Yesterday, conservative activist James O'Keefe was arrested for allegedly plotting "to wiretap Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu's office in downtown New Orleans." O'Keefe was arrested along with Stan Dai, Joseph Basel and Robert Flanagan. Here's a look at who O'Keefe's alleged accomplices appear to be:
College conservative. CampusReform.org's Adam Weinberg wrote that "O'Keefe became the founding editor of The Centurion at Rutgers. Around the same time, frustrated conservative student Joe Basel started The Counterweight at the University of Minnesota-Morris. Both papers were started with assistance from the Leadership Institute 'Balance in Media' grant, which is still available for students starting conservative and libertarian campus publications today."
Basel was interviewed with O'Keefe for the January 14 article. Weinberg writes of O'Keefe and Basel: "To protect their ongoing investigations, I can't say exactly when or where the interview was conducted."
In the interview, Basel states of the origin of his conservative activism: "Once I got to that liberal of a university they basically pushed me to it. It was more in response to their hegemony on campus." Basel also describes his style of journalism:
Basel: I guess I wouldn't call it activist journalism either. I think the only real agenda with what I did at the University of Minnesota was to pursue truth and to hold the administrators and hold the professors' feet to the fire. To hold them accountable for what they were getting away with, what they were doing in the classroom and out of the classroom, in the community.
So, I think if you just make your agenda the truth or a fair chance at the truth on campus, you'd be surprised what falls in your lap if you work hard and keep doing it.
According to several media outlets, Robert Flanagan is "the son of William Flanagan, the acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana." The Times-Picayune reported that "Robert Flanagan's attorney, J. Garrison Jordan, said he believes his client works for the Pelican Institute."
Robert Flanagan is a frequent blogger for The Pelican Post, where he has written about Landrieu. The Pelican Post is the blog of The Pelican Institute for Public Policy, "a non-profit research and education institution that conducts scholarly research and analysis of Louisiana public policy. The Institute's mission is to advance sound policies based on the principles of free enterprise, individual liberty, and limited government."
A "Stan Dai" is based in the Washington D.C. area and has frequently been involved in conservative causes.
College conservative. In 2005, The Phillips Foundation awarded Dai a $5,000 scholarship under its Ronald Reagan Future Leaders Scholarship Program and cited his work on conservative causes. From the foundation's 2005 biography of Dai:
STAN DAI, Lisle, Ill., attends The George Washington University majoring in Political Science. He is editor-in-chief of The GW Patriot, an alternative conservative student newspaper, a Club 100 Activist of Young America's Foundation, and an Undergraduate Fellow on Terrorism of the Foundation for the Defense of the Democracies. He is co-founder of GW's Students Defending Democracy, a volunteer on several political campaigns, and active in the GW College Republicans and GW Colonials for Life. He was a 2003 Honorable Mention in the U.S. Institute of Peace Essay Contest.
Freelance consultant, former assistant director for intelligence center. According to a packet provided for the Junior Statesmen Summer School speakers program, Dai is currently a "Freelance consultant" after previously serving as "the first Assistant Director of the Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence at Trinity in D.C."
The Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence states that it "prepares students for careers in intelligence. Its curriculum develops the skills relevant to intelligence community careers, while also allowing students to pursue the major of their choice." In 2008, the Junior State of America podcast wrote of Dai's background:
Stan Dai is the Assistant Director of Trinity's Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence in DC. He was formerly the Assistant Operations Officer at a Department of Defense irregular warfare fellowship program and a Fellow on Terrorism at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. Stan graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the George Washington University.
Stan's main interest is the intersection of political mass movements, culture, and violence. He has discussed these topics as a guest lecturer at the George Washington University and on media outlets including C-SPAN's Washington Journal and Voice of America.
Stan has been involved in JSA since 2001: after attending summer school at Yale, he founded the JSA chapter at Naperville North, served in various Midwest region positions, and was a resident assistant at Georgetown.
Majikthise blogger Lindsay Beyerstein further wrote of Dai:
In college, Stan Dai co-wrote a satirical work entitled The Penis Monologues, apparently a takeoff on the Vagina Monologues. Here's a taste:
My Angry Penis
MY PENIS IS ANGRY!!!!!!! You want to know what happened to my penis? Joan happened to my penis! There I was, sleeping peacefully when Joan stormed in and dragged me out for "an educational program." I thought was going to see Mr. Rogers! But nooooooo! It turned out to be the "Whine-gina Monologues!"
Correction: This post originally misattributed the source of Basel's interview; Basel was interviewed by Adam Weinberg for CampusReform.org.