Right-Wing Scam Artist James O’Keefe Sneaks Across Border Dressed as Bin Laden — Or Did He?

FILED TO: Politics

There’s an old saying in Texas: Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again. Drudge and the far-right media have been suckered into promoting another James O’Keefe prank, taking the fraudster at face-value despite his lengthy track-record of selectively edited videos. This time, O’Keefe tackled the immigration issue, but before we jump into it, let’s review O’Keefe’s greatest hits.

–ACORN – His original claim to fame was a 2009 video in which he dressed up as a pimp and attempted get advice from low-level ACORN workers about evading taxes. The news media widely debunked the videos proving they were selectively edited to make it seem as if the workers were guilty. The fraudulent nature of the videos hasn’t stopped the House Republicans from voting to de-fund ACORN dozens of times, even after ACORN shut-down its operations amid the non-scandal. O’Keefe’s financier, Andrew Breitbart admitted the hoax: “So I’m going to have to stage a series of tricks to get the mainstream media to have to pay attention to it. So that’s what I did. I admit it, I tricked you.”

–NPR – O’Keefe released another video in which he claimed that NPR executives agreed to meet with representatives from the infamous Muslim Brotherhood about donating money to the organization. The video appeared to show an NPR executive, Ron Schiller, observing that the tea party is driven by xenophobia and race, and its leaders employ race as a wedge. Two of NPR’s top executives including Schiller were fired. But amazingly, Glenn Beck’s The Blaze outed the video as having been selectively edited. And yet, once again, the House Republicans ignored the debunking and voted to de-fund NPR, based on O’Keefe’s scam.

–Planned Parenthood – An O’Keefe co-conspirator, Lila Rose, carried out another pimp-style prank video, this time against Planned Parenthood. What happened? Take a guess. The video was heavily edited, but that didn’t stop the House Republicans from voting dozens of times to de-fund Planned Parenthood.

See the pattern here? To be clear: the congressional votes were in direct response to O’Keefe’s videos in spite of being debunked by both the right and the left. See our previous post on President Obama’s observation about the GOP’s difficulties with “fact-based, reason-based” positions.

This leads us to O’Keefe’s latest.

Ballyhooed by Newsmax, Drudge, The Washington Times and others, O’Keefe set out to tackle yet another far-right bugaboo: the alleged border crisis and immigration. He and his crew traveled to Hudspeth County, Texas where O’Keefe filmed himself wading across the Rio Grande (or is it?) as both himself and wearing an Osama Bin Laden costume. In addition to that, O’Keefe talks with the Hudspeth County sheriff about the apparent gaps in the border fence there. At one section of the fence, a steel and cement barrier ends, but is continued with what appears to be a flimsy post and wire fence.

No, we’re not making this up. There are, of course, more than a few problems here.

1) O’Keefe is a proven liar. Who the hell knows if the body of water he crossed was really the border between Mexico and Texas? He didn’t include any other landmarks or signs in the video proving that the creek was part of the Rio Grande or that it formed the border. His past shenanigans should immediately cast doubt as to the veracity of any claims he makes, real or unreal.

2) Osama Bin Laden is DEAD. While, sure, he was making a point about terrorists entering the U.S. via the Mexico border, Bin Laden is dead! He’s been dead since 2011. Why would a dork in a Bin Laden mask frighten anyone other than, maybe, someone who’s been living under a rock for the last three years?

3) Cana-duh. If the primary complaint is really about preventing terrorists from crossing into the U.S., then shouldn’t border activism also include our northern border with Canada, which isn’t protected by any fence at all? Of course it should. It’s actually much easier for terrorists to cross the border from Canada, especially because the militias and other weekend warriors aren’t bothering with it as much as the southern one. But this isn’t a concern for O’Keefe and his easily-duped followers. Why? Take a big brown guess.


4) The Border is Very, Very Long. Deploying the border patrol and building a fence along every last mile of the nearly 3,000 mile border is both expensive and impractical. Therefore, there will always be gaps along the way. O’Keefe, if we’re to believe he was actually at the border, probably tracked down a particularly exposed section for propaganda purposes. O’Keefe doesn’t say why the border fence in that section is only barbed wire. It could be that the owner of the property refused to allow a proper fence to be built there. Who knows? All of this raises the next question…

5) What about states’ rights? I thought these guys were all about de-funding the Executive Branch of government and allowing the Tenth Amendment to take over. Since there’s nothing in the Constitution explicitly covering the federal government’s power to stop undocumented immigrants from crossing into the U.S., then according to the far-right’s own (flawed) interpretation of the Constitution, the border states should be responsible for it. Now, they’ve tried to justify the federal government’s involvement via Article IV, Section 4, spinning border crossings as an invading army, but that’s an extraordinarily hilarious bastardization of the article. Meanwhile, officials in Hudspeth County, where O’Keefe shot his video, have been asking for the federal government to reimburse it for its border checkpoint. Funny how all of the states’ rights guff ends when small-government nullification disciples need money — then suddenly it’s okay to redistribute tax revenue from Hawaii, Illinois and Massachusetts into Texas. And by the way, the sheriff of Hudspeth was standing right there with O’Keefe in the video. Why doesn’t he deputize a gaggle of citizens to monitor the border? Oh, that’s right. It’s the federal government’s job.

Congress isn’t in session right now so we shouldn’t expect any votes until after the recess. But don’t be surprised if they’re once again suckered into O’Keefe’s latest flimflam. The House Republicans obviously don’t require actual evidence to act; all they need is a doofus in a Bin Laden mask wading across a creek. And just after they vote to de-fund the Executive Branch, which includes United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and the border patrol, they’ll vote to censure the president for allowing Bin Laden to march from Mexico into Texas. Sounds crazy, but it’s just about their speed.


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  • Jeff Friedman

    Where was Seal Team Six when we really needed them?

  • JacklynD

    The sad/pathetic/funny thing is that there are so many more dramatic and heart-stopping ways to illustrate how easy it is to cross the border illegally. Unfortunately, O’Keefe is a total oaf with no true intelligence. If he was under surveillance, what exactly did the border guards see? A white guy who looks exactly like James O’Keefe, wade across the river, put on a Halloween costume of a dead guy and cross back into HIS OWN COUNTRY. All while being videotaped.

  • mnphouka

    are all you guys democrat syncophants? miss spelled that on purpose. Maybe you will like me more….kinda like Jessica Simpson.

    • D_C_Wilson

      Now you’re just sounding desperate for attention.

  • Badgerite

    This is an excerpt from the Staff Statement from the 9/11 Commission as to the how the 19 hijackers obtained entry into the United States.

    “Beginning in 1997,the 19 hijackers submitted 24 applications and received 23 visas.
    The pilots acquired theirs in the year 2000. The other hijackers, with 2 exceptions, obtained theirs between the fall of 2000 and June of 2001. Two of the visas were issued in Berlin, and two were issued in the United Arab Emirates. The rest were issued in Saudi Arabia. One of the pilots, Hani Hanjour, had an application denied in September 2000 for lack of adequate documentation. He then produced more evidence in support of his student visa application, and it was approved. Except for Hanjour, all the hijackers sought tourist visas.”

    These were rich, well educated foreigners who came in legally and could afford to take flying lessons and to live comfortably.
    Ahmed Ressam, the man who conspired to bomb LAX Airport on New Years Eve of 1999, attempted legal entry to the United States through a Canadian/US border checkpoint. Terrorists look for legal means of entry to as not to raise suspicion and get caught before they can carry out their planned attack.

  • http://www.facebook.com/felonious.grammar Felonious Grammar

    If the federal government is going to spend a lot of money on big walls, I think it should be sea walls.

  • Kitty Smith

    Every time I hear about the Great White Pimp, I keep thinking “Wait, why isn’t O’Keefe in prison?”

  • Christopher Foxx

    Drudge and the far-right media have been suckered into promoting another James O’Keefe prank

    Drudge and the far-right media didn’t get “suckered” into anything. You can’t get suckered when you’re a willing participant.

  • muselet

    I’ll give James O’Keefe the benefit of the doubt and say the muddy water he waded through was in fact the Rio Grande River and that he repeatedly waded across the border.

    Which means he illegally entered Mexico a couple of times.

    What I wouldn’t pay to watch video of O’Keefe being arrested by heavily-armed federales.


  • https://twitter.com/DrMatthew Dr. Matt

    O’Qweef, like every other teabagging hack, knows how to keep the GOP’s mouth-breathing base outraged.

    • mnphouka

      you sir, are a mean angry little man.

      • https://twitter.com/DrMatthew Dr. Matt

        Change your diaper.

        • mnphouka

          that is the best you have? seriously? Is our border safe? Is our border controlled? Is your president aware of what is happening or more concerned about his golf handicap?
          I am worried about our – yours and mine – country. What can we all do to fix the problem? We don’t need to agree but we need to work together. who knows maybe we all will learn from each other.
          the hate, name calling vitriol that is happening does not help.
          I was brought up as a liberal. This is not how I was brought up.

          • https://twitter.com/DrMatthew Dr. Matt

            Once again, change your diaper. Your fake outrage is causing you to mess yourself over and over again. How embarrassing for you.

          • mnphouka

            why are you so mean? What is your point>

          • mnphouka

            ? where is your tolerance and compassion? What type of Dr are you? what is up with all your hate?

      • bbcaaat

        The righties really get upset when their fantasy is challenged with facts.

        • mnphouka

          no. you are wrong. I really want to make everything better. And it really hurts when people start calling names and all the hatred.. How do we all decide to make things work.

        • mnphouka

          It really makes me sad…. everyone hates on the internet, no one cares . Gosh, I try to speak (type) my beliefs and I get attacked all the time.
          by “tolerant” liberals. I don’t hate anyone. We are going in the wrong direction.
          And you are a BULLY!~ call me names?! Who are the mean people?
          Please. hippocrite

  • M D Reese

    More to the point, why didn’t the sheriff arrest O’Keefe and do us all a favor.

  • Jason E

    O’Queef strikes again! Fucking loser

    • http://www.facebook.com/felonious.grammar Felonious Grammar

      It’s really bad theater, isn’t it?

  • Sean Phillips

    Not only did he actually dress in a business suit for his ACORN stunt, as noted, he claimed to be a newly elected Congressman who was helping some underage girls escape prostitution, which is how he got the material for his misleading edits.

  • formerlywhatithink

    When you’ve lost Fox “news”, you’ve really hit rock bottom.


  • MaryJane Mccarthy James

    Rumor has it bushie is still looking for WMD and Bin Laden under chairs.

    • j hentai

      perhaps that’s wht shrub took up painting, he expects the holy spirit to take the helm and paint where those darned wmds are!

      • http://www.facebook.com/felonious.grammar Felonious Grammar

        I got the impression that he was trying to find out where he was.

  • glennisw

    All O’Keefe proved with this is that a legal American citizen can enter the country.

    • D_C_Wilson

      Actually, all he proved was the a guy in a Bin Laden mask can wade across a creek. There’s no evidence he crossed any border.

      • mnphouka

        Rio Grande is the border there

        • bbcaaat

          Prove it.

          • mnphouka

            really? OK. Take away the dumb osama video mask thing. Google map it kids. Rio Grande is kinda a trickle anyone can walk across. And why is this a legitimate arguement? IS OUR BORDER SECURE? walked across it in NM

          • mnphouka

            not the border the river. Is our border safe? and why are you so angry

        • D_C_Wilson

          And the proof that is in fact, the Rio Grande that he waded across is?

    • pizzmoe

      He proved that the media will still cover his antics.

      • D_C_Wilson

        Ever since his sugar daddy, Breitbart, kicked it, Jimmy’s been struggling to regains some sense of relevance. He stil hasn’t found it. Even noted a__hole Eric Bolling is sick of his antics.

  • D_C_Wilson

    Bob, you should also note that it has been proven that O’Keefe didn’t actually wear his pimp costume during his interviews with ACORN employees. He just filmed himself walking around the street in it and then implied that he wore it during the interview.

  • crowtrobot12

    6) Isn’t O’Keefe still on probation for that phone stunt he did a few years back
    that got him into legal trouble? If this is true he had to cross illegally into
    the Mexico several time. I am pretty sure that would be a violation of his said

    • D_C_Wilson

      7) His bizarre plot to date rape a CNN reporter that was supposed to prove . .. something. No one is really sure what he was trying for with that stunt.

      • http://cendax.wordpress.com/ Norbrook

        Hmm… well … maybe to prove that the only way he can get a woman in bed is to drug her senseless and rape her?

        • BanditBasheert

          On a boat!

      • Christopher Foxx

        No one is really sure what he was trying for with that stunt

        Just another frat bro trying to get laid?

      • http://www.facebook.com/felonious.grammar Felonious Grammar

        Everything he does is proof that he’s a racist, misogynist douchebag.

  • sweetlucy47

    #2 “Obama” Bin Laden.. Bob please edit…lol

    • ranger11

      Obama Bin Laden isn’t dead. He is in the White House. Bob is giving up the game!

  • http://www.osborneink.com/ OsborneInk

    That “footbridge” is actually a piece of infrastructure *that keeps the border from shifting.*

    • http://www.facebook.com/felonious.grammar Felonious Grammar

      Borders do that all the time, don’t they? Everything is changing, which is driving the Republican base mad. They’re dizzy all the time.

      • mnphouka

        as you should be as well….


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