Monday, October 02, 2006

Circular investigations
Most news outlets this morning are reporting that Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert called on the FBI to "investigate not only Foley but also who knew about the messages without reporting them to authorities." This makes it sound like Hastert is asking for an investigation of the congressional Republicans who have been covering up Foley's actions for at least one year and possibly as long as five years. That would be the responsible thing to do, but that's not exactly what his request asks.
Therefore, I also request that the Department undertake an investigation into who had specific knowledge of the content of any sexually explicit communications between Mr. Foley and any former or current House pages and what actions such individuals took, if any, to provide them to law enforcement. I request that the scope of your investigation include any and all individuals who may have been aware of this matter-be they Members of Congress, employees of the House of Representatives, or anyone outside the Congress.

It appears to me, and to others, the phrase "anyone outside the Congress" is an attempt to direct the investigation towards the reporters and activists who broke the story. Attacking the messengers, whether leakers or investigators, is a standard play for parties in power but an especial favorite for the modern Republican Party.

The FBI already had announced an investigation before Hastert made his request and Hastert will not be determining the scope of that investigation. But how much are we to trust the FBI?

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), the organization that broke the Foley story claims they turned Foley's e-mails over to the FBI the same day they received them last July. The FBI chose not to investigate at that time. Attorney General Gonzales has made a major priority out of pursuing internet pedophiles, so the question naturally arises: did he or someone else protect a Republican congressman from investigation? CREW is requesting an investigation into the FBI's inactivity.

So we have Hastert asking the FBI to investigate CREW and CREW asking for an investigation of the FBI. Meanwhile, Hastert is meeting with the very same Republican supervisors of the pages' program who covered up for Foley "to review ways to protect pages." Resigning in shame leaps to mind as one possible step in the right direction.

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