Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Big Pimpin' [Pimpgate] 

It's amazing how despite the crazy wildness after the Saints victory, there's been such a dip in crime.

Whoops, spoke too soon. TPM has a breaking report:

James O'Keefe, the conservative filmmaker who was behind the undercover operations that [led] to the ACORN scandal last year, has been arrested with three others for allegedly trying to bug the New Orleans office of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), the Times-Picayune is reporting. From the paper:

FBI Special Agent Steven Rayes alleges that O'Keefe aided and abetted 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.
...
A witness from Landrieu's staff said O'Keefe was present in the office and claimed to be "waiting for someone to arrive."

The fourth person is Stan Dai, accused of aiding Basel and Flanagan. The AP is reporting that Flanagan is the son of acting U.S. Attorney Bill Flanagan in Shreveport.


I know it's the season for costumes and all, but I wouldn't recommend donning a hard hat and workbelt and lying your way into the Hale Boggs Federal building to tap maliciously manipulate a U.S. Senator's phone system.
---

Update: Would it be totally irresponsible to speculate about this, given the limited information? Hell no, this is a blog!

WWL seasons its report with the term "Watergate" but doesn't jump to any conclusions:

It sounded a bit like a Watergate-style operation, but federal officials have not yet said why the men wanted to interfere with Landrieu's phones, whether they were successful, or even if the goal was political espionage.

Umm, but an inquisitive person might wonder: what would motivate this celebrated conservative "investigator" to work with a team to allegedly bug maliciously manipulate Mary Landrieu's New Orleans office, and why would they attempt to do it right now? (A complimentary magic jack installation? I doubt it.) Hmm... Well, Mary's brother Mitch is running for mayor of New Orleans, and despite absolutely no evidence, it's an article of faith among conservatives that Mary Landrieu has made a deal with national Democratic party party interests to assist her brother's election. Although lack of proof never stopped them before, perhaps they wanted to uncover evidence of some coordinated plot, in order to throw the race in a tizzy. The latest poll on the mayoral contest showed Mitch doing well in every demographic, including 37% of GOP voters (who voted for against Landrieu and for Nagin last time around, based on some of the stupidest "rationales" that I'd ever seen). Unless something fairly dramatic happens, the current campaign dynamics are very favorable for Mitch. Isn't it conceivable that this alleged attempt to bug Mary Landrieu's New Orleans office had something to do with derailing her brother in the mayor's race?

Feel free to offer other speculations in the comments. But it's difficult for me to believe a couple things about this deal:

1) that you would coordinate with a team of people on an operation like this, and absolutely no one else would know about it

2) that you would take the risk of trying to bug maliciously manipulate the phones in a Senator's office in a Federal Building, just to do a random "fishing expedition" for politically useful material. Surely, this pimp and his buddies had some theory about what they hoped to find.
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Update #2: Jeffrey has a fine digest of information and reaction that includes Clay's excellent comment (below) wondering why O'Keefe and friends were taken to St. Bernard instead of Orleans Parish Prison.

Cenlamar has more on the Pelican Institute here and here.

Update #3: About the transfer to St. Bernard, I'm informed by a very knowledgable source that the St. Bernard sheriff "has a contract to take federal prisoners, as well as prisoners from other parishes". (Orleans had one too at one time, but probably not currently.)

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22 Comments:

Don't want to speculate about why--could be Mitch, or it could be a fishing trip. Find something, anything, and let Pox News do the rest.

It'll be interesting to watch the process...on the one hand, federal charges are serious business, on the other, these boys are apparently getting legal representation that's a notch or two above that of overworked public defender.

Add in a lengthy continuance or two, plus I assume first-time offender status, plus IOKIYAR, and I don't think it's out of the question that a quiet arrangement of probation and/or a suspended sentence could be forthcoming by the middle of 2011.

Otherwise...am mildly amused by Pox and other winger reactions...

By Blogger Michael, at 5:05 PM  

You think maybe NOLA.com misses the point with their headline a little bit? I mean I'm sure the "ACORN Gotcha man" angle is worth mentioning but it's about the fourth or fifth thing worth mentioning here?

By Blogger jeffrey, at 5:07 PM  

So who is getting caught with their Pelican Briefs down here?

By Anonymous Editilla~New Orleans Ladder, at 5:46 PM  

I'm sorry. Now that I've actually Read your post, do you mean Nixonian Theory?
It really isn't very theoretical that she would help wit'da Mitchmomentum thingy. I mean really, what's the point of driving a political machine if you ain't got nowhere to geaux, breaux?

This is much much more interesting as a Pelican Brief. Life not imitating but sodomizing Art so to speak.

By Anonymous Editilla~New Orleans Ladder, at 5:55 PM  

And da'woild goes a'twitta wit'it!
http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23okeefe

By Anonymous Editilla~New Orleans Ladder, at 5:59 PM  

What are you Spictulating here, Oh Mysickle Oyacle?
It could be that these creepo'ramas were intent on Planting Something???
Awful lot of work just to tap the phone. I think they had Coodies in their pockets.
You know Mary ain't got no Coodies.

By Anonymous Editilla~New Orleans Ladder, at 6:08 PM  

I was actually wondering why there were so many Feds around the Hale Boggs building today.

I like to check out the cafeteria (good sandwiches). Little did I know it was shut down for renovation.

By Blogger Clay, at 6:43 PM  

Folks are already putting this in the ratfucker category:

http://www.atlargely.com/atlargely/2010/01/ratfuckers-strike-again.html

Speculative? More like, uh, scary.

By Blogger Leigh C., at 8:16 PM  

I'll take this kinda scandal over a good southern democratic Sunday BBQ complete with lynching from an earlier time. At least here no one died.

This guy is a documentary filmmaker He is no better, nor no worse than Michael Moore. They both have used bad judgment, broken the law, and have both an agenda and an ax to grind to make their shows.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:40 PM  

Besides maybe trespassing, when has Moore broken the law? Wiretapping on a US Senator inside a FEDERAL building is a HUGE deal. If these guys were Chinese, there would be talk of espionage, treason, and the electric chair.

Reading more and more of this, I just missed the incident by only probably 15 minutes. There was SO much security. I have one piece of original reporting: right after the incident, Jim Letten called in all the Coasties in the area (~50-100) for extra muscle around the building.

By Blogger Clay, at 8:51 PM  

More on Duchey McDouchdouche:

http://twitter.com/JamesOKeefeIII/status/8262188793

By Blogger Clay, at 8:53 PM  

Oops. The incident was yesterday.

Still saw bunches of security folk out.

By Blogger Clay, at 8:55 PM  

Most interesting tidbit: the kids were taken to St. Bernard Parish lockup instead of Orleans Parish Prison. Apparently, Jim Letten felt sorry for the poor little white boys and didn't want them to experience the hellhole that OPP is.

Wait until they're sent to Federal "Pound You In the Ass" Prison.

By Blogger Clay, at 9:26 PM  

This guy never passed the smell test with me to begin with. Go back to the pimp outfit. How exactly did he know that the pimp and ho angle would work to trick those ACORN people into setting everything up. Seems to me that him having such knowledge would connect you to some nefarious people.


And how did he get connected with the son of a US Attorney to try out his current plan.

I think this is much bigger and that this guy (who got his start trying to ban lucky charms on his college campus) is just one very small cog in a much larger machine.

By Anonymous Daniel Z, at 9:52 PM  

..and the trilateral commission is out to get you, and the Vril are going to take over the world.

This idiot hanging with the son of a US Attorney is no more evil or shocking and presents no more a conspiracy confirmation that Obama hanging with a "radical domestic terriorist" I hang with oyster but that does not make me either a Fin's fan or an Aints fan because I am friends with him. It just means that I (or he) may have questionable taste in friends.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:39 PM  

I suspect this has more to do with the so called health care reform "Louisiana Purchase" than anything else. I doubt it has much to do with the Mayoral campaign.

It smacks of arrogant amateurs trying some ratfucking and ratfucking themselves. One of these bozos will talk and, uh, rat the others out.

By Anonymous Adrastos, at 11:10 PM  

Of course, some conservative pundits speculated that the "lousiana purchase" was only part of the over all deal, the rest being an agreement from the WH and National Dems to help Mitch win.

http://www.ouachitacitizen.com/news.php?id=5470

Maybe it's all connected in their minds... with ACORN too, no doubt.

By Blogger oyster, at 10:14 AM  

Anon: "I'll take this kinda scandal over a good southern democratic Sunday BBQ complete with lynching from an earlier time. At least here no one died."

Great insight! We couldn't figure out if this was better or worse than lynching. Thanks for pointing everyone in the right direction.

By Blogger oyster, at 10:45 AM  

Orleans Parish Prison still holds Federal prisoners. It's the Feds' call where they drop them.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:24 PM  

Just a theory:

- Clay above posted O'Keefe's Twitter page.

http://twitter.com/JamesOKeefeIII

There O'Keefe (a/k/a Mr. McDouchdouche) posts to this article.

http://bigjournalism.com/patterico/2010/01/06/had-enough-of-the-arrogance-welcome-to-big-journalism/

His comment - from January 7th - is, quoting from the article:

"To hell with the institution. Let’s chuck the institution overboard and start seeking the truth together."

That sounds a lot like his cryptic Oswaldian statement entering his cab on the way out of St. Bernard. It could also be likened to James Wilkes Booth's comment after his deed too.

However even for all their "douchiness" (courtesy of Clay) maybe based on that article someone felt the press wasn't reporting something. But what?

Also notice, Flanagan wrote this piece on January 12th:

http://www.thepelicanpost.org/?p=449

In it, Flanagan writes:

"Real personal responsibility requires individual people to take ownership of their actions." - Uh, he'll learn a lot about that soon.

But the main thrust is: (1) Landrieu's ignoring protestors on health care reform; and (2) the issue of health care mandates.

Flanagan wrote about health care mandates again here on 1/18/10:
http://www.thepelicanpost.org/?p=489


And he wrote about Landrieu again here:

http://www.thepelicanpost.org/?p=247&cpage=1#comment-163

Dai and Basel were conservative writers/bloggers too. Hard to say where they were going with all this but whatever it was they were planning on publishing it.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:09 PM  

The little punks that they are had
better be glad Jimbo cut them some slack and sent them
to St. Bernard instead of the OPP. Flanagan just killed his
father's stay as US Attorney for the Western
District of Louisiana. "Some people's children", to
say the least. Even Vitter is no longer endorsing Flanagan
for US Attorney, the acting position that he has held for all
of TWO weeks, before his son starts acting up!!!! Stephanie Finley is going to get that position as soon as Eric Holder goes ahead and gives Letten the "thumbs up" and makes Senator Vitter and the rest of
us happy which we anticipate will
be SOON. I bet Letten thanks God everyday that his kids don't act up. Oh well, acting US Attorney William Flanagan can always get a job as an attorney in the
private sector or a job flipping a burger at the Beach Corner. (I really wanted to say "flipping a burger at McDonalds, but I had to throw that in for shidddddts and giggles).

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