Hastert goes on the offensive

How is this adequate?  What does taking responsibility mean in situation?  It seems that this is like President Bush taking responsibility for the Katrina response.  Nothing happened.

I was going to edit this since there is a ton of dead air but the ending much be enjoyed by all.  The press conference was about Foley and pages.  Hastert ends the press conference with a political talking point. 

Rough transcript — “What we need to do is start talking about the issues.  We have a great economy.  It’s because a Republican tax cuts and Republican handling of the economy.  Holding the line on spending.  We have addressed the war on terror.  We’ve done that continually over the last five years.  Today, we have a pretty safe America and, uh, a lot of people wanted us to address the issue of the border and we did exactly that.  Last Friday, we culminated appropriations that did fix the border.  So, you know, we have a good story to tell.  Our friends on the other side of the aisle, really don’t have a story to tell.  Maybe they’re resolving, uh, another political tactic.”

Waterboarding is torture, Congress said so in 1947!

From WaPo:

Key senators say Congress has outlawed one of the most notorious detainee interrogation techniques — “waterboarding,” in which a prisoner feels near drowning. But the White House will not go that far, saying it would be wrong to tell terrorists which practices they might face.

Inside the CIA, waterboarding is cited as the technique that got Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the prime plotter of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, to begin to talk and provide information — though “not all of it reliable,” a former senior intelligence official said.

Waterboarding is variously characterized as a powerful tool and a symbol of excess in the nation’s fight against terrorists. But just what is waterboarding, and where does it fit in the arsenal of coercive interrogation techniques? mo’

It has been quiet most of the day then …

Photo from APThis has been re-posted and updated. 

From CNN:

A senior congressional aide said Wednesday he told House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s office in 2004 about worrisome conduct by former Rep. Mark Foley with teenage pages — the earliest known alert to the GOP leadership.

Kirk Fordham told The Associated Press that when he was told about Foley’s inappropriate behavior toward pages, he had “more than one conversation with senior staff at the highest level of the House of Representatives asking them to intervene.”

The conversations took place long before the e-mail scandal broke, Fordham said, and at least a year earlier than members of the House GOP leadership have acknowledged.

Fordham resigned Wednesday as chief of staff to Rep. Thomas Reynolds, R-New York.  mo’


Now this can’t be a good thing for pages or the Republican party.


Update: From Talking Points Memo – Long before Mark Beck-Heyman ever came to this town in 1995 to work as a congressional page, Congress had revamped the program in hopes of preventing the sort of sex scandals that had disgraced two congressmen more than a decade earlier.  “When I got there, I was warned about Foley from former pages and cloakroom Republican staffers,” said Beck-Heyman, who attended a Catholic high school at the time and was nominated for the page program by Republican Rep. Brian Bilbray, who then lived in Imperial Beach. “The warning was to watch out for him.”

Tyson Vivyan was a congressional page from 1996 to 1997. Now 26, he tells NBC News that he knew Fla. Rep. Mark Foley somewhat during his brief Washington stay, but not well. It wasn’t until after he finished the congressional program and returned home to Tennessee, he says, that Foley began reaching out to him. Vivyan says that he began receiving instant messages in 1997 from someone with the moniker “maf54,” and that the messages were almost immediately sexual in nature.