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January 27, 2010



Patterico himself leaped to the same conclusion (or took the MSM's word for it) when he first blogged the story yesterday. But he corrected it thoroughly and emphatically as soon as he realized his error.

In contrast, Mary Katharine Ham at the Weekly Standard blog has changed her headline and her story without noting that she did so, or why. I haven't checked to see if Malkin has corrected her piece.


Danube of Thought

Unless one of the four flips, I wonder how they'll prove anything about phone-tampering, intended or otherwise. You can almost imagine it was an attempt to film a gag video lampooning the apparently notoriously inoperable phone system in the office, although the whole thing is mind-numbingly stupid.


Almost a full day ago, I tweeted about the "interfere" vs. "bugging" claim and then spent way too much time trying to get others to do things that would be effective such as using the issue to discredit those lying about the "bugging" issue. It's good to see them at least doing things that are slightly and temporarily effective, albeit a little late in the day.

Terry Gain

I think if there was wiretapping devices in evidence we would know that.

The Washington Post initial blog post is also unfair to O'Keefe:

The conservative young filmmaker who tarnished the reputation of a liberal activist group with his undercover videos ...

the expression to tarnishing another's reputation usually implies wrongdoing on the part of the person doing the tarnishing.

O'Keefe may more accurately be describes as one who

exposed Acorn employees in several offices as so lacking in ethical values that they encouraged the use of fraud to obtain government funding for illegal activities.


Uh oh.


P.S. Back in March 2009 - before I knew who he was - I discussed yet another cheap O'Keefe stunt, pointing out how they could have had an impact if they'd done things the right way. Only today did I find out that that's him on the video, and as it turns out what I said then applies double to the latest stunt. I don't think that's going to be educational for many, since waving loopy signs and playing dress-up games is just so much fun.


I blame Bush!


It's not at all clear that they were there to tamper with anything.


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.


b gone?


My question is what was the purpose of making a video? Wbat was O'Keefe's purpose. It seems silly to make a video of an attempeed felony.

I grant that the four were up to something. Don't think it was bugging, but what was the four's mission?


@Neo -- 6th toes stick out in LA? Who knew?

And am I the only one to think that LoneWacko [or 24AH.] would sound just like Obama if he only added a few more "as I've always saids"?


--Carol Leonnig and Garrance Franke-Ruta, the same two WaPo reporters with a byline in the bum story, got it right:--

--The conservative young filmmaker who tarnished the reputation of a liberal activist group--

Don't think they even got this right.
I'll give them a pass on ACORN being liberal rather than whack job radicals, but O'Keefe has described himself as progressive, radical and possibly libertarian, but never conservative.


I absolutely detest Michael Moore. But if this was Michael Moore rather than James O'Keefe, I would assume that Moore was being his usual obnoxious self, trying to make some kind of political point through a stunt. I would find it amusing that he got bagged, and would assume that he'd get appropriately fined or otherwise admonished, but not punished as a dangerous criminal. I would not consider that Moore had any type of criminal or venal intent, nor would I necessarily assume that he was "stupid" to undertake the prank, whatever it's purpose might be) since such things are, after all, what he does for a living.
Other than the legitimate concern that fooling around with the security procedures of Federal Office buildings these days is risky in and of itself, why would anyone think this situation is any different? Why the long faces?


If anyone has a valid, logical counter-argument to either of the two comments above, let us know. Otherwise, please don't waste others' time.


I grant that the four were up to something. Don't think it was bugging, but what was the four's mission?

Best theory I've seen was suggested here by ARC: Brian in the earlier thread.

Basically, nobody could ever get anything but a busy signal from Landrieu's office, while it's no problem getting through to Vitter's. So they could have been there to show that the phones were working fine, just that that line was purposely left off the hook.

I wonder if we'll get a chance to see the video.


Suggested at the end of Patterico's here.

Rob Crawford

"Otherwise, please don't waste others' time."

Ditto, putz.

In any case, Leonnig is the same "reporter" who ran with the "O'Keefe hates him some black people" line of BS during the ACORN story. I suspect she has ACORN spokesthings on speed dial, and her reporting in this case reflects the spin THEY wanted.

Old Lurker

"If anyone has a valid, logical counter-argument to either of the two comments above, let us know. Otherwise, please don't waste others' time."

We have our own House Rules here, Dotty. Don't need suggestions from you.


Allahpundit on Hillary's suggestion that she won't be there for all eight years:

Having beaten Obama in the primary by painting herself as the “true liberal” in the race, she’d be a sitting duck in the general when the GOP inevitably ran to the center. It ain’t happening. Although it would be awesome if it did!
This makes no sense. Why assume she'd be running to his right? It's not even possible to run to the left of Obama, except maybe on the Communist ticket.
Rob Crawford

Allahpundit's a dork.

Hillary would not run to Obama's left; that she did (if she did) in the 2008 primaries is immaterial because the press will not allow us to remember that. If conventional wisdom is that Obama cannot be reelected, then they will remake Hillary (or Kerry, or Edwards, or anyone else they think has a chance) into the candidate they believe they need.

Cecil Turner

I’d always said that you could bluff your way into most buildings with the right uniform . . .

I've been assuming for most of this discussion that you can simply walk into the building in question. (And that O'Keefe did precisely that.) Does anybody know if that's incorrect? Do they limit access in some way? Do you have to state your name and business to gain access to the building?


Ah, sorry, I meant "This makes no sense. Why assume she'd be running to his left?"

(I realize that everbody knows that, but still...)


Did the FBI allow them to have lawyers after 50 minutes of interrogation?


The real scandal is a US senator who turns off her phones so that she doesn't have to listen to voters.

Everybody in LA knows what's going on. Those boys were just in the phone room to take a pic and prove that the lines are all intact and nobody in the office is answering the phones. That can only mean one thing, those busy signals people are hearing are there because Ms Landrieu and her staff have "unplugged." How creepy is that.

It's also no secret that Louisiana has become more conservative since Katrina, and family tradition and sweetheart deals will only take a body so far.

I don't think Ms. Mary want's that getting out, so expect this to all melt quietly away....


I sure hope you are right, verner. Maybe the guy outside with the "listening device" (snort) had already dialed his cell phone and gotten a busy signal.


cboldt sighting in comments at Pattericos

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.

Comment by cboldt — 1/27/2010 @ 2:35 pm

guy is loosing his cheese

Danube of Thought

"If anyone has a valid, logical counter-argument to either of the two comments above, let us know."

Perhaps you could first let us know what are the arguments we are supposed to consider countering. (Try to be concise.)

Danube of Thought

Couple of theories about what they might have been up to.


Strange how the ultra-montane leftards are ballistic over a tiny FBI bust like this when they are dead silent about the crotch bomber's being given Miranda Rights in a case which Osama BL claims he himself masterminded.

Strange li'l dudes, these blogster guys who overlook Mary L's $100 million bribe to sign on ObamaCare and squeal like Animal Farm's Napoleon about what may be a photo-op gone bad....

And Mary & dad Moon Landrieu were among the TRUE FELONS who weakened the levees around NO for decades before Katrina struck in '05. Substance-crimes are the Dem's specialty, while they love to play gotcha in little process flubs like GWB's response to Katrina. Landrieu is just another RICO-style mobster in this long line of Dem machine politicians.


Patterico has a new post which cites an MSNBC story in which federal officials admit O'Keefe was not attempting to wire tap. The MSNBC story says the officials now claim it was an attempt to shut down the phone phone system to "to see how the local staffers would react if the phones went out. Would the staff just laugh it off, or would they express great concern that local folks couldn’t get through?"

That motive sounds rather far-fetched. Like an attempt to salvage the upping of a misdemeanor trespassing charge to a felony.


Let’s face it, all charges will be dropped, because he is poor white trash. This Tuesday, James O’Keefe was arrested by the FBI, for entering a federal property under false pretenses with the intent to commit a felony and maliciously interfering with a telephone system operated and controlled by the United States of America. They were dressed up as telephone company employees with tool belts and fluorescent jackets. It appears to be a bungled attempt to wiretap the office of Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu, in Louisiana and paid by Andrew Breitbart.



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