Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Congress gave tacit OK to page abuse
Excerpts from the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct report are enough to turn your stomach.
"The page testified that... (the Congressman) invited him to travel abroad during the August recess. The page agreed, and the two took a 2 1/2 week trip together abroad. According to the page’s testimony, they engaged in sexual activity every two or three days during this trip.
"The page was 17 years old during the time he testified that he had a sexual relationship with (the Congressman); the relationship may have begun when the page was 16...
"Two other former pages, both male, have stated under oath that (the Congressman) made sexual advances to them... while they were serving as House pages. One was 16 or 17 years old at the time of the alleged incident; the other was 17...
Moreover, two former supervisors of the pages in the House admitted to investigators that, years earlier, they'd been warned about the Congressman's conduct. One claimed he hadn't pursued the matter because he "wasn't sure whether or not he (the page) had mistaken a friendly gesture for an advance or not."
According to the other supervisor, he did nothing "because I didn't feel I had any means of doing anything more, either through the chain of command that I worked for or through any other set of circumstances, and that the best thing was that everyone be warned of it and stay clear."
There were suspicions that the cover-up possibly went all the way to the Speaker of the House's office. A year before action was taken, a Congresswoman had called for an independent investigator to look into allegations of drug and sex abuse by House members. The Speaker declined, saying that "If the Congress cannot conduct an honest and comprehensive probe of these charges and punish those found guilty of these illegal acts, then the Congress has no right to make the laws that govern this nation."
The Congressman who took the young male page overseas wasn't the reprehensible Mark Foley. It was the reprehensible Gerry Studds, a Massachusetts Democrat who was censured by the House of Representatives in 1983 for his sexual misconduct. The Speaker of the House back then was Tip O’Neill, another Massachusetts Democrat..........................................
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