Tuesday, January 26, 2010

O'Keefe's Blunder

This has to be the more incredibly short-sighted and foolish capers ever, or there's more to the story. From reports so far, there's not much more to the story:
Activist James O’Keefe, 25, was already in Landrieu’s New Orleans office Monday when Robert Flanagan and Joseph Basel, both 24, showed up claiming to be telephone repairmen, U.S. Attorney Jim Letten’s office said Tuesday. Letten says O’Keefe recorded the two with his cell phone.
Say goodbye to that onus on ACORN and their corrupt ways. At least for awhile.

From the reports it appears O'Keefe was trying to photographically verify the stealth insertion of the bug team into Landrieu's office, probably to prove they were there when the tapes came out later. But that would only amount to providing evidence of a crime.
It's just hard to see this in any way but stupid right now, even if they suspected her of paying off ACORN or other nefarious things regarding the "Louisiana Purchase".

But! And consider this as using bad behavior to point out other curious and probably bad behavior, but it seems important to point out that while this story is getting top billing on CNN.com, Washington Post, Huffington Post, CBS.com, MSNBC.com, and Fox News.com, and even Breitbart as of this writing, most of these same outlets ignored the weekend story on Ellie Light and the other astroturf letter writers discovered in newspapers all over the country employing fraudulent addresses to support Barack Obama. Both are important political stories--only one got top billing. Just sayin'.

MORE 1/26/10

From Maguire:
So one wonders - did they have some other venture in mind, such as an expose of shoddy security practices at Federal offices? Hmm, if so their project took an unexpected turn.
One has to assume that the federal building in question has a security entry point with video, since that's common for most federal buildings. It would be incredibly stupid to tell the GSA person inside the phone office that they left their phone company IDs in their vehicle if such a checkpoint existed, since it would be a dead give-away that they had entered fraudulently.

But surely any planning would have included such a contingency, ie, "what do we say if someone asks for our phone company IDs?" It's hard to imagine "we left them in the truck" as a planned reply unless they were trying to expose shoddy security. And even if, such things are better left to professionals within the government, who they could have contacted on the side if there was a concern. That is, unless there was a political angle they felt would be blown if they made the feds aware of it in advance.

GETTING IN 1/26/10

Here's the Hale Bogg Federal Building in New Orleans. Landreiu's office is on the 10th floor but look who else is there:
This federal building/complex houses, among other agencies, the IRS and the US Marshall, the Coast Guard, as well as federal courthouses.
With such sensitive facilities there's no way the entrance to this facility doesn't have a security checkpoint, where visitors would be expected to pass a metal detector and present ID, and probably get a visitor badge. If not, then the big question is why not? It's hard to believe two phony phone repairmen could pass security without formal company ID.

MORE 1/27/10

Patterico's flag of the recent rally and "phone problems" in Landreiu's office sounds the most promising as an answer to this thing, which explains why the two phony phone guys were calling the office line with their cell phones. The trip to the phone demarc room is puzzling though, unless there's something available to determine phone system stability. Their answer to the custodian still doesn't make sense if there was security at the front door. It's almost as if they wanted to be caught, or were just stupid, which O'Keefe has proved he's not. Has to be more here.


Debbie said...

I just scratched my head when I heard about the arrest and thought "What was he thinking???" Either there is much more to this than we know, or he had a deep lapse into stupid-land.

With all the great work he did on ACORN, surely he was smart enough not to do something so wreckless to his career.

Right Truth

A.C. McCloud said...

It's hard to figure. But I think Patterico has a possible clue--the recent rally where Landreiu claimed her phone system didn't work. They were probably trying to verify that it worked.

If that's the case it's hard to believe they'll get much more than a slap on the wrist. If they have some video on her then this case will quietly go the way of the Black Panthers.