Worse than people think
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Mark Foley is a predator.
Even the pages knew that he was a man to avoid. Those that didn't soon got the unwanted attention of a man old enough to be their grandfather. But this had been the modus operandi for Foley for years.
Rumors about his taste for young servicemen abound in South Florida.
Let's think about this for a second.
Foley's alleged taste in sex partners were much younger, almost inexperienced sexual partners. But more importantly, he liked to prey on partners who were powerless.
Movies often portray servicemen and women much older than they are. Most are teens who look like teens. So what Foley was allegedly doing is crusing these kids, some gay, some curious, some just homesick and desperate for some attention, but all powerless against a Congressman. And all desperate to keep any hint of homosexuality a secret. After all, you get caught in the military, no job, no college, and maybe no home to go back to.
Foley would have an amazing power over such a person.
As he would over a page.
People are getting confused by age of consent and sexuality issues.
But simply put, there is clear and convincing evidence that Foley abused his office in Congress. His target was Congressional pages, high school students.
Even if they were all 18, it's an incredible abuse of power for an elected official to try to seduce pages. But 10th Graders? We normally jail people who seduce children over the internet.
But in Washington, he sought an even younger and more vunerable victim, in a Congressional page. Away from from home for the first time, away from parental supervision. Even if he didn't touch them, he could set the stage for grooming them.
Republicans will try to deflect this. They wil bring up the case of Congressman Gerry Stubbs, who was caught having sex with a 17 year old male page in 1983. Or Clinton.
But the difference is this: Stubbs was censured by the House, who did not protect him. Clinton was impeached, and was not protected. First, this is not 1983, like with sexual harassment and stalking, child predation was treated differently. It wasn't until 1984 that the first big child sex predation scandal in the Catholic Church happened. Now, in 2006, Stubbs most likely would have been forced from Congress, investigated for sending sexually explicit e-mails and IM's to a minor and probably faced prosecution. Resigning from Congress would have been demanded as a minimum
It is clear, like so many other enablers of child sex predators, they tried to handle it internally, instead of calling the police. John Mark Karr, the freak who claimed to have murdered Jonbenet Ramsey, worked as a substitute teacher for years in several US states, was fired for bizarre behavior with kids, yet was never turned in to the police.
Hastert and the House leadership not only left a child sex predator in charge of the caucus of Missing and Exploited Children, they let him remain in physical contact with other pages. It was only when Foley's sexually explicit and possibly criminal communications were released to the public, was he forced from Congress.
Why do you think Karl Rove blocked him from running for Senate. Banging teenaged sailors is not something you want to have come up in a Senatorial Campaign. This is far worse.
Foley's dishonest attempt to claim it was a smear by his opponent was bad enough. No sane person would do that, and risk their own campaign with a backlash which would swamp it.
But the fact remains that the House leadership had a known child sex predator, not only did they not disuade him from running to hold his seat, they kept his secret and did not inform law enforcement about it.
I think it's clear this kind of leadership is unworthy of the House, or a school board.
posted by Steve @ 6:51:00 PM