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Given the tenor of your listeners' comments, I'd like to offer you another perspective on Mr. Feith and his pre-war activities, as spelled out in my new book, Going to War (St. Martin's Press, Thomas Dunne Books), and from my own responses to Feith's book. I suspect you have a final hard copy around the WNYC office; if not, let me know and I'll sent you one, or contact Joe Rinaldi at St. Martin's.
Reply to Post No. 115 - Matter of Public Record
Franklin at the Office of Special Plans
In 2002 and 2003, Franklin worked at the Office of Special Plans which was set up by Donald Rumsfeld. The office was led by prominent neoconservative Douglas Feith. Under Feith's authorization, Larry Franklin met with Iran-Contra figures; critics allege they discussed Iraq intelligence, while supporters say they discussed only the War on Terrorism. (per The Sydney Morning Herald, The Boston Globe, The New York Times)
If the main reason we went to war was to fight a terrorist-sponsoring state, then why do you not advocate going to war with the entire Arab world?
I would appreciate hearing your comments on this.
Hey Plubius --- nice theories - where did you hear them - Rev. Wright's madrassa?
did Feith plan 9/11 too?
just wondering --- I understand Jews and Israelis were told before hand and that the 17 saudis in the planes were actually young neo-cons from fort dix spreading aids among african americans
Steve Inskeep's interview on Morning Edition was a little harder hitting. But this one unpacks more of the madman's nonsense, and we can maybe just leave it at that. Well we have no choice but to leave it at that. Those responsible will live out the remainder of their days in luxury with honor. There will be no justice.
Great work Brian. I think a call in would have turned into a circus.
Douglas Feith, with Paul Wolfowiz's approval, allowed Mossad agents and IDF officers unfettered access to the Pentagon when they were ensconced there. Larry Franklin took the fall for Israeli espionage as did Scooter Libby for Karl Rove. Note well how quickly Feith and Wolfowitz bailed when the AIPAC scandal started to blow open. They are no different than Pollard; just better insulated.
Brian - You did a good job with the interview, but I have to question the rationale for having Feith on. I'm dismayed by the continuing steady stream of neo-con war planners through the mainstream media.
These guys been thoroughly discredited, by the most efficient means: getting to see all their grandiose theories play out, and fail. Would you have on discredited scientists? The voices of Feith and others have very little value in the public discourse on the war.
108 chris o,
you're right, you get what you pay for. staters were asleep at the wheel of democracy, but u know what most still don't care. this is going to continue until we hit rock bottom.
Only in America can blindered, self-absorbed people who provided the plans for the worst blunders in U.S. history--and the destruction of whatever reputation we had left--go out and pitch their books on the radio.
From the comments above, having Doug Feith air his totally misguided beliefs makes plain the fact that this nation--and the so-called "neocon" movement--has been under the sway of madmen and ignoranti. It is our great shame that we allowed their plan, which started with the "Pearl Harbor-like event" of 9/11 paving the way for the iraq campaign, to be put into action--not to mention manipulating fear to power.
To themselves and a few others, their words sound reasonable. They make me ashamed to be an American. They (like Rice and Rumsfeld) are trying to burnish their reputation. Unfortunately, their reputation is proved to be something best put in the dock at a war crimes trial, or in a sewage-treatment plant.
70% of us supported the war I meant.
All the calls for war criminal miss the point: he was representing the President who was representing us, 70% of whom supported us. Then when we had a chance to have a verdict on this war criminal, as many are calling him, he was not only acquited but vindicated in the election of 2004.
I do believe Kerry won and the election was stolen but it was still very close, close enough to vindicate the perpetrators of this war. The blame is with the people, people.
Why were many comments removed?
[[BL Show Responds: Many comments were removed for violating the WNYC posting policy, which asks that you remain civil and productive in your comments.]]
Thanks... good interview and extraordinary responses... and his last comment that there is great continuity in American foreign policy for the last 60-70 years. This from a representative of an Administration that openly and brazenly dismissed fundamental principles of foreign policy in favor of the Bush Doctrine, ie 'preemptive' war; absolute military dominance at any cost; unilateralism and disdain for allies. He suggests that the Bush Doctrine should be or will now be American foreign policy.
an earlier post said that Feith wouldn't take calls. was this a condition of his agreement to be on the show? if so, that was too steep a price to pay? if not, why no calls????
Brian, isn't this usually a call-in show? You gave this criminal 40 minutes of uninterrupted, virtually unchallenged air time. There's a perverse symmetry to how the press refused to challenge Feith's specious and false arguments in the run-up to the war, and are now providing him with an equally solid propaganda platform to absolve himself of any wrong-doing. More than that- they're helping him boost his book sales. I suppose it would be too much to ask for Feith to donate his proceeds to wounded veterans or to Iraqi orphans.
How do you let that weasel Feith get away with the fiction that the Sunnis have suddenly seen the light and now fighting for liberty, equality and fraternity? Aren't we PAYING these so-called "Awakening Councils" and they are in fact mercenaries? There is no telling where their instant loyalties might lie once the money runs out. I understand some are already dragging their feet if the payments arrive late.
thankk you brian; thank you brian
the only public forum in which this man should be allowed to air his views is as a defendant in a war crimes trial.
the whole basis, THE WHOLE BASIS for their public justification for war were complete lies. Their whole defense, after the fact, is still completely based on lies.
He's a liar and a coward and a criminal and I would tell it to his face. But he's a coward, he'll never face the public.
And now he's going to reap additional profit from his war crimes with the sales of this book. All the profit, however meager it is, should be given directly to Iraqi refugees to pay for clothing, shelter, food, medicine, education and repatriation and compensation for the murder and destruction of their government and country.
There should be a phalanx of Capital Police outside the doors of the White House to arrest every single one of these criminals when they resign and empty out their desks. This includes the President and Vice President.
And where is the follow up on the the FIRE IN CHENEY'S OFFICE??? What documents were burned?
Feith's book is just another example of ex post facto self justification for the clear arrogance and poor judgment of this administration from Day 1 to today. The "connection with Al Qaeda" that went back 10 years was, and is, based on information from an Iraqi who wanted the war for his own personal advantage -- there has never been any valuable corroboration of this and much against it; the UN investigative team before the war repetitively told anyone with ears to hear that the WMDs were nowhere to be found and had been destroyed, in fact our representative on that team, whose name I believe was Ritter actually quit in an attempt to call attention to the lies foisted on the public by the administration; the "list of horribles" presented to Bush only furthers the clear sense that there is no judgment in the White House and never was -- if you have such a list do you not prepare with an eye to handling them? And finally, let us not excuse the corporate media for its gullibility, its complicity, its fawning over this administration from the beginning. These guys learned from Goebbals that if you tell a lie often enough people will believe you. It is pathetic that even 20% of the United States pulbic continue to support this catastrophic administration.
Do you think you could possibly mentionto your guests with a book to plug that they should avoid using phrases"as I said in the book" more than a few times...Counterproductive -- most annoyng -- in a marketing sense. Makes for poor radio.
The administration publicly discussed the risks in the "list of horribles"? That's funny. I distinctly remember insistently rosy glasses from Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, and boy...even Powell.
Even more importantly, when antiwar activists tried to discuss these same risks, their patriotism, loyalty, and courage were questioned. By this same administration.
I am suprised not by the administration's forethought to do a risk-assessment, but by the appalling deceit of the public trust.
Mr. Feith is too late and wholly unconvincing. I doubt many people will rush out to buy his book.
I thought that North Korea waving their arms "We've got nukes! We've got a delivery system!"And everyone agreed they did (AEC, UN, England, France etc ...) That was a real threat - and remains one.
But do they have oil?
WNYC should offer his book as a punishment for anyone NOT pledging in the next drive.
the sunis and al-qaida, sunis also, from saudia arabia are on the same side. didn't john mccain just get set straight about this very statement. mid-sirection,mis-information, and lies
yes let's arm and train warlords... it's worked so well in afghanistan in the 80s
A preemptive war is (was) a faulty concept from the start-period. It has no place in our (US) history nor should it have in our future.
I know Brian likes to have all viewpoints on his show, but it really is a shame that he's let this guy come on and utter untruth after untruth in an attempt to rebuild his reputation. Steve Kroft utterly destroyed Feith on 60 minutes on Sunday. This guy is the biggest BS artist I have ever heard.
a "realistic and modest" goal??? after thousands upon thousands of lives and billions upon billions of dollars??? they need to be prosecuted for war crimes!
Brian, I think you may have been unfair there. You basically attacked him on waging war for democracy, and when he said that wasn't the reason, you nailed him for waging a war for shameless self-interest and not for the benefit of the Iraqi people...
Frankly, I'm sick of yet another book trying to explain how the author was not responsible for the most colossal foreign policy mistake in U.S. history. The biggest problem with the Bush Administration, besides incompetence and putting corporate interests above the needs of the people, is that they never take responsibility for their mistakes. They failed to protect us on 9/11. They waged an unnecessary war and failed to plan adequately for it and no one takes responsibility for it. A president who does not accept responsibility for incompetence and fire those who made the mistakes does not deserve to govern the country and should be impeached. We are in a total mess and not one cabinet member takes responsibility for it.
Can't wait for Follow-up Friday!
Please ask him to explain how Iraq was a threat to the US - to explain this in great detail. I don't buy it.
RE: the promotion by the Pentagon and neo-cons that the Iraq oil money would pay for the American war:
Feith's statements about "Op Iraqi Freedom" vs Regime Change are insupportable when held against the light of the claim before the war that Iraq would pay for it. That assumes US control over the economy and oil production.
It also points up the real motive, which was hegemony in the near east, through political control over Iraq, and its implications to all apparently 'hostile' neighbors. None of that could be obtained just through regime change, it required US control of the regime.
good work, brian!
this devious criminal deserves every pointed question you can think of.
"it was a matter of emphasis"....
thanks Feith.....I will be saving that quote. great way to explain blatant lies and spin.
that's right, compare yourself to abraham lincoln....very convincing.
people lie all the time....unfortunately when people like this lie....many people die as a result.
final point: ok, doug, so your ONLY reason for war was that iraq was a THREAT to us (not to spread democracy).
ok....this was not clear before the war...but I'll let that pass for now.
the only flaw in your point here is.....iraq was a shell of a country with minimal military power and was NO threat to us.
YOU (and your cronies), however, were a SERIOUS threat to hundreds of thousands of (now) dead people and a (now) destroyed society. oh, well. whoops!
Please ask him to explain how Iraq posed threats to the US - in practical terms, and in detail. I don't buy it.
Democracy is not necessarily a good thing for the US and it's interests. Ever heard of Hamas being democratically elected? What a bunch of BS...
IRAQ didn't threaten us!! they were no danger to us. everyone else knew this and this guy and the rest of the admin. tricked them into thinking Saddam was a threat and that he was connected to 9/11.
Wasn't Saddam making noise about taking oil off of the world standard of purchasing in dollars?
Isn't the US being tyrranical in launching wars on the basis of self interest?
Ugh, I feel utterly skeeved and, dare I say....bitter. I may turn to religion.
Greenspan succintly said it: The Iraq invasion was about OIL. Whoever believes Feith's scheme that the invasion was about "Freedom" is just delusional.
we suck people we have allowed to be made into sheeple...how are we still occupying a foriegn country with MY tax dollars!
As stated earlier, we can talk of danger of Saddam, WMD, democracy in the Middle East, Israel's interests, etc. But it all comes down to OIL. If Iraq had no oil, imagine this invasion. And remember the one Ministry that was not looted: the Oil Ministry, where Rumsfeld's troops were on guard.
BrianI can't explain how much I am enjoying this. Comparing Iraq with WWII and our Civil War? Excellent follow-up with "Operation Iraqi Freedom."
Oh to be a fly on the wall in the NYC studios now....can we get a youtube clip of all the facial expressions going on right now??
There is no good justification regarding the invasion of Iraq. Iraq was not a military threat and it is inconceivable that Saddam would ever allow Al Quaeda to have influence in Iraq or enable them to have influence in the region. (Osama Bin Laden wanted to lead an army against Saddam after the invasion of Kuwait in '90.)Saying that Iraq and Al Quaeda had a relationship means absolutely nothing. It is a empty citation thrown out to try and make a connection with Iraq and a true threat.
where is noah feldman (i think that is his name) ??where is anthony cordesmanwhere is richard clarke
this needs to be rebutted and desperately quick !!!
There is a rumour, possibly untrue, that Mr Feith intentionally prevented arab speakers, so called arabists, from working on the "Iraq project". Is this true?
This interview shows how amazing Brian is. His ability to remain civil and centered is incredible. I would have gone O'Reilly ballistic by this point.
"nasty motives"???? You're kidding me, right? He just said, "...nasty motives."
How does Feith imagine we could have left after a year? We destroyed their infrastructure! They are supposed to say thank you for bombing us into the stone age and wave politely as we flew away?
This man is living in a vacuum, he is so far into denial of this complete disaster, he actually believes what he is saying. Very scary, we elected these people -
I just called to leave to ask a question but Feith is too afraid to take calls.
Doug had a was singing a different tune about this issue of staying longer than a year. I asked Feith about the 14 military bases we've built in Iraq in the context of the US leaving at a Town Hall meeting sponsored by the New Yorker and he couldn't answer the question. He basically said we weren't building permanent bases in Iraq but didn't seem to expect or understand my question. Basically he's as stupid as he sounds right now.
This guy is comparing WWII and the ATTACK on IRAQ????
He says the US has no quarrel with the Iraqi people?
That helps the million he killed in Iraq.
This was NOT a war rather an ATTACK.
Motives??? OIL!!!!!!!!!! LIES!!!!!
HALIBURTON!!!!!!!!!! NO BID CONTRACTS!!!!!!!!
Cheney - Bush Millions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
About Feith. It was Franks who made that unflattering comment.
"We didn't call WWII Operation German Freedom" ... good one Brian. You got him...but that doesn't seem tough. This guy would be eaten alive by a mediocre HS debate team.
Who ever said "spreading democracy by the sword?" What we ask is does this man feel he owes his allegiance to the U.S. or Israel. Brian, please ask him if you have the guts. Who is the "we" he refers to?
We CONQUERED Japan and Germany?! CONQUERED??
Feith's self-serving post-hoc revisionism backfires on him, as it shows he is incapable of analyzing a situation rationally and objectively. No wonder we're in this mess, with him running an important part of the show.
Ask him where Osama bin Laden is....remember him?
Was Paul Bremer some sort of rouge? Did he disband the army on his own? Without knowledge or approval of President bush? That dog doesn't hunt.
This testimony just reinforces the understanding of how much this was a Neo Conservative operation, executed on the behalf of Israeli Interest over the best interest of the Unites States welfare.
He seems to be under the delusion that many Iraqis don't view our presence there as a continued occupation just because the official occupation has come to an end. And I'm not saying that their view is right or wrong, but it IS what they think... and their perspective is almost as important as the actual truth when one is in a war for hearts and minds.
yes this is revisionism .. and 70% of the us public approving the war, means nothing. this bush administration lied to us. how could we make an informed decision, how could we have informed consent.the congress was lied to, to promote this war. d. feith is doing his very best to keep the story of this lie as straight as he can. yes, this 2 bush admins. are war mongers and war profiteers and should be brought to trial at the world court.
A plan? Did he just say they had a plan? I thought it was more like a bad improv?
This really sounds like rubbish. I still believe oil was the number one reason for going to war. Why doesn't he mention where the oil is going now, the oil that was to pay for this war? All his stumbling doesn't help his position, he should be jailed for killing and wounding thousands upon thousands of men, women and children.
some background research on Feith from Thinkprogress.org
hope you are holding his feet to the fire Brian.
His biggest offense was opening his own intelligence office called the Office of SPecial Plans, putting out false info into the public re: intelligence and Iraq that was then used to hype the case for war, and then after the war, closing the shop down so there is no evidence, no place to investigate. They did this with the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq as well. These guys are very crafty, their lawyers sure earn their $500/hour.
WHY WERE THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF not more prominent in the run-up to the Iraq War?
They were curiously absent and silent compared to other conflicts.
Thanks.Great interview, Brian...great delicacy and skill you have there.
This guy was stumbling on some simple follow ups--why did you let him retreat to describing his book when you asked him about our Pursuit of other Terrorist Groups as a pretext for war? Mercy?
FYI..that Rumsfeld memo that he's hanging his hat on seems like the typical Cover Your A%% memo -- popular among sales supervisors, school administrators, and other bureaucrats.
jon stewart said bush thought the "list of horribles" was a todo list...
It was past time for Saddam to go.No debate on that, all sides agreed.The crime is the post war "Fubar that went on.
It seems to be the Administration's policy, fairly consistently, to throw the CIA and Pentagon under the bus for their failings. Good patriots.
Tom Tomorrow, This Modern World:
"I regret that my brilliant ideas were so imperfectly executed by my intellectual inferiors."
Wait you just said the "President's strategy for liberation not occupation"...like anyone had a plan...Brian (and everyone) this guy wants to just report history in his own skewed view so history cuts him slack...
It's painful to listen to Feith list all the phony non reasons for the invasion ended up destoying Iraq and has brought the U. S. to our knees. He has not come up with a single coherent reason for this debacle.
If we weren't meant to occupy Iraq why are we building an embassy the size of Vatican City There?
Tommy Franks, commander of the invasion, famously called Feith the stupidest guy on the face of the planet. A bit of an overstatement.
Open the phones! Take callers!
The credibility of this guy is totally questionable. He is making excuses for the Bush Administration. Denial, denial, denial is the name of this guy's game. Sounds like a lot of bull to me.
"My Book" brian ask him what he's doing withe money he'llmake from the book...buy a home water baording kit
Richard Clark said he couldn't get arrested at the White House for the first 9 months
You go, Brian. Makes me proud to be a WNYC member.
Funny I saw in the Times today that Donald Rumsfeld is writing his memoirs now...more cow manure...
Shouldn't he be on WABC selling his story. Ooops those yokels don't read.
I think it was Jay Garner who has often been quoted as saying that Feith was one of the dumbest people he had ever met, but he didn't put it that nicely. the funny thing is that you can hear the stupidity in his voice- this guy is an empty suit and I don't see what is gained by having him on the show
Considering Mr. Feith's complicity in creating Bushwar and the reports of his official incompetence, why should his book be considered anything other than a apologist revision of his own and his co-conspirators actions?
Don't let this guy LIE to you! The Bush administration hammered the point that Iraq was an imminent threat because of its relationship with Al Queda and that it was "certain" that Iraq had WMDs! Dick Cheney repeated this OVER AND OVER AND OVER again! Condi Rice said that we don't want the "smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud over Manhattan."
DON'T LET HIM OFF THE HOOK!
I hope that all involved are arrested and tried as the WAR CRIMINALS that they are!
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I always welcome the opportunity to use the word, "penultimate". Doug Feith gives you the opportunity to use the word, "dissembling". It makes my head ache to listen.
We can condemn Doug Feith as a criminal, responsible for deaths, that he should hide his face, that he is all these evil things. I think that misses the point, it misses the truly culpable party: the People of the US. About 70% supported the war in late 2002 and early 2003. Even though I think Bush stole the election of 2004, it was still close enough that he could do this and thus his policies were at some level electorally vindicated.
One gets the sense that Feith is re-writing history to show a more well-rounded view of his group's mistakes and to absolve himself from responsibility. He wants to reveal their full view of what could go wrong - but if a bank robber says "I studied all the possible consequences" does that excuse the action?
OMG - The Pentagon has already said there was not relationship -
I'm going to be sick.
Feith - typical Bushie - If you don't like history, rewrite it.
What did he just say?! If connections to Al-Quaeda were not part of the justification for war in Iraq....what was?
Mr. Feith just said on air that 'no one in the Administration said it would be a cakewalk' and then you played Cheney on Meet the Press, saying it would be a cakewalk; Wolfowitz said it. This is honest?
Where is the Shame. In a perfect world Doug Feith would have changed his name. Instead he and the other horribles write books stumbling over each other to revise history. Why not just admit they invaded Iraq to give Bush a second term. This is just a shame.
"There have been linkages between the Iraqi government and al-Qaeda going back more or less a decade."
Douglas Feith, February 2003
This guys is a liar and a criminal, but please let him have a chance to explain his opinion and blame others...he did nothing wrong...sheeesh
Rumsfeld reserved in his comments? Oh, Boy!
Wow, he's very consistent, he lied then and he lies now.
To paraphrase Marx, Groucho not Karl...(Feith to the world) "who are you going to believe, your ears or me?"
As previously and rightly indicated, this man should be charged with warm crimes. period.
Please ask Mr. Feith for some background on his previous employment relationship to the Likud party and/or the government of Israel.
The biggest mistake was not the "list of horribles" ,but the invasion itself and the false intelligence fed to the Congress and the American people from the Feith unit in the Pentagon.
Douglas Feith should be among the many Bush administration figures who should be in prison for crimes against humanity. He is a revolting monster -- a lesser monster in the Bush pantheon, but still a monster. I wonder whether the Lehrer show would have the guts to invite a guest as left-wing as Feith is right-wing -- how about Ward Churchill?
What complete garbage! Wasn't Rumsfeld the one who himself said he'd be shocked if the war lasted more than a few months? Yeah, let's all blame the unrealistic optimism on people who were just AROUND the administration in spite of all the video and printed evidence to the contrary...
Paul Wolfowitz said 4 months total on meet the press
Make sure u are incredulous Brian when he says we knew everything would go to hell...treat him as if he is one of the good guys. Rumsfeld and his team...he was on the team...they are guilty...the public was never told Brian, you went along with everyone esle in MSM media too...
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Was Iraq discussed as a target immediately following the 9/11 attacks? In other words, how soon after the attacks was the war in Iraq set in motion?
Just tell Feith i am sure the hundreds of thousands of dead iraqis(and their families) and MILLIONS of iraqi refugees(and THEIR families) are very grateful for his bold policy work.
The parents of dead kids and children of dead parents are particularly overjoyed.
I have heard SOME grumbling but.....you know THOSE silly iraqis....they would rather be alive than free.
good work doug!
ps. seriously tho...you should be ashamed to show your face in public.
(here's the rest of Juan Cole's comment):
Doug Feith betrayed the United States by getting up a false case for war with Iraq. He made it clear in 1996 that his motivations for an Iraq War had to do primarily with Israel, and, indeed, with a far Right agenda of simultaneously pushing to destroy the Labor Party in Israel, to permanently annex the West Bank, and to overthrow Syria. At the Pentagon, he also ran an authoritarian shop that punished and marginalized anyone who stood in his way. He allegedly had State Department personnel spied on and excluded from meetings. He is not "mild-mannered." He just doesn't show the iron fist in public. He is writing a book, but needn't bother. The Dems are likely to subpoena documents that will make for far more interesting reading.
This message board doesn't allow urls, but Google for "Juan Cole feith crack" (without the quotes):
Speaking of scams, Neoconservative Douglas Feith is teaching at Georgetown. So in the run up to the 2003 war, I'm told, Douglas Feith was challenged by a State Department official who knows the Middle East about what in the world the US would do in Iraq once it won the war.
State Dept. Official: "Doug, after the smoke clears, what is the plan?"
Feith: "Think of Iraq as being like a computer. And think of Saddam as like a processor. We just take out the old processor, and put in a new one--Chalabi."
State Dept. Official: "Put in a new processor?"
Feith: "Yes! It will all be over in 6 weeks."
State Dept. Official: "You mean six months."
Feith: "No, six weeks. You'll see."
State Dept. Official: "Doug."
State Dept. Official: "You're smoking crack, Doug."
Feith: "Oh, so you're disloyal to the President, are you?"
Douglas Feith is a war criminal and shout be put on trial for crimes against humanity and when found guilty executed.
He was instrumental in the death of nearly one million Iraqis.
I'm sure Brian will treat him like he works for Disney.
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from Vanity Fair - "The Green Light"
"Dunlavey described Feith to me as one of his main points of contact. Feith, for his part, had told me that he knew nothing about any specific interrogation issues until the Haynes Memo suddenly landed on his desk. But that couldn’t be right—in the memo itself Haynes had written, “I have discussed this with the Deputy, Doug Feith and General Myers.” I read the sentence aloud. Feith looked at me. His only response was to tell me that I had mispronounced his name. “It’s Fythe,” he said. “Not Faith.”
what of the "list of horribles" that rummy listed? and seriously, why the bad management? just curious.
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