Almost immediately, House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) denied any knowledge whatsoever of Foley's proclivities, and strongly insisted that had he known, he would have taken decisive action.
But several members of Congress were aware of the situation, and claim to have notified the Speaker of several instances where Foley acted inappropriately (from CNN.com):
Republican Reps. John Shimkus of Illinois and Tom Reynolds of New York have acknowledged that they knew about an "overly friendly" exchange of e-mails in 2005 between Foley and a former male page from Louisiana, which were not sexually explicit.Lost in the shuffle, eh Mr. Speaker? So it appears that Hastert WAS aware that Foley had a pattern of emailing teenaged boys and acting inappropriately, and did nothing.
Reynolds said he took his concerns to Hastert, but Hastert said he doesn't recall the conversation.
"If he did, he brought it in with a whole stack of things," the speaker said.
Which isn't really a surprise. The current Republican regime has no qualms about stone-walling ANY reports that portray them in a negative way, even at the expense of letting a suspected pedophile act with complete impunity.
As TRex so eloquently stated in Fire Dog Lake:
"...in an environment where secrecy and repression are the law, predators flourish and thrive, escaping detection because nobody wants to admit that there is a problem."There, in a nutshell, is the problem.
This is a picture of Andrei Chikatilo. He lived in Russia back when it was called the Soviet Union. Chikatilo is now known as "Killer X", or "Citizen X". He was perhaps the most prolific serial killer the world has ever known.
Citizen X was able to get away with more than fifty murders over a twelve-year period due in large part to the Soviet Union's overwhelming beauracracy and paranoid secrecy. The people in charge of the investigation were hampered largely by Communist party officials who didn't want word to leak that a serial killer may be on the loose in the Soviet Union. They tried to convince the investigators that serial killers were a product of the decadent West, and they didn't exist in the USSR.
So Chikatilo was able to continue his gruesome spree for years.
The behaviour of the do-nothing Republicans in this case is similar. They knew of Foley's actions, but chose not to act. They spread lies about how this is a partisen attack, being exposed just before the mid-terms. It doesn't matter that it's a partisen act for the Republicans to sweep the investigation under the carpet.
The total absence of accountability and responsibility displayed by the Republican leadership is astounding. Much like the former Soviet government, eventually their entire party will collapse under the weight of their own lies.