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back to article Bradley Manning: 'I'm sorry my actions hurt the United States'

US Army Private Bradley Manning, who in July was found guilty of disclosing hundreds of thousands of classified government documents to WikiLeaks, has apologized in open court for his actions. The New York Times reports that Manning gave a three-minute, unsworn statement before military court judge Colonel Denise Lind on …

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Anonymous Coward

"He was not running or cheering any longer. He was back in the Ministry of Love, with everything forgiven, his soul white as snow. He was in the public dock, confessing everything, implicating everybody. He was walking down the white-tiled corridor, with the feeling of walking in sunlight, and an armed guard at his back. The longhoped-for bullet was entering his brain."

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FAIL

"He was not running or cheering any longer. He was back in the Ministry of Love, with everything forgiven, his soul white as snow. He was in the public dock, confessing everything, implicating everybody. He was walking down the white-tiled corridor, with the feeling of walking in sunlight, and an armed guard at his back. The longhoped-for bullet was entering his brain."

Except of course that this really is a crime, unlike the concoctions in 1984. Revisionism, historical or the kind that rewrites literature, is every bit as offensive as treason.

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Big Brother

"Revisionism, historical or the kind that rewrites literature, is every bit as offensive as treason."

Only the winner, the prevailing power, gets to write the history. Others are rarely heard.

An overwhelming power can re-write the history at will. Those, who dare to call it offensive or revisionist, may well be charged with treason.

Beware.

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Big Brother

"I'm sorry my actions hurt the United States."

"I'm sorry my actions helped the American people at the expense of the United States establishment."

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Re: "I'm sorry my actions hurt the United States."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9u0EL_u4nvw

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There is something sad about this

Not so long ago we where annoyed and surprised that so very few Germans where strong enough to stand up against the Nazi regime. And yes I know this is nothing like that, but right then it was nothing like that either, and that worries me, even if I feel it is nothing like that now, I wonder, if perhaps, I had felt it was nothing then too. Not alive then or in that country, but still.

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Re: There is something sad about this

I know what you mean.

First they came for the database hackers, but I did not speak out, because I was not a database hacker ...

(With apologies.)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: There is something sad about this

Yes, during Nazi times there were many Germans who were against it. But they stayed quite, because they didnt want to be the next target. And by doing so the system became so strong that eventually nothing could be done. Those times are now. Do not be complacent in protecting your rights, lest you loose them.

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Big Brother

Re: There is something sad about this

First they came for Assange

And I said nothing, for he is a bit creepy.

Then they came for Manning

And I said nothing

For he was denounced as a traitor

Then they came for Snowdon

And I said nothing

For he was condemned to eternal exile

Now they will come for us

And there is no one left to hear.

Apart from the Ear of the State.

With all due respects, Herr Niemöller.

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Big Brother

Re: First they came for Assange

Bravo, sir.

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Boffin

Re: There is something sad about this

Wow... you really don't know your history or anyone who was probably alive during WW2 in Nazi Germany.

People did speak out. People were reported and turned in to the police.

But the really sad part is that you don't understand the difference between a totalitarian government and what Manning did.

The US Government isn't a totalitarian government by any stretch of the imagination.

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Re: There is something sad about this

By the time a totalitarian government starts to look like one, it is already too late.

In the earliest phases it's just a slight disbalance of power in favour of the executive branch. General public is actually pleased - things get done without too much squabbling.

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Re: There is something sad about this

"The US Government isn't a totalitarian government by any stretch of the imagination."

Hitler was elected to power by voters in a democracy. Do not mistake the ability to vote for a guarantee of freedom.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: There is something sad about this

"The US Government isn't a totalitarian government by any stretch of the imagination."

You, sir, have simply not been paying attention, have you? Anon because, yes, I DO have fear.

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Boffin

Re: There is something sad about this

@Steven Roper...

And Morsi was elected along with others from the MB party.

After they started to ignore the bulk of the population and tried to take control over the government, the military stepped back in.

Again, I suggest you go back and take a closer look at history.

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@AC Re: There is something sad about this

You have nothing to fear because as an individual, you have the right to express your opinions and no one really gives a shite. Everyone else has that same right.

The problem is that you haven't been paying attention prior to all of this.

You seemed shocked that the NSA has been monitoring calls, emails, etc...

It doesn't shock me.

Its when they take action against citizens which would be a shock. And that sir, hasn't happened.

I fear the Democratic party in IL, specifically in Chicago than I fear from the Federal spooks.

But that's another story.

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Anonymous Coward

Portion of time in solitary confinement ..

"For a portion of that time, he was held in solitary confinement in a windowless six-by-12-foot cell, stripped of both his clothes and his eyeglasses. He took his meals in his cell and he was allowed to walk for only one hour each day".

“For nine months, Manning has been confined to his cell for twenty-three hours a day. During his one remaining hour, he can walk in circles in another room, with no other prisoners present. He is not allowed to doze off or relax during the day, but must answer the question “Are you OK?” verbally and in the affirmative every five minutes.<br><br>

At night, he is awakened to be asked again “Are you OK?” every time he turns his back to the cell door or covers his head with a blanket so that the guards cannot see his face. During the past week he was forced to sleep naked and stand naked for inspection in front of his cell, and for the indefinite future must remove his clothes and wear a “smock” under claims of risk to himself that he disputes.” link

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Re: Portion of time in solitary confinement ..

The US continues it "fight on terror" (tm) by continuing to abuse the rights of a prisoner and disregarding the Geneva convention whenever it feels like it.

Curious the US signed both Protocol I relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts and Protocol II relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts in 1977, but have failed to ratify either in the 30+ year since...

And there are some absolute gems in there which the US has failed to agree to be bound by...

Articles 51 and 54 outlaw indiscriminate attacks on civilian populations, and destruction of food, water, and other materials needed for survival. Indiscriminate attacks include directly attacking civilian (non-military) targets, but also using technology such as biological weapons, nuclear weapons and land mines, whose scope of destruction cannot be limited. A total war that does not distinguish between civilian and military targets is considered a war crime.

Articles 56 and 53 outlaw attacks on dams, dikes, nuclear generating stations, and places of worship. The first three are "works and installations containing dangerous forces" and may be attacked but only in ways that do not threaten to release the dangerous forces (i.e., it is permissible to attempt to capture them but not to try to destroy them).

Articles 76 and 77, 15 and 79 provide special protections for women, children, and civilian medical personnel, and provide measures of protection for journalists.

Articles 43 and 44 clarify the military status of members of guerrilla forces. Combatant and prisoner of war status is granted to members of dissident forces when under the command of a central authority. Such combatants cannot conceal their allegiance; they must be recognizable as combatants while preparing for or during an attack.

Article 35 bans weapons that "cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering," as well as means of warfare that "cause widespread, long-term, and severe damage to the natural environment."

Article 85 states that it is a war crime to use one of the protective emblems recognized by the Geneva Conventions to deceive the opposing forces (perfidy).

What a nice country.

They're not alone though... Iran hasn't ratified it either.

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Boffin

Re: Portion of time in solitary confinement ..

You do realize that Manning was placed on a suicide watch prior to touching down on US Soil, right?

Do you think that a Suicide watch is a picnic, its not.

Had you paid attention, Manning admitted to exacerbating the situation himself, prolonging his time on the watch.

There's more and this is why he didn't get his sentence reduced much by the judge.

The placement of Manning on Suicide Watch was due to Manning 'losing it' while in theater after he was initially arrested. Note that Manning himself admitted to 'losing it' and that 'losing it' were his words.

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Re: Portion of time in solitary confinement ..

@Steve Evans

You do realize that everything in your post has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with Manning, right?

What you and every other Manning supporter seems to gloss over is that Manning was placed on suicide watch prior to even setting foot on US Soil. That watch was extended in to the US.

That by Manning's own admission he said and acted out in a manner which caused them to extend his time on a suicide watch?

The issue wasn't that he was placed on the suicide watch, but that when the physician requested that he be taken off of the watch, the CO refused. This wasn't done for punitive reasons, but that the CO didn't want to be responsible if Manning did commit suicide after being taken off of the watch. In fact, the CO didn't trust the doctor because just such a scenario happened earlier with a different patient.

The court found that the CO erred by continuing the watch beyond this and ignoring multiple requests by more than one staff doctor.

You have to put things in to context to understand why things are the way they are.

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Re: Portion of time in solitary confinement ..

"That by Manning's own admission he said and acted out in a manner which caused them to extend his time on a suicide watch?"

I think you'll find that people will sign and confess to all sorts of things if you prevent them from getting some proper sleep for several months on end. It's a well known brainwashing and torture technique.

There are many other ways of preventing a prisoner from committing suicide which don't involve waking him ever 30 minutes. In fact if he had found a way to commit suicide, what use is checking every 30 minutes anyway? if he had found a means to end it all, it would be well and truly over in a few minutes.

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WTF?

FFS... Re: Portion of time in solitary confinement ..

Do you honestly not pay attention?

Do you not know what it means to be placed on a suicide watch?

FFS, its not a picnic.

Its a very serious thing.

BTW, he wasn't forced to sleep naked. He actually brought it on himself. He first refused to wear the suicide prevention clothing then he smarted off to the guards that he could probably kill himself with the elastic in the waste band of his shorts. Ooops!

And you thought the military had a sense of humor. They don't.

As I've said, Manning showed up at their doorstep on suicide watch and he exacerbated his situation by taunting the guards and making those comments.

The only mistake was that the CO waited too long to take Manning off Suicide Watch. In part, because Manning did what he did.

You may not understand it, but talk to people who have experience with psych patients.

Then you might start to understand.

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Boffin

@Steve Evans... Re: Portion of time in solitary confinement ..

"I think you'll find that people will sign and confess to all sorts of things if you prevent them from getting some proper sleep for several months on end. It's a well known brainwashing and torture technique."

Once again, you're not paying attention.

Simple fact. How the military handles psych patients including those on suicide watch had been in place long before Manning entered the service.

Another simple fact...

Manning arrived on base already under a psych suicide watch when he was first arrested. BY MANNINGS OWN ADMISSION... HE 'LOST IT'. Meaning he was a threat to himself.

Again by Manning's own admission. He made a joke about being able to kill himself using the elastic band in his underwear. (Here's a free clue. When on suicide watch... you don't joke about killing one's self. )

Please pay attention.

What the judge found was that the CO ignored the recommendation of the base physician who was responsible for working with Manning. Then the CO further ignored the recommendation of the other physicians for as long as possible. It was for that period that the judge ruled that Mannings time under suicide watch was excessive and not called for.

In short, the judge got it right.

But for some reason, the bulk of commentards just can't seen to figure out that Manning screwed himself on this and made things worse for himself.

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What idiot

thought this crazy mixed-up kid should be given access to classified information? Was it the same idiot that thought accessing such information from a system equipped with a working CD writer was a good idea?

I'd like to think that other courts martial will follow for those responsible, but somehow I doubt it.

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Re: What idiot

That is the question we should all be asking.

Because then we might also question the premise that he was a "crazy mixed-up kid" before the Stalinist show-trial and ... *** knows what his mind has been subjected to.

I've been slightly in two minds about Snowden. This clears it up: if they can crush Manning like that, then I strongly hope Snowden gets permanent asylum, whether in Russia or by them facilitating his travel to one of the Latin American countries that's offered it.

Great take on this story at http://itreallyisupsidedown.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/another-sad-milestone.html

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Re: What idiot

As the prime beneficiary of Snowden's leak I would love it if germany gave him asylum. I know they wont but that would be the right thing to do

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Unhappy

Re: What idiot

"thought this crazy mixed-up kid should be given access to classified information?"

Presumably the same ones who thought the other 2.4 million people have access to this same information.

After all none of them have ever taken a peek at information they don't use, have they?

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Re: What idiot

Too true, JS19. Whatever happened to 'need to know'?

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FAIL

Re: What idiot

"Too true, JS19. Whatever happened to 'need to know'?"

Exactly.

The helicopter footage I can sort of get but the diplomatic stuff? That should have been not just above his pay grade but his CO, their CO and probably several levels further.

In fact how does a DoD employee (well technically) have access to the State Dept at all?

I'm pretty sure there are people in the USG who spend their careers devising filling and access control systems to stop ensure some people can see stuff and other cannot.

So either stuff has been mis filed on an epic scale or they have done the government equivalent of Windows giving users "Administrator" privilege by default.

If so then all it takes is one person with time on their hands and curiosity to find out how far down the rabbit hole they can go.

The rest is history.

Fail for the USG doing this stuff in the first place and fail again for not securing it.

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Re: What idiot

What I've heard (possibly on ElReg) is that after 9/11, various agencies were hauled over the coals for failing to 'join up the dots'. As a result, many of the carefully constructed partitions you describe were removed in the (false) hope that better dot-joining would result.

Risk assessment - we've heard of it.

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Boffin

Re: What idiot

Manning and Snowden are two different things.

Manning is a soldier and had been tried under military law. Snowden, if ever back in the states... will face civilian criminal courts.

Snowden in Russia?

After the Russians are done with him.. he will probably disappear. The Russian spy agency is still very good at what they do. The Americans are amateurs compared to them and other countries.

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Firstly. ASPERGERS IS NOT A FUCKING DEFENSE! I REALLY FUCKING HATE WHEN THEY FUCKING USE FUCKING ASPERGERS AS A FUCKING DEFENSE FOR A FUCKING CRIME! And now cruise control is off. Sorry, I'm just getting fed up of that being the go to defense. It's starting to look like everybody who commits a crime has aspergers allegedly.

And now on to my originally planned post

"I'm sorry," Manning said. "I'm sorry that my actions hurt people. I'm sorry that they hurt the United States."

Did he say this with any emotion? Or did he sound like a robot, or a broken man who had been brainwashed into believing that he'd actually damaged the USA in some way.

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I forgive you for ranting, because that needed to be said. Aspergers is now a 'spectrum' which means that everyone is on it somewhere - we're all a little bit (or, in my case, a fair amount) Aspergers. It's all part of the psychiatric crusade to identify everyone in the world as a little bit mad (and in need of lots of expensive therapy).

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PS

Re your second point. No brainwashing necessary. If you're facing 90 years in Fort Leavenworth, saying or doing anything that might mitigate your sentence will look like a pretty good idea.

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Unhappy

It's not just Aspergers

The guy has also been struggling with gender dysphoria, according to a well known transgender-related blog. The woman that runs the blog was actually called to the court as she'd had previous contact with Manning when he was still trying to sort out his (or her) gender identity.

I'm currently helping a much loved friend through her own gender struggles and it's hard enough when she's at her own home in contact with her friends. I can't even imagine how nightmarish it must be for Bradley Manning.

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I have no issue with the gender dysmorphia, just the aspergers.

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Joke

@wowfood - Aspergers is not a defence

Next you'll be telling us that tourettes is no excuse for fucking swearing...

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Joke

Re: @wowfood - Aspergers is not a defence

> Next you'll be telling us that tourettes is no excuse for fucking swearing...

Tourettes has a flipping spectrum too, you know?

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FAIL

Re: @wowfood - Aspergers is not a defence

"Next you'll be telling us that tourettes is no excuse for fucking swearing..."

Next you'll be telling us that Gilles de la Tourette syndrome is a fucking neuropsychiatric condition in which fucking swearing is a necessary and sufficient symptom for fucking diagnosis.

Gilles de la Tourette syndrome is, among other things, a disorder of impulse control. In the same way that phobias are not directed at specific stimuli but at general categories - the spider (arachnophobia) rather than a particular instantiation, such as a species of water spider - a specific manifestation may follow from the general category but is by definition not the distinguishing feature of the disorder. It is founded on the way our brains developed evolutionarily; in the same way it makes sense to have a phobia for categories such as snakes and spiders, because there is good evidence to suggest they can be a threat.

Creatures that can take evasive action to such categories have enhanced survival and are thus more likely to transmit their genes (as Dawkins has identified it's smaller than that, it being that smaller sequences of data survive and are transmitted, due to technical reasons). It is moderately easy to encode a category into the brain's wiring, but I know of no coding that can be transmitted via 'genetic' mechanisms for a specific threat, or for fucking swearing.

In the case of Gilles de la Tourette syndrome the categories are likely to be an inability to restrain impulse control in specific settings, including e.g. rule following. Indeed, certain kinds of childhood locomotor and conduct disorder conform to an inability to follow rules, resulting in a variety of crimes, including theft, physical violence, destruction of property, and so on. Thus impulse control is also not a distinguishing feature of Gilles de la Tourette syndrome only, but a part of a constellation. They're called by people in the field 'tics'; motor, phonic, and the phonic tic is do note not necessarily characterised by 'foul language', but could indeed by comprised of any category of word. Indeed, coprolalia is present in only a small percentage of people with Gilles de la Tourette syndrome.

From a general perspective in psychiatry, especially forensic psychiatric, the old adage 'illness is no excuse' applies, although there can be, e.g., people so thought disordered and subject to paranoid delusions that they act on them as if they and the constellation of phenomena they believe to be evidence are real. In the latter case, a delusion of reference - that the news reader is communicating directly to the paranoid patient - could result in a paranoid patient seeing a gesture as being perhaps a command to perform a specific act, and so on.

HTH.

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Unhappy

Re: PS

Yeah, they might give him 60 years instead of 90, now THAT'S really going to make some difference, won't it.

The whole wording of the statement is creepy, it sounds like exactly the type of prepared statement that a lawyer would have written. It sounds like something that a Hollywood scriptwriter would write for a US soldier character who has been captured and given a statement to read by Al Qaeda or North Korea, or for a character who has been broken under torture.

So well done, US of A! You're getting opportunity after opportunity to show that you are different, that you are better, that even when you've been embarassed and had your knickers pulled down, that you can treat your prisoners with dignity and give suspects a fair trial. Instead you are declaring people guilty before you even have them in custody, you are torturing your prisoners, you are condemning them with show trials of which Kafka would be proud.

For all their blather about civil liberties from the Democrats and about limited government and personal freedom from the Republicans, they're both spinelessly standing on the sides, pissing themselves with fear that they might be accused of being unpatriotic.

Disgusting!

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Re: PS

I'd put good money on it actually being (in part, at least) a prepared statement written by his lawyer. That's what they're for.

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That Stockholm Syndrome will get you in the end.

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"That Stockholm Syndrome will get you in the end."

Not unlike the colorectal surgeon then: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_N0w2rORwSc

(I don't need no steeenkun html tags.)

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I was just recalling Sgt. Joseph Derby, who released the photos of abuse by US military staff and contractors at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. He released the photos through the 'proper' channel, the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, and was promised anonymity. However, Donald Rumsfeld saw fit to 'thank' Sgt. Derby on television, whilst he was still on base surrounded by those he had implicated. His wife and family were then harassed back in the US by members of the public.

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"In case you haven’t noticed, we are now almost as feared and hated all over the world as the Nazis were.

With good reason.

Kurt Vonnegut Jr, in http://inthesetimes.com/article/903/i_love_you_madame_librarian

He also made the same point in his book Man Without a Country , but didn't use the word 'almost'.

So it goes.

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Silver badge

Nobel Peace Prize for Bradley Manning

There is a petition to support a nomination for Bradley Manning to get the Nobel Peace Prize. It could do with a bit more support, so if you could spare a bit of time, it's at http://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=6194.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nobel Peace Prize for Bradley Manning

With a distinct possibility of another Empty Chair awards ceremony.

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Anonymous Coward

No matter what he says...

The government does not care.

The military does not care.

The judge does not care.

He is a nail sticking up and will be hammered down with almighty force, for no other reason than being an example to others who dare think to speak out against a system where unarmed journalists and civilians are mown down by gunships.

He embarrassed the US Gov by releasing the video of that event and will spend the rest of his life in jail because of it.

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ah yes the obligatory "apology"

As seen in noted bastions of human rights Iran and also N.Korea.

*round of applause*

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