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October 02, 2006

Denny Hastert (!) Questions The Timing

So, what did Denny Hastert know, and when did he know it?

It would appear to be "not much" and "only when everyone else knew it." Otherwise, why would he actually ask the FBI to probe into who had those pedophillic IM's, and why the withheld them from law enforcement for so long?

I think the Republicans' claims are more plausible now -- this seems to be a big case of doubling-down on a bad bet if they knew more than they're letting on. (Of course, a cynic might note, a lie only has to hold until November.)

Levin has background on a supposedly "non-partisan" 501(c)(3) organization called C.R.E.W., with a history of demanding investigations of Republicans as well as a nice bit of contributions from George Soros. They seem to have, errr, shepharded this story to the media.

Did they mock-up that fake website, I wonder?

More... Demands for a full investigation grow.

The timing of the two-step release is critical to the political efficaciousness of the operation. The public is being led to conflate the different sets of correspondence (mildly inappropriate emails versus salacious IM messages), leading most people to believe the sexually explicit stuff was what Hastert had seen.

All that the House leadership saw was “overly friendly” emails. No smoking gun, but cause for concern. Had the leadership done more at the time, it might well have been accused of launching a witch hunt on the flimsy basis of too-friendly emails. This is perfect bait for Democrats anxious to portray Republicans as prudes obsessed with homosexuality and willing to launch attacks on anyone even remotely suspected of deviating from their uptight norms. Imagine the Saturday Night Live skits.


Can you conceive of why the leadership would have deliberately sat on something scandalous like the IM messages in 2005, knowing it could break in the following election year? I can’t. But unless you pay very close attention to press reports, that is the impression you get from the media coverage.

On the other hand, given all the circumstances I can easily see that people who are power hungry could have come into possession of salacious correspondence which might affect the Republican leadership’s decision not to act against a member on the basis of all they had—simply “overly friendly” correspondence—and hold it to make it public five weeks prior to the election. If this scenario is true, we have a most amateurishly implausible route, via an anonymous blog, taken to launder the information chain, and hide the fact that it was they, not their opponents, who cared not at all for the welfare of the pages and interns on the Hill.

Let's have it all out. After all, more information is better, right?

Video: Of Hastert requesting the DoJ look into who knew what and when.

If this is a dishonest stunt intended to make him look innocent-- well, it's one fraught with great peril, isn't it? He can't now drag his feet in in cooperating with the DoJ having called on them to investigate, now can he?

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posted by Ace at 02:32 PM

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