Disappearing Act: James Forrestal Under Surveillance Update: See Footnotes for new data from David Martin of CBS re: his new Forrestal book.
In 1944, in the midst of World War II, Secretary of the Navy James V. Forrestal was under surveillance by his President (Loftus and Aarons 73). Roosevelt didn't trust Forrestal. The latter was a major partner in the traitorous Standard Oil Company, headed by Nelson Rockefeller, who had by that time been determined to have engaged in treason by arranging sales of oil and petroleum products to Nazi agents in South America. (Loftus and Aarons 64).
Like his partner Allen Dulles (attorney of George Bush's father, Prescott Bush, sr., during this same time), Forrestal had been found to have engaged in treason, as well, on a milder level. Although Forrestal loved the U.S. troops and went into battle on the front lines with them, he was busily working with Dulles to arrange a negotiated peace with the Axis, behind FDR's back. (Loftus and Aarons 79-80, 89-90, 136-40, 149-50).
By June and July, 1944, the GOP had selected its official Presidential candidate for the 1944 election. It was Thomas Dewey, who was to lose to FDR and, later, to Truman. Although the official GOP had not encouraged the idea, Dulles and Forrestal knew the GOP needed the shot in the arm of a new deal with the Axis to defeat FDR. One charge frequently leveled against FDR by Dewey was that he was too closely affiliated with a number of Communists and Communist-front organizations and persons. Dewey attempted to attack FDR's patriotism on this issue. He tried to show connections between associates of FDR and persons in FDR's administration, and the Communist system in Russia. He also tried to make the claim that FDR had betrayed the nation's secrets to the USSR in return for the limited Soviet assistance against the Axis.
It was the latter alliance that Dulles was striving hard to end. Dulles had millions of dollars he'd made from helping set up and run Hitler's Third Reich in various ways. He didn't want those millions discovered by Allied troops as they continued their offensive in Europe and the Mediterranean. He had to get tha money out, and into a place not so obvious. One person who helped was a fake Bishop named "Cikota" whom Dulles had flown to Japanese-occupied Manchuria. His purpose was to hide some of Dulles's wealth in Manchuria, as Dulles tried desperately to keep Russia out of the war with Japan and to cajole Japan to realign itself with the U.S. and its allies against Russia instead of continuing their war with us. (Loftus and Aarons 80-95). Indeed, Loftus and Aarons tell us that Forrestal was "obsessed" with a war with Russia. (156).
Dulles's negotiations, lengthy and complex, we now know (Loftus and Aarons 79-80, 89-90, 136-40, 149-50), were totally illegal. From the get-go, Dulles was breaking the law. He rationalized this away as he had also rationalized the millions of Jews Hitler was killing in the camps with the poison gases that Dulles's employers, the firms making that poison gas for the giant German I.G. Farben company, had manufactured.
Forrestal, as Dulles's partner at Standard Oil, had worked hard to negotiate secretly with the Japanese. He tried consistently to keep FDR from bombing Japan proper, presenting military arguments against doing so. (Devine 150). His real motive, of course, was to use such a "bombing halt" as a peace gesture to Japan.
Forrestal apparently soon forgot the horrors of Bataan and Corregidor, even as he went ashore with the troops on other islands in the forefront of battle. What is really significant about his disappearing act, which often lasted for days at a time, however, is that he apparently was doing so to avoid FDR's surveillance. Another interesting aside on this is that Forrestal was seen on Saipan in July of 1944 by Marine Thomas E. Devine (39-42). At the time he was seen, his diary was silent as to his whereabouts. Given his bad security rating, which we only recently learned about in Loftus and Aarons, it is not surprising to also learn from them that Forrestal was being tailed by FDR, who was trying to locate him when he attempted to bed "out of pocket.'
Devine reportedly saw Forrestal involved in destroying an aircraft. This aircraft, Devine eventually assumed, had been "Amelia Earhart's Plane." However, evidence now suggests that the plane in question was actually a TBM Avenger plane which had been piloted by (later President) George Bush, then a Navy pilot in the Pacific.. Bush had landed his plane on Japanese-held Guam on June 19, 1944, at Forrestal's behest. The fall of the Marianas, including Guam, would mean that Japan proper could be subject to U.S. bombing raids again, as it had been briefly in June, 1944, until the Japanese, with the connivance of Chiang Kai Shek (at the encouragement of Dulles) had captured the huge new U.S. Army Air Force bases in Northern China, from which the first regular bombing raids had started to hit Japan proper in early June, 1944. By the end of June, these airfields had fallen to the Japanese, as Chiang sold out his troops in return for the promise of Japanese help against Mao (Bagby 233-6).
Now, however, the Marianas seemed about to fall, reopening Japan to the same bombing campaign. Forrestal and Dulles were desperate not to bomb Japan proper any further, since Japan could soon be an ally in the projected war against Russia.
Dulles and Forrestal were conveniently forgetting public rage at Japan for its maltreatment of captured U.S. troops during the Bataan Death March and it mistreatment of civilians in the bombing of Shanghai and the rape of nurses at Singapore. All of these events had definitely turned American public opinion against Japan.
There was no hope at all of an early forgiveness of those sins by that public, FDR accurately perceived. No matter how strong the anti-Russia rhetoric might get, USSR was a relative "good guy" at this point in the war, drawing the fire of millions of German troops away from our own. No matter how frantic Dulles might be to manipulate events to prevent the capture of his "Nazi gold," there would be no alliance with Japan to defeat Russia. But this wasn't because Dulles and Forrestal weren't in there trying.
Bagby, Wesley; Marvin. The Eagle-Dragon Alliance: America's Relations With China in World War II. Cranbury, NJ: Associated UP, 1992
Callahan, David. Dangerous Capabilities: Paul Nitze and the Cold War. New York: Harper, 1990. 23-6, 31-2, 33-6, 38, 39, 41, 43, 46-8. Notes that Nitze and Forrestal were partners at Dillon, Read; worked with Rockefeller in South America, (given what we've learned about Rocky's activities in S. Amer. during WW2, that's not exactly a ringing endorsement of his character); and opposed much of the bombing of Japan.
Devine, Thomas E. Eyewitness: The Amelia Earhart Incident. Frederick, Colo: Renaissance House, 1980. 50: mentions that, by July, 1944, Forrestal was "already looking beyond World War II" and seeing Japan and Germany as possible US allies against the USSR.
Forrestal Diaries. Walter Millis, ed. New York: Viking, 1951. 544-555. Millis describes the results of extensive compilation of materials relating to Forrestal's last days, the mysterious aura about Forrestal's death. There have been many speculations from many quarters, as to his death. He died May 21-2 (that is, about midnight), 1949. He fell from the sixteenth floor of Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland, where he'd been admitted for severe depression a few weeks before. He'd had a lot of famous company in the days before his death.
But, flashing back to the events immediately before the final onset of that worst round of depression, Forrestal had become indecisive; he was also undecided about whether to continue as Secretary of Defense, and he, essentially, ended up virtually bugging President Truman about it. (The editor doesn't say this in so many words, but it becomes apparent: he requested numerous meetings with Truman to discuss the issue.)
"His calendar and the log kept by his orderly show that, after a morning
of only two appointments and few telephone calls, none after 10:30, Forrestal went to the White House. The entry on his calendar reads: '12:30: the President (White House) off-the-record.' He did not return to his office until 2:20. He then had only four visitors, the last at 4:15, but he remained in his office alone until 6:35, when he went home. He left no record of any of this day's events, but at least one friend came to understand later that the President at the midday meeting had asked Forrestal to send his letter of resignation over at once and that his request had been a 'shattering experience'.
"Until this interview Forrestal evidently had felt that submission of his resignation letter was not an urgent matter. Now he began to work on it at a fever pitch. . . Forrestal kept advancing its effective date until he fixed it for March 31.. .[Forrestal told his aide that] the President wished him to stay until June 1 but that he wanted to get out sooner (552)."
Millis then goes on to describe Forrestal's early--but late-- sending of the letter. After keeping on at Truman about how he was ready to retire from public life, then backtracking, Truman had obviously gotten impatient. A day late, and several more hours after Truman requested it at last, Forrestal's letter of resignation was delivered to Truman--who, keep in mind, hadn't "started it" about Forrestal's fretting about retiring or not, but was now ready to have his time--as President of the United States--freed up again. Forrestal said in the letter he'd retire on March 31. Truman replied: "your letter received this day confirms our many previous conversations and discussions. I am therefore fully cognizant of the considerations which prompt your desire to relinquish your duties as Secretary of Defense. At my personal urging you have agreed to remain in Washington far beyond the time when you had expressed a hope of leaving government service. . . for all that you have done in your country's behalf and for the service which you will continue to give out of your abundant experience, I tender you heartfelt assurance of my gratitude and appreciation."
Millis notes of this:
"On this interchange the diary ends. To Forrestal, it apparently came with the force of a dismissal under fire. He had wished for retirement. He had been half prepared to relinquish his post to an ambitious claimant. He was not prepared for the events of March 1, when he apparently was asked abruptly to send in a resignation letter. The experience seems to have undermined his self-confidence and unduly exaggerated that sense of inadequacy. . . he began to reveal a state of emotional depression...that he was cracking under internal stresses. . . (553)."
Even though Truman and his staff and the military gave Forrestal a surprise going-away ceremony, it didn't help his state (554).
"Directly after the meeting Forrestal left by air for Hobe Sound, Florida, as a guest of Robert Lovett, his old friend and colleague in so many crises of state. . . (553)."
Anyway, by the end of April, Forrestal had been responding well to treatment (Millis 554). But on
the night of May 21, in his hospital room, he began copying the words of a poem, William
Mackworth Praed's translation of Sophocles' poem, "Chorus of Ajax." Key words this poem that
may explain what triggered Forrestal's apparent leap out the window in the next few minutes,
". . . thy son is in a foreign clime,
Where Ida feeds her countless flocks,
Far from thy dear, remembered rocks,
Worn by waste of time---
Comfortless, nameless, hopeless save
In the dark prospect of the yawning grave. . .
The section he was copying, goes on:
Woe to the mother in her close of day,
Woe to her desolate heart and temples gray
When she shall hear
Her loved one's story whispered in her ear!
"Woe, woe!" will be the cry--
No quiet murmur like the tremulous wail
of the lone bird, the querulous nightingale--
Millis notes that the "copying ceased on this word (nightingale). Forrestal put the sheets he'd been copying the poem onto, into the back of the book, walked over to the window, and "fell to his death from its unguarded window (555)."
In what I think is an issue related to that which was haunting Forrestal, David Bergamini, in Japan's Imperial Conspiracy (New York: William Morrow, 1971), confirms my suspicions about Tsuji Masanobu (1004-5): he was, indeed, a courier (yet another courier!) between Chiang Kai Shek's forces and the Japanese, and precisely during the time when Chiang engaged in those secret negotiations that resulted in the successes of the Japanese "Ichigo offensive" which resulted in the capture of US newly-built airstrips in Northern China from which we were to at last have been able to bomb the Japanese home islands. With those airbases lost, the US had to move even faster to capture the Marianas--Guam and Saipan--from which, again, Japan proper could be reached by large, land-based bombers.
Thus, Tsuji Masanobu's apparent later communications in the postwar years
with Allen Dulles--noted in an earlier e-mail by me in a reference to Loftus and Aarons--are largely confirmed. The significance of that connection is also confirmed. Dulles had, indeed, been involved in those Chiang-Japan secret negotiations. And, since Forrestal was his partner at Standard Oil, and was publicly opposed to the bombing of the Japanese home islands, his involvement is also clear.
And, since Forrestal continued to oppose the bombing of Japan proper even
after the US offensive against the Marianas only weeks later, and since Dulles, (again, Forrestal's partner at S. O.) was precisely at that time--we now know ala Loftus and Aarons--involved in the (unknown to FDR) negotiations with Germans to replace Hitler with a new Far Right government that would offer peace to the West but continuing war with the Russians and Mao's forces, that larger picture of the diplomatic coup Dulles/Forrestal hoped to present GOP candidate Dewey with during the Fall '44 Presidential election, is further reinforced.
Bergamini (1046) also confims Masanobu's disappearance. He speculates he
may have still been alive (this, in 1971) and a CIA agent in Hanoi, after his disappearance Laos. However, given his inside knowledge about Dulles during the new JFK admin., a real potential blackmail threat that Dulles didn't need--and given his continued contact with CIA, I now suspect that Dulles had him killed there in Laos in 1961.
It's not like he didn't have it coming: this fellow had mistreated thousands or millions of persons, civilian and military, in Singapore, the Philippines, and China during the War--as Bergamini recounts in disgusting detail. The massacre of 250,000 Chinese for the harboring of the Doolittle raiders, the Bataan Death March, the "Death Railway" of Singapore and Thailand--were all essentially this "genius's" idea. So, it's amazing--and apparently a credit to Dulles's power to manipulate events--that he wasn't executed for those war crimes much earlier. Dulles probably didn't shed many tears, himself, on having Masanobu killed. It took him long enough. So another interesting, "coincidental" death.
As for Forrestal's suicide--and I tend to think it was a suicide for this
inconsolable patriot-- the nightingale is a night bird. Obviously, Forrestal tried to be the same. But, why? Could it be that the poem reminded him of his "night bird" antics in flying George Bush's abandoned TBM Avenger from by-then recaptured Guam, to Saipan on that July, 1944 evening recalled by Marine Tom Devine? And--was George the "comfortless son" of that poem, ala Prescott's May 2 and May 15, 1944 behavior in helping sell oil to his son's enemies?
Lovett was one of that clique which helped Prescott get George into the Navy as an underage pilot, in 1942. He and Artemus Gates were fellow Skull and Bones members with Prescott Bush. Tarpley and Chaitkin note several implications of the Lovett/Gates connection in the Unauthorized Biography.
Forrestal committed suicide. He wasn't murdered. But his suicide was partly motivated by his feelings of remorse over what he'd done in participating in the June and July activities of Dulles and others in trying to negotiate with the Axis behind FDR's back. As close as he was to the boys in combat, the idea began to sink in on him that he'd caused additional casualties, and he got to a point where he couldn't stand it. He also had no one he could talk to about it, in the circles he was then most intimately involved with--the Truman Administration people. Truman would have hung him by his thumbs, at least rhetorically, for trying to cut deals with Japan to shorten the war behind FDR's back.
It's also possible that Forrestal was troubled by this as being the "straw that broke the camel's back" because he'd been actively trying to prevent the bombing of Japan proper. One of the things he may have done, is try to prevent or delay the capture of the Palau Islands, especially the Marines' target in that group, Pelelieu, as I describe below, under the citation for Robert Stinnett's book. If that's the case, no wonder he felt guilt to the extreme. Higham, Charles. Trading with the Enemy: An Exposé of the Nazi-American Money Plot, 1933-1947. New York: Delacorte, 1983
Loftus, John and Mark Aarons. The Secret War Against the Jews: How Western Espionage Betrayed the Jewish People. New York: St. Martin's, 1994.
Stinnett, Robert. George Bush: His World War II Years. Washington, DC: Brassey's, 1992. Missoula, MT: Pictorial Histories, 1991. (1st ed). In addition to the data about the possible Bush family ties to the Ba'ath Party--Saddam Hussein's party in Iraq--that could go all the way back to April of 1941, there is one other area of this that may have implications for current events. Today, as you know, John McCain, a Vietnam veteran and former POW is running against George W. Bush, former President Bush's son.
During World War II, an incident occurred involving a group of aerial reconnaisance photographs taken during the weeks preceding the US invasion of Pelelieu in the Palau Islands group. The Palau Islands were significant during that time, by the way, in that they, the Marianas (home group of Guam and Saipan islands) and Northern China, were the three possible places from which US long-range B-29 bombers could reach the Japanese home islands. The Japanese pulled out all the stops, military as well as diplomatic, to try to prevent the US from capturing those areas, therefore.
We noted that Dulles arranged to have Tsuji Masanobu act as an envoy to arrange for Chiang Kai Shek to betray his own forces during the Japanese Ichigo Offensive in Northern China during March, April and May of 1944.
That resulted in the capture of the newly-built US airbases in Northern China by the Japanese forces before they could effectively be used by the US to bomb Japan proper. (Only a couple of preliminary raids were staged before those airfields were captured by the Japanese.) That left the Palaus and the Marianas. So emphasis was placed on the capture of those.
Action against Japanese snipers in the Marianas was still ongoing when the US Marines landed on Pelelieu in September of 1944. The landing at Pelelieu, however, was almost a disaster. Heavy casualties resulted due to poor choice of landing sites for the Marines. That, in turn, was due to the lack of quality intelligence. Marine General Rupertus, commander of the force that landed that day, blamed that on the lack of quality aerial reconnaissance photographs. Among those who took those photos, were Robert Stinnett and George Bush. In turning in his reports and the photos that he took, Bush repeatedly used a security-forbidden phrase in the descriptions: the name of the aerial recon. operation. That usage went on up Bush's chain of command, with Bush's immediate superiors coaxed into the usage of the term themselves as the result of Bush's usage of it.
Once the reports reached Admiral Mitscher, he was outraged and demanded that the photos and their reports be sent back down the chain of command and the offending officers were reprimanded and required to excise out each one's usage of the word. This process tied up the photos for several weeks.
This is--or might be-- significant, because this meant Marine General Rupertus could not make use of the detailed maps of Pelelieu that had been made by his staff from those photos. Because the maps were drawn up by Rupertus's own staff, it was his responsiblity not to use them until he could confirm their accuracy via examining the photos on which the maps were based. Without the photos, he couldn't vouch for the accuracy of the maps, and couldn't allow them to be used as a guide for Marine landings on Pelelieu. The resulting disaster has been written about several times.
Thus, Bush may have been responsible for another problem in WW2. The commanding officer over Mitscher was Admiral Spruance, about whom several critiques were written during and after the War. It has been suggested that Spruance was "overly cautious" in taking aggressive action against Axis forces during the War. So the question would be, whether this was inadvertant, or was based on some political perspective, as were the actions of Gen. MacArthur's right-wing chief of staff, Gen. R.K. Sutherland.
The other admiral over Bush's naval group was Admiral John McCain, the current McCain's grandfather. McCain's commanding officer was Admiral Halsey. They and Spruance/Mitscher actually commanded the same vessels, with administratively overlappping duties.
The type of offense that was involved with the Pelelieu photos usually would have required a court-martial for those involved. Stinnett attempts to refute the Marine complaints by noting the Navy photos were actually taken before the Pelelieu landings. However, he fails to bring out that they weren't available to General Rupertus to verify his maps with, until after the landing on Pelelieu in September--too late to help.
Why is this intriguing? Given the suggestions about Spruance, and that Spruance was Mitscher's, rather than McCain's, commanding officer, one must wonder: how would McCain have handled this matter? Would he not have been more harsh? Halsey was considered by subsequent biographers of the two as more aggressive against the Japanese than Spruance.
At this point, I think it might be helpful review all the persons who were involved with U.S. Naval aerial activity during this period of time, and how many of them had ties to Prescott Bush and to Standard Oil. (Given Standard Oil's 1947 federal conviction for treason, that company name is significant):
Robert Lovett, ass't Sec'y of War for Air--a Bush and Std. Oil business associate.
Artemus Gates, Ass't Sec'y of Navy for Air--Bush associate and fraternity mate;
James Forrestal--Sec'y of Navy (over ONI)--Std. Oil partner
Admiral Koffman--over Bush's squadron's destroyer cover--in-law of the Bush family; his daughter married Prescott, jr. in December 1944, and was engaged to him in summer 1944.
General William Draper--Army commander, Pacific area Bush was in, business associate of Std. Oil; made millions designing and building Auschwitz before and during the War; after Pearl Harbor became a US Army general in the Pacific; after the War, prevented the destruction of the Nazi corporate cartels.
Nelson Rockefeller--sold tons of oil to the Nazis and had his cronies picked to head the very boards that investigated such illegal activities.
The Truman Committee in Congress, in 1942 found 1941 cables from Standard Oil pledging to continue its trade with Japan "whether or not America went to war" with Japan. Similar documents were found, signed off on by Rockefeller execs. and Hermann Goering, pertaining to Hitler's usage of Standard's holdings of oil in Rumania. Goering paid Std. $11 million in bonds and the deal was followed up on throughout the War by Std. Should we doubt that it did the same in the Pacific?
Allen Dulles, OSS station chief in Switzerland, later CIA Director under Eisenhower and Prescott Bush's attorney throughout and after WW2, arranged to have a fake Eastern Orthodox Bishop named "Cikota" flown into Japanese-occupied Manchuria in late 1944 and earlly 1945. He had to pre-arrange this. By mid-'44, he knew he and Forrestal were both under surveillance by FDR as National Security risks due to their by then known activities in trying to negotiate with the Axis behind FDR's back (Loftus and Aarons 63-79). He had to have made some pre-arrangement with the Japanese to have done so. He also had switched to using couriers when it was clear he was surveilled, Loftus and Aarons tell us in the same section.
What they don't tell us, is who that courier was in the Pacific. George Bush's roommate on his carrier, the San Jac, disappeared in May of 1944. No trace of him was ever found, even though an extensive search was made. Stinnett tells us. One photo exists of an Avenger sinking nose first into the ocean, taken by a plane and filed in Bush's carrier's photo files. No caption, date or other information identifies the plane. Was this Bush's roommate's plane? Why did he disappear? Could Bush have found him, and then misfiled the photo record and other information (with help, of course, from some of his many friends listed above)? Why would he have done so? Because he'd overheard something he wasn't supposed to, as Bush's roommate?
Did Admiral McCain make some mention to his grandson of some questions that were in his mind as to the handling of the reprimand rather than court-martial issue pertaining to the Pelelieu photos incident? Is this part of the reason there is today friction between McCain and the Bush family?
Some hint of this is found in Stinnett, inadvertantly. On learning that Bush hadn't been either court-martialed or even mentioned in the official reprimand pertaining to the Pelelieu photos, retired Admiral Arleigh A. Burke, who at the time had delivered Admiral Mitscher's letter of reprimand to the parties involved, told Stinnett in 1989 that "It's unfortunate we couldn't foresee the future acheivements of our associates, and as a result there are thousands of interesting events not recorded."
One final point re: the Chi Chi Jima incident (the "was Bush's plane on fire or not when he bailed out" thing): Stinnett, in attempting to refute Mierzejewski's claim that Bush's plane was not on fire, produces Joe Foshee, another member of Bush's squadron. It turns out that the order of flight may have been different for that particular raid than it usually was, and as a result "Ski" may have been further from Bush's plane than Foshee, making Foshee the closest viewer of Bush's plane. But the result, despite Stinnett's effort, is about the same. On page 160, Stinnett quotes Foshee himself as saying:
"Of course, I didn't know who it was at the time. Just that the plane was one of ours. I did not see any fire, just smoke..."
So, even though Stinnett has substituted Foshee for "Ski" the testimony is the same: Bush's plane was not on fire when he bailed out!
This issue is important, as we've pointed out before, because if Bush's plane wasn't on fire, he was supposed to water land, as he allegedly had off Guam on June 19, 1944. Thus, ironically, Stinnett produces an account that actually backs up "Ski's" claim. And if Bush didn't water land off Chi Chi Jima, that increased the likelihood that he didn't know how to do so.
If so, how did he do so off Guam with four five hundred pound depth charges beneath his wings? Stinnett and other official biographers have admitted that Bush never trained to water land and had never water landed up to June
19. So the question is, did he ever water land at all? If not, what happened--and if he did, do these odd facts explain suspicions that led to the book? Was Forrestal involved in trying to keep the Palau Islands from falling to the US, as he--and/or Dulles apparently was the N. China and Marianas, in order to prevent the US from bombing Japan proper ("How badly do we want to beat Japan?" he asked FDR's Cabinet in that time, according to Herbert Feis, Japan Subdued, page 15). Loftus and Aarons , Devine (50),and Callahan (23, 31-2, 33-6, 38,39 41, 43, 46-8), make the point that Forrestal, as well as his business partners at Dillon, Read, including Paul Nitze, opposed the bombing of Japan proper. Given his many ties with Dulles's machinations should we be surprised if George Bush was doing actions with photo captions in order to deliberately tie up Pelelieu aerial photos and prevent the landing?
How much did Admiral McCain know, that we today don't? Is that part of the current friction between McCain and Bush? Thus, some of this has ongoing implications. UPDATE: CBS News correspondent David Martin informs me of his new book Who Killed James Forrestal, in which he posits a new murder scenario.
Is it possible, I myself wonder, if Forrestal was among the first to experiment with LSD for the ONI?
With so much seeming guilt in the Bush/Forrestal et al records, though, I wonder if the paranormal is the best explanation of all--that the subconscious, the Conscience, "arranged" things to reflect denied guilt feelings--reactions, perhaps, to events or thoughts that inspired guilt? Powerful evidence suggests that "object follows image". But we may never know for sure. br wp="br1">
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