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Congress needs to stand up for American people’s interest over Netanyahu’s

US Politics
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As Peter Beinart observed in Haaretz (July 15, 2015) Israel and the United States (and the other members of the P5+1) have conflicting interests at stake when it comes to the Iran deal. Meanwhile, many in Congress are behaving like they represent Benjamin Netanyahu instead of the American people. When will voters get the message?

The bomb

The P5+1 have negotiated with Iran in order to take an Iranian nuclear bomb off the table indefinitely, and to prevent a nuclear arms race in the region. Israel and the Saudis have a different interest. For Israel and the Saudis, the primary goal has been to keep sanctions in place indefinitely in order to cripple Iran as a regional competitor.

The goal established by the P5+1 for these talks (taking an Iranian nuclear bomb off the table indefinitely) seems to have been achieved by the deal that has been negotiated. Iran promises to forgo its ability to produce nuclear weapons and to permit the International Atomic Energy Agency to monitor as necessary to verify compliance. Some are raising concerns that Iran might attempt to secretly develop nuclear weapons in breach of the agreement. But this is not a concern that can be solved by any agreement. Ultimately any agreement must presuppose the good faith of the parties and must rely on the professionalism and skill of the IAEA inspectors to detect cheating if it occurs.

So why all the protest from Israel against this deal which pretty effectively takes the nuclear issue off the table for more than a decade? And why do so many in Congress assume that Israel’s protests are serving the interests of the United States?

The key to understanding Israel’s opposition is that when Netanyahu brandished his cartoon nuclear bomb at the UN General Assembly in September 2012, he was not so much concerned with Iran achieving a milestone of enriching enough uranium to be able to build a few nuclear weapons—as North Korea has managed to do. After all, Israel is a nuclear superpower in the Middle East and it is reported to have more than 200 nuclear warheads, which it can launch from hardened land installations, bombers, or submarines. Israel has no realistic fear of an Iran potentially armed with a few nuclear warheads. Netanyahu was more broadly concerned with Iran as a regional rival.

Iran as a Regional Rival

Israel wants to maintain the sanctions regime in order to keep Iran weak as a rival and potential supporter of the Assad regime in Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Hamas in Gaza and the West Bank. Israel perceives each of these parties as long term military and terror threats. By contrast, the Assad regime, Hezbollah, and Hamas pose no substantial threats to the United States, and never will.

Under no circumstances can Iran become a rival to the United States economically or militarily; by contrast, however, with sanctions lifted on Iran, Iran will become a stronger power in the region and will be a bigger rival to Israel and Saudi Arabia. If Iran becomes a stable strong power in the region, this does not pose a threat to the United States or Russia, or Europe, or China. On the other hand, Israel and Saudi Arabia perceive this as a threat.

The United States has no interest to keep the Iranian economy debilitated and its people suffering under strong international sanctions for decades to come. Israel does. Israel likes to portray itself as a philanthropic, caring, and generous country whenever a natural disaster occurs. But Israel’s rejection of negotiations and its push to enlist the world to punish Iran, a country of 77 million, so it can maintain an advantage over this regional rival indefinitely into the future, presents another face: it’s the face that Israel shows to the world with its imprisonment of 1.8 million people in Gaza and its 48 year military occupation of 2.7 million people in the West Bank.

ISIS and Al Qaeda

The United States has a vital interest to combat ISIS and Al Qaeda groups who are fighting in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. As we know, 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudi Arabian citizens affiliated with Al Qaeda. Iran shares an interest with the United States to fight these groups. Israel does not; in fact, Israel has supported the Sunni rebels in Syria.

Netanyahu wants to Repeat the Mistake of 2003; do We?

Back in September 2002, Netanyahu testified in Congress making the case that the U.S. must bring about regime change in Iraq because Saddam Hussein was on the verge of obtaining nuclear weapons. Egged on by the media and our inflamed sense of justice we took Netanyahu’s advice and went to war.

Netanyahu was manifestly wrong about Iraq, as were all his neocon friends who were clamoring for war in 2002-2003. Today, many of these same people are urging Congress to reject the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action reached by the P5+1 with Iran. Netanyahu believes this is in Israel’s interest; it’s not in the United States interest.

For a summary of Netanyahu’s speech to the UN General Assembly on September 27, 2012 regarding Iran’s nuclear threat see The Guardian.

It’s time for Congress to stop listening to Netanyahu, to stop elevating Netanyahu’s interest over America’s interest. AIPAC promises to spend $30 million lobbying Congress to choose Netanyahu’s perceived interest for Israel over the United States interest. It’s time for Congress to say “No” to AIPAC. It’s time for Congress to say “Yes” to America.

Indeed, this push on the Iran deal is making strange bedfellows of Peter Beinart and Pat Buchanan, who share initials but not much more. Buchanan, the GOP elder statesman, arch-conservative, adviser to presidents Nixon, Ford, and Reagan, and Fox commentator, agrees with both Beinart and Obama. He provides some avuncular advice to Republicans in The American Conservative:

Rejecting the Iran Deal Would be GOP Suicide

From first reactions, it appears that Hill Republicans will be near unanimous in voting a resolution of rejection of the Iran nuclear deal. …. But before the party commits to abrogating the Iran deal in 2017, the GOP should consider whether it would be committing suicide in 2016.

For even if Congress votes to deny Obama authority to lift U.S. sanctions on Iran, the U.S. will vote to lift sanctions in the UN Security Council. And Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China, all parties to the deal, will also lift sanctions. A Congressional vote to kill the Iran deal would thus leave the U.S. isolated, its government humiliated, unable to comply with the pledges its own secretary of state negotiated. Would Americans cheer the GOP for leaving the United States with egg all over its face?

And if Congress refuses to honor the agreement, but Iran complies with all its terms, who among our friends and allies would stand with an obdurate America then? Israel would applaud, the Saudis perhaps, but who else? And as foreign companies raced to Iran, and U.S. companies were told to stay out, what would GOP presidential candidates tell the business community?…

“Either the issue of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapons is resolved diplomatically through negotiation or it’s resolved through force,” said the president, “Those are the options.” Is that not pretty much where we are at, even if the GOP does not like it?….

And how is Israel, with hundreds of atom bombs, mortally imperiled by a deal that leaves Iran with not a single ounce of bomb-grade uranium?

Buchanan clearly thinks this is a done deal, that Republicans will come around, and that we are listening to hysterics on The Hill. Charles Krauthammer, who is a hysteric, seems to agree. We can only hope.

The close bond between the Republican Party in the United States and the Israeli government is obscuring this very real conflict of national interests. The fact that the Republican leadership, and many Democrats, are ready to elevate the conflicting interest of two foreign countries (Israel and Saudi Arabia) over America’s interest in knee-jerk fashion, is disturbing. It’s time to recognize that the United States interest in this deal with Iran is not the same as Israel’s interest; it’s time for Congress to stand up for America’s national interest.

Roland Nikles
About Roland Nikles

Roland Nikles is a Bay Area writer and attorney. He blogs here: And you can follow him on twitter @RolandNikles

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39 Responses

  1. Kay24
    July 24, 2015, 4:15 pm

    To begin with Netanyahu has lied about many things, misleading Americans, and giving false testimony. We have had our politicians swooning over him, doing his bidding, and showing loyalty to him over their own President, even helping Netanyahu try to sabotage the Iranian deal from going through, when the majority in this nation wants to have a deal with Iran.

    So really, who is to be blamed here? Netanyahu has taken advantage of our screwed up political system and bought the loyalty of Congress, through Israel’s corrupt lobbies that have inserted itself into the American system like poison. Why are our American leaders allowing him to use them like mindless puppets, for Israel’s devious schemes and allowing it to get away with horrible crimes against humanity? Netanyahu knows that American leaders can be controlled and he can get away with anything, we should blame our representatives for allowing him to do so.

    • Citizen
      July 25, 2015, 1:21 pm

      “Netanyahu knows that American leaders can be controlled and he can get away with anything, we should blame our representatives for allowing him to do so.”

      Nothing will change unless Dick & Jane get serious about changing the way political campaigns are financed. The other factor is corporate control of 90% of US main media outlets by a mere half dozen mega corporations with a very disproportionate number of Zionist managers and shareholders.

    • ritzl
      July 25, 2015, 7:43 pm

      Maybe next time he testifies in front of a committee, they’ll make him swear an oath to tell the truth, or something.

      • Kay24
        July 26, 2015, 5:55 am

        For someone as devious as Bibi, swearing an oath will not deter him from spewing lies.
        It is a bad habit, and he has no decency.

      • ritzl
        July 26, 2015, 8:16 am

        Hi Kay24. Sometimes my sarcasm is too subtle. :)

  2. Kay24
    July 24, 2015, 4:17 pm

    Keep the picture of Bibi and the cartoon bomb upside down, it looks better that way!

    • Abe Bird
      Abe Bird
      July 25, 2015, 9:13 am

      Sure, they and you need to twist reality in order to make their claim right……

      • Kay24
        July 25, 2015, 1:49 pm

        You mean like the hasbarats do? Now that is one bad habit we do not need to stoop to.

  3. Amar
    July 24, 2015, 4:19 pm


    It’s time for Congress to stop listening to Netanyahu, to stop elevating America’s interest over Netanyahu’s interest.

    • Roland Nikles
      Roland Nikles
      July 24, 2015, 5:09 pm

      Thanks, Amar. Annie–would you please reverse “America’s” and “Netanyahu’s” in the last clause of this sentence. [Third para. after video] Much obliged.

    • annie
      July 24, 2015, 5:38 pm

      of course. thanks Amar!

  4. joemowrey
    July 24, 2015, 5:22 pm

    Lots of magical thinking in this article. Congress hasn’t stood up for the interests of the American People for decades, if not centuries. They stand up for their own interests and the interests of their corporate pay masters. Also, the author opens with an endorsement of his thesis from Peter Beinart, then moves on to reference Pat Buchanan. Ho Hum. Could he find any sources more unreliable than these two clowns?

    “When will voters get the message?”

    That’s about the only thing this author gets right. Of course, the voters aren’t ever going to get the message. If they did, they wouldn’t be voting, they’d be overthrowing the government instead.

    • Citizen
      July 25, 2015, 1:24 pm

      True see my earlier comment. The “Fourth Estate” or branch of government is now a stenographer for AIPAC. Informed consent is no longer a badge of honor to aid, but a career downer. Dick and Jane are brainwashed. Or they just want to play video games or buy shoes at the Mall.

  5. JWalters
    July 24, 2015, 7:13 pm

    Not only do many in Congress vote for a foreign country against America’s obvious best interests, they brazenly ignore mountains of facts and simple logic to do so. Their irrationality is so extreme as to be baffling to a reasonably informed person with common sense. Why?

    Money is a well-known factor. But there’s another factor that has been little considered. The reason is because it is well hidden. But like the “dark matter” of the universe, its presence can be inferred from its large effects on what is visible. And unlike “dark matter”, there is some direct evidence of its political presence.

    Consider this segment of a 1998 interview with Kay Griggs, former wife of the U.S. Army’s director of assassination training.

    Kay Griggs: “Even when he [General Al Gray] was General he ran an intelligence operation which was a contract organization trying to hook politicians, and get them. What is the word? In other words …”

    Interviewer: “In compromising situations?”

    Kay Griggs: “Yes, yes. He had and still has an organization which brings in whores, prostitutes, whatever you want to say, who will compromise politicians so they can be used.”

    The above starts at 48:00 in the video at
    (Part 2 of interview)

    In an earlier part of the interview (Part 1) she explains the motives behind this.

    Kay Griggs: “I’m talking about the Brooklyn-New Jersey mob. My husband, Al Gray, Sheehan, they’re all Brooklyn. Cap Weinberger. Heinz Kissinger – there’s the Boston mob, which was shipping weapons back and forth to Northern Ireland. And I don’t want to get too deeply involved in that, but it goes – Israel – some of the Zionists who came over from Germany, according to my husband, were – he works with those people – they do a lot of money laundering in the banks, cash transactions for the drugs they’re bringing over, through Latin America, the Southern Mafia, the Dixie Mafia, which now my husband’s involved with in Miami. The military are all involved once they retire. They’re – you know, they go into this drug and secondary weapon sales.”

    The above starts soon after 18:00 in the video at

    (Part 1 of interview)

    Further on the following exchange occurs.

    Interviewer: “And directly under whose instructions to sell these weapons, do you know that?”

    Kay Griggs: “Yeah.”

    Interviewer: “Okay, who would that be?”

    Kay Griggs: “Well, uh, [pause] it’s the Israeli-Zionist group in New York.”

    The above starts at 1:06:45 in the above video.

    Shortly afterward in the same segment is this exchange.

    Kay Griggs: “It’s kind of like Monica and Bill. I think they put Monica in there to have something on Bill. That’s my own feeling. Sarah McClendon feels the same way. Because …”

    Interviewer: “And Linda Tripp was there to guide the situation.”

    Kay Griggs: “Absolutely, of course. Linda Tripp was Delta Force. Linda Tripp was trained by Carl Steiner, who’s in the diary [her husband’s] with my husband. Carl Steiner is called a snake. And he tried to trip up Schwarzkopf. I mean, he was trying to take, to take the whole Iraqi thing over because they had been baiting, you know using the Israeli rogues in Turkey. They were having little zig-zag wars. It’s all to sell weapons. It’s all about weapons sales, it’s all about drugs, it’s all about funny money.”

    A seriously blackmailed person would rather look like an irrational ignoramous to the whole world than have their entire personal life destroyed. Other segments of Kay Griggs’ interview deal with the casual use of murder if blackmail doesn’t work.

    A blackmail factor, backed up with a death threat, and combined with financial carrots, easily explains how a reasonably intelligent and educated person could appear to be so ignorant and irrational. The surface inconsistency becomes easy to understand. A strategic system of blackmail of the sort Kay Griggs described would explain a phalanx of politicians and ex-military men lying in lockstep to American voters.

  6. JLewisDickerson
    July 24, 2015, 10:23 pm

    RE: “And why do so many in Congress assume that Israel’s protests are serving the interests of the United States?” ~ Nikles


    Pro-Israel: Money to Congress
    • All cycles
    •Top 20 Members
    • Pro-Israel

    Candidate /// Amount

    Obama, Barack (D) $2,224,126
    Lieberman, Joe (I-CT) $2,036,124
    Kirk, Mark (R-IL) $1,832,119
    Levin, Carl (D-MI) $1,609,085
    McConnell, Mitch (R-KY) $1,548,271
    Berkley, Shelley (D-NV) $1,405,855
    McCain, John (R-AZ) $1,252,932
    Specter, Arlen (D-PA) $1,231,995
    Clinton, Hillary (D-NY) $1,204,816
    Cantor, Eric (R-VA) $1,164,061
    Wyden, Ron (D-OR) $1,028,407
    Durbin, Dick (D-IL) $999,362
    Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana (R-FL) $903,144
    Landrieu, Mary L (D-LA) $881,919
    Hoyer, Steny H (D-MD) $831,765
    Schumer, Charles E (D-NY) $814,399
    Lowey, Nita M (D-NY) $778,484
    Cardin, Ben (D-MD) $775,915
    Boxer, Barbara (D-CA) $767,893
    Harkin, Tom (D-IA) $756,560

    SOURCE –

    • JLewisDickerson
      July 24, 2015, 10:25 pm

      “A mark, a yen, a buck, or a pound
      A buck or a pound
      A buck or a pound
      Is all that makes the world go around,
      That clinking clanking sound
      Can make the world go ’round…
      …Money money money money money money
      Money money money money money money…
      …Money makes the world go around,
      Of that we can be sure…”

  7. JLewisDickerson
    July 24, 2015, 10:40 pm

    RE: “Charles Krauthammer, who is a hysteric . . .” Nickles



    . . . M.J. Rosenberg shares a Charles Krauthammer moment:

    About three years ago, I saw Krauthammer flip out in synagogue on Yom Kippur. The rabbi had offered some timid endorsement of peace — peace essentially on Israel’s terms — but peace anyway. Krauthammer went nuts. He actually started bellowing at the rabbi, from his wheel chair in the aisle. People tried to “shush” him. It was, after all, the holiest day of the year. But Krauthammer kept howling until the rabbi apologized. The man is as arrogant as he is thuggish. Who screams at the rabbi at services? For advocating peace?

    SOURCE –

    P.S. Ziocaine™ is a registered trademark of The Mooser Corporation, U.S.A

    • JLewisDickerson
      July 24, 2015, 10:45 pm
    • Mooser
      July 25, 2015, 1:18 pm

      But always remember, J.L, that after the manic or grandiose phase of a Ziocaine Syndrome episode comes the sweet, sweet Ziocaine amnesia.

      • JLewisDickerson
        July 26, 2015, 4:19 am

        . . . My heart’s like an open book
        For the whole world to read
        Sometimes nothing keeps me together
        At the seams

        I’m on my way, I’m on my way
        Amnesia sweet amnesia, tonight tonight
        I’m on my way, just set me free
        Amnesia sweet amnesia

        Amnesia sweet amnesia
        Amnesia sweet amnesia
        Amnesia sweet amnesia

        Ooh, I’m on my way, I’m on my way
        Amnesia sweet amnesia, yeah
        I’m on my way, just set me free
        Amnesia sweet amnesia

      • JLewisDickerson
        July 26, 2015, 4:50 am


        . . .The newly formed band did not yet have a name. Sixx had said that he told the other bandmates that he was “thinking about calling the band Christmas.” The other members were not very receptive to the idea. Then while trying to find a suitable name, Mars remembered an incident which occurred when he was playing with a band called White Horse, when one of the other band members called the group “a motley looking crew.” He had remembered the phrase and later copied it down as Mottley Cru. After modifying the spelling slightly, “Mötley Crüe” was eventually selected as the band’s name, with the stylistic decision suggested by Neil to add the two sets of metal umlauts supposedly inspired by the German beer Löwenbräu, which the members were drinking at the time. . .

        SOURCE –

      • Mooser
        July 26, 2015, 3:01 pm

        Ah, Motley Crue, the “lewdest, the crudest, and the nudist rock band” as I believe they once described themselves.

      • JLewisDickerson
        July 26, 2015, 9:09 pm

        RE: “Ah, Motley Crue, the ‘lewdest, the crudest, and the nudist rock band’ as I believe they once described themselves.

        REPLY: One and the same, but please use the umlauts from now on (if for no other reason than out of respect for Löwenbräu)! ! !

        FROM WIKIPEDIA: Mötley Crüe is one of the best-selling bands of all time, having sold more than 100 million records worldwide[5] including 25 million in the US.[6] . . . The band has embarked on a final tour, and is set to retire at the end of 2015. Their final show is scheduled to take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on December 31, 2015.[9] [10] . . .

        P.S. I other words, they’re richer than Croesus (but not Sheldon Adelson, Warren Buffett, or Bob Gates)! ! !

      • JLewisDickerson
        July 27, 2015, 2:22 pm

  8. Brewer
    July 25, 2015, 2:04 am

    Just before Obama became a serious contender I saw a video of a speech he made on the back of a truck in Iowa or someplace. To my utter astonishment, my eyes ran with tears (I usually have difficulty crying, even when I need to – it’s a Kiwi male thing). After Clinton and Bush, imagining there was such a man even close to the seat of power in the U.S. was emotive beyond belief.
    Well. Imagine my disappointment when he appeared to kowtow to Israel in exactly the same manner as his predecessors.
    Nowadays I am more aware of the enormous power of the lobby and I am beginning to wonder if this is perhaps the money quote from the above:
    ” If Iran becomes a stable strong power in the region”.

    Perhaps Obama, aware that any overt action to bring some balance to the Middle East would get him killed or thrown out of office, has scored an end goal in the only way open to him. A re-vitalized Iran will bring some order to Iraq and Syria. Israel is not an honest player in the region – it’s interest lies in warring, therefore impotent states (see and Maybe Obama has been playing a longer game than I had perceived?
    Comment I’m reading indicates that the way he has structured this deal, with the involvement of Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China has made it a slam dunk no matter what Congress comes up with.
    If this scenario is correct, this is a watershed moment.

    • JWalters
      July 25, 2015, 7:38 pm

      I’m inclined to agree with the idea that Obama has been up against people more powerful than most critics have realized. Here’s an article from the first anniversary of his presidency that asked, “How much can any president accomplish against the wishes of recalcitrant power centers within his own government?”

      I agree this is looking like a watershed moment.

  9. Brewer
    July 25, 2015, 3:20 am

    It’s late in the evening where I am. I’d like to recommend this documentary. It’s off-topic perhaps but consider the “think” that is going on and how different it is from the combative, race-based ideology called Zionism.

    I used to do a few Bill Withers songs, I didn’t know why until I watched this.

  10. eGuard
    July 25, 2015, 6:09 am

    So Beinart writes (or is it Nikles?): Israel and the Saudis [together] have a different interest [than the P5+1 countries]. For Israel and the Saudis, the primary goal has been to keep sanctions in place indefinitely in order to cripple Iran as a regional competitor.

    A bit too simple. There are some simple mind checks for this:
    – By itself Saudi Arabia does not have to fear a nuclear Iran. Never had. S.A. better keep an eye on Israel.
    – “Iran competitor”, “Iran as a regional rival”. In what exactly? Something economics? Conventional warfare? How is Iranian nuclear bomb “competing” with anything Saudi Arabian? A vague and cheap diversion from the nuclear threat issue.
    – Why should only Saudi Arabia care about this? Why not in this list: Bahrein, Qatar, Syria too? And more to the point: why no true neighbors of Iran in the list of two countries? Turkey, Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia: all might have more reason to fear Iran.
    – When did Saudi Arabia enter this position? Some years ago maybe, but not the decades Israel is there.
    – btw, writing “Israel and the Saudis” is weirdly incongruent. Why?

    All in all, it is obvious that Saudi Arabia was dragged into this diplomatically by some foreign countries. Sure it would be much harder for Israel to be the only one from the region. That ‘convincing’ S.A. might well be happening during arms sales talks.

    So, saying that “Israel and the Saudis” are on the same page is “wishful reasoning” a.k.a. hasbara. Beinart (or Nikles) is still wiggling for the Israeli deal sabotage by being this simplistic. Then again, anyone writing about “nuclear” and “balance” should mention the non-NPT Israeli nuclear arms.

    • Citizen
      July 25, 2015, 1:35 pm

      Can you say “oil”? Can U say, “The US is not longer dependent on SA for oil”?

      • eGuard
        July 25, 2015, 7:24 pm

        I have no idea what you want to say.

  11. Kay24
    July 25, 2015, 6:39 am

    Congress needs to listen to their own Secretary of State and do the right thing for their own country:

    “U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told the Council on Foreign Relations think tank on Friday that should Congress rejects the nuclear deal with Iran, Israel might find itself more isolated and “more blamed by the international community.”

    Also on Friday, Kerry said in an interview with NBC that it would be a “huge mistake” for Israel to take unilateral military action against Iran.

    Kerry was asked in the “Today” show interview if the nuclear deal would make an Israeli military or cyberattack on Tehran more likely.

    “That’d be an enormous mistake, a huge mistake with grave consequences for Israel and for the region, and I don’t think it’s necessary,” Kerry said. ”

  12. RobertHenryEller
    July 25, 2015, 9:56 am

    The Iran deal does not represent a conflict between U.S. and Jewish interests.

    The deal only represents a conflict between U.S. and Zionist interests.

    Because Jewish and Zionist interests conflict.

    And, most sadly, Zionists are ultimately most destructive of their own interests. Israeli policies are the “existential threat” to Israel, not a deal with Iran.

    • Citizen
      July 25, 2015, 5:44 pm

      Zionists always tell the world they are the representatives and strongest supporters of Jews the world over. Israel describes itself as “the Jewish state.” Truman deleted this adjective when he recognized the new state of Israel (to fund his Whistle Stop tour with Zionist bribery money). And so it goes…

      • Citizen
        July 25, 2015, 6:00 pm

        Traitor spy Pollard will be released to fly to Israel as a hero by Obama, another sop to Israel for Iran Deal, along with billions in free replacement bombs & new ratcheted up direct aid to Israel to $4.5 Billion per year, plus interest, and squadrons of free F-35s:,7340,L-4683705,00.html
        This is obscene. What American would want an IDF punk in the war trench with him?

      • ritzl
        July 26, 2015, 8:22 am

        Pollard to be relessed. Oh dear.

        Thanks Citizen.

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