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The thoughts and theories of a guy who basically should have gone to bed hours ago.

I know, I know - what's the point? But look at it this way - I stayed up late writing it, but you're reading it...

Let's call ourselves even & move on, OK?

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Sunday, October 08, 2006

Hastert's Folly: Foley's e-mails from last year

Here are the e-mails that Congressman Foley sent to a congressional page back in 2005 (as reported by the Stop Sex Predators blog). These are the mails that Dennis Hastert alledgedly saw and didn't react strongly enough to.

I gotta say, the text of these seems so innocuous as to suggest that there must be more, otherwise why would the Republicans be warning pages to stay away from Foley? The closest thing to inappropriate is "How are you weathering the hurricane? Are you safe? Send me a pic of you as well..." and that's only creepy because "send me a picture" is read through the "child molester" lens. Absent other information, I can easily see how this could be read as "You had a hurricane in your hometown - send me a picture so I can see the damage/make sure you're OK." Not a particularly normal thing to ask for, but certainly not worthy of decisive action, right?

If this is really all there was a year ago, I can see why Hastert is refusing to step down. The Democrats are pushing the "he knew about it a year ago" line, and letting people assume "it" is the talk of masturbation, removing clothing, etc. that's included in the instant messages, when really "it" is "what do you want for your birthday?" and "send me a picture."

As I say, the fact that Hastert went as far as contacting the boy's parents (who asked that it be kept quiet) and had other pages warned to watch out for Foley is the real smoking gun here, suggesting that there are either more e-mails, or that Hastert had other ways of knowing what a creep Foley was. 'Cause the e-mails on their own just ain't cutting it (at least not for me...)

posted by Brian at 12:20 AM


  • I've been thinking about blogging this myself, but in case I don't get to it -- what's *not* being said in the press is that it's quite likely that hundreds of people knew about this for years. Capitol Hill is a gossip factory, and the best stuff is the info about the members themselves.

    Think about the Hill social dynamic. You have thousands of under-30somethings showing up from around the country, helping to *run* the country, and generally passionately committed to their causes. They work long hours and suffer huge successes and failures. If you don't think this crowd is frequently banging each other's brains out, you're crazy. If you think that Congressional pages are "too young" to involve themselves in this, you're crazy *and* you don't remember what you were like 20 years ago.

    The thing is, Congress is in loco parentis on the pages, and while I don't know this for certain, I'm guessing that banging a page is a hanging offense. *Not* because it's illegal for a 22-year-old to bang an 18-year-old, but because the power dynamic between even a staffer and a page is so lopsized.

    So I'm guessing that Hastert knew about this before he became speaker, as did anyone else on the Hill who cared to know. I'm guessing a ton of staffers knew, too, as did any media members who cared to gossip to them. Certainly the pages knew, and we all know how well teenagers keep secrets, yes?

    I wouldn't be a bit surprised if the Democrats and media have been sitting on this *precisely* because they said, "Man, I can't use this." And I likewise wouldn't be surprised if it came out now because some former page knew that this was *precisely* the time to inflict the most damage.

    By Anonymous Jeff Porten, at 5:02 PM, October 10, 2006  

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