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June 2012
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Leonhart story has legs

The DEA head’s performance in the House hearings has been getting play all over.

Chart: What The DEA Refuses To Admit About Drugs in U.S. News and World Report is just one example.

Having it as the top story on the Huffington Post with the huge headline “Is She High?” was priceless.

Politico: DEA chief deflects pols’ pot questions

And the comments at all these places is overwhelmingly… unsupportive of Michele Leonhart.

All it takes is some members of Congress willing to do the right thing and stand up and ask for the truth. Of course, Leonhart can’t answer the question truthfully, because if she did, she’d negate the reason for much of her budget while also undermining many of the unscientific and self-serving administrative rulings made by the DEA. And so she has to answer as an ignoramus, because looking stupid is less of political suicide than telling the truth.

It’s another step toward the ultimate dismantling of this destructive agency.

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68 comments to Leonhart story has legs

  • claygooding

    I wanna kiss her,,well,,nearly.

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    • Duncan20903

      You know, I actually feel sorry for the stupid [expletive deleted]. I’ve been suffering a severe case of cognitive dissonance as a result.

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  • Francis

    Actually, I think Michele could have answered many of those questions honestly. Obviously her job requires her to lie, but the key to lying effectively is knowing when to lie, when to tell half-truths, when to be evasive, and — importantly — when to simply answer truthfully. Her problem is she’s too dumb and incompetent to recognize where she needed to cede ground to preserve credibility (not with us, of course, but with the average pro-WOsD American). She feared a trap, and so she set her dial to “evasive” and left it there. (Of course, she’s also too stupid to do evasiveness well.) The result is a now-widely-publicized embarrassment for the DEA and added momentum for the reform movement. Way to go, “Mighty Mike”!

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    • Duncan20903

      Hey, you forgot about the hysterical rhetoric! We can’t have prohibition without it!!

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  • darkycle

    :)

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  • Cannabis

    Leonhart has no presence (even less than Kerlikowske), she looked completely out of it, and she should have had a phone book to sit on, too. It seemed like she had not been briefed on the issues or training on testifying before this hearing. Consider watching the entire House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security Drug Enforcement Agency Oversight Hearing, which is in the C-SPAN video library.

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    • Francis

      Leonhart has no presence (even less than Kerlikowske)

      “The thing about a narc… they’ve got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll’s eyes. When they come at ya, don’t seem to be living… until they bust ya, and those black eyes roll over white….”

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  • free radical

    Don’t forget this one:
    http://pot.tv/video/2012/06/21/Congressman-DEA-Head-Does-Meth-and-Heroin-Cause-More-Deaths-Marijuana

    Immediately following Polis, Steve Cohen grills her some more!

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  • darkycle

    Well, it’s been a good week. Just so’s we don’t start the victory dance yet: http://tinyurl.com/7ato7xh

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  • Michele Leonhart should be fired. Fire Michele Leonhart. Will Michele Leonhart be fired.

    Maybe those search strings will bring you some more traffic as well.

    Cannatruths is offering some advice to Obama to win back the cannabis vote. I’d add firing Leonhart to that list.

    Gary Johnson got an endorsement today from the former Press Spokesman of the Democratic National Committee, Terry Michaels, who was also Press Spokesman for the Illinois House Democrats and for the late Sen. Paul Simon.

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  • MaineGeezer

    Harry Anslinger was much better at making stuff up than she is. I’ve heard that back in 1951 he was appearing before a congressional budget committee to get funding for his anti-marijuana campaign because MJ “…causes criminality, insanity, and death!”

    A member of the committee who apparently had done some homework pointed out that the 1944 LaGuardia Report had shown that MJ did NOT cause criminality, insanity or death, so what about it?

    Anslinger said yes, I was wrong about that, but the latest evidence I’m seeing shows that MJ is a sure route to heroin addiction. There was of course no evidence, Anslinger never produced any, and in fact up until that point he had always said MJ use did NOT lead to heroin addiction, but the budget committee bought it anyway, he got his funding, and in the process we got the “gateway theory” that has been debunked countless times but refuses to roll over and die.

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  • Peter

    OT
    I just had an interesting insight into police powers and the abuse thereof. Wife possibly caused a scrape on neighbor’s car. Neighbor blows his cool, threatens to “sue my ass,” calls the police. Officer arrives and is so clearly biased in favor of the neighbor, not interested in our story at all or even in physically examining the evidence…..just makes threats about a ticket unless we agree to pay for the damage to our neighbor’s full satisfaction. I’m thinking does this cop just not like my face or something?
    Then I discover that the neighbor is a big noise in the probation service at the department of corrections and it suddenly makes sense, this is his tame cop. This was no big deal but it made me realize what it must be like to have a corrupt and biased cop dealing with a serious crime like a murder, and how easy it is for them to misuse their power to railroad people into prison.

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  • I think one of those thuds we heard must’ve been a brick hitting Ms Leonheart on the head…

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  • I think we are seeing the beginnings of “pass the buck”

    http://www.pri.org/stories/health/governors-ask-feds-to-reclassify-marijuana-as-medicine-government-balks-7241.html

    I hope Polis knows how to stop the catch22 mobius strip of the path to legalization leading through approvals from half a dozen branches of the Government. Obviously Leonhart is not the expert tech person to ask on these subjects. Must be over at the FDA or Health and Human Services. Maybe we ask Gil what he thinks. I see it coming. Polis needs to be slicker than the average bear to derail this runaway train. I don’t think we have seen the end of it yet.

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  • n.t. greene

    The intelligencia always wins out in the end, folks… even if the ultimate rout takes a long time.

    The virus is spreading. I would like to see the DEA deal with state level legalization in the fall.

    The hero becomes a bore at last, I suppose.

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  • Servetus

    Ms. Michele Leonhart (the ‘o’ is silent) is to the DEA (and its minions) like the termite is to wood, the earthquake to a bridge, black mold to a veterans’ hospital, maggots on the lips of a dead camel—a phenomenon whose destructive capacities exceed the institution she’s adopted, like some child she’s chosen to abuse.

    Individuals such as Ms. Leonhart are the reason tyranny never lasts. In that spirit, Michele Leonhart is the perfect choice to prosecute the DEA’s role in the drug war, whatever that may be. Dare we hope that every president appoints twits like Leonhart to prohibitionist oblivion.

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    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      I agree. If I had her phone number I’d offer to baby sit for her so she can work on her next speech.

      Speak up Ms. Leonhart, speak up! Shout your wisdom for all to hear!!

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  • ezrydn

    I seem to remember she was/is attached to some seedy character, turncoat, informer, I don’t remember. Anyone fill in here?

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  • ezrydn

    Comparing pix to video show the toll of being a Prohibitionista. That woman, in 9 years, has turned into a troll. Pardon me. No strike against trolls. Fuglier than a troll. Plus, someone get that girl an upper. She looked about to nod off.

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  • darkycle

    How could we have missed THIS? In her testimony she said that Medical Marijuana should be between the patient and physician!!!!
    http://tinyurl.com/8yeverv

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    • claygooding

      That means she admits it has medical efficacy,,,when can we expect Polis or any other legislator to ask her when marijuana will be re-classified?

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    • I had a post removed by the Huff on that one.

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      • darkycle

        These days the moderators at Huff Post seem to be passive aggressive assholes. I think they must have a really hostile workplace.

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    • Peter

      notice too how the chair person cuts him off abruptly when he starts to read from the DEA publication which gives the big lie to ML’s assertion that mmj is an issue for patient and doctor. I’d like to see the full text of what cohen was prevented from reading by this over-zealous time keeper.

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  • This would be funny, if it weren’t tragic, I guess. From The Guardian:

    Mexico admits arrested ‘drug kingpin’ is actually a car salesman

    The man arrested Thursday as the presumed son of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is really Felix Beltran Leon, 23, and not Alfredo Guzman Salazar, as the Mexican Navy had presented him, the attorney-general’s office said on Friday.

    The stocky, baby-faced suspect had been presented as the son of Guzman, the chief of the Sinaloa Cartel, and a Navy official described him as a rising operator in the international drug trafficking organization.

    But Beltran Leon’s wife, Karla Pacheco, said he is the father of a toddler and works with his mother-in-law at a used car dealership.

    The attorney-general’s Office said that “necessary tests” had proved that he wasn’t the drug lord’s son, but said he would remain under investigation for the guns and money found during his arrest.

    “There is total confusion,” said Beltran Leon’s lawyer Veronica Guerrero,”which is having a serious effect on their personal and family situation.”

    The attorney-general’s office issued a statement earlier on Friday saying the original information on his identity came from the United States.

    The US drug enforcement administration said the information came from Mexico. /snip/

    Another lawyer, Heriberto Rangel Mendez, said the government planted the weapons. /snip/

    The possible misidentification could be embarrassing for both countries in the cat-and-mouse game they are playing with Guzman /snip/

    Oh, and I know you guys probably don’t celebrate, but nevertheless — a happy Midsummer’s Night!

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    • Matthew Meyer

      This actually did make me smile:

      “The attorney-general’s office issued a statement earlier on Friday saying the original information on his identity came from the United States.

      The US drug enforcement administration said the information came from Mexico.”

      Reminds me of my kids.

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  • Mr Ikesheeny

    President Nixon communicated to the nation to refrain from weathermen tactics of violence, today Leonhardt and company do violence to peaceable recourse. Taxing and regulating cannabis wouldn’t hurt revenues. It seems folks in some states do change the laws only to be foiled by Leonhart’s cop-out that she justs enforces them. I am just offering a suggestion of what would be fair to ask in future. What seems to be missing here is that there is a finite limit to the utility of civil discourse. Think of the volunteers who worked to peacebly petition this grievance! Ms. Leonhart; When will you cease the violence!

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  • Duncan20903

    The story made it onto boingboing.net. I simply couldn’t resist sharing this interaction in the comments below the article:

    Alex Miller makes fun of Ms. Leonhart:

    Is 6 greater than 4? that’s hardly fair, they are completely different numbers!”

    Glippiglop disagrees with Mr. Miller’s conclusion:

    Well, all illegal numbers are equally addictive, so clearly 6 = 4.

    I know this because I’m a former police officer.”

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  • Brian D.

    Looks like somebody started a White House petition to sack her: fire the current DEA administrator Michele Leonhart

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  • speaking of true believers (comments are open):

    Former U.S. official, Marine Corps veteran says the war on drugs must be fought on several fronts

    and there’s one of those repeating themes going on w/ the Eric Holder, Fast and Furious and the Obama WH story. Instead of talking about the story, they’re focusing on the side show – was it a cover up? are the Repubs playing partisan politics w/ it? – and it’s f’ing infuriating. Just like w/ Cartagena cheapskate Secret Service story, the real story is made to go away… how stinky must this get before some real coverage happens? And if all the drug war failures like F&F, the House of Death and all the rest are placed together, my dog(!) what a wretched pile of incompetent failures! It’s a wonder I don’t drink booze.

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  • Zinadeflöd

    House of Cards; don’t blink or you’ll miss it!

    By legalizing the sale of marijuana, the government of Uruguay “hopes to drastically reduce crime”. According to the country’s leadership: “The black market presents a much greater threat for the population than recreational drugs”.

    “Our inclination initially is to have production and regulation under state control.”

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    • Zinadeflöd/edit

      .

      “By legalizing the sale of marijuana, we hope to drastically reduce crime.”

      “The black market presents a much greater threat for our population than recreational drugs.”

      “Our inclination initially is to have production and regulation under state control.”

      “Uruguay, with it’s strong legal system and open financial markets, welcomes foreign investors. Unfortunately, it also has a high rate of emigration. But perhaps now that they can access their marijuana hassle-free, we hope our young people will be persuaded to stay.”

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      • claygooding

        I wonder what their immigration laws are like? They could see a few people moving in.

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      • Duncan20903

        Don’t book a non-refundable flight to Uruguay as foreigners aren’t welcome to register.

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        • Byddaf yn egluro:

          This looks more about ‘creating space’, or smart use of the powerful principle of ‘consistency’. Rather than presenting a totally workable plan, they appear to be showing that it has now become possible for a whole country to fully reject the prohibitionist paradigm. Rest assured, this will develop into something far more practical, and other leaders in the region may very soon feel tempted to make statements of a similar nature and magnitude.

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      • Byddaf yn egluro:

        Uruguay’s announcement is about creating an opportunity for others to follow; a very smart use of the powerful ‘principle of consistency’. Rather than presenting a totally feasible plan, they are showing that it has now become possible for a whole country to fully reject the prohibitionist paradigm. Rest assured, this will develop into something far more practical and other leaders in the region may very soon feel tempted to make statements of a similar nature and magnitude.

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  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    9 of 10 applicants for blue collar work fail their initial “drugs” screens.

    Ditto 2 of 3 white collar workers.

    I bullshit you not. Even more sad is that there are people who believe such hysterical rhetoric.

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    • darkycle

      Oh fer…the comments are as stupid as the column. Present company excluded, of course. ;)

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  • Zinadeflöd/-

    Dopeheads; the lot of ‘em!

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  • Peter

    Back to the relationship between Leonhart and supersnitch Andrew Chambers… I think this explains a great deal about Leonhart’s rise to the top of the DEA. Clearly there is a promotion system based on arrest and conviction rates as the sole criterion for advancement in the agency. Leonhart took full advantage of the easy convictions made possible for her by Chamber’s repeated perjury over a period of about 20 years. He helped her to boost her record as a DEA agent who gets “results” and she was subsequently promoted way above her abilities. Meanwhile Chambers was paid in the region of $4million from the taxpayer for his “informing.” No wonder she was still willing to publicly support him even when it was clear that he had lied on oath over and over again. Her views on drugs are odious, but that is much less worrying than the possibility that she has been a corrupt LE agent for decades, resulting in hundreds of innocent victims receiving very long sentences. Responsible members of congress need to investigate the possibility of a massive crime committed by Leonhart and Chambers as a matter of urgency.

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  • Leonhart by taking on the defensive posture that she did in the interview exhibited an obvious attempt at withholding information. She withheld her full answers despite the personal dangers of not giving a full answer.

    I would say she has much to hide.

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  • Byddaf yn egluro:

    “Don’t book a non-refundable flight to Uruguay as foreigners aren’t welcome to register.”

    This looks more about ‘creating space’, or smart use of the powerful principle of ‘consistency’. Rather than presenting a totally workable plan, they appear to be showing that it has now become possible for a whole country to fully reject the prohibitionist paradigm. Rest assured, this will develop into something far more practical, and other leaders in the region may very soon feel tempted to make statements of a similar nature and magnitude.

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  • claygooding

    Mexican election could mean drug war strategy shift, U.S. officials say

    http://tinyurl.com/7mdyqst

    (CNN) — Dealing with deep drug war wounds is a top issue on Mexico’s presidential campaign trail, but the election results could have an impact on both sides of the Mexico-U.S. border.

    As candidates across party lines suggest new strategies, like reducing violence and taking troops off the streets, some U.S. lawmakers say they’re nervous that cross-border cooperation could wane after Mexican voters pick a new president July 1. ‘snipped’

    And the beat goes on,,even in the middle of our lead drug warriors ignorance/defensive/clueless answers,the Mexican government is going to withdraw the military from the war on drugs and quit trying to arrest drug trafficking organizations,,more drugs at cheaper prices coming right up! And the banks just keep laundering that money,,or do you actually believe semi-trucks haul that money back to Mexico?

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  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    Yet another dangerous thug gets his just comeuppance thanks to the noble efforts of the prohibitionists prosecuting the war on (some) drugs:

    Alzheimer’s victim takes reduced drug plea

    Never let it be said that the sword of justice is not tempered with mercy!

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    • dog that’s disgusting… winning the drug war one demented senior at a time. The Columbus, NE folks should be proud…

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  • claygooding

    OT,,if it’s possible here ;<)

    Sea to Swallow California

    http://gawker.com/5921015/sea-to-swallow-california

    ""Sea levels along the California coast are expected to rise up to 1 foot in 20 years, 2 feet by 2050 and as much as 5 1/2 feet by the end of the century, climbing slightly more than the global average and increasing the risk of flooding and storm damage, a new study says.""

    California, the doomed and sun-scorched absurdity ruled by Bloods, Crips, Mickey Mouse, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, will sink into the thirsty lips of the merciless ocean by century's end, according to scientists. The time to flee is now. 'snipped'

    There goes Humboldt weed.

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  • thelbert

    so if i keep breathing until i’m 103 years old, my house will be beach front property. whoo hoo

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  • AddyCat

    Not to be a link whore, but the readers of this site might appreciate this (especially because it’s a largely new audience – NPR):

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7/2012/06/25/155699660/the-ultimate-crack-down-we-know-not-what-we-do

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  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    It wasn’t that long ago that I noted that the police had grown to hate the canine race so much that they’ve taken to shooting their own dogs. I noted that I had heard* that the law makes killing a police dog as serious a crime as killing a police human and wondered whether we might start seeing cops start shooting each other.

    (whether true or false, I have heard that claimed as fact)

    Yeah, an accident, that’s the ticket

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  • OT, but boy… worth the read. I caught the author, Matt Taibbi, talking about this on Bill Moyers last night and today it’s one of GoogleNews most popular stories. Right up Kap’s financial alley:

    The Scam Wall Street Learned From the Mafia – How America’s biggest banks took part in a nationwide bid-rigging conspiracy – until they were caught on tape

    The defendants in the case – Dominick Carollo, Steven Goldberg and Peter Grimm – worked for GE Capital, the finance arm of General Electric. Along with virtually every major bank and finance company on Wall Street – not just GE, but J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, UBS, Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, Wachovia and more – these three Wall Street wiseguys spent the past decade taking part in a breathtakingly broad scheme to skim billions of dollars from the coffers of cities and small towns across America. The banks achieved this gigantic rip-off by secretly colluding to rig the public bids on municipal bonds, a business worth $3.7 trillion. By conspiring to lower the interest rates that towns earn on these investments, the banks systematically stole from schools, hospitals, libraries and nursing homes – from “virtually every state, district and territory in the United States,” according to one settlement. And they did it so cleverly that the victims never even knew they were being ­cheated. No thumbs were broken, and nobody ended up in a landfill in New Jersey, but money disappeared, lots and lots of it, and its manner of disappearance had a familiar name: organized crime.

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  • darkcycle

    Damned if this story isn’t still popping, I had three more google alerts about it today.
    I think many pundits are missing the real crux of the matter. They’re astonished the DEA head can’t tell the difference between heroin and pot. They are invariably missing the point that as head of DEA, she’s the one who is in charge of adding, moving or removing a substance from the schedule. That should have their heads shaking and their tongues wagging, yet they all seem not to notice. Even Scott Morgan failed to bring the point up.

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  • FlyingTooLow

    The DEA is just another self-perpetuating level of bureaucracy.

    Law enforcement needs to re-direct its focus on crimes… to those that are REAL crimes.

    I spent 5 years in Federal Prison for a marijuana offense. I watched armed bank robbers come and go in as little as 20 months.

    After 3 years, I pointed this out to the parole board. Their response: “You must understand, yours was a very serious offense.”
    How do you respond to that mentality?

    I laughed about the parole panel’s comment for 2 more years (as I still sat in prison), then wrote my book:
    Shoulda Robbed a Bank

    No, it is not a treatise on disproportionate sentences, but a look at what the ‘marijuana culture’ is really about.
    People pursuing happiness in their own way. Harming no one…nor their property.

    That’s my contribution to helping point out just how ludicrous our pot laws truly are.
    I hope you check it out.

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