The men accused of trying to wiretap Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu's phones share a common experience—writing for conservative publications. Federal authorities said the men posed as telephone workers when they walked into the senator’s office inside a federal building in New Orleans. James O'Keefe, already known for his sting operations at ACORN offices, and Joseph Basel both launched their own conservative publications in college.
A third suspect, Stan Dai, edited a conservative paper on campus, and once directed a program aimed at college students interested in the intelligence field. The fourth suspect, Robert Flanagan, wrote for the conservative Pelican Institute and is son of Bill Flanagan, the acting US attorney based in Shreveport, who had been No. 2 to a Bush appointee who stepped down this month. O'Keefe is 25, and all the others 24.