Hastert Long Draft

OpEdNews, Paul Craig Roberts' Address to the International Conference on the European/Russian Crisis Created by Washington, Paul Craig Roberts, 6/20/2015. http://www.opednews.com/articles/Paul-Craig-Roberts-Addres-by-Paul-Craig-Roberts-Brainwashing_Crisis_Hegemony_Media-150620-787.html The collapse of the Soviet Union resulted in the rise of the neoconservatives to power and influence in the US government. The neoconservatives have interpreted the Soviet collapse as History's choice of "American democratic capitalism" as the New World Order. Neoconservatives regard their agenda to be too important to be constrained by domestic and international law or by the interests of other countries. Paul Wolfowitz, a leading neoconservative, penned the Wolfowitz Doctrine shortly after the Soviet collapse. This doctrine is the basis of US foreign and military policy. As a former member of the Cold War Committee on the Present Danger, I can explain what Wolfowitz's words mean. The "threat posed formerly by the Soviet Union" was the ability of the Soviet Union to block unilateral US action in some parts of the world. The Soviet Union was a constraint on US unilateral action, not everywhere but in some places. Any constraint on Washington is regarded as a threat. A "hostile power" is a country with an independent foreign policy.

Far worse than media excesses in frenzied pursuit of the Dennis Hastert pedophilia scandal has been their disgraceful non-coverage of Washington’s much larger prostitution-blackmail culture.

That silence enables vice-seeking politicians and their controllers to wield vast power over the public.

Dennis Hastert C-SPANThat’s the real story the media and the public should care about, not merely the allegations (terrible though they are) against the former House Speaker Hastert, shown during a C-SPAN appearance after his resignation from Congress in 2007 to pursue a new career as a lobbyist. Hastert, the longest-serving Republican speaker in U.S. history in a term extending from 1999 to 2007, left office quietly, ostensibly because Democrats had prevailed in the 2006 House elections, thereby preventing his continuation in the top job.

Today’s observations derive in part from my helping initiate little-read exposés of Hastert’s pedophilia published in 2006 by investigative reporter Wayne Madsen, whose nine-year-old stories became on May 29 the go-to source for the first stage of reporting elsewhere on Hastert.

In 2006, the nation's capital had two major sex scandals involving Deborah Jeane Palfrey's mysterious prostitution ring of high-end call girls and allegations that Republican Congressman Mark Foley of Florida had been propositioning underage male teens enrolled in the congressional page program.

At the time, I was running a DC-based non-profit business association heavily involved in politics and heard that Hastert had long been an active participant in various gay activities, and thus was not merely a House leader who was being quoted as shocked at Foley's misbehavior. I passed along the tip to Madsen, a former Navy intelligence officer who had reported his commanding officer to higher-ups as a pedophile. In 2006, Madsen was fearlessly reporting also on his start-up subscription blog, the Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), high-level names on Palfrey's client list whom the rest of Washington did not dare mention.

Based on both DC and Illinois sources, Madsen alleged in a series of columns that Hastert was one of a number of high-ranking bisexual and gay Republicans re-elected on "family values" platforms who led hidden lives vulnerable to blackmail.

Fast forward to May 28, less than two weeks ago. Authorities unsealed an indictment alleging bank regulation violations and false statement from Hastert's purported agreement to pay $3.5 million to cover-up undisclosed behavior by Hastert. But neither the indictment, federal sources, nor other reporters besides Madsen reported any reason for his. On May 29, Madsen answered the mystery with a column, In 2006, WMR reported on Hastert's blackmailable "misconduct."  It contained links to his 2006 columns, such as  tying Hastert to

In the time since 2006, I have researched with the occasional help of participants the broader pattern of sexual blackmail of prominent politicians and government officials. Until now, my writing has avoided scandal specifics for the most part in order to focus on the more abstract danger when vice-seeking government leaders fear exposure.

But the Hastert story provides a rare opportunity. And our real target here is the media, both corporate and alternative —and not so much the criminal defendant Hastert, except incidentally. Details of his scandal can readily be found elsewhere, at least as of now.

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Timeless words from the late country singing star Johnny Cash provide an apt introduction to this tale. Alabama-based videographer Phil Fleming recently told me in another context that he once had an opportunity on assignment to chat with Cash privately for a few moments at an event about life and success.

“It’s not what you know or who you know,” Fleming recalled Cash as telling him. “It’s what you know about who you know!”

This is not to imply that Cash knew anything about Hastert or anyone else mentioned in this column, only that the Arkansas-born singer-storyteller had impressive knack for summing up life’s lessons.

 

 

 

 

 

West Virginia Gazette, WV native, former leader in DC prostitution ring, authors tell-all book, Anna Patrick, May 20, 2015. In his memoir “Confessions of a D.C. Madam: The Politics of Sex, Lies, and Blackmail,” Henry Vinson tells how he became the head of a prominent gay escort service in Washington, D.C.  Henry Vinson’s story begins much like the stories from many other children of West Virginia. He grew up in Nolan, a tiny, unincorporated community along the Tug Fork in Mingo County. His father was a coal miner. His mother drove a school bus. Only a few years after moving to D.C., Vinson found himself facing a 43-count federal indictment — along with three other men — for his leading role in operating the largest male prostitution ring in the nation’s capital.

In his recently released book, Confessions of a D.C. Madam: The Politics of Sex, Lies, and Blackmail, Vinson, with the help of co-author Nick Bryant, recounts how a shy, gay man from Mingo County found himself operating “the largest gay escort service in Washington, D.C.” and recounts the events that led to his incarceration. He still seems a bit mystified about how exactly it happened, but his account paints the picture of a sheltered, possibly gullible, young gay man trying to find himself and embrace his sexuality while spiraling into the seedy, dark underworld of the world’s most powerful city.

“I didn’t just wake up one day and decide I was going to be in the escort business. I didn’t know what an escort was when I went to DC. … I truly thought that [escorts] just took people around the city,” he said during a recent phone interview.

TrineDay — “the publisher of suppressed works,” according to owner Kris Millegan — a small publishing company based in Waterville, Oregon, published the book in March.

After initially pleading not guilty in 1990, Vinson accepted a plea agreement from the federal government. He pleaded guilty to “conspiring to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and credit card fraud.” He served 63 months in prison at the minimum-security Federal Correctional Institution in Morgantown.

After his release, he earned a master’s degree in integrated marketing communications at West Virginia University. He currently resides in Cincinnati and works as an independent consultant in integrated marketing. Vinson said he has also completed his first year at Taft Law School.

Almost 30 years after first entering the escort business, Vinson admits that he still thinks about the decisions that he made as a young twenty-something.

“I never intended to get into that business. … It’s just a very strange twist of life.”

Vinson realized he was gay in high school, and — as a resident of rural, conservative West Virginia in the late 1970s — said growing up there was tough.

“When I was growing up, many people thought homosexuals were sick. It wasn’t exactly a pleasant place to grow up. My teachers would say, ‘You’re too pretty to be a boy.’”

He added, “I really tried to blend in. I tried to be like anyone else. I always sort of felt like I was from a different planet.”

Before moving to D.C., Vinson worked as a funeral director in multiple funeral homes — including his own — in the town he graduated from, Williamson. He was appointed Mingo County coroner shortly after starting his professional career.

While there, he faced multiple controversies. He was charged with making harassing phone calls to a competing funeral home. He was charged with a second misdemeanor for “obtaining state monies under false pretenses.”

Those two incidents — along with a report that he left a body lying in an unrefrigerated vault for 42 days — were often cited in media reports when the escort business came to light.

Naturally, Vinson’s version varies greatly from the many reports about his early activities as a funeral director and his later activities as a “D.C. Madam.”

“I tried to get on with my life and put it behind me, but it just wasn’t behind me.”

He decided to tell his side of the story after what he calls a “25-year character assassination by the media.”

After moving to the city in 1985, Vinson was hired by Chambers Funeral Homes, which had multiple locations in the greater D.C. area. He began frequenting gay bars during his evenings off — and that’s where the wheels began spinning.

The series of events is surprisingly simple: Vinson meets an escort, Jimmy, in a gay bar. Vinson befriends Jimmy. Jimmy introduces Vinson to his employer. The employer, dying of AIDS, is looking to sell the service business, and Vinson buys it for $10,000.

“I didn’t have any hesitation. I was fascinated with the business. … I think it’s not unrealistic to make the assumption if something is in the Yellow Pages it’s probably OK.”

In a very short amount of time, Vinson had over 40 phone lines streaming into his apartment, located in the upper northwest of the city, while he maintained his full-time position with Chambers Funeral Homes.

Vinson employed up to 20 escorts on a given night in this “extremely lucrative” business.

“The business was very successful.” Not wanting to pin down a number to his profits, Vinson did mention a frequent customer who would spend $20,000 a month on his escorts. “Of course, in the ’80s that was a lot of money.”

Rich in the kind of sordid drama one might expect, Vinson’s book names names. Then-U.S. Rep. Larry Craig of Idaho, he writes, “became a frequent flier of my escort service” and “preferred escorts who were quite masculine.”

Although he claims he received many threats of blackmail from many of his powerful clients, Vinson’s business was in full operation until the Secret Service raided his home, his sister’s home and his mother’s home in 1989.

And the rest is history.

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” Vinson sighed during the phone interview. “But what doesn’t kill you often hurts like hell.”

A quarter of a century later, the details of Vinson’s activities in the nation’s capital plays over and over in his mind like a bad dream.

He asked, “When does someone become OK again?

“I’m not so sure I know that answer.”

Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), In 2006, WMR reported on Hastert's blackmailable "misconduct," Wayne Madsen, May 29, 2015 (Subscription required). Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) was indicted in Chicago on May 28 for lying to FBI agents about his cash withdrawals from his various bank accounts.

Washington Post, Hastert indicted over alleged secret payments, Mark Berman and Paul Kane, May 28, 2015.  The longest-serving Republican speaker in the history of the U.S. House faces charges that he violated Dennis Hastert Gavel Wikipediabanking laws in a bid to pay $3.5 million to an unnamed individual to cover up “past misconduct.” Hastert, 73, who has been a high-paid lobbyist in Washington since his 2007 retirement, schemed to mask more than $950,000 in withdrawals from various accounts that violated federal banking laws that require disclosure of large cash transactions, according to a seven-page indictment delivered by a grand jury in Chicago. Editor's note: Hastert is shown wielding the House speaker's gavel. As a prediction, the charges probably stem from his pre-House career as a high school wrestling coach

 
 

Liberty Pell, Hastert: Why Now? Staff report, June 1, 2015. As is now widely known, Dennis Hastert, the longest-serving Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, was indicted the other day for making improper cash withdrawals from a bank account and for lying to the FBI. It turns out the cash withdrawals were a payoff to “individual A” as an inducement to “cover up past misconduct.” The unreported withdrawals represented about half of the $3.5 million agreed upon by Hastert and individual A. It has since emerged that Hastert was paying a former student in Yorkville, Illinois to keep quiet about allegations of sexual abuse while he was a teacher and wrestling coach.

All of that could be read anywhere so why bother writing it again?

Former Congressman Hastert’s teaching and coaching career began in 1965 and ended in 1981. Counting on my fingers, it appears that the transgressions with individual A would have occurred at least 34 years ago and perhaps as many as 50 years ago. Without diminishing the gravity of the offense, one might wonder why bring the problem up now especially when the statute of limitations has long since run.

In addition, this is now a criminal case, which will result in no benefit to individual A beyond the $3.5 million that presumably seemed satisfactory to him when he agreed to it in 2010.

True, former elected officials should not lie to the FBI. True, former elected officials should not be making $50,000 cash withdrawals without complying with federal disclosure requirements that might even have been voted upon approvingly by the former elected official in question. Absolutely true, teachers and coaches, whether or not they later become the longest serving Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, should not be anywhere close to “allegations of sexual abuse.”

But still…

Why is this case being brought today?

Former House Speaker Hastert headed the lobbying practice of the Washington DC law firm, Dickstein Shapiro LLP.

When all of this came to light, he promptly resigned from both the law firm and various boards upon which he served. The usual legal theater relating to the innocence of the accused, witch-hunt and the likelihood of clearing his name at trial was notably absent.

The offenses charged (improper withdrawals and lying, not sexual misconduct) seem readily provable but, on balance, also seem relatively trivial. The point of charging him seems more likely to be related to the allegations of sexual misconduct that would surely emerge, as they have, in the press.

Why? Why now?

If I were a reporter covering this story, here is a question I would ask the prosecutors and the Department of Justice: is this a payback for some lobbying or regulatory effort being made by Hastert or his law firm?

The popularity of House of Cards and Scandal, television shows that depict Washington hardball politics in a distinctly negative light, suggests that many would readily believe Congressman Hastert was being punished for getting in the way of some government objective. And, presumably, getting away with it sufficiently successfully to require the introduction of the heavy artillery.

Former FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover, was known to have had dirt on most of the powerful figures in Washington but he must have believed the dirt had greater value before being reveled than it would after. Would that not still be the case?

Now, how about a plot twist? What if this case was being used to arm-twist somebody other than Hastert? “See what we did to him? Back off or we’ll do it to you.”


AL.com, Federal judge Mark Fuller resigns, Edward T. Bowser and Kyle Whitmire, May 29, 2015. U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller, right, appears in Fulton County Court Friday, Sept. 5, 2014 to face charges of misdemeanor battery, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Brant Sanderlin) United States District Court Judge Mark Fuller has given his resignation to the president and will step down from the bench Aug. 1.

Fuller's lawyer, Barry Ragsdale, confirmed that the judge sent a letter to the president this week. Beyond that, Ragsdale said he could not comment and that the disciplinary procedures of the 11th Circuit are confidential. Last August, Fuller was arrested in an Atlanta hotel room after a domestic dispute with his then-wife, Kelli Fuller. He was charged with misdemeanor battery, but he later entered into an agreement with the court there to have his record expunged upon receiving counseling and completing a domestic violence program. Since his arrest, Fuller's caseload in federal court had been reassigned and he has been on paid leave. He will not be hearing cases between now and August, his lawyer said. Multiple public officials, including both Alabama Senators and the state's congressional delegation, have called on Fuller to resign, and Rep. Terri Sewell has encouraged Congress to pursue his impeachment.  Friday night, Sewell, D-Birmingham, said news of Fuller's resignation was a "welcome outcome to a very painful breach of the public trust. "Fuller failed to uphold our most fundamental values. Perhaps the only consolation is that he has chosen to spare his family and our nation of the expense of a drawn out impeachment process," she said. A federal judge since 2002, Fuller presided over the public corruption trial of former Alabama governor Don Siegelman and former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy.

Huffington Post, Supreme Court Obamacare video, Jeffrey Young, June 1, 2015. The Supreme Court is expected to issue a hotly anticipated decision soon in a lawsuit that could do major damage to the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. What's it all about, and who would be affected? Huffington Post health care explains in this video. 

Washington Post, Dennis Hastert's rise was based on being the no 'skeletons' guy - until this week, Hastert was elected House speaker in part because he could "withstand the scrutiny" at a tumultuous time, Paul Kane, May 30, 2015. The indictment of former House speaker J. Dennis Hastert was triggered by an effort he made to hide payments of hush money to a male student he allegedly sexually molested decades ago, a federal law enforcement official said Friday. The indictment asserts that the acts Hastert wanted to conceal date to a time when he was a teacher and coach in Illinois before entering politics in the early 1980s, the official said. Authorities said the alleged victim, who has spoken with law enforcement officials, was one of Hastert’s students. Hastert, the longest-serving Republican speaker in House history, is not expected to face molestation charges because authorities don’t think they have enough evidence to bring a case against him, a law enforcement official said.

Washington Post, In Hastert’s backyard, mystery surrounds the old coach’s new troubles, Mike DeBonis, Sari Horwitz and Jerry Markon, June 1, 2015. Former Yorkville High School building where former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert coached wrestling from 1965 to 1981 in Yorkville, Ill., May 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty) (Paul Beaty/AP)  Back in the days when Dennis Hastert was a celebrated wrestling coach, before he left this former rural backwater for power and wealth in Washington, he had a simple rule for success. “No messing around,” recalled Carl Kick, 55, who wrestled for the former House speaker in the late 1970s, when Hastert was a social studies teacher and coach at Yorkville High School. Kick and other former students said Hastert applied that rule rigorously: no one-on-one practice sessions, no playing favorites — and no inappropriate contact in the wrestling ring. The uniformly positive memories of Hastert in this small but growing community 50 miles west of Chicago speak to the growing series of mysteries surrounding the man who later became the longest-serving Republican speaker in House history but now faces a federal indictment.

Washington Post, Hastert’s post-Congress life one of political withdrawal and chasing cash, Robert Costa and Paul Kane, May 30, 2015. J. Dennis Hastert’s political winter in Washington has been defined by two seemingly contradictory traits. He shrank almost completely from the spotlight while becoming so dogged in the pursuit of wealth that it puzzled his longtime friends. After retiring from Congress in 2007, the Illinois Republican did not avail himself of the traditional perks afforded elder statesmen. He didn’t serve on commissions or join think tanks, never became an ambassador and rarely made media appearances to dole out wisdom. At the same time Hastert, 73, was relentless in pounding the K Street pavement, serving as a rainmaker for a law firm for the past seven years. He wasn’t a regular presence in the Capitol hallways lobbying his old colleagues, but he advised nearly two dozen corporate clients that paid millions for his counsel.

Washington Post, Hastert indictment is related to old allegations of sexual misconduct, law enforcement official says. Mike DeBonis, Sari Horwitz and Jerry Markon, May 30, 2015. The former House speaker's suspected misconduct dates to when he was a teacher and involved a male victim in Illinois, an official said. The indictment of former House speaker J. Dennis Hastert was triggered by an effort he made to hide payments of hush money to a male student he allegedly sexually molested decades ago, a federal law enforcement official said Friday. The indictment asserts that the acts Hastert wanted to conceal date to a time when he was a teacher and coach in Illinois before entering politics in the early 1980s, the official said. Authorities said the alleged victim, who has spoken with law enforcement officials, was one of Hastert’s students. Hastert, the longest-serving Republican speaker in House history, is not expected to face molestation charges because authorities don’t think they have enough evidence to bring a case against him, a law enforcement official said.


AL.com, Federal judge Mark Fuller resigns, Edward T. Bowser and Kyle Whitmire, May 29, 2015. U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller, right, appears in Fulton County Court Friday, Sept. 5, 2014 to face charges of misdemeanor battery, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Brant Sanderlin) United States District Court Judge Mark Fuller has given his resignation to the president and will step down from the bench Aug. 1.

Fuller's lawyer, Barry Ragsdale, confirmed that the judge sent a letter to the president this week. Beyond that, Ragsdale said he could not comment and that the disciplinary procedures of the 11th Circuit are confidential. Last August, Fuller was arrested in an Atlanta hotel room after a domestic dispute with his then-wife, Kelli Fuller. He was charged with misdemeanor battery, but he later entered into an agreement with the court there to have his record expunged upon receiving counseling and completing a domestic violence program. Since his arrest, Fuller's caseload in federal court had been reassigned and he has been on paid leave. He will not be hearing cases between now and August, his lawyer said. Multiple public officials, including both Alabama Senators and the state's congressional delegation, have called on Fuller to resign, and Rep. Terri Sewell has encouraged Congress to pursue his impeachment.  Friday night, Sewell, D-Birmingham, said news of Fuller's resignation was a "welcome outcome to a very painful breach of the public trust. "Fuller failed to uphold our most fundamental values. Perhaps the only consolation is that he has chosen to spare his family and our nation of the expense of a drawn out impeachment process," she said. A federal judge since 2002, Fuller presided over the public corruption trial of former Alabama governor Don Siegelman and former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy.


 
 
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Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), In 2006, WMR reported on Hastert's blackmailable "misconduct," Wayne Madsen, May 29, 2015. Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) was indicted in Chicago on May 28 for lying to FBI agents about his cash withdrawals from his various bank accounts. Hastert withdrew the money, allegedly beginning in 2010, to pay an individual described only as "Individual A" in the federal indictment as blackmail over "prior misconduct" on the part of Hastert. The Chicago Tribune only referred to the blackmail as "Dennis Hastert's dark secret," but northern Illinois was abuzz with credible rumors that dark secret had something to do with Hastert's earlier years as a wrestling coach for boys at Yorkville High School outside of Chicago. The indictment indicates that Individual A had something to do with Hastert's coaching years because it begins, "from approximately 1965 to 1981, defendant JOHN DENNIS HASTERT was a high school teacher and coach in Yorkville, Illinois." The indictment also states that from 2010 Hastert paid Individual A, who is said to be from Yorkville, a total of $3.5 million to "compensate for and conceal (Hastert's) prior misconduct" with the unnamed person from Hastert's past. There is no mention of his having been blackmailed as a result of his activities as Speaker. Since leaving Congress in 2007, Hastert has been a lobbyist for the Washington law firm of Dickstein Shapiro.

Legal Schnauzer, Here's how the "breaking" story of Dennis Hastert's taste for young wrestlers actually broke nine years ago, Roger Shuler, June 4, 2015. The No. 1 news story in the country right now is about former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) and his efforts to cover up the sexual molestation of at least one youth wrestler during his days as a high school teacher and coach. Hastert was schedule to make a court appearance today, but that has been postponed until next week. It took a federal indictment last week for the story to become national news. But it actually broke almost nine years ago, thanks to the investigative work of D.C.-based journalist Wayne Madsen. In fact, Madsen provided details that the mainstream press still seems afraid to touch.
 
Huffington Post, Dennis Hastert Hid His Skeletons As He Helped Push GOP's Anti-Gay Agenda, Amanda Terkel and Sam Stein, June 6, 2015. During the 2004 elections, George W. Bush's campaign, managed by a closeted Dennis Hastert official photo from 109th Congressgay man, pushed a series of anti-gay ballot initiatives across the country. The House of Representatives, led by a male speaker who allegedly sexually assaulted a male minor, moved a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage after beating back attempts to strengthen hate crimes legislation. And the White House, led in part by a vice president with a lesbian daughter, eagerly encouraged a conservative evangelical base hostile to gay rights. Though only slightly over a decade ago, that election seems increasingly like the relic of a far-off era as the country moves closer toward acceptance of legalizing marriage equality nationwide. But it's being revisited in light of recent revelations that former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) may have sexually abused at least two male students during his time as a high school teacher and wrestling coach, and later lied to the FBI about the hush money he was paying one of them. Hastert wasn't a strident culture warrior during his time in Congress. But he was a vital cog in the anti-gay political machinery that the GOP deployed for political benefit. And now it appears his involvement carried the same elements of duplicity and deceit as that of other Republican operatives of that era.
 
NBC, Sister of Alleged Dennis Hastert Victim Hopes More People Will Come Forward, Shelley Osterloh, Erin Calabrese and Elizabeth Chuck, June 7, 2015. The sister of an alleged victim of sexual abuse by Dennis Hastert said Saturday that she hopes others speak out in the case against the former politician and lobbyist. Jolene Burdge told NBC News that she didn't want to talk anymore about the allegations surrounding Hastert, who served as House speaker for eight years, but said: "I just hope more people will come forward." NBC News has made repeated attempts to reach Hastert without success since since he was indicted last week on charges that he structured bank withdrawals to avoid federal reporting requirements, then lied about it to the FBI. He has yet to comment publicly as well on allegations that he sexually abused high school wrestlers whom he was coaching in Yorkville, Illinois, decades ago when he was a teacher. Federal law enforcement sources have told NBC News that Hastert, 73, was paying a man in 2010 to silence him about sexual misconduct while he was a teacher in Yorkville.
 
Politico, Sister of alleged Hastert victim talked allegations with ABC, AP in 2006, Dylan Byers, June 5, 2015.Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert was confronted with another allegation of sexual abuse on Friday after one Jolene Burdge told ABC News and the Associated Press that her late brother had been the victim of "years-long sexual abuse" by the Illinois Republican. But the report came nearly a decade after Burdge had first informed news organizations about the accusations. In 2006, Burdge reached out to ABC News alleging that her brother Steve Reinboldt had had a sexual relationship with Hastert, a teacher and a wrestling coach at Yorkville High School in Illinois. Burdge was also contacted by the Associated Press after that organization received a tip from another source.

New York Times, Woman Says Dennis Hastert Abused Her Brother in High School, Julie Bosman And Dave Philipps, June 5, 2015. As an enthusiastic young teacher and wrestling coach at the high school here, former House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert reliably had one student at his side, former classmates say. Stephen Reinboldt, a smart, slender, likable student who rose to become class president, was the wrestling team’s equipment manager. For four years, he arrived at practice early and stayed late, traveled with Mr. Hastert to overnight tournaments, even when only one wrestler was competing, and went for long rides in the coach’s sports car, sometimes driving it. On Friday, Mr. Reinboldt’s younger sister, Jolene Burdge, said her brother, who died in 1995, was also sexually abused by Mr. Hastert, but hid the fact for years because he thought no one would believe him. “Mr. Hastert had plenty of opportunities to be alone with Steve because he was there before the meets,” Ms. Burdge said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “He was there after everything because he did the laundry, the uniforms.” The allegation comes a week after Mr. Hastert, who served for eight years as House speaker, was indicted on charges of making cash withdrawals, totaling $1.7 million, to evade detection by the authorities and lying to investigators. Two people briefed on the F.B.I. investigation told The New York Times that Mr. Hastert was using the money to pay a former student hundreds of thousands of dollars to hide the fact that Mr. Hastert sexually abused him decades ago.

Legal Schnauzer, Here's how the "breaking" story of Dennis Hastert's taste for young wrestlers actually broke nine years ago, Roger Shuler, June 4, 2015. The No. 1 news story in the country right now is about former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) and his efforts to cover up the sexual molestation of at least one youth wrestler during his days as a high school teacher and coach. Hastert was schedule to make a court appearance today, but that has been postponed until next week. It took a federal indictment last week for the story to become national news. But it actually broke almost nine years ago, thanks to the investigative work of D.C.-based journalist Wayne Madsen. In fact, Madsen provided details that the mainstream press still seems afraid to touch. How does a story of national importance stay under wraps so long? For one thing, the Wayne Madsen Report (WMR) is  a subscription Web site, and quite a few of its stories likely don't get out from behind the pay wall. Also, Madsen seems to draw ire from partisans on the left and the right   not to mention a number of mainstream journalists -- probably because of his willingness to tackle stories that insiders would rather stay out of sight. Madsen saw the Hastert story brewing way back on Sept. 30, 2006.

 
NewNextNow, Sen. Larry Craig Frequently Hired Male Escorts, Former Pimp Alleges, Evan Ross Katz, May 22, 2015. Former Idaho Senator Larry Craig was caught with a “wide stance” at an airport restroom in 2007, but now a new book claims that was just the tip of his man-craving iceberg. In Confessions of a D.C. Madam: The Politics of Sex, Lies, and Blackmail, Henry Vinson details the massive male-prostitution ring he oversaw, and named Craig as a frequent customer who “preferred escorts who were quite masculine.”  The Charlotte Gazette reports that Vinson employed up to 20 escorts on a given night in this “extremely lucrative” business, before being named in a 43-count federal indictment as part of the largest gay prostitution ring in DC history. (Vinson eventually accepted a plea deal.) In his new book, he calls out Craig, claiming he “became a frequent flier of my escort service.”

Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), In 2006, WMR reported on Hastert's blackmailable "misconduct," Wayne Madsen, May 29, 2015. Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) was indicted in Chicago on May 28 for lying to FBI agents about his cash withdrawals from his various bank accounts. Hastert withdrew the money, allegedly beginning in 2010, to pay an individual described only as "Individual A" in the federal indictment as blackmail over "prior misconduct" on the part of Hastert. The Chicago Tribune only referred to the blackmail as "Dennis Hastert's dark secret," but northern Illinois was abuzz with credible rumors that dark secret had something to do with Hastert's earlier years as a wrestling coach for boys at Yorkville High School outside of Chicago. The indictment indicates that Individual A had something to do with Hastert's coaching years because it begins, "from approximately 1965 to 1981, defendant JOHN DENNIS HASTERT was a high school teacher and coach in Yorkville, Illinois." The indictment also states that from 2010 Hastert paid Individual A, who is said to be from Yorkville, a total of $3.5 million to "compensate for and conceal (Hastert's) prior misconduct" with the unnamed person from Hastert's past. There is no mention of his having been blackmailed as a result of his activities as Speaker. Since leaving Congress in 2007, Hastert has been a lobbyist for the Washington law firm of Dickstein Shapiro.

Hastert was charged with one count of structuring currency transactions -- withdrawing cash in increments of just under $10,000 -- to avoid mandatory federal currency transaction reporting requirements by his banks and one count of making a false statement to the FBI. Hastert began paying the blackmail,  from June 2010 to April 2012, by making 15 withdrawals of $50,000. He then began withdrawing just under the $10,000 reporting threshold. Hastert lied to the FBI by claiming the withdrawals were because the former Speaker and third in line to the presidency of the United States, lost faith in the U.S. banking system.

Hastert met with the individual in question, believed to be a male, several times in 2010 and agreed to pay him $3.5 million to prevent the person from going public with Hastert's past wrongdoing.

In 2006, WMR scooped the Washington media by reporting that Hastert was involved with the cover-up of a major sex scandal involving Republican congressmen and underage male pages.

WMR led off its reporting on Hastert with this September 30, 2006 report:

"Congressional sources told WMR that Hastert, while working from 1964 to 1980 as a popular history/government teacher and wrestling coach at Yorkville High School, in Yorkville, Illinois -- a suburb of Chicago -- was the subject of persistent rumors about inappropriate contact with male members of his high school wrestling team. The culture of the times usually resulted in such alleged behavior being covered up by public and parochial school authorities. However, the rumors were enough for his Yorkville constituency to reject him when he ran for an open seat in the Illinois House of Representatives in 1980. However, Hastert lucked out when another sitting Republican House member who represented the three-seat district had a stroke and declined to run for re-election. The GOP machine bosses selected Hastert as the replacement candidate.

Hastert served in Springfield from 1980 to 1986, six years to make the transformation from wrestling coach with a cloud surrounding himself to politician. In 1986, Hastert received an unexpected promotion. After incumbent Republican Rep. John Grotberg was nominated by the GOP for a second term, he was diagnosed with terminal cancer and fell into a coma. The Illinois Republican Convention selected Hastert as the replacement on the ticket, a virtual election to the U.S. House of Representatives in the strongly Republican district.

In 1989, when the allegations of homosexuality among GOP congressmen arose during the first 'Pagegate"' scandal [the so-called "Franklin cover-up], Hastert's name was one of those whispered. In 1995, Hastert became Chief Deputy Whip under now-disgraced GOP Majority Whip Tom DeLay. Hastert would luck out again. In late 1998, amid scandal, House Speaker Newt Gingrich resigned. After Louisiana Rep. Bob Livingston was elected as Speaker by the GOP House Caucus, he too resigned after admitting to an extramarital affair -- an amazing development since the House had impeached President Bill Clinton for lying about his own extramarital affair. Hastert, without much scrutiny, emerged as the compromise candidate for Speaker, after the GOP deadlocked on Majority Leader Dick Armey (also the subject of various rumors after he called Barney Frank, "Barney Fag") and Majority Whip DeLay.

Now Hastert is fending off allegations that he knew about the page problem with Mark Foley for 11 months and refrained from taking any action. It is also noteworthy that the Chairman of the House Page Board is Republican Rep. John Shimkus, a close ally of Hastert's from Illinois. Allegations of cover-up are also surrounding Louisiana GOP Rep. Rodney Alexander, the sponsor of the 16-year old Louisiana page to whom Foley sent messages concerning masturbation and erections, and New York Republican Rep. Tom Reynolds, the chairman of the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee. Both representatives stand accused of covering up Foley's activities for as long as 11 months.

And the Pagegate scandal threatens to turn into a tsunami that could sweep a number of GOP congressmen from office on November 7. Jeffrey Ray Nielsen, a Christian fundamentalist activist lawyer who was a legislative aide for California Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher and a close associate of Orange County GOP chairman Scott Baugh, has been charged by Orange County, California police with repeatedly engaging in sex with a 14-year old Westminster, California high school freshman male in 2003 and amassing a large amount of child pornography in his Ladera Ranch condo. Nielsen, an attorney for Manatt, Phelps and Phillips, also reportedly engaged in sexual activities from 1994 to 1995 with a northern Virginia boy, who was 13 and 14 at the time. Nielsen, at the time, was a legislative assistant to Rohrabacher. Prosecutors in Orange County have been accused of dragging their feet on the Nielsen case -- charges that involve political pressure from the GOP."

Legal Ethic Forum, U.S. v. Hastert: Some Legal Questions as the Press Gets Ahead of the Story, Stephen Gillers (a leading legal expert on ethics), May 30, 2015. It seemed pretty obvious when news of the indictment broke that Dennis Hastert was paying to cover up sexual misconduct with a minor, although we could not say male or female. Various press reports told us indirectly what editors thought - indirectly, to avoid risk of libel -  referencing Hastert's work coaching wrestling and with the Boy Scouts. Am I the only reader who thought of Jerry Sandusky? But the next questions were: Did Hastert's victim still have a claim he could bring? And would demanding payment  for silence be extortion, a word the press, including the  Times, has now used. Regarding the limitations period in Illinois on child sexual abuse, as I read the statutes, it could be as long as 20 years after the child reaches 18. So the incident could have been as long ago as the mid-80s, depending on the age of the child at the time. The payments began in 2010. As for extortion: If the child, now and adult, hired a lawyer and threatened to sue, as many have for harm arising from the sex abuse, and the lawyer settled for  $3.5 million, which Hastert was in the process of paying when indicted, that surely would not be extortion. We would call that a settlement. (For all we know, maybe the victim did hire a lawyer.)

Washington Post, Family losses frame Vice President Biden’s career, Paul Kane, May 31, 2015. Biden brought the Yale audience to complete silence during speech. Joe Biden had one final bit of advice, a warning, really, for these very successful students. No matter how accomplished their lives turned out to be, they would not be able to control their fates.

Washington Post, Fatal police shootings in 2015 approaching 400 nationwide, Kimberly Kindy, and reported by Julie Tate, Jennifer Jenkins, Steven Rich, Keith L. Alexander and Wesley Lowery, May 31, 2015.  A Post analysis reveals about 2.6 fatal police shootings a day in 2015, nearly twice the rate reported by the FBI in the past decade - a statistic based on incomplete data from police agencies.

Washington Post, Long life of a qujck ‘fix,’ Washington Post, Craig Timberg, May 31, 2015.  A key protocol created as a short-term solution in 1989 is designed to automatically trust users, a flaw that leaves the network ripe for attack

Washington Post, Beau Biden prosecuted one of the worst pedophiles in American history, Justin Wm. Moyer, June 1, 2015. In 2010, just five years before his death this weekend, the time was never better for Beau Biden to make a run for the U.S. Senate. He was performing well as Delaware’s attorney general; his father, Joe Biden, had left Capitol Hill in 2008 to join President Obama in the White House; a family friend had been keeping the seat warm for the young man. But Biden declined. But “the case of great consequence” Biden stuck around to prosecute involved Earl Bradley — a pediatrician who perpetrated what some called “one of the worst cases of child sexual abuse” by sexually assaulting dozens, if not hundreds, of his young patients.