When America Does Not Lead, Strange Things Happen

On Wednesday, Clare Lopez at the Center for Security Policy posted an article about some of the emerging alliances in the Middle East. Unfortunately, some Middle East countries, feeling that America will no longer stand with them against the Muslim Brotherhood are beginning to align with Russia. Other countries are moving toward other options.

The article reports:

At the annual gathering of Iranians outside of Paris, France on 9 July 2016, where some 100,000 showed up to express support for regime change in Tehran, one of the guest speakers dropped a bombshell announcement. Even before he took the podium, Prince Turki bin Faisal Al-Saud, appearing in the distinctive gold-edged dark cloak and white keffiyeh headdress of the Saudi royal family, of which he is a senior member, drew commentary and lots of second looks. The Prince is the founder of the King Faisal Foundation, and chairman of the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies, and served from 1977-2001 as director general of Al-Mukhabarat Al-A’amah, Saudi Arabia’s intelligence agency, resigning the position on 1 September 2001, some ten days before the attacks of 9/11.

He took the podium late in the afternoon program on 9 July and, after a discourse on the shared Islamic history of the Middle East, launched into an attack on Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, whose 1979 revolution changed the course of history not just in Iran, but throughout the world. His next statement sent a shock wave through the assembly: Bin Faisal pledged support to the Iranian NCRI opposition and to its President-elect Maryam Rajavi personally. Given bin Faisal’s senior position in the Saudi royal family and his long career in positions of key responsibility in the Kingdom, it can only be understood that he spoke for the Riyadh government. The hall erupted in cheers and thunderous applause.

The Saudi’s understand the dangers of the Ayatollahs obtaining a nuclear weapon. They have also recently moved closer to Israel in a desire to contain the ambitions of the current Iranian government.

The article further explains:

The NCRI and its key affiliate, the Mujahedeen-e Kahlq (MEK), were on the U.S. Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) list until 2012, having been placed there at the express request of Iranian president Khatami. Iranian university students formed the MEK in the 1960s to oppose the Shah’s rule. The MEK participated in the Khomeini Revolution but then was forced into exile when Khomeini turned on his own allies and obliterated any hopes for democratic reform. Granted protection by the U.S. under the 4th Geneva Convention in 2004, remnants of the MEK opposition have been stranded in Iraq, first at Camp Ashraf and now in Camp Liberty near Baghdad since U.S. forces left Iraq. Completely disarmed and defenseless, the 2,000 or so remaining residents of Camp Liberty, who are desperately seeking resettlement, come under periodic deadly attack by Iraqi forces under Iranian Qods Force direction. The most recent rocket attack on July 4th, 2016 set much of the camp ablaze and devastated the Iranians’ unprotected mobile homes. The MEK/NCRI fought their terrorist designations in the courts in both Europe and the U.S., finally winning removal in 2012. The NCRI’s national headquarters are now located in downtown Washington, DC, from where they work intensively with Congress, the media, and U.S. society to urge regime change and a genuinely liberal democratic platform for Iran.

Unfortunately, in 2009 when Iran had a genuine opportunity for a democratic government, President Obama chose to ignore the green revolution. The President was more interested in reaching a nuclear deal with a government that routinely preaches, “Death to America” than helping the Iranian people find freedom. America has become an enemy of freedom rather than a beacon of light in a dark world.

From The Military Times

Yesterday The Military Times posted a story about D-Day. I would like to share some of that story so that people who may not have studied that day and what it meant can appreciate what the young men involved did on that day.

The story reports:

Seventy-two years ago, on June 6, 1944, Allied troops waded ashore on the beaches of Normandy to liberate Nazi-occupied Europe. The night before, on June 5, American airborne forces had landed on the western flank of the invasion area near Sainte-Mère-Église, while British airborne forces secured the eastern flank and Pegasus Bridge. They jumped out of C-47 Dakota transport planes, through darkness and into glory. Some arrived by glider. Pvt. John Steele of the 82nd Airborne landed on the steeple of the church at Sainte-Mère-Église. He managed to survive by playing dead.

…On Utah Beach — all of the landing sites had code names — 56-year-old Brig. Gen. Theodore Roosevelt Jr. (the oldest son of former President Teddy Roosevelt) landed about a mile from his intended target. When asked whether to re-embark the 4th Infantry Division, he simply said, “We’ll start the war from right here!”

…Eisenhower planned the invasion from his offices at 20 Grosvenor Square in London. Number 1 Grosvenor Square was the wartime location of the American embassy. Averell Harriman presided over lend-lease aid from 3 Grosvenor Square, helping to fund our wartime Allies. The OSS (Office of Strategic Services), forerunner of the CIA, had its offices at 70 Grosvenor Square. Small wonder that this neighborhood was known as Little America at the time. Some wags even referred to Grosvenor Square as Eisenhowerplatz.

Imagine if an operation like the Normandy landing were to occur today in 2016. In the age of social media, interactive polls would ask: “Which beach do you prefer, Normandy or Pas de Calais?” Could all the members of the 101st Screaming Eagles, painted in Indian war paint with Mohawk haircuts, be counted upon not to post their pictures on Facebook? That seems doubtful.

…This June 6, raise a glass and toast the heroism of all those young men who fought to liberate America’s oldest ally from Nazi occupation. Without their service and sacrifice, our world would be a darker place. General Patton may have summed it up best when he said, “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.”

DDay2016My father was one of the men who landed on Utah beach. I can’t image what those men went through. I only hope that somehow as America is faced with the Islamization that has happened in most of Europe we will find the same courage that America had in 1944.

The Truth Eventually Comes Out

The Weekly Standard website posted a preview of a January 18th article about the attack  on Benghazi. The article is about the movie 13 Hours, which will appear in theaters on January 15th. The movie was directed by Michael Bay. The movie opens with the quote, “This is a true story.” The movie then details the story of the attack on Benghazi as told largely through the eyes of CIA contractor Jack Silva, played brilliantly by a bearded and newly bemuscled John Krasinski, best known for his role as the affable and sarcastic Jim Halpert on The Office, and four other CIA contractors—Mark “Oz” Geist, John “Tig” Tiegen, Kris “Tanto” Paronto, and “Boon.”

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. The media has not reported the full story of Benghazi, and Michael Bay has decided to tell that story.

The article includes many of the details of the attack as well as a few conclusions:

The film documents the contractors’ concerns about security before the assault on September 11, 2012, making clear that the attack was not an isolated incident but the culmination of a long series of hostilities directed at Western targets. Even before the events of that day, viewers are led to understand the difficulty of distinguishing friend from foe. The February 17th Martyrs Brigade, a Libyan militia the State Department engaged and ostensibly the good guys, is filled with shady characters, some of whom seem to know well in advance the plans of the jihadists who attack the diplomatic compound and the CIA annex. Hours before the attack begins, members of the local police force are observed conducting surveillance on the compound. Throughout the hours of fighting at both sites, when the Americans trying to repel the attacks see large groups of dark-skinned, heavily armed men show up to the battle, they cannot determine whether the new arrivals are there to help them or kill them.

…Two dominant themes emerge from the film: 1) In the chaos of post-Qaddafi Libya it was impossible to distinguish between good guys and bad guys. And, for that reason and others, 2) the U.S. government isn’t very effective in its efforts to create order out of the inevitable instability that results from removing dictators.

The article concludes:

Whatever its impact, 13 Hours is a powerful film that is well worth seeing. From beginning to end, it forcefully rejects the sanitized, no-fault version of Benghazi. In scene after powerful scene, it assigns blame: to policymakers in Washington who naïvely overestimated our ability to distinguish the good guys from the bad guys in post-Qaddafi Libya; to Washington bureaucrats who paid little attention to repeated warnings about the security of U.S. facilities in Benghazi; to CIA officials more concerned with career advancement and positive performance reviews than saving lives.

But perhaps the strongest indictment made by 13 Hours is an unspoken one. The film itself is an implicit but devastating critique of the American media that refused to report this story in this way, an establishment media that left to Hollywood the responsibility of telling these important truths.

The days of the mainstream media smothering the truth and filtering information have been numbered since the inception of alternative media. Now it looks as if there are some in Hollywood who also see the need to tell the truth.

When Those In Charge Choose To Look The Other Way

Mishandling classified material is a serious crime in government circles. There are severe penalties for infractions. However, it seems like the current administration is taking a vacation from enforcing those rules (other than when the rules involve General Petraeus).

Catherine Herridge has posted a story on Fox News today about documents found on Hillary Clinton’s private server. The story reports that the intelligence community has re-affirmed that two emails on Hillary Clinton’s private server were classified “top secret” when they arrived on the server.

The article reports:

The agencies that owned and originated that intelligence – the CIA and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency or NGA – reviewed the emails to determine how they should be properly stored, as the State Department took issue with their highly classified nature. The subject matter of the messages is widely reported to be the movement of North Korean missiles and a drone strike. A top secret designation requires the highest level of security, and can include the use of an approved safe.

The sources, who were not authorized to speak on the record, told Fox News that while the emails were indeed “top secret” when they hit Clinton’s server, one of them remains “top secret” to this day — and must be handled at the highest security level. The second email is still considered classified but at the lower “secret” level because more information is publicly available about the event.

The findings have been transmitted to the State Department, which continues to challenge the intelligence community’s conclusions about the classification of all the emails. But the department has no authority to change the classification since it did not originate the information.

It is time to elect and appoint people to government positions who will put America’s best interests ahead of either political party. Hillary Clinton’s private server was a serious breach of protocol that put sensitive information in the hands of people who are not friendly to America. A private server is much easier for hackers to breech than a government server with layers of security. Putting classified information on a private server was illegal and needs to be handled in a legal matter. I seriously wonder if anyone in the current administration is willing to do that. As of now we do not have equal justice under the law, one of America’s founding principles. That is a serious problem both in this case and in the future.

It’s Those Pesky Emails Again

The problem is those pesky emails again–only they are not Hillary’s. Catherine Herridge at Fox News is reporting today that at least two emails were sent to analysts at U.S. Central Command requesting that they ease off negative assessments about the Islamic State threat.

The article reports:

Those emails, among others, are now in the possession of the Pentagon inspector general. The IG’s probe is expanding into whether intelligence assessments were changed to give a more positive picture of the anti-ISIS campaign.

The former Pentagon official said there were “multiple assessments” from military intelligence and the CIA regarding the “rapid rise” of ISIS in Iraq and North Africa in the year leading up to the group’s territory grab in 2014.

Similar intelligence was included in the President’s Daily Brief, or PDB – the intelligence community’s most authoritative product — during the same time period. Yet the official, who was part of the White House discussions, said the administration kept “kicking the can down the road.” The official said there was no discussion of the military involvement needed to make a difference.

The IG probe started earlier this year amid complaints that information was changed to make ISIS look more degraded than it really was.

National security is not a game–nor is it a political issue–it is an issue that impacts all Americans. I would be somewhat sympathetic if I thought information was sanitized to prevent creating a panic, but I am not sympathetic at all to information being sanitized for political purposes. The investigation needs to proceed without being compromised by interference by the White House or those in the Obama Administration.

Are We Really That Stupid?

It was really nice of Vladimir Putin to offer to help out President Obama in the effort to stabilize Syria. The problem may be that both men have very different ideas as to what constitutes a stable Syria.

On September 29th, Yahoo News reported the following statement by President Obama:

US President Barack Obama said Tuesday that Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad must go if the Islamic State group is to be defeated, as he rallied world leaders to revitalize the coalition campaign against the jihadists.

…”In Syria (…) defeating ISIL requires, I believe, a new leader,” Obama told the gathering, held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

I agree with President Obama that ISIS (the term ISIL President Obama is using denies the existence of Israel) must be defeated. However, if Bashar al-Assad is deposed, do we have any assurance that what replaces him will be either a stable government or a humanitarian government? Are we creating another Libya?

Meanwhile, Russia has agreed to help us defeat ISIS. They have moved some serious weaponry into Syria supposedly for that purpose. It is a really interesting move when you consider that Russia’s goal in Syria is diametrically opposed to our goal in Syria. Bashar al-Assad is an ally of Iran. Russia is an ally of Iran. Russia does not want Bashar al-Assad deposed–they would very much like to keep him in power. Under the guise of helping defeat ISIS, Russia has been able to move serious weaponry into Syria that might coincidentally be used to defeat the enemies of Bashar al-Assad. Unfortunately, the enemies of Bashar al-Assad are the troops we are training and supporting.

Today’s Wall Street Journal reports:

Russia has targeted Syrian rebel groups backed by the Central Intelligence Agency in a string of airstrikes running for days, leading the U.S. to conclude that it is an intentional effort by Moscow, American officials said.

The assessment, which is shared by commanders on the ground, has deepened U.S. anger at Moscow and sparked a debate within the administration over how the U.S. can come to the aid of its proxy forces without getting sucked deeper into a proxy war that President Barack Obama says he doesn’t want. The White House has so far been noncommittal about coming to the aid of CIA-backed rebels, wary of taking steps that could trigger a broader conflict.

Vladimir Putin has again successfully eaten President Obama’s lunch.

Those Pesky E-Mails

Fox News posted an article today about emails from Hillary Clinton that have now surfaced that have been withheld from the Congressional Committees investigating Benghazi.

The article reports:

New documents released by a federal court show President Obama called then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the night of the 2012 Benghazi attack — but the contents are being withheld by the State Department

It had previously been disclosed that Clinton and Obama spoke the night of the terror attacks. But the documents offer additional information about the timing of the call — after the initial attack on the U.S. consulate, but before the second wave where mortars hit the nearby CIA annex and killed former Navy SEALs Ty Woods and Glen Doherty. 

The contents of the call, however, are being withheld, not because the information is classified but because the administration claims they represent internal deliberations about the 2012 terror assault. 

The claim comes as Clinton also faces accusations that she withheld Benghazi-related emails from her private server in the trove of emails handed over to the State Department. 

The article points out that the email in question was discovered as the result of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by Judicial Watch.

The article also reports the political agenda involved in characterizing the attack at Benghazi as a result of a video:

Other emails from Judicial Watch lawsuits have, separately, shown Rhodes (Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes) played a central role in preparing former U.N. ambassador Susan Rice for her Sunday show appearances that weekend where she blamed protests over the Internet video

In that Sept. 14 email, Rhodes specifically draws attention to the video, without distinguishing whether the Benghazi attack was different from protests elsewhere in the region. 

The email lists the following two goals, among others: 

“To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy.” 

“To reinforce the President and Administration’s strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges.”

Thank God for Judicial Watch. It is unfortunate that most Americans will remain totally unaware of any of this and many who are aware will not care about the integrity of a major Presidential candidate.

The Purpose Of This Post Is To Stop The Constant Rewriting Of History On This Matter

There are a lot of Americans who believe that President George W. Bush lied about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction in order to get America into a war with Iraq. That is not only not true–to believe it may be dangerous for America’s future.

On February 8, Lawrence H. Silberman posted an article at the Wall Street Journal explaining why this misconception is dangerous for the future of America.

Mr. Silberman writes:

In recent weeks, I have heard former Associated Press reporter Ron Fournier on Fox News twice asserting, quite offhandedly, that President George W. Bush “lied us into war in Iraq.”

I found this shocking. I took a leave of absence from the bench in 2004-05 to serve as co-chairman of the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction—a bipartisan body, sometimes referred to as the Robb-Silberman Commission. It was directed in 2004 to evaluate the intelligence community’s determination that Saddam Hussein possessed WMD—I am, therefore, keenly aware of both the intelligence provided to President Bush and his reliance on that intelligence as his primary casus belli. It is astonishing to see the “Bush lied” allegation evolve from antiwar slogan to journalistic fact.

Please read the entire article to understand the dangers of letting this lie go unchecked.

Meanwhile, John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article yesterday providing more information on the subject. Mr. Hinderaker cites a New York Times article from February 15th which stated the following:

The Central Intelligence Agency, working with American troops during the occupation of Iraq, repeatedly purchased nerve-agent rockets from a secretive Iraqi seller, part of a previously undisclosed effort to ensure that old chemical weapons remaining in Iraq did not fall into the hands of terrorists or militant groups, according to current and former American officials.

Defending America and American allies should not be a partisan matter. Unfortunately, there are those in Washington who have chosen to make it so. The fact that some Democrats are boycotting the speech of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a disgrace. Israel (and Prime Minister Netanyahu) have a history of successfully dealing with terrorism and of understanding how it works. Israel is willing to share that knowledge. America needs to listen.

I Hadn’t Really Considered This Angle

PJ Media posted a story today that I think ads an interesting dimension to President Obama’s remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast. As you remember, the President reminded us that we should get up on our ‘high horse’ about what the Islamic terrorists are doing because some of the history of Christianity is not so pure–the Crusades, Spanish Inquisition, support of slavery, etc. First of all, the Crusades were a response to Muslim aggression, and the Christians were the ones who fought slavery.

As far as the Spanish Inquisition, PJ Media says it better than I can:

But perhaps it is Obama who should avoid getting on his high horse, since according to recently published statistics, Obama’s drone campaign has killed more people during the six years of his presidency than were killed the 350 years of the Spanish Inquisition.

…At least 2,464 people have now been killed by US drone strikes outside the country’s declared war zones since President Barack Obama’s inauguration six years ago, the Bureau’s latest monthly report reveals.

Of the total killed since Obama took his oath of office on January 20 2009, at least 314 have been civilians, while the number of confirmed strikes under his administration now stands at 456.

Research by the Bureau (Bureau of Investigative Journalism) also shows there have now been nearly nine times more strikes under Obama in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia than there were under his predecessor, George W Bush.

And the covert Obama strikes, the first of which hit Pakistan just three days after his inauguration, have killed almost six times more people and twice as many civilians than those ordered in the Bush years, the data shows.

The figures have been compiled as part of the Bureau’s monthly report into covert US drone attacks, which are run in two separate missions – one by the CIA and one for the Pentagon by its secretive special forces outfit, Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC).

The research centers on countries outside the US’s declared war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan.

‘Nuff said.

I Have An Absolute Attitude Problem With This Story

Yesterday Bloombergview posted a story about the fact that the Justice Department is threatening to bring charges against General Petreaus for classified information found on Paula Broadwell‘s computer. Paula Broadwell was writing a biography of the General, and he has been accused of giving her classified information. My first reaction to this is suspicion of the government. I posted a story in October (rightwinggranny) about Sharyl Attkisson, an investigative reporter who has done a tremendous amount of research on Fast and Furious and Benghazi.

The article at rightwinggranny stated:

Attkisson says the source, who’s “connected to government three-letter agencies,” told her the computer was hacked into by “a sophisticated entity that used commercial, nonattributable spyware that’s proprietary to a government agency: either the CIA, FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency or the National Security Agency.”

…“The intruders discovered my Skype account handle, stole the password, activated the audio, and made heavy use of it, presumably as a listening tool,” she wrote in “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.”

But the most shocking finding, she says, was the discovery of three classified documents that Number One told her were “buried deep in your operating system. In a place that, unless you’re a some kind of computer whiz specialist, you wouldn’t even know exists.”

“They probably planted them to be able to accuse you of having classified documents if they ever needed to do that at some point,” Number One added.

Considering the thuggish tactics often used by the Obama Administration, it is very possible that they did the same thing to Paul Broadwell’s computer.

So what is this really all about? Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted a story that provides some interesting information.

The story at Power Line states:

Petraeus denies that he gave classified information to Broadwell. However, FBI officials reportedly found such documents on her computer after Petraeus resigned from the CIA when news of the affair became public. But it does not appear that the disclosure by Petraeus, if any, resulted in harm to the nation.

Indeed, President Obama has said that he knows of no evidence that Petraeus disclosed classified information “that in any way would have had a negative impact on our national security.” Obama has also said that “we are safer because of the work that Dave Petraeus has done.”

General Petraeus is going to be called to testify before the Congressional Committee investigating Benghazi. I am inclined to believe that this is a warning shot across the General’s bow designed to control his testimony. I hope the intimidation effort by the Obama Administration fails miserably.

Playing Politics With National Security

Senator Diane Feinstein chose to release the Senate Intelligence Committee majority report of Central Intelligence Agency detention and interrogation after 9/11 yesterday. Today’s Wall Street Journal posted two editorials on the release of the report–one editorial entitled, “Spooks of the Senate,” and one opinion piece by former CIA Directors George J. Tenet, Porter J. Goss and Michael V. Hayden (a retired Air Force general) and former CIA Deputy Directors John E. McLaughlin, Albert M. Calland (a retired Navy vice admiral) and Stephen R. Kappes.

The Spooks of the Senate piece points out:

It (the report) devotes 6,000 pages to marshalling evidence to indict the CIA program, and nothing was going to interfere with its appointed verdict.

Not former CIA directors, who weren’t even interviewed (see the op-ed nearby). Not the virtues of bipartisanship, as the GOP minority staff were reduced to bystanders (see the minority report). And not the requirements of future security, which have been sacrificed to the immediate need to embarrass the agency to prove that Democrats were right.

The worst CIA failing in the report is poor management and a lack of adequate oversight. Junior officials were put in charge of detainees when wiser hands were needed, and in one case a detainee died from hypothermia. This may have resulted from the rapid CIA recruitment after 9/11, but it is a major failing, especially given the political backlash that CIA leaders knew was inevitable.

The opinion piece by the former Directors reminds us:

The Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on Central Intelligence Agency detention and interrogation of terrorists, prepared only by the Democratic majority staff, is a missed opportunity to deliver a serious and balanced study of an important public policy question. The committee has given us instead a one-sided study marred by errors of fact and interpretation—essentially a poorly done and partisan attack on the agency that has done the most to protect America after the 9/11 attacks.

Examining how the CIA handled these matters is an important subject of continuing relevance to a nation still at war. In no way would we claim that we did everything perfectly, especially in the emergency and often-chaotic circumstances we confronted in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. As in all wars, there were undoubtedly things in our program that should not have happened. When we learned of them, we reported such instances to the CIA inspector general or the Justice Department and sought to take corrective action.

The country and the CIA would have benefited from a more balanced study of these programs and a corresponding set of recommendations. The committee’s report is not that study. It offers not a single recommendation.

I have no idea what the motive for the undertaking and release of such a biased report was. However, it is time to put political bias aside and get down to the business of defending America. The current crop of Washington ‘leaders’ has run up an unreasonable deficit, cut our military back to a dangerous level, and padded their own nests constantly. There are a few exceptions, but the Democrats and establishment Republicans are working very hard to prevent them from doing anything constructive. It is truly time to clean house in Washington. Watch the voting in the House and the Senate in the next two years and cast your vote accordingly. We need to elect leaders who actually represent us–not their own political and private interests.

The Other Side Of The Story

A website called CIAsavedlives has posted the following:

The recently released Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) Majority report on the CIA’s Rendition, Detention, and Interrogation Program is marred by errors of facts and interpretation and is completely at odds with the reality that the leaders and officers of the Central Intelligence Agency lived through. It represents the single worst example of Congressional oversight in our many years of government service.

Astonishingly, the SSCI Majority staff interviewed no CIA officers responsible for establishing, implementing, or evaluating the program’s effectiveness. Let us repeat, no one at the CIA was interviewed.

Worse, the Committee selectively used documents to try to substantiate a point of view where ample and contrary evidence existed. Over 5 years and at a cost of $40 million, the staff “cherry picked” through 6 million pages of documents to produce an answer they knew the Majority wanted. In the intelligence profession, that is called politicization.

The SSCI Majority would have the American people believe that the program was initiated by a rogue CIA that consistently lied to the President, the National Security Council, the Attorney General, and the Congress. Nothing could be further from the truth. Nothing.

We, as former senior officers of the Central Intelligence Agency, created this website to present documents that conclusively demonstrate that the program was: authorized by the President, overseen by the National Security Council, and deemed legal by the Attorney General of the United States on multiple occasions. None of those officials were interviewed either. None. CIA relied on their policy and legal judgments. We deceived no one. You will not find this truth in the Majority Report.

Absent from the report is any discussion of the context the United States faced after 9/11. This was a time we had solid evidence that al Qaida was planning a second wave of attacks against the U.S.; we had certain knowledge that bin Laden had met with Pakistani nuclear scientists and wanted nuclear weapons; we had reports that nuclear weapons were being smuggled into New York City; and we had hard evidence that al Qaida was trying to manufacture anthrax. It felt like a “ticking time bomb” every single day.

In this atmosphere, time was of the essence. We had a deep responsibility to do everything within the law to stop another attack. We clearly understood that, even with legal and policy approvals, our decisions would be questioned years later. But we also understood that we would be morally culpable for the deaths of fellow citizens if we failed to gain information that could stop the next attacks.

The report defies credulity by saying that the interrogation program did not produce any intelligence value. In fact, the program led to the capture of senior al Qaida leaders, including helping to find Usama bin Ladin, and resulted in operations that led to the disruption of terrorist plots that saved thousands of American and allied lives.

Finally, Congress was in the loop. The so-called “Gang of Eight” of top Congressional leaders were briefed in detail on the program. The briefings were detailed and drew reactions that ranged from approval to no objection to encouragement to be even more aggressive. Again, none of this context appears in the Majority’s report.

Our views are shared by the current CIA and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Republican Minority, both of which have released rebuttals to the Majority’s report. Both critiques are clear-eyed, fact-based assessments which challenge the Majority’s contention in a nonpartisan way. We urge all Americans to read them carefully before reaching any judgments.

Selective Comebacks

One of the more amazing things to happen in recent years is the rehabilitation of the image of Bill Clinton. George H.W. Bush had a lot to do with bringing Bill Clinton back into the public spotlight in a positive way. It seems as if America has forgiven President Clinton for his antics in the White House and his general weaknesses regarding the opposite sex. Now we are about to face a similar situation with General David Petraeus (although General Petraeus was not the serial adulterer that President Clinton was).

Yesterday Bloomberg News posted an article entitled, “Why Is the FBI Still Targeting Petraeus?” It is becoming very obvious that justice and criminology under President Obama has become a totally political matter.

The article reports:

Most importantly: According to current and former U.S. intelligence officials who have spoken to us, the FBI still has an open investigation into whether Petraeus improperly provided highly classified documents to Paula Broadwell, his biographer and the woman with whom he had an affair.

A little history: In the spring of 2012, the Federal Bureau of Investigation stumbled upon the Petraeus-Broadwell relationship while investigating a separate cyber-stalking matter. While the FBI has cleared Broadwell of those charges, and Obama has said Petraeus never endangered national security, the FBI’s probe remains open.

Two U.S. officials familiar with the investigation say Broadwell was never authorized to receive material that was found on her personal computer. Because this included compartmentalized intelligence that only a handful of very senior officials were approved to view, the FBI considers the breach to be a serious matter. “It was inappropriately shared and it should never have been shared,” one former senior intelligence official said.

Before we decide if this is valid, there is another series of events we need to look at (as posted at rightwinggranny). The events listed below are reported by Sharyl Attkisson:

“The intruders discovered my Skype account handle, stole the password, activated the audio, and made heavy use of it, presumably as a listening tool,” she wrote in “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.”

But the most shocking finding, she says, was the discovery of three classified documents that Number One told her were “buried deep in your operating system. In a place that, unless you’re a some kind of computer whiz specialist, you wouldn’t even know exists.”

“They probably planted them to be able to accuse you of having classified documents if they ever needed to do that at some point,” Number One added.

I wonder how the documents the FBI is searching for arrived in Paula Broadwell’s computer.

The article at Bloomberg further reports:

What stands out here is not just that Petraeus remains under investigation but that he remains under investigation while being reintegrated into the foreign policy establishment.

To wit: Petraeus is ostensibly being investigated for mishandling classified material and yet he retains his security clearance. What’s more, he has been casually advising the White House on Iraq, where he directed the effort to end a civil war in 2007 and 2008 and still maintains close relationships with many of its leaders.

“All of us who know him and are close to him are mystified by the fact there is still this investigation into him,” Jack Keane, a retired four-star U.S. Army General said in an interview.  Keane has been both an adviser to and mentor of Petraeus since he saved Petraeus’s life during a live-fire training exercise in 1991. 

Keane questions whether the Petraeus FBI probe lasting this long may be driven by something other than a desire to investigate a potential crime. “It makes you wonder if there is another motivation to drag an investigation out this long,” he said.

General Petraeus was an honorable man who made a mistake. I suspect that the people behind this continuing investigation are less honorable. It is time to return the White House to someone who will not abuse his power to eliminate people he considers political threats.

 

Reading Between The Lines On Benghazi

On Friday, the official report on Benghazi was released by the House Intelligence Committee. On Saturday, Hot Air posted an article about the report. There is no obvious smoking gun in the report, but there are some interesting statements.

The article reports:

The media interpretation of the findings is also flatly contradictory in places. Take for example this declaration of a lack of any culpability. (Emphasis added.)

Debunking a series of persistent allegations hinting at dark conspiracies, the investigation of the politically charged incident determined that there was no intelligence failure, no delay in sending a CIA rescue team, no missed opportunity for a military rescue, and no evidence the CIA was covertly shipping arms from Libya to Syria.

The next paragraph in the report states:

So, nothing to see here. Move along. Except for one problem. The coverage also seeks to make it clear that Susan Rice couldn’t possibly be to blame for her blatantly false portrayals of the attack on the Sunday morning shows. Watch what happens to the analysis on this score.

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, intelligence about who carried it out and why was contradictory, the report found. That led Susan Rice, then U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, to inaccurately assert that the attack had evolved from a protest, when in fact there had been no protest. But it was intelligence analysts, not political appointees, who made the wrong call, the committee found. The report did not conclude that Rice or any other government official acted in bad faith or intentionally misled the American people.

The writer of the article asks the obvious question:

Keep in mind, these are not two paragraphs separated by miles of text. They’re back to back. And somehow, in the space of four sentences, we went from there was no intelligence failure to reading it was intelligence analysts… who made the wrong call. If you’re making the wrong call – particularly one which turned out to be so incredibly far off base – then that sounds like an intelligence failure to me.

Also rather stunning is the way that a complete vindication of the White House is somehow constructed out of these conclusions. Susan Rice was either lying or she was wrong. Neither possibility paints the administration in a very competent light. And if there was a failure of intelligence, how does that clear the White House? The last time I checked the CIA reports to the Director of Intelligence who, in turn, reports directly to the President… or has that changed? A better translation of this hopeful sounding article would be to say that the report cleared the political arm of Obama’s team of any wrongdoing, while allowing him to throw his intelligence team under the bus.

Unfortunately, we will probably never know who messed up in the Benghazi tragedy. So much for government transparency.

 

The Fight For Honest News Continues

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted a story today about Sharyl Attkisson, the investigative reporter who resigned from CBS’s Washington Bureau in March of this year.

Ms. Attkisson tells her story in her book Stonewalled: My Fight For the Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.

In the book, Ms. Attkisson describes the hacking of her computer while she was at CBS:

Attkisson says the source, who’s “connected to government three-letter agencies,” told her the computer was hacked into by “a sophisticated entity that used commercial, nonattributable spyware that’s proprietary to a government agency: either the CIA, FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency or the National Security Agency.”

The breach was accomplished through an “otherwise innocuous e-mail” that Attkisson says she got in February 2012, then twice “redone” and “refreshed” through a satellite hookup and a Wi-Fi connection at a Ritz-Carlton hotel.

The spyware included programs that Attkisson says monitored her every keystroke and gave the snoops access to all her e-mails and the passwords to her financial accounts.

“The intruders discovered my Skype account handle, stole the password, activated the audio, and made heavy use of it, presumably as a listening tool,” she wrote in “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.”

But the most shocking finding, she says, was the discovery of three classified documents that Number One told her were “buried deep in your operating system. In a place that, unless you’re a some kind of computer whiz specialist, you wouldn’t even know exists.”

“They probably planted them to be able to accuse you of having classified documents if they ever needed to do that at some point,” Number One added.

It is scary that our government is involved in this sort of thing.

John Hinderaker comments on Ms. Attkisson’s story:

If the Obama administration hacked into a reporter’s computers, used them to spy on her, and even prepared to frame her for a potential criminal prosecution by planting classified documents, aren’t we looking at the biggest scandal in American history? Perhaps I’m forgetting something, but I can’t come up with anything to equal the stunning lawlessness on display here–if what Attkisson says is true (which I don’t doubt), and if the administration is the guilty party.

John Hinderaker suggests that she file a lawsuit against the offending agency. Ms. Attkisson’s story is another example of a government that is out of control.

This Is Disturbing

Below is the video posted at Fox News of a U.S. security team stationed in Benghazi in September 2012 telling their story of what happened the night of the attack on the CIA annex in Benghazi.

As you will see in the video, all three men claim that had they been allowed to go to the annex when the attack started, they believe the outcome of the battle would have been different. The men claim to have been told to ‘stand down’ by the top CIA officer in Benghazi. After waiting for thirty minutes, the men went to the annex without orders. They asked their CIA superiors to call for air support, but that support never came.

I have no idea why these men were delayed and not given the necessary support, but it seems to me that almost two years after the event, the American public should have those answers. I hope the Congressional Committee investigating this can provide those answers. I feel very strongly that the American public has been routinely lied to by the Obama Administration about Benghazi and that we are entitled to know the truth about what was going on in the annex and why the American military did not properly respond to the attack.

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Why There Is So Little Reporting On The Actions Of Hamas

A website called Legal Insurrection posted an article yesterday about the lack of reporting in the mainstream media about the activities of Hamas.

You may recall a April 11, 2003, New York Times article by Easton Jordan entitled “The News We Kept To Ourselves.” The article states:

Over the last dozen years I made 13 trips to Baghdad to lobby the government to keep CNN’s Baghdad bureau open and to arrange interviews with Iraqi leaders. Each time I visited, I became more distressed by what I saw and heard — awful things that could not be reported because doing so would have jeopardized the lives of Iraqis, particularly those on our Baghdad staff.

For example, in the mid-1990’s one of our Iraqi cameramen was abducted. For weeks he was beaten and subjected to electroshock torture in the basement of a secret police headquarters because he refused to confirm the government’s ludicrous suspicion that I was the Central Intelligence Agency’s Iraq station chief. CNN had been in Baghdad long enough to know that telling the world about the torture of one of its employees would almost certainly have gotten him killed and put his family and co-workers at grave risk.

That is the way thugs in the Middle East handle reporters. Things have not changed–that is the modus operandi used by Hamas.

The article at Legal Insurrection reports:

The Times of Israel confirmed several incidents in which journalists were questioned and threatened. These included cases involving photographers who had taken pictures of Hamas operatives in compromising circumstances — gunmen preparing to shoot rockets from within civilian structures, and/or fighting in civilian clothing — and who were then approached by Hamas men, bullied and had their equipment taken away.

The article at Legal Insurrection included tweets from reporters and stories of intimidation of reporters. The reason we are not hearing both sides of the story of the Gaza-Israeli war is that one side is a bunch of thugs who are endangering their own civilian population and doing everything they can to hide the truth.

There Will Be More

As the select committee to investigate Benghazi gets organized, gets its security clearances in order, plans its witnesses, etc., there will be those who hope to obstruct its mission. There will also be those who are in search of the truth about what happened that night.

Allen West posted an article on his website today that illustrates why we need the select committee. I strongly suggest you follow the link and read the entire article.

Here are a few excerpts:

I was seated beside someone who personally knew one of the men who was there on the roof in Benghazi. This person was excited to share with me the “ground truth” of what happened September 11, 2012.

…I learned about the proximity of the staging area of the attack to the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, and the attackers were indeed Ansar al-Sharia, a group affiliated with al-Qaida. I came to understand why Ambassador Chris Stevens was there in the first place and that he had in fact requested better security but was denied – the question is, by whom? And I learned that the Martyrs of 17 February Brigade were in charge of security and were the ones who opened the gates, then fled.

I learned there are those who are being threatened with their pensions being cut off if they come forth to speak.

And I learned, as I presumed, that there was a covert weapons scheme going on in Libya, Benghazi. We had been supplying radical Islamists with weapons against Libyan President Moammar Gadhafi, effectively supplying the enemy and destabilizing that country. And it seems that there was a CIA weapons buy-back program, the aim of which was to ship the retrieved weapons out of Libya through Turkey, and to the Islamist forces in Syria.

I strongly suggest that you read the entire article. There are many things that the committee needs to investigate about what happened that night in Benghazi.

I was seated beside someone who personally knew one of the men who was there on the roof in Benghazi. This person was excited to share with me the “ground truth” of what happened September 11, 2012.
Read more at http://allenbwest.com/2014/05/exclusive-confidential-source-reveals-really-happened-benghazi/#fCXybhSrMwdlxbDk.99
I was seated beside someone who personally knew one of the men who was there on the roof in Benghazi. This person was excited to share with me the “ground truth” of what happened September 11, 2012.
Read more at http://allenbwest.com/2014/05/exclusive-confidential-source-reveals-really-happened-benghazi/#fCXybhSrMwdlxbDk.99
I was seated beside someone who personally knew one of the men who was there on the roof in Benghazi. This person was excited to share with me the “ground truth” of what happened September 11, 2012.
Read more at http://allenbwest.com/2014/05/exclusive-confidential-source-reveals-really-happened-benghazi/#fCXybhSrMwdlxbDk.99
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One Theory To Consider

On May 16 The Asian Tribune posted an article about the September 11, 2012, terrorist attack on Benghazi. The basic theory of the article is that the outpost at Benghazi was a CIA operation running guns to the rebels in Syria.

The article reports:

It was on October 25 last year that FoxNews.com broke the story that a mysterious Libyan ship was reportedly carrying weapons and bound for Syrian rebels would have had some link to the September 11 terror attack on the U.S. ‘post’ in Benghazi.

Why do we use the term ‘post’ in this report? Because when changes were made to the Benghazi attack story by the Obama administration it changed from ‘American Consulate’ to ‘American Post’. The reason: Benghazi operation was entirely a CIA operation.

Through shipping records, Fox News has confirmed that the Libyan-flagged vessel Al Entisar, which means “The Victory,” was received in the Turkish port of Iskenderun — 35 miles from the Syrian border — on Sept. 6, just five days before Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other American officers were killed during an extended assault by more than 100 Islamist militants.

On the night of Sept. 11, in what would become his last known public meeting, Stevens met with the Turkish Consul General Ali Sait Akin, and escorted him out of the ‘posts’ front gate one hour before the assault began.

Although what was discussed at the meeting is not public, a source told Fox News that Stevens was in Benghazi to negotiate a weapons transfer, an effort to get SA-7 missiles out of the hands of Libya-based extremists. And although the negotiation said to have taken place may have had nothing to do with the attack on the consulate later that night or the Libyan mystery ship, it could explain why Stevens was travelling in such a volatile region on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

When asked to comment, a State Department spokeswoman dismissed the idea,

Please follow the link above to read the details of this story. As I stated in the title, this is a theory. It may be a plausible theory, but it is a theory.

A Discussion On Benghazi From People With The Proper Experience

On April 2, YouTube posted the following discussion on Benghazi featuring Clare Lopez and Fred Fleitz of the Center for Security Policy:

As you can see from the video, both of these people have the experience to comment on the events on the night of September 11, 2012, and the aftermath.

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Sometimes It Just Takes A While For The Truth To Come Out

Fox News posted an article today about some of the testimony on the attack on Benghazi that simply does not add up. The testimony relates to whether or not the attack was a spontaneous event or the result of careful planning.

The article states:

In addition to Rogers’ (Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee) assessment, military experts say the mortar strike on the CIA base was evidence of a planned terror attack, and because it forced the evacuation of the annex, it must have been known immediately in Washington. But in a letter to the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee in January 2013, Morell said “the nature of the attacks suggested they did not involve significant pre-planning.”

Two of the witnesses that have previously testified before the committee are expected to be called back–former CIA Director David Petraeus and his ex-deputy Michael Morell.

The article reports:

In addition to Rogers’ assessment, military experts say the mortar strike on the CIA base was evidence of a planned terror attack, and because it forced the evacuation of the annex, it must have been known immediately in Washington. But in a letter to the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee in January 2013,Morell said “the nature of the attacks suggested they did not involve significant pre-planning.”

…Separately, Morell is accused by Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee of misleading lawmakers over the White House’s role in the so-called Benghazi talking points by stating the text was provided to the administration for their awareness, not for their input. Emails later released by the administration showed otherwise. Morell, who excised half of the talking points text, previously told Fox News that “neither the Agency, the analysts, nor I cooked the books in any way.”

When pressed on the sophistication of the mortar attack, two sources familiar with Petraeus’ statements to Congress said he also seemed to downplay the necessary planning and skill, stating the mortars could have been fired from the back of a truck with the same accuracy.

None of the five military officers contacted by Fox News said the truck explanation was plausible.

There has been so much misinformation put out by the Obama Administration about Benghazi that I really wonder what in the world is the truth and what is the reason for all the misdirection. It is amazing to me that the only person who has actually spent time in jail for the Benghazi attack is the filmmaker of the video that had nothing to do with the attack. The bad guys have been interviewed by CNN, but somehow out government can’t find them. It would be really nice if we found out what all the lying was about so that we could move on to other things.

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Cover-up? What Cover-up?

Today’s Washington Free Beacon is reporting that a CIA employee has been suspended after refusing to sign a non-disclosure agreement barring him from discussing Benghazi.

The article reports:

Rep. Frank Wolf (R., Va.) revealed at an event on Monday that his office was anonymously informed about the CIA employee, who is purportedly facing an internal backlash after refusing to sign a legal document barring him from publicly or privately discussing events surrounding the Benghazi attack.

The revelation comes about a month after several media outlets reported that CIA employees with knowledge of the terror attack had been forced to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDA) and submit to regular polygraph tests.

…The newly formed Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi has similar goals as congressional investigators but is not confined by rules governing the legislative body, speakers at the event said.

Retired Air Force Col. Richard Brauer, cofounder of the group Special Operations Speaks, said the committee would aim to find out why U.S. military assets were ordered to “stand down” during the Benghazi attack.

“We’re tired of the lies and the cover-up that continues to this day,” Brauer said. “Who gave the order” to stand down, “to remain in place in Tripoli and the other locations and do nothing. When was this order given and why?”

“Forces were available on that very night, likely champing at the bit, but they were told to stand down,” he said. “These are words that will live in infamy.”

There were four Americans killed at Benghazi, one of whom was an American Ambassador. Under normal conditions, the attack on the annex at Benghazi and the killing of the Ambassador would be considered an act of war. There are many questions as to why no American forces were allowed to come to the rescue and as to why this attack was not considered an act of war. The only person to go to jail because of the Benghazi attack was the person who made the video that was not responsible for the attack. He has recently been let out of jail, but the fact remains that he is the only person who has gone to jail because of what happened at Benghazi. This whole scenario reads like something out of Through the Looking Glass.

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The Entire Picture In The Middle East

Yesterday The Blaze posted an article looking at where American forces are deployed in the Middle East. Buck Sexton, who covers national security issues for The Blaze, explained what is actually going on. Buck Sexton is an ex-CIA Agent and NYPD Intelligence Division Specialist.

Below is the video from the article. It can also be found on YouTube:

I do not believe that President Obama’s foreign policy is feckless–I believe that he is intentionally downgrading America’s influence in world events. I don’t like thinking that, but I don’t see how, in view of recent events, that conclusion can be avoided.

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One Possible Explanation For Recent Foreign Policy Missteps

President Obama’s foreign policy has been a disaster. President Bush’s foreign policy was slightly better, but was not successful in promoting democracy, freedom, and American interests around the world. President Bush attempted to promote democracy, but any gains were lost when President Obama pulled the troops out of Iraq. Generally speaking, in recent years, when given a choice, America has made the wrong decision.

On Monday, the Middle East Forum posted an article entitled, “Gulliver Tied Down by Lilliputians.” The article details some of the reasons for America’s recent lack of success in dealing with the Middle East.

The article reports:

One in five applicants for jobs at the Central Intelligence Agency have ties to Muslim terrorist organizations, according to the latest round of Snowden leaks. And Israel is a major target of American counterintelligence. Washington is insane.

Three years ago, the Washington Post sketched the elephantiasis in the U.S. intelligence establishment without, of course, access to the detailed numbers leaked by Edward Snowden last week. It doesn’t matter how much money you spend if you can’t hire people you can trust. If you spend $52 billion in the “black budget,” you create so many conflicting bureaucratic interest groups as to cancel out any possible signal with a wave of noise.

I have very mixed emotions about Edward Snowden and what he has done, but this is information that should be made public. Obviously common sense has departed from the CIA hiring process.

The article at Middle East Forum contrasts the fact that America intelligence services cannot find Arab translators and are forced to hire people whose backgrounds they cannot  verify with the fact that Israel routinely teaches Arab languages in high school and thus has more translators than they can use. Admittedly, Israel is in the midst of the danger, but we can still learn a lesson from them.

The article concludes:

The U.S. has relied extensively on friendly Arab intelligence services, above all the Egyptians, to fill the gap — except that the Obama administration did its best to bring down the Egyptian military in 2011 and install the Muslim Brotherhood. The Israelis have plenty to tell, but little that Washington wants to hear: Israel never fell victim to the mass delusion about the so-called Arab Spring, and has warned throughout (along with Saudi Arabia) that Iran’s nuclear ambitions must be crushed. Israel therefore is treated as an intelligence target rather than as a collaborator, while the Arab intelligence services who most might help us — Egyptian and Saudi — must regard us with skepticism in the best of cases and hostility in the worst.

America is flying blind into a hurricane. Americans who write about the Middle East now depend on what other countries choose to leak to us. Washington isn’t in the loop any longer.

Whether we are willing to admit it or not, America is involved in a war for her survival and for the survival of western civilization. Our enemies will fight this war whether we choose to fight it or not. It’s time to wake up and defend our freedom.

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More Questions Than Answers

John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line yesterday that asks a very interesting question about the Benghazi attack.

The article at Power Line links back to a Jake Tapper CNN article referenced on this site on August 2. The article confirmed a rumor that many CIA operatives were on the ground at Benghazi during the attack on September 11, 2012, and that those operatives were being muzzled by the government. The obvious question being asked is, “What is being covered up?”

The cover-up began instantly when a video with very few YouTube hits was blamed for the attack on Benghazi. Why was it instantly necessary to provide a cover story for this attack? Was this political–if it was terrorism, it might impact the election–or was this about something entirely different?

The article at Power Line points out some basic facts:

So, what do we make of all of this? Tapper’s reporting points toward the conclusion that the longstanding rumor to the effect that the terrorist attack occurred during a top-secret arms transfer mission is true. But how much does that really explain? It seems unlikely that the CIA mission prompted the attack: we now know that the Syrian rebels consist in substantial part of al Qaeda elements, and if arms were sent from Libya to Syria, al Qaeda probably wound up with some of them. So why would al Qaeda want to interrupt the CIA mission via an attack on the American compound in Benghazi?

…So I find it hard to understand how the current revelations fit with what we already know–or think we know–about Benghazi, or why the administration and the CIA are now so intent on covering up whatever the Agency was up to at the famous “annex.” My sense is that the current reporting leaves us a long way from understanding what really happened on September 11, 2012.

It will be interesting to see if we actually have the truth about Benghazi before President Obama is finished his second term.

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