The Watering Hole, Thursday, July 19th, 2012: Hayden’s Planet-Scarium

Who knew that Newsmax has its own foreign intelligence branch? Well, they do, and it’s called called ‘Langley Intelligence Group Network’, or NAMBLA LIGNET. A quick glance at their website’s header is, well, illuminating? disturbing?

Wayne was the lucky recipient of a Newsmax/LIGNET email entitled “Iran Crisis Gets ‘Scarier,’ Fmr. CIA Director Warns – Join Exclusive Briefing Here’s an excerpt from the email:

Fmr. CIA Director Hayden: Iran Nuclear Crisis Gets ‘Scarier’

Former CIA Director General Michael Hayden delivered a disturbing message during a LIGNET intelligence panel discussion on the serious threat a nuclear Iran poses to the United States.

“Every time you turn the page, it gets scarier,” the former CIA director said during the exclusive briefing provided by LIGNET, Newsmax’s new global intelligence and forecasting online service.

Amid intelligence reports suggesting that Israel may be striking Iran soon — and that U.S. forces are increasing in the region — the LIGNET Iran Crisis Briefing uncovered what lies ahead for Israel, the U.S. and the implications for the world economy.

This briefing has just been completed and you can access the latest, best available information on this subject.

Joining Gen. Hayden for the online briefing were Arnaud de Borchgrave, famed journalist and a global threat expert with the Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS), and former CIA senior analyst and LIGNET managing editor Fred Fleitz… [Note: Click on the CSIS link and check out the ‘Trustees’ section to find few interesting names on their list.]

De Borchgrave offered a dire prediction when asked how oil prices will be affected by an attack on Iran, which has already threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, a vital oil shipping channel.

And Fleitz says diplomacy is no longer an option. He says negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program are “in trouble” with “no prospect for breakthrough” and Iran “wants to wipe Israel off the face of the earth.”

Other topics addressed during the online event included:
-What is the full extent of Iran’s nuclear program
-The reason the U.S. must make it clear “we hold escalation dominance”
-How soon could Iran have a nuclear weapon
-Iran’s policy to facilitate the killing of Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan
-Will President Obama accept a nuclear Iran
-Iran’s close link to Hezbollah
-When will Israel launch an airstrike on Iran
-Iran’s support of the Syrian regime and its brutal crackdown on rebels
-A nuclear Iran leaves the world hostage to terror
-How would Iran retaliate to an Israeli strike
-Would such a response include biological, chemical or even “dirty” nuclear bombs
-What are the chances Iran will make a pre-emptive strike against the U.S.
-What are the implications for the dollar, the euro, and gold
And more
If you missed this URGENT online briefing on a nuclear Iran, you can still see re-broadcasts of this cutting-edge information

Yeah, but you have to pay $1 and get a ‘trial membership’ in LIGNET before you can get this URGENT information! However, “Once you join LIGNET for ONLY $1.00, you immediately become part of an exclusive network of global readers who are seeking the best available, actionable intelligence from some of the best informed people on the planet.” [emphasis mine]

Let’s take a brief look at some of the folks involved in LIGNET: a few of their “Advisory Board Members” are:

General Michael V. Hayden, USAF (ret.): Former director of the National Security Agency (NSA) and former CIA Director, under whose watch we became familiar with the terms “warrantless wiretapping” and “Extraordinary Rendition.”

Lord William Rees-Mogg: “Former editor of the Times of London and …former chairman of Newsmax Media’s Board of Directors.”

Ambassador John Bolton: (Well, we ALL know his past.) “Currently Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute and Fox News contributor.”

Jeremy Bradshaw: “Attorney, banker, and Newsmax contributor. Chairman of the London think tank, the Britain Club. He currently is Director of the London-based Argo Capital Management hedge fund.”

Arnaud DeBorchgrave: DeBorchgrave’s career as a journalist ranged from interviews with world leaders as correspondent for Newsweek, to CEO of UPI until he helped sell UPI to AP. According to Wikipedia, he “…played a key role in the sale of the further downsized UPI to News World Communications, the international news media company founded in 1976 by Unification Church leader Sun Myung Moon, who was also the founder of The Washington Times for which de Borchgrave had worked earlier. After his CEO turn at UPI, de Borchgrave retained associations with both Unification Church media outlets, as “Editor-at-Large” of The Washington Times and UPI, writing regular columns published by either or both.” Wiki also mentions that DeBorchgrave had had questions of plagiarism raised regarding his columns.

Congressman Peter Hoekstra: “Former member of Congress and Chairman, House Intelligence Committee.” Not enough space for a complete summary of Pete Hoekstra’s record.

Some of LIGNET’s “Analysis Team”:

Frederick Fleitz, Managing Editor: Under President George W. Bush, “…Mr. Fleitz served as chief of staff to John Bolton, then Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security. In 2006, Mr. Fleitz became a professional staff member with the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, acting as a senior advisor to Rep. Peter Hoekstra, the committee chairman.”

Mark A. Groombridge, Deputy Editor: “Dr. Groombridge was a research scholar at both the Cato Institute and the American Enterprise Institute.”

David Wurmser, Senior Analyst: “From 2003 to 2007, Dr. Wurmser served as the senior advisor to Vice President Cheney on the Middle East. From 2002 to 2003, Dr. Wurmser was a senior advisor to Under Secretary of State John Bolton. Before entering government, Dr. Wurmser founded the Middle East studies program at the American Enterprise Institute.”

One article on LIGNET’s website titled “Iran Ballistic Missile Program Continues” states:

“An annual report [unclassified excerpt] issued this week on Iranian military power by the U.S. Department of Defense concludes that Iran has been making considerable strides in improving the accuracy of its long-range missiles . . . according to the report, there has been no change to Iran’s strategies over the last year and Tehran is still focused on challenging U.S. influence while developing domestic capabilities to become the dominant player in the Middle East . . . the report concludes that Iran could flight-test an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) before 2016 and can now fire multiple missiles within second, creating a challenge for US and Israeli missile defense . . . Iran’s Shahab-3 missile can hit targets throughout the Middle East and the report says this missile’s range is being extended . . . this report shows the growing regional threat by Iran and is certain to further drive tensions . . . it also points to new threats to Israeli security from Iranian missiles.”

(sigh) And the Iran Warmongering beat goes on…

This is our daily open thread — what’s on YOUR mind today?

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123 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Thursday, July 19th, 2012: Hayden’s Planet-Scarium

  1. What I want to know is, “Who’s leaking all this classified information to this group?”

    And if you want people to take you seriously as some kind of foreign policy expert, do you really want to list “Fox News Contributor” in your credentials?

  2. This briefing has just been completed and you can access the latest, best available information on this subject.

    Other topics addressed during the online event included:
    -What is the full extent of Iran’s nuclear program

    Umm…1 research/refining facility being monitored by the UN?

    -The reason the U.S. must make it clear “we hold escalation dominance”
    Because saying “we have more weapons than you” isn’t as impressive?

    -How soon could Iran have a nuclear weapon
    Umm…Apr 2, 2007 6:15pm–Exclusive: Iran Nuclear Bomb Could Be Possible by 2009

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2007/04/exclusive_iran_/

    It is mid 2012 now, of course

    -Iran’s policy to facilitate the killing of Americans in Iraq and Afghanista
    …that has been in place since about 2007. Completely different from Bush Rumsfeld Cheney Bolton Rice’s policy of killing have facilitated Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan

    -Will President Obama accept a nuclear Iran
    Sure! Bush did nothing to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear program, why not Obama?
    -Iran’s close link to Hezbollah
    TOP SECRET! EXCLUSIVE!NEVER BEFORE REVEALED!!!

    -When will Israel launch an airstrike on Iran
    Umm…every six months between 2007 and 2011 according to hundreds of highly publicized news stories.

    -A nuclear Iran leaves the world hostage to terror
    Just like Iraq? Even though “we hold escalation dominance” and even though Israel will launch an airstrike? (Retroactively of course!)

    -How would Iran retaliate to an Israeli strike
    -Would such a response include biological, chemical or even “dirty” nuclear bombs

    The least terrible of these is the “dirty” nuclear bomb, (not the most terrible, as implied by “even”), and the answer is no, because unlike Iraq, Iran hasn’t been supplied with such weapons by the US/UK/Germany/Israel

    -What are the chances Iran will make a pre-emptive strike against the U.S.
    Nil, obviously.

    -What are the implications for the dollar, the euro, and gold
    Gold goes up, dollar and euro go down—as usual. (Oh and oil goes…you’ll have to ask the experts to find out!) Next?!

    What a scam, charging money for very old public domain information and the same old shit from consistently wrong hysterical idiots.

    • ON November 6th, 196 old, white, bigotted fascists may wake up and say to themselves “F*** we just bought a Presidential election! What an awesome f***ing country, what shall we do now?”

  3. I’ve had a song in my head lately, keeps cropping up when I least expect it. I finally looked it up again to see what it was that has been haunting me. I was never the biggest fan of this band, but it turns out the lyrics are fitting, thus, not such a surprising ear worm. Note this song is 30 years old; lyrics from one of the many lyrics sites out there. REO Speedwagon “Golden Country” from 1972:

    Golden country your face is so red
    With all of your money your poor can be fed
    You strut around and you flirt with disaster
    Never really carin’ just what comes after
    Well your blacks are dyin’ but your back is still turned
    And your freaks are cryin’ but your back is still turned
    You better stop your hidin or your country will burn
    The time has come for you my friend
    To all this ugliness we must put an end
    Before we leave we must make a stand

    Mortgage people you crawl to your homes
    Your security lies in your bed of white foam
    You act concerned but then why turn away
    When a lady was raped on your doorstep today
    Well your blacks are cryin’ but your back is still turned
    And your freaks are dyin’ but your back is still turned
    You better stop your hidin or your country will burn
    The time has come for you my friend
    To all this ugliness we must put an end
    Before we leave we must make a stand, oh yeah……

    Golden country your face is so red
    With all of your money your poor can be fed
    You strut around and you flirt with disaster
    Never really carin’ just what comes after
    Well your blacks are dyin’ but your back is still turned
    And your freaks are cryin’ but your back is still turned
    You better stop your hidin or your country will burn
    The time has come for you my friend
    To all this ugliness we must put an end
    Before we leave we must make a stand

  4. Holy Ghost of Robert McNamara!

    You know when the majority of your advisory panel is associated with John Bolton and/or Penis Cheney, one who sees a monster under every bed and the other who is just in it for the money, you know the drumbeat for war is coming. If Rmoney gets elected, we can look forward to a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious foray into attacking Iran and all of it’s unintended consequences. Oh Joy.

  5. George Zimmerman Says He Wouldn’t Do Anything Differently: ‘It Was God’s Plan’ For Me To Kill Trayvon Martin.’

    Are Zimmerman’s lawyers in some sort of suspended animation or possibly a coma?

    • George – what would Jesus do? No? I suppose going from wannabe-cop trapped in your own Mallcop movie to having Sean hannity pay your legal bills can make you suffer the delusion that God gives a flying f***ity f*** about you.

    • Well crap, don’t bother with that video. It was supposed to be about a 30 second clip.

  6. Call me cynical… but the timing of this interview seems very convenient. Try to distract from expensive horses, tax returns, lying about being a CEO or not a CEO… then trot out the wife and talk about a serious illness.

    Mitt Romney’s Wife, Ann, Calls MS Diagnosis ‘My Darkest Hour’ – Yahoo!

    In an unflinching and emotional interview, Ann Romney opened up about the despair she felt when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 14 years ago, confessing to ABC’s Robin Roberts that she found herself in a “dark hole.”

    Romney, wife of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, called the time following her diagnosis “my darkest hour” and confessed that she “ripped up all the pictures” taken of her at that time.

    In the interview, which airs today on “Good Morning America,” Romney said her illness had gone into remission. She said she drew inspiration from friends and family, and hoped she could inspire the people she met on the trail. “Now I can relate to someone who’s going through a really hard time. … I can say I know what you feel like. I know how hard it is.”

    • MS doesn’t “go into remission.” Unless you want to call those periods of times between episodes “remission.” It’s always there, you don’t get better. Either you go downhill fast, slow or it’s a roller-coaster. But it’s always there. If his wife has MS, I have one thing in common with Romney.

      And if Ann can empathize with the disabled, too bad that doesn’t rub off on her husband.

      • BnF, you are compassionate and caring – those genuine qualities come through your writings.
        Mittens can not relate, for whatever reasoning. He is the poorer for it and no amount of money can buy him those traits.

        [Loving thoughts to you and Mrs. BnF]

    • Are we suppose to feel sorry for her? Ann Romney can afford the best care and best medicines to treat her MS. The other 99% of people with MS are not as lucky. And if Obamacare gets dismantled, then the other 99% will be denied health insurance because of the “pre-existing” condition known as MS. Ann cannot relate to someone who’s going through a hard time. She has the money to help her through her hard times. The people that were denied transplants in AZ, they went through hard times.

      The Romneys are trying so hard to sound human.

      • Those people in AZ didn’t need to go through hard times. It was a monetary and political choice on the part of the Governor

        • That’s right and if these people had access to even a tiny bit of the Romney wealth, they would have received the transplants. This is what it means to be poor or middle class without health insurance.

          • If I were that reporter,I certainly would have brought that up as a question to Romney’s wife: “So, what are Romeny’s plans about making sure people who don’t have health insurance who discover they have MS are covered by some form of health care? Isn’t everything that is in Obamacare designed to protect these people? Then Why does Romeny want to repeal it on ‘Day One’ ?”

            If she is going to be a surrogate for her husband, she should be prepared to answer some hard questions.

      • Cats, I feel sorry for anyone with MS. With this disease, in the slow-progression form, your memory goes, bit by bit, year by year. You eventually live by post-it notes. Along with that, your strength goes, bit by bit. It becomes harder to do things that used to be simple. Heat is devastating. Physical strength goes, ability to think goes, hearing goes, reaction time goes. The prognosis is, eventually, being bedridden, with or without cognitive functions.

        If Ann has this disease, no amount of wealth will change her prognosis. It is a certainty. When, is the only question.

        • What are the symptoms of MS? Anything specific, or a number of things piling up? I mean, how does one know something is wrong, rather than having a bad day or a weird symptom?

          • It varies from person to person. A friend of mine has MS in her right eye. She just lost her vision overnight and after expensive testing, it was determined that she has MS. The symptoms are determined by where the damage to the myelin sheath occurs. Many times, there is weakness in the extremities along with severe muscle pain. ALS is even worse. I’ve provided nursing care for both.

          • Her first major episode mimicked a stroke – she lost feeling and use of the right side of her body. That’s how she knew something was wrong…

            diagnosis was confirmed with a spinal fluid test.

        • I don’t mean to sound cold hearted. I have clients that have MS. I couldn’t do the work that I do if I didn’t feel empathy with others. MS is different for everyone. Several years ago, one of my clients who had MS died because of a deep vein thrombosis that traveled to his lungs. He never complained about his disability. I cried for days when I learned he passed on. I went to his funeral and his wife and I cried together.

          Massage therapy is helpful to MS patients. Unfortunately, the insurance industry doesn’t agree and won’t pay for massage. Ann can afford massage therapy and her horse therapy and any other therapy that helps. My clients can barely afford to see me once/month and my fees are at the low end market value.

    • At least she has health insurance. Imagine what darkest hours lay ahead if you didn’t have coverage?

      • Without medical treatment, the disease will most likely progress more rapidly. That could be a blessing.

        In either case, a medical directive is recommended.

        • Briseadh na Faire
          on July 17, 2012 at 7:41 am said:
          Are you sure this is the QOTD and not the IMSFOTD (impotent monkey slinging feces of the day)?

          (and did I just create a new internet acronym?)

          • I checked, and it turns out I did. Permission granted to use IMSFOTD to your heart’s content.

    • “….. *you* people ….”

      Shorter Antoinette Rmoney: “We are not like *you* people”

      • Any comment with “you people” in it is arrogant and dismissive. To say it to Robin Roberts, black woman who is considered sympathetic to the Obama’s, is pretty snarky.

    • I just listened to this clip and I would like to know how is Mitt Romney going to bring jobs back to this country when his greatest work experience is having jobs leave this country? Does he have a new plan?

    • Kind of concerning actually – thanks to the Soviets, Assad has one of the largest chemical weapons arsenals left in the world. Do you think he’ll say “Nah, I’m really a nice guy” when it comes time to decide whether to wear the ‘Joburg necklace’ or pop the cork on the nerve gas?

  7. In comparing Mittens’ position on releasing his tax returns to his father’s release of multiple years when he made a run for the republiscum nomination in 1968 I have to ask: Why was there no discussion about George Romney not being a natural born citizen?

    George Romney was born in Colonia Dublán, Galeana, Chihuahua, Mexico on July 8th 1907! Why was this not an issue then, particularly to the nuts on the right?

    • I was thinking that myself. But the nuts on the right didn’t exist back then, at least to the extent that they do now. Back then, Republicans tended to marginalize the fanatics and ignore them. These days, they embrace them and select them to run as VEEP in Eff Me pumps or put them in office after they sign some pledge to some lobbyist named after a Sesame Street Character.

  8. While on NPR, Sen. Rubio Questions Usefulness of NPR

    Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., expressed worry this morning about broadcasting outlets that use taxpayer money to stay on the air.
    But Rubio made his comments on NPR, a broadcasting outlet that uses taxpayer money to stay on the air.
    “I do have concerns about spending money on public broadcasting,” Rubio told Diane Rehm during an hourlong Q&A on NPR.

    • For what it’s worth, I have concerns about spending taxpayer money to keep the MIC afloat and prosperous; I also take offense when taxpayer money is spent on Voice of America, that federally funded official American (worldwide and in multiple languages) propaganda radio ‘network’. I’d far rather see public funds spent to maintain NPR and PBS, among other domestic non-commercial radio and TV setups. In fact, I’d vote enthusiastically in favor of using public funds to purchase and dismantle all of Rupert Murdoch’s propaganda setups, also whatever funds might be required to ‘render’ him to some black hole in eastern Europe or maybe the Middle East. Permanently, of course.

  9. When Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq, he sent Iran the message that Iran better make sure it is well protected otherwise, Bush was going to invade Iran, too. Ahmadinnerjacket is not stupid. He noticed that Bush invaded a country that didn’t have nukes and avoided invading or attacking countries that did have nukes, such as North Korea and Pakistan.

    • Exactly. The fact that WMD’s weren’t used by Iraq is proof (to me) that they didn’t have WMD’s. Because, think about the time you’d use such weapons. You’ve just been invaded by an overwhelming force. They’re marching toward your capital. That’s the kind of scenario that would force a nation with WMD’s to actually use them.

      Totally agree, the message of Iraq to the rest of the world: you better get your WMD’s damn quick.

    • Isn’t this the agency that held meetings touting Karl Rove talking points on Power Point slides to the employees or am I thinking of a different agency?

  10. The Twitterati and Ann:

    @JamesUrbaniak
    Ann Romney says “you people” on national television. Entire Romney campaign staff treated for head-desk injuries” Ann is trending, and not in a good way.

    Willard Mitt Romney @MlTTR0MNEY
    People misunderstood my wife, Ann Romney. She meant: We’re better than most people and the same rules don’t apply. That’s all.

  11. Mittens and his surrogates sure do seem found of exclusionary language. His wife’s “you people” comment and this freak talking about “real Americans” are just two examples. The amazing part is that much of the corporate media refuses to call them on their claims of Obama being out of touch while everything about Mittens sets him apart from most of the world.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/19/mitt-romney-afghanistan_n_1687081.html

    BTW. When President Obama took office we were hemorrhaging jobs. Now we have seen over 20 months, I forget the precise number, of job creation. It’s, admittedly, been slower than we would like but it’s still growth and has occurred in the face of unprecedented obstruction by the GOoPers from city councils to the Senate to the Supreme Court. It is distressing that there are so many people who, through ignorance and stupidity and lack of curiosity, have no idea of this simple fact. Indeed; all too many are convinced that unemployment is going up and the economy is still tanking in Bush-like fashion.

    This also belies the fact that the Obama Administration ended combat operations in Iraq and has an exit plan for Afghanistan. Judging by the people who give Mittens advice I am forced to conclude that his “plan” is perpetual war in Afghanistan, a possible reoccupation of Iraq, and a whole new war against Iran. And those are just the current crises he and his minions could screw up.

  12. If the Mittbots go the full Breitbart, doesn’t that lower the bar for bringing Romney’s LDS roots and beliefs into open discussion? Is this really what they want to risk? Gawd, mediawise, the next four months will be brutal.

  13. Maybe Romney should have been smoking something when he was younger instead of assaulting boys who did not look or act like he thought they should.

  14. The famous out-of-context quote from Reagan. Ignoring and never quoting “In this present crisis” changes everything.

  15. So let’s say Mitt releases his tax returns. How will would we know they’re the real returns? I can’t imagine the IRS can confirm or deny it (due to privacy concerns).

  16. So maybe Mitt’s splitting hairs. Maybe he meant he never set foot back in the old Bain headquarters. He simply moved it elsewhere.

    Mitt Romney Brought Bain Capital With Him To The Olympics

    ASHINGTON — When Mitt Romney transitioned from working full-time at Bain Capital to running the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, he did not fully leave the private equity firm. That’s not just because he continued to sign documents and take a salary, or because he described himself as Bain’s CEO on the Olympics’ website, but because he brought with him Bain’s personnel, ethos and, most importantly, its clients.

    Romney leaned heavily on Bain to turn the 2002 Olympic committee into a success. Several officials who worked with him said his extensive business network proved critical. But the continued Bain ties came with a price, as Romney opened himself up to criticism that he used the Olympics to assist colleagues and build a foundation for a future political career.

  17. Anything to the rumors that Rmoney is going to London to get foreign donations of money from the LIBOR folks?

  18. Is the ‘you people’ some sort of variation of the ‘some people’ who are always saying things?

    • ‘You people’ is more offensive. It is meant to degrade a person.

      Ann’toinette’ Romney believes that she is above others. Not sure if this is something that is part of the LDS faith as I don’t know many Mormons.

    • I agree with Cats. “You people” implies you black people, poor people, foreign people, other people, or just about any other exclusionary grouping one can come up with. It implies that the speaker is above the rules that apply to “the other”.

      “Some people” is almost always used in a ploy to lend legitimacy to a point that one pulls from one’s southern orifice. “Some people”, who are assumed to be authoritative, “agree with me” so what I’m saying is “the truth”.

  19. The DNC apologized to Ann Romney for featuring her horse in an ad but still hasn’t apologized to everyone else for having to watch the awful ad in the first place.

  20. Somewhere in our nation today:

    A woman married a corporation.

    Mitt Romney said he wants a porn filter on all computers sold in U.S.

    In Newberry, Florida today a woman told me I looked like a dead President

    In St. Augustine I was briefly a Most Interesting Man while I savored a Dos Equis, the first of three Mexican beers delivered to me as thanks for assistance given,

    Rachel continues to amaze me with her communication skills.

  21. Unhinged Paranoid QOTD:

    “Let me just say this to you and then one more quick question. I just wrote a letter to the president of my company for The Blaze and he’s in charge of all content. He’s kind of our news, you know, our uber news director, if you will, he’s the president of content. And I just said we know the truth on this story. We’ve had this for a while. I do not want this company to sit down on this. So we are going to cover this and continue to cover this to make sure that people hear this story because, Michele, you guys are absolutely right and it is a matter of national survival. …

    Let me ask you one quick question. John McCain and all of the elephant media are falling right in line with the Muslim Brotherhood. Bullcrap. What did John McCain do yesterday? … But you’re not saying that she is compromised? You’re saying have we looked into this, right? …

    I have to tell you, we’re at war. We’re at war with people in the Middle East, and her ‑‑ she’s compromised ‑‑ forget about the Muslim thing. She’s compromised or could have been compromised. Her husband was sending dirty photos of himself. I mean, you know, in a wartime, you would never put that person in a delicate situation because the family has already been compromised. But I digress,” – Glenn Beck, “interviewing” Michele Bachmann.

    • Glenn, Glenn, go cry over your sweater, perhaps that will improve your bottom line. One cannot be compromised by a secret that is already public knowledge. You’ve got about as much grasp of the intel game as Michael Hayden.

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