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Jefferson Morley: Our Man in Mexico


Michael Hogan
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Jefferson:

First, thanks very much for all your sustained efforts in plumbing this issue. It is a scab on the US body politic that must be healed, and your work will do much to accomplish that. We all owe you a debt of gratitude, no matter the outcome.

Second, to your list of nexuses where we should be able to note an Oswald-Phillips convergence, might I add the matter of Phillips and McCord conducting an anti-FPCC campaign, from at least as early as January '61 onward? The Court Wood incident illustrates the extent to which both men were actively involved in monitoring FPCC, and one doubts that CIA somehow blanked out on Oswald's FPCC charade. Consequently, even if Phillips was no longer involved in such an anti-FPCC campaign by May '63, onward, when he consulted the Langley files he should have located data re: Oswald's FPCC contacts, even before LHO appeared on the radar via the Bringuier incident.

Third, a few questions, if you're able to offer anything new.

Dick Russell's "The Man Who Knew Too Much" offers data from CIA Mexico City operatives that beg for clarification. Russell's sources contend that Win Scott did have in his safe both photos of the real Oswald in Mexico City and a recording of his voice, purportedly on an acetate disc. Have you encountered any evidence of this being the case? As someone who suspects imposture in Mexico City, I think this is a highly pertinent point.

Also, Russell has an obscure little footnote regarding the discovery of "lost" Oswald luggage at the Mexico City airport. Were we able to track that little item to its origins, I suspect it could have an explosive impact on what actually transpired in this case, and who was attempting to make it appear that Oswald had either been to Cuba previously, or was on his way there post-11/22/63 had he not been arrested in Dallas. Can you provide any additional information in that regard?

Have you been able to determine anything further about LI/COZY-3, purportedly a Quaker-related young man from Philadelphia who, it was asserted by a reliable source, had given Oswald a ride on his motorcyle to one of the enemy Embassies in Mexico City?

Thanks again for all your hard work.

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Dick Russell's "The Man Who Knew Too Much" offers data from CIA Mexico City operatives that beg for clarification. Russell's sources contend that Win Scott did have in his safe both photos of the real Oswald in Mexico City and a recording of his voice, purportedly on an acetate disc. Have you encountered any evidence of this being the case? As someone who suspects imposture in Mexico City, I think this is a highly pertinent point.

Also, Russell has an obscure little footnote regarding the discovery of "lost" Oswald luggage at the Mexico City airport. Were we able to track that little item to its origins, I suspect it could have an explosive impact on what actually transpired in this case, and who was attempting to make it appear that Oswald had either been to Cuba previously, or was on his way there post-11/22/63 had he not been arrested in Dallas. Can you provide any additional information in that regard?

Have you been able to determine anything further about LI/COZY-3, purportedly a Quaker-related young man from Philadelphia who, it was asserted by a reliable source, had given Oswald a ride on his motorcyle to one of the enemy Embassies in Mexico City?

1) I've not been able to develop anything further on the photos/recording Scott supposedly had in his safe.

(2) The source of what I have in the footnote regarding "lost" Oswald luggage at the Mexico City airport was Janet Scott, Win Scott's wife, in a telephone conversation we had while I was finishing up my book. As I recall, she had only a vague recollection of this incident but believed it was significant.

(3) I don't know anything further about LI/COZY-3.

It is also of interest that a McCord connection to the JFK case was alluded to by Nagell in one of his "cryptograms" to Art Greenstein. This was long before anything surfaced about McCord being connected to Philips on an FPCC operation. As we know, Nagell has a reference to the FPCC (as well as the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City's phone number) in the notebook the FBI seized from him on September 20, 1963.

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Have there been any reviews of this book yet in big newspapers. This is a very important book, and desrves as wide a readership as possible. Part of "solving" the case is working to counterbalance the huge Corporate Media boost given to books like Case Closed. " If a tree falls in the forest....

Also great to see Dick Russell posting here!

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I very much enjoyed reading the book and appreciate the research that went into it.

Some questions:

From reading documents,it would seem that LIENVOY had the capability to tell from where a call originated,not just the substance of the call?

You seem to strongly imply that Alvarado was acting at the behest of the CIA.Is it probable that he had been sent by Phillips?

I think it's interesting that Lopez Mateos on 11/23 wanted to tell Scott about the phone calls,not express condolences about the assassination.Were elements of the DFS prepared to push the story if the station didn't report it?

If the tapes and photos were destroyed,do you think it possible,as Peter Dale Scott has speculated,that the Mexican government had,or maybe still has,the original tapes because they were running LIENVOY?

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MCCORD, PHILLIPS: FEBRUARY 1961

A Memorandum for the Record, dated February 1, 1961, from Kammer. Subject: (deleted) #188074" stated: "On this date Subject's case was coordinated with Mr. McCORD of Security Research Service, in connection with Subject's operational use with the US by WH/4/Propaganda. The implications of a Counter-Intelligence operation within the States by this Agency, and the possibility Subject might come to the attention of the FBI through association with Court Wood, were discussed. Mr. McCORD expressed the opinion that it is not necessary to advise the FBI of the operation at this time. However, he wishes to review the case in a month. The file of the Subject, along with that of the WH man who is supervising the operation (DAVID ATLEE PHILLIPS #40695) will be pended for the attention of Mr. McCORD on March 1, 1961."

http://home.earthlink.net/~jrbednorz/FTP files/JFK research/Oswald data/cia lho2.gif

From:

http://www.ajweberman.com/nodules/nodule6.htm

A CIA document dated February 1, 1961, about the Fair Play for Cuba Committee stated

TO: C/EAB/OS

ATTN: Mr. Belt

VIA: WH/4/Security

ATTN: Mr. Kennedy

Subj: Fair Play for Cuba Committee

1. At the request of DAVE PHILLIPS, C/WH/4/Propaganda, I spent the evening of January 6, 1961, with Court Wood, a student who has recently returned from the 3-week stay in Cuba under sponsorship of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee.

2. Court and his father both have voiced very strong pro-Castro sentiments and are extremely critical of our foreign policy in general.

3. I've been advised by Mr. PHILLIPS to continue my relationship with Mr. Wood and I will keep your office informed of each subsequent visit.

4. This is forwarded to you as a matter of information and to become a permanent part of my security file.

(deleted)

WH/4/Registry

[Handwritten note] February 1, 1961, M/R Subject stated this is operational with no specific goal in mind. (Deleted) and Wood went to high school together and although they travel in different circles they on occasion see each other. Wood has (deleted) is a (illegible) player beginning with the time (deleted) file applicant. (Deleted).

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Also great to see Dick Russell posting here!

It is also good news that he will be publishing a new book on the case in November. He will of course be discussing it on the forum when it is published.

That is good news John. Dick Russell's website didn't have any information on his new book. Are you (or Dick Russell) at liberty to tell Forum members what the book is likely to cover?

Of course, the book he co-authored with Jesse Ventura, Don't Start the Revolution Without Me, should be available in a few weeks: http://www.amazon.com/Dont-Start-Revolutio...0815&sr=1-4

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Jefferson Morley,

I would like to join other Forum members in thanking you for all of your efforts in researching events surrounding the murder of President Kennedy. Our Man in Mexico is superbly written and breaks much new ground about Mexico City, the "Casablanca of the Cold War," as you put it.

And thank you for your efforts in the Joannides/CIA lawsuit. Congratulations and I hope your work bears fruit there.

After reading Our Man in Mexico, I would like to ask a few questions.

1) In writing about the possible Duran/Oswald affair you cite John Newman's book. On page 378, Newman writes: "It was the CIA's spy in the Cuban embassy, Luis Alberu, who finally convinced the station chief Win Scott that the affair was a fact." Did you come across Alberu in your research? Do you know if Sylvia Duran is still alive?

2) Beginning on page 217 of
Our Man in Mexico
you write: "For the FBI, the following questions were significant: Had Oswald, an average marksman in the marines, managed to unleash a volley of accurate rifle shots from a sixth-floor window, pegging President Kennedy square in the neck at 160 feet....." Why did you use the term "square in the neck?"

3) Do you have future writing plans after the CIA complies (I use the word loosely) with the judge's order? Could you see yourself writing another book?

4) Are there things you would have liked to include in
Our Man in Mexico
, but didn't for various reasons? (Documentation, people still living, etc.)

5) Do you miss your past association with the Washington Post?

6) How did your association and collaboration with Michael Scott affect your conclusions about the role of the CIA in terms of Oswald and Mexico City, if at all.

7) Did you have any dealings with Ed Lopez in the writing of
Our Man in Mexico
?

Also, thank you for coming to the Education Forum to answer questions

Edited by Michael Hogan
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1) In writing about the possible Duran/Oswald affair you cite John Newman's book. On page 378, Newman writes: "It was the CIA's spy in the Cuban embassy, Luis Alberu, who finally convinced the station chief Win Scott that the affair was a fact." Did you come across Alberu in your research? Do you know if Sylvia Duran is still alive?

I only came across Alberu in the context of the story of the alleged Oswald-Duran affair. Yes. Sylvia Duran is still alive.

2) Beginning on page 217 of Our Man in Mexico you write: "For the FBI, the following questions were significant: Had Oswald, an average marksman in the marines, managed to unleash a volley of accurate rifle shots from a sixth-floor window, pegging President Kennedy square in the neck at 160 feet....." Why did you use the term "square in the neck?"

I'm referring to the wound in Kennedy's back. "Back" would have been a better term upon reflection.

3) Do you have future writing plans after the CIA complies (I use the word loosely) with the judge's order? Could you see yourself writing another book?

Yes, I plan to do another book, possibly about the results of the lawsuit.

4) Are there things you would have liked to include in Our Man in Mexico, but didn't for various reasons? (Documentation, people still living, etc.)

Not much. I would have preferred to name every source. I wished I had done more research in Mexico. The books scants the Mexican side of Win's life.

5) Do you miss your past association with the Washington Post?

Sure. The Post name opens a lot of doors. That makes life easy. On the other hand, I like what I'm doing now much more than what I was doing at the Post.

6) How did your association and collaboration with Michael Scott affect your conclusions about the role of the CIA in terms of Oswald and Mexico City, if at all.

Well, until I did this book I didn't have any conclusions about the Oswald and the CIA and Mexico City. I wrote the book so that I could really think my way through to the conclusions. Working with Michael made me look at the story very sympatheticially (to Win Scott). My journalism background made me look at it very objectively.

I came away certain that Win Scott knew the CIA's official story on Oswald was b.s., that something had gone very wrong around Oswald's contacts in Mexico City, that there had been, at a minimum, an intelligence failure around Oswald, and that he, Win, wanted to protect himself from the possible consequences of that failure. Certainly, the question of Oswald's Cuban contacts was—and is-- a supremely sensitive one in the CIA. David Phillips' actions became clearer and more curious to me. James Angleton's role grew larger.

7) Did you have any dealings with Ed Lopez in the writing of Our Man in Mexico?[/indent]

Not much. I spoke on the phone with him a few times. I did rely heavily on his epic report about Oswald in Mexico City.

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1) In writing about the possible Duran/Oswald affair you cite John Newman's book. On page 378, Newman writes: "It was the CIA's spy in the Cuban embassy, Luis Alberu, who finally convinced the station chief Win Scott that the affair was a fact." Did you come across Alberu in your research? Do you know if Sylvia Duran is still alive?

I only came across Alberu in the context of the story of the alleged Oswald-Duran affair. Yes. Sylvia Duran is still alive.

2) Beginning on page 217 of Our Man in Mexico you write: "For the FBI, the following questions were significant: Had Oswald, an average marksman in the marines, managed to unleash a volley of accurate rifle shots from a sixth-floor window, pegging President Kennedy square in the neck at 160 feet....." Why did you use the term "square in the neck?"

I'm referring to the wound in Kennedy's back. "Back" would have been a better term upon reflection.

3) Do you have future writing plans after the CIA complies (I use the word loosely) with the judge's order? Could you see yourself writing another book?

Yes, I plan to do another book, possibly about the results of the lawsuit.

4) Are there things you would have liked to include in Our Man in Mexico, but didn't for various reasons? (Documentation, people still living, etc.)

Not much. I would have preferred to name every source. I wished I had done more research in Mexico. The books scants the Mexican side of Win's life.

5) Do you miss your past association with the Washington Post?

Sure. The Post name opens a lot of doors. That makes life easy. On the other hand, I like what I'm doing now much more than what I was doing at the Post.

6) How did your association and collaboration with Michael Scott affect your conclusions about the role of the CIA in terms of Oswald and Mexico City, if at all.

Well, until I did this book I didn't have any conclusions about the Oswald and the CIA and Mexico City. I wrote the book so that I could really think my way through to the conclusions. Working with Michael made me look at the story very sympatheticially (to Win Scott). My journalism background made me look at it very objectively.

I came away certain that Win Scott knew the CIA's official story on Oswald was b.s., that something had gone very wrong around Oswald's contacts in Mexico City, that there had been, at a minimum, an intelligence failure around Oswald, and that he, Win, wanted to protect himself from the possible consequences of that failure. Certainly, the question of Oswald's Cuban contacts was—and is-- a supremely sensitive one in the CIA. David Phillips' actions became clearer and more curious to me. James Angleton's role grew larger.

7) Did you have any dealings with Ed Lopez in the writing of Our Man in Mexico?[/indent]

Not much. I spoke on the phone with him a few times. I did rely heavily on his epic report about Oswald in Mexico City.

Jeff, Hi - just finished the book. Essential reading and I hope the lawsuit works out. One mistake I spotted: INCA was Information Council of the Americas, not Information Center of the Americas.

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Jeff,

Many thanks for responding to our questions.

I found your book interesting and informative, with a lot of new information that fills in some more pieces to the puzzles.

I also thought it jibs on different levels with David Talbot's Brothers, except for the parts about RFK's visit to Mexico City, about which you differ significantly.

Is there a real difference in opinion or research results on this area, or did he or did you discover different records not available to the other before publication?

Thanks, BK

Brothers, P. 301. "Quietly, Bobby also began to show renewed interest in his brother's assassination. On November 16, 1964, shortly after he won his Senate seat, RFK flew to Mexico City, where he spoke at the dedication ceremony for a worker's housing project named after President Kennedy. At a press conference, he was again asked about the Warren Report and he again endorsed it - but this time he added an intriguing qualifer, saying he believed in its veracity, 'as far as the investigation went.'"

"Though he attended a flurry of events during his two-day visit and dined with U.S. Ambassador Fulton Freeman at the fashionable San Angel Inn, Kennedy made it clear to embassy officials that he also wanted private time while he was in Mexico. But the visiting U.S. senator could not escape official supervision. Newly released Mexican government documents show that RFK was put under surveillance by the Direccion Federal de Seguridad, Mexico's FBI - an agency with close ties to the CIA station in Mexico City. CIA station chief WInston Scott, who was kept informed of Bobby's comings and goings during his visit, learned that the senator was gathering information about Lee Harvey Oswald while he was there. Scott noted in a memo for agency files that playright Elena Garro de Paz, wife of Octovio Paz, was among those trying to pass information about Oswald to Kennedy during his stay."

"Mexico City was one fo the most intriguing chapters in Oswald's murky life before his collison with history in Dallas. The alleged lone assassin had traveled there in late September 1963, according to the CIA, to get a visa from the Cuban embassy. But, as Hover had informed LBJ, the evidence suggesting Oswald was urgently trying to visit Cuba was apparently falsified by the CIA. Was Oswald the subject of a U.S. intelligence operation or a Cuban operation? The Warren Report had left pressing questions like this about Oswald's Mexico City trip unresolved. Bobby was interested in finding out more about Oswalds mysterious trip during his own visit."

This stands in contrast to your report (p. 241 OMIM):

"The subject of Kennedy's death hovered in Win's world. Bobby Kennedy visited Mexico City in November 1964 to dedicate a housing project named after his slain brother and to meet with labor leaders. He did not meet with Win or ask any qustions about Oswald's visit to Mexico. Security agents reported to teh Mexican DFS followed all his movements. Asked by a Mexican reporter if he agreed with the Warren Commission Report, RFK said he believed in its veracity. 'as far as the investigaiton went,' an unobrusive qualification that spoke to his private doubts that the investigation had gotten very far."

Edited by William Kelly
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I am afraid Jeff's book has not yet arrived from the States. I know Jeff would appreciate it if members who have read the book could write a customer review at Amazon. That will help get the word out to people that the book has something significant to say. You could also add a link to this forum debate.

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=12288

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From reading documents, it would seem that LIENVOY had the capability to tell from where a call originated, not just the substance of the call?

No. LIENVOY tapped into about 30 lines into various embassies and political figures. It could not identify the phone number or the source of the incoming call.

You seem to strongly imply that Alvarado was acting at the behest of the CIA. Is it probable that he had been sent by Phillips?

Yes. I think "probable" is the right word. I cannot prove it.

I think it's interesting that Lopez Mateos on 11/23 wanted to tell Scott about the phone calls, not express condolences about the assassination. Were elements of the DFS prepared to push the story if the station didn't report it?

I don't think so. I do not believe the Mexican security services were not part of any operation involving Oswald or creating propaganda around him, if that is your question.

If the tapes and photos were destroyed,do you think it possible, as Peter Dale Scott has speculated, that the Mexican government had,or maybe still has,the original tapes because they were running LIENVOY?

It is possible but I doubt it.

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http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1205975633...ml?mod=2_1167_1

BOOKS Bookshelf

What the Warren Commission May Have Missed

By EDWARD JAY EPSTEIN

March 20, 2008; Page D7

Our Man in Mexico

By Jefferson Morley

(University Press of Kansas, 371 pages, $34.95)

Within hours of President Kennedy's assassination on Nov. 22, 1963, the CIA had established that Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged killer, had met with Cuban officials at the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City eight weeks before. The CIA had also established that, four weeks after the meeting, Havana had approved a visa for Oswald, even though it normally did not grant visas to American citizens. At the time, Oswald was working under the alias "O.H. Lee" at the Texas Book Depository in Dallas.

ED-AH242_brmorl_20080319171117.jpg Such facts obviously point toward the sinister possibility of foreign involvement in the Kennedy assassination -- Cuban involvement. That two CIA sources independently reported seeing a Cuban official giving money to Oswald at Cuba's embassy in Mexico City only adds force to the possibility. And Fidel Castro himself had said, in the summer of 1963, that if American leaders continued "aiding plans to eliminate Cuban leaders . . . they themselves will not be safe." As CIA officials knew, such U.S. "plans" -- i.e., the CIA's efforts to assassinate Castro -- had continued up to the day of the Kennedy assassination.

So when the Mexican federal police, after the Kennedy assassination, arrested a female employee of the Cuban Consulate who had been in contact with Oswald, the CIA suggested that the Mexicans hold her incommunicado. The agency also suggested that they ask her such questions as: "Was the assassination of President Kennedy planned by Fidel Castro . . . and were the final details worked out inside the Cuban Embassy?" Thomas Mann, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, alerted Washington that there might be an indictable case against Cuban officials.

Little wonder, then, that the Warren Commission -- put together within days of Kennedy's death to investigate the assassination -- asked the CIA to provide it with everything the agency had regarding Oswald's activities in Mexico. The commission dispatched its top staff members to Mexico to meet with Ambassador Mann and Winston Scott, the CIA's station chief there. But nothing ever came of this Cuban connection. As we know, the Warren Commision, in its final report, determined that Oswald acted alone. What happened?

For one thing, the CIA had changed its tune by the time the Warren Commission staff members got to Mexico. The agency now claimed that it had learned of Oswald's activities in Mexico long after the assassination, by way of the FBI, and that stories about a Cuban official giving money to Oswald did not hold up. The Warren Commission concluded that there was no credible evidence of Cuban involvement.

Years later, thanks to congressional investigations, it emerged that the CIA had not been forthcoming with the Warren Commission about what it knew of Oswald's Mexican activities. Jefferson Morley's "Our Man in Mexico" brilliantly explores the mystery of this reticence. Though Mr. Morley is a dogged investigative reporter, he has not discovered any jaw-dropping evidence that will change forever the way we think about the Kennedy assassination, but he uncovers enough new material, and theorizes with such verve, that "Our Man in Mexico" will go down as one of the more provocative titles in the ever-growing library of Kennedy-assassination studies.

The book begins as a straightforward biography of Winston Scott, the CIA station chief in Mexico City in the early 1960s. It is an enthralling account of Scott's career as one of America's most accomplished spy masters. Mr. Morley memorably depicts not only Scott's espionage exploits, from London in World War II to Mexico City at the height of the Cold War, but also his complicated love life and his ambitions as a poet.

"Our Man in Mexico" moves onto murkier ground as it explores Oswald's movements in Mexico City during Scott's tenure there. But Mr. Morley has succeeded in ferreting out a wealth of CIA documents that reveal lapses, misreporting and destroyed evidence. He maintains that the CIA once possessed photographs of Oswald entering the Cuban Embassy and audiotapes of wiretaps that picked up Oswald's conversations with Cuban officials. The evidence is missing, he says; in fact, the disappearance of so much material has led him to conclude that Scott "perpetrated a wide-ranging coverup of CIA operations around Oswald." But why would Scott have done it?

Mr. Morley advances the theory that the CIA had to cover up an "operation" of its own that employed Oswald. While that theory might explain the holes in the record he encountered, Mr. Morley offers no evidence that such an operation ever existed. Instead he resorts to dredging up the "tantalizing" outline for a proposed novel by an ex-CIA officer in which a character working for the CIA recruits Oswald to assassinate Castro. Using fiction to make a factual argument is dubious enough, but what makes this exercise particularly absurd is the identity of the aspiring novelist: David Atlee Phillips, who testified repeatedly under oath to Congress that he did not know of any CIA plots involving Oswald.

There are, of course, more mundane explanations for the gaps in the CIA's surveillance of Oswald. Consider, for example, the agency's inability to produce photographs of Oswald entering the Cuban diplomatic compound in late September 1963, when eyewitnesses attested to his presence there. Mr. Morley shows that if Oswald used the public entrance to the embassy, he almost certainly would have been photographed by the CIA. So he concludes the CIA hid the evidence.

But what if Oswald had entered through the embassy's back garage, which was not covered by the CIA camera? As it turns out, two other investigators, Wilfried Huismann and Gus Russo, researching for their documentary "Rendezvous With Death," tracked down the guard who was on duty at the garage back then. He recalled seeing Oswald in the garage, explaining that he would have noted the outsider's presence since Oswald was accompanied by a Cuban intelligence officer.

Winston Scott was naturally aware that the CIA's surveillance cameras could be avoided by using the embassy's nonpublic entrances. After the assassination, why didn't he investigate the reasons behind such limited observation of the site at a time when Oswald was being tracked? My own guess is that Scott realized that a consensus had been reached in Washington according to which Oswald had acted alone, without foreign assistance; in short, there was no need to pursue that avenue of inquiry. He probably also realized that opening up the Cuban angle would lead to embarrassing revelations about the CIA's earlier operations against Castro. In other words, he acted like a bureaucrat by protecting the government's secrets.

As with so many of the tangents in the history of the Kennedy assassination, the record of Oswald's activities in Mexico City is so spotty that we likely will never know what really happened there and can only speculate. Scott supposedly wrote a memoir in which he refuted the Warren Commission's conclusions. But shortly after he died in 1971, the manuscript disappeared -- at the instruction, Mr. Morley suggests, of CIA Director Richard Helms. Maybe it will surface one day.

Edited by William Kelly
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