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Years after vanishing in Iran, US man proven alive
AP - SFGate ^ | 3-3-2011 | MATT APUZZO and ADAM GOLDMAN

Posted on 03/03/2011 1:12:01 PM PST by Danae

Link only due to Copyright agreement.

(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...


TOPICS:
KEYWORDS: 1; 1980; 200703; 20070309; boblevinson; cigarettes; cigarettesmuggling; dawudsalahuddin; fbi; iran; irg; kish; levinson; prayer; revolutionaryguard; robertlevinson; russianmob; safehouse; salahuddin; smuggling; tehran
FBI Agent Robert Levinson is alive, but they aren't saying how they know.
1 posted on 03/03/2011 1:12:04 PM PST by Danae
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To: Danae

I remember that story. Very bizarre.


2 posted on 03/03/2011 1:14:06 PM PST by Constitution Day
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To: Constitution Day

Wow, that was 4 years ago? Time flies...


3 posted on 03/03/2011 1:17:18 PM PST by americanophile ("this absurd theology of an immoral Bedouin, is a rotting corpse which poisons our lives"-Ataturk)
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To: Constitution Day

I sincerely hope this is true. Even more, I wish the US would go in with utterly overwhelming force and go get him. But with Obama in “charge” that isn’t going to happen. Obama has NO courage, let alone the balls to do and free one of our citizens, a public servant who has been held captive (God only knows how they tortured him in that time.. I don’t even want to think about it, it can’t be good) for years.....

No, Obama won’t lift so much as a spoon of icecream to go get him. They have been NEGOTIATING for his release. Carter found out how well THAT works, and apparently Obama has once again proven he is stupider than Carter.

All we can do is pray that God intervenes and something GOOD happens now.


4 posted on 03/03/2011 1:20:17 PM PST by Danae (Anailnathrach ortha bhais beatha do cheal deanaimha)
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To: Danae

If he gets back, he won’t recognize the country he left. Hell, I don’t.


5 posted on 03/03/2011 1:24:04 PM PST by Never on my watch (WTF happened to my country?)
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To: Danae

bump


6 posted on 03/03/2011 1:28:12 PM PST by nuconvert ( Khomeini promised change too // Hail, Chairman O)
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To: Danae

Praying this ends well.


7 posted on 03/03/2011 1:30:46 PM PST by BykrBayb (Somewhere, my flower is there. ~ Þ)
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To: Danae

“I wish the US would go in with utterly overwhelming force and go get him.”

Almost as importantly, I wish that when we were done, we’d just turn around and come home, rather than spending billions on “nation building” and taking in millions of Iranian “refugees.”


8 posted on 03/03/2011 2:04:26 PM PST by dsc (Any attempt to move a government to the left is a crime against humanity.)
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To: Danae

Of course he won’t. He’s closer to Ahmedinejad’s way of seeing things than ours, anyway.

Prayer is probably our ONLY recourse at this point.


9 posted on 03/03/2011 2:16:39 PM PST by Constitution Day
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To: Danae

A jewish FBI agent investigating the Revolutionary Guard and the russian mob (one of whom he testified against), in IRAN, without backup...??

Whats wrong with this picture?


10 posted on 03/03/2011 2:55:25 PM PST by Soothesayer9
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To: Soothesayer9

I seem to remember he was not in Iran at the time, he was abducted I think.


11 posted on 03/03/2011 3:18:39 PM PST by Danae (Anailnathrach ortha bhais beatha do cheal deanaimha)
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To: Soothesayer9; All

Per FoxNews and the AP: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/03/03/officials-believe-fbi-agent-went-missing-iran-4-years-ago-alive/

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Nearly four years after retired FBI agent Robert Levinson disappeared inside Iran, U.S. officials now say they have proof that he is still alive – a development that will reinvigorate an investigation into his whereabouts and condition.

“As we approach the fourth anniversary of Bob Levinson’s disappearance, we have received recent indications that Bob is being held somewhere in southwest Asia,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a written statement on Thursday. “As the Government of Iran has previously offered its assistance in this matter, we respectfully request the Iranian government to undertake humanitarian efforts to safely return and reunite Bob with his family.”

In response to Clinton’s comments, FBI spokesman Paul Bersson said the case is an “ongoing” matter but “it remains our goal to bring him home safely.”

Prior to the disclosure, the U.S. had inconclusive evidence on what happened to Levinson after his disappearance from the Iranian island of Kish in March 2007. After March 9, he did not appear for a scheduled flight to Dubai and there were no records of him using his passport or credit cards since he went missing.

Iran has repeatedly said it has no information about him, but U.S. diplomats and investigators have long said they believed he was taken by Iranian government agents.

As years passed, many in the U.S. government believed the 63-year-old with diabetes and high blood pressure might have died. But late last year, Levinson’s family received proof that he was alive. Investigators confirmed its authenticity and that it was recent, current and former officials said.

The nature of the proof is not disclosed in the announcement because officials believe that would hurt efforts to free him.

Next Wednesday will mark the fourth anniversary of Levinson’s disappearance. With proof that he is alive, the case becomes one of the longer international hostage situations involving U.S. citizens. Levinson is unique, however, in that no one has publicly acknowledged holding him.

The government’s announcement said Levinson may be in southwest Asia and renewed its calls for help from Iran. The statement was a change in tone from what had been stalemated discussions. The U.S. has previously expressed deep frustration over what it said was Iran’s lack of cooperation.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been circumspect about what his country knows about Levinson. In the course of a single interview, he has said he had no information, has offered to help and then has accused the FBI of withholding information about why Levinson was in Iran.

Levinson retired from the FBI in 1998 and became a private investigator. He was investigating cigarette smuggling in early 2007 and his family has said that investigation took him to Iran. Kish is a popular resort area and a hotbed of smuggling and organized crime. It is also a free trade zone, meaning U.S. citizens do not need a visa to travel there.

Authorities don’t know why the evidence that Levinson was alive surfaced now, after years of silence. But it has touched off the most hopeful round of diplomacy since he disappeared.

Iran shares borders with the southwest Asian countries of Pakistan and Afghanistan, raising the possibility that Levinson was shuttled into one of those countries. Both border crossings are known smuggling routes. The route into Pakistan leads into a lawless tribal region that’s home to insurgents, terrorist groups and criminal organizations.

Levinson disappeared after a meeting with Dawud Salahuddin, an American fugitive wanted for the assassination of a former Iranian diplomat in Maryland in 1980. Salahuddin has said he last saw Levinson being questioned by Iranian officials. Levinson’s distinctive signature was used to check out of his hotel, but he never made it to the airport.

“I don’t think he is missing, but don’t want to point my finger at anyone,” Salahuddin told the Financial Times.”Some people know exactly where he is... He came only to see me.”

Over the years, stories have trickled in from witnesses claiming to have evidence about Levinson’s whereabouts. But like so much about Iran, the U.S. was never able to verify those accounts.

An Iranian defector now living in the United States, Reza Kahlili, told the AP that Levinson was picked up by the Quds Force, a unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. Kahlili said he was told by sources inside Iran that Levinson was investigating money laundering and discovered a link between the Russian mob and the Revolutionary Guard.

Kahlili said Levinson was taken to a safe house in Tehran but he does not know what happened to him. A former FBI official said the U.S. was aware of that account and, though he described Kahlili as credible, the U.S. could never confirm his story.

In 2009, an Iranian defector told U.S. authorities that, while imprisoned by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, he saw the name “B. Levinson” scrawled on the door frame of his cell. That account was included in a diplomatic memorandum obtained by WikiLeaks and published last month. Former officials have raised doubts about the defector, however, and when the AP located him in Europe in early January, he said he never saw Levinson’s name.

The State Department has repeatedly called on Iran to provide more information about Levinson. U.S. diplomats have also asked foreign leaders to intervene. Even the Vatican was enlisted, but in 2008 the Iranian government chastised the pope’s ambassador to Tehran, saying the Vatican had no business asking about the case, according to State Department documents.

In 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton ordered a fresh diplomatic push. At a United Nations conference at The Hague that year, Clinton personally passed a note to Iranian officials, urging them to help find Levinson.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


12 posted on 03/03/2011 3:25:08 PM PST by Danae (Anailnathrach ortha bhais beatha do cheal deanaimha)
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To: Danae
Americans are being kidnapped, tortured, and even killed all over the world -- Somali pirates, Mexican drug cartels, shootings in Germany, this FBI man in Iran -- but America has a complete pussy for a President.

A *pussy*. This guy makes Clinton look like Eisenhower.

We also used to have a CIA that made sure that a whole bunch of sterile surplus military rifles and ammo that couldn't be tracked back to us (or at least with enough plausible deniability cover) would just show up at the right time when say, a bloodthirsty African dictator needed a bullet in the face. Or maybe that loudmouth MFer would get a smart bomb down his chimney while he's sleeping.

We need to go back to those days, because our President who's trying the opposite approach of bumping fists with dictators and low-fives on the back hand side and bowing to cretins along with a bunch of jive-ass speechifying is only emboldening people all over the world who just can't wait to be enemies of the USA.

13 posted on 03/03/2011 3:30:39 PM PST by The KG9 Kid
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To: The KG9 Kid
I agree. But we have to remember, Bush was still President when Levinson was taken.

Otherwise I agree with you. Nations do NOT get, keep or maintain their power by being nice. They do it with judicious use of POWER. When and where needed. If you don't have the balls to USE it, then you don't have the balls to lead this Nation. Obama has no balls at all.

14 posted on 03/03/2011 3:34:19 PM PST by Danae (Anailnathrach ortha bhais beatha do cheal deanaimha)
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To: Danae
Years after vanishing in Iran, US man proven alive

Calling Carter!

Calling Jimmy Carter!!

15 posted on 03/03/2011 3:45:24 PM PST by mcmuffin ("Wanting your country back is not the same thing as working to take it back." JB Williams, Patriot U)
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To: Buffalo Head; Danae; Constitution Day; americanophile; Never on my watch; nuconvert; dsc; ...
Prayer request. Any of you who have prayer ping lists, please post them here. Some of you are known to post beautiful, downright eloquent prayers.

There are still more questions than answers, but it looks like there may be some hope for the safe return of Robert Levinson, who disappeared in Iran in March 2007. I don’t think he’s out of the woods yet, so prayers would be helpful.

I hope everyone who wants to post their prayers feels free to do so.

I’m not one to post colorful prayers, nor even share much about the content of my prayers, but I did briefly mention my own prayer in post #7:

Praying this ends well.

I got a FReepmail admonishing me for it:

So, just what did your comment add to the thread? Such posts just hamper folks that are seeking serious information and dilute the very purpose of Free Republic. If you get such a kick out of seeing your name, please go outside and write it on your sidewalk with chalk. FR is not a chat room.

How could prayers hamper the true purpose of Free Republic? When Jim Robinson says that himself, I’ll immediately quit posting prayers, or anything else on FR. When some unimportant person sends me an unsolicited FReepmail of that nature, don’t expect me to play along.

I just checked, and Jim Robinson’s thread is still highlighted. Welcome to Free Republic! America's exclusive site for God, Family, Country, Life & Liberty constitutional conservative activists!:

One more time:

As a conservative site, Free Republic is pro-God, pro-life, pro-family, pro-Constitution, pro-Bill of Rights, pro-gun, pro-limited government, pro-private property rights, pro-limited taxes, pro-capitalism, pro-national defense, pro-freedom, and-pro America. We oppose all forms of liberalism, socialism, fascism, pacifism, totalitarianism, anarchism, government enforced atheism, abortionism, feminism, homosexualism, racism, wacko environmentalism, judicial activism, etc. We also oppose the United Nations or any other world government body that may attempt to impose its will or rule over our sovereign nation and sovereign people. We believe in defending our BORDERS, our constitution and our national sovereignty.

Free Republic is private property. It is not a government project, nor is it funded by government or taxpayer money. We are not a publicly owned entity nor are we an IRS tax-free non-profit organization. We pay all applicable taxes on our income. We are not connected to or funded by any political party, news agency, or any other entity. We sell no merchandise, product or service, and we offer no subscriptions or paid memberships. We accept no paid advertising or promotions. We are funded solely by donations (non tax deductible gifts) from our readers and participants.

We aggressively defend our God-given and first amendment guaranteed rights to free speech, free press, free religion, and FREEDOM of ASSOCIATION, as well as our constitutional right to control the use and content of our own personal private property. Despite the wailing of the liberal trolls and other doom & gloom naysayers, we feel no compelling need to allow them a platform to promote their repugnant and obnoxious propaganda from our forum. Free Republic is NOT a liberal debating society. We are conservative activists dedicated to defending our GOD-GIVEN rights, defending our constitution, defending our republic and defending our traditional American way of Life.

Our God-given Life, Liberty and freedoms are NOT negotiable!!

For God, Family, Country, Life and Liberty!!

If you cannot live with the above, fine, but keep your mouth shut about it while on FR. Don't fight against us on ANY of our deeply held beliefs!!

DON'T TREAD ON ME!!

Anti Life & Liberty trolls will be ZOT on sight!!

I don’t see anything there to suggest that prayers are not allowed, but it looks to me like Jim doesn’t want us fighting against the open display of prayers.

Ironically, while I was writing this post, I got a ping to an update on Jim’s condition: Prayers Requested for Jim Robinson [update by Jim @ 468 and 1023]. So I guess that settles it. Prayers are still allowed here.

16 posted on 03/03/2011 6:12:28 PM PST by BykrBayb (Somewhere, my flower is there. ~ Þ)
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To: BykrBayb

“I got a FReepmail admonishing me for it”

Who sent you the email? Was it from one of the mods?


17 posted on 03/03/2011 6:19:45 PM PST by nuconvert ( Khomeini promised change too // Hail, Chairman O)
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To: nuconvert

No, just some unimportant freeper. I don’t recall having any conversations with this person before, but I suppose it’s possible he/she is carrying a grudge from some thread I’ve forgotten. Or maybe they don’t like prayers. Or maybe they have a grudge against Robert Levinson, or everyone with a name like Levinson. All I know is what they said. Why they said it is anyone’s guess.


18 posted on 03/03/2011 6:24:37 PM PST by BykrBayb (Somewhere, my flower is there. ~ Þ)
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To: BykrBayb

A Jerk


19 posted on 03/03/2011 6:30:24 PM PST by nuconvert ( Khomeini promised change too // Hail, Chairman O)
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To: nuconvert

Probably, but there’s always the chance that they accidentally clicked on the wrong post, and that freepmail was meant for someone who actually deserved it. Stranger things have happened.


20 posted on 03/03/2011 6:33:51 PM PST by BykrBayb (Somewhere, my flower is there. ~ Þ)
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To: BykrBayb

Thanks for the Jim Robinson link. I hadn’t heard he was in the hospital.


21 posted on 03/03/2011 6:36:22 PM PST by nuconvert ( Khomeini promised change too // Hail, Chairman O)
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To: Danae; Constitution Day; Never on my watch; nuconvert; BykrBayb; dsc; Soothesayer9; The KG9 Kid; ...
So I want to take a moment to extend my apologies to everyone on this thread for the apparently egregious violation of posting an inconsequential comment today.

There are times when I engage in what I feel is sufficiently cerebral discourse and analysis, and admittedly other times when, owing to either a lack of energy or limited interest in the story, and even on occasion a desire to limit my comments to lighthearted ones when my mood so demands, I am guilty of less than insightful postings. Apparently I have hit a new low today, for I received a private message thoroughly reprimanding me for my valueless reflection. In response to a comment by poster ‘Constitution Day’ in which he noted simply, “I remember that story. Very bizarre,” and having a similar recollection, along with surprise that much time had passed, I replied to him, simply, “Wow, that was 4 years ago? Time flies...” For that admittedly un-illuminating comment, I received the following message from poster ‘Buffalo Head’:

“So, just what did your comment add to the thread? Such posts just hamper folks that are seeking serious information and dilute the very purpose of Free Republic. If you get such a kick out of seeing your name, please go outside and write it on your sidewalk with chalk. FR is not a chat room.”

I apologize again to everyone if I hampered your search for serious information on this topic or if I diluted the very purpose of this non-chat room forum. I will retire to the sidewalk with my chalk, but please be aware that there is a new sheriff in town, his name is ‘Horse Ass,’ no, sorry, ‘Buffalo Head,’ and that your posts are subject to review, valuation, and yourselves to reprimand if it fails to meet his Socratic threshold.

Again, sorry for wasting everyone’s time.

22 posted on 03/03/2011 6:40:18 PM PST by americanophile ("this absurd theology of an immoral Bedouin, is a rotting corpse which poisons our lives"-Ataturk)
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To: nuconvert

You’re welcome. JustAmy has a ping list for updates over there.


23 posted on 03/03/2011 6:41:36 PM PST by BykrBayb (Somewhere, my flower is there. ~ Þ)
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To: americanophile

I’ll forgive you if you’ll forgive me. Can I borrow your chalk?


24 posted on 03/03/2011 6:43:58 PM PST by BykrBayb (Somewhere, my flower is there. ~ Þ)
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To: americanophile
Time flies...

Why would I want to time them? Are they having a race?

25 posted on 03/03/2011 6:53:47 PM PST by BykrBayb (Somewhere, my flower is there. ~ Þ)
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To: americanophile; BykrBayb

Apparently you both got the same message from the same poster.

I find that to be a little bit curious as I don’t think either comment you folks made was in any way out of line. Both expressed my own thoughts in reading the stories I have found on Levinson today. Indeed he is in my prayers!


26 posted on 03/03/2011 7:02:45 PM PST by Danae (Anailnathrach ortha bhais beatha do cheal deanaimha)
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To: americanophile
folks that are seeking serious information...

If they're really serious, they'll keep searching and "overlook" the "lighter" comments.

Unless an Admin. Moderator calls you onto the carpet, tell the ad lib moderator to put the bullet back in his pocket!

27 posted on 03/03/2011 7:06:28 PM PST by mcmuffin ("Wanting your country back is not the same thing as working to take it back." JB Williams, Patriot U)
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To: Danae

Thank you. And I’m glad to know he’s in your prayers. They work, you know. : )


28 posted on 03/03/2011 7:07:10 PM PST by BykrBayb (Somewhere, my flower is there. ~ Þ)
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To: Danae

“Apparently you both got the same message from the same poster.”

Wow, was that six hours ago? Time flies.


29 posted on 03/03/2011 7:16:48 PM PST by dsc (Any attempt to move a government to the left is a crime against humanity.)
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To: americanophile

well, that guy’s on a roll. The comment police. lol.


30 posted on 03/03/2011 7:31:08 PM PST by nuconvert ( Khomeini promised change too // Hail, Chairman O)
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Actually, i think he’s more of a comment czar.


31 posted on 03/03/2011 7:34:05 PM PST by nuconvert ( Khomeini promised change too // Hail, Chairman O)
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To: americanophile; BykrBayb

I have been accosted by the poster before. He’s best ignored.


32 posted on 03/03/2011 8:02:43 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (America! The wolves are at your door! How will you answer the knock?)
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To: americanophile; BykrBayb

I got that message and it was precisely the same as you posted.

That makes one of maybe 5-7? nasty FRmails I have gotten in my nearly ten years here on FR. I couldn’t believe it when I read it.

I do believe that poster’s true name should more accurately reflect an origin in some bison’s nether regions. :)

Oh and thanks for the courtesy of pinging me I do not like to ping large lists, but it’s good manners to do it if you mention a poster’s name.


33 posted on 03/03/2011 8:07:37 PM PST by Constitution Day
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Oh and thanks for the courtesy of pinging me;
34 posted on 03/03/2011 8:08:59 PM PST by Constitution Day
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To: Danae

Thank you, I also got the message.


35 posted on 03/03/2011 8:10:08 PM PST by Constitution Day
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To: BykrBayb

Indeed.


36 posted on 03/03/2011 8:11:26 PM PST by Constitution Day
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To: DJ MacWoW

Oh. Thanks. I think I know the type.

So anyway, I hope you’ll add Bob Levinson to your prayers.


37 posted on 03/03/2011 8:27:06 PM PST by BykrBayb (Somewhere, my flower is there. ~ Þ)
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To: BykrBayb

Yep. Got a lot of praying to do.


38 posted on 03/03/2011 8:32:39 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (America! The wolves are at your door! How will you answer the knock?)
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To: Constitution Day

You too? We should get a show of hands, so we’ll all know which posts are inane, and which posts are worth reading. I guess we shouldn’t feel bad about it. I mean, if you think about, he/she even deemed his/her own thoughts unworthy of posting.


39 posted on 03/03/2011 8:33:21 PM PST by BykrBayb (Somewhere, my flower is there. ~ Þ)
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To: dsc

Yea, I am running kinda slow today. I am sick, got two sick kiddos and was up all night with one of them. I r tirede.
lol


40 posted on 03/03/2011 8:40:28 PM PST by Danae (Anailnathrach ortha bhais beatha do cheal deanaimha)
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To: BykrBayb

Prayer is the only hope for this country. Followed by wise, just action in obedience to Him to which we pray.

You’re a blessing, BykrBayb. Keep up the great work.


41 posted on 03/03/2011 8:44:35 PM PST by EternalVigilance (In a time that calls desperately for moral statesmanship most have chosen immoral gamesmanship.)
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To: EternalVigilance

Thank you. That means a lot to me, especially coming from you. You set a good example.


42 posted on 03/03/2011 8:50:49 PM PST by BykrBayb (Somewhere, my flower is there. ~ Þ)
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To: BykrBayb

Prayers said for Robert Levinson and Jim Robinson!


43 posted on 03/03/2011 9:02:24 PM PST by Sun (Pray that God sends us good leaders. Please say a prayer now.)
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To: Sun

Thank you Sun. Good to see you.


44 posted on 03/03/2011 9:09:45 PM PST by BykrBayb (Somewhere, my flower is there. ~ Þ)
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To: BykrBayb
I mean, if you think about, he/she even deemed his/her own thoughts unworthy of posting.

Very good point!! LOL!

45 posted on 03/04/2011 5:32:46 AM PST by Constitution Day
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To: EternalVigilance

“Prayer is the only hope for this country.”

You’ve heard the old saw, “Pray like it all depends on God, and work like it all depends on you.”

I wonder what form this work must take.


46 posted on 03/04/2011 12:23:10 PM PST by dsc (Any attempt to move a government to the left is a crime against humanity.)
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To: BykrBayb; nuconvert

There have been many time I have been admonished for posting prayer requests and prayer pings. Some people just have to show their spiritual ignorance by being cruel to people who are comfortable with prayer and the power it holds.


47 posted on 03/05/2011 3:36:16 PM PST by trussell (I carry because...When seconds count between life and death, the police are only minutes away)
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To: trussell

I’m pretty sure I was wrong about the reason for the freepmail. This person sent the same freepmail to at least two other freepers on this thread. A little research revealed that he/she has a history of making similar complaints through freepmail and occasionally on threads. He/she has a signup date of Jan 1, 1999, but very few posts. I was able to scroll back through all of them in about a half hour. He/she seems to send more freepmails than posts, and always offensive. When he/she finds a thread interesting, he/she goes through and picks out all the posts he/she doesn’t find stimulating, and sends nasty-grams to all of them. He/she occasionally graces someone with praise for posting something that stimulates his/her great big brain. He/she tries to be seen as arrogant, but only manages to look rude and stupid.


48 posted on 03/05/2011 5:14:08 PM PST by BykrBayb (Somewhere, my flower is there. ~ Þ)
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To: BykrBayb; Constitution Day; americanophile; DJ MacWoW; nuconvert

I just read the rest of the thread and saw the post about the horses ass...errr...buffalo head. It’s been some time ago, but that’s the same one (at least one of them) who admonished me. I didn’t take it personally, as I’ve met JimRob in person and know what he thinks of me.


49 posted on 03/06/2011 12:49:23 PM PST by trussell (I carry because...When seconds count between life and death, the police are only minutes away)
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To: trussell

bttt


50 posted on 03/06/2011 12:51:42 PM PST by ConservativeMan55
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