February 4th, 2009
01:53 PM ET

Cheney warns of new attacks

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/12/16/cheney.iraq/art.cheney.gi.jpg]

John F. Harris, Mike Allen and Jim Vandehei

Former Vice President Dick Cheney warned that there is a “high probability” that terrorists will attempt a catastrophic nuclear or biological attack in coming years, and said he fears the Obama administration’s policies will make it more likely the attempt will succeed.

In an interview Tuesday with Politico, Cheney unyieldingly defended the Bush administration’s support for the Guantanamo Bay prison and coercive interrogation of terrorism suspects.

And he asserted that President Obama will either backtrack on his stated intentions to end those policies or put the country at risk in ways more severe than most Americans — and, he charged, many members of Obama’s own team — understand.

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soundoff (130 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    Dick Cheney/Rush Limbaugh
    You can't change the thinking of a Neocon !

    The Iraq war was a case study of what happens when politicisation is mixed with incompetence. A long-standing convention holds that politics stops at the ocean’s edge. But Mr Bush and his inner circle labelled the Democrats “Defeaticrats” whenever they were reluctant to support extending the war from Afghanistan to Iraq. They manipulated intelligence to demonstrate that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction and had close relations with al-Qaeda. This not only divided a country that had been brought together by September 11th; it also undermined popular support for what Mr Bush regarded as the central theme of his presidency, the war on terror.

    February 5, 2009 at 1:39 am |
  2. B Razzle

    Hey COOPER why dont you get Alex Jones on your show? Ask him about Dick.... youll hear some interesting facts. GooGle 9 1 1 Truth!

    February 5, 2009 at 1:38 am |
  3. Matthew Greenwood

    Dick Cheney needs to keep his pie hole shut. As a former Vice President, He has not business seconded guessing a legally elected president two weeks into his administration.

    February 5, 2009 at 1:33 am |
  4. T. Guindon

    Obama isn't coming into this presidency as an angel. Even though he signed an Executive Order to disband the prison at Guantanamo Bay was publicized to create a "mindset" and SECRETLY reauthorize RENDITION which allows the prisoners to be shuttled off to foreign countries to be tortured there instead.

    February 5, 2009 at 1:29 am |
  5. T. Guindon

    As an Independent, Dick Cheney has just confirmed my description of him as a "war hawk" who is "out-to-lunch." He just needs to disappear and not be seen or heard.

    February 5, 2009 at 1:26 am |
  6. Carol P., Birmingham, AL

    Cheney is the biggest idiot in the universe. If we are ever attacked again (God forbid), it won't be because of anything this administration did or did not do. When we were attacked the first time (remember the truck at the WTC the first time?), did Clinton open a Gitmo and torture everybody? No. The intellegence people did their jobs and all of the guys were eventually caught. How many more times were we attacked after that, what was the guarantee then? When all of those athletes were killed during the Olympics was a torture farm set up to hurt people they THOUGHT were involved. No. Once again intelligence was used to "get" the right people. For all of you who think Cheney is right, go to a foreign country and get arrested for something they THINK you did, let them hold you until God knows when, and torture you for nothing and see how glorious you think it is then.

    February 5, 2009 at 1:22 am |
  7. jeff

    Please give me a break, how can the whole be for change from the Bushism ideas? My little inteligence tell me that MAY just MAYBE the world is right this time. Please rest in peace DICK CHENNEY

    February 5, 2009 at 1:16 am |
  8. Norman Armold

    Well Dick, your denial, arrogance and just plain stupidity is beyond belief. You may believe your own lies but you can not deny the truth about 9/11 happening on your watch, no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, your anti-American use of torture and your disregard of the civil liberties my parents, both hero's of WW II, sacrificed for and the undermining the constitution of this great nation. You should be ashamed of yourself. Instead, you promote fear and are attempting to use the possibility of another attack by a few radical groups to give yourself a way to say "I told you so". It's way beyond irresponsible. It's virtually criminal. You are also hurting the freely elected president do his best to right the ship you almost sank. You need a serious dose of humility.

    A citizen of the UNITED States of America

    February 5, 2009 at 1:03 am |
  9. Phyllis

    Cheney Comment for ac360
    I don't think we should become totally relaxed and think all is well because we have a better man for the job. But, I believe most of the nation is ready to stand strong, roll up sleeves, use our intelligence and proudly rebuild our country. Those who had power, opportunity and a sworn oath to take care of the nation and its' citizens failed us miserably; and instead of crying and bashing the new administration, they should figure out how to be helpful...it would be a better look for them. Do they really think Americans are so stupid that we want to continue hearing their negative, ridiculous and very ignorant comments? It's unbelievable, their nerve. After all of the crap they've gotten us into, they have the audacity to have a problem with those who are trying to bring the country back! You would think this wheelchair bound individual would strive to be positive on all levels and not use his time trying to call all HELL to the USA. Who can trust anything he says anyway? The (Republicans) have done nothing but started a war (without searching for other options), put us in debt (our country is financially crushed while others’ flourish) and have landed us as enemies with most nations in the world. Personally, I am sick to death of those money grubbing, lip service giving, idiots who are angry because we're done with the bull$#!+ they called leadership.

    February 5, 2009 at 12:51 am |
  10. Louise

    It's amazing that former VP Dick Cheney was "at an undisclosed location" through most of the last 8 years, and now chooses to give interviews bashing President Obama and his policies. I think he should return all the profits he and his Halliburton cronies received for contracts in Irac....that would help with the federal deficit! We are intelligent Americans, and realize that terrorists will keep trying to attack us at home and in other countries, no matter what. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that one out!

    Thank you!

    February 5, 2009 at 12:31 am |
  11. Carol A.

    No One, absolutely, no one has made America LESS SAFE than Dick Chenney. The fabrications that led to the war in Iraq and tortures at Guantanemo have Increased, not Decreased the threat of terrorism,
    as hatred against US policies under Bush-Cheney have galvanized the Muslim world in hatred against all Americans.

    He brought shame to America in the eyes of the world and today he is just a terrible embarrassment, a bitter old man in a wheel chair spouting venom. I support a federal investigation of him and all the crimes he committed during his years in the Whitehouse.

    February 5, 2009 at 12:30 am |
  12. Getworking

    Like it or not, four years ago (and 8 years ago) we went ahead b/c W was appointed to the position.

    NOW we have record voter turnout & Obama's administration won without a doubt the popular and electoral vote. It's time for the Republicans to stop whining and get on the darn bandwagon and start WORKING with the dems & independents.

    Why haven't they gotten the message? Get to work – or we will find someone NEXT TIME that will!!!! Shut up and work. You are wasting my tax dollars ....AGAIN.

    Seriously considering giving up Republican ways for life – Are YOU better off now, after 8 years?

    February 5, 2009 at 12:22 am |
  13. doesn't matter

    Lori – How can 2 weeks & 4 appointees that were screened deserve such meanness/tackiness/disrespectful behavior? Give it a rest! Why is it that only the Republicans are calling him the Messiah? (This smells of Rush) Could it be that Democrats are more diverse: Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish & other religions? I dare say Democrats wouldn't use such a term! Democrats would use something more like "educated person with the ability to work well with others".

    What about holding people accountable such as Cheney who got us in this position in the first place, such as:
    1)purposely misrepresented the truth
    2) omitted known facts
    3) the never-found WMD
    4)the use of a fake fear of WMD to get into 2 wars
    5)the death of +4000 US soldiers in those 2 wars
    6)the death of 3000+ US citizens in the WTC in NYC
    7)loss of your civil liberties
    8)how many republican senators got "caught" in the bathroom or sex scandals?
    9)Palin as a VP contender

    Arguing on the Internet is like winning at the special olympics: even if you win you are still "special". Beep. Thanks for playing.

    February 5, 2009 at 12:15 am |
  14. Jane

    Cheney should keep his mouth shut! The Congress should have impeached him and Bush for the unlawful actions of engaging the United States in the Iraq War and speaking harmful and harsh language to and about people they never understood, causing the U.S. to look like the ugly Americans again.
    Cheney is also crying wolf to destract attention away from the President's stimulus plan getting approved, in attempt to get more votes against the President's stimulus plan. Cheney and the Senate Republicans need to keep their mouths shut because when they had the chance to make this country better for all Americans they chose to only aid the rich and themselves.

    The stimulus money should be given directly the people and not to any financial organization (banks and Wall Street). The banks are NOT LOANING MONEY!

    February 5, 2009 at 12:13 am |
  15. J Carlon

    Funny how some "higher educated" are so ignorant that they can't determine that Bush/Cheney are the ultimate "terrorists". Who was in charge on 911? Do you not understand that Bush/Cheney had full knowledge that Al Quada were planning to attack? I for one, refuse to even consider that these two whacks prevented any further attacks, it's simply was not in their mentality! These idiots were/are so self absorbed that their focus was, and still is, lining their pockets at any cost! How many lies do they have to tell before some of you understand that they never had the American people's best interest at heart? Look around, look at the mess we are in, and you still have the gall to defend these two?
    All we heard for 8 years was "fear and doom", and look where that got us. And now the Prez is taking an approach that I feel will provide US with the best chance of regaining some reasonable stance in the world, and there are still idiots that think this is a bad thing?
    If the US is attacked again, we need to look at Cheney first!


    February 5, 2009 at 12:13 am |
  16. Judith

    Dick Cheney you did enough with the lies of the Iraq war with ex President Bush.How many knew that before you became VP you were CEO of Halliburton Company.

    February 5, 2009 at 12:12 am |
  17. Judith

    Ex VP Gore didn't give no advice to Bush so why is Cheney opening his mouth now.In 8 years how often had we heard him or Bush?
    Someone should put a muzzle on his mouth because he's playing the fear card like in 2004 with Kerry.We will always have terrorists but our Country should be on alert at all times and Ex President Clinton told Bush the same thing to be on alert.Cheney acted like he was the ex President instead of a VP.I certainly would love to have known what where in those boxes for Cheney to carry them out not letting the movers or his aids touching a few of them when his back went out.
    This is one many I do not trust,Dick Cheney.

    February 5, 2009 at 12:07 am |
  18. angelamancuso

    how dare he? HOW DARE HE? Dick cheney is a failure as a human being as well as a politician. He takes no responsibility for the dire straits this country is in around the world. We are broke BECAUSE of the war in Iraq. We are hated BECAUSE of the rhetoric of him and George Bush. The only thing I can thank him for is for being so completely clearly WRONG that it was easy for us to get Obama elected. WE ARE ALL FED UP. MAKE HIM STOP

    February 5, 2009 at 12:00 am |
  19. Judy

    Recognize his remarks for their ulterior motive. Cheney is testing out his own defense in advance of his and Bush and Gonzalez's actual trial for their constitutional crimes... their illegal wiretaps, illegal detention, illegal prisons, torture, all of their war profiteering in Iraq, etc., etc. He is an evil man with no regard for others but he is also aware that his future is very shakey. He may very well end up behind bars.

    February 4, 2009 at 11:58 pm |
  20. RonF

    As a Vienam vet I still rankle that this draft dodging chicken hawk (like most of the rest of the Bush administration except Colin Powell) has the nerve to open his mouth 2 weeks into President Obama's administration. I guess he didn't hear the part of he innaugural address in which President Obama directly adressed Al Quaeda saying "we will outlast you". But I'm sure he doesn't listen much to anybody. In his dire warning he foregets (or ignores) 9/11 happened on his watch despite explicit warnings. Maybe he'll listen when he's indicted for corruption and war crimes. Until then, he should just shut up.

    February 4, 2009 at 11:53 pm |
  21. leo h salas

    Mr. Cheney,
    Your days are out; so would you like to be waterboard???? and then you tell me if that is to torturining!!!!!. you are a man that in my opinion do not inspire trust to many people.

    February 4, 2009 at 11:51 pm |
  22. Doc

    Dear staff:

    Dick Cheney comments where not stated truthfully on your show tonight. Cheney stated that in order to take down future attacks by terrorist you need to keep most of the programs in place. Otherwise this could lead to a possible nuclear or Bio attack here at home...Not what you guys stated on the show making him out like he's arrogant and silly. I enjoy the show but I sick of the fact that you guys have no conservatives on the show just one big PR campaign for Mr "O". Remember if there's another attack here at home you can say O stands for Only 4 years-not 8!

    February 4, 2009 at 11:51 pm |
  23. dillion,hattiesburg,ms

    It seems to me if we were attacked cheney would have something to do with it. i think he is a conspirator and a decietful person. Its almost as if he's pre warning us of what he and his secret society is planning to do. Keep in mind this is the same man that faked his injury so he didnt have to stand up at the inaugaration.

    February 4, 2009 at 11:51 pm |
  24. Frederick Hill

    It appears that Mr. Cheney continues to ignore the fact that he had taken an Oath to "protect", "presereve" and "defend" the CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES. Yet he and Bush did nothing but try to dismantal the Constuitution. This man has shown he is wiilling to trample on the Consitution when it becomes an inconvenient document. This reveals a truly immoral man.

    February 4, 2009 at 11:51 pm |
  25. doesn't matter

    Couple of points:
    1) Respectfully Colleen – think about it: Cheney framed the message in a way so that it is hard to disagree with. Not many in the US would do something to harm the US and benefit a terrorist.
    2) Taking the "framed" message out of the rest of Cheney's message – what is he saying? Obama's policies will "cause" an attack – okay, how long has he been in office? That gives Obamas 2 weeks quite a bit of influence compared to Cheney's 8 years. tsk tsk (I thought Cheney was smarter than that! Did the public fall for that one?)
    3) It's a hard bet to loose – I'd put money down that sometime between now and say - forever - the US will be targeted again. Hello! That is like saying – I bet he takes a breath. If the guy is alive, he has to breath.

    Please CNN – don't give Cheney any more air time. He's like an old boyfriend you've got to ignore. Ug

    February 4, 2009 at 11:50 pm |
  26. Nancy

    Not even Republicans like Cheney. Lets move forward.

    February 4, 2009 at 11:50 pm |
  27. Gilby-HI

    The story of the Obama administration will be judged by how he treates the threats that are coming as we speak. I am sure he has selected the best for this important job.
    I will make this a prayer after his last selections.

    February 4, 2009 at 11:50 pm |
  28. DORI

    "War on Terror"?, "War on Drugs"? Neither term makes sense. We are in a war against Al Quiada and the Taliban, right? Other spin-off groups, right? Was McVey a terrorist? Yeah!! Was the sniper shooter in Phx (where I live) a terrorist? Yeah!! What were Bush & Cheney talking about with their wording. Let's name who we are fighting. We're big people & need to use semantics in a proper manner. We are in a war against terrorists, foreign and domestic.

    February 4, 2009 at 11:47 pm |
  29. Jessica Berty

    For once I actually agree with Dick Cheney. Guantanamo should be kept open, just so that he can be a detainee. I think Dick would benefit from a little waterboarding.

    I am repuulsed that you even give this horrible, evil, disgusting non-human airtime. He and Bush have done their damage. They deserve jail time not airtime.

    February 4, 2009 at 11:47 pm |
  30. Patty

    Dick Cheney needs to get in that wheelchair again and roll away into the sunset. I mean, PLEASE, for a man who hated speaking to the media and now , all of a sudden, he's the spokesperson on terrorist attacks. Attacks that are going to take place in our future unless we all listen to the man himself.
    Come on, Dick, take your "dirty, nasty" ideas and retire. You are retired from government, are you not????

    February 4, 2009 at 11:47 pm |
  31. Mrs. Patricia Brito

    Labels – barbarians, heathens, savages, communist, terrorist. What do they all have in common? All these labels over time have been attributed to people by other people who want to influence the way ones think about the persons being labeled. Now it is Al-Queda. Please! Why have so many people who have never set foot on American soil hate us? Let's explore WHY THE HATE. If we get to the bottom of the hate than we can begin to solve the problem. Or do we continue to label and go after people who may have otherwise been our friends had we not disrespected their right to believe what we do not, act as we do not and have the right as we do to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. War can't be happy and since we not fighting "them" over here in America. Maybe just leaving them to the lives they know and love and just getting out of their countries would be the peace that we can all believe in. War fosters hate. Love fosters kindness. God is love. Does America trust in God?

    February 4, 2009 at 11:45 pm |
  32. Manuel Hernandez

    The whole Bush admin are nut jobs. They are a bunch knee jerks. There is no one in the U.S that wants to forgive terrorist or not find and "take care" of them.
    Fear mongoring is nuts.
    Will there be another attack on us? Yes. But we will continue to hunt them down regardless of political affiliation.
    Thank God for Obama. Now we have a leader with a functioning brain.

    February 4, 2009 at 11:45 pm |
  33. Celia

    There's something about "protesteth too much" that seems very fitting for Mr. Cheney.

    February 4, 2009 at 11:44 pm |

    Thank God that EVIL MAN is out of office. Just look at his eyes and you can see the evil. He has cheated the American people out of millions of dollars thru his double dealing with Halliburton. Now he is putting President Obama though cheap threats , there will be no more attacks on the United States, although I'm sure that is what that evil man is hoping for. He says history will tell. I sure hope it tells the true story of EX president Bush and EX vice president Chaney, so the whole world will have proof of the evil they have led our country into. Greed is a terrible thing. As these two men have proved. Give Obama a chance and see what an honest President can do.

    February 4, 2009 at 11:44 pm |
  35. Danny

    This guy is so last year – good riddance! I am so glad he is out of the adminstration and all he can do now is diarrhoea verbally every now and then. It's would be comedy if he was not talking about possible killing of innocent Americans!! and what's more he ignores we are being attacked daily because everytime my friend in Iraq has to avoid an ambush or faces enemy fire, we are being attacked. Be gone dude, farewell – please ride your wheelchair into the sunset or just exit stage left. GO AWAY!!!!

    February 4, 2009 at 11:41 pm |
  36. An OK Lady

    I don't understand, Dick. If someone hits you, you hit them back to stand up for yourself, then they hit you back to stand up for themselves, then you hit them --What's the point? When does it end? What makes you any better than them? Isn't it the more uncivilized countries that contain the most terrorists and have fanatics in charge? Isn't it all just another excuse to spend the war bucks, play the war games and kill, kill, kill? Why can't we all just find a way to get along and live our lives in peace and enjoy this beautiful world we have.
    Isn't it our intelligence and ability to communicate that separates us from the animals?

    February 4, 2009 at 11:40 pm |
  37. David

    Why wasn't his wheelchair pushed down the Capitol stairs into the incoming traffic on innaugauration day? He is a despicable evil man and I am sick of the sight and sound of him. The next time that I see him I want it to be before a judge.

    February 4, 2009 at 11:33 pm |
  38. Dick Ponts

    Cheney needs to butt out...he; as being Haliburton (or whatever the new name of the old Haliburton now is)...is to benefit regardless.
    The individual, during the southern tour of Katrina, said it best...(I am sure the records have that statement). It is not unlikely Cheney would stage an altercation from his new office in the Emerits. The whole Bush administration needs to be called to the World Court for crimes against humanity which includes the American people!!!

    February 4, 2009 at 11:32 pm |
  39. Michele

    I find the Cheney interview infuriating, disgusting and trite. This man, along with his pet puppet, Bush, should have been impeached. Since that chance has passed, he and Bush should be tried for treason. His policies, enacted by Bush, are largely responsible for the mess we now find ourselves in. And he has the unmitigated GALL to attack and disparage the new President? I don't for one minute believe that his policies "kept America safe". I do believe his policies opened us up to worse attacks down the road. It is the measure of the man that he made disparaging comments before leaving office – and continues to make them. This kind of peevish attack on a new administration is just poor taste – and we've had 8 years of extremely poor taste. He needs to sit down and shut up – he had his 15 minutes of fame, so let's hope he just crawls back into whatever dark hole he can find.

    February 4, 2009 at 11:29 pm |
  40. John A.

    You need to point out that Cheney has an economic interest in making these statements! He and his defense industry friends made money for 8 years plus on this rhetoric.

    Now that he is out of office, the only thing he can do is lobby for his defense buddies (an his own benefit). Otherwise they will be shut down and not have a source of income

    This talk about "philosophy" is off the point. Cheney is not helping the country...he is helping Cheney & Co. Cheney is trying to make sure the government keeps spending money on the services of Halliburton etc. Cmon, quit wasting your time talking about "his philosophy" versus Obamas'....it is about MONEY

    February 4, 2009 at 11:22 pm |
  41. Gerard

    I think Cheney needs to understand that he is no longer in charge; he's had his time to shine, he's had his time to make the world hate us even more, and he's had his time to provoke upcoming threats, and now he wants to blame it on the current administration. He needs to relocate in Iraq since he loves it so much there.

    February 4, 2009 at 11:20 pm |
  42. Armeen I

    Any attacks that happen for the next half century will be the DIRECT RESULT of the Bush Cheney Administraiton. So, Dick Cheney don't blame the man who came after you. All of the destruction that you and George Bush caused will be the root of a lot of future evil. President Obama and subsequent presidents will only be working hard at fixing what your evil and unethical bullying has created in our world.

    February 4, 2009 at 11:18 pm |
  43. Roderick Wilde

    Please read the Geneva Conventions, especially the 1929 and 1949 ones on the treatment of prisoners. Both of these were signed and ratified by the United States of America. Actually all high school students should be required to read these extremely important documents. After you read them you will understand why Dick Cheney needs to be sent directly to the International Court of Justice in The Hague for trial for war crimes.

    February 4, 2009 at 11:10 pm |
  44. dan

    Cheney is right, its going to eventually happen. Obama is wrong,
    America will not be safer if we close Guantanamo. The majority of the individuals whom have been released from GTMO have been observed doing terrorist activities after leaving. Coming from someone who has worked in the camps, knowing first hand what these people are capable of, i can safely say get ready America, your "Change" is coming. Wire taps, Patriot Act, etc. have kept us safer weather you think so or not. I know that everyone has an opinion for every new president, but President Obama will foul this up and put us in more danger. If you have not been down there, and expeirenced things first hand, or have not gone anywhere for that matter to support your opinion, then that is all that you have. A second hand opinion. For what it is worth, you have the luxury of not knowing what I know. And I for one, would much rather not know what our country has done to keep us safer. America as a whole is becoming soft. And all of you who want to go against the grain, jeopardize the security of our nation.

    February 4, 2009 at 11:07 pm |
  45. Pam W

    All of a sudden he somes out with news about possible attacks. Did he just wake up from his nap? I don't think we need him to warn us. 🙂

    February 4, 2009 at 11:04 pm |
  46. Caroline in WA

    I agree with the gentleman on the left who stated that the philosophy of the Republicans (far right wing) and the Democrats are so different, polarized, even, in my opinion. The right wing Republicans seriously believe the Fundamentalist Muslims want to destroy America. There are Fundamentalist Christians in this country who believe this as well and they voted for Bush twice. Cheney is of that ilk, belief and nothing will ever change it. His prediction of another attack if Obama changes any of the Bush Administration policies regarding American Security speaks of Cheney's fears, the fears of 8 years "as" the Bush Administration. If America is attacked again, I'd look for Cheney and any and all connections he has or his line has with who gets blamed. I don't think Cheney comes with a good will warning, but more as a "threat to the current administration."

    February 4, 2009 at 11:02 pm |
  47. Stephen

    I think that Cheney should keep his mouth shut for we are not more safe than when Bush and Cheney were were in office, So where are those weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. I sure think that Cheney know where they are

    February 4, 2009 at 11:02 pm |
  48. Carol

    I NEVER saw or heard of anything this man did in 8 years as our Vice President. Why oh why is he talking now?

    February 4, 2009 at 11:02 pm |
  49. EX

    He seems almost proud of his torture and waterboarding legacy.
    Fear mongering, poltical manuvering.
    Somebody tell this guy to go hunting , Please!
    He's off his wheelchair!

    February 4, 2009 at 10:59 pm |
  50. Kay

    Dick fails to mention that 911 happened on his watch. There were plenty of intelligence warnings... No leader can keep us 100% safe from terrorist attacks. Ask the British regarding Northern Ireland. Or any of the other countries who have been attacked during the last eight years. Do we teach our young violent gang members that revenge is the answer? I say no.

    Beef up our military. Give them plenty of money for the latest and greatest weapons. Place them on our borders. Shut the borders down to all – not just our friendly southern neighbors and LET'S CONCENTRATE ON CLEANING UP OUR OWN COUNTRY. Clean up the violence, greed, sex and work on keeping our families, economy and environment clean and strong. God bless America.

    February 4, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
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