Saturday, September 30, 2006

Page-Turner in Pensacola


By now, the whole world knows Mark Foley, a high-ranking Republican congressman from Florida, abruptly resigned his elective office Friday afternoon just as ABC News was about to release copies of sexually explicit emails he has been sending for years -- for years! -- to underage male pages who work for the U.S. House of Representatives.

The world knows, too, that the Republican leadership of the U.S. House knew for many months about ex-congressman Mark Foley's proclivities for pederasty. But the Republican leadership did nothing except -- we're not making this up -- put him in charge of drafting the "Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006."

Our neighboring blogger at Why Now? links to everything else you need to know. Foley's behavior is disgraceful and very likely to land him in the criminal courts.

We wouldn't bother saying anything more about this tawdry mess -- there's so much worse going on right now in Washington -- except for one little detail: ex-congressman Foley, writing in 2003 under the assumed name of "Maf54" appears to have committed at least some of his pedophiliac felonies right here in Pensacola. The proof of jurisdiction appears in one email itself: [caution: pdf file]:
(7:32:26 PM): whered ya go this afternoon
Maf54 (7:33:39 PM): i am in pensecola...had to catch a plane
Xxxxxxxxx (7:33:47 PM): oh well thats fun
Maf54 (7:34:04 PM): indeed
Xxxxxxxxx (7:34:14 PM): what are you doing in pensecola
Maf54 (7:34:21 PM): now in my hotel room
Xxxxxxxxx (7:34:39 PM): well why did you go there
Maf54 (7:35:02 PM): for the campaign
Since Foley hails from the 16th congressional district, some 600 miles south of Pensacola, what "campaign" could it have been that brought him to Pensacola? Whaddaya bet it was the early months of the reelection campaigns of George W. Bush and local congressman Jeff Miller (R-FL).

Can anyone tell us, are U.S. presidents and congressmen mandatory reporters under Florida law?

Sept. 30 - AM
That legislation Foley wrote imposes "mandatory 10-year prison sentences" for sex crimes against children. This inspires Billmon to look for a deeper verity:
"So the congressional point man on sexual predation is -- or rather was -- a sexual predator. Why am I not surprised?
"I think there's a long post, if not a book, to be written about this particular truth, which is the Jeckyll-and-Hyde split between appearances and reality in 21st century America -- the America where prostitutes pose as journalists (or vice versa), 'Christian' activists lobby for legalized torture, generals swagger like Rambo in front of the cameras but cringe before their civilian masters in private, libertarian law professors write secret memos justifying the creation of a police state, sworn enemies of big government gorge themselves on pork, vomit, then gorge some more, and U.S. Senators with the racial values of a klavern leader masquerade as 'compassionate conservatives.'

"And then, of course, there's our president, who preaches democracy and freedom by day and rewrites the Geneva Conventions by night."
Sept. 30 PM
We found the web site that seems to have been among the first to receive some of ex-congressman Foley's emails. And nearly a month ago, this message was posted at Daily Kos. (HT to Glenn Greenwald and Why Now?) All of which helps to explain the outrage of former prosecutor and current mother Christy Hardin Smith, who asks several important questions, including:
"didn't Denny Hastert and John Boehner and Roy Blunt and Tom DeLay and all the rest owe something to the parents of these children beyond 'well, we want to stay in power, so we'll keep our mouths shut and hope he doesn't hit on any more boys until after the election?'"

Monday, Oct. 2

The Scene of Foley's Crime
" has to wonder: on the very day Mark Foley was sending out his obscene emails and text messages, did anyone in that roomful of journalists happen to notice signs of Foley's claimed alcohol problem?"


Bryan said...

This could get really nasty, really quickly. A Congresscritter, per se, is not a mandatory reporter, but pages are in a school operated by Congress, and anyone associated with the school for pages is a mandatory reporter in most jurisdictions.

When Foley was reported to the leadership, he was reported to the Republican head of the committee that oversees the page school, and a prosecutor could certainly make the case that the committee had a mandatory obligation to report the incident.

Foley definitely needs to take care of this through the Feds, as Florida is not a forgiving state on this issue, and he doesn't want to see the inside of a Florida prison.

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