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Old April 18th, 2012, 09:50 PM
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Default What is this new "scandal!"

What the hell is this new terrible scandal concerning the taking of photographs with the bodies of suicide bombers.

My God people, let's get serious! War is HELL! Has any of those expressing such righteous indignation seen the literally hundreds of photographs for enemy casualties in WWII!??

While not the most professional thing to do, by God's sake let's get serious here! These were professional killers who didn't care how many babies, women, etc., they killed. Maybe it's not correct in polite society to obviate such behavior but I defy anyone who has been in extended mortal combat (and can prove it) to jump on this bandwagon. Of course there will be some but most of us aren't perfect.

It's enough to make many of us throw up, especially when our government if falling all over themselves to make excuses! The one word that come to mind is "tawdry.," and I don't mean on the part of the GI's, either.
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Old April 18th, 2012, 11:28 PM
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Todd> If you are stupid enough to pose for smily pictures with dead bodies, or naked prisoners of war, or urinating on dead bodies, then you are doing your country a huge diservice in these times of social media. It might be bordering on treasonous, if it werent just plain stupidity. You cant claim the moral high ground if your constantly in the cesspool.

Nicely understated: "While not the most professional thing to do"

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Old April 18th, 2012, 11:42 PM
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I agree Todd. I would love to see enough congress people and officials from D.C taken out to form an Infantry Company and send them out for a month. If any survived, they would come away with an entirely different mindset re / war and how it really is--not the precision bombing, precision sharpshooting, neat, clean game that some of our leaders think it is or should be.
War is simply about death and destruction--if anyone thinks not, they have never experienced it.
Showing the remains of a suicide bomber from 2 years ago was not the shining moment for the paper that put it out and the other media of course hopped on it like a duck on a bug. What should have been done with the remains of the worthless piece of-- that we didn't even kill-- Give him an honorable burial for blowing up innocent people, including kids?
Did we not learn anything from the 60's and early 70's re / fighting a war?
We need to quit worrying and apologizing every time one of our troops kills someone--after all, isn't that why we sent them there? We need to quit apologizing every time some villagers chicken gets shot, his goat gets blown up, etc. Worry about our troops that are coming home in boxes and mutilated.
We need to take the spotlight off our troops and let them get on with finishing the so-called war and then get out. No disrespect to our troops, as I know the frustration most of them must feel-- but if we had fought W.W.2 the way our so-called leaders try to conduct a so-called war now, Germany would have kicked our butts so fast we wouldn't have known what happened.
Don't get in it if you don't intend to win it!
Just my humble opinion , which is worthless to anyone but me.
And by the way--it's not the " social media " that fights and wins a war--It's the troops that are there that face it and take it and dish it out that win the war, in spite of the media.

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Old April 19th, 2012, 08:36 AM
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I was sad to see new pictures, and sadder that a newspaper would print them.

Something that is not well known, is this unit lost 35 members so far.
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Old April 19th, 2012, 10:31 AM
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Todd, you're way off base here, and Ron, you're arguing against yourself by setting up a straw man.

Nobody ever said that soldiers shouldn't kill bad guys. All they said was that if they're professional, they don't gloat about it. So stop changing the subject to whether Congress or others could or could not do what solidiers do. It's not the point, it's just an emotional, knee-jerk reaction on the part of former soldiers, and it expresses eloquently why, in theory at least, there is civilian management of the military.

Once you get past the emotion, you can make the rational argument that every profession of any consequence has standards and a code of conduct. You either live by it or you don't. If you do, you're a professional; if you don't, you're a hack at best. Some soldiers are professional; some are hacks; and even with the all volunteer military, some aren't intelligent enough or don't have enough life experience pre-military to know the difference.

And when you ask whether or not we learned anything from the 60s and 70s, my blood absolutely boils.

When troops came home from Vietnam, those of us who remember know that they were reviled, hated, spat upon, and otherwise abused because great swaths of the American people at that time somehow could not separate what they knew was an unjust war from the people forced to fight it. That reaction to the military at that time was as big a disgrace as the war itself.

Now we have more unjust wars, but I don't know a single American, nor have I heard of one, who blames the military for boneheaded political decisions. Soldiers who return are given hero's welcomes, and they're treated with respect and praise here at home in virtually all quarters, even among those who've opposed the wars they fought.

So have we learned anything as a nation: you're damned right we have. We've learned how to make that distinction and--as a group--not to blame the warrior for the war. You don't think that's significant? I'm here to tell you that it is.

But every time some moronic GIs pull an unprofessional stunt like those photos, they take a small step toward undermining that hard-won respect for the military overall. As has been pointed out many times, the huge majority of Americans are not part of the military, nor ever will be. You can argue whether that is proper or not, but it's still a fact. Those on the outside looking in--and that is most people--will judge the soldiers not by the justification for the war, but by their competence, professionalism, their honor, and their standards. This is as it should be. A tough thing for kids to uphold in the heat of battle? Of course. But that is what is expected, and every time they fall short they lose credibility with most people. Because we expect better.

So cut the crap. When you take and distribute pictures of people you've killed--and PIECES of people you've killed, you've screwed up. You can rationalize it any way you like, but you've still screwed up. You can bleat and moan all you like about how the media shouldn't have published them, but that's crap too. Because you KNOW ahead of time that they will print them if they get them, making it all the more important that you don't screw up in the first place by taking the pictures.

Yes, there has been battlefield photography since the Civil War (anybody remember Mr. M. Brady?). But this was documentation, not gloating over atrocities. Do not try to compare the two, because it just won't fly. You want to compare it to the pictures of burning civilian villages in Vietnam, that's fine, because those were atrocities too. And the burning of civilian villages in Vietnam was one reason the soliders were vilified when they came home. Unfair to paint with so broad a brush? Yes. But it happened.

None of us want it to happen again, which is why these clowns should rightly be condemned for what they did and be punished severly.
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Old April 19th, 2012, 11:51 AM
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If our Congressmen and our Senators had to go and fight wars, there would not be another war ever again.

Now as far as those pictures, I saw my share of dead bodies in Vietnam, but I allways felt that a dead human being is not something that you use for frivoloty.
Being a Soldier or a Marine is a very difficult job, and it's not for the squimish, but the commanding officers need to maintain discispline at all times. If you don't have a well discipled force you might as well keep all the troops in the US, because they won't acomplish much overseas.

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Old April 19th, 2012, 12:06 PM
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AR What you say makes sense, but let me clear up something for you. The latest pictures are of men who strapped bombs on themselves in order to kill soldiers. They were not killed by the soldiers, but blew themselves up.

You are very right about the newspapers today printing anything that comes along, in order to gain ratings. I call it the National Enquirer effect. The difference between now and years ago, is that National security was more important back then. Common sense was used.

When something came across the desk that you knew by past experience, warnings that it would hurt others, it was withheld. That doesn't seem to apply these days.

The pictures were stupid, because even though things like this have happened for years, in many wars, people must realize that we live in a very different world.
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Old April 19th, 2012, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Manuel View Post
If our Congressmen and our Senators had to go and fight wars, there would not be another war ever again.

Now as far as those pictures, I saw my share of dead bodies in Vietnam, but I allways felt that a dead human being is not something that you use for frivoloty.
Being a Soldier or a Marine is a very difficult job, and it's not for the squimish, but the commanding officers need to maintain discispline at all times. If you don't have a well discipled force you might as well keep all the troops in the US, because they won't acomplish much overseas.

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Very well said.
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Old April 19th, 2012, 01:36 PM
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AR What you say makes sense, but let me clear up something for you. The latest pictures are of men who strapped bombs on themselves in order to kill soldiers. They were not killed by the soldiers, but blew themselves up.

You are very right about the newspapers today printing anything that comes along, in order to gain ratings. I call it the National Enquirer effect. The difference between now and years ago, is that National security was more important back then. Common sense was used.

When something came across the desk that you knew by past experience, warnings that it would hurt others, it was withheld. That doesn't seem to apply these days.

The pictures were stupid, because even though things like this have happened for years, in many wars, people must realize that we live in a very different world.
Yes, thanks Luanne, because I did misremember how those guys died. But as you said, in terms of the argument it doesn't matter, because the screwup was taking the pictures (and arguably screwing around with the bodies to begin with). Poor judgment, and a price should be paid.
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Old April 19th, 2012, 07:44 PM
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The BIG problem with this is the theater the war is in. This is viewed as a religious war by most of the people in the affected country. This make photos like this an EXTREMELY bad idea.
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Old April 19th, 2012, 10:30 PM
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Many good points stated above and I probably should have been more clear not to mention judicious, but I was angry, very angry (still am) so some explanation is in order.

I own over two thousand books on the Second World War. Some of the photographs in them (taken by news photographers themselves in some instances) rival anything taken during the current and recent conflicts, some of which were even published in newspapers of the time.
Would I indulge in such behavior? Of course I wouldn't.

But what sets me off probably more than anything is the crap we receive from the media, the government, you name it that these people with whom we're currently at war just want us out of their countries. If you believe that you win the world class award in naivete. They want us COMPLETELY OUT as in DEAD whether it be here, there or anywhere else! And here we are, making Federal cases out of admittedly disgusting photographs. Yet, only a relative handful of people actually believe that if we leave all these countries it will end. IT WON'T! Yes, there are people in those countries who don't feel that way but they are in most of the countries, a very small minority (usually the educated) etc. Schools in THIS COUNTRY that are funded by foreign governments outright advocate the beliefs the overwhelming number of religiously involved people in those countries postulate!

We killed hundreds and hundreds of thousands of German and Japanese civilians who in individual cases may not have supported the Nazis or the Imperial Japanese governments. BUT, these people worked to support, fund and build the armaments used to kill our troops. Since they either actively supported such behavior or at least tolerated it, then we had to end it!

And remember this, the same people who are our enemies who complain the loudest about how such photographs "ruin" relations are the same ones who gleefully cheer the burned bodies of American GI's being dragged through the streets.

Maybe there needs to be some more perspective from both me and those who oppose my view.
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Old April 19th, 2012, 11:16 PM
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Having lost my first husband in Viet Nam, I have strong views on the obscenity of war....any war.

I completely agree with Todd.

Just remember Daniel Pearl - now THAT was an obscenity.
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Old April 20th, 2012, 08:05 AM
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Todd and all--

Ethics, principles and honor are not situational.

Bad behavior cannot be justified by pointing out past similar bad behavior.

Nor do ethics, principles and honor operate on a sliding scale, as in "Your atrocity was worse than mine, so mine's OK."

Prosecute the jerks, along with their bosses.

Just like the Secret Service.

This stuff is binary. On switch, off switch. Nothing in between.
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Old April 20th, 2012, 08:30 AM
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AR I know where you are coming from, but I don't think all should be prosecuted.

Even if it is decided to do so, it will take years. We have an SOB sitting in his specially made jail, that killed 13 soldiers and ripped apart this military post, who is no closer to prosecution than he was 3 years ago.

Letters in their files, stronger leadership, and move on would be better.

How is your family? Send my best to them.

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Old April 20th, 2012, 09:19 AM
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If people want to blow themselves up them people can hardly complain about them being photographed...sorry to admit it but I hate them all.
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Old April 20th, 2012, 09:22 AM
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That Jerk who killed 13 Soldiers should have been tried and Executed a long time ago.

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Old April 20th, 2012, 10:46 AM
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This is real simple. In order to BE BETTER than the true scum of the earth, you HAVE to in all cases ACT better than the scum of the earth, or else you become scum as well.

There are no excuses. Those personnel are smiling and laughing like their countrys reputation is a big joke. Make no mistake, they absolutely know better, and should explain their lapse in jugement before a court martial.
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Old April 20th, 2012, 11:05 AM
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Ship,

Please tell me you are not comparing the bombers to these soldiers.
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Old April 20th, 2012, 04:55 PM
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Okay ship2shore, technically I agree you're right. But explain it to a Courts Martial???????!!!!!!!!!!

I can hear it now, "I'm sorry Colonel, I shouldn't have laughed at the body parts of the low life piece of excrement that blew up my friends and little kids but you know? Life is sometimes strange. If you'd have ever been in combat Colonel, you wouldn't be sitting where you are right now. You would have respectfully declined."
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Old April 20th, 2012, 06:34 PM
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Okay ship2shore, technically I agree you're right. But explain it to a Courts Martial???????!!!!!!!!!!

I can hear it now, "I'm sorry Colonel, I shouldn't have laughed at the body parts of the low life piece of excrement that blew up my friends and little kids but you know? Life is sometimes strange. If you'd have ever been in combat Colonel, you wouldn't be sitting where you are right now. You would have respectfully declined."
Yep. No dishonor to the country done at all. Americans are all psycho nutjobs, amd the pics are the proof. No need of punishment, its all good fun.
Where do you draw the line anyways ? I can think of some real depraved things you can do to a corpse. Fun Fun Fun.

Those soldiers are the very worst "tools" a country can deply, and smear the good name of all the rest.
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Old April 20th, 2012, 06:40 PM
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Luanne> I expect more from suposedly honorable soldiers.
The bombers do not exist to me (for the purposes of any discussion, they are beyond evil). Does that work for you?
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Old April 20th, 2012, 07:07 PM
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Ship,

I don't know what to say, that I have not already said, except the soldiers are worn out.

I can only hope that by now they have been singled out, and are receiving treatment.

Todd is right though about the past, when this happened.

The important thing is that the average soldier is not like this. They would never do something so terrible, nor would they do something that might put other soldiers at risk.

Ship, You sound angry in your words. I can asure you your soldiers are fine upstanding people, who love this country.
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Old April 20th, 2012, 07:13 PM
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I read that only 3 members of Congress have children in the military .
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Old April 20th, 2012, 08:24 PM
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Quote:
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Okay ship2shore, technically I agree you're right. But explain it to a Courts Martial???????!!!!!!!!!!

I can hear it now, "I'm sorry Colonel, I shouldn't have laughed at the body parts of the low life piece of excrement that blew up my friends and little kids but you know? Life is sometimes strange. If you'd have ever been in combat Colonel, you wouldn't be sitting where you are right now. You would have respectfully declined."
The body parts shown in said picture belonged had belonged to a suicide bomber who accidently blew himself up before he could do and take many more lives. NO QUESTION, the worst kind of evil.

But Todd, I have to say I am particularly shocked that some who was in law enforcement, which requires very similar discipline to the military, would approve of the "boys will be boys" in war stance.

It was a soldier who took the picture, and it was turned in to the paper two years later. I'm guessing they likely delayed turning it in before now because they feared reprecussions from their fellow soldiers.

The newspaper was asked to not print the picture because it would incite the enemy, and put the armed forces in further danger. And I do believe it will be used for that purpose.

Just as pictures of events you described, and seeing the celebratory reactions throughout the arab world incited the civilized world did after 9/11.

They shouldn't have published those pictures for that exact reason, but, in this world of instant U tube, secrets rarely remain secrets.

Either way, I don't think anyone should condone the actions of the soldiers in the picture. They did diminish the professionalism of their fellow members of the armed forces.

No matter the circumstances, as soldiers, not radicals, there's no reason for them to have been handling those body parts, and smiling, as though they are enjoying the experience.

No question it's not as wrong as the suicide bomber and his intent, but it's still wrong, and I have no doubt the majority of the US forces feel they are there to do the right thing, not the wrong thing.

I have no sympathies at all for the radical arab world. No one in the west really understands the bizarre culture of that part of the world, which is centuries behind and different from ours.

This has all been so unlike other wars. You can't "give them freedom" because their culture doesn't allow them to know what that means. There are no armies to conquer to liberate the people, as there was in WWII.
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Old April 20th, 2012, 09:43 PM
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Kuki,

An inncent defending those who are unable to defend themselves for whatever reason is unreasonble?

Maybe what you say is true but while I've never been in miitary combat I have beeen in civlian combat and while I wouldn't necessarily do what those soldiers did, I certainly felt no remorse whatsoever for taking out a serial killler. Matter of fact, I cuffed the guy as he was dying "actually borker his arm when I was doing it).

I have always subscribed to the axiom, "There are two types of people on this earth, them's that should carry guns and them's that should get shot by ''em'

Animals are aniimals. Period!

If you've been in mortal combat then I temper my remarks. If you haven't, I don't.
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Old April 20th, 2012, 10:45 PM
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Quote:
An inncent defending those who are unable to defend themselves for whatever reason is unreasonble?
Todd... this wasn't anyone defending anyone. It was troops with body parts. Not even a body they had killed.

One can certainly be happy that one of the enemy is dead, but handling the body parts with joy is just plain weird.

Taking out a serial killer as you described is a good thing. I find it hard to believe you would have been proud to hold up his body, as a trophy for a picture with a smile on your face.

There's no humanity in that.

I do admire troops who willingly go to war because their commanders tell them to. They are heros. But I can't imagine there's many who take pleasure in the act of killing. They do so in fine service to their country.

I haven't been in the service myself, but my father and two brothers spent most of the war fighting with the partisans in Europe.

I also still have pictures of some my family on the wrong side of the fence in concentration camps, when they were liberated. We also lost many family members there. Before they were liberated they were shown no humanity. I don't think anyone wants the liberator showing that same inhumanity. It makes them too much like the other side, even if they are in fact on the wrong side.

My grandmother was shot by the Nazis, right in front of my mother. She certainly would have killed the shooter had she been able, as would have I. But I do know neither of us would have claimed them as a trophy.
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Old April 21st, 2012, 08:24 AM
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Kuki,

If you re-read what I have written, at no time did I EVER applaud or say it was even acceptable to have your picture taken with dead bodies. I believe in one post I also said it was disgusting.

What I DID say was that it hardly warrants a Courts Martial for Heaven's sake and that such photographs go all the way back to the Crimean war and before. I also stated that at one time such photographs were frequently taken by professional news photographers who today fall all over themselves ranting about them.

Morals change and sometimes (albeit very few) even for the better, however such behavior as is under discussion here should be as a result of increased morality....NOT because it might upset the people who want to blow up our children, regardless!
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Old April 21st, 2012, 09:18 AM
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Okay, Here are some facts.

No Court Martial, unless they try to say it was not them. What they will probably receive is a Chapter 15. This is usually done in the office of the command. (1st sgt, etc)

As I said before, probably a letter in their file, possible loss of rank, and possible loss of pay.
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Old April 21st, 2012, 01:24 PM
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I have no reason to presume what appropriate punishment is for those service members involved. I fully trust the commanders to make that decision.

In all the media coverage I've yet to see anyone (government or not) call for anyone's court martial.

I also don't believe anyone is really concerned about any type of apology, or even having the pictures made public.Though no doubt there's some embarrasement felt by the military.

The concern is about these pictures inciting, and putting more troops in more dangeer than they already are.

I do argue that there's a difference between the pictures and even video of wars we might have quite normally seen of all kinds of wars. War is not pretty, and the purpose is to kill and neutralize the enemy. Before ever going to war that premise has to be fully accepted.

The problem in these wars now is there is no clear and visible enemy, it's radical islam. It's an extremist religious war.
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Old April 21st, 2012, 01:28 PM
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Courts Martial was mentioned on this thread, not in the media to my knowledge, either.
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