January 27, 2010

When is a bug...

... not a bug?

45 comments:

Montagne Montaigne said...

I'm sure O'Keefe will be granted the same respect for his presumed innocence that ACORN was. "Let's wait until all the facts are out there" OH PLEASE.

Can someone tell me what crime ACORN committed again?

lyssalovelyredhead said...

I think that the problem is that no one can figure out what they actually WERE doing. I agree that bugging seems odd, particularly because they don't seem to have been in a position to have done it effectively, but what else?

Testing the security? Way too mellow.

But I can't think of anything better, either. They're going to have to give us a reason to not think the obvious, bug.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Can someone tell me what crime ACORN committed again?

Not sure. But they did show what a useless organization it is.

SteveR said...

Well I'm not sure I want to get up to speed on all the details here. I knew ACORN was corrupt many years before O'Keefe came onto the scene and demonstrated the obvious.

In this case maybe he was trying to find out why the senator's phone was always busy (off the hook perhaps?) got caught while sending all the usual suspects into even farther reaches of stupidity.

Be interesting what comes out.

Robin said...

Don't you have to have some sort of hardware to wiretap a telephone?

Trooper York said...

"When is a bug.. not a bug?"

When he is the blogging cockroach.

Penny said...

It doesn't seem like a good sign that O'Keefe's attorney is referring to him as "a good kid".

Synova said...

"Can someone tell me what crime ACORN committed again?"

Misuse of government funds?

Oh, wait, they're going to court to force the government to give them funds no matter what they do, claiming it's unconstitutional to single them out or deny funding.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Hoosier said: Not sure. But they did show what a useless organization it is.

And I think that was the goal- showing that these folks are rotten and shouldn't get tax money or public adoration. That's a lot worse for ACORN than almost any criminal sanction, and it's a lot better for us, the public, to know what they really are.

That being said, I always said then that they should be liable for any laws that they might have broken. It's definitely a net win for society, and it in no way changes what they uncovered, but they're still liable if they violated laws on secretly recording people. Same goes here, whatever they were doing.

Montagne Montaigne said...

Misuse of government funds to... ?

garage mahal said...

Misuse of government funds?

I think there were 40 state, federal, and local investigations of ACORN, only 1, in NV ever brought charges. Paying staff to register voters.

AlphaLiberal said...

Ah, the spinning and deceiving to protect the young crook/proteges has begun in earnest.

This is from the FBI:

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. .

More details via the affidavit, here.

Keep digging conservatives! You'll get out of that hole yet!

AlphaLiberal said...

ACORN employees have been investigated and, I think, some charged for falsifying voter registration forms.

ACORN turned them in.

MadisonMan said...

When is a bug.. not a bug?

When it's in code I've programmed. Then it's a feature!

The Drill SGT said...

Montagne Montaigne said...
Misuse of government funds to... ?


A USA could get creative and charge one or more of them with conspiracy to commit tax fraud, or conspiracy in assisting in slave trafficing, or conspiracy to falsify various federal aid applications.

Since it was perhaps systemic, a RICO charge could be filed I suppose.

Bottom line: Federal tax dollars should not pay people to give advice on how to commit Federal crimes.

traditionalguy said...

I know. They were pretending to bug Landreaux's office to scare her straight when she could not find any bug after they left...Like Saddam's weapons of mass distraction.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Keep digging conservatives! You'll get out of that hole yet!

Maybe you haven't been paying attention to current events but its the libtards like yourself that seem to be in a hole.

Hows that health care reform working out chief? Nice job in Massachusetts too.

AlphaLiberal said...

It's also worth noting that young Mr O'Keefe broke Maryland law when filming his ACORN interview and not telling them he was filming.

He wasn't prosecuted and has apparently gone on to larger crimes.

Time for some "law and order" right, conservatives?

Let's "lock him up and throw away the key."

AlphaLiberal said...

Maybe you haven't been paying attention to current events but its the libtards like yourself that seem to be in a hole .

So you're the type of person who mocks the mentally retarded? a.k.a. an "asshole"?

No, I don't read your blogs or drink your KoolAid. By all means, what's the excuse du jour?

AJ Lynch said...

Sounds like the only wrongdoing may have been done by Landrieu's staff when they diverted constituent calls to a busy phone line.

I can't wait until the voting public gets wind of it.

traditionalguy said...

Alpha Liberal...How about my theory of the case. These nice young men need a crafty old lawyer in a bad way. If you cannot find corruption in Louisiana, then you aren't trying hard enough.

Henry said...

when is a bug not a bug?

When it is a red herring?

Hoosier Daddy said...

So you're the type of person who mocks the mentally retarded? a.k.a. an "asshole"?

I've been called worse by better than you. Up your game son.

No, I don't read your blogs or drink your KoolAid.

I watch CNN and Fox and drink bourbon.

EDH said...

I'm surprised Althouse didn't point out that her old bloggingHeads chum, Garance Franke-Ruta, shared the by-line with Leonning in the Jan 27 WaPo article.

When did GFR become a "straight news" reporter? Or has she?

Garance Franke-Ruta (born 1972 in Cavaillon, Vaucluse, France) is a national web politics editor/producer for the Washington Post. She was previously a senior editor at the American Prospect as well as a senior writer at the Washington City Paper, D.C.'s alternative weekly newspaper. Her work has also appeared in The Washington Monthly, The New Republic, Salon, Legal Affairs, Washington Business Forward, Utne Reader and National Journal, and is also a frequent diavlog participant with other political and current event journalists on BloggingHeads.tv.

former law student said...

The FBI affidavit is illuminating. The obvious question is why did they request access to the telephone wiring closet if not to disrupt the phone system?

They did not have to place bugs to disrupt the building's phones -- they could have cut wires or even simply pulled phone wire terminals off the blocks. They could have crossed wires, letting the wrong phones ring. They could have unplugged electrical equipment. All these acts would have the effect of making it impossible for outside calls to get through.

Consider how easy it would be to make a Senator look unreponsive to her constituents if thugs unplugged or misplugged her office telephones so that no one could get through

If anyone can think of a purpose for entering the wiring closet, other than bugging or vandalism, I would like to hear it.

EDH said...

BTW, here's one of the two YouTube videos that came up when I "Web" Googled "Garance Franke-Ruta".

Althouse does all the talking in the 4 sec video.

Garance Franke-Ruta is super sexy even when she burps.

For the record, so is Althouse. Super sexy, I mean.

P.S. The video was posted by LoneWacko. Ha!

Calypso Facto said...

I think it's obvious they were pranking for the camera rather than intending on serious sabotage. I don't condone the false pretense entry into a federal building, but these guys are video narcissists along the lines of Michael Moore or Jackass, not jihadists bent on real destruction. Their whole point was to expose Landrieu as unresponsive to constituents, they wouldn't want her phones to actually be out of order!

Penny said...

"If anyone can think of a purpose for entering the wiring closet, other than bugging or vandalism, I would like to hear it."

Not saying that this is what happened, fls, but someone might want to enter to see if someone had ALREADY played with that system.

Synova said...

"If anyone can think of a purpose for entering the wiring closet, other than bugging or vandalism, I would like to hear it."

To keep up the pretense of being the Telephone Man.

Dur!

They'd blow it right away if they didn't pretend to be fixing something, or at least looking at a problem.

Sort of like... Hey, why did they have real pizza boxes when posing as pizza delivery boys if they didn't have real pizzas in the boxes, huh?

Synova said...

Not that this has to be the explanation, but it's a simple and utterly reasonable one.

Flexo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Flexo said...

entry by false pretenses?

They were already in the building and in the office -- they had already entered -- before they claimed to be telephone repairmen. There were no pretenses, false or otherwise, at the time they actually gained entry.

an attempt to bug?

In order to "bug" you need, at a minimum, a bug, that is, some sort of electronic device, and you need more than "manipulation," i.e. picked up the headset, and not merely the fevered imagination of some FBI agent.

For all the clucking, there is precious little there there.

former law student said...

Things don't look good for Keefe under Title 18. There, accomplices are liable as principals, attempts are punished same as completed crimes, dressing as telephone technicians and requesting access to the wiring closet are the more than merely preparatory acts needed to establish attempt to disrupt communications. The entering under false pretenses to commit the felony is just icing on the cake -- a second ten-year term to add to the first.

former law student said...

Further, any conservative who thinks that O'Keefe thwarted ACORN's facilitating establishing whorehouses to be stocked with underage Third Worlders must take equally seriously O'Keefe's attempt to disrupt Federal phone communications -- during the War on Terror/Threat Level Orange no less.

Let O'Keefe be a prisoner of conscience as the Berrigan brothers were.

former law student said...

For those who are wondering what would motivate O'Keefe to record his pals committing a felony, I would suggest the same sense of reckless bravado that motivated John Edwards to record his pregnant mistress having sex while he campaigned for the presidency.

Ann Althouse said...

"If anyone can think of a purpose for entering the wiring closet, other than bugging or vandalism, I would like to hear it."

Did you even bother to read the Patterico item I linked to at the linked post?

"Then the affidavit has them asking for access to the telephone closet to perform repair work. It does not say they went into the closet. Were they simply waiting for someone to ask: “What repair work? There’s nothing wrong with the phones!”? I don’t know."

Don't say they entered the closet. They asked to.

I agree with the suggestion that this guy operates like Michael Moore.

Mark said...

Speaking of digging holes, why in the world is anyone defending an organization which apparently had an institutional mandate to support whorehouses specializing in statutory rape?

O'Keefe apparently screwed up big-time and is going to pay for it. Them's the breaks. Implying in any way that this diminishes the sheer evil evinced by ACORN really shows what moral degenerates you folks have become.

Synova said...

"I would suggest the same sense of reckless bravado..."

I'm guessing that the planning phase included a few beers. ;-)

Mark said...

"If anyone can think of a purpose for entering the wiring closet, other than bugging or vandalism, I would like to hear it."

I'm not a phone guy at all, but if it's a digital system, there might be a computer managing it that could be accessed for call records.

Who's calling a Senator, and who she is calling, might be interesting information to have.

LonewackoDotCom said...

This issue is yet another in the very long line of examples of r/w blogger/pundit fail.

I tweeted about the fact that - given what we knew - this wasn't about "bugging" so much as "interfering" over 24 hours ago. Scroll down here.

I then spent way too much of my time trying to drag others into doing things the right way, something that a few are doing today albeit mostly ineffectively.

To a certain extent I want them to be effective because my opponents are in some cases their opponents. OTOH, laughing at them is pretty entertaining.

Mark said...

Guys, any of you ever experienced a phone outage of, say, 3 hours, during which you said "Damn, my infrastructure has been infiltrated by saboteurs!"

Lame. The whole idea that the point was to knock out a phone system which, frankly, could probably be swapped out in 90 minutes is stupid.

O'Keefe knew going into the ACORN offices that gold was there for the taking. Which indicates he had some good background stuff before buying the mink.

Which makes me think his agenda was a bit more sophisticated than leaving a flaming bag of dog poo in the phone closet.

We'll know when this goes to trial. And if it never goes to trial and disappears down the memory hole, now that will be an interesting development.

former law student said...

Don't say they entered the closet. They asked to.

That's what I tried to say: "The obvious question is why did they request access to the telephone wiring closet if not to disrupt the phone system?"

Here, the natural and probable consequences of their asking to enter the telephone wiring closet is for the GSA to admit them. They must have had some purpose in mind. What was it?

Or were they suddenly going to switch gears and say "Aw shucks. We were just kidding. We just came here to get the Senator's autograph"? It would be easier for me to believe that ACORN is a front for a white slavery ring.

Mark said...

"It would be easier for me to believe that ACORN is a front for a white slavery ring."

No, they just provide logistical support when needed. And technically, I think isn't white, but brown and underaged.

Mark said...

Seriously, FLS, you're not stupid. Why defend ACORN? Or more to the point, deny the evidence that anyone can go back and see?

No amount of editing makes what happened in those clips sanitary. ACORN was more than willing in various locations to set up whorehouses specializing in underage "undocumented" girls in "challenged" neighborhoods.

Nothing improves a community like having cheap poontang available to the hoodies, eh?

The beauty of the whole "community organizing" scam is that as long as the community doesn't bootstrap into the middle class, the cash keeps rolling in for the "organizers".

Put that brain to use. Follow the money, trust your eyes, and stop assuming you've got a direct line to the Greater Good wired into your Id.

Synova said...

The Jon Stewart thing on ACORN was good.

Something (like giving advice) doesn't have to be illegal to be shocking. Maybe it's not illegal to be claiming to work to improve communities, take tax dollars to fund your organization, and then *fail*. Is failure illegal?

Probably not.

But it is news. And it is reprehensible to claim to be working for communities and having so little moral direction or sense that the need to be *helpful* overwhelms judgment.

I feel pretty bad for the women caught out that way. Humans are wired to have a chemical reinforcement response from helping in a reciprocal way (there is research) and it takes quite a bit to over ride that... which would be actual training and organizational standards. But the ladies working in the offices will take the fall. Which they should, but a person can still feel sorry for them.