CPAC 2023: O’Keefe pledges to keep fighting post Project Veritas

by mcardinal

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News

Anyone tuning into the Conservative Political Action Conference expecting to hear sour grapes from recently jettisoned Project Veritas head James O’Keefe instead got a reminder that O’Keefe is nothing if not forward facing. 

“I’m not stopping or giving up,” he said.  

O’Keefe did not dodge the matter of being forced out at Veritas, but he cased it primarily in terms of continuing his unique, often-criticized brand of journalism.

And, although he will no longer be with Project Veritas, O’Keefe pledged to continue working to find whistleblowers from within powerful companies and institutions. 

“[We] need brave whistleblowers. We need people on the inside,” O’Keefe said. “There were people on the inside of Pfizer who helped us obtain [information used in a recent, highly publicized report}.”

In keeping with tradition, O’Keefe provided the CPAC audience with a surprise. This year, the big revelation came in the form of O’Keefe introducing Debbie Bernal, a former consultant for Pfizer who revealed herself to have been the whistleblower behind the leak of Project Veritas’ most recent high-profile story.

Some conservatives and O’Keefe supporters have hypothesized that O’Keefe’s issues within Project Veritas are connected to his having done a story that makes Pfizer look bad, and O’Keefe pointed out during his speech that many legacy media shows are sponsored by the pharmaceutical giant. 

O’Keefe said that, in the days following his forced departure from Project Veritas, he had reconnected with Bernal, who had “decided to go public” after seeing O’Keefe punished by his now-former company. 

“To be a whistleblower is to step outside the great chain of being, to basically be disconnected from the mothership,” O’Keefe said. “That’s sort of like how I feel right now. But I’ve learned a lot of things over the last month, having been ousted from the company I founded 13 years ago, mere days after the story. But as this was happening, I was talking to one of these people, and she was a little reluctant to go public. Rightfully so, she was scared.”

Bernal told the CPAC crowd that she had worried her life might be in danger if she participated in a Project Veritas story or allowed herself to be known as a whistleblower in public, but changed her mind based on her Christian faith. 

“I was worried that I would end up in a body bag or in a car accident,” Bernal said. “But I realized that the spirit of fear is not from the Lord. As a believer, I knew that I couldn’t just sit there, I couldn’t just sit there and watch people get lied to, people get gaslit. It made me angry.”

Ultimately, Bernal’s participation led to Project Veritas capturing video of Pfizer Director of Research and Development, Strategic Operations and mRNA Scientific Planning Jordon Trishton discussing the COVID-19 vaccine. 

“I just want to tell all the people here in this room who are employed, if you guys work for big tech, media, a government agency, it’s your responsibility to stand up,” Bernal said. “Do not let these people keep getting away with this. If you don’t say something, they’re gonna keep doing it.”