October 2, 2006

Bearing False Witness

Hatched by Dafydd

Of all the kinds of lying, the most damaging and most despicable, practiced by only the most coldblooded and spiritually empty human vessels, is "bearing false witness." BFW is not a typical lie to duck accountability for something you did wrong, nor even a lie to get some undeserved reward. BFW consists of deliberately and with malice aforethought testifying falsely -- in court or elsewhere in public -- in order to "convict" an innocent of some heinous crime or moral turpitude.

It's not merely saying "I had nothing to do with raping that woman," when the speaker was the one who held her down. It's saying "I saw John Smith rape that woman," when in fact the speaker knows that Smith is completely innocent.

Or trying to mislead people into believing that various Republican members of Congress were accomplices after the fact in a case of attempted statutory homosexual rape -- when the Democratic liars know that those they accuse are in fact innocent.

New York Democrats trying to hang the albatross of disgraced former-Rep. Mark Foley around the neck of Rep. Thomas Reynolds (R-N.Y., 83%) and Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-IL, 100%) have deliberately confused two "threads" of e-mails and text messages that Foley wrote. And the elite media is playing along, equally knowingly, with this deception.

The first thread comprised e-mails that were peculiar but not sexual: for example, Foley asking one former page how he had "weathered" Hurricane Katrina; from the New York Times:

“How are you weathering the hurricane. . .are you safe. . .send me a pic of you as well."

This is what those Republicans who investigated these e-mails refer to as "over-friendly." There is nothing inherently wrong or sexual with asking how the kid did during the hurricane -- or even for asking for a picture. I can imagine a congressman having a bulletin board in the front office with innocuous pictures of all the pages who worked in his office.

But there was a darker, more sinister thread, consisting of much more explicit text messages that Foley sent to other pages; for example, one session was all about masturbation and read like two adolescents talking. Of course one was not only an adult (chronologically) but a member of Congress. Honestly, it's more juvenile than anything Bill Clinton ever did.

Well call these two threads the "over-friendly" thread and the "explicit" thread. The point is that the Republicans who were told about these e-mails either saw none of them at all, or else they only saw the "over-friendly" thread; nobody says he saw the "explicit" thread until ABC published them and they were on the internet... and no Democrat actually claims to have any evidence that any Republican knew about the "explicit" thread. This is important: they don't even pretend to have evidence that anyone actually knew that Foley was into twinks.

Yet even so, the Democrats are trying to make it appear as though Reynolds knew Foley was sending explicitly sexual correspondence to a minor -- when in fact, the Democrats are well aware that Reynolds knew only about non-sexual e-mails that were oddball but not threatening.

In so doing, they are attempting to destroy not just the career but the life of Congressman Reynolds -- trying to get him not only thrown out of the House, but also trying to get his wife to divorce him, his children to disown him, and everyone he knows to shun him... just so that his Democratic opponent might have a better shot at beating him in the November election.

I do not believe I have ever seen a more reptillian, repulsive smear job in my adult lifetime. What's next? Will they fly in the Green-Helmet Guy to plant dead children in Reynolds' home?

Note that Patterico discusses a related but distinct point on Patterico's Pontifications: that numerous well-known leftist bloggers are seizing upon the horrid false meme; combined with the news sources that are making the same error -- purposefully, in my opinion -- this looks less and less like an honest mistake; in fact, it reeks of the sociopathic tactics of Stalinists.

In a story datelined late last night (that is, very early on the morning of October 1st), AP gave this explanation of what the Republicans knew about Foley's inappropriate communications and what they did about it:

On Friday night, Hastert spokesman Ron Bonjean said the top House Republican had not known about the allegations.

Saturday's report includes a lengthy timeline detailing when they first learned of the worrisome e-mail in the fall of 2005, after a staffer for Alexander told Hastert's office the family wanted Foley to stop contacting their son. Alexander's staffer did not share the contents of the e-mail, saying it was not sexual but "over-friendly," the report says.

[That is, it was the first thread of e-mails, those that were non-sexual but somewhat strange.]

Hastert's aides referred the matter to the Clerk of the House, and "mindful of the sensitivity of the parent's wishes to protect their child's privacy and believing that they had promptly reported what they knew to the proper authorities," they did not discuss it with others in Hastert's office - including, apparently, their boss.

After the issue was referred to the clerk, it was passed along to the congressman who oversees the page program, Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill.

Shimkus has said he learned about the e-mail exchange in late 2005 and took immediate action to investigate.

He said Foley told him it was an innocent exchange. Shimkus said he warned Foley not to have any more contact with the teenager and to respect other pages.

As of 4:45 am October 1st, that is what the Associated Press knew. But just a few hours later, at 8:00 am, AP "shortened" the story -- by clipping out the entire explanation that made it clear GOP leaders had never seen any sexually explicit e-mails or IMs from Foley. The entire defense is reduced to this one paragraph:

The office of House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who earlier said he'd learned about the e-mails only last week, acknowledged that aides referred the matter to the authorities last fall. They said they were only told the messages were "over-friendly."

It would be easy to miss. (John Hinderaker at Power Line also noticed that the AP changed their story to remove exonerating facts.)

Seven hours pass; and now, at 2:50 pm, another AP version of the story introduces a whole new charge out of the blue... not merely that the Republicans knew about the "explicit" thread of IMs, but that they actively tried to cover them up:

Dems Slap GOP for Keeping E-Mails Secret

Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., said it was outrageous the House GOP leadership had not acted sooner. "It really makes me nervous that they might have tried to cover this up," he said.

Murtha said the House ethics committee should conclude its work on the Foley case before the November elections, so that voters can "hold people accountable." Doing so, he said, might help restore public confidence, since already "the reputation of Congress under the Republican leadership is lower than used car salesmen."

Here, one of the clumsiest of the Democratic character assassins lets slip his mask. Who cares about the teens? What's really important here is how it will affect the November vote!

But the conspiracy theory makes no political sense. It would have been fairly painless (politically) had this broken in 2005, because Foley would not even have been the Republican nominee. It makes no sense to sit on something this volatile, knowing that lots of others knew about it -- including the St. Petersburg Times -- and could release it at the worst moment... such as right now.

The separately written New York Times story (see above for link) plays along, adding its own misinformation:

Top House Republicans knew for months about e-mail traffic between Representative Mark Foley and a former teenage page, but kept the matter secret and allowed Mr. Foley to remain head of a Congressional caucus on children’s issues, Republican lawmakers said Saturday.

House Republicans said they kept it "secret?" There are no quotations to that effect in the story; this is a term made up by the Times and falsely attributed to the Republicans themselves, to make them look like accomplices.

So the "elite" media chops a hole in the basement and falls through to an even lower level than they were before: now they're not only pretending that the GOP knew about the "explicit" thread; they've added out of whole cloth the unsourced claim that Republicans were accessories after the fact by deliberately concealing this specific knowledge they supposedly had about Foley's sexal proclivities.

Finally, Reuters joins the fun by adding a very ambiguous term that means something very different, as Reuters uses it, than the normal meaning:

The Republican leader of the U.S. House of Representatives said his office knew a year ago about inappropriate contact between a former intern and newly resigned Rep. Mark Foley and called on Saturday for a criminal probe of the matter.

Do they mean readers to wrongly infer inappropriate physical contact? That is what "inappropricate contact" usually means. Though they're using "contact" as in correspondence, that's not how most people will read it.

Newspaper stories (and news broadcasts) do not exist in a vacuum: they feed off of each other; and the weight of them combines self-referentially, like a monkey-puzzle tree, to levitate raw allegation, rumor, or even deliberate lying into well-sourced fact. A becomes the source for B, which becomes the source for C -- which is then used as the source of A. Like a game of "telephone," a factoid circles round and round, becoming a "fact," and then a "well-known fact," merely through repetition.

It's the Snark syllogism: "What I tell you three times is true."

When this is used to destroy careers and lives by tricking readers into believing a lie, it becomes the dirtiest and most cowardly attack on the media's political opponents (Republicans) one can imagine. It's on the same moral level as Arabs fabricating evidence to make it appear that Israelis murdered 12 year old Mohammed al-Dura.

If we let them get away with this blood libel, believe me... we'll see worse. Pathological liars are emboldened, not chastened, whenever a lie works. Putting all politics aside, it's vital that we rise up and make those who bear false witness pay a terrible price, unless we want to see Pravda open branch offices in every major newsroom in the country.

Everybody who reads this post should send a letter to the editor of his hometown newspaper if it prints any story that claims, without actual evidence, that any Republican other than Mark Foley knew what Mark Foley was really doing. Tell the editor what you think of those who falsely accuse the innocent.

Then cancel your subscription. Believe me, it will be no loss.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, October 2, 2006, at the time of 6:57 AM

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» Will There Be Foley Backlash? from Wizbang
There was a lot of talk over the weekend about who in the Republican party knew what about the Foley emails and when they knew it. It was learned that Dennis Hastert and others in the leadership knew about the... [Read More]

Tracked on October 2, 2006 9:45 PM

» Editor, Squeal Thyself from Big Lizards
One of the hardest temptations for conservatives to resist is the mad desire to be so holier than thou, that they shoot themselves right in the halo. Exhibit A: the Washington Times -- Tony Blankley, I presume -- just editorialized... [Read More]

Tracked on October 3, 2006 2:52 PM


The following hissed in response by: Big D

What I find funny is:

Clinton - molests women, makes advances on younger girls, commits adultery, commits perjury about it - Serves out his term. Respected elder statesman.

Foley - Sends inappropriate sexual e-mails to pages - Resigns in disgrace.

Rep. William J. Jefferson - caught red-handed with the "cold" hard cash. Still in office.

Randy "Duke" Cunningham - caught taking bribes. resigns in disgrace.

It is not whether corruption exists in both parties, clearly it does. The media response is what is so interesting and obviously biased.

What is wrong now as that we are close enough to the election that there is some hope that lies, smears, and innuendo can be maintained just long enough to get the Democrats elected. But don't worry. It is for our own good.

The above hissed in response by: Big D [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 2, 2006 9:25 AM

The following hissed in response by: Fritz

All too true Dafydd. If the instant messages came from Foley, then he deserves all that happens to him, but those who were not aware of those instant messages should not be held accountable for them. However, those who have delibertly lied about the truth of what was known by whom and when deserve to be sued and locked up until the world cools to dust, or ice, or whatever happens when the sun goes cold and dead. That many in the media are untruthful I have long known, but until recently I did not realize they were so dispicable. They managed to turn the Clinton troubles into lying about sex rather than perjury, which it was, and now seek to destroy others. I am left wondering if they will like living in the world they are creating.

The above hissed in response by: Fritz [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 2, 2006 10:27 AM

The following hissed in response by: Terrye

This morning I heard on ABC news on my car radio that Foley had sent sexually explicit emails to underage pages.

I guess it was the abridged version of the news.

In fact the emails were no big deal, but my guess is they made the page feel weird.

The IM's were not sent to under age anyone.

The Democrats are not only using this, they are driving this. I don't know if people will buy it or not.

The above hissed in response by: Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 2, 2006 11:19 AM

The following hissed in response by: Rovin

If we let them get away with this blood libel, believe me... we'll see worse. Pathological liars are emboldened, not chastened, whenever a lie works. Putting all politics aside, it's vital that we rise up and make those who bear false witness pay a terrible price, unless we want to see Pravda open branch offices in every major newsroom in the country.

I see this as a form of desperation on the part of the Democratic party and (in part) the MSM, who are complicit in these distortions. If I took a paper and these lies were printed, I would certainly cancel and write a letter to the Ed.

While Foley is an embarassment to his party, the Left may regret this defication of the truth. While the peoples trust in our leadership is at an all-time low, hopefully they will also see who can go lower.

The above hissed in response by: Rovin [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 2, 2006 11:02 PM

The following hissed in response by: Infidel

Does anyone rememeber Democrat congresscritter MEL Reynolds and how the Dem's went to bat for him?

The above hissed in response by: Infidel [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 3, 2006 5:31 AM

The following hissed in response by: Infidel

Monica Lewinsky might have been of age, but she was also a subordinant. Recall, if you will, the outrage from the feminists, prior to the scandal breaking, how sexual harrassment at work was the worst form of rape.

After the scandal broke, the feminists said...

The above hissed in response by: Infidel [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 3, 2006 5:57 AM

The following hissed in response by: Nuclear Siafu

Oh but the news is just so much more streamlined when you combine it all into one thread. It makes it all whooshy. You're a futurist dreamer, aren't you? You should like whooshy things.

The above hissed in response by: Nuclear Siafu [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 3, 2006 11:01 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh

Nuclear Siafu:

You should like whooshy things.

Only whooshy pork.


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 4, 2006 2:25 AM

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