30 September 2006

Our Leaders' Hypocricy on the March; Exemplar of the Week

Foley pushed child porn bills, asked: "Do I make you a little horny?

Before he resigned from the House of Representatives today, Florida Rep. Mark Foley was the co-chairman of the Congressional Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus and somebody who spoke out a lot about the risks young people face from adults who might sexually exploit them.

When Foley wasn't doing that, ABC News says, he was instant-messaging male House pages with questions like, "Do I make you a little horny?"

Among the other highlights from Foley's congressional career:

In July of this year, Foley's office issued a press release congratulating the U.S. Senate for passing the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, a bill Foley co-sponsored in the House. Among other things, the act expanded the definition of sex offenders who must register with state authorities to include those who "use ... the Internet to facilitate or commit a crime against a minor."

Also in July, Foley introduced the Internet Stopping Adults Facilitating the Exploitation of Today’s Youth (SAFETY) Act, a bill aimed at cracking down on child pornography on the Web. "We have to stop the supply of child pornography by attacking the source," Foley said in the press release. "Authorities tell us the Internet has made child pornography easier to disseminate, easier to produce, and easier to turn a profit on."

In testimony before the House Judiciary Committee in 2005, Foley said: "Sex offenders are not petty criminals. They prey on our children like animals and will continue to do it unless stopped. We need to change the way we track these pedophiles. ... It has often been noted that a society can be judged on how it best treats it children. We have a moral responsibility to do everything in our power to protect our kids from these animals. This bill will turn the tables and make prey out of these predators. Failing to act on this measure is just playing Russian roulette with our children's lives."

In July 2004, Foley celebrated Internet Safety Day by warning parents that the Web had become "a new medium for pedophiles to reach out to our most vulnerable citizens --America's children."

And in 2003, Foley held a press conference to denounce Democratic activists for engaging in a "repulsive" campaign to tag him with the "slur" of being gay.
Link. And here's a little proof. And:
According to the CREW posting, the boy e-mailed a colleague in Alexander's office about Foley's e-mails, saying, "This freaked me out." On a request for a photo, the boy repeated the word "sick" 13 times.

He said Foley asked for his e-mail when the boy gave him a thank you card. The boy also said Foley wrote that he e-mailed another page.

"He's such a nice guy," Foley wrote about the other boy. "acts much older than his age ... and hes in really great shape ... i am just finished riding my bike on a 25 mile journey now heading to the gym ... whats school like for you this year?"

In other e-mails, Foley wrote, "I am back in Florida now ... its nice here ... been raining today ... it sounds like you will have some fun over the next few weeks ... how old are you now?" and "how are you weathering the hurricane ... are you safe ... send me an email pic of you as well."
Link.

The smoking gun is here. (ABC News makes penitence for "The Note" and all ABC's other sins -- til the inevitable next time.)
...Foley had been expected to be a "shoo-in" for reelection until it was reported Thursday that he had sent a series of e-mail messages in which he asked the page for a picture and a description of the "stuff" he liked "to do."

Foley's office and campaign staff had insisted that there was nothing inappropriate about a 52-year-old member of Congress engaging in such communications with a 16-year-old former page. Foley spokesman Jason Kello had accused Democrat Tim Mahoney's campaign of distributing the emails as part of a "political smear campaign of the worst sort." "They have taken these e-mails out of context in order to smear a good man," Kello told the Associated Press. Now Foley says that he's "deeply sorry ... for letting down my family and the people of Florida I have had the privilege to represent."

While the e-mail messages were vague enough that Foley might have explained them away successfully, ABC News says it has obtained instant-messaging text he sent to other underage male pages in which the congressman "made repeated references to sexual organs and acts." ABC says Foley's resignation came shortly after it questioned him about the IM content.
Link.

And among Foley's great moments in leadership:
“It’s vile,” said Rep. Mark Foley, R-West Palm Beach. “It’s more sad than anything else, to see someone with such potential throw it all down the drain because of a sexual addiction.”
One can only hope this is a tip of an iceberg, more like the iceberg the Titanic hit, causing the ship to go down (pun acknowledged but not necessarily intended -- Freudian slip maybe?). Or maybe it'll be the tipping point, not just a matter of losing Foley's district but the point at which a critical mass has had it with being led by anti-American nutjobs.

And a disclosure: None of the above is to cast any aspersion on Foley's sexuality -- any aspect of it. The issue is hypocrisy and dishonesty (what all politicos are made of but what the wingnuts are exclusively made of but for greed), in this case interfering peoples' private lives.

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