One of the stupidest moves the Republicans made in the Plame case —— in which there were many missteps to be sure —— was Steven Hadley's decision to retract the perfectly accurate "16 words" in the SOTUA which said that there was evidence that Iraq had sought to buy uranium in Africa.
Instead of quelling an utterly phoney charge spearheaded by Ambassador Munchausen that the Administration had sought and rejected contrary evidence, it added credence to his lie.
Undoubtedly impressed with what I shall forever call the Hadley Strategy , the Washington Times offers the party a chance to be stupid twice in a row.
Red flags emerged in late 2005, perhaps even earlier, in suggestive and wholly inappropriate e—mail messages to underage congressional pages.... The evidence was strong enough long enough ago that the speaker should have relieved Mr. Foley of his committee responsibilities contingent on a full investigation to learn what had taken place, whether any laws had been violated and what action, up to and including prosecution, were warranted by the facts. This never happened. [....]
Mr. Hastert insisted that he learned of the most flagrant instant—message exchange from 2003 only last Friday, when it was reported by ABC News. This is irrelevant. The original e—mail messages were warning enough that a predator —— and, incredibly, the co—chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children —— could be prowling the halls of Congress. The matter wasn't pursued aggressively. It was barely pursued at all. Moreover, all available evidence suggests that the Republican leadership did not share anything related to this matter with any Democrat. [....]
House Speaker Dennis Hastert must do the only right thing, and resign his speakership at once. Either he was grossly negligent for not taking the red flags fully into account and ordering a swift investigation, for not even remembering the order of events leading up to last week's revelations —— or he deliberately looked the other way in hopes that a brewing scandal would simply blow away.
What a dumb idea!
Clarice Feldman 10 03 06
The Human Resources Director of the Washington Times was arrested not very long ago in a similar case, so maybe some wounds are still fresh.
Metropolitan Police today charged the director of human resources at The Washington Times with one count of attempting to entice a minor on the Internet.
Randall Casseday, 53, was arrested at 9:45 p.m. yesterday in the 1300 block of Brentwood Road NE, where police said he had arranged to meet who he thought was a 13—year—old girl. He had actually exchanged Internet messages and photographs with a male police officer posing as a girl.
"When he went there, he was met by police," police spokesman Sgt. Joe Gentile said.
As set out in an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court today, Mr. Casseday, whose home address was listed in the unit block of Manner House Drive in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., initiated a conversation with the undercover officer in an online chat room.
The officer identified himself as a 13—year—old girl in the District, and Mr. Casseday identified himself as a 53—year—old man who usually lives in New York but was spending time in the District, the affidavit states.
So were there any red flags? Was this guy completely discreet and impeccable in every interaction ont he job? Was any small sign at all of aberrent behavior pursued? Were his emails and IMs inspected? Should anyone higher up in the hierarchy at the Times be thinking about asking for walking papers? Unlike Foley, an arrest has already taken place.
Clarice Feldman and Thomas Lifson
The Miami Herald reviewed the early emails and found them "innocuous."
Some newspapers —— including this one —— knew of this message as well and did not find it worthy of a news story because it seemed innocuous. Thus, Democratic charges of a ''cover up'' of Mr. Foley's activities by the Republican House leadership seem not only premature but crassly political. But the discovery of other, more explicit, messages and confusion over who knew what and when raise questions that require answers —— preferably, under oath and soon. [emphasis added]