Speaker of the House Dennis "Jabba" Hastert gave an interview to Rush Limbaugh on his radio program yesterday. The transcript of the interview is readily available at his site, but I would never send anyone to that hellhole. I took the hit so you don’t have to and here is what I found.
First things first: I really believe Dennis Hastert is lying. Yes, I said it. He has told two versions of the famous "what did you know and when" story. He is a bad liar and I love the bad liars who forget what they said in one interview as they go through another. It is great because their previous answers are there for everyone to see. Well, everyone but Hastert, who probably could have used the notes.
The problem with Hastert's tale is that this is not a new problem with Mark Foley. He has been steadily harassing male pages pretty much since 1995. There have been complaints in the past about his behavior and everyone, including Hastert, was aware of his problem with the dirty talking. There are currently two different stories being blurred into one and Hastert is using the distraction rather well. He is not lying when he says he had not seen the emails before Friday. He did not “see” them, but he knew about them and that is the where the lie is.
In the Limbaugh interview Hastert admits to knowing about a problem with Foley. “There were two pieces of paper out there, one that we knew about and we acted on; one that happened in 2003 we didn't know about.” What is the one they knew about then exactly and how did they act on it?
The action is where Hastert can be saved or destroyed. If he had an internal investigation on it and found nothing, I cannot blame Hastert. They impeached a President for having a similar situation arise with an intern. The Republicans have set themselves up as the moral party, so Hastert must have unloaded on Foley when they acted on it, right?
Well, Mean Mr. Hastert did confront Foley on his yen for the young. He did ask Foley directly (while not under oath) if there was anything sexual in the emails and Foley said no. “He said he wouldn't do it anymore. He was sorry. He was just trying to talk to the kid — he liked the kid, nice kid — and he wouldn't do it anymore. We told him not to do it anymore there or to anybody. Period.”
Did I read that right? I must not have because Hastert said they acted on it. I do not think asking him if he did then saying “don’t do it again” really is acting on it. I really must have read that wrong. I would not ask if an email was sexual unless I thought the person would do it. If I thought the person would do it, I would not trust them to readily admit to it.
We did know what the text of that message was because the parents held it and they didn't want it revealed, but we stopped it. We went to Foley; told him to stand down, "Don't do this." We asked if there was any sex or explicit language in this message. There was not, and we thought we had the thing resolved.
Obviously some new definiton of "resolved" I have never seen before.
Hastert claims to have not known about the “vile and repulsive” emails before the story broke on Friday, so then what emails was he talking about to Rush exactly and how many kids has Foley “contacted?” He claims Foley “duped” a lot of people, but he really did not investigate or act on it very hard, did he? He would have known the content if he asked a little harder.
“Did you do it?”
“Was it sexual?”
“Okay, don’t do it again.”
A slap on the wrist would have been a harsher action. Hastert must go. I was not sure where I stood on this until the Rush interview. The man is tailoring his “truth” to fit the audience. He covered this story to protect the seat in November. The joke is on him because the story is out, the damage is done, and Foley remains on the ballot.
Just like Clinton and just like Nixon before him, it is not the act that is their undoing, but the cover-up. Hastert would be clean had he done a real investigation to the parents' complaints. Now he is going to go down with Foley and who knows how many others.
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