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Police State 1, Freedom 0 Bush Grants More Police Power to FBI

#1 User is offline   Enhasa Icon

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Posted 10 January 2004 - 10:01 PM

QUOTE
Bush Increases Government Police Powers

While the nation was distracted last month by images of Saddam Husseinís spider hole and dental exam, President George W. Bush quietly signed into law a new bill that gives the FBI increased surveillance powers and dramatically expands the reach of the USA Patriot Act.

The Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004 grants the FBI unprecedented power to obtain records from financial institutions without requiring permission from a judge.

Under the law, the FBI does not need to seek a court order to access such records, nor does it need to prove just cause.

Previously, under the Patriot Act, the FBI had to submit subpoena requests to a federal judge. Intelligence agencies and the Treasury Department, however, could obtain some financial data from banks, credit unions and other financial institutions without a court order or grand jury subpoena if they had the approval of a senior government official.

The new law (see Section 374 of the act), however, lets the FBI acquire these records through an administrative procedure whereby an FBI field agent simply drafts a so-called national security letter stating the information is relevant to a national security investigation.

And the law broadens the definition of ďfinancial institutionĒ to include such businesses as insurance companies, travel agencies, real estate agents, stockbrokers, the U.S. Postal Service and even jewelry stores, casinos and car dealerships.

The law also prohibits subpoenaed businesses from revealing to anyone, including customers who may be under investigation, that the government has requested records of their transactions.

Bush signed the bill on Dec. 13, a Saturday, which was the same day the U.S. military captured Saddam Hussein. Any attention that might have been given the bill, they say, was supplanted by a White House announcement the next day about Husseinís capture.

The inclusion of the financial provision has been called ďan intentional end-runĒ by the administration to expand the administrationís power without proper review.

Critics say the government is trying to pass legislation that was shot down prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, when the Bush administration drafted a bill to expand the powers of the Patriot Act.

Patriot II was discovered by the Center for Public Integrity last year, which exposed the draft legislation and initiated a public outcry that forced the government to back down on its plans.

But critics say the government didnít abandon its goals after the uproar; it simply extracted the most controversial provisions from Patriot II and slipped them surreptitiously into other bills, such as the Intelligence Authorization Act, to avoid raising alarm.

It is clear the administration would rather expand on the USA Patriot Act through deception and secrecy than debate such provisions in an open forum.

The Intelligence Authorization Act is a favorite vehicle of politicians for expanding government powers without careful scrutiny. The bill, because of its sensitive nature, is generally drafted in relative secrecy and approved without extensive debate because it is viewed as a ďmust-passĒ piece of legislation. The act provides funding for intelligence agencies.

The provision granting increased power was little more than a single line of legislation, but it was written in such a cryptic manner that no one noticed its significance until it was too late.

Rep. Porter Goss (R-Florida), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee that reviewed the bill, introduced the legislation into the House last year on June 11, where it passed two weeks later by a vote of 264-163. The Senate passed the legislation with a voice vote in November, which means there is no record of how individual senators voted or the number who opposed or supported it.

Many legislators failed to recognize the significance of the legislation until it was too late. But the fact that 15 Republicans and over 100 Democrats voted against the bill in the House signifies that, had there been more time, there probably would have been sufficient opposition to remove the provision. To have that many people vote against it, based on just that one provision without discussion beforehand, signifies there is strong opposition to new Patriot Act II powers.

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Posted 11 January 2004 - 12:51 AM

It's times like these that I'm glad I'm not American.
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Posted 11 January 2004 - 01:48 PM

It's at times like this that I wish I were Canadian.
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Posted 11 January 2004 - 02:35 PM

QUOTE (Chefelf @ Jan 11 2004, 01:48 PM)
It's at times like this that I wish I were Canadian.

[sarcasm]Yeah, thereís nothing like socialism.[/sarcasm]
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Posted 11 January 2004 - 09:23 PM

That is the single most scariest shit i've heard in many many years. Know what adds to the intense amount of fear? Cell phones that take pictues. FUCKING SCARY!!!
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Posted 11 January 2004 - 09:56 PM

Canada, USA what difference does it make. In the end we are all fucked. I propose we sail to the moon.
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Posted 11 January 2004 - 10:01 PM

and we're REALly going this time, right? wink.gif
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Posted 11 January 2004 - 10:28 PM

QUOTE (Enhasa @ Jan 11 2004, 02:35 PM)
QUOTE (Chefelf @ Jan 11 2004, 01:48 PM)
It's at times like this that I wish I were Canadian.

[sarcasm]Yeah, thereís nothing like socialism.[/sarcasm]

All government is socialism. Once you pays the tax, you are asking the government to redistribute your money, in some way or another.

At least Canada doesn't waste too much of its tax money on its military or its secret police.
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Posted 11 January 2004 - 11:38 PM

QUOTE (civilian_number_two @ Jan 11 2004, 10:28 PM)
All  government is socialism.  Once you pays the tax, you are asking the government to redistribute your money, in some way or another.

At least Canada doesn't waste too much of its tax money on its military or its secret police.

All government types are not socialism, although in practice most governments have socialist policies.

Socialism is an economic and political theory advocating government ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods and wealth. Socialists work for economic equality and look to the government as the solution of all their problems.

Paying taxes is not authorizing the government to redistribute wealth. The governmentís spending money is not necessarily redistributing wealth, as there are some legitimate functions of government that must be paid for. Redistributing wealth is taking wealth from one class of citizens (e.g., the productive citizens) and giving it to another class of citizens (e.g., those who refuse to be productive).

The U.S. is continuing to adopt both more socialist and more police state policies, but it has not gotten so bad here that I would want to move to a socialist state like Canada (in which health care is completely socialized).

The military is a legitimate function of government inasmuch as it defends its citizens from foreign invaders.
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Posted 12 January 2004 - 02:45 AM

Regarding the war in Iraq and the whole 911 issue...And now this bill.

Countries have been terrorized for years now. Terror is not something new, it has not happened much (or at all) in the states, but it has been an on going issue in the east. 911 portrayed terrorisim as some sort of new threat to the world like communisim and facisim was back in the day.

I feel the US government is basically blowing it up in order to steal our rights. People willingly give up privacy for the sake of safety. Big Brother seems more realistic now. And at the same time seems less scary because its "keeping the homeland safe".

War on terror? Come on! that war will never end. If we really wanted to "get back" at them we would have found Osama. But even then it would not stop them. We wasted money, men, and time in Iraq. The second we leave that place it will go right back to the way it was. Ok, it did show that the USA is not going to put up with there crap. But if you think about it, we could have attacked any country in that region. Syria, Iran, and Saudi Arabia all harbor terrorists. So really we did not put a dent in the issue.

At this point we might as well take their oil just to cover our costs and get something out of the place.
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Posted 12 January 2004 - 03:58 AM

QUOTE (Enhasa @ Jan 11 2004, 11:38 PM)
Socialism is an economic and political theory advocating government ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods and wealth. Socialists work for economic equality and look to the government as the solution of all their problems.

Well, then, I guess you've described Canada pretty well. There are no multinational companies in Canada, and everyone is paid directly out of the government coffers. Here in Canada, Wal-Mart is owned by the government! The workers here all drive Ford SUVs made at the government plant and wear clothing manufactured at the government-run Gap stores. McDonald's and Burger King, too, are owned by the government here, which pays everyone according to its collectivizing whim.

biggrin.gif

Meanwhile, in the United States, the government has nearly full authority to detain whomever it pleases for as long as it likes, and now to look into their corporate holdings as well (this is good news for Halliburton). It does not distribute wealth (no, really, Halliburton), but it is allowed to increase military spending as it pleases, invade whomever it likes, and to create the health code and enforce rules for drug use and to restrict marriages and to police peer-to-peer file sharing, if it so pleases. But at least it's not "Socialist!"


QUOTE
Redistributing wealth is taking wealth from one class of citizens (e.g., the productive citizens) and giving it to another class of citizens (e.g., those who refuse to be productive).


So, like, when a guy (not a billionaire) invents something, and then another guy (a billionaire) reverse-engineers it and gives it away for free to destroy his competition, the inventor is *refusing* to be productive? Don't expect me to go out on a limb and say socialism could fix that problem, but just a Q: are you a fan of Ayn Rand?

And what's the deal with socialized medicine? Libertarians always get so bunged up about it. If you happen to become injured (or you're born handicapped), and there's noone to sue, and your insurance company finds an excuse not to help you (or you can't afford the insurance, because, handicapped), and you just can't afford the surgery that may save your life, should it be ok for the hospital to say "fuck you" and leave you to die? That's the appropriate behaviour of the self-titled "wealthiest country on Earth?"

It's ok for the government to fund a military to protect its citizens, and it's ok for the government to pay to pave the roads so that commerce can move along smoothly, and it's ok to fund arts and it's ok to have a space program and it's ok to pay for non-profitable scientific research, but it should be considered a breach of trust for the government to pay to tend to the sick and injured people? In a perfect world, that is ... in a libertarian world, the government should just NOT fund the hospitals? This is the one complaint I have never understood. Please explain.

(PS: In Canada, people pay for their health insurance, but it is, like taxation, based on income, and so equal coverage is given without equal contribution. So just like in the US, health care is heavily subsidized, but it's not free like you say)

QUOTE
The military is a legitimate function of government inasmuch as it defends its citizens from foreign invaders.


And yeah, of course you're right there. Any powerful country will need a military to defend its borders. The question raised is how much military spending is justifiable? Is it ok to spend $1 Billion a week just to make more enemies so you can justify more homeland security? Because all these "credible threats" to US security are the *result* of missile strikes and recent military actions, not the *cause* of them.
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Posted 13 January 2004 - 04:25 PM

QUOTE (civilian_number_two @ Jan 12 2004, 03:58 AM)
Well, then, I guess you've described Canada pretty well. There are no multinational companies in Canada, and everyone is paid directly out of the government coffers. Here in Canada, Wal-Mart is owned by the government! The workers here all drive Ford SUVs made at the government plant and wear clothing manufactured at the government-run Gap stores. McDonald's and Burger King, too, are owned by the government here, which pays everyone according to its collectivizing whim.

I am to believe that Canadaís cradle-to-grave paternalist government, semi-socialist economy, and collectivist culture are far ďnicerĒ and better than the ďcut-throatĒ capitalist economy and meanly individualistic culture of the United States.

Those behind the Manifesto for a Socialist Canada are already well along the path to establishing a socialist government in Canada.

QUOTE
Canadaís socialist economic traditions and government policies have failed our country and its people. We are a nation with a 60 cent US dollar and an approximate $550 billion national debt. We have a socialized medicare system that is in serious trouble, as is our socialized education. -- Electricity Today


QUOTE
Meanwhile, in the United States, the government has nearly full authority to detain whomever it pleases for as long as it likes, and now to look into their corporate holdings as well (this is good news for Halliburton).  It does not distribute wealth (no, really, Halliburton), but it is allowed to increase military spending as it pleases, invade whomever it likes, and to create the health code and enforce rules for drug use and to restrict marriages and to police peer-to-peer file sharing, if it so pleases.  But at least it's not "Socialist!"


These are qualities of a police state, not of a socialist state, as socialism is primarily an economic policy. (However, socialist states often have features of police sttaes.) I wonít deny, however, that the U.S. has begun to succumb to socialism (Social Security, welfare, medicare, etc.). Many are pushing for socialist health care. Still, the U.S. does not have as many socialist policies as Canada.

Canadians by the hundreds of thousands have left Canada for the United States.

QUOTE
Q: are you a fan of Ayn Rand?


Yes.

QUOTE
And what's the deal with socialized medicine?  Libertarians always get so bunged up about it.

It's ok for the government to fund a military to protect its citizens, and it's ok for the government to pay to pave the roads so that commerce can move along smoothly, and it's ok to fund arts and it's ok to have a space program and it's ok to pay for non-profitable scientific research, but it should be considered a breach of trust for the government to pay to tend to the sick and injured people?  In a perfect world, that is ... in a libertarian world, the government should just NOT fund the hospitals?  This is the one complaint I have never understood.  Please explain.


Iím glad you asked. Itís not that the actual health care itself is so bad, although thousands of Canadians come to the U.S. for their health care rather than waiting for years for the government to provide it. There are two main objections I have to socialized health care.

The first is that giving government control over who gets health care, when, and where is not a good thing. Germans, for example, can be on a waiting list for years before receiving health care.

The second is that socialized health care kills progress in medicine. Currently, Canada subsidizes health care and puts price caps on drugs. Companies who research new drugs make no profit from their Canadian sales, so theyíre forced to raise the prices in their American market to cover the cost of research and marketing. Since Americans are still bearing the burden of the cost of research, progress continues. However, if America were to adopt Canadaís policies, the American influx of new drugs would slowly dwindle to zero, as testing new drugs and having them approved by the FDA is a long and expensive process. If American drug companies cannot recoup the money that is spent researching drugs and medical treatments, progress will halt.

Slightly off-topic: the government should not be funding the arts, paying for scientific research that is not directly of national interest, or funding a space program except that which provides for national defense.

QUOTE
And yeah, of course you're right there.  Any powerful country will need a military to defend its borders.  The question raised is how much military spending is justifiable?  Is it ok to spend $1 Billion a week just to make more enemies so you can justify more homeland security?  Because all these "credible threats" to US security are the *result* of missile strikes and recent military actions, not the *cause* of them.


Agreed. Many of Americaís security woes can be traced back to Americaís own interventionist policies. Over the decades we have paid billions in funding to terrorist regimes. (The U.S. even offered money and training to Osama bin Ladenís group to help fend off the Russians during the Cold War.) Not only that, but our government seems to think that America is the global police force. While the places it decides to police (or in some case overthrow) are genuinely horrible places under horrible leaders, Americans cannot afford the burden.

If the Bush administration (and successive administrations) continues its policy of reckless deficit spending (both in the military and otherwise), we will soon see a depression that will make the Great Depression of the 1930s look like a minor economic slump. The governmentís policy of inflating itself out of debt will ultimately cause the collapse of U.S. currency.
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Posted 14 January 2004 - 06:18 AM

[QUOTE=Enhasa,Jan 13 2004, 04:25 PM] Those behind the Manifesto for a Socialist Canada are already well along the path to establishing a socialist government in Canada.
[/QUOTE]
Yeah, that's pretty damning stuff. But look at this:

http://sp-usa.org/

Apparently, political diversity is an aspect of Democracy and Free Speech (but don't worry; it won't be for long).


QUOTE
Canadaís socialist economic traditions and government policies have failed our country and its people. We are a nation with a 60 cent US dollar and an approximate $550 billion national debt. We have a socialized medicare system that is in serious trouble, as is our socialized education. -- Electricity Today
QUOTE

Your friend should check his facts.

The Canadian dollar is about $.77 US. The national debt figure your guy quotes is close enough. This is something like $22000 per Canadian. At $7 Trillion, the US national debt is something like $28000 per citizen. The trouble with socialized medicare is a matter of opinion. I imagine that opinion figures as well in assessments of the national school system. I understand that in the US everyone goes to private school, and things are pretty good? No socialism to worry about?

[/QUOTE]The second is that socialized health care kills progress in medicine.[/QUOTE]

Literally, this doesn't make any sense.† It costs way more to research pharmaceuticals than anyone could possibly hope to profit from them.† So too care measures like radiation and chemo.† Cancer victims are poor; AIDS victims are poor; polio sufferers were poor (when there used to be polio sufferers).† The US government helps out the pharmaceutical companies (most notably by destroying the pharmaceutical industry of Sudan with bombs); this is a socialist measure, and it sure helps the hell out of the people who get to buy the medicine that is the result of the research.† Trust me: you would not want to live in a country where your tax dollars did not go in some measure to medical research (you might prefer one that didn't bomb its competitors so much).† If the pharmaceutical companies had to run only for profit, and got no help of any kind there would never be anything better than Viagra and Nyquil.† Now: if government money goes to help the pharmaceutical companies, should the pharmaceutical companies be allowed to charge whatever they want for the products they dispense?

[
[/QUOTE]Not only that, but our government seems to think that America is the global police force. While the places it decides to police (or in some case overthrow) are genuinely horrible places under horrible leaders, Americans cannot afford the burden.[/QUOTE]

Your government doesn't believe that at all. The attacks in Iraq, premeditated and having nothing to do with 9/11/01, are to enhance business interests. The US government is interested in protecting US business (and thereby, so they say, the economy), which is a sort of "liertarian economy," but one where competitors are killed with armies and bombs. The US didn't intervene in Indonesia because there was no profit in it. The civil wars in Africa are not about oil, so no worries there, either. But a load of Egyptians fly over from Saudi (and cross the border from Canada, so shame on us) and hijack planes and do all that they did, and suddenly the US claim that Osama bin Laden ordered those attacks from his post in Afghanistan (no evidence) and that, mysteriously, he is friends and fundamentalist church buddy with atheist Saddam Hussein. Much profit for Dick Cheney's former employers. Jesus, this isn't even suspicious behaviour. It's supported in State of the Union addresses.]

But yeah; the above bit in the square brackets is off the topic of whether Canada is a socialist state or whether the US is a police state or which is "worse." Fact is, it sucks in either country to be a minimum-wage worker, and it rocks the house to work for the government or to be a filmmaker. And yet all of the important industry is entirely dependent on minimum-wage workers. Why is it only the CEOs get the bonuses? And why does the government work so hard to protect the people with all of the money and do so little for the people who are paying all of the taxes?

--------------

PS: Ayn Rand's entire "philosophy" amounted to straw man arguments. Rather than producing works of philosophy, she wrote novels and created spineless characters who would hold the ideals she wanted to oppose. On the other side she'd place a powerful man so bod and noble that otherwise sane women would desire to bve raped by him. Then she would stack the deck against him before showing that by sticking to his guns he will come out on top. in THE FOUNTAINHEAD her hero is acquitted of vandalism and reckless endangerment because he makes a nice speech to the jury that while including a full confession, also says some completely irrelevant things about cavemen and fire-gathering. In ATLAS SHRUGGED her hero is a guy who convinces all the rich people to walk away and leave all the worthless grubby socialists to kill themselves, which they do, of course, since they don't have any skills or brains, those worthless grubby socialists.
Ayn Rand in one of her novels likened the act of cigarette smoking to man's capture of fire, as though to say even that disgusting habit of hers was somehow a premeditated act of embracing a noble ideal. She refused to deal closely with anyone who did not consider her a philosopher worthy of Aristotle, and any of her closest friends who disagreed with her on even a minor point (like what they were going to do with their own spare time, say, going to church) was disfellowshipped by her cult-like circle of friends.
Ayn Rand has been embraced by many wealthy Americans (like Alan Greenspan) and several not-rich-wannabes as a champion of laissez-faire competition. Meanwhile, she advocated violence against enemies of business, and testified against communism during the famous McCarthy-inspired hearings on un-American activities. Her novels and later philosophical works were essentially little more than propoganda for the cold war. Yet she still holds some followers today, despite the wild romance and zero substantiation of her theories. For one whose rhetoric always demanded that "A is A," she never bothered to condescend to the level of facts or anaysis, preferring instead to write in the form of novels and short opinion pieces.

Ayn Rand on Corporate Environmental Responsibility:
"If it were true that a heavy concentration of industry is destructive to human life, one would find life expectancy declining in the more advanced countries. But it has been rising steadily. Here are the figures on life expectancy in the United States:
1900 - 47.3 years
1920 - 53 years
1940 - 60 years
1968 - 70.2 years (the latest figures compiled [as of January 1971])

Anyone over 30 years of age today, give a silent "Thank you" to the nearest, grimiest, sootiest smokestacks you can find."
[the self-titled philosopher is actually trying to claim that pollution is increasing life expectancy]

AND

"Even if smog were a risk to human life, we must remember that life in nature, without technology, is wholesale death." ("The Anti-Industrial Revolution," The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution)


Ayn Rand on Capitalism:
"When I say "capitalism," I mean a pure, uncontrolled, unregulated laissez-faire capitalism - with a separation of economics, in the same way and for the same reasons as a separation of state and church." ("The Objectivist Ethics," The Virtue of Selfishness)
[this from a woman naive enough to believe that a community of a few thousand industrialists, artists and scientists could set up in a little mountain town and build a fully-functioning modern capitalist society, complete with a mining industry and a railroad, free and away from all the pesky masses (read ATLAS SHRUGGED)]
Ayn Rand on Government:
"The only proper purpose of a government is to protect man's rights, which means: to protect him from physical violence. A proper government is only a policeman, acting as an agent of man's self-defense, and, as such, may only resort to force only against those who start the use of force." ("Galt's Speech," Atlas Shrugged)
[again, Rand believed that trucking companies would have paid to build the system of interstate highways, if Eisenhower had not spent government money to do it for them, and that the only science wotrth having was that inspired - and funded - by industry]
[additionally, it is a nonsense statement. If a man with a load of money and/or intelligence is to be allowed to do as he pleases at the expense of those without money and/or intelligence, even to the extent of polluting his environment or killing all of his cattle or slandering him or libelling him, why should the government have the special right of stepping in to defend individuals from violence? Why is that *specific* form of attack to be singled out for collectivist treatment? Wouldn't a pure laissez-faire society just let the strongest man/gang/army win? Ayn Rand doesn't have the courage to accept even her own convictions, and waffles with this whole "no murder" thing, while at the same time championing the industrialist's use of police violence (and murder) to end general strikes in the early 20th century]

Ayn Rand on exactly what is wrong with a social contract where capitalism is unchecked:
"When "the common good" of a society is regarded as something apart from and superior to the individual good of its members, it means that the good of some men takes precedence over the good of others, with those others consigned to the status of sacrificial animals." ("What is Capitalism?" Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal)
[exactly, honey, all creepy religious hyperbole aside. We have allowed violence to establish land ownership and we have allowed the business model to be as it is, and to be protected by violence or the threat of it. Now to suddenly strip away all government except the police and the army would be to give the poor no recourse of any kind (no schools, no hospitals, no capacity to compete against the corporations). To strip away all government entirely would at least give the poor the opportunity to take what they wanted by force, as the capitalists did before them.

Ayn Rand on Wishful Thinking:
"To deal with men by force is as impractical as to deal with nature by persuasion." (The Metaphysical Versus the Man-Made," Philosophy: Who Needs It)
AND
"Competition is a by-product of productive work, not its goal. A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others." ("The Moratorium on Brains")
[Again, I am reminded of the healthy community of type-A individuals and their friendly, compatriate efforts to destroy one another in that little secret grotto in ATLAS SHRUGGED. I hope it wasn't like, really important to her that this little dream be true.]

Ayn Rand on Random non-sequiters:
"I consider promiscuity immoral. Not because sex is evil, but because sex is too good and too important."
AND
"Has any act of selfishness ever equalled the carnage perptrated by disciples of altruism?"
AND
Men hate passion, any great passion. Henry Cameron made a mistake: he loved his work. That was why he fought. That was why he lost." ("The Fountainhead")
AND
"In any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win. In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit." ("The Anatomy of Compromise," Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal)

edit: named wrong president responsible for national highways

This post has been edited by civilian_number_two: 21 May 2005 - 07:46 PM

"I had a lot of different ideas. At one point, Luke, Leia and Ben were all going to be little people, and we did screen tests to see if we could do that." -George Lucas, in STAR WARS: the Annotated Screenplays (p197).
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