back to article Miliband refuses to release torture documents

Foreign Secretary David Miliband has refused to release documents requested by Guantanomo Bay resident Binyam Mohamed and denied that his decision was based on fear of US reprisals. A damning High Court judgement yesterday said the documents could not be released because Foreign Office lawyers told the court that if they were …

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  1. Ian
    Happy

    Good Doggy Milliband!

    Roll Over! Play Dead! Now here's a biccy from those nice Americans.

  2. dervheid
    Pirate

    Saw him being interviewed this morning

    He didn't look as bloody smug as he did when he was pissing on Paw Broon a few months ago.

    Squirming like a slug.

    Great!

  3. John
    Paris Hilton

    Splitting hairs

    I hate politicians and this is a good example why, they split hairs and try to talk around the truth.

    Maybe if the UK stood up against the US and its world policing ways we might actually become less of a target and so be doing ourselves a favour. Instead of trying to snuggle up in bed with them which only seems to result in getting a good reaming anyway in the last few decades.

    Icon because Paris enjoys a good reaming it seems. and the UK politicians seem to have that in common with her.

  4. Aaron

    I think I see a problem -

    "Foreign Secretary David Miliband has refused to release documents requested by Guantanomo Bay resident Binyam Mohamed and denied that his decision was based on fear of US reprisals[....]Foreign Office lawyers told the court that if they were then the US would stop giving the UK intelligence information, which would put UK citizens at risk."

    Let's play Spot the Contradiction!

  5. Hollerith

    So no threat from the USA but we fear it?

    So we do the preemptive cringe thing and obey the crack of the whip not yet cracked? Perfect internalising of the slave mentality.

  6. Alex D
    Stop

    think for a second

    Whats more important- vital information that saves civilian/military lives and access to preferential kit that saves more lives, or embarrassing the UK/US government over something that is common nature in Pakistan/Afganistan (somehow dont think that the Taliban subscribe to the UN decleration of human rights).

    Nothing more than political play- Davis knows that the govt will never release the docs, but kicks up a fuss to get the wishy washy bleeding hearts to crow for him.

  7. Darling Petunia

    Oxymorons

    For an treat read Ron Suskind's "One-percent Doctrine". The US intel agencies have been corrupted over the past eight years and damage has been done to UK intel agencies as a result.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Milliband must be told

    That it's the Year of the Ox.

    Not the Year of Bollox

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    heh

    the UK doesn't want to stand up against the US becouse the evidence released will prove that they were complicit in torture, and even in this sick society where most people could give a damn about justice or freedoms, even in this festering dump, people would be shocked to see such evidence.

    As such it's better for all governments concerned to hide the fact that they've tortured people around the world and detained them with no evidence for years, sure it's a bit of bad press but in this lost society people will forget all about it in a few days.

  10. Tim
    Black Helicopters

    Threat to National Security?

    How will anyone knowing about the torture affect the security of the nation, other than to prevent mass rioting when they find out their government is every bit as bad as the so-called "axis of evil" they wish to destroy?

    Wait a minute....... Damn! I have answered my own question.....duh!

  11. Martin Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    >think for a second

    So if the foreign office's job is to do what the US tells them - do we really need a Foreign Secretary? Wouldn't it be cheaper to just get a regular secretary to print out their emails?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    He would, wouldn't he...

    ... since it'll most likely expose him as a blatant liar.

    The notion that the UK government didn't know and didn't sanction torture is either a nonsense, or our politians are nieve imbeciles. There is no middle ground here.

  13. Mark
    Pirate

    re: think for a second

    And after thinking, discover that you put a false dichotomy before us.

    Those are not the two options.

    And, unless we are no better than the Taliban, what THEY won't agree to doesn't mean we don't have to.

  14. Turbojerry

    Perverting The Course of Justice

    Is a crime and Milliband should be charged, but he won't, justice is dead in this country.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    So then if you cant beat em join em

    I just love the fact that we have obviously breached human rights in our relentless pursuit of individuals who *may* have participated in terrorism. To the point we actually torture them in clear breach of our commitments as a civilised developed country and the response the people of this nation get when we query this stain on our soul is;

    would indeed cause real and significant damage to the national security and international relations of this country

    So that reason is enough to breach anyones human rights you think may be a terrorist.

    Not good enough, not by a long shot, we became what we sought to destroy and until Bush/Blair are brought to account for this debacle we will continue to carry this stain.

  16. Mike Richards Silver badge

    After all what could we do?

    So if we'd released intelligence documents showing complicity in torture the Americans would have blocked intelligence collaboration. What could Britain do so the US wouldn't retaliate?

    Apart from growing a pair of balls, let's see.

    We could close all those 'RAF' bases America has in the UK for gathering electronic data. We could say Fylingdales and Menwith Hill will be closed immediately and scupper National Missile Defense in a stroke, we could end the lease of Diego Garcia and cripple the US in Iraq...

    You know, it almost makes me wish Thatcher was still in charge, she tore a strip off Dubya's dad was equivocating over the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and reduced Reagan to jelly when he invaded Grenada.

    This lot? Well the word 'quisling' keeps coming to mind.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    US running scared

    The reason the US authorities doesn't want this information out in the public domain is that the "serious damage to US national security" it could do is make it available to all the other detainees being tried in the US.

    The UK court had to fight tooth and nail to get access to this information in the first place because the Americans didn't want anyone to have it. Now it is being used in a UK court case they are trying to keep it from becoming available to the lawyers representing other detainees in America where the information "supposedly" contained in the documents could completely destroy the governments cases against the detainees. The trials in America are being bottle fed only the information the authorities want them to see, and these documents aren't on that list.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Re: think for a second

    "Whats more important- vital information that saves civilian/military lives and access to preferential kit that saves more lives"

    Enough with the Lewis Page impersonation - you obviously can't pull it off.

    "or embarrassing the UK/US government over something that is common nature in Pakistan/Afganistan (somehow dont think that the Taliban subscribe to the UN decleration of human rights)."

    Also known as the "everyone else is doing it" excuse. Maybe you want to read yourself the "if you like it so much go and live there" speech, which is presumably a central part of your repertoire.

    "Nothing more than political play- Davis knows that the govt will never release the docs, but kicks up a fuss to get the wishy washy bleeding hearts to crow for him."

    Ah, the party faithful steps forward: can't agree with a Tory, must defend the party line, even if the Tory is right for once. Think for a second? We wish you had.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Miliband isnt a weasel......

    He's simply as insignificant as a Milipede. Infact thinking about it a Milipede probably

    has more charisma thank him.

  20. peter
    Jobs Horns

    Er...Em...Ah...Ahem....Cough

    "We will not release documentation" (Pound Fist on Table)

    "Er.....on how the Americans tortured suspects" (Said in a sightly less beligerant tone)

    "Em......to obtain inteligence" (Did I just say the American tortured suspects?)

    "Ah........because they might not release inteligence vital to our security" (Safe ground here. Nothing is more important to my Vote than mentioning safety.)

    "Ahem.....and we all know how reliable inteligence obtained from torture is" (who wrote this briefing?)

    Cough.....gained by torturing suspects (red face, pauses, stamering)

    An 'embarrassed silence' following that statement would be about the only truthful thing coming out of his mouth. And they cannot seem to understand why we do not trust a single thing they say.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Typical American Agression.

    This is why everyone hates the fucking americans. Just do what we want, do it, DO IT, DO IT NOW........................

    Biggest threat to the free world...

    Mofos.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Get serious

    Milliband is not stupid. The resources of the NSA and CIA are so enormous that the MI5 / Mi6 budget would look like a Christmas party expense. We need their intel, they don't need ours but they do need support in relationships with the rest of the world. Those bases and facilities Mike Richards mentions can be established in Poland or other "eager to please the US" nations of East Europe quite easily.

    Milliband is Jewish but he doesn't appear to be a Zionist. This is not a race / religion issue though I'm not sure what the Iranians and Saudis think of it. He's just trying to equate the benefit of disclosure (for one person) to the loss of intel (for a nation).

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @think for a second

    What's more important is knowing that our governments respect human life, if they don't then why should "terrorists" (what a bulls--- term, I'm more worried about falling down the stairs then I am of "terrorists", we give them too much credit - but then calling them slightly more dangerous then carists isn't going to win votes)

    You know what terror is? Terror is hiding in a basement, whilst you hear the kick of bullets from either end of the street as the death squads move from one house to the next looking for their prey. The blood curdling screams of friends and aquintances begging for their lives, howling in agony and fear as they watch their family hacked to pieces with machettes. The sounds ringing in your ears whilst you huddle with your family, you hope that by some small mercy some act of god that the butchers so gorged on bloody frenzy will go home to drink and ravage the young girls they've already collected for their rape pits.

    But no, eventually they kick through your door, screaming "Get the scum, find them!" then you're faced with the question, wait for the death squads machettes or strangle your family.

    That's terror.

    So is the chance that the mild risk that I or my friends or even you may die (I think being hit by a car is significantly more likely) from "terrorist" action may be slightly reduced (yeah becouse covering up the torture of people will make people like us more) is worth torturing people and locking them up without a trial?

    No.

    No it isn't.

    My life and freedom is no more important then anyone elses.

    And our governments certainly should not be allowed to avoid the shame that they deserve.

    Of course, as I've said before, most of us a scared selfish children who don't give a damn about anything but our selves and our view of the world so we constantly s--t on the rest of world, condeming them for not being like us. Well I don't see much difference, we lock people away with no trial, we don't give them the evidence, we torture confessions out of them, and I wouldn't be suprised if their are bodies scattered across the globe left there by our various friends (places like Pakistan and Morocco). Every person our intelligence agencies allow to be tortured is blood and fear on every one of our hands, and we should not be suprised when someone comes to collect on it.

    We should be ashamed. But then there are so many shameful things we have ignored.

    The more we let Governments get away with trampling on freedom the closer the knives come to our throats, the only question is who'll be holding them, the Government or the Terrorist.

    The more we think "well he confessed" and "it's national security" and "well they know best" the further into the black pit we go.

  24. Dom
    Thumb Down

    The only weasel here is Davis

    who knows he would do exactly the same thing himself. If you accept that some intel has to remain outside of the public domain (a seperate debate, but obviously some things have to be secret, ie to protect sources etc) then it becomes a matter of trust between our agencies. We don't have the right to take intel passed from the US and make it public (and vice versa). It would change the nature of the relationship. It's not a threat, just a fact. If you accept that this intel could save lives then you have a very difficult moral and ethical dilemna, though you wouldn't think so from the above piece.

    I don't condone what went on at guantanamo by the way, but nor do I condone pompous tories carping from the cheap seats, or the self-righteous anti-American grandstanding above.

  25. ThinkingOutLoud
    Paris Hilton

    Whoa...

    I really LOVE the way politicians can look us in the eye while vomiting the garbage they cover us in!

    My only reason for wanting to live another hundred years is to be around to read what really goes on behind the scenes once it gets released into public records. (I laughed out loud when the French enquiry to relinquish sovereignty to improve their economic situation was declassified! Pity so many of those around at the time are no longer with us.)

    Paris because her secret stuff get released well before 50/100 years are over...

  26. Nick Ryan Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    David Miliband = Turture collaborator

    David Miliband = Turture collaborator

    That's the only conclusion I came to when I heard this scumbag avoiding answering the question as to whether or not they (he - the buck stops with him, but they'll conveniently forget that if it came up) knew about the ongoing torture.

    Instead all the ass-hole repeated (a good few times, even when pressed) was the same line about the UK not condoning torture. In other words, he knew it was going on and he did nothing to try and stop it. In other words, he effectively condoned it.

    Now where's the war crime tribunal?

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm thinking of starting a charity.

    It's to buy beers for all these people who torture muslim terrorists who would kill everybody, to find out where more muslim terrorists who would kill everybody are, so we can f*ck them.

    I reckon it would get more money that the atheist bus.

  28. Gary

    TOO RIGHT!

    Buddy, cheque'e in the post! Payback IS a bitch! Gary

  29. Pierre Silver badge

    Torture is for fun, not intel

    Seriously, everyone knows what a tortured guy will say. He will say what you want to hear. The Merkins probably know that (c'mon, they couldn't possibly be THAT daft, could they?) so the only logical conclusion is that they resort to torture only for the lulz (unlikely, you say? Well, think Abu Ghraib...). Which is why they don't want the info to leak. They don't want people to notice that the US are currently the world's first torture users (much worst than the Talibans or Saddam for example. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5368360.stm). All that purely for the amusement of a few out-of-control members of the CIA and the military. Disgusting.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    But!

    The USA is a great friend and formidable enemy yes?

    So what part of the equation should the UK be on?

    S'easy really (one enemy can cost a thousand friends)

  31. nsr
    Thumb Up

    No problem

    The judges simply assume that these documents prove everything that Mr. Binyam Mohamed claims they prove and convict the government accordingly.

    The govt can still release them to prove them wrong.

    Problem solved

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    tsh

    @nsr

    The judges have seen the documents, and have said that they are mearly politically embarrasing.

    @I'm thinking of starting a charity.

    Yeah, and you wonder why someone somewhere may want to kill you. You're no better than the so called terrorists, sure you ain't killed nobody but you seem to be up for torturing innocent people and, most of the people that have been tortured are completly innocent of any crime, they're just a mix of stupid men and men who fought for the Taliban.

    And I hate to have to point this out but if you can't make a case, then they should go free- end of story. You think they may do something, get survailance.

    Get rid of that founding principle and what the is the point in law. May aswell just round all the Muslims up and gas them. Seen as it's the inevitable conclusion of such twisted logic. Wont have no muslim terrorists if they're all dead, they all support each other anyway, may save some jobs and get us some Muslim gold at the same time hell even reduces carbon footprint.

    Torture can never be justified. If you support it, ever, then you're the lowest form of scum around, right down there with mass murdurers (includes terrorists) and child molesters.

  33. Julian
    Thumb Down

    The point that appears to be missed

    by most contributors seems to be that Miliband was going to great lengths to avoid admitting that the UK Government did/does know about the torture of Binyam Mohamed. If it wasn't a serious issue, the lengths he went to to avoid telling the truth would be laughable.

    It is a great shame to our nation that we do not expect the truth from our politicians and other 'peers' anymore, and the world can see this. Great Britain no more!

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Friend or foe?

    "The USA is a great friend and formidable enemy yes?"

    The USA is a dangerous friend and formidable enemy yes?

    Fixed that for you.

  35. Ted Treen
    Black Helicopters

    @Mike Richards

    Mike - stand at the next election & I'll vote for you.

    Hell, I'll even manage your campaign...

  36. Alfazed
    Happy

    "Intelligence" is it ?

    If this is USA style "intelligence", then I believe we are better off without it here in the UK.

    Geneva Convention BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH. Torture is torture ! What a twat ?

    It is bad enough that we do it to animals, but to infer that, on this occasion (in defence of the state/realm) it is OK to do it to humans, is tantamount to condoning the Nazi gas chambers, 'cos the Jews were a threat to National Socialism.

    I f*cking well hate ALL politicians.

    They still think we are uneducated peasants eating turnips, getting pissed and sh*gging sheep. Well OK, but not as often.

    ALF

  37. Steve Swann
    Alert

    Stand up and be counted.

    A little off-topic, so my apologies, but please bear with me as it has some relevance.

    I am often moved to applaud the opinions of my fellow posters on the register (and, indeed, in other forums). Strong opinions are offered, rebutted, discussed and refined. Cries for liberty and equality are sent up and the unwarranted and unwanted totalitarianisms of the modern age are condemmend and criticised. By way of example, I give you the AC post of 18:06 on the 5th in this very thread. It is that post that has moved me to make this one...

    ...for therein lies the issue - Anonymity.

    Are we so scared of having strong opinions and of voicing them that we have to hide ourselves behind the AC label? If so, what are we scared of? The draconic state that we demonise and criticise? The unseen hand of power behind it? Censureship and condemnation by our peers on this site or others? Or perhaps we fear for our livelyhoods, our jobs and the future of our families?

    Whatever our motivations, we *must* understand that hiding behind the mask of anonymity reduces and weakens our arguments; it is, in effect, allowing the 'other side to win'. If we truly believe in what we say then we also truly have nothing to fear, and even if we do find a reason to fear for our own safety; even if they do "come for us", then surely that gives us the chance to air, publically, our concerns and to have them answered, or in denial of our questions, to have our concerns reinforced. Surely such would galvanise us into a more cohesive whole and a stronger movement.

    Right now, we amount to whispering voices behind closed doors and shuttered windows, but the time is nearing for us to open the doors and windows and begin shouting our concerns from the rooftops; and we're never going to achieve that under the label of anonymity.

    Don't be afraid to stand up and be counted.

    This is a call for no more AC.

    Thank you for reading.

  38. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Milliband?

    I think he is a Microband, if even that... And his brother is in the same band also.

  39. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Stand up and be counted.

    I concur. I think people post AC reflexively - most of the comments I moderate that are anonymous seem pretty innocuous to me. Lots of commenters who are already registered under psuedonyms also post AC more often than not. I've never posted anything anonymously myself - if I'm not comfortable with people knowing I've said it, then I don't post it. And, y'know, I work here.

    So yes, come on folks, why don't we have a non-anonymous Friday, eh? Yes, OK, if you fear for your job or have another serious reason, that's what anonymising is there for, but it'll be liberating for the rest of you, I bet.

    (Besides, I can see all your names anyway.)

  40. Steve Swann
    Thumb Up

    @Sarah Bee

    Thanks for the supporting words, Sarah!

    If someone does actually fear for their job, then I'd ask them to take a long, hard look at the employment laws of their nation and the contract that they have signed with their employer.

    As a general rule of thumb, you cannot be fired, or have any form of disciplinary action taken against you for expressing your opinions. If my employer tried to do that to me, I'd welcome them to the court....

    now...repeat after me... I am *NOT* afraid....

  41. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @Sarah Bee

    Well, I was thinking more of people who aren't supposed to be faffing about on the internet in a non-worky stylee. But yes.

  42. Mark

    re: Re: Stand up and be counted

    Aye. One AC stated that they were an AC deliberately because their comments would reflect badly. They then said they didn't believe either side.

    What sort of place do they work where "I have no opinion on the subject" could reflect badly???

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Sarah & Steve

    Hear hear! I completely agree.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    AC? Me?

    I use AC under an assumption that those that need to know or want to know probably jolly well know already.

    So it is a public thing. Some meetings require that a commenter states name, company (and position?) before making a comment, some do not require that formality.

    Nonetheless it is a great way to share views on important stuff.

  45. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    Anonymous Coward Posted Friday 6th February 2009 13:44 GMT

    "I use AC under an assumption that those that need to know or want to know probably jolly well know already."

    Nope. Someone may want to know just so they can say WHICH AC you are when you post. Or even just so that they don't have to point out WHICH AC they are responding to (e.g. "AC @13:44").

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    This is a title

    And this is a comment.

    Posted as AC, just because I can. I mean, seriously, I'm not afraid of saying stupid things loudly (I do that more often than not), but sometimes anonymity can prevent the stupid /ad hominem/ flamewars.

    --

    Pierre

  47. George Speller
    Black Helicopters

    Anonymous? Not me!

    I agree - I don't want to hide my opinions. Nothing to hide nothing to fear. The whole affair stinks. We know this govt and the US govt is complicit in acts of torture and will do anything to cover it up. Probably including silencing its criics . . . oh . . . what am I saying!

    Anyway - come out of the closet. Speak the truth and shame the devil!

    BH just like the one hovering overhead right now . . .

  48. Julian

    I am reminded

    of my experience in the local newsagent some 12 years ago, soon after I had moved to London.

    Firstly, we had visitors, with two young girls about the height of the shop counter, staying with us. We went to get them weekly travel cards and were refused because we had no 'evidence' that they *were* children!

    Later on, I was chased out of the same newsagent whilst browsing to see which computer magazine I would buy that day, actually by the same person. I had been a regular purchaser of computer magazines, newspapers, sweets and travel cards, etc. up till then.

    Needless to say, that newsagent lost all my regular business until it changed hands some years later, despite inconvenience to myself. Now the new owners greet me and my family when we go in. I think perhaps there's a lesson about society in there somewhere.

    The main point is that I was extremely upset and offended by this treatment, it seemed to impinge on both my integrity and my identity.

  49. Andus McCoatover

    Re: Stand up and bee counted

    Totally agree.

    In fact, I (under the pseudonym "Seymour Bybus") when at Nokia did a Southpark-style "Tom Cruise" and came out of the closet, and outed myself.

    Such was the merriment that Bosco Kovak - head of HR at Nokia Siemens Networks- thanked me for the (amusing, I believe) e-mail for brightening a terrible day.

    Real name: Andy Crofts - available for hire by the way. I'm the only "Crofts" in Finland. If you can't figure out how to contact me, I'm not available.

    Buggers can't be choosers.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    heh

    I really can't post anymore on these kinds of topics I've taken at shouting at the lying basterds on the TV.

    I'll post anon becouse I have the right too, and becouse who we are is far less important then the messages we bring.

    Anon speaks both truth and lie, personal opinion and global truth, but anon can never be tard by previous comments, becouse every anon is unique, only the weak and the self aggrandizing fail to understand anon.

    I need no name to be right, or wrong. My name means nothing.

  51. elderlybloke
    Thumb Up

    A mouse stood up to USA

    Here in New Zealand , about 25 years ago the newly elected Labour Government , decided on a non-nuclear policy.

    It would not allow any American ship to enter unless . it was not nuclear powered , or confirmed that no nuclear weapons were on board.

    They stuck to their principles ,when pressure from America was applied.

    I did not go along with their ideas, but I respect them for standing up to the Americans.

    It probably pissed the Americans off no end , when a country with a population of almost 4 million said NO.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Oxymoron indeed

    That's all British justice is these days.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Let me put it my way....

    I'm a Criminal. (I schmoke a little 'erb)

    I'm insane (I don't subscribe to the old left-right doctrine)

    I'm a sexual deviant (dutch pr0nz)

    I'm a useless layabout (I don't fund my opressors via protection money, i.e. Tax)

    I'm the reason the music died (Linux ISOs)

    I'm much more, but what do you think would make the nightly news?

    AC. I now know I'm trusting Madame Bee with the A. Doesn't bother me. I know she's lovely and sweet and principled and sexy and.... will that do?

  54. Steve Swann
    Coat

    @ All the ACs

    Clearly, yes, there are times when you should use AC (I object to the 'coward' part for the record) - especially if you are providing self-incriminating statements, but where you are giving your personal point of view, be it well founded or not, then I would suggest that posting it as AC certainly does reduce the credibility of the statement.

    We live in a democracy (allegedly) and we work for companies who champion concepts such as 'fairness', 'investors in people' or 'work/life balance'; their very logos often have strap-lines proclaiming how progressive, responsible and open they are - my desire is to simply hold these people to what they say; no more paying lip-service to concepts such as 'corporate responsibility'!

    In my opinion, the 'blame culture' hand in hand with the nanny-state reduces us to excuse-making, fearful minions of a corporate-run totalitarian state, and we aren't going to be able to fight that from a position of anonymity; we'd just be becoming the very thing that we hate most.

    Clarity, honesty, transparency - these are the hallmarks of true government for the people, and not the weasel-minded, duplicitious 'no comment, no U-turn' model we currently have.

    ...mine's the one covered in revolutionary statements....

  55. n

    good idea julian !

    I don't buy products from the usa/uk regime whenever possible.

    If i see their products i either break them or slander them before placing orders for a competitor.

    Millions of dead innocent civilians is reason enough in my book.

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