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Victor Davis Hanson: Obama’s Predictable Scandals - The media can no longer shield Obama from...
NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE ^ | September 21, 2011 | Victor Davis Hanson

Posted on 09/21/2011 2:25:07 PM PDT by neverdem

Obama's Predictable Scandals
The media can no longer shield Obama from scrutiny.

The media finally conceded the Obama administration to be inexperienced and inept, reminiscent of the Carter administration — but, they maintained, not possibly involved in any corruption. Then suddenly scandals erupted on nearly every conceivable front: the crony-capitalist half-billion-dollar loan guarantee to a now bankrupt Solyndra; the Fast and Furious gun deal, in which, in lunatic fashion, the U.S. government sold deadly automatic weapons to Mexican drug-cartel killers; the administration’s pressure on a four-star general to fudge his testimony as a favor to a big campaign donor whose suspect company, LightSquared, was doing business with the Pentagon; and the politically inspired dropping of investigations by the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department.

The administration got itself into these messes because it customarily counts on a medieval notion of compartmentalized exemption. In the 2008 campaign, Barack Obama’s loud and welcomed hope-and-change promises to end insider influence, lobbying, and earmarks were essential to his well-crafted image of the outsider reformer. Once that liberal narrative was embraced by the media, few seemed to care whether the other, cynical Obama was the first candidate in the history of public financing of presidential campaigns to renounce the program — in order to maximize his campaign stash, much of it pouring in from firms like Goldman Sachs and BP.

The country shrugged at such contradictions: Surely such a saintly progressive had saintly reasons; or, if he didn’t, exemption must be given for a messianic figure to use questionable means to achieve his noble ends. Yet, according to PolitiFact, the fact-checking arm of the St. Petersburg Times, of the 17 grand promises candidate Obama made on ethics reform, he has so far kept only five.

That principle of liberal exemption from accountability explains much of both the fundamental and the trivial about the Obama administration. As a candidate, Obama railed against “Karl Rove politics.” Few seemed to notice that he had established a website (“Fight the Smears”) asking supporters to collect information on opponents, in a Nixonian effort at preemptive action to discourage opposition. The notorious and now-defunct JournoList followed. Currently we see that creepy tactic resurfacing a third time with the new AttackWatch.com website, which lists pictures and names, in the glaring red-and-black style of an intelligence dossier, of those who have criticized Obama  — juxtaposed with supposed rebuttals and a puerile request for readers to snoop about and send in more names of those who dare to oppose the president.

“Civility” has followed the same tired script. Channeling the outrage over the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Obama in sonorous accents called for a new civility and a softer tone of public discourse — even though the man who shot Congresswoman Giffords was clearly sick and incited by neither left nor right political rhetoric. That the president, both in campaigns and in governance, had begged Latinos to “punish our enemies” and had called on supporters to “get in their faces” was irrelevant. The Congressional Black Caucus and the union bosses apparently understood that disconnect, as progressives called Tea Party types “son of bitches” who could go “straight to Hell” — the modern equivalents of the lynch mobs of the old segregated South. In the postmodernism of Obama, self-proclaimed underdogs and victims are not bound by protocols intended for their oppressors: Some illiberal targets clearly have to be demonized to thwart their demonic plans.

We all know that Obama supports the DREAM Act and ridiculed the calls to build a border fence as a conservative effort to install “moats and alligators.” Why, then, would such an enlightened administration that wished brotherly porous borders have its agents sell guns to Mexican killers? No doubt a rogue subordinate, or a well-intentioned effort to do some sort of good, would soon surface in righteous explanation that would preclude partisan gotcha audits.

The Solyndra mess, in Sophoclean tragic fashion, revealed these same requisite exemptions and penances. In 2010, a buoyant Obama visited the doomed plant to boast of government-generated green and homegrown jobs. By inference, Solyndra was just the sort of noble federally sponsored factory that the greedy private oil companies, non-union profit-hungry employers, and dastardly outsourcing CEOs just won’t build. The far wiser China and Germany subsidize green energy, so we must too. Case closed.

Once that huge moral superstructure went up, then no naysayers dared to look into the nitty-gritty mechanics down below, where some insider financiers and con artists were squeezing out of the taxpayers a $500 million loan without much intention of ever paying it back. The earthly laws of profit and loss, market demand and rationale, and the human tendency to connive to find profit were all to be superseded by Barack Obama’s ethereal appeals to help the unemployed and cool the planet.

In this world of liberal exemption, a suspect Dick Cheney conspires with an evil Halliburton; but liberal financiers who donated to Barack Obama to ensure progressive change can’t really want unwarranted insider profits from a Solyndra or a LightSquared. We are supposed to be outraged by recent lurid revelations that yokels like non-presidential candidate Sarah Palin supposedly long ago in her youth once tried coke; when Barack Obama confessed in print that he did so rather routinely, we automatically appreciated the angst of a sensitive soul coming of age in the course of his long odyssey to a progressive presidency. Sins are to be magnified or lessened depending on the larger perceived moral intentions of the sinner.

Liberal pundits are outraged that candidate Rick Perry was supposedly a dismal student from the evidence of his leaked undergraduate transcript. Yet they were weirdly reluctant to ask candidate Barack Obama what exactly were his grades at Columbia and Occidental — still unknown to the public. Grades from decades ago are absolutely necessary to deconstruct questionable Texas cowboys, but need not be produced to confirm the assumed straight A’s that earned Obama a scholarship to Harvard Law.

At some point, Barack Obama and those around him grasped that utopian rhetoric and progressive intentions made discordant facts irrelevant. They appreciated that they could do pretty much what they wished and could outsource the rationalization to enthralled intellectuals, academics, and activists, without worry of much media scrutiny. That they thereby helped to destroy the reputations of the bamboozled media was of no concern.

But in tragic fashion, such hubris ensured the present nemesis of Obama — and the loss of credibility among his media apologists. In short, it would have been odd if scandals like Solyndra had not followed from such liberal exemption — and odder still should no more surface.

NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author most recently of the just-released The End of Sparta, a novel about ancient freedom.



TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: banglist; enemedia; fastandfurious; gunwalker; lightsquared; obama; solyndra; vdh; victordavishanson

1 posted on 09/21/2011 2:25:17 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem; marktwain; Joe Brower
Imagine the MSM covering up a scandal a million times worse than Watergate, to save a president.

Don't imagine. It's the shameful reality.


2 posted on 09/21/2011 2:28:46 PM PDT by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: neverdem

VDH, eloquent and verbose as ever.


3 posted on 09/21/2011 2:31:00 PM PDT by allmendream (Tea Party did not send the GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism.)
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To: neverdem

Rush said today...and said he couldn’t prove it but a large amount of the money loaned to bankrupt Solyndra is now in barry’s campagin fund and the DNC fund.


4 posted on 09/21/2011 2:33:19 PM PDT by shield (Rev 2:9 Woe unto those who say they are Judahites and are not, but are of the syna GOG ue of Satan.)
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To: shield

Media tweak of the day for sure.


5 posted on 09/21/2011 2:36:36 PM PDT by Lazlo in PA (Now living in a newly minted Red State.)
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To: Travis McGee

Isaiah 5:20

Woe to those who call evil good

and good evil,

who put darkness for light

and light for darkness,

who put bitter for sweet

and sweet for bitter.


6 posted on 09/21/2011 2:37:10 PM PDT by liberty or death
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To: allmendream

I see no references to classical Greek history this time. There is the phrase “in Sophoclean tragic fashion”, and the words “hubris”, “tragic” and “nemesis”, though.


7 posted on 09/21/2011 2:37:56 PM PDT by rightwingcrazy
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To: neverdem

That was a nice, honest to goodness spanking. :p


8 posted on 09/21/2011 2:45:52 PM PDT by Irenic
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To: rightwingcrazy
I liked “discordant” myself. ;)

Love that word.

Some people, I guess, feel they are not getting enough use out of their education, so they need to polish their language and make it gleam!

I try to limit my vocabulary in daily discourse, despite my predilection for acquiring interesting and obscure and often anachronistic words - as I find it is a barrier to proper communication rather than a facilitator.

9 posted on 09/21/2011 2:50:11 PM PDT by allmendream (Tea Party did not send the GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism.)
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To: rightwingcrazy

There’s “cynical” in there too—the Cynics were ancient Greek philosophers, of whom Diogenes of Sinope is the best known figure.


10 posted on 09/21/2011 2:52:00 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: neverdem
"Then suddenly scandals erupted on nearly every conceivable front:.....Solyndra; ....the Fast and Furious gun deal..... LightSquared, " Forgot the Great Guitar Fret Gambit with Gibson's factories shut down.
11 posted on 09/21/2011 2:55:32 PM PDT by cookcounty (2012 choice: It's the Tea Party or the Slumber Party.)
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To: allmendream

despite my predilection for acquiring interesting and obscure and often anachronistic words - as I find it is a barrier to proper communication rather than a facilitator.

Huh? lol


12 posted on 09/21/2011 2:57:21 PM PDT by Bitsy (!)
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To: allmendream

verbose: containing more words than necessary; wordy (a verbose reply); also, impaired by wordiness


13 posted on 09/21/2011 3:22:36 PM PDT by kabar
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To: Travis McGee

Presumably, personal in the Downgrade administration wouldn’t have written orders for such a scheme to protect IQ Zero, but doesn’t he bear ultimate responsibility for the action of his underlings?

Didn’t the left try to pin the abuse at Abu ghraib on Bush?

Why doesn’t the same apply to Obama?

This scandal should be investigated – and the media should be questioned on why they have ignored the story for so long – but ultimately, Obama is the one that need’s to take responsibility for this travesty.


14 posted on 09/21/2011 3:23:52 PM PDT by Voice of Reason1 ("Absolute power corrupts absolutely” Lord Acton 1887)
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To: cookcounty

Yes, he did!!


15 posted on 09/21/2011 4:18:59 PM PDT by Osage Orange (Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum)
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To: allmendream

Nah, yer jes talkin to the wrong peeps is all...


16 posted on 09/21/2011 4:26:00 PM PDT by onona (The creator put us on this earth so we could view Sharon Shannon's smile.)
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To: allmendream
I try to limit my vocabulary in daily discourse, despite my predilection for acquiring interesting and obscure and often anachronistic words - as I find it is a barrier to proper communication rather than a facilitator.

You just lost 1/4 of FReepers...using the words, "discourse, predilection, anachronistic, and facilitator!!

Ha!!

17 posted on 09/21/2011 4:27:19 PM PDT by Osage Orange (Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum)
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To: neverdem
Just for shiites, I've been checking CNN's webpage off and on over the last couple of weeks. To date, I've seen absolutely nothing about F&F, Solyndra, the pressured general, or any other topics remotely "scandalous". These stories are not just missing from their homepage, but they're not even buried anywhere in Politics, U.S. News, or "Newspulse." Today's big breathless headlines involve a cop-killer denied an appeal and how poverty is most prevalent in red states.

Those 42 people reading CNN.com don't know what they're missing!

18 posted on 09/21/2011 4:32:49 PM PDT by workerbee (We're not scared, Maobama -- we're pissed off!)
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To: workerbee

Well they accidentally touched on one issue. Poverty is more prevalant in Red States because Barry is padding the ticket for the Blue States. This is clearly discrimination, and the statistics prove it.

He just can’t help himself when it comes to using tax money for payoffs.


19 posted on 09/21/2011 5:27:57 PM PDT by American in Israel (A wise man's heart directs him to the right, but the foolish mans heart directs him toward the left.)
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To: neverdem
The media can no longer shield Obama from scrutiny.

Yes; it can.

But it WON'T any longer.

20 posted on 09/21/2011 5:40:16 PM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going)
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To: allmendream

chuckle...


21 posted on 09/21/2011 5:41:21 PM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going)
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To: Travis McGee

“sold deadly automatic weapons”

I like VDH, but he needs to get his facts straight just like the liberal media. I don’t think there were any automatic weapons involved.


22 posted on 09/21/2011 5:45:08 PM PDT by suthener
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To: allmendream
VDH, eloquent and verbose as ever.

I have often wondered if Hanson talks this way at the dinner table, or down at the local Safeway.

I have also, at times, wondered if Henry Kissenger "negotiates" interludes with the Missus.

23 posted on 09/21/2011 5:55:30 PM PDT by RobinOfKingston (The instinct toward liberalism is located in the part of the brain called the rectal lobe.)
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To: shield

He’s been reading my posts


24 posted on 09/21/2011 5:58:28 PM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 ....Rats carry plague)
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To: shield

Darryl Issa needs to be on that one like a chicken on a junebug.


25 posted on 09/21/2011 6:01:22 PM PDT by nascarnation
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To: nascarnation

Down here in Texas we say a duck on a junebug...but yes, I do agree.


26 posted on 09/21/2011 6:25:12 PM PDT by shield (Rev 2:9 Woe unto those who say they are Judahites and are not, but are of the syna GOG ue of Satan.)
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To: allmendream
..principle of liberal exemption from accountability ...

I like this phrase...

27 posted on 09/21/2011 7:19:23 PM PDT by GOPJ (126 people were indicted for being terrorists in the last two years. Every one of them was Muslim.)
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To: neverdem
AttackWatch.com website, which lists pictures and names, in the glaring red-and-black style of an intelligence dossier, of those who have criticized Obama — juxtaposed with supposed rebuttals and a puerile request for readers to snoop about and send in more names of those who dare to oppose the president.

The STASI of East Germany were more subtle, than this. I guess Obama flunked that class. I wonder how many other classes he flunked. I would suspect Constitutional law was a bit difficult for him.

In a more serious thought, the idea of Attack Watch Com. is right out of the playbook of the old KGB except it is via the Internet and not radio, newspapers, movies and television. The concept that Obama would approve of this demonstrates two things:
1. He is totally divorced of reality in respect of what the American Voting public will tolerate.
2. His political beliefs have crossed the line from socialism to quasi Marxist, borderline Fascist, with Gestapo like actions to achieve his goals.

President Obama is not a good man.

28 posted on 09/21/2011 7:41:11 PM PDT by cpdiii (Deckhand, Roughneck, Mud Man, Geologist, Pilot, Pharmacist. THE CONSTITUTION IS WORTH DYING FOR!)
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To: Osage Orange
You just lost 1/4 of FReepers...using the words, "discourse, predilection, anachronistic, and facilitator!!

Hey look on the bright side, he lost 95% of the Huffington Post and 99% of attackwatch.com

29 posted on 09/21/2011 7:47:20 PM PDT by cpdiii (Deckhand, Roughneck, Mud Man, Geologist, Pilot, Pharmacist. THE CONSTITUTION IS WORTH DYING FOR!)
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To: suthener
I like VDH, but he needs to get his facts straight just like the liberal media. I don’t think there were any automatic weapons involved.

Correct. However a hand held full Auto Weapon is "a bit of spray and pray. That is why the Army uses the M4 Carbine (follow link for details)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M4_carbine

The M4 is a select fire 1 round or 3 rounds per trigger pull. Thus the soldier does not waste precious ammo on poorly aimed shots that full auto will cause.

Please note that full auto from a BAR, or 50 caliber M2 will ruin your whole day.

30 posted on 09/21/2011 8:01:03 PM PDT by cpdiii (Deckhand, Roughneck, Mud Man, Geologist, Pilot, Pharmacist. THE CONSTITUTION IS WORTH DYING FOR!)
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To: kabar
Don't ask. Modern education at work.
31 posted on 09/21/2011 8:11:09 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: Osage Orange
You just lost 1/4 of FReepers...using the words, "discourse, predilection, anachronistic, and facilitator!!

Eschew obfuscation!

32 posted on 09/21/2011 8:19:39 PM PDT by shortstop (It's too bad that stupidity isn't painful)
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To: neverdem
AttackWatch.com website, which lists pictures and names, in the glaring red-and-black style of an intelligence dossier, of those who have criticized Obama — juxtaposed with supposed rebuttals and a puerile request for readers to snoop about and send in more names of those who dare to oppose the president.

The STASI of East Germany were more subtle, than this. I guess Obama flunked that class. I wonder how many other classes he flunked. I would suspect Constitutional law was a bit difficult for him.

In a more serious thought, the idea of Attack Watch Com. is right out of the playbook of the old KGB except it is via the Internet and not radio, newspapers, movies and television. The concept that Obama would approve of this demonstrates two things:
1. He is totally divorced of reality in respect of what the American Voting public will tolerate.
2. His political beliefs have crossed the line from socialism to quasi Marxist, borderline Fascist, with Gestapo like actions to achieve his goals.

President Obama is not a good man.

33 posted on 09/21/2011 8:24:19 PM PDT by cpdiii (Deckhand, Roughneck, Mud Man, Geologist, Pilot, Pharmacist. THE CONSTITUTION IS WORTH DYING FOR!)
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To: neverdem

One of the things I like about reading VDH and Mark Steyn is that along with a nice vivisection of the subject matter they will also use words above the fourth grade vocabulary level. They are writing for literate adults and it shows.


34 posted on 09/21/2011 8:36:16 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Can we ask questions which God finds unanswerable? Easily. All nonsense questions are unanswerable.)
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To: neverdem

The Media isn’t bamboozeled. They’re complicit. They’re on the same team.

If you meet reporters they are consistently:

1. College grads, reporting is so challenging that you need an advanced degree to do it.

2. Arrogant and elitist.

3. Losers whose means of control and status is information.

4. In combination with the above, they are conspirators with liberalism, desperate to be aloof insiders.

Every reporter I know is like that.


35 posted on 09/22/2011 2:15:33 AM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: rightwingcrazy

He’s saving Sisyphean for another article.


36 posted on 09/22/2011 2:17:00 AM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: cpdiii
Hey look on the bright side, he lost 95% of the Huffington Post and 99% of attackwatch.com

Test yourself!

http://pewresearch.org/politicalquiz/quiz/index.php

37 posted on 09/22/2011 5:52:17 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going)
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To: Elsie

Dang, i missed one.


38 posted on 09/22/2011 6:14:02 AM PDT by AFreeBird
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To: RobinOfKingston

I doubt if VDH talks like this - but I think he rather effortlessly and as a matter of habit - WRITES that way.

Old habits die hard - and many a University professor rewards the adroit use of an expansive vocabulary. ;)

But they might mark you down if THEY have to look the word up - so it can certainly be overdone.


39 posted on 09/22/2011 8:07:46 AM PDT by allmendream (Tea Party did not send the GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism.)
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To: allmendream

VDH is just simply the best.


40 posted on 09/22/2011 8:28:35 AM PDT by bfree (The revolution is coming - OBAMI IS THE ENEMY OF FREEDOM)
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To: neverdem
Few (journalists) seemed to notice that he (Obama) had established a website (“Fight the Smears”) asking supporters to collect information on opponents, in a Nixonian effort at preemptive action to discourage opposition. The notorious and now-defunct JournoList followed. Currently we see that creepy tactic resurfacing a third time with the newAttackWatch.com website, which lists pictures and names, in the glaring red-and-black style of an intelligence dossier, of those who have criticized Obama ...Shame on them.

Liberal 'journalists' would have caught this kind of totalitarian crap in a New York Minute if it had been done by a Republican...

41 posted on 09/22/2011 10:47:42 AM PDT by GOPJ (126 people were indicted for being terrorists in the last two years. Every one of them was Muslim.)
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To: neverdem
Few (journalists) seemed to notice that he (Obama) had established a website (“Fight the Smears”) asking supporters to collect information on opponents, in a Nixonian effort at preemptive action to discourage opposition. The notorious and now-defunct JournoList followed. Currently we see that creepy tactic resurfacing a third time with the newAttackWatch.com website, which lists pictures and names, in the glaring red-and-black style of an intelligence dossier, of those who have criticized Obama ...

Liberal 'journalists' would have caught this totalitarian crap in a New York Minute if it had been done by a Republican... Shame on them.

42 posted on 09/22/2011 10:48:59 AM PDT by GOPJ (126 people were indicted for being terrorists in the last two years. Every one of them was Muslim.)
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