Adam Werritty: Liam Fox’s friend ‘bankrolled by corporate intelligence firm and Israel lobbyist’….

18 CIA directors are Council on Foreign Relations 18 NSA directors are CFR – Booze Allen is owned by CFR run Carlyle corporation. Edward Snowden worked for Booze Allen. If you use the CFR membership list ( http://www.cfr.org/about/membership/roster.html ) to look up the people in this article you will find that most of the Americans are CFR members. https://tomjefferson1976.wordpress.com/?s=snowden https://tomjefferson1976.wordpress.com/?s=carlyle

Centurean2\'s Weblog

Adam Werritty: Liam Fox’s friend ‘bankrolled by corporate intelligence firm and Israel lobbyist’
Adam Werritty, the Defence Secretary’s unofficial “adviser”, was funded by a corporate intelligence company and the chairman of an Israeli lobbying organisation, documents have disclosed….

http://www.wirralonline.com/news/item/adam-werritty-liam-foxs-friend-bankrolled-by-corporate-intelligence-firm-and-israel-lobbyist

http://hotterthanapileofcurry.wordpress.com/2011/10/10/liam-fox-adam-werrity-but-no-mention-of-luke-coffey-cia-agent-with-access-all-areas-pass-at-the-mod/

Liam Fox & Adam Werritty, but no mention of Luke Coffey, CIA agent with access all areas pass at the MOD

The big story is of Liam Fox & his special relationship with Adam Werritty, homo-honeytraps aside, the real story here is of another one of Fox’s special advisors Luke Coffey that is going unreported.

Liam “I’m not a homo” Fox hired an American, Luke Coffey to work in the Defence Department as a special advisor.

On 6 June 2010, The Sunday Times reported that Liam Fox, the UK Defence Minister lets a US ‘mole’ roam the Ministry of Defence

According to the Sunday Times in June 2010:

UK Defence…

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Why States Should Enact Laws To Challenge & Overturn Supreme Courts Abortion & Gay Marriage Decisions

Why States Should Enact Laws To Challenge & Overturn Supreme Courts Abortion & Gay Marriage Decisions   In October of 2015, Kansas v Carr,  a case involving a particularly heinous crime cam…

Source: Why States Should Enact Laws To Challenge & Overturn Supreme Courts Abortion & Gay Marriage Decisions

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Why States Should Enact Laws To Challenge & Overturn Supreme Courts Abortion & Gay Marriage Decisions

Why States Should Enact Laws To Challenge & Overturn Supreme Courts Abortion & Gay Marriage Decisions

 

In October of 2015, Kansas v Carr,  a case involving a particularly heinous crime came up before the supreme court. The Supreme Court of Kansas vacated the death sentences passed down by a Kansas jury. The reason was the trial violated the Eighth Amendment Rights of the Constitution of the United States. Justice Scalia delivered the opinion of the Court, joined by Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas, Ginsberg, Breyer and Alito. Justice Sotomayor filed a dissenting opinion.

 

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Scalia Opinion of Court:

The Supreme Court of Kansas vacated the death sentences of Sidney Gleason and brothers Reginald and Jona – than Carr. Gleason killed one of his co-conspirators and her boyfriend to cover up the robbery of an elderly man. The Carrs’ notorious Wichita crime spree culminated in the brutal rape, robbery, kidnapping, and execution-style shooting of five young men and women. We first consider whether the Constitution required the sentencing courts to instruct the juries that mitigating circumstances “need not be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.” And second, 2 KANSAS  v. CARR  Opinion of the Court  whether the Constitution required severance of the Carrs’  joint sentencing proceedings.  It is improper to vacate a death sentence based on pure “speculation” of fundamental unfairness, “rather than reasoned judgment,”  Romano , supra , at 13–14.

Only the most extravagant speculation would lead to the conclusion that the supposedly prejudicial evidence rendered the Carr brothers’ joint sentencing proceeding fundamentally unfair. It is beyond reason to think that the jury’s death verdicts were caused by the identification of Reginald as the “corrupter” or of Jonathan as the “corrupted,” the jury’s viewing of Reginald’s handcuffs, or the sister’s re-tracted statement that Reginald fired the final shots.  None of that mattered. What these defendants did—acts of almost inconceivable cruelty and depravity—was described in excruciating detail by Holly, who relived with the jury, for two days, the Wichita Massacre. The joint sentencing proceedings did not render the sentencing proceedings fundamentally unfair.

 

Sotomayor’s dissent :

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I respectfully dissent because I do not believe these cases should ever have been reviewed by the Supreme Court. I see no reason to intervene in cases like these—  and plenty of reasons not to. Kansas has not violated any federal constitutional right. If anything, the State has overprotected its citizens based on its interpretation of state and federal law. For reasons ably articulated by my predecessors and colleagues and because I worry that cases like these prevent States from serving as necessary laboratories for experimenting with how best to guarantee defendants a fair trial, I would dismiss the writs as improvidently granted… 

The cases here demonstrate yet another cost of granting certiorari to correct a state court’s overprotection of federal rights: In explaining that the Federal Constitution does not protect some particular right, it is natural to buttress the conclusion by explaining why that right is not very important. In so doing, the Court risks discouraging States from adopting valuable procedural protections even as a matter of their own state law. [formatting mine]

 

Sotomayor is wrong. This explanation is essential and affords the needed protection of states rights. In Roe v. Wade (abortion) the states’ rights of protecting the unborn are being discouraged yet there is no adequate explanation of how the life of an unborn child is not protected by the constitution. In Obergefell et al v. Hodges, Director, Ohio (homosexual marriage) there is no explanation of why  the Constitution requires the practice of homosexual marriage, which is contrary to the religious beliefs of many of our citizens and legitimizes and encourages the practice of sodomy despite the fact the Center for Disease Control and Prevention  has found  that the homosexual subculture is less than 2% of the population yet accounts for 72% of the HIV cases.

States should keep passing laws that challenge both Roe v. Wade and Obergefell v. Hodges as violating the Constitution demanding why protecting the right of the Unborn Child and Traditional Marriage are not guaranteed by the Constitution. The decisions do not explain how these rights can be over-ridden by the two decisions.

 

 

 

(Slip Opinion)   OCTOBER TERM, 2015        1

 

Syllabus

NOTE: Where it is feasible, a syllabus (headnote) will be released, as is being done in connection with this case, at the time the opinion is issued. The syllabus constitutes no part of the opinion of the Court but has been prepared by the Reporter of Decisions for the convenience of the reader. See United States v. Detroit Timber & Lumber Co., 200 U. S. 321, 337.

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

Syllabus

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KANSAS v. CARR

CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF KANSAS  

No. 14–449. Argued October 7, 2015—Decided January 20, 2016*

A Kansas jury sentenced respondent Sidney Gleason to death for killing a co-conspirator and her boyfriend to cover up the robbery of an elderly man.

  A Kansas jury sentenced respondents Reginald and Jonathan Carr, brothers, to death after a joint sentencing proceeding.  Respondents were convicted of various charges stemming from a notorious crime spree that culminated in the brutal rape, robbery, kidnaping, and execution-style shooting of five young men and women.   

  The Kansas Supreme Court vacated the death sentences in each case, holding that the sentencing instructions violated the Eighth Amendment by failing “to affirmatively inform the jury that mitigating circumstances need only be proved to the satisfaction of the individual juror in that juror’s sentencing decision and not beyond a reasonable doubt.”  It also held that the Carrs’ Eighth Amendment right “to an individualized capital sentencing determination” was violated by the trial court’s failure to sever their sentencing proceedings.

Held:

 1. The Eighth Amendment does not require capital-sentencing courts to instruct a jury that mitigating circumstances need not be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.  Pp. 8–13.

  (a) Because the Kansas Supreme Court left no doubt that its ruling was based on the Federal Constitution, Gleason’s initial argument—that this Court lacks jurisdiction to hear his case because the state court’s decision rested on adequate and independent state-law grounds—is rejected.  See Kansas v. Marsh, 548 U. S. 163, 169.  Pp. 8–9.

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*Together with No. 14–450, Kansas v. Carr, and No. 14–452, Kansas

v. Gleason, also on certiorari to the same court.

2                      KANSAS v. CARR

           

Syllabus

  (b) This Court’s capital-sentencing case law does not support requiring a court to instruct a jury that mitigating circumstances need not be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. See, e.g., Buchanan v. Angelone, 522 U. S. 269, 275. Nor was such an instruction constitution- ally necessary in these particular cases to avoid confusion.  Ambiguity in capital-sentencing instructions gives rise to constitutional error only if “there is a reasonable likelihood that the jury has applied the challenged instruction in a way that prevents the consideration of constitutionally relevant evidence,” Boyde v. California, 494 U. S. 370, 380, a bar not cleared here.  Even assuming that it would be unconstitutional to require the defense to prove mitigating circumstances beyond a reasonable doubt, the record belies the defendants’ contention that the instructions caused jurors to apply such a standard of proof here. The instructions make clear that both the existence of aggravating circumstances and the conclusion that they outweigh mitigating circumstances must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt but that mitigating circumstances must merely be “found to exist,” which does not suggest proof beyond a reasonable doubt.  No juror would have reasonably speculated that “beyond a reasonable doubt” was the correct burden for mitigating circumstances.  Pp. 9–13.

 2. The Constitution did not require severance of the Carrs’ joint sentencing proceedings. The Eighth Amendment is inapposite when a defendant’s claim is, at bottom, that evidence was improperly admitted at a capital-sentencing proceeding.  The question is whether the allegedly improper evidence “so infected the sentencing proceeding with unfairness as to render the jury’s imposition of the death penalty a denial of due process.” Romano v. Oklahoma, 512 U. S. 1, 12. In light of all the evidence presented at the guilt and penalty phases relevant to the jury’s sentencing determination, the contention that the admission of mitigating evidence by one Carr brother could have “so infected” the jury’s consideration of the other’s sentence as to amount to a denial of due process is beyond the pale.  The Court presumes that the jury followed its instructions to “give separate consideration to each defendant.” Bruton v. United States, 391 U. S. 123, distinguished.  Joint proceedings are permissible and often preferable when the joined defendants’ criminal conduct arises out of a single chain of events. Buchanan v. Kentucky, 483 U. S. 402, 418.  Limiting instructions, like those given in the Carrs’ proceeding, “often will suffice to cure any risk of prejudice,” Zafiro v. United States, 506 U. S. 534, 539, that might arise from codefendants’ “antagonistic” mitigation theories, id., at 538. It is improper to vacate a death sentence based on pure “speculation” of fundamental unfairness, “rather than reasoned judgment.” Romano, supra, at 13–14.  Only the most extravagant speculation would lead to the conclusion that any sup          Cite as: 577 U. S. ____ (2016)       3

 

Syllabus

posedly prejudicial evidence rendered the Carr brothers’ joint sentencing proceeding fundamentally unfair when their acts of almost inconceivable cruelty and depravity were described in excruciating detail by the sole survivor, who, for two days, relived the Wichita Massacre with the jury.  Pp. 13–17.

No. 14–449, 300 Kan. 340, 329 P. 3d 1195; No. 14–450, 300 Kan. 1, 331 P. 3d 544; and No. 14–452, 299 Kan. 1127, 329 P. 3d 1102, reversed and remanded.

SCALIA, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which ROBERTS,

C. J., and KENNEDY, THOMAS, G INSBURG, BREYER, ALITO, and KAGAN, JJ., joined. SOTOMAYOR, J., filed a dissenting opinion.

 


NOTICE: This opinion is subject to formal revision before publication in the preliminary print of the United States Reports. Readers are requested to notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Court of the United States, Washington, D. C. 20543, of any typographical or other formal errors, in order that corrections may be made before the preliminary print goes to press.

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

_________________

Nos. 14–449, 14–450, and 14–452

_________________

14–449

 

14–450

 

KANSAS, PETITIONER

v.

JONATHAN D. CARR

KANSAS, PETITIONER

v.

REGINALD DEXTER CARR, JR.

KANSAS, PETITIONER

14–452

v.

SIDNEY J. GLEASON

 

ON WRITS OF CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF  KANSAS

[January 20, 2016]  

JUSTICE SCALIA delivered the opinion of the Court.

 The Supreme Court of Kansas vacated the death sentences of Sidney Gleason and brothers Reginald and Jonathan Carr.  Gleason killed one of his co-conspirators and her boyfriend to cover up the robbery of an elderly man.  The Carrs’ notorious Wichita crime spree culminated in the brutal rape, robbery, kidnaping, and execution-style shooting of five young men and women.  We first consider whether the Constitution required the sentencing courts to instruct the juries that mitigating circumstances “need not be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.”  And second, whether the Constitution required severance of the Carrs’ joint sentencing proceedings.

I  

A  

 Less than one month after Sidney Gleason was paroled from his sentence for attempted voluntary manslaughter, he joined a conspiracy to rob an elderly man at knifepoint.[1]  Gleason and a companion “cut up” the elderly man to get $10 to $35 and a box of cigarettes. 299 Kan. 1127, 1136, 329 P. 3d 1102, 1115 (2014).  Fearing that their female co-conspirators would snitch, Gleason and his cousin, Damien Thompson, set out to kill co-conspirator Mikiala Martinez. Gleason shot and killed Martinez’s boyfriend, and then Gleason and Thompson drove Martinez to a rural location, where Thompson strangled her for five minutes and then shot her in the chest, Gleason standing by and providing the gun for the final shot.

 The State ultimately charged Gleason with capital murder for killing Martinez and her boyfriend, first-degree premeditated murder of the boyfriend, aggravating kidnaping of Martinez, attempted first-degree murder and aggravated robbery of the elderly man, and criminal possession of a firearm.  He was convicted on all counts except the attempted first-degree murder charge.  Id., at 1134– 1135, 1146, 329 P. 3d, at 1114, 1120.  The jury also found that the State proved beyond a reasonable doubt the existence of four aggravating circumstances and unanimously agreed to a sentence of death.  Id., at 1146–1147, 329 P. 3d, at 1120–1121.

B

 In December 2000, brothers Reginald and Jonathan

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Carr set out on a crime spree culminating in the Wichita Massacre.[2] On the night of December 7, Reginald Carr and an unknown man carjacked Andrew Schreiber, held a gun to his head, and forced him to make cash withdrawals at various ATMs.

 On the night of December 11, the brothers followed Linda Ann Walenta, a cellist for the Wichita symphony, home from orchestra practice. One of them approached her vehicle and said he needed help.  When she rolled down her window, he pointed a gun at her head.  When she shifted into reverse to escape, he shot her three times, ran back to his brother’s car, and fled the scene. One of the gunshots severed Walenta’s spine, and she died one month later as a result of her injuries.

 On the night of December 14, the brothers burst into a triplex at 12727 Birchwood, where roommates Jason, Brad, and Aaron lived.  Jason’s girlfriend, Holly, and Heather, a friend of Aaron’s, were also in the house.  Armed with handguns and a golf club, the brothers forced all five into Jason’s bedroom. They demanded that they strip naked and later ordered them into the bedroom closet. They took Holly and Heather from the bedroom, demanded that they perform oral sex and digitally penetrate each other as the Carrs looked on and barked orders.  They forced each of the men to have sex with Holly and then with Heather. They yelled that the men would be shot if they could not have sex with the women, so Holly— fearing for Jason’s life—performed oral sex on him in the closet before he was ordered out by the brothers.

 Jonathan then snatched Holly from the closet. He ordered that she digitally penetrate herself.  He set his

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gun between her knees on the floor.  And he raped her.

Then he raped Heather.

 Reginald took Brad, Jason, Holly, and Aaron one-by-one to various ATMs to withdraw cash.  When the victims returned to the house, their torture continued.  Holly urinated in the closet because of fright.  Jonathan found an engagement ring hidden in the bedroom that Jason was keeping as a surprise for Holly.  Pointing his gun at Jason, he had Jason identify the ring while Holly was sitting nearby in the closet. Then Reginald took Holly from the closet, said he was not going to shoot her yet, and raped her on the dining-room floor strewn with boxes of Christmas decorations. He forced her to turn around, ejaculated into her mouth, and forced her to swallow.  In a nearby bathroom, Jonathan again raped Heather and then again raped Holly.

 At 2 a.m.—three hours after the mayhem began—the brothers decided it was time to leave the house.  They attempted to put all five victims in the trunk of Aaron’s Honda Civic.  Finding that they would not all fit, they jammed the three young men into the trunk. They directed Heather to the front of the car and Holly to Jason’s pickup truck, driven by Reginald.  Once the vehicles arrived at a snow-covered field, they instructed Jason and Brad, still naked, and Aaron to kneel in the snow.  Holly cried, “Oh, my God, they’re going to shoot us.”  Holly and Heather were then ordered to kneel in the snow.  Holly went to Jason’s side; Heather, to Aaron.

 Holly heard the first shot, heard Aaron plead with the brothers not to shoot, heard the second shot, heard the screams, heard the third shot, and the fourth.  She felt the blow of the fifth shot to her head, but remained kneeling.  They kicked her so she would fall face-first into the snow and ran her over in the pickup truck.  But she survived, because a hair clip she had fastened to her hair that night deflected the bullet.  She went to Jason, took off her sweater, the only scrap of clothing the brothers had let her wear, and tied it around his head to stop the bleeding from his eye. She rushed to Brad, then Aaron, and then Heather.

 Spotting a house with white Christmas lights in the distance, Holly started running toward it for help—naked, skull shattered, and without shoes, through the snow and over barbed-wire fences. Each time a car passed on the nearby road, she feared it was the brothers returning and camouflaged herself by lying down in the snow.  She made it to the house, rang the doorbell, knocked.  A man opened the door, and she relayed as quickly as she could the events of the night to him, and minutes later to a 911 dispatcher, fearing that she would not live.

 Holly lived, and retold this play-by-play of the night’s events to the jury. Investigators also testified that the brothers returned to the Birchwood house after leaving the five friends for dead, where they ransacked the place for valuables and (for good measure) beat Holly’s dog, Nikki, to death with a golf club.

 The State charged each of the brothers with more than 50 counts, including murder, rape, sodomy, kidnaping, burglary, and robbery, and the jury returned separate guilty verdicts.  It convicted Reginald of one count of kidnaping, aggravated robbery, aggravated battery, and criminal damage to property for the Schreiber carjacking, and one count of first-degree felony murder for the Walenta shooting. Jonathan was acquitted of all counts related to the Schreiber carjacking but convicted of first-degree felony murder for the Walenta shooting.  For the Birchwood murders, the jury convicted each brother of 4 counts of capital murder, 1 count of attempted first-degree murder, 5 counts of aggravated kidnaping, 9 counts of aggravated robbery, 20 counts of rape or attempted rape, 3 counts of aggravated criminal sodomy, 1 count each of aggravated burglary and burglary, 1 count of theft, and 1 count of cruelty to animals. The jury also convicted Reginald of three counts of unlawful possession of a firearm. 300 Kan. 1, 15–16, 331 P. 3d 544, 573–574 (2014).

 The State sought the death penalty for each of the four Birchwood murders, and the brothers were sentenced together. The State relied on the guilt-phase evidence, including Holly’s two days of testimony, as evidence of four aggravating circumstances: that the defendants knowingly or purposely killed or created a great risk of death to more than one person; that they committed the crimes for the purpose of receiving money or items of monetary value; that they committed the crimes to prevent arrest or pro- secution; and that they committed the crimes in an especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel manner.  Id., at 258–259, 331 P. 3d, at 708.  After hearing each brother’s case for mitigation, the jury issued separate verdicts of death for Reginald and Jonathan. It found unanimously that the State proved the existence of the four aggravating circumstances beyond a reasonable doubt and that those aggravating circumstances outweighed the mitigating circumstances, justifying four separate verdicts of death for each brother for the murders of Jason, Brad, Aaron, and Heather. App. in No. 14–449 etc., pp. 461–492.

C

 The Kansas Supreme Court vacated the death penalties in both cases. It held that the instructions used in both Gleason’s and the Carrs’ sentencing violated the Eighth Amendment because they “failed to affirmatively inform the jury that mitigating circumstances need only be proved to the satisfaction of the individual juror in that juror’s sentencing decision and not beyond a reasonable doubt.” 299 Kan., at 1196, 329 P. 3d, at 1147 (Gleason); 300 Kan., at 303, 331 P. 3d, at 733 (Reginald Carr); 300 Kan. 340, 369–370, 329 P. 3d 1195, 1213 (2014) (Jonathan Carr).  Without that instruction, according to the court, the jury “was left to speculate as to the correct burden of proof for mitigating circumstances, and reasonable jurors might have believed they could not consider mitigating circumstances not proven beyond a reasonable doubt.”  299 Kan., at 1197, 329 P. 3d, at 1148.  This, the court concluded, might have caused jurors to exclude relevant mitigating evidence from their consideration.  Ibid.

 The Kansas Supreme Court also held that the Carrs’ death sentences had to be vacated because of the trial court’s failure to sever their sentencing proceedings, thereby violating the brothers’ Eighth Amendment right “to an individualized capital sentencing determination.” 

300 Kan., at 275, 331 P. 3d, at 717; 300 Kan., at 368, 329 P. 3d, at 1212.  According to the court, the joint trial “inhibited the jury’s individualized consideration of [Jonathan] because of family characteristics tending to demonstrate future dangerousness that he shared with his brother”; and his brother’s visible handcuffs prejudiced the jury’s consideration of his sentence.  300 Kan., at 275, 331 P. 3d, at 717.  As for Reginald, he was prejudiced, according to the Kansas Supreme Court, by Jonathan’s portrayal of him as the corrupting older brother.  Id., at 276, 331 P. 3d, at 717. Moreover, Reginald was prejudiced by his brother’s cross-examination of their sister, who testified that she thought Reginald had admitted to her that he was the shooter. Id., at 279, 331 P. 3d, at 719.  (She later backtracked and testified, “‘I don’t remember who was,  you know, shot by who[m].’”   Ibid.) The Kansas Supreme Court opined that the presumption that the jury followed its instructions to consider each defendant separately was “defeated by logic.” Id., at 280, 331 P. 3d, at 719. “[T]he defendants’ joint upbringing in the maelstrom that was their family and their influence on and interactions with one another . . . simply was not amenable to orderly separation and analysis.” Ibid., 331 P. 3d, at 719–720.  The Kansas Supreme Court found itself unable to “say that the death verdict was unattributable, at least in part, to this error.” Id., at 282, 331 P. 3d, at 720.  We granted certiorari. 575 U. S. ___ (2015).

II

 We first turn to the Kansas Supreme Court’s contention that the Eighth Amendment required these capitalsentencing courts to instruct the jury that mitigating circumstances need not be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

A

 Before considering the merits of that contention, we consider Gleason’s challenge to our jurisdiction.  According to Gleason, the Kansas Supreme Court’s decision rests on adequate and independent state-law grounds. This argument is a familiar one. We rejected it in Kansas v. Marsh, 548 U. S. 163, 169 (2006).  Like the defendant in that case, Gleason urges that the decision below rests only on a rule of Kansas law announced in State v. Kleypas, 272 Kan. 894, 40 P. 3d 139 (2001) (per curiam)—a rule later reiterated in State v. Scott, 286 Kan. 54, 183 P. 3d 801 (2008) (  per curiam).  As we stated in   Marsh, “Kleypas, itself, rested on federal law.” 548 U. S., at 169.  So too does the relevant passage of Scott, which rested on Kleypas’s discussion of the constitutional rule that jurors need not agree on mitigating circumstances.  See Scott, supra, at 106–107, 183 P. 3d, at 837–838.  The Kansas Supreme Court’s opinion in this case acknowledged as much, saying that “statements from Kleypas implicate the broader Eighth Amendment principle prohibiting barriers that preclude a sentencer’s consideration of all relevant mitigating evidence.” 299 Kan., at 1195, 329 P. 3d, at 1147.  

 The Kansas Supreme Court’s opinion leaves no room for doubt that it was relying on the Federal Constitution.  It stated that the instruction it required “protects a capital defendant’s Eighth Amendment right to individualized sentencing,” that the absence of the instruction “implicat[ed] Gleason’s right to individualized sentencing under the Eighth Amendment,” and that vacatur of Gleason’s death sentence was the “[c]onsequen[ce]” of Eighth Amendment error. Id., at 1196–1197, 329 P. 3d, at 1147–1148 (emphasis added).

 For this reason, the criticism leveled by the dissent is misdirected. It generally would have been “none of our business” had the Kansas Supreme Court vacated Gleason’s and the Carrs’ death sentences on state-law grounds. Marsh, 548 U. S., at 184 (SCALIA, J., concurring).  But it decidedly did not. And when the Kansas Supreme Court time and again invalidates death sentences because it says the Federal Constitution requires it, “review by this Court, far from undermining state autonomy, is the only possible way to vindicate it.” Ibid. “When we correct a state court’s federal errors, we return power to the State, and to its people.Ibid.  The state courts may experiment all they want with their own constitutions, and often do in the wake of this Court’s decisions. See Sutton, San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez And Its Aftermath, 94 Va. L. Rev. 1963, 1971–1977 (2008).  But what a state court cannot do is experiment with our Federal Constitution and expect to elude this Court’s review so long as victory goes to the criminal defendant.  “Turning a blind eye” in such cases “would change the uniform ‘law of the land’ into a crazy quilt.”  Marsh, supra, at 185.  And it would enable state courts to blame the unpopular death-sentence reprieve of the most horrible criminals upon the Federal Constitution when it is in fact their own doing.

B

 We turn, then, to the merits of the Kansas Supreme Court’s conclusion that the Eighth Amendment requires capital-sentencing courts in Kansas “to affirmatively inform the jury that mitigating circumstances need not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.”  299 Kan., at 1197, 329 P. 3d, at 1148.

 Approaching the question in the abstract, and without reference to our capital-sentencing case law, we doubt whether it is even possible to apply a standard of proof to the mitigating-factor determination (the so-called “selection phase” of a capital-sentencing proceeding).  It is possible to do so for the aggravating-factor determination (the so-called “eligibility phase”), because that is a purely factual determination. The facts justifying death set forth in the Kansas statute either did or did not exist—and one can require the finding that they did exist to be made beyond a reasonable doubt.  Whether mitigation exists, however, is largely a judgment call (or perhaps a value call); what one juror might consider mitigating another might not. And of course the ultimate question whether mitigating circumstances outweigh aggravating circumstances is mostly a question of mercy—the quality of which, as we know, is not strained.  It would mean nothing, we think, to tell the jury that the defendants must deserve mercy beyond a reasonable doubt; or must morelikely-than-not deserve it. It would be possible, of course, to instruct the jury that the facts establishing mitigating circumstances need only be proved by a preponderance, leaving the judgment whether those facts are indeed mitigating, and whether they outweigh the aggravators, to the jury’s discretion without a standard of proof.  If we were to hold that the Constitution requires the mitigatingfactor determination to be divided into its factual component and its judgmental component, and the former to be accorded a burden-of-proof instruction, we doubt whether that would produce anything but jury confusion.  In the last analysis, jurors will accord mercy if they deem it appropriate, and withhold mercy if they do not, which is what our case law is designed to achieve.

 In any event, our case law does not require capital sentencing courts “to affirmatively inform the jury that mitigating circumstances need not be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.”  Ibid. In Buchanan v. Angelone, 522 U. S. 269 (1998), we upheld a death sentence even though the trial court “failed to provide the jury with express guidance on the concept of mitigation.” Id., at 275.  Likewise in Weeks v. Angelone, 528 U. S. 225 (2000), we reaffirmed that the Court has “never held that the State must structure in a particular way the manner in which juries consider mitigating evidence” and rejected the contention that it was constitutionally deficient to instruct jurors to “‘consider a mitigating circumstance if you find there is        evidence to support it,’” without additional guidance.    Id., at 232–233.

 Equally unavailing is the contention that even if an instruction that mitigating evidence need not be “proven beyond a reasonable doubt” is not always required, it was constitutionally necessary in these cases to avoid confusion. Ambiguity in capital-sentencing instructions gives rise to constitutional error only if “there is a reasonable likelihood that the jury has applied the challenged instruction in a way that prevents the consideration of constitutionally relevant evidence.” Boyde v. California, 494 U. S. 370, 380 (1990) (emphasis added). The alleged confusion stemming from the jury instructions used at the defendants’ sentencings does not clear that bar.  A meager “possibility” of confusion is not enough. Ibid.  As an initial matter, the defendants’ argument rests on the assumption that it would be unconstitutional to require the defense to prove mitigating circumstances beyond a reasonable doubt.  Assuming without deciding that that is the case, the record belies the defendants’ contention that the instructions caused jurors to apply that standard of proof. The defendants focus upon the following instruction: “The State has the burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there are one or more aggravating circumstances and that they are not outweighed by any mitigating circumstances found to exist.”  App. to Pet. for Cert. in No. 14–452, p. 133 (Instr. 8).[3]  The juxtaposition of aggravating and mitigating circumstances, so goes the argument, caused the jury to speculate that mitigating circumstances must also be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. 299 Kan., at 1197, 329 P. 3d, at 1148.  It seems to us quite the opposite. The instruction makes clear that both the existence of aggravating circumstances and the conclusion that they outweigh mitigating circumstances must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt; mitigating circumstances themselves, on the other hand, must merely be “found to exist.” That same description, mitigating circumstances “found to exist,” is contained in three other instructions, App. to Pet. for Cert. in No. 14–452, at 133 (Instrs. 7, 9, and 10) (emphasis added)—unsurprisingly, since it recites the Kansas statute, see Kan. Stat. Ann. §21–4624(e) (1995).  “Found to exist” certainly does not suggest proof beyond a reasonable doubt.  The instructions as a whole distinguish clearly between aggravating and mitigating circumstances: “The State has the burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there are one or more aggravating circumstances . . . ,” and the jury must decide unanimously that the State met that burden.  App. to Pet. for Cert. in No. 14–452, at 133 (Instrs. 8 and 10) (emphasis added).  “Mitigating circumstances,” on the other hand, “do not need to be found by all members of the jury” to “be considered by an individual juror in arriving at his or her sentencing decision.”  Id., at 131 (Instr. 7).  Not once do the instructions say that defense counsel bears the

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burden of proving the facts constituting a mitigating circumstance beyond a reasonable doubt—nor would that make much sense, since one of the mitigating circumstances is (curiously) “mercy,” which simply is not a fac- tual determination.

 We reject the Kansas Supreme Court’s decision that jurors were “left to speculate as to the correct burden of proof for mitigating circumstances.”  299 Kan., at 1197, 329 P. 3d, at 1148.  For the reasons we have described, no juror would reasonably have speculated that mitigating circumstances must be proved by any particular standard, let alone beyond a reasonable doubt.  The reality is that jurors do not “pars[e] instructions for subtle shades of meaning in the same way that lawyers might.”  Boyde, supra, at 381.  The instructions repeatedly told the jurors to consider any mitigating factor, meaning any aspect of the defendants’ background or the circumstances of their offense.  Jurors would not have misunderstood these instructions to prevent their consideration of constitutionally relevant evidence.

III

 We turn next to the contention that a joint capitalsentencing proceeding in the Carrs’ cases violated the defendants’ Eighth Amendment right to an “individualized sentencing determination.” 300 Kan., at 276, 331 P. 3d, at 717.

 The Kansas Supreme Court agreed with the defendants that, because of the joint sentencing proceeding, one defendant’s mitigating evidence put a thumb on death’s scale for the other, in violation of the other’s Eighth Amendment rights. Ibid.  It accepted Reginald’s contention that he was prejudiced by his brother’s portrayal of him as the corrupting older brother.  And it agreed that Reginald was prejudiced by his brother’s cross-examination of their sister, who equivocated about whether Reginald admitted to her that he was the shooter.  (Reginald has all but abandoned that implausible theory of prejudice before this Court and contends only that the State “likely would not have introduced any such testimony” had he been sentenced alone.  Brief for Respondent in No. 14–450, p. 34, n. 3.) Jonathan asserted that he was prejudiced by evidence associating him with his dangerous older brother, which caused the jury to perceive him as an incurable sociopath.[4]  Both speculate that the evidence assertedly prejudicial to them would have been inadmissible in severed proceedings under Kansas law.  The Kansas Supreme Court also launched a broader attack on the joint proceedings, contending that the joinder rendered it impossible for the jury to consider the Carrs’ relative moral culpability and to determine individually whether they were entitled to “mercy.” 300 Kan., at 278, 331 P. 3d, at 718–719.  Whatever the merits of defendants’ procedural objections, we will not shoehorn them into the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition of “cruel and unusual punishments.”  As the United States as amicus curiae intimates, the Eighth Amendment is inapposite when each defendant’s claim is, at bottom, that the jury considered evidence that would not have been admitted in a severed proceeding, and that the joint trial clouded the jury’s consideration of mitigating evidence like “mercy.”  Brief for United States 24, n. 8.  As we held in Romano v. Oklahoma, 512 U. S. 1 (1994), it is not the role of the Eighth Amendment to establish a special “federal code of evidence” governing “the admissibility of evidence at capital sentencing proceedings.” Id., at 11–12. Rather, it is the Due Process

——————

Clause that wards off the introduction of “unduly prejudicial” evidence that would “rende[r] the trial fundamentally unfair.” Payne v. Tennessee, 501 U. S. 808, 825 (1991); see also Brown v. Sanders, 546 U. S. 212, 220–221 (2006).  The test prescribed by Romano for a constitutional violation attributable to evidence improperly admitted at a capital-sentencing proceeding is whether the evidence “so infected the sentencing proceeding with unfairness as to render the jury’s imposition of the death penalty a denial of due process.” 512 U. S., at 12.  The mere admission of evidence that might not otherwise have been admitted in a severed proceeding does not demand the automatic vacatur of a death sentence.

 In light of all the evidence presented at the guilt and penalty phases relevant to the jury’s sentencing determination, the contention that the admission of mitigating evidence by one brother could have “so infected” the jury’s consideration of the other’s sentence as to amount to a

denial of due process is beyond the pale.  To begin with, the court instructed the jury that it “must give separate consideration to each defendant,” that each was “entitled to have his sentence decided on the evidence and law which is applicable to him,” and that any evidence in the penalty phase “limited to only one defendant should not be considered by you as to the other defendant.”  App. to Pet. for Cert. in No. 14–450, at 501 (Instr. 3).  The court gave defendant-specific instructions for aggravating and mitigating circumstances.  Id., at 502–508 (Instrs. 5, 6, 7, and 8). And the court instructed the jury to consider the “individual” or “particular defendant” by using four separate verdict forms for each defendant, one for each murdered occupant of the Birchwood house. Id., at 509 (Instr. 10); App. in No. 14–449 etc., at 461–492.  We presume the jury followed these instructions and considered each defendant separately when deciding to impose a sentence of death for each of the brutal murders.  Romano, supra, at 13.

 The contrary conclusion of the Kansas Supreme Court— that the presumption that jurors followed these instructions was “defeated by logic,” 300 Kan., at 280, 331 P. 3d, at 719—is untenable. The Carrs implausibly liken the prejudice resulting from the joint sentencing proceeding to the prejudice infecting the joint trial in Bruton v. United States, 391 U. S. 123 (1968), where the prosecution admitted hearsay evidence of a codefendant’s confession implicating the defendant.  That particular violation of the defendant’s confrontation rights, incriminating evidence of the most persuasive sort, ineradicable, as a practical matter, from the jury’s mind, justified what we have described as a narrow departure from the presumption that jurors follow their instructions, Richardson v. Marsh, 481 U. S. 200, 207 (1987).  We have declined to extend that exception, id., at 211, and have continued to apply the presumption to instructions regarding mitigating evidence in capital-sentencing proceedings, see, e.g., Weeks, 528 U. S., at 234.  There is no reason to think the jury could not follow its instruction to consider the defendants separately in this case.

 Joint proceedings are not only permissible but are often preferable when the joined defendants’ criminal conduct arises out of a single chain of events. Joint trial may enable a jury “to arrive more reliably at its conclusions regarding the guilt or innocence of a particular defendant and to assign fairly the respective responsibilities of each defendant in the sentencing.” Buchanan v. Kentucky, 483 U. S. 402, 418 (1987).  That the codefendants might have “antagonistic” theories of mitigation, Zafiro v. United States, 506 U. S. 534, 538 (1993), does not suffice to overcome Kansas’s “interest in promoting the reliability and consistency of its judicial process,” Buchanan, supra, at 418. Limiting instructions, like those used in the Carrs’ sentencing proceeding, “often will suffice to cure any risk of prejudice.” Zafiro, supra, at 539 (citing Richardson, supra, at 211). To forbid joinder in capital-sentencing proceedings would, perversely, increase the odds of “wanto[n] and freakis[h]” imposition of death sentences. Gregg v. Georgia, 428 U. S. 153, 206–207 (1976) (joint opinion of Stewart, Powell, and Stevens, JJ.).  Better that two defendants who have together committed the same crimes be placed side-by-side to have their fates determined by a single jury.

 It is improper to vacate a death sentence based on pure “speculation” of fundamental unfairness, “rather than reasoned judgment,” Romano, supra, at 13–14.  Only the most extravagant speculation would lead to the conclusion that the supposedly prejudicial evidence rendered the Carr brothers’ joint sentencing proceeding fundamentally unfair. It is beyond reason to think that the jury’s death verdicts were caused by the identification of Reginald as the “corrupter” or of Jonathan as the “corrupted,” the jury’s viewing of Reginald’s handcuffs, or the sister’s retracted statement that Reginald fired the final shots.  None of that mattered.  What these defendants did—acts of almost inconceivable cruelty and depravity—was described in excruciating detail by Holly, who relived with the jury, for two days, the Wichita Massacre.  The joint sentencing proceedings did not render the sentencing proceedings fundamentally unfair.

IV

 When we granted the State’s petition for a writ of certiorari for the Carrs’ cases, we declined to review whether the Confrontation Clause, U. S. Const., Amdt. 6, requires that defendants be allowed to cross-examine witnesses whose statements are recorded in police reports referred to by the State in penalty-phase proceedings.  The Kansas Supreme Court did not make the admission of those statements a basis for its vacating of the death sentences, but merely “caution[ed]” that in the resentencing proceedings these out-of-court testimonial statements should be omitted, 300 Kan., at 288, 331 P. 3d, at 724. We are confi- dent that cross-examination regarding these police reports would not have had the slightest effect upon the sen- tences. See Delaware v. Van Arsdall, 475 U. S. 673, 684 (1986).

*  *  *

 The judgments of the Supreme Court of Kansas are reversed, and these cases are remanded for further proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion.

 

It is so ordered.


NOTICE: This opinion is subject to formal revision before publication in the preliminary print of the United States Reports. Readers are requested to notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Court of the United States, Washington, D. C. 20543, of any typographical or other formal errors, in order that corrections may be made before the preliminary print goes to press.

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

_________________

Nos. 14–449, 14-450, and 14–452

_________________

14–449

 

14–450

 

KANSAS, PETITIONER

v.

JONATHAN D. CARR

KANSAS, PETITIONER

v.

REGINALD DEXTER CARR, JR.

KANSAS, PETITIONER

14–452

v.

SIDNEY J. GLEASON

 

ON WRITS OF CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF  KANSAS   

[January 20, 2016]

 JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR, dissenting.

 I respectfully dissent because I do not believe these cases should ever have been reviewed by the Supreme Court. I see no reason to intervene in cases like these— and plenty of reasons not to.  Kansas has not violated any federal constitutional right. If anything, the State has overprotected its citizens based on its interpretation of state and federal law. For reasons ably articulated by my predecessors and colleagues and because I worry that cases like these prevent States from serving as necessary laboratories for experimenting with how best to guarantee defendants a fair trial, I would dismiss the writs as improvidently granted.

I

 In 2014, the Kansas Supreme Court vacated three death sentences—the sentences of Sidney Gleason and the Carr brothers, Reginald and Jonathan—because of constitutional errors in the penalty phases of their trials.  All three men were tried under jury instructions that did not include language previously mandated by the Kansas Supreme Court.  The instructions did not state that, under Kansas’ statutory scheme, mitigating circumstances need only be proven to an individual juror’s satisfaction and not beyond a reasonable doubt. 299 Kan. 1127, 1192–1197, 329 P. 3d 1102, 1145–1148 (2014) (Sidney Gleason); 300 Kan. 1, 302–303, 331 P. 3d 544, 732– 733 (2014) (Reginald Carr); 300 Kan. 340, 368–369, 329 P. 3d 1195, 1213 (2014) (Jonathan Carr).  The court found that the instructions therefore both undermined Kansas’ state law and created a “reasonable likelihood that the jury . . . applied the challenged instruction in a way that prevents consideration” of mitigating evidence as required by the Federal Constitution.  299 Kan., at 1191–1197, 329 P. 3d, at 1144–1148 (quoting Boyde v. California, 494

U. S. 370, 380 (1990)).

 The Kansas Supreme Court also vacated the Carr brothers’ death sentences because they were jointly tried at the penalty phase. The court concluded that each brother’s particular case for mitigation compromised the other brother’s case and therefore that trying them jointly violated the Eighth Amendment right to individualized sentencing. The error was not harmless, the Kansas Supreme Court found, because an “especially damning subset” of the evidence presented might not have been admitted in separate penalty proceedings.  300 Kan., at 275–282, 331 P. 3d, at 717–720; 300 Kan., at 369–370, 329

P. 3d, at 1212.

 The Kansas attorney general requested certiorari, alleging that it would best serve the State’s interest for a federal court to intervene and correct the Kansas Supreme Court. This Court complied, even though there was no suggestion that the Kansas Supreme Court had violated any federal constitutional right.  The majority now reverses the Kansas Supreme Court on both points.

II   

A  

 Even where a state court has wrongly decided an “important question of federal law,” Sup. Ct. Rule 10, we often decline to grant certiorari, instead reserving such grants for instances where the benefits of hearing a case outweigh the costs of so doing.  My colleagues and predecessors have effectively set forth many of the costs of granting certiorari in cases where state courts grant relief to criminal defendants: We risk issuing opinions that, while not strictly advisory, may have little effect if a lower court is able to reinstate its holding as a matter of state law.  Florida v. Powell, 559 U. S. 50, 66 (2010) (Stevens, J.,  dissenting). We expend resources on cases where the only concern is that a State has “‘overprotected’” its citizens.    Michigan v. Long, 463 U. S. 1032, 1068 (1983) (Stevens, J., dissenting). We intervene in an intrastate dispute between the State’s executive and its judiciary rather than entrusting the State’s structure of government to sort it out. See Coleman v. Thompson, 501 U. S. 722, 766–767 (1991) (Blackmun, J., dissenting).  And we lose valuable data about the best methods of protecting constitutional rights—a particular concern in cases like these, where the federal constitutional question turns on the “reasonable likelihood” of jury confusion, an empirical question best answered with evidence from many state courts.  Cf. Arizona v. Evans, 514 U. S. 1, 30–31 (1995) (GINSBURG, J.,  dissenting).

B

 The cases here demonstrate yet another cost of granting certiorari to correct a state court’s overprotection of federal rights: In explaining that the Federal Constitution does not protect some particular right, it is natural to buttress the conclusion by explaining why that right is not very important.  In so doing, the Court risks discouraging States from adopting valuable procedural protections even as a matter of their own state law.

 State experimentation with how best to guarantee a fair trial to criminal defendants is an essential aspect of our federalism scheme. See, e.g., Linde, First Things First: Rediscovering the States’ Bill of Rights, 9 U. Balt. L. Rev. 379, 393 (1980). The Federal Constitution guarantees only a minimum slate of protections; States can and do provide individual rights above that constitutional floor.  See, e.g., Brennan, The Bill of Rights and the States: the Revival of State Constitutions as Guardians of Constitutional Rights, 61 N. Y. U. L. Rev. 535, 548–550 (1986).  That role is particularly important in the criminal arena because state courts preside over many millions more criminal cases than their federal counterparts and so are more likely to identify protections important to a fair trial.  Compare Court Statistics Project, Examining the Work of State Courts: An Analysis of 2010 State Court Caseloads 19–21 (2012), with Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Federal Justice Statistics 2011–2012, pp. 19–20 (Jan. 2015) (Tables 11 and 12).

 The majority’s opinion in these cases illustrates how an unnecessary grant of certiorari can lead to unexpected costs by disrupting this sort of state experimentation.  Take the first question presented in these cases. The majority’s actual holding is that the Eighth Amendment does not require an instruction specifying that mitigating factors need not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.  Ante, at 11–12.  The Eighth Amendment has nothing to say about whether such an instruction is wise as a question of state law or policy.  But the majority nonetheless uses this Court’s considerable influence to call into question the logic of specifying any burden of proof as to mitigating circumstances.  The majority claims that while assessing an aggravating factor is “a purely factual determination,” assessing mitigation involves “a judgment call (or perhaps a value call)” and is thus not amenable to burdens of proof.  Ante, at 10. Short of dividing the mitigating factor “into its factual component and its judgmental component,” and issuing burden-of-proof instructions only as to the former, the majority wonders “whether it is even possible to apply a standard of proof to the mitigatingfactor determination.”  Ibid.

 By this observation, and with no experience with the needs of juries, the majority denigrates the many States that do specify a burden of proof for the existence of mitigating factors as a matter of state law, presumably under the belief that it is, in fact, “possible” to do so.*  Brief for Respondent in No. 14–452, pp. 28–29, and n. 6.  Some States even recommend an instruction specifying that mitigating factors need not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. See, e.g., Idaho Jury Instr., Crim., ICJI 1718, Jury Deliberations (2010); Okla. Jury Instr., Crim, OUJI–CR 4– 78 (2015).

 The majority’s discussion of severance likewise short circuits state experimentation.  The majority is not con-

——————

*I leave aside the merits of the majority’s questionable distinction,        though I cannot see how the jury’s conclusion that the Carr brothers committed their crime “in an especially heinous, atrocious or cruel manner”—one of the aggravating circumstances found by the Carr brothers’ jury—involved any less of a judgment or value call than the mitigating circumstances alleged.  See 300 Kan. 1, 282–283, 331 P. 3d 544, 721 (2014).

tent to hold that the Eighth Amendment does not, strictly speaking, require severance of capital penalty proceedings.  Instead, it goes on to explain why joint capital sentencing proceedings are not only permissible under the Federal Constitution but are, in fact, preferable as a policy matter: “Better that two defendants who have together committed the same crimes be placed side-by-side to have their  fates determined by a single jury.”  Ante, at 17.  The majority even intimates that severed proceedings may be worse for defendants: “To forbid joinder in capitalsentencing proceedings would, perversely, increase the odds of ‘wanto[n] and freakis[h]’ imposition of death sentences.” Ibid. (quoting Gregg v. Georgia, 428 U.S. 153,  206–207 (1976) (joint opinion of Stewart, Powell, and Stevens, JJ.).

 So much for Ohio’s, Georgia’s, and Mississippi’s sentencing regimes, all of which routinely allow severance at both phases of capital proceedings.  See Ga. Code Ann. §17–8–4 (2013) (upon request, defendants must be tried separately in capital cases); Miss. Code Ann. §99–15–47 (2015) (same); Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §2945.20 (Lexis 2014) (capital defendants shall be tried separately unless good cause is shown for a joint trial).  There is no evidence that any of those three States adopted a severance regime based on a misunderstanding of the Eighth Amendment. But without any empirical foundation or any basis in experience, the majority asserts that such regimes may increase the odds of arbitrariness.

 The majority claims that we “‘return power to the State,  and to its people,’” when we explain that the Federal           Constitution does not require a particular result.  Ante, at 9 (emphasis deleted). But that is only so when the Court is able to pass solely on the federal constitutional ground and not the wisdom of a state holding on an equivalent question. Though the Court pretends that it sends back cases like this one with a clean slate, it rarely fully erases its thoughts on the virtues of the procedural protection at issue. By placing a thumb on the scale against a State adopting—even as a matter of state law—proce- dural protections the Constitution does not require, the Court risks turning the Federal Constitution into a

ceiling, rather than a floor, for the protection of individual liberties.  

III

 I see no reason why these three cases out of the Kansas Supreme Court warranted our intervention given the costs that I have just described and those described by my predecessors and colleagues, see supra, at 3.  No federal  right has been compromised. And nobody disputes that the State of Kansas could, as a matter of state law, reach the same outcome.

 Perhaps most importantly, both of the questions on which the Court granted certiorari turn on specific features of Kansas’ sentencing scheme. As a result, the Kansas Supreme Court’s opinion is unlikely to have much salience for other States.  If the Kansas Supreme Court was wrong, its wrong opinion will not subvert federal law on a broader scale.

 First, the Kansas court’s decision on the jury instruction question aimed to “both preserv[e] the [state] statute’s favorable distinction and protec[t] a capital defendant’s Eighth Amendment right to individualized sentencing by ensuring jurors are not precluded from considering all relevant mitigating evidence.” 299 Kan., at 1196, 329 P. 3d, at 1147 (emphasis added).  The Kansas Supreme Court’s decision was thus informed by a combination of federal and state considerations.  A decision that expressly relies on a State’s unique statutory scheme—as did the Kansas Supreme Court’s here—has limited potential for influencing other States.

 It is not absurd to conclude that a juror unfamiliar with the mechanics of the law might be confused by Kansas’ jury instructions, which almost always mention aggravating and mitigating instructions in the same breath.  Id., at 1196–1197, 329 P. 3d, at 1147–1148.  The Kansas Supreme Court’s opinion rested largely on the specific language and ordering of that State’s instructions.  Other States’ jury instructions may be less likely to have the same effect.

 Moreover, the decision below was made against the unique backdrop of trial courts’ failure to implement the Kansas Supreme Court’s earlier demands for a change to jury instructions in capital cases.  In a 2001 case, the Kansas Supreme Court considered the jury instructions insufficiently confusing to reverse the judgment, but sufficiently confusing to demand higher clarity going forward: “[A]ny instruction dealing with the consideration of mitigating circumstances should state (1) they need to be proved only to the satisfaction of the individual juror in the juror’s sentencing decision and not beyond a reason- able doubt and (2) mitigating circumstances do not need to be found by all members of the jury in order to be considered in an individual juror’s sentencing decision.” State v. Kleypas, 272 Kan. 894, 1078, 40 P. 3d 139, 268.  The Kansas pattern instructions were then revised to include consideration (2), but—“inexplicably,” as the court noted in Gleason—not consideration (1).  299 Kan., at 1193, 329 P. 3d, at 1145.  The Kansas Supreme Court reiterated the two requirements for any jury instruction in 2008, see State v. Scott, 286 Kan. 54, 106–108, 183 P. 3d 801, 837, and the pattern instructions were finally changed in 2011, see 299 Kan., at 1193, 329 P. 3d, at 1145. But Gleason  and the Carr brothers were tried in the 10-year delay between the Kansas Supreme Court’s initial admonition and when the jury instructions were finally edited. The Kansas Supreme Court’s opinion in Gleason may have rested in part on a “broader Eighth Amendment principle,” but it also rested on some lower courts’ failure to give instructions reflecting the Kansas Supreme Court’s “repeated recognition of the required content.”  299 Kan., at 1195, 329 P. 3d, 1146, 1147.  Given this context, the Kansas Supreme Court’s decision is particularly unlikely to undermine other States or the Federal Constitution.  The same goes for the severance question.  The Kansas Supreme Court’s decision depended on the “especially damning subset” of the aggravating evidence presented that may not have been admitted in a severed proceeding under Kansas’ capital punishment scheme and evidentiary rules, such as evidence that one brother was a bad influence on the other.  Ibid.  But the difference between a joint penalty phase and a severed penalty phase may be of limited significance in States where the same evidence may be admitted in joint and severed proceedings.  Cf. Brown v. Sanders, 546 U. S. 212, 217 (2006); L. Palmer,

The Death Penalty in the United States: A Complete Guide to Federal and State Laws 137 (2d ed. 2014).  It thus seems to me unlikely that the Kansas Supreme Court’s opinion would have proven instructive in other States, even though it was couched in the language of the Federal Constitution.

IV

 There may, of course, be rare cases where certiorari is warranted in which a state prosecutor alleges that a State’s highest court has overprotected a criminal defendant. These circumstances may include: Where a state court’s decision in favor of a criminal defendant implicates another constitutional right, see, e.g., Nebraska Press Assn. v. Stuart, 427 U. S. 539, 547 (1976); where a state court indicates a hostility to applying federal precedents, Florida v. Meyers, 466 U. S. 380, 383 (1984) ( per curiam) (Stevens, J., dissenting); or where a state court’s grant of       relief is particularly likely to destabilize or significantly interfere with federal policy. None of those circumstances, and no comparable interest, is present in these cases.

 The Carr brothers committed acts of “almost inconceivable cruelty and depravity,” and the majority is understandably anxious to ensure they receive their just deserts. (So anxious, in fact, that it reaches out to address a question on which we did not grant certiorari at all.  Ante, at 17). But I do not believe that interest justifies not only “correcting” the Kansas Supreme Court’s error but also calling into question the procedures of other States.

 The standard adage teaches that hard cases make bad law. See Northern Securities Co. v. United States, 193 U. S. 197, 364 (1904) (Holmes, J., dissenting).  I fear that these cases suggest a corollary: Shocking cases make too much law.  Because I believe the Court should not have granted certiorari here, I respectfully dissent.

 


[1] The facts for this portion of the opinion come from the Kansas Supreme Court, 299 Kan. 1127, 1134–1147, 329 P. 3d 1102, 1113–1121 (2014), and the parties’ briefs.

[2] The facts for this portion of the opinion come from the Kansas Supreme Court, 300 Kan. 1, 18–38, 331 P. 3d 544, 575–586 (2014), and witness testimony.  See 21–A Tr. 59–75 (Oct. 7, 2002), 22–B Tr. 39–124 (Oct. 8, 2002), 23–A Tr. 4–118 (Oct. 9, 2002), 23–B Tr. 5–133 (Oct. 9, 2002), and 24–A Tr. 4–93 (Oct. 10, 2002).

[3] The relevant penalty-phase instructions from the Carrs’ sentencing proceedings are materially indistinguishable.  See App. to Pet. for Cert. in No. 14–450, pp. 501–510.

[4] Jonathan also alleges that he was prejudiced by the jury’s witnessing his brother’s handcuffs, which his brother requested remain visible before the penalty phase commenced.  That allegation is mystifying.  That his brother’s handcuffs were visible (while his own restraints were not) more likely caused the jury to see Jonathan as the less dangerous of the two.

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Thomas Jefferson’s Republican Notes On Religion

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Notes on Locke and Shaftesbury, 11 October–9 December 1776

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How the CFR Engineered The Financial Crisis

Financialization is a new term used to discuss the emergence of a new form of capitalism in which financial markets dominate over the traditional industrial economy. Traditionally capitalism was th…

Source: How the CFR Engineered The Financial Crisis

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CFR Operation War on Terror – CFR/CIA Crystal Ball “Mapping the Global Future”

Brussels attacks 3/22/16 An injured woman sits on a chair at Brussels airport in the aftermath of a suicide attack In December 2004, Council on Foreign Relations member Robert L. Hutchings, Chair…

Source: CFR Operation War on Terror – CFR/CIA Crystal Ball “Mapping the Global Future”

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CFR Operation War on Terror – CFR/CIA Crystal Ball “Mapping the Global Future”

 

brussels 1

Brussels attacks 3/22/16 An injured woman sits on a chair at Brussels airport in the aftermath of a suicide attack

In December 2004, Council on Foreign Relations member Robert L. Hutchings, Chairman of the National Intelligence Council of the CIA, presented the US president, members of Congress, cabinet members and key officials involved in policymaking a 123-page report titled “Mapping the Global Future” ( http://www.dni.gov/files/documents/Global%20Trends_Mapping%20the%20Global%20Future%202020%20Project.pdf ). In the preface Hutchings gives special recognition to Council on Foreign Relations member Matthew Burrows, Director of the NIC’s Analysis and Production Staff. The project took about a year and involved more than 1000 people.

The report foresees pervasive insecurity. Since that time the CFR has been working hard to produce that insecurity by convincing the American public that we should allow hundreds of thousands of middle east refugees into the USA. CFR cohorts in other nations have done the same. Six CFR former Secretaries of State James A. Baker III (served 1989-1992), Dr. Madeleine K. Albright (1997-2001), General Colin L. Powell USA (Ret.) (2001-2005), George Shultz (1982-1989), Dr. Condoleezza Rice (2005-2009), Dr. Henry A. Kissinger (1973-1977) said:

VIDEO TRANSCRIPTION

 MADELEINE ALBRIGHT I think it enriches our country to have refugees here.

 COLIN POWELL  And America has always had a history of welcoming, not only immigrants, but refugees

 HENRY KISSINGER I cannot imagine the United States living in the world in which we are without committing itself in some organized fashion to assist refugees on a global basis

 KISSINGER It would be totally incompatible with our values and our image of who we are.

 JAMES BAKER  The principles and values are very important because that’s what made this country great.  We have always been open to refugees  we have always been open to immigrants 

 BAKER We  are after all a country of immigrants

 ALBRIGHT without an organization like the IRC, I think an awful lot of people would fall through the cracks and would get no care at all. 

 POWELL For all these years, it has reached out, touched people, from the most desperate places in the world, brought them to this country.  

 POWELL  And having brought them here …then making sure they have a place to go.  And they had the beginning of a new home, a new life. 

 GEORGE SHULTZ  And refugees are people, really, fleeing from something or involved in something tragic in their country.  And so if you want to have a decent world, you have to worry about them.  

 POWELL No organization that I have ever worked with has done as much dealing with this population as the IRC has.  

ALBRIGHT It was an organization that worked so hard to do exactly the kind of things I think the US Government needed partners for – a non-governmental organization that was there to do the kind of work that distinguished America in so many ways, 

 CONDOLEEZA RICE –to see the human toll, the human cost, of conflict mitigated

 RICE…to speak for and to be advocates for people who would otherwise be voiceless  sometimes even stateless, as sometimes even refugees are.

 ALBRIGHT What I think is so interesting about the IRC these days is that it’s not just a matter of placing people somewhere, but almost being what I would call a full-service organization.  In many ways it helps to educate people.  It provides health care so that disease doesn’t spread.  And it really looks at the whole person so the refugee is not just an object that is kind of moved around like some game piece; but a human being that needs total care.

 KISSINGER It’s the American tradition. So, I feel very strongly that the United States has a responsibility.  And I’m an enormous admirer of the IRC for its efforts in that field.

 Not addressed by the speakers is that there is no way to screen hundreds of thousands of refugees for a small handful of terrorists that will surely be placed amongst them by ISIS. These terrorists will conduct attacks like those in Paris and Brussels and turn the West against the Muslims and their religion. The vast majority of innocent refugees will be the targets of hate caused by the few bad apples amongst them.The terrorist attacks will be used as an excuse for the New World Order crew to turn countries into police states and change constitutions to take away our freedoms and right to privacy. Bilderberger Hollande, a strong proponent and importer of middle east refugees, is using the Paris terrorist attacks to call for a constitutional change.

The CIA’s crystal ball predicts:

“We foresee a more pervasive sense of insecurity—which may be as much based on psychological perceptions as physical threats—by 2020.  Even as most of the world gets richer, globalization will profoundly shake up the status quo—generating enormous economic, cultural, and consequently political convulsionsWith the gradual integration of China, India, and other emerging countries into the global economy, hundreds of millions of working-age adults will become available foremployment in what is evolving into a more integrated world labor market.

 brussels 2

Military and Masked Police on the Streets of Brussels after Terror Attack 3/22/16

 This enormous work force—a growing portion of which will be well educated—will be an attractive, competitive source of low-cost labor at the same time that technological innovation is expanding the range of globally mobile occupations.

 The transition will not be painless and will hit the middle classes of the developed world in particular, bringing more rapid job turnover and requiring professional retooling. Outsourcing on a large scale would strengthen the antiglobalization movement. Where these pressures lead will depend on how political leaders respond, how flexible labor markets become, and whether overall economic growth is sufficiently robust to absorb a growing number of displaced workers.”

The report foresees International Terrorism :

“The key factors that spawned international terrorism show no signs of abating over the next 15 yearsFacilitated by global communications, the revival of Muslim identity will create a framework for the spread of radical Islamic ideology inside and outside the Middle East, including Southeast Asia, Central Asia and Western Europe, where religious identity has traditionally not been as strong. This revival has been accompanied by a deepening solidarity among Muslims caught up in national or regional separatist struggles, such as Palestine, Chechnya, Iraq, Kashmir, Mindanao, and southern Thailand, and has emerged in response to government repression, corruption, and ineffectiveness. Informal networks of charitable foundations, madrassas, hawalas1, and other mechanisms will continue to proliferate and be exploited by radical elements; alienation among unemployed youths will swell the ranks of those vulnerable to terrorist recruitment.

 brussels 3

Staff walks away after Brussels Terror Attack 3/22/2016

 We expect that by 2020 al-Qa’ida will be superceded by similarly inspired Islamic extremist groups, and there is a substantial risk that broad Islamic movements akin to al-Qa’ida will merge with local separatist movements. Information technology, allowing for instant connectivity, communication, and learning, will enable the terrorist threat to become increasingly decentralized, evolving into an eclectic array of groups, cells, and individuals that do not need a stationary headquarters to plan and carry out operations. Training materials, targeting guidance, weapons know-how, and fund-raising will become virtual (i.e., online).”

 The report lays out four possible scenarios for the future :

“Davos World provides an illustration of how robust economic growth, led by China and India, over the next 15 years could reshape the globalization process—giving it a more non-Western face and transforming the political playing field as well.

 Pax Americana takes a look at how US predominance may survive the radical changes to the global political landscape and serve to fashion a new and inclusive global order.

 A New Caliphate provides an example of how a global movement fueled by radicalreligious identity politics could constitute a challenge to Western norms and values as the foundation of the global system.

Cycle of Fear provides an example of how concerns about proliferation might increase to the point that large-scale intrusive security measures are taken to prevent outbreaks of deadly attacks, possibly introducing an Orwellian world.”

On December 12, 2005 Elisabetth Bumiller published an Article in the NY Times titled 21st-Century Warnings of a Threat Rooted in the 7th. The article is about the word “Caliphate”. The article is a limited hangout mentioning six members of the Council on Foreign Relations but links only one of them to the CFR.  “Just as we had the opportunity to learn what the Nazis were going to do, from Hitler’s world in ‘Mein Kampf,’ ” [Council on Foreign Relations member ] General Abizaid said, “we need to learn what these people intend to do from their own words.” Two Council on Foreign Relations members, George Shuster and William Langer edited the English version of “Mein Kampf” in 1939. Instead of warning the American people The Council on Foreign Relations brought Hitler and the National Socialists to power to cause World War II. ( http://www.bilderberg.org/roundtable/emhitler.html ).

The Council on Foreign Relations is now bringing Islamic Radicals to power to escalate the War on Terror and bring about World War III. The unrest in the Middle East is part of the Council on Foreign Relations plan. Sceanario three, A New Caliphate, is unfolding. The  Tunisian and Egyption revolutions in the middle east are a giant step forward in the plan.

Meanwhile the Council on Foreign Relations War on Terror is advancing scenario four, the Cycle of Fear, as western nations like the USA and Britain infringe on the liberties of their citizens, strip away their privacy, dignity and freedom and turn them into police states.

The article follows modified to identify the Council on Foreign Relations members.

ELISABETH BUMILLER/White House Letter: 21st-Century Warnings of a Threat Rooted in the 7th New York Times; Dec 12, 2005;

Defense Secretary [Trilateral Commission memberDonald H. Rumsfeld said it in a speech last Monday in Washington and again on Thursday on PBS. Eric S. Edelman, the under secretary of defense for policy, said it the week before in a round table at the Council on Foreign Relations. Stephen J. Hadley, the national security adviser, said it in October in speeches in New York and Los Angeles. [Council on Foreign Relations member] Gen. John P. Abizaid, the top American commander in the Middle East, said it in September in hearings on Capitol Hill.

Vice President[Council on Foreign Relations member ] Dick Cheney was one of the first members of the Bush administration to say it, at a campaign stop in Lake Elmo, Minn., in September 2004.

The word getting the workout from the nation’s top guns these days is “caliphate” – the term for the seventh-century Islamic empire that spanned the Middle East, spread to Southwest Asia, North Africa and Spain, then ended with the Mongol sack of Baghdad in 1258. The term can also refer to other caliphates, including the one declared by the Ottoman Turks that ended in 1924.

Specialists on Islam say the word is a mysterious and ominous one for many Americans, and that the administration knows it. “They recognize that there’s a lot of resonance when they use the term ‘caliphate,’ ” said [Council on Foreign Relations member ] Kenneth M. Pollack, a former Central Intelligence Agency analyst and now a scholar at the Saban Center at the Brookings Institution. [Council on Foreign Relations member ] Zbigniew Brzezinski, [Council on Foreign Relations member ] President Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, said that the word had an “almost instinctive fearful impact.”

So now, [Council on Foreign Relations member ] Mr. Cheney and others warn, Al Qaeda’s ultimate goal is the re-establishment of the caliphate, with calamitous consequences for the United States. As Mr. Cheney put it in Lake Elmo, referring to Osama bin Laden and his followers: “They talk about wanting to re-establish what you could refer to as the seventh-century caliphate” to be “governed by Sharia law, the most rigid interpretation of the Koran.” Or as Mr. Rumsfeld put it on Monday: “Iraq would serve as the base of a new Islamic caliphate to extend throughout the Middle East, and which would threaten legitimate governments in Europe, Africa and Asia.”

 

Osama Bin Landen's lawyers

Lawyers CFR member’s Johnson and Preston Pave The Way to Kill Bin Laden

 [Council on Foreign Relations member ] General Abizaid was dire, too. “They will try to re-establish a caliphate throughout the entire Muslim world,” he told the House Armed Services Committee in September, adding that the caliphate’s goals would include the destruction of Israel. “Just as we had the opportunity to learn what the Nazis were going to do, from Hitler’s world in ‘Mein Kampf,’ ” [Council on Foreign Relations member ] General Abizaid said, “we need to learn what these people intend to do from their own words.”

A number of scholars and former government officials take strong issue with the administration’s warning about a new caliphate, and compare it to the fear of communism spread during the Cold War. They say that although Al Qaeda’s statements do indeed describe a caliphate as a goal, the administration is exaggerating the magnitude of the threat as it seeks to gain support for its policies in Iraq.

In the view of John L. Esposito, an Islamic studies professor at Georgetown University, there is a difference between the ability of small bands of terrorists to commit attacks across the world and achieving global conquest. “It is certainly correct to say that these people have a global design, but the administration ought to frame it realistically,” said Mr. Esposito, the founding director of the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown. “Otherwise they can actually be playing into the hands of the Osama bin Ladens of the world because they raise this to a threat that is exponentially beyond anything that Osama bin Laden can deliver.”

CFR Ginsberg DeGioia Georgetown

Georgetown University a CFR’s Rat’s Nest

 [Council on Foreign Relations member ] Shibley Telhami, the Anwar Sadat professor for peace and development at the University of Maryland, said Al Qaeda was not leading a movement that threatened to mobilize the vast majority of Muslims. A recent poll Mr.Telhami conducted with Zogby International of 3,900 people in six countries – Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Lebanon – found that only 6 percent sympathized with Al Qaeda’s goal of seeking an Islamic state.

The notion that Al Qaeda could create a new caliphate, he said, is simply wrong. “There’s no chance in the world that they’ll succeed,” he said. “It’s a silly threat.” (On the other hand, more than 30 percent in [Council on Foreign Relations member ] Mr. Telhami’s poll said they sympathized with Al Qaeda, because the group stood up to America.)

The term “caliphate” has been used internally by policy hawks in the Pentagon since the planning stages for the war in Iraq, but the administration’s public use of the word has increased this summer and fall, around the time that American forces obtained a letter from Ayman al-Zawahiri, the No. 2 leader in Al Qaeda, to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia. The 6,000-word letter, dated early in July, called for the establishment of a militant Islamic caliphate across Iraq before Al Qaeda’s moving on to Syria, Lebanon and Egypt and then a battle against Israel.

In recent weeks, the administration’s use of “caliphate” has only intensified, as Mr. Bush has begun a campaign of speeches to try to regain support for the war. He himself has never publicly used the term, although he has repeatedly described the caliphate, as he did in a speech last week when he said that the terrorists want to try to establish “a totalitarian Islamic empire that reaches from Indonesia to Spain.”

Six days earlier, Mr. Edelman, the under secretary of defense, made it clear. “Iraq’s future will either embolden terrorists and expand their reach and ability to re-establish a caliphate, or it will deal them a crippling blow,” he said. “For us, failure in Iraq is just not an option.”

The events of the last few weeks in Tunisia and Egypt  have emboldened the terrorists and expanded their reach and ability to re-establish a caliphate. Was this what the CFR had in store for the World when they backed Bin Laden during the Soviet/Afghan War ?

media terror

CFR run Main Stream Media is a Public Opinion Propaganda Machine

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Hillary Clinton’s CFR Neocon Allies and Probable Unelected Administrative Choices

In the NYT columnist Jacob Heilbrunn’s The Next Act of the Neocons Are Neocons Getting Ready to Ally With Hillary Clinton? We are warned,the neocon odyssey is about to continue. In 1972, [CFR member] Robert L. Bartley, the editorial page editor of The Wall Street Journal and a man who championed the early neocon stalwarts, shrewdly diagnosed the movement as representing “something of a swing group between the two major parties.” Despite the partisan battles of the early 2000s, it is remarkable how very little has changed.” Heilbrunn connects Hillary Clinton to many powerful neocons. What Heilbrunn leaves out is that almost all that are mentioned are members of the Council on Foreign Relations as is Hillary’s spouse Bill Clinton.

The article follows with the Council on Foreign Relations members identified using the Council on Foreign Relations membership list. Hyperlinks have been added to provide the reader with more in depth information about the characters involved. The reader is encouraged to bookmark the list and use it when they read main stream media articles or watch the the news. The Council on Foreign relations has run Main Stream Media and our Government for 100 years. They have surrounded every President from
Wilson on with unelected Council of Foreign Relations members in powerful administrative positions. These CFR members shape the President’s thinking and actions to further Council on Foreign Relations’ goals of perpetual war and perpetual war bucks making them rich and powerful. It is likely that quite a few CFR members mentioned in this article will be tapped to be part of Hillary Clinton’s administration if she is elected president in 2016. It is time for all Americans to know what is going on and take their country back.

Are Neocons Getting Ready to Ally With Hillary Clinton?

By JACOB HEILBRUNN JULY 5, 2014

clinton kagan neuland

Devils in the details of forever war Council on Foreign Relations spouse Hillary Clinton, Council on Foreign Relations spouse Robert Kagan, Council on Foreign Relations member Kagan’s spouse Victoria Neuland

WASHINGTON — AFTER nearly a decade in the political wilderness, the neoconservative movement is back, using the turmoil in Iraq and Ukraine to claim that it is President Obama, not the movement’s interventionist foreign policy that dominated early George W. Bush [son of CFR member George H.W. Bush]-era Washington, that bears responsibility for the current round of global crises.

Even as they castigate Mr. Obama, the neocons may be preparing a more brazen feat: aligning themselves with Hillary Rodham Clinton [spouse of CFR member Bill Clinton] and her nascent presidential campaign, in a bid to return to the driver’s seat of American foreign policy.

To be sure, the careers and reputations of the older generation of neocons — [CFR member] Paul D. Wolfowitz, [CFR member] L. Paul Bremer III, [CFR member] Douglas J. Feith, Richard N. Perle — are permanently buried in the sands of Iraq. And not all of them are eager to switch parties: In April, William Kristol, [son of neocon CFR member Irving Kristol] the editor of The Weekly Standard, said that as president [CFR spouse] Mrs. Clinton would “be a dutiful chaperone of further American decline.”

But others appear to envisage a different direction — one that might allow them to restore the neocon brand, at a time when their erstwhile home in the Republican Party is turning away from its traditional interventionist foreign policy.

It’s not as outlandish as it may sound. Consider the historian [CFR member] Robert Kagan, the author of a recent, roundly praised article in The New Republic that amounted to a neo-neocon manifesto. He has not only avoided the vitriolic tone that has afflicted some of his intellectual brethren but also co-founded an influential bipartisan advisory group during Mrs. Clinton’s time at the [CFR run] State Department.

[CFR member] Mr. Kagan has also been careful to avoid landing at standard-issue neocon think tanks like the American Enterprise Institute [AEI is part of the CFR policy planning network],; instead, he’s a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution [Brookings is part of the CFR policy planning network], that citadel of liberalism headed by [CFR member] Strobe Talbott, who was deputy secretary of state under [CFR member] President Bill Clinton and is considered a strong candidate to become secretary of state in a new Democratic administration. ([CFR member] Mr. Talbott called the [CFR member] Kagan article “magisterial,” in what amounts to a public baptism into the liberal establishment [establishment is a CFR run Main Stream Media euphemism for the Council on Foreign Relations].)

CFR Policy Planning Network Institutes 2

Perhaps most significantly, [CFR member] Mr. Kagan and others have insisted on maintaining the link between modern neoconservatism and its roots in muscular Cold War liberalism. Among other things, he has frequently praised Harry S. Truman’s secretary of state, [CFR member] Dean Acheson, drawing a line from him straight to the neocons’ favorite president: “It was not [CFR member] Eisenhower or Kennedy or [CFR member] Nixon but Reagan whose policies most resembled those of [CFR member] Acheson and Truman.”

Other neocons have followed [CFR member] Mr. Kagan’s careful centrism and respect for [CFR spouse] Mrs. Clinton. Max Boot, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, noted in The New Republic this year that “it is clear that in administration councils she was a principled voice for a strong stand on controversial issues, whether supporting the Afghan surge or the intervention in Libya.”

And the thing is, these neocons have a point. [CFR spouse] Mrs. Clinton voted for the Iraq war; supported sending arms to Syrian rebels; likened Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, to Adolf Hitler; wholeheartedly backs Israel; and stresses the importance of promoting democracy.

It’s easy to imagine Mrs. Clinton’s making room for the neocons in her administration. No one could charge her with being weak on national security with the likes of [CFR member] Robert Kagan on board.

Of course, the neocons’ latest change in tack is not just about intellectual affinity. Their longtime home, the Republican Party, where presidents and candidates from Reagan to [CFR member] Senator John McCain of Arizona supported large militaries and aggressive foreign policies, may well nominate for president Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, who has been beating an ever louder drum against American involvement abroad.

In response, Mark Salter, a former chief of staff to [CFR member] Senator McCain and a neocon fellow traveler, said that in the event of a Paul nomination, “Republican voters seriously concerned with national security would have no responsible recourse” but to support [CFR member] Mrs. Clinton for the presidency.

Still, Democratic liberal hawks, let alone the left, would have to swallow hard to accept any neocon conversion. [CFR spouse] Mrs. Clinton herself is already under fire for her foreign-policy views — the journalist Glenn Greenwald, among others, has condemned her as “like a neocon, practically.” And humanitarian interventionists like Samantha Power, the ambassador to the [CFR created] United Nations, who opposed the second Iraq war, recoil at the militaristic unilateralism of the neocons and their inveterate hostility to international institutions like the World Court.

But others in Mrs. Clinton’s orbit, like [CFR member] Michael A. McFaul, the former ambassador to Russia and now a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, a neocon haven at Stanford, are much more in line with thinkers like [CFR member] Mr. Kagan and [CFR member] Mr. Boot, especially when it comes to issues like promoting democracy and opposing Iran.

Far from ending, then, the neocon odyssey is about to continue. In 1972, [CFR member] Robert L. Bartley, the editorial page editor of The Wall Street Journal and a man who championed the early neocon stalwarts, shrewdly diagnosed the movement as representing “something of a swing group between the two major parties.” Despite the partisan battles of the early 2000s, it is remarkable how very little has changed.

 

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A CFR Production – The Conflict in Syria

SYRIA-CRISIS/

Men walk on a road amid wreckage, after three blasts ripped through Aleppo’s main Saadallah al-Jabari Square…Men walk on a road amid wreckage, after three blasts ripped through Aleppo’s main Saadallah al-Jabari Square, and a fourth was reported a few hundred metres away near Bab al-Jinein, on the fringes of the Old City, where rebels and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have been fighting, October 3, 2012, in this handout photograph released by Syria’s national news agency SANA. Explosions in government-controlled districts of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo killed at least 27 people and wounded more than 70 on Wednesday, Lebanon’s Hezbollah-run al-Manar TV reported, quoting a Syrian official source. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 40 people were killed and 90 wounded, citing medical sources. REUTERS/SANA (SYRIA – Tags: CONFLICT CIVIL UNREST) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

In 2011 during Arab Spring nationwide protests against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government began. Assad’s government forces responded with a violent crackdown and a civil war broke out. In the United States seven think tanks and twenty-one media commentators participated in the media debate surrounding Syria. Seventeen of the twenty-one commentators were CFR members or CFR term members.

CFR Industry ties of commentators profiled
Commentator Identified as Industry ties
Stephen Hadley

CFR member

former National Security Advisor Raytheon, RiceHadleyGates, APCO Worldwide
James Cartwright

CFR member

former Vice Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Raytheon, TASC, Accenture, Enlightenment Capital
Frances Townsend

CFR member

CNN national security analyst and member of CIA and DHS advisory committees MacAndrews & Forbes, Monument Capital Group, Decision Sciences
Anthony Zinni

CFR member

former Commander in Chief of US Central Command BAE Systems, DC Capital Partners
Jeremy Bash

CFR member 2001

former Chief of Staff to DoD and CIA Beacon Global Strategies
Nicholas Burns

CFR member 2001

former Under Secretary of State Cohen Group, Entegris
William S. Cohen

CFR member

former Secretary of Defense Cohen Group
Wesley Clark

CFR member

former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO Wesley K. Clark & Associates, MFG.com
Roger Cressey

CFR member 2001

former National Security Council staff Booz Allen Hamilton
Charles Duelfer

CFR member

former chief US weapons inspector Omnis
Adam Ereli former State Department deputy spokesperson and ambassador to Bahrain Mercury LLC
Michele Flournoy

CFR member

former Under Secretary of Defense Boston Consulting Group
Michael Hayden

CFR member

former CIA Director Chertoff Group, Alion Science and Technology, Next Century Corporation
Colin Kahl

CFR member

former deputy assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East consultant to the Defense Department with TS-SCI clearance
Brian Katulis

CFR member 2001

Senior Fellow at Center for American Progress Albright Stonebridge Group
Jack Keane

CFR member

former Vice Chief of Staff of the US Army General Dynamics, SCP Partners
Patrick Murphy Iraq veteran and former US Representative from Pennsylvania Fox Rothschild LLP
Madeline Albright

CFR member

former Secretary of State Albright Stonebridge Group
James “Spider” Mark

CFR members

former Commander of the US Army Intelligence Center Stony Lonesome Group, Willowdale Services http://www.invism.com/about-us/team.htm
Chuck Nash Fox News military analyst and retired US Navy Captain Applied Visual Sciences, Emerging Technologies International Inc.
John Negroponte

CFR member

former Director of National Intelligence McLarty Associates, Aamina, Oxford Analytica, Intelligence and National Security Alliance
Robert Scales Fox News military analyst and former Commandant of the US Army War College Colgen (see correction)

 

Authors Gin Armstrong, Whitney Yax, Kevin Connor wrote a report titled, Conflicts of interest in the Syria debate. The report,

“documents the industry ties of [Council on Foreign Relations member] Hadley, 21 other media commentators, and seven think tanks that participated in the media debate around Syria. Like Hadley, these individuals and organizations have strong ties to defense contractors and other defense- and foreign policy-focused firms with a vested interest in the Syria debate, but they were presented to their audiences with a veneer of expertise and independence, as former military officials, retired diplomats, and independent think tanks.

The report offers a new look at an issue raised by David Barstow’s 2008 Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times series on the role military analysts played in promoting the Bush Administration’s narrative on Iraq. In addition to exposing coordination with the Pentagon, Barstow found that many cable news analysts had industry ties that were not disclosed on air.”

The table of commentators above is from the Amrstrong, Yax and Connor report. It has been updated to identify the CFR members.

The think-tanks in the article include Brookings Institution, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Council on Foreign Relations, American Enterprise Institute, Atlantic Council, Center for American Progress and the Institute for the Study of War. In their paper, America’s Post-Cold War Grand Strategy-Makers and the Policy Planning Network,  Naná de Graaff and Bastiaan van Apeldoorn explain how the main think tank is the Council on Foreign Relations and the other think tanks are part of the Council’s Policy Planning Networks in the Clinton-Bush-Obama administrations.

CFR Policy Planning Network

 

Hardly one person in 1000 ever heard of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

The Council on Foreign Relations was formally established in Paris in 1919 along with its British Counterpart the Royal Institute of International Affairs. The Council on Foreign Relations and Royal Institute of International Affairs can trace their roots back to a secret organization founded and funded by Cecil Rhodes, who became fabulously wealthy by exploiting the people of South Africa. Rhodes is the father of Apartheid.

The Council on Foreign Relations was founded by a group of American and British imperialists and racists intent on ruling the world. Many of the American members were American intelligence officers that belonged to the first American Intelligence Agency — THE INQUIRY. Many of the British members were British Intelligence Agents. THE INQUIRY and its members, who included such notable Americans as Col. Edward Mandel House, Walter Lippmann, Isaiah Bowman, and James Shotwell, wrote most of Woodrow Wilson’s 14 points.

The CFR/RIIA method of operation is simple — they control public opinion. They keep the identity of their group secret. They learn the likes and dislikes of influential people. They surround and manipulate them into acting in the best interest of the CFR/RIIA.

The Council on Foreign Relations, and the Royal Institute of International Affairs are adept at using the media to create massive psycho-political operations used to manipulate public opinion. The psycho-political operations are often designed to create tensions between different groups of people. The object is to keep the world in a state of perpetual tension and warfare to maximize profits from CFR/RIIA munition, medicine, media, energy, and food businesses.

The CFR has only 4000 members yet they control over three-quarters of the nations wealth. The CFR runs the State Department and the CIA. The CFR has placed 100 CFR members in every Presidential Administration since Woodrow Wilson. They work together to misinform and disinform the President to act in the best interest of the CFR not the best interest of the American People. At least five Presidents (Eisenhower, Ford, Carter, Bush, and Clinton) have been members of the CFR. The CFR has packed every Supreme court with CFR insiders. Three CFR members (Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and Sandra Day O’Connor) sit on the supreme court. The CFR’s British Counterpart is the Royal Institute of International Affairs. The members of these groups profit by creating tension and hate. Their targets include British and American citizens.

The 100 CFR members that surround the president are “the Secret Team.” The “Secret Team” help carry out psycho-political operations scripted by CFR members in the state department and the Intelligence Organizations. The psycho-political operations are coordinated by a group of Council on Foreign Relations members called the Special Group. The Special Group evolved from the Psychological Strategy Board.

President Truman issued an executive order establishing the Psychological Strategy Board. The Board was run by CFR members Gordon Gray and Henry Kissinger. The PSB has close ties to the State Department and Intelligence Organizations. The purpose of the PSB was to co-ordinate psycho-political operations. Many of those operations were focused at Americans. The people became wary of the Psychological Strategy Board. Eisenhower issued an executive order changing its name to the Operations Coordination Board. The OCB was a bigger more powerful PSB. Gray and Kissinger ran the OCB too. President Kennedy abolished the OCB. It became an ad hoc committee called the “Special Group,” which exists today. The PSB/OCB/Special Group always has CFR members running and sitting on it. Since the Special Group was not formed by Executive Order it cannot be abolished.

On September 12, 1939, the Council on Foreign Relations began to take control of the Department of State. On that day Hamilton Fish Armstrong, Editor of Foreign Affairs, and Walter H. Mallory, Executive Director of the Council on Foreign Relations, paid a visit to the State Department. The Council proposed forming groups of experts to proceed with research in the general areas of Security, Armament, Economic, Political, and Territorial problems. The State Department accepted the proposal. The project (1939-1945) was called Council on Foreign Relations War and Peace Studies. Hamilton Fish Armstrong was Executive director.

In February 1941 the CFR officially became part of the State Department. The Department of State established the Division of Special Research. It was organized just like the Council on Foreign Relations War and Peace Studies project. It was divided into Economic, Political, Territorial, and Security Sections. The Research Secretaries serving with the Council groups were hired by the State Department to work in the new division. These men also were permitted to continue serving as Research Secretaries to their respective Council groups. Leo Pasvolsky was appointed Director of Research.

In 1942 the relationship between the Department of State and the Council on Foreign Relations strengthened again. The Department organized an Advisory Committee on Postwar Foreign Policies. The Chairman was Secretary Cordell Hull, the vice chairman, Under Secretary Sumner Wells, Dr. Leo Pasvolsky ( director of the Division of Special Research) was appointed Executive Officer. Several experts were brought in from outside the Department. The outside experts were Council on Foreign Relations War and Peace Studies members; Hamilton Fish Armstrong, Isaiah Bowman, Benjamin V. Cohen, Norman H. Davis, and James T. Shotwell.

In total there were 362 meetings of the War and Peace Studies groups. The meetings were held at Council on Foreign Relations headquarters — the Harold Pratt house, Fifty-Eight East Sixty-Eighth Street, New York City. The Council’s wartime work was confidential.17

In 1944 members of the Council on Foreign Relations The War and Peace Studies Political Group were invited to be active members at the Dumbarton Oaks conference on world economic arrangements. In 1945 these men and members of Britain’s Royal Institute of International Affairs were active at the San Francisco conference which ensured the establishment of the United Nations.

In 1947 Council on Foreign Relations members George Kennan, Walter Lippmann, Paul Nitze, Dean Achenson, and Walter Krock took part in a psycho-political operation forcing the Marshall Plan on the American public. The PSYOP included a “anonymous” letter credited to a Mr. X, which appeared in the Council on Foreign Relations magazine FOREIGN AFFAIRS. The letter opened the door for the CFR controlled Truman administration to take a hard line against the threat of Soviet expansion. George Kennan was the author of the letter. The Marshall Plan should have been called the Council on Foreign Relations Plan. The so-called Marshall Plan and the ensuing North Atlantic Treaty Organization defined the role of the United States in world politics for the rest of the century.

In 1950 another PSYOP resulted in NSC-68, a key cold war document. The NSC (National Security Council) didn’t write it — the Department of State Policy Planning Staff did. The cast of characters included CFR members George Kennan, Paul Nitze, and Dean Achenson. NSC-68 was given to Truman on April 7, 1950. NSC-68 was a practical extension of the Truman doctrine. It had the US assume the role of world policeman and use 20 per cent of its gross national product ($50 billion in 1953) for arms. NSC-68 provided the justification — the WORLD WIDE COMMUNIST THREAT!

NSC-68 realized a major Council on Foreign Relations aim — building the largest military establishment in Peace Time History. Within a year of drafting NSC-68, the security-related budget leaped to $22 billion, armed forces manpower was up to a million — CFR medicine, munition, food, and media businesses were humming again. The following year the NSC-68 budget rose to $44 billion. In fiscal 1953 it jumped to $50 billion. Today (1997) we are still running $300 billion dollar defense budgets despite Russia giving up because it went bankrupt.

America would never turn back from the road of huge military spending. Spending that included the purchase of radioactive fallout on American citizens in the 50’s, and buying thermonuclear waste from the Russians as we approach the year 2000. Spending resulting in a national debt of $16.3 Trillion Dollars that continues to grow, and interest payments of over $270 billion a year. Is the Council on Foreign Relations trying to make the United States economically vulnerable to influence from outside sources? Isn’t that treason?

THE INQUIRY, the PSB/OCB/Special group, the War and Peace Studies, the “X” Affair, and NSC-68 have had tremendous historical impact. Yet these events and the role played by the Council on Foreign Relations in sponsoring and carrying out the events are missing from our History books. You represent the people. Can you explain to me why the Council on Foreign Relations role in History has been left out of the History books? Why don’t we learn about them in High School History courses? Why don’t History majors in college learn about the Council on Foreign Relations?

Read America’s Post-Cold War Grand Strategy-Makers and the Policy Planning Network and  Conflicts of Interest in the Syrian Debate. Have you connected the dots yet? The Council on Foreign Relations has kept the world in a state of perpetual war for 100 years. When the cold war ended they produce the war on terror. Millions of people have died and millions families destroyed so that a small group of several thousand could become rich and powerful. Martin Luther King Jr said “There comes a time when silence is betrayal.” That time is now, it is time for everyone who knows what is going on to speak out about it and put a stop to the Council on Foreign Relations blood bath.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hillary’s e-mails reveal Victoria Neuland, Wife of CFR member Robert Kagan Part of Benghazi Coverup

 

benghazi whale

The Conservative Tribune Website published an article titled, Leaked Benghazi Docs Directly Implicate Barack H. Obama… Spread This Everywhere. It involves Hillary Clinton e-mails with Council on Foreign Relations members who played a direct role in the “blame the video” cover operation following the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack. Missing from the article are the CFR connections. I fixed that. I have modified the article so that the reader can identify the Council on Foreign Relations connections.

The article implicates Victoria Neuland in the cover-up. V ictoria Nuland’s husband is Council on Foreign Relations member Robert Kagan, a Neocon, historian and foreign-policy commentator at the Brookings Institution. The Brookings Institute is part of the Council on Foreign Relations Policy Planning Network.

During Council on Foreign Relations member Bill Clinton’s administration, Nuland was chief of staff to Deputy Secretary of State Council on Foreign Relations member Strobe Talbott before moving on to serve as deputy director for former Soviet Union affairs. Talbot is president of The Brookings Institute.

220px-Victoria_Nuland_State_DepartmentRobert Kagan

Victoria Neuland and CFR husband Robert Kagin

Nuland served as the principal deputy foreign policy adviser to Vice President Council on foreign Relations member  Dick Cheney and then as U.S. ambassador to Council on Foreign Relations run NATO. CFR Supreme Allied Commander of Europe (NATO), SHAPE and Commander of U.S. European Command include:

  1. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Army (1951-1952)
  2. Matthew Ridgway, Army (1952-1953)
  3. Alfred Gruenther, Army (1953-1956)
  4. Lauris Norstad, Air Force (1956-1963)
  5. Lyman L. Lemnitzer, Army (1963-1969)
  6. Andrew J. Goodpaster, Army (1969-1974)
  7. Alexander M. Haig Jr., Army (1974-1979)
  8. Bernard W. Rogers, Army (1979-1987)
  9. John R. Galvin, Army (1987-1992)
  10. John M. Shalikashvili, Army (1992-1993)
  11. George A. Joulwan, Army (1993-1997)
  12. Wesley K. Clark, Army (1997-2000)
  13. Joseph W. Ralston, Air Force (2000-2003)
  14. James L. Jones Jr., Marines (2003-2007)
  15. Bantz J. Craddock, Army (2007-2009)
  16. James G. Stavridis, Navy (2009-2013)

 

It also implicates Ben Rhodes. Rhodes is not a CFR member.  Rhodes is a CFR propaganda expert and possibly a covert intelligence operative. He is closely connected with the CFR and used to help them with intelligence cover-ups and limited hangouts that hide the CFR role in a story. Rhodes worked for five years as Special Assistant to CFR member Lee Hamilton. At the time former Indiana congressman was Director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. In 2004 Rhodes help draft recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. CFR member Hamilton was Vice Chairman of the Commission. In 2006 Rhodes drafted the report of the Iraq Study Group. Seven of the ten Iraq Study Group members belonged to the Council on Foreign Relations. The Iraq Study group members were :

Council on Foreign Relations member James A. Baker, III — Co-Chair

Council on Foreign Relations member Lee H. Hamilton — Co-Chair

Council on Foreign Relations member Lawrence S. Eagleburger — Member

Council on Foreign Relations member Vernon E. Jordan, Jr. — Member

Edwin Meese III — Member

Council on Foreign Relations member Sandra Day O’Connor — Member

Leon E. Panetta — Member

Council on Foreign Relations member William J. Perry — Member

Council on Foreign Relations member Charles S. Robb — Member

Alan K. Simpson — Member

BenRhodes

Ben Rhodes and Council on Foreign Relations Member John Kerry

 

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Leaked Benghazi Docs Directly Implicate Barack H. Obama… Spread This Everywhere

The week that will supposedly define President Obama’s legacy just got a splash of cold water thrown on it. New documents have surfaced showing that President Obama and his officials were directly involved in the “blame the video” narrative following the terrorist attack in Benghazi in 2012

The documents, released by a Freedom of Information Act Request, show that top Obama officials were directly involved in determining how to mislead the American people about the reason behind the terrorist attack that took the lives of 4 Americans.

As we all know, not much happens involving the White House that doesn’t have the approval of the president. At some level, President Obama was involved in the construction of this narrative, even if his name isn’t on ‘from’ line of an email, and now we have the documents that show that.

Judicial Watch’s coverage of the cover up reveals some fascinating information:

“A September 11, 2012, email sent at 6:21 p.m. by State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland [wife of Council on Foreign Relations Member Robert Kegan] to Meehan [Bernadette Meehan, a spokesperson for the [Council on Foreign Relations run] National Security Council], Under Secretary for Management Patrick F. Kennedy, and Clinton’s personal aide Jacob Sullivan shows that the State Department deferred to the White House on the official response to the Benghazi attack.  Referencing pending press statements by Barack Obama and Clinton, Nuland wrote: ‘We are holding for Rhodes [then-White House deputy strategic communications adviser] clearance. BMM [Meehan], pls advise asap.’

“Meehan responded three minutes later, at 6:24 p.m.: ‘Ben is good with these and is on with Jake now too.’”

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This clearly indicates that the White House was calling all of the shots on what information went to the public, including the false narrative about Muslim unrest over a Youtube video.

Additionally, an email sent by Rashad Hussain, the Obama administration’s special envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), on September 12th stresses the need to blame the attack on a film.

It states, “I am sure you are considering putting a statement on the film and the related violence.  In addition to the condemnation of the disgusting depictions, it will be important to emphasize the need to respond in a way that is consistent with Islamic principles, i.e. not engaging in violence and taking innocent life …”

Yes, by all means, let’s make sure to not offend the people who just butchered American citizens.

Another email, sent on September 14th by Ben Rhodes [Rhodes worked for Council on Foreign Relations member Lee Hamilton and in 2006 drafted the Iran Study Group Report. Seven of the 10 study group members were Council on foreign Relations members]  to prep former Ambassador [Council on Foreign Relations member] Susan Rice stated, ” ‘Goal’: To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure or policy.” (H/TJudicial Watch)

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That doesn’t sound fishy at all…

This of course falls on top of the mountain of evidence that President Obama and his administration knew right away that this wasn’t a protest gone wrong, this was a terrorist attack.

This is absolutely disgusting. It’s time for Republican leadership in Congress to take measures to impeach Obama, or hold him accountable in some way.

Share this everywhere. Everyone needs to see this.

 

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