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The Death of Journalistic Ethics

Downing Street Memos Verify Death of Journalistic Ethics
by Carmen Yarrusso

The preamble to the Code of Ethics for the Society of Professional Journalists eloquently declares: "journalists believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues."

Yeah, right!

Mainstream media's dismal failure to enlighten the public to the dire implications of the Downing Street memos is the final nail in the coffin of journalism ethics. Our mainstream media have officially given up all pretense of "public enlightenment" or "seeking truth" (much less "providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues") and instead have effectively acknowledged being a propaganda tool of our government.

Two pillars of mainstream media (The New York Times and The Washington Post) reluctantly confessed their complicity in selling the bogus WMD "threat" to the public. They conceded any trace of "public enlightenment" or "seeking truth" was buried in the back of their newspapers while war mongering propaganda from the likes of Judith Miller was featured on their front pages. But their act of contrition was a day late and a dollar short. An "enlightened" America was already killing and being killed in the deserts of Iraq.

When the WMD threat proved false, when Iraq's connection to 9/11 proved false, when Iraq's support for terrorists proved false, when Iraq's collaboration with al Qaeda proved false, when the mobile labs proved false, when the aluminum tubes proved false, did mainstream media give us public enlightenment or start seeking the truth about the proclaimed rationale for war? No way. They simply started selling the latest excuse de jour, Operation Iraqi Freedom, hoping the public wouldn't notice the bait and switch and also wouldn't notice who "enlightened" them into this bloody mess in the first place.

Then came the Downing Street memos.

These top-secret memos corroborated pre-invasion evidence and arguments that were downplayed, ridiculed or totally ignored by mainstream media at the time. The memos clearly contradicted what Bush and Blair were telling the public before the war. But any "public enlightenment" about the significance of these revelations would shine a spotlight on mainstream media's role in selling a war based on a pack of lies. A deafening silence came over America's mainstream media.

There would be no public enlightenment informing us that, prior to the invasion, British war planners (with intimate inside knowledge of US war plans) believed the Iraq threat was minimal, the case for war was thin, the intelligence was being fixed around policy, the action was likely illegal, and, amazingly, Bush and Blair had begun extensive bombing months before they got approval from their governments. The quaint concept of "obeying the law" (national or international) didn't mean much to Bush and Blair.

Taking chutzpah and irony to dizzying new heights, mainstream media conveniently echoed our government and dismissed these inside illuminations of pre-war planning as merely "old news". Indeed, it was the very same "old news" that mainstream media had ignored or downplayed when it was "new news", when it could have enlightened the public to the truth BEFORE we got into this quagmire. To hell with "public enlightenment"! To hell with "seeking truth"! To hell with "the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy"! To hell with journalism ethics!

Could anything be more serious, more relevant to "the foundation of democracy", more vital to public interest, or more deserving of "a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues", than powerful primary-source evidence strongly suggesting the Bush and Blair administrations deliberately deceived the public about their rationale for war?

Mainstream media claim to enlighten the public, but instead they put the public to sleep. They claim to seek the truth, but instead they hide the truth. They serve to distract us while our government "services" us. Instead of respecting their Code of Ethics and "providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues", we are given a fair and comprehensive account of Michael Jackson's sex life. This is what journalism ethics has become.

Thomas Jefferson wrote: "Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppression of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day."

Conversely, tyranny and oppression of body and mind will surely flourish when those we entrust to enlighten us abdicate their moral responsibility and tell us with a straight face that high crimes and misdemeanors is "old news".

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As a teenager I did a report on comics (my choice), and much to my dismay, I learned something! (I thought it would be easy since I loved comics so much) Yellow journalism was named after a contemporary comic strip in the 19th century called "Yellow Kid", so my report actually ended up comprising how yellow journalism affected the United States in the late 1800's. As a poster who works for nothing but the love of the freely printed word, I am totally disgusted with todays paid journalists. They cost lives with their
omissions. If they were ignorant, this we can forgive. But they are not ignorant now, bloggers have told them EVERYTHING. So why the continued silence about the LIES? It is absolutely unconscionable.

During WWII, the NEO CONs, who openly called themselves Fascists before the war started, launched propaganda campaigns against comics in the form of "Paper Drives for the war effort." Thousands of kidz were duped into dumping their Golden Age comics, most of which ended up in the county dumps.

Another propaganda campaign occurred in 1954, when Dr. Frederic Wertham released his book, "Seduction of the Innocent" where he made the argument that "comic books are the root of juvenile deliquency." What Harry J. Anslinger did to "Hemp" in the 1930/40s, Wertham did to comic books. Parents were terrified and til this day, many Fundamentalist households (especially here in NC) won't allow the children to read comics. Wertham charged that comic books were detrimental to "mental hygiene." He was basically a Fascist Eugenicist.

This lead to a high profile Senate hearing, the demise of many comic book companies, and the formation of the "Comics Code Authority" in 1955.

Even MAD magazine became a target a couple of times by Hoover's FBI. In no uncertain terms, the FBI told MAD that they were not to be made fun of, . . . or ELSE... ( I always refuse to shop at any grocery or book store that does not carry MAD. (I have never seen a MAD in a Wal-Mart and, to me, that's just downright UN-AMERICAN!!!)

"Superman never made any money
For saving the world from Soloman Grundy.
And sometimes I despair the world will never see
Another man like him"
- Superman's Song by Crash Test Dummies


would've made my report faster to do, even with more stuff in the term paper >

I have always loved MAD Magazine for decades, now I know why

And I have thought that the PNAC website reminds me of Lex Luthor's headquarters> We need SUPERMAN (or SUPERPEOPLE> us)

Let's see now>>>
comic books: banned
illegal plots to invade sovereign nations: not banned

Nope, still doesn't make any sense.

The whole world knows not to trust the MSM media...even the right wing is sceptical for different reasons. No longer can they distort the debate with their twisted views. People are finding new ways to get the message out... This is the political elites greatest fear...they no longer control the debate. They cannot stop Cindy Sheehan...she has nothing to lose...or be bribed with...people are becoming emboldened with their new power...the damage is done...the flood is coming. After Cindy more are going to stand up...and let the chips fall...and it is about time.

Established journalists with huge salaries have sacrificed the luxury of ethics. For they have joined the ranks of Shaw's "reasonable men". It's to the idealistic young, and stalwart "unreasonable men [and women]" we must look for truth and progress.

On the Heels Of Death Threats Coming Out Of Washington, WTC Janitor Has Jersey City Apartment Burglarized
Journalist Wayne Madsen has left Washington over death threats and William Rodriguez, 9/11 truth-seeker, had his apartment burglarized. Both fit the description of the person supposedly targeted by the government.
August 27, 2005

By Greg Szymanski

Coming on the heels of reports today that government operatives are trying to assassinate someone highly critical of the Bush administration, William Rodriguez, the WTC janitor who has been speaking out across the nation about a 9/11 government conspiracy, came home to find his Jersey City apartment burglarized Saturday.

Rodriguez, who has damaging eye-witness testimony that bombs exploded in the WTC basement prior to the airplanes striking, said today his apartment was burglarized between 12:30pm and 7:50pm after retuning home and noticing his second-floor apartment door wide-open.

Rodriguez immediately filed a police report with Jersey City police, but there are no leads or suspects in the case, as neighbors also reported seeing nothing while Rodriguez was out.

“I came home to find my door open,

I think it would be a good idea if Rodriguez put his recollection of events on video and circulated as widely as possible.

It's important to note broadly and thankfully to all British journalists that try so valiantly to get the word out to Americans who happen to read UK media. Without the likes of Neil McKay, Greg Palast (an American, I think, correct me if I'm wrong!), and Michael Smith and others (I regrettably have not mentioned but will when I recall all their names), we Americans would have known nothing, Michael Moore would not have been able to do his film for the USA. These British journalists are not mavericks, they are simply doing their jobs, but they did take the EXTRA STEPS to try to reach out to a nation of people that was ignorant, America. For this reason, Americans owe the British journalists a lifetime of unending gratitude.

I've said it before and I'll keep saying it, we busted up AT&T's monopoly on phone service, we can do it again by simply going back to the way things "used to be." (The "conservatives" should love that, right. After all, America used to be a "white bread Norman Rockwell painting" before we damn Liberals showed up, right?)

Check out the "Truth in America Project."

In a sound effort to keep what has happened from happening, the law of this land used to be very strict on how much media power one company or individual could have. This was known as the 7-7-7 rule. You could own 7 radio stations, 7 television stations, and 7 newspapers.

THe PNAC NEO CONs have systematically undone this as follows:
1. Initially, the Fairness Doctrine was put in place in 1934 to insure equal time for differing viewpoints. (New Deal Years - i.e. if you promise not to overthrow the government we will make the Corporations share more of the country's wealth with you.)

2. In 1987 (PNAC NEO CON Reagan Years), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) gutted the Fairness Doctrine by saying "public interest is whatever the stations say it is."

3. In 1996 (PNAC NEO CON in Democrat Clothing Clinton Years), Congress passed the "Telecommunications Act" which removed the 7-7-7 media ownership block. Today, about 10 corporations have created media monopolies over everything we see and hear.

(An interesting side note is the formation of the "Partnership for a Drug Free America" ( which has systematically demonized and criminalized millions of American Citizens via their propaganda. It is interesting to note that these corporate heads are mostly PNAC NEO CONs & supporters

Remember, every Fascist coup d'Etat requires two elements, an external enemy and an internal enemy. Nero had the Christians, Hitler had the Jews, and the PNAC NEO CONs have the Hippies, Ravers, and Rappers for their "Internal Enemies."

I don't know about you, but this REALLY pisses me off!!! These NEO CONs have been so successful that no Democrat since Jimmy Carter (I still love ya, man!!) has dared to defend these "hunted" Americans. We now have NEO CONs cheering as DEA agents drag off critically ill patients. As we say in North Carolina, "That just ain't right!!")

Having worked closely with these communications companies over the years, as well as most of the Fortune 500, my impression of their "Truth" is that "Corporate Policy trumps Constitutional Law." This is evidenced by the fact that every time you call a corporation now, they blatantly violate your 4th Ammendment Rights by recording your conversation without your permission and by the fact that you have no rights once you "badge in." Quality assurance, my ass!

The Media outlets have clearly shown they cannot behave in a manner that is responsible and in the best interest of the American People and the people of the World. They should be spanked. ;-)

Remember this when you are asking questions to your New 2006 Congressional candidates.

Until then, thank goodness we have the Internet!!!

"All the young dudes,
Carry the news"
- All the Young Dudes by Mott the Hoople/David Bowie


Since you seem very saavy on the subject, I have been a little curious lately>>> what are Ham Radio and CB radio operators doing these days? Are their airwaves free of corporate crap interference? I'm trying to look it up now on Wikipedia.

There are some really savy short-wave operators out there and you can get a basic receiver at Radio Shack for not much money. The tricky part is to have space to have a really nice antennae/aerial, but the stand alone receiver is pretty good on its own. You can also go find an old "Modern Handbook for Boys" which will tell you exactly how to build both crystal sets and short wave receivers if you really want to "Craig Anderton" it. ;-)

Most of the CB band stuff I've be seeing is basically walky-talky type set ups versus the broadcast station stuff like we had in the 70s.

A lot of my HAM friends are pretty conservative or not politcal at all, so I am not seeing much action there. Of course, no insult to anyone that is hitting this. Let me know who you are!! ;-)

One of the coolest things popping up is the "Community Radio" low
wattage FM stations. I guess the FCC got tired of busting pirate
radio stations. Now, you can legally saturate a small town with an alternative radio station for not much money.

Most of the cyper punks are using WIFI networks with some pretty cool encrypted Voice over IP (VoIP) setups. With SIP (Session Initation Protocol), we could REALLY do some awesome stuff in this area. ;-)

The RIAA "Royalties" crap really took a bite/byte out of Internet Radio, but hopefully the Independent Labels will team up with the cyper punks and use the "off the chain" features of IPv6 and IP Multicasting to give us some stuff that "Radio Caroline" could not even fathom!!! (Newbies and Younger Kikz, ask Jeeves)

"Do you remember Rock-n-Roll Radio?"
- The Ramones



Unfortunately, during the "Modern" 1930s & 40s, the "Modern Handbook
for Girls" didn't stray too far from the kitchen. Remember, in the
Eugenics Movement, it was total "Stepford Wives" and "Pygmalion/My Fair Lady." Science was going to create the "perfect" woman for
the new Roman Men. (Ever see "Metropolis" by Fritz Lang???)

The most horrifying attempt at this was the CIA's MK-ULTRA programs in the 1950s. Scary stuff!!

I prefer "Modern Handbooks for Kidz" (drives English teachers crazy) :-) Equal and Independent . . . TOGETHER!!!

"Two of us sending postcards
writing letters on my wall
You and me burning matches
lifting latches on our way back home
We're on our way back home
We're on our way home
We're going home"
- Two of Us by the Beatles



Speaking of Oprah, why don't we convince her to do some real news and interviews about Iraq War?

It's a failure of long standing made worse by the increasing concentration of ownership and the prevailing "profits before public responsibilities" environment of total deregulation.

There was certainly no need to await the "dire implications of the Downing Street memos". The PNAC has been out there in plain view since long before that.

I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why the PNAC had to be "outted". The truth has been out there for years on their website!

And why is it that it took a Scotsman, Neil McKay in the Scottish Sunday Herald of September 2002, to find it first about our "leaders">>>Cheney, Rummy, Wolfy, Perle, Libby, and JEB (li'l brother to W) are all members since 1997>>> it just frustrates me to no end.

(There's Lack of Communication's "got milk" poster brat)

It's now obvious as to why Bush wanted Bolton. What a clown....(either one).

An earlier post from this morning Sunday 8/28/05 discussed the pro-war rally in Crawford from Saturday in which some right wing nuts had a banner which said something which was apparent on its face to be anti-war but had a catch line which showed the "protesters'" true colors. The played the joke on themselves as their right wing brethern were too reactionary (wow, what a scoop!)that they never got to the part which clearly showed they were all on the same side.

Propagandists have no ethics. Truth is not an element in propaganda. Nor is justice or fairness. "Fair and balanced" is a catch phrase used to bolster Fox on the one hand and take a cheap pot shot at the so-called "liberal media" whatever that is or ever was, for that metter.

The fact that the Bush gang turned on the 9/11 hero from the WTC first by trying to buy his silence and now apparently through intimidation really speaks so loudly about the depths to which this country has sunken under Bush and his band of evil neo cons. I have read with great interest the interview from about a year ago of Stsanley Hilton the attorney and former Bob Dole chief of staff. He is handling a class action suit on behalf of the families of people from WTC who were not fortunate enough to have been saved by Mr. Rodriguez's heroics. Attorney Hilton had been victimized in much the same manner as Rodriguez, burglary and the like. The Bush, right wing cabal is, like weeds, deeply rooted and well financed. These evil people think their money and ill-obtained power can not be challenged. We, the people of this once great nation, must take the patriotic stand and work to restore ALL of the democratic institutions created by our Constitution and Bill of Rights. The (Un)Patriot Act must be the first surgical tumor extracted from the cancer which has engulfed our government. Whether character assassination by Rush or Fox, or burglaries or actual assassinations of individuals, the right is simply stated the worst example of fascism since Nazi Germany and Hitler. That is no over statement!

Truth must endure in the end and the evil-doers must be brought to accountability before the American people, the world and the Almighty.

Power to the People!

in US history, but we are not frightened! Millions and kazillions of us are so pissed off we don't have time to be frightened ( a wasted emotion as FDR once told us). My concern , as well as our obvious Constitutional Rights that have been smugly trampled upon by Neocon thug boots, is the International Rights that we possess that we MUST utilize in lieu of our cancerous current government. Our sons and daughters have the RIGHT to refuse to bear arms in an illegal , conspiratorial invasion of a sovereign nation. So they go to jail? Better than death at the hands of BushHitler's phony war. And something tells me that not one citizen of those kajillion citizens would tolerate our young sons and daughters going to jail for exercising their NUREMBERG RIGHTS>


Soon to start operation, a TV/internet world wide news network owned and financed by us:

Have a look.

It's Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness...

I'm not sure what it's advocating.

instead of Rove-spun propaganda

This site advocates the ability for all of us to debate! Democrats and republicans have a voice here!

Elliott Abrams was President, 1996-2002 :Ethics and Public Policy Center

Court Rules: Al Qaida, Iraq Linked
NEW YORK, May 7, 2003

A federal judge Wednesday ordered Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and others to pay early $104 million to the families of two Sept. 11 victims, saying there is evidence – though meager - that Iraq had a hand in the terrorist attacks.

The closely watched case was the first lawsuit against the terrorists believed responsible for the World Trade Center attack to reach the damages phase.

U.S. District Judge Harold Baer ordered that the damages be paid by bin Laden, al-Qaida, the Taliban, Saddam and the former Iraqi government. The judge ruled against them by default in January after they failed to respond to the lawsuits brought on behalf of two of the trade center dead.

James E. Beasley, a Philadelphia lawyer who brought the case, hopes to collect the money from frozen Iraqi, bin Laden and al-Qaida assets.

However, further court proceedings would be required before any payout could occur. And Beasley said it is unclear how much money would be available to satisfy the judgment. To help pay for Iraq's reconstruction, the Bush administration has started using roughly $1.7 billion Iraqi funds frozen in 1990.

Beasley called Baer's finding "a significant victory" because it represented the first time a judge linked al-Qaida and Iraq in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

In his ruling, Baer concluded that lawyers for the two victims "have shown, albeit barely ... that Iraq provided material support to bin Laden and al-Qaida" and collaborated in or supported al-Qaida's Sept. 11 attacks.

Baer said lawyers relied heavily on "classically hearsay" evidence, including reports that a Sept. 11 hijacker met an Iraqi consul to Prague, Secretary of State Colin Powell's remarks to the United Nations about connections between Iraq and terrorism, and defectors' descriptions of the use of an Iraq camp to train terrorists.

James Kreindler, a lawyer representing the families of 500 people killed and 1,000 injured in the attacks, said a case his firm was preparing for trial will offer proof of ties between Iraq and al-Qaida.

"We have uncovered the financial connection between Iraq and al-Qaida," he said.

Kreindler's case, which is still pending in federal court in New York, seeks damages from more than 200 defendants, including Iraq, Iran, Sudan, al-Qaida, the Taliban, Saudi Arabia government
officials, charities that fronted al-Qaida and banks that laundered money.

Baer heard evidence for two days in March to help him determine damages.

The cases were brought on behalf of George Eric Smith, 38, an analyst for SunGard Asset Management, and Timothy Soulas, 35, a senior managing director and partner at Cantor Fitzgerald Securities.

The cases relied in part on a 1996 law that permitted lawsuits against countries identified by the State Department as sponsors of terrorism.

Note: The judge was a Clinton appointee - no "right-winger."


For a long time, the last refuge of scoundrels was "patriotism." Now it's "the war on terror."

President Bush and many of his vocal supporters aren't content to wrap themselves in the flag. It's not sufficient to posture as more patriotic than opponents of the Iraq war. The ultimate demagogic weapon is to exploit the memory of Sept. 11, 2001.

9/11 opened my eyes and those of many others. You are the scoundrels to want the Islamists to win the war.

There are no winners in wars, We like to end the war

EDUCATE. Read the new American project for the 21'st Century and see if you still agree with this government. P.S. it was penned by Cheney, Libby and others in this administration and should not only have been on every front page news paper these past years but should send a cold shiver down your spine. If you have one!

I reread your post and think I got you wrong. Are you saying that the 911 events created an opportunity for "our" government to go to war with Iraq? Or are you saying that what happened gave, "our" government the right to go to war with Iraq"? Frankly,I think "our" government wanted 911 to happen"! Read the new American project for the 21'st century and blow your hat, off your head!

Hearsay is not proof of anything. Secretary of State Colin Powell's remarks to the UN have been roundly discredited (including by himself not long before he made those remarks). I don't know about the other stuff but I have little doubt that it is most likely fabricated.

"Court Rules: Al Qaida, Iraq Linked"

Not really.

"The judge ruled against them by default in January after they failed to respond to the lawsuits brought on behalf of two of the trade center dead."

This was a default decision in a civil case.

Default = automatic decision made when no defense is offered.

Neither Bin Laden nor Al Qaeda showed up to defend themselves. As a result, the jury was instructed that, in the absence of a defense, they could draw an inference of connection from the "classically hearsay" (read circumstantial and weak) evidence Mylroie and Woolsley provided. (reg. required)

Democrat Senator Fritz Hollings also saw the connection in 2002.

Because they plotted all this a year BEFORE 9/11 with Rebuilding America's Defenses in September 2000.

I LOVE HOW SIMPLE YOU MAKE IT TO VOICE AN OPINION! This is the our government not working. Show us the truth about Iraq and Bin Laden. The real facts and nothing but the real facts!

MA Mom,
Do you know what "hearsay" means....information heard from another.
Yeh, this is a lot like how the Bush administration goes to war.
No wonder you believe this and post it as a feather in your cap for the crumbling argument to support BushCo. and their unconscionable behavior.
Feeling desparate, eh?
Shame on you.

I wanted to go to bed early but here I AM AGAIN TONIGHT! Show the evidence. All we want is truth! I hope the catastrophy in New Orleans will not shatter what we have all worked for. Meaning all news will be directed at this horrible calamity and loss of human life.We must stand strong through this disaster.

Saddam and al Qaeda
There's abundant evidence of connections.

When the bush regime goes down, and I think it's getting near, I think we the people should make our elected officials hold our lying media's accountable for all the lies they have told!! I'm talking jail time and huge fines!! We can go back and use their own video's and words to prove our case beyond a shadow of a doubt!! We also need to make sure that bush and his whole administration be tried in federal court for war crimes!! bush, cheney, rumsfield and gonzalas deserve the death penalty for the torture and crimes they have commited against the Iraq people and the american soldiers!! WE have to make sure this never happens again by sending a very strong message to all the other evil people out there!!! Does anyone out there agree with me? Lets hear some comments if you do!!

I fully agree, but.

There's one problem. Trying to "make our elected officials hold our lying media's accountable for all the lies they have told" is asking them to cut off their nose to spite their face.

Our elected officials know very well our mainstream media lies to us. That's the whole idea. That's how politics work in the US. The function of mainstream media is to lead the sheep to slaughter.

Remember back a few years ago when Fox got $3.5 million of your tax money for running anti-drug propaganda during the Super Bowl game?

First our government GUARANTEES massive profits to drug dealers with its drug policies, and when Americans ask why this policy isn't working, they use your money to hire Fox News to run ads that blame pot smokers for blowing up buildings and killing judges instead of prohibition.

What's the chance Fox news would ever do a piece critical of prohibition? What's the chance Fox would even let out a little truth about our counterproductive drug policies? Zero! Our government NEEDS mainstream media to keep the sheep in line.

Mainstream media has become (as the piece says) a propaganda tool of our government. We are in deep shit!


Boycott the advertisers! All we need to do is tell the advertisers we won't watch, we won't buy.We have so much power over these issues, we need to figure a way, out side the box.

And there should be laws that prevent tax-exempt Non-Profit Organizations from becoming illegal war machines outside the realm of Constitutional government. Free speech is one thing, but the PNAC is not a camping club or a soccer team! NPO's are for CHARITIES & COMMUNITY BASED SERVICES , NOT ILLEGAL INVASION CLUBS> My neighbors cannot invade Canada or Cuba or Mexico, and the PNAC should not be able to invade Iraq, or any other sovereign nation for that matter.

I find it interesting that we are not hearing about Bushes out bursts about Cindy on the news. He has not been very kind and profanity is involved. A few days ago the Veterans of Foriegn Wars were at a meeting with Bush. They wore ear muffs that said we do not want to hear any more Bull Crap! Bush unleashed a series of unprintable words that I won't repeat. Look it up. He has been seen by his aides as being more and more out of control. As I said look it up.

I think MSM are slowly realizing that they are going down with this administration and trying to save faces.

Media breakthrough over Coalition war crimes

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Radio National has broken with mainstream Anglo-American and Australian media by courageously exposing Coalition war crimes through reporting estimates of horrendous avoidable mortality (excess mortality) and under-5 infant mortality in Coalition-occupied Iraq and Afghanistan.

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