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McClellan says he believed in Bush as war started

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GWB did not ask Congress for a use of force authorization for a grab bag of reasons. It was to be a bargaining chip to get Saddam to disarm. As David Kay, a rare civil servant with integrity, observed in a spring 2004 interview:

If you say you are going to war because he has weapons of mass destruction, and you don’t find those weapons, it is not persuasive to jump to a second argument when that didn’t work but here I have a second explanation.....

I don’t think there was a surprise about the conclusions I was drawing...I think the surprise woud be that he would speak out and say that....

I had the privilege, although I didn’t see it as a privilege, of watching a lot of senior government officials come to agonizing terms about Vietnam and decide not to speak out because they knew they’d never be asked to lunch again. They wouldn’t be part of the process. And I think like a lot of people of my age and my generation who were in the government, by no means unique to me, I just decided that if ever the occasion came I simply wasn’t going to live like that. There wasn’t a lunch or part of a process that was important enough....

http://www.truthuncovered.com/UNCOVEREDtranscript.pdf

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Sez,

Not only talked about it, a lot of the stuff was actually in-correct.

Remember the "inubabtor babies" story that Bush 41 rallied soldiers with, where the girl testfying turned out to be the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador in Washington, USA and a liar?

And what happened to all the Saddam doubles?

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SuperLib,

I don't think the humanitarian issue gets wiped off the table with a "Bush didn't talk about that" response. I don't think it gets wiped off the table at all. It is there and it has been there for quite a while. It is still there.

It was there before the invasion of Kuwait and it was there during the flyovers and sanctions. People were talking about what Saddam was doing in Iraq and people were talking about the effect of our sanctions on the people of Iraq. Bush eventually talked about it. The humanitarian issue was much talked about--and still is with the question of whether we have made the situation better or worse, if better whether stably so and if worse whether ameliorable..

However, whatever Europe may have believed about the relative dangers of Milosevic and Saddam and whatever European governments decided or consented to do about Milosevic, there was no agreement--except possibly among the governments (but not the people) of the Coalition countries--that humanitarian concerns justified an invasion of Iraq. I think the counter argument proceeded along the lines that peace in the Middle East runs through Palestine and not Iraq and that war was the wrong way to bring about humanitarian relief and was unlikely to be successful.

It didn't help that Bush was perceived to be dishonest in his approach to the war, but that was not the main reason that people rejected the humanitarian case for war. You're right that there were a constellation of problems in Iraq, yet taken as a whole--and including the humanitarian concern--there was still no agreement that war was a good idea.

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There's a number of different themes which could have been explored on this thread. Off the top of the bat is the tendency of just about everyone to cash in on public service. I find it discomforting, and I doubt I'm alone here, but others might argue this is capitalism and necessary to get good people into government jobs.

Then there's the issue of a "spill your guts" memoir such as the one Scott McClellan has written. I haven't heard anyone dispute the contents, though the book has not yet hit the shelves, only criticism that he was disloyal. In other words, a snitch. Yet to whom does he owe his loyalty? The country or the administration that brought him onboard?

This is essentially a crime story which is why it won't go away (and all the attempts to make it about Saddam will never succeed). People want resolution on the issue of whether GWB "lied" rather than simply making a judgement call based on the evidence available. He was stuck with the story he told, otherwise why would soldiers have been risking their lives looking for WMD after David Kay, the administration's hand-picked inspector who conducted an exhaustive and expensive search, declared "there weren't any"?

Recently I watched the documentary Body of War which details the life of a young man who was left paralyzed by the same Madhi Army attack that killed Casey Sheehan. He'd been in Iraq less than two weeks. At one point, he and his mother are seen watching GWB yuck it up at that annual journalists' dinner with a little "Now where are those WMD? Nope, not under here!" comedy routine. A close-up shows Joseph Lieberman finding it very funny. As the mother of the 20-something disabled for life soldier observes, "They are so insulated." I guess that got to McClellan.

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Superlib,

If we had spent half the money that has been wasted on the invasion funding opposition to Saddam, or even assasinating him could quite possibly have had the esired effect.

Removing the head of state from Iraq and in the process destroying the whole countries' infra-structure, armed forces and way of life has not been a humanitarian business....in the slightest.

Unless things get a lot better and soon, defending the invason from a saving lives point of view will be impossible IMHO.

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zurc,

"The lies remain the same, only the aliases change weekly to hide the guilty."

Heh, one of them is even using yours:

http://www.japantoday.com/member/view/zurcromium1

Nothing like radical right-wing Denial to cheer up your day.

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zucromium, I saw your brother's name mentioned in the NYT's yesterday in conjunction with the McClellan revelations along with the circumstances of his death, e.g. looking for WMDs after David Kay had said they didn't exist.

Here we go with SuperLib again:

And when I look at situations in Burma and North Korea and the people that have died or are dying now and I think the world bears some responsibility for not doing anything about it. If those people were white the West would have acted, period.

Presumably it's others who have to do the acting while he remains comfortably ensconced on his high horse far from danger.

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My point was always that the humanitarian angle did not justify going to war in the first place.

Taking each point on it's own it's difficult to justify the invasion. But the entire body of evidence makes a more compelling argument: the humanitarian conditions, the invasions of other countries, the refusal to cooperate with the UN based on terms he agreed to. It wasn't just one thing, and it wasn't just about the past. There was a future cost to keeping him in power. Milosovich wasn't nearly the menace that Saddam was yet Europe didn't seem to have a problem firing up the jets and going in there.

In the end I'm not saying you have to agree with me and support the use of force. I'm saying there's a compelling argument that's a lot more than "a war based on lies" which is what others have reduced it to. That concept completely and entirely removes Saddam and his crimes from the table and that's an absurd thing to do.

it was not the reason that the administration herded us into war.

I didn't ask you to believe the administration. I've said from day 1 that the link to Al Queda is completely bogus. And that's why I can say that I supported the invasion but I'm no Bush lover.

But your answer shows the difficulty of getting the question into the discussion. I bring up the humanitarian and other reasons that one could justify the use of force, and it all gets wiped off of the table with the old "Bush didn't talk about that" response.

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"I remember the humanitarian angle because I was was one of the only people here talking about it. Adverts will back me up on that."

But in knee-jerk rather than sophisticated fashion (which would have required some knowledge of history). By contrast, Francis Fukuyama did outline the various options before disassociating himself with the neocon movement:

Speficially, he wondered why Bush never proposed a more convincing justification for invading Iraq — based not just on a fear of Saddam Hussein's weapons (which could have been expressed in a non-alarmist fashion), nor just on the argument for human rights and humanitarianism, which Bush did raise, after a while. A genuinely cogent argument, as Fukuyama sees it, would have drawn attention to the problems that arose from America's prewar standoff with Hussein. The American-led sanctions against Iraq were the only factor that kept him from building his weapons. The sanctions were crumbling, though. Meanwhile, they were arousing anti-American furies across the Middle East on the grounds (entirely correct, I might add) that America was helping to inflict horrible damage on the Iraqi people. American troops took up positions in the region to help contain Hussein — and the presence of those troops succeeded in infuriating Osama bin Laden. In short, the prewar standoff with Hussein was untenable morally and even politically. But there was no way to end the standoff apart from ending Hussein's dictatorship.

To get back to McClellan's point, and many posters seem eager to avoid mentioning him at all, selling a war on these grounds would have been a complicated endeavor. Better to go with the thirty-second soundbite emphasizing Saddam's lethal WMD arsenal for which the only patriotic response was a "preemptive strike."

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Humanitarian?

Killing a million people and displacing 3 million more? Is that what Bush and the echo bunnies on this board wanted to accomplish?

Can there be a better definition of failure that the bush administration and a better defintion of pathetic than the rightwingers who still spin the failed invasion and resulting chaos?

The lies remain the same, only the aliases change weekly to hide the guilty.

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SuperLib,

I think if you were "one of the only" people here talking about it, that was because others had already considered it and dismissed it. (This includes people around the world and at the UN and not just here on this message board where people get notoriously off track.) Nonetheless, I think that if you ever brought up the humanitarian angle with me I would have addressed it with you, just as I am addressing it even now. I'm not much of one to run from an argument or to shift the subject.

The time to consider the humanitarian angle for invasion, was pre-invasion not now. That much at least, cannot be absurd. You are right that there was considerable talk about "no blood for oil" or revenge because "Saddam tried to kill his daddy"--but not from me. However, those theories primarily refute the humanitarian argument by asserting that there was another motive.

And I think there obviously was. My point was always that the humanitarian angle did not justify going to war in the first place. And in the second place, it was not the reason that the administration herded us into war. We may never fully know the mental processes that got us into Iraq, but the clear casus belli was the assertion of WMDs and the danger of Iraq as a terrorist state. The former was (at best) mistaken as the inspectors (who we now want to believe about Iran) had repeatedly indicated and the second was vastly overplayed and pale in terms of other threats.

Any humanitarian concerns that the administration had were offered up to win support for a war it wanted. It would seem that if you did not buy any of the other arguments you at least bought this one.

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"I remember the humanitarian angle because I was was one of the only people here talking about it. Adverts will back me up on that."

I will. He did.

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Zaphod, Jahdog, et al:

"" Yeah, that's hilarious! They didn't believe a single word when he was repeating administration lies! "

Translation: When he says what you want to hear, he is a great guy who tellst the truth. When doesn't say what you want to hear, he is "repeating administration lies".

Figures.

Again, what is amazing is to see the new hero of the democrats... Scott McLellan..."

Is that it? Like McCellan, you offer nothing new to say.

Very few believe McCellan because he said something. In fact most claim he has said nothing new in his book that has not been said before. Hardly a hero, but the sideshow is entertaining.

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Jahdog:

" Yeah, that's hilarious! They didn't believe a single word when he was repeating administration lies! "

Translation: When he says what you want to hear, he is a great guy who tellst the truth. When doesn't say what you want to hear, he is "repeating administration lies".

Figures.

Again, what is amazing is to see the new hero of the democrats... Scott McLellan...

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What is hilarious is to see all these democrats now treating McLellans word as gospel... the same they would not have believed a single word from, just a few years ago. But then, of course, now he says what they want to hear.

Yeah, that's hilarious! They didn't believe a single word when he was repeating administration lies! then, when he says the administration lied the US into war, right after it's revealed that former generals posing as independent analysts at TV networks were working for weapons makers and Rumsfeld, they believe him. Go figure.

Confederacy of Dunces: a president swept up by his own propaganda and a grand plan of seeding democracy in the Middle East by overturning Saddam Hussein’s regime; aides so wrapped up in trying to shape the story to their political advantage that they ignored facts that did not fit the picture; national security adviser "more interested in figuring out where the president stood and just carrying out his wishes while expending only cursory effort on helping him understand all the considerations and potential consequences” of war...

6/97: PNAC statement: the use of military power and bold global leadership will be essential elements of any plan to bring peace and security to the world. (signed) Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, et al http://bigpicture.typepad.com/writing/2003/10/iraqiinvasion.html

7/11: FBI agent Kenneth Williams sends memo to bureau brass in Washington and New York warning of OBL disciples at U.S. flight schools... http://bigpicture.typepad.com/writing/2004/04/nobodytoldus.html

9/11: NORAD commander Gen.Eberhart: planes could have been stopped had there been order within the chain of command. http://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/18/politics/18PANE.html http://www.truthout.org/article/norad-commander-911-planes-could-have-been-stopped

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And when do all the other countries that still remain under equally barbaric rule get "operation enduring freedom"?

I don't support a "one size fits all" foreign policy goal. I could easily ask you why you want a blanket ban on ever using force but I'm pretty sure that's not your true opinion on the matter.

Saddam was a dictator that killed untold numbers of his own people. He invaded another countries for personal gain. He used chemical weapons on his own people and his enemies. He routinely tortured and killed his own people. He was not cooperating with the terms of his cease fire that ended the war in Kuwait.

I think force should have been used to remove him. I've criticized how force was used, I don't think the planning was done well. And I've criticize other nations for not helping out. And when I look at situations in Burma and North Korea and the people that have died or are dying now and I think the world bears some responsibility for not doing anything about it. If those people were white the West would have acted, period.

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In short, mentioning the Iranian victims of Saddam's chemical weapon attacks wouldn't have helped "sell" the war to the American public so they were simply left out.

The above statement is coming from a person who refuses to discuss Iraq and chemical weapons unless the focus is the US. It's not only "left out" of your statements, one could easily argue that it's part of your plan to ban any discussion of Saddam and chemical weapons unless it's an attack on the US.

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The time when that discussion was relevant was pre-invasion and the anti-war crowd talked about it at that time. It was talked about, it was discussed and it was found lacking as a valid reason for invasion.

That's just an absolutely absurd statement. I remember "No blood for oil." I remember theories about Bush wanting revenge because 'Saddam tried to kill his daddy." I remember people saying Bush invaded just because he likes to kill people.

I remember the humanitarian angle because I was was one of the only people here talking about it. Adverts will back me up on that. To say that it was part of the anti-war position is absolutely absurd. Not only did it not exist, it was routinely removed from any conversation that included it.

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What is hilarious is to see all these democrats now treating McLellans word as gospel... the same they would not have believed a single word from, just a few years ago. But then, of course, now he says what they want to hear.

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In short, mentioning the Iranian victims of Saddam's chemical weapon attacks wouldn't have helped "sell" the war to the American public so they were simply left out. This omission lends credence to Scott McClellan's position.

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Heh...

This thread show's the war supporters, well, what remains of them at least, to be the true history revisionists that they would like to be.

Now super-uhm, heh, d is attempting to deny the 1980's US foreign policy supported Iraq in its' war of agression against Iran as a buffer...

...though that's ignoring the Iran-contra affair, where good old Ollie North was arming the other side through a dodgy CIA slush fund....

...really suerp-d, if that's all you've got as a retort, I'd suggest you stick to calling McCellan a Judas for coming out 5 years too late with critisism against bush co.

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super_delegate,

Was that it? "By gum, that one is a keeper" doesn't seem to say much about either the humanitarian situation or your prior post. If you think I am wearing some kind of mask other than the universal Internet mask of anonymity, I think you are mistaken.

I try to understand what it is that I think and then I try to articulate what I think I understand. To do otherwise would be a waste of time. Perhaps you would know about that.

Removing Saddam may turn out to be a good thing but it is not yet fait accompli. The administration's march to war would have been the fait accompli here. But it was never for humanitarian concerns that we went to war, otherwise we would have been at war in Sudan, in Zimbabwe, in Myanmar and, to hear many talk, in Cuba--among other troubled spots on the globe.

No. The administration went to war because it wanted to go to war, not because it was necessary. Had it been interested in humanitarian concerns it could have found another way (which certainly would have included rethinking the sanctions)--but then it would have had to give up its posturing.

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"...it is a fact that the US aided and abetted Saddam Huessein to commit heinous attrocities against humanity when it suited their political agenda..."

It's a fact? From what source? From anyone credible?

Like smithinjapan all you have is slogans you read off of t-shirts.

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Superlib,

"The anti-war crowd does not speak about the humanitarian situation that existed in Iraq."

That simply is not true. At best it's another flailing attempt by the pro-war camp at revising very recent history.

"Bush didn't talk about the humanitarian situation"

No, he did....but it was slapped on the end of the argument when it remained clear that the only people being scared by US government propaganda was the Americans either too trusting of their own regime, or too weak-minded to see for themselves that Saddam was not the "clear and present danger" with apocoliptic visions of the "mushroom clouds over NYC" he was presented to be by US government mouth-pieces, Scott McCellan included.

"or 2) The US was friendly with Saddam in the 80s. It's a way that the anti-war crowd slips out the side door when no one's looking."

No, it is a fact that the US aided and abetted Saddam Huessein to commit heinous attrocities against humanity when it suited their political agenda...

...and you want us to believe you're really a champion of the humanitarian issue when you belittle these facts?

"Most also have a midnset that defines Saddam's Iraq as simply "not invaded" as opposed to "under a dictator." It surely isn't compared to Saddam's barbaric rule. If anthing, Saddam's rule is defined nowadays as "relatively stable" or "without Al Queda." "

And when do all the other countries that still remain under equally barbaric rule get "operation enduring freedom"? Surely if you are going to champion one cause, then you will be pressing for regime change in all these other places that don't have that stuff under their soil you don't want to hear about?

No?

At some point you are going to realize this position is not only comical, but highly hypocritical. The CIA actually used Saddam in a botched assasination attempt to bring him to power...heh, no wonder you would rather stuff all these perfectly valid arguments in a box and forget about them.

We all know Saddam kept hold of his grip on power viciously and I certainly don't think Iraq was any kind of paradise, certainly during the sanction years of his rule - depsite in the beginning if you read up about Saddam in the early years bringing about reforms that benefitted the Iraqi people's affluence, and the women's rights that are at this minute being reversed (insert Denial here ), or the persecution of homosexuals.

The only thing he had going for him in my eyes, and the strongest motivation besides the corporate American greed in my own protest of the war, was the frightening possibilty of opening up the gates to Islamic Fundementalism...

...and let's not forget, fighting these nutters was billed as numero uno reason for invading. And Reality states that invasion has done the opposite, despite all the up-beat mutterings from the occupiers and their minions.

One thing that does highly amuse me - though not you personally - is the others that appear on JT to talk of the elusive "liberation" and how great things are in the new Iraq, and in the next breath they will be shrieking about "mohammedians" and cursing Islam as the scourge of mankind.

I wonder how long they can keep up that position without acheiving spontaneous internal implosion.

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The anti-war crowd has essentially built a wall around Saddam.

In fact it was the pro-invasion crowd who gave Saddam's crimes short shrift. "He killed his own people" was thrown in to make the threat he posed to us more menacing. Almost nobody bothered to mention that he gassed Iranians as well as the Kurds. Yet in the eyes of international law the offense is the same since the ethnicity/nationality of the victims is irrelevant.

Had anybody gotten up and said, "We were wrong not to address this when it occurred" it would have carried some moral weight. But it would have forced the public discussion into "blame America" territory. The war's neocon architects are completely dismissive of such hand-wringing which Scott McClellan is belatedly engaged in. (BTW the way SuperLib you have yet to even mention him in your posts on this thread. What's your advice? "Don't sweat the lies Scotty cuz their was a greater good involved?")

To those who remember the Reagan years, it would have been reassuring if the neocons, many of whom served in that administration, were aware of our history. It's hard to believe any Iraqi has forgotten it.

In fact Saddam's thugocracy is addressed in the documentary film No End in Sight as well as the companion book. I know because I watched and read them respectively. To make an argument, as opposed to just ranting, you gotta read history. That's the point of an article written by John Burns which appeared in the NYT's in March:

Those who launched the war will answer in history, as much as they will claim the credit if America finds a way home with honour without destroying all it went to Iraq to achieve. But if we reporters accurately depicted the horrors of Saddam's Iraq in the run-up to the war, we were less effective in probing to uncover other facets of Iraq's culture and history that would have a determining impact on the American project to build a Western-style democracy.

From the reporting in the years since, Americans now know how traumatized Iraqis were by Saddam's brutality. They also know of the inner workings of the merciless machinery that transported victims to torture chambers and mass graves. They know of ethnicity, sect and tribe, which were camouflaged by Saddam's totalitarian rule. As much as America's policy failures, it has been these factors that have contributed to the Iraqi quagmire. Properly weighed, they might have given cause for second thoughts about the invasion....

McClellan has claimed the press failed to adequately assess the GWB administration's rationale for war, namely the imminent threat posed by Saddam's WMD. By contrast, Burns suggests the media's failures had to do with failing to illuminate the lessons Iraqis drew from Saddam's murderous rule and the harm it did to them.

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"People who don't wear masks don't need to fear being unmasked."

By gum, that one is a keeper.

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super_delegate,

I think I've caught you talking to yourself again. If the statement "...humanitarian concerns existed" has some relevance to any of the rest of your post I'd enjoy hearing you make a case for it.

The parade of conscience was led by those that beat the drums of war on that account. People who don't wear masks don't need to fear being unmasked. And Ann Coulter has to keep her own conscience about whether she is even on the side of the United States.

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There's no wall around Saddam.

And there's now no point in talking about the humanitarian conditions under Saddam. The time when that discussion was relevant was pre-invasion and the anti-war crowd talked about it at that time. It was talked about, it was discussed and it was found lacking as a valid reason for invasion.

The only reason that you find the anti-war crowd saying either of the two things you mention is as a reaction to the thoughtless crowing about Saddam's removal and to the fragile contention that humanitarian conditions are now better--as though that were the reason that we went into Iraq in the first place. The humanitarian concern as issue remains as much a sham today as it was pre-invasion.

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"...humanitarian concerns existed."

IOW - it was so much easier and enjoyable to parade your conscience when you could blame America/capitalism/the West for both Saddam and the unconfirmed devastation supposedly wrought by sanctions against his regime.

Removing Saddam, instead of the sanctions, left you unmasked.

Or as Ann Coulter put it -" We've finally given liberals a war against fundamentalism, and they don't want to fight it. They would, except it would put them on the same side as the United States. "

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I think that the rather clear position of the anti-war crowd was that humanitarian concerns existed

I'd have to disagree. The anti-war crowd does not speak about the humanitarian situation that existed in Iraq.

There are a handful of times that they will respond to someone else bringing the issue to the table, but there are really only two responses that most give: 1) Bush didn't talk about the humanitarian situation or 2) The US was friendly with Saddam in the 80s. It's a way that the anti-war crowd slips out the side door when no one's looking.

Most also have a midnset that defines Saddam's Iraq as simply "not invaded" as opposed to "under a dictator." It surely isn't compared to Saddam's barbaric rule. If anthing, Saddam's rule is defined nowadays as "relatively stable" or "without Al Queda." I think it's safe to assume that the anti-war feel quite comfortable proping up Saddam as one hell of a ruler who kept the country stable and saved the people from terrorism. He's usually defined as the man who didn't bring the negative changes of invasion, not as a man who bore any responsibility for his rule or the consequences of his rule. The anti-war crowd has essentially built a wall around Saddam. Saying that the anti-war crowd has a "clear position" that humanitarian conditions existed is just utterly baseless in my opinion.

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Skip, I don't know if Scott McClellan would have done better financially by following his predecessor, Ari Fleischer, into the private sector (hardly a trail blazer in that regard). But he certainly would not be facing the prospect of being forever shunned by those whose company he kept for his adult life.

I don't believe he's insincere (as you do) and just blowing with the wind. Yet I have problems with the way he "came out" and this letter to salon.com nailed the issues for me through a cultural comparison of public contrition:

I am struck by a recent scene in China, reported in the NYT, when an official presumably complicit in the building of faulty schools--that collapsed and killed children--sat down on his knees before a group of furious parents and begged them to cease their fury. I don't know how sincere that was; I don't know if it worked. But I am struck by the fact that we have no such gestures in our public life any more. We're all about "accountability" but lack a sense of shame, a sense of remorse, a sense of being truly devastated by what one has done. Until we see that, it's hard to see any given apology as merely a tactic, an "apology" meant to excavate oneself from a given situation.

When the architects of this war hold a press conference and cry about their sins, then I'll feel like we may be getting somewhere. That may sound horribly idealistic; but all these "apologies" followed by book contracts, speaking tours, and continued op-ed appearances as an expert in think tanks and TV shows is corrosive to our democracy--absent displays of repentance.

http://letters.salon.com/opinion/feature/2008/05/30/scott_mcclellan_press_secretary/view/?show=ec

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Shipthesong - you need to read my post from 02:54 PM JST - 30th May. I never addressed you or your posting. I was addressing SuperLib's post prior to mine.

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SuperLib,

I think that's just flat-out wrong. I think that the rather clear position of the anti-war crowd was that humanitarian concerns existed, sanctions and fly-overs were not doing anything to alleviate those concerns, and that engagement was better than invasion. Given the results of the invasion so far, I think one could say that this point was at least arguable. It was the pro-war crowd that did not want to discuss it.

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"The anti-war crowd just had a policy to make sure they were never discussed because it would erode the credibility of their position.

Not all of us adhere to the "you're with us or you're against us" mindset.

The pro-invasion crowd have a policy to make sure the appearance and actions of al-Qaida and whoever else in Iraq is never discussed because it would erode the credibility of their position.

As does the invasions' own tremendous bodycount.

Then again, it must be difficult to see all that up on horse-back!

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The humanitarian conditions and the deaths of innocents under Saddam were never lies. The anti-war crowd just had a policy to make sure they were never discussed because it would erode the credibility of their position.

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He thinks he walks on water(board), Cleo.

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bottom line.... you don't sell books by saying everything was great... at least not in the U.S.

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two words: "plausible deniability" he shouldn't feel bad about getting used like a bloddy rag. However, he better save up on those book proceeds because that's the last PR job he will ever have. I hope he has a good day job, learn some other trades, like fixing cars, etc.

haha it was hilarious to see Karl Rove talk about morality and accuse McC of not having it. i thought Karl Rove had retired to his life back in the shadows as in that Onion article. http://www.theonion.com/content/search/onion/advanced?search=karl%20rove&restrict= 7th one down)

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"Who did the actual killing of innocents in Iraq?"

And obviously, the coalition.

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"Who did the actual killing of innocents in Iraq?"

The terrorists that George Bush's war allowed to run amok in Iraq.

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ramen,

You never know, he might get Jesus on the line again and get the all clear from above for a further term...

Imagine that - four more years of Bush Co - America would end up a third world country by 2012, with foreigner investors taking over the Whitehouse because the gvnmt can't afford the repayments.

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"in light of the deaths and suffering the invasion has caused,"

Who did the actual killing of innocents in Iraq?

Heh. You're just another McClellan if all you can do is parrot the talking points you pick up...

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Good news for all the liberals. Looks like Mr. Bush now won't get re-elected.

RR

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"The humanitarian conditions and the deaths of innocents under Saddam were never lies."

And the the humanitarian conditions and the deaths of innocents since the US installed a different regime are a Reality, too.

In light of the deaths and suffering the invasion has caused, and with a future that is at best very un-certain (unless you're suffering from some kind of drug induced optimism or euphoria), I'd say the humanitarian argument is a little pale this days.

And despite McCellan achieving hero status by some for becoming a turn-coat, the rest of us know that that is what he is.

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Taka313,

Thanks for the chuckle. What with sittin' for a spell on the Trent Lott front porch and rockin' with Scottie down in Texas, the President is going to have a busy retirement.

I don't quite understand why so many folks are so negative about McClellan's assertions or why they now seem to be making up stuff about him. As I remember him, the press corps liked him and Americans liked him. He was approachable. I think a lot of Americans did not believe him but I think they also understood that it was his job to speak for a man who had little credibility.

By the way, I like the beach ball--or whatever that red, white and blue thing is by your name. Can I get one?

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SuperLib,

I don't think claims about the humanitarian conditions and the death of innocents under Saddam were lies. Echoing SushiSake3, however, I don't think anyone here said they were. I don't think McClellan said they were, did he?

My understanding of McClellan's point is that Bush orchestrated a pro-war campaign. In McClellan's current opinion and (that of most of the polled Western World since the war's inception) war was not necessary. Furthermore I think I detect that McClellan is saying that the Bush also sought to control information while ignoring reasons for not going to war, but I can't be certain of that without reading the book--which as a no-nothing I cannot in good conscience do.

The humanitarian conditions and the death of innocents were not the casus belli. Or, if they were, Bush was not "ready to lead on Day One". We have claims about humanitarian conditions and death of innocents in Myanmar. We also have carrier groups nearby. Time to send in the troops, do you think?

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adaydream: when have you seen me support GWB? Just because I believe there is a legitimate fight between us and those on the Islamic doesn't mean I support GWB. In fact, I have told posters to shoot him. So, don't brin him into our little quarrel.

"Did we go into Rwanda and save them?" Wish we did. But, you know, people would have found a way to gripe about that too.

Did we go into Sudan and help them?" We should have and we still should. But, would you have supported that?

Does Iraq have massive oil reserves?" So does the a lot of places and places which are enemies of the US.

There were as many killed in Rwanda and Sudan as there have been in Iraq." that's for sure. We should have gone in.

Sure Bill Clinton was in office during the Rwanda massachres (sp), doesn't make our inactivity right. We were wrtong then.

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Superlib - "The humanitarian conditions and the deaths of innocents under Saddam were never lies."

Did anyone say they were?

America invaded Iraq because of the supposed existance of WMD, not Saddam's campaign of violence against the Kurds.

Please get your facts straight. Thanks.

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SuperLib, you don't know what are you talking about, or are simply repeating wingnut talking points. People protested, at least on college campuses, esp. about Saddam's using gas on Shiites and Kurds (of course, the weapons were sold to him by, uh...anyway) and that does nothing to erode the credibility of being against stealing elections, going to war based on lies, and the other great crimes of the Bush admin.

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The humanitarian conditions and the deaths of innocents under Saddam were never lies. The anti-war crowd just had a policy to make sure they were never discussed because it would erode the credibility of their position.

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superlib,

But I'm here, as some so gently say, to kick you guys in the teeth for as long as it takes. ;)

Well, it would be a lot harder if you didn't have that high-horse to ride on. Especially kicking tall people. Is it a clydesdale? ;-)

Taka

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Skipthesong - Does george bush say sorry for anything? Hell no. he's an arrogant leader that looks down at the little people with scourge. I believe george bush is just like what Scott McClellan has said.

And by the way Skipthesong, I don't get walked on.

My belief.

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The anti-war crowd discussed Saddam's crimes plenty. In a democracy, however, it makes more sense to protest one's own government's crimes, so as to effect a change in its policies and have the criminals brought to justice. But you knew that, right? (I can't believe the W supporters here can still believe what they write about his administration. They must be getting paid, or have other financial reasons for supporting this war that is ruining the US.) Is taniwha still out there? I'd like to hear his take on the situation...

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Did we go into Rwanda and save them?

Did we go into Sudan and help them?

Does Iraq have massive oil reserves?

There were as many killed in Rwanda and Sudan as there have been in Iraq.

Sure Bill Clinton was in office during the Rwanda massachres (sp), doesn't make our inactivity right. We were wrtong then.

I remember debating you pro-war posters. You beat your chest on everything that george bush said. You never doubted and bought into the whole thing. But you will use anything possible to justify your position behind bush.

I understand that Scott McClellan has stated that they the Whitehouse never thought about any thing like, what if it doesn't work, what if the Shiites and Sunnis fight, what if it's not a cake walk. They blindly went into Iraq thinking what they were saying. That the Iraqis will throw flowers and sing them songs for their liberation.

This is just a closer look at the liar from someone who worked inside the administration.

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adaydream: I hope you aren't the type of person who lets himself get walked on, because that is what happened. I can allow a mistake. I can allow several mistakes. But what I can not give into is lying.

I ain't read his book yet, but does he say "sorry" for anything? Let's see.

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The humanitarian conditions and the deaths of innocents under Saddam were never lies. The anti-war crowd just had a policy to make sure they were never discussed because it would erode the credibility of their position.

We'll probably see that policy continue when responses to this post will most likely be a topic change. But I'm here, as some so gently say, to kick you guys in the teeth for as long as it takes. ;)

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Yes Skipthesong and RomeoRamenII, I believe Scott McClellan. I believe that he just got tired of the lies and the poor decisions made by this admonistration.

Yeah, I worked for the federal gov't while george bush was in office. I gladly flew my peace flag on my back wall. And right below that was a statement that everybody knew related to george bush, "When he opens his mouth, another lie is said."

And pretty soon, after the start of the war, the 90% that believed george bush soon dropped to 10%.

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Oh, this guy is good.

"I haven't made a decision," McClellan told Katie Couric on CBS's "Evening News," when asked if he was backing the Arizona senator. McClellan paid homage to McCain, saying that the Republican nominee had "governed from the center, and that's where I am."

But without prompting, he said he was "intrigued by Sen. Obama's message."

"It's a message that is very similar to the one that Gov. Bush ran on in 2000," McClellan said. [ Drudge Report ]

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Sez,

That's right. Every time he gave a new one, his reasons were clear.

It's pretty rare that anyone here at JT causes me to laugh/snort (Nessie has a few racked up) but that one was a laugh/snort/spray.

Well done, sir. Well done.

And because one hearty laugh deserves another, I give you this:

"One of these days, he [McClellan] and I are going to be rocking on chairs in Texas, talking about the good old days and his time as the press secretary. And I can assure you, I will feel the same way then that I feel now, that I can say to Scott, 'Job well done.'"

-george w bush

The wheels of the bus go round and round (over scottie)

round and round (over scottie)

round and round (over scottie)

The wheels of the bus go round and round all over scottie.

Taka

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saying that "both Tony Blair, Bill Clinton, and Hillary Clinton all seen the same intel as the president, we must remember that we went in in a bipartisan way and we ought to finished this in a bipartisan way"

Scott McClellan after his departure from the administration....

Man, if he had been in a crew from any major city, you know where you would find him. Reminds me of Carlito's Way. You all seen when Al Pachino was killed by his bodyguard who went over to John Leguizamo's as Benny from the Bronx' crew????

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Well, it's a bit fishy, but not as pathetic as George Tenet's "At The Center Of The Storm". Still, this "I just now remembered that my colleagues were committing horrible crimes against humanity" and "I was a sniveling, moral coward until I got this book deal" is getting a bit old . . .

He was ordered to say from the press room podium that White House aides Karl Rove and I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby were not involved in leaking CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity to the press. Later a criminal investigation revealed that they were. Her husband is an outspoken critic of the war in Iraq.

Sorry, folks, but we need to kinda make this up as we go along . . .

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In a way, I hope he's right. It means we've got a long-awaited crucifixion to look forward to.

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Mr. 30 pieces

Judas McClellan

Oh dear. Do we take it that RRII really does believe Georgie Boy is Jesus? Or simply the Second Coming?

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could have said what he thought at any point, been given his walking papers and had ten job offers before he got home that night." That is basically what I was trying to point out to adaydream.

However, I am not sure if I agree or disagree with you, but I am going to look at him as an opportunist. Mind you, I have a lot of respect for anyone who is an opportunist. I don't respect government workers who are so fearful of losing their jobs - half of the ones I met shouldn't even had the job they were doing... I look at it like this: We just had the WTC hit, we are already deploying people to Afghanistan. Bali gets hit, hits are going on all over the place. Almost all Americans are game for a fight. Saddam is running his mouth about having WMDs. Intel comes in and says AQ is in Iraq - even other countries' intel orgs stated that.

McClellan is running his thumb sucker. Waving flags. He is now part of what is to be considered one of the "greatest wars" in history and he is in the elite crowd; so fxxxing cool- so I say you are right that he is an opportunist. Now, if more of the public was for the war, don't you think he would have written this book? No. I don't think so. In fact, he probably would have been writing a book in support for the war.

In fact, I'd hire him right now to go and do some sales work.. He's fooled everyone first by having everyone think he is down with the Prez and now he is down with the anti-Prez group. Again, I can't blame a guy for making cash - but I do still have an old fashion belief that there are morals that do need to be followed so I say the book should be available for Free at the very least an e-book!

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could have said what he thought at any point, been given his walking papers and had ten job offers before he got home that night." That is basically what I was trying to point out to adaydream.

However, I am not sure if I agree or disagree with you, but I am going to look at him as an opportunist. Mind you, I have a lot of respect for anyone who is an opportunist. I don't respect government workers who are so fearful of losing their jobs - half of the ones I met shouldn't even had the job they were doing... I look at it like this: We just had the WTC hit, we are already deploying people to Afghanistan. Bali gets hit, hits are going on all over the place. Almost all Americans are game for a fight. Saddam is running his mouth about having WMDs. Intel comes in and says AQ is in Iraq - even other countries' intel orgs stated that.

McClellan is running his thumb sucker. Waving flags. He is now part of what is to be considered one of the "greatest wars" in history and he is in the elite crowd; so fxxxing cool- so I say you are right that he is an opportunist. Now, if more of the public was for the war, don't you think he would have written this book? No. I don't think so. In fact, he probably would have been writing a book in support for the war.

In fact, I'd hire him right now to go and do some sales work.. He's fooled everyone first by having everyone think he is down with the Prez and now he is down with the anti-Prez group. Again, I can't blame a guy for making cash - but I do still have an old fashion belief that there are morals that do need to be followed so I say the book should be available for Free at the very least an e-book!

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In 6 months the book will be irrelevent. It's marketing in the free enterprise system. Free enterprise is good, marketing in the free enterprise system is good, and making a bunch of money in the free marketing system is good. Judas McClellan fully embraces business and marketing in America.

Heh, I haven't read anything about McClellan denouncing Mr. Bush's tax cuts. Guess he intends (or hopes) to take full advantage of them.

RR

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Can't wait for Mr. 30 pieces to get on the hot seat.

RR

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Skip, I don't think it was concerns about his job per se. Scott McClellan could have said what he thought at any point, been given his walking papers and had ten job offers before he got home that night. It was never a matter of, "How am I going to pay my mortgage?"

Instead it was the importance of the job and the insider status and group acceptance that it conferred. He was part of a very powerful club involved in work which was presented as nothing less than saving Western civilization. I know people a lot lower on the totem pole who've found themselves suddenly rubbing elbows with the top brass. It goes to their heads and they lose all touch with reality, not to mention blinding them to the possibility of human fallibility.

If you are familiar with the personal histories of political dissidents, almost all of them started out as true believers. Then they saw reality didn't match the ideal and became disillusioned and acted on that. By contrast, opportunists are simply "What's in this for me?" When there's nothing left, then they move on to the next thing unburdened by any moral concerns.

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afraid of losing your job is a weak excuse... we are talking about a war!

The more I am reading, and reading twice Betzee's post, I've come to the conclusion that he is a very cunning two faced punk.

He wasn't that high of an earner. Don't give me that job crap. I stated long ago why I dislike government workers, and the excuse adaydream is giving is more proof of that.

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adaydream: Didn't you also work for the Federal government (i.e., Mr. Bush's administration) when the coalition forces moved into Iraq? If so, then by not quitting your job and walking away from your pension as a way of protest you, too, also supported the war effort.

You and McClellan are cut from the same cloth: Job trumps the war.

RR

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Juan Cole does an excellent job of assessing the merits of McClellan's position in his blog entry today (rather than simply pointing out his character flaws):

' “I still like and admire President Bush,” McClellan writes. “But he and his advisers confused the propaganda campaign with the high level of candor and honesty so fundamentally needed to build and then sustain public support during a time of war. … In this regard, he was terribly ill-served by his top advisers, especially those involved directly in national security.” '

But elsewhere he says, ' Bush was “clearly irritated, … steamed,” when McClellan informed him that chief economic adviser Larry Lindsey had told The Wall Street Journal that a possible war in Iraq could cost from $100 billion to $200 billion: “‘It’s unacceptable,’ Bush continued, his voice rising. ‘He shouldn’t be talking about that.’”'

But if Bush had been honest and sincere, only misled, then wouldn't he want to know why Larry Lindsey had come to that conclusion (he under-estimated the cost by about a factor of 10)? No, Bush was about suppressing anything but his own party line....

We only have McClellan's word on this exchange. But Lawrence Lindsay was fired shortly thereafter, indicating displeasure with his performance. Since I don't watch TV I never see any of these people in action. I did, however, feel sorry for McClellan who was clearly set up on the Valerie Plame thing as he writes:

He was ordered to say from the press room podium that White House aides Karl Rove and I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby were not involved in leaking CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity to the press. Later a criminal investigation revealed that they were. Her husband is an outspoken critic of the war in Iraq.

“I blame myself for putting myself in the position of going to the podium and passing along information I didn’t know was false, but later learned that it was,” McClellan said.

The particulars are irrelevant, betrayal is never easy to accept particularly if you are a true believer and by all accounts Scott McClellan was extremely loyal to GWB. An opportunist would have figured out how to leverage this to maximal career advantage, but it left old Scotty, not a young man as Hillary Clinton referred to him, with a need to "do the right thing."

Why didn't he do so earlier? In this regard David Kay's explanation for why he was so forthright in publicly stating in February 2004 "we were all wrong about the weapons mass destruction" offers some insight. (Perhaps Scotty did some damage control on that revelation since it took the White House by surprise.)

DK explained in an interview later, "I began my career just as many in the government were starting to how doubts about Vietnam. But they didn't say anything 'because I'd never be invited to lunch again with so-and-so. To acknowledge doubt would derail the career rise I have invested so much in making.'" The weapons inspector concluded, "I decided then and there if I were ever in such a situation, I would say what I think. No luncheon is worth somebody else dying for in some distant land."

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Condoleeza,

You say that the President was very clear about his reasons for going to war. That's right. Every time he gave a new one, his reasons were clear.

The problems are that a multiplicity of clear reasons tends to the vague and that there is in the first place a difference between clear reasons and valid ones. "To keep the elephants away" is a clear reason for whistling, but in areas where there is no danger of elephant incursion it is not a valid one. That's why the joke works.

Unfortunately, the President was not joking about Iraq.

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skipthesong,

It's not just the job. It's the loyalty. Loyalties are slow to change, otherwise they are not loyalties. Loyalty does not quickly understand that its loyalty is misplaced.

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I keep hearing all this stuff that if he disagreed with the administration, then why didn't he speak up. Because he'd lose his job. That doesn't take rocket science. Why did he say all those things if he didn't believe them? Because he'd lose his job.

adaydream: I can not believe what I am reading from you... You basically saying his job trumps the war in which so many people can be killed.. C'mon, face it, the guy thought of a sure fire way to make a bunch of cash and you bought into it. Maybe he is telling the truth, maybe he is not.

If I were him, and felt that deeply about it, I'd say screw the job. He is after all a grad, has had working experience.. And what was he making? I believe probably less than $150k per year. Could have found a better paying job easy.

The book should be free.

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I and others in a sense wrote McC.'s book long before he did, while he was still believing in Bush and repeating his lies. Well, here is the truth from within the belly of the monster.

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I keep hearing all this stuff that if he disagreed with the administration, then why didn't he speak up.

** Because he'd lose his job. That doesn't take rocket science.

Why did he say all those things if he didn't believe them?

** Because he'd lose his job.

So simple.

When he could take it no longer, and when he could make a republican buck right now, he left his job and informed the American People another account of the biggest liar that ever sat in the Whitehouse.

Hey, I might even buy this book.

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