Patterico's Pontifications

1/27/2010

Washington Post Writer Makes Assumptions About O’Keefe That the Facts Don’t Cash — Again

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:23 am

The Washington Post reports that James O’Keefe stands accused of a plot to “bug” Mary Landrieu’s office:

WaPo Accusation

When I first read a news story about this yesterday, it sounded to me like O’Keefe and company were being accused of an attempt to wiretap or bug Landrieu’s phones. Indeed, that’s the way I characterized the Government’s claim in my post based on a news story. But now I have had a chance to review the affidavit. And it doesn’t say that.

The link to the affidavit is here. I challenge you to find me the language that accuses O’Keefe et al. of a “plot to bug” Landrieu’s office, or an “alleged wiretap scheme.”

It isn’t there.

What you will see is an allegation that three of the four men entered the office pretending to be telephone company employees. O’Keefe was allegedly holding his cell phone as if to record the other two on video. You know, the kind of undercover recording thing that he does.

One witness allegedly saw one of the other two men “take the handset of the phone and manipulate it.” This is the main phone at the reception desk, presumably in full view of everyone. What does “manipulate” mean? I don’t know. Does it mean he simply picked the phone up? That would technically comport with one dictionary definition of “manipulate” — to “operate with . . . the hands.”

The language implies something more sinister, to be sure. Implies. If the man had tried to take the phone apart it would have been simple to say so.

Then the affidavit has them asking for access to the telephone closet to perform repair work. It does not say they went into the closet. Were they simply waiting for someone to ask: “What repair work? There’s nothing wrong with the phones!”? I don’t know.

I do know this: the affidavit does not say one word about any of them possessing any listening devices. Not one.

There is a story in which someone anonymous individual (isn’t that the type of person we’re supposed to be skeptical of?) claims that there was a listening device in the possession of one of the men, in a car blocks away:

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. He spoke on condition of anonymity because that information was not included in official arresting documents.

If we are going to accept the word of Mr. Anonymous Leaker, then whatever “listening device” they had was blocks away. If they were trying to bug the offices, why would the bug be blocks away? It would be in the possession of the three other people inside the offices. And that, it seems to me, would be in the affidavit. Which it isn’t.

So the Washington Post here is making an assumption that the feds are alleging an attempted wiretapping. Hey, when I posted a quick one-line take on the story yesterday at lunch, I made the same assumption. But the Washington Post writer is making this assumption after having had plenty of time to read the affidavit and see that it says no such thing. That’s sloppy journalism. It’s a poor assumption that disfavors O’Keefe in the public eye.

And here’s the thing: the same Washington Post writer has been deceitful about O’Keefe in the past.

Look at who wrote today’s story:

WaPo Leonnig 1

Remember when the Washington Post slandered O’Keefe by claiming that he had targeted ACORN to keep them from registering blacks and Hispanics to vote? And then they had to issue an embarrassing correction?

WaPo Leonnig 3

This article about the community organizing group ACORN incorrectly said that a conservative journalist targeted the organization for hidden-camera videos partly because its voter-registration drives bring Latinos and African Americans to the polls. Although ACORN registers people mostly from those groups, the maker of the videos, James E. O’Keefe, did not specifically mention them.

Guess who wrote that story?

WaPo Leonnig 2

WaPo Leonnig 4

What is that reporter doing reporting about James O’Keefe? And isn’t it funny that she is leaping to assumptions after she should have read an affidavit that doesn’t back her assumptions up?

Look: I wasn’t there and I therefore don’t know what happened. But O’Keefe has a history of goofy, humorous, over-the-top undercover stunts to make a political point. Wiretapping doesn’t seem like his style. And the facts in the affidavit — especially the lack of reference anywhere to any listening devices in the possession of anyone in the building — suggest to me that’s not what he was doing.

What was he doing? I don’t know. You might look at UPDATE x4 to my initial post about this, and consider the story linked there. Which has to do with Landrieu’s phones being “jammed” over calls coming in regarding her position on health care:

“We were stunned to learn that so many phone calls to Sen. Landrieu have been unanswered and met with continuous busy signals,” Perkins said. “We asked them to call their senators. They could get through to Sen. Vitter, but not Sen. Landrieu.”

“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.”

Just sayin’.

In any event, it’s time for people to take a look at what has been presented and what hasn’t with a close, skeptical eye.

And then let’s hear O’Keefe’s side of the story.

Maybe there is an explanation that makes sense. Maybe.

UPDATE: Guess what? Even law enforcement now concedes that O’Keefe was not there to wiretap Landrieu.

Always trust content from Patterico.

278 Responses to “Washington Post Writer Makes Assumptions About O’Keefe That the Facts Don’t Cash — Again”

  1. The affidavit clearly describes what they were doing. They tried to call the office number from their cellphones and could not get through. The demonstrators were complaining that they had been calling her office for weeks and got only busy signals. The four guys were trying to demonstrate that the office phones had been tampered with by Landrieu’s staff to prevent constituents calling her to complain about her actions.

    O’Keefe should not have gotten involved with this as he had too much to lose from a stunt like this going wrong.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  2. So I wasn’t crazy then when I read that story in the news yesterday — I could NOT figure out why he was even arrested. He was there and then these guys came in — well, then why not arrest whoever else was in the office when they came in?

    Strange. More than a little fishy.

    Les (e9f2db)

  3. They are clearly racists. Congrats to the WaPo for reporting on this immediately. I wonder how long it took this deceitful lady to run her deceitful column about O’Keefe/ACORN.

    JD (abe0c4)

  4. Is O’Keefe even a “conservative”?

    I met him. He described himself as a “progressive radical”. He says Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” is his source of inspiration.

    WTFCI (7e7343)

  5. Mike K:

    I think you see what I’m saying. That is certainly a possibility.

    Patterico (b47612)

  6. “…claims that there was a listening device in the possession of one of the men, in a car blocks away”

    I’ve heard of these magical devices before – I think they are referred to as “cell phones”. [snort]

    Bob in VA (657d75)

  7. It occurs to me that entering a federal building under false pretenses wasn’t a crime for Code Pink or any number of other activists over the years. The main reason for that probably is that it’s counterproductive to elevate their efforts, but also, that it’s not really entering a federal building under false pretenses if you go to investigate or complain about your government.

    Landrieu is being silent about this. And every blog I’ve read on the left has called them “buggers” or “wiretappers” LGF claims they already confessed to planning to wiretap. It’s amazing how these people treat activism on one side.

    If the feds have such a great case, and there is a leaker (about the car listener), why aren’t any juicy details showing up?

    Mike K is right that any time he does this he risks the media destroying his reputation and the rep of all his work, and this was New Orleans and a Federal Building… he couldn’t expect a fair shake. I don’t know if that means he should stop. He is a credible journalist working a story (supposedly).

    This is getting more coverage than Jim McDermott giving out secret recordings of Jim Boehner’s phone calls. It may very well get more coverage than the SOTU tonight. Compared to the ACORN scandal, this will probably get 100X the coverage.

    I’m kinda bugged by how he’s not really telling his side of the story. He’s not going to be able to live this down, no matter what the truth is, if he waits too long to explain what he was doing.

    [note: released from moderation. --Stashiu]

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  8. Ok then. I see what he was trying to expose – not capture the content of calls, but to show that constituents are blocked from calling her, and that any jamming is contrived – perhaps by staff, possibly even at her own direction.

    SarahW (692fc6)

  9. Regardless of how it looks right now, he still deserves the presumption of innocence. If he’s guilty, then blame it on youthful arrogance – which would be unfortunate, since his many gifts didn’t need to be tarnished in this manner.

    Dmac (539341)

  10. As I read paras 7-9 in the affidavit the attempt to access the communications closet was the real problem.
    They could have brought down the telephones for the entire building down if they didn’t know what they were doing. Kudos for the guard asking for credentials.
    When Red teams run exercises against a base or agency the comm closet is one of the primary objectives – if you breach that you essentially own the building or base phones and sometimes the Lans, if their connections are there as well, which is common.

    voiceofreason2 (8e6b90)

  11. Interesting comment from this article (scroll down):
    http://www.houmatoday.com/article/20100121/ARTICLES/100129880/-1/OBITS?p=all&tc=pgall

    cypressdee63 says…
    January 21, 2010 6:51:36 am
    RE: Link

    Queen Mary Landrieu is still NOT listening to her constituents, though you make phone calls to her offices, her office employees, whomever they may be, take the following actions:

    1. Rush to get you off of the phone saying, “I will pass this on to Ms. Landrieu,”
    2. Put you on hold and never get back on the line,
    3. Hang up on you,
    4. Forward your call to another congressional member such as Joe Lieberman (These are my personal experiences),
    5. Then when things get hot and heavy over and issue, you get the busy signal (when someone actually answered the phone in her office in Shreveport, I asked the gentleman, “Why is it so difficult to get through to her office? he explained that it was, “More than likely due to the number of ‘robocalls.’”

    Robocalls???Are they so filled with grand delusions that when I, a registered Democrat, a past supporter, take the time out of my day to look up her phone number and make a phone call to her office in order to express my displeasure about issues concerning the State of Louisiana, that I am referred to as a “robocall?”I have to give credit to the gentleman that he did at least answer the phone.

    I, so much enjoy being referred to as a “robocall” when, I, a registered Democrat, who supported her in the past, really enjoys being insulted and having my intelligence insulted. It does give you that warm feeling, but, it isn’t the warm fuzzy feeling.

    I can’t wait until Queen Mary runs again for office. I pity the person making the phone calls soliciting my vote for Queen Mary. They will get an ear full from me on why this current new Progressive Socialist Elitest Democratic Party is the PERFECT textbook example of bad governing.

    Please continue shoving this Health Care and Cap and Trade down our throats and taxing our children, grand children, and great grandchildren. From my perspective, it appears to be the first step toward enslaving the entire populace and the denial of our posterity an equal chance to success and living the American dream.

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

    Anonymous NYer (1dd84c)

  12. SArahW:

    Isn’t that more in keeping with his style?

    Supposedly there is a tape he made, according to the affidavit, which says he admitted taping this.

    I’d love to see it. I’d be willing to bet it’s goofily humorous.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  13. Seems like Carol D. Leonnig might have an axe to grind here.

    Might.

    KingShamus (fb8597)

  14. Oh it’s so nice to see folks round here speak up for the goofy misunderstood youth of today. Heck, they were just committing a little fratboy prank,a little fun in Louisiana, isn’t that where lots of kids go for a little fun, amirite and the fact that it was federal property, c’mon has everyone lost their sense of humor? Gosh, golly. Where else to prove one’s true disddain for government than on FEDERAL PROPERTY and by tampering with A SENATOR’S PHONE SYSTEM under FAKE PRETENSE. I mean it’s not like this kid’s done anything of this sort before AND GOTTEN THE APPROVAL and the BLESSING and the APPRECIATION OF 31 GOP Congress- persons. And it’s not like Breibart has anything to do with this either, his site BIGGOVERNMENT.COM would never put up video or audio files that has been manipulated and over-dubbed. Which makes me realize something. /sarcasm

    These twits didn’t need to wiretap at all, they only needed to have some footage they could use to pretend they HAD wiretapped Landrieu’s office and then proceed to put whatever damning soundtrack they wanted to over it.

    Even a fake audio would’ve been HUGELY damaging to Landreiu, and the DEMS and the healthcare reform bill. Breitbart would’ve put that up in a heartbeat and had the rightwing/TeaBag nation spinning and crowing like crazy…

    Yes, I am too good folks. I’m gonna put my shingle up and become a gumshoe detective. You guys get the juicy stuff first, just cos I like you SO MUCH.

    (Has Breitbart done anything yet to help out his little prankster friends at all?? No?? He’s only made a cowardly pre-emptive statement disavowing having ever even known O’Keefe? Money, money money Andrew Breitbart. Gotta follow DA MONEY. Where the trail stops no body knows. Yet. This could even go beyond Breitbart. That would be too sweet.

    Assclown doodyheads (f0d390)

  15. He screwed with such a huge machine. Billions were lost to ACORN’s many well connected New Orleans peeps.

    He’s just not equipped to get a fair shake off the bat. They are going to use every medium they can to lie about him. It’s like the IG cases, only against a more effective inspector with far less ability to defend himself. A narrative came out that was full of lies. No one ever has to explain the lies.

    Not a setup, but certainly a case where we don’t know a damn thing until we’ve heard both sides.

    I was pretty sure he was on some insane crusade to bring some kind of vote selling scam to justice by wiretapping. That’s obviously not what happened at all. The media will not drop the ‘wiretap’ or ‘watergate’ charge, ever. No matter what happened, he’s stuck with that.

    [note: released from moderation. --Stashiu]

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  16. Oh, please. Not this joker. Doesn’t he know that he is contributing to global warming and spilling electrons everywhere.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  17. assclown is freaking out in a totally incoherent manner, but should have read VOR2′s point.

    It’s going to be nearly impossible (in my mind) to justify going into the phone cabinet. That’s a real red flag. With no equipment for bugging, maybe this was just a very stupid theatric. Maybe it was forced on them by staying in character as phone techs. I don’t know. It’s unlikely they had any idea what line what where in that cabinet, but maybe there is some way to easily see, in that thing, that the office tampered with their phone lines. We’ll see. I hope we find out today.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  18. Hey, having lived in CA when both Boxer and Feinstein regularly shut off their office phones not to hear their constituents, I totally believe that O’Keefe and Co. were out to prove Landrieu and other Democrats WERE shutting off their phones.

    PCD (1d8b6d)

  19. Assclown certainly lives up to his name.

    I doubt they intended to manipulate the phone lines but I do wonder if they know enough to recognize someone else having disabled the incoming lines.

    I also wonder if disabling incoming lines to a Senator’s office by her own staff might be illegal.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  20. If you watch the local news video (linked over at michellemalkin.com). The US Marshall says that the staff became suspicious of the four because:

    “They were asking a number of probing questions about certain information that members of the general public who were just seeking the assistance of the [??] agency may not ask.”

    That doesn’t sound like something someone would do if they were intending to commit a crime. It sound like something someone would do if they were intending to commit journalism.

    Dumbledore (c4a37a)

  21. >Ok then. I see what he was trying to expose – not capture the content of calls, but to show that constituents are blocked from calling her, and that any jamming is contrived – perhaps by staff, possibly even at her own direction.

    This seems far more likely and plausible. I think they may have been trying to document any chicanery in the office that the staff may have been playing with their phones (taking them off the hooks, switching/rerouting lines, etc.). Hence, the need to videotape. Why would O’Keefe videotape himself committing wiretapping and committing a well-known felony?

    It would also explain O’Keefe’s defiant attitude, which seems to suggest he thinks he’ll be vindicated in some way.

    Good Lt. (51111a)

  22. That reporter has had objectivity issues going back to when she used to tote her pink backpack to cover hearings on the Hill. No surprise that she’s being sloppy with her reporting here.

    Farragut Jones (50cd25)

  23. I also wonder if disabling incoming lines to a Senator’s office by her own staff might be illegal.

    Comment by Mike K —

    It really should be. Especially when the Senator is claiming it’s some accident or act of God. That’s refusing to do her job, and it’s stealing the public’s property (turning off phones they pay for), and it’s denying them their constitutional right to redress their government.

    Those phone lines weren’t put there as a convenience or gift to the Senator.

    What’s interesting is that hundreds of people back up the allegation that the Senator interfered with federal phone lines. Hell, under false pretenses. Journalists should have been pouring in to check this out. And they should be pointing this aspect out in their coverage.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  24. Kudos for assclown for its truth in advertising. Apparently he is trying to see how many lies, deceptions, and half-truths it can cram in one comment. Or, it is tired of IMP and imdw being the most mendoucheous commenters here.

    JD (8ce84a)

  25. FWIW, the affidavit concludes with a charge that the underlying felony was an intent to destroy or disrupt the communications facilities. That’s what 18 USC 1362 is. Destruction or disruption of communications is antithetical to surveillance or bugging.
    Not to say what the intent was, just saying that the charge, so far, is OPPOSITE of an intent to conduct surveillance using telephone equipment.
    My other thought on the 1362 charge is that the government has a tough sell that the telephone equipment was military/civil defense in nature. Again, this speaks to the charge, not to the intent.

    cboldt (60ea4a)

  26. Dumbledore:

    Your long white beard indicates wisdom.

    “It’s going to be nearly impossible (in my mind) to justify going into the phone cabinet.”

    Good thing they didn’t do that.

    Nor do I believe they ever intended to. They knew they would be confronted about why they needed to do that, and thru wanted to get that confrontation on tape.

    Patterico (b47612)

  27. I think they, and a lot of people, get “bug” from the affidavit saying there was probable cause to believe they had the purpose to willfully and maliciously interfere with the telephone system.

    “If we are going to accept the word of Mr. Anonymous Leaker, then whatever “listening device” they had was blocks away. If they were trying to bug the offices, why would the bug be blocks away? It would be in the possession of the three other people inside the offices. And that, it seems to me, would be in the affidavit. Which it isn’t.”

    And clearly a “listening device” can’t pick up something going on inside a building via a method of transmission.

    imdw (8f8ead)

  28. At the risk of repeating myself, when a commenter calls itself assclown doodyheads, it may be time to reconsider before you respond directly to its bloviations in the future.

    Dmac (539341)

  29. Did they tack 1362 on there to try to scare the hell out of at least one of the ‘conspirators’? My understanding is that O’Keefe has a great lawyer, but I hope they all have a good one. They should be smart enough to only speak with a lawyer present (though the affidavit makes you wonder if they were).

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  30. “It would also explain O’Keefe’s defiant attitude, which seems to suggest he thinks he’ll be vindicated in some way.”

    I worry that he will come up with a plausible and even humorous explanation — and that the Feds won’t find it funny.

    They are not renowned for a sense of humor.

    Patterico (b47612)

  31. ^that goes double for imadoofus.

    Dmac (539341)

  32. Good thing they didn’t do [break into the phone cabinet].

    Nor do I believe they ever intended to. They knew they would be confronted about why they needed to do that, and thru wanted to get that confrontation on tape.

    Comment by Patterico

    that’s a relief. Honestly.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  33. That wasn’t directed at our host, btw.

    Dmac (539341)

  34. I think they wanted to find out if the phones were disabled in her office. Having determined they were not, they then attempted to find out if they were disabled at the switch (the comm closet). They may even have intended to turn it back on if it was. At that point, hilarity could have ensued if they had simply called the off site accomplice to have him place a call to the congressperson’s office, or gone back to the office and told a staffer, “We fixed your problem.” Especially if said conversation was recorder on a cam phone and posted on the web.

    “A” for concept; “F” for execution, and for not realizing what they were doing was a crime.

    Josef K. (04a5b3)

  35. ” Why would O’Keefe videotape himself committing wiretapping and committing a well-known felony?”

    That is an excellent question. Which suggests he was not committing said felony.

    Patterico (b47612)

  36. josef, I was just corrected for that, but they were stopped when they asked to look inside that cabinet. They never did it. You seem to get that, and most others do, but it’s easy to get the impression that they were trying to rummage in there… when that’s actually not something we can assume.

    I guess. O’Keefe has to look out for O’Keefe right now… not a lot of people are watching his back. But I want to hear from him on this detail, and on the listening device detail (if that’s listening to transmitters on O’Keefe’s body, then I don’t think the listening device is a problem.

    In Louisiana, it’s legal to record a conversation if a party knows about the recording. If the listening device is associated with some kind of bug, then we’d have heard about the bug.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  37. I think there’s more charges coming down assclowns. They’re simply being held on the most obvious crimes, and perhaps there’s a little dealing going on? If I was Breitbart, I wouldn’t leave town.

    Assclown doodyheads (f0d390)

  38. >That is an excellent question. Which suggests he was not committing said felony.

    Indeed.

    I think he and his cohorts were there to get the phone calls from their friend in the car and document that they weren’t even getting the calls in the office.

    As for the “manipulating” or “tampering,” perhaps they were trying to see if the phones were re-routed or if the plugs were pulled.

    This makes MUCH more sense than somebody breaking in with intent to “wire-tap,” and videotaping himself doing it.

    And explains O’Keefe’s statements upon release.

    My money’s on this theory.

    Good Lt. (51111a)

  39. Assclown, I hope you never gave Colin Powell a hard time for overpromising WMDs. Setting yourself up for a failure if Breitbart doesn’t get implicated is just bad tactics. You are picking a battle you’ve already lost.

    Stick to the ‘O’Keefe’s tactics are over the top, and perhaps he can’t explain X,Y,Z.’ argument.

    Patterico, granted you weren’t there, but what do you think about the ‘false pretenses’ complaint? Whether they were there to commit a felony or not, could they explain this with the kinda obnoxious claim that they honestly were there to troubleshoot the phones?

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  40. Dustin, I just don’t see what good “the confrontation” outside the comm closet would do. Absent proof the phone was turned off/jammed/disabled (whatever) somewhere, the whole exercise seems pointless.

    If they knew what kind of switching equipment was in the closet, its entirely possible to get someone with experience to teach you how to determine if the phone was disabled. Proving THAT would make for excellent video.

    A “we were turned away trying to look in the closet” video? Not much punch there. A “Here’s the video showing her lines were disabled” video? Much more damaging.

    Josef K. (04a5b3)

  41. “..I think there’s more charges coming down assclowns…”

    Hm. The first part of the sentence is the problem.

    Clownass doesn’t think. He reacts. There is a difference.

    Also, such tough talk. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it, why he or she spews all the venom?

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  42. Josef, if their explanation is that they wanted to see inside that cabinet to get a picture or analyze somehow what caused the “jam”, that’s not interference or destructive.

    I dunno. I need to hear the explanation, and hopefully see the video. Obviously it hasn’t been erased.

    You’re totally right on what would be more powerful evidence. All I know is that they didn’t get in there and didn’t screw anything up, and it doesn’t make any sense that they would plant the bug they didn’t have or rip any wires out. They were taping themselves and one of them is obviously a journalist of sorts.

    Way premature question, but could they convince a jury, beyond reasonable doubt, that they were going to interfere with the phone bank? Of course not.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  43. I worry that he will come up with a plausible and even humorous explanation — and that the Feds won’t find it funny.

    They are not renowned for a sense of humor.

    True. Some of the offices in the building are the US Marshals, Secret Service, HUD, Coast Guard Legal dept, etc.

    voiceofreason2 (8e6b90)

  44. Yep, assclown is living down to his chosen name.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  45. Um, excuse me Eric..venom? Sorry I don’t abide by the rules of fantasy round here.

    Were crimes committed on Fed. property against a sitting Senator? Yes or no.

    Could they be part of a terrorist conspiracy or attack?

    Assclown doodyheads (f0d390)

  46. >Were crimes committed on Fed. property against a sitting Senator? Yes or no.

    That’s why we have a trial. To determine such things.

    No charges were filed regarding committing crimes “against a Senator.”

    An affidavit is considered in court and evidence examined.

    Relax. Facts are coming.

    >Could they be part of a terrorist conspiracy or attack?

    No. Just call it a hunch.

    Good Lt. (51111a)

  47. “That is an excellent question. Which suggests he was not committing said felony.”

    They did tape themselves entering a federal building under false pretenses and attempting to interfere with a phone system. And it appears they admitted to that.

    imdw (cd45b0)

  48. I can see the argument that this is a probe of security. That a journalist recorded the probe means that it was for mass publication, not secret terrorism training. If this is evil because it exposes a weakness (as some have noted, the system actually stopped them), then a lot of journalists are evil. Recording a security breach is not a novel thing.

    Assclown seems to have convicted O’Keefe of crimes. I made a lot of bad assumptions relying on initial reporting. I think he did too, but isn’t brave enough to reevaluate and listen to counterarguments.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  49. In this case, it seems interfering was getting the phones back on line, or proving that they disconnected

    ian cormac (a80ed2)

  50. [...] Oh and if you’re curious, on the air today, he referred to O’Keefe as having attempted to wiretap. Not allegedly. And I do so wonder if he can show us where in the affidavit they refer to attempted wiretapping? Probably not. [...]

    MSNBC’s David Shuster on Presumption of Innocence - Caleb’s blog - RedState (8eaf85)

  51. imdw, they never admitted to that.

    There’s obviously nothing wrong with recording entering a building.

    Perhaps they never interfered with the phones.

    I am not clear on what constitutes false pretenses, but if they said they were troubleshooting phones, then perhaps they weren’t lying.

    I doubt the affidavit would be considered ironclad proof to these people if it wasn’t about the man who took down a multibillion dollar criminal democrat organization.

    Nonetheless, saying the admitted this, when they have explicitly denied it and the confession is simply an attempt to stretch their statement 20 yards, is a lie.

    Not false equivilance… if O’Keefe

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  52. I’m afraid the Feds will push for a jail term for these guys to send a message (“Don’t mess with the Government”), but if he is allowed to make the case at trial that he was only attempting to right a wrong in a quintessentially journalistic way, he can hope for either jury nullification, or a sympathetic judge handing out slap-on-the-wrist sentences.

    My bet is they all go to prison, and come out in two years or so with the halo of (journalistic) martyrdom around their heads.

    Josef K. (04a5b3)

  53. I’m sure I am missing something but the article about the phones being jammed with protestors out front was from December.
    Were there protestors out front on the 25th of Jan and were the complaints about phones being jammed ongoing the day they went into the building?

    voiceofreason2 (8e6b90)

  54. Josef, don’t be too negative! I think the state has raised some stiff claims that will require a lot of evidence.

    We already have compelling evidence that this was a journalist who taped himself exposing problems many times before. There needs to be more evidence for it to be proven he was actually out to interfere. If the phones were disabled, and he entered the place already knowing that (and I think he may be able to prove just that), then how was he even able to intend to interfere with anything. You have hundreds of people pointing out that there is no phone system left to interfere with. The Senator says it’s hopelessly jammed.

    It’s like interfering with the snow in Egypt.

    The false pretense claim requires they show intent.

    Now, if he went in there to wiretap, or some other crime I haven’t heard accused by blogs, then yeah, he needs to serve a penalty. If he went there to expose a politician lying about phones, merely by showing the phones were disabled, he’s only guilty of being a conservative in NOLA.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  55. Patterico, you would make one heck of a good defense attorney.

    nk (db4a41)

  56. 18 USC 1362 — Whoever willfully or maliciously injures or destroys any of the
    works, property, or material of any radio, telegraph, telephone or
    cable, line, station, or system, or other means of communication,
    operated or controlled by the United States, or used or intended to
    be used for military or civil defense functions of the United
    States, whether constructed or in process of construction, or
    willfully or maliciously interferes in any way with the working or
    use of any such line, or system, or willfully or maliciously
    obstructs, hinders, or delays the transmission of any communication
    over any such line, or system, or attempts or conspires to do such
    an act, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than
    ten years, or both.

    Did they willfully or maliciiously injure or destroy the phone system? Nope.

    Did they willfully or malciously interfere with the working or use of the telephone system? Nope.

    Did obstruct, hinder, or delay the transmission of any communication? Nope.

    Did they attempt to conspire to do such an act? Nope.

    Doubly so if the phone system was already disabled in some way. In fact, if the phone system was disabled, then whoever disabled it may have violated 18 USC 1362. If someone from Senator Landrieu’s office turned off the phones to stop getting calls from constituents they may want to consult an attorney.

    ARC: Brian (544ab9)

  57. But not a rich one.

    nk (db4a41)

  58. If they had been smart, they might have found a way to report the phone out of order and have a real phone company employee check the line. This was not a smart way to go about it but I doubt there are going to be any felony convictions.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  59. The lame-stream media trying their level best to set the terms of the debate.

    What’s new about that?

    We need to hear from O-Keefe …

    bill-tb (541ea9)

  60. Story seems pretty clear cut to me at this point. They were there to try and get some embarrassing footage showing that Landrieu’s phone lines were not, in fact, “jammed” but were in fact either ignored or being diverted to busy signals.

    Not sure if there’s still an underlying crime: maybe the misrepresentation is enough for some sort of crime. But no felony wiretapping, etc.

    Drew (9a4ea6)

  61. vor2, I thought voters were trying to get through for weeks.

    The number works today, though. Just called. They said they weren’t having any problems with their phones on Monday. Sounded kinda displeased with the question (not that I blame them… I wouldn’t want to be manning those phones either).

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  62. My understanding is the 4 were charged with entering federal premises under false pretenses. Unfortunately the law doesn’t make any differentiation between the real thing and a ‘goofy, humorous, over-the-top undercover stunt’, much like joking about having a bomb at the airport will get into handcuffs too. At best, he was staggeringly stupid. At worst, this is a page from the ‘Tricky Dick’ book of politics.

    JEA (cb0d62)

  63. JEA, entering under false pretenses *with purpose of committing a felony* requires more evidence than that they entered under false pretenses.

    I agree that this plan wasn’t the best I ever heard.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  64. In other words, yes, the law makes a distinction between entering to be a humorous journalist (and not commit a crime) and entering to plant a bug or disconnect the phones.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  65. Doubly so if the phone system was already disabled in some way. In fact, if the phone system was disabled, then whoever disabled it may have violated 18 USC 1362. If someone from Senator Landrieu’s office turned off the phones to stop getting calls from constituents they may want to consult an attorney.

    Comment by ARC: Brian — 1/27/2010 @ 9:20 am

    Which might be a good defense, “the phone system was already ‘jammed’” and then have someone from Landrieu’s office get on the stand and plead the Fifth. Mary may lean on the prosecutors to drop the case at that point, or before if they see this coming.

    rbj (65c648)

  66. You folks crack me up. Paterico pronounces this no big deal, not relying on any facts, but on his gut feeling. Yeah, that’s persuasive. There are, of course, several problems with this. First, O’Keefe has not explained what his purpose was for this charade, so to jump to the conclusion that (a) Landrieu disrupted her own phones [as opposed to call volume doing that], and (b) that’s what he was “investigating” — this borders on the absurd. What evidence do you have that either “fact” is true? None. Just rank speculation.

    But it gets better. From there, some of you winguts then spin to “is it illegal for Landrieu to disrupt her phones” — which that is what O’Keefe, not Landrieu, has been criminally charged with doing! Way to try to change the subject from possible con criminality!

    What do we know? We know O’Keefe was in the office; he said he was waiting for someone, which was a lie. His two stooges were dressed as telephone repair people, falsely stated that they were repair men, then tried to gain access to the phone system. They only failed to get that access because someone called their bluff. One other fool was involved and he, too, has been charged. Let’s see if anyone rolls to save their own a$$. Or maybe we can have them declared enemy combatants, torture them, and see exactly who they are willing to rat out “up the ladder.”

    I hope it is worth the time they may have to do. They may be able to get Fox show like Ollie North when it is over, but until then, they are in deep kimchee.

    B-Rob (3963e2)

  67. Louisiana has/had very sneaky property right laws containing to speech

    In a case in the 90′s I was indirectly involved in the termination of a firms senior partner when I caught him recording a conversation on his phone with a federal official and reported it immediately to the managing partner

    In Louisiana at that time – if you are a party to the conversation or are within hearing distance of a conversation you have the absolute right to record the conversation without the knowledge or consent of the other parties especially public officials

    that includes wiretapping without a warrant

    So Louisiana is probably not going to let them be tried by the Feds they dont recognise Federal immunities – just ask the 5th circuit judges and clerks who get involved in disputes

    Louisiana has more law school seats per capita than California

    EricPWJohnson (1465de)

  68. B rob, we don’t know all the things you claim we know.

    but you have a point, O’Keefe has a lot of explaining to do.

    I don’t understand what’s so complicated about the idea that he couldn’t interfere with a phone system that is turned off. If the whole point of the story was “why are the phones disabled?” then he clearly didn’t intend to interfere with the phones. That aspect is a relevant point to learn about. If the government has information that the Senator disabled this system, that is exculpatory evidence they have to disclose.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  69. B-rob

    The fed affidavit does not meet any factual standards

    EricPWJohnson (1465de)

  70. Yes, they don’t explain why O’Keefe was there, how
    they would explain their situation (did they call
    the repairmen). But this is ACORN Central, where the
    money never got to the levees

    ian cormac (a80ed2)

  71. “I am not clear on what constitutes false pretenses, but if they said they were troubleshooting phones, then perhaps they weren’t lying.”

    They said they were telephone repairmen.

    imdw (0d860a)

  72. Note: The following is pure speculation and any resemblance to reality will be a lucky guess-

    Two “Repairmen” (TR): We’re here to see if the phones are working, there have been a lot of complaints from customers that they can’t get through. (Technically true)
    Office Staff (OS): I don’t think we reported a problem.
    TR: I don’t know if you did or not, we’re investigating complaints from customers trying to call in from outside (walking toward the phone). (Technically true).
    OS: Can I see some ID?
    TR: I’m sorry, we left it in the car. (Technically true, their wallets with ID and Driver’s licenses are in the car).

    TR looking at phone, pick it up and check for dial tone, etc.
    O’Keefe takes picture.

    TR: Let’s head to see if the phone is plugged in. (Walk over to wall/closet/whatever)

    OS have called security

    Security: can I see your ID
    TR: We left it in the car.
    Sec: You say you’re from the telephone company?
    TR: No, we’re not from the telephone company, but we are checking on complaints that callers can not get through. (Technically true)
    Sec: Well, you can tell your story to the folks down town.

    I leave it to the prosecutors to determine what the charges could be. I imagine there are some, but I doubt anything that approachs the affadavit.

    Of course, we are still waiting to get more facts.

    MD in Philly (d4668b)

  73. What evidence do you have that either “fact” is true? None. Just rank speculation.

    None. It’s speculation that fits the facts. It’s more evidence than the Washington Post have that O’Keefe was bugging the office though.

    is it illegal for Landrieu to disrupt her phones

    I doubt it is, I didn’t say that it was. I was just reading the statute in question. As I read it it doesn’t provide for an exception if it’s your own phone system just if you do it for non-malicious purposes. It’s hard to argue that a non-working phone system can be maliciously interfered with though. Was it working? I expect that that would be one question that would come up at a preliminary hearing.

    he said he was waiting for someone, which was a lie

    It is? Who wasn’t he waiting for? Remember O’Keefe likely has recordings of his conversations. The affidavit doesn’t say that he lied about waiting for someone or misrepresented himself in any way.

    then tried to gain access to the phone system

    Per the affidavit, they asked WITNESS 1 for and were granted access to the main handset of the telephone system. Which as far as I can tell isn’t a crime under 18 USC 1362. If it were be careful the next time you ask to borrow a phone line to make a phone call from a federal office!

    They asked for access to the telephone closet and were sent to another office where they asked again and were denied.

    As far as I can tell they never got access to the closet in question to which they could interfere with the telephone system. Is asking to look at the phone system closet a vioaltion of 18 USC 1362 according to the statute?

    ARC: Brian (544ab9)

  74. [...] TURNS HIS PROSECUTOR’S EYE ON THE O’KEEFE STORY and says media reports are not to be trusted. There’s no charge of “bugging,” for one thing. Plus, questions about Carol [...]

    Instapundit » Blog Archive » PATTERICO TURNS HIS PROSECUTOR’S EYE ON THE O’KEEFE STORY and says media reports are not to be trust… (fe8e62)

  75. imdw, if they said they were with the phone company, then they lied.

    Are you sure they did?

    Maybe they said they were there to check out the jammed telephones, or there to fix the phones. that’s not a false pretense. It’s obnoxious, but funny and true.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  76. Thanks for making these points. Most of the blogs on the right are just repeating the media spin.

    Subotai (494b58)

  77. i will note that the affidavit barely makes out a charge against O’Keefe. it just says in a conclusory fashion that he admitted to being in on the planning of the incident. i wonder how well that will hold up.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  78. Its simple they came in and asked if their phones were working they picked up the phone and checked to make sure it was working and then they called it to show they had turned it off – and then theyu were going to video the closet to prove that the phones were turned off there

    simple

    EricPWJohnson (1465de)

  79. “Two “Repairmen” (TR): We’re here to see if the phones are working, there have been a lot of complaints from customers that they can’t get through. (Technically true)”

    The 5th and 8th paragraph of the affidavit states that they represented themselves as repair technicians from the telephone company.

    Unless they have (likely union) jobs as repair technicians from the telephone company, this is not “technically true.”

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

    idmw (019cd0)

  80. This seems to turning about as well as when they called 9/11 on Tiger. Also consider every other
    episode of Burn Notice, White Collar, or action
    show

    ian cormac (a80ed2)

  81. Oh, please:

    “…Sorry I don’t abide by the rules of fantasy round here….”

    Well, this character appears to abide by Alinsky’s rules. Right?

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  82. Paterico pronounces this no big deal, not relying on any facts, but on his gut feeling. Yeah, that’s persuasive.

    The fact is that they have not been charged with bugging or wiretapping any phones. Try to wrap your head around that fact.

    I suspect they’ll end up like Sowande Omokunde and plea to a misdemeanor. Or they could if they were Democrats.

    Subotai (494b58)

  83. By tampering with the phones and filming it, haven’t these guys just forced the FBI to investigate the phone system in this office?

    Hutch (62d2da)

  84. This O’Keefe video was linked at the Corner:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4hrnbhIHDY

    I think O’Keefe might have been making a “Mary & Me” documentary.

    Remember:

    5. “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counteract ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.” [See: Alinsky, Saul]

    TakeFive (7c6fd5)

  85. “Well, this character appears to abide by Alinsky’s rules. Right?”

    As I posted yesterday, O’keefe would have done good to follow rule #2.

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

    imdw (019cd0)

  86. I call shenanigans until I hear O’Keefe’s side.

    Chaz (7b1844)

  87. Instructive that many of the news organizations that wouldn’t report on the ACORN scandals are all over this story like a chicken on a June bug.

    pat wilson (a887d1)

  88. As more and more comes out, Landrieu and the liberal commenters here are about to be cosmically beclowned.

    Also, maybe member(s) of Landrieu’s staff go to jail for tampering with the phones, which is an interesting idea. How many Democrat staffers would then be liable for jail?

    PCD (1d8b6d)

  89. “imdw, if they said they were with the phone company, then they lied.

    Are you sure they did? ”

    The affidavit said they did.

    imdw (2d53d2)

  90. “I am not clear on what constitutes false pretenses, but if they said they were troubleshooting phones, then perhaps they weren’t lying.”

    The weak part of the 1036 charge is not whether they lied, but whether it amounted to an attempt to enter “by any fraud or false pretense.” The purpose of that statute is obviously to keep people out of restricted areas such as military bases, vessels, seaports and airports. If the public is allowed to enter the federal building–which it apparently is because O’Keefe was already there–then the fraud wasn’t used to enter (and entering the “office and telephone system” as claimed in the affidavit is pretty hard to feature; not sure how one “enters” a telephone system).

    Cecil Turner (1d49ea)

  91. let’s hear O’Keefe’s side of the story

    By all means! What is he saying?

    Ralph Kramden (4b8ca7)

  92. Why expect the journos to read the affidavit? They drummed up a lot of hysteria about the recent SCOTUS decision without reading that, either.

    Josh S (fff23e)

  93. Just FYI, the site is acting hinky today. I’m getting error messages half the time when I hit refresh.

    Subotai (494b58)

  94. “The affidavit said they did.

    Comment by imdw”

    If the government can prove that, and prove intent to interfere, they have a conviction.

    However, assuming this because of your reading of the affidavit, while actually not totally unreasonable, is an assumption. Wait and see if that version is the truth. That’s all I’m asking. If it is, then let O’Keefe pay the price.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  95. It’s a good thing nobody is jumping the gun on this story, right imdw?

    daleyrocks (718861)

  96. Do you really think he has an explanation that exonerates him and that he has chosen to withhold from the press and the FBI at this point? It doesn’t take that long to reveal “the truth.”

    Mikey (2f0ed2)

  97. Do you really think he has an explanation that exonerates him and that he has chosen to withhold from the press and the FBI at this point? It doesn’t take that long to reveal “the truth.”

    Mikey (2f0ed2)

  98. Is the site down?

    JD (e7d34f)

  99. Do you really think he has an explanation that exonerates him

    Exonerates him of what?

    Contrary to popular belief, the “wiretapping” story is fiction. The “interfering with phones” story looks like it won’t pass the laugh test and wll be dropped. And the “ID” charge seems to be politically motivated.

    Subotai (494b58)

  100. My thought is that if the dems haven’t learned to spot O’keefe from a mile away and to call security just as a matter of course they’re just not paying attention…

    My observation is that most telephony systems are modular, the incoming lines terminate in plastic clips (similar to the ones on everybody’s phone) that are inserted into ports on the system. It doesn’t take a genius, or a telephone expert, to see if the lines are plugged into the machine or not. Generally a system will have incoming lines in a roll over, so disconnecting a few would create a jam on the existing line, and then have “back” lines for out going calls and direct dial lines… by limiting or eliminating the roll over lines by disconnecting them the nuisance of “public” calls would be greatly reduced, yet still allow the workers to use the phones and those with knowledge of the back-lines direct dial numbers to contact the office.

    so I’m thinking a picture of the disconnected lines would be worth … well, maybe priceless.

    Alternatively, while the back line numbers aren’t listed or available, most installers pen the assigned numbers on the block where the line is connected… learning those phone numbers and making them available to those constituents who hadn’t been able to get past the busy signal on the public line would be a pretty neat trick too.

    chb3 (c12b68)

  101. Why would Landrieu turn off her own phones? It’s not like there’s any strategic/political advantage in not even pretending to listen to your constituents – it just pisses them off more. I for one find it unlikely that Landrieu would essentially put her fingers in her ears and go “la la la la…” while her constituents got more and more infuriated at the other end of the line. That’s not really the way it works, in my experience.

    Leviticus (f0f166)

  102. [...] Patterico thinks there may be less to this story than meets the eye.  We’ll see. Categories: [...]

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Blog Archive » One Sting Too Many (6a456a)

  103. Maybe they were looking for Ellie Light.

    jim2 (6482d8)

  104. For point of reference the following is what a typical comm closet looks like – telephone wires on the right and LAN connections on the left.

    http://wwwx.cs.unc.edu/help/network/contractor_info/pictures/SN263_comm_and_riser.jpg

    voiceofreason2 (8e6b90)

  105. Say what, Leviticus? If the phones are ringing off the hook with calls from constituents you don’t want to talk to, perhaps because you know better than they what’s good for them, the busy signal has built in legitimacy… sorry, we’re talking to other people just like you right now. be patient.

    it’s a lot easier to pretend to be listening to someone else than actually pretending to listen to someone on the phone.

    chb3 (c12b68)

  106. It’s not like there’s any strategic/political advantage in not even pretending to listen to your constituents

    Landrieu’s constituents are SEIU and ACORN, not the voters.

    Official Internet Data Office (dc2fe1)

  107. Another link, read the first comment (scroll down):
    http://www.houmatoday.com/article/20100121/ARTICLES/100129880/-1/OBITS?p=all&tc=pgall

    cypressdee63 says…
    January 21, 2010 6:51:36 am
    RE: Link

    Queen Mary Landrieu is still NOT listening to her constituents, though you make phone calls to her offices, her office employees, whomever they may be, take the following actions:

    1. Rush to get you off of the phone saying, “I will pass this on to Ms. Landrieu,”
    2. Put you on hold and never get back on the line,
    3. Hang up on you,
    4. Forward your call to another congressional member such as Joe Lieberman (These are my personal experiences),
    5. Then when things get hot and heavy over and issue, you get the busy signal (when someone actually answered the phone in her office in Shreveport, I asked the gentleman, “Why is it so difficult to get through to her office? he explained that it was, “More than likely due to the number of ‘robocalls.’”

    Robocalls???Are they so filled with grand delusions that when I, a registered Democrat, a past supporter, take the time out of my day to look up her phone number and make a phone call to her office in order to express my displeasure about issues concerning the State of Louisiana, that I am referred to as a “robocall?”I have to give credit to the gentleman that he did at least answer the phone.

    I, so much enjoy being referred to as a “robocall” when, I, a registered Democrat, who supported her in the past, really enjoys being insulted and having my intelligence insulted. It does give you that warm feeling, but, it isn’t the warm fuzzy feeling.

    I can’t wait until Queen Mary runs again for office. I pity the person making the phone calls soliciting my vote for Queen Mary. They will get an ear full from me on why this current new Progressive Socialist Elitest Democratic Party is the PERFECT textbook example of bad governing.

    Please continue shoving this Health Care and Cap and Trade down our throats and taxing our children, grand children, and great grandchildren. From my perspective, it appears to be the first step toward enslaving the entire populace and the denial of our posterity an equal chance to success and living the American dream.

    Anonymous NYer (1dd84c)

  108. Based on what we’ve seen so far, here’s my hair-brained theory about what went down.

    For what it’s worth. Maybe nothing.

    But if this turns out to be what happened, I want someone to buy me a Coke. :-)

    Good Lt. (51111a)

  109. Leviticus,

    The senator may not be running for reelection, and is notoriously resigned to not defend her vote to constituents. There are a lot of reports that her phone system us not working. Even the Senator herself has acknowledged it.

    And you know, if O’Keefe went up there to see if they were turned off, and found they were turned on… that’s STILL journalism.

    The Senator doesn’t have the be guilty of turning off the phones for O’Keefe to have a valid explanation in seeking the truth.

    Fact is, the story the FBI is selling kinda doesn’t make sense. Recording himself tap/screw up a senator’s phone without any bugs or tools to disable the phones simply doesn’t make any sense. Going up there to see what’s up with all these reports the phones don’t work… that is plausible (even if O’Keefe has to admit the office had working phones).

    Not that I blame anyone for noting that the behavior some are saying is practiced by Landrieu is completely off the wall and unacceptable to the point of being hard to fathom.

    A lot of people are wondering why O’Keefe isn’t posting what his version is yet. I can only imagine how carefully he has to handle this, though. I think he needs to get his version out ASAP, but he needs to think of himself first. The media’s version of events makes him seem like a lunatic, and he probably didn’t intend to wind up in this position. Hopefully he has an explanation. Many have posited plausible ones, but until he tells his story compellingly, a lot of people are going to assume the worst. And even if he does have the truth on his side, a lot of people will always remember the initial version.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  110. “For the purpose of interfering with the office’s telephone system”.

    They broke into an office of a United States Senator to try to prove said Senator had jiggered the phone system.

    That’s a crime regardless of the desired outcome. We don’t get to excuse it because they are on “our team”.

    My disgust with O’Keefe is that he broke the law. I don’t care whether he tried to bug the joint or was trying to out Ms. Mary as a lying hack; he’s wrong and should pay a price.

    Quilly Mammoth (093170)

  111. I am really curious about the planning of the operating. Obviously, if you are doing something wrong, the planning of it adds another crime to your list (conspiracy, attempt, etc.). But if you’re not, it’s not evidence of crime that you planned it in advance. So, if O’Keefe’s admitted to “planning the operation”, that’s hardly even a first step in an analysis of if he’s committed a crime.

    It does raise a bunch of questions in my own mind. Not legal questions, necessarily, practical ones. Like, this isn’t his first rodeo, but I’m supposed to believe that he and his friends/associates just blustered in there like bulls in a china shop, without first thinking of what exactly they were going to say, and how they were going to say it? You know, so that they didn’t commit any crimes? I mean, it’s possible, but it’d be so foolish….

    I know, I know–history is replete with persons who should know better, doing foolish, foolish things.

    Linus (cc24db)

  112. Leviticus-

    From this link on the previous thread:

    http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/79959137.html

    We were stunned to learn that so many phone calls to Sen. Landrieu have been unanswered and met with continuous busy signals,” Perkins said. “We asked them to call their senators. They could get through to Sen. Vitter, but not Sen. Landrieu.”

    “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.”
    Dwight Hudson of Central said many of his fellow Baton Rouge Tea Party members had phoned Landrieu’s office unsuccessfully for weeks. “The point is they’re not getting their opinion heard. Maybe that’s why they’re out here today,” he said.

    Maybe those quotes are exagerations. As to why she would refuse to take calls… maybe she would need to spend money on a staff member to directly tell her constituents she is not interested in their opinion, instead of thinking they will take the hint.

    MD in Philly (d4668b)

  113. Until O’Keefe releases the unedited ACORN tapes and shows that what he represented by his edited versions was what really happened, we have no reason to believe him on this.

    Why hasn’t O’Keefe and Breibart released the unedited ACORN tapes? What are they hiding?

    More interesting to me is whether Andrew Breitbart is going to be shown to have paid for this New Orleans stunt. He’s admitted on Hugh Hewitt’s show that O’Keefe is on his Big Government.com payroll and so far, ACORN is his website’s sole moment of glory. Was he behind this stunt?

    Allen Funt (42b279)

  114. Looks like WaPo issued a correction.

    “James O’Keefe charged in alleged phone tampering of Senator Mary Landrieu’s office”

    Correction to This Article
    Earlier versions of this story incorrectly reported that James O’Keefe faced charges in an alleged plot to bug the office of Sen. Mary Landrieu. The charges were related to an alleged plot to tamper with a phone system. The headline incorrectly referred to a plot to bug the phone and a caption incorrectly referred to an alleged wiretap scheme.

    WTFCI (7e7343)

  115. typical for a two hundred attorney law firm with multiple floors, not necessarily for a congressional office. the lines from ma bell come up in the black tubes in the center, splinter into a zillion wires that go through the blocks and then to group and individual lines which descend in the thick tan wires running from below the blocks down to runways that lead to the individual offices, other blocks, telephony systems, and what not. Still and all, if you got a close look at the blocks, you’d probably see phone numbers penned in.

    chb3 (c12b68)

  116. I gotta love how when the left does anything even remotely suspect, conservatives jump all over it like it’s a war crime, but when one of their own is caught, it’s nitpicking detail dissection and justification time.

    JEA (3fc310)

  117. #100, chb3′s observation seems to me the most likely description of events. If so, what O’Keefe and his associates attempted isn’t a crime, or at least not much of one. (#108 has it right too, and should get his reward.)

    ropelight (fa8042)

  118. I gotta love how when the left does anything even remotely suspect, conservatives jump all over it like it’s a war crime, but when one of their own is caught, it’s nitpicking detail dissection and justification time.

    Hiyo Kettle.

    Anyway I’d bet that in the end O’Keefe will get a slap on the wrist for being a reckless boy who needs to think about consequences more a little. Then the judge will tell him to make sure he doesn’t get too much credit card debt and will send him home.

    chaos (9c54c6)

  119. “They broke into an office of a United States Senator”

    Quilly Mammoth – Nicely done. I’m sure you meant to say they walked in during normal business hours instead. It’s an easy mistake to make. Anyone could do it.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  120. Allen “Ellie Light” Funt, DNC seminar posters are not believed anymore. Get a real job.

    PCD (1d8b6d)

  121. >I gotta love how when the left does anything even remotely suspect, conservatives jump all over it like it’s a war crime, but when one of their own is caught, it’s nitpicking detail dissection and justification time.

    Ditto for the left who defended (and continue to defend) ACORN’s corruption.

    Plus, it looks like some in the media can’t read an affadavit – like the Washington Post:

    >Correction to This Article
    Earlier versions of this story incorrectly reported that James O’Keefe faced charges in an alleged plot to bug the office of Sen. Mary Landrieu. The charges were related to an alleged plot to tamper with a phone system. The headline incorrectly referred to a plot to bug the phone and a caption incorrectly referred to an alleged wiretap scheme.

    Will MSNBC issue corrections next? Time will tell.

    So much for “getting it right” by the O’Keefe haters.

    Good Lt. (51111a)

  122. Dear Mr. Mammoth-

    You’re barking up the wrong blog.

    Had you taken any time acquainting yourself with the posts on these two threads on O’Keefe, you would have realized no one has excused him from being convicted and sentenced for any crimes committed.

    To JEA, what to one is “nitpicking detail dissection” is simply “scrutinizing” to another. Most of the people here are lawyers, “nitpicking detail dissection” is what they do. Beside, we rarely have time to “remotely suspect” anything, that which is obvious is plenty to deal with.

    MD in Philly (d4668b)

  123. “but when one of their own is caught, it’s nitpicking detail dissection and justification time”

    JEA – Dude, you are so going to have to give examples. Do you mean like when Sarah Palin was caught not charging for rape kits and not banning books and stuff like that?

    daleyrocks (718861)

  124. I’m having trouble determining exactly what O’Keefe was supposed to have done to aid and abet the bogus telephone repairmen. The afadavit only says that he said he was waiting for someone and that he used his cell phone to film the phoney repairmen.

    Is that aiding and abetting? Did he say something like, “Oh, here come the telephone company repairmen” or something similar? Did he do anything to encourage the office workers to cooperate with the repairmen?

    For that matter, what crime did the repairmen commit? They did not break into the office – it was open for business. No fake IDs. No evidence of bugging, nor destruction. They didn’t even gain access to the phone system. So, how will anyone prove what it was they intended to do?

    It could be that they just wanted to document that there was nothing wrong with the phone system and thereby prove that the Senator was simply not answering the phones.

    trashhauler (fe29f1)

  125. Welcome to another day’s episode of kids say the funniest things!

    daleyrocks (718861)

  126. Daleyrocks-
    I’m sure you meant to say that they lied and entered under false pretenses. Which is breaking and entering. Unless you think that FBI agent just made everything up to get O’Keefe? You know, and the fact that Flannigan and Basel already admitted that they entered under false pretenses.

    IOW they got access to areas they would not have had they not lied.

    Do try and read the affidavit..would you?

    Quilly Mammoth (093170)

  127. I agree with commenter 72. Nobody films themself committing a felony (well, nobody smart at least), and if he was trying to make a point, I could see a hypothetical video coming out in the next few days looking like this:

    (Outside of office building)
    This is Mary Landrieu’s office. We called her to find out what happened with her vote on the health care bill and this is what we heard
    (busy signal) and this (busy signal) and this…
    Being concered citizens, we visited her office in person to find out if perhaps her phone system had problems
    (video of “repair guy” checking phone)
    No, the phone in her office seems to work just fine. (brief montage of person making phone calls to office and getting busy signals while phone sits there not ringing)
    Well, lets go check the phone cabinet. Perhaps there is a wire unplugged, and as good citizens we can plug it back in…

    And as for “let’s hear O’Keefe’s side of the story”, at this point *anything* he says can and will be used against him in court. Any comments on what was really going on will come out from “sources close to the defendent”.

    georg felis (c7bd95)

  128. To hear Chris Matthews tell it, this is Watergate II and further evidence that nothing on the right has changed since Nixxon’s day. The left will whip this pony to death before they’ll admit theres no ‘there’ there.

    john b (9d319c)

  129. Obama has been a disaster for this country.

    Jeff Erson (93eecf)

  130. Quilly Mammoth, perhaps you should re-read the thread, because people have addressed your views.

    you’re lying to call it breaking and entering, and that’s not necessary. Let’s stick to what we know, which is very little, and admit we’re speculating about the rest.

    It’s not known that they lied. Or that they admitted to lying, or that they intended to commit any damage or harm to anything. The affidavit might lead you think something that hasn’t been proven.

    We’ll see what the government can prove. they should have everything on tape, so if they can’t prove it, it probably didn’t happen.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  131. Just remember, per http://twitter.com/JamesOKeefeIII

    “I am a journalist. The truth shall set me free.”

    Anonymous NYer (1dd84c)

  132. Some points of information that maybe helpful in discussing this incident.

    In the late 60′s, I was in charge of a major telephone information service and the suits upstairs did not like to see too many “lost calls.” They wanted the impossible – that every call would be answered but were unwilling to spend the money or upgrade the system. So, every one in a while, I would be called on the carpet about the “lost call’ problem.

    I would listen and then respond to their questions. When I told them how much money we would have to spend to reduce the percentage of “lost calls,” and that, in fact, our current “lost call” percentage was a “guestimate,” and that the actual number of lost calls could be considerably higher, I would be dismissed.

    When a large number of people call a certain number which has multiple lines, such as a telephone information service or a legislator’s office, only a certain percentage will reach an open line, another percentage will enter the system but, there being no open lines, will not complete their call. Most systems have registers that will record both types of calls as well as the number of working lines.

    What few people, aside from some information specialists, know is that there is a third type of call. These calls do not register as there are no open service lines available to enter the system. Any good telephone system has more service lines that phone positions but no phone system has an infinite number of service lines.

    It is easy for someone with basic telephone technical skills, such as an office manager, to reduce the number of actual phone positions. This avoids the need to have to speak to annoyed voters. O’Keefe and company might have the knowledge to spot the cut-off phone positions and photograph the fact.

    Another point that I think no one has considered.

    A “listening” device can be anything from a cell phone to a short wave radio and does not have to be close to the target. However, to make the “listening” device useful, “transmitting’ devices must be emplaced. “Transmitting” devices are commonly called”bugs.” With emplanted “bugs” and hi-tech raadio gear, a “bug” in Washington could transmit to a “listening” device in New York City or Nome, Alaska.

    Longwalker (996c34)

  133. 116, JEA, since you Libs have declared war on everyone else, any crime you commit would be a “war crime”.

    PCD (1d8b6d)

  134. Quilly Mammoth – If you’re not careful, someone is going to charge you with felony sexual abuse of that chicken. Just sayin’.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  135. I gotta love how when the left does anything even remotely suspect, conservatives jump all over it like it’s a war crime

    Like Sandy Burglar stealing classified documents while Bill Clinton laughed it off?

    In any case, “war crimes” is the lefts preferred accusation. Nobody on the right ever uses that line.

    Subotai (494b58)

  136. The evidence is, so far, very thinly put together. However, a listening device doesn’t need to mean the “bug” itself, but instead it could be a wireless receiver.

    Craig (4a65b1)

  137. Quilly Mammoth,

    I’m not sure that walking into an open office dressed as something you aren’t constitutes breaking and entering. They did not gain access to any sensitive area through lying – the Senator’s office was open to the public and they were refused access to the phone cabinet. Maybe the GSA office wasn’t open to the public….

    It’s an almost totally circumstantial case by what we know at this point. Still pretty stupid and any prosecutor will be almost forced to take action, regardless of the lack of evidence so far.

    trashhauler (fe29f1)

  138. What few people, aside from some information specialists, know is that there is a third type of call Longwalker

    Wasn’t one of the four supposed to have some kind of technical intelligence/counterintelligence background?

    MD in Philly (d4668b)

  139. They broke into an office of a United States Senator

    You’d better notify the FBI then, because they failed to list that as one of the charges.

    Subotai (494b58)

  140. Have you seen Glen Beck’s shtick about a “red phone” that he claims is a hotline to the White House?

    The facts represented here lead me to think that this is Mr. O’Keefe engaging in a bit of “political theatre” intended to show that the Senator does indeed have a working telephone, but that she’s ignoring the calls of her constituents.

    The ACORN caper worked in multiple parts spaced out over several days. And it counted on the lamestream media to respond in a predictible knee-jerk way.

    The WaPo is casting this like Watergate2010. Unlike Mr. Liddy, Mr. O’Keefe’s penetration team did not use Cubans, but included the son of a Federal Prosecutor. If crimes were planned or perpetrated, they certainly know better.

    Could hubris have moved Mr. O’Keefe to step over a line? Perhaps. Or perhaps is he laying a trap for people like Wapo’s Ms. Leonnig. Get the popcorn, looks like it’ll be quite a show.

    Steve Poling (1862e9)

  141. An explanation for this that makes sense? OK: as long as he was in jail, ACORN wasn’t in danger of being video taped doing something else wrong. It really sounds like a huge amount of overcharging innocent behavior by someone you disagree with, that you might be able to get a conviction of because the crime is really depends on the state of mind of those complaining. Yes, I agree that “assault is in the mind of the victim”, but that can be taken too far, and this seems to be a case of that happening.

    htom (412a17)

  142. “Could hubris have moved Mr. O’Keefe to step over a line? Perhaps. Or perhaps is he laying a trap for people like Wapo’s Ms. Leonnig. Get the popcorn, looks like it’ll be quite a show.”

    Maybe he’s expecting to get sentenced to 10 years and then REALLY unload something huge.

    imdw (6aedcd)

  143. [...] that isn’t in the charges. So what are these people being charged with?   Update: Patterico comes to the same point and says so this morning. He also indicates that the source of the WaPo story is Carol D Leoning, who has a bit of history [...]

    Nightly Ramble Wednesday (2af0e7)

  144. O’Keefe is on his Big Government.com payroll

    No, O’Keefe is an independent contractor. Breitbart discussed how O’Keefe sells certain video rights to him, the same as an author sells publishing rights to a book publisher.

    Official Internet Data Office (dc2fe1)

  145. “…Why would Landrieu turn off her own phones?…”

    Because, if there is one thing Moon would have taught his Baby Girl,
    it is that the last people she needs to listen to are your average constituents (voters) –
    as has been noted previously, her real constituency is SEIU & ACORN.
    Plus, since when has the average voter ever been relevant to the outcome of an election in LA?

    AD - RtR/OS! (8b1c67)

  146. Good Lt. has clearly and explicitly set out what I believe to be one plausible theory about what happened. That was basically what I tried to subtly suggest with my quotation of the news article about Landrieu’s “jammed” phones.

    Patterico (9e2e75)

  147. Senatorial, and Congressional, field offices are notorious for shutting out their constituents through manipulation of the phone service,
    or the latest device – a ZIP-code filter on emails.

    AD - RtR/OS! (8b1c67)

  148. “Maybe he’s expecting to get sentenced to 10 years and then REALLY unload something huge.”

    The ranks of the 501st Chicken Fucking Brigade are growing!

    daleyrocks (718861)

  149. So he was “manipulating” the phone, rather than “bugging” it? Is that just a euphemism, like “manipulating” one’s genitals?

    Mikey (2f0ed2)

  150. “No, O’Keefe is an independent contractor”

    Seems like a sweet deal that Breitbart describes. Breitbart pays O’keefe and O’keefe doesn’t work for him. I wonder if ACORN does that to anyone.

    imdw (f7b257)

  151. Brian @9:20

    OK, if Landrieu’s staff had configured their phone system so that their published phone number always rang busy, then that probably doesn’t meet the definitions of 18 USC 1362 since they were agents of the government and configuring the phone system for their preferences.

    It is highly unlikely that O’Keefe would have been able to enable the incoming calls to ring through. To do that he’d need the following knowledge and resources: the make and model of the phone switch, the admin password for the phone switch, the admin manual for the phone switch (or knowledge of the menus for the switch), and a laptop computer to plug in to the console port of the switch (unless one was there already, which is sometimes the case but not always).

    It’s also possible he could have tried to repunch the phone lines to swap the published number with a private number — that would have caused calls made to the public number to ring through on what would look like a private line to the staffers. He’d have needed specialized tools and knowledge to do this.

    Last possibility is disconnecting the public line from the switch, then connecting it to a standard phone or a butt set and have an accomplice call him to see if the interference was at the CO (phone company) or at the senator’s switch. Again, specialized tools and knowledge required.

    Wire Monkey (fa7fff)

  152. O’Keefe is likely letting the media and blogosphere play this up into a firestorm, then will make his cooly planned political statement. Timing is everything as he showed in the timed release of the ACORN tapes, allowing them to perjure themselves in public and then releasing more tapes. He may actually wait for “charges” to be filed.

    It’s actually the leftists and government who need to be very careful here…but they probably don’t realize it yet.

    Reminds me of a line from a film with a prison scene. A tough, new prisoner is threatened by other inmates. He replies “You are confused. I’m not locked in here with you. YOU are locked in here with me!”

    Laurence Oeth (0b8dd9)

  153. Dustin-
    Lying? Sir, you need the definition:

    Definition of Breaking and Entering-
    “entering a residence or other enclosed property through the slightest amount of force (even pushing open a door), without authorization. If there is intent to commit a crime, this is burglary. If there is no such intent, the breaking and entering alone is probably at least illegal trespass, which is a misdemeanor crime.”

    By entering under false pretenses the are not “authorized”.

    And MD, there are peple on this thread and Patterico’s other thread excusing what O’keefe’s bunch did. For example this comment just above:

    It is easy for someone with basic telephone technical skills, such as an office manager, to reduce the number of actual phone positions. This avoids the need to have to speak to annoyed voters. O’Keefe and company might have the knowledge to spot the cut-off phone positions and photograph the fact.

    Indeed…illegally entering and photographing the fact. Which quite a few people seem to be missing.

    Quilly Mammoth (093170)

  154. When did dressing up like the Village People become a crime?

    SteveG (909b57)

  155. daleyrocks–Sorry, dude, I don;t want your sloppy seconds.

    Quilly Mammoth (093170)

  156. Breitbart pays O’keefe and O’keefe doesn’t work for him

    Wrong. An independent contractor does work, then licenses (sells rights to) his product, and receives 1099 forms to use in compiling a tax return. Someone on a payroll does work, and receives a W-2 to use in preparing his taxes.

    Official Internet Data Office (dc2fe1)

  157. O’Keefe’s real crime…

    The news channels are abuzz with tales of James O’Keefe’s arrest for… well… prosecutor Patterico has read the affidavit and it doesn’t seem to support the canonical narrative. There is the suggestion, though, that O’Keefe & co. were putting on …

    Silicon Valley Redneck (0436bf)

  158. Re: “bug”

    Perhaps the WaPo meant O’Keefe has a cold or the flu???

    Yes, a cell phone is a ‘listening device’ … so is a functioning human ear.

    Funny how that old Clinton canard of defining “is” seems to have been adopted by the Washington press establishment … Well, perhaps NOT so ‘funny’.

    Yes, smells of rotten fish.

    MagicMan (996c34)

  159. Quilly Mammoth – If breaking and entering is equivalent to entering under false pretenses, is it under the same criminal statute? Why are you not citing the statute and why were the individuals not charged with breaking and entering?

    Why are we skeptical of you mad legal reasoning?

    daleyrocks (718861)

  160. “When did dressing up like the Village People become a crime?”

    I understand he will be releasing the full footage of this, when they show he had his native american costume waiting in the van, and after getting dressed he and his buddies were going to headline a Village People karaoke event down the street.

    Well, it seems about as plausible as the scenario set forth here.

    Mikey (2f0ed2)

  161. when they were following Newt around with a scrambler – it was all in good fun…

    EricPWJohnson (1465de)

  162. The WP is wrong. It’s the responsibility of any credible news outlet- print, broadcast or web- to report the facts and not speculate on intent in that reporting. Leave that to the editorial and opinion page.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  163. I believe in reading the affidavit, I just don’t believe in overreading it. It says “falsely and fraudulently representing that they were employees of the telephone company”. It says nothing about them saying anything. It might be enough that they wore uniforms and said things that sounded as if they were official phone company business. “representing” is no synonym for “speaking” or “saying” but broad enough to cover all types of fraud. After all my representatives apparently don’t even need to hear what I say to claim to represent me.

    They may well have lied. But the affidavit does not make that case as clearly as you infer. So far it looks like a pretty paltry case.

    Hullabulloo (838936)

  164. So hilarious. “Look! Look! Look at this thing right here that I’m telling you to look at! Ignore the real story – that the FB-freaking-I arrested O’Keefe on a felony charge of being a complete idiot! Ignore!”

    Too much.

    It looks like what they were trying to do was simply film some dumb damn thing. What imbeciles.

    Updated at 3:26 p.m. ET: Unnamed “conservative supporters” of O’Keefe tell the Washington Post that his motive was another video sting. The paper says he wanted “to show on video that citizens trying to call the senator’s phones to complain could not get through.”

    That doesn’t explain wanting to get into the telephone “closet,” as the FBI agent called it.

    And I think you need to read the affidavit again – part 11.

    LT (166da3)

  165. Glad I’m not the only one who noticed the lack of actual evidence of bugging in the screaming-headlines story about the supposed bugging.

    Jim Treacher (5e555d)

  166. Quilly,

    By your criteria you are harrasing me across state lines, and Quilly has a Q in it like Al Queda, so the NSA and CIA can get after you too.

    Don’t be so disengenious as to pick one post out of 300 and think that is adequate support for your initial comment.

    Good day!

    MD in Philly (d4668b)

  167. Hullabulloo, are you for real? I have the affidavit open right here. It says, in section 10, that all four of the idiot defendants “admitted to federal agents.”

    How do people become so allergic to the truth?

    LT (166da3)

  168. The charges are not going to stick.

    Look for some sort of plea to a misdemeanor, like jaywalking, just to save the embarassment of a trial.

    drjohn (604e75)

  169. LT

    They asked – repeat they asked – I’ll repeat again – they asked – again for those who cant understand what intent is – they asked

    Asking is different than breaking in.

    Just a little bit.

    EricPWJohnson (1465de)

  170. I would also note, that the affadavit was put together by the agent interviewing the suspects and office workers, he didn’t actually witness this himself. So what was said exactly is unknown, and probably differs slightly between each person, and will have to be worked out to a degree in depositions.

    Thus, I’m wondering if the fake telephone techs actually claimed to be with the phone company? I bet it’s entirely possible that they just said they came to check the phones, and let their costumes imply they had official business. I’ve noticed in many places that you can go almost anywhere with the right clothes and attitude. They may have been relying on this to get into the phone closet.

    As for their intentions, that’s far from clear at this point. All I see so far is maybe trespassing.

    RPD (41ba3e)

  171. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free excercise thereof;
    or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;
    or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    I think that pretty much covers the alleged “B&E”.

    AD - RtR/OS! (8b1c67)

  172. No, Jim Treacher, you’re not the only one trying to obscure the real story. It’s a Right Wing mission now.

    Why do you hate law enforcement?

    LT (166da3)

  173. LT I read it again – this is why most sworn affidavits get thrown out

    First – the FBI agent did not witness the events

    Second – THe definition of manipulate?

    Third – Undercover reporters do these kind of things all the time – send people in fake job interviews, actually become temp employees of the IRS – sneak in hidden cameras in bags and interview under false pretenses federal and state employees

    All these guys did was call her phones and ask to see the closet

    big whoop

    EricPWJohnson (1465de)

  174. I’m a child of the 70s. Back then “investigative reporters” used all sorts of ruses to gain access to the targets of their “exposés”. It was all fair first amendment rights back then. Some of them would falsely apply for a job, representing themselves as needing employment, not making six-figures at a network news agency.

    They could have done anything once given access to the company–but the footage was usually given as the evidence of what their intent was. O’Keefe has footage–I doubt that it will be considered.

    O’Keefe is guilty of being a conservative investigative journalist.

    Hullabulloo (838936)

  175. It is not LE that is hated, it is the attitude of LE that is intolerable in a Free Republic.

    AD - RtR/OS! (8b1c67)

  176. ^es muy grande Trollbot Douchebag.

    But I have to admit it’s hilarious to watch the nutbags suddenly come on here (never seen them before) and make statements of fact that don’t exist, but that they know, just know in their hearts to be true. All about the feelings, you understand.

    Dmac (539341)

  177. Erick

    What in the hell are you talking about? I never mentioned B&E.

    What a strange group of mixed up children.

    LT (166da3)

  178. Quilly, they’re not charged with B&E, so that doesn’t apply. They’re charged with false and fraudulent entry to a federal facility, and intent to violate 18 USC §1036, namely, commit willful and malicious interference of communications lines under 18 USC §1036*.

    I believe that latter would require that the comm lines in question were in fact actually used for “military or civil defense functions of the United States.” Seems a stretch, but would depend on what offices are in the building and ran through the phone closet. And looks like a MAJOR stretch unless the feds have a confession to willfully and maliciously commit actual interferences in hand.

    If so, then these wannabe crusaders win a DumbAss Award for not having a pre-constructed non-felony-goal cover story in hand to account for their actions, as it appears they never got close enough to actually interfere with said lines, making it a tough case to prove specific intent to do so absent such a confession.

    The “entry under false pretenses” thing is what’s gonna hurt ‘em. Doesn’t matter what their purpose was for that.

    thomas ellensburg (4dce1a)

  179. Actually the FBI agent should be questioned – 1st did a crime occur – was the phone “manipulated” he probably just saw it had a dial tone and could receive an outside line.

    They were caught and Landrieu is pissed she was caught

    Using Federal agents in this matter – in New Orleans where the list of suspects is a mile long the case load as deep as the river – this was a waste of manpower

    EricPWJohnson (1465de)

  180. That comment was directed at LT, aka large turdlet.

    Dmac (539341)

  181. It sounds like the investigation continues. Mr. Flanagan, who is the son of the acting US Attorney, has his own lawyer, while the other three are represented together. The government has now charged what they can easily, and unequivocably prove without anyone’s cooperation. I suspect as time goes on one of them, probably Mr. Flanagan, will cooperate with prosecutors and tell what the four of them were up to. When they do, we will find that they were planning to listen in on phone calls. And when that happens, will this board print an “I was wrong “story”?

    Mikey (2f0ed2)

  182. First we have this awesome intellectual insight:

    It’s a Right Wing mission now.

    Then this:

    What a strange group of mixed up children.

    Better see a Freudian analyst, pronto. That’s some serious case of projection you got there, bobo.

    Dmac (539341)

  183. …“entry under false pretenses”…

    See #170, clause #3!

    AD - RtR/OS! (8b1c67)

  184. Thanks for providing some clarity on this story. If in fact it turns out that the media has distorted this story to get out in front of it in order to spotlight OKeefe in the worst possible light then they will be successful in damaging Okeefe among the far left believers. They will chew on this in blogs for weeks/months and maybe even years any time anything about ACORN comes up. It will help them get past the fact that they are supporting a criminal organization that willing aids teenage prostitution.

    But in the end, for the rest of us, this will be far more damaging to the media than it will be to Okeefe. Just another story to remind us that their reporting is not to be believed unless verified by other reliable sources, like blogs.

    Becky (bea72b)

  185. Thanks for providing some clarity on this story. If in fact it turns out that the media has distorted this story to get out in front of it in order to spotlight OKeefe in the worst possible light then they will be successful in damaging Okeefe among the far left believers. They will chew on this in blogs for weeks/months and maybe even years any time anything about ACORN comes up. It will help them get past the fact that they are supporting a criminal organization that willing aids teenage prostitution.

    But in the end, for the rest of us, this will be far more damaging to the media than it will be to Okeefe. Just another story to remind us that their reporting is not to be believed unless verified by other reliable sources, like blogs.

    Becky (bea72b)

  186. Dmac – what “make statements of fact that don’t exist” did I make? I’ll wait.

    And this:

    Actually the FBI agent should be questioned – 1st did a crime occur – was the phone “manipulated” he probably just saw it had a dial tone and could receive an outside line.

    Just wow. I mean I was joking when I said “Why do you hate law enforcement?”, but sheesh – that is just ugly.

    LT (166da3)

  187. “admitted to federal agents.”

    Yeah, LT. The admission is to afterwards and it says that they admitted to “that they entered the office of Senator Landrieu under false pretenses” it doesn’t say that they said “We’re from the phone company,” anywhere.

    Why is it you don’t get that you reading into the affidavit and not representing it for the vague account that it is.

    Hullabulloo (838936)

  188. So he was “manipulating” the phone, rather than “bugging” it? Is that just a euphemism, like “manipulating” one’s genitals?

    Comment by Mikey — 1/27/2010 @ 1:20 pm

    I have nothing to add to this. I just like this comment. LOL.

    Assclown doodyheads (f0d390)

  189. [...] for the error. If it’s any consolation, WaPo’s reporter made the same mistake — the same reporter, in fact, who famously made the mistake (later corrected) of claiming O’Keefe had a racial [...]

    Hot Air » Blog Archive » Fox News: Sources close to O’Keefe say it’s “not a case of wiretapping” (e2f069)

  190. Comment by Assclown doodyheads — 1/27/2010 @ 2:16 pm

    You had me at “I have nothing to add…”

    Pretty much describes every comment you have ever made here.

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  191. LT, huh? Good to know.

    Jim Treacher (5e555d)

  192. Why do people like 4:22:06 PM and imdw eschew honesty, preferring to lie lie lie?

    JD (f2435b)

  193. Hullabaloo, you said this:

    I believe in reading the affidavit, I just don’t believe in overreading it. It says “falsely and fraudulently representing that they were employees of the telephone company”. It says nothing about them saying anything. It might be enough that they wore uniforms and said things that sounded as if they were official phone company business. “representing” is no synonym for “speaking” or “saying” but broad enough to cover all types of fraud. After all my representatives apparently don’t even need to hear what I say to claim to represent me.

    They may well have lied. But the affidavit does not make that case as clearly as you infer. So far it looks like a pretty paltry case.

    There is so much denial in there it’s hard to know where to begin. In section 5 it says Witness I said that Flanagan and Basel “represented to her that they were technicians from the telephone company.”

    Really unbelievable. You are attempting by apparently any means to read something OUT of the affadavit, while accusing others of reading into it. I have no idea what happened. My guess is that they won’t be charged. But the affadavit is what it is, and says what it says.

    LT (166da3)

  194. I suspect as time goes on one of them, probably Mr. Flanagan, will cooperate with prosecutors and tell what the four of them were up to. When they do, we will find that they were planning to listen in on phone calls.

    I’m impressed by the way in which people from the left continue to make confident predictions about the future, undeterred by their terrible track record in the past.

    Subotai (494b58)

  195. Has it been acknowledged that Loennig has issued a correction? It may have, can’t see it.

    LT (166da3)

  196. Mikey – What equipment was found that would enable them to listen in on phone calls? This thread is just a collection of serially obtuse leftists. Good allah.

    JD (f2435b)

  197. I’d always said that you could bluff your way into most buildings with the right uniform, but these guys forgot that this was in Louisiana, where corruption and nepotism are a way of life.

    When you give out the contract for telephone systems in most places, you have no idea who is going to be the lowest bidder every year, so you get a lot of faces showing up at your door. But in a place rife with nepotism, like in Louisiana, if you’re not somebody’s cousin or uncle, you’re going to stick out like a 6th toe.

    Neo (7830e6)

  198. My guess is that they won’t be charged.
    They have been charged. Department of Justice Press Release

    NEW ORLEANS—JOSEPH BASEL, age 24; ROBERT FLANAGAN, age 24; JAMES O’KEEFE, age 25; and STAN DAI, age 24, were charged in a criminal complaint with entering federal property under false pretenses for the purpose of committing a felony, announced the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

    The felony they stand accused of conspiring to commit is destruction of government property, or more particularly, destruction of property used for military and/or civil defense communications.

    cboldt (60ea4a)

  199. Merry Fitzmas! The left is still waiting on Karl Rove’s perp walk.

    JD (f2435b)

  200. So he was “manipulating” the phone, rather than “bugging” it? Is that just a euphemism, like “manipulating” one’s genitals?

    No. Manipulating a phone can simply mean holding it in your hand and pushing buttons. Bugging a phone means attaching an electronic device to it for the purposes of listening to conversations. The words mean different things. The first is something we all do every day. The second is a crime in most cases.

    You’re welcome.

    Subotai (494b58)

  201. 156 – Silicon Valley Redneck: prosecutor Patterico has read the affidavit and it doesn’t seem to support the canonical narrative.

    Does this mean Pat is part of the legal defense team for O’Keefe & Co or an outside consultant or what? Is it regular practice for prosecutor’s to give their opinions on ongoing investigations without having all the facts now??

    Well at least someone’s standing by this douche-O-matic O’Keefe character cos Lord knows, his employer, Andrew Breitbart of BIGGOVERNMENT.COM just basically told him to eff off and die, he’s going to try and get as far away from this trainwreck of an idiot “journalist” as possible.

    I sense an official PeePee disclaimer coming in 3….2….1….

    Assclown doodyheads (f0d390)

  202. LT

    I was in law enforcement -actually very high ranked in Orleans Parish – in fact top management

    First a crime actually has to be committed.

    Under section 1036 they were not in a secure area – they could have said they were sent by the president – its in the reception area – a public area – they could have sang the howdydoodie song – its a public area –

    You cant break into an area open to the public

    go figure and the agent knows this we get this all the time when protest go down at the Boggs building (like a monthly occurance) and they dump it at us during Connicks reign because once they hit the streets its a Orleans Parish disorderly conduct issue – there is no federal issue

    Sec 1362

    You have to prove they shut down the lines – stopped the line – broke the lines – interfered with the office staff (pissing the staff off is not going real far with a federal judge unless profanity and things get thrown)

    you have to have caused an injury – there must be an overt act – no judge is going to guess that 4 invesitgative guys with a cell phone and a flashlight are/were going to shut down her switchboard – leaps are for local magistrates not the Federal Courts

    Embarassing local officials is not a crime

    EricPWJohnson (1465de)

  203. Words from the affidavit in italics with guesses in bold

    On January 25, 2010, individuals entered … for the purpose of interfering with the office’s telephone system to get it to work properly.

    FLANAGAN and BASEL entered the Hale Boggs Federal Building, each dressed in blue denim pants, a blue work shit, a light fluorescent green vest, a tool belt, and carrying white, construction-style hard hat but no visible logos or identification that they were telephone repairmen or associated with any organization.

    WITNESS 1 stated that upon entering Senator Landreiu’s office, FLANAGAN and BASEL represented to her that they were repair technicians from the telephone company but did not provide a name of an organization or company.

    FLANAGAN and BASEL spoke with WITNESS 2, a GSA employee working the GSA office, and represented that they were employees of the telephone company but did not provide a name of an organization or company.

    ——

    Clearly, there was intent to interfere with the office’s telephone system — they were trying to get it to work!!!

    [note: released from moderation. --Stashiu]

    Anonymous NYer (1dd84c)

  204. Assclown appears to not know the meaning of employee, preferring to spit out the same lie over and over and over. Truth in advertising, to ne sure.

    JD (f2435b)

  205. cboldt

    Sorry – meant to say that my guess is the charges will be dropped. That is JUST a guess. Or they’ll plead to minor offenses.

    LT (166da3)

  206. The felony they stand accused of conspiring to commit is destruction of government property, or more particularly, destruction of property used for military and/or civil defense communications

    Again, this is not the case. If people would stop believing whatever nonsense they read in the press, they’d be better informed.

    They were charged under Title 18, United States Code, Section 1362. I suggest you read it.

    That particular charge is going nowhere.

    Subotai (494b58)

  207. This just in: Washington Post issues a correction to the O’Keefe story.

    Official Internet Data Office (dc2fe1)

  208. It appears that NBC’s Domenico Montenaro has bought the WaPo’s misdirection and didn’t bother to check for a correction.

    He uses “wire tap” in his report on O’Keefe.

    http://is.gd/7bjrt

    WTFCI (26fd10)

  209. Subotai: The first is something we all do every day.

    Not trespassing on Fed. property, in a U.S. Senator’s office under FALSE PRETENSES wearing hard hats and fluorescent green work vests.

    I can easily say, I’ve never had the pleasure of that little bit of tele-phony manipulation and have yet to cross it off of my “bucket list.”

    Has anyone here ever “manipulated” their phone in this manner? No??

    Also why would these Tele-Phonies need a friggin’ hard hat to “manipulate” a phone or telephony system? Were they afraid the handset might jumpy out of someone’s hand and hit them on the noggin?

    Assclown doodyheads (f0d390)

  210. Section 1362

    “Whoever willfully or maliciously injures or destroys any of the works, property, or material of any radio, telegraph, telephone or cable, line, station, or system, or other means of communication, operated or controlled by the United States, or used or intended to be used for military or civil defense functions of the United States, whether constructed or in process of construction, or willfully or maliciously interferes in any way with the working or use of any such line, or system, or willfully or maliciously obstructs, hinders, or delays the transmission of any communication over any such line, or system, or attempts or conspires to do such an act, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.”

    They’ll get laughed out of court if they try to argue this.

    Subotai (494b58)

  211. I was in law enforcement -actually very high ranked in Orleans Parish – in fact top management

    That doesn’t count in LT’s fevered imagination – he just knows what the affidavit said, and don’t bother his pretty little head waiting for the result of a trial, or any other trifling little details that get in the way of his awesome “Right Wing” machine meme. After all, it’s not like this blog has any actual lawyers and prosecutors posting – but LT, yeah, he knows what the twoof is, and he’s gonna speak that twoof to plower.

    I have no idea what happened.


    But the affadavit is what it is, and says what it says.

    So you’ve just contradicted yourself again – beautiful. I’d ask you to look up the word oxymoron, but I fear that’s not in your vocabulary. But please keep it up, this is hilarity en fuego.

    All Hail, LT – THE TWOOF IS OUT THERE! ELEVENTY! FIRE DOESN’T MELT STEEL! HALLIBURTON!

    Dmac (539341)

  212. Not trespassing on Fed. property, in a U.S. Senator’s office under FALSE PRETENSES wearing hard hats and fluorescent green work vests.

    You don’t read too good, Assclown. I said that “manipulating” a phone is not an illegal activity. I said zilch about “trespassing”. But I’ll point out now that they were not charged with trespassing.

    Subotai (494b58)

  213. Eric

    Please tell me it is actually not true that you were a high up in law enforcement. Please. I beg you.

    Did you actually write this:

    You cant break into an area open to the public

    Have you ever suffered a serious head injury? How can this be stated more clearly: They were not charged with breaking into anything.

    Wtf?

    And are you so bizarrely contemptuous of law enforcement that you automatically think the very worst of Special Agent Steven Rayes? Why?

    LT (166da3)

  214. Truth in advertising, assclown. Thank you.

    JD (f2435b)

  215. Oh good lord Dmac, not waiting for a trial? Are you serious? I have no idea what happened. You even quoted me on that!

    Too too much.

    LT (166da3)

  216. Why do you hate hate hate telling the truth, 4:55:49 PM?

    JD (f2435b)

  217. Really unbelievable. You are attempting by apparently any means to read something OUT of the affadavit, while accusing others of reading into it.

    Wierd LT, I actually quoted the affadavit. And I included the part about “representing”. I’m not trying to read anything about, but demonstrated that it is a more ambiguous word than “said”.

    If I dress up in a cop uniform and say cop words and never say “I’m a police officer” or any other sentence that means the same thing–including “I’m Officer Hullabaloo.” I’m pretty sure that I’m still guilty of impersonating a cop by other things I said and representing myself as a cop.

    So I’m not reading anything OUT of the affadavit. I’m simply demonstrating the range that “represented” has.

    You’re an equally bad reader if you can get from any of my posts that I am shilling for O’Keefe. If O’Keefe and his buddies planned to interfere with Senator Landrieu’s phone system, I say “that’s sad, prosecute him.” I even said that they well could have lied, but the affidavit does not clearly state that. I’m sorry for your reading skills if you don’t get the point, and instead, prefer to read that I’m shilling for O’Keefe. Fine logic relies on making fine points.

    Good luck to you.

    Hullabulloo (838936)

  218. Every time I type L T it puts in a time stamp. Regardless, it is a dishonest douchenozzle.

    JD (f2435b)

  219. Looked at LT’s blog, where this was staring me in the face


    Why does The Malkin hate America? Do Republicans now hate Americans voting?

    So I guess questions of the “when did you stop beating your wife” sort are his speciality.

    Subotai (494b58)

  220. This is what it appears to me. That the affidavit represents a least-common-denominator approach to what everybody agrees to. Basel and Flanagan admit to “false pretenses” and “manipulating a phone”. The office staffers might have said anything, but that’s what Basel and Flanagan would admit to and O’Keefe admitted to helping them plan to do whatever they were doing in the office, including how they would gain access.

    Because Stossel, when he used to do undercover investigative reporting, could have poisoned the chickens sitting too long in the restaurant sink, nothing suggests that he intended to do anything more than film them sitting there. They will have to railroad this for the intent part.

    Hullabulloo (838936)

  221. Reading LT’s posts is akin to watching a Gorilla with a slide rule – but that blog is hilarious. After the Malkin witticism, he posts another devastating retort:

    Actual Oregon businesses would like to tell The Malkin to shut her f*cking pie hole:

    Step aside, John Stewart – we have a new political satirist!

    And his Tarzan – speak schtick reminds me of the kind of jokes we used to pull on each other during grade school in the 70′s. Topical!

    Dmac (539341)

  222. Hullabaloo

    The “representing” you pointed to was not the “represented” that I did. Yours IS ambiguous. I agree Are you really trying to say that this, from Section 5, is also ambiguous about what they said?

    WITNESS I stated that upon entering Senator Landrieu’s office, FLANAGAN and BASEL represented to her that they were repair technicians from the telephone company and were there to fix problems with the telephone system.

    If you want to argue that this doesn’t say that they SAID they were from the telephone company – that they somehow communicated to the witness that that they were there to fix the telephones because they worked at Jack n The Box or some damned thing – you win. Honestly.

    LT (166da3)

  223. [...] Sorry for the error. If it’s any consolation, WaPo’s reporter made the same mistake — the same reporter, in fact, who famously made the mistake (later corrected) of claiming O’Keefe had a racial motive [...]

    Hot Air Blog Archive Fox News: Sources close to O’Keefe say it’s “not a case of wiretapping” « Are you Freaking Stupid? (fb05f5)

  224. Serially douchenozzlery

    JD (d6a4ea)

  225. cbolt @ 197– stick to what you know, and this isn’t apparently in that category:

    A criminal complaint is a “placeholder” that allows the process of obtaining/appointing counsel to take place, and bail to be established.

    No criminal charges can be pursued by way of “complaint.” On an indictment or information can result in a prosecution. Many times a decision is made following a criminal complaint to not go forward.

    And, the only thing “charged” in the complaint is “interfering” with a communication system.

    The statute in question, 1362, covers several other factual scenarios, including “destruction” of property, but the complaint affidavit from the FBI agent — which sets for the the FACTS supporting the charge — alleges “maliciously interfering”, nothing more.

    That is satsified by them simply asking to have access to the phone system and picking up the handset. By doing so they “interfered” with Landrieu’s staff’s ability to answer calls had they wanted to do so.

    And, while we’re at it, no one is charged with “conspiring” to do anything. That is another statute not listed.

    Shipwreckedcrew (58dde3)

  226. Why do I suspect that LT has never taken a law class? lol

    trashhauler (fe29f1)

  227. Here’s another headline gem from LT:

    Hey Idiots, Obama Didn’t Use a Teleprompter with the Sixth Graders

    Count me convinced! I’m greatly interested in your theories, sir – may I subscribe to your newsletter?

    But I think his blog needs a new name: A Long Tough Bong seems more appropo.

    Dmac (539341)

  228. Better hope no transexuals try visiting her office. They could also be charged with falsely attempting to enter if they dress opposite of their gender. Then OHNOES, GLBT will be protesting. heeheeheeheeheeheehee

    peedoffamerican (0a295f)

  229. [...] Patterico’s Pontifications details what is alleged, and what isn’t, and how the MSM is trying to crucify these men [...]

    James O’Keefe is a hero « Smash Mouth Politics (44368e)

  230. Dmac, you’re cracking me up. Please list more of my headlines! It’s wonderful!

    And, I don’t quite know how to say this, but the headlines aren’t supposed to convince you. The links are. Maybe you’ll trust Hot Air?

    LT (166da3)

  231. But I think his blog needs a new name: A Long Tough Bong seems more appropo.

    Dmac, I had no desire to go to his blog, but after your comment I just had to see what his blog title was–

    Heh!

    Spit water, all over my keyboard..!

    Bet you nailed it.

    Pons Asinorum (1f16cc)

  232. If you want to argue that this doesn’t say that they SAID they were from the telephone company – that they somehow communicated to the witness that that they were there to fix the telephones because they worked at Jack n The Box or some damned thing – you win. Honestly.

    Depends on what the definition of “is” is, du’nnit? That was a big hit to you guys way back when.

    Hullabulloo (838936)

  233. Little man syndrome, no doubt. Passing healthcare saves money, you f*cking teabaggers. Oh, and lt likes to talk to woodies, and thinks you are all teabaggers. And likes to call people ugly, ignoring the mirror. I cannot remember the last time I laughed so hard at a collection of unintentionally ironic asshattery.

    JD (3399c0)

  234. @233 — JD, erhaps it’s bottom-of-the-barrel time for President Obama’s supporters. As leftist arguments and counterpoints become weaker, notice the smarter ones don’t seem to fly to his banner as much, so this is what we are left with.

    Free as a bird; amusing as hell ;-)

    Pons Asinorum (1f16cc)

  235. More Pons, less asshattery. This is always a good thing. And we can add LT to the list of serial mendoucheous people. It is becoming a long list.

    JD (3399c0)

  236. And we can add LT to the list of serial mendoucheous people.

    Done!

    Pons Asinorum (1f16cc)

  237. Ummmm …

    “The statute in question, 1362, covers several other factual scenarios, including “destruction” of property, but the complaint affidavit from the FBI agent — which sets for the the FACTS supporting the charge — alleges “maliciously interfering”, nothing more.” ( with thanks to Shipwreckedcrew)

    At the risk of enjoying devious Scots cynicism (mea maxima culpa) i am starting to wonder who popped the statute – 1362 – into the mind of the agent whose Affidavit is being dissected ?

    If accused of “maliciously interfering”, I suspect that such a defendant would be fully entitled to ask for proof of the state of the thing with thich said defendant was being accused of “maliciously interfering” … and whoever testifies as to the state of thing presumably has to do so under oath …

    Is there a better way to have an independent non-partisan investigation on the public record as to the state of the telephone equipment serving Untied States Senator Landrieu’s office ?

    I can almost hear it now …

    “FBI Agent Rayes – at the time of the alleged ‘attempted malicious interference’, was the state of the telephone system for Untied – (that was what you swore to in your Affidavit, was it not?) – States Senator Landrieu’s office a fully-functional state, with everything working properly ?” (or some such wording to elicit is anyone had tampered with it, such as to prevent calls getting through)

    And if the FBI then has to testify that the telephone system had been tampered with – without the Forensic Phone-Four having managed to get anywhere near the telephone system – the American public learns yet more about their elected Senator …

    Basically, isn’t the use of 1326 an over-reach ?

    Alasdair (e7cb73)

  238. ACK ! “with thichwhich said” … (sigh) …

    Possibly more importantly, if being in a US Senator’s office under false pretenses is a crime, then is not Ms Landrieu guilty of that same crime, since she is patently, clearly, and obviously NOT there as a genuine and worthy representative of the people who voted her into office …

    Alasdair (e7cb73)

  239. I am enjoying how the mass hallucinating libturds on this thread have turned into a bunch of badge licking authoritarians. Rich chewy, nougaty irony is what it is.

    Onward you progressive 501st Chicken Fucking Brigade!

    daleyrocks (718861)

  240. Comment by Shipwreckedcrew — 1/27/2010 @ 3:27 pm

    I agree with you WLS, but I think the message “don’t f**k with a US Senator” is going to be driven two inches below the surface.

    nk (db4a41)

  241. Man ! Is this topic a troll bait or what ? Where did LT come from ? Did DailyKos shut down or something ?

    Mike K (2cf494)

  242. Has there been any mention of who (if any) O’Keefe was communicating with with his cell-phone as he was photographing the proceedings?
    If there was a call in-progress, was it recorded at the other end?
    It seems the allegations of the staffers that they (O’Keefe & Co.) represented themselves as from the phone company is a he said/she said situation,
    unless someone comes up with a video w/audio of what transpired. But of course, such a thing is way beyond the capabilities of these “tea-bagging thugs”.

    I notice also that some mention has been made that the son of the USA is represented by a seperate atty. Personal opinion is that this is Dad’s doing (probably on Mom’s insistence), and has nothing to do with trying to cut a deal.

    AD - RtR/OS! (8b1c67)

  243. “Has there been any mention of who (if any) O’Keefe was communicating with with his cell-phone as he was photographing the proceedings?”

    AD – The rumor is he was talking to the people Cheney sent to blow up the levees.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  244. Possibly more importantly, if being in a US Senator’s office under false pretenses is a crime, then is not Ms Landrieu guilty of that same crime, since she is patently, clearly, and obviously NOT there as a genuine and worthy representative of the people who voted her into office …
    Comment by Alasdair

    This was too good for people to miss it!!

    MD in Philly (d4668b)

  245. Change the Senators “D” to an “R” and O’Keefe from conservative to progressive and the MSM would be praising this struggle to find the truth.

    highpockets (40ce09)

  246. Comment by daleyrocks — 1/27/2010 @ 5:08 pm

    Weren’t they also responsible for disabling the school buses prior to Katrina striking?

    AD - RtR/OS! (8b1c67)

  247. I agree with you WLS, but I think the message “don’t f**k with a US Senator” is going to be driven two inches below the surface.

    maybe said Senator does not want phone records or testimony from 100s of constituents saying they got a busy signal 24/7 either

    windansea (61684b)

  248. #244: I’d take the 100 to one “Mr Mom” bet that you’re right, but I think we’d have trouble finding anyone here willing to put up $1. In fact,if the D’s & R’s were switched, and it was still 2005, O’Keefe’s arrest would be held up as Exhibit “3,422,458″ of the encroaching police state under Bushitler.

    Serious question though: O’Keefe and his accomplices are charged with entering a Senate office under false pretense with intent to commit a felony. Is entering a Senate office under false pretenses without intent to commit a felony also a crime? And if so, what is the maximum punishment?

    Sean P (4fde41)

  249. [...] irresponsibly jumped to conclusions about the nature of James O’Keefe’s latest exploit (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 [...]

    UPDATED: Laundrieu’s Office: Off the Hook? « The Rhetorican (033fc9)

  250. They tried to access the main phone bank in a Federal building that is used by agencies that include, but are not limited to, the FBI, US Attorney’s office, federal courts, Department of Homeland Security and a sitting United States Senator who is on the Homeland Security Committee.

    I know a little something about security protocols in these buildings and I’ll tell you right now these kids have NO IDEA how much trouble they’re in. The politics are irrelevant.

    James O’Keefe and Co. publicly bitchslapped the FBI and they will dealt with accordingly. If I were him I’d stop twittering about it, stfu and hire a lawyer.

    This is no joke.

    bad times (757588)

  251. ” it doesn’t say that they said “We’re from the phone company,” anywhere.

    Why is it you don’t get that you reading into the affidavit and not representing it for the vague account that it is.”

    The affidavit twice said they represented they were from the phone company. Now, you just used the word “representing” so you know what that means.

    imdw (017d51)

  252. cboldt said: “The felony they stand accused of conspiring to commit is destruction of government property, or more particularly, destruction of property used for military and/or civil defense communications

    Subtoi said: “Again, this is not the case. If people would stop believing whatever nonsense they read in the press, they’d be better informed. They were charged under Title 18, United States Code, Section 1362. I suggest you read it.
    Subtoi then said: “Section 1362 ‘Whoever willfully or maliciously injures or destroys … or other means of communication, operated or controlled by the United States, or used or intended to be used for military or civil defense functions of the United States’

    I concede that my summary was imperfect, but it wasn’t quite as dumb-assed as you make it out. FWIW, my summary was made after I’d read the statute, the [USDOJ] Criminal Resource Manual at 1668, and United States v. Turpin, 65 F.3d 1207.

    cboldt (60ea4a)

  253. [...] Patterico has more information. AKPC_IDS += "15713,";Popularity: 2% [?]Possibly Related PostsJanuary 26, 2010 — ACORN Sting Man [...]

    James O'Keefe Had No Wiretapping Equipment? | The Lonely Conservative (79c154)

  254. “JEA – Dude, you are so going to have to give examples.”

    Daleyrocks, try, just try, thinking once in a while.

    Goot LT., you’re absolutely right – the left does it too. In that, liberals and conservatives are almost identical.

    JEA (de9765)

  255. [...] phones–a contention that the affidavit does not support, not that that has stopped others in the mainstream media from reporting it as fact–but that he is, without a doubt, [...]

    David Shuster ‘Giddy’ to Cover James O’Keefe Arrest | TheWorldPolitics (197be1)

  256. JEA – I’m waiting for your examples.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  257. “The affidavit twice said they represented they were from the phone company”
    I thought I read that a staffer said that they represented themselves to be from the phone company… which might have been just a misunderstanding based off the uniforms, or there might be a recording.
    My point being that whoever says “they represented themselves as…” is going to be disagreed with.

    I’m more interested in what went on in the holding cell after the judge let the three of them be together in the cell with the admonition not to discuss the incident… the judge of course knows they probably would discuss the incident and that they’d probably be recorded.

    Unless these guys were idiots and were recorded in the holding cell gabbing stupidly about their exploits… they walk.

    SteveG (909b57)

  258. “The affidavit twice said they represented they were from the phone company. ”

    No, the affidavit says that Witness 1 and Witness 2 said they (only the two guys dressed in work clothes and carrying hard hats) represented they were from the phone company. We won’t know HOW Witness 1 and Witness 2 determined that those charged “represented” they were from the phone company until Witness 1 and Witness 2 depose the conversations they had.

    Mom (f64a8a)

  259. Mom — I understand your point by this is nitpicky parsing to no purpose.

    The fact is that the document you are reading from was probably written by an AUSA, based upon both oral and written exchanges with the FBI agent who may have — or may not have — personally spoken with Wit 1 and Wit 2 concerning what it was that the guys said or didn’t say.

    The words used in the affidavit are characterizations and conclusions, nothing more, and trying to parse them for some precise detail is a waste of time.

    Shipwreckedcrew (58dde3)

  260. “No, the affidavit says that Witness 1 and Witness 2 said they (only the two guys dressed in work clothes and carrying hard hats) represented they were from the phone company.”

    Oh. I see.

    “We won’t know HOW Witness 1 and Witness 2 determined that those charged “represented” they were from the phone company until Witness 1 and Witness 2 depose the conversations they had.”

    Why does it matter how?

    imdw (00bfab)

  261. I concede that my summary was imperfect, but it wasn’t quite as dumb-assed as you make it out.

    I didn’t say that your summary was dumbassed, just that it was incorrect.

    And I’ll be very very surprised if that particular charge (under 1362) doesn’t get quickly tossed.

    I appreciate the effort you made to find cites, but they don’t apply here. Nothing was stolen, nothing was damaged, nothing was interfered with. The 1362 charge is a nothingburger.

    Subotai (28f41d)

  262. Shipwreckedcrew,

    Can you e-mail me?

    Patterico (c218bd)

  263. Done.

    Shipwreckedcrew (58dde3)

  264. subatoi — disagree.

    The “interference” was merely the act of taking the phone from the hands of the Landrieu staff.

    They “intefered” with the operation of the phones by preventing Landreiu’s staff from using/answering the phone.

    Whether it lasted 10 seconds, 10 mintues, or 10 hours, doesn’t matter.

    When they had the phone handset under false pretenses, they were “interfering” with the communication system.

    Shipwreckedcrew (58dde3)

  265. I appreciate the effort you made to find cites, but they don’t apply here. Nothing was stolen, nothing was damaged, nothing was interfered with. The 1362 charge is a nothingburger.
    I agree with the conclusion that the 1362 charge is at best a hard sell, and on its face, appears to be a complete non-starter; for two reasons. 1) no damage/interference, and 2) not military / civil defense. The cits are very helpful to reach that conclusion, in that the cites set out fact patterns and elements that constitute a violation.
    My summary of the gist of 1362 as applied was correct – it’s roughly a destruction (or disabling) of communications property crime. I didn’t say that a 1362 offense was committed. I was summarizing (roughly) what constitutes a 1362 offense. The affidavit/charge says the boys were in violation of 1036 (trespass) and 1362, and the press release says “entering federal property under false pretenses for the purpose of committing a felony.” I roughly (albeit technically incorrect) transposed “for the purpose of” into “conspiracy,” but I maintain that a fair approximation of the government’s charge is “entering to destroy/disrupt military/civil defense communications facilities.” That’s the general nature of the charge.

    cboldt (60ea4a)

  266. “In any event, it’s time for people to take a look at what has been presented and what hasn’t with a close, skeptical eye.”

    Good thing we reserved one unused from the totally credulous bloviating about how ACORN rigged all the elections everywhere.

    Drew (9a4ea6)

  267. [...] retract that mistake — a grave error that Andrew Breitbart socked them for last night, and I socked them for this morning. Here is the relevant part of their embarrassing correction: Earlier versions of this story [...]

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

  268. Comment by cboldt — 1/27/2010 @ 7:03 pm

    We’re in agreement then, cboldt.

    Comment by Shipwreckedcrew — 1/27/2010 @ 6:46 pm

    I know what you’re saying. And as I said before, that argument’s not going to fly. No judge or jury will swallow such a theory.

    Subotai (28f41d)

  269. You guys saw that law enforcement has now admitted O’Keefe wasn’t trying to wiretap Landrieu?

    I blogged it here.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  270. Patterico – I think being highlighted on Memeorandum all day generated a nice moronic convergence here.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  271. Even law enforcement now concedes that O’Keefe was not there to wiretap Landrieu.

    In fairness, I don’t think that law enforcement ever said he was there to do a wiretap. The media seems to have concocted that out of thin air.

    Subotai (28f41d)

  272. Pig ignorant, imdw @251. Yes, I know what the word means? How many of these are nonverbal?

    to serve to express, designate, stand for, or denote, as a word, symbol, or the like does; symbolize

    Like I said “represented” can simply be wearing the uniform and you don’t have any more specific words–except your ignorant projections on what is not there.

    I’m not reading into it, because I’m not expressing any knowledge of what they said. I’m stopping at the word “represented”, which means that in some form of representation, they falsely communicated that they were from the phone company. You’re insistence that it can only mean that they said that is 1) ignorant, and 2) reading more than the text says. It might even be a reasonable conclusion that they said it, but it is not the confirmation that they said it that you are insisting that it is. In addition, I previously implied that a direct lie is not even required to charge them with entering under false pretenses, so the point is moot.

    But I submit that if “represented” best means “said” how can Landrieu represent her constituents if she can’t cite something every one of them has said? Surely representation is not a more broad term than “said”, because you know so much more than I do.

    Hullabulloo (838936)

  273. [...] However it does looks like this TPM post seems to be confirming Patterico earlier one. [...]

    O’Keefe explanation sounds plausable… « DaTechguy's Blog (099f00)

  274. [...] It seems then that their wishful thinking got the best of them. Bias?  What bias!  lol  And now from law enforcement: A law enforcement official says the four men arrested for attempting to tamper with the phones in the New Orleans office of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) were not trying to intercept or wiretap the calls. [...]

    NYTimes: James O’Keefe a Huge Story, ACORN Not So Much « Counterculture Con HQ (186bd9)

  275. [...] It’s not clear yet what exactly O’Keefe was up to, but one thing we do know is he wasn’t trying to bug anyone’s phone. [...]

    Rush to judgement « Internet Scofflaw (9c6bf8)

  276. [...] filmmaker James O’Keefe of illegal wiretapping, Patterico led the charge to defend him since all the facts were not yet known. When I first read a news story about this yesterday, it sounded to me like O’Keefe and company [...]

    American Glob » Blog Archive » LA Times on O’Keefe: No Wiretap Scheme (d3e984)

  277. [...] young colleagues are facing federal charges for allegedly attempting to “tamper” with (not “bug” as the Washington Post initially had gleefully reported) the phone system of Senator Mary L. [...]

    What’s good for the Goose « Core Dump (f75a67)

  278. Hey if you dig deep enough on anyone you will find dirt. So if someone wants to bug my phone they could find dirt in the first five minutes of any conversation.

    Utah Landscapers (6509ee)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.6586 secs.