Friday, January 29, 2010

What If James O'Keefe Were Named Ali Muhammed?

OK. Let's begin with the scenario:

Let's imagine that four Palestinian-American men had decided to investigate why a U.S. Senator was not answering calls from constituents about why their Senator had made a negative comment about the Goldstone Report. They then decided to mask their identity falsely, to gain access to the senator's office and communication equipment. Once someone in the office or communications system inside a Federal building smelled something amiss, would the story have played out next the way the O'Keefe farce has?

Of course not. We would not be seeing young Ali Muhammed able to write this or get it splashed all over the internet and other media:

The government has now confirmed what has always been clear: No one tried to wiretap or bug Senator Landrieu’s office. Nor did we try to cut or shut down her phone lines. Reports to this effect over the past 48 hours are inaccurate and false.

As an investigative journalist, my goal is to expose the way our congress and senate refuse to support human rights for Palestinians, as I did last year when our investigations revealed the ties between many U.S. congressional staffers and training for their jobs they have received from people connected to the country of Israel. For decades, investigative journalists have used a variety of tactics to try to dig out and reveal the truth.

I learned from a number of sources that many of Senator Landrieu’s constituents were having trouble getting through to her office to tell her that they didn’t want her taking tens of thousands of federal dollars in exchange for her vote on billions of dollars for arms for the Israeli government. When asked about this, Senator Landrieu’s explanation was that, “Our lines have been jammed for weeks.”

I decided to investigate why a representative of the people would be out of touch with her constituents for “weeks” because her phones were broken. In investigating this matter, we decided to visit Senator Landrieu’s district office – the people’s office – to ask the staff if their phones were working.

On reflection, I could have used a different approach to this investigation, particularly given the sensitivities that people understandably have about security in a federal building, and my being a Palestinian-American. The sole intent of our investigation was to determine whether or not Senator Landrieu was purposely trying to avoid constituents who were calling to register their views to her as their Senator. We video taped the entire visit, the government has those tapes, and I’m eager for them to be released because they refute the false claims being repeated by much of the mainstream media.

It has been amazing to witness the journalistic malpractice committed by many of the organizations covering this story.

My view is that had O'Keefe been a Palestinian-American or Arab-American, he would not have been remanded to the custody of his parents' basement. He would be somewhere distinctly different. GOP congressmen and FAUX News would be screaming at the President for not torturing the shit out of him.

Here's some food for thought:

Part one:

Part two:

Link to Part three.

Part four:

Part five:


Anonymous said...

Yes, Phil, you are quite right.

IMO O'Keefe is a domestic terrorist who targeted a federal building and should be treated as such. This twenty-five-year-old Republican operative (can anyone say "Nixon'?) was instead inappropriately remanded to the custody of his parents as if he were some child caught in a harmless prank. My, my, my...

GITMO is waiting for this traitor and his puppetmasters.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to belittle your wonderful post with a dumb quip, but have you ever seen the term IOIYAR? "It's OK if you are a Republican". Applies to many events.

Philip Munger said...

Actually, the term is IOKIYAR

Celia Harrison said...

If O'keefe were not a white republican his felonious butt would be sitting in jail and the news media would build public opinion against him. The laws in this country only apply to some of the people some of the time.

Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Aw, c'mon! These are just a bunch of kids! This is just a harmless school boy prank! You know what they say, don'cha? Boys will be boys!

No doubt about it. It'll be amusing to watch the right wing media trying to spin this latest debacle. Yesterday O'Keefe was the newest Fascist poster boy. Today he is a man looking at some serious time in federal prison. The Republicans are once again experiencing the kind of OOPS moment for which they have become famous for in recent years. It really is quite touching when you think about it.

Is this merely the tip of a nasty iceberg? Will O'Keefe "cooperate" with federal investigators in order to reduce his sentence? Are there bigger fish that are due some serious frying?

To be continued....

Tom Degan

Anonymous said...


Makabit Bat Guriel said...

If the O'Keefe was actually Ali Muhammad a plane would have blown up by now.
Big differenc there Gusty! *wink*