Tag Archive: National Security


Political Appointees Helped bin Laden Filmmakers Over Objections Of Career Officials At Pentagon

 

 

 

Political appointees at the Defense Department, the CIA and the White House brushed aside concerns from career officials about helping two Hollywood filmmakers research their 2012 movie about the top-secret Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden, according to a report from the Pentagon’s inspector general.

CIA Director Leon E. Panetta, who had been nominated to take over at the PentagonMike Vickers, defense undersecretary for intelligence; and politically appointed public affairs staff in both agencies and the White House helped secure for the filmmakers a meeting with a participant or planner of the 2011 raid, the report shows.”

 

    This report confirms a post we had earlier in the week about the politicization of the bin-Laden raid and amply demonstrates that political expediency trumps national security every time with the thugs that presently occupy the White House .

 

” “At the direction of Director Panetta, the CIA is cooperating fully” with the filmmakers, Mr. Vickers wrote to Douglas Wilson, who was assistant defense secretary for public affairs. In reply, Mr. Wilson promised to “check with the [White House] to update them on status.”

Investigators said that, as a result of these efforts, screenwriter Mark Boal attended a June 2011 ceremony at CIA headquarters in which raid participants were honored and were clearly identified, despite efforts to keep their identities secret.”

 

      The next time you hear Obama prattle on about the need for secrecy to maintain “national security” keep in mind the fact that the term is actually meaningless to him and his staff . To them EVERYTHING is viewed through the PRISM of politics and how  the given situation/event can best be spun to make them look good . There is never any selfless consideration of what’s good for the country , only what’s good for Obama and his Statist agenda .

If you doubt that this could be the case just pause for a moment and consider , Fast & Furious , Benghazi , Sequestration , IRS , James Rosen , AP Phone Records , PRISM , War On Whistleblowers , et al . Observed with an eye towards Obama’s political survival the administration’s seemingly bizarre actions make sense .

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big Politically Correct Brother

 

 

” A few weeks after 9/11, when government was hastily retooling its 1970s hijacking procedures for the new century, I wrote a column for the National Post of Canada and various other publications that, if you’re so interested, is preserved in my anthology The Face of the Tiger. It began by noting the observation of President Bush’s transportation secretary, Norman Mineta, that if “a 70-year-old white woman from Vero Beach, Florida” and “a Muslim young man” were in line to board a flight, he hoped there would be no difference in the scrutiny to which each would be subjected. The TSA was then barely a twinkle in Norm’s eye, and in that long-ago primitive era it would have seemed absurd to people that one day in America it would be entirely routine for wheelchair-bound nonagenarians to remove leg braces before boarding a plane or for kindergartners to stand patiently as three middle-aged latex-gloved officials poke around their genitals. Back then, the idea that everybody is a suspect still seemed slightly crazy. As I wrote in my column, “I’d love to see Norm get his own cop show:

“Captain Mineta, the witness says the serial rapist’s about 5′10″ with a thin mustache and a scar down his right cheek.”

“Okay, Sergeant, I want you to pull everyone in.”

“Pardon me?”

Everyone. Men, women, children. We’ll start in the Bronx and work our way through to Staten Island. What matters here is that we not appear to be looking for people who appear to look like the appearance of the people we’re looking for. There are eight million stories in the Naked City, and I want to hear all of them.”

A decade on, it would be asking too much for the new Norm to be confined to the airport terminal. There are 300 million stories in the Naked Republic, and the NSA hears all of them, 24/7. Even in the wake of a four-figure death toll, with the burial pit still smoking, the formal, visible state could not be honest about the very particular threat it faced, and so in the shadows the unseen state grew remorselessly, the blades of the harvester whirring endlessly but, don’t worry, only for “metadata.”

As I wrote in National Review in November 2001, “The bigger you make the government, the more you entrust to it, the more powers you give it to nose around the citizenry’s bank accounts, and phone calls, and e-mails, and favorite Internet porn sites, the more you’ll enfeeble it with the siren song of the soft target. The Mounties will no longer get their man, they’ll get you instead. Frankly, it’s a lot easier.” As the IRS scandal reminds us, you have to have a touchingly naïve view of government to believe that the 99.9999 percent of “metadata” entirely irrelevant to terrorism will not be put to some use, sooner or later.” 

 

 

As Usual Steyn Is Required Reading

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As Public Concerns Grow, Congress Spooked Over Spying

 

Government_Spying

 

The American people are growing increasingly concerned about reports of domestic spying. And Congress isn’t sure how to respond.

The public’s views have been evolving over the past week and a half. When news broke earlier this month that the National Security Agency could tap data from phone and Internet companies, most people accepted the tradeoff between security and privacy. Members of Congress routinely defended the programs.

Not anymore. By week’s end, polls suggested a groundswell of concern and lawmakers were hearing from constituents. Conversations at the Capitol had a new hue: Sure, the government says it has safeguards in place so it won’t listen to my calls and read my emails – but can it ever really control some rogue operator? And where is all that data? Who’s in charge?

 

    This is what happens when the MSM finally starts doing it’s job . People , even the “low info” people , become informed about the abuses being heaped upon them by a Statist government in the name of “national security” and , low and behold , they let their representatives have an earful . Good for them and good for US . We say Bring It On …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is The US An Authoritarian National Surveillance State?

 

To quote the Blogfather : ” Yes . Next Question” 

 

 

 

 

”  An article by Jack Balkin a Yale law professor discusses what he calls the new national surveillance state that is being created in many countries including the US.

 
Balkin describes the national surveillance state as follows: “In the National Surveillance State, the government uses surveillance, data collection, collation and analysis to identify problems, to head off potential threats, to govern populations, and to deliver valuable social services. The National Surveillance State is a special case of the Information State – a state that tries to identify and solve problems of governance through the collection, collation, analysis and production of information.”
Balkin suggests that the War on Terror is a familiar justification for the national surveillance state but there are other causes most notably the fast and accelerating developments in information technology that make more surveillance possible.
The question for Barkin is not whether we should have a surveillance state since the surveillance state is certainly here but what type of surveillance state we will have. He notes that there are a number of dangers posed by the surveillance state. With all the data collected there may be a move towards a parallel track of preventative law enforcement that may be contrary to guarantees of a bill of rights.”

Glenn Greenwald: We Have Several More Stories to Release on NSA Surveillance Scandal

HT/Fiscal Conservatives

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just How Much Did Tech Companies Play Footsie With the NSA?

 

 

 

” How complicit are tech companies in the National Security Agency’s massive spying scheme? They certainly bear some responsibility, but the rules under which the surveillance is conducted make it unclear — perhaps deliberately — the extent to which companies have resisted or folded, and also limit the channels available to the more privacy-minded to put up a fight.

News reports make it clear that many companies not only cooperated with the NSA, but even modified their systems to allow government spooks easier access to data. Others are known to have been less willing to make life easy for snoops.

Make no mistake, even the Twitters of the world are required to surrender information about their users when ordered to do so under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. And, they are forbidden to tell targeted users, civil liberties advocates or the public at large anything about such orders. Resistant companies can appeal, but only through the secretive process allowed them by the law. And we know that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court approved all but one of the 1,856 surveillance requests it received in 2012. One was withdrawn. None were disapproved. So, even the most privacy-minded tech executives have limited options when it comes to protecting their cutomers’ information.

From Reuters:

U.S. Internet companies that want to resist government demands to hand over customer data for intelligence investigations have few legal options, due to the classified nature of such probes and a court review process shrouded in secrecy.

Some of the complaints about government pressure from business executives are, no doubt, sincere. But take them all with a grain of salt.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s Why the Obama Administration Wanted the NSA Data-Mining Program Kept Secret

 

 

 

” I was reading up on the National Security Agency’s data-mining program when I came across this tweet by Matt Apuzzo of the Associated Press:

If the programs needed secrecy to succeed, will NSA shut them down now? If not, did they ever need be secret? Or did I just blow your mind?

— Matt Apuzzo (@mattapuzzo) June 7, 2013

Why does this program have to be kept secret? It’s not like American consumers will just stop using cell phones, or wireless networks, or social networks. (A person could do that, but who’s actually willing to? Much as I loathe government surveillance, I’m not giving up Facebook or Gmail or my account with Verizon. I doubt many people are.) It’s also not like Americans didn’t know something like this was going on. So why keep it secret that the government is mining data when Americans will continue to provide data regardless?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Government Says Secret Court Opinion on Law Underlying PRISM Program Needs to Stay Secret

 

 

 

” In a rare public filing in the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), the Justice Department today urged continued secrecy for a 2011 FISC opinion finding government surveillance to be unconstitutional.  Significantly, the activities at issue were carried out under the controversial legal authority that underlies the National Security Agency’s recently-revealed PRISM program.

EFF filed a suit under the Freedom of Information Act in August 2012, seeking disclosure of the FISC ruling.  Sens. Ron Wyden and Mark Udall revealed the existence of the opinion, which found that collection activities under FISA Section 702  “circumvented the spirit of the law” and violated the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures. But, at the time, the Senators were not permitted to discuss the details publicly. Section 702 has taken on new importance this week, as it appears to form the basis for the extensive PRISM surveillance program reported recently in the Guardian and the Washington Post.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obama’s Agenda Scorched In Firestorm

 

 

 

” Republicans have long depicted Obama as an advocate of a big, dangerous and overreaching government, back to the federal bailout of the auto industry he undertook during the financial crisis that greeted his first inauguration.”

 

With a great deal of accuracy , we might add …

 

” In recent weeks, it has fueled outrage over the targeting by the Internal Revenue Service of conservative Tea Party groups seeking non-profit status, and over the use of secret subpoenas and search warrants against the Associated Press and Fox News in Justice Department investigations of news leaks.”

 

But as we are seeing , that is just the tip of the iceberg …

 

” Now the headlines are focused on governmental monitoring that touches not just reporters but, apparently, just about anyone who makes a phone call. Thursday began with explosions over a story in The Guardian in London of a broad secret U.S. warrant for phone records from Verizon. By midday, Senate Intelligence Chairman Dianne Feinstein had confirmed the surveillance had been going on for years. By the end of the day, The Washington Post and The Guardian reported that a data-mining program targeting foreigners was tapping into such Internet companies as Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and Facebook.”

 

Can we call him “Big Brother” yet ?

 

” To be sure, Obama didn’t launch the data-mining initiatives, which were started during the Bush administration, though he has expanded them. He had defenders Thursday ranging from California Sen. Feinstein, a liberal Democrat, to South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a conservative Republican. “It’s called protecting America,” Feinstein said.”

 

   The American people are fast discovering that we are more in need of protection from our own government than from any foreign enemy .

 

 

” In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible.”

 George Orwell

 

 

”  But his critics also spanned the political spectrum. “Is it just me, or is secret blanket surveillance obscenely outrageous?” former vice president Al Gore posted on Twitter. Rep. James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, an author of the Patriot Act that was used to obtain the court order, called it “excessive and un-American.” “

 

   Wonder of wonders , Obama has even managed to create agreement between this page and , of all people , Al Gore … We guess pigs really can fly , at least in Obama’s Amerika …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAPD Holds Downtown Counterterrorism Drill

 

 

 

 

” Gunfire echoed through downtown and law enforcement helicopters swooped low among office towers Thursday, but it was all a drill as the Police Department’s counter-terrorism unit demonstrated a response to a weapon-of-mass-destruction threat.

The late-morning demonstration began with an explosion of flash grenades, officers firing blank ammunition at pretend suspects, and police rappelling out of a county Sheriff’s Department helicopter and onto a hotel bridge on Figueroa Street.”

 

    Nearly as disturbing as the show of a militarized police force is the fact that the crowd was enthralled with this practice run for denying these same citizens their rights .

 

 

HT/Intellihub

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DUH!

 

NSA_Quotes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bradley Manning Trial ‘Dangerous’ For Civil Liberties – Experts

 

 

 

” The trial of Bradley Manning, the US soldier who leaked a trove of state secrets to WikiLeaks, could set an ominous precedent that will chill freedom of speech and turn the internet into a danger zone, legal experts have warned.

Of the 21 counts faced by the army private on Monday, at his trial at Fort Meade in Maryland, by far the most serious is that he knowingly gave intelligence information to al-Qaida by transmitting hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the open information website WikiLeaks. The leaked disclosures were first published by the Guardian and allied international newspapers.”

 

 

 

 

” Laurence Tribe, a Harvard professor who is considered to be the foremost liberal authority on constitutional law in the US and who taught the subject to President Barack Obama, told the Guardian that the charge could set a worrying precedent. He said: “Charging any individual with the extremely grave offense of ‘aiding the enemy’ on the basis of nothing beyond the fact that the individual posted leaked information on the web and thereby ‘knowingly gave intelligence information’ to whoever could gain access to it there, does indeed seem to break dangerous new ground.”

 

 

Obama’s DHS Cannot Locate 266 Potentially Dangerous Illegal Aliens

 

 

 

” Rebecca Gambler, the director of the Homeland Security and Justice for GAO , testified before the House Subcommittee on May 21. According her her, 1,901 illegal overstays had been identified by DHS in 2011. These overstays were prioritized by DHS for further investigation because “the subjects of the records could pose national security or public safety concerns.”

Of those 1,901, nine have been arrested and 266 still cannot be located. 481 of the cases were given to Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Enforcement and Removal Operations division, because they presented “potential public safety threats”.

The DHS has failed to report visa overstays to Congress, as required by law. Their excuse? A lack of “confidence in the quality of its overstay data”. Janet Napolitano said that the DHS will report on overstay rates by December 2013.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Official: Holder Approved Warrant For Fox News Reporter’s Emails

 

 

 

” A law enforcement official has told NBC News that Attorney General Eric Holder is the one who signed the search warrant for the private emails of Fox News reporter James Rosen. The warrant was signed under the guise that Rosen might be a “possible co-conspirator” in violation of the Espionage Act.”

 

 

 

 

 

White House Releases 100 Pages Of Benghazi E-mails

” The White House released more than 100 pages of e-mails on Wednesday in a bid to quell critics who say President Barack Obama and his aides played politics with national security following the deadly terror attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.

The e-mails detail the complex back and forth between the CIA, State Department, and the White House in developing unclassified talking points that were used to underpin a controversial and slow-to-evolve explanation of events last September 11.”

You can read all the e-mails here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Senators Kill Amendments Tied To Bill On Immigration; Border Security Issue Put On Back Burner

 

 

 

” The Senate immigration bill survived its first tests Thursday as a core group of Republicans and Democrats held together, killing efforts to require full border security requirements before legalizing illegal immigrants.

Kicking off the first votes on immigration this year, the Judiciary Committee held a daylong session on border security where senators agreed to require that the entire southwestern border be secured to 90 percent “efficiency.”

But the committee defeated Republican efforts to put that requirement and others before legalization. Members also rejected following through on a 2006 law that ordered the government to build 700 miles of two-tier fencing on the 2,000-mile-long border.”

SEE RELATED: Senate bill doesn’t stop most illegal immigration: Fed study

 

 

The screwing of America continues.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Wall Street Journal

 

The Fatalities

Officer Sean Collier , Martin Richard , Lingzi Lu and Krystle Campbell clockwise from upper left .

 

 

 

 

    Of course that’s not the way the WSJ put it , but face it , Tamerlan Tsarnaev was arrested for Assault & Battery in 2009 and could have been deported then . In 2011 the FBI , at the request of a foreign government , investigated him and allegations that he was an adherent of Radical Islam and again dropped the ball . Is that effective terror prevention ? 

 

 

” Late Friday, the FBI posted this statement on its 2011 interview ofTamerlan Tsarnaev, the suspected Boston bomber who was killed in a police shootout. Here is the statement:

 

2011 Request for Information on Tamerlan Tsarnaev from Foreign Government 

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, age 26, was previously designated as Suspect 1, wearing a black hat. Dzhokar A. Tsarnaev, age 19, was designated as Suspect 2, wearing a white hat. Both were born in Kyrgyzstan.

Once the FBI learned the identities of the two brothers today, the FBI reviewed its records and determined that in early 2011, a foreign government asked the FBI for information about Tamerlan Tsarnaev. The request stated that it was based on information that he was a follower of radical Islam and a strong believer, and that he had changed drastically since 2010 as he prepared to leave the United States for travel to the country’s region to join unspecified underground groups.

In response to this 2011 request, the FBI checked U.S. government databases and other information to look for such things as derogatory telephone communications, possible use of online sites associated with the promotion of radical activity, associations with other persons of interest, travel history and plans, and education history. The FBI also interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev and family members. The FBI did not find any terrorism activity, domestic or foreign, and those results were provided to the foreign government in the summer of 2011. The FBI requested but did not receive more specific or additional information from the foreign government.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obama Covering Up Saudi Link To Boston Bombing?

 

 

The attempt to cover up a possible Saudi connection to the Boston attack could explain why authorities are scrambling to get their official narrative straight after photos emerged yesterday on the Internet showing numerous suspects carrying large backpacks, some of them middle eastern in appearance and two of the individuals having been almost certainly identified as employees of private military/security firm Craft International.

The FBI had set a press conference for 5pm EST yesterday afternoon but the event was cancelled hours after the photos were seen by millions of people online. The federal agency blamed the media for erroneous reporting, stating, “these stories often have unintended consequences.”

CNN also had to backtrack after they announced that a suspect had been arrested, a report that was subsequently denied by authorities. Reports of a “dark skinned man” being arrested were later mothballed.

According to terrorism expert Steve Emerson, 20-year-old Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi, the Saudi national first suspected of being involved in Monday’s twin bomb attack, is being hastily deported. Alharbi was put under armed guard in hospital after the bombing, was visited by Saudi diplomat Azzam bin Abdel Karim, and later had his apartment raided by federal and state law enforcement agents.

“I just learned from my own sources that he is now going to be deported on national security grounds next Tuesday, which is very unusual,” Emerson told Fox News last night.” 

RELATED: Source: Government Trying to Make Boston ‘Lone Wolf Terror’ To Spare Saudis

      While we are not prone to rumor-mongering and fomenting conspiracy theories we must admit that an awful lot of things smell fishy here and deserve to be further explored , especially given the “transparent” nature of our present administration and our government’s past dealings with the kingdom of Saudi Arabia . Questions need to be put forth … and answered .

Why Does The U.S. Have Immigration Laws?

 

 

 

 

” Why does the U.S. have immigration laws?  I ask not over exasperation that a Senate gang-of-eight is once again considering a blanket amnesty for people who have been living in the U.S. illegally as part of comprehensive immigration reform, but from a purely practical perspective.  It stands to reason our immigration laws are there as guidelines to enforce our immigration policy.  So at some level we must have an immigration policy, right?

Think of it in the context of admission to an elite university.  Every year there are tens of thousands of high school graduates who would benefit greatly from being accepted to Harvard or Yale or M.I.T..  Yet those schools don’t just let anyone who manages to wander onto their campuses attend classes and, after hanging around campus long enough, deem the folks who self-admitted themselves worthy of a diploma.  Nay, those institutions have a rigorous screening process through which they identify a select few students who meet their standards for admission.

If those elite institutions were bound by the same principles as our immigration policy then anyone who took it upon themselves to enter onto the campus would be tolerated, sanctuary dormitories established, and their uninvited presence welcomed until such future time when a diploma is bestowed upon them for their plucky indifference to the rules.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Über-Stealth Jihad in America

 

 

 

 

 

” In June 2012, the “National Security 5″ — five members of Congress led by Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) — called attention to U.S. government infiltration by Muslim Brotherhood (MB) operatives.  Based on disturbing information from court evidence and documents,   correspondence, media reports, congressional briefings, and public statements, they found that individuals with questionable loyalty to the United States held high-level security clearances and worked in key national security positions.  Tragically for the security of the United States and the safety of its citizens, these five earnest members of Congress, armed with ample evidence, were roundly criticized by both Republicans and Democrats, and their request for investigations were ignored.

The five — Bachmann, Trent Franks (R-Arizona), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), Tom Rooney (R-Florida), and Lynn Westmoreland (R-Georgia) — had sent letters to the inspectors general of the Departments of State, Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security, and to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.  They identified specific individuals, organizational affiliations, and activities of concern conducted by Muslim Brotherhood operatives employed in various capacities in the U.S. government.  They cited links to the much-publicized Muslim Brotherhood mission statement that has called its work in America “a kind of grand Jihad to eliminate and destroy the Western civilization from within.”  “

 

 

 

 

Illegal Hops Border Fence As McCain, Schumer Watch…

 

Just witnessed a woman successfully climb an 18-ft bollard fence a few yards from us in pic.twitter.com/GnMwEeQwDB

Teens Prepare For Cyberwar

” Computer-savvy teens are putting down their game controllers — at least temporarily — for code writing and virus-sweeping. Call it “Red Dawn: Part Deux: Teen Cyber-Commandos.”

At events like the CyberLympics, CyberPatriot contest or just-announced “Toaster Wars,” sponsored by the National Security Agency, high school geek squads are competing to see who does the best job at preventing unauthorized computer intrusions.

This growing interest in cyberdefense comes at a time when the Pentagon officials are warning against damaging computer attacks from China and other nations, while stoking concerns that the United States education system hasn’t trained enough cyber-warriors to protect either military or civilian computer systems.

While the students are taught advanced computer skills, they also receive training in computer ethics, according to Scott Kennedy, assistant vice president and principal systems engineering manager at SAIC, a defense contractor and cybersecurity provider based in Northern Virginia. In fact, some students have been kicked out for getting into other team’s computers, or issuing denial of service attacks.”

US Citing Security To Censor More Public Records

 

 

 

” WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. government, led by the Pentagon and CIA, censored or withheld for reasons of national security the files that the public requested last year under the Freedom of Information Act more often than at any time since President Barack Obama took office, according to a new analysis by The Associated Press.

The AP’s analysis showed the government released all or portions of the information that citizens, journalists, businesses and others sought at about the same rate as the previous three years. It turned over all or parts of the records in about 65 percent of requests. It fully rejected more than one-third of requests, a slight increase over 2011, including cases when it couldn’t find records, a person refused to pay for copies or the request was determined to be improper.

The administration cited exceptions built into the law to avoid turning over materials more than 479,000 times, a roughly 22 percent increase over the previous year. In many cases, more than one of the law’s exceptions was cited in each request for information.

In a year of intense public interest over deadly U.S. drones, the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, terror threats and more, the government cited national security to withhold information at least 5,223 times – a jump over 4,243 such cases in 2011 and 3,805 cases in Obama’s first year in office. The secretive CIA last year became even more secretive: Nearly 60 percent of 3,586 requests for files were withheld or censored for that reason last year, compared with 49 percent a year earlier.

Other federal agencies that invoked the national security exception included the Pentagon, Director of National Intelligence, NASA, Office of Management and Budget, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Federal Communications Commission and the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Energy, Homeland Security, Justice, State, Transportation, Treasury and Veterans Affairs.

 

 

 

Illustration By Jeff Parker

 

 

Martial Law: Tucson City Council Hands Authority Over to Military

 

 

 

 

” On February 20, 2013, the Tucson, Arizona City Council passed a resolution allowing the U.S. Air Force to “make appropriate decisions when balancing National Security and community needs when it comes to their existing and future military mission and assignments.”

In other words, the resolution allows the military to reject decisions made by the people of Tucson.

The resolution is posted on the Tucson government website (as of this writing) and further states that it “is necessary for the preservation of the peace, health and safety of the City of Tucson that this Resolution become immediately effective, an emergency is hereby declared to exist and this Resolution shall be effective immediately upon its passage and adoption.” “

 

 

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