:

    Entry by False Pretenses to real property belonging to the U.S.

    18 U.S.C. Section 1362:

    Willful or malicious destruction or interference with telephone, etc., lines belonging to the U.S.

    18 U.S.C. Section 2:

    “Principals” — makes it an offense to aid, abet, counsel, command, induce or procure commission of an offense against the U.S.

    The maximum penalty under 1036 appears to be 5 years and 10 years under 1362. I’m not sure about the Principals charge.

    DRJ (84a0c3)

  102. Maybe they should have just claimed to be Muslims looking for a private spot to pray?

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  103. Looking at what you linked, Patterico, it sounds like they might have gone inside to “see if the phones work, since when people call they get no answer”.

    If that turned into charges of wire-tapping…especially since one has a father who is a US attorney (is that right?), I think somebody among the arresting party and who made the affadavit might have some ‘splainin’ to do…

    MD in Philly (d4668b)

  104. someone invoked the “48 hour rule” over at AoSHQ….. that’s an idea y’all might wanna consider here.

    of course, i’m wondering if the arrests are because someone in charge of building security was embarrassed by how easy they got in and how far they got…..

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  105. “Maybe a little undercover work to show that Landrieu intentionally unplugged phones so that constituents couldn’t register disapproval?”

    That’s a great theory. It may not be exactly on all fours. But it’s a great theory.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  106. Looking at what you linked, Patterico, it sounds like they might have gone inside to “see if the phones work, since when people call they get no answer”.

    Wouldn’t that be something.

    Do you think it’s odd that you read that passage from that story, and then you see James O’Keefe — given what you know about him — going into THAT office to perhaps check on the phones?

    I’m just asking questions here.

    We bloggers, we ask questions.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  107. If found guilty, will the sentence be: art therapy?

    Dave (in MA) (6e1206)

  108. The last update says that Landrieu claimed her office phones were “jammed” on Tuesday. Tony Perkins said that callers to Landrieu could only get busy signals. If O’Keefe showed up on Monday, and saw plenty of phones available, and then picked up a receiver and heard silence, then all of Landrieu’s phones weren’t jammed after all. They just unplugged them all, except maybe for one.

    Official Internet Data Office (dc2fe1)

  109. First things first, and let me be crystal clear. If you don’t have all your ducks in a row, bugging the phones in a senator’s office is definitely a federal crime. And any caught doing so should be punished to the full extent of the law. I don’t care who you are.

    (Not knowing the law, I’m not all that sure the FBI, CIA and Secret Service combined could get those particular ducks in a row.)

    Now, I’m not ready to say O’Keefe and crew were trying to do that very thing. If they had bugging equipment with them, their geese (or maybe their turduckens) are cooked. At that point, being caught with the equipment, along with the whole episode up to that point, is enough to be cooked.

    They could’ve done a video recording showing the stuff, saying “here’s the stuff and we’re taking the stuff in there and we’re gonna mess around to prove how easy it is and we’re bringing the stuff back out with us.” Irrelevant in my mind. That’s too easy a cover.

    But if they didn’t have the goods with them, that’s a whole new ball of wax. They could still be doing a “this is how easy it is to bug a senator” story with all their video and antics and such. But the conspiracy to bug would have to go out the window if they didn’t have bugs to do the job.

    Now, I don’t know about this “entering on false pretenses” thing goes as far as the law is concerned, but there are many false pretenses. And undercover reporters use them every day. “I’m here about the cow-butchering job. (Don’t mind the fact my man-purse strapped to my waist has a camera in it.)” Would the Village People be guilty of false pretenses if they showed up in costume? I dunno, maybe.

    But there are a couple points where I am sure:

    1) O’Keefe bit off more than he could chew here. Someone said something about batting 1.000 and that definitely comes into play. I was going to suggest a chess battle with a computer set at level 1 and then jumping to level 7, but I’ll stick with the baseball reference.

    It appears O’Keefe was batting 1.000 in the rookie league, so he decided to skip A-ball, AA-ball and AAA-ball and go straight to the majors. And he fouled off a couple pitches before foul-tipping into the catcher’s mitt for a strike-out. We’re now waiting for the umpire’s call that O’Keefe did indeed strike out. There is the possibility the ball caromed off his back foot and the ground before landing in the catcher’s mitt, in which case it’s nothing more than another foul ball. And O’Keefe might not be physically able to take another swing in this at-bat.

    2) From what I gather, O’Keefe did infact show a security weakness in this instance. If his crew were able to move from point to point without proper credentials and with approval inside, however hesitant, how much easier would it be for another crew who had forged or stolen credentials from a non-government agency to do exactly what O’Keefe and crew were charged with doing?

    Mug a couple telephone company servicepeople. Get all their identification and credential documents. Create your own identification and credential documents. Just show up with a “phone problem” story (the movie Hackers comes to mind). Bug the phones. Have a field day.

    And last things last, I want to repeat my first things first.

    First things first, and let me be crystal clear. If you don’t have all your ducks in a row, bugging the phones in a senator’s office is definitely a federal crime. And any caught doing so should be punished to the full extent of the law. I don’t care who you are.

    John Hitchcock (e43351)

  110. A questo punto, la storia in realtà non ha molto senso.

    driver (f4e226)

  111. Didn’t Nixon’s plumbers
    already prove
    how easy” it is
    to wiretap
    your political opponents office?

    …maybe easy is the wrong word.

    In fact
    Rove claimed
    his political opponent
    wiretapped Rove’s office
    in the White/Clements Gubernatorial campaign
    one week before that election.

    http://bit.ly/cvtGYO

    Neil (a25f81)

  112. “The last update says that Landrieu claimed her office phones were “jammed” on Tuesday. Tony Perkins said that callers to Landrieu could only get busy signals. If O’Keefe showed up on Monday, and saw plenty of phones available, and then picked up a receiver and heard silence, then all of Landrieu’s phones weren’t jammed after all. They just unplugged them all, except maybe for one.”

    That’s a mighty fine observation you have there.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  113. of course, the story linked in update #4 is dated 23DEC09, but that doesn;t mean they haven’t been ignoring constituents all this time…. imho, the real money quote is this one:

    “Our lines have been jammed for weeks, and I apologize,” Landrieu said in interview after giving a speech on the Senate floor Tuesday. “But no amount of jamming is going to keep me from supporting a good work for Louisiana and the nation.”

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  114. Patterico- It took 26 months for Watergate to unravel. This deserves at least 26 hours to play out and hopefully not 26 days. Given the knowledge of what happened to Anita Busch one would like to believe this isn’t what it appears to be on the surface, regardless of anybody’s political persuasion. The discourse isn’t enhanced by these tactics and it’s a turn-off to independents. It would be best if over zealousness and ambition were at the root of it.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  115. here’s a scenario for all y’all to ponder:

    Landrieu’s orifice has been unable to receive calls from the public for days, if not weeks (not that she was going to pay attention to them), thus denying said citizens their right to peaceably address their grievances.

    the four musketeers dream up a scheme wherein they enter the building, looking for proof that HRH’s minions are ignoring the narod, and they find it.

    the senator is now embarrassed, and leans on the various agencies to make it go away, hence the arrests.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  116. #97- Um. Oddly dismissive comment from an alleged educator. ["I earned my PhD from Stanford University. I have been a research scientist at both RO1 institutions and institutes, an administrator in the biotechnology industry, and returned to academia."- 'Eric Blair' 11/18/09]. William Kristol, founder/editor of The Weekly Standard and Fox News contributor, was aged 19 in June, 1972. We matured. Why don’t you. Still, memo to Kristol and self: =yawn= per ‘Eric Blair’ get more rest.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  117. PS: not to mention the initial spin of “wiretapping” and “bugging”, as well as the rush to judgment of “he’s a criminal” and the heavy MFM coverage that is driving these talking points home.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  118. MD in Philly — 1/26/2010 @ 11:03 pm – just from reading through the Affidavit, the writer should spend some time in Remedial Writing class, getting some basic grammar and syntax between the ears …

    (grin) Somehow, I would not be at all surprised to find that O’Keefe was chasing down a story about an arrogant prominent Louisiana politician being unresponsive to constituents during an election year …

    Alasdair (205079)

  119. Apparently it had nothing to do with a wiretap attempt, but was some other kind of operation, possibly involving showing that calls were never routed to the office but were going elsewhere. Stupid yes, but this has an appearance of political theater treated as crime.

    In any event the whole thing smacks of an entrapment operation, possibly involving the undercover FBI agent whose affidavit the NY Times quoted, not to mention the son of the area’s US Attorney.

    Considering the Democrat talking points about teabagger Tea Party extremists, and their nefarious schemes, this bust reeks to high heaven. More to come.

    Kevin Murphy (3c3db0)

  120. The last update says that Landrieu claimed her office phones were “jammed” on Tuesday. Tony Perkins said that callers to Landrieu could only get busy signals. If O’Keefe showed up on Monday, and saw plenty of phones available, and then picked up a receiver and heard silence, then all of Landrieu’s phones weren’t jammed after all. They just unplugged them all, except maybe for one.

    Comment by Official Internet Data Office — 1/26/2010 @ 11:49 pm

    *smiles*

    no one you know (1ebbb1)

  121. DCSCA,

    You posted a really fun read from the WAPO about watergate in a strange effort to refute Patterico’s doubts… doubts that noted the fact O’Keefe’s crew didn’t bring any bugs with them. You didn’t read your link, though, or you would have known that it supports Patterico’s contention. Every piece of evidence in your link, the gizmos, the CIA thing, the way the bad guys acted… it’s totally different from this case.

    You’re right that we have to wait and see, but I’m wondering if Patterico has been tipped that there’s something relevant coming, exposing Landrieu’s unfortunate practice of interfering with phone lines that belong to her constituents.

    You say

    The discourse isn’t enhanced by these tactics and it’s a turn-off to independents. It would be best if over zealousness and ambition were at the root of it.

    You lecture people on the discourse, but you should buy the line you’re selling. Don’t cheapen things just to score some points.

    why are you making a personal attack on Eric’s profession? Why do you keep telling us about how you learned how to deal with this from Watergate? Why mention Watergate a million times? If there was no effort to bug, and there was no direction from high levels, and the perps are speaking ‘the truth shall set me free’, then I don’t think there’s a parallel to Watergate’s gizmos and direction from the Prez and CIA spooks. I think your link is a great case against your argument.

    You don’t know what happened. I don’t know what happened. But you’re drawing comparisons to earth shaking scandals that are different from what we do know. This isn’t even like that jackass who hacked Palin’s email, or when Jim McDermott leaked a taped phone call by John Boehner. When these stories break, people get right down to what was being tapped and how. Leaks, or affidavits, or reports… they mention that stuff at the top.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  122. Missing from all this is the reason why they were bugging her in the first place. What was she up to?

    Bourbon Street (83f46a)

  123. Bourbon, I don’t know what she was doing, but she may not have wanted you to discuss that with her.

    I hope Senator Landrieu did not interfere with her people’s ability to address her. They pay a lot of money for those phonelines, and make the effort to talk to her about issues or bring up problems. They are legally guaranteed this right.

    I would be surprised if the FBI would let someone suffer bullshit charges, but then, I was surprised by what they said about O’Keefe. I said he had a Borat style, and was unfair to do so. He took on a massive New Orleans based machine and exposed it, embarrassing a lot of people. It really only takes one or two bad decisions to make this an injustice. I keep thinking about how this admin treated IGs. O’Keefe did more damage from a lower station than any IG. It’s not paranoia to point out that some of these ACORN types were criminals, and some of them probably can exert pressure on this admin.

    Obviously I don’t think he was framed or set up, but trying to burn a pest who stuck his nose in Senator Landrieu’s business? I think that’s more likely/feasible than O’Keefe wiretapping a Senate Office.

    I haven’t even had my morning coffee yet, and I’m pretty energized by this. I hope this guy isn’t being railroaded by the massive machine he massively fucked with.

    [note: released from moderation. --Stashiu]

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  124. Possibly a coincidence but Vitter seems to have put a block on Finley to replace Flanagan.
    http://centrallapolitics.blogspot.com/2010/01/finely-nominated-for-us-prosecutor.html
    That appears to have happened last Wednesday.

    voiceofreason2 (b0febc)

  125. One must wonder at the irony of needing any pretense to enter a public building? A U.S. Government building by its very definition, belongs to The People. Not to say that there are not areas that need to be restricted to the general public.

    Likewise, government officials should have no expectation of privacy in their offices when conducting The People’s business with the exception of handling classified information.

    That is not to say that in any way we should condone illegal activities.

    Rob (2622c1)

  126. 49.Every reform movement has a lunatic fringe.- Theodore Roosevelt
    Comment by DCSCA — 1/26/2010 @ 3:18 pm

    – Ah, vanity. Dog-Catcher Sock-puppet Cut-rate Axdelrod-lover has been looking in the mirror again!

    Icy Texan (cbd930)

  127. [...] know whether James O’Keefe is or isn’t guilty as alleged. What I do know is, as Patterico points out in reference to O’Keefe’s ACORN sting videos, “(the ACORN) people hung [...]

    BizzyBlog (6d60e8)

  128. 66.Which conservative blogger will be the first to use the catchphrase “under the bus” in this situation?
    Comment by imdw — 1/26/2010 @ 4:57 pm

    – I wish you were under a bus.

    Icy Texan (cbd930)

  129. Rob, you’re right… criminals should face the music. It’s just speculation at this point either way. But it is amusing to think that they were there, claiming to be diagnosing why the phones were down, while wearing a repairman get-up, when really… they were diagnosing the phone policy of the office and seeing if the people were being lied to.

    If they were really investigating the phone problem, and that’s what they told the office, then was the pretense false? I’m probably hoping for too much humor and foresight.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  130. My, how rude of Breitbart to simply let his friend hang in the breeze like this. What happened to that famous right wing loyalty? I mean Breitbart tries to remove himself so far away from O’Keefe, so fast and so thoroughly that he almost sounds like he’s worried about something
    Comment by Assclown doodyheads — 1/26/2010 @ 7:58 pm

    – Because he denied being in collusion, he is therefore guilty of collusion?

    Assclown.

    Breitbart is NOT John Edwards. His denials are NOT tacit admissions of guilt.

    Icy Texan (cbd930)

  131. vor2, that Hayride link was amazing. I’m so lucky I am not represented by Louisiana politicians.

    Probably has nothing to do with this, but it’s a context of a city that is completely corrupt, and fighting to stay that way.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  132. From the Department of Redundancy Dept.:
    Corrupt Democrat in Louisiana.

    Bobby Jindal should be named a Saint(pun intended) for wading through the minefields laid down by these fuckers

    [note: released from moderation. --Stashiu]

    Icy Texan (cbd930)

  133. “UPDATE x2: It might also be worth noting a theory that makes sense to me. Allahpundit says the defense “would likely be that they never really intended to tap any phones but were simply trying to show how easy it would be to do so.” Doesn’t that ring true?”

    ‘ring true’ ? Is that a pun? Because it’s laughable.

    imdw (490521)

  134. “I also do not understand how, in *this* day and age, how *any* form of unknown individual, particularly in a “… Federal Building … owned and operated by the United States of America and managed by the United States General Services Administration …” can not only gain entrance to public areas but can also be shown to other areas by “WITNESS 1, a member of Senator Landrieu’s staff” all without being asked to produce *any* ID … ”

    You can walk into senate offices in DC without showing ID. Walk the halls down by each office, etc… You’ll go through security. But you won’t be asked for ID.

    imdw (c5488f)

  135. ‘ring true’ ? Is that a pun?
    Comment by imdw

    Clearly, yes.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  136. IMP and iamadickwad are having a contest again, The lunatic fringe vs the serial mendoucheous.

    JD (d46097)

  137. “If they were really investigating the phone problem, and that’s what they told the office, then was the pretense false? ”

    Maybe they can apply to get jobs at the phone company. Good Union jobs.

    imdw (c5488f)

  138. Everyone read VOR2′s link.

    The sorry sorry state of having democrats at every level of government. A US Attorney can’t dare clean NOLA without significant opposition.

    Can you check to see if a Louisiana democrat senator’s phone still ring? If O’Keefe didn’t find out, someone should. But it may be a serious crime, for all I know.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  139. Isn’t “Good Union jobs” an Oxymoron?

    Corwin (ea9428)

  140. Oh, they are plenty good, Corwin. Plenty good. For the short term while you destroy your employer. There’s probably no better example of this than government unions.

    God bless unions 100 years ago. While there’s a lot of lying and propaganda about what they faced back then, there is also real heroism. Today, it’s just not like that anymore.

    Not sure what that had to do with O’Keefe’s responsibility for his actions, or what those actions were. You don’t need phone technicians when you unplug your phones, which is probably a big reason why fake phone technicians were easily discovered. It would be like pretending to be Geithner’s accountant or Obama’s improv partner.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  141. well, this is the latest from brietbart on this. fwiw.

    http://biggovernment.com/2010/01/26/wait-until-the-facts-are-in/#more-65666

    I do find it interesting what one of the early commenters said. look how long it took the msm to report on the acorn story. and look how fast they reported on this.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  142. Dustin,
    If it weren’t for one of the kids being the son of Flanagan, the temporary US Attorney, who replaced Washington (of Jena 6 fame) I might be inclined to think it is much ado about nothing.
    Can’t help but wonder if the kid heard his Dad worrying about his job after Landrieu’s pick (Finley) is confirmed.
    When we moved here 12 years ago my cousin, who lives in Tennessee and is a political consultant for several of the Tenn politicians, told me “Congrats on your assignment to the most politically corrupt state in the Union!”

    voiceofreason2 (8e6b90)

  143. I do find it interesting what one of the early commenters said. look how long it took the msm to report on the acorn story. and look how fast they reported on this.

    Comment by A.W. — 1/27/2010 @ 5:46 am

    Yep yep. My top-of-head reaction to this was to assume overreach on the part of O’Keefe, and that was pretty mistaken I think. The guy is pretty smart, he’s used to thinking ahead about how (including how fast) media and liberals will react and how to use that for his own exposure-of-corruption ends, and he’s got a lot of guts.

    Not sure if he intended to get arrested but I shouldn’t have assumed he was doing something stupid – as someone put it elsewhere, he earned the benefit of the doubt back in 2009. Might it turn out to be a bad move? Maybe, but….who knows, could turn out to be a genius move too. We just don’t know.

    no one you know (196ed7)

  144. This case is very curious, and I’m wondering this morning after much reflection that it may well be a “set-up”….by none other than O’Keefe.

    Like Hannibal at Cannae, O’Keefe may have pulled back his front as a tactic to draw in the enemy and destroy them. My sense is that this is a gig devised to blow up in the prosecutor’s face and give O’Keefe a hammer on the prosecutor and the plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

    Ronbo (a0f2cf)

  145. Again, let’s see what the details are. The affadavit claims they planned to “Willfully and maliciously interfere with the telephone system”, in addition to entering under false pretenses. (Thanks to Alasdair on F/U).

    Certainly sounds like they could have been trying to get first hand evidence of why the constituents couldn’t get through rather than anything else. The background of the tension over who will remain or be appointed to the US attorney’s office in the East region of Lousiana is a potentially interesting factor.

    It is interesting what we “know” and “don’t know”. The standard narrative is that the Nixon administration was trying to spy on the Dems, and Woodward and Bernstein did hero’s work to uncover the crime and cover-up attempt.
    In some ways that never did make sense to me (in retrospect) as Nixon was so far ahead of McGovern and indeed trounced him that there would have been no need to try to get info from the Dems. (Let me be clear in saying I’m not apologizing for Nixon, I’m just wanting the truth to be understood, whatever it turns out to be.)
    It has been theorized that the wire-tapping was actually at the direction of John Dean for personnel reasons, who then turned and blamed others to get himself off of the hook. Of course the “Nixon is a crook” narrative was eagerly accepted. As far as Woodward and Bernstein and their journalistic efforts, others have suggested that actually “Deep Throat” was essentially dictating to them what he wanted them to write, and, whether brilliant and hard-working or not, it’s not so clear as to whether they were writing a news story or were used to feed a specified narrative to the public.
    Scary to think of all of the things we take as granted as truth growing up (like FDR and his policies pulled us out of the depression) that may not be so.

    MD in Philly (d4668b)

  146. From “The Town Talk”:
    http://www.thetowntalk.com/article/20100123/OPINION03/1230303

    It has become obvious that Sen. Mary Landrieu is not interested in the polls regarding Obamacare. She has isolated herself from the voters in Louisiana by not responding to e-mails, faxes, or phone calls. I made calls to her Shreveport office and got an answering machine which asked that I leave a name and phone number. I did but, like calls in the past, never received a return call. Her Baton Rouge office was set to give a busy signal. Her Washington office never answered.

    I was told earlier by her Washington office that they did not read e-mails, but did read faxes and postal letters. My faxes have not elicited any responses. Her Shreveport office told me that she did not respond to communications from Louisiana because she already knew how the voters felt about legislation.

    The word on the street that she knows this is her last term in Congress, and that she is positioning herself to be a lobbyist after this term. In any event she has isolated herself from the voters in Louisiana. She sold out to Harry Reid for $300 million, and has now voted in favor of Obamacare.

    Francis Elliott

    Pineville

    Anonymous NYer (1dd84c)

  147. There was speculation at the time that Nixon was looking for evidence that the Democrats were going to use a story about Robert Vesco, a fugitive financier, having given money to Nixon’s ne’er do well brother.

    The FBI affidavit makes it clear to me that the NO guys were trying to prove Landrieu’s staff had disabled her phones so constituents could not call the office.

    As far as Deep Throat, I have a post on that from last year.

    Mark Felt used the young reporters to take down Nixon.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  148. Another interesting link, a Press Release from the Family Research Council:
    http://www.foxbusiness.com/story/senator-landrieu-closes-office-constituents-turned-away-door-callers-reach-busy/

    Senator Landrieu Closes Office: Constituents Turned Away at the Door, Callers Reach Only Busy Signals

    BATON ROUGE, La., Dec 22, 2009 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ —-FRC’s Tony Perkins Calls Closure the “Height of Arrogance”

    At noon today, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins attempted to deliver a letter to Senator Mary Landrieu’s Baton Rouge office only to be told by federal security that her offices were “closed for the holidays.” Over 150 concerned citizens joined Perkins at a rally in front of Senator Landrieu’s office to urge the Senator to oppose the government takeover of health care.

    Family Research Council President Tony Perkins made the following comments:

    “We were stunned to learn why so many phone calls have been unanswered and met with continuous busy signals: As the Senate debates one of the most far reaching pieces of legislation in history, Senator Mary Landrieu has closed her office and her ears to Louisianans.

    “Senator Landrieu sent press aides to offer the Senator’s spin on the health care bill but she did not make a staffer available to receive letters or answer phone calls. Senator Landrieu knows that almost two-thirds of Louisiana voters oppose the health care overhaul. However, refusing to take their phone calls is insulting and the height of arrogance. Americans are outraged at the conduct of the Majority in the United States Senate and they should be.

    “If Senator Landrieu’s office had been open, she would have heard a clear message that Louisianans want her to stop this abominable health care bill that will force every American to support Planned Parenthood in the killing of unborn children, saddle families with higher insurance premiums, raise our taxes and deny our parents and grandparents the essential health care they need.”

    Anonymous NYer (1dd84c)

  149. “…Oddly dismissive comment from an alleged educator….”

    So what do you do for a living, currently? Right.

    You see, folks, DCSCA gets angry when he gets outed. I love the “alleged” line from someone who has been demonstrably shown to make up things about himself. Multiple times.

    Like that Navy SEAL team.

    Honestly, DCSCA, I don’t want to fight with you. I want you to quit claiming age and expertise when you have neither.

    Like when you were airily dismissing the policies of Margaret Thatcher, when you claimed to have lived in the UK.

    And were about 14.

    C’mon fella. We have done this before. Move on.

    Eric Blair (20b3a8)

  150. I am sure that he was just at Sen Landrieu’s office with two technocrats to try and protect the Democrat(Landrieu) from being exploited and compromised by hostiles, not unlike himself. Imagine that! How could anyone suspect that this quiet and peaceful citizen, with a slight yearning for the limelight, be suspected of worming (literally) his way into Senator Landrieu’s secrets? People will believe anything!

    Oh! my goodness; a thought, would he/ could he, be the source of some national security leaks? Nah, surely not. While he may be violating the law, “it is a pretty stupid law, anyway.” After all, shouldn’t anything said in a US Senator’s office be a public record. (He really believe that.) Regardless of this boys intent, he is dangerous and reckless, and does not respect the rights of others.

    Bob Davis (8084f7)

  151. bob, sarcasm is not an argument. You want to accuse him of something, do it. I don’t know who you’re mocking, but just about everyone agrees that if he was a criminal in his behavior Monday, he ought to be prosecuted.

    Do you really think he was trying to learn classified secrets in New Orleans? Why?

    That didn’t sit well with your old pal “real life”.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  152. [...] Is Winston Steward — His First Follow on Twitter: the President of a D.C. Public Relations FirmDustin on James O'Keefe ArrestedBob Davis on James O'Keefe ArrestedJ on The Tebow Super Bowl AdPCD on The [...]

    Patterico's Pontifications » Washington Post Writer Makes Assumptions About O’Keefe That the Facts Don’t Cash — Again (e4ab32)

  153. Besides, with all due respect to my Cajun relatives, Louisiana is not known for honest and open government.

    I think that people who break the law should pay the price. I urge my progressive friends to agree. But they won’t….

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  154. Off-Thread response to #146

    Thanks, Mike K, for the link and info there.

    I’ve also read where the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff had a junior officer among Nixon’s immediate staff that essentially monitored Nixon on his behalf.

    For people accusing Nixon of being paranoid, it seems that he had ample reason to be.

    Amazing that the balance of power in the world is at the whim of personal grudges, and gives reason to wonder, “Who is really in charge?”.

    I do vaguely remember the name Vesco, and that sounds plausible.

    Several years ago I heard an interview by Hewitt of James Rosen about his book “The strong man: John Mitchell and the secrets of Watergate”. It was Rosen who discussed the possibility that Dean was behind it for reasons of his own that had nothing to do with Nixon or administration politics.

    MD in Philly (d4668b)

  155. With all due respect, when a commenter willingly calls himself assclown doodyheads, it may be time to refrain from actually addressing him directly in the future. Just sayin’.

    Dmac (539341)

  156. Patterico, thank you for keeping a level head on this one while so many others want so badly to engage in friendly fire (some kind of PC reflex, I suppose–apart from Allahpundit’s usual self-flagellation).

    Some thoughts:
    1. I’ve been picturing the Night at the Museum sequel, when curly-head dude (name escapes me) warns Stiller that he’s moving in with “serious ITT–intent to touch”; this is such a flimsy criminal charge, in terms of its proof resting upon the actual intent of those charged, that it merits a healthy dose of restraint from the commentariat.

    2. The big side-story, as with the ACORN controversy, is the difference in media coverage–which it seems several folks have rightly noted.

    3. Relatedly, we’re not too far removed from 2009, or the year of “jumping/not jumping to conclusions” to forget the lessons we learned then. To recap: white cop arresting black guy = bad, Muslim army officer and mass murderer = just having a bad day, slayer of abortionist = bad, slayer of abortion protestor = just having a bad day, “killing” of census guy (by some right-wing extremist?) = bad, Nigerian Muslim who sets his crotch on fire = just having a bad day. Got it?

    cackcon (5c9ddf)

  157. [...] "permalink" : "http%3A%2F%2Fibwblog.wordpress.com%2F2010%2F01%2F27%2Friver-in-egypt-watch%2F" } Patterico: It might not even have been an attempt to show how easy it would be to bug phones. Maybe there is [...]

    River in Egypt Watch « If-By-Whiskey (099f00)

  158. John Hitchcock argues They could’ve done a video recording showing the stuff, saying “here’s the stuff and we’re taking the stuff in there and we’re gonna mess around to prove how easy it is and we’re bringing the stuff back out with us.”

    This may be the dumbest rationalization I’ve ever seen on the Internet.

    ColinLaney (6d29c9)

  159. [...] Since MSNBC’s David Schuster – among others – has irresponsibly jumped to conclusions about what James O’Keefe’s latest exploit was all about (definitely not backed by the content of the famous affidavit that’s been making the rounds), I’ll jump to conclusions myself.  But first, a question: why is it that – of the two Senators from the Great State of Louisiana – Landrieu is the only one with constituent-proof phones (via Patterico)? [...]

    Laundrieu’s Office: Off the Hook? « The Rhetorican (9d6513)

  160. [...] believes that O’Keefe targeted Landrieu for the reason I previously highlighted — first last night (subtly, in UPDATE x4), and somewhat less subtly this morning — namely, her claim that phone lines were [...]

    Patterico's Pontifications » Law Enforcement Official: No Wiretap Attempt by O’Keefe (e4ab32)

  161. [...] on the other hand, is banking on this being “a big nothing.”  He, no doubt, will point to this MSNBC report as proof that it [...]

    PoliGazette » The O’Keefe Arrest: Hypocrisy from One Side and Denial From the Other (9bf351)

  162. [...] Patterico: UPDATE x3: OK, final word. I’m sticking out my neck and declaring that I think this will prove to be a big nothing. [...]

    Oh Jimmy Mack, When Are You Coming Back? « Around The Sphere (03e46d)

  163. [...] trouble in wake of the left-wing organization’s latest scandals Patterico’s Pontifications: James O’Keefe Arrested and L.A. Times Issues Months-Overdue Correction on Quote from Anti-ACORN Activist James O’Keefe [...]

    No Bugs, No Wiretapping Devices: Media’s LA Exposé of James O’Keefe Mired in Speculations & False Reporting (video) « Frugal Café Blog Zone (a66042)

  164. [...] had been accused of trying to wiretap Mary Landrieu’s phones. After all, if you look at my original post — in which I mistakenly said O’Keefe had been arrested for “allegedly attempting [...]

    » Times-Picayune Originally Reported that O’Keefe Was Charged with Wiretapping, Then Stealth-Corrected the Error - Big Journalism (4556c3)


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