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Media failed to find facts behind Bush's service record
Chicago Sun-Times ^ | February 11, 2004 | Thomas Lipscomb

Posted on 02/11/2004 10:22:35 AM PST by Hon

Media failed to find facts behind Bush's service record

February 11, 2004

BY THOMAS LIPSCOMB


President Bush has had a rough 10 days, beginning with the Tim Russert "Meet the Press" interview on Feb. 1 of Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe, who charged Bush was "AWOL" and "never served in the military." Only a week later, Bush asked to appear on Russert's show in a clear attempt to stem the damage from these charges. For over a week they were endlessly repeated and never analyzed by the news media.

But the only basis for these charges was summarized by London's Sunday Telegraph on Feb. 8: "If the Vietnam veteran John Kerry becomes the next president, there will be one man to thank above all others: retired Brig. Gen. William Turnipseed."

It all started with a report by the Boston Globe during the 2000 presidential election questioning Bush's National Guard service. Walter Robinson cited retired Turnipseed, of the Alabama Air National Guard, as his source.

But in an interview , Turnipseed states that Robinson's reporting of their conversation was either distorted or based upon his misunderstanding of how the military functioned at the time of Bush's service. For Bush to be "AWOL" or "away without leave," he would have had to have been assigned to a unit and under its command.

Turnipseed states Bush was never ordered to report to the Alabama Air National Guard. He points out that Bush never transferred from the Texas Air National Guard to the Alabama Air National Guard. He remained in the Texas Guard during his stay in Alabama. This was confirmed by the Texas Guard. And Turnipseed added that Bush was never under his command or any other officer in the Alabama Guard.

Turnipseed added that Bush was informed of the drill schedule of the Alabama Guard as a courtesy so he could get credit for drills while in Alabama for his service record in the Texas Guard. There was no compulsory attendance.This was also confirmed by the Texas Guard.

Sen. John Kerry got in on the act on Sunday, asking, "was he [Bush] present and active on duty in Alabama at the times he was supposed to be? I don't have the answer to that question." But as Turnipseed points out, Bush was never "supposed to be" anything in Alabama. And Kerry doesn't have "the answer" because he is taking advantage of a partisan political fantasy that has stayed aloft this long because of the lousy job done by the press in reporting on it.

Now, Robinson is beginning to have second thoughts. His latest column states: "President Bush received credit for attending Air National Guard drills in the fall of 1972 and spring of 1973 -- a period when his commanders have said he did not appear for duty at bases in Montgomery, Ala., and Houston -- according to two new documents obtained by the Globe." How could Robinson have gotten it so wrong?

The most charitable explanation for this distortion is the almost total ignorance the press of the realities of military service and its record-keeping. Yet Turnipseed has been repeatedly called by news organizations since the Globe reporting four years ago, and no one has chosen to correct the errors he has tried to point out or cover his denials.

The most startling aspect of this story is that the press has continually treated this affair as a political debate rather than a matter of fact.

An Air National Guard officer such as George Bush left an extensive paper trail of service. The vital summary sheet of a military record is a simple form called the DD214 or NGB 22. It covers all the basic questions being asked about Bush today. Every military veteran has one.

Kerry has one. On it are listed his dates of service, the nature of his discharge and the medals and service ribbons he has every reason to be proud of. It was filed away at the time of discharge and is almost impossible to alter.

Did a single member of the thousands in the press take the trouble to look up just one DD214 or NGB22 -- President Bush's?

Apparently not. And that is the saddest part of the story.

There was already an exhaustive look at Bush's National Guard records published and available on the Internet to any reporter who has written on this in the last week. None of whom bothered to look it up. It's title? "The Real Military Record of George W. Bush: Not Heroic, But Not AWOL, Either." It was "the first full chronology" and concludes "he did accumulate the days of service required of him for his ultimate honorable discharge."

The article included the pasteup pay records just released by the White House. It also included the "two new documents obtained by the Globe" by Robinson.

It was published four years ago in George Magazine. Its publisher was that well-known GOP supporter -- the late John F. Kennedy, Jr.

Thomas H. Lipscomb is chairman of the Center for the Digital Future in New York.



TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: awol; bush; deserter; mcauliffe; mediabias; militaryrecord; mojoisaliar; mtp; williamturnipseed
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The media lies.
1 posted on 02/11/2004 10:22:35 AM PST by Hon
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To: All
Tom Lipscomb is slated to be on Fox News with John Gibson today to talk about this article and the way the media has misrepresented the story in general.
2 posted on 02/11/2004 10:26:17 AM PST by Hon
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To: Hon
Media failed to find facts behind Bush's service record

As if they bothered to look.

3 posted on 02/11/2004 10:28:19 AM PST by Doomonyou
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To: Hon
bump
4 posted on 02/11/2004 10:28:41 AM PST by joyce11111
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To: All
John Gibson's show, BTW, is called "The Big Story"--and it is on the Fox News Channel at 5pm EST.
5 posted on 02/11/2004 10:28:52 AM PST by Hon
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To: Hon
Liberofascist lies. Journalists suck.
6 posted on 02/11/2004 10:29:13 AM PST by TheGeezer
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To: Hon
The liberals and the liberal media have overplayed their hand on this badly. Pure and simple, there is no legitimate issue here. Now President Bush actually gets a sympathy wave from being attacked so viciously over a non-issue.

Just more poor judgment from the liberals - do we really want them deciding issues of war and peace? I sure don't.

7 posted on 02/11/2004 10:29:40 AM PST by KellyAdmirer
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To: Hon
Still, the media did a much better job this time than it ever did on examining Willie's 63 days of indoctrination training in Moscow, how much he received of Saddam's oil voucher money, or the real amount he received for Rich's pardon. After so many years of the media accepting as absolute fact what they were told by the White House, it is good to see that they are finally asking questions. Maybe, they will one day get it right.
8 posted on 02/11/2004 10:29:50 AM PST by Tacis
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To: Hon
Well, yeah, but let's keep digging until we uncover the facts, okay? [/sarcasm]
9 posted on 02/11/2004 10:31:18 AM PST by ClearCase_guy (The only reason I don't question Kerry's patriotism is because I know it doesn't exist.)
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To: Hon
The media lies.

"No s**t, Sherlock!"
- Capt. Bart Mancuso, USS Dallas

10 posted on 02/11/2004 10:31:32 AM PST by RebelBanker (Negotiate? [BANG] Anybody else want to negotiate?)
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To: Hon
There was already an exhaustive look at Bush's National Guard records published and available on the Internet to any reporter who has written on this in the last week. None of whom bothered to look it up. It's title? "The Real Military Record of George W. Bush: Not Heroic, But Not AWOL, Either." It was "the first full chronology" and concludes "he did accumulate the days of service required of him for his ultimate honorable discharge."

And BTW, the source of that article was none of the JFK Jr's George Magazine.

11 posted on 02/11/2004 10:32:07 AM PST by Always Right
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To: Doomonyou
"As if they bothered to look."

I imagine that it's hard to come up with the best title for something like this and still get it published in the media.

But when you read the article you will see that a few braves souls in the media, such as the reporters at George Magazine did bother to look and they did discover the truth--three and a half years ago.

The others didn't bother to find out, or they didn't want to know. Walter Robinson, for instance, didn't want to know.

He only began to backpedal YESTERDAY, when it was clear that he was going to be caught lying for three and a half years. (But what do you expect of a libeler?)
12 posted on 02/11/2004 10:32:20 AM PST by Hon
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To: KellyAdmirer
They are blinded by hatred that will eventually destroy them.
13 posted on 02/11/2004 10:32:43 AM PST by hobson
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To: TheGeezer
I can't believe CNN {BUSTED} NYTIMES { BUSTED} and now BBC {BUSTED} can keep up an assault although all have had themselves outted this past year....

I guess they will keep up the mudslinging exaggerations and misleads all campaign long...
14 posted on 02/11/2004 10:32:55 AM PST by Republic Rocker
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To: Doomonyou
In addition to the media's bias, an unreported story of our time is that they are completely ineffectual. As they got gobbled up by comglomerates, they shut down their news gathering capability to save money. It was many years ago that small stories started mentioning this or that network/newspaper closing another bureau.

The news media today truly are just news readers. They talk about "issues" as handed to them by other reporters, politicians, etc. They do not gather facts.

Am I the only one to notice the horrendous practice on every single news show, of interviewing reporters as if they are newsmakers? Rather than get to the real facts and guests, they fill air time asking for each other's opinions!

15 posted on 02/11/2004 10:35:14 AM PST by Williams
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To: KellyAdmirer
"The liberals and the liberal media have overplayed their hand on this badly. Pure and simple, there is no legitimate issue here. Now President Bush actually gets a sympathy wave from being attacked so viciously over a non-issue."

60 Minutes was the first media to bring this question up, back during the primaries in 2000. They contacted the Alabama National Guard unit commander ret. Brig. Gen. William Turnipseed. He told them what he has told everyone else since--that the story was no big deal. That "there was no story." 60 Minutes agreed and didn't do a story.

Walter Robinson (who Turnipseed calls a "Bush hater" made it into a story, even though it wasn't one.

This is pure agit-prop. It is not reporting. Robinson should lose his job over it.
16 posted on 02/11/2004 10:36:11 AM PST by Hon
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To: Hon
It has never been about what the media can find, or prove.

The goal has always been to talk, and talk, and talk so much that it begins to sway public opinion. Remember the Clintons and the mantra his cronies had in the days of the Cigargate scandal?

The media is no different. Very little of the major news media is about reporting news anymore, but it is primarily concerned with editorializing to the point that people will believe whatever they tell them.

17 posted on 02/11/2004 10:36:37 AM PST by SaveTheChief
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To: RebelBanker
It's time Merdoch got FOX news on the same line as ABC, NBC, and CBS instead of just cable...Then he should hire a big name like Mel Gibson to come in once a week and do special reports (I love Mel's speaking voice and he's so good looking too!)
18 posted on 02/11/2004 10:37:02 AM PST by princess leah
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To: Hon
There may be nothing to this but a friend of mine knows a guy who served with Kerry in Viet Nam. The guy my friend knows, says that Kerry frequently shot farm animals belonging to innocent villagers. He also said that Kerry ran away like a scalded dog any time enemy fire was encountered.

This story is more believable than the "Bush was AWOL" story. I wonder if the media will research this or tout it as fact.

CG
19 posted on 02/11/2004 10:39:23 AM PST by Conspiracy Guy (It's a little cool in the house. Do you turn up the heat, or put on more clothing?)
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To: Hon
INTREP - VNVAJK
20 posted on 02/11/2004 10:40:01 AM PST by LiteKeeper
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To: Hon
What is the old saying? "A lie gets two laps around the field before truth can get out of the gate."
21 posted on 02/11/2004 10:40:28 AM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar
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To: mike1sg
another good one.
22 posted on 02/11/2004 10:40:33 AM PST by mystery-ak (*terrorism has been exaggerated*....Kerry....We must defeat him, our lives depend on it.)
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To: Hon
Wasn't it Goebbels who said if you repeat a lie often enough it will become truth ?

Here's an allied story today:
http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20040210-082910-8424r.htm
23 posted on 02/11/2004 10:40:46 AM PST by 1066AD
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To: Hon
Whatever Bush's history, there is one presidential candidate who the communist North Vietnamese credited with helping them to defeat the United States. And it wasn't Bush.

Don't you think that if we had a patriotic press that this would be pointed out?
24 posted on 02/11/2004 10:41:09 AM PST by axel f
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To: axel f
"Whatever Bush's history, there is one presidential candidate who the communist North Vietnamese credited with helping them to defeat the United States. And it wasn't Bush.

Don't you think that if we had a patriotic press that this would be pointed out?"

Is there any documention for that?
25 posted on 02/11/2004 10:42:47 AM PST by Hon
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To: Hon
I've heard Rush say that the North Vietnamese leader (whatever his name was) credited Vietnam Vets Against the War with helping to defeat the U.S.

Didn't Kerry head up this group? Or play a major part in it? If not, oops, sorry.
26 posted on 02/11/2004 10:44:59 AM PST by axel f
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To: Hon
No AWOL in Alabama. Yet another intelligence failure from the Liberals. And they want to be in charge of national security?
27 posted on 02/11/2004 10:46:23 AM PST by kevao
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar
"What is the old saying? "A lie gets two laps around the field before truth can get out of the gate.""

I've also heard it put: "a lie gets halfway around the world before the truth gets out of bed."

The point being that it is much easier to do lie than to ferret out the truth.

The Dems and their shills in the media count on this.

28 posted on 02/11/2004 10:47:04 AM PST by Hon
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To: Hon
You don't need documentation, any more than the dems need it. Just say it over and over.

CG
29 posted on 02/11/2004 10:49:08 AM PST by Conspiracy Guy (It's a little cool in the house. Do you turn up the heat, or put on more clothing?)
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To: Hon
It is more than a lie, it is the deliberate effort to assassinate the character of the president.
30 posted on 02/11/2004 10:49:11 AM PST by Kirkwood
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To: axel f
"I've heard Rush say that the North Vietnamese leader (whatever his name was) credited Vietnam Vets Against the War with helping to defeat the U.S.

Didn't Kerry head up this group? Or play a major part in it? If not, oops, sorry."

Kerry was a major leader of VVAW. Sometimes he is listed as a co-founder.

(Funny fact, he was eventually kicked out because so many in the group thought he was a phony. Another funny fact--his co-founder, Al Hubbard, was a phony--who never even went to Vietnam.)

It would be great to find a citation where a Vietnamese credited the VVAW. That would be very enlightening.
31 posted on 02/11/2004 10:49:23 AM PST by Hon
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To: axel f
That is the group started by Hanoi John and supported so strongly by Hanoi Jane, yes.
32 posted on 02/11/2004 10:49:25 AM PST by Steven W.
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To: Tacis
The only thing the media is interested in is fostering a Bolshevik agenda by sandbagging Republicans and conservatives and pillow-fighting degenerate liberal (That's redundant isn't it? Oh well.) Democrats.
33 posted on 02/11/2004 10:49:28 AM PST by ZULU (GOD BLESS SENATOR JOE MCCARTHY!!!)
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To: Hon
And Kerry doesn't have "the answer" because he is taking advantage of a partisan political fantasy that has stayed aloft this long because of the lousy job done by the press in reporting on it.

The press isn't doing a lousy job. It's doing exactly what it's supposed to do, slam President Bush.

34 posted on 02/11/2004 10:51:58 AM PST by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: Conspiracy Guy
It's interesting that you bring that up...because there are a couple people who have openly questioned Kerry's Silver Star. While I would hate to impune Kerry's record, if we are going to play gotcha games, then someone should look into why Kerry got an award for chasing down an injured and retreating soldier only to deliver the "coup de grace". I'm sure if Kerry was a Republican, the liberal peaceniks would be having a debate over whether this was a war crime.
35 posted on 02/11/2004 10:53:29 AM PST by cwb (Kerry may have saved one man but he left thousands of others behind)
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To: Hon
And Kerry doesn't have "the answer" because he is taking advantage of a partisan political fantasy that has stayed aloft this long because of the lousy job done by the press in reporting on it.

The media isn't interested in the truth. Just the dogfight. Witness yesterdays pack of jackals in the WH press corp. What are they going to talk about? Kerry's long list of non-exsistant legislative achievements?

36 posted on 02/11/2004 10:54:21 AM PST by PogySailor
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To: Hon
Media failed to find facts behind Bush's service record...

THEY DIDN'T FAIL — THEY DIDN'T WANT TO FIND THE FACTS

...stayed aloft this long because of the lousy job done by the press in reporting on it...

Not a lousy job at all for a deliberate political smear begun by the DNC and carried "aloft" by their shills in the so-called mainstream media.

37 posted on 02/11/2004 10:54:36 AM PST by Wolfstar (A cowboy nation or a Kerrified nation. Your choice.)
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To: Hon
bump
38 posted on 02/11/2004 10:54:55 AM PST by rwfromkansas ("Men stumble over the truth, but most pick themselves up as if nothing had happened." Churchill)
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To: hobson
They are blinded by hatred that will eventually destroy them.

I'm afraid it's going to destroy this nation long before it destroys them.

39 posted on 02/11/2004 10:56:08 AM PST by Wolfstar (A cowboy nation or a Kerrified nation. Your choice.)
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To: cwboelter
And think about the fact that Kerry comes home and talks graphicaly about atrocities he's been aware of. If he was an officer over there wouldn't he have had responsibility to stop the criminal acts or to report them? And couldn't he have been held responsible for some acts under his command?
40 posted on 02/11/2004 10:57:10 AM PST by Thebaddog (Woof this!)
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To: Kirkwood
"It is more than a lie, it is the deliberate effort to assassinate the character of the president."

Of course I agree. The story was begat by Walter V. "Mad Dog" Robinon of the Boston Globe, who was found by the Supreme Court of Massachusetts to have LIBELLED a Republican candidate for governor--when he made up stories about his military (and other) records.

Reporter Who Made Up AWOL Story Has History Of Libeling GOP Candidates

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1074224/posts
41 posted on 02/11/2004 10:57:46 AM PST by Hon
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To: Hon
The media had Bush's so called AWOL all over the front page. Carryin' the water for the Democrats. As the story unfolds that there is nothing to the charge, if it's reported at all, it's buried on page B 16.
42 posted on 02/11/2004 10:58:27 AM PST by Wheee The People (If this post doesn't make any sense, then it also doubles as a bump.)
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To: Thebaddog
"And think about the fact that Kerry comes home and talks graphicaly about atrocities he's been aware of. If he was an officer over there wouldn't he have had responsibility to stop the criminal acts or to report them? And couldn't he have been held responsible for some acts under his command?"

John Kerry Is A Self-Admitted War Criminal

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1074482/posts
43 posted on 02/11/2004 10:58:36 AM PST by Hon
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To: Hon
JFKJr (John John as opposed to JFKerry) was dead as of 2000, wasn't he?
44 posted on 02/11/2004 10:58:39 AM PST by petitfour
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To: Wheee The People
"The media had Bush's so called AWOL all over the front page. Carryin' the water for the Democrats. As the story unfolds that there is nothing to the charge, if it's reported at all, it's buried on page B 16."

And the story was effectly killed back in October 2000, by George Magazine.
45 posted on 02/11/2004 11:00:07 AM PST by Hon
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To: kevao
GOOD ONE!!! Filed for future reference!!!!
46 posted on 02/11/2004 11:02:52 AM PST by soozla (BUSH/CHENEY 2004**Send John "Effin'" Kerry back to Easter Island!!!!!)
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To: Hon
"The media lies" bump!
47 posted on 02/11/2004 11:04:01 AM PST by MizSterious (First, the journalists, THEN the lawyers.)
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To: cwboelter
I also heard through the same source that Kerry spent 3 days in the brig for propositioning a fellow male soldier.

I can't believe that my friend's friend would lie about it.

Wait the dems would like that one. I heard that Kerry voted for Nixon, twice! That ought to set them off.

CG
48 posted on 02/11/2004 11:05:57 AM PST by Conspiracy Guy (It's a little cool in the house. Do you turn up the heat, or put on more clothing?)
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To: Hon
The most startling aspect of this story is that the press has continually treated this affair as a political debate rather than a matter of fact.

If Bush loses, the press will be able to congratulate themselves. Their distortions, lies (as on this issue), failure to cover (Iraq and Afghanistan), and fabrications (Kerry's record), may well convince the short attention spaned among us to vote Democrat. 1992 was this way to large degree.

49 posted on 02/11/2004 11:10:42 AM PST by JimSEA
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To: petitfour
Yeah...which makes this story even worse since this investigation (George Magazine) that cleared Bush took place "before" the 2000 election. If the media did even a little research, they could've seen that one of their own had acquited Bush of the charges...but they didn't want to.
50 posted on 02/11/2004 11:12:54 AM PST by cwb (Kerry may have saved one man but he left thousands of others behind)
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