Saving instant messages 101

posted at 9:25 pm on October 3, 2006 by Ian

Michelle is giving a quick lesson on instant messaging to those who don’t understand it or question if the conversations between Foley and pages actually took place. In an example conversation with her, I commented some people barely understand e-mailing, much less instant messaging. To those who question if you can record and log conversations on instant messengers, to put it simply, yes you can.

There are several programs available to keep archives of conversations on the AOL Instant Messenger (AIM). Two of the most popular programs out there are Dead AIM and middle_man. Dead AIM has a copyright that began in the year 2002 and the website for middle_man says it was created in 2002. However, as far as my memory serves–keep in mind I grew up in the IM generation–you could always save conversations using the poor man’s way. Like any word processing program, AIM has an option to save IM conversations manually. All you do is click “File” then “Save”, like you normally would do with any other program the saves files. Below is an image of this process:

save-aim.JPG

The IMs that Brian Ross and ABC obtained look like authentic saved conversations; however, they could have just easily been replicated in that format. Since Foley hasn’t denied the conversations one can only assume that they are in fact real.

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I agree, totally realistic that these were real and saved, but has everyone read them? These kids (yes I know, they’re kids not adults) were seeking these conversations and going along with them. If you were 16 and some creepy old dude IMed you about … well I don’t want to quote any of it… wouldn’t you sign off immediately. If it happened again, wouldn’t you notify authorities, especially considering who the man was? Even if you didn’t do any of that, I doubt you’d sit there and engage Foley and save the IMs unless what we’re seeing now was a plan all along. Unless you’re to tell me that these kids were like school girls in love with Foley, saving their love notes?

There’s still something odd about this, besides just the fact that someone sat on this to time it for the elections.

RightWinged on October 3, 2006 at 9:33 PM

I was wondering about this today. It appears that the pages intentionally saved IM’s – which makes me wonder….why? blackmail comes to mind…

pullingmyhairout on October 3, 2006 at 9:35 PM

wouldn’t you sign off immediately.

maybe not. we’re talking 16 year olds here – not exactly the most reasonable humans. teenagers. adolescents. bullet proof and invisible.

the whole thing sounds really fishy to me.

Foley is STILL a perv, however.

pullingmyhairout on October 3, 2006 at 9:38 PM

IM’s can be saved or discarded at either end.

Foley is a tech-tard if he didn’t know that.

speed647 on October 3, 2006 at 9:51 PM

Whether the kids were encouraging Foley is irrelevant. You see Foley is an adult and they are kids. He’s supposed to know better.

If a 13 year-old girl undresses in front of you and says she wants to sleep with you, are you saying it’s her fault if you do?

The level I see some conservatives digging to try and lay blame anywhere but at Foley’s feet is rather disturbing. No, it’s beyond disturbing.

If the information was hidden until just before the elections is another matter that needs to be investigated but it changes nothing about the perverted actions of Foley. Stop trying to pass blame for his actions.

Benaiah on October 3, 2006 at 9:51 PM

RightWinged, for goodness sakes… these were pages who worked for him and who in fact travelled to their nation’s capital to work for him.

I’m sure they felt flattered that he still wanted to keep in touch with them, something that Foley cynically and manipulatively used to his “advantage”.

Plus, people enjoy IMing (and its addictive… people are MORE likely to have conversations on certain topics this way than they would in person) and Foley didn’t say, “Hi, wanna suck my ****?”

THAT would have probably immediately shut down the conversation. He lead into it gradually, building trust and friendship first, and moving to more flattery mixed with attempting to arouse the people he was communicating with.

It didn’t happen all at once.

What makes this immoral and offensive is a combination of the age of his pages and, equal or worse in my mind, the fact that he traded on the trust they and their parents had placed in him for his gratification.

It is possible, I personally believe, for two people of wildly varying ages to fall for each other. It happens and, once in a while, it is a true love.

Rare, yes, but sometimes, yes.

This, however, was him leveraging his position as a powerful Congressman to preferentially seduce as many young pages as possible. It wasn’t an accident of circumstance, it was hunting and grooming young people in awe of his position… so much so, they went to Washington to see him work in action.

In my country, this would clearly be a crime as he was violating his position of “trust and authority” with someone under the age of 18. It was in its nature and design intentionally abusive. I’m glad he’s gone and as I’ve said in other threads, I hope that your law enforcement investigates for potential breaches of your law.

But to say that there was something untoward because a young person who went to Washington to work for this man could be succeptible to follow up communications with him where he abused his position, his prior relationship with them, their trust, and his much more profound knowledge of communication to try to corrupt them is really alluding to the wrong person as doing wrong.

Frankly, I find your inuendo against these pages disgusting.

Yes, I DO think these may have been part of a leftist plot to sandbag the Republican leadership with a smear before the election. Hastert was completely 100% right to call for an investigation of who sat on these for 3 years because, if it was leftist agitators, youth were at risk for these years and its unconscionable not to have taken steps to protect them just so that you could use this to swing an election.

None of this, however, changes the fact that the wrongdoer in those conversations was Mark Foley and no one else.

ChrisInCanadaOrAussy on October 3, 2006 at 9:56 PM

Whether the kids were encouraging Foley is irrelevant. You see Foley is an adult and they are kids. He’s supposed to know better.

If a 13 year-old girl undresses in front of you and says she wants to sleep with you, are you saying it’s her fault if you do?

The level I see some conservatives digging to try and lay blame anywhere but at Foley’s feet is rather disturbing. No, it’s beyond disturbing.

If the information was hidden until just before the elections is another matter that needs to be investigated but it changes nothing about the perverted actions of Foley. Stop trying to pass blame for his actions.

Benaiah on October 3, 2006 at 9:51 PM

In response to that, and ChrisInCanadaOrAussy’s rant… You guys REALLY need to reread my post… Where am I making excuses for Foley or blaming the kids for what he said? Also read my own posts on this for elaboration… I’ve had to deal with liberals trying to make the same arguments.

Everyone knows Foley is a sick POS. He’s done, and may be criminally prosecuted. We know that, he’s at fault, he’s the bad guy, etc. etc. ALL I’M SAYING is that it’s odd that these kids were talking about jerking off, etc. to this creep old guy and just happened to have these messages saved and ready to go. THIS ISN’T AN EXCUSE FOR FOLEY’S BEHAVIOR!!! But is it not worth noting? I don’t know any 16 year olds who are like “well, I suppose it’ll be fun to have some sick gay conversations with this guy.” Guys, just put yourselves in your 16 year old brain… are you telling me you’d just go along with it and have sex chats with this guy back? If you’re saying that your mind was that weak at 16 then I don’t know what to tell you, but I’m just saying that aspect is fishy. AGAIN, FOLEY IS WRONG, FOLEY DID IT, HE’S A SICK POS! Is that clear? It’s totally his fault, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t something fishy about these two sided IMs.

RightWinged on October 3, 2006 at 10:11 PM

If that’s what you mean, RightWinged, maybe you need to right it clearer.

We’re your fellow conservative and you’ve lost us. Blaming your readerS for misunderstanding your writing is, again, placing the blame in the wrong place.

ChrisInCanadaOrAussy on October 3, 2006 at 10:22 PM

*write

ChrisInCanadaOrAussy on October 3, 2006 at 10:23 PM

If that’s what you mean, RightWinged, maybe you need to right it clearer.

We’re your fellow conservative and you’ve lost us. Blaming your readerS for misunderstanding your writing is, again, placing the blame in the wrong place.

ChrisInCanadaOrAussy on October 3, 2006 at 10:22 PM

I would argue that you’re jumping to conclusions about what I’m saying because of your anger at conservatives you apparently see defending Foley. I’ve done nothing of the sort. But as AP pointed out, as did I, in a little debate with Malkin about raising these side issues… Foley is done, is he not? He got what he had coming, and will probably get more, which is more than we can say for Democrats in similar situations. But that part of the story is pretty cut and dry, it would seem. He was the bad guy, plain and simple. But there are some shady things happening around all of this that are worth exploring, no?

RightWinged on October 3, 2006 at 10:31 PM

Two points…

One, you have to go out of your way to save IM conversations….

that multiple X pages did so is… interesting….

Second point is that these conversations are all with EX pages… which makes them at least 17… if not older. As the Page program supposedly gets the best and brightest, and shoves them into wicked wild Washington for a year… BEFORE these supposedly happened???

Both sides stink to high heaven…

Romeo13 on October 3, 2006 at 10:35 PM

I would say that I’m hardly angry at all, except at Foley and anyone who sat on these sexually explicit IMs. I know you hold Foley responsible, but your writing lead several people to conclude that you were casting virtual aspersions toward the pages as well.

Maybe it would be better to just clarify your writing rather than to question your multiple readers reading ability.

Yes, I agree with you that there are facts worth exploring and have said so in multiple locations on the Internet as strongly as you have.

ChrisInCanadaOrAussy on October 3, 2006 at 10:35 PM

Dude, Romeo, you do NOT have to go way out of your way to save IM conversations.

Each and every instant messenger I have installed on my system (Windows Live Messenger formerly MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, and Skype) each, automatically, save IMs. This is the default setting.

Further, if I was being solicited by a Congressman, I’d save the IMs even if I had to take an additional step to do so.

I have all sorts of IMs saved on my computer without taking any steps to do so.

ChrisInCanadaOrAussy on October 3, 2006 at 10:38 PM

that multiple X pages did so is… interesting….

Second point is that these conversations are all with EX pages… which makes them at least 17… if not older. As the Page program supposedly gets the best and brightest, and shoves them into wicked wild Washington for a year… BEFORE these supposedly happened???

Both sides stink to high heaven…

Romeo, you’re saying Mark Foley stinks to high heaven… and the pages stink to high heaven?

How do you sleep at night?

ChrisInCanadaOrAussy on October 3, 2006 at 10:41 PM

RightWinged, again it DOES NOT MATTER if they were encouraging his response or planning some kind of blackmail. IT DOES NOT MATTER because he’s an adult and should know better than to respond like that to a KID.

Again, you seem to be making an argument that the 13 year-old I referred to in my first post would be at fault if an adult slept with her. That’s not an argument that would hold up in any US court. Of course if you want to side with Islam then she’s a dirty whore and should be stoned to death. Is that what you’re saying?

Benaiah on October 3, 2006 at 10:43 PM

RightWinged, I understood what you were getting at, and the most I could accuse you of is bad punctuation.

OK. Today we are told that teen kids all do IM, that they all save those IM’s, and after a period of a few years they will finally share such perverse IM’s. Nothing to question there. Yeah Right! I am constantly getting rid of old files on my Current pc, and my 2003 pc was always in dire need of more HD space. My e-mail program is amongst the first that I begin deleting e-mails from, and if I had saved IM’s I am positive those would have been deleted as well, unless I had something in mind. What could that have been?

Foley is crotch crud, and I’m glad he is being investigated, yet ABC’s reports have yet to pass the smell test, IMHO.

Ian, thanks for sharing this here. You mention that Foley hasn’t denied these IM’s, but do we know that he has even seen the reports from ABC yet?

DannoJyd on October 3, 2006 at 10:43 PM

Benaiah, you are wrong. Motive is always looked at in any criminal investigation because it is relevant.

DannoJyd on October 3, 2006 at 10:45 PM

DannoJyd, since you like to use that oh-so-persuasive “you are wrong” statement, I’ll throw it back at you: you are wrong.

When it comes to an adult sexually soliciting a minor, it makes no difference whether the minor was planning on saving the communication for evidence or not.

If it did, then you could never, ever have a conviction where a police officer pretends to be a minor for the purposes of catching online predators. Now could you?

It makes not a hill of beans worth of difference.

First, I highly doubt that the U.S. page system organized themselves into a multi-year effort to nail Mark Foley for his reprehensible abuses of trust. If they did, well done.

Second, again, it doesn’t matter a bit if they did. So… you are wrong.

Where you’re going wrong is this:

Motive is always looked at in any criminal investigation because it is relevant.

Ah so, grasshopper! But it’s the perpetrator’s motive that matters… not the victim’s.

ChrisInCanadaOrAussy on October 3, 2006 at 10:51 PM

I’ve been a long time user of AOL’s instant messenger and I’m 99.9% sure that AIM conversations are not saved on the computer. If they are, it’s probably some temporary encrypted file. In order to log conversations you either have to have a program to do so or manually save it (both instances explained in the post above).

The “teen” intentionally saved this conversation either by File->Save or having a logger.

Ian on October 3, 2006 at 10:52 PM

ChrisInCanadaOrAussy, I’m not questioning your reading ability, I just think you may have jumped to conclusions out of emotion. We’ve seen it a lot the past few days. A lot of us who understand that Foley is the bad guy here and is getting and will continue to get what he deserves, but noting that there are other issues that diserve exploring. There are many who make comments very similar to yours that seem to be coming out to take the moral high road by simply blasting Foley and not going much further than that. Exhibit A would be Benaiah, again:

RightWinged, again it DOES NOT MATTER if they were encouraging his response or planning some kind of blackmail. IT DOES NOT MATTER because he’s an adult and should know better than to respond like that to a KID.

Again, you seem to be making an argument that the 13 year-old I referred to in my first post would be at fault if an adult slept with her. That’s not an argument that would hold up in any US court. Of course if you want to side with Islam then she’s a dirty whore and should be stoned to death. Is that what you’re saying?

Benaiah on October 3, 2006 at 10:43 PM

REREAD MY COMMENTS. I never said these kids were at fault. How many ways do I have to blast Foley? Like I asked a lib commenter at my site, would you only be satisfied if I hold a protest out front of Foley’s house? There’s nothing I can do to help you if you continue down that road and don’t accept that there is something fishy about these saved IMs that apparently didn’t upset these kids enough at the time when they chose to engage in them, but then they get pulled out 3 years later. (here’s where you ignore me blaming Foley again, and just focus on that last part). THE KIDS ARE NOT AT FAULT! Does that help you? But are you saying this point isn’t worth noting?

RightWinged on October 3, 2006 at 10:52 PM

ChrisInCanadaOrAussy, the story, as told so far, does not pass the smell test.

The timing is too convenient, the homophobic angle is being pushed too hard as it is coming from a liberal media source, and the fact that these IM’s are over 3 years old is most questionable. It isn’t as if these have been vetted by experts, or come from a federal archive. All we ask for is solid proof before we render a verdict.

Blame Dan Rather for my skepticism.

DannoJyd on October 3, 2006 at 10:53 PM

By the way, is it maybe that you think I’m speakin in terms of the legal angle, for Foley, here? This isn’t about “well if it was blackmail, then he should get off”, and no where did I indicate anything of the sort. What I’m talking about, is the same issure raised on other threads about who sat on the story? 3 years! No where in that time did anyone care enough to protect children from this sicko, until election time and Republicans looked more likely to keep their majority. While I do have to wonder what is wrong with these kids, that’s not the main point… it’s about who orchestrated this whole thing, and why they cared so little about protecting kids until it could win them a House seat.

RightWinged on October 3, 2006 at 10:57 PM

ChrisInCanadaOrAussy, supposed victim. Do you know how the law applies to this case?

Thank you, Ian. As I’ve been a long time opponent of AOL, I have no clue as to what you can do with it. I do know that it can be a witch to get rid of though as I’ve corrected several computers with that AOL problem program.

No doubt about it. The MSM media has been quite successful in getting people to react with homophobic hysteria, but they are not telling the entire story. Not even half of it.

DannoJyd on October 3, 2006 at 10:59 PM

By the way, is it maybe that you think I’m speakin in terms of the legal angle, for Foley, here? This isn’t about “well if it was blackmail, then he should get off”, and no where did I indicate anything of the sort. What I’m talking about, is the same issure raised on other threads about who sat on the story? 3 years! No where in that time did anyone care enough to protect children from this sicko, until election time and Republicans looked more likely to keep their majority. While I do have to wonder what is wrong with these kids, that’s not the main point… it’s about who orchestrated this whole thing, and why they cared so little about protecting kids until it could win them a House seat.

I made the same point in my original post in this thread. Yes, if there was a delay in bringing these IMs to light then that needs to be investigated. However the motive of the kids is still irrelevant because, even if it was the kids that held back those IMs this long, it was their right to do so since they were the ones being stalked by Foley. Only in a case where it’s shown that the Democrats, Republicans or MSM held back this evidence for political gain is there a crime that we should be concerned with aside from Foley’s actions.

Benaiah on October 3, 2006 at 11:09 PM

Hear, hear, Benaiah.

ChrisInCanadaOrAussy on October 3, 2006 at 11:10 PM

ChrisInCanadaOrAussy, and Benaiah, inquiring minds wish to know. Do you want to know why we wish to know?

DannoJyd on October 3, 2006 at 11:12 PM

I actually used this to get one of my co-workers fired, who was using IM to sexually harass or talk bad about other collages and management didn’t believe me. People don’t realize that there is such a thing as history, sad thing is now they might and may disable it. Hmm to commemorate what’s been going on I might post this dirty chat log as another example to watch what you say.

Personally love history. I use so I can look back at links people sent me or answers to questions I asked, this way I don’t have to ask the person twice and waste their time.

Rule #1 don’t say things that goes against your company’s policies or your own ethics…. IM is like email and there is a copy of the communication somewhere, either on your computer the other persons computer or possibly the server.

Shack on October 3, 2006 at 11:13 PM

Michelle has the straight goods on saving IMs:

Reader Michael e-mails:

I use Trillian which works with all the major IMs [including AOL]. I have logs that go back to 2001.

Reader Wayne:

I saw your post about on the issue of saving IM chat sessions to file. I know that AIM (AOL’s IM program) had this capability back in 1999; in fact, it was enabled automatically when the program was installed. I discovered this while poking around in my Windows account profile folders one day and discovered the log files (the files were named after the Buddy ID of the other chat party). We are left to speculate how these log files got to the public. Were they on Foley’s laptop (without his awareness of this feature) and discovered by IT support personnel or others(recall that he was in a hotel room when the first indecent IM exchange was posted by ABC-TV), or the former page saved/sent them to someone (if so, when was this done)?

I trust that puts this matter to rest.

ChrisInCanadaOrAussy on October 3, 2006 at 11:15 PM

I agree with that Benaiah, but I still say the circumstances of how the IMs came to be and to be saved are suspicious. I find it strange that these kids would engage in these conversations. Maybe they did, but I can put myself in my 16 year old mind and know I never would have. I’m not saying these conversations weren’t real, but the biggest piece of evidence we have that they were so far is just Foley not denying them. I just think everyone is too eager to accept that this happened the way we’re being told it did, and that these conversations happened exactly the way it’s being said (which may be the case, but we don’t know). Again, all the reporting could be 100% true, but we haven’t had any real “proof” yet, and again I just find it really strange that these kids wouldn’t be so freaked out that they’d sign off, but instead that they’d continue such disgusting conversations. I also find it odd that Foley would be stupid enough to do something like this. Yeah stranger things happen every day with people who think they’ll never get caught, and he probably did… but I’m open to other possibilities until there is a real investigation… Not emails to ABC.

RightWinged on October 3, 2006 at 11:20 PM

Again, I realize I probably need to clarify that comment because you guys won’t look at it as a whole – FOLEY IS THE POS, BAD GUY, SICKO GETTING WHAT HE DESERVES. KIDS AREN’T AT FAULT. But there are big questions to be raised here, and the situation may not wind up looking the same way it does right now. We’ve all condemned Foley and he’s getting what he deserves, nothing more can be done on that. What purpose does raging against him serve at this point? If this was one of the cases (like with the Dems) where he remained in office and was getting reelected, that would be one thing, but what more can we do about Foley? He’s already screwed.

RightWinged on October 3, 2006 at 11:25 PM

I’ve been a long time user of AOL’s instant messenger and I’m 99.9% sure that AIM conversations are not saved on the computer. If they are, it’s probably some temporary encrypted file.

— Ian

Based on the 11:15 PM comment excerpted from Michelle’s weblog post — created with your assistance — will you be revising your percentage?

ChrisInCanadaOrAussy on October 3, 2006 at 11:40 PM

Heck, some firewalls and proxies record email and IM sent through them, and AOL-compatible clients like Trillian can autosave and search previous IM conversations to. This is hardly rocket science.

shirgall on October 4, 2006 at 12:17 AM

Were they on Foley’s laptop (without his awareness of this feature) and discovered by IT support personnel or others(recall that he was in a hotel room when the first indecent IM exchange was posted by ABC-TV), or the former page saved/sent them to someone (if so, when was this done)?

The question remains.

DannoJyd on October 4, 2006 at 12:28 AM

Yes, while every other point you’ve made in this thread has been discredited, that question remains.

ChrisInCanadaOrAussy on October 4, 2006 at 12:42 AM

Thanks, I sleep quite well…

And once again, saving IMs WAS a default setting on some old IM programs, but as stated, right now, with no configuration changes, there is not a single IM log on any of the 5 computers I have at home… all with standard default settings. When these default settings changed for each type of program would have to be researched… but of course knowing the program used would be helpfull…

As these were sent to different people, from different physical locations, the only way they could have been intercepted is either from more than one Ex Page not only saving these but also forwarding them to the same George Soros sponsored Website, from Foley’s computer (which if you found this data you could not release legaly… data theft), or from the possibly wireless Access point/firewall copying the traffic going across it (which is not public domain info, and is not released without a warrant…).

That this confluence of events comes just before an election, when it has been going on for years, is troubling in the extreme.

Also, give the FACT that the Ex pages involved almost HAVE to be 18 now, and thus legal adults, their not coming forward by name is troubling.

Add in the fact that the main attack is now on HASTERT???? Who really had no knowledge of the IMS? which someone sat on for years????

Add in that there is a new “release” today of old transcripts??? (gee, think we’ll get another one tomorow?)

Sorry…. stinks…

Romeo13 on October 4, 2006 at 1:41 AM

You folks assume that the IM messages that ABC put on the web are dialogs involving Foley and not fakes.

You have ONLY their word that what they received are in fact actual IM “logs” or saved IM sessions.

The Democrats have LEARNED from their experience with the forged Bush NG documents. No hardcopy created by MS Word using Times New Roman font this time. No forged signatures.

The Democrats have LEARNED not to use word processors to create a paper document whose credibility can be destroyed in minutes by experts out on the net.

Maybe they used notepad (or some other text editor) to create a text file containing the alleged conversations. I could easily do that in minutes.

They could have forwarded it to Brian Ross — a willing democratic party agent — for him to take and purport by publication to be actual conduct.

I’ve heard him claim that these messages are “documented.” Bull shit!

Point 1: The instant messages purported to contain conversations of Foley have not been authenticated by anybody but Brian Ross. And Ross was not credible on Katrina and other stories — what makes you believe him now?

Point 2: The original source of these purported conversations exists out there in cyberspace. If the FBI or experts examined the actual computers, then the origin could be proved.

These instant messenges are either (a) actual logs, that can be examined on the machine that stored them, or (b) forgeries typed up by a person or persons unknown using a simple text editor.

If they are forged, then Foley (and the Republican Party) is being defamed in pursuit of stealing an election.

In both cases, the data looks identical, being just a stream of ascii characters stored as bytes on a hard drive.

I am not defending Foley. I am pointing out that this media “slam-dunk” is TOO EASY TO FAKE by Democrats who WERE LOSING the election on the issues.

And given the fact that the Democrats FORGED A GOVERNMENT DOCUMENT in 2004 to try to get Kerry elected, I do not put it beyond them to fake some IM logs to force a change over of an acknowledged SAFE HOUSE REPUBLICAN SEAT.

The modern Democratic Party is run by people who are known to lie for political advantage. The Party has been taken over by an ideology whose basic premise is that LIES DON’T MATTER as long as they win.

Think back to 2004 and the claim that Bush stole the election just because the early projections didn’t hold up to the actual enumeration.

Think back to Joe Wilson and HIS LIES.

Think back to all those Katrina reports about snipers shooting at helos (never happened), to gangs raping and killing in the superdome (never happened — 400 armed National Guardsmen kept order), to the hundreds of dead bodies there (only 2, both natural causes).

The media LIED then, and they worked overtime to blame it all on Bush, to help the Democrats.

Think back to the LIES coming from DEMOCRATS that George W. Bush ordered the levies breached in order to drown blacks.

What is the “chain of custody” for this evidence? How do we know that the dialog is not fabricated? Who supplied these to Ross. How were they supplied? These are questions that must be answered.

Foley has NOT publicly admitted sending them, in case you haven’t heard. And several bloggers have detected inconsistencies in the non-sexually explicit EMAIL messages published by Ross, that the leadership confronted Foley about.

All we know for certain is that Foley resigned — and the Brian Ross is claiming to have explicit sexual dialog in IM logs.

So, if you really want to get to the bottom of this, DEMAND that Ross disclose his sources. Then have the source computers containing the data examined by computer forensic experts, and the owners testify under oath as to the authenticity of the dialog.

Ross won’t, of course. He’ll “protect his sources.” So, I say subpoena him tomorrow, and jail him if he doesn’t give them up, because what is at stake here is who controls the United States government.

I’m listening to Mark Halprin of ABC *GLOAT* at how this scandal has “turned the election” around. and I’ll be God-Damned if I’m going to stand by and watch the Party that stands for treason, surrender, and appeasement take over the country on what may very well be FORGERIES, authored by a Party that has a history of PRODUCING FAKES just before an election.

If Foley actually sent the messages or had sexual relations with underage boys, then he deserves everything that happens to him. And the person(s) who have withheld this data until now should be prosecuted as accessories.

If not, then America is being played as fools by the likes of Rahm Emanuel, Chuck Schumer, and media whores like Brian Ross.

georgej on October 4, 2006 at 3:21 AM

georgej, you make a lot of great points… which means you’re about to be attacked by people who say you’re defending Foley.

Anyway I wasn’t prepared to quite go fully out on the limb you did, because as you can see they jumped all over me for barely approaching the subject, no matter how many times I blasted Foley. But I do have to comment on a few things you said…

Yes, creating forged IMs would be easy for most elementary school kids these days. Hell, I used to do a funny trick on friends when I was a teenager.. You know how in an IM your own screen name shows up blue and the person your talking to shows up red (or maybe it’s the other way around, I can’t remember).. Anyway, this is the same on your buddy’s IM box. What I would do is type a sentence but not send it, copy my friend’s screen name, hit shift+enter at the end of my unsent sentence (giving me a hard return), past the screen name, change it to blue, then type something stupid and change it to black, and send. It would appear as if I just said something casual, but that my buddy said something gross or stupid. They’d be like “hey, wtf!? I didn’t say that I swear!” And I’d be laughing at them sitting there all confused why they saw on their own screen, what looked like a message they typed, but they knew they hadn’t. Not sure if that makes sense, but it’s actually really easy and only takes a few seconds.

Anyway, that was a bit of a tangent, but a fun little trick to play on people. But again, georgej is right, for all we know someone typed this up in a word processing program and sent it Ross. What proof do we have of anything here? If there is anything we should have learned over the past few years is that you should NEVER trust the media unless you can get at least 2 sources independently confirming it. This may well be true, but I’ll wait until it’s proven before I fully accept it. The only thing that makes me lean towards real is no denial from Foley.

Back to georgej’s point about Dems pulling out fake docs… Would that surprise anyone? An investigation would likely not prove one way or another before the election, and by then it wont’ matter, politically. This wouldn’t be a surprising move by Dems at all.

Anyway, all and all, georgej is pretty on target and I think we need Ross to show us the money.

RightWinged on October 4, 2006 at 4:00 AM

The IMs are real for frig sakes.

Why do you think Foley is revealing that he was allegedly sexually assaulted by clergy and that he’s an alcoholic?

To gain sympathy from the public and even start softening up a jury.

If they were fakes, don’t you think he might say, “Hey, those are fakes?”

If I created in Notepad (although UltraEdit is way cooler ;-) and JEdit, PSPad, and EditPad Lite are excellent free choices) a series of IMs with youth once placed in your trust

ChrisInCanadaOrAussy on October 4, 2006 at 4:24 AM

[clicked submit button early by mistake]

… with made-up conversations where you were asking them out on dates, sharing orgasms with them, persuading them to describe their genitals, etc., and calling them “studs”, would you:

a) Deny it.
b) Enter rehab and say you were raped by a priest.

Think, people.

ChrisInCanadaOrAussy on October 4, 2006 at 4:27 AM

If they were fakes, don’t you think he might say, “Hey, those are fakes?”

That’s what I said, but it’s hardly a smoking gun, and given the media’s record, I’m going to need more proof or an admission from him. I think it’s likely that they are real, but georgej makes some good points.

Bottom line is that there’s a lot of fishiness here, whether these are real or not. Keep in mind also that Foley is likely not allowed contact with the outside world while in rehab, and can’t confirm or deny claims being made and transcripts being posted by ABC news. Even before he went in, I highly doubt in the state he was in, that he’d be following media reports about him. Like I said, for all we know this might turn in to “fake but accurate”. I just think you’re too willing to accept the media’s account here, based on nothing other than a lack of a denial from Foley.

I could be wrong, but I don’t remember Bush blasting Rather in the wake of Rathergate? Or how about the hundreds of other times the media has launched smear campaigns against him? A lack of lashing out at a dishonest media isn’t a smoking gun, proving that these are real logs. Again, if these conversations truly took place (again, likely as far as we know, but not even close to proven) it’s extremely odd that the kids were disturbed enough to save them, yet chose not to reveal them until now, don’t you think? Also, why were parents only complaining about the overly friendly emails last year, when these IMs were supposedly around in 2003? Why would some obvious straight kid (mention of previous girlfriends) out himself as some sicko who sex talked with an old man as now an adult, vs. doing it under the protection of minor status at 16. etc. etc. etc.

I already know your reaction to this, so you might want to save it, because I’m just going to reply by saying your lack of questioning and willingness to just accept what the MSM is putting out is unsettling, especially after all we’ve seen in recent years.

RightWinged on October 4, 2006 at 5:18 AM

You’re nuts, dude.

I’ve been focussing on the real fishiness here since the beginning. And defending Dennis Hastert, the Republicans, etc.

You, however, are going off on silly tangents. The IMs are real. Deal with it.

Now ask the question that matters, who in the Democratic Party or their leftist supporters got them when and, if a while ago, why didn’t they do anything with them earlier to protect these youth?

That (I admit you’ve also asked this question)’s a question worth asking.

ChrisInCanadaOrAussy on October 4, 2006 at 5:31 AM

ChrisInCanadaOrAussy wrote:

The IMs are real for frig sakes.

First things first. How do you know? What Ross reports may NOT be what Foley said.

I was supposed to be called as an expert witness to testify that a message was received on my wife’s voicemail at a particular time from one of my wife’s clients, and that the copy I downloaded to a CD was a truthful, accurate copy of the message.

That voicemail transcribed to a CD was to be evidence of my wife’s client’s innocence in a charge of child endangerment, a criminal complaint filed by her child’s father in a custody/visitation dispute.

The stakes involve permanent loss of visitation (forget about custody) for the mother, possible jail time, a fine, and a criminal record upon conviction.

As of yesterday, the other side stipulated as to the facts that the message on CD that I created was recorded on voicemail when it was recorded, and that the .wav copy was an accurate recording. And I no longer have to testify.

I was part of the chain of custody between the voicemail recording and the .wav copy of it on CD, and had they not stipulated, I would be on the witness stand next week explaining exactly how I downloaded the .wav file, translated to a CD recording format, and burned the CD. I would have been required to disclose the source of the stored copy of the voicemail, the download mechanism, the software tool I used to transcribe, the CD burner, and the brand of CDs I used.

Everything. And Mark Foley, regardless of his behavior, even if he is a scumbag, deserves no less.

Because when you accuse a person of a heineous crime, fairness demands that the evidence be factual and truthful. The real damning evidence against Foley are those IMs that Ross claims were between Foley and a minor.

Here’s what we don’t know. We don’t know who is in the chain of custody for the alleged Foley IMs.

We don’t know even who, with certainty, the parties in the IM are.

We don’t know how Brian Ross acquired them, or how many others handled, viewed, transcribed, etc., them.

We don’t know if they are even accurate (and not forged or edited) renditions of a dialog between Foley and a page.

We don’t know squat about these messages except what Brian Ross says. And that ought to bother us. Because like Dan Rather and the forged TANG documents, Ross could be using forgeries.

The media (ABC in particular) are gang beating up the Republicans with the editorial equivalent of a baseball bat and chains. The Democrats are already running TV ads accusing the entire Republican Party of being accomplices to child molestation.

And some of you don’t seem to care if these IMs are even real. You’re ready to punish Foley AND Hastert on the basis of what Brian Ross says. [I'm sorry, Michelle, I DO questiong the truthfulness of Brian Ross and will continue to do so until those IMs are authenticated]

Well, I want to know. I think, in fairness to people who support the Republicans, that we NEED to know.

Given the blogging at gateway pundit, macsmind, and strata-sphere, and elsewhere, there appears to be one or more individuals who (1) somehow acquired these IMs, (2) sat on these IMs until recently, (3) created a bogus blogsite and primed it with a salacious report earlier this past summer, and (4) at the “right” time, just before the election, forwarded them on to Brian Ross, and that highly placed members of the Democratic Party may have been directly involved.

What a coup for the enemy if they can get us to panic and eat our own because of a well-designed set up designed to destroy the Republican Party.

First things first: Are those IMs real?

If they are, then we can determine if the Republican leadership was involved — of if the Democrats knew and held this back instead of reporting it. Oh, and Mark Foley can rot in prison.

If they are not, then Brian Ross and the individuals that aided and abetted him deserve to be punished. Ross should be fired like Mary Mapes or “retired” like Dan Rather. If any Democrats are involved, they should go to jail.

I’ll say it one more time: I do not defend Mark Foley. I am NOT in denial. If Foley did what is alleged, he deserves to be punished.

But we have all seen how the liberal media deliberatly misreports stories, and does so with clear malice aforethought. If a biased media, acting as an adjunct of the Democratic Party is willing to put up a 60 Minutes FRAUD and proclaim it to be “fake but accurate” in 2004, then they are certainly capable of forging IMs in 2006.

First things first. Are these IMs real?

georgej on October 4, 2006 at 7:23 AM

Lack of denial is proof of nothing. I don’t doubt that he was sending IM’s to former pages, otherwise, why would he immediately resign? I wonder, however, if the reported IM’s are authentic, or re-written from memory? Of course it is possible to record or even copy/paste the messages, but what teenager would do this, keep them for years, only to release them now when Foley is running for re-election, if the alleged victim in question had no political motive?

There is no doubt that Foley is a pervert; he is no longer in the government and the FBI is rightfully investigating him. He had no actual physical contact with these teens, and it is good that he was outed before that happened.

The Democrats are capable of producing fake evidence–do I need to list examples? This time, they may have really had their ducks in a row. They knew Foley is gay, contacting former pages, possibly transmitting lurid, sexual messages. So why not capitalize on that? But, of course wait to get full political advantage, instead of protecting any other teens.

Now the left is doing all it can to implicate all Republicans in this. Which makes the whole affair even dirtier, giving it “legs” to last until the election.

BlueStateBlues on October 4, 2006 at 8:42 AM

Lack of denial is proof of nothing. I don’t doubt that he was sending IM’s to former pages, otherwise, why would he immediately resign? I wonder, however, if the reported IM’s are authentic, or re-written from memory?

Exactly.

RightWinged on October 4, 2006 at 9:09 AM

Thank you georgej for saying almost to the letter what I was thinking. But you put it in words much better than I would have. Thank you RightWinged for lending your support to him.

The radical left is once again using its lie cheat and steal tactics and not being called on it. This happens in every fight. The president must step up and demand information in every instance. Not just in this case but also in the National Security leaks. The precedent that has been set on letting unsubstantiated information pass as vetted and credible is unconscionable.

Foley must go but the question is who else must go with him? Personally I believe the ones that sat on this information for so long only to releaseit now for political gain should. Furthermore if it turns out to be fabricated for political gain the fabricators shoulod be jailed. But like everything else eminating from the left in this country it will be sanctified and the perpetrators will be rewarded with millions!

Priest on October 4, 2006 at 9:40 AM

Sorry about the punctuation and spelling I’m at work and sneaking the message in on a break.

Priest on October 4, 2006 at 9:42 AM

You don’t have to save each chat session separately, as the “save as” instructs. Just go to preferences and select “automatically save chat transcript.” (That’s from iChat, but there’s similar preference in the AIM client.) That saves each session in a folder and names by user with date/time stamp. BTW, there are some other programs like Chatalog that save chat sessions and sort and archive onto a searchable webpage, including a separate view of links or media.

BrunoMitchell on October 4, 2006 at 10:10 AM

A couple of facts:
1. You dont need AIM to save your IMs. Keystroke logging scripts/software has been around since the beginning of the Internet. Millions of copies have been downloaded. This software is marketed to parents who want to keep track of their kids online activity. (Plus can’t you just copy/paste an IM into Word?)

2. If I was talking to a celebrity or a Congressman, I would keep a log of the IM/email, etc. Who wouldn’t? So the fact that these IMs were saved is a no-brainer.

faraway on October 4, 2006 at 12:11 PM

Actually, you can just copy/paste an entire IM conversation into Word. I just did it. Try it yourself.

faraway on October 4, 2006 at 12:14 PM

RightWinged, are you trying to lose all credibility and show how asinine you are?

Or, as I suspect, does it just come natural?

ChrisInCanadaOrAussy on October 4, 2006 at 4:22 PM

Since everyone is convinced about how easy it is to save Instant message chats, perhaps you will want to read this:

http://www.securityfocus.com/columnists/233

rockhauler on October 4, 2006 at 4:30 PM

Interesting article, rockhauler.

Most states and my country (Canada) are one-party consent jurisdictions.

The ultimate point, however, is that saving chat messages is easy to do — it’s often done automatically (often without the user realizing their computer is storing the chat à la Ian) and when not, still ultra easy.

But a great article nonetheless. Well worth reading for anyone that uses instant messages.

[formerly known as "ChrisInCanadaOrAussy"]

Christoph on October 4, 2006 at 5:24 PM

And this . .(.pdf page 6 and 7)
https://www.nascio.org/nascioCommittees/privacy/instantMessagingBrief.pdf#search=%22instant%20message%20privacy%22

Retention of IM Communications and Public Records and Open Meetings Laws:

and

The IM Archiving Without Consent Problem:

Now if these IM logs were archival logs on congressional IM servers, who leaked them to Brian Ross?

If those IM chats that Brian Ross has did not come from congressional IM servers, where did they come from? If these IM chats took place on congressional IM servers, how do those logs compare to what Brian Ross has?

If these IM chats took place on consumer grade IM servers, out side of congressional duties, that means the congressional pages who participated in them, did so voluntarily; you have to sign up with the service, and obtain an account, and you have to give out your user name.

And how do you verify with whom you are chatting???

rockhauler on October 4, 2006 at 5:37 PM

Correction… the article states that AOL Instant Messenger does not enable logging by default… unlike most chat clients… Reader Wayne (above and on Michelle’s original post) says that it has the capacity (but it must be enabled presumably by checking a box, which is incredibly hard).

Christoph on October 4, 2006 at 5:38 PM

RightWinged, are you trying to lose all credibility and show how asinine you are?

Or, as I suspect, does it just come natural?

ChrisInCanadaOrAussy on October 4, 2006 at 4:22 PM

What did I say to deserve such civility now?

RightWinged on October 4, 2006 at 6:37 PM

2. If I was talking to a celebrity or a Congressman, I would keep a log of the IM/email, etc. Who wouldn’t? So the fact that these IMs were saved is a no-brainer.

True, I did it when I talked to Dane Cook one time. But in this case you have to wonder, if these are in fact real and upsetting, why they weren’t brought out until now? (plus all other points mentioned by myself and others earlier). Again, Foley is the sicko here, but there are questions that need answering, and I find it irresponsible to simply buy the story as it’s being told simply because “ABC says so”. Just look out how the “Hastert knew” angle has been played up. There are actually claims now that the leadership was told a couple years ago, but it’s too early to know what to make of that… But up until now, as far as anyone could tell Hastert didn’t know anything about the IMs/sexual content. The Dems put it in their “playbook” to mix that part of the issue together with the emails to score maximum political points (aka – lie to win the election), and much of the media has allowed these liars to have a voice.

RightWinged on October 4, 2006 at 6:42 PM

The IMs are real for frig sakes.

ChrisInCanadaOrAussy on October 4, 2006 at 4:24 AM

Define real…

XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX THU OCT 5 2006 2:53:48 ET XXXXX

CLAIM: FILTHY FOLEY ONLINE MESSAGES WERE PAGE PRANK GONE AWRY
**World Exclusive**
**Must Credit the DRUDGE REPORT**

According to two people close to former congressional page Jordan Edmund, the now famous lurid AOL Instant Message exchanges that led to the resignation of Mark Foley were part of an online prank that by mistake got into the hands of enemy political operatives, the DRUDGE REPORT can reveal.

According to one Oklahoma source who knows the former page very well, Edmund, a conservative Republican, goaded an unwitting Foley to type embarrassing comments that were then shared with a small group of young Hill politicos. The prank went awry when the saved IM sessions got into the hands of political operatives favorable to Democrats.

The primary source, an ally of Edmund, adamantly proclaims that the former page is not a homosexual. The prank scenario was confirmed by a second associate of Edmund. Both are fearful that their political careers will be affected if they are publicly brought into the investigation.

A setup, and yes, that is real.

DannoJyd on October 5, 2006 at 4:53 PM