Why Didn’t Hastert Know? And Why Didn’t He Want to Know It?

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Congressman Mark Foley once commented that he was dismayed and disheartened by the tainting of the Presidency by Bill Clinton’s “sexual addiction problem.” What comes around. . .
I have not commented much on the blog about this growing scandal about who knew what when in the Mark Foley/Congressional page imbroglio.
But Hastert needs to be pursued more vigorously by the press. He keeps stating that he “never read” the emails or instant message chains.


According to this report:

[Louisiana GOP Congressman Rodney] Alexander said he twice reported the e-mails to the boy’s parents and to House leaders, including Speaker Dennis Hastert, which Hastert confirmed.
“My first job was protecting the innocence of that young man and his family,” Alexander said. “When I informed the family, they said they were aware of the situation and told me that they weren’t going to pursue it because of the harm that it could do to their son.”
Hastert said he didn’t pursue the matter at the parents’ request, which Alexander confirmed. Hastert also said he never saw the contents of the e-mail.
“Nobody ever asked. . .to see the e-mail,” Alexander said.
In the e-mails, Foley asked the page how he was doing after Hurricane Katrina and what he wanted for his birthday. The congressman also asked the boy to send a photo of himself.
Alexander said the e-mails, though not expressly sexual, “made me feel uneasy.”
“It wasn’t normal for (Foley) to be sending those e-mails to a 16-year-old, which is why I informed the House leadership,” he said. “The young man clearly felt that the e-mails were creepy, which is why he notified our office.”

Our highest political chambers and office-holders have become world class experts in manufacturing deniability.
Hastert did not want to read the emails — even though he had a responsibility to do so — because he did not know how this affair would tilt politically.
He failed to make himself aware — hoping this would blow over. He failed to lead at a time when his leadership was what the child, his family and the nation would have expected.
It is not during easy times when one’s character and norms come into view, it is during times of stress.
And at this key challenge to the “values” promulgated by both parties, Speaker Hastert chose to read no evil and see no evil.
Journalists need to pose the question, “WHY DIDN’T YOU FEEL THAT IT WAS YOUR SOLEMN RESPONSIBILITY TO INVESTIGATE THE EVIDENCE AND TO READ THE IMs AND EMAIL?”
— Steve Clemons
Update: This right-wing blog, Passionate America, has outed the under age page whose name has not been disclosed by the major press. The post has now been removed, but it has been up much of the day.

Comments

21 comments on “Why Didn’t Hastert Know? And Why Didn’t He Want to Know It?

  1. Jaded says:

    Wonder how it came about Foley’s IMs were able to be published in the first place? Who logged them? Who saved them? How were they stored and where? And how were they solicited?
    There is no doubt the media pays good money to get them, but we should be made aware of the whole trail from origination to ABC.
    Because it means someone has some incredible agenda and the power to pull it off at will. It doesn’t appear the page or Foley knew they would be shilled. Yet, they were.

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  2. Pissed Off American says:

    Oops…..meant to say…..
    If it was only whistles getting blown, we would NOT be having this conversation

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  3. Pissed Off American says:

    “Maintaining republican power in the house, trumped blowing the whistle on this pervert by his “knowing” fellow repubs.”
    If it was only whistles getting blown, we would be having this conversation.

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  4. Frank says:

    The dems must hammer home over and over again, the link between the money Foley has accumulated in his “pacs”, the money he doled out to fellow repubs, and the safe seat as the reason for “Foleygate”. Maintaining republican power in the house, trumped blowing the whistle on this pervert by his “knowing” fellow repubs. How many other law breaking republican congressman/woman have this same structural scenario going for them? If ever a truism was coined to explain “Foleygate”,… “follow the money” is it.

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  5. Jaded says:

    David Corn’s blog refers to a list being circulated that is going to make Heidi Fleiss’s address book look like sanitary wipes.

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  6. Pissed Off American says:

    Food for thought about my theory that the FBI is being micro-managed by the criminal Bush Administration.
    http://tinyurl.com/kvd3s
    From the mouth of Sibel Edmonds…..
    “…what happened was, FBI had this information since 1997. In 1999, the Clinton Administration actually asked the Department of Justice to appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate Hastert, and certain other elected officials that were not named in this (VF) article, to be investigated formally. And the Department of Justice actually went about appointing this prosecutor, but after the Administration changed they quashed that investigation and they closed it despite the fact they had all sorts of evidence, again I’m talking about wiretaps, documents- paper documents- that was highly explosive and could have been easily used to indict the Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert. That investigation was closed in 2001, and this was around the time I started reporting my cases to the Congress.”

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  7. Pissed Off American says:

    I am amazed that these pieces of shit in the Capital are as slimey as they are making themselves appear to be. Here is their latest argument about why this Foley/Hastert clusterfuck is no big deal. It seems that it is “suspicious” that this is coming out so close to an election. Like it is the DEMOCRAT’S fault Foley has a hard-on for young male pages. Yeah, its one big partisan plot. Gee, so what are we supposed to do, IGNORE Foley’s attraction to young boys until AFTER the elections??? I betcha Foley woulda loved that, it woulda given him more time to work on actually diddlin’ one of these kids instead of just sending them suggestive emails.
    Look, heres the deal. Hastert and the Republican leadership, across the board, are despicable scum. We really didn’t need a portfolio of Foley’s sexual fantasies to come to this conclusion, but I guess some Americans, in fact a great majority, are just slow learners.
    And there is an over-riding issue here that is recieving far too little consideration from the press. Exactly who headed (or, should I say, “headed OFF”?) the investigation by the FBI A LONG TIME BEFORE THIS STORY BROKE when concerns were raised to them about Foley’s behaviour??? Has Bush’s ass-kissin’ advocate, Gonzales, had his tentacles inserted into this thing, early on? Surely, if the FBI had questioned any pages, some of them would have come forward by now. And if the FBI did NOT question any pages, WHY NOT? Wouldn’t that be a logical avenue to pursue if one was investigating Foley’s treatment of male pages? Look, if Hastert ignored the early warning signs, it is despicable, and he should immediately step down (although I must admit I like the fact that he is hanging in there long enough that the odds are increasingly good that he will eventually find himself in the unenviable position of either telling the TRUTH to the FBI, and being seen as a liar for the public statements he has made, OR he will PERJURE himself to the FBI). But more despicable even than Hastert’s inaction is that of the FBI. These clowns didn’t find anything alarming about Foley’s behaviour, yet the media did??? Come on, I realize this is Bushworld, but that is a bit hard to swallow. These guys are on the frontlines of Bush’s ridiculous “War on Terror”, yet they can’t even catch some guy getting off while sending lascivious IM’s to kids??? I mean, lets be blunt, what exactly WAS Foley doing during his cozy little cyber trysts? What other reason is there that he would he ask some kid to disrobe while he was having an IM conversation with him, except to engage in cyber-sex? I mean hey, it might be a bit rude to be so blunt about it, but good God, it is time we started inserting a dose of REALITY in our conversations about these slimey sons of bitches.
    Now, I am watching CNN, and there is some asshole named Michael Medvid (? SP) spinning like crazy that it is a Democrat plot, and some other asshole, whose name I didn’t catch, claiming that it is a gay issue, and if the flags would have been raised about Foley earlier, than the liberals would have been up in arms because Foley is gay, and it would have been decried as an “attack on gays” by the left. Gads, these people are unbelievably slimey. Forget Foley’s actions, it all the Left’s fault. Forget Hastert’s inaction, because Fordham, and a slew of other people are lyin’, and Hastert is a squeeky clean saint, just trying to serve America. Right.
    Screw these people. They are an EMBARRASSMENT to every single tenet that this this nation once stood for. I am so disgusted with the lot of these premadonna elitist pieces of shit. Our government has become a JOKE, and the joke is on us.

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  8. karenk says:

    That wasn’t very nice joepa, considering that most of the world’s violence (murders, wars, rapes, pedophilia and violence against children) IS perpetuated by men. Just wondering what good men think about it is all….

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  9. Christian says:

    Regarding the outing of the potential victim/witness, of course “i just link, you decide” Instapundit, via Roger Simon and PJ, linked to this invitation to abuse.
    I wrote a letter to the Tennessee Bar Ethics Committee and the Deans of the UT Law School about Glenn Reynolds.
    Dear Deans Sobieski, Blaze, and Mr. Pera.
    My name is xxx. I’m writing with regard to a question regarding a UT Law faculty member, Glenn Reynolds, and violations of the Tennessee Bar Association Rules of Conduct. See the end of my letter for links to referencing material
    On October 5, Mr. Reynolds, in his widely-read webblog “Instapundit”, linked to several items regarding the much-reported matter of Congressional Pages and Rep. Foley (R-FL).
    Several of these were links to then linked to ethically-dubious websites, one of which managed to publish the identity and private information of one of the potential victims of what could yet be a Federal crime, and is most likey a matter under review by the FBI, DOJ, and Congress.
    While this potential witness is no longer a minor, the apparent reason for the links is to question whether the young person was a minor at the time of the incident.
    The popularity of Mr. Reynolds’ website would have send potentially hundreds of thousands of people to the relatively obscure website published data. Given the political passions surrounding the case, that no doubt exposed this person to potential abuse if not threats. Lastly, the investigation into this matter has only just entered a new stage of scrutiny by Federal agents and attorneys, and may yet lead to charges and a trial, which could result in this potential witness being intimidated or hurrassed.
    I have no doubt that primary responsibilty for violating that person’s privacy lies with the website Mr. Reynolds linked to. I also have no doubt that Mr. Reynolds, as a Yale-educated attorney and UT faculty member, knew what the potential implications of giving such actions publicity might be.
    I am also confident that he would claim linking to controversial material spares him of having to make a judgement about the nature of such material, leaving it to his readers to decide. I am confident that knowing the questionable nature of the material, he felt safer linking to a colleague who linked to the material, rather than linked directly. I have no doubt that these are cop-outs, and against the spirit of self-regulation and conduct emphasized by the TBA Rules of Conduct.
    As I read the TBA rules of conduct, rule 4.4 states that a Tennessee attorney may not “use means that have no substantial purpose other than to embarrass, delay, or burden a third person or knowingly use methods of obtaining evidence that violate the legal rights of such a person”.
    Mr. Reynolds violated the spirit of item 7 in the RPC preamble (… a lawyer is also guided by personal conscience and the approbation of professional peers. A lawyer should strive to attain the highest level of skill, to improve the law and the legal profession, and to exemplify the legal profession’s ideals of public service.)
    I don’t think for a moment that this action, whether in the end a violation under the letter of the law, was an ethical one. I’m appalled that someone with the public profile of Glenn Reynolds would do this. If I was a member of the Bar in Tennessee or a member of the UT community, I’d be ashamed.
    Yours,
    Christian Sporleder
    References
    http://passionateamerica.blogspot.com/2006/10/meet-jordan-edmund-one-mark-foley.html
    The potential 21 year old potential victim/witness privacy violation, invitation to abuse, which Tennessee law professor Glenn Reynolds linked to through a cut out of fellow blogger Roger Simon and Pajama media.
    http://thinkprogress.org/2006/10/05/outing-foley-victim/
    A quick overview, with a graph of relative website traffic rankings
    http://instapundit.com/
    (Glenn’s website, please scroll down to October 4 and 5 entries regarding Rep Foley and Pages to see what he’s promoting.
    PS. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions or want copies of the material in question forwarded.

    Reply

  10. Frank says:

    I think Hastert was listening to the piano player in the who……er……..,I mean the “peoples” house, rather than listening to tales of pedophilia from his fellow republican goosesteppers.
    Gee,… I almost insulted a segment of socity that makes our congress function in such a sterling manner.

    Reply

  11. Christian says:

    here’s what I can’t believe. Hastert is described as being on the pad, some Turks bragging about bribing him, in a Vanity Fair article.
    Then the Chicago Tribune suggests that he turned some farmland into future suburbia via a roadworks earmark, netting him in the low 7 figures with partners.
    And it takes an apparently well-known perv in his party to bring him down.

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  12. Jon Stopa says:

    The Speaker of the House is third in line for the Presidency, isn’t he? The Republicans want to wait until January until the Hasterd stuff is cleared up? What if the most awful event occurred and Bush and Cheney died. Hastert would become President! Remember how Ford became President. Not in my country. This man is stupid, at least.

    Reply

  13. parrot says:

    Fordham resigns claiming that the Leadership is burning him!
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061004/ap_on_go_co/congress_pages
    The gist is that he reported problems with Foley to the leadership and they did nothing…in 2004.

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  14. joepa says:

    “ANd why can’t good men ever see and acknowledge how evil bad men can be?(or at least they don’t seem to)”
    what?? you might want to discuss this with your therapist 😉

    Reply

  15. Marky says:

    The underlying dynamic is that Foley’s seat was not a secure (R), so they didn’t want to take a risk. By the way, Foley was a key vote on CAFTA, which passed by two votes. I’m sure the fact that the leadership knew of his page problems was not used to influence his vote.

    Reply

  16. Steve says:

    Re: Mr. Lake’s comment. Ummm, not so much. From what I’ve read, ABC did not have to do much gumshoe-ing to get the IMs after seeing the emails. An actual investigation would have uncovered them and then it would have been “game over.” I am a very partisan Dem, but I’m still amazed that the Rep leadership response to this was to stick their fingers in their ears and go “la-la-la” as loudly as they could. This was old and sweaty political dynamite that could (and almost certainly would) explode at some point. Strategically speaking, I’d think they would have wanted to control the detonation by getting Foley out of the House and into a think tank, or, as lefty bloggers call it half in derision and half in admiration, “wingnut welfare.”

    Reply

  17. Steve Clemons says:

    Eli Lake makes an important distinction as there seems to be a difference in “sexual depth” between the IMs and the emails. However, it doesn’t change the fact that Hastert had a responsibility to see what was at hand with the material that was being discussed. The same would have been true with Gephardt if he had been Leader or any other Congressional leader in a position of line responsibility on this ethical matter.
    best,
    Steve Clemons

    Reply

  18. Eli Lake says:

    There may be more that will drip out over the coming weeks as to the extent of what the page committee or leadership knew of Foley’s relationship with the former pages. However, the sexually explicit IMs, which everyone agrees is egregious and shameful, were provided to Brian Ross by the former pages. As far as we know, the committee only had the emails, which were creepy but hardly the same thing. Just saying this is an important distinction.

    Reply

  19. John says:

    H[asturd] keeps stating that he “never read” the emails or instant message chains.
    Inquiring minds also want to know if H[asturd] ever wrote such emails.
    Something is not right here.
    Are the G(rand) O(ld) P(edophiles) in DC in anyway resemblant to the ancient Greek statesmen who also sought the flesh of young boys?

    Reply

  20. karenk says:

    Hastert should work for the Catholic Church…they too were good at ignoring and sweeping under the rug these kinds of nasty little things….Sorry but nearly always perpetuated by MEN! What’s up wtih your gender? ANd why can’t good men ever see and acknowledge how evil bad men can be?(or at least they don’t seem to)

    Reply

  21. pauline says:

    Hastert’s double-tongued, do-nothing-unless-it’s politically-expedient policies remind me of the incident earlier this year where he was to do a “photo op” with greener cars at a gas station just blocks from his DC office. An aide drove him to the photo op, but upon leaving, instead of getting a ride back to his office, he was dropped off at his gas-guzzlin’ suv parked on a side street not far from the gas station. Then Hastert drove himself the few blocks back to his DC office!!
    So, Mr. Hastert, make it appear you are concerned about the environment and our dependence on oil, but don’t do a damn thing to personally walk-your-talk.

    Reply

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