Was He Dressed As A Pimp?

Filed in National by on January 26, 2010

What’s up with this?

The FBI, alleging a plot to wiretap Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu’s office in downtown New Orleans, arrested four people Monday, including James O’Keefe, a conservative filmmaker whose undercover videos at ACORN field offices severely damaged the the advocacy group’s credibility.

FBI Special Agent Steven Rayes alleges that O’Keefe aided and abbetted two others, Joseph Basel and Robert Flanagan, who dressed up as employees of a telephone company and attempted to interfere with the office’s telephone system.

I hope all Democratic offices check their phones.

Tags: , ,

About the Author ()

Opinionated chemist, troublemaker, blogger on national and Delaware politics.

Comments (106)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. liberalgeek says:

    I am sure that Glenn Beck will be defending O’Keefe tonight. This is like an independent dirty tricks team. I hope Woodward and Bernstein can track this guy to Cheney’s home on the Eastern Shore.

  2. anon says:

    Cheney doesn’t need burglars; he’s got his equipment in the switchrooms.

    Maybe O’Keefe can plead “retroactive immunity.”

  3. One of the other men arrested is the son of an acting U.S. Attorney for Louisiana. This thing is gonna get big, I predict.

  4. anonone says:

    Best story so far this year.

  5. pandora says:

    Is anyone really surprised? But, yeah, this is gonna be good.

  6. JustTheFacts says:

    What did Sarah Palin know, and when did she know it?

  7. Oooh…this is getting good.

    One of the guys arrested, Dai, ran some kind of spy school.

    Andrew Breitbart, who runs some rightwing blogs, was the one who sponsored O’Keefe. He’s denying that he knew anything about what O’Keefe was doing.

    31 House Republicans co-sponsored a bill praising O’Keefe for his ACORN “sting.”

    As someone pointed out on Twitter, ACORN was cleared of all wrongdoing, unlike O’Keefe, who is facing felony charges. Who could have guessed that someone who illegally taped ACORN workers would try illegal wiretaps?

    On Twitter, the emerging tags are #superspy and #teabugger

    I’m loving it!

  8. The resolution honoring O’Keefe was sponsored by Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX.

    The following 31 House Republicans cosponsored Olson’s measure, which declared that O’Keefe was “owed a debt of gratitude by the people of the United States”:

    Todd Akin [R-MO2]
    Roscoe Bartlett [R-MD6]
    Joe Barton [R-TX6]
    Rob Bishop [R-UT1]
    Jo Bonner [R-AL1]
    John Boozman [R-AR3]
    Paul Broun [R-GA10]
    Henry Brown [R-SC1]
    John Campbell [R-CA48]
    John Carter [R-TX31]
    Howard Coble [R-NC6]
    Tom Cole [R-OK4]
    Michael Conaway [R-TX11]
    John Culberson [R-TX7]
    Mary Fallin [R-OK5]
    Trent Franks [R-AZ2]
    Louis Gohmert [R-TX1]
    Kay Granger [R-TX12]
    Ralph Hall [R-TX4]
    Jim Jordan [R-OH4]
    Steve King [R-IA5]
    John Kline [R-MN2]
    Doug Lamborn [R-CO5]
    Blaine Luetkemeyer [R-MO9]
    Daniel Lungren [R-CA3]
    Kenny Marchant [R-TX24]
    Joseph Pitts [R-PA16]
    Bill Posey [R-FL15]
    Phil Roe [R-TN1]
    Jean Schmidt [R-OH2]
    John Shadegg [R-AZ3]

    Actually, I feel grateful to O’Keefe at this very moment. He’ll provide days if not weeks of entertainment.

  9. donviti says:

    man, really picking up the slack UI, did you guys kick out other contributors we don’t know about?

    side note Pat Buchannan on with Tweety to discuss wiretapping. I’m sure he will be a good bipartisan source

  10. Elephant in the Room says:

    Quite a tizzy about wiretapping….I thought D-rats had nothing to hide. What gives?

  11. I’m the Yoko Ono of DL, donviti, didn’t you know that?

  12. It gets even better. One of the guys arrested, Stan Dai, wrote a play in college called “The Penis Monologues.”

    In college, Stan Dai co-wrote a satirical work entitled The Penis Monologues, apparently a takeoff on the Vagina Monologues. Here’s a taste:

    My Angry Penis

    MY PENIS IS ANGRY!!!!!!! You want to know what happened to my penis? Joan happened to my penis! There I was, sleeping peacefully when Joan stormed in and dragged me out for “an educational program.” I thought was going to see Mr. Rogers! But nooooooo! It turned out to be the “Whine-gina Monologues!”

  13. AnonForNow says:

    maybe this will warrant a reinvestigation into (can i say this?) 0’queef’s fraudulent takedown of ACORN. NIce to see the TEAparty’s favorite little “investigative journalist”.

  14. It should, AFN. ACORN has been cleared by 2 different independent investigations.

  15. edisonkitty says:

    Really, Elephant?  Is that what you are going with – illegal wiretaps are OK as long as you have nothing to hide?

    Anyway, I have a prediction:  The right wing spin on this will be that the perpetrators were only trying to stage some kind of 60 Minutes style expose but showed an error in judgment by impersonating telco workers to trespass. Move along – nothing to see here.

  16. Jason330 says:

    Michael Castle just told a phone in town hall that dark looking people who might be terrorist should not have miranda rights or due process. I have the tape.

    He was sucking up to a wingnut and even knowing what a craven loser he is I was shocked.

  17. Interesting new detail:

    An official close to the investigation said one of the four was arrested with a listening device in a car blocks from the senator’s offices. He spoke on condition of anonymity because that information was not included in official arresting documents.

  18. anon says:

    I saw that too… makes me think the FBI was following these guys and didn’t just get called to the scene.

  19. anonone says:

    Espionage charges coming perhaps?

  20. nemski says:

    Who knew that the Republicans would be able to take the spotlight off of the Democrats'”tough” week so quickly?

  21. a.price says:

    jason, why have you not sent it to Keith, the news journal, the DDC, the Times, Coons, hell, just go thru the phone book and mail it to everyone. (in wilmington…. not the slower lower folk) I’ll help with the stamps

  22. anonone says:

    Jason – were you dressed like a pimp? You can rent those clothes, you know. :)

  23. Jason330 says:

    I’m not as techie as all that. It is a 40 minute tape and Castle’s wiping his ass with the constitution to suck up to a wingnut is 30 minutes in.

  24. anon says:

    Needs to be Youtubed with a picture of Castle.

  25. Jason330 says:

    A1 – he called me w/ one of those robo calls. He didn’t take my question. Shocking, I know.

  26. anonone says:

    Damn, I give you major props for listening past “Hello, this is Mike castle…”

  27. a.price says:

    jason, seriously, get the tape to someone who can crop it into a “mike castle is a teabagging racist” attack ad

  28. a.price says:

    one thing i dont get….. why did they go after Landrieu? she is the conservatives mole in the democratic caucus along with carper, nelson and not-so-secretly LIEberman. guess they have just been getting lucky lately and the conserviots (conservative/idiots… im tired) ARE as dumb as we think they are

  29. Jason,

    Get the tape to LG. I’m sure he can do something with it.

    As far as going after Landrieu, are we sure she’s the only one? Some people speculate that they thought to go after Landrieu because of her special deal with Medicaid for LA. Others are thinking because her brother is currently running for Mayor of NO. I think maybe it was opportunistic because one of the guys (don’t remember which one, Flanagan perhaps) had some kind of “think tank” called the Pelican Institute in NO and O’Keefe was invited there to do some kind of new media class. Yes, a 24-year-old who’s not that bright had a think tank.

    A1,

    I’m not sure what kind of charges they can file. Probably multiple because it was a federal office. These guys have landed in some deep doodoo, no doubt about it. I want to see what happens when they start following the money.

  30. Bob White says:

    UI:

    O’Keefe did a good thing in exposing the willingness of ACORN employees to assist in human trafficking and illegal tax activity. He and his partner were rightly praised.

    At least on its face, O’Keefe did something wrong, and likely criminal, here.

    Now unless you expect those who praised him months ago to play the psychic and know that O’Keefe would do something else months later, it is really unreasonable to criticize them. And if you do, does that mean that you condemn any organization that ever gave Dan Rather an award for journalism and any legislative body that ever passed a resolution honoring him because they were unaware of of his future trafficking in forged government documents to purvey a lie about a sitting president in a blatant attempt to influence the outcome of an election?

    And maybe those who awarded OJ Simpson the Heisman trophy during his college days and voted him on to pro bowl teams and into the hall of fame should have known he would eventually murder two people.

  31. Bob,

    Two separate independent investigations have shown that we don’t know what the ACORN employees were responding to, the tapes were heavily edited and the questions were voice-overs. O’Keefe hasn’t released the original tapes.

    It’s funny how the only person going to prison in all of this is O’Keefe. Some employees of ACORN (not the entire organization) were accused of being accessories to imaginary crimes, so therefore the whole organization was defunded and bashed in Congress. Should the wingnut welfare system also be defunded and bashed in Congress. O’Keefe was paid by several organizations, most recently by Breitbart’s orgs.

  32. anonone says:

    Those are just technicalities, UI. We all know that Acorns are nuts. That is a fact. O’Keefe represents the future of journalism.

    I am quite sure that the Landrieu phone tapes will be released shortly. In spite of the fact that Landrieu’s voice will sound like a male falsetto from a Monte Python skit, all the wingnuts like Bob will agree that they are clear evidence that she has been plotting with Acorn to cook puppies and kittens for White House dinners.

  33. a.price says:

    this guy is a dumbass teabaggin Michael Weston

  34. fightingbluehen says:

    If someone was doing the same thing to get dirt on Bush or any republican organization you all would justify it. In fact you dems would be praising the guy.

  35. anon says:

    If someone was doing the same thing to get dirt on Bush or any republican organization you all would justify it. In fact you dems would be praising the guy.

    Well I guess we’ll never know, because so far the only people low enough to wiretap political opponents are Republicans.

  36. fightingbluehen says:

    So anon are you admitting that Acorn is a political opponent because thats what i thought the whole time.

  37. anon says:

    Anyone who wants to register more voters and make banks play fair and follow the law, is automatically considered a political opponent by Republicans.

  38. I love the smell of wingnut fail in the morning. So far we got the most common excuse: Democrats (would) do it, too.

    I’ll have to admit that the “you’re making fun of this, therefore I was right all along” is a new one to me. I’ll have to add it to the lexicon.

  39. fightingbluehen says:

    In the end i think you will find that this incident was the result of some misguided youths,and not some watergate type of crime. we will see.

  40. In the end i think you will find that this incident was the result of some misguided youths,and not some watergate type of crime. we will see.

    Hey, I’m just following the rules the conservatives set. They said a couple of highly-edited tapes of ACORN employees giving bad advice means the whole organization is a criminal enterprise. O’Keefe is a cog in the wingnut welfare world but he’s just a bad apple, right?

  41. anon says:

    In the end i think you will find that this incident was the result of some misguided youths

    Prisons are full of misguided youths.

  42. meatball says:

    So if they were Muslim they would be terrorists, right? But since they are white, rightwing darlings, this was just a prank. Unbelievable.

  43. Good point meatball. The rightwing would be in full freakout mode right now if Muslim youths were found trying to tap Senator’s phone lines.

  44. liberalgeek says:

    Good point meatball. If this was a group of Muslim men that had ever been to the middle east, the right would be screaming that these guys are terrorists that need to be waterboarded to find out what they know.

    Instead, these are present-day plumbers that are engaged in a different kind of terror plot. I wonder where they trained and who is paying for it. I say we freeze the assets of anyone that we think was involved in funding these guys. Then perhaps we waterboard the guy. :)

  45. pandora says:

    Misguided youth? Bwahahahaha!

    This is just the same old Republican lone wolf defense.

  46. fightingbluehen says:

    well you guys pretty much got me,but in the end i think Acorns’ days of political influence are over. Hell.. no political campaign in its right mind would want Acorn attached to it now.

  47. ACORN never had much political influence.

  48. Brooke says:

    Really, they never did. Rallies to support homeless people, and info on tenants rights are what they’re into. Whooo, scary!

  49. a.price says:

    exactly. poor people. Conservatives’ worst enemy…. like stray rats.

  50. Lizard says:

    UI, thanks for posting the FBI Affidavit.

    This stunt was so increadably stupid, it makes you wonder who planned the ACORN sting.

    Lucky for these morons, they were caught before they got into the telephone room and did whatever they planned to do.

    and geek, if the investigation even finds a hint of a link to terrorism, then absolutely they should be waterboarded.

  51. anon says:

    jason330

    “Michael Castle just told a phone in town hall that dark looking people who might be terrorist should not have miranda rights or due process. I have the tape.

    He was sucking up to a wingnut and even knowing what a craven loser he is I was shocked.”

    Would love to hear that tape.

    hit my email mcnallym82@gmail.com

  52. Elephant in the Room says:

    Jason, I believe you may have broken the law, unless all of those callers into the phone meeting were informed the call would be recorded by you.

    Your prison nickname will be baconcheeks.

  53. anon says:

    The wiretapping laws apply to private conversations. It would be difficult to portray an event billed as a “town hall” as a “private conversation.” Although you never know how a judge will see it.

  54. Elephant in the Room says:

    Let’s hope for Judge Bill Lee!

  55. anon says:

    And if Castle’s meetings are interpreted as private conversations – run against him for never having any public meetings. And don’t forget to visit Jason.

  56. hey anonny nonny says:

    Oh, please. Both of you need to STFU and do some research before opening your mouths.

    There’s a great summary of the law online, from the Reporters’ Committee for the Freedom of the Press, “Can We Tape? A Practical Guide to Taping Phone Calls and In-Person Conversations in the 50 States and D.C.,” available at http://www.rcfp.org/taping/index.html:

    In Delaware, there is some conflict with regards to whether a party to a conversation can record the communication without the other party’s consent. Delaware’s wiretapping and surveillance law specifically allows an individual to “intercept” any wire, oral or electronic communication to which the individual is a party, or a communication in which at least one of the parties has given prior consent, so long as the communication is not intercepted with a criminal or tortious intent. Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 2402(c)(4).

    However, a Delaware privacy law makes it illegal to intercept “without the consent of all parties thereto a message by telephone, telegraph, letter or other means of communicating privately, including private conversation.” Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1335(a)(4).

    The wiretapping law is much more recent, and at least one federal court has held that, even under the privacy law, an individual can record his own conversations. United States v. Vespe, 389 F. Supp. 1359 (1975).

    Under the wiretapping law, communications intercepted illegally, or the disclosure of the contents of illegally recorded communications, can result in prosecution for a felony and a fine of up to $10,000. Del. Code Ann. tit 11, § 2402 (b). Civil liability also can be imposed in the amount of actual damages or a fine of $100 a day for each day of violation or $1,000, whichever is more, along with punitive damages, attorney fees and litigation costs. Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 2409. However, a good faith reliance on a court order or legislative authorization constitutes a complete defense.

  57. Elephant in the Room says:

    But in other matters, it appears that the four young pranksters in Louisiana were trying to prove that Landrieu had rigged her phone to prevent any input from her constituents.

    So, I say let this story continue! No one will care about blah-blah O’Keefe that ACORN bully…it will be more closed-door, shut-yer-mouth, Democrats spending-your-money-without-concern, our-super-majority-penis-is-bigger nonsense.

    Ahhh….2010….how sweet thou art!

  58. liberalgeek says:

    Ah, they were breaking the law to prove that Landrieu was doing something that wasn’t illegal, even if she was doing it… Genius.

    Yes, let this investigation get to the bottom of it. It is going to be fun.

  59. Elephant in the Room says:

    Definitely. You all have much more to lose.

    PUHLEESE….keep bringing it. 2009 turned out so well for you.

  60. pandora says:

    Sorry, Elephant. This is your scandal. We are merely spectators. Pass the popcorn.

    And young pranksters? Really? How adorably inaccurate. I’m thinking felons might be a more appropriate description.

  61. liberalgeek says:

    I am laughing a lot right now at the Elephant. Time to pack your trunk, buddy.

  62. Elephant in the Room says:

    Popcorn? But I made you “special” brownies!!

    Like I said….KEEP THIS GOING!

  63. EK totally nailed it:

    Anyway, I have a prediction: The right wing spin on this will be that the perpetrators were only trying to stage some kind of 60 Minutes style expose but showed an error in judgment by impersonating telco workers to trespass. Move along – nothing to see here.

    Elephant in the Room at 4:54:

    But in other matters, it appears that the four young pranksters in Louisiana were trying to prove that Landrieu had rigged her phone to prevent any input from her constituents.

    That’s some B.S. being floated on conservative blogs right now. Yeah, they were just messin’ with the phones to prove they don’t work or something? That doesn’t even make sense. All you would have to show is people talking on the phone. That still doesn’t explain the listening device in Dai’s car.

  64. BTW, here’s the NRO post where the “he was just taping the phones” hypothesis was floated:

    Here’s my initial reaction. First, given the facts of the case as reported so far, I doubt the kids were trying to install some kind of wiretap on the senator’s office phone system. I doubt they would even have the expertise to pull that off. What I think they were really doing was recording video (and audio, thus the reported use of listening equipment by one of the kids outside the building) of a fake repair visit in order to create a piece ridiculing Landrieu for voting for Obamacare despite the legions of phone calls from constituents against the bill. “Why didn’t she listen to the voters?” the gist of the stunt might be. “Were her phones not working?”

  65. Elephant in the Room says:

    You so desperately want this to be more….Dan Rather would be proud!

    Good luck with that.

    “Oh please Brer Fox, whatever you do, please don’t throw me into the briar patch!!!”

    DIG AWAY. You’re just too cute in your fury.

  66. pandora says:

    You’re mistaking laughter for fury. Hopefully these “young pranksters” aren’t your best and brightest.

  67. Elephant in the Room says:

    Laughter, fury, whatever….I find you amusing all the same. I hope these guys are a just a harbinger of the flies-on-poo aggravation that will hound your kind for the next 25 years.

  68. pandora says:

    Talk about fury. Someone has some issues.

  69. Elephant in the Room says:

    You’re mistaking giggles for issues. Hopefully you aren’t the best and brightest.

  70. cassandra m says:

    It’s for certain you aren’t, since like the rest of your crowd there’s nothing on offer besides whatever emotions you’ve been told to manufacture today. But you’re happy missing the cluetrain, so we’re happy for you.

  71. Elephant in the Room says:

    Less sniping, more digging, sweetie.

    DIG. DIG. DIG.

    Happy li’l gopher.

  72. cassandra m says:

    No sniping, dearie — just reporting out the facts.

  73. Elephant in the Room says:

    Really? ‘Coz it sounds like you’re just salivating over the liberal media wanking it in the wind.

    Less wanking, more digging.

    You think you got a big bass, but I think you hooked an old tire.

    Let’s reel it in and weigh it, princess.

  74. cassandra m says:

    Hey, if you can find it, play with it good buddy. Just leave the rest of us out of it.

  75. Elephant in the Room says:

    Oh no, I insist.

    DIG, gopher, DIG.

    Who knows, you might find Trig Palin’s birth certificate in your search.

    D-I-G.

  76. Elephant in the Room says:

    So….whadja find, my li’l diggas?

  77. pandora says:

    Well, let’s see… we have four, extremely dumb men accused of tampering with a Senator’s phones and gaining access to those phones by adopting a false identity and now stand accused of a federal crime.

    Same as it ever was.

  78. anon says:

    Well, let’s see… we have four, extremely dumb, extremely Republican men accused of tampering with a Senator’s phones and gaining access to those phones by adopting a false identity and now stand accused of a federal crime.

    Same as it ever was.

    Meanwhile EVERYBODY’S phone calls keep flowing into government computers 24×7.

  79. Elephant in the Room says:

    Pandemic of stupidity…did they ever TOUCH the phones? did they have any equipment on their persons capable of TAPPING them?

    Hint: (no)

    Thanks for playing, sweetcheeks.

    DIG, DIG, DIG!!!!!

  80. pandora says:

    I didn’t say “tapping” I said “tampering.” Reading is fundamental.

    And, yes, they TOUCHED the phones. Read the affidavit.

    Thank you for playing.

  81. Elephant in the Room says:

    Ooooh, ya got me on semantics, you li’l abortion monkey.

    If they had any equipment capable of professionally tapping a phone line, you win.

    Someday, someday, pandemic stupidity, maybe God will look away for a moment, and you’ll get a juicy scandal just like back in the day.

    For now, He prefers to taunt you. I like His style.

  82. anon says:

    If they had any equipment capable of professionally tapping a phone line, you win.

    They had a clandestine AV link to the Senator’s office via O’Keefe’s cell phone. That is a “bug.”

  83. Elephant in the Room says:

    Indeed, that explains the liberal professionalism in the intelligence community.

    What’s your top method, holding a glass to the wall?

  84. anon says:

    What’s your top method, holding a glass to the wall?

    Actually, we prefer to use the justice system.

  85. pandora says:

    I also got you on the fact that they TOUCHED a phone. So that’s two for me!

  86. Elephant in the Room says:

    I predict less than 30 days in jail, on the false pretenses only.

    The rest goes away.

    Good luck with the next scandal, panjob.

  87. Geezer says:

    Just to review, Elephant Man is hanging his hat on the fact that they weren’t “bugging” the phones? Good luck with the judge on that one, dipshit. And I’m going to have an abortion this weekend, just for you.

  88. Elephant in the Room says:

    Less than 30. You heard it here first.

  89. Geezer says:

    I also love the eager little boy attitude about the “intelligence community.” Do you jerk off while watching “24,” or do you wait for later?

  90. Geezer says:

    And of course, the prognosticating, the raison d’etre for most conservatives. Cheapest form of communication: Predictions with nothing at stake. Which is why conservatives are so good at it.

  91. liberalgeek says:

    And it is typical that this crime is minimized as “only 30 days” but the unproven-to-this-day charges against ACORN are accepted fact. It is the same attitude that allows criminals like G. Gordon Liddy and Oliver North to still make a living within the wingnut welfare system.

  92. pandora says:

    Less than 30.

    Now you’re arguing over jail time? I haven’t reread this thread, but I don’t think how much jail time the “Einstein four” would receive was ever part of the discussion.

    But keep moving those goal posts. It’s very telling.

  93. liberalgeek says:

    And further, anyone remember how much time in jail the Clinton’s served for crimes at Whitewater? Oh, none? I see.

    The Elephant Man is pointing out that Republicans are more litigious in their pursuit of political power, despite consistent accusations about trial lawyers, activist judges and tort reform.

  94. Elephant in the Room says:

    Yes, Pandora….PRANKSTERS

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/31/us/politics/31landrieu.html

    DIG, gopher, DIG!

  95. cassandra_m says:

    Just because he wants to claim it was a “stunt” doesn’t mean he didn’t break the law:

    The four men were charged by federal authorities with fraudulently entering a federal building for the purpose of “interfering” with Ms. Landrieu’s phone system, a felony that carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.

    And he is out on bail now, not exactly the usual state of PRANKSTERS.

    But this trollish bullshit stops now.

  96. Ella Phant Still in the Room says:

    Many pranksters run afoul of the law.

    Most of them don’t cause a media frenzy desperately looking for the next {insert-nifty-prefix}-GATE.

  97. Gee, it is soooo funny when conservatives break the law, forcing the media to report on it. Suckers! [/snark]

    I love Ella’s silly posturing.

  98. cassandra_m says:

    And it would not have been such a big deal if he had not tried this bullshit at a sitting Senator’s office. Given that this idiot used alot of “prankish” editing to try to create his ACORN story, it is just a little bit of schadenfreude that the prank is apparently on him now.

  99. anon says:

    Too bad evidence rules probably prohibit them from searching his house and finding and publishing the bits he edited out of the ACORN tapes.

  100. Elle Laphant 4 Evah says:

    “it is just a little bit of schadenfreude that the prank is apparently on him now.”

    Sort of like if a liberal harpie who jumped all over the Trig Palin story suddenly found herself carrying a DS baby?

  101. cassandra_m says:

    The one person at DL who jumped all over the Trig Palin BS is no longer here. The rest of us didn’t give a damn.

    You can go try that stupid response over at Andrew Sullivan’s place and see where it gets you.

  102. Geezer says:

    “a liberal harpie who jumped all over the Trig Palin story suddenly found herself carrying a DS baby?”

    Speaking of which, where exactly is that DS baby? Did they send it back to DS Babies R Us now that she doesn’t need it as a campaign prop? Or has she used her book money to buy Trig his own trailer?