Statement From James O’Keefe:
The government has now confirmed what has always been clear: No one tried to wiretap or bug Senator Landrieu’s office. Nor did we try to cut or shut down her phone lines. Reports to this effect over the past 48 hours are inaccurate and false.
As an investigative journalist, my goal is to expose corruption and lack of concern for citizens by government and other institutions, as I did last year when our investigations revealed the massive corruption and fraud perpetrated by ACORN. For decades, investigative journalists have used a variety of tactics to try to dig out and reveal the truth.
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. We video taped the entire visit, the government has those tapes, and I’m eager for them to be released because they refute the false claims being repeated by much of the mainstream media.
It has been amazing to witness the journalistic malpractice committed by many of the organizations covering this story. MSNBC falsely claimed that I violated a non-existent “gag order.” The Associated Press incorrectly reported that I “broke in” to an office which is open to the public. The Washington Post has now had to print corrections in two stories on me. And these are just a few examples of inaccurate and false reporting. The public will judge whether reporters who can’t get their facts straight have the credibility to question my integrity as a journalist.
Kudos to James for his hard work and honesty.
This is what O’Keefe was up to:
……they were just trying to record embarrassing undercover video of her staff ignoring phone calls from constituents angry that she supported health care reform, one of their attorneys said Thurday.
……Protesters marched in front of Landrieu’s office in Baton Rouge in December to criticize her support for Senate health care legislation and complain that they couldn’t get through on her office phones. Landrieu said at the time that her office received a high volume of calls.
Landrieu claimed the ‘phones were jammed’. I’m guessing based on her defiance over the bribe she took in exchange for her vote, that the staff hasn’t been very receptive or willing to deal with angry constituents.
As a commenter pointed out:
The kids were taking pictures on federal property. On the other hand Mary Landrieu is taking bribes on federal property. Which of these will take the most heat?
Patterico has reported several MSM outlets retracted and corrected their initial accusations of a “Watergate-style bugging”. It’s not true, and was directly refuted by the law enforcement agency who arrested the group.
As I noted last night, the Washington Post yesterday retracted its claim that the feds are charging James O’Keefe with an attempt to bug Mary Landrieu’s phones:
Earlier versions of this story incorrectly reported that James O’Keefe faced charges in an alleged plot to bug the office of Sen. Mary Landrieu. The charges were related to an alleged plot to tamper with a phone system. The headline incorrectly referred to a plot to bug the phone and a caption incorrectly referred to an alleged wiretap scheme.
Some other organizations owe corrections and clarifications. (CBS News and the LA Times)
The Post had the decency to correct their error. CBS News should follow suit.
And the L.A. Times yesterday editorialized:
James O’Keefe’s latest caper
Filmmaker James O’Keefe III is 25, meaning he was born about 13 years after five men were arrested for trying to bug the offices of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate complex in Washington. The subsequent scandal, which led to the resignation of the burglars’ boss, President Richard M. Nixon, was fodder for history books by the time O’Keefe was old enough to read them. Chances are, he didn’t.
O’Keefe, the Internet “journalist” who became an overnight sensation after his undercover reports revealed unethical behavior by the liberal activist group ACORN, now finds himself in the middle of his own bugging scandal.
Uh, no, he doesn’t. As has now been made clear by someone in law enforcement:
A law enforcement official says the four men arrested for attempting to tamper with the phones in the New Orleans office of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) were not trying to intercept or wiretap the calls.
That quote, while anonymous, is convincing because it is not self-serving. Plus, the affidavit said nothing about wiretapping or intercepting calls. So there is no reason at all to believe that is what was going on. None.
If you enjoy the sensation of banging your head against the wall, you can write the L.A. Times’s new Readers’ Representative and point out that the entire premise of this editorial is (to use the Nixonian term) inoperative. That they should have known better than to compare this to Watergate, because the affidavit never mentioned wiretapping. That a man’s reputation has now been sullied by their comparison of this video stunt to the criminal act of Watergate. That they owe readers a clarification, to promote the truth.
Don’t hold your breath. Most of the leftwing MSM always “stand by their stories”, even if the truth walks up and slaps the shit out of them. This is the same media that justified and excused the criminal behavior of ACORN, for voter fraud and when O’Keefe and Hanna Giles busted the organization for abetting underage prostitution.
An interesting conjecture by Good Lt. at The Jawa Report:
Looking at the affidavit, I noticed an interesting fact on page 2, section 6:
BASEL requested to be given access to a telephone in the office, and WITNESS 1 allowed him access to the main telephone at the reception desk. WITNESS 1 observed BASEL take the handset of the phone and manipulate it. BASEL also tried to call the phone with a cellular phone in his possession. He stated that he could not get through.Now. If Basel is telling the truth, then it lends credence to the fact that people calling the reception desk telephone at Landrieu’s office could also not get through to the main phone.
As such, I am postulating that the group was trying to document (with video camera) that Landrieu’s office had either disconnected or re-routed the phones to deflect incoming calls – hence, why they couldn’t get through. There have been anecdotal reports that Landrieu’s office has received complaints that it has been inaccessible by phone, particularly around the time when she was bought off by the Democrats for the now-infamous Louisiana Purchase.
The “listening device” with the guy in the car? Perhaps he was recording the audio in the office without being there so that any denials or spin from the staff regarding what happened would be documented. I don’t know. Perhaps he was calling in and trying to reach the phones in the office. Perhaps the two “phone repair guys” intended to try to reconnect the phone and maybe document that it was in fact disconnected or re-routed.
If we’re all going to wildly speculate, I think this wild theory makes the most sense to perhaps explain an undercover operation of this kind. The intent was to document that Landrieu’s office phones weren’t inaccessible because they were busy – they were inaccessible because her office had made the phones inaccessible.
I wonder what prompted O’Keefe to target Landrieu. It might have something to do with the $300,000,000 bribe she received from Harry Reid to secure her vote for ObamaCare.
Via Pajamas Media.
Conservative activist James O’Keefe has been arrested by the U.S. Marshal’s Service for allegedly attempting to bug the offices of U..S. Senator Mary Landrieu. Also arrested were Robert Flanagan, the son of a federal prosecutor, and two others.
O’Keefe and partner Hannah Giles rose to fame for a video sting against the community activist group ACORN. The videos appeared on Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government website. According to a report on Twitter, Big Government’s editors claim to have had no knowledge of events in Louisiana.
……O’Keefe is said to have been recording his alleged accomplices’ actions on a cell phone after they entered Landrieu’s offices dressed as telephone repairmen.
Flanagan and Basel were “each dressed in blue denim pants, a blue work shirt, a light green fluorescent vest, a tool belt and a construction-style hard hat when they entered the Hale Boggs Federal Building,” the release said.
After they entered the building, the two men told a staffer in Landrieu’s office they were telephone repairmen, according to the release. They then asked for, and were granted, access to the reception desk’s phone system.
O’Keefe, meanwhile, recorded their actions with a cell phone.
Landrieu’s office is not commenting, citing an ongoing investigation. If convicted, the four men could face fines of up to $250,000 and up to ten years in jail.
Also arrested were Joseph Basel, Stan Dai and Robert Flanagan, all 24. Flanagan is the son of William Flanagan, who is the acting U.S. attorney for the Western District of Louisiana. All four men were charged with entering federal property under false pretenses with the intent of committing a felony.
Andrew Breitbart responds:
The ACORN story was a huge black eye for the organized left and their allies and cohorts in the mainstream media. So they are relishing every minute of this breaking story, making it their top story – while they ignored the initial ACORN story until they no longer could.
MSNBC and other “news organizations” are even billing this developing story as “Watergate”. What do Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow know? And when did they know it?
I’m sure they would like to believe O’Keefe is stupid enough to try to “wiretap” a sitting U.S. senator in broad daylight during office hours, while recording the entire sequence of events on his cell phone camera. And they’d like you to believe it, too.
But there is absolutely no allegation in the criminal complaint that “wiretapping” or “bugging” is any part of this case, just the charge that O’Keefe and the others entered Sen. Landrieu’s office in New Orleans “for the purpose of interfering with the office’s telephone system.”
And yet Carol Leonnig, in a story in Wednesday’s Washington Post writes in her lede:
“The conservative young filmmaker whose undercover sting damaged a liberal activist group last year faces federal criminal charges in an alleged plot to bug the New Orleans office of Sen. Mary Landrieu.”
In other words, speculation is rampant, but facts are few. And basic logic suggests that there’s much more to this story since there is so little information.
Leonnig, as you may remember, is the reporter who was forced to retract the false and libelous accusation that O’Keefe was motivated by racism in his ACORN sting.
Will Leonnig and the Washington Post be compelled to retract again?
Let me state clearly for the record: wiretapping is wrong. But until I hear the full story from James O’Keefe, I will not speculate as to what he was doing in Louisiana.
Regardless of the outcome we will keep the readers of Big Government apprised of this emerging story.
No one knows as yet exactly what O’Keefe was looking for, but he must have gotten wind of some illegal activity going on in Landrieu’s office. He did a great job exposing ACORN, but trying to tamper–without authorization–the phones lines of a Senator, could negate all the good work he’s done. I certainly hope his ego didn’t get the best of him. Given his track record, I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt.
As Breitbart pointed out, the main stream liberal media took a big hit when Obama’s darling ACORN got caught red-handed in the abetting of crimes. Assholes like Olbermann will be dancing a jig until everything clears up, and of course, you should expect nothing less from the moonbat.
In any case, we’ll see how this turns out.