Patterico's Pontifications

5/27/2010

Brad Friedman: Press Release Confirming Well-Known Fact That O’Keefe Intended to Do Undercover Sting Vindicates Me, Somehow (Alternate Post Title: Brad Friedman Is a Huge Liar)

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:21 pm

Over at the blog of fabulist Brad Friedman, we see a post titled: FBI: O’Keefe DID Plan a ‘Wiretap Plot’ to Secretly Record Employees of U.S. Senator:

Remember the disingenuous snit fits that Rightwing con-man Andrew Breitbart and his Tea Bag Boyz were on about when the original reports broke of “a plot to wiretap Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu’s office in the Hale Boggs Federal Building in downtown New Orleans” by Republican dirty trickster James O’Keefe and his band of co-conspirators?

They were outraged — outraged — that the “liberal media” had included the word “wiretap” in their reports about the felony arrests of the operatives, since the FBI’s arrest affidavit didn’t specifically mention an attempt to wiretap or bug the phones in her office. In a desperate attempt to distract from the actual story and find some way to support their friends’ charged with serious federal felonies, the Tea Bag Boyz demanded that a number of media outlets issue immediate retractions for the claim, and, of course, the “liberal media” outlets complied — as instructed — as usual.

The notion of calling the federal criminals “TeaBuggers” just drove Andy’s boys — particularly the shamelessly pseudonymous wingnut blogger & L.A. County Dep. District Attorney, Patrick “Patterico” Frey — to embarrassingly self-righteous (and inaccurate) distraction!

Friedman’s conclusion: we were all wrong, because O’Keefe really did engage in a “wiretap plot.” His proof? A new “FBI announcement” (actually a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office from the Eastern District of Louisiana) shows that O’Keefe intended to secretly record Landrieu’s employees in a video sting. You know: like he did at ACORN — which Brad claims violates “wiretap laws” and disingenuously labels “wiretapping.”

This is a fucking lie, and Brad Friedman is a fucking liar. A “wiretap” is defined as “a concealed listening or recording device connected to a communications circuit.” That definition does not apply to a simple undercover video sting — and Brad Friedman knows it.

We all knew O’Keefe intended to do an undercover sting and videotape it. This is not news. Calling that a “wiretap plot” is, in my view, defamatory.

As Larry O’Connor put it: “Who knew @aplusk [Ashton Kutcher] was WIRETAPPING all those people on Punk’d?” Kurt Schlichter identified the problem more directly: “Maybe I’m hypertechnical but doesn’t wiretapping traditionally involve wiretapping?”

No, Kurt, you’re not hypertechnical . . . you’re just honest. Unlike Brad Friedman.

I hope O’Keefe demands a correction. I hope Friedman refuses. And I hope O’Keefe sues him for it.

P.S. That press release has a rather curious and significant omission. Consider that a teaser. Full story in the morning.

P.P.S. Here is Brad tweeting Steve Cooley to try to get me in trouble with my job for calling him a liar.

TheBradBlog @SteveCooley4AG U cool w ur Dep DAs tweeting this 2 constnts/media? RT @Patterico @TheBradBlog that’s a fucking lie & u are a fucking liar.

Intimidation FAIL. Trying to intimidate me at my workplace didn’t work when Jeff Goldstein did it to me from the right, and it won’t work when Brad Friedman does it to me from the left.

My response:

@TheBradBlog I’m pretty sure @SteveCooley4AG is cool with me calling liars like you what they are. But thanks for asking! #intimidationFAIL

I don’t live my life cowering from turds like you, Friedman.

P.P.P.S. As a bit of comedy gold to punctuate the post, allow me to present to you the following caveat at the head of Brad Friedman’s Wikipedia entry:

This article may contain wording that promotes the subject through exaggeration of unnoteworthy facts. Please remove or replace such wording.

Hahahahahahahahahaha.

You know, I –

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!

Sorry.

*wipes tears from eyes*

You know, I think that would be a good tagline for bradblog.com. What do you think?

(H/t @breitbartfan77.)

UPDATE: Friedman responds by claiming that I selectively quoted the definition of “wiretap.” He quotes one definition for the verb (actually, he used it as an attributive noun, but why quibble?) as follows: “To install a concealed listening or recording device or use it to monitor communications.”

Which, of course, also doesn’t apply. O’Keefe neither “installed” the device in Landrieu’s office, nor did he use it to “monitor” communications, but rather simply record conversations taking place in his presence.

Swing and a miss.

Friedman also links to this set of Penal Code sections, which he claims is the “California wiretap act,” to argue that undercover videos are somehow actually wiretaps. (I think it is actually known as the Invasion of Privacy Act, but don’t take my word for it; contrary to Friedman’s suggestions, I am not a wiretap violations prosecutor but a gang murder prosecutor, speaking in my private capacity as I always do on this blog.)

I have looked at these sections and I don’t see where they define what O’Keefe did as “wiretapping.” Indeed, I don’t see the word “wiretap” or any variant thereof in the law. If there is a section that defines in-person covert taping as “wiretapping” then I’d ask Friedman to kindly quote it for me.

In short: what “wire” did he “tap,” Friedman?

Many, Many Captured Terrorists

Filed under: Obama,Terrorism — DRJ @ 10:12 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Counterterrorism czar John Brennan is pumped about all the terrorists that have been captured on the Obama Administration’s watch:

“White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan was asked about whether the administration’s policy — when it came to terrorists that came into the crosshairs of the military — was simply to kill them, rather than risk the political complexities associated with detaining them.

Brennan said:

“I think we have captured a lot of terrorists over the last year — not just those that we’ve arrested here in the United States, but those that we have captured with the assistance, and in partnership with, other nations.”

The AP’s Kim Dozier asked for numbers.

Said Brennan: “There have been many, many terrorists who have been captured.”

Marc Ambinder concludes with a good question: Where are all those captured terrorists, Mr. Brennan?

– DRJ

Finally (Updated)

Filed under: Environment,Obama — DRJ @ 8:26 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Thirty-seven days after it began and on the day it may have been capped, President Obama finally took ownership of the BP Oil Spill:

– DRJ

UPDATE: Allahpundit wonders what critics think Obama should have done that he didn’t do:

“WaPo writers are touting the fact that he officially “owns” the spill now and Chris Matthews continues to hammer him on MSNBC, all of which I’m happy to play along with politically, but I’m a little hazy on what precisely people want him to do that BP isn’t already doing.”

Here’s my 2 cents: BP spent 34 days trying to find a way to produce the well. It’s only been in the past 2-3 days that BP tried to cap or plug the well, something Obama reportedly said they should do “the first week after the spill.”

If his experts told him it needed to be done, why didn’t he pressure BP to plug the well sooner?

BP Tech Update

Filed under: Environment — DRJ @ 6:07 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Are you interested in what’s happening at the BP Deepwater Horizon wellsite? If so, then watch this.

– DRJ

CNN Poll: Arizona Immigration Law

Filed under: Immigration — DRJ @ 5:00 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

A recent CNN poll shows less than 20% of Americans support a boycott of Arizona:

“According to the poll, 57 percent support Arizona’s controversial new immigration law, in line with other recent national polls. Only 17 percent say they would participate in a boycott of Arizona as a result of that legislation.”

There are more results at the link, including that almost 9 in 10 respondents believe American needs stronger border enforcement and “41% say all illegal immigrants currently in the country should be removed, up 15 points from 2008.”

– DRJ

High Tech Cheating

Filed under: Education — DRJ @ 4:03 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

One hundred Denver Denver-area high school students had to retake a chemistry final exam because a few students cheated. Amazingly, the school’s principal seems to be making excuses for their cheating:

“A lot of kids are under pressure to do well grade-wise,” [principal Mike] Murphy said. “They are looking at college. Success is certainly something that drives people. These are good kids. They just made a bad choice.”

I hope Principal Mike will rethink his opinion since, not surprisingly, studies show that students who cheat grow up to be adults who cheat:

“The Josephson Institute of Ethics in October released a study that suggests cheating in high school is a significant predictor of lying and cheating across a wide range of adult situations.

Specifically, the survey of nearly 7,000 people in various age groups found that people who cheated two or more times in high school were three times as likely to lie to a customer, twice as likely to deceive their boss and 1 1/2 times as likely to lie to a spouse or cheat on their taxes.”

– DRJ

Kirsten Powers: Obama and the Keystone Cops

Filed under: Environment,Obama — DRJ @ 3:37 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Democratic strategist Kirsten Powers doesn’t like President Obama’s decision to allow offshore drilling, and she really doesn’t like his Keystone Cops response to the BP oil spill:

“The political firestorm kept growing yesterday, with supporter James Carville ranting that the administraion has been “lackadaisical” and “naive” in its response to the disaster. He urged it to rapidly “move to Plan B.”

But that suggests there was ever a Plan A.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is so frustrated with the lack of response to his plan to stop the slick with sand barriers that yesterday he called on the White House and BP to either “stop the oil spill or get out of the way.”

“Plug the damn hole,” President Obama reportedly barked at staffers in frustration after the explosion. That’s right up there with “Heckuva job, Brownie” in terms of clueless statements uttered by presidents in the midst of nationally televised disasters.”

Then she moves on to the Administration’s failure to oversee BP and the MMS or to have an effective disaster plan in place, even though the protocol to contain a spill at sea was outlined in a 1994 study, and concludes with this:

“If he promised us anything, Obama promised us competence. Instead, we’ve gotten the Keystone Cops.”

In his press conference today, President Obama explained his critics don’t know all the facts and “BP is operating at our direction.” Kirsten Powers and Mary Landrieu aren’t convinced.

– DRJ

Baby Born While Mom Drives

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 3:26 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

People do everything while they drive. They eat, they read, they talk on the phone, they even put on makeup. And one even had a baby:

“Twenty-nine-year-old Amanda McBride felt labor pains at work last week and rushed to her car. She picked up the baby’s father, staying in the driver’s seat because he has a history of seizures.

“He was steering and I put it on cruise when the baby was coming, it was just easier,” laughed McBride. “I was like, we’re just cruising at 70.”

She drove to the hospital experiencing mild labor pains. Suddenly her water broke and the baby “just slid out.”

“I just delivered him and I held him here in my lap, because I didn’t know what else to do with the cord still attached,” explained McBride. “He’s breathing and that, I know keeping him upright he’s going to breath. I just kind of held him there and then continued on to town.”

This video says friends call their baby Chevy Joe or Cobalt Joe for the car he was born in. I think they should call him Cruisin’ Joe.

– DRJ

Exclusive: Judge Orders Potentially Exculpatory Evidence in O’Keefe Case to Be Destroyed

Filed under: ACORN/O'Keefe — Patterico @ 7:01 am

I find this disturbing on several levels.

Recall the background: James O’Keefe surreptitiously taped himself and two companions in Senator Mary Landrieu’s office. He has maintained from the beginning that he was engaged in undercover journalism, attempting to expose whether Landrieu actually had a problem with her phones that would explain why constituents received busy signals when they called about her position on ObamaCare. The government, by contrast, charged O’Keefe with intending to commit a felony, suggesting that the behavior of O’Keefe and his companions showed that they intended to do something nefarious and felonious inside the office.

Ultimately, the government apparently could not prove its case, and yesterday gave O’Keefe a misdemeanor — presumably because they lacked proof of this felonious intent.

I have said from the beginning that viewing the tape would shed light on this. After all, O’Keefe was making an undercover tape. It has all the evidence on it. That tape would reveal whether O’Keefe is telling the truth.

And now the judge has ordered that potentially exculpatory evidence destroyed.

I contacted O’Keefe last night to ask when we could expect to see this tape. He told me that he wanted the tape back, but that the judge had said in open court that he wanted it destroyed, and instructed federal agents to destroy the evidence before returning the camera to O’Keefe.

I find this astounding — first, that O’Keefe got this far in the proceedings without the government disclosing the key evidence in the case to him and his attorney, and second, that the evidence will now be destroyed.

Why destroy it? To my knowledge, O’Keefe and his companions never accessed any part of the office that was not open to the public. They did not receive any sensitive information regarding Sen. Landrieu’s phone lines that would be useful to a terrorist.

And if O’Keefe is telling the truth, the tape would exonerate him in the public eye.

O’Keefe wants the tape back. The judge told the government not to let him have it.

What does that tell you?


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