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Why Jeremy Bojczuk is wrong about the Harvey & Lee theory and Lifton's body alteration theory.


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Sandy Larsen writes:

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You said that the H&L theory requires a native Russian speaker.

Neither Jim nor I said anything about that being a requirement.

So the fictional doppelganger was a native speaker of Russian, even though the scheme did not require him to be a native speaker of Russian. Is that correct?

Current 'Harvey and Lee' thinking seems to be that it was immaterial whether or not the defecting doppelganger was a native speaker of Russian. It would have been like whether he was left-handed or right-handed, or whether he wore size-whatever shoes. It didn't really matter.

If he was a native speaker, it would have been a convenient bonus. If he wasn't, no big deal, we'll go with a non-native speaker.

It doesn't make any difference, does it? We are still left with the fact that the long-term double-doppelganger scheme was redundant. There was no point in setting up and maintaining an expensive, decade-long charade when you could acquire a suitable false defector far more easily and cheaply, and with less risk of detection.

As I observed earlier:

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All the masterminds needed to do was recruit one American with a talent for languages. There were 2.5 million American servicemen active at the time of the real-life, historical Lee Harvey Oswald's defection, of whom 175,000 were Marines. There must have been any number of candidates who were capable of learning sufficient Russian for the task.

Not only that, but the chosen candidate would have had a genuine American background, thereby eliminating the need for the defecting doppelganger to fake the identity of the non-defecting doppelganger, and causing another requirement of the 'Harvey and Lee' theory to go up in smoke.

So far, none of the 'Harvey and Lee' faithful have offered a reply to that observation. It looks as though they recognise that the long-term double-doppelganger scheme explains nothing that can't be explained in a far simpler and more plausible way.

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Jim Hargrove writes:

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Mr. Bojczuk will be back in a few hours posting about the mastoidectomy and falsely claiming that John A. is actually a “snake oil salesman.”

I've never claimed that Armstrong (praise his name!) was an actual snake-oil salesman. I have, however, claimed that his behaviour in neglecting to tell his readers about Oswald's mastoidectomy looks remarkably similar to that of a snake-oil salesman.

I've asked Jim several times if he had an alternative explanation for Armstrong's behaviour. Jim hasn't managed to come up with anything. So I'd guess Jim agrees with me that Armstrong's behaviour looks dishonest.

You see, the existence of a mastoidectomy defect on the body in Oswald's grave disproves a central element of Armstrong's theory. He claimed specifically in Harvey and Lee that the doppelganger who had undergone the operation was not the doppelganger who was buried in Oswald's grave. But a report by reputable scientists proved that Armstrong's detailed biographies of his two fictional characters cannot have been correct.

Armstrong was aware of the scientists' report which noted the mastoidectomy defect on the body. We know this because he quoted that report, published in 1984, in his book, published in 2003. He must have been fully aware that it invalidated his theory. But he failed to mention the evidence to his readers, no doubt hoping that they wouldn't be aware of what was in the report.

I'm sure Mr Armstrong is a perfectly pleasant guy and that he is entirely honest in his personal and business life, but in this instance it looks as though he knowingly palmed his readers off with a faulty product. 'Snake-oil salesman' seems like a fair description. Unless Jim can come up with an alternative explanation, of course.

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Mr. Bojczuk tirelessly creates strawman arguments about one LHO’s Russian language skills and then fearlessly criticizes the arguments he himself invented.  What he doesn’t do is look at the simple facts.

In October 1959 one LHO returned to the U.S. and was assigned to MACS 9 in Santa Ana, where he suddenly demonstrated so much interest in and understanding of Russia and the Russian language that some of his fellow Marines called him “Oswaldovitch.”  He took a Russian language test and got more questions right than wrong.   Rosaleen Quinn, who was studying Russian in a Berlitz course, told the Warren Commission that “Oswald spoke Russian well.”  Erwin Donald Lewis said, in an affidavit: “It was a matter of common knowledge among squadron members that he could read, write, and speak Russian.”

So the question becomes, When did this LHO learn Russian?  Some people believe that Oswald was given a crash course in Russian while stationed at Atsugi and the Philippines.  One of the men who served with this Oswald (actually American-born LEE) for nearly a year was Zack Stout.  In 1995 John A. asked this Mr. Stout if Oswald spoke or studied Russian while in Japan. Zack answered, "Where do people come up with these stupid ideas. That's ridiculous. No, he never spoke Russian or had a Russian book or a Russian newspaper. If he had any of those things, all of us would have known about it."

Zack_S.jpg

Zack Stout

John also interviewed Richard Bullock, who worked with LEE Oswald in Japan.  Bullock said, "He was NOT the guy I saw in the picture on TV shot by Jack Ruby." He said that the LEE Oswald he knew wore glasses and “looks nothing like him. That's not the man I knew. The man I knew was 30-40 pounds heavier and 3-4 inches taller than the man accused of killing President Kennedy.”

Bullock.jpg

Richard Bullock

Forum member William Kelley also interviewed Mr. Bullock.  See his interview here.

In the months before being stationed in Japan, Classic Oswald® was stationed briefly at various locations in the U.S., and, according to the soldiers who lived and worked with him, was actually in those places.  There is no indication that he even had a chance to study the Russian language while moving about in these various assignments.

So, where did this 9th grade dropout learn Russian?  Through a process of elimination, we think it is most likely that he learned it as a child.  After he lived in Russia for two and a half years, Harvey Oswald returned to the U.S. with his Russian wife.  There, many people remarked about how good his Russian language skills were. De Mohrenschildt, in particular, noted his remarkable fluency, but also noted that he made grammatical errors, just as you would expect from someone who learned a language at an early age and then abandoned it for a decade or so.

As to the mastoidectomy, I have often said that I think John A. got this wrong, but he was in good company.  Although he noted many tiny scars in his autopsy report on LHO, Dr. Earl Rose failed to note a scar behind his ear.  Mortician Paul Groody also missed the scar.  My working theory is that it was the Russian-speaking Oswald all along who had the procedure done.

 

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Jim Hargrove writes:

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So, where did this 9th grade dropout learn Russian?

As I pointed out elsewhere, the historical Lee Harvey Oswald learned Russian at least partly by teaching himself while in the Marines. We know this because several of his Marine buddies said so (Warren Commission Hearings and Exhibits, vol.8: https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=36) .

James Anthony Botelho (p.315): "It was common knowledge that Oswald had taught himself to speak Russian."

David Christie Murray (p.319): "When I knew him, he was studying Russian."

Henry J. Roussel (pp.320-1): "I remember that Oswald could speak a little Russian ... I knew of Oswald's study of the Russian language ... I am under the impression that prior to studying Russian ..."

Mack Osborne (pp.321-2): "Oswald was at that time studying Russian. He spent a great deal of his free time reading papers printed in Russian ... with the aid of a Russian-English dictionary. ... Because of the fact that he was studying Russian, fellow Marines sometimes jokingly accused him of being a Russian spy."

We can be sure that the one and only, real-life, historical Lee Harvey Oswald was not a native speaker of Russian, because:

- He learned Russian at least partly through self-study. This has been public knowledge since 1964.

- He took what appears to have been a fairly basic test in Russian, in which he did far worse than a native speaker would have done: "his rating was poor throughout" (Hearings, vol.8, p.307: https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=36#relPageId=315) .

- Even after having spent two and a half years living among genuine native speakers, he still made frequent grammatical errors (e.g. Hearings, vol.3, p.130: https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=39#relPageId=138) and spoke with an accent (e.g. http://22november1963.org.uk/george-de-mohrenschildt-i-am-a-patsy-chapter02) .

The point I've been making is that it doesn't matter whether he was or he wasn't. To be a false defector who is able to understand the language that's being spoken around you, you don't need to be a native speaker of that language and you don't need to be a member of a long-term double-doppelganger scheme. (Not that efficient eavesdropping was actually the point of the real-life Oswald's defection, but that's another matter.)

As we saw a few posts ago, Jim himself seems to agree, though for different reasons, that it doesn't matter whether the defector was or was not a native speaker of Russian. Whatever the reasons and whatever the means by which Oswald learned Russian, the 'Harvey and Lee' double-doppelganger scheme was unnecessary.

If your goal is to send a false defector to the Soviet Union who can understand the Russian that is being spoken around him, you don't need to set up and maintain a decade-long scheme by recruiting two Oswalds, two Marguerites, and all the other people who would be needed to keep the show on the road.

All you need is to recruit one American with a talent for languages, allow him to study Russian, and provide whatever other tuition was required. As a bonus, your American defector will have a genuine American background, which disposes of another bizarre, pointless and imaginary requirement of the 'Harvey and Lee' nonsense.

We now have two scenarios which explain the 'Harvey and Lee' theory's requirement for the defector to be able to understand Russian. Which should we choose? Here they are:

(a) A far-fetched doppelganger scheme, carried on for over a decade and involving two virtually identical though unrelated Oswalds and two virtually identical though unrelated Marguerites, along with assorted administrators, document-forgers and document-destroyers.

(b) A plausible scheme, lasting perhaps a year or two, involving one American serviceman with a knack for learning languages, and perhaps a modicum of language tuition. No long-term doppelgangers are required.

If we have a choice between a far-fetched scenario and a plausible scenario, we are obliged to choose the plausible one, aren't we?

 

Edited to add:

If you have a link followed by a closing bracket and then a full stop, colon or semi-colon, you end up with a smiley-face of one type or another. It only happens with links, for some reason. Adding a space after the closing bracket solves the problem, but I keep forgetting to do that. Grrr!
 

Edited by Jeremy Bojczuk
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17 minutes ago, Jeremy Bojczuk said:

As I pointed out elsewhere, the historical Lee Harvey Oswald learned Russian at least partly by teaching himself while in the Marines.

Mr. Bojczuk shamelessly supports the Warren Commission excuse that LHO taught himself to read, write, and speak the Russian language in his spare time in the Marine Corps.

“Oswald subscribed to a newspaper printed in Russian, which I believe he said was published in San Francisco.”

–James Anthony Botelho, from his Marine affidavit of June 3, 1964.

Here's an image of a Russian language newspaper printed in San Francisco that is probably similar to the one Oswald reportedly read in the Marine corps while stationed in California.  Can you imagine teaching yourself to read a newspaper like this--in your spare time?

 

russzh.jpg

If you believe the WC and Mr. Bojczuk on this nonsense, may I interest you in purchasing the Golden Gate Bridge?

Edited by Jim Hargrove
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33 minutes ago, Jim Hargrove said:

Here's an image of a Russian language newspaper printed in San Francisco that is probably similar to the one Oswald reportedly read in the Marine corps while stationed in California.  Can you imagine teaching yourself to read a newspaper like this--in your spare time?

"Probably similar" ? If you can't be more definitive than that, why bother using it as an example here? But just for the sake of argument, why is it so hard to believe that Oswald used something like this to help teach himself the language? Why is it any different than just opening a book in another language and attempting to learn individual words, sentences, etc?

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For those who think the body alteration before the autopsy is far-fetched, please explain the multiple records and witnesses of the multiple casket entries, multiple caskets, multiple wrappings of JFK's body and multiple conditions of the wounds, particularly the head and brain.

Jim Jenkins, Paul O'connor, Jerrol Customer are completely credible and each present a very different story of the above than the "official" story.  How could Jerrol Custer be walking JFK x-rays through the lobby at Bethesda when he saw Jackie and RFK arrive in the ambulance from Andrews that was carrying the heavy bronze Dallas casket?  Either JFK's body was already present or it was in the caset in the ambulance.  If he was not in the ambulance, he had to be removed at some point and placed into the shipping casket which arrived at 6:30.

Thanks.

 

  

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Jim Hargrove writes:

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Can you imagine teaching yourself to read a newspaper like this--in your spare time?

As Jonathan points out, the real-life, historical Lee Harvey Oswald didn't use the newspaper in order to find out what was going on in the world; he used it to help himself learn Russian. Using a foreign-language newspaper to help yourself learn that language is a very common technique.

If Jim had actually read the post of mine that he was replying to, he would have seen this statement by Oswald's Marine buddy, Mack Osborne:

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Oswald was at that time studying Russian. He spent a great deal of his free time reading papers printed in Russian ... with the aid of a Russian-English dictionary.

(WC Hearings, vol.8, p.321: https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=36#relPageId=329)

Oswald was teaching himself to read Russian, using the newspaper and a Russian-English dictionary. If he was teaching himself Russian, he cannot have been a native speaker of Russian. Not that it matters one way or the other, because ...

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As I have pointed out several times now, it makes no difference whether or not Oswald was a native speaker of Russian (which he clearly wasn't). Either way, the same problem arises: the 'Harvey and Lee' theory's far-fetched long-term double-doppelganger scheme was unnecessary.

Credit to Jim for not waving the white flag and heading for the hills, unlike his more timid confrères, Messrs Larsen, Norwood and Butler. Jim's technique to avoid facing up to the problem is slightly different to theirs. Instead of running away and thereby admitting that he has no solution to the problem, he ignores it and pretends that it doesn't exist. Let's see if we can prise a constructive reply out of him this time.

Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that some masterminds in the CIA (or wherever) decided to infiltrate a false defector into the Soviet Union. Let's also assume, as 'Harvey and Lee' doctrine proposes, that the defector needed to have a plausible American background and that he needed to know enough Russian to be able to understand what was being said around him.

How would the masterminds go about this?

The defector needed a plausible American background, so it would make sense to use a real American. The defector needed to have a reasonable knowledge of Russian, but did not need to be an expert, so again it would make sense to use an American, one with a natural talent for languages who could have reached the required level within a relatively short time.

Perhaps, to make the defection plausible, the defector needed to be an active American serviceman, which would have suited the masterminds because they had millions to choose from in the 1940s and 1950s.

The masterminds would select one American serviceman from among the thousands who would have had the motivation and aptitude to learn Russian to a reasonable level. The masterminds would allow him to learn Russian by himself, perhaps providing tuition if any was needed to get him to the required level. Then they would have supplied him with a cover story and sent him off to Moscow.

The masterminds had an obvious and plausible way of achieving their dastardly plan. It would have cost very little, would have involved few people, and could have been completed in a relatively short time.

Here's the question for Jim:

Why would they not have done this?

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17 hours ago, Jim Hargrove said:
17 hours ago, Jeremy Bojczuk said:

As I pointed out elsewhere, the historical Lee Harvey Oswald learned Russian at least partly by teaching himself while in the Marines.

Mr. Bojczuk shamelessly supports the Warren Commission excuse that LHO taught himself to read, write, and speak the Russian language in his spare time in the Marine Corps.

 

Jim,

It is fine, of course, for Jeremy to develop a competing hypothesis explaining how Oswald learned Russian. But someone should point out how -- unlike your hypothesis -- Jeremy's is inconsistent with most of the evidence. Evidence which, characteristic of Jeremy, he simply ignores.

For example, that bunkmates of Oswald at one base said that Oswald was constantly reading Russian newspapers, etc., yet bunkmates elsewhere during the same time period didn't say anything at all about this. Jeremy's hypothesis ignores this fact, while yours explains it.

You could probably come up with other cases of Jeremy's hypothesis ignoring evidence.

Another big problem with Jeremy's hypothesis is that it has Oswald learning Russian with the use of a handful of Russian documents and a Russian-English dictionary. Anybody who has learned a foreign language without being immersed in it knows that this would be impossible. Oswald would have at least had to have audio tapes in order to learn how to pronounce the words. Even so, for a person to bring himself up to speed enough to read newspapers in his spare time, in such a short period of time, would be a near impossibility.

 

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Jim seems to be unable to answer my question, so let's give Sandy a go.

Let's put ourselves in the shoes of the imaginary masterminds behind the 'Harvey and Lee' double-doppelganger scheme. They wanted to infiltrate a false defector, ideally an American serviceman, into the Soviet Union, so that he could secretly understand the Russian that was being spoken around him. The masterminds needed to work out a way to achieve that goal.

How would they go about it? Firstly, they would have worked out what they needed:

1 - They needed an American serviceman, and they had at least 2.5 million to choose from.

2 - They needed someone with a convincing American background. Almost all of those millions of servicemen would have fitted the bill.

3 - They needed someone who was able to understand spoken Russian to a reasonable level, but who did not need to be a native speaker. Among those millions of American servicemen with genuine American backgrounds, there must have been many thousands of people with a talent for languages, who could have learnt or been taught Russian to the required level.

Then they would have worked out the most obvious and efficient way to achieve their goal:

(a) Identify and recruit one American serviceman with a talent for languages.

(b) Allow that person to learn Russian to a reasonable level, and perhaps provide some formal tuition if he needed it.

(c) Give him a cover story and point him towards Moscow.

The masterminds had an obvious and efficient way to achieve their goal. No long-term double-doppelganger scheme was required.

Can Sandy think of a reason why the masterminds would not have used this obvious and efficient procedure? Can Jim?

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On 9/3/2020 at 5:19 AM, Sandy Larsen said:

Jim,

It is fine, of course, for Jeremy to develop a competing hypothesis explaining how Oswald learned Russian. But someone should point out how -- unlike your hypothesis -- Jeremy's is inconsistent with most of the evidence. Evidence which, characteristic of Jeremy, he simply ignores.

For example, that bunkmates of Oswald at one base said that Oswald was constantly reading Russian newspapers, etc., yet bunkmates elsewhere during the same time period didn't say anything at all about this. Jeremy's hypothesis ignores this fact, while yours explains it.

You could probably come up with other cases of Jeremy's hypothesis ignoring evidence.

Sure.  One of the men who served with LEE Oswald for nearly a year immediately before the other LHO started his stay at MACS 9 in Santa Ana was Zack Stout, who, asked if LHO studied Russian during this period (late 1957 through much of 1958) said this to John Armstrong:

"Where do people come up with these stupid ideas. That's ridiculous. No, he never spoke Russian or had a Russian book or a Russian newspaper. If he had any of those things, all of us would have known about it."

There are other examples (see William Kelley’s interview with Richard Bullock), but the point is that this LHO gave no indication of having any comprehension of the Russian language prior to arriving in Santa Ana in late October 1958.  And yet the Warren Commission and Mr. Bojczuk want us to believe that in just four month’s time the one-and-only “Lee Harvey Oswald” taught himself enough Russian to be able to get more answers right than wrong in a Russian language test administered Feb. 25, 1959 and to carry on a lengthy conversation, in Russian, with Rosaleen Quinn just a month or so later.  It is preposterous.

Mr. Bojczuk says he believes this far-fetched scenario, but members of the Warren Commission, at least privately, apparently didn’t.  As Jim DiEugenio pointed out here, “Harold Weisberg unearthed the transcript of the Warren Commission's January 27, 1964 executive session meeting. That meeting contains a reference by Chief Counsel J. Lee Rankin to the Commission's efforts ‘to find out what he [Oswald] studied at the Monterey School of the Army in the way of languages.’ (Philip Melanson, Spy Saga, p. 12).”

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Another big problem with Jeremy's hypothesis is that it has Oswald learning Russian with the use of a handful of Russian documents and a Russian-English dictionary. Anybody who has learned a foreign language without being immersed in it knows that this would be impossible. Oswald would have at least had to have audio tapes in order to learn how to pronounce the words. Even so, for a person to bring himself up to speed enough to read newspapers in his spare time, in such a short period of time, would be a near impossibility.

As I’ve pointed out before, foreign language instructor Mathias Baumann stated on this forum that, in his opinion, obtaining Oswald’s tested proficiency in Russian would require, in a language less difficult than Russian, “80 to 120 individual (one-on-one) lessons (a lesson being 45 minutes) or 400 lessons of a group course to reach this level in the German language (provided that you already know the Roman Alphabet). These numbers do not include the time you need for homework, mind you.”

And of course, Mr. Baumann’s estimates did not include time to become familiar with the Cyrillic alphabet, extensively different from our own.

The assertion that, with no formal instruction whatsoever,  Lee Harvey Oswald taught himself enough Russian in four months to get more questions right than wrong in a Russian language exam and to carry on a lengthy conversation in Russian with Rosaleen Quinn doesn't pass the laugh test.
 

Edited by Jim Hargrove
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On 9/4/2020 at 3:01 AM, Jeremy Bojczuk said:

Jim seems to be unable to answer my question, so let's give Sandy a go.

 

It's more likely that Jim DID answer Jeremy's question and that Jeremy is ignoring it because it strengthens the H&L case.

That is what Jeremy did to me when I answered one of his questions. Which is one reason I no longer answers his questions. (The other reason is that Jeremy isn't here to have a reasonable discussion, but rather to disrupt the thread.)

 

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Jonathan Cohen writes:

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why is it so hard to believe that Oswald used something like this to help teach himself the language?

Indeed. We know that Oswald was teaching himself Russian at least partly with the help of newspapers and a Russian-English dictionary, because his Marine buddies saw him doing so.

We also know a couple of other things:

(a) In the early stages of learning the language, his Russian was, unsurprisingly, not very good. He scored poorly ("his rating was poor throughout") on what appears to have been a fairly basic test in Russian.

(b) He frequently made grammatical mistakes in Russian even after having spent two and a half years living among native speakers.

Each one of these three points makes it blindingly obvious that Oswald was not a native speaker of Russian, contrary to what the 'Harvey and Lee' faithful seem to be implying.

I'm not sure why they are still beating this particular dead horse. Not only did the task Oswald was supposedly given not require him to be a native speaker of Russian, but it makes no difference whether he was a native speaker or not:

- If he was a native speaker, the 'Harvey and Lee' far-fetched long-term double-doppelganger scheme was unnecessary.

- If he wasn't a native speaker, the 'Harvey and Lee' far-fetched long-term double-doppelganger scheme was unnecessary.

It was unnecessary because the masterminds behind the hypothetical false defector scheme had a far easier and more obvious method to achieve their goal, a method which did not require native speakers of Russian or two pairs of doppelgangers.

All they had to do was recruit one genuine American serviceman with a genuine American background and a knack for learning languages, and ensure that he reached a reasonable level in Russian. The masterminds would have had thousands of suitable candidates to choose from. Recruit him, get him up to speed with Russian, then send him off to Moscow.

Why would they not have done this?

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Sandy Larsen writes:

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It's more likely that Jim DID answer Jeremy's question and that Jeremy is ignoring it

Unfortunately, Jim has not yet managed to answer the question, for obvious reasons. If an answer to my question existed, I'm sure that either Jim or Sandy would have produced it for us by now.

Jim's and Sandy's repeated failure to answer the question makes it clear that they accept the obvious conclusion: the far-fetched 'Harvey and Lee' long-term double-doppelganger scheme was unnecessary.

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