Saturday, January 30, 2010

Curiouser and curiosier 

Four wingnuts wearing phone company costumes were arrested the other day for trying to bug the offices of Louisiana Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu.
Stupid, huh? When a Landrieu staffer asked for their ID, they said they left it in the truck.
The U.S. Marshal's Service apprehended all four men shortly thereafter.
Now they're saying they were actually just trying to investigate whether her phones were busy or not.
Well, this explanation makes even less sense.
I smell a barking fish here, or a smoking gun or something.
Initially, all the attention was focused on James O'Keefe, the guy who played a pimp to sting ACORN last year. And the news stories also mentioned Robert Flanagan, 24, who is the son of the acting US attorney for the Western District of Louisana.
Blogger Lindsay Beyerstein has pieced together some background on another of the gang that couldn't bug straight

One Stan Dai was listed as the Assistant Director of the The Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence (ICCAE) at Trinity (Washington) University. . . . Stan Dai spoke about torture and terrorism last June at a "CIA day" organized by the Junior Statesmen Summer School at Georgetown. The program included a field trip to the CIA and lectures at Georgetown the next day, according this event program I found online. As we know, Dai served as the assistant director of a program dedicated to steering young people into careers in intelligence. Get this: according to the flier, Adam Brandon, the press secretary of FreedomWorks (Dick Armey's town hall mob outfit) was on the same program.
. . . Prior to that, he served as the Operations Officer of a Department of Defense irregular warfare fellowship program.

And the plot sickens. A commenter at Emptywheel's post on this issue says:
Dai’s co-conspirator Flanagan was on a similar track.
Flanagan’s resume indicates he is enrolled at the Missouri State University’s Department of Defense and Strategic Studies. This curious institution is in Fairfax, VA (not in Missouri). It is headed by William Van Cleave, another neocon figure (a member of Wolfowitz’ Team B!). It graduates 15 people a year. And it is next door to NIPP (National Institute of Public Policy).
In a later post, Beyerstein digs into Flanagan's resume a little more -- turns out he has interned for two Republican politicians and claimed that he "briefed legislative staff on areas of national security and international relations."
So these guys have spent years thinking of themselves as intelligence operatives and national security experts.
This makes even more ridiculous the explanation of the incident as an investigation of busy phones.
Does anyone remember how low-level the Watergate burglars were, and how stupid the whole thing appeared to be at first?
I'm just sayin...

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