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Questioning the timing, or it's the thought that counts

Yet again, I find I need to spell out exactly what I'm thinking about the Mark Foley scandal.

Foley (the Florida Republican) was doing things of disgusting morality, indisputable impropriety, but apparently not legally prohibited. He was exploiting his position and power and prestige for his own selfish needs, preying on those far younger and accustomed to deferring to him. For that, he needed to be exposed and driven from his position of public trust. As of now, it appears he didn't quite do anything illegal, so criminal prosecution seems unlikely.

The person who exposed him publicly -- apparently a now-former employee of the Human Rights Campaign -- did a public service. That is indisputable. But that does not excuse him from questions -- and criticism.

It appears that the gentleman in question had the explicit instant messages (not the somewhat creepy but not actionable e-mails) for some time, but "sat on them" and did not publish or release them for some time. In fact, they were not released until after the deadline for replacing Foley's name on the ballot had passed.

Coincidence? I'm not sure. But I find the timing far more questionable than the vagaries of rising and falling (and, apparently, rising again) price of gasoline, and Bush gets routinely blamed for that.

So, Foley's exposer apparently had the goods on Foley, but held off on them for some time. What's the big deal? As long as it got out, who cares about the details?

I do. And so should you.

Foley, as I understand it, was creepy and disturbing and wrong, but not a raving, slobbering, uncontrollable sexual predator. Had he not been exposed, he might have stayed at the "creepy" stage the rest of his life. Or he might have crossed over into outright illegality and started assaulting young boys to sate his desires. We'll never know now.

Let's suppose that the guy from HRC sat on the information for three months before releasing it. If during those three months Foley had snapped and assaulted (or even killed -- it's happened before) a child, then the HRC guy would have some of the blame on him. Because he put his own motivations and goals and aspirations take precedence over protecting the public.

Foley's gone. Politically, he's dead; his body just hasn't stopped moving. And good riddance. It should have happened a long time ago. And anyone who had access to those e-mails showing his active sexual pursuit of barely-legal former Congressional pages, but held them back for political gains, should also be shunned.

(And before anyone asks, when I say "anyone," I include any members of the Republican leadership, who apparently knew about Foley's tendencies and creepy e-mails, if they also knew about the instant messages or had other solid evidence of just how far he was going.)


Comments (26)

Said it before, the Dems bl... (Below threshold)
Faith+1:

Said it before, the Dems blew their chance with the Foley scandal. They had a lock on exploiting the scandal to capture Foley's seat which was previously thought to be a shoe-in for the Repubs.

By now appearing to hold onto the info in order to go after the Repub leadership the Dems have blown the "public service" benefit of exposing the creep.

Their only hope is if they can prove the Repubs covered it up and knew everything. In the end the whole thing is making both parties look like slease buckets.

My question is why the brav... (Below threshold)
jp2:

My question is why the brave person who exposed him had to. Republicans knew about this problem for years and did nothing. Why did the problem have to trickle down to a staffer, instead of being handled by our elected leaders? It just doesn't add up.

Also, why has the Republican leadership (Mehlman) allowed to go on television and lie about the timeline of events leading up to the breaking of this disgusting scandal?

brian will be along to argu... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

brian will be along to argue that their was no political timing because there was no connection between the staffer and the information, he just somehow created a website devoted to outing Foley, with all of the im's, yet somehow didn't have any of the information. Somehow it just made it onto his website!

jp2~ Will your opinion chan... (Below threshold)
Garion:

jp2~ Will your opinion change at all if the staffer was shown to have indeed held back this info? Would that make him just as bad as those you're slamming? Or will he still be "brave"?

jp2:Dude, you need... (Below threshold)
thecomputerguy:

jp2:

Dude, you need to start paying attention - or stop just regurgitating dem talking points.

Nobody knows exactly what the Republican leadership knew and when.

From what I understand, it's generally accepted that the Republican leadership knew about at least some of the creepy emails, but not about the explicit IM's. That's where the issue is.

If someone was logging IM's (not the emails, because they were shown to several papers who decided they weren't newsworthy), and they were reviewing what was going on, that person has possibly committed a criminal act by not doing something about it.

And you're saying "yeah - throw the book at Hastert" - but wait - Hastert probably didn't know about the IM's - but the employee of the HRC DID know about the IM's - and he held on to make an October suprise.

Guilty on one count of coverup (with what intent? Blackmail perhaps?) and on a second count of using them for political gain.

The FBI and the Miami Heral... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

The FBI and the Miami Herald had the emails three years ago and neither found them actionable.

GIVE ME A BREAK.

The IM's came to light only recently.

The stupid Republicans could have destroyed the Democrats by reminding everyone that as soon as the IM's were revealed, Foley was gone, and that Studds the Democrat was treated like a hero for a REAL ( not electronic) sexual encounter with a minor.

THAT is the difference between the two parties.

If Foley changes parties, he instantly becomes an attractive candidate for Massachusetts.

"Nobody knows exactly what ... (Below threshold)
jp2:

"Nobody knows exactly what the Republican leadership knew and when."

Umm...don't Republicans know?

Why are they lying about it? Why is the chairman(!) of the RNC on TV telling lies?

What did they know and when... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

What did they know and when did they know about something that no one felt was actionable?

Typical liberal spew.

drjohn, you are wrong, ever... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

drjohn, you are wrong, everyone has made the comparison to studds, the issue is what you said though, the democrats just don't care, therefore the old media just doesn't care, therefore it gets no voice. the dems are absolute hypocrites on this subject, their man who actually had sex is a great public servant so should be relected for 12 more years. The Republican guy though, its not good enough that the Republican leadership got rid of him, they need to go too. It is so transparent, the fact that the liberals try to say there is no comparison is ridiculous.

jp2, you, self admittedly d... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

jp2, you, self admittedly don't know, so how do you know they are lies?! Jesus Christ, you fucking liberals, all you do is yell LIES, LIES, LIES! Get a new fucking mantra.

[partisan_mode]Thi... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

[partisan_mode]

This is just further proof that the ONLY time the Democrats will do the right thing is when it happens to benefit them politically.

As it is also further proof... (Below threshold)
groucho:

As it is also further proof that the Repub leadership is more than willing to do the wrong thing, i.e.:looking the other way when it seems clear they knew about Foley's antics, for nothing more than pure political gain, holding on to Foley's seat.

Apparently, the words "The ... (Below threshold)
Chuckg:

Apparently, the words "The FBI had the e-mails three years ago and didn't think they were anything to take action about" went in one ear and right out the other.

Its the IMs that had the real breaking evidence -- and the Repub leadership, by all accounts, *didn't* have those.

The Democrats did, but they sat on them for months.

It appears that the gent... (Below threshold)
Brian:

It appears that the gentleman in question had the explicit instant messages (not the somewhat creepy but not actionable e-mails) for some time, but "sat on them" and did not publish or release them for some time.

Please cite your source for this suggestion. From everything I've seen, the IMs were not made public until after the email story ran on ABC, and they were provided to ABC in direct response to seeing the email story appear in the news. If there is new evidence suggesting a different timeline, let's see it.

brian will be along to a... (Below threshold)
Brian:

brian will be along to argue that their was no political timing because there was no connection between the staffer and the information, he just somehow created a website devoted to outing Foley, with all of the im's

No, because you are conflating two things. The emails were out for a long time. The IMs appeared only after the story broke in the news.

jp2: This type of informati... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

jp2: This type of information does not trickle down. The staff is the first to know and are responsible to pass it up the line. The fact that the dim's had the information and held it (endangering the page(s)) is all anyone should need to know to put someone, maybe the leaker who held the information, in jail. There is only one more requirement that must be met, As slimey as Foley was, Someone must come up with a crime that has been comitted. The FBI is working on that, the house committee is like the 9-11 committee, worthless, and anything that comes out of it will be worthless. The 9-11 joke only resulted in destruction of National Security Information (Socks Berger) and CYA by all.
The terrorists must be watching this as they plan the next attack and ROFL. The dimwits and the media have provided the targets and the how, they only need to plan the when.

This is taking the same rou... (Below threshold)

This is taking the same route the whole Plame affair did. Dems shouting that Rove and Cheney outted Plame - THEY'RE LYING! FROG MARCH! Only it didn't turn out that way at all. Now it's the Foley thing - Republicans Knew all about everything! - THEY'RE LYING! FROG MARCH!

But let a Gitmo detainee say he's innocent and we get - He deserves a fair trial! Habeus corpus!

Wait and see is all I'm saying. As Jay said - no matter WHO it is.

As it is also further pr... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

As it is also further proof that the Repub leadership is more than willing to do the wrong thing, i.e.:looking the other way when it seems clear they knew about Foley's antics, for nothing more than pure political gain, holding on to Foley's seat.

Do what? What antics?

HE WAS DOING NOTHING WRONG.

Please do not insult us with this "looking the other way" crap. Foley didn't get three standing ovations like Democrats do with pedophiles. Foley is gone.

Do the Democrats keep an eye on Barney Frank to see what he says to his homosexual liaisons? Is he still running the brothel?

Perhaps it's homo-hunting time for Democrats to make sure all gays are not predators, eh?

Yuck. Even communicating with liberals makes me feel dirty.

Brian I provided you with t... (Below threshold)
Xennady:

Brian I provided you with the site that had many stories documenting all the details the MSM left out-gatewaypundit.Yesterday another site had relevant details and a link to yet another site with even more details-gaypatriot.You seem so intensely interested in this story I would have expected you to head on over and soak up every detail-but no you are here demonstrating either remarkable gullibility or willful ignorance.Like I said yesterday any explanation from the left no matter how idiotic you'll swallow hook line and sinker.I know you are far too dense to comprehend but I'll give it one more try:The emails were known to many people including Hasert,the FBI,and several newspapers.None of them considered those emails especially noteworthy.Then-in your words-ABC news runs a story about these same emails-again, not considered newsworthy by anyone else who had seen them-and presto! the IMs pop out! What an amazing coincidence! Nope-that's just your gullibility posting for you again,Brian.Since I know you still get let put it the form of a question.Why would ABC news waste their time and effort running a story about emails that no one else cared about? Hmmmm....because they knew there was more to come that's why! Looks like a preplanned hit job to me-but of course they said it wasn't-oh no-and of course you believe it like everything else leftists tell you.Thank god no leftist has ever tried to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge-you'd lose everything.

I base my comments on repor... (Below threshold)
Brian:

I base my comments on reported and undisputed facts. You base yours on supposition and conspiracy theory. Who's right? I dunno, but I tend to favor scrutinized public statements over baseless speculation.

brian, you say that accusat... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

brian, you say that accusations that the democrats sat on this information are blatantly false. Could you be so kind as to show us the "scrutinized public statements" that support that? Yeah, I didn't think so. About these accusations you said, "it's been repeatedly disproven and discredited," would you be so kind as to show us the "srutinized public statments" that have repeatedly disproven and discredited? Yeah, I didn't think so.

Jeez, just read the news. P... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Jeez, just read the news. People make statements about what happened. And people respond to those statements.

They can either respond rationally with contradictory facts (as the press did when Hastert made all of his "I know noth-ink!" claims), or they can respond irrationally with "conspiracy! lies! cats and dogs sleeping together!"

Do you have any evidence (which even professional political operatives have not claimed to have) to prove that things are other than what the parties involved have been claiming?

Yeah, I didn't think so.

BrianWell, I have ... (Below threshold)
Patrick:

Brian

Well, I have evidence that a Democrat operative set up a phoney blog to leak the emails at the most opportune time for the Democratic party. Does that evidence interest you, or do you only care about facts that suit you.

Yuck. Even communicating wi... (Below threshold)
seamus:

Yuck. Even communicating with liberals makes me feel dirty.

Really Drjohn? And yet you think Foley did nothing wrong? You are one filthy low life pedophile scumbag!

Yuck. Even communicating wi... (Below threshold)
seamus:

Yuck. Even communicating with liberals makes me feel dirty.

Really Drjohn? And yet you think Foley did nothing wrong? You are one filthy low life pedophile loving scumbag!

Does that evidence inter... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Does that evidence interest you, or do you only care about facts that suit you.

Absolutely! Please share this evidence that shows the blog was the original source of the emails for the news media and FBI. I would absolutely be interested in seeing it.




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