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TBR News March 5, 2017

Mar 05 2017

The Voice of the White House

Washington, D.C. March 5, 2017: The oligarchs that have controlled the United States for decades, have decided that they do not want Donald Trump in the Oval Office and even though he was properly and legally elected to the office of President, the oligarchs are using their wealth and political connections to harass Trump through their influence and control of the media. Reuters, the New York Times, the Washington Post and in the UK, the Guardian daily clog their productions with disruptive and inaccurate ad homonym attacks on Trump and to the point where the average reader is annoyed and turned off. But the moment the oligarchs advocate civil disobedience, they leave themselves open to charges of incitement and can be arrested and put on trial for sedition. Individuals with enormous incomes live in a different world than the rest of the population and eventually come to believe that what they wish or think or feel is actually important.Eventually, not probably, the mass of the public will become polarized and if pushed too far, will turn, not on the President but on the oligarchs.”

Table of Contents

  • Austrian FM says Europe ‘has lost control,’ calls for refugee centers outside of EU borders
  • Iraqi forces advance on ‘Islamic State’-held western Mosul
  • Billionaire Financier Soros Continues to Fund Anti-Trump Protests
  • ‘D.C. insiders seek to defeat Donald Trump – even in aftermath of his victory’ – ex CIA agent
  • US Trump administration inherits Obama cyberwar against North Korea
  • White House confirms ‘dramatic’ cuts proposed to US foreign aid budget
  • Impostor scams surpass ID theft among U.S. consumer complaints: FTC
  • America’s millions of Mexicans without documents live in fear of deportation
  • The CIA and its creative workers
  • The Smolensk Termination

 Austrian FM says Europe ‘has lost control,’ calls for refugee centers outside of EU borders

March 5, 2017

RT

Austrian foreign minister Sebastian Kurz has argued his case for the opening of refugee centers outside the borders of the European Union suggesting Georgia and the Western Balkans as possible locations.

“We need refugee centers outside the EU, which are operated together with the UNHCR [UN Refugee agency]”, Kurz said in an interview with the German Bild newspaper. He was joined by Jens Spahn, a member of Germany’s ruling party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

“The location of refugee centers is not so important. It is important that they will provide protection, and that people, trying to enter Europe illegally, will be returned there,” he said.

According to the Austrian FM, the location of these camps is not important. What is important for such camps is to “provide protection” and “that people, who are trying to enter Europe illegally, are brought back,” he added.

Such facilities could be located in Egypt, Georgia or a country in the Western Balkans, Kurz said, adding that the Mediterranean route should be closed for illegal immigrants.

“It is easier to stop and bring back someone at the EU’s external border than when he has already moved into a flat in Vienna or Berlin,” Kurz stated.

When asked whether immigration threatens Europe with Islamization, Kurz stated that Europe has freedom of religion, but political Islamism “has no place” in the EU.

Kurz’s comments come ahead of an anticipated resurgence in the number of those making the arduous journey into Europe along the Balkan corridor during the warmer summer months.

Over the last number of years the EU has experienced a massive increase in the number of those seeking asylum, precipitated by a bloody war in Syria where an estimated 4.8 million have fled the country in search of safety.

The majority of Syrian refugees have crossed to camps in neighbouring countries Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq, but roughly 1 million have requested asylum in Europe.

Hundreds of thousands of people fleeing wars and poverty in North Africa have also made the oft life threatening journey across the Mediterranean Sea, seeking a better life in Europe.

Kurz has repeatedly taken a harsh stance on the EU policies toward refugees. In October 2016, he blasted proposed refugee quotas, imposed by the EU, as “totally unrealistic.”

The distribution of refugees by such quotas doesn’t function because many countries are not ready to receive a high number of asylum seekers, he argued.

In June 2016, he stated that the EU refugee and migration policy is not working and Europe “has lost control” of the situation.

Last year, Kurz also suggested that Europe should look to mimic the asylum system practiced by the Australian government.

Asylum seekers are interned indefinitely on small islands in the Pacific Ocean until they are processed, either being accepted into Australia or turned away.

“The Australian model of course cannot be completely replicated but its principles can be applied in Europe,” Kurz told Die Presse last summer.

In February, the Austrian government said it will increase the pressure on rejected asylum seekers, introducing a draft law that would allow authorities to stop providing food and accommodation to those who refuse to leave the county.

The package of measures, yet to be approved by parliament, also includes amendments stipulating fines or prison sentences for asylum seekers who provide false information about their identity.

Thus, asylum seekers whose applications were rejected and who can safely return to their home countries but prefer to stay in Austria, would have to pay up to €15,000 (almost $15,900) or face up to an 18-month prison term.

Iraqi forces advance on ‘Islamic State’-held western Mosul

Iraqi forces have begun a fresh push to recapture western Mosul from ‘Islamic State’ fighters. More than 45,000 residents have fled the densely populated west in the past two weeks.

March 5, 2017

DW

An Iraqi federal police commando leader said at least six “Islamic State” (IS) suicide car bombs had failed to deter Iraqi troops from advancing toward Mosul’s old western city center.

The cars fitted with explosives had been destroyed before reaching troops, said Major General Haider al-Maturi. Snipers had also tried to deter Iraqi forces as they approached from Mosul’s south.

US-trained units were also approaching from the southwest, said joint command spokesman, Brigadier General Yahya Rasool.

Police colonel Emad al-Bayati told the Deutsche Presse-Agentur news agency that troops had taken control of several police stations and military sites.

Mosul’s eastern quarters were captured in January. The push for western Mosul began on February 19 with the retaking of the city’s airport, but was delayed earlier this week due to bad weather.

Thick smoke

Lebanon-based Al-Mayadeen television showed thick black smoke filling the sky over western Mosul on Sunday amid a heavy exchange of gunfire.

Anticipating the battle, 45,714 individuals or 7,619 families fled western Mosul over the past two weeks, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported on Sunday.

The IOM said 206,520 people were currently displaced, less than the exodus of a million anticipated. Some had fled but later returned to their homes, the organization added.

On Saturday, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator in Iraq, Lise Grande, said the alleged use by IS of chemical weapons earlier this week in an eastern district was “horrible.”

Ten patients from Mosul were in a stable condition, said Hussein Qader, the deputy director of a hospital in Irbil where victims, including children, are being treated.

Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, lies in a swathe of territory west and north of Iraq’s capital, Baghdad, and was overrun by IS in 2014.

At the time, the area was declared by IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to be the Iraqi wing of a caliphate spanning adjourning regions of Iraq and Syria.

In recent months, the militants have also lost some territory in neighboring Syria.

On Saturday, the Pentagon said coalition air strikes in Iraq and Syria between November and January had killed 19 civilians. Independent monitoring organizations typically put civilian casualties much higher.

Billionaire Financier Soros Continues to Fund Anti-Trump Protests

February 2,2017

sputniknews

Despite media representing protests against US President Donald Trump as grassroots spontaneous uprisings, there is actually a significant amount of money being spent on special interest groups to keep the disruptions happening

As we previously reported, billionaire financier George Soros has provided funding to at least 56 of the “partner” organizations, including National Resource Defense Council and Planned Parenthood, on the Women’s March on DC. MoveOn.org has also been consistently organizing and calling for protests, and shocker, is also financed by Soros.While protesters themselves may not always be “paid” in any monetary way, the organizations often provide them with legal aid, housing, food, or other comforts to encourage protest or other activities that fit their agenda.

“There’s kind of a tradition of paid protesters. That’s not a job per say, but special interest groups have funds, they are somewhat quite organized. They will pay people to protest in support of an issue. They provide attorneys, they provide places for them to stay, they rent houses, they provide medics for them,” David Carter, professor of the School of Criminal Justice and director of the Intelligence program at Michigan State University, as well as a former Kansas City, Missouri, police officer, recently told Sputnik News.

The source of funding for this unrest is important to note, as organizations affiliated with the billionaire have been deeply connected to color revolutions and political uprisings across the globe, including Arab Spring. This point has led many to question what his end goal is for the US, where heavily-funded protests are raging on over a fair and free election.

Soros is effectively the puppet-master pulling most of the strings in Kiev. Soros Foundation’s Ukraine branch, International Renaissance Foundation (IRF), has been involved in Ukraine since 1989. His IRF doled out more than $100 million to Ukrainian NGOs two years before the fall of the Soviet Union, creating the preconditions for Ukraine’s independence from Russia in 1991. Soros also admitted to financing the 2013-2014 Maidan Square protests that brought the current government into power,” a report in the New Eastern Outlook journal explained in 2015.

These “democracy-building” projects have been used, much like the Clinton Foundation in Haiti, to line Soros’ own pockets.

“Make no mistake that the events you’re seeing transpire nationwide are being orchestrated in part by a billionaire political elite class that is looking to subvert the will of the American people by attempting to foment a new American revolution. Soros’ formula has been duplicated in numerous nations, and it looks as if he now has the US in his sights as the next target,” the Free Thought Project wrote of Soros meddling in November 2016.

George Soros’s Home Address.
136 Cantitoe St. Katonah, NY 10536-3804

 

‘D.C. insiders seek to defeat Donald Trump – even in aftermath of his victory’ – ex CIA agent

March 5, 2017

RT

There are still senior people in jobs at the Director of National Intelligence office, the office of the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency… that ought to be fired, Larry Johnson, retired CIA and State Department official, told RT.

President Donald Trump claims his White House predecessor, Barack Obama, wire-tapped his offices in New York prior to the election last November.

Trump posted a series of tweets, decrying the alleged surveillance as “McCarthyism.”

Barack Obama’s spokesman responded to Trump’s accusations, saying that “neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any US citizen.”

RT: What do you make of the accusations made by Donald Trump? How big of a deal is this?

Larry Johnson: I think it’s a huge deal. The problem is Trump probably should not have done this via Twitter because to call it a “wiretap” is technically inaccurate. And the denials by the Obama people – like Bill Clinton asking what the meaning of “is” is with respect to “was oral sex a sexual act.”

In this case I understand from very good friends that what happened was both Jim Clapper and John Brennan at CIA were intimately involved in trying to derail the candidacy of Donald Trump. That there was some collusion overseas with Britain’s own GHCQ [Government Communications Headquarters]. That information that was gathered from GHCQ was actually passed to John Brennan and it was disseminated within the US government. This dissemination was illegal.

Donald Trump is in essence correct that the intelligence agencies, and some in the law enforcement community on the side of the FBI, were in fact illegally trying to access, monitor his communications with his aides and with other people. All of this with an end to try and destroy and discredit his presidency. I don’t think there can be any doubt of that. I think it’s worth noting that the head of the National Security Agency, an Admiral [Michael] Rogers, made a journey to the Trump Tower shortly after Trump had won. And in the immediate aftermath of his visit, Jim Clapper and others in the intelligence community called for him to be fired. Why did Rodgers go to Trump Tower? My understanding is that it was to cover himself, because he was aware that the NSA authorities had been misused and abused with respect to Donald Trump.

So I think Trump’s decision to go out this morning and tweet this was fully intended to send a notice, to send word. I don’t think he’s doing this without evidence, he does have evidence. I think it was just inartfully expressed in the tweet.

RT: We’ve have not seen a lot of evidence in whole that Trump-Russia debacle. Will we see some evidence in this case?

LJ: There’s no evidence on the side of Russia meddling in the US election. I saw that [RT] had Brent Budowsky on earlier, and I simply wished you folks would ask him a very basic question. Ask him – “What specifically did Russia do that influenced the US election?” The answer is – nothing. Russia did not set up front companies; Russia did not provide money to the Trump campaign so that they could buy advertising; Russia was not providing advisers direct or indirect as cutouts to advise Trump on how to defeat Hillary Clinton – the classic things that we would see. Does Russia run intelligence operations against the United States? Yes. And does the United States do this against Russia? – Yes. But this is entirely, completely different matter. What we’re seeing here – some think this is an exaggeration, but I do not – there’s a genuine effort to try to take out and defeat Donald Trump even in the aftermath of his election. And there are still senior people in jobs at the Director of National Intelligence office, the office of the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency… that ought to be fired; they ought to be marched right out the door.

RT: Will Trump be able to produce the evidence? Will he be able to take the upper hand here?

LJ: This is a coordinated, organized effort. The Obama remnants were really shocked that Trump won. They had no clue coming down the road that he was going to win. Once he won they genuinely thought that they could do things and plant information in the press that would put so much pressure on him that he wouldn’t be able to take the oath of office.

And those efforts backfired. This was one of the reasons the so-called ‘dossier’ on Trump’s alleged misbehaviors in Russia was leaked. All of this was part of a coordinated, planned campaign by people that are linked to Barack Obama. Did Barack Obama pick up the telephone and tell Jim Clapper or John Brennan to do XY and Z? No, I don’t think that’s the case. My understanding, though, is Obama did give the green light when he was briefed on information that had come from British GHCQ to US intelligence officials, that he gave a green light to go and to start distributing and using that in an improper way. This has to be done very methodically, because I think there well could be criminal charges brought against former members of the Obama administration for what they have done. What they’re doing would fall under the definition of sedition, which I realize sounds very alarmist.  But the reality of what is going on is – these are not isolated events generated by actions that have been taken by Donald Trump and his surrogates. These are actions that are being generated by opponents of Donald Trump trying to force actions out of the Trump team.’An outstanding development’

It is kind of extraordinary for Trump to level this charge to his 20 million followers on Twitter, says Charles Ortel, investor and writer. It probably means the US leader has good reasons for doing so, he added.

RT: Trump also insinuated he was considering legal action over the case. How likely is that in your opinion, and where could it lead?

Charles Ortel: Look at Donald Trump’s long career employing lawyers. I think this is probably even out of his hands. This is an astounding development. I don’t think it has ever happened in American history for a sitting President to level this kind of accusation against his predecessor, 45 days into his first term. This is amazing stuff.

RT: A spokesperson for Barack Obama rejects Trump’s assertion. Does that put an end to the matter, in your view?

CO: I take issue with it. Actually it is weasel words. The way this would work is that the FBI and the Department of Justice would make the request. Would they do this on the direct order of Obama, on the suggestion of Obama, or on the suggestion of somebody in his administration? They certainly wouldn’t do it on their own. So it is absolutely not a clean rejection of what may have happened. It is also kind of extraordinary for Trump to level this charge to his 20 million followers on Twitter. He would not do this without some excellent reasons knowing the consequences of being shown wrong. I don’t think that is a strong rejection. I note also that the first (rejection) came from Ben Rhodes, who couldn’t even get a security clearance after the November 2008 election for some unexplained reason… I assume there is strong evidence backing up these charges.

 US Trump administration inherits Obama cyberwar against North Korea

As president, Barack Obama undertook a series of cyberattacks against North Korea’s missile program, US media report. After the US implemented the strategy, several launches failed or the projectiles veered off course.

March 5, 2017

DW

A cyberwar that Barack Obama launched against North Korea’s missile program has failed to make significant gains over three years, “The New York Times” reports. The program did boast initial successes, with several of North Korea’s rockets and missiles failing soon after launch.

Obama warned his successor, Donald Trump, that North Korea’s nuclear program would likely prove his biggest international challenge, and the new US president’s advisershave begun weighing their options – including continuing the cyberattacks. “The White House is also looking at pre-emptive military strike options,” an administration official told the Times. To compile its report, the newspaper cited officials from the current and previous administrations and “extensive but obscure public records.”

Obama began the cyberattacks after concluding that anti-missile systems alone would not protect the United States and choosing instead to target projectiles before their test launches, The New York Times reported. National security officials had requested that the media not release details, according to the newspaper.

‘It won’t happen’

In January, dictator Kim Jong Un boasted that North Korea had reached the “final stages” of developing an intercontinental ballistic missile in an apparent attempt to pressure the incoming US president. However, at the time, Trump appeared to have had the last word, firing the verbal missile “It won’t happen” on Twitter, his preferred social medium.

On February 12, North Korea apparently fired a modified intermediate-range Musudan missile, which landed in the ocean. The Musudan has a range of 2,500-4,000 kilometers (1,550-2,500 miles), meaning that it could threaten both Japan and US bases on Guam.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called the test “absolutely intolerable.” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the US would use the full range of its arsenal, including nuclear weapons, to defend its allies Japan and South Korea against the North.

The United Nations tightened sanctions on North Korea in November, two months after the country carried out its fifth nuclear test, in a bid to prevent it from developing atomic weapons.

White House confirms ‘dramatic’ cuts proposed to US foreign aid budget

Budget director confirmed on Saturday proposed cuts for the state department and USAID by about a third, to help fund expansion of US military budget

March 4, 2017

Reuters

The White House budget director confirmed on Saturday that the Trump administration will propose “fairly dramatic reductions” in the US foreign aid budget later this month.

It was reported earlier this week that the administration plans to propose to Congress cuts in the budgets for the state department and Agency for International Development (USAID) by about one third.

“We are going to propose to reduce foreign aid and we are going to propose to spend that money here,” White House Office of Management Budget director Mick Mulvaney told Fox News, adding the proposed cuts would include “fairly dramatic reductions in foreign aid”.

Mulvaney said the cuts in foreign aid would help the administration fund a proposed $54bn expansion of the US military budget.

“The overriding message is fairly straightforward: less money spent overseas means more money spent here,” said Mulvaney, a former South Carolina Representative.

The US spends just over $50bn annually on the state department and USAID, compared with $600bn or more each year on the Pentagon. Several Republicans this week raised concerns about the planned cuts to the state department.

“I am very concerned by reports of deep cuts that could damage efforts to combat terrorism, save lives and create opportunities for American workers,” said Ed Royce, the chairman of the House of Representatives foreign affairs committee.

Furthermore, more than 120 retired US generals and admirals – including George Casey, former chief of staff of the army, and David Petraeus, former CIA director and commander of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan – sent a letter to Congress, urging it fully fund diplomacy and foreign aid.

“Elevating and strengthening diplomacy and development alongside defense are critical to keeping America safe,” they said. “We know from our service in uniform that many of the crises our nation faces do not have military solutions alone.”

Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, tweeted earlier this week: “Foreign aid is not charity. We must make sure it is well spent, but it is less than 1% of budget & critical to our national security.”

A US government website said 20 government agencies plan to award $36.5bn in foreign assistance programs in more than 100 countries around the world during the current budget year.

Mulvaney said the Trump administration will release its budget proposal on 16 March. Reuters has reported the administration plans significant proposed cuts in many other domestic programs.

Impostor scams surpass ID theft among U.S. consumer complaints: FTC

March 3, 2017

by Jonathan Stempel

Reuters

More U.S. consumers complained about imposter scams than identity theft for the first time in 2016, as fraudsters relied more on the phone and less on email to find victims, the Federal Trade Commission said on Friday.

Impostor scams accounted for 406,578 of the 3,050,374 consumer complaints received in 2016 by the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network, just above the 399,225 received for identity theft, the agency said.

Debt collection generated 859,090, or 28 percent, of all complaints, more than any other category. Complaints overall fell 3 percent from the record 3,140,803 set a year earlier.

The FTC attributed the rise in impostor scam complaints to more fraudsters pretending to be trustworthy government officials, like from the Internal Revenue Service demanding payment of taxes.

Impostor scams topped the list of complaints from military personnel, accounting for 32 percent of the 115,984 received.

The 19 percent drop in identity theft complaints, meanwhile, came as authorities try to educate consumers about protecting personal data and reporting suspicious activity quickly.

Of the consumers reporting fraud, 77 percent said scammers contacted them first by phone, up from 54 percent just two years earlier.

Only 8 percent reported being first contacted by email, and just 6 percent through the Internet.

A total of 662,209 consumers reported losing $744.5 million through fraud in 2016, for an average $1,124 each, the FTC said.

Fifty-eight percent of reported fraudulent payments were made by wire transfers, and most of the rest by credit cards, debits from bank accounts, or prepaid cards, the FTC said.

The database includes complaints made directly to the FTC, various state and federal law enforcement agencies, and other groups including the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

 America’s millions of Mexicans without documents live in fear of deportation

Donald Trump’s crackdown has been a terrifying bolt from the blue

March 5, 2017

by Rory Carroll

The Guardian

The queue starts outside the consulate gate soon after dawn and stretches up Park View street. The visitors speak in low murmurs, exchanging the latest rumours. A dragnet in Glendale. Checkpoints in Highland Park. People deported for jaywalking. For speaking Spanish.

Some visitors say they have sold their furniture to create an emergency fund. Others wonder if they should stop going to work and pull their kids from school. Overreactions? Wise precautions? No one knows. They’ve come here for answers.

Inside the gate hulks a nondescript, cream-coloured office block. Lights flicker into life on a pale winter day and by 7am all is aglow: the consulate general of Mexico in Los Angeles is open for business. It is a lighthouse, of sorts, for undocumented Mexicans caught in the political maelstrom that is Hurricane Trump.

“I’m here to make a plan,” said Juana Sanchez, 53, a seamstress who has stitched and sewed in LA’s fashion district for 29 years. A plan for what? She managed a tight smile. “Deportation.” The immigration policies gusting out of the White House have chilled the US’s estimated 11 million undocumented people, half of whom are Mexican. The new president has vastly widened the numbers deemed priorities for expulsion.

“As we speak tonight we are removing gang members, drug dealers that threaten our communities and prey on our very innocent citizens,” he told a joint session of Congress last week. “Bad ones are going out as I speak and as I promised throughout the campaign.”

The Mexicans who flock to the LA consulate say that in reality Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is sweeping up caretakers, students, mothers – anyone who entered the US illegally, and is thus a law-breaker.

“Trump is the world’s worst terrorist. He has the Latino community terrorised,” said Rosa Palacios, a careworker with a nine-year-old granddaughter who weeps in fear at losing relatives. The hostility outdid previous anti-immigrant crackdowns, she said. “It is worse than when they thought we were infected.”

Manuel Selvas, 44, who earns $10 an hour unloading containers, said the president had uncorked prejudice. “Before people were afraid to be racist in public but now they feel protected.” People in the street had yelled at him to leave America, he said. “They say we’re stealing jobs but Americans don’t want to clean toilets or pick strawberries.”

Mexico’s government has warned of a “new reality” for Mexicans in the US and urged them to take precautions and get in touch with their nearest consulates, which will receive $50m in extra funding. The concern is humanitarian and economic – remittances from the US topped $27bn last year, a lifeline that dwarfs oil revenues. Mexico’s 50 US consulates are scrambling to meet the surge in demand for their services. A new 24-hour hotline is fielding thousands of calls daily.

With an estimated 1 million undocumented people, LA – purportedly the second biggest Mexican city outside Mexico City – is a crucible. The four-storey consulate that abuts MacArthur Park is certainly the biggest and probably busiest consulate. Visitors fill its halls and offices with nervous energy, seeking help and hope.

Sanchez, the seamstress, said she had never been in trouble with the law but feared being stopped on her way to or from work. “I drive very carefully, so carefully,” she said in Spanish. “They can take you for any infraction. You have the fear of not knowing that if you leave your home, you’ll be back.”

She sat at the end of a row of plastic chairs in a large room lined by lawyers’ cubicles – the department of protection. Sanchez sought a deportation contingency plan: a checklist of what to say and not say if stopped, who to call, what to pack, if given the chance to pack. “I’m very grateful to this country. It has let me work. I’ve been happy. I don’t want to go to Mexico. But if I do go I want to be prepared.”

Birth certificates, which many migrants lack, are crucial. Some used to consider them arcane, an irrelevance in the US, but now they feel vital, a key document to help keep them in the US or, if need be, start a new life in Mexico.

Edgar Perez, 35, a business student, sought Mexican passports for his two US citizen children lest he be expelled. “It would make it easier for them to visit me.” The tone was matter of fact but fear gnawed at him, he said. “It’s always on the news, every day, but I don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Some compare detention by ICE to a malign rapture experience: you’re going about your business – then poof, sucked into a void. Who will pick up the kids from school? Feed the cat? Pay the electricity? Questions you can dwell on in a detention centre before being bussed south and herded across a walkway into Tijuana, Nogales, Juarez or some other border city.

The uncertainty is prompting people to scrimp and save, said José Guerrera, who sells coffee and snacks outside the consulate. “I’ve been doing this 16 years and never seen people so anxious. They’re saving money for whatever may come.”

Some trek to this gritty downtown neighbourhood of taco restaurants and discount stores, their signs in Spanish, hoping the consulate can help avert deportation. A Mexican birth certificate, for instance, can be used to obtain a California driving licence – invaluable in a city where cars rule and driving without a licence can land you in jail.

Arianna Diaz, 25, sought help with her request for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Daca), an Obama-era programme that legalises so-called “Dreamers” – immigrants who were brought to America illegally as children. Diaz, a would-be nurse, entered the US aged seven and grew up speaking English. She now has a husband, a toddler and a newborn, all US citizens, but felt vulnerable. Last month ICE agents deported Guadalupe García de Rayos, a young mother of US children, from Arizona.

“I don’t know Mexico. I have no family there,” said Diaz. “With all the bad things I’ve heard, I don’t want to go.” Her three-month-old son had a heart condition requiring continuous care. The prospect of separation horrified her. “No, no, no.” Trump has said he has a “soft spot” for Dreamers, a vague statement to which Diaz clutches. “Most of us are hardworking people. We call this our home.”

The consulate’s website advises on what to do if detained – phone someone as soon as possible, don’t sign anything you don’t understand – and offers key phrases in English: “I want to remain silent.” “I do not consent to a search.” “I am a Mexican citizen and I want to speak to my consulate.” “I want to speak to a lawyer.” Having a lawyer, studies show, dramatically improves the chance of remaining in the US.

Civil rights groups give another tip: do not open the door to immigration agents unless they can show a judicial warrant through the window, or slip it under the door. Agents use ruses – posing as regular police, pretending to be looking for someone else, implying a warrant of removal is a judicial warrant – to gain access.

The consulate’s protection unit has 19 attorneys and legal advisers. When not giving advice they are visiting jails, swotting up on immigration law and monitoring social media for alerts about raids. Felipe Carrera, the unit’s chief, said consuls had provided protection for decades, not least during the tenure of Barack Obama, who was dubbed the “deporter-in-chief” for expelling 2.5 million people.

The Trump era’s challenge was how to empower people with information without fuelling panic, he said. The LAPD, for instance, has a policy of not facilitating deportations, but Trump has threatened to withdraw federal funding from so-called sanctuary cities. “We don’t want to be naive. The reality is changing,” said Carrera.

Sifting fact from hype is tricky. ICE picked up 680 people across the US in a series of raids last month – a routine sweep, said the agency. Trump, however, claimed it as part of his promised crackdown. Immigrant activists saw it that way too and said plenty of non-criminals were swept up.

Carlos García de Alba, the consul general, said similar raids happened before Trump. “On TV you hear about massive raids but so far we’ve not seen that. In the future there could be but up to now, no.”

The psychological impact was deep, however, and a “panic psychosis” inhibited some people from going to work or sending children to school, said the consul. In the current climate, Hispanics had legitimate reason to fear being targeted, he said. “My concern is of racial profiling and people being pushed even more to the shadows.”

Things looked very different a year ago. De Alba was finishing a stint as ambassador to Ireland and preparing to move to Mexico’s embassy in the United Arab Emirates. Trump was leading the Republican primaries but few thought he could win the White House. Hillary Clinton was promising immigration reform and her appeal to Latino voters included comparing herself to a Latina abuela (grandmother).

Latinos in California had become the single biggest population group and wielded growing clout in city halls and the state assembly. The LA consulate enlisted the mayor, galleries and museums in a year-long celebration of Mexican art, culture, gastronomy and commerce. The initiative was called 2017: Year of Mexico in Los Angeles.

Then Trump stormed to victory. Instead of crowning a queen, Mexicans fell under a new king’s heel. Instead of moving to the Arabian peninsula, De Alba, as part of a wide-ranging diplomatic shuffle, moved to LA to lead 250 staff. The year-long festival of Mexican culture is going ahead, showcasing writers, musicians and artists, but Mexican residents, documented and undocumented, are in grim mood. Troomp, as they pronounce his name, has shredded any sense of security at inhabiting a liberal, bilingual metropolis.

“It’s now a felony to pee in the street,” said Arturo Arias, 45, a homeless man seated on a bench with two friends in MacArthur Park. “Jaywalking too. Used to be you got a ticket. Now they can use it to kick you out.”

Freddy Cazador, 77, nodded. “I’ve heard ICE is riding inside patrol cars.”

Carlos Espiridion, 66, chimed in. “If they stop you and you answer in Spanish they’ll check your record, look for any excuse to deport you.”

“They” referred to ICE, LAPD, sheriff’s deputies and other law enforcement agencies. Their comments were based on inaccurate rumours. But the fear was real. It afflicted not just Arias, who is undocumented, but Espiridion, who has a green card. He felt that one slip, a minor infraction, could land him in Tijuana, shuffling in line with other deportees at a soup kitchen. Last month a former gardener leapt to his death near the border crossing hours after being deported.

On the edge of MacArthur Park, a landmark immortalised in the 1968 hit sung by Richard Harris, the queue outside the consulate dwindles as the day wears on. Visitors emerge clutching sheaves of documents and scatter across the city, back to jobs and homes.

The consulate sits in LA’s heart. From here you can walk to city hall, the Walt Disney concert hall and Dodger stadium. Numerous allies – the mayor, LAPD, civil society groups – express desire to protect Mexicans. Hollywood too. Pleas for tolerance and diversity peppered the Oscars.

Few of the faces on stage were Latino, however, and it remains to be seen how hard LA’s business, political and cultural elites will fight for a largely invisible underclass.

With Trump vowing more executive actions and a cranked-up deportation machine, it is left to the consulate and grassroots activists to respond case by case, day by day, a gruelling, bureaucratic slog where victories and defeats play out in private, away from the protest marches and cries of resistance.

It is about processing birth certificates and legalisation applications and visiting jails and detention centres and teaching marginalised people they have rights – teaching them that if the knock comes it is OK not to open the door.

Bureaucracy behind the climate of fear

  • New guidelines announced last month expanded the number of undocumented immigrants who can be targeted for deportation and sped up the deportation process. Now any immigrant living in the US illegally who has been charged or convicted of a crime – or suspected of one – will be an enforcement priority. This could include people arrested for shoplifting or minor traffic offences.
  • Any undocumented immigrant who has been in the country for less than two years can also be targeted for “expedited removal”, which does not need to be authorised by a court.
  • The guidelines also called for thousands of extra federal agents to be hired, local law enforcement to be enlisted to expedite arrests, and more immigration judges deployed.
  • There were 11.1 million undocumented immigrants in the US in 2014 – this has not changed since 2009 and it accounts for 3.5% of the US population.
  • 5.8 million Mexicans were living as undocumented immigrants in 2014 – 52% of the total.
  • The number of Mexicans living as undocumented immigrants has fallen over recent years, while the number from other countries has grown by 325,000 between 2009 and 2014. People coming from Asia and central America account for most of this increase.

1 THE PARENTS

Jesus Hernandez, 31, senses the fear among colleagues every time he clocks in for work on one of LA’s building sites. “You see it on their faces. They’re worried something will happen – that there might be a raid.”

For Hernandez and his partner, Berta Cervantes, 41, deportation could mean gut-wrenching separation from their three children, aged five, nine and 10. “What can be worse?” said Cervantes.

They came to the consulate to ask about certifying a guardianship letter for the children’s aunt, should they choose to keep them in the US. The children are US citizens.

They also wanted to apply for Mexican passports for the children to facilitate cross-border visits and perhaps integration, should they decide to move the children to Mexico, where they could be viewed as foreigners.

“They speak Spanish but don’t read or write it,” said Hernandez. “If they end up in a Mexican school we don’t want them to feel lost, or fall behind.” Obtaining passports now would mean one less bureaucratic headache.

2 THE LAWYER

Felipe Carrera heads the consulate’s protection department, a 19-strong team of attorneys that advises and arranges documentation for documented and undocumented Mexicans in and around LA.

“We’re a kind of defence centre. We’re trying for a balance between not causing panic and empowering the community with the information that it needs.”

Mexico’s US consulates have provided this protection service for decades but demand has spiked since Trump took power, prompting Mexico’s government to pledge an extra $50m for the increased workload. “We’re hoping for more money and personnel,” said Carrera.

The biggest threat was often not immigration raids but crooked notaries and scam artists who conned clients with fake, dangerous promises to fix people’s legal status, he said. “People are being defrauded and losing their property and savings.”

3 THE CONSUL

Carlos García de Alba, formerly Mexico’s ambassador to Ireland, took over the consulate in Los Angeles last year in a diplomatic shuffling prompted by Trump’s rise. “The speed of developments here, it’s so fast,” he said. “It started even before the president’s inauguration.”

An urbane Hibernophile steeped in Irish literature, De Alba’s job now includes tracking detentions of Mexicans by LA and US federal law enforcement agencies.

Despite headlines about mass deportations, numbers so far are normal but the executive orders had unleashed a “panic psychosis”, said the consul.

“My concern is that racial profiling and fear will push people even further into the shadows. Parents are asking me if they should stop sending children to school. It means they’re really in fear. You can’t do that to honest human beings. These people are hard workers, they pay taxes.”

The CIA and its creative workers

March 5, 2017

by Harry von Johnston, PhD

JAMES P. ATWOOD

A most interesting individual was James P. Atwood (April 16, 1930- July 20, 1997).

During the Iran Contra affair, General Secord’s arms shipments, arraigned through the CIA, transferred weapons destined for Central America to Merex Corporation,  (Merex International Arms)  of Savannah, Ga. The Merex address  was occupied by Combat Military Ordinances Ltd., controlled by retired  military officer James P. Atwood.  Atwood, a retired  Lieutenant Colonel of U.S. Military Intelligence, [and later a CIA contract worker], stationed in their Berlin office, was  involved in major arms trades with CIA-sponsored international buyers, specifically Middle Eastern Arab states. Monzer Al-Kassar utilized the Merex firm for some of his weapons transactions with the CIA-controlled international weapons cartel.

Merex systems was founded by Otto Skorzeny’s associate Gerhard Mertins in Bonn after the war and was considered a CIA proprietary firm. Merex was close to and worked with the BND, the German intelligence service evolved from the CIA-controlled Gehlen organization. Atwood was involved with Interarmco, run by Samuel Cummings, an Englishman who ran the largest arms firm in the world. Cummings died in Monaco with a country place at Villars in the Swiss Alps where he resettled in 1960 because he had looted his CIA employers and found European residence safer than Warrenton, Virginia.

Interarms (formerly  Interarmco and officially the International Armaments Corporation) was the world’s largest private arms dealer, and once had enough weapons in their warehouses to equip forty U.S. divisions. The sole owner was Sam Cummings, who got his start working with the CIA to procure weapons for the 1954 coup in Guatemala.

During the Iran Contra affair, General Secord’s arms shipments, arraigned through the CIA, transferred weapons destined for Central America to Merex Corp.  (Merex International Arms) of Savannah, Ga. Combat Military Ordinances Ltd., controlled by Atwood , occupied the Merex address. Atwood, a retired Lieutenant Colonel of U.S. Military Intelligence and later a CIA officer station in their Berlin office, was involved in major arms trades with CIA-sponsored international buyers, specifically Middle Eastern Arab states. Monzer Al-Kassar utilized the Merex firm for some of his weapons transactions with the Enterprise.  Merex weapons systems was founded by Otto Skorzeny’s associate Gerhard Mertins  in Bonn after the war and was considered a CIA proprietary firm. Mertex was close to and worked with the BND, the German intelligence service evolved from the CIA-controlled Gehlen organization.

Atwood also counterfeited rare German daggers, stolen archives and much more in and out of various countries from his headquarters in Savannah, Georgia.

During his career, Atwood worked with the CIA’s Sam Cummings, Tom Nelson, Jim Critchfield and many others

Atwood’s activities are linked to Robert Crowley (who knew him and disliked him) ,to Jim Critchfield and a number of other CIA luminaries.

Arrested by the Army’s CIC in the early 60s, for misuse of government mail, tax fraud and other matters,  Atwood  got the CIA to force the charges against him dropped. All the paperwork was supposed to have been destroyed but a copy of the 62 count indictment plus the Chicago Federal judge’s orders has survived.

Atwood operated in the Middle East, Germany and Central America. He sold US secrets to Marcus Wolfe of the Stasi and the BND photographed them together in East Berlin

He smuggled guns into Guatemala and Nicaragua and drugs into the US.

Atwood’s role in supplying weapons and explosives to the Quebec Libré movement. The head of the Canada Desk at the Company was actively encouraging this group to split away from Canada. This is a chapter that the CIA does not want discussed. Atwood’s connections with Skorzeny and the IRA/Provo wing make dramatic reading. One of Atwood’s Irish connections is the man who ran the cell that blew up Lord Louis Mountbatten in 1979. There is also the shipping of weapons into the southern Mexican provinces by Atwood and his Guatemala based consortium, Oceanic Cargo.

Atwood had a number of ex-Gestapo and SD people on board, some of whom were wanted for war crimes.

Both Schwend and Klaus Barbie formed Transmaritania which was a shipping company that also generated millions of dollars in profits from the cocaine business. They purchased their weapons from another SS colleague, Colonel Otto Skorzeny who had been head of SS Commando units towards the end of the war, later worked for the CIA and had started the Merex weapons business in Bonn after the war. Another Atwood contact was one Walter Rauff, a senior SD officer, friend of Dulles and once head of the SD in Milan (after a tour in Tunisia as head of the SD there during Rommel’s campaign in Africa.)

The Rauff story is even more entertaining than the Barbie one and more disruptive when it becomes public. Rauff worked for the CIA, lived unmolested and well protected by the CIA, in South America .

While Atwood was involved in supplying weapons to Cuban insurgents for the Bay of Pigs incident, he stated to a number of his associates that he learned of highly classified information on the accidental release, in Florida, of deadly toxins that the CIA was planning to use in advance of the invasion to “soften up” Castro’s militia.

The designated head of the CIA, Porter Goss, was a CIA agent in Florida at this time, was involved in the planning and expected execution of the Cuban invasion and suddenly became “very ill”, as his specs on Google point out, and had to retire. Atwood told his friends that Goss, later a Florida political figure, was a participating party in this specific part of the CIA invasion plans.

Atwood was involved with Interarmco, run by Samuel Cummings, an Englishman who ran the largest arms firm in the world. Cummings died in Monaco because he had looted his CIA employers and found that principality safer than Warrenton, Virginia. Also connected with Atwood’s firm were Collector’s Armory, Thomas Nelson Prop, and a George Petersen of Springfield, Virginia, and Emmanuel (Manny) Wiegenberg, a Canadian arms dealer and it might prove instructive to look into  Atwood’s role in supplying weapons and explosives to the Quebec Libré movement. The head of the Canada Desk at the Company was actively encouraging this group to split away from Canada. This is a chapter that the CIA does not want discussed. Also look into Atwood’s connections with Skorzeny and the IRA/Provo wing.

One of Atwood’s Irish connections is the man who blew up Lord Louis Mountbatten in 1979 and I have a file on this as well (but not here) You might also want to investigate the shipping of weapons into the southern Mexican provinces by Atwood and his Guatemala based consortium. Atwood had a number of ex-Gestapo and SD people on board,some of whom were wanted. Klaus Barbie was also connected.

Barbie, who was Gestapo chief in Lyon, France, during the war, worked for the CIC after the war and fled to South America when his American handlers tipped him off. Barbie took some of the hidden Nazi gold and invested it in several businesses and  also continued to prosper by starting the Estrella Company which sold bark, coca paste, and assault weapons to a former SS officer, Frederich Schwend in Lima, Peru. Schwend had been trained by the OSS in the early 1940s after he had informed Allen Dulles that the German SS had hidden millions in gold, cash, and loot as the European war was winding down.

Among other activities, Atwood became known as the Dagger King because of his manufacture and merchandising of a large number of German ceremonial swords and daggers from the Third Reich perios.

In 1992, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, there was considerable concern expressed in US intelligence circles about the whereabouts, and also the security of, certain ex-Soviet military tactical atomic warheads. In the 1960s, the Soviet Union launched R&D to miniaturize and improve reliability of nuclear weapons. Development activities included strategic systems for the Navy; cruise missiles, aviation bombs and artillery projectiles [the smallest nuclear charge was developed for a 152mm artillery projectile].The model is based on unclassified data on the components in an atomic artillery shell, to see if such a system could be reassembled in a suitcase. Indeed, as it turns out, the physics package, neutron generators, batteries, arming mechanism and other essentials of a small atomic weapon can fit, just barely, in an attaché case. The result is a plutonium-fueled gun-type atomic weapon having a yield of one-to-ten kilotons, the same yield range attributed  in a 1998 US media interview by General Lebed to the Russian “nuclear suitcase” weapon.”

Atwood, the former Interarmco people and an Israeli Russian named  Yurenko (actually Schemiel  Gofshstein) formed a consortium in conjunction with James Critchfield, retired senior CIA specialist on oil matters in the Mideast  to obtain a number of these obsolete but still viable weapons. Both Critchfield and the Interarmco people had, at the behest of the CIA, supplied weapons to the rebels in Afghanistan during their protracted struggle with the Soviet Union. Critchfield worked with the Dalai Lama of Tibet in a guerrilla war against Communist China and headed a CIA task force during the Cuban missile crisis. He also ran regional agency operations when the two superpowers raced to secure satellites first in Eastern Europe, then in the Middle East.

In the early 1960s, Critchfield recommended to the CIA that the United States support the Baath Party, which staged a 1963 coup against the Iraqi government that the CIA believed was falling under Soviet influence. Critchfield later boasted, during the Iran-Iraq war that he and the CIA “had created Saddam Hussein.” With the growing political importance of Middle East oil, he became the CIA’s national intelligence officer for energy in the late 1960s and early 1970s, then an energy policy planner at the White House. He also fronted a dummy CIA corporation in the Middle East known as Basic Resources, which was used to gather OPEC-related intelligence for the Nixon administration. .

Critchfield was the chief of the CIA’s Near East and South Asia division in the 1960s and a national intelligence officer for energy as the oil shortage crisis began in the early 1970s.  Officially retiring from the CIA in 1974, Critchfield became a consultant, corporate president of Tetra Tech International ,  a Honeywell Inc. subsidiary  and which managed oil, gas, and water projects in the strategic Masandam Peninsula. It sits on the Strait of Hormuz, through which much of the West’s oil is transported. At the same time, Critchfield was a primary adviser to the Sultan of Oman, focusing on Middle East energy resources, especially those in Oman.

Since at least 1981, a worldwide network of independent  [i.e., no direct U.S. government ties] companies, including airlines, aviation and military spare parts suppliers, and trading companies, has been utilized by the CIA and the U.S. government to illegally ship arms and military spare parts to Iran and to the Contras. These companies were set up with the approval and knowledge of senior CIA officials and other senior U.S. government officials and staffed primarily by ex-CIA, ex-FBI and ex-military officers.

These CIA-controlled companies include, but are not limited to, Aero Systems, Inc., of Miami, Arrow Air, Aero Systems Pvt. Ltd of Singapore, Hierax of Hong Kong, Pan Aviation in Miami, Merex in Georgia, Sur International, St. Lucia Airways, Global International Airways, International Air Tours of Nigeria, Continental Shelf Explorations, Inc., Jupiter, Florida, Varicon, Inc., Dane Aviation Supply of Miami, Parvus, Safir, International Trading and Investment Guaranty Corp., Ltd.,  Air America, CAA, and Information Security International Inc., Air Asia Co., Ltd., Arrow Air, Civil Air Transport (CAT) , Dane Aviation Supply, Intermountain Aviation, SODIMAC Southern Air Transport

In 1997, Atwood, who had the distressing habit of speaking freely while drinking, had lunch with several CIA friends and fell onto his plate. The cause was a “sudden embolism” and Atwood was quickly cremated and forgotten.

The Smolensk Termination

March 5, 2017

by Anonymous

‘On 10 April 2010, a Tupolev Tu-154 aircraft of the Polish Air Force crashed near the city of Smolensk, Russia, killing all 96 people on board.’

Here we have a brief description of an event that has frantically been called a ‘tragic accident.’ But like the shooting down of the Malaysian commercial aircraft, this event was also not an accident. The passengers on the downed Polish aircraft were the top leaders of the Polish government, to include Lech Kaczyński, the President of Poland, and his wife Maria, a former President of Poland, Ryszard Kaczorowski, the head of the Polish General Staff, very senior Polish military personnel, the head of National Bank of Poland, a number of senior Polish government officials, over a dozen members of the Polish Parliament,high level members of the Catholic Polish clergy, including Bishop Miron (Miroslaw Chodakowski)Orthodox Ordinary, or Field Bishop, of the Polish Army, and relatives of victims of the Katyn massacre.

The passengers in the aircraft were flying from Warsaw to Smolensk to attend a memorial for the 70th anniversary of  the massacre of 14,000 Polish prisoners of war that were murdered on the signed orders of Josef Stalin.

This was known as the Katyn massacre and was covered up by the American and British governments during the war. They blamed the Germans for this but the mass killings took place before the Germans had reached Smolensk.

The airport involved was the Smolensk North Airport which was surrounded by tall trees and subject to occasional heavy ground fogs. With the landing strip obscured, the pilots had to depend on an automatic ground control beacon to advise them of altitude.

Radios were tuned to the two Non-Directional Beacons (NDBs) present at the field, and the autopilot was set up to use waypoints from the Flight Management System (FMS) units for navigation.

On the day after the crash, investigators said they had reviewed the flight recorders, and confirmed that there were no technical problems with the Soviet-built aircraft, ruling out initial theories that the 20-year-old aircraft was at fault.

Neither the aircraft nor its pilots were at fault.

What was at fault were the ground beacons intended to guide a plane’s pilots to make a safe landing when weather conditions, such as heavy ground fog (which the airport was subject to) made a visual landing impossible

These ground beacons had been tampered with by a person known as Gregor Merchinski, a German who spoke fluent Russian and was skilled in the operations of ground beacons.

Merchinski, who worked for the German BND (or Bundesnachrichtendienst), the German foreign intelligence agency, was seconded to the American Embassy in Moscow located at Bolshoy Deviatinsky Pereulok No. 8.

It should be noted that the BND was originally a CIA operation, located initially at Pullach, near Munich, and which originally had top SS and SD personnel in its ranks. It is known that today the BND has very close connections to the CIA and works,clandestinely, with them.

Merchinski travelled from Moscow to Smolensk and surveyed the airport. With fog hiding his actions, he gained access to the ground beacons and altered them so that an incoming pilot would think that his aircraft was at one altitude when in reality, he was at another.

The Polish aircraft descending into the fog and dependent entirely on the ground beacons, slammed into the edge of the woods and crashed into the ground, killing every person on board.

The reason why the CIA became involved in this is because Polish officials were slated to meet with Russian President Putin and develop a rapprochement. This would have effectively removed Poland from the CIA’s encirclement program.

Merchinski was assigned to the  Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG)which  was an independent agency of the United States government. Its mission was to “inform, engage, and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy.” The BBG supervised Voice of America (VOA), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio y Television Marti, Radio Free Asia, and the Middle East Broadcast Networks. It was eventually dissolved on December 23, 2016.

Ever since its inception in 1948, the Central Intelligence Agency has maintained an icy and detached attitude towards their actions and also towards writers who have the temerity to question either their motivations or their results.

Presidential orders to that agency to open their files on long-ago happenings have been met with the immediate incineration of these files and a continued refusal to comply with official, and entirely reasonable, orders for disclosure of old historical records.

At its inception, this agency strove to be the official foreign policy arm of the U.S. government. By cloaking its clandestine activities behind the slogan of national security, the CIA has been directly responsible for thousands of deaths, political assassinations, revolutions, economic disasters, and gross and repeated violations of international law. If these actions had succeeded, all would be forgiven. But if one considers the cynical dictum that the end always justifies the means, then in the towering majority of its clandestine activities, the CIA has failed in its goals disastrously.

They fomented and launched the Hungarian revolt in 1956 which resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and was an utter fiasco, accomplishing nothing except the consolidation of power by Moscow over their puppet Hungarian government.

There were their private wars against Cuba and several nations in Central and South America which resulted in terrible regional bloodbaths which had no appreciable laurels for American foreign policy. Those ill-advised policies had the added effect of making the United States a hated entity in many countries which might otherwise have been more friendly.

The wave of global terrorism which arose at the end of the twentieth century has its roots, not in the theoretical evils of Marxism, but in the concrete evils promulgated by the renegade socialites of Langley. Their attempts at inflicting their ill-informed and short-sighted will on those whom they perceived to be their personal enemies (to include the Congress of the United States and the office of the President), has sown a crop of hatred and complete distrust which is still bearing bitter fruit.

 

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