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October 05, 2006

CLAIM: Dirty IM's Were "Prank Gone Awry" By Page Looking to Screw With, Not Screw, Foley

True or not? Who knows. If the kid's in the closet, he'd claim this.

Not sure if it matters either way. Does it?

According to two people close to former congressional page Jordan Edmund, the now famous lurid AOL Instant Message exchanges that led to the resignation of Mark Foley were part of an online prank that by mistake got into the hands of enemy political operatives, the DRUDGE REPORT can reveal.

According to one Oklahoma source who knows the former page very well, Edmund, a conservative Republican, goaded Foley to type embarrassing comments that were then shared with a small group of young Hill politicos. The prank went awry when the saved IM sessions got into the hands of political operatives favorable to Democrats. This source, an ally of Edmund, also adamantly proclaims that the former page is not a homosexual. The prank scenario was confirmed by a second associate of Edmund.

Puzzling It Out:

1) Some say that, if this is true, there is no "victim" here. But that's not big shakes. There's no victim in an attempted solicitation to murder, either, but it's still, I assure you, a major crime. He still tried to have cybersex with an 18 year old, which, while perhaps not a crime, is still a gross breach, whether the guy on the other end of the 'tubes was jerking him around or not.

2) If true, it would be interesting to see the PREVIOUS emails. Presumably, if the kid was trying to embarrass the "Florida Fag Foley," as some pages called him, he flirted with him to goad him into this. Which, AGAIN, does not excuse Foley. I've been hit on by underage girls; it's not a license to break the law. However, if the kid's goading/baiting was persistent, it does cast this in a different light, making Foley look less like a true predator.

It also makes things look a hell of a lot better for Hastert. If Foley wasn't a true predator, but rather only eventually went sexual when this kid baited him into it, it makes it less obvious that Foley should have been booted out earlier.

3) Is this a dirty trick, or a pissed-off Republican kid out to embarrass a shameless kid-ogling pervert, or a homophobe looking to embarrass a "fag," or just plain bullshit?

I have no idea. Obviously each of these cut different ways. The third possibility -- the kid's telling the truth, but despised Foley for being gay, and so he baited him into this -- makes it the worst of all possible worlds: the Republican Party is home to both gay-baiting homophobes and gay chickenhawks.

The dirty trick angle seems unlikely, though possible.

The pissed-off kid out to embarrass a known perv seems likely. As does the "pure bullshit" angle. Look, this kid wasn't necessarily looking to be outed as gay (if he is gay). So the "I was just fucking around" excuse is pretty convenient and pretty obvious.

Hell, that's what I always claim.

4) The fact that Foley was known to be the sort of guy who would, in fact, rise to the bait and have cybersex with an 18-year-old is still pretty damning for the GOP though, isn't it? Even assuming this kid is telling the truth, he still knew Foley would go for this, right? Ergo, it was widely known.

Then again, maybe this kid was just a friend of the kid who got freaked out by the fairly-innocuous-appearing (but not truly innocently intended) emails to the 16 year old, so only a few people knew that Foley was making inappropriate contacts with young boys.

I'd hold off on thinking this is true, or that it helps much. I keep hearing the IM's contained full-blown cybersex-- which seems a little far to go in the interests of a prank, yes-yes?



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posted by Ace at 03:14 PM

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