Patterico's Pontifications

2/1/2010

James O’Keefe, Ellie Light, and Poll Thugs

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:27 am



My post is at Hot Air:

Steward was peddling lies. The Black Panthers were spreading fear. James O’Keefe was searching for the truth.

Only one of these cases is being prosecuted.

Enjoy.

50 Responses to “James O’Keefe, Ellie Light, and Poll Thugs”

  1. America is a place where “peddling lies” is not a crime, Patterico.

    I like this one writer a lot. Terry Pratchett. And he wrote about a tyrant who made metaphors illegal. For example, if you said, “A face who launched a thousand ships”, you better have the dockyard records. He was finally killed over the question whether “The pen is mightier than the sword”. It was a big pen and a small sword.

    nk (db4a41)

  2. Clearly there was no “Intent to commit a felony therein.” They were just trying to see how far they could get in. Obtaining access under false pretenses — you indicate is a misdemeanor, which all Congressmen and Congresswomen commit everyday, is that really a crime? Couldn’t there be some First Amendment Issues . . . .

    J. Raymond Wright (d83ab3)

  3. You may wish to consider whether the next time it will be members of Al Qaeda scouting out the buildings’ security and the best place to plant their bombs and set up their crossfire.

    nk (db4a41)

  4. The sudden decision to reconsider New York as a venue for KSM et al’s civilian trials — which just happened to coincide with the political upheaval caused by the crushing defeat of the Dems in Massachusetts — disproves the nonsense peddled by the WH about Holder’s supposed power to make such groundshaking decisions independently and unilaterally, thus absolving the POTUS from credit/blame. BHO hired him, and he pulls the strings (and if he doesn’t, one must wonder, who elected Holder?), which ought to lead an observant media to the next logical question: Who is it who decided that to rescue the Black Panthers from their prosecution conviction?

    L.N. Smithee (ecc5a5)

  5. That should read: “Who is it who decided []to rescue the Black Panthers from their prosecution conviction?”

    L.N. Smithee (ecc5a5)

  6. We have to prosecute O’Keefe for standing in the lobby and looking to see if the phones are working because if we don’t we will have no recourse against Al Qaeda when they set up their bombs and machine guns!

    That’s your argument?

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  7. “James O’Keefe was searching for the truth.”

    – Patterico

    Oh, he was?

    Awesome!

    You should probably capitalize “truth”, though. Just so everyone knows.

    Leviticus (b987b0)

  8. 6.We have to prosecute O’Keefe for standing in the lobby and looking to see if the phones are working because if we don’t we will have no recourse against Al Qaeda when they set up their bombs and machine guns!

    That’s your argument?

    Comment by Have Blue — 2/1/2010 @ 9:23 am

    Nobody said we have to prosecute O’Keefe.
    We should have recourse againt Al Qaeda before they set up their bombs and machine guns.

    nk (db4a41)

  9. nicely put Mr. Patterico… James is a good egg I think. Who else is a good egg is Mr. Libby. And I think Martha Stewart’s heart was in the right place.

    America is a very jaily place.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  10. It’s interesting to contrast this case with the various “occupations” of public buildings carried out by the left, even last year. They do sound sort of lame, like the Obama people but the comparison is pretty good. Especially the wimp doing the video. I love the part where he worries that they are giving him “corporate water.”

    O’Keefe looks pretty good compared to those creeps.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  11. “James O’Keefe was searching for the truth.”

    – Patterico

    Oh, he was?

    Awesome!

    You should probably capitalize “truth”, though. Just so everyone knows.

    Comment by Leviticus

    Sarcasm is not an argument. I’m pretty sure many won’t ever forgive O’Keefe for how he exposed ACORN as a pack of thugs. They think because it’s not proven they ever actually helped a real pimp set up child sex slaves that what O’Keefe learned and showed us wasn’t truth. But they missed the point entirely.

    nk’s right that the stupid Ellie Light crap isn’t criminal behavior. I’m sure there’s a statute of some kind it breaks, but it’s just propaganda. It’s not the kind of thing we should prosecute. Of course, what O’Keefe did… also not criminal behavior. Anyone attaching their concept of malice to O’Keefe’s actions in Landrieu’s office is being unfair.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  12. “..I’m sure there’s a statute of some kind it breaks, but it’s just propaganda…”

    I think that covers about 95% of the output from the Leftist dominated CA Legislature.

    AD - RtR/OS! (810a60)

  13. If 60 Minutes did the same thing as O’Keefe, the Pulitzer committee would be sending awards to CBS.

    Alta Bob (5daf3f)

  14. Oh yeah, it would have to be a Republican office.

    Alta Bob (5daf3f)

  15. Leviticus,

    I beginning to wonder if you have drunk so much DNC Kool-aid that you even recognize real truth, not the 9/11 troof or the manure routinely peddled by the insane leaders of your party.

    PCD (1d8b6d)

  16. It is an interesting dichotomy, with Holder turning a blind eye to actual voter intimidation.

    JD (b537f4)

  17. I watched a “journalist” discussing this on Fox–she said that it was unethical for reporters or journalists to lie in order to get the information, ergo, O’Keefe was unethical for lying in order to gain access to disprove Landrieu’s claim that the phones don’t work.

    Isn’t that the very thing that 60 Minutes, or 20-20, or any of those kinds of programs do? How is this any different, other than the fact that O’Keefe is trying to expose the lies of some liberal senator/scumbag.

    Rochf (ae9c58)

  18. Rochf makes an interesting point. Is it fair that govt officials enjoy a form of immunity from investigative journalism, by virture of being located within a federal building?

    Icy Texan (8c88ae)

  19. In a sense, all wiretappers search for the truth. Or at least an embarrassing statement, perhaps taken out of context to make it more embarrassing, but truth nonetheless. So I guess wiretapping shouldn’t be a crime. In Communist societies, it is rather encouraged.

    Skeptic (cadea1)

  20. I watched a “journalist” discussing this on Fox–she said that it was unethical for reporters or journalists to lie in order to get the information, ergo, O’Keefe was unethical for lying in order to gain access to disprove Landrieu’s claim that the phones don’t work.

    Comment by Rochf — 2/1/2010 @ 12:08 pm

    But, once journalists have the information (suchg as police reports)–it is perfectly OK to lie about what happened to advance their pet causes (aka bugging/tapping/tampering with phone system for O’Keefe; the whole global warming fiasco, etc.).

    Glad that was straightened out.

    BfC (5209ec)

  21. If 60 Minutes did the same thing as O’Keefe, the Pulitzer committee would be sending awards to CBS.

    Comment by Alta Bob — 2/1/2010 @ 11:18 am

    Last week there was a 60 Minutes special about their long-time producer, Don Hewitt, and the various methods they employed to generate stories and controversy (such as the ‘ambush’ interview)

    One of the methods they highlighted was the use of hidden cameras for “gotcha” moments. That’s why the hand-wringing over O’Keefe is so silly–if O’Keefe is guilty, then Mike Wallace ought to be in Supermax.

    Another Chris (2d8013)

  22. Skeptic : You should take a class in reading comprehension. There was no wiretapping nor any attempt at wiretapping. My advice, freely offered, is to read and re-read a story until you are sure that you understand the facts before commenting. Particulary on a site frequented by lawyers with practical experience.

    longwalker (4e0dda)

  23. To Longwalker #25:

    You should read and reread my post. I don’t say O’Keefe was wiretappiing (although perhaps he was, I do not believe the investigation is complete). I was responding to a statement in the story that says O’Keefe shouldn’t be prosecuted because he was searching for the truth. That seems like a broad statement that would exonerate a wiretapper.

    Skeptic (cadea1)

  24. To Longwalker #23:

    You should read and reread my post. I don’t say O’Keefe was wiretappiing (although perhaps he was, I do not believe the investigation is complete). I was responding to a statement in the story that says O’Keefe shouldn’t be prosecuted because he was searching for the truth. That seems like a broad statement that would exonerate a wiretapper.

    Skeptic (cadea1)

  25. Reports I’ve read say 2 of the men posed as a telephone repairman. That seems closer to misrepresentation than simply failing to tell someone the true purpose of your visit, as O’Keefe apparently did. At most, it seems to me that O’Keefe could be charged with “aiding and abetting” the misrepresentation charge, but I’m leery about even that. After all, how is observing others misrepresenting themselves and failing to reveal it “aiding and abetting”?

    DRJ (84a0c3)

  26. I don’t say O’Keefe was wiretappiing (although perhaps he was, I do not believe the investigation is complete). I was responding to a statement in the story that says O’Keefe shouldn’t be prosecuted because he was searching for the truth. That seems like a broad statement that would exonerate a wiretapper.

    What passive-aggressive nonsense. You claim that you aren’t accusing O’Keefe of wiretapping, but then go on to imply that he in fact was by your obtuse inferences in your comment above.

    It’s interesting that you cite the Communist experience, given that such abuse of the plain meaning of language was encouraged by these same societies.

    Another Chris (2d8013)

  27. Comment by DRJ — 2/1/2010 @ 2:16 pm

    I’m skeptical that there was any representation by the two “repairmen” that they were from the phone company, and will reserve a final judgement on that until the recording is released that O’Keefe was making. My bet is that they said something to the effect that they had been told the phones weren’t working and they were there to ascertain whether that was true or not.

    AD - RtR/OS! (810a60)

  28. AD,

    That may be and I agree we should wait to learn the facts. Consider my comment as a hypothetical discussion.

    DRJ (84a0c3)

  29. BTW, anyone know when the Prelim is scheduled on this?

    AD - RtR/OS! (810a60)

  30. Unless I missed it, I don’t think any charges have been filed yet.

    DRJ (84a0c3)

  31. Don’t they have a time-frame that obliges them to either charge them or drop it?

    AD - RtR/OS! (810a60)

  32. Just any applicable statute(s) of limitations.

    DRJ (84a0c3)

  33. Speedy trial, now, actually.

    nk (db4a41)

  34. “Don’t they have a time-frame that obliges them to either charge them or drop it?”

    Maybe there’s some activist warren court defendant friendly opinions that will help O’keefe out.

    imdw (e6c812)

  35. Simply put, your hero f*ckd up. And it’s embarrassing to have to stand and defend this. I know. I get it.

    The Emperor (4baed8)

  36. In actuallity, they have already been charged by complaint and placed under restraint (bail in lieu of incarceration). According to Shipwreckedcrew, they must be indicted or a preliminary hearing held within ten days but that can be extended up to thirty days.

    nk (db4a41)

  37. And no, imdw, the Warren Court never made a definitive ruling on speedy trial.

    nk (db4a41)

  38. Thanks nk, that is the information I was looking for.

    AD - RtR/OS! (810a60)

  39. Thanks, nk. I need to pay closer attention.

    DRJ (84a0c3)

  40. I’m not embarrassed to defend him. He’s a good egg what is different from the evil malicious eggs what rule our little country with evil redistributey fists, abetted by their media sycophant eggs and bent on the utter humiliation of this land what never wanted anything but to be happy and free and stalwart and noble and true.

    happyfeet (713679)

  41. What was O’Keefe charged with?

    DRJ (84a0c3)

  42. According to Shiwreckedcrew writing at The Jury:

    The affidavit from the FBI agent in this case refers to three different federal criminal statutes from Title 18 of the United States Code — Sections 1036, 1362 and 2.

    Section 1036 is titled Entry by False Promise to Any Real Property of the United States.

    Section 1362 is titled “Communication Lines, Stations or Systems.”

    Section 2 covers “Aiding and Abetting” crimes committed by others.

    The relevant portion of Section 1036 reads as follows:

    (a) Whoever, by any fraud or false pretense, enters or attempts to enter–

    (1) any real property belonging in whole or in part to, or leased by, the United States; …

    (b) The punishment for an offense under subsection (a) of this section is–

    (1) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than 10 years, or both, if the offense is committed with the intent to commit a felony; or

    (2) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than 6 months, or both, in any other case.

    The relevant portions of Section 1362 read as follows:

    Whoever … willfully or maliciously interferes in any way with the working or use of any [radio, telegraph, telephone or cable, line, station, or system, or other means of communication, operated or controlled by the United States], or attempts or conspires to do such an act, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

    The relevant portion of Section 2 reads:

    (a) Whoever commits an offense against the United States or aids,
    abets, counsels, commands, induces or procures its commission, is
    punishable as a principal.The Affidavit from the FBI Agent does not need to set forth every fact known by the Agent about the incident. Rather, it’s purpose is to set forth under oath the facts which the FBI Agent believes support a finding of probable cause that the cited statutes have been violated. In that regard, the Affidavit filed in New Orleans uses the following language:”2) On January 25, 2010, individuals entered and attempted to gain entrance to the office and telephone system of United States Senator Mary Landrieu … for the purpose of interfering with the office’s telephone system. The individuals did so by falsely and fraudulently representing that the [sic] were employees of a telephone company.”6) Basel requested to be given access to a telephone in the office, and Witness 1 allowed him access to the main telephone at the reception desk. Witness 1 observed Basel take the handset of the phone and manipulate it. Basel also tried to call the phone with a cellular phone in his possession. He stated that he could not get through….7) Thereafter Flanagan and Basel told Witness 1 that they needed to perform repair wok on the main telephone system and asked for the location o the telephone closet. Witness 1 directed Flanagan and Basel to the main GSA office….11) Based on the above information, your Affiant believes there is probable cause to believe that Flanagan and Basel by false and fraudulent pretense attempted to enter, and did in fact enter, real property belonging to the United States for the purpose of willfully and maliciously interfering with a telephone system operated and controlled by the United States…. Your affiant further believes that Flanagan and Basel were aided and abetted by O’Keefe and Dai to commit the entry for the purposes of interfering with the telephone system…

    By reading the above referenced language closely, you can see that the Agent is alleging ONLY a violation of Section 1036 — entry under false pretenses for the purpose of committing a felony — and he is NOT alleging the actual commission or attempted commission of that felony, i.e., interfering with a communication system.This description does not prevent them from being indicted for a violation of Section 1362 should the prosecutor decide to pursue that charge. But the complaint only alleged a felony trespass charge, nothing more.

    nk (db4a41)

  43. I thought AD was asking about an indictment but I realize now that wasn’t his question. Sorry.

    DRJ (84a0c3)

  44. So, they have between 10 and 30 days to indict them?

    JD (61d2c1)

  45. The clock is ticking….another Blago watch.

    AD - RtR/OS! (810a60)

  46. truthout is promising that Karl Rove will be indicted by the time this is all over.

    JD (61d2c1)

  47. The preliminary hearing is scheduled for February 13, although my understanding is it will be canceled if there is an indictment issued.

    DRJ (84a0c3)

  48. “Sarcasm is not an argument.”

    – Dustin

    I’m not trying to make an argument. I’m trying to make a point. There’s a difference.

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  49. Fair enough, Leviticus, so long as we agree that you didn’t have a valid argument.

    Actually, I have to admit that I don’t understand the difference between making a point and making an argument. Not mocking you at all. Without an ounce of sarcasm I don’t know the difference.

    But I know you are pointing/arguing in good faith (again, not being sarcastic). Just on a different wavelength from me.

    —-

    The thing about EPWJ is that I see him throwing ad homs around, making arguments that are directly in conflict with the facts we know (let alone unsupported by them), which is totally cool with me. But it’s strange that he expects that to be kosher while freaking out at pretty kind and mild comments (such as ‘you have a low opinion of Breitbart and I’m curious why’).

    Just unfair of him. People are like that all the time and it’s just something I find remarkable. As I said earlier, I’m a fan of O’Keefe and Breitbart and that both biases me and makes me happy when his opposition is playing into his hands.

    Dustin (b54cdc)


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