If the Instant Messages are actually between Mark Foley and a boy under the age of 18 then Foley deserves the harshest punishment available and 30 minutes alone with the boy's baseball bat equipped parents. But there are so many questions surrounding this whole nasty mess and so many dirty hands involved that even the veracity of the IM's is suspect.
Almost three years ago a "gay fatwah" was issued against Foley by Mike Rogers and John Aravosis. Why? Because Foley was gay and voted against gay marriage. From the Express Gay News in July 2004
Not likely, say Mike Rogers and John Aravosis, the two men loosely heading an ongoing outing campaign on the Hill. As the date nears for a Senate vote on the Federal Marriage Amendment, which would ban gay marriages in the Constitution, Rogers said the outings have picked up steam — from 13 documented offices to nearly 20 currently on a target list provided by Rogers to the Blade.
Despite Foley’s FMA opposition, Aravosis purported to out Foley as well, taking him to task for supporting President Bush, who endorsed the measure late last winter. Labeling Foley as “our latest closeted gay hypocrite,” Aravosis said Foley made the list for putting politics ahead of his own community by “whoring for an anti-gay president.”
Both Aravosis and Rogers said they continue to collect information from their network of sources, which include employees of the Human Rights Campaign and Log Cabin Republicans, and plan on outing more staffers and members.
This came after Bob Norman "outed" Foley in the New Times in May 2003 in the article,
"Out with the Truth -With his voting record at issue, why won't U.S. Congressman Mark Foley just say that he's gay?"
Even Mike Rogers admits that his "mission" against Foley started 3 years ago...
"I don't actually call it outing. I call it reporting," explained Michael Rogers, whose Web site, www.blogactive.com, has reported on Foley's homosexuality for three years.
"I put it there because Foley had a record that was against the gay community. He refused to denounce his vote on the Defense of Marriage Act. It's not about being gay. It's about the hypocrisy."
Rogers' mission included numerous posts on his blog including one in March 2005 that contained this "warning"...
"I've thought hard about what kind of TAKE ACTION would work, but there is really is none right now. Everyone already knows Foley's a self hating closet case. When we get closer to the mid-term elections, I am sure more will surface."
Since ABC's Brian Ross started reporting on the story (I'm not going to say 'broke the story' as the emails had been shopped around to various news organizations back in November 2005), Rogers has been in full gloat mode. Even to the point of admitting to his role in the story and the timing of its release...
"I can say this. I had the emails before they were on the net. Additionally, I had the additional emails, written by the page to a friend. The story was being written by a number of outlets and I provided additional information to reporters involved in the breaking of this story.Was the central figure in reporting on Foley's latest scandal? Never said I was. Was my work on the case important to helping make sure it came out before the election? Yes."
So could this have been part of some game of "gotcha" from those with a grudge against Foley? We have the admission that it was a timed for maximum election effect. We know that Rogers was in contact with the DCCC (also by his own admission). We know that Rogers helped provide the info and had bragged about exposing Foley. We also know that the Instant Messages coincide with the "gay fatwah". It just reeks of hit job.
The IM's must be authenticated. How do we know that it was an boy under 18? How do we know it was a former page? Then someone needs to explain why Instant Messages from 3 years ago suddenly appear right before an election. Who knew what and when is the key to this puzzle. Hopefully the FBI will be able to put the pieces all together in a non-partisan way. If guilty, Foley deserves to be punished. But it this was a deliberate attempt to influence an election, those responsible also need to be exposed and subjected to public scrutiny.
Keep in mind that Mike Rogers offered this possible explanation for Foley's behavior...
Rogers also believes that alleged sexual advances toward underage boys could have been circumvented if Foley wasn't in the closet. "I do believe that he had unhealthy sexual advances to these guys because he was living his life as a closeted gay man," Rogers said. "And that's what informs his actions. Had he lived his life honestly and openly and been proud of who he is, this would never would have happened."
If Foley had come out of the closet and embraced his sexuality would the Instant Messages have appeared in the media? Based on the history and previous "threats" it does leave one scratching their head...
BTW - Wild Bill over at Passionate America has big news hitting the air tomorrow... This should be good....
Press Release: Passionate America to Release Identity of a Person Rep. Foley Instant Messaged
Also be on the lookout for some similar stories to start cropping up in the media about Charlie Crist. Could he be the next one on the Rogers/Aravosis hit list?
Foley-Gate Link O'Rama - UPDATED - You Won't See This Reported in the MSM
Other Must Reads on Foley-Gate:
MacsMind - Foley Setup? - Part III - Did the Democratic Party Leadership know about Foley?
Gateway Pundit - If Gay Activists & Democrats Knew of Foley, Why Were They Silent?
Strata-Sphere - Mike Rogers Predicted Foley Smear March 2005