Archive for CIA

One Person’s Torture is Another Person’s Training

Torture is not like pornography: you don’t necessarily know it when you see it. Rather, what you think you see is not necessarily torture. I don’t see waterboarding as torture, for example, however panic-inducing it may feel to go through. Our special forces go through it routinely; so have news reporters. Others do consider it torture, hence their high dudgeon over our dark dungeons.

Me, I need to see permanent damage. I need Uday and Qusay Hussein-style depravity before I call foul.

This does not rise (or plunge) to that level:

CBS News reported Sunday that the report contains evidence that the CIA went beyond what was “legally allowable,” and that the agency lied to the White House, the Department of Justice and Congress about the effectiveness of the program.

The CIA told Fox News it would not comment until the report is released, but former agency officials have told Fox News that the agency’s program provided it with foundational intelligence about the Al Qaeda network after the Sept. 11 attacks. Former CIA Director Michael Hayden has previously told Fox News that it is not feasible to believe that three different CIA directors and three different deputy directors of the agency conspired over a seven-year period to lie about the program’s effectiveness. Hayden and former CIA General Counsel John Rizzo also have claimed that the program provided evidence that helped direct the 2011 raid that killed Al Qaeda Usama bin Laden.

U.S. officials who have read the report say it includes disturbing new details about the CIA’s use of such techniques as sleep deprivation, confinement in small spaces, humiliation and the simulated drowning process known as waterboarding.

President Obama has previously acknowledged, “We tortured some folks.”

Oh, shut up.

Humiliation? Humiliation? We suspect these guys of plotting unimaginably horrific acts of terrorism, and we’re worried about humiliation? No power tools, no cattle prods, no brass knuckles, no broken bones, no spilled blood. If this is all the report has to offer, we didn’t torture a single folk. (I reserve the right to change my mind once I read it.)

You know why they’re releasing it now, don’t you?

MIT professor and Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber will testify on Capitol Hill Tuesday about his role in selling the 2010 healthcare law to “stupid American voters” through deception and non-transparency. The hearing will be held by the House Oversight Committee and Gruber will have to field questions from Chairman Darrell Issa and angry lawmakers about the legislation.

They don’t know him, and they don’t want to know him:

Meanwhile, the White House has distanced itself from Gruber in the wake of his controversial comments and Health and Human Services sent a letter to Issa last week asking that officials from the Department, who will also testify tomorrow, be seated separately from Gruber. More from The Hill:

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is asking lawmakers not to seat ObamaCare consultant Jonathan Gruber next to Medicare’s top official when the two testify on Capitol Hill next week.

HHS Assistant Secretary for Legislation Jim Esquea wrote to the House Oversight Committee with the request, stating that government witnesses are “almost always afforded an opportunity” to sit alone or with other federal officials.

Kind of ironic for this most anti-military of administrations to employ diversionary tactics of which General Patton would be proud:

On Sunday, a top Republican lawmaker warned the release could cause “violence and deaths.”

And U.S. officials separately confirmed to Fox News that an advisory has been sent urging U.S. personnel overseas to reassess security measures in anticipation of the release. The message directs all overseas posts, including those used by CIA personnel, to “review their security posture” for a “range of reactions that might occur.”

A similar statement was being sent to military combatant commands to assess their readiness. Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said Monday the combatant commands have been urged to “take appropriate force protection measures within their areas of responsibility.”

Who will cover Gruber if the Mideast is on fire?


What Difference At This Point Does It Make?

A year and a half later, it makes some difference how and why they lied—even if the answers won’t bring back Chris Stevens, Tyrone Woods, Sean Smith, and Glen Doherty.

Sources on the ground in Benghazi during the 2012 terror attack are pushing back hard on former CIA acting director Mike Morell’s testimony on Capitol Hill, where he defended his role in shaping the administration’s narrative and claimed politics were not involved.

The account has many close to this investigation fuming. One operator watching the hearing told Fox News: “He doesn’t have any idea what happened that night. Why is he speculating? He wouldn’t have to speculate if he talked to the people in Libya that night, or others who were watching.”

Another said Morell either still has no idea what happened that night, or he is covering for someone. “Human intelligence takes precedence over everything else and he had no better intelligence than multiple reports from credible sources coming from the ground that night,” one operator said.

Multiple sources have said they could have responded sooner, while others still feel their requests to respond were ignored, and they haven’t been given a reason why. “People aren’t going to forget, people in our community are dealing with this … on a daily basis and their lives are still at risk,” one contractor said.

But one intelligence expert with close knowledge of the attack questioned those claims. “To pretend he was deferring to analytical judgment is not true,” the source said. “He changed analytical judgment. … Heck, that’s in the Senate Intelligence Report.”

Also in the hearing, Morell deflected questions about why the CIA has yet to conduct its own investigation despite more than one internal complaint filed by CIA employees about the response to the attack that night.

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., had a testy back and forth on the subject, saying at one point: “There are four dead — murdered — Americans. I would think when the CIA’s own personnel file complaints, the OIG should follow up and do an investigation.”

But they haven’t. What does that tell you?

Four Americans were murdered a year and a half ago, yet all we know for certain about what happened that night (a 9/11 no less) was that the Obama regime lied—on purpose—about what happened. Why?

Me, I think it’s because Obama looked so bad prepping for his Las Vegas fundraising junket on 9/12 that they had to cover up for his greedy callowness (callow greediness). But I respect all opinions. What’s yours?

What difference, at this point, do you think it makes?


The Obama Doctrine

Kill ‘em all, let God sort ‘em out:

The CIA did not always know who it was targeting and killing in drone strikes in Pakistan over a 14-month period, an NBC News review of classified intelligence reports shows.

About one of every four of those killed by drones in Pakistan between Sept. 3, 2010, and Oct. 30, 2011, were classified as “other militants,” the documents detail. The “other militants” label was used when the CIA could not determine the affiliation of those killed, prompting questions about how the agency could conclude they were a threat to U.S. national security.

The uncertainty appears to arise from the use of so-called “signature” strikes to eliminate suspected terrorists — picking targets based in part on their behavior and associates. A former White House official said the U.S. sometimes executes people based on “circumstantial evidence.”

Though the Obama administration has previously said it targets al Qaeda leaders and senior Taliban officials plotting attacks against the U.S. and U.S. troops, officials are sometimes unsure of the targets’ affiliations. About half of the targets in the documents are described as al Qaeda. But in 26 of the attacks, accounting for about a quarter of the fatalities, those killed are described only as “other militants.” In four others, the dead are described as “foreign fighters.”

In some cases, U.S. officials also seem unsure how many people died. One entry says that a drone attack killed seven to 10 people, while another says that an attack killed 20 to 22.

Yet officials seem certain that however many people died, and whoever they were, none of them were non-combatants.

Because they’re, like, totally sure.

Kinda funny (if you’re weird like me) that President Obama, who believes in prosecuting terrorists and enemy combatants in the local county courthouse, executes anonymous victims based on “circumstantial evidence” and “behavior”.

And they know—just know—that the vaporized victims had it coming.

I think this is deserving of one of our rare “What If Bush Had Done This?” Award?™

PS: Remember in 2008 when candidate Obama said we should take the War on Terror to Pakistan? A promise made is a promise kept.



The single most significant comment since the election, by Victor Davis Hanson:

A Country Unhinged
By Victor Davis Hanson

In the last week, it is almost as if the entire American moral landscape has been turned upside down in eerie fashion — in matters that vastly transcend fornication and adultery. The Petraeus-gate matter is the stuff of tabloids now; but soon the real issues relating to when and what Eric Holder knew, and by extension the president, and how exactly Benghazi (the crime of indifference to the besieged, the cover-up of the truth, the actual mission of our consulate and annex) fits into this labyrinth of deceit, both petty and fundamental, may overshadow the present sensationalism.

Nothing seems real anymore, not preelection federal data on jobs or food stamps or the release of such “facts”; not foreign-policy information like an Iranian attack on a drone; not the supposedly competent federal relief in response to Hurricane Sandy. Even Saddam Hussein’s plebiscites could not achieve margins like the 19,605 to 0 we saw in 59 Philadelphia precincts. Does anyone care?

Susan Rice, who flat out deceived five times in a single day on national TV, is supposedly seriously being considered as secretary of State when Ms. Clinton leaves — the latter now plans to be “busy” when hearings on Libya resume.

How can all this suddenly explode on the scene, just 72 hours after a national election, in a supposedly transparent country with a free, watch-dog media? Have we become a Russia, Venezuela, Cuba? Is there one honest person in Washington left?

I didn’t think it possible that a single scandal could knit together so many disparate strands of stupidity. The Obama administration tries to appear informed (Holder) and ignorant (Obama himself) at the same time on the matter of the CIA Director playing hide-the-Hellfire missile with a fawning groupie. (What must that pillow talk have been like?) And that’s only one multi-starred general behaving badly! The other one was sending something like 50 emails a day over two years to a busty socialite in a fetching yellow frock. All this against the backdrop of Chris Stevens’ lifeless body (at least I hope it was lifeless) being defiled and dragged through the streets of Benghazi. Where said CIA might have been holding and torturing detainees, leading to the assault by Al Qaeda affiliates in the first place.

Oh yeah—during an election.

And the MSM couldn’t see less if they gouged their eyes out. (I might actually watch MSNBC to see that happen.)

And what are we talking about? Mitt Romney’s likability? How to pander to Latinos?

We are indeed a country unhinged.

PS: A response:

There is no foundation anymore, nothing real on which to base unbiased judgement, no certainties. In ancient Asia, when things got this out of whack, the philosophers would call for a “rectification of names.” In other words, make things once again correspond with the reality that originally gave rise to their labels. Facts had to become facts again, not politically convenient assemblages of massaged information; rulers had to act as rulers were supposed to. And the way to bring that about was usually through a revolution that purified the Asian equivalent of the Augean stables.

We are witnesses to decline and its accompanying decadence, no different from Rome or Versailles. You know that better than anyone else writing here. The more dysfunctional Washington gets, the higher the per-square-foot rent and the more expensive the steaks. I once watched Barney Frank happily devour a $50 steak just weeks after the subprime implosion wiped out trillions in personal wealth. And he was hardly alone. The only job left to us is to chronicle it as faithfully as we can, so as to give the next group the chance to act more smartly than we did.

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Me and the General’s Squeeze


Paula Broadwell was one of our own!

The woman who helped end CIA boss David Petraeus’ once-stellar public service career spent a few years in the posh environs of Cambridge’s Huron Village.

Paula Broadwell was still known as Paula Kranz when she first rented an apartment in a two-family home at the intersection of Fayerweather and Field streets in 2005, records show.

At that time she was studying for a master’s degree in public policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

She met military leader Gen. David Petraeus in 2006, when he spoke at Harvard University. Broadwell, a West Point graduate, told him of her interest in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency, and he gave her his business card and offered to help.

By 2007, a neighbor said, Broadwell, her radiologist husband Scott and their baby boy had moved a few blocks away, to Alpine Street, in the neighborhood tucked behind Harvard Square and filled with gracious Victorians, bakeries, boutiques and cafes.

I know that neighborhood! There’s a fancy gourmet food shop there called Formaggio. It’s noted for its famous cheese cave.

My taste in cheese pretty much ends at pepper jack (for quesadillas) and grated part-skim mozzarella (for pizza), but I’ve been to Formaggio. You want the stinky, runny cheese from the most obscure region of France, and they’ve got it.

I’m racking my mind to remember if I may have run into the future Mata Hari there.

BTL: Excuse me, are you next?

PB: If by next, you mean we’re holding prisoners in a CIA prison in Benghazi, Libya, yes.

BTL: Beg pardon?

PB: Not that I’m sleeping with a married three-star general or anything.

BTL: No, uh, of course not. I was just wondering if they had any époisses here.

PB: Oh, they have everything here. Except for stealth helicopters ideal for midnight raids on Al Qaeda compounds deep in Pakistan, that is. They don’t have those. Though someone might…

BTL: Really?

PB: A girl doesn’t kiss and tell! Let me just say I wouldn’t want to be anyone whose name rhymes with Bahama Gin Sodden. Such a person better not buy any green bananas.

BTL: Good to know. I believe it’s your turn.

PB: Oh, I’m not in line. I’m just here to sell my book, a biography of that stud-muffin, General David Petraeus.

BTL: The military guy with the Maginot Line of a comb-over? He’s worth a biography?

PB: He will be when I’m done with him.

BTL: I guess I’m next. May I have a package of Kraft mild cheddar? The one with the slices individually wrapped?

But it’s just not coming to me. I guess it never happened.

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General Betray-Us?

Could it be that and Hillary Clinton knew what they were talking about?

No, that would never happen. But while I can’t quite connect the dots into a full-fledged conspiracy, this is certainly curious:

“I have questions about the whole matter,” Rep. Peter King told CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley, pointing to reports that the White House first learned of the affair in a phone call from the FBI to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper at 5 p.m. on election night.

The FBI discovered Petraeus’ affair during an investigation into a complaint that his biographer, Paula Broadwell, was sending harassing e-mails to another woman close to the retired four-star general, a U.S. official said Saturday.

On Saturday, questions arose about why congressional leaders were not informed of the investigation immediately.

According to a congressional aide familiar with the matter, the House and Senate intelligence committees weren’t informed that there was an FBI investigation into Petraeus until Friday.

“It just doesn’t add up,” King, R-New York, said on CNN. “You have this type of investigation. The FBI investigating e-mails, the e-mails leading to the CIA director, and taking four months to find out that the CIA director was involved. I have real questions about this. I think a timeline has to be looked at and analyzed to see what happened.”

The president should have been alerted far sooner if sensitive information had been compromised, King said, particularly since the investigation involved the nation’s top intelligence chief.

“Obviously this was a matter involving a potential compromise of security, and the president should have been told about it at the earliest state. That’s really all I’m saying.”

The head of the CIA is having an affair. The FBI is alerted, but doesn’t tell the President until election day? And doesn’t inform Congress until three days later? All of this against the backdrop of Benghazi, and who knew what when?


I don’t see a smoking gun, an obvious connection between the strands of this story, even if it seems suspicious. Petraeus was indeed having an affair, an inexcusable lapse in a CIA Director. The relationship turned Fatal Attraction (minus the boiled bunny), with the other woman becoming mean, nasty, and possessive. Meanwhile, the CIA was up to its eyebrows in Libya, where under-protected American emissaries were left to die, despite real time streams of data revealing their peril.

Oh yeah, there was an election going on, and all of this was effectively covered up until after the votes were in.


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Petraus Resigns, Won’t Testify Next Week About Benghazi

There is no bottom to this Administration

Just two days after President Obama’s re-election, General David Petraeus, the CIA Director, has resigned from the administration over an extramarital affair. Petraeus was slated to testify before Congress next week on the murder of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, in Benghazi. Bret Baier of Fox News just tweeted, “With Petraeus’ resignation effective immediately, he will not testify next week & lawmakers are said to be ‘stunned’ by the announcement.”

Here’s a question for our readers: How long until the general sliminess of this administration becomes thugs on the streets? At what point does freedom of speech formally disappear? (It has already been dampened, but is still “legal”.) When do people begin to disappear? And will the media own their share of this disaster?

– Aggie

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“Jew Bastards”… and Others

So, is this part of that “Jewish lobby” I’ve heard-tell of so often?

Former CIA director George Tenet has acknowledged that elements of the counterintelligence investigation against a former Jewish attorney at the agency in the 1990s could be construed as anti-Semitic.

Tenet acknowledged this in a previously undisclosed sworn deposition, part of a privacy act lawsuit filed by the former attorney, Adam Ciralsky. In 1999, Ciralsky’s security clearance was revoked because of his alleged lack of candor about contact with Israelis and Israeli-Americans, effectively ending his brief career with the CIA. For the last dozen years Ciralsky has sued the CIA to bring to light how he believes a few agency officials—motivated by anti-Semitism—targeted him unfairly. On Friday he dropped his case.

“I am proud of my service with the CIA and have a deep and abiding respect for the organization and its mission,” Ciralsky said in a statement. “I am equally proud that by highlighting and confronting the misconduct of a few, I spurred positive change.”

While Tenet acknowledged in a 1999 letter to the Anti-Defamation League that some of the conduct of CIA investigators in the Ciralsky case was inappropriate, Tenet goes further and into more detail in the new deposition. Tenet authorized sensitivity training for the CIA on anti-Semitism following allegations of misconduct in the Ciralsky investigation. At the time the CIA said Ciralsky’s dismissal was not the result of anti-Jewish prejudice.

According to the transcript of a 2010 deposition viewed exclusively by The Daily Beast, Tenet said statements attributed to an officer who administered a polygraph to Ciralsky were “insensitive, inappropriate and unprofessional”—and could be construed as anti-Semitic.

The statement in question was from a polygraph administrator identified as “Charles B” in the court transcripts. In a sworn declaration, another CIA polygraph administrator, John Sullivan said, “I was in B’s office when he came and I asked him how the test was going. B’s response was to refer to Ciralsky as ‘that little Jew bastard.’ I don’t recall what B said after that but I believe that he said something to the effect that he, B, ‘knew Ciralsky was hiding something.’”

Who would construe that as antisemitic?

Or this?

Prominent Norwegian academic and founder of ‘peace and conflict studies’, Johan Galtung, claims that Jews control media, silence spurs antisemitism.

In an article published on Monday in the Norwegian magazine ‘Humanist’, professor Johan Galtung, founder of the academic discipline of ‘peace and conflict studies’ and an ‘Alternative Nobel Price’ laureate, lashes out against what he claims to be the ‘Jewish dominance’ of mass media.

Quoting an Pak Alert Press article republished on an internet blog focusing on islamic issues, he claims that ‘Six Jewish Companies own 96 % of world media’ and that ‘the directors of the three largest media conglomerates Walt Disney, Time Warner and Viacom are Jews; Similarly the three largest TV channels ABC, CBS and NBC before they joined the conglomerates.’

Galtung moves on to present a long list of American newspapers, publishing houses and movie production companies, which he states is under Jewish ownership.

– Is this coincidental for 1.9 percent of the US population? the Norwegian professor asks, adding that Jewish ownership is the equivalent of ‘Jewish control’. He links this to a bias on Middle East coverage, by pointing to several Jews who have stated that ‘Jews that write in the media, have a role to defend Israel.’

First of all, “prominent” can never be used to modify “Norwegian”, even in Norway—with the possible exception of Vidkun Quisling, the Nazi collaborator during WWII, whom Professor Galtung would remember. Galtung might also remember fondly the arrest and deportation of Jews under Quisling’s and the Nazi’s rule, and the seizure of their property.

It’s funny how this stuff isn’t better known in the Jew-dominated media.

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And Another Thing…

Why is Eric Holder prosecuting the guys who found bin Laden?

As the whole of America takes a bin Laden victory lap, let us pause to remember some of this celebrated event’s most forgotten men: the Central Intelligence Agency officers who sit under the cloud of a criminal investigation begun in 2009 by Attorney General Eric Holder into their interrogations of captured terrorists.

That’s right, the Americans whose interrogation of al Qaeda operatives may have put in motion the death of this mass murderer may themselves face prosecution by the country they were trying to protect.

It is time for the Holder CIA investigation to end. The death of bin Laden 10 years after 9/11 makes the Holder investigation of the CIA interrogators politically, emotionally and morally moot.

The whole thing is unsettling, isn’t it?

– Aggie


Inside a CIA Torture Chamber

Cue the evil laughter:

The CIA built one of its secret European prisons inside an exclusive riding academy outside Vilnius, Lithuania, a current Lithuanian government official and a former U.S. intelligence official told ABC News this week.

Where affluent Lithuanians once rode show horses and sipped coffee at a café, the CIA installed a concrete structure where it could use harsh tactics to interrogate up to eight suspected al-Qaeda terrorists at a time.

“The activities in that prison were illegal,” said human rights researcher John Sifton. “They included various forms of torture, including sleep deprivation, forced standing, painful stress positions.”

Standing? The horror! Stress positions? Oh, the humanity!

What part of “suspected al-Qaeda terrorists” do these people not get?


The prison pods inside the barn were not visible to locals.

So for all we know, the CIA could have been riding English and sipping tea. This story is as empty as Al Capone’s vault.


Nancy Pelosi is a Liar

It’s been said (and proved) before, but it can’t be said enough. Nancy Pelosi is a liar.

NPL, for short:

Understandably, most of the media’s attention has been focused on the portion of the CIA IG’s report that deals with whether the Enhanced Interrogation Techniques (“EITs”) caused suspected terrorists to provide information that they otherwise wouldn’t, i.e., whether the EITs “worked.”

But as today’s Wall Street Journal notes, the IG report also refutes the claim made by Nancy Pelosi in her infamous May press conference that she was never told about waterboarding by the CIA in fall 2002. (Pelosi went on to say that the CIA lies to Congress “all the time”). According to the IG report, the agency briefed the Congressional Intelligence Oversight Committees — that includes Speaker Pelosi — in the fall of 2002, as well as in February and March of 2003, and continued to do so thereafter.

The IG report states that none of the congressional participants — that includes Speaker Pelosi — expressed any concerns about the EITs or the program itself.

Unless we’re resigned to the premise that it’s routine for the Speaker of the House to lie to the American people about matters of national security, this is pretty serious stuff. CIA interrogators are facing the prospect of financially ruinous legal fees while a special prosecutor investigates their actions. Eric Holder may prosecute these individuals for taking actions that members of congress — that includes Speaker Pelosi — not only knew about, but that didn’t concern them.

If the EITs didn’t bother members of congress then, why are they a problem now?

Will any reporter call Pelosi on this?

I hate rhetorical questions. Don’t you?



Isn’t That Special (Prosecution)?

Obama’s health care plan is getting counseling from a “death panel”, and we start hearing of CIA “atrocities”. Anybody else think there’s a coincidence?

Team Obama may be ruthless and as unfamiliar with decency as they are with the surface of Venus—but they ain’t dumb.

U.S. Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl (Ariz.), U.S. Senator Kit Bond (R-Mo.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and other senators today sent the following letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in response to his decision to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate CIA officials who interrogated al Qaeda terrorists:

“We are deeply disappointed by today’s announcement that you have chosen to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate CIA officials who interrogated al Qaeda terrorists. As we explained to you in a letter dated August 19, 2009, reopening those cases—which career prosecutors have already determined do not warrant criminal prosecution—could, among other things, have a chilling effect on the work of the intelligence community.

“We believe that the concerns raised in our letter warranted, at a minimum, careful consideration and a reasoned response. Instead, you moved forward without responding to our concerns or discussing with a coordinate branch of government the potential national security consequences that may result if the intelligence community is operating against a backdrop of prosecutions. The handling of this important issue calls into question your confirmation hearing commitments that you would establish a ‘full partnership’ with Congress and that you ‘recognize that congressional oversight and judicial review are necessary, beneficial attributes of our system of government.’

Yadda yadda.

This isn’t really that hard to understand: Obama’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan aren’t producing much more than a record number of body bags; his anti-terrorism policies so resemble Bush’s they recall the intelligence tests that challenge you to find the difference between two seemingly identical pictures; the best that can be said of his economic stimulus package is that it temporarily staunched the hemorrhaging—its most popular initiative, Bucks for Buckets (Lira for Lemons?), literally bribed people to buy new cars; he has suggested he might go both left and right on his health care plan.

Wouldn’t you appoint a special prosecutor? To investigate school lunches, the designated hitter, Paula Abdul—anything to distract the public and appease your rabid followers? Aggie pointed out the other day the Rasmussen poll that shows Obama’s haters now routinely outnumber his idolators by double figures. The man needs a piñata, and he needs it now, national security be damned.

We have become such a strange country: now, the mere presence of a power drill and the sound of a gunshot from the next room are evidence of monstrosity. The terrorists we catch and interrogate would think nothing of slitting Shirley Temple’s throat, and we think they are scarred by a Black & Decker cordless?

Whatever. If it were me, I’d put the gun on the table, and run the power drill in the next room—now, that would be disturbing—but that’s why I’m a bloodthirsty liberal.


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