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Update on James O'Keefe

You may remember that a couple of weeks ago, James O'Keefe (the young filmmaker who exposed ACORN corruption) and three associates were arrested inside the New Orleans offices of Sen. Mary Landrieu. O'Keefe and his buddies were posing as telephone repairmen when they were arrested, and were allegedly attempting to unlawfully gain access to the telephone system in Sen. Landrieu's office.

After his release, O'Keefe published this explanation of his behavior:

I learned from a number of sources that many of Senator Landrieu's constituents were having trouble getting through to her office to tell her that they didn't want her taking millions of federal dollars in exchange for her vote on the healthcare bill. When asked about this, Senator Landrieu's explanation was that, "Our lines have been jammed for weeks." I decided to investigate why a representative of the people would be out of touch with her constituents for "weeks" because her phones were broken. In investigating this matter, we decided to visit Senator Landrieu's district office - the people's office - to ask the staff if their phones were working.

On reflection, I could have used a different approach to this investigation, particularly given the sensitivities that people understandably have about security in a federal building. The sole intent of our investigation was to determine whether or not Senator Landrieu was purposely trying to avoid constituents who were calling to register their views to her as their Senator.

After this statement was released, Allahpundit noted that it is a federal crime to "attempt" or "conspire" to "willfully or maliciously" interfere with any public, private, or military communications system. Apparently O'Keefe foolishly risked federal criminal trespass and conspiracy charges in order to pull off a rather meaningless and juvenile stunt.

But was it really meaningless?

On Monday it was revealed that the Jim Letten, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana, and the top Federal prosecutor in the state of Louisiana, recused himself from the case a day after O'Keefe's Jan. 25 arrest. No reason was given for the recusal, but O'Keefe's "big boss," blogger Andrew Breitbart, told Fox News:

"James O'Keefe sat in jail for 28 hours without access to an attorney, while the U.S. attorney leaked the information about his arrest, helping the media frame it as 'Watergate Junior,'" Breitbart said.

... "The panty bomber on Christmas was given -- you know, this guy's from Al Qaeda, and he's not even an American citizen, and he's given access to an attorney right away," Breitbart said. "I believe that this was a concerted effort, this is just my opinion, to allow for the media to frame the issue to put James O'Keefe in a very bad position."

Breitbart said he though the U.S. attorney's effort was part of a payback scheme against O'Keefe, who posed as a pimp and prostitute with another citizen journalist to enter ACORN offices around the country and ask advice on how to apply for federal housing grants for a brothel.

"It's tied to the Justice Department. And we've been very aggressive in asking (Attorney General) Eric Holder to investigate what's seen on these ACORN tapes and he's ignored it," Breitbart said.

The Politico's Michael Calderone also reported that MSNBC led the "Watergate Jr." charge, devoting 12% of its news coverage for the week of Jan. 25 - 31 to the O'Keefe arrest story. O'Keefe's arrest also made the front page of the New York Times for Sunday Jan. 31.

Yet when O'Keefe's undercover investigations into ACORN malfeasance first broke on September 10, 2009, it took the New York Times eight days to cover the story; they eventually published an article about O'Keefe (not the actual ACORN scandal) entitled "A Political Gadfly Lampoons the Left via YouTube" in the US section of the September 18 paper. And MSNBC waited five days to report on O'Keefe's ACORN investigation, only briefly discussing it in an article entitled (no joke) "Republicans Try To Crush ACORN."

Jim Treacher
thinks that Breitbart and O'Keefe are playing the Justice Department and the mainstream media for suckers, with an old-fashioned "rope a dope." The night-and-day difference between the MSM's virtually non-existent reporting of alleged ACORN wrongdoing, in contrast to their breathless trumpeting of O'Keefe's own arrest, seems to support that theory pretty well.

When I originally wrote about O'Keefe's arrest I wondered if this wasn't actually part of something a whole lot bigger. I suspect we'll find out what it is soon enough.

ADDED: More liberal dopes get roped -- Big Government uncovers a laughable attempt to paint O'Keefe as a knuckle-dragging racist. You have to read it to believe it.


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Comments (24)

The federal charges are lud... (Below threshold)

The federal charges are ludicrous on their face. "...it is a federal crime to "attempt" or "conspire" to "willfully or maliciously" interfere with any public, private, or military communications system." According to the initial reports none of the "conspirators" had any 'tools' in their possession. How do you 'tamper' without tools? Is "looking" a way to "tamper" with something? Again, from news reports, O'Keefe attempted to call the front desk of Landrieu's office on his cell phone as he stood next to that office phone. The phone did not ring. They ended up going to the phone closet and looking in there.

Personal opinion: Landrieu's staff decided they weren't going to take calls from those constituents who with an opposing point of view so they arranged for an on-off switch to be installed. No phones ringing off the hooks, NO PROBLEMS. O'Keefe and company were looking for a switch. Question: Were any of them familiar with telephone equipment in any way?

It appears that O'Keefe is ... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

It appears that O'Keefe is on a one-way jihad.

Stan Dai (O'Keefe's Chinama... (Below threshold)

Stan Dai (O'Keefe's Chinaman):

Assistant Director, Trinity's Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence


What is JSA (Junior Statesman Foundation)?


At least these kids are too young to have been involved in the Kennedy assassination, a'la White House "plumber", E. Howard Hunt.

Then there's the theory tha... (Below threshold)

Then there's the theory that O'Keefe wasn't even the ringleader, and that his associates, with their known ties to various elements of the US intelligence community, were more important to the act of carrying out the failed caper.

"Then there's the theory th... (Below threshold)

"Then there's the theory that O'Keefe wasn't even the ringleader, and that his associates, with their known ties to various elements of the US intelligence community, were more important to the act of carrying out the failed caper."
4. Posted by Norman Rogers


(I just couldn't resist typing "chinaman".)

Yeah guys, "It's a VAST RIG... (Below threshold)

Are YOUR phones tapped? Black helicopters flying over YOUR house right now in 'whisper mode'? Does YOUR home computer do 'weird' things? Is that van parked across the street really EMPTY? Is YOUR head tightly wrapped in tin foil?

Keep it up. The entertainment value is priceless.

O'Keefe broke the law and i... (Below threshold)
Steve Green:

O'Keefe broke the law and is going to jail.

No one at ACORN didn't break the law, and won't be jailed.

"Right and Wrong" is a simple equation. End of story.

And it's now apparent that ... (Below threshold)
Steve Green:

And it's now apparent that O'Keefe has been outed as a RACIST:

An activist organization that monitors hate groups has produced a photo of O'Keefe at a 2006 conference on "Race and Conservatism" that featured leading white nationalists. The photo, first published Jan. 30 on the Web site of the anti-racism group One People's Project, shows O'Keefe at the gathering, which was so controversial even the ultra-right Leadership Institute, which employed O'Keefe at the time, withdrew its backing. But O'Keefe and fellow young conservative provocateur Marcus Epstein soldiered on to give anti-Semites, professional racists and proponents of Aryanism an opportunity to share their grievances and plans to make inroads in the GOP.

According to One People's Project founder Daryle Jenkins, O'Keefe was manning the literature table at the gathering that brought together anti-Semites, professional racists and proponents of Aryanism. OPP covered the event at the time, sending a freelance photographer to document the gathering. Jenkins told me the table was filled with tracts from the white supremacist right, including two pseudo-academic publications that have called blacks and Latinos genetically inferior to whites: American Renaissance and the Occidental Quarterly. The leading speaker was Jared Taylor, founder of the white nationalist group American Renaissance. "We can say for certain that James O'Keefe was at the 2006 meeting with Jared Taylor. He has absolutely no way of denying that," Jenkins said. O'Keefe's attorney did not respond to a request for comment on his client's role in the conference.

Gee, I'm so surprised. A RACIST! Who would have thought.....

The good news for O'Keefe is that there are organized gangs of Aryan Brotherhood in prison - and he's going to make a wonderful bride for other racists.

s green.... hot on the case... (Below threshold)

s green.... hot on the case aren't you?

Unfortunately hot on the case to you means, not reading the entire story, having the inability to understand it if you did, or are just a blithering idiot.

Or a real life Inspector Jacques Clouseau:

"Anonymity is a virtue. Every fool knows that. Anonymity's next to cleanliness and I don't have to tell you what that's next to."

#7: "No one at ACORN didn't... (Below threshold)

#7: "No one at ACORN didn't break the law, and won't be jailed."

I agree 100% with those words... though I suspect they are inadvertently correct.

Our lines have bee... (Below threshold)
Tina S:
Our lines have been jammed for weeks." I decided to investigate why a representative of the people would be out of touch with her constituents for "weeks" because her phones were broken.

O'Keefe's statement does not hold water. Landrieu said the phone lines were jammed not broken. If O'Keefe was not trying to tap the lines then he needs to come clean and say what he was really trying to do.

Tina S should come clean an... (Below threshold)

Tina S should come clean and say what she's really trying to do.

Trying and failing.

Steve, Steve, Steve ... if ... (Below threshold)

Steve, Steve, Steve ... if you're going to be a good troll, please at least read the links in the post before you comment on it, okay? Especially the ones set apart in ADDED or UPDATE 'graphs, or with comments like "you have to read it to believe it"; those might be important. Just so you'll know.

But thanks anyway for your comment, which made bryanD's earlier remarks look positively intellectual, and which provided yet another great example of a liberal dope who got roped by O'Keefe.

This is probably being done... (Below threshold)

This is probably being done to placate the no-doubt outraged corrupt pol Landrieu. The charges will probably be dropped after a respectable time has lapsed.

"No one at ACORN didn't bre... (Below threshold)

"No one at ACORN didn't break the law"

Steve Green isn't no idiot.

Tina S should come clean... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

Tina S should come clean and say what she's really trying to do.

I would happy to say what I am trying to do. Michael Laprarie included a quote that carried an obvious contradiction. Neither he, nor any of his readers seemed to pick up on it. What I'm trying to do is point out that some on the right wing, in their willingness to defend one of their own, are willing to believe anything. All objectivity seems lost. There is a such a willingness to believe all things bad about Obama and all things good about your own party. O'Keefe made an obvious contradiction, yet Michael Laprarie did not pick up on it, nor did any of his readers. That says a lot.

Liberals really aren't that... (Below threshold)

Liberals really aren't that sharp.

The update refers to attempts to paint OKeefe as a racist because he attended a so-called white supremacist forum.

Now I may be behind the latest trends in white supremacy, but if they really were that, then how is it that "Kevin Martin of the black conservative organization Project 21 became a last-minute addition to the panel." at this forum?

Tina S, when you say someth... (Below threshold)

Tina S, when you say something like "All objectivity is lost" it just sounds whiney and hypocritcal.

Maybe you'd be happier if like Steve Green you don't read any of the actual post. Your complaints would have at least the same credibility as now.

Update on James O'Keefe:</p... (Below threshold)
Steve Green:

Update on James O'Keefe:

By O'Keefe's own account, his racial troubles became acute when he entered the multicultural atmosphere of Rutgers University's dormitory system. In an online diary that has since been scrubbed from the Web (but not before being captured on Daily Kos), he wrote that he was forced to live on an all-black dormitory floor after refusing to live with the gay roommate he was initially assigned. O'Keefe claimed his next roommate was "an Indian midget ... who smelled like shit." The roommate left, however, and was replaced by "a greek kid." The new roommate complained to a residential administrator that O'Keefe had called his neighbors "niggers," prompting the school to expel him from the dorm. He rejected the accusation as a "complete lie," writing, "I was lead out of the room crying and screaming at him and my situation, no friends, no one one [sic] to talk to, forced to go in front of a black man, Dean Tolbert, to defend myself and help explain that I did not call anyone any names."

The following year, despite this record, O'Keefe secured a dream job in the conservative movement, employed by the Leadership Institute, a Northern Virginia-based outfit that serves as the movement's most prolific youth training operation. There, O'Keefe met Marcus Epstein, a fellow ideologue who as editor of a conservative publication at the College of William and Mary assailed Martin Luther King Jr. for "philandering and plagiarism" and challenged his patriotism and Christianity.

Together, O'Keefe and Epstein planned an event in August 2006 that would wed their extreme views on race with their ambitions. Epstein invited white nationalist Jared Taylor and homophobic white-grievance peddler John Derbyshire of the National Review to speak at the Leadership Institute's Northern Virginia headquarters, at a mock symposium called "Race and Conservatism."

read it all....

SG, I think we should dig u... (Below threshold)

SG, I think we should dig up some of your apolgies for our current President's former associates and neighbors and see you they stack up against your current mudslinging campaign.

In his post #7, "Steve Gree... (Below threshold)

In his post #7, "Steve Green" said -- and this one I must quote verbatim: "No one at ACORN didn't break the law, and won't be jailed."

And ain't that the truth!

There ain't no-one at ACORN who didn't break the law a score at least of times.

And indeed it's likely that ACORN's thugs won't be jailed -- or even tried.

Not while the abjectly corrupt fascistic activist "Democrats" control and operate the machinery of our gummint as though they and not we the people, own it -- and similarly, the "courts." As if they're but a branch of the vast criminal enterprises that prefer to be known by their street name, the "Democratic" potty.

Which of course they are!

Sorry Steve, but if your on... (Below threshold)

Sorry Steve, but if your only defense for Max Blumenthal's sadly under-researched and pathetically biased article is to simply quote more of it, then you've lost. As a troll, you'd be much better off spending your time doing something else.

I figure this thread has di... (Below threshold)

I figure this thread has died, but the following should be the info that closes it.

First, the URL:

And an excerpt by Kevin Martin of the black conservative organization Project 21:

"As a panelist at the Robert Taft Club 'Race and Conservatism' event in 2006, I had the chance to personally meet James O'Keefe after the event ended. He voiced personal support for me and my positions. He also repudiated the radical elements in the room that night.

Marcus Epstein invited me - a black conservative - to a discussion on race issues, not O'Keefe. What transpired was a spirited debate against radical elements of which I and other conservatives were clearly opposed. At no time did I feel intimidated, nor was I ever treated poorly by my hosts. The Blumenthal story is long on accusation and short on facts.

The left is attempting to label O'Keefe as a racist, but this probably has nothing to do with his ideas or associations now or then. I believe it is only because he recently exposed the radicalism of ACORN and the illegal advice its workers chose to give out. By labeling O'Keefe a racist, they likely seek to change the public view of O'Keefe's work from one of exposing corruption and law-breaking to one of a white conservative going after a group empowering the poor and minorities."

O'Keefe was kicked out of h... (Below threshold)
Steve Green:

O'Keefe was kicked out of his college dorm because of his racist bigotry.

O'Keefe was manning a table full of racist literature.

"Now I may be behind the latest trends in white supremacy, but if they really were that, then how is it that "Kevin Martin of the black conservative organization Project 21 became a last-minute addition to the panel." at this forum?"

The White Supremists wanted a black man to throw stones at. As Martin admits it was a "spirited" debate. Whether O'Keefe supported Martin indivudally or not is irrelevant.

As to my poorly written comment #7:

"#7: "No one at ACORN didn't break the law, and won't be jailed.

It should have read #7: "The employees at ACORN didn't break the law, and won't be jailed. - O'Keefe did break the law and will go to jail"






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