ACORN Workers Cleared Of Illegality By Outside Probe.
ACORN Cleared of Wrongdoing By Another Independent Investigation.
The independent filmmaker who brought ACORN to its knees last year with an undercover expose was arrested this week along with three others, including the son of a federal prosecutor, and accused of trying to interfere with the phones at Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu's office.
"As for yesterday's arrests, the attorney for Robert Flanagan -- asked for what could have been his client's motivation -- said, 'I think it was poor judgment. I don't think there was any intent or motive to commit a crime.'
Of course. It was just a third-rate phone tampering."*
"Statement from Andrew Breitbart:
'We have no knowledge about or connection to any alleged acts and events involving James O’Keefe at Senator Mary Landrieu’s office. We only just learned about the alleged incident this afternoon. We have no information other than what has been reported publicly by the press. Accordingly, we simply are not in a position to make any further comment.'"
" Reached by phone Tuesday about the Landrieu allegations, Breitbart said, 'I know nothing of it other than people are asking me questions.'
In the past, Breitbart has said O’Keefe—now a paid contributor to biggovernment.com—is an independent contractor not an employee.
O’Keefe has been sued in Pennsylvania and Maryland based on the ACORN videos; he does not have an attorney of record in either case and attempts Tuesday to locate a lawyer who might represent him were not successful."
"Senator Landrieu, one of the last Democratic holdouts in the Senate to vote for the health care bill, first negotiated an increase in Medicaid funds before she voted in favor of the legislation."*
FREE THE NEW ORLEANS 4.
Can this idiot just go to jail and we can talk about something actually important?
posted to MetaFilter by babyoolong at 2:63 PM on January 11, 2011 [71 favorites +]
"All four were charged with entering federal property under false pretenses with the intent of committing a felony....If convicted, FLANAGAN, BASEL, O’KEEFE, and DAI each face a maximum term of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, and three (3) years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment."*
Four Men Arrested for Entering Government Property Under False Pretenses for the Purpose of Committing a Felony
NEW ORLEANS—JOSEPH BASEL, age 24; ROBERT FLANAGAN, age 24; JAMES O’KEEFE, age 25; and STAN DAI, age 24, were charged in a criminal complaint with entering federal property under false pretenses for the purpose of committing a felony, announced the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
According to the complaint, which was unsealed earlier today, the arrest of FLANAGAN, BASEL, O’KEEFE, and DAI took place after BASEL and O’KEEFE attempted to gain access to the New Orleans office of United States Senator Mary Landrieu on January 25, 2010, while posing as telephone repairmen. According to the complaint, FLANAGAN and BASEL were each dressed in blue denim pants, blue work shirts, light green fluorescent vests, tool belts, and construction-style hard hats when they entered the Hale Boggs Federal Building, located at 500 Poydras Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130. Once in the building, FLANAGAN and BASEL sought access to the offices of Senator Landrieu. O’KEEFE was already present in the office, holding a cellular phone so as to record FLANAGAN and BASEL. Once inside Senator Landrieu’s reception area, FLANAGAN and BASEL told a member of Senator Landrieu’s staff that they were telephone repairmen, and they requested access to the main telephone at the reception desk. FLANAGAN and BASEL then manipulated the telephone system. FLANAGAN and BASEL next requested access to the telephone closet because they needed to perform work on the main telephone system. They were directed to the main office of the United States General Services Administration, also inside the Hale Boggs Federal Building, where they again represented themselves to be employees of the telephone company and stated that they needed to perform repair work in the telephone closet. Both FLANAGAN and BASEL stated that they had left their credentials in their vehicle. In addition, the complaint alleges that O’KEEFE and DAI assisted FLANAGAN and BASEL in the planning, coordination, and preparation of the operation. The men were apprehended by the United States Marshal’s Service soon thereafter.
If convicted, FLANAGAN, BASEL, O’KEEFE, and DAI each face a maximum term of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, and three (3) years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment.
The United States Attorney’s Office reiterated that the complaint is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
The investigation is being conducted by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Deputy Marshals with the United States Marshal’s Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jordan Ginsberg.
"Lindsay Beyerstein wonders if it's this Stan Dai1, a George Washington University Young Republican-amateur spy type. (Dai was not on premises, but admitted to helping plan the job.) Nobody seems to know much about Basel, though Gawker has some possibilities. "*
What We Know about the Young Republican Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight.
In their defense, they are Republicans. They think you can wiretap anyone for any reason.
The Times-Picayune has not posted the full FBI affidavit, but the details they have are damning. This is neither a time to joke nor a time to recklessly accuse Democrats/liberals of setting this up — nor a time to whine about media coverage double standards
Me: Was conspirator DAI the one who likely trained FLANAGAN and BASEL how to tap a phone system from within the main office of the United States General Services Administration ("where they again represented themselves to be employees of the telephone company and stated that they needed to perform repair work in the telephone closet.")?
Magic 8-Ball: Signs point to yes.
"O'Keefe's biography on a Web site where he blogs says he works at VeritasVisuals.com, though that Web site does not currently work."
When O'Keefe, Dai and Basel were released from the jail, reporters asked O'Keefe whether he wanted to comment. "Veritas," he replied, which is Latin for "truth."
O'Keefe's biography on the blog site www.BigGovernment.com says that he works at VeritasVisuals.com, although that Web site does not appear to be functioning.
While waiting for the cab, O'Keefe spent most of the time in the men's room off the jail's lobby. As he ran into the taxi's back seat, he called out to reporters: "The truth shall set me free." *
"Last night I was reading various articles about this incident and looking at interviews O'Keefe did after the ACORN extravaganza. And my hunch is that O'Keefe's head got so spun by the ACORN blowout that he thought that if the stuff he got was good enough that it would trump and get him off the hook even for serious felonies. In a very adoring interview Chris Wallace did with O'Keefe last year, he asked O'Keefe about the fact that he appeared to have broken Maryland state law during one of his sting operations. O'Keefe's answer didn't sound like one you'd give if you were following any legal advice. And the gist of what he said was that he thought his 'get' should and would get him off the hook for any criminal violations he committed in the process of getting it. And he turned out to be right. I know ACORN is suing him. But as far as I know he hasn't faced any legal charges tied to the ACORN stories.
So for the moment, as crazy as it may seem, I'm working on the assumption that O'Keefe really thought he'd get away with a major felony if he got recordings that would sound good enough on Fox and Drudge. Indeed, his very limited public statements still suggest he's thinking in terms of a justification defense. I still have a hard time believing that myself. But it's the only explanation I can square with the facts as we currently know them."
"Disguising truth has helped every blood-thirsty tyrant and dictator keep the shackles on humanity throughout history. Let us rock the foundations of academia and challenge the thrones that have for too long indoctrinated us about our world and the context in which we live. As the Journal of Conservative thought at Rutgers university THE CENTURION will try its hardest to serve to that end. Turn the page. You may read things you agree with and you may read things that you disagree with. But at least you’ll come closer to realizing your own truth, and in the words of Jesus Christ, 'The truth shall set you free.'"
"An interesting tidbit came to mind following conservative activist James O'Keefe's arrest for allegedly participating in an attempt to tamper with phones at the New Orleans offices of Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu.
Let's go back a few months: After O'Keefe released a video of ACORN workers in Baltimore that was recorded without the workers' consent, some observers suggested that he and fellow activist Hannah Giles could face criminal charges for violating a Maryland law that requires the consent of every party to a phone call or conversation in order to make the recording lawful. When Fox News' Glenn Beck asked O'Keefe about such a possibility, O'Keefe replied that he was 'willing to serve prison time for what I've found.'" [with embedded VIDEO].
"Conservatives defending O'Keefe's actions in Landrieu's office are saying that he wasn't trying to wiretap the phones, but rather to see whether the office had done something to the phones to make it hard for constituents to call her to complain about health care."
In fall 2006, when [Rose] was a UCLA freshman, she and fellow conservative activist James O'Keefe came up with the idea to infiltrate clinics.
O'Keefe, 24, said he and Rose have received criticism from some of their associates for using deception. "It's a pretty complicated ethical issue," he said, "but we believe there is a genocide and nobody cares, and you can use these tactics and it's justified."
"Conservatives defending O'Keefe's actions in Landrieu's office are saying that he wasn't trying to wiretap the phones, but rather to see whether the office had done something to the phones to make it hard for constituents to call her to complain about health care.
It has the ring of possibility, for two reasons ..."
Not everyone among Mr. O’Keefe’s acquaintances agrees. Liz Farkas, a Rutgers student who called Mr. O’Keefe “a nice guy and a loyal friend,” said she grew disillusioned after he asked her to help edit the script of a Planned Parenthood sting.
“It was snippets to make the Planned Parenthood nurse look bad,” Ms. Farkas said. “I said: ‘It has no context. You’re just cherry-picking the nurse’s answers.’ He said, ‘Okay’ — and then he just ran it.”
Asked whether the left-leaning documentaries of Michael Moore do not do the same, Ms. Farkas said: “Michael Moore goes after the rich and powerful. James isn’t doing that. He goes after low-level bureaucrats and people who are trying to help low-income people.”
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