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The London Expat American Meetup Group Message Board › Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks and Afghanistan - US Citizen in Guantanamo

Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks and Afghanistan - US Citizen in Guantanamo

Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 3,108


No wonder Wikileaks is under concerted attack -- undoubtedly
orchestrated by the US government. The aim is to silence the
whistle blowing website, which every day reveals the secrecy and
lies used to justify war, torture and corruption.

There is nothing warmongering politicians fear more than the
exposure of the real reasons for the mass slaughter and
destruction that they carry out in our name.

Over the past two years Wikileaks has proved itself repeatedly to
be a true servant of democracy and an enemy of liars and

The disgraceful refusal to grant Julian Assange bail, while he
fights extradition to Sweden, is all of a piece with the attack
on Wikipedia.

The suspicion must be that the Swedish government -- deeply
incriminated in its support for George Bush's "war on terror" --
has hatched a plan with the US government to whisk Assange to
America, where politicians and right-wing commentators are
calling for him to be jailed for decades or executed.

Julian Assange next appears in court on Tuesday 14 December and
Stop the War has called a protest at 1.00 pm outside the
Westminster Magistrates Court. Details and a link for a flyer
publicising the protest are below. Please spread the word as
widely as possible and encourage everyone you can to join the

We have also initiated an open letter of support
for Wikileaks and Julian Assange, signed by among others, John
Pilger, former UK ambassador Craig Murray, actors Miriam
Margolyes and Roger Lloyd-Pack, Salma Yaqoob, writers Iain Banks
and A L Kennedy, artists David Gentlemen and Katharine Hamnett,
and comedians Alexei Sayle and Mark Thomas.



Signed by John Pilger, Craig Murray, Mark Thomas, Salma Yaqoob
and many more.


The War You Don't See will be released simultaneously on ITV and in the cinema.­

John Pilger's new film THE WAR YOU DON'T SEE, about the media and
how it beats the drums for war, is showing in cinemas across
Britain for one day only on Monday 13 December.

* The War You Don't See: trailer:­
* Interview with John Pilger about the film:­
* Cinemas where the film is showing:­


Many thanks for the huge number of entries to the competition for tickets to John Pilger's new film. The question we asked was:

One of the following did NOT demonstrate on the 15 February 2003 Iraq demonstration here in London. Who was it?

Kylie Minogue
Tim Robbins
Damon Albarn
John Pilger
Jesse Jackson
Wilber Webb
Alan Bennett

Unfortunately, most of the answers we received were wrong. Kylie Minogue DID march with us in London that day. The correct answer was John Pilger, who did not because he attended the Australian demonstration which took place in Sydney the next day.

We will contact the winners very shortly with details of how to get their tickets. They include the person who spotted that Damon Albarn's name was misspelt and said that no such person exists, so he could not have attended!

Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 3,111
Wikileaks: Inside the website's Stockholm 'bunker'


Help While computer hackers promise more attacks on companies refusing to deal with Wikileaks, one place that still seems safe is the bunkers hosting the website's servers.

The whistle-blowing website works off servers stored deep below ground in Stockholm, in a former nuclear bunker.

Stephen Evans went to take a look.


Facts about the data center
About the Pionen data center at the Bahnhof
Bahnhof Data Company

Originally a nuclear bunker: The data center is housed in what was originally a military bunker and nuclear shelter during the Cold War era. The facility still has the code name from its military days: Pionen White Mountains.

Located in central Stockholm below 30 meters (almost 100 ft) of bedrock: The facility has 1110 sqm (11950 sq ft) of space and is located below 30 meters of solid bedrock (granite) right inside the city.
Fully redesigned in 2007-2008: Pionen was completely redesigned in 2007-2008 to become the data center that it is today. More than 4,000 cubic meters (141,300 cubic ft) of solid rock was blasted away to make more room.

Can withstand a hydrogen bomb: The bunker was designed to be able to withstand a near hit by a hydrogen bomb.
Houses the Network Operations Center for one of Sweden’s largest ISPs: The bunker houses the NOC for all of Bahnhof’s operations. They have five data centers in Sweden, Pionen being the largest. The facility also acts as a co-location hosting center, so you can actually put your own servers here.

German submarine engines for backup power: Backup power is handled by two Maybach MTU diesel engines producing 1.5 Megawatt of power. The engines were originally designed for submarines, and just for fun the people at Pionen have also installed the warning system (sound horns) from the original German submarine.

1.5 megawatt of cooling for the servers: Cooling is handled by Baltimore Aircoil fans producing a cooling effect of 1.5 megawatt, enough for several hundred rack-mounted units.

Triple redundancy Internet backbone access: The network has full redundancy with both fiber optics and extra copper lines with three different physical ways into the mountain. Pionen is one the best-connected places in northern Europe.

Work environment with simulated daylight and greenhouses: For a pleasant working environment the data center has simulated daylight, greenhouses, waterfalls and a huge 2600-liter salt water fish tank.

Staff: 15 employees, only senior technical staff, work full time in Pionen.
Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 3,113

The unknown comic


Who are hacktivists 'Anonymous'?
Joe Wade from "Don't Panic"

WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange was arrested in London this week when he turned himself in to police to answer allegations that he committed sex crimes against two women in Sweden. The pair were only officially identified as Miss A and Miss W. Hacktivists uncovered their identities as part of a concerted effort to pressurise their hero's accusers. The Guardian quotes a blogger's call to arms: "Is [Miss A] a lesbian?", accompanying its text with photographs of Miss A alongside another woman. "If [she] is gay, and she sleeps with Assange, that's a contradiction. So, I'm inviting the blogosphere to look for the evidence. Be a WikiSleuth!" Whatever the truth of the rape allegations, the digital dirt-digging seems like cyber-bullying on a massive scale by people who are very careful to keep their true identities hidden behind hacker names like ‘Coldblood' and are actually part of an organisation called ‘Anonymous'!

Victimisation aside, the gross invasion of these women's privacy seems to have inadvertently demonstrated the limits to the public's right to know and reinforced the case for privacy, even if it is on a personal rather than governmental level. The American government and other critics of WikiLeaks argue that much of the secret information which has been released onto the Web was classified for a good reason, such as it could endanger the lives of informants or agents working for coalition forces in Afghanistan (although there seems to be no evidence for this assertion.) Hacktivists and other proponents of free speech argue that virtually all information should be made public - an argument that seems to apply more readily to the behaviour of publically elected officials, not the sex lives of two private citizens.

Another pair targeted by hacktivists this week were less easy to sympathise with; the powerful credit card duopoly of Visa and Mastercard. The aforementioned hacktivist collective Anonymous co-ordinated ‘Operation Payback' which crashed the credit card giants' websites in retaliation for them withdrawing their payment facilities from WikiLeaks, meaning people could no longer donate to the site. This action was much more in keeping with their usual modus operandi. Previous to their support for Mr Assange Anonymous declared "War on Scientology" launched with a "Message to Scientology" on YouTube. Their weapon of choice was the DDOS (distributed denial of service) tool, which jams websites by flooding them with automated requests. Anonymous then emerged from their bedrooms and staged real world protests at branches of the cult in 93 cities around the world.

Other notable activity by hacktivists associated with Anonymous include hunting down the infamous Serbian puppy thrower who uploaded a video of herself launching canines into a canal, prior to which they had also found a man who filmed himself tormenting a cat. Alongside their love of cute animals they possess a sense of humour that ranges from the absurd to the obscene: the former trait was illustrated by the Internet phenomenon ‘Rickrolling', meaning web users would click a link and inadvertently launch ‘Never Gonna Give You Up' by Rick Astley. The latter vein of line-crossing rudeness and ‘boys in their bedroom' japery came to the forefront on YouTube when masses of adult films were uploaded to the content sharing site to protest at the removal of music videos.

A Dutch boy of 16 was just arrested for his part in ‘Operation Payback', which illustrates that the unfortunate targeting of Miss A and Miss W reflects the young male orientation of hacktivists rather than an inclination towards bullying. It also illustrates the David and Goliath nature of this cyber struggle which pits corporations and governments against youngsters who are using their understanding of the Internet not to scam credit card companies for cash but to attack their sites as part of a political campaign. Whilst their behaviour can be grossly outrageous and misguided they seem genuinely concerned with the governance of the Web and the world.

31,000 more people downloaded a DDOS - an illegal programme - this week, equipping themselves with the main weapon in what one blogger called the ‘first great cyber war.' It seems like only a matter of time before these sorts of digital protests are adopted by the student street protestors and aimed at elements of the coalition.


They are our protectors and conscience.
Good luck to them!

From hugoagogo31 on Sat Dec 11 08:12AM

The USA, Visa, Mastercard are complaining about 31 thousand hacktivists causing a tiny amount of turmoil. They ought to be more concerned by Chinese/Islamic/Russian hacktivists which run into tens of millions often with the support of the state. In China it is not a crime to hack a foreign state website and if anything it is encouraged with a public culture of the hacktivists being celebrities and cult figures

From jason.web28 on Sat Dec 11 09:00AM

All I can say is well done to wikileaks fo exposing the US administration and all it lies.

Maybe now the American public can see how all this world conflict was derived from the greed of a minority in administration who only were interested in lining their own pockets at the expense of peoples liberty and the new sphere of fear that follows.

The world has historical evidence of the Americans meddling in many countries politics with disastrous results for that country and its neighbors. Fact is that the USA is responsible for the world we live in today because of its own selfish greed.

Its about time the bully on the block got a good beating of its own

From mark.giblin on Sat Dec 11 09:09AM
Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 3,114

Why We Protest

China-2009: declaration-of-the-anonymous-netizens­

An Invitation
Recent developments regarding WikiLeaks and the corporate and political control of information have led to increased interest and participation in We are inspired by this influx of energy and creativity. We invite all of our increasingly diverse users to collaborate with us toward real and substantive change on a widening range of issues.

WhyWeProtest and Anonymous
Anonymous is not an organization. There are no official members, guidelines, leaders, representatives or unifying principles. Rather, Anonymous is a word that identifies the millions of people, groups, and individuals on and off of the internet who, without disclosing their identities, express diverse opinions on many topics. To be Anonymous does not imply thinking or acting in concert with others who are Anonymous; rather, it describes a way of communicating and promoting social change.

As an offshoot of the larger Anonymous group, WhyWeProtest (WWP) has become the hub of the anti-Scientology movement that is often called Project Chanology. We have also initiated planning and discussion in other pro-free speech areas. Our role has been to provide a stable platform to discuss legal methods of protest and information dissemination. We take no position on other forms of civil disobedience, although from both a public relations and a technical point of view we cannot host the planning or promotion of illegal activities.

WhyWeProtest and Internet Censorship
WhyWeProtest's roots extend beyond Chanology to a larger movement that favors free expression and the free exchange of information. Along with our Scientology-related endeavors, we host discussion and activism on a number of other topics. In collaboration with The Pirate Bay, we have offered support to the Green Wave movement in Iran, providing a neutral platform for protesters to promulgate their message and providing information on real-life and online self-protection.

More recently, we have welcomed the current wave of visitors to join in the discussion of the corporate and governmental oppression of WikiLeaks. We look forward to collaboration in support of our shared values. We make no explicit statement regarding whether various groups' activities are good or bad, nor will we enforce our view of what should be done outside the parameters of this website.

The viral marketing efforts on behalf of free speech issues that have begun on Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere reveals a potentially powerful grass-roots movement against Orwellian control--a movement that is bigger than WWP, Chanology and even Anonymous, and that has the power to overcome complacency, apathy, inaction and feelings of irrelevance. To reach fruition, these efforts must lead to concerted and focused activism.

Our Vision
Eventually, WhyWeProtest intends to provide a broad and neutral platform to support sustained collaboration, brainstorming, and planning on a variety of social and political issues. Under discussion and development for the past several years, this plan has proven difficult and expensive to implement. We cannot immediately bring it to pass. But we will enthusiastically work overtime to raise the funds and get it started.

How You Can Help
If you would like to do something about current issues of corporate and governmental accountabilitity, we invite you to contribute your ideas, your creativity, your energy, and your resources to help make this happen. To be blunt, our hopes are high; our funding is not. We ask no payment for your participation here, but at this time we welcome donations from those who can afford it.

We continue to believe that diverse individuals who share common ideals can progress beyond the temporary satisfaction of retaliation and toward efficient, targeted and sustained activism. Together, we can shed a beacon of hope that will illuminate our defense of freedom and our consciousness of shared humanity.

We are Anonymous.

Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 3,121

The War You Don't See

Tuesday 14 December
10:35pm - 12:25am
ITV1 London Ch 3

Revered documentarist John Pilger changes focus slightly here. His ongoing theme of injustices perpetrated by our foreign policy, and the lies told to keep us in the dark, always carries with it a critique of the media for not exposing the truth. But now, reporters are his specific target. Pilger's thesis is that uncomfortable facts, such as the extent of civilian casualties, are not part of a mainstream media narrative instead dominated by officialdom's talk of "spreading democracy", "fighting terror" and so on. The film argues that this censorship by omission dates back to the First World War. Journalists who are now on the outside looking in, including BBC's Rageh Omaar (now of Al Jazeera) and CBS's Dan Rather, speak about the pressure they worked under; Julian Assange of Wikileaks likens modern whistleblowers to the conscientious objectors of previous wars; and BBC and ITV news chiefs face Pilger's admirably direct questioning. Conventional wisdom about modern warfare comes under a sustained assault.
Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 3,136
US Government subpoenaed over Twitter WikiLeaks data

WikiLeaks' Twitter account details have been subpoenaed by US officials, the secret-spilling site has announced, adding that it suspected other American Internet companies were also being asked to hand over information about its activities.

In an email statement, WikiLeaks said that US investigators had gone to the San Francisco-based social network site to demand the private messages, contact information, and other personal details of founder Julian Assange and three people associated with the secret-spilling, whistle blowing website.

WikiLeaks blasted the court order, saying it amounted to harassment.

"If the Iranian government was to attempt to coercively obtain this information from journalists and activists of foreign nations, human rights groups around the world would speak out," Assange said in statement.

A copy of the court order, dated December 14 and posted to, said that the information sought was "relevant to an ongoing criminal investigation" and ordered Twitter not to disclose its existence to Assange or any of the others targeted.

The order was unsealed "thanks to legal action by Twitter," WikiLeaks said in its statement. Twitter has declined comment on the claim, saying only that its policy is to notify its users, where possible, of government requests for information.

US officials have been examining possible charges against WikiLeaks and its staff following a series of spectacular leaks which have embarrassed officials and tarnished Washington's image. The US State Department has said that the website's latest leak - the disclosure of thousands of war crimes and confidential diplomatic cables - has harmed US diplomacy and could put Pentagon officials and others at legal risk.

WikiLeaks denies that charge, saying that Washington is acting out of embarrassment over the revelations contained in the cables.
Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 3,158
WikiLeaks: Next hit~ Swiss Banking
The wealthy's ultimate tax dodge; How much in revenue is lost during this time of supposed "austerity"?

Swiss whistleblower to give bank data to WikiLeaks‎ - 8 minutes ago
Swiss Banker Who Helped WikiLeaks Faces Trial‎ -­­­

Swiss tax whistleblower to give WikiLeaks new data: report
The data also implicate around 40 politicians~ Wikileaks has proven to be profoundly useful in the cause of free speech­
41 mins ago

A former Swiss private banker who was one of the first whistleblowers to use WikiLeaks by publishing internal bank documents on the site has pledged to hand over new data on offshore bank account holders on Monday, a newspaper said.

Rudolf Elmer, who was fired from Julius Baer in 2002 and who goes on trial in Switzerland on Wednesday for breaching bank secrecy, will hand over more data to WikiLeaks at a news conference in London, Der Sonntag reported on Sunday.

Elmer told the Swiss paper he would hand over two compact discs containing the names and account details of around 2,000 bank clients -- including prominent business people, artists and around 40 politicians -- who have parked their money offshore.

"The documents show that they hide behind banking secrecy, probably to avoid tax," Elmer told the newspaper.

He said he understood the data would likely not immediately show up on WikiLeaks while it went through a vetting process, however.

He said the data involved multimillionaires, international companies and hedge funds from several countries including the United States, Germany and Britain.

The data came from at least three financial institutions, including Julius Baer, he told the paper, and covered the period from 1990 to 2009, with many of the documents leaked to him from other whistleblowers.

Neither Julius Baer nor Elmer, who was the bank's former chief operating officer in the Cayman Islands, were immediately available for comment.

After coming under heavy global pressure over the bank secrecy that allows foreigners to hide their assets from the taxman in Switzerland, Berne has agreed to do more to cooperate with other cash-strapped countries hunting tax evaders.

Switzerland agreed last year to transfer the details of around 4,450 clients who UBS AG helped dodge taxes to the U.S. government after it agreed to drop charges against the banking giant.

A former UBS banker-turned-whistleblower, who officials acknowledge was instrumental in the U.S. case against UBS, is now in jail on charges he helped a U.S. billionaire hide $200 million (126 million pounds) in assets.

Julius Baer has denied Elmer's allegations that it helped rich clients evade taxes and says he launched a campaign to seek to discredit the bank and some of its clients after he was dismissed. It also accuses Elmer of threatening individuals and altering documents.

Elmer, who has not been detained and can travel freely, first went to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service in 2007 with data on eight clients. He has also testified in a case in Germany related to an investment called Moonstone Trust.

He helped win global publicity for WikiLeaks when he first used it to publish information in 2007.

Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 3,159
Whistleblowing, Journalist Privilege, and NSA Surveillance
The legal case for leaks under American law
posted by Daniel Solove Dec 31, 2005
Daniel J. Solove is the John Marshall Harlan Research Professor of Law at the George Washington University Law School.

The DOJ has launched a probe into the leaking of the NSA surveillance program to the New York Times:

“The leaking of classified information is a serious issue. The fact is that al-Qaida’s playbook is not printed on Page One and when America’s is, it has serious ramifications,” Duffy told reporters in Crawford, Texas, where Bush was spending the holidays.

This probe will raise several important questions in the months to come.

First is the issue of whistleblowing. Somebody leaked classified information about the NSA surveillance program. Should that individual be punished? On the one hand, we don’t want people leaking classified information that could impact national security. On the other hand, the President possibly violated a federal criminal statute. Whether he did or not is something that Congress and the courts must settle, but very few of those defending the legality of the President’s actions believe that it is a very easy clear-cut case. At best for the President, the issue is contestable; at worst, he broke the law. Without the whistleblowing, there would be no way for the Congress or courts to address the issue. Even if it turns out the President lawfully engaged in the surveillance, there’s another issue: Is the President lawfully allowed to keep it secret for as long as he desires? At the very least, should the President be allowed to keep it secret from other branches of government?

Second, what is the harm of the whistleblowing? President Bush stated that “the unauthorized disclosure of this effort damages our national security and puts our citizens at risk.” I believe that such rhetoric is overblown unless there is something to back it up. How does the disclosure of basic facts about the existence of the program put our citizens at risk? Rhetoric such as this can do a severe disservice to national security in that it will become harder in the future to determine what is just empty rhetoric and what is the truth. The story of the boy who cried wolf doesn’t end happily.

Third, the probe into the whistleblower may raise again the issue of journalist privilege — the right of journalists to shield the anonymity of their sources. Earlier on, this issue took center stage with the White House leak that Valerie Plame was a CIA agent. Will the DOJ seek to obtain the identity of the leaker from James Risen and Eric Lichtblau, the New York Times journalists who broke the story?

In Branzburg v. Hayes, 408 U.S. 665 (1972), the Supreme Court held that there is no First Amendment journalist privilege against grand jury requests for evidence. Lower courts have employed qualified privileges, but these have been generally much broader in civil rather than criminal cases. I haven’t examined the caselaw sufficiently enough to opine on the extent to which any journalist privilege would apply to this case. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has an extensive repository of materials on the issue of journalist privilege.

There have been calls for Congress to establish a journalist privilege, and I believe that Congress ought to establish one. A lot of issues in the precise contours of the privilege need to be worked out, as I discuss here in a post, but it is time to address the issue. By creating a journalist privilege, Congress can help to reassert its power in the process. President Bush probably broke a federal law; has continued to claim that he has power to ignore the law; and did not (and has not as of yet) fully informed Congress about the surveillance program. If I were Congress, I’d be feeling fairly stepped-upon right now. Creating a journalist privilege would ensure that Congress and the public learn information about secret Executive Branch activities that might be beyond the bounds of the law.

Many might try to equate the leaking of the NSA surveillance program to the Valerie Plame leak. I believe that the two leaks are not equivalent. There seems to be little justification for the Plame leak except vindictiveness. On the other hand, the leak of the NSA surveillance program has potentially revealed a violation of the law (one that is continuing and ongoing); it has uncovered a potential overreaching of Executive power; it has tipped off Congress to a potential encroachment on its own power; and at the very least, it has opened up a national discussion about the proper scope of the President’s powers in a democratic society with separation of powers.

I will withhold final judgment until we have more facts, but from what I know at this point, I submit that the leak of the NSA surveillance program was in the public interest, and the journalists who broke the story and the identity of their source should be protected.

Related Posts:
1. Solove, Journalist Privilege and the Valerie Plame Case
2. Solove, Journalist Privilege and Law Enforcement Leaks
3. Solove, How Much Government Secrecy Is Really Necessary?
4. Solove, Did President Bush Have the Legal Authority Under FISA to Authorize NSA Surveillance?­­­

Reply: Cernig - December 30, 2005 at 8:35 pm

Hi Daniel,

I think the whistleblowers can use their belief about the illegality of the acts they leaked as a defense for the leaking. The quote you make above from Trent Duffy is idicative of at least a slant in shielding the President by looking for a prosecution and furthermore, the normal channles of recourse for intelligence personel break down when the possible criminality begins at such a high level.

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel has this to say about such matters when they involve national intelligence operations.

For disclosures of information involving counterintelligence and foreign intelligence information the statute sets forth a different procedure under 5 U.S.C. § 1213(j). If the Special Counsel determines that a disclosure involves counterintelligence or foreign intelligence information, which is prohibited from disclosure by law or Executive order, the disclosure will be transmitted to the National Security Advisor, the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in the House and Select Committee on Intelligence in the Senate. 5 U.S.C. § 1213(j). The referral ends the Special Counsel’s involvement with the disclosure and the National Security Advisor and the Congressional intelligence committees decide how to proceed with the information. The disclosure will not be referred to the head of the agency involved for an investigation.

Given that the director of the NSA and the Chairs of both committees are likely complicit with the alleged instigator and ringleader of this criminality (POTUS), it would hardly give a prospective whistleblower a warm fuzzy feeling, now would it?
Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 3,160

So the whistleblowers decided to go above the heads of all those who may be complicit in breaking the law to their ultimate boss – the American People. They did this by talking to one of the traditional channels for doing so, an organ of the free press of the United States.

I’m sure someone could argue that indeed the Constitution’s spirit at least would commend them for doing so.

Regards, Cernig @ Newshog

Uninhibited, Robust and Wide-Open: a free press for a new century­


Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 3,161
On the Media: WikiLeaks - Holding up a mirror to journalism?
Wikileaks provides the detail, has modern journalism stepped up to the task of analysis?
Talks: January 11, 2011 7:00 PM

Throughout 2010 whistleblower website WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange were making headlines with the release of classified documents. Both the leaks and the controversy surrounding Assange have been covered extensively by the media.

For the first On the Media discussion of the year we are going to be putting the spotlight on the media and asking what the WikiLeaks operation and the media coverage of it tells us about the press.

How have journalists responded to this new kid on the block? The future will no doubt see the emergence of similar organisations, but what impact will this have on the culture of journalism? How will the media adapt and how will this currently uncomfortable relationship develop?

Chaired by Richard Gizbert, presenter of The Listening Post on Al Jazeera English.

David Aaronovitch, writer, broadcaster, commentator and regular columnist for The Times;

Mark Stephens, media lawyer with Finers Stephens Innocent and Julian Assange's solicitor;

Ian Katz, deputy editor of the Guardian;

Gavin MacFayden, director of the Centre for Investigative Journalism.

In association with the BBC College of Journalism.­

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