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September 30, 2006

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clarice

Brian Ross of ABC headed their "investigative team".

Here's a reminder of some of his other (crappy) work:
http://64.233.161.104/search?q=cache:j6xrNZtc3BYJ:sweetness-light.com/archive/is-brian-ross-a-reliable-reporter+Brian+Ross+Plame&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=6>Ross

DougJ

Wow. My spoofing would be redundant.

DougJ

Seriously, people, come on. You're blaming this on George Soros? Are you sure Joe Wilson didn't have something to do with it?

You can ban me again if you want, Tom, but I've come in peace this time.

SunnyDay

Terrye - my niece at age 16 got involved with a man in his late 30's. My brother tried to bring charges, and couldn't - it isn't illegal.

She married the dude over everyone's objections They have 3 kids.

Bill Arnold

Verner, You could have had politicaly active parents who encouraged it in order to sping a trap on a "family values" republican. You could have a family who decided to take larry Flynt up on his offer.
Alternatively, you could have had loyal Republican parents who didn't want to damage their party (and were convinced this was a one-time thing). (I don't know their political affiliations.) Or the parents were bribed by Foley or someone else to keep quiet. Or ...

This should have been investigated as soon as there was a hint of a problem. Parents wanting to hush something up is a strong hint that there might be a problem, and instances of this type of behavior are often (usually?) a part of a larger pattern.


JM Hanes

tops:

I can't find a reference to any CREW connection with providing the IM's reported anywhere. I don't want to be a spoilsport, but do you have a source for this?

Sue

I think the http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/>Captain and I are on the same page.

clarice

JMH I'm still looking to try to see where I got that from.

MayBee

DougJ:You can ban me again if you want, Tom, but I've come in peace this time.

Then add something to the debate. Your own thoughts.

Sue

I think the Captain and I are on the same page.

Well that could have been worded better, considering the subject matter we are discussing.

MayBee

Sue- Ha! Bad girl!

Anyway, do you not think there is a big difference between the content of the emails and the content of the IM?
I think I'm not mad at Hastert, as you and the captain seem to be. Tell me why you are.

topsecretk9

JMH

I read this at FOX

---Naomi Seligman, a spokeswoman for CREW, said the group also sent a letter to the FBI after it received the e-mails. CREW did not post their copies of the e-mail until ABC News reported them, instead waiting for the investigation.---

Sounds to me that CREW waiting for their story to break.

Charlie (Colorado)

Can I take an unpopular position? Feel free to jump on me.

Me too.

But I'm not sure I consider a 16-year old a child, sexually. As a parent of one getting horrifyingly close to that age, I sure don't want him sexually active. But some 16 year olds are. Most surely know what's going on.

We're going through a really weird time with this whole issue. It appearss that the age of consent in Louisiana is 17, in Florida it's 18 unless the other person is under 24, in which case it's 16, or if the two participants are legally married. (In other words, in Florida you can consent to be married under 18 and then you can have sex, but you can't consent to just have sex. Huh?) Lots of states set it at 16, except some states make it higher for homosexual sex (and oddly, it appears to be *lower* for homosexual sex in New Mexico.)

In any case, it sounds as if actually having sex with a 16 year old page would be legal in Alabama, not so in Florida.

That being so, is it "perversion" only in Florida?

What's more, if I understand the position the FBI takes on it, it's illegal to talk about having sex by IM until the person is eighteen... which would appear to mean that you could marry a 16 year old in Florida, and it would be legal to actually have sex with her ... but not to have a hot IM chat with her.

Oh, and it's apparently illegal to have a hot IM chat with a 50 year old police detective with hairy ears and a beer belly as long as he tells you he's a 15 year old girl --- and in fact there are training programs teaching 50 year old detectives how to pass as 15 year old girls in order to pursue these arrests.

One presumes without any practice sessions, lest it be a crime too.

All in all, the whole issue seems to be a little peculiar, but Foley's status as a "pervert" seems less than convincingly stated.

verner

MB:Oh verner, you are so lucky! And for the record, my own son is not of the Laguna Beach variety. Luckily, he and his friends are still very much teens, not adult wannbes.

Oh yeah! And it's not because she's been shielded from the world. She is very aware, and I'm sure your son is too. We talk about it. She goes to a very large public school (a great one by the way) that, while in an affluent area, has its share of sex, drugs etc. She, and her friends, choose to be the way they are. They think that people like Paris Hilton are gross.

And I don't think I'm being dumb about it either. I went to an all girls private catholic academy run by the nuns, and I gave my mother more headaches in a week than this child has ever given me. (Not that I was a bad kid, but let's just say, the ex-thief makes the best security consultant. They know all the tricks. LOL.)

DougJ

Then add something to the debate. Your own thoughts.

Okay, anyone who thinks that George Soros "set Foley up" is a raving lunatic. Foley is a sick man and he shouldn't be in Congress. The leaders of the House should have booted him from the Missing and Exploited Children Caucus when they first heard about the emails to the page.

Do you really disagree with any of this? Are you really all that crazy?

clarice

And Charlie, the IM sexually explicit stuff with unnamed reccipients took place before the passage of the 2006 Walsh Act and since ex post facto prosecution is impossible that, too, would seem outside the reach of the law.

Svolich

Is everyone really sure that the IM's are real? It's WAY easier to forge an IM transcript than, say, a Texas Air National Guard memo.

It's clear that something bad was going on with Foley or he wouldn't have resigned. But are we sure it was the IM's? He might have seen the MSM juggernaut coming down the tracks at him and ran before they found out what he was really trying to hide.

I'm not defending him. I just don't want to leap to the conclusion.

Sara (Squiggler)

The former page initiated the contact, didn't he? Perhaps the parents know this is a pattern of behavior. Or maybe they are parents like I would be and under no circumstances want to shine a public spotlight on this whole sordid affair. I would no more go to the police or to the media or even to Congress about something like this than I'd blow up a building. I don't approve of these public spectacles that are supposed to protect kids, whether this case or the teacher cases. When you have a kid over the age of 15, I consider them adult in their sexual appetites and quite capable of handling themselves. If they are well grounded kids with good values, they will not be swayed by the someone in authority canard.

Anyone who has ever spent even five minutes in an AOL chatroom knows that kids troll them all the time. I used to participate in the Fifty-Something chat, where the members were supposed to be over fifty and we got kids trolling all the time, advertising they were looking for older men and older women for a good time and as a teacher. I've been propositioned dozens of time by guys in their teens. I dealt with it by turing off IMs, but then that cuts you off from talking to your friends. I finally got sick of the whole thing and quit going there. But, if you want to see a meat market, the AOL chatroom will show it to you in spades.

clarice

We do NOT know the IMs are real nor can we imagine how they got them except from the recipients . The latter (and the language used by the recipients) is why Mac thinks this was a set up.

DougJ

He might have seen the MSM juggernaut coming down the tracks at him and ran before they found out what he was really trying to hide.

Such as?

You really think someone made up the IM chats? God help us all.

Sue

Tell me why you are.

For the exact same reasons the Captain lists. Hastert made a bad situation for republicans worse. And I suspect we are going to hear about more than just emails and IMs before this is over and done with. In an election year when holding the house is crucial, Hastert should have acted sooner rather than later. And it appears he is lying about what he knew and when.

topsecretk9

Foley is a sick man and he shouldn't be in Congress. The leaders of the House should have booted him from the Missing and Exploited Children Caucus when they first heard about the emails to the page.

I agree with that completely.

DougJ

In an election year when holding the house is crucial, Hastert should have acted sooner rather than later.

I'm glad you guys have your priorities in order. As long as it's not an election year, let the sexual predators roam free! But if it hurts at the polls, well, then it's time to get serious.

narciso

Hey, it could have been, worse, some were seriously suggesting him as a replacement
candidate for Katherine Harris, in the Senate Race. Brian Doyle, the DHS spokesman was a reporter for Time Magazine, for a
quarter century. The creep factor, is
very high on this story, I didn't know
the CREW angle, although it doesn't surprise
me, frankly.

DougJ

I agree with that completely.

You always seemed like one of the reasonable ones around here to me.

MayBee

Do you really disagree with any of this? Are you really all that crazy?

I think I (and others) have made my case about to what degree I think Foley is "sick" and why. Read what Charlie said and come up with a good rejoinder.

I'm not sure how to answer the did Soros set him up thing. I am sure that Foley is in a mess of his own making. I am also sure the timing is somewhat political. But that's politics, right? Exploit someone else's weakness when it is to your own benefit.

Yes, I disagree he should have been booted from the caucus when they first heard about the emails. It wouldn't have made me mad if they did do that, however. All in all, I tend to believe that Congress has its abnormal share of horny old men who are willing to take advantage of the system and cover for each others scandals, as long as they don't seem too bad. The emails didn't seem too bad. The IMs on the other hand....

Sue

I'm glad you guys have your priorities in order. As long as it's not an election year, let the sexual predators roam free! But if it hurts at the polls, well, then it's time to get serious.

Yeah, that is exactly what I've been saying. The discussion I was having with Maybee was about Hastert, not Foley. F off.

Sue

The emails didn't seem too bad. The IMs on the other hand....

I thought the same thing when I first read them. And after hearing Foley's initial responses to them, they could have been innocent enough. When he resigned, though, I knew there was more to the story.

DougJ

Yes, I disagree he should have been booted from the caucus when they first heard about the emails.

How about having had an actual investigation of him when they first heard about the emails? That's what bugs me. You could make a case that the email to the kid wasn't sufficient to boot him off, but where's there's smoke there's fire. Creepy email to kid + fixation with exploited children = likely sexual predator. Don't you think?

Pofarmer

I also very much enjoy how these stories conveniently tend to break later on Fri, afternoons. Just in time for the drive home and the Sunday shows.

Terrye

DougJ:

Oh Puhleaze.

I think Foley did the right thing when he resigned and I think Hastert could have handled this better. I think Foley is a sort a creepy in fact.

But like the Kos crowd says about just about everything..... I question the timing.

And you know what? Bill Clinton had how many women accuse him of groping or assaulting them? One accused him of exposing himself to her and was treated like a criminal for making the claim. One accused him of rape. And then there were the affairs culminating in oral sex in the oval office.... but hey like Hillary said, they were all [well almost all] pawns of a vast right wing conspiracy to bring down Bill and stop him from saving the world from the GOP.

So maybe years of listening to the left rave on has started rubbing off.

sglover

Oh it's fun watching you right-wing doublethink junkies frantically trying to spin something, anything, out of this latest stunt from the Party of Values!

Well, don't worry. I'm sure the Sunday TeeVee gasfests will fill your heads with the approved party line. It'll be something that would embarrass any sentient being, but that's never stopped you guys! I know, I know -- the liberals made Foley do it! And Bill Clinton's example forced Denny Hastert to launch the cover-up! Damn those sneaky liberals! Damn that sneaky Clinton!

In the meantime, please clarify for us how NAMBLA is really a valuable constituency for the Republican Party. I can't wait to hear it!

MayBee

Sue- I guess I'm a little confused about specifically what Hastert said. Is there a direct quote somewhere?

verner

DougJ:This should have been investigated as soon as there was a hint of a problem. Parents wanting to hush something up is a strong hint that there might be a problem, and instances of this type of behavior are often (usually?) a part of a larger pattern.

Ok, we agree. Foley is scum. I'm glad he's gone. But Foley is the only person who is responsible. Hasert can not be blamed for behavior he was not aware of. Is there any evidence that there were valid complaints against Foley before this story broke? Not yet as far as I can tell.

Investigate a larger pattern? Based on what? Without those IMs, what do you have? An overly friendly gay congressman. They confronted Foley and told him to stop. He denied any hanky panky until the Soros posessed 3 year old IMs came out. Did anything else happen? We don't know yet. But without the pages and the families coming forward, what basis would Reynolds and Hassert have had to investigate further? Wouldn't that be a bit of a "witch hunt" against a gay man? We're not suppose to do that, are we?

By the way, you people on the dem side of the fence might have a little trouble "legally" going after the guy for sending dirty e-mail to an ex-page who was apparantly over the age of concent. There might be a few in your base who are a little uncomfortable with that approach.

And unless you have a whole lot more, going after the Repub leadership seems like a total waste of time that could very well backfire. For one, it is ridiculous to try to smear Bush with it. Second, it will just be another excuse to remind people of Clinton and democrat hypocricy over the "private" life.

Sara (Squiggler)

Foley">http://www.macsmind.com/wordpress/2006/09/30/foley-setup/">Foley Setup?

MayBee

How about having had an actual investigation of him when they first heard about the emails? That's what bugs me. You could make a case that the email to the kid wasn't sufficient to boot him off, but where's there's smoke there's fire. Creepy email to kid + fixation with exploited children = likely sexual predator. Don't you think?

What would an "actual" investigation look like? I asked that earlier.
At what point do Congressmen start demanding to see the personal correspondence of other Congressmen? Especially if there aren't criminal charges pending. Don't you see that opening up a big big can of worms?

granny

NYTimes does not distinguish between email & IMs:


"Aides to the speaker and other Congressional Republican leaders said that the messages brought to their attention, though described as “overfriendly,” were much less explicit than the others that came to light after ABC News first disclosed the e-mail correspondence with Mr. Alexander’s page.

In those messages, sent after Hurricane Katrina, Mr. Foley asked about the well-being of the boy, a Monroe, La., resident, . He wrote: “How are you weathering the hurricane. . .are you safe. . .send me a pic of you as well.” The page sent the note to a former colleague, describing it as “sick.”


NOTE that this says "came to light after ABC..." and also "The page sent the note to a former colleague..."

Terrye

Sue:

I am not sure if Hastert lied, or if he was just wrong about what he was dealing with. It might have been that he just did not want to see it.

DougJ

I think Foley is a sort a creepy in fact.

Only sort of, though. A fifty year-old man talking to a sixteen year-old kid about masturbation isn't that creepy. It's not like windsurfing, or screaming at a political debate, or arguing with Chris Wallace. Now, that's creepy. Voters are going to take a sexual predator over windsurfer or a screamer or an angry Fox News guest every day of the week.

That's why this is actually good news for the Republicans. When they find out the whole thing was an elaborate scheme concocted by Joe Wilson to help cover up the murder of Vince Foster, there's going to be hell to pay at the polls for the Donks. I see a filibuster-proof Senate in the works.

DougJ

What would an "actual" investigation look like?

That's a fair question. I think they should have had private investigator check him out.

Here's my thinking. If it was one of your own kids he might be preying on, wouldn't you want that kind of precaution taken? That's how I think of it.

Terrye

MayBee;

The thing is Congress people work for their constituents, not each other. The leadership can censure someone or remove them from certain posts, but they can not make them do anything...

topsecretk9

IF Foley was innocently mentoring the kid, he should have insisted to speak with the kids parent, apologize and assure the parent he was earnestly attempting to be kind and encouraging, and think the parent for raising it. People do mentor, and honorable intentions can still be misconstrued or not realized how they come off.

Had he done that I would not fault him remaining on the Missing and Exploited Children Caucus

Look, I think the leadership has an obligation to respond to things like this, when the innocuous emails came up - they needed to nut up and tell Foley, the Missing and Exploited Children Caucus is not the place for you, innocent as they seemed...if it is important enough a parent notified then it's just common sense.

I have to say though, It is a hard call to make...and I think Dem Gerry Studds should have been forced to resign and not weaselly censured and then grandstanding for the cameras it was "none our business if he diddles boys," for if Studds had this conduct would thought of more as a no no..

Clinton too.

clarice

Terry, I stand by my statement that they only had info about the emails which violate nothing but an anti-creepy correspondence rule.
**********


I have to correct one thing. Earlier tonight I thought I saw the IMs were on CREW's site but couldn't get in to see them because the site was overwhelmed, but when I could get there much later I only saw the Emails.
I think it obvious CREW and ABC coordinated this, but I cannot establish that ABC did not get the IMs on their own or that CREW ever had them.

DougJ

Clinton too.

Don't go there, TS. You're the voice of reason around here.

Terrye

Doug:

I would hope that my kid would not be contacting a Congressman behind my back and carrying on like that online.

If my kid did that and if a Congressman talked to him like that.... I would have made an issue of it when it happened, not 40 days before the next election.

Sue

Maybee,

Follow the links from the Captain's post.

DougJ

I think it obvious CREW and ABC coordinated this, but I cannot establish that ABC did not get the IMs on their own or that CREW ever had them.

Get help.

DougJ

I would hope that my kid would not be contacting a Congressman behind my back and carrying on like that online.

Good God.

Okay, time for me to go. Hope I didn't piss you all off.

Terrye

Doug:

Fine I think he is real creepy. Almost as creepy as what Bill did with that cigar. Let's see, Monica was an intern wasn't she? And she was how much older than this kid? Let's say this, she was a lot closer to this kid's age than she was to Clinton's but all we hear is how sure Bill lied, but nobody died.

topsecretk9

DouJ

He should have, or at least had the balls to be honest...but he couldn't could he....he had that pesky lawsuit that he had proffered false affidavits for...

brenda taylor

well speaking of investigations i would love to see the president ask for an independant investigation on all these national security leaks.the republicans dont know how to play dirty poltics if 40 days out of an election doesnt say something there screwed.they dont fight back hard enough.my opinion

Sara (Squiggler)

DougJ -- well apparently this kid's parents don't feel the same way as you since they waved off any followup investigation and didn't want their kid involved. But, according to you, Hastert should have ignored their wishes and continued. Nice guy you are.

topsecretk9

Democrats think sexual misconduct is OK...if at least some of the participants never said no.

Bill Arnold

clarice: I think it obvious CREW and ABC coordinated this, but I cannot establish that ABC did not get the IMs on their own or that CREW ever had them.
Principle of least conspiracy. Apply this heuristic, especially when thinking about your political opposition. (I wish more on the left would apply this filter as well.)

MayBee


That's a fair question. I think they should have had private investigator check him out.

Is there precedence for that?

DougJ

Is there precedence for that?

I said I was going, but didn't want to leave midstream, so answer: I don't know. Good question.

Terrye

Doug:

My understanding of this was that the boy contacted Foley. I think Foley did something he most certainly should not have done, but if a 16 year old has no responsibility for who he talks to online, then maybe we shouldn't let them drive cars.

MayBee

Maybee,

Follow the links from the Captain's post.

I did, and I've got a million things going at once so I may be missing something (shocking, I know!).
I don't see a direct quote from Hastert, and I'm thinking there is conflation between the email situation and the IM situation. Regardless, I can't find specifically what Hastert said, which I would want to know before I call for his head.

Sueq

What would an "actual" investigation look like?

If the story of pages warning new pages about Foley holds up, all of Congress needs their collective asses kicked. Anybody working in a large office knows how the office gossip works.

And with that, I'll mosey on out of this conversation. I seem to be too creeped out by Foley's actions to want to question the timing.

topsecretk9

I can not believe I am saying this, but DougJ was actually sort of non-caustically reasonable ( sort of JimE - ish) --- if that really was "dougJ" -- and I swear if there were a way to poke in the eye internetically I would if he is "spoofing" tonight too.

JJ

The timing of a political "gotcha" against Hastert before election is certain.

That a number of pages reported the IMs and that there was a general warning distributed to new pages that Foley had problems is damning against the GOP leadership, however.

MayBee

TS- I don't think the "you're crazy" and "get help" was especially non-caustic.

Sue

Maybee,

Fair enough.

Goodnight.

topsecretk9

MayBee

That's true...I'm being self-serving. I should have recognized that.

Sue

Your right. I don't question so much the timing, but the distributor...I don't like the idea of a supposed non-profit who professes "ethics" to be gaming the story. Foley is a scumbag.

MayBee

If the story of pages warning new pages about Foley holds up, all of Congress needs their collective asses kicked. Anybody working in a large office knows how the office gossip works.

I agree with that, completely. As I said though, I'd bet that Foley isn't the only one that had the gossips going. I mean Kennedy, Condit, Gingrich...they were all dogs. Maybe they weren't after boys, but they are dogs.
Hopefully, there aren't any more creepy than Foley.

clarice feldman

jj --where did you get that tidbit that pages were warned off Foley? I've not seen it anywhere.And who issued that warning?

When I had an internship on the Hill, the official Dem photographer had a private office where he used to entertain after work. My Congressman (a Dem) warned me about the guy. Does this mean, the party was wrong to keep him on?

Maybee You can read tonight's Hastert statement here:http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1711435/posts

MayBee

Sue- Good night.

Tops- you were right that he was less caustic than Jason Leopold! I'd be happy to have DougJ stay and debate without the ad homs, though. Unless he wants to ad hom Larry J. :-)

topsecretk9

Gerry Studds and Nany Pelosi were on the CONGRESSIONAL CAUCUS FOR WOMEN'S ISSUES - natch!

Bill Arnold

jj --where did you get that tidbit that pages were warned off Foley? I've not seen it anywhere.And who issued that warning?
All I've seen is that pages warned each other about Foley, e.g.
Washington Post Article

Terrye

Bill:

Maybe the pages just didn't like the way he checked them out and told each other there was something not right about that Foley guy. Things like that go around in offices too.

verner

"In the meantime, please clarify for us how NAMBLA is really a valuable constituency for the Republican Party. I can't wait to hear it!"

Something tells me there's not much of a NAMBLA/Log Cabin Republican crossover.

However, if you did a gallup in Pelosi's home district, and asked if a man should be criminally investigated and prosecuted for exchanging "consentual" e-mail with a young man above the age of concent, what do you think the results would be? If memory serves me, there is rather a strong "cultural" tradition of bonding between older, powerful gay men and the young who are old enough to legally say yes. Do we really want to bring that to strong public scrutiny and condamnation?

Like I said, Foley is lower than scum. The idea that he would prey on pages, entrusted to him, as a member of congress, by their parents is a grotesque breech of trust at the very least. But unless there is some proof that Hasert et. al. had more evidence than those "friendly" e-mails (and he was just made aware of the 3 year old IMs) there is absolutely no proof of a cover-up, nor were there sufficent grounds to conduct an investigation of Foley's behavior.

Tell ya what. When you have credible evidence that Foley a) raped a page b) dropped his pants in front of a page c) slammed a page up against the wall and groped the page's genitals and d) got a BJ from a page in his office--and further, show me that Hasert knew all about it, but still insisted, along with every republican member of congress, on letting Foley stay in office because it dealt with his "private" life--let me know. Then maybe I'll get excited.

JJ

ABC's sources were "former pages" in their story.

clarice feldman

Here is a release from the editor of the St Pete paper:

An editor's note from the St. Petersburg Times, the first news outlet
to evidently receive the email exchange between Mr. Foley and a former
page from Louisiana. It is followed by press statements from the Office of
the Speaker.

A Note From the Editors

There still seems to be some confusion about the order of events
related to our coverage of Rep. Mark Foley and his email exchanges with teenagers he met through the congressional page program. Let me try to clear this up.

In November of last year, we were given copies of an email exchange
Foley had with a former page from Louisiana. Other news organizations later got them,too. The conversation in those emails was friendly chit-chat.

Foley asked the boy about how he had come through Hurricane Katrina and about the boy's upcoming birthday. In one of those emails, Foley casually asked the teen to send him a "pic" of himself. Also among those emails was the page's exchange with a congressional staffer in the office of Rep. Alexander, who had been the teen's sponsor in the page program.

The teen shared his exchange he'd had with Foley and asked the staffer if she thought Foley was out of bounds.

There was nothing overtly sexual in the emails, but we assigned two
reporters to find out more. We found the Louisiana page and talked with
him. He told us Foley's request for a photo made him uncomfortable so he
never responded, but both he and his parents made clear we could not use his name if we wrote a story.

We also found another page who was willing to go on the record, but his experience with Foley was different. He said Foley did send a few emails but never said anything in them that he found inappropriate. We tried to find other pages but had no luck. We spoke with Rep. Alexander, who
said the boy's family didn't want it pursued, and Foley, who insisted
he was merely trying to be friendly and never wanted to make the page
uncomfortable.

So, what we had was a set of emails between Foley and a teenager, who
wouldn't go on the record about how those emails made him feel. As we
said in today's paper, our policy is that we don't make accusations against
people using unnamed sources. And given the seriousness of what would
be implied in a story, it was critical that we have complete confidence in
our sourcing. After much discussion among top editors at the paper, we
concluded that the information we had on Foley last November didn't meet our standard for publication. Evidently, other news organizations felt the same way.

Since that time, we revisited the question more than once, but never
learned anything that changed our position. The Louisiana boy's emails broke into the open last weekend, when a blogger got copies and posted them online.

Later that week, on Thursday, a news blog at the website of ABC News
followed suit, with the addition of one new fact: Foley's Democratic
opponent, Tim Mahoney, was on the record about the Louisiana boy's
emails and was calling for an investigation. That's when we wrote our first
story,for Friday's papers.

After ABC News broke the story on its website, someone contacted ABC
and provided a detailed email exchange between Foley and at least one other page that was far different from what we had seen before. This was overtly sexual, not something Foley could dismiss as misinterpreted
friendliness.

That's what drove Foley to resign on Friday.

I hope this helps clarify a bit about what we knew and when we knew it.

Scott Montgomery

Government & Politics Editor

###


sglover

If my kid did that and if a Congressman talked to him like that.... I would have made an issue of it when it happened, not 40 days before the next election.

Parents, sheesh. Never thinking about how their kids' irresistability might affect the Party o' Values 'n' Ideas! They were probably liberals.

Please keep 'em coming, troglodytes! Even The Onion can't come close to the talent you guys have for self-parody....

Listen, though, the GOP's gonna have that big NAMBLA vote all locked up this November. Pretty shrewd politicking, boys! Er, guys, I mean....

JM Hanes

While the timing of the email story may be political, I don't think there's anything particularly implausible about other pages stepping forward with more revealing IM's once it hit the news.

16/17 years olds are still young enough to start out flattered by an important politician's attention. By the time it becomes really clear that a potential mentor's interest is sexual, it's too embarassing or worrisome to talk about -- till you realize you're not the only one on the receiving end. I also suspect a young guy might be even more reluctant to levy accusations of harassment than a young woman might be.

topsecretk9

Thanks Clarice...that makes things a bit curioysier


--Since that time, we revisited the question more than once, but never learned anything that changed our position. The Louisiana boy's emails broke into the open last weekend, when a blogger got copies and posted them online. ---

SO...how DID these emails get circulated, if they parents did not want to d anything? Who is this blogger? Ross?

topsecretk9

curioysier"

Curiouser.

clarice feldman

The Reps couldn't investigate it because the kid's parents insisted they wanted to protect his privacy. He then gave it to at least one paper (we don't know where the others got it ) but couldn't run it because he wouldn't let the use his name.
And then it mysteriously shows up on a blog, at CREW and at ABC?

Got it.

JJ

There is nothing wrong with anonymous sourcing as long as they are qualified carefully.

ABC does not qualify its "former pages" sourcing very well.

So, at this point, especially if ABC is the only one outlet quoting "former pages", they need to explain how they triangulated their sources reliability a little better...


Terrye

sq:

I was raped when I was very young.I did not chit chat with my attacker about what I was wearing or anything else. I know what it is like to be a victim of a sexual assaul, a lot of women do... and I really don't need any snarky comments from you.

My point is that if I was a parent and I knew about this correspondence I would have dealt with it when it happened. I get the impression the family did not want to do that, and now here we are with people like you acting like the whole thing is a dirty joke.

topsecretk9

Sglove...

Headed up by Studds no less?

Dem Studd's ACTUAL diddling on young men got him re-elected!

clarice feldman

JJ..Yes. We do not have sources for the IMs. do not know how anyone but the recipients could have gotten them, and, indeed, we have no way to know if they are even authentic, do we?

topsecretk9

Later that week, on Thursday, a news blog at the website of ABC News followed suit, with the addition of one new fact: Foley's Democratic opponent, Tim Mahoney, was on the record about the Louisiana boy's emails and was calling for an investigation. That's when we wrote our first story, for Friday's papers.

Foley's a scumbag, but if Dems were sitting on this to use for political gain, then they are just as guity as sin for exploiting a child ... this is stinky from both ends.

Where are the parents?

verner

SO...how DID these emails get circulated, if they parents did not want to d anything

They couldn't. Which makes you wonder what the back story is going to be to all of this. And why go to the democrat opponent?

Something really stinks here. The LA boy's emails themselves were not sufficent to make the charges Mahoney was making. The papers had months and didn't bite based on the scanty evidence he, and the boy's family, had. He would have had to have known about the IMs too--or risk looking like a total homophobe (everybody had heard the "Foley is gay" gossip.) This stuff has been planned for a long time, and released for maximum impact.

sglover

My point is that if I was a parent and I knew about this correspondence I would have dealt with it when it happened. I get the impression the family did not want to do that, and now here we are with people like you acting like the whole thing is a dirty joke.

It's the frantic, pretzel-logic attempt to defend The Party that's the dirty joke. But I know you right-wingers have a hard time seeing that, or... Well, pretty much anything that your masters don't tell you.

Like I said before: Stay calm. Your leaders will inform you of the approved talking points over the next day or two. Rest assured that it will all be the fault of the liberal traitors.

sglover

Foley's a scumbag, but if Dems were sitting on this to use for political gain, then they are just as guity as sin for exploiting a child ... this is stinky from both ends.

Stop! Stop!! I can barely breathe, you guys have me laughing so hard!!!

Yeah, obviously the Dems "are just as guity as sin"!!! Why, it's all Al Gore's fault! He kept talking about the internet so much, he put ideas in poor Foley's head!!!

Are you guys taking this act to Vegas? Or did I stumble into some kind of superb performance art piece? C'mon, clue me in!

DougJ

I was raped when I was very young.

I'm very sorry to hear that. I hope you know that whatever our political differences, that is something everyone respects you for overcoming. Have a good night.

JM Hanes

Clarice:

Thanks for revisiting the CREW/IM thing. It looks to me like Hastert/Boehner were in pretty much the same position as the folks at the St. Petersburg paper. Nevertheless, this may well remain a difficult story to handle, because there are still so many folks out there (á la Ted Stevens) who couldn't tell you the difference between an email and an IM on a good day -- for that matter, even Hastert could conceivably be one of 'em.

JJ

The burden is on ABC, not on the pages.

I might have said it better: "There is nothing wrong with anonymous sourcing as long as it is qualified carefully by those publishing the news."

See the Wilson stories for wrong ways of handling anonymous sources.

granny

From a search on Google Blog it appears the origin of some of this was September 18 on stopsexpredators.blogspot.com, which see.

Terrye

Doug:

It was a long time ago.

topsecretk9

Sglove

Please, if you even ever should a shred of indignation over Dem misconduct you'd have a gold star...if they colluded on this, if Mahoney sat on emails to spring out when they were leaked, then he's exploiting a child too. That is the way it works, you don't oppo children to use as an attack ad for you campaign.

MayBee

I was raped when I was very young.I did not chit chat with my attacker about what I was wearing or anything else. I know what it is like to be a victim of a sexual assaul, a lot of women do... and I really don't need any snarky comments from you.

Terrye- bless you.

Terrye

sqlover:

How old are you? I asked because you sound about 16 yourself.

Just think if the evil Bushies were not around and Saddam was still in power his son the child molestor and baby killer would still be plying his trade. But hey, that is child's play {as they say} compared to this.

Paul S

Well, let's see:

1. The House leadership kept the fact that Foley was going after young boys under wraps.
2. They still enthusiastically support Don Sherwood, who admits having a multiple year affair with a much younger mistress, and settled a suit charging that he choked her.

But if you combined those two---they'd have been real ethical and done their jobs? Come on.

As John Cole says, its more likely that the GOP just wants to keep power than that they were scared of the awesome power of Andrew Sullivan.

http://www.balloon-juice.com/?p=7395

MayBee

sglover- there is nobody here cheerleading Foley. In fact, consensus seems to be that he was reprehensible in his actions. We just can't be bothered to put that very obvious disclaimer before every post. Know that it is there, and keep it in mind when you read every comment.

Terrye

MayBee:

Like I said it was a long time ago, and maybe that is why this all seems so strange to me. It just does not feel right. It is too contrived. I would not have had the presence of mind to save an instant message, I was too scared and wanted out of that situation too badly.

verner

You know, I'm trying to figure out why a good liberal democrat would think Foley's actions were the least bit objectionable. I mean really, what do we have.

1) Foley showed a friendly interest in young men.

That is perfectly acceptable. Gay men have a right to be Boy Scout leaders don't they? Did Foley proposition them? Certainly not!

2) Foley "exchanged" some rather lurid (flirty) e-mails to a young man, not in his employ, who seemed, per the replies, quite interested in his attention. And all of this occured on his private IM account, far away from the office.

Gee Wiz, and we want a special counsel for THAT! What is this AMERIKA. Where's the ACLU when you need them. Somebody's civil rights are getting violated!

Seems to me, they only hypocrites in this tale are Foley, and the democrats who are trying to beat this into some type of wide ranging GOP scandal--all the while, Hasert did the right thing and demanded the guys immediate resignation. I mean, really, what else was Hasert suppose to do, hang draw and quarter him?

Jeff Lemmon

Foley is a sick bastard, that much is clear. I mean, who likes child molesters (accept for other child molesters)?

Let's be realistic - would Dennis Hastert, or any other sane politician, ignore evidence like this? Of course not. He has too much to lose.

Allegations by the left that Hastert tossed this under the rug are outrageous. He has zero incentive to do such a thing. If someone says "he did it do the GOP wouldn't lose that seat" I may gag.

Really people, the GOP is not run by Satan (as Chavez might have you believe). Some things are more important than votes.

I posted a gem of a photo of Foley in an IM exchange with a sheep on my blog. Check it out.

Gabriel Sutherland

The Republican in charge maintaining Republican control of the House issues as a statement that is the death blow to that cause?

That's what just occurred. If Reynolds told Hastert about this in late 2005 or early 2006 then there is no reason Foley should be resigning now. He should have resigned ASAP. There's no way the Republican leadership can hope a story so impacting as this could slip through the cracks until after the election.

It's going to be open season on all the Republican leadership in the House. Nobody is safe.

Let's go to the reporting of ABC News.

But, according to several former congressional pages, the congressman used the Internet to engage in sexually explicit exchanges.

Hmm, pages? So there's more than one? Good grief, let's go question CREW.

But wait, there's more reporting from ABC.

This all came to a head in the last 24 hours. Yesterday, we asked the congressman about some much tamer e-mails from one page, and he said he was just being overly friendly. After we posted that story online, we began to hear from a number of other pages who sent these much more explicit, instant messages. When the congressman realized we had them, he resigned.

So on the first day of the October before election day the issue is going to be the sexual malfeasance of the Republican congressman that may have broken the laws that HE WROTE.

The Democrats have the right to remain silent. If they so choose, then they're sweeping the whole lot. If they try and talk about this then they let the Republicans back into the race.

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