U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents who detained conservative filmmaker James O’Keefe at the airport specifically asked him about the work he’s done investigating the “federal government.”
O’Keefe was detained by U.S. customs agents Monday after arriving at the airport in Nassau, Bahamas en route to Miami. Agents told O’Keefe that he was being detained for crossing back and forth across the U.S.-Mexico border while dressed as Osama bin Laden in a video that was published by The Daily Caller. Agents marked his passport with an “X” and explained that he would be detained every time he enters U.S. territory henceforth. (RELATED: Feds Detain At Least One Border Crosser).
O’Keefe was not allowed to videotape the encounter as he wished. The below transcript, provided to TheDC, was written by O’Keefe as closely as possible to the actual conversation that he had with the customs agents during the standoff at the airport. Here is the dialogue that went down:
James: Well, each and every time I go back into the country you guys do this, and its because I’m a journalist and you don’t like my journalism, so let’s just get this over with, here’s my ticket with the X, just tell what room you want me in.
Customs: (Looking at computer for 15 seconds). It’s not because you’re a journalist. (Turns towards me). What type of journalism do you do?
James: I do like 60 minutes, hidden camera work, investigative, sort of like the guy who catches the predators on NBC Dateline you know?
Customs: But what specific type of journalism have you done investigating the federal government?
James: Well, first ACORN was shut down because I posed as a pimp.
Customs: Not the prostitution, the other one involving the federal government.
James: You mean the Obamacare navigators, where many were fired counseling to commit fraud?
Customs: No not that one, what did you do involving the federal govenrnment at the borders?
James: Well clearly you know which video that was. Why don’t you tell me?
Customs: No, I need you to tell me.
James: That was the one where I legally waded into the Rio Grande dressed like Osama bin Laden and embarrassed the federal government. DHS secretary was grilled under oath. Are you telling me this is retaliation for that?
Customs: I’m telling you that each time you go through here you will need to give an extra hour because we will do this each time. You have a prior criminal record and broke the law crossing into the United States unlawfully.
James: It wasn’t unlawful, I did nothing but wade back and forth. Millions of Mexicans cross and you don’t detain them for unlawful entry
Customs: You broke the law!
James: I broke the law? I’m a journalist who is trying to expose something important. Deep down in your heart when you set the burocreacy aside you have admit it needed to be exposed.
Customs: Come with me.