January 26, 2010
That O'Keefe Arrest
James O'Keefe -- he of the ACORN sting videos -- was arrested today, along with three likely accomplices, by the U.S. Marshal's Service for attempting to "interfere" with the phones in Sen. Mary Landrieu's (D-LA, 65%) office.
This seems peculiar... but we have one tantalizing clue to what might be going on:
Activist James O'Keefe, 25, was already in Landrieu's New Orleans office Monday when Robert Flanagan and Joseph Basel, both 24, showed up claiming to be telephone repairmen, according to U.S. Attorney Jim Letten's office. Letten says O'Keefe recorded the two with his cell phone.
Once inside the reception area, Flanagan, the son of acting U.S. Attorney Bill Flanagan in Shreveport, and Basel asked for access to the main phone at the reception desk.
After handling the phone, "Flanagan and Basel next requested access to the telephone closet because they needed to perform work on the main telephone system," Letten's office said.
The men were directed to another office in the building, they're accused of again misrepresenting themselves as telephone repairmen.
To my mind, it's overwhelming likely that O'Keefe was trying to pull off another sting, this time of Landrieu; but what, exactly? Did they really tamper with the phones? Or where they trying to see how easy it was to gain access to the phone system of a United States Senator? That could be important if the phone "interferers" were terrorists, for example, instead of a renegade journalist.
In any event, the sting, if such it was -- and why would O'Keefe be videorecording the activities if it wasn't a sting? -- went badly awry: Whatever vulnerability he was trying to demonstrate, I suspect he actually showed the opposite, at least in Landrieu's case.
Another question: Was this the first such phone "intereference" instance, or just the first failure? Perhaps O'Keefe has a dozen already completed videos where his crew succeeds in... well, in whatever it was they were trying to do.
I doubt that James O'Keefe will want to air any videos he has, however; they might precipitate numerous more charges against him, now that the FBI is already on his track!
In any event, it certainly sounds more like a blown sting operation and less like any real criminal intent was involved. But look for the ACORN-loving Left to go after O'Keefe hammer and tooth, calling him a criminal, a thug, and a terrorist.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, January 26, 2010, at the time of 2:05 PM
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The following hissed in response by: seePea
just a "blown sting operation" ?
Trespassing and attempting to wiretap a Federal government building is hardly something to just shrug off. I think your approach should have been closer to Michelle Malkin's thoughts on the arrest.
The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh
Trespass on government property doesn't exactly make me shiver in horror. Do you have inside information that O'Keefe was actually trying to plant a "wiretap?" Perhaps you should contact the FBI; I understand their affidavit failed to make that claim.
I'm with Patterico on this; I suspect it will turn out to be a "big nothing." (Or rather, he's with me, since I was first to suggest that this was a badly conceived video sting.)
Stop and think a moment, seePea: What possible point could there be in "wiretapping" the receptionist's telephone or even the the main phone network of Sen. Mary Landrieu? What do you imagine O'Keefe thought he might find... evidence that Southern moderate Democrats are in the pay of -- I dunno, Gov. Bobby Jindal?
It can't be political. The election is more than nine months away, for heaven's sake.
Mark my words: This will turn out to be some goofy "operation" designed to embarass Landrieu, not an attempt to commit a felony. One of those "seemed like a good idea at the time" idiocies.
The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh at January 27, 2010 2:46 AM
The following hissed in response by: seePea
when the events were happening it seemed that a wiretap was being attempted. To sit and think about the what and why a person is finagling with a phone is not what a witness should have been doing. If it was happening where I worked, I would have called in the cops too. If someone is doing something that looks fishy, despite their claimed best intentions I would call it in and figure it out later.
I don't understand your non-concern about trespassing. Are you saying that because others do it then it is ok for these 4 to do it? I would disagaree to that. if it is of no concern then the law should be changed so that it is off the books and not a punishable offense.
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