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Sunday, 01 October 2006 22:42

Brent Budowsky -- Republican Leaders Must Reconvene Congress, Give Sworn Testimony, Or Resign Over Page Scandal

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A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
by Brent Budowsky

The full House Page Board should have been immediately and fully notified that a senior Republican was involved in a scandal that might endanger the safety of Congressional pages. The Page Board should then have immediately and fully opened an investigation to protect the safety of all pages and sent to the Justice Department and FBI any evidence of criminal conduct.

They did not, and whoever was responsible must go. Congress must be reconvened, sworn testimony must be taken from the entire Republican leadership, that testimony must be publicly released, and major new resignations will be necessary.

This cannot wait.

This cannot be treated as yet another abuse of the one party Republican Congress.

This cannot be covered up any longer.

We are talking about moms and dads who send their children in trust to Congress and learn of the sickest abuse against one of them, and learn that Republicans leaders did nothing for 11 months and may have known about this years before.

They endangered other children. They continue to endanger other children until we get to the bottom of this.

The great sin here -- and great sin is not too strong a phrase -- is that this should have been treated with grave seriousness from the first day. The entire leadership should have been immediately alerted. Democratic leadership should have been immediately alerted.

Above all, the entire House Page Group that specifically protects pages, should have opened an immediate and full investigation from day one.

For Congressional Republican leaders to cover up this scandal and this abuse from the full House Page Group and treat this as a backroom deal involving the Chairman of the Republican Campaign Committee, while keeping this secret from the full House Page Board, it is an unpardonable breach of duty, honor and trust.

It was unconscionable and grounds for firing that Democratic Congressman Dale Kildee and the entire group with the sole purpose of protecting pages was not immediately and fully notified, did not immediately and fully investigate, and did not immediately and fully notify law enforcement.

The goal here is to protect pages, not to protect Republicans. Yet this was treated as just one more day in the life of one party Republican Washington, with backroom corruption, with insider deals, with cult like partisan secrecy and now the children are the victim and moms and dads all over America should be outraged.

If ever there were proof positive of the need for checks and balances in our democracy, it is this case. If ever there were proof positive of how hyper-partisan one party abuse in Congress is gravely dangerous for the nation, it is this. If ever there were proof positive that the rule of law must come first, and that there are dark forces in our Capitol who have contempt for the rule of law, it is this.

In the name of defending our children these Congressional Leaders should put their hand on the bible now, this week, and tell the nation the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. They should release their testimony in public with no more time wasted by this pathetic scampering to coordinate their cover stories, while the dangers to the children continue.

Republican leaders responsible should have the good grace to resign.

The American people in November should have the good sense to fire them.

And anyone who violated the law and safety of our children should spend time behind bars, not backrooms.

Brent Budowsky

Brent Budowsky served as Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen, responsible for commerce and intelligence matters, including one of the core drafters of the CIA Identities Law. Served as Legislative Director to Congressman Bill Alexander, then Chief Deputy Whip, House of Representatives. Currently a member of the International Advisory Council of the Intelligence Summit. Left goverment in 1990 for marketing and public affairs business including major corporate entertainment and talent management. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .