Patterico's Pontifications

8/13/2015

James O’Keefe Believes He Was Targeted By Homeland Security

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:35 am



[guest post by Dana]

Undercover filmmaker, James O’Keefe claims that he has been the target of Homeland Security since he dressed up in an Osama bin Laden costume in 2014, and successfully sneaked across the border into Mexico and back again into the U.S. in an effort to counter the official lie that our borders are secure.

Since that time, when O’Keefe has crossed the border, he has been questioned extensively by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers, and claims their questions have been “overly intrusive, covering everything from his business operations and what his next investigative project will be to his political views”:

“It is our contention that this is retaliation for our journalism along the Mexican border,” O’Keefe said. “It’s troubling that they are doing this to a citizen reporter…these questions have nothing to do with national security or border issues or smuggling narcotics into the country. They are questions that they would never ask a Washington Post reporter, that they would never ask NBC News.”

To buttress his claims, O’Keefe is doing what he does best: releasing a surreptitiously recorded video. The nine-minute, 16-second production provides hints that DHS was not pleased by O’Keefe’s bin Laden venture, but reveals no clear evidence that the agency is targeting him.

At one point, a Customs and Border Protection officer at the Montreal airport is heard asking O’Keefe on July 14: “Maybe you’ve passed the border before in a disguise? Or dressed as someone else? You’ve done that kind of stuff before?”

“So are they retaliating against me?” O’Keefe asks.

The officer firmly denies it. “No, we’re not retaliating against you? Why would you say that?” he says.

At another point, however, a different Customs and Border Protection officer tells O’Keefe that agency officials had put a “hit on you” to avoid getting “egg on their face, basically.”

The video does show, however, officers asking O’Keefe a series of detailed questions about his business model, how his company makes money and his political views.

“What’s your next project?” one officer asks.

“I was so flabbergasted by the question, I couldn’t even form a coherent response,” O’Keefe says in the video.

An officer then asks O’Keefe who he wants to win the Republican nomination for president and if he would support businessman Donald Trump, who has fueled his political rise with outspoken comments about illegal immigrants.

“I don’t really endorse politicians for, you know, anything,” O’Keefe responds.

Anyway, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said it could not comment on any specifics of O’Keefe’s “case”, but did make a general comment that “CBP does not retaliate against applicants for entry into the United States,” said the statement, adding that travelers in general can be sent to additional, secondary screening based on a variety of factors, including security concerns, immigration violations and prior criminal convictions.

I think O’Keefe can be most assured that he is a viewed as a security concern by the agency.

–Dana

34 Responses to “James O’Keefe Believes He Was Targeted By Homeland Security”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (86e864)

  2. press freedom lol

    that’s not really a thing in failmerica anymore

    happyfeet (7b1a9e)

  3. Being a flake is a valid reason for enhanced scrutiny when boarding a plane.

    nk (dbc370)

  4. “What’s your next project?” one officer asks.

    “I was so flabbergasted by the question, I couldn’t even form a coherent response,” O’Keefe says in the video.

    Dustin Hoffman was asked the same question, and managed to remain coherent.

    carlitos (c24ed5)

  5. Let’s not forget that he pleaded guilty, in a federal criminal prosecution, to disguising himself as a telephone repairman in order to get into a U.S. Senator’s office.

    nk (dbc370)

  6. Accepting a plea bargain is not necessarily an admission of guilt. There are times when discretion really is the better part of valor.

    Bar Sinister (b48c12)

  7. nk, let’s not forget that said US Senator was, falsely, claiming that their phone system was not working in order to not respond to or even answer constituent calls. I forget the issue that was being dodged at the time.

    Loren (1e34f2)

  8. It should be “Anything to declare?” Accept declaration of goods being imported, either search baggage for undeclared items, or assess any duty based on declaration and move on. Look at valid passport and say “welcome home.”

    Loren (1e34f2)

  9. It should be “Anything to declare?” Accept declaration of goods being imported, either search baggage for undeclared items, or assess any duty based on declaration and move on. Look at valid passport and say “welcome home.”

    Loren (1e34f2) — 8/13/2015 @ 7:19 am

    You are confusing customs with immigration. They are two separate things.

    carlitos (c24ed5)

  10. What business is it of Homeland Security as to who he would support in the presidential race?

    Rochf (f3fbb0)

  11. Bon Jour, Mes Amis:

    Et pour encourager les autres, n’est-ce pas ???

    11B40 (6abb5c)

  12. Is water wet? Do bears poop in the woods?

    (I’m leaving out the line about the Pope; this one’s controversial, and I’m not of that denomination so I don’t want to presume.)

    Beldar (fa637a)

  13. “I don’t really endorse politicians for, you know, anything,”

    I can think of any number of politicians I would cheerfully endorse….for labeling as pork byproducts.

    C. S. P. Schofield (ab2cdc)

  14. He needs to start re-entering the country illegally. Then he’d have no problems.

    jakee308 (c37f85)

  15. He’s not that important. He’s just on a watch list with about a million other people.

    nk (dbc370)

  16. Under such circumstances, would responding with assertion of 5th Amendment rights be appropriate ?

    Alastor (2e7f9f)

  17. carlitos #4 …

    “What’s your next project?” one officer asks.

    “I was so flabbergasted by the question, I couldn’t even form a coherent response,” O’Keefe says in the video.

    Dustin Hoffman was asked the same question, and managed to remain coherent.

    carlitos (c24ed5) — 8/13/2015 @ 6:59 am

    And what was the context in which Dustin Hoffman was asked “the same question” ?

    Was it included in other inappropriate questions being selectively asked of him, too ?

    Alastor (2e7f9f)

  18. nk, I’m disappointed in your descent to the level of carlitos. First, being a flake is not sufficient for heightened scrutiny – especially when “flake” means “political embarrasment.”
    Second, Customs controls entry into the nation, not an airplane. Third, your indication “he’s not that important – he’s just on a watch list” is not an excuse – its an indictment.

    If such an unimportant “flake” can be subject to politically imposed government harassment – who is not going to be free from such harassment. Not you or I. This is not the rule of law – this is tyranny. I expected a criminal defense attorney to be cognizant of the ills of an unrestrained police.

    Carlitos, once Immigration issues a valid Passport/Visa – it is customs who investigates what travellers carry while crossing the border. Loren is exactly correct, and you are exactly wrong.

    Steve Malynn (6b1ce5)

  19. When a Mexican crosses the border illegally, it’s a crime.

    When James O’Keefe crosses the border illegally, it’s an act of political journalism.

    For my next act of political journalism, let me buy some illegal drugs online (to demonstrate how easy it is), publicize my daring-do (obviously), then complain when cops show up to ask me questions about buying illegal drugs online.

    Leviticus (f9a067)

  20. F*ck with the Feds if you must, but don’t be surprised (and – please – don’t complain) if they f*ck with you back.

    I try to avoid interactions with law enforcement, if I can.

    Leviticus (f9a067)

  21. O’Keefe pled guilty to misdemeanor charges in the Landrieu office case. Are all Americans who have misdemeanor convictions on their records subject to this sort of heightened interrogation?

    JVW (ba78f9)

  22. When a Mexican crosses the border illegally, it’s a crime.

    When James O’Keefe crosses the border illegally, it’s an act of political journalism.

    But when a Mexican crosses the border illegally and then becomes a journalist, apparently everything is hunky-dory.

    JVW (ba78f9)

  23. Right? It’s like hypocrisy Whack-A-Mole up in this piece.

    Leviticus (f9a067)

  24. Carlitos, once Immigration issues a valid Passport/Visa – it is customs who investigates what travellers carry while crossing the border. Loren is exactly correct, and you are exactly wrong.

    Steve Malynn (6b1ce5) — 8/13/2015 @ 11:42 am

    “Immigration” didn’t issue my passport; the US Department of State did.

    Once I get through the immigration line (me and no luggage), there is still that pesky customs check (me with my luggage), where you hand them the card and declare what you might have. Seems like 2 different things to me, but who knows.

    carlitos (c24ed5)

  25. For my next act of political journalism, let me buy some illegal drugs online (to demonstrate how easy it is), publicize my daring-do (obviously), then complain when cops show up to ask me questions about buying illegal drugs online.

    Leviticus (f9a067) — 8/13/2015 @ 12:30 pm

    1 – I’m pretty sure that it’s “derring-do”
    2 – Some journalist in Europe actually did this on the Silk Road site, and the drugs were delivered to Switzerland. The only problem was that they were ordered by a robot and not a person, so there was no one to prosecute.

    carlitos (c24ed5)

  26. leviticus, that you surrender your right to be politically active, does not mean others have to.

    In the six harassment inspections of O’Keefe, did any single officer decide he had grounds to arrest O’Keefe?

    Or is it you are just enraged in reporting that shows the government to be inept?

    Steve Malynn (6b1ce5)

  27. Sad, a US citizen is treated more harshly because of his revealing the state of our immigration policies than the actual illegal aliens murdering and raping our citizens are.

    Welcome to OwebamaNation.

    © Sponge (514457)

  28. I’m not enraged about anything, Steve. Not James O’Keefe, not DHS, not border security. I’m not surrendering my right to be politically active. I’m pointing out that messing with cops leads to bad outcomes.

    Leviticus (f9a067)

  29. He is still alive when he isn’t get back to us.

    hillarys anwser (e36413)

  30. I’ve been to Montreal and back. Its airport is a port of entry into the United States. Customs, immigration, passport control, and security all in one. Once you’re past the U.S. checkpoint, you’re as good as in the United States. I landed in Chicago’s domestic terminal as though I’d flown in from Des Moines.

    nk (dbc370)

  31. I’ve been to Montreal and back. Its airport is a port of entry into the United States. Customs, immigration, passport control, and security all in one. Once you’re past the U.S. checkpoint, you’re as good as in the United States. I landed in Chicago’s domestic terminal as though I’d flown in from Des Moines.

    Yeah, and if memory serves Toronto has the same set up with U.S. customs and immigration operating in the foreign airport. I would imagine that you might also see it in Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, and other large Canadian airports. I guess U.S. customs and immigration agents like living in Canada. Probably has to do with the poutine.

    JVW (ba78f9)

  32. I can vouch that all of the Canadian cities named above have this arrangement, plus Ottawa IIRC. Aer Lingus (the cunning airline) has almost the same thing. You pre-clear immigration in Ireland, but you still have to arrive at the international terminal and turn in a customs form.

    carlitos (c24ed5)

  33. One other thing is that pleas of guilty work both ways. A defendant pleads guilty on a lesser charge to avoid conviction on a more serious charge. The FBI’s database is based on arrests and how they are “cleared”. The DHS computer that raises the red flag would have the arrests arising out of the trespass in Landrieu’s office, as well as the cleared by a plea to a specific offense, and O’Keefe’s present status (parole, probation, discharged).

    nk (dbc370)

  34. For my next act of political journalism,

    How about waving around an illegal magazine for a pistol ? That’s popular with your allies.

    As far as the Border Patrol, many of them are actually DEA and I have my own story of an encounter with the drug war at a border check point.

    Mike K (90dfdc)


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