Liberal Fascism: The Not-So Secret History Of Martha Coakley

Politics & Current Events

On Tuesday January 19, Massachusetts voters will go to the polls to decide whether the late Edward Kennedy's Senate seat should go to Martha Coakley, the state's Attorney General, or Scott Brown, apparently some guy the Republicans found lying in the street who didn't have anything better to do.

Under ordinary circumstances, Coakley would be a shoe-in as a Democrat, but she appears to be running about even with Brown.  Especially given the stakes this race presents, on which the President's health care reform bill may ride.  History is in the making.

But it's past history that should concern us.  I'm writing to urge any Massachusetts readers we may have to suck it up and to vote for the bum the Republicans found lying in the street.  Martha Coakley is less suited for high office than anyone on the national stage.  Less suited than Sarah Palin.  Less suited than Carrie Prejean.

Prosecutors are called to do a tough job, but the exercise of discretion is part of that job.  Based on the evidence, Martha Coakley, in almost twenty years as a prosecutor, has exercised her discretion in every instance in favor of the State, in favor of her own ruthless ambition, and in defiance of any sense of compassion, or common sense.

Consider the notorious case of Gerald Amirault, convicted, in defiance of all reason and logic of inserting a wide-bladed butcher's knife, and a "magic wand," into the rectum of a four-year-old boy in the Fells Acres case.   (Miraculously the boy showed no physical injuries.)  It's true that Coakley did not prosecute Amirault.  Her former boss, Scott Harshbarger, did that in the wave of "satanic ritual abuse" cases that swept America into a frenzy in the late 1980s and early 1990s.  You may recall that dozens of children all over the country made fantastic allegations (often as a "recovered memory") of abuse at day cares, leading to now-discredited verdicts such as Amirault, Little Rascals, and the McMartin pre-school case.

No Coakley didn't prosecute Amirault.  She merely, when elected to succeed Harshbarger, did everything in her power to sabotage Amirault's pardon or parole, when the state's pardon commission concluded, unanimously, that Amirault wasn't guilty and should be set free.  Though Coakley tries to avoid discussion of Amirault, now almost universally considered a travesty, Dorothy Rabinowitz shows that she continues to stand by her work in the case, and to maintain Amirault's guilt.

That's only one exercise of Coakley's discretion.  Consider Coakley's role in prosecuting nanny Louise Woodward, where Coakley pushed for and got a murder conviction in an infamous "shaken baby" case.  Despite Coakley's resistance, the judge presiding over the case reduced Woodward's conviction to involuntary manslaughter.  The Woodward case, like Amirault's, is now discredited.  Most believe the death was the result of a latent pre-existing injury.  Martha Coakley exercises her discretion in favor of over-criminalization and over-prosecution, turning the tragic into the capital.  And she showcases these trials on her resume, riding them to higher office.

Except when she doesn't.  When the perpetrator is a police officer, as in the case of Keith Winfield, who was convicted of raping a twenty-three month old baby with a hot curling iron, and given two life sentences.  Although this case would seem tailor-made for a guardian of children like Martha Coakley, she didn't press for prosecution (that was done by the child's mother), and didn't ask that the defendant even post a bond.  The Winfield case, unlike others involving allegations of child abuse and Martha Coakley, is not a cause celebre, and no one seriously disputes Winfield's guilt.  Strange that Coakley doesn't trumpet this one.

But in every other high profile case where there's something in it for Coakley, she has blown her trumpet.  Consider the Melendez-Diaz case, where Coakley, not an appellate advocate, chose to appear personally before the United States Supreme Court, to argue that bothering prosecutors to produce hostile witnesses (in this case forensic examiners) in compliance with the Sixth Amendment, is just too burdensome.  As Radley Balko points out, even Justices Scalia and Thomas didn't buy what Coakley was selling.

If one is a liberal, it's tempting to think that this election is just about health care, the burning issue of the day.  What damage can one Senator do?  Of course, one might ask the same of a prosecutor, and consider Coakley's career.  But a prosecutor doesn't make law.  A prosecutor merely enforces laws written by others.

Freedom in this country is under constant assault, from forces right and left.  Massachusetts voters, liberal, conservative, or none-of-the-above, should consider whether Martha Coakley is suited, by temperament and experience, to inflict her views on the rest of the country.  To take her ego, and her views, onto the national stage.

I say no.  Vote for the bum the Republicans found on the street.  It's important.

Via Overlawyered.

January 18, 2010 Update: Scott Greenfield has more on Coakley's effort, thirteen years after his conviction, to deprive Gerald Amirault of the counsel of his choice, using the freedom of Amirault's sister as a wedge.  I'm not a Massachusetts lawyer and can't comment on the legality of Coakley's deal (which the Amirault's lawyer, James Sultan, rejected out of hand), but I can comment, morally, on Coakley and her demands:

Sleaze.

Last 5 posts by Patrick Non-White

35 Comments

32 Comments

  1. Paul L.  •  Jan 15, 2010 @1:44 pm

    Martha Coakley, she didn’t press for prosecution (that was done by the child’s mother)

    Michelle Malkin notes that Coakley blames the mother in her radio interview.

    Also of interest: Coakley’s comments in the same interview about her role in the notorious rape case of a 23-month-old toddler. The comments begin at about the 6:30 mark. She suggests that the mother of the child may have been “potentially guilty in that case” — which begs the question (unasked by the host) of why Coakley didn’t pursue criminal charges against her:

  2. Base of the Pillar  •  Jan 15, 2010 @2:00 pm

    I always knew you were a DINO.

  3. Patrick  •  Jan 15, 2010 @2:59 pm

    "I didn't leave the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party left me."

  4. Charles  •  Jan 15, 2010 @4:13 pm

    This makes me sad. I can't believe that the Democrats couldn't come up with an inept Kennedy and instead had to go with Coakley.

    It makes me even sadder that I still want to win because I expect that she'll be a reliable vote and back-bencher who can't do much harm as a junior senator. In a way, voting her to the Senate will protect the citizens of Massachusetts.

    Yup. That's what I'm going to tell myself. *sigh*

  5. RD  •  Jan 15, 2010 @6:09 pm

    "If one is a liberal, it’s tempting to think that this election is just about health care, the burning issue of the day. What damage can one Senator do?"
    Burning issue of the day? Sure, if said "day" started in early April or so and is still ongoing. I suppose. In this instance, one Senator can do a lot of damage. Be it working (or allowing to work) the arcane rules of the Senate enough make the bill worse and/or stopping it dead in it's tracks or casting a vote for it.

    "Of course, one might ask the same of a prosecutor, and consider Coakley’s career. But a prosecutor doesn’t make law. A prosecutor merely enforces laws written by others."
    By this delineation are you arguing that how she acted as a prosecutor, she will enable as an author of legislation? That's kind of a stretch, don't ya think? Not an unreasonable one, IMO, just missing the "distributed middle" that would allow me to consider jeopardizing any kind of meaningful health care reform for the near future.

    I'm not disagreeing with your assessment of Coakley as a prosecutor. But then again, I'm reminded of something a defense attorney once told me, paraphrased, "the assistant DAs who aren't authoritarian assholes rarely get beyond prosecuting (pleading out) petty crimes and small misdemeanors." That an Attorney General happens to be a ruthless, heart-of-cold-fucking-steel asshole with disturbing views of justice is not really a surprise.

    Also, she's not running for Attorney General and at this point, health reform – as lame as it currently lies – is worth putting up with one more authoritarian asshole* in a government that's full of them if it means almost a years worth of work does not go down the drain at the behest of an incoherent "protest" movement who's main commodities are anger and teabags.

    Obviously, she does not seem to be that great of a campaigner. Even now that the heat is on. Should she win and turns into our worst nightmares – after her health care vote, of course – then she can be primaried out of a job when her term ends – not an unthinkable occurrence in hippie Taxechusetts.

    *Funny thing is. . . a lot of the people that will vote for Brown or the other right-wing challenger would absolutely die-for/totally-masturbate-all-over a right-wing candidate with that kinda record as a prosecutor.

  6. Patrick  •  Jan 15, 2010 @7:08 pm

    By this delineation are you arguing that how she acted as a prosecutor, she will enable as an author of legislation? That’s kind of a stretch, don’t ya think?

    What else should I judge her on RD? Her record as a girl scout?

    She's an overbearing thug of a prosecutor. Why should I believe she'll be a gentle lamb, all meek and mild, as a Senator? She overcriminalizes in her current job. Why will that change when she has the power to make law, rather than merely enforce it? God help us the next time a satanist opens a day care center. We'll get the Abolition of Ritual Satanic Exploitation act of 2011, empowering the FBI to search homes on anonymous tips about diabolically shaken children.

    Who's stretching here, Armstrong? Get off my astroturf.

  7. RD  •  Jan 15, 2010 @8:28 pm

    Patrick: Who does a person accused of a serious crime by the state fear more and who can do more harm to them? The local DA or their Senator?

    It takes a lot of leaps-of-faith to finally arrive at the "Abolition of Ritual Satanic Exploitation act of 2011" and I can totally understand where you are coming. But it exploits a couple logical fallacies and while I get the tenor of your argument and mostly agree, it doesn't outweigh the very real prospect that it could scuttle a needed kick in the right direction regarding health care and in doing so possibly prolong already needless suffering thousands of people.

    BTW, after reading your post and digging around the tubez, I noticed Scott Brown is on the record as being pro-torture. So I guess all it comes out in the wash, eh? Politics is the art of compromise with minimal violence. And for the moment, I'll take an authoritarian vote I can somewhat rely on as opposed to an authoritarian vote I cannot.

  8. Paul L.  •  Jan 16, 2010 @5:58 am

    Scott Brown is on the record as being pro-torture
    And Coakley can be granted absolute moral authority as she only lobbied to prolong the incarceration of a innocent man as opposed to pouring water on face of someone who violates the Geneva conventions.
    It only Bush had stuck a hot curling iron up their butts. as Coakley did not find that to be something to get outraged about.

  9. RD  •  Jan 16, 2010 @10:28 am

    "And Coakley can be granted absolute moral authority as she only lobbied to prolong the incarceration of a innocent man as opposed to pouring water on face of someone who violates the Geneva conventions."

    Where, other than in your head, did I absolve or grant Coakley any kind of authority, moral or otherwise? I think if you read what I've written in this thread, you'll notice I don't disagree with Patrick's assessment. Though, I arrive at a different conclusion for reasons I thought I made somewhat clear.

    About that last part of the sentence: ". . . as opposed to pouring water on face of someone who violates the Geneva conventions."

    One: I assume you are referring to teh evil terrorists when you say "someone who violates the Geneva Conventions"? Yes? If so, could you explain how someone violates a treaty they are not a party to? Unless I missed the part where al Qaeda signed and ratified said treaty.

    Two: "Pouring water on someone's face is a semantically nice way to describe what is more colloquially known as water boarding. Which is, in fact. a violation of the treaty you so referenced as it is considered a form of torture.

    In other words, your logic sucks beyond belief. It's OK to violate a treaty we are a party to, because people not bound by the same treaty are violating it? How many purposes are you attempting to defeat here?

    "It only Bush had stuck a hot curling iron up their butts. as Coakley did not find that to be something to get outraged about."

    Um. . . OK. Sure, I think. I guess I can see how you might support Brown's authoritarianism over Coakley's. Though the Bush Administration did imprison American citizens without allowing them to challenge their detention in the courts or have access to a lawyer and sexual torture was (is?) a fixture of the American torture regime. But whatevs, I'm not even sure what your saying with that last sentence.

  10. Paul L.  •  Jan 16, 2010 @7:15 pm

    I missed the part where al Qaeda signed and ratified said treaty.
    So why does the left/supreme court believe they are entitled to the protection granted by the Geneva Conventions?

  11. CEJ  •  Jan 16, 2010 @9:29 pm

    RD,

    Thank-you!

  12. Nancy  •  Jan 16, 2010 @9:40 pm

    It seems odd that Coakley is now being handed all the blame for the Woodward case, because at the time Tom Reilly was very definitely the person claiming all the credit for prosecuting it. Much of the blame, I might add, should go to Woodward's lawyers, who chose not to ask for jury instructions for involuntary manslaughter, but instead gambled on a not guilty verdict that they didn't get. Reilly, by the way, used the Woodward case as a springboard to the AG position.

  13. RD  •  Jan 16, 2010 @10:26 pm

    So why does the left/supreme court believe they are entitled to the protection granted by the Geneva Conventions?

    Um. . . d00d, really? It's not about the "they [who] are entitled", it's about how the United States is required- by the terms of the Geneva Conventions – to entitle "they" to the provisions and protections of said Conventions. Do you really not understand the concept?

  14. Paul L.  •  Jan 17, 2010 @6:27 am

    , it’s about how the United States is required- by the terms of the Geneva Conventions
    Progressives have been using that argument before and it gets destroyed by quoting the Geneva Conventions.

    One of the reasons why…well, You quoted this bit, but apparently, didn’t catch it:

    They shall furthermore be bound by the Convention in relation to the said Power, if the latter accepts and applies the provisions thereof.

    If the party does NOT accept and apply the conventions, the other parties are not bound by them. Convention protections are reciprocal.

    So much for that argument.

  15. Al  •  Jan 17, 2010 @12:48 pm

    Wow. The "put the good of the country before the good of the party" rhetoric died just about as fast as "limited government and fiscal responsibility" did.

  16. Jack Marshall  •  Jan 17, 2010 @2:45 pm

    Great post, Patrick, and on the money about Coakley. She abused power and was an unethical prosecutor by any reasonable standard; power abuse is not a good qualification for Senator. Moreover, the campaign has revealed her as lazy, arrogant, cowardly (refusing to debate her opponent one on one), unprepared (her Taliban gaffe would have had a Sarah Palin ridiculed mercilessly) and out of touch with her own state—yes, if you don't know who Curt Schilling is, you shouldn't be living in Mass., much less representing it. And effective managers don't let publications go out misspelling "Massachusetts."

    A lawn chair is better qualified.

    The argument for voting for her is essentially undemocratic: vote for Coakley because it bolsters The Leader; vote for her because she"ll do as she's told; vote for her because the idiotic health care bill that nobody has read and is corrupt to its core has to pass because so much time and political capital has been wasted on it—the Viet Nam excuse.

    You vote for an elected representative because he or she has shown the character and skills necessary for the job. Coakley has emphatically shown that she DOESN'T have either. At least there is some doubt about Brown.

  17. Frank Zess  •  Jan 17, 2010 @6:08 pm

    i hope you influenced 0 votes with this post

  18. Patrick  •  Jan 17, 2010 @9:35 pm

    Obviously I hit a mark with you, Frank.

  19. Padraigs Ghost  •  Jan 18, 2010 @7:58 pm

    Martha Coakley is a pure evil and totally amoral person who has trampled over human beings in the legal system for her career ambition. She is part of the Fabian Socialist Communitarian Agenda. This agenda includes the abrogation if individual rights for "Group Rights" such as the LBGT agenda, Wealth Redistrabution and the distruction of America as we know it. Make no mistake, for these people the instruments of the change that Presidient Obama pormised. They are the useful fools and fellow travellers of the socialist revolution from within. A component of the internal subversion mechanism is the Gay agenda that is designed to devide and conquer a people once united in "American Culture". The radical LBGT agenda is best defined by such a person as President Obama's Safe Schools Czar Kevin Jennings program intended to sexualize school chidren. Kevin Jennings agenda would be held in high regard by the NAMBLA pedophiles. Closer to home Scott Brown replaced Lesbian Senator Cheryl Jacques who went to Washington to head up the LBGT Human Rights Campaign. The mission of the Human Rights campaign is to ram gay rights down the throat of the American people. Scott Brown in turn defeated Cheryl Jacques chief of staff Chief of Staff, and openly homosexual Angus, McQuilken. He is also the Chief of Staff of Planned Partenhood League of Mass. Funny how much of this ties together. I believe that we may be on the eve of a new revolution. This one will be fought with education of the people and at the ballot box. As Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto said after his forces attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, "I fear all we have done is awaken a sleeping giant and have instilled in him a terrible resolve". WE ARE AMERICANS AND WE HAVE AWAKENED! Vote for Scott Brown on Tuesday and defeat the ObamaCare monster for starters…

  20. Ken  •  Jan 18, 2010 @8:02 pm

    Someday, somehow, opponents of gay rights are gonna back off the frankly embarrassing throat-ramming fixation.

  21. patrickkelley  •  Jan 19, 2010 @6:36 am

    "Someday, somehow, opponents of gay rights are gonna back off the frankly embarrassing throat-ramming fixation."

    But if they do back off, we could end up with gay rights up the ass. Then, it will be too late.

  22. Amirault was guilty  •  Jan 20, 2010 @10:03 am

    Amirault was found guilty and this verdict was upheld several times by both political parties. There were physical findings of abuse in the children and the children showed signs of strong sexualized behaviors after the abuse. The children as adults continue to state they were abused.

    Letters to the Editor: The Real Darkness Is Child Abuse WALL STREET JOURNAL 02/24/95 Hardoon
    The three Amiraults — Gerald, Violet and Cheryl – were convicted after two trials before different judges and juries almost one year apart. They were represented by able and well-known defense counsel. The convictions were upheld after review by state and federal appellate courts….in Amirault, the majority of the female children who testified had some relevant physical findings, as did several female children involved in the investigation who did not participate in the trial. The findings included labial adhesions and hymenal scarring…The victims and their families in these cases have been irrevocably harmed by what was done to them by the Amiraults…..The juries, by their verdicts, rejected these arguments. Justice was done.

  23. Patrick  •  Jan 20, 2010 @11:29 am

    Amirault was guilty: [sic]

    I've noticed that your comment is a cut-and-paste of what you said at Overlawyered. For rebuttals to your spam, I'd ask our readers to click the link above, for Overlawyered, and read comments.

  24. Amirault was guilty  •  Jan 20, 2010 @6:59 pm

    Yes some of the website information showing evidence of his guilt was copied from the other website. The "spam" is the repeated proclamations of his innocence, with the same arguments being spun in his defense.

    The moderator of the other website did not allow for the debate to continue however, only allowing for additional comments from those that believe Amirault was innocent. So much for freedom of speech.

    Coakley's actions in any legal case had little if any to do with the results of the election. If anyone looks at the cities won and lost, Coakley won all of the major cities and progress areas, while Brown won rural and smaller conservative areas. The people that voted for Brown did not want to pay for health care for poor people nationally, like they are already paying for them in Massachusetts.

    Two points in regard to the rebuttals at the other page. Wikipedia is in essence defended there as a valid source of information. Yet Wikipedia has no guarantee of fact checking and is edited by anonymous editors with unknown motives. Wikipedia's general disclaimer states "Please be advised that nothing found here has necessarily been reviewed by people with the expertise required to provide you with complete, accurate or reliable information." "Wikipedia is not uniformly peer reviewed; while readers may correct errors or engage in casual peer review, they have no legal duty to do so and thus all information read here is without any implied warranty of fitness for any purpose or use whatsoever."

    The other page discusses IPT as a "sane" source of information on child abuse cases. Yet, IPT-forensics was founded by Ralph Underwager.

    Paedophiles can boldly and courageously affirm what they choose. They can say that what they want is to find the best way to love. . . . Paedophiles can make the assertion that the pursuit of intimacy and love is what they choose. With boldness they can say, "I believe this is in fact part of God's will. –Dr. Ralph Underwager in this interview with Paidika, a European pro-pedophile publication.
    http://www.nostatusquo.com/ACLU/NudistHallofShame/Underwager2.html

    Another website with evidence of Amirault's guilt is criticized because of a typo.

    We can be given the freedom to debate both sides of the issue fairly. Or, we can censor those that do not agree with us and continue the one sided hysteria around this case.

  25. PLW  •  Jan 20, 2010 @10:08 pm

    "So much for freedom of speech. "

    Unless the blog you're talking about is run by Congress, I don't really know what you mean by this. I can tell you to shut up in my house whenever I want to. And if you write stuff I don't like on its walls, I can erase it.

    "If anyone looks at the cities won and lost, Coakley won all of the major cities and progress areas,"

    Its not about who won what areas.. that's almost always a foregone conclusion. They key is the margin of victory and the degree of turnout. Coakley didn't win her areas by enough… maybe because many liberals don't like the idea of voting for an overzealous prosecutor.

    "Wikipedia is in essence defended there as a valid source of information."

    Better read that again. Laughing at someone for trying to argue against wikipedia isn't happening because wikipedia is "a valid source of information", but rather because it's like going to to the elementary school to beat up kids and take their money. It just makes you seem sad.

    Finally.. somecranksite.com/ACLU/nudist hall of shame/. LOL.

  26. guilty  •  Jan 20, 2010 @10:26 pm

    Either one can allow for both sides to be presented fairly on their blog, or they can censor them. But if they censor them, then they are probably trying to bury information they don't want others to know.

    The election was obviously about health insurance. This was the big issue for Brown and Coakley. The attacks on each others' records went both ways and negated each other out. Your argument about Wikipedia is bizarre. If a source is incorrect, its weaknesses need to be exposed.

    What is sad is that some people are unable and unwilling to look at both sides of the issue. The interview copy of Underwager is valid and has never been questioned. Calling it a crank site without information on it is simply a cheap shot.

  27. Padraigs Ghost  •  Jan 21, 2010 @12:21 am

    I was a criminal investigator for 12 years with some fairly advanced training in many aspects of the field on both the state and federal level. I have also taught a subject for a time in the criminal justice inservice training. The facts of scaring, skin tags. broken hymens, dialated orifaces, internal tearing/fissures, STD's such as clamidia, HPV, Herpes Type 2, etc., and advanced sexual knowlege by young children are very real issues of physical and testimonial evidence. If I remember correctly what was the critical, controversial evidence in the case against the Amiraults was the testimonial collection techniques employed by the investigators and child forensic psychologists at the time. This combined a new and unproven collection technique with the physical evidence could and may have set up a false evidence pattern indicating sexual abuse traceable to the Fells Acre Daycare. These interview techniques and testimonial evidence collection with anatomically correct puppets/dolls have been proven unreliable since then and have largely been abandoned! How consistant were the abuse physical evidence patterns? In the years that past could the children have gotten injured by other means or did someone else abuse them? As I remember many of the children were quite older when the alligations of sexual abuse came to light. When conducting crimes against persons criminal investigations, you want to have a person who would have be intimately knowledge of such crimes. In Massachusetts there is a law that every department is mandated to have a female officer trained and designated as a sexual abuse investigator/interviewer. With sexual crimes against children, you want an investigator who is a parent rearing experience as well. Martha Coakley and others may have had the best intentions professionally dispite personal ambitions. However, it is still possible to have a miscarriage of justice. I find it veru odd myself to be defending these people, but there is the distinct possiblity that a great misjustice was done to all or some of the parties convicted. I personally hated sex abuse/assault cases, and the few ones that involved children that I worked on still disturb and haunt me today. How can anyone hurt a child in such a way I will never know? Martha Coakley will be scapegoated locally and in Washingtoon for losing. This too is wrong, dispite how I feel about her personally. Martha Coakely is just the latest victim of the AG curse…

  28. Patrick  •  Jan 21, 2010 @6:58 am

    I actually have begun deleting comments to this post, but not because I disagree with their content.

    I've done it because the same person, under different names, keeps attempting to leave the same comment, over and over. Spam will always be deleted here.

  29. Padraigs Ghost  •  Jan 21, 2010 @11:53 pm

    One last post: I failed to mention of the years I have worked with several lay and sworn law enforcement gay/homosexual people. I found these people as individuals to be as decent and commited to a particular cause of justice for those we investigated as I was. I personally feel homosexuallity is a form of a psychaitric disturbance, but within the normal functional range of acceptable behaviors. Dispite my admited personal bias, I have found my gay and lesbian colleagues to be as commited to a fair and impartial outcome of an investigation as I was. Believe me there are alot more of them in law enforcement than you know. I find most people in law enforcement have issues… (control freaks, etc.) I do not defend gay rights or radicals connected with the homosexual agenda. I just wish to point out that they are human beings and deserve respect as people. I still opose gay marriage and homosexual adoption on it's face value. It is not a right validated in the constitution or bill of rights dispite how one may argue it. God bless all of you who post here!

  30. Patrick  •  Jan 22, 2010 @6:45 am

    Jesus wept!

  31. Padraigs Ghost  •  Jan 24, 2010 @4:15 pm

    Padrick,

    What in Chirst's name is that friggin icon that you use? It looks like an X-mas tree with an mp3 player… Your oh so right, Jesus wept! So would you if you were on the receiving end of some to the things Coakley did to people that may well have been innocent. Thanks to her they ended up in jail due to some really despicable malicious prosecution/abuse of process actions!

  32. Patrick  •  Jan 25, 2010 @4:49 am

    It's a Dalek with an iPod. It's a parody of the Apple commercial which featured silhouettes of people dancing with the iPod in their hands.

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