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Somewhere in this great country of ours sits a young man with a terrible secret. He might be a former or current congressional page, a government intern or he might even be someone with no connection to Congress. But based on the instant messages, aggressive behavior and photographs of Mark Foley, any reasonable human being could and should assume that Foley has engaged in sexual contact with a minor.  Right now, that person is agonizing over whether or not he should come forward.

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If it becomes public that Foley was engaging in this type of conduct, this story will escalate into an all consuming scandal. Denny Hastert will have to explain away not inappropriate verbiage but the actual sexual assault of a minor. That is a lot more powerful than the current imbroglio. There is still the deniability of "naughty emails" but in a scenario involving actual physical contact, even the most fervent of right wingers will have to be shocked and outraged.

The FBI and the Justice Department are in a quandary. Already Hastert and Company have tried to distance themselves with clumsy explanations that a corrupt administration could typically put over. But what if a week from now somebody comes forward with the revelation that they not only had sex with Foley but that other congressional leaders were aware of that. Forget Hastert, he may already be gone anyway, you're talking then about a scandal that would mean that every Republican in Congress would be fighting for their lives. That's why the Chris Shays of the world are jumping up and down for an actual investigation. If some external agent introduces even more damaging information it would mean the popular consensus would be that the Republican dominated Congress tried to cover up this behavior by implementing a phony investigation. People like Chris Shays are toast at that point.

So far, Brian Ross has been a major force in this scandal. When Foley first claimed that he was being smeared with what was just an innocent email, Ross revealed the other much more graphic IM's. It was Ross who also brought attention to Foley's aggressive attempts to interact personally with these individuals. Ross is motivated by the Justice Department's threats to jail not just "leakers" but reporters who report leaked information, a direct intimidation of journalists like Brian Ross. Someone as astute as Ross may be slowly moving this story forward, allowing people like Denny Hastert to dig their own grave and then ultimately ratcheting up the story by producing the specifics of actual sexual conduct by Foley. In fact, Ross may have initially been tipped off by such an individual and is waiting for the right moment. Perhaps, that young man with a terrible secret has already come forward.                

Originally posted to normcash on Mon Oct 02, 2006 at 01:09 PM PDT.

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