UPDATE: I've just confirmed the email below is real, in case there was any doubt.
A House GOP leadership email that went out today curiously didn't include #3 Republican Roy Blunt (R-MO). Inside-the-beltway observers we talked to found it very fishy that Blunt was missing, especially since yesterday Blunt basically threw Hastert under a bus.
ABC's The Note printed this email, below, from GOP Majority Leader John Boehner's office today. The email tries to show that the GOP is all united, behind Hastert is the implication, but check out what it really says. The House Republican leadership is still trying to shift blame. To Mark Foley - who deserves blame, but hardly is the only person to blame. And to anyone outside of Congress who had the EXPLICIT online communications (you know, the ones in which Foley masturbates with children).
Did you get that? Let's blame the victim for not coming forward, even though he's 16. This is just what Hastert did in his letter to AG Gonzales this past weekend. Please investigate who had the EXPLICIT messages - not who had the emails in Congress and didn't do anything about it, no - only those who had the explicit messages and didn't turn them in to the police.
Who would that include? That would include the children in question and their parents who didn't speak up as the offense was being committed. (Gee, why would any 16 year old fear coming forward and reporting abuse by a senior member of the US government - no one could have ever imagined a child would be fearful of an adult.)
It would also include blaming any other children who have been harassed by Foley, or physically abused by him, but who haven't yet come forward to tell their story and report their abuse. Why didn't they come forward earlier? May we can waterboard the kids and find out.
What impact do you think that will have on the children and their families coming forward - blaming them for their own abuse? That's right, it would chill the children and stop them from coming forward, not to mention traumatize them further. Blame the victim, that's the new GOP strategy to win the war on predators.
Here is the email Boehner's office sent out:
Dearest Gang of 500:Put others at risk? Seriously, you jest. You people put others at risk for three years - hell, longer than three years, the pages were warned by GOP staff in 2001 to stay away from Foley.
The most common denominator threaded throughout this story is the question: To whom should those of us in the media assign blame? Our answer is simple: the blame lies squarely with Mark Foley. Mark Foley lied. Mark Foley engaged in widespread deception. Mark Foley disgraced the institution to which he was elected to serve. Mark Foley resigned in disgrace before the entire Congress expelled him from office. Mark Foley should be and will be held accountable for his despicable actions.
Additionally, any individual or individuals with knowledge of these explicit instant messages between Mark Foley and underage pages or former pages should come forward and provide this information to the proper authorities. These witnesses must cooperate with law enforcement about their knowledge of these explicit communications. Also any individuals who had prior knowledge of these instant messages and provided them to the media instead of alerting the proper authorities must answer questions about their motives and the possibility that they put others at risk.
House Democrats interested only in tearing down reputations in order to make a power grab will be sorely disappointed. Republicans are unified in our outrage against Mark Foley and resolute in our determination to complete a full and thorough investigation of the facts. That House Democrats have decided to merely resort to crass political maneuvering indicates they are motivated only by their political self-interest.
Office of the Speaker
Office of the House Majority Leader
You and the authorities have already proven that they can't be trusted. The emails were given to the House GOP leadership and they swept it under the run. The emails were given to the FBI and they ignored them for two months. Why should anyone have given further evidence to either the FBI or the House GOP leadership after all the previous evidence had been ignore? Of course they would give it to the media, since the media was the only one willing to do its job in this case.
But the Republican House leaders would like nothing better than to use the abuse of a child as an opportunity to further chill Americans coming forth and reporting crimes to the media, be they domestic wiretapping, running illegal torture gulags in Europe, or covering up child abuse.
It's simply sick at this point that the Republican leadership knew 3 years ago (and more) that Foley had a hard-on for the 16 year old pages and did nothing about it. And now the Republicans are upset that someone didn't call them with an "instant message" so they can sweep it too under the rug in the best old-boy network way?
It took ABC 12 hours to find the explicit instant messages and you idiots couldn't find them in 5 years? And now you want to investigate why it is that ABC found the evidence you couldn't, or wouldn't find? Talk about trying to organize a cover-up.
Who do you have to sleep with to get John Boehner, Denny Hastert, Tom Reynolds, John Shimkus, and Rodney Alexander to do their jobs?