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Some thoughts on the Representative Mark Foley mess

Just a few semi-random thoughts on the Representative Foley/congressional page scandal:

1) There needs to be a full criminal investigation into Foley's conduct. If he violated any laws, then he needs to spend some serious time behind bars. If he skirted right up to the edge of them but never quite went across them, then he deserves to spend the rest of his life under intense scrutiny to make sure he never gets that close again without being observed.

2) His latest batch of excuses are, in brief, a crock of bullshit. Alcohol doesn't create anything, it only intensifies feelings already present. In Mel Gibson's case, I suspect it was general rage that was evoked, and chose anti-Semitism as its form to express. In Foley's case, the booze did not turn him into a pedophile. If that was the case, there would be laws against places serving or selling liquor within a mile or so of schools.

As far as the "abused by a member of the clergy" story, I call bullshit on that one, too. If that was the case, then Massachusetts -- the "ground zero" for the Pedophile Priest scandal that rocked the Catholic Church -- would be filled with deviants, pedophiles, and other miscreants, and... um... I might have to reconsider that one.

(I see that Foley was born in Newton, Massachusetts. Dang, I'm really going to have to rethink this.)

OK, obligatory Massachusetts-bashing aside, I am STILL not buying that one. If you have a deep, dark secret that drives you to shameful acts, the only way you're going to get ANY credit and credibility with me is if you confess them BEFORE you're caught. Otherwise, it looks like you're just trying to cover your ass -- and most likely are.

3) I don't give a rat's ass about the inner politics of Congress in general. I don't care who holds what position in which house, for the most part. If Hastert has to resign as speaker, the most reaction I'll have is "oh, whatever." If he doesn't, I won't care, either. I don't belong to either party, not about to sign up for either, and find most of their partisan squabbling and internecine struggles entertaining at best, but far more often simply dull.

4) IF all the Republican leadership had to go on was some rather odd e-mails, then they really had nothing they could do. Those who say that Foley's e-mails were grounds for further investigation are engaging in exactly the kind of gay-bashing they denounce when the issue is gay Scout leaders, gay teachers, gay coaches, any time gay people might be put in a position of overseeing younger people. The ACLU, with the backing of a LOT of the left, fought that position all the way to the Supreme Court.

5) If the Republican leadership had access to not just Foley's E-mails, but his Instant Message conversations with pages, THEN they ought to not just resign their leadership position, but their office as well. As the old saying goes, it's not the crime that gets you, it's the coverup, and there was absolutely NO way this was going to say quiet until 2008 (the next time someone could run to replace Foley). For all my contempt for most politicians, I respect the basic political savvy it takes to get elected to national office and rise to a position of leadership, and I find it difficult that they could make sugh a grotesque error in judgment.

Then again, Gerry Studds was reprimanded by the House for flying a page to Portugal where he could boink the boy without breaking US laws. Studds turned his back on the House while the reprimand was read and was STILL not only re-elected another 5 times, but kept his seniority and privileges, even heading up (um... poor word choice there) a major committee -- appointed to that post by the Democratic leadership.

So, anyway, as I was saying, I doubt that the Republican leadership knew the full details of Foley's Folly -- but if they did, they gotta go, too.

6) There appears to be evidence that the exposure of Foley was not some fortunate discovery, but a carefully-planned "hit" that was prepared and saved up for just before the election. That in no way mitigates anything I say above, but merely adds to the list of people who need some serious investigation. If -- IF -- there were people who knew about Foley, and had the goods on him, but sat on that information until the opportune political moment to release it as a sort-of "October Surprise," then they need to be charged with accessory before and after the fact in any criminal charges filed against Foley. If that isn't feasible or legal, then they at least need to be unmasked as the sort of scum who have no problems concealing a predatory pedophile until it suits their agenda to expose him -- putting who knows how many more teenagers at risk for their own benefit.

So, to sum up:

Foley: Rot in hell, you sick bastard. I don't care if you actually broke the letter of the law or not.

Hastert and the rest of the House leadership: Shame on you for not keeping a closer eye on him. But if you had access to the Instant Messages, then to hell with you, too.

The "get Hastert" people: Unless you have solid evidence that they knew about the Instant Messages, shut your pieholes, you partisan hacks.

The people who exposed Foley: You have our thanks. But if you sat on that information for one minute longer than necessary, just to further your own political ends, then you're almost as guilty as Foley, and ought to rot in hell, too.


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Comments (65)

Very well said.... (Below threshold)
Amy:

Very well said.

Holy cow Jay. I think this ... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Holy cow Jay. I think this is the first time I've ever agreed with anything you've said. But I think you have it exactly right in all aspects. But now watch how this piece descends into Clinton was the baddest. No Foley is the baddest. The inanity of the political accusations will start shortly. Too bad. What is lost, of course, is the larger issue of the protection of children. Haven't heard poop about that in the past few days.

"As the old saying goes, it... (Below threshold)
villie:

"As the old saying goes, it's not the crime that gets you, it's the coverup,"

That's not an old saying, that's an invention of the 70s. Before that, people were only convicted of real crimes. Since then, covering up charges has reached heights of true absurdity with Scooter Libby

If the GOP leadership in th... (Below threshold)
Strick:

If the GOP leadership in the House had a reasonable suspicion something like this was going on, they should have asked for an investigation. I'd support asking for their resignations.

That goes for any member of the House. As far as I'm concerned, they'd all have the responsibility to do something about this kind of behavior, just as doctors or teachers would in the real world.

That goes double for any Democrat who knew and sat on the information until just before the election. They had a responsibility to those pages, too, and to put them at continued risk just to gain political advantage would make anything the leaders of the GOP did look tame by comparison.

Couldn't agree with you mor... (Below threshold)
Diane:

Couldn't agree with you more. with one exception:
Point #3, I don't find the inner party squabblings "entertaining or dull".

I find them childish, a waste of time, & a waste of tax payers' money. I resent it when my congressmen are elected based on certain stated beliefs and goals....and when they get to Washington they put their party first, instead of America or the actual representation of their district constitutents (i.e., Evan Bayh).

This morning CNN had, at th... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

This morning CNN had, at the bottom of th screen, the title "Foley's lurid emails."

This is carrying water for the DNC.

THe DNC talking points said to combine the Foley emails and IM's.

Hastert had the emails, which were not actionable, not the IM's.

Foley should be treated in the same manner as any Democrat, like Studds, Frank, Clinton or Mel Reynolds.

Clinton, Studds and Reynolds abused interns, Studds and and Reynolds had sexual relations with underage interns.

As a Republican, Foley resigned.

Foley touched no one.

Were Foley a Democrat, he'd be looking at re-election.

Why are Republicans not enititled to equal protection under the law?

Why are Republicans not treated in the same manner as Democrats?

Republicans are stupid. Were I in charge, I'd be making a commercial reminding viewers how badly democrats abuse interns and what happened to those who do that.

Hmmm. Suppose Hastert had ... (Below threshold)
sanssoucy:

Hmmm. Suppose Hastert had pressed for Foley to be investigated / censured / kicked out for the original "overly friendly" emails (which were all the leadership knew "when they knew it"); what do you suppose the headline in the NY Times would have been?

"GOP Leadership Acts Firmly To Remove Threat To Minors"?

Nah. Somehow that doesn't sound right. Let's try:

"Homophobic McCarthyism Seizes Republican Leadership"

Bingo!

SS

As much of a pathetic man F... (Below threshold)

As much of a pathetic man Foley is, the donkeys are and will overplay this. They will run commercials featuring Foley and try to entangle every GOP member running for a seat and honestly, I don't think most people will care or will make the connection for some creepy dude from Florida and the entire GOP.

That's essentially how the left views everyone...they're too dumb for their own good to understand such things. They're grasping for anything since their BIG ploy of using gas prices as an attack device when up in smoke.

Damn Jay, how do you really... (Below threshold)
James:

Damn Jay, how do you really feel about this issue? :)

Absolutely agree with you.

From what has been seen so ... (Below threshold)
hermie:

From what has been seen so far, Hastert only had knowledge of the emails, not the IMs. The emails were worded so that they were inappropriate, but not to the point of being eligible for an ethics investigation.

The IMs are key, and there are some elements of this story that should alarm everyone:

1. Why didn't those who were in possession of the IMs, and I'm speaking of the MSM or the person(s) who gave them to the MSM, immediately refer these to the police, or to the Ethics Committee at the very least? This was a potentially criminal matter.

2. Why was this story held back for so long? If those who broke the story, or have known about Foley's IMs were really concerned about the pages, why didn't they bring their concerns then?

3. Who got possession of these IMs, and how were they captured? If a third party is able to view and copy IMs between members of Congress, then there is a real security problem here.

Jay tea:"IF all t... (Below threshold)
Kapow:

Jay tea:
"IF all the Republican leadership had to go on was some rather odd e-mails, then they really had nothing they could do. Those who say that Foley's e-mails were grounds for further investigation are engaging in exactly the kind of gay-bashing they denounce when the issue is gay Scout leaders, gay teachers, gay coaches, any time gay people might be put in a position of overseeing younger people. "
Um, not so fast. They could have - and should have - launched a thorough investigation as soon as they found out about the emails. How is this gay bashing exactly? If they were investigating him becuase he was gay, then I see your point. But they had suspicious emails. In any right-thinking person's mind that JUSTIFIES investigating a gay (or straight) person without any hint of prejudice. And anyway are you trying to tell me congessional Republicans are so sensitive to charges of homophobia that this would stop them from investigating a potential crime? Something like, oh I don't know, the 'defence of marriage' bill tells me the Republicans aren't that concerned about offending homosexuals. What's more they could have done it queitly and thus not exposed Foley to undue calumny unless he really was guilty of some wrong-doing. But lets face it, in this case, all they would have had to do was scratch the surface here and they'd have hit pay dirt.
As for this idea that it's all a dirty trick, if the house leadership had imediately initiated an investigation - as they should have done - when they found out about the emails, there wouldn't have been any chance of anyone turing this issue into an 'october surprise.' However they chose not to do that. Interestingly, one of the first people alerted about the emails was Rep. Reynolds, head of the NRCC, a politcal enity concerned with getting Republicans elected and keeping them in congress, primarily by doling out campaign cash. (even now the NRCC still has no qualms about trying to get it's hand on Foley's well stock war chest) Now, that action begs an uncomfortable question about balancing the safety of young people and potential political fall-out. To me, that question is far more compelling than the possibility that this was a hit by some shaddowy, all-knowing democratic consipricy.

Personally, I believe Foley... (Below threshold)
Bob Jones:

Personally, I believe Foley is the worst kind of person. Blaming your queerness on some childhood event (which he may have instigated) is lame.

The way I see it is the Dems knew he was queer AND weak plus you have those gay activists.

I think the Dems put some pages up to the job of baiting him then recording his sick instant messages.

They need to do this to all the queer/non queer, but perverted congressmen and clean it out for good.

What a cesspool, our house and Senate.

/spit

Pretty much agree with Jay ... (Below threshold)
Faith+1:

Pretty much agree with Jay on this down the line. This is going to end up being a powder keg of potential disaster for either side. If the Dems try to push the "all Repubs are pedophillic hypocrites and it turns out they sat on info for political gain it will blow up in their face. If they appear to put political power over the safety of children, combined with the general lack of faith in national security--they could possibly lose more seats rather than gain any.

If the Repubs are found to have known and sat on it they could have it blow up in their face and lose their majority in both houses.

As for those declaring "well he was 16 and it wasn't a crime" as a Republican defense--stop it. It isn't working. As a parent of a recently turned 17 year old boy I would view ANYONE doing what Foley did as a pedophile. Period. In my rather small sample set of co-workers discussing this at the water cooler (of which the political spectrum ranges from far left to far right) I haven't met any who was a a parent who felt any different. That defense will NOT play well in most homes--in fact, it makes it worse.

Hugh, you couldn't just lea... (Below threshold)

Hugh, you couldn't just leave it at a nodding agreement, could you? You couldn't resist slinging out the accusation that there would be accusations.

The "larger issue of protecting children" is at the very core of what has happened and has been addressed over and over even by those you hold such contempt for like Hannity, Boortz, Limbaugh, many many right wing bloggers, et al. Let us also not forget the issue of simple abuse of power. Using it to exploit not only children, but those who are not long out of the age of consent and are still susceptible to such exploitation. I would only ask what's the difference between age 16 and age 17, except that law (in most states) denotes that's where the line is drawn regardless of emotional or psychological maturity? If that young man had been 17 rather than 16, I'd be just as angry.

We have all been betrayed by this man and others before him. All of us. You could have just left it at that.

Latest rumor in Florida is ... (Below threshold)
Palmateer:

Latest rumor in Florida is that the rehab center Foley went to is at Scientology Headquarters in Clearwater.

Jay,The "... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Jay,

The "get Hastert" people: Unless you have solid evidence that they knew about the Instant Messages, shut your pieholes, you partisan hacks.

Heh. I guess that makes me a republican partisan hack.

I could certainly be wrong about the extent of the evidence that was held before the investigation...but as kapow said, even with the suspiscious emails, something should have been looked at. Had that happened, more evidence would have been uncovered, Foley would have resigned, and Hastert would have done his job.

He didn't. And now I think it's right that he give up his post to someone who will do the job, who will see red flags of deviant behavior.

Jay, I agree with you right... (Below threshold)
cmd:

Jay, I agree with you right down the line on this one. Good for Foley for resigning. Now he should shut his piehole and keep his head down. The GOP needs to find out who knew what and when, and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law, if applicable. And if anyone knew about this and saved it for an October surprise - jail time. Hard time. Bash-their-heads-against-the-wall-till-their-ears-bleed time.

See, Lee? See, muriego? This is how we deal with sleazebags. You might want to copy us sometime.

And, on a side note, I see Foley has come out with the Jim McGreevey "I am a gay man" defense now. Problem is, he isn't a gay man. He's a Republican. He can try the a-priest-molested-me-i'm-a-gay-man-i'm-an-alcoholic card all he wants, but the Oprah tour only works when you're a Democrat.

Great summary of the situat... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

Great summary of the situation, Jay. I agree completely with every point you made.

Well Oyester, the posts spe... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Well Oyester, the posts speak for themselves don't they. And, by the way, I was speaking about both the left and the right.

As far as being charged wit... (Below threshold)
Rance:

As far as being charged with being "an accessory before and after the fact" for sitting on the facts,
there is at least one source reporting that The St. Petersburg Times, The Miami Herald and Fox News were leaked the memos last year.


http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2006/10/03/america/NA_GEN_US_Congressman_Resigns.php

So far on this issue, I hav... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

So far on this issue, I have heard just about everyone blammed except those responsible. It's about time to go and look in the mirror America. As long as we keep sending "sleasebags" to Washington, these events will keep happening.

The only possible way to bring back the statesmen, is to have firm and short term limits. Politicians currently are making a career out of something that should be a service to the country, which leads to the obligation of loyalty to the party, rather than loyalty to their constituents.

The "catch 22" is that no politician is going to vote him/herself out of office. It will have to be a national referendum.

"They could have - and s... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"They could have - and should have - launched a thorough investigation as soon as they found out about the emails. How is this gay bashing exactly?"

It isn't gay bashing. The IMs prove that investigating was exactly the correct step. The whole gay-bashing argument is just the conservatives' way to spin ithis against liberals -- to make it the "liberals" fault.

The investigation would have been done quietly - that's not gay-bashing. Noticing that the gay man has a penchant for underage boys, and then doing your (Hastert's) duty and investigating further is not bashing, it's responsible action.

Ask yourself this -- if Hastert had those very same emails and evidence - and they came form the oval office of Bill Clinton instead of Foley -- would Hastert have insisted on a thorough investigation?

Of course he would have.

Instead he made sure the only Democrat on the page oversight committee didn't hear about the emails -- furhter proof of Hastert's politically motivations rising above his duty and honor. The jackass should resign.

Wow Diane, my thoughts EXAC... (Below threshold)
jack oneil:

Wow Diane, my thoughts EXACTLY! I was thinking about that yesterday and how the party seems to matter above everything else. We need another "throw the bums out" campaign.

I disagree with point 4. T... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

I disagree with point 4. This is not about gay or straight. It is about appropriate behavior. If you found out that your 16-year old daughter received an email from a 52-year old man saying that she was hot, and if she could send him a picture, would you dismiss it as "some rather odd e-mails"?

I did laugh at point 2.

If he skirted righ... (Below threshold)
Mark A. Flacy:
If he skirted right up to the edge of them but never quite went across them, then he deserves to spend the rest of his life under intense scrutiny to make sure he never gets that close again without being observed.

Yeah. "You are now under 24 hour surveillance for almost breaking the law."

Unless that's what you really want, I'd suggest moving the line.

The House Republican leader... (Below threshold)
UnrepentantRedneck:

The House Republican leadership(sic) should be censured for political incompetence. It doesn't take a political genius to know that the Dems would attempt to spring an October Surprise, and if they even had a HINT that this might have been it, they should have taken steps to short-circuit it before it hit the papers. The Reps do this every even year - total lack of foresight, total lack of preparation, no pre-emptive, proactive response BEFORE the Dems can strike.
Worse yet, if the Foley mess ISN'T the real October surprise, what else can they expect and why aren't we seeing any sign of preventive or protective activity?
And finally, H. Dean et al have been predicting an October Surprise from the Reps - is there any hope that he might be right, or is he just basing his predictions on the way he would act?

URR

I was scanning this thread,... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

I was scanning this thread, looking at all the largely responsible and reasonable posts.

And just as I was thinking, "something's missing . . ," I see Lee showed up!

It was like a little ray of sunshine brightening up the day!!

The sour puss.

The investigation would ... (Below threshold)
cirby:

The investigation would have been done quietly - that's not gay-bashing.

...and when that investigation WAS done - by the Federal Bureau of Investigation - it came up as "can't find anything else right now." Months ago.

It wasn't until the IMs were released that anything else could have been done. And it was, very quickly.

cirby,It ... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

cirby,

It wasn't until the IMs were released that anything else could have been done. And it was, very quickly.

I'm still pretty uncertain as to why the IMs were released, what, last friday? Weren't they from 2003?


Now you know old "pucker pu... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Now you know old "pucker puss" (lee lee) has to get his .0000000000000000002 cents worth in.

Today I got a call from som... (Below threshold)
Fwarnt:

Today I got a call from some automated system indicating the entire Republican party is in on this and should all be taken down. I lose more and more respect for the Democratic party as each day passes.

jhow66,You're bein... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

jhow66,

You're being too generous as to the value of his contributions.

I agree somewhat with you J... (Below threshold)
Derrick:

I agree somewhat with you Jay, but Lee's point is a better one. This wouldn't be about gay-bashing any more than investigating emails to female pages would be about hetero-male bashing. There is a page board in place that was set up to deal with these matters, and instead of informing them or taking a further look into what was obviously innapropriate conduct Haster put his head in the sand. You have to ask yourself that if the emails were such a trivial matter, why were all of these Congressman involved. If Reynolds and Boehner and the S-representative (sorry I'm lazy this morning) all thought enough of this to pass on the information, then some reasonable due diligence should have taken place. I think that you are giving him and the leadership WAY too much benifit of the doubt.

"SHEIK"--sorry about that m... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

"SHEIK"--sorry about that my calculator only figures that many points. (LOL)

If Reynolds and Boehner and... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

If Reynolds and Boehner and the S-representative (sorry I'm lazy this morning) all thought enough of this to pass on the information, then some reasonable due diligence should have taken place. I think that you are giving him and the leadership WAY too much benifit of the doubt.
--------------------------------------------------
The facts so far indicated that Hastert can be blamed for bad management. On the other hand, some people on the Dem side (from Brian Ross who claimed to know it in August and someone must have known it before then) must have known these IMs a while back but deliberately kept it for political purpose until now. Let 's use the same standard here.

If you want to nail Hastert, then let 's have an investigation of what the dems know and when. Is it fair enough?

Again, is anyone here trying to defend the dishonesty of the Dems? My point again is that the Dems do not deserve to be elected this cycle because their dishonesty is too despicable.

Derrick,If you thi... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

Derrick,

If you think the Dims would NOT have tried to make an investigation look like it was Rep "gay bashing" then you are delusional.

Last night Mara on Fox News... (Below threshold)
comeonsense:

Last night Mara on Fox News with Britt Hume made the comment that Democrats caught now days like Foley would also not survive scrutiny. Her premise was that" its tougher now" to which I call B.S.

If that were so then why not get rid of Jefferson? You can't be serious that any Republican caught today embezzling $90,000.00 would still be in, or anywhere close to Capital Hill. Face it; there is a double standard and its being executed by the Democrats.

I do object to your use of the line "serious time behind bars". My thoughts are that claiming he should do "serious time" actually leaves one to believe his time could be easy. I think you are trying too hard to appease the left on this one Jay. IF, and it hasn't been determined yet, Foley has committed a crime then he needs to be prosecuted as vigorously as anyone, and pay the price. Justice should be a respecter of no man!

Those who say "Hastert shou... (Below threshold)

Those who say "Hastert should have investigated the emails" need to come up with a reason WHY, specifically. The worst thing I've seen in them was he asked the kid for recent picture.

When Hastert was made aware of them, it came from Rep. Alexander with the word the boy's family didn't want the matter pursued, only that the contact end. Foley was told to cut it out. What precisely more should have been done, based on the evidence known at the time? And under exactly what authority or House Rule would that "investigation" have been conducted?

OTOH, anyone having and holding those IM texts who did not turn them over to law enforcement IMMEDIATELY is possibly guilty of obstruction of justice.

*Resolved : From now on, we... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

*Resolved : From now on, we will investigate anyone who sends creepy, legal emails.*

How well do you think that will work?
How many investigations do you think that will produce? Thousands.

Completely unworkable, and wrong,too.

Think, people.

Jay said:"In Foley... (Below threshold)
Denny Crane!:

Jay said:

"In Foley's case, the booze did not turn him into a pedophile."

American Heritage Dictionary says:

"Pedophile: An adult who is sexually attracted to a child or children."

"Child: A person between birth and puberty."

I have seen no evidence suggesting that Foley is a pedophile. 16/17-year-olds are not children, nor do they resemble children or posess the traits sought by pedophiles.

Furthermore, how many men are still virgins at 16 or 17? There weren't many at my High School when I graduated in 1977, and there are fewer now, undoubtedly. Men at that age are perfectly capable of handling some suggestive emails or text messages.

The age gap is disturbing and seems perverse. But it ain't pedophilia, and it certainly does not deserve this comment by Jay:

"Foley: Rot in hell, you sick bastard. I don't care if you actually broke the letter of the law or not."

That's pretty fucking extreme, Jay. In fact, it's silly.

It is a proven fact that th... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

It is a proven fact that the left wing democratic hit squad has had this information for months (Brian Ross admits he had it long ago) and held it until the day congress went out of session for political purposes. If Ross had it, the leadership of the Al-Qaida party, oop's, Democratic party knew about it also. Just listen the Harry Reid/Al-Qaida and other leaders and if you read between the lines you'll know they've been planning this for at least two years. They're plan, the hell with the young boys, we need votes since we have no plans. It's the same in Iraq, they totally support the terrorists (Al-Qaida) to make sure more American soldiers are killed so they can blame someone else in the hopes of getting more votes. Can we call the dims unpatroitic, na, just call them traitors, it's a more accurate descriprion. The current democratic party leadership would lead an attack on your home and kill everyone in your family if they had the slightest idea they could blame it on someone else and gain one vote. They are that insane. BDS has progressed to insanity in a big way.

History shows that Hate always turns to insanity and violence.

Denny Crane!:<blockqu... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Denny Crane!:

Men at that age are perfectly capable of handling some suggestive emails or text messages.

Capable or not, that doesn't excuse it in any way, so the point is moot. They were minors. I wouldn't want my (hypothetical) 16 year old son "handling" suggestive emails or text messages from older men.

I doubt you would either.

"I wouldn't want my (hyp... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"I wouldn't want my (hypothetical) 16 year old son "handling" suggestive emails or text messages from older men.

Absolutely.

Parents entrust their children to the Congressional page program, and it's somehow ok to subject these children to the advances of Congressman? How utterly ridiculous.

Jim Addison:I may ... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Jim Addison:

I may be in a bit out of my depth here, but let me give it a shot.

The worst thing I've seen in them was he asked the kid for recent picture.

He's asking an underage boy which he is not related to for his picture?

Online predators have been getting alot of attention lately, it's not like there would be no precedent to base judgement on here.

If one could reasonably believe Foley just occasionally, or on a whim sent inappropriate emails to underage boys in his spare time then perhaps a "cut it out" would have been sufficient.

I don't feel one can reasonably believe such a thing though. It has absolutely nothing to due with his sexual orientation either. It's a red flag, which I believe calls for a little digging.

When Hastert was made aware of them, it came from Rep. Alexander with the word the boy's family didn't want the matter pursued, only that the contact end. Foley was told to cut it out. What precisely more should have been done, based on the evidence known at the time? And under exactly what authority or House Rule would that "investigation" have been conducted?

The boy's family only wanted conduct cut, that's fine...but that can't be confused with where the investigation should have ended. Thoroughness would have been to bring up the history of emails to see just what had occured, and also to see that this was or was not an isolated incident.

When someone gets arrested for an offense, their criminal record is checked, these past emails and IMs were Foley's criminal record so to speak. They were not checked.

Would it have been an overstep of authority or law to fully investigate the email and IM history at the time that this was brought to their attention? My knowledge of the laws pertaining to such things are admittedly hazy, but sensically it seems the answer would be no.

Perhaps I can learn from someone more knowledgable in this area.


Sorry, this sentence sho... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Sorry, this sentence should read:

"The boy's family only wanted contact cut, that's fine..."

Lets open up everyone's e-... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

Lets open up everyone's e-mails to pages and interns and see how they compare to Foleys. Many MSM knew of the e-mail portion for a long time.

The GOP can benefit by this if the RNC runs ads comparing what happens when GOP members is caught in a scandals compare to what happens to Democrats caught in scandals.

They can show Foley leaving carrying a box while Democrat Studds who had sex with underage male page getting a standing ovation.

John Shimkus sat for an int... (Below threshold)

John Shimkus sat for an interview with Charlie Brennan of St. Louis radio station KMOX this morning. The audio is available for listening or download. This is is first real discussion of the Foley topic away from DC. http://kmox.com/pages/66176.php

Click on the "featured audio" for 10-04-06

scrapiron..I am always open... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

scrapiron..I am always open to facts...would you please provide links that support your "It is a proven fact that the left wing democratic hit squad has had this information for months (Brian Ross admits he had it long ago) and held it until the day congress went out of session for political purposes."

...and is it your claim that Republicans who knew, could have known, should have known ..did little had nothing to do with their attempt to hide it from voters?

diane..thanks for the link..it is a good listen

...............................................

unfortunatly this sort of salacious(sp?)story covers up the strongest argument for Republicans which is a better economy and the point for the Dems which is the downward sprial debacle of Iraq and now Afghanistan.

When Hastert was made aw... (Below threshold)
Brian:

When Hastert was made aware of them, it came from Rep. Alexander with the word the boy's family didn't want the matter pursued

Yes, along with the statement, "we have a problem". Those emails didn't just pass by Hastert's desk without him noticing. He was specifically told they were an issue, which means that someone thought they were worthy of concern. Those who claim the emails shouldn't raise an eyebrow keep forgetting this point.

What precisely more should have been done, based on the evidence known at the time?

How about this: First, you thank your lucky stars the parents asked you to keep it quiet and are willing to drop the issue. Then you tell Foley that given the situation, it's best that he step down from the exploited children committee. Then you wonder if this is an isolated incident, or part of a pattern. So you quietly send someone to talk to a few pages: has Foley done this kind of thing before? When you find out he has, you tell him he needs to immediately resign to "spend more time with his family".

How does that sound?

And I only touched on the political aspects, not even mentioning how they would have discovered the FBI needed to be involved, nor any interest making sure the past pages were physically and mentally unharmed.

and when that investigat... (Below threshold)
Brian:

and when that investigation WAS done - by the Federal Bureau of Investigation - it came up as "can't find anything else right now." Months ago.

You're either an intentional liar or you just don't care about the truth.

The FBI acknowledged yesterday that it did not begin an investigation in late July after receiving copies of e-mails sent in 2005 by then-Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) to a Louisiana teenager -- messages that troubled the boy's parents.

Haralder and Lee:D... (Below threshold)
Denny Crane!:

Haralder and Lee:

Did you read my entire comment? Did my point escape you? Why pull one line out of context?

My point was: (1) It ain't pedophilia, and (2) Jay's sentencing him to "rot in hell, you sick bastard" seemed absurdly harsh.

Yes, Foley's actions were creepy and disgusting, and I would not want him having contact with my son, if I had one. On the other hand, I seriously doubt he damaged these kids by his emails and text messages, and it certainly IS NOT pedophilia.

Brian,Stop leaving... (Below threshold)
Martin A. Knight:

Brian,

Stop leaving stuff out. From the same article you cited:

An FBI official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing, said the field office concluded that the e-mails "did not rise to the level of criminal activity." The bureau announced Sunday that it would begin a preliminary investigation into Foley's more explicit electronic exchanges with teenagers.

Apparently, the FBI looked into it and decided that there was nothing there. According to an article you've cited, no less. WTF?!

How about this: First, you thank your lucky stars the parents asked you to keep it quiet and are willing to drop the issue. Then you tell Foley that given the situation, it's best that he step down from the exploited children committee. Then you wonder if this is an isolated incident, or part of a pattern. So you quietly send someone to talk to a few pages: has Foley done this kind of thing before? When you find out he has, you tell him he needs to immediately resign to "spend more time with his family".

How does that sound?

Honestly? Like Monday morning quarterbacking.

"An FBI official, who sp... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"An FBI official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing, said the field office concluded that the e-mails "did not rise to the level of criminal activity."

Putting a tigerskin lampshade on your head and dancing an irish jig on the rooftop may not rise to the level of criminal activity either, but it would raise enough concern to investigate further.

So did the emails...

Hastert failed to execute his responsibilities. He should resign.

Martin, let 's appl... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Martin,
let 's apply the Dems logic to this case: the right thing has been done wrt Foley in this case (he is out of congress and under criminal investigation). Compare this to the Dems: keeping Studd and attacking critics as anti-gay; lying, excusing, attacking victims on behalf of Clinton who pardoned a convicted dem Reynold.

Now the dems said that this is not enough (which is way beyond what they have done). So they want to know who covered it up etc... The facts show that someone had these IMs as far back as 2003. Given the Dems 's record so far, the first thing to do is to investigate what the Dems know and when. Since they have been just caught red-handed lying about the leaked NIE for their political campaign, it is natural to suspect their involvement in this cover-up of these IMs. The dems have been willing to compromise national security for political gain. This one just shows that they are probably willing to disregard the safety of children also for political gain.

Since the liberals are really interested in punishing other people in congress besides Foley, I suggested that we try to vote out as many Dems as possible first. Then after that we can look into replacing some in the Rep leadership. The reason is that we can conclude that the Dem party has zero regard for national security as well as the welfare of women and children.

Denny Crane!,Perha... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Denny Crane!,

Perhaps I should have taken a broader approach.

I didn't say anything about the semantical clarification of pedophelia, because there's not actually much for me to argue there...it's in black in white on your post.

You also made it clear that you didn't approve of his actions and that your intent was to address Jay's comment.

It may seem like cherry-picking your post to pull out one sentence, but it makes about as much sense in context as it does out of context. You expounded in your follow up post and now I understand your meaning: that a 16 or 17 year old can mentally handle some suggestive emails.

Sure they can, but that's neither here nor there. We both agree that they shouldn't have to handle them. It's entirely peripheral to the argument as to whether the kid was scarred as a result of the exchange.

It didn't fit with the rest of your point, so I took exception to it...I think we're on the same page now.

Foley lost the election for... (Below threshold)
UncleZeb:

Foley lost the election for us, I don't see any way we pull this one off. Maybe we hold on to the Senate but the House is lost.

Hey Zeb, Let 's wai... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Hey Zeb,
Let 's wait and see. The dems have run this play so many times. The dishonesty of MSM and the dems are clear to all except probably the people on the left. Just like with the Wellstone memorial, the Dems are overplaying their hands politically with their dishonest campaign ads. Their color is showing now. A lot of people are angry at the way the Dems are selling out the country.

In response to what Hastert... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

In response to what Hastert knew, Brian Ross on O'Reilly just admitted no one but a few pages had the IM's until a few weeks ago.

Should be on O'Reilly's repeat tonight. Roughly 10-20 minute into the show.

ON drudge, looks like they ... (Below threshold)
jeff:

ON drudge, looks like they outed the guy that Foley was IMing 3 years ago and he WAS 18!!! So lets see how this plays out now...

I am sure there is alot we ... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

I am sure there is alot we don't know--potentially pro and con.

The 18 year old issue is troubling.

But, now we're hearing on FoxNews that Hastert's chief of staff knew about an intoxicated Foley showing up at the pages' dorm. If true, Hastert may have to step down.

The whole thing is a lose-lose for Hastert. If he moved aggessively on Foley, he may have had to expose the kids' identities and go after a gay member of Congress. If we were talking about a guy who had been physically aggressive or had been trying something with much younger kids, it would have been a clearer issue as well.

I think you'd have to come down hard on Foley if he did this; but, you'd also have some other things to consider. Not an enviable position.

Damn this Foley character for putting a bunch of people, kids' families included, in a bad spot.

Oh this is nice, on the par... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Oh this is nice, on the part of the Dems:

"The Great Outing--David Corn has a copy of a "List" of purportedly gay GOP top congressional staff on the Hill, but won't publish it. "The implication is that these gay Republicans somehow helped page-pursuing Mark Foley before his ugly (and possibly illegal) conduct was exposed. The List--drawn up by gay politicos--is a partial accounting of who on Capitol Hill might be in that network."

You know, the Dems always find a way to overplay their hand. Now it's sordid.

>>"An FBI official...sai... (Below threshold)
Brian:

>>"An FBI official...said the field office concluded that the e-mails "did not rise to the level of criminal activity."

Apparently, the FBI looked into it and decided that there was nothing there. According to an article you've cited, no less. WTF?!

No one has said that the emails on their own were criminal. But they should have been enough for the FBI to at least look into it a little. But whether the FBI should have investigated is a different argument. The post I was responding to said they had, and the link I posted shows they haven't.

>>How does that sound?

Honestly? Like Monday morning quarterbacking.

Hey, the guy specifically asked "What precisely more should have been done?" So I answered.

By the way, I was cutting Hastert some slack here. The answer I gave was the "I'm a politician who wants to keep this quiet, protect my party, and keep me out of trouble" suggestion of what should have been done. I didn't even start in with the "I'm a moral human being who is horrified by the possibilities this raises" suggestion of what should have been done.

In Foley's case, the boo... (Below threshold)

In Foley's case, the booze did not turn him into a pedophile. If that was the case, there would be laws against places serving or selling liquor within a mile or so of schools. -- blog post

Just want to point out the fallacy of this statement.

The logic here is, bureaucrats necessarily have it all right. It takes the following form:

(1) If it's a crime, it is punished.
(2) Booze as a precursor to pedophilia is not punished

Therefore, booze is not a precursor to pedophilia.

This is not sound reasoning.

I don't think alcohol has anything to do with pedophilia either, but try to use better logic.

Upon inspection, yours seems to have a supreme respect for government. Not cool.

See, Brian ...... (Below threshold)
Martin A. Knight:

See, Brian ...

    No one has said that the emails on their own were criminal. But they should have been enough for the FBI to at least look into it a little.

This is a very odd position for someone who believes that the United States is one step away from fascism because the government listens in on phone conversations between numbers in the United States and numbers found on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's palm pilot.

Once again, note; the only thing the FBI had were those e-mails. They did not rise to the level of being criminal and were quite frankly innocuous. And yet, here you are, because you are suddenly an expert, questioning why they didn't investigate further?

Would you like it if the FBI started to investigate you - y'know, "look into it a little" - for everything you ever wrote that raised eyebrows, no matter how innocuous? Do you think they have that much time and resources?

    Hey, the guy specifically asked "What precisely more should have been done?" So I answered.

Yes. With Monday morning quarterbacking, opportunistic self-righteousness and a smugness only born of hindsight.

Hugh: "And, by the way,... (Below threshold)

Hugh: "And, by the way, I was speaking about both the left and the right." Funny, you only added that qualifier after the fact. Going by past comments, I'm having difficulty determining now whether or not you're denigrating the left or the right. Since, you know, reading your mind seems to be a requirement for understanding your commentary.

And Lee:
"... and it's somehow ok to subject these children to the advances of Congressman?"

I think Lee should resign - from blog commenting. His posts are normally only ad hominem attacks and largely ill thought out. Often, he creates his own argument and then rebuts, as noted in the above quote. Hint: No one said that, Lee. No one even implied that, Lee. You are hereby disqualified from having any further opinion, Lee.




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