Military Corruption News ArticlesExcerpts of key news articles on military corruption
An Air Force officer was arrested for sexual assault. The remarkable thing is the accused man was the chief of the Air Force sexual assault prevention unit. The mug shot of Lt. Col. Jeff Krusinski shows signs of struggle on his face. The police report alleges that a drunken Krusinski "approached a female victim in a parking lot and grabbed her breasts and buttocks." The victim fought the suspect off as he attempted to touch her again and alerted police. News of the incident in the Virginia suburbs of Washington broke the day before the Pentagon is scheduled to release new figures showing a continuing rise in sexual assaults in the military: A six-percent increase from 3,192 to 3,374 reports of sexual assault in fiscal year 2012 compared to the previous year. Estimates of the actual numbers of what is a notoriously underreported crime go much higher. According to the Pentagon figures, an estimated 26,000 servicewomen experienced unwanted sexual contact, up from 19,300 two years ago. Krusinski has been removed from his job, but that will not change the reality that the Pentagon's own figures show sexual assaults are on the rise in the military.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on sexual abuse scandals, click here.
There are few cases that better illustrate why the military needs to create an independent office to investigate rape than that of Lt. Col. James Wilkerson. Wilkerson, a fighter pilot, was sentenced to a year in prison and dismissed from military service after being found guilty of aggravated sexual assault by a jury of his peers. His commanding officer then threw out the conviction and reinstated Wilkerson at full rank. Under the military code of justice ... the commanding officer's discretion and bias may overrule legal decisions. In this case, Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin, the commander of the 3rd Air Force, declined to approve Wilkerson's conviction by a jury of senior officers, all men. His decision suggests the Air Force doesn't take sexual assault seriously. Yet, an estimated 19,000 rapes or sexual assaults occur each year in the military, although just 8 percent of sexual assaults are referred to military court, according to a Department of Defense survey of active-duty members. That compares with 40 percent in the civilian court system. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-[CA], last week reintroduced legislation that calls for overhauling how the military justice system handles rape and sexual assault by taking prosecution, reporting, oversight, investigation and victim care out of the chain of command and putting it in an autonomous office housed in the military but staffed by both civilian and military personnel. "Victims of rape and sexual assault should not have to choose between career-ending retaliation and seeking judicial action against their attackers," said Speier.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on sexual abuse scandals, click here.
I’ve been detained at Guantánamo for 11 years and three months. I have never been charged with any crime. I have never received a trial. Last month, on March 15, I was sick in the prison hospital and refused to be fed. A team from the E.R.F. (Extreme Reaction Force), a squad of eight military police officers in riot gear, burst in. They tied my hands and feet to the bed. They forcibly inserted an IV into my hand. I spent 26 hours in this state, tied to the bed. During this time I was not permitted to go to the toilet. They inserted a catheter, which was painful, degrading and unnecessary. I was not even permitted to pray. I will never forget the first time they passed the feeding tube up my nose. I can’t describe how painful it is to be force-fed this way. As it was thrust in, it made me feel like throwing up. I wanted to vomit, but I couldn’t. There was agony in my chest, throat and stomach. I had never experienced such pain before. I would not wish this cruel punishment upon anyone. I am still being force-fed. Two times a day they tie me to a chair in my cell. My arms, legs and head are strapped down. When they come to force me into the chair, if I refuse to be tied up, they call the E.R.F. team. So I have a choice. Either I can exercise my right to protest my detention, and be beaten up, or I can submit to painful force-feeding. The only reason I am still here is that President Obama refuses to send any detainees back to Yemen. This makes no sense. I am a human being ... and I deserve to be treated like one.
Note: Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel, has been a prisoner at Guantánamo Bay since 2002. For an illuminating analysis of this situation by the Washington Post, click here.
When the US invaded Iraq in March 2003, the Bush administration estimated that it would cost $50-60bn to overthrow Saddam Hussein and establish a functioning government. This estimate was catastrophically wrong: the war in Iraq has cost $823.2bn between 2003 and 2011. Some estimates suggest that it may eventually cost as much as $3.7tn when ... the long-term costs of caring for the wounded and the families of those killed [are factored in]. The most striking fact about the cost of the war in Iraq has been the extent to which it has been kept "off the books" of the government's ledgers and hidden from the American people. This was done by design. The most obvious way in which the true cost of this war was kept hidden was with the use of supplemental appropriations to fund the occupation. By one estimate, 70% of the costs of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2003 and 2008 were funded with supplemental or emergency appropriations approved outside the Pentagon's annual budget. With the Iraq war treated as an "off the books" expense, the Pentagon was allowed to keep spending on high-end military equipment and cutting-edge technology. The Bush administration masked the cost of the war with deficit spending to ensure that the American people would not face up to its costs while President Bush was in office. [It] encouraged the American people to keep spending and "enjoy life", while the government paid for the occupation of Iraq on a credit card they hoped never to have to repay.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government corruption, click here.
Commencing immediately upon the 9/11 attack, the US government ... has spent 12 straight years inventing and implementing new theories of government power in the name of Terrorism. Every year since 9/11 has ushered in increased authorities of exactly the type Americans are inculcated to believe only exist in those other, non-free societies: ubiquitous surveillance, impenetrable secrecy, and the power to imprison and even kill without charges or due process. The Obama administration has already exercised the power to target even its own citizens for execution far from any battlefield. [This] has prompted almost no institutional resistance from the structures designed to check executive abuses: courts, the media, and Congress. Last week's 13-hour filibuster of John Brennan's confirmation as CIA director by GOP Sen. Rand Paul was one of the first ... Congressional efforts to dramatize and oppose just how radical these Terrorism-justified powers have become. For the first time since the 9/11 attack, even lowly cable news shows were forced ... to extensively discuss the government's extremist theories of power. All of this put Democrats ... in a very uncomfortable position. The politician who took such a unique stand in defense of these principles was not merely a Republican but a leading member of its dreaded Tea Party wing. Some Democrats, to their credit, publicly supported Paul. But most Democratic Senators ran away as fast as possible from having anything to do with the debate. Paul was doing nothing more than voicing concerns that have long been voiced by leading civil liberties groups such as the ACLU. But almost without exception, progressives who defend Obama's Terrorism policies steadfastly ignore the fact that they are embracing policies that are vehemently denounced by the ACLU.
Attorney General Eric Holder has said in a letter to Sen. Rand Paul that the president could in an "entirely hypothetical" situation authorize the military to use lethal force within U.S. territory. The letter to Paul came in response to three inquiries the Kentucky Republican sent to John Brennan, President Obama's nominee for CIA director. Paul's letters asked if it was legal for the U.S. government to use lethal force, including in the form of drone strikes, on Americans inside the country. Here's Holder's response, in part: "As members of this Administration have previously indicated, the U.S. government has not carried out drone strikes in the United States and has no intention of doing so. The question you have posed is therefore entirely hypothetical, unlikely to occur, and one we hope no President will ever have to confront. It is possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate for the President to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States. For example, the President could conceivably have no choice but to authorize the military to use such force if necessary to protect the homeland in the circumstances of a catastrophic attack like the ones suffered on December 7, 1941, and September 11, 2001."
A confidential Justice Department memo concludes that the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens if they are believed to be “senior operational leaders” of al-Qaida or “an associated force” -- even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S. The 16-page memo ... provides new details about the legal reasoning behind one of the Obama administration’s most secretive and controversial polices: its dramatically increased use of drone strikes against al-Qaida suspects abroad, including those aimed at American citizens. In March, Attorney General Eric Holder specifically endorsed the constitutionality of targeted killings of Americans, saying they could be justified if government officials determine the target poses “an imminent threat of violent attack.” But the confidential Justice Department “white paper” introduces a ... “broader concept of imminence” than actual intelligence about any ongoing plot against the U.S. homeland. “The condition that an operational leader present an ‘imminent’ threat of violent attack against the United States does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future,” the memo states. Instead, it says, an “informed, high-level” official of the U.S. government may determine that the targeted American has been “recently” involved in “activities” posing a threat of a violent attack and “there is no evidence suggesting that he has renounced or abandoned such activities.” The memo does not define “recently” or “activities.”
In December 2010, the hacktivist collective Anonymous voiced their displeasure with PayPal, over that company's part in the banking blockade of Wikileaks. A reported 10,000 protesters around the world took to the internet with a protest method known as DDoS (distributed denial of service) – the functional equivalent of repeatedly hitting the refresh button on a computer. With enough people refreshing enough times, the site is flooded with traffic, slowed, or even temporarily knocked offline. No damage is done to the site or its backing computer system; and when the protest is over, the site resumes business as usual. This is not "hacking". It is protest, and it is speech. Or it was … until the United States government decided to serve 42 warrants and indict 14 protesters. While protest charges have typically been seen as tantamount to nuisance crimes, like trespassing or loitering, these were different. The 14 PayPal defendants, some of whom were teenagers when the protest occurred, find themselves looking at 15 years in federal prison – for exercising their free speech rights; for redressing their grievances to PayPal, a major corporation; for standing up for what they believed was right. Instead of being handed a $50 fine, as one would face for traditional protest crimes such as a sit-in, the PayPal defendants' freedoms are in real jeopardy. Since the PayPal prosecution, there have been no DDoS protests on that scale. Speech has been chilled. Supreme court Justice William O Douglas said: "Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us."
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on civil liberties, click here.
With the importation of what will be tens of thousands of drones, by both US military and by commercial interests, into US airspace, with a specific mandate to engage in surveillance and with the capacity for weaponization – which is due to begin in earnest at the start of the new year – it means that the police state is now officially here. In February of this year, Congress passed the FAA Reauthorization Act, with its provision to deploy fleets of drones domestically. Jennifer Lynch, an attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, notes that this followed a major lobbying effort, "a huge push by … the defense sector" to promote the use of drones in American skies: 30,000 of them are expected to be in use by 2020, some as small as hummingbirds. Others will be as big as passenger planes. Business-friendly media stress their planned abundant use by corporations: police in Seattle have already deployed them. An unclassified US Air Force document reported by CBS News expands on this unprecedented and unconstitutional step – one that formally brings the military into the role of controlling domestic populations on US soil. This document accompanies a major federal push for drone deployment this year in the United States, accompanied by federal policies to encourage law enforcement agencies to obtain and use them locally, as well as by federal support for their commercial deployment. That is to say: now HSBC, Chase, Halliburton etc can have their very own fleets of domestic surveillance drones.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on civil liberties, click here.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to supervise construction of a five-story underground facility for an Israel Defense Forces complex, oddly named “Site 911,” at an Israeli Air Force base near Tel Aviv. Only U.S. construction firms are being allowed to bid on the contract and proposals are due Dec. 3, according to the latest Corps of Engineers notice. Site 911 is the latest in a long history of military construction projects the United States has undertaken for the IDF under the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program. The 1998 Wye River Memorandum between Israel and the Palestinian Authority has led to about $500 million in U.S. construction of military facilities for the Israelis, most of them initially in an undeveloped part of the Negev Desert. Over the years, the Corps has built underground hangers for Israeli fighter-bombers, facilities for handling nuclear weapons (though Israel does not admit having such weapons), command centers, training bases, intelligence facilities and simulators. Site 911 ... appears to be one of the largest projects. Each of the first three underground floors is to be roughly 41,000 square feet, according to the Corps notice. The lower two floors are much smaller and hold equipment. The purpose of Site 911 is far less clear.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government secrecy, click here.
For the last four years, Barack Obama has not only asserted, but aggressively exercised, the power to target for execution anyone he wants, including US citizens, anywhere in the world. He has vigorously resisted not only legal limits on this assassination power, but even efforts to bring some minimal transparency to the execution orders he issues. This claimed power has resulted in four straight years of air bombings in multiple Muslim countries in which no war has been declared – using drones, cruise missiles and cluster bombs – ending the lives of more than 2,500 people, almost always far away from any actual battlefield. They are typically targeted while riding in cars, at work, at home, and even while rescuing or attending funerals for others whom Obama has targeted. A substantial portion ... have been civilians, including dozens of children. President Obama was recently convinced that some limits and a real legal framework might be needed to govern the exercise of this assassination power. What was it that prompted Obama finally to reach this conclusion? It was the fear that he might lose the election, which meant that a Big, Bad Republican would wield these powers, rather than a benevolent, trustworthy, noble Democrat - i.e., himself. The core premise is that the political world is shaped by a clean battle of Good v. Evil. The side of Good is the Democratic Party; the side of Evil is the GOP. All political truths are ascertainable through this Manichean prism. It is genuinely inconceivable that a leader as noble, kind and wise as Barack Obama would abuse his assassination and detention powers.
Note: If any other nation were using drones to kill terrorists in the U.S. or Europe, there would be a huge public uproar. Why do people care so little about these indiscriminate killings elsewhere? For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on drone killings and other war crimes committed by the US in its wars of aggression in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, click here.
For several decades, the US government - in annual "human rights" reports issued by the State Department (reports mandated by the US Congress) - has formally condemned nations around the globe for the practice of indefinite detention: imprisoning people without charges or any fixed sentence. [The] 2011 report condemned numerous nations for indefinite detention, including Libya ("abuse and lack of review in detention"), Uzbekistan ("arbitrary arrest and detention"), Syria ("arbitrary arrest and detention"), and Iran ("Authorities held detainees, at times incommunicado, often for weeks or months without charge or trial"). In Afghanistan and Iraq, the US government is engaged in a fierce and protracted battle over the fundamental right to be free of indefinite detention. Specifically, the US is demanding that the governments of those two nations cease extending this right to their citizens. The US has long been demanding that the Afghan government continue the American practice of indefinite detention without charges, and still presses this demand even after the top Afghan court in September ruled that such detentions violate Afghan law. Human rights workers in Afghanistan have long pointed out that America's practice of imprisoning Afghans without charges is a major source of anti-American sentiment in the country.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on war crimes carried out by the US in its illegal wars of aggression in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, click here.
Barbara Starr, CNN's Pentagon reporter (more accurately known as: the Pentagon's reporter at CNN), has an exciting exclusive today. Exclusively relying upon "three senior officials" in the Obama administration (all anonymous, needless to say), ... the CNN report on this incident is revealing indeed. Every paragraph - literally - contains nothing but mindless summaries of the claims of US government officials. There is not an iota of skepticism about any of the assertions, including how this incident happened, what the drone was doing at the time, or where it took place. Most notably, CNN does not even bother with the pretense of trying to include the claims of the Iranian government about what happened. There is no indication that the self-described news outlet even made an effort to contact Tehran to obtain their rendition of these events or even confirmation that it occurred. It simply regurgitates the accusations of anonymous US officials that Iran, with no provocation, out of the blue decided to shoot at a US drone in international airspace. (Although CNN does not mention it, last December Iran shot down a US drone which, it claims (and the US does not deny) was in Iranian air space). That CNN's prime mission is to serve the US government is hardly news. [The Christian Science Monitor, however, noted]: "There was no way to independently confirm the Pentagon's account, and correct facts have not always been initially forthcoming in past US-Iran incidents in the Persian Gulf." It then detailed several historical events when the US government's claims about Iran were proven to be false.
Note: Iran denies that the drone was in international airspace, as claimed by the US. For more on this, click here.
Far more civilians have been killed by U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal areas than U.S. counter-terrorism officials have acknowledged, a new study by human rights researchers at Stanford University and New York University contends. The report, "Living Under Drones," also concludes that the classified CIA program has ... turned the Pakistani public against U.S. policy in the volatile region. "Real people are suffering real harm" but are largely ignored in government or news media discussions of drone attacks, said James Cavallaro of Stanford, one of the study's authors. Cavallaro said the study was intended to challenge official accounts of the drones as precise instruments of high-tech warfare with few adverse consequences. The study concludes that only about 2% of drone casualties are top militant leaders. The study authors did not estimate overall civilian casualties because of limited data, Cavallaro said. But it cites estimates by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which has reported extensively on drone strikes, of 474 to 884 civilian deaths since 2004, including 176 children. In April, Obama's top counter-terrorism advisor, John Brennan, described civilian casualties from drone strikes as "exceedingly rare." The study challenges official versions of three attacks between 2009 and 2011, including a drone strike on March 17, 2011, that killed an estimated 42 people.
Note: Imagine the uproar if another country killed innocent civilians in the US while using drones to kill terrorists in the country. Visit the Living Under Drones website here. For a Democracy Now! report on the results of this study click here. For more analysis click here and here.
Gone are the days of the all-American army hero. These days, the US military is more like a sanctuary for racists, gang members and the chronically unfit. In the relatively halcyon days of the first Gulf war in 1990, the US military blocked the enlistment of felons. It spurned men and women with low IQs or those without a high school diploma. It would either block the enlistment of or kick out neo-Nazis and gang members. It would treat or discharge alcoholics, drug abusers and the mentally ill. No more. Many of the wars' worst atrocities are linked directly to the loosening of enlistment regulations on criminals, racist extremists, and gang members, among others. By 2005, the US had 150,000 troops deployed in Iraq and 19,500 in Afghanistan. But the military wasn't prepared in any way for this kind of extended deployment. The slim forces needed fattening up and what followed constituted a complete re-evaluation of who was qualified to serve. Information obtained through the Freedom of Information Act ... found the number of convicted criminals enlisting in the US military had nearly doubled in two years, from 824 in 2004 to 1,605 in 2006. A total of 4,230 convicted felons were enlisted, including those guilty of rape and murder. On top of this, 43,977 soldiers signed up who had been found guilty of a serious misdemeanour, which includes assault. Another 58,561 had drug-related convictions, but all were handed a gun and sent off to the Middle East. [And] since its inception, the leaders of the white supremacist movement have encouraged their members to enlist. They see it as a way for their followers to receive combat and weapons training, courtesy of the US government.
Note: Extracted from Irregular Army: How The US Military Recruited Neo-Nazis, Gang Members, And Criminals To Fight The War On Terror, by Matt Kennard. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on military corruption, click here.
A Navy SEAL's firsthand account of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden pulls back the veil on the secret operations conducted almost nightly by elite American forces against terrorist suspects. Former SEAL Matt Bissonnette's account contradicted in key details the account of the raid presented by administration officials in the days after the May 2011 raid in Abbotabad, Pakistan. Bissonnette wrote that the SEALs spotted bin Laden at the top of a darkened hallway and shot him in the head even though they could not tell whether he was armed. Administration officials have described the SEALs shooting bin Laden only after he ducked back into a bedroom because they assumed he might be reaching for a weapon. Bissonnette wrote the book, No Easy Day, under the pseudonym Mark Owen, as one of the men in the room when they killed bin Laden. In [one] scene, a terrified mother clutches her child and a young girl identifies the dead man as Osama bin Laden. The SEAL author says he did "not disclose confidential or sensitive information that would compromise national security in any way."
Note: Isn't it interesting that the SEAL team "spotted bin Laden at the top of a darkened hallway and shot him in the head." If it was a darkened hallway, how did they know it was bin Laden? The articles states "a young girl identifies the dead man as Osama bin Laden." Is that really how they ID'd this guy? And why did they then dump his body into the ocean, so that there could never be definitive proof that the body was indeed bin Laden? So many questions remain. For more evidence bin Laden was not killed by SEALs, click here.
A new documentary by director Kirby Dick, "The Invisible War," about systemic rape of women in the military and the retaliations and coverups victims face, has won awards in many film festivals, and recently even triggered congressional response. The examples of what happens to women soldiers who are raped in the military are stunning, both in the violence that these often young women face, and in the viciousness they encounter after attacks. The level of sex assault in the military [is] staggering. There is so much of this going on in the US military that women soldiers' advocacy groups have created a new term for it: military sexual trauma or MST. Last year, there were 3,158 cases of sexual assault reported within the military. The Service Women's Action Network notes that rape is always under-reported, and that a military context offers additional hurdles to rape victims: the Department of Defense, they point out, estimates that these numbers are misleading because fewer than 14% of survivors report an assault. The DoD estimates that in 2010 alone, over 19,000 sexual assaults occurred in the military. "Prosecution rates for sexual predators are astoundingly low," they note. In 2011, "officials received 3,192 sexual assault reports. But only 1,518 of those reports led to referrals for possible disciplinary action, and only 191 military members were convicted at courts martial."
Note: For revealing reports from major media sources on the prevalence of rape in the US military and other institutional settings, click here.
Stephanie Schroeder joined the U.S. Marine Corps not long after 9/11. A year and a half later, the Marines diagnosed her with a personality disorder and deemed her psychologically unfit for the Corps. Anna Moore enlisted in the Army after 9/11 and planned to make a career of it. She was diagnosed with a personality disorder and dismissed from the Army. Jenny McClendon was serving as a sonar operator on a Navy destroyer when she received her personality disorder diagnosis. These women joined different branches of the military but they share a common experience: Each received the psychiatric diagnosis and military discharge after reporting a sexual assault. CNN has interviewed women in all branches of the armed forces, including the Coast Guard, who tell stories that follow a similar pattern -- a sexual assault, a command dismissive of the allegations and a psychiatric discharge. Despite the Defense Department's "zero tolerance" policy, there were 3,191 military sexual assaults reported in 2011. Given that most sexual assaults are not reported, the Pentagon estimates the actual number was probably closer to 19,000. Anu Bhagwati, a former company commander in the Marines and executive director of Service Women's Action Network, a veterans advocacy group, says she sees a pattern of the military using psychiatric diagnoses to get rid of women who report sexual assaults. From 2001 to 2010, the military discharged more than 31,000 service members because of personality disorder, according to documents obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request by the Vietnam Veterans of America.
Note: For key reports from major media sources on sexual abuse in institutional settings, click here.
Eight current and former U.S. service members filed a lawsuit [on March 6] alleging they were raped, sexually assaulted or harassed while serving in the military and were retaliated against once they reported the abuse. Among the defendants named in the suit are current and former Defense and Navy secretaries and Marine Corps commandants. "Although defendants testified before Congress and elsewhere that they have 'zero tolerance' for rape and sexual assault, their conduct and the facts demonstrate the opposite: They have a high tolerance for sexual predators in their ranks, and 'zero tolerance' for those who report rape, sexual assault and harassment," according to the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in Washington. The suit outlines a pattern of abuse and portrays, in grim detail, the alleged experiences of the eight female service members -- two former Marine Corps officers, one active duty enlisted Marine, one former enlisted member of the Marine Corps and four former enlisted members of the Navy. "At first it was easy to laugh it off," plaintiff Elle Helmer, one of the former officers, said about her superiors' advances. "When you finally said, you know, I'm really not interested, I'd rather we be friends -- that's when you became the target. They hated you for standing up for yourself," she [said]. The lawsuit alleges Helmer was raped by her superior at his office in March 2006 after a required pub crawl.
Note: For lots more from reliable sources on sexual abuse by the powerful, click here.
Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis ... returned [from Afghanistan] in October of last year with a fervent conviction that the war was going disastrously and that senior military leaders had not leveled with the American public. Late last month, Colonel Davis, 48, began an unusual one-man campaign of military truth-telling. He wrote two reports, one unclassified and the other classified, summarizing his observations on the candor gap with respect to Afghanistan. He briefed four members of Congress and a dozen staff members, spoke with a reporter for The New York Times, sent his reports to the Defense Department’s inspector general — and only then informed his chain of command that he had done so. “How many more men must die in support of a mission that is not succeeding?“ Colonel Davis asks in an article summarizing his views titled "Truth, Lies and Afghanistan: How Military Leaders Have Let Us Down." Colonel Davis says his experience has caused him to doubt reports of progress in the war from numerous military leaders, including David H. Petraeus, who commanded the troops in Afghanistan before becoming the director of the Central Intelligence Agency in June.
Note: For lots more from major media sources on the realities of the various wars, click here.
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