Would-be Suicide Bomber Angry at Those who Sent Him

Would-be suicide bomber angry at those who sent him (USA Today)

Photo: Ahmed Abdullah al Shaya survived the explosion of the bomb-rigged gas truck that he was driving on Christmas day.His head and hands were wrapped in bandages and his uncovered face looked like bubbled tar. The young Saudi man told investigators this month that he wants revenge against the Iraqi terrorist network that sent him on the deadly mission that he survived. Ahmed Abdullah al-Shaya, 18, told Iraqi investigators during an interrogation early this month that he was recruited to drive a car rigged with explosives to Baghdad and blow it up. He said the objective was “to kill the Americans, policemen, national guards and the American collaborators.” But Shaya said he was injured even before he went on the mission when insurgents detonated a truck bomb he was supposed to leave at a target site.

Shaya’s statements were captured on a videotape made by Interior Ministry officials who interrogated him. It is not clear whether the video captures all of the interrogation or part of it. USA TODAY obtained a copy of the tape from an Interior Ministry official. Shaya’s video statement describes the journey of a young man ready to die in his zeal to drive Americans from Arab lands.

***

Shaya moved to Baghdad in December to prepare for his final mission, which he expected to be as the suicide pilot of a bomb-laden car. But on Dec. 24, he was given a preliminary job of driving a butane-gas delivery truck that was rigged with bombs. It wasn’t supposed to be a suicide mission. “They asked me to take the truck near a concrete block barrier before turning to the right and leaving it there,” he says. “There, somebody will pick up the truck from you,” they told him. “But they blew me up in the truck,” he says.

When the gas truck ignited into a fireball near the Jordanian Embassy, nine people were killed, including a family of seven whose house collapsed on them. The explosion burned Shaya on his face and hands, but he was thrown from the cab and survived. Authorities at first didn’t know who he was. But then a local Baghdad newspaper carried a report from Saudi Arabia about his family mourning his martyrdom.

Shaya told the interrogators that he regretted his mission now. “I want the Iraqi people to live in peace,” he says, and he can no longer support Osama bin Laden because “he is killing Muslims.” As for the Zarqawi network that sent him on the mission that left him permanently disfigured and in prison, he says, “I want revenge for what they have done to me.”

One would think this anger would be more widespread, since the wanton murder of innocent fellow Arab Muslims has dwarfed the number of American infidels killed. Of course, most of the people in Shaya’s situation don’t survive their mission.

FILED UNDER: Iraq War, Terrorism
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. McGehee says:

    They sent him on a suicide mission without telling him.

    Yeah, they’re just like the Minutemen of the American Revolution, all right. [/sarcasm]




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  2. LJD says:

    How many others were “martyred”, not by choice, but by the actions of their fanatic leaders?

    More evidence of the desperate and crumbling insurgency.




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  3. Mr Bob says:

    More evidence that they kill even their own innocence, but they themselves won’t do the dirty work. Even in Fallujah, the leaders were gone before the fighting got bad. They gave instructions and took off…cowards.




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  4. Mr Bob says:

    meant to say innocents…not innocense, but they aren’t that innocent either are they, but they are badly duped




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  5. anjin-san says:

    Mr. Bob,

    How many children, grandchildren, etc. of our own senior goverment officials are in combat in Iraq or elsewhere?

    Do we do our own dirty work, or do our leaders head off to expensive lunches in limos after giving the orders that will send other men’s sons to die?




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  6. Scott Free says:

    Anjin-san,

    Our leaders don’t send our sons to die, they send them to fight, and for a good cause I might add.




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  7. anjin-san says:

    Scott,

    Just name one member of the Bush admin who had a kid or grandkid in combat…

    Or a member of the house.

    And Scott, in case the White House talking points have not clued you in, when men go into combat, some of them die.




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  8. MJ says:

    Anjin-san,

    1. The US Armed Forces are an all-volunteer force.

    2. You have to be 18 to enlist or have the permission of a parent of guardian. In either case, refer to #1.

    3. 18 is the age of majority, that is, by law you are an adult, not a child.

    Given the three points above, I don’t follow your reasoning. Are you saying you want members of the Bush administration to send their under-18 children into combat? Or are you saying that members of the Bush administration should pressure their grown, adult children to (in essence) involuntary enlist in the military? Or are you saying that the progeny of our elected officials should be pressed-ganged into military service upon their parent’s election??

    I just don’t follow your reasoning. How is ANYONE responsible for the career choices their adult children make? 98% of the population is not in the military, so how are members of the Bush administration any different from the parents of the military-age portion of that 98%??




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  9. Matt says:

    Anjin-san, I don’t remember the names at the minute, but the percentage of House members with children in the military right now, yes, in Iraq, is higher than the percentage of the population at large.




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  10. anjin-san says:

    Matt,

    Documentation please…




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  11. Scott Free says:

    There is a huge moral difference between leading men into battle for a good cause, and dispatching misguided young men to their certian deaths as suicide bombers (who slaughter men, women and children as a matter of deliberate policy).

    It is a pity that so many in the left have become so blinded by faddish moral relitavism that they are no longer able to differentiate good vs evil, even when the two sides are thrown into such stark relief by the likes of Zarqawi and the election workers he is murdering.




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  12. MeTooThen says:

    Anjin San

    Sorry.

    As of last year there were five or seven members of Congress whose children were serving in the United States military. And yes, 5 or 7/535 families is greater than the national average (I have seen it quoted both ways).

    Oddly enough, in this article, one Professor Markos complains that the number is only seven. Too bad, the Professor, a military sociologist, isn’t a statistician. But relevance or accuracy isn’t really the issue in sociology, it’s the point that’s important.

    Anyway, it’s not that hard to look up mate. May I suggest that if you were really interested in finding out, you could spend five minutes and do the research yourself, instead of wasting all of your time trolling.

    And BTW, perhaps when someone corrects you, try being a bit more gracious, otherwise you end up sounding like a snarky, it-sucks-to-be-you, twit.

    m’K?




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  13. anjin-san says:

    MeToo,

    I notice you did not mention if any of them are serving in combat, which was, after all, my question. I can use smaller words if it will help you.

    >Just name one member of the Bush admin who had a kid or grandkid in combat…

    Or a member of the house.< as far as "it sucks to be you" well that was spoken like someone who knows 🙂




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  14. Tink says:

    anjin-san,

    Please don’t use the members of the US military to attempt to make a political point.

    Don’t attempt to portray them as foolish, misguided, uneducated, or as pawns.

    My husband is an Infantry Soldier currently deployed, he has been gone for 335 days, last week he raised his right hand and re-enlisted.

    At this point, our country has been at war for more than 3 years, a large number of those currently serving have either enlisted, or re-enlisted knowing that odds are high that they will serve in a warzone.

    I don’t care what the percentages are as to who serves or what their parents do for a living, it is not applicable to this military. This is an all volunteer force, every single soul who serves made that decision on their own. They are not “children” they are adults.

    They know what the risks are. I know what the risks are. A member of my husbands squad lay in a cemetery a few miles from our home.

    I understand why my husband makes the choices he does. I married a Soldier, he remains a Soldier..and I thank God every day for him, and others like him.

    For you this is politics, for us, this is our life. I would thank you not to cheapen the sacrifices that these men and women make..I understand where the choice they make comes from, apparently, you do not.




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  15. MeTooThen says:

    Anjin-San

    Nice try.

    Bad diversion.

    You wrote, “How many children, grandchildren, etc. of our own senior goverment officials are in combat in Iraq or elsewhere?.

    I answered above.

    No member of the US military can direct where or how they serve. That is why it’s called service.

    The fact remains that the number of children (who are in fact themselves, adults) of US Congressmen, and senior members of government is higher than the national average.

    Here’s another link (about ten minutes of searching, BTW).

    Also, John Ashcroft’s son in the US Navy and Sen. Breaux has a son who is a Marine officer.

    As far as senior members of government, the number is almost certainly much higher than this, if you count members of the military itself, DOJ, DOD, State, etc.

    You remain snarky, impolite, lazy, and dishonest.

    Do the research if you are interested in finding out the answer to your question.

    You are a troll.

    Deal.




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  16. anjin-san says:

    Tink,

    Please don’t try to put words in my mouth.

    “Don’t attempt to portray them as foolish, misguided, uneducated, or as pawns”

    I said none of these things. My uncle fought at frozen chosin. I really don’t need a lecture on the life of a soldier.

    This is not “politics” for me. I lived through one war that was based on a lie allready. Now we are in another. As an American, I have every right to be concerned about the soul of my country, that we really are on the side of right, not just talking a good game.




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  17. anjin-san says:

    MeToo.

    Do you really think powerful goverment officials are not able to pull a few strings to direct someone in the military to less hazardous duty?

    No wonder you like Bush, you seem to live in some sort of comic book world.




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  18. anjin-san says:

    Scott,

    In China, after they execute your for attempting free speech, they send a bill for the execution to your family. And they expect payment.

    This does not stop the Bush admin from using China’s central bank to fund a large portion of its out-of-control deficit. Nor does it stop millions of American’s from buying inexpensive Chinese products produced by political prisioners in what one could kindly call sweatshops.

    So who is praticing moral relitavism? And why are we only obliged to intervene to help people who happen to sit atop an ocean of oil?

    If it makes you feel good to say those who disagree with your politics are “blind” well, bully for you. I grew up on a concept of America that favored impassioned debate of the issues and being ready to take a stand against actions of the goverment one feels are wrong.




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  19. James Old Guy says:

    Anjin-san
    Your a troll, you enjoy being a troll, reality has no place in your world. Your just a typical anti- bush, anti-us whinning baby boy toy.




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  20. anjin-san says:

    James Old,

    Well I would love it if you called me anti-american to my face instead of when you are hiding behind a computer. As for anti-Bush, its true I do not care for the predsident. Expressing those opinions is part of what we call freedom, something the right pays great lip service too but seems uncomfortable with in pratice.

    As for “boy-toy”, please keep your preferences to yourself pal.




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  21. Scott Free says:

    anjin-san wrote:

    “In China, after they execute your for attempting free speech, they send a bill for the execution to your family. >snip< So who is praticing moral relitavism?" anjin-san, You obviously don’t know the difference between moral relativism and pragmatism. "And why are we only obliged to intervene to help people who happen to sit atop an ocean of oil?" Oh, like the S. Koreans, the S. Vietnamese, the Somolians, the Bosnians, the Kosovars, the Afghans…? "If it makes you feel good to say those who disagree with your politics are “blind” well, bully for you." It is far more charitable than considering them idiots, or evil – but that is beside the point since you are putting words in my mouth. I did not say that those who disagreed with my politics are blind, I said; “It is a pity that so many in the left have become so blinded by faddish moral relativism that they are no longer able to differentiate good vs evil, even when the two sides are thrown into such stark relief by the likes of Zarqawi and the election workers he is murdering.” Your first comments on this thread insinuated that our government officials are no better than the terrorist leaders who send suicide bombers to their deaths. This is a perfect example of the rampant moral relativism that infests the left.




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  22. anjin-san says:

    Scott,

    LOL, so it is ok to do business with brutal dictators as long as it is “pragmatic”. So much for Bush’s idea of freedom.

    As for the S Vietnameese, how exactly did we “help” them? Aside from trashing their country and killing a lot of them, then bailing and leaving them to the tender mercies of the communists?

    >Your first comments on this thread insinuated that our government officials are no better than the terrorist leaders who send suicide bombers to their deaths< You chastise me for "putting words in your mouth" then turn around and do the same to me. I responeded to Mr. Bobs comment about the leaders of the inserrection not doing "their own dirty work" by saying our leader fight by proxy as well, Thats what leaders do. Or are Cheney and Rumsfeld taking part in firefights and I am just not keeping up? Our goverment props up despots in the middle east to keep the oil flowing. We have know about the problems associated with middle eastern oil for over 30 years now. Our response has been to build bigger and better gas guzzlers. You can get a dandy write-off if you own a business and it buys a hummer. The leaders of countries we support in the name of keeping the oil flowing supress civil liberties. They torture people. But the right seems to think this is cool, we like SUV's and we can pat ourselves on the back for taking Saddam out. (Lets just ignore those reports about the current leadership in Iraq using torture, and lets not talk about our own little torture chamber there). I'm confused Scott. You talk about Ideal, about knowing the difference between good & evil. Are you saying you are able to discern evil, but are willing to do business with it (like former gop administrations did business with Saddam) in the name of being able to maintain a comfy lifestyle?




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  23. Scott Free says:

    Anjin san wrote;

    “LOL, so it is ok to do business with brutal dictators as long as it is “pragmatic”. So much for Bush’s idea of freedom.

    Not only is it ok to do business with brutal dictators, it is ok to ally with them and supply arms to them if a greater good can be accomplished by doing so (the very essence of pragmatism). Remember WWII? We were allied with the Soviet Union under Stalin, one of the most evil regimes to befoul the earth. And thank god we did, because the Nazis were the greater threat at the time.

    How exactly does the pursuit of a pragmatic foreign policy doom Bush’s idea of freedom? Did Churchill’s pragmatism in WW II benefit or harm freedom in Europe?

    We won the cold war and stand at a unique point in history; we are a world power without rival or precedent. Now that we are free from the necessity of making compromises in order to defeat a great rival, we can use our power to fight tyranny and facilitate the spread of freedom and democracy. If you could set aside your cynicism, you might see this.

    “As for the S Vietnameese, how exactly did we “help” them? Aside from trashing their country and killing a lot of them, then bailing and leaving them to the tender mercies of the communists?”

    We helped them keep the communists at bay for years with our blood and wealth. Sadly, they were betrayed by the Democratically controlled congress which stabbed them in the back by withholding funding during their hour of need, to this countries everlasting shame.

    “You chastise me for “putting words in your mouth” then turn around and do the same to me. I responeded to Mr. Bobs comment about the leaders of the inserrection not doing “their own dirty work” by saying our leader fight by proxy as well, Thats what leaders do. Or are Cheney and Rumsfeld taking part in firefights and I am just not keeping up?”

    You are being disingenuous. I think that most people reading your words saw you drawing unflattering parallels between terrorist leaders and our own government. Your gratuitous reference to the number of children of congressmen in combat only highlighted your snarky morally-relativistic tone.

    “The leaders of countries we support in the name of keeping the oil flowing supress civil liberties. They torture people. But the right seems to think this is cool, we like SUV’s and we can pat ourselves on the back for taking Saddam out.”

    Chomsky may believe that all our foreign policy is about oil and exploitation, but what the hell does he know, he’s a god-damned linguist. I noticed that you ignored my list of countries the U.S. has intervened in militarily who do not sit atop an ocean of oil. What did Somalia, Lebanon, Bosnia, Kosovo, or Afghanistan have to do with oil? Seems to me that we fighting tyranny.

    American policy in the middle east is a relic of the cold war, and was designed to prop up regimes that were hostile to communism, not as part of some evil capitalist cabal. Reactionary despots have historically been less brutal and destructive than leftist despots, so it was simply a choice of lesser evils.

    I would agree that this policy is now very much past its sell-by date, and should be dismantled; but it must be done in a way that will not lead to chaos, which would play into the hands of the islamofacist enemy. One target at a time, and Iraq was the obvious choice as the first.

    “I’m confused Scott. You talk about Ideal, about knowing the difference between good & evil. Are you saying you are able to discern evil, but are willing to do business with it (like former gop administrations did business with Saddam) in the name of being able to maintain a comfy lifestyle?”

    No, I am saying that I am able to discern evil, but I am willing to do business with it when necessary to advance the greater good and defeat the greater tyranny. You seem to be under the delusion that political decisions are a matter of choosing good over evil; this is hardly ever the case. Political decisions are a matter of choosing the lesser of many evils.

    In the Second World War we allied with the Soviets to defeat Fascism. Once Fascism was defeated, we allied with local reactionary despots to defeat Communism. Now, we may have to ally with some less than savory regimes to defeat islamofacism. We do not live in a perfect world but it should be pointed out that our unsavory allies have become less unsavory over the years; Pinochet was a saint compared to Stalin, as is the Emir of Kuwait when compared to some of the right-wing thuggocracies we supported during the cold war. We are making slow steady progress in the battle against tyranny.




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  24. Scott Free says:

    Anjin san wrote;

    “LOL, so it is ok to do business with brutal dictators as long as it is “pragmatic”. So much for Bush’s idea of freedom.

    Not only is it ok to do business with brutal dictators, it is ok to ally with them and supply arms to them if a greater good can be accomplished by doing so (the very essence of pragmatism). Remember WWII? We were allied with the Soviet Union under Stalin, one of the most evil regimes to befoul the earth. And thank god we did, because the Nazis were the greater threat at the time.

    How exactly does the pursuit of a pragmatic foreign policy doom Bush’s idea of freedom? Did Churchill’s pragmatism in WW II benefit or harm freedom in Europe?

    We won the cold war and stand at a unique point in history; we are a world power without rival or precedent. Now that we are free from the necessity of making compromises in order to defeat a great rival, we can use our power to fight tyranny and facilitate the spread of freedom and democracy. If you could set aside your cynicism, you might see this.

    As for the S Vietnameese, how exactly did we “help” them? Aside from trashing their country and killing a lot of them, then bailing and leaving them to the tender mercies of the communists?

    We helped them keep the communists at bay for years with our blood and wealth. Sadly, they were betrayed by the Democratically controlled congress which stabbed them in the back by withholding funding during their hour of need, to this countries everlasting shame.

    “You chastise me for “putting words in your mouth” then turn around and do the same to me. I responeded to Mr. Bobs comment about the leaders of the inserrection not doing “their own dirty work” by saying our leader fight by proxy as well, Thats what leaders do. Or are Cheney and Rumsfeld taking part in firefights and I am just not keeping up?”

    You are being disingenuous. I think that most people reading your words saw you drawing unflattering parallels between terrorist leaders and our own government. Your gratuitous reference to the number of children of congressmen in combat only highlighted your snarky morally-relativistic tone.

    tbc




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  25. Scott Free says:

    (cont)

    “The leaders of countries we support in the name of keeping the oil flowing supress civil liberties. They torture people. But the right seems to think this is cool, we like SUV’s and we can pat ourselves on the back for taking Saddam out.”

    Chomsky may believe that all our foreign policy is about oil and exploitation, but what the hell does he know, he’s a god-damned linguist. I noticed that you ignored my list of countries the U.S. has intervened in militarily who do not sit atop an ocean of oil. What did Somalia, Lebanon, Bosnia, Kosovo, or Afghanistan have to do with oil? Seems to me that we fighting tyranny.

    American policy in the middle east is a relic of the cold war, and was designed to prop up regimes that were hostile to communism, not as part of some evil capitalist cabal. Reactionary despots have historically been less brutal and destructive than leftist despots, so it was simply a choice of lesser evils.

    I would agree that this policy is now very much past its sell-by date, and should be dismantled; but it must be done in a way that will not lead to chaos, which would play into the hands of the islamofacist enemy. One target at a time, and Iraq was the obvious choice for the first.

    “I’m confused Scott. You talk about Ideal, about knowing the difference between good & evil. Are you saying you are able to discern evil, but are willing to do business with it (like former gop administrations did business with Saddam) in the name of being able to maintain a comfy lifestyle?”

    No, I am saying that I am able to discern evil, but I am willing to do business with it when necessary to advance the greater good and defeat the greater tyranny. You seem to be under the delusion that political decisions are a matter of choosing good over evil; this is hardly ever the case. Political decisions are a matter of choosing the lesser of many evils.

    In the Second World War we allied with the Soviets to defeat Fascism. Once Fascism was defeated, we allied with local reactionary despots to defeat Communism. Now, we may have to ally with some less than savory regimes to defeat islamofacism. We do not live in a perfect world but it should be pointed out that our unsavory allies have become less unsavory over the years; Pinochet was a saint compared to Stalin, as is the Emir of Kuwait when compared to some of the right-wing thuggocracies we supported during the cold war. We are making slow steady progress in the battle against tyranny.




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  26. Scott Free says:

    (cont)

    “The leaders of countries we support in the name of keeping the oil flowing supress civil liberties. They torture people. But the right seems to think this is cool, we like SUV’s and we can pat ourselves on the back for taking Saddam out.”

    Chomsky may believe that all our foreign policy is about oil and exploitation, but what the hell does he know, he’s a god-damned linguist. I noticed that you ignored my list of countries the U.S. has intervened in militarily who do not sit atop an ocean of oil. What did Somalia, Lebanon, Bosnia, Kosovo, or Afghanistan have to do with oil? Seems to me that we fighting tyranny.

    American policy in the middle east is a relic of the cold war, and was designed to prop up regimes that were hostile to communism, not as part of some evil capitalist cabal. Reactionary despots have historically been less brutal and destructive than leftist despots, so it was simply a choice of lesser evils.

    I would agree that this policy is now very much past its sell-by date, and should be dismantled; but it must be done in a way that will not lead to chaos, which would play into the hands of the islamofacist enemy. One target at a time, and Iraq was the obvious choice for the first.

    “I’m confused Scott. You talk about Ideal, about knowing the difference between good & evil. Are you saying you are able to discern evil, but are willing to do business with it (like former gop administrations did business with Saddam) in the name of being able to maintain a comfy lifestyle?”

    No, I am saying that I am able to discern evil, but I am willing to do business with it when necessary to advance the greater good and defeat the greater tyranny. You seem to be under the delusion that political decisions are a matter of choosing good over evil; this is hardly ever the case. Political decisions are a matter of choosing the lesser of many evils.

    In the Second World War we allied with the Soviets to defeat Fascism. Once Fascism was defeated, we allied with local reactionary despots to defeat Communism. Now, we may have to ally with some less than savory regimes to defeat islamofacism. We do not live in a perfect world but it should be pointed out that our unsavory allies have become less unsavory over the years; Pinochet was a saint compared to Stalin, as is the Emir of Kuwait when compared to some of the right-wing thuggocracies we supported during the cold war. We are making slow steady progress in the battle against tyranny.




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  27. mj says:

    Anjin-san,

    Still waiting for you to answer my questions above. They aren’t hard questions, you know. Just ones that undermine your original point.

    Oh… Maybe that’s why you’re ignoring them.




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  28. McGehee says:

    Well I would love it if you called me anti-american to my face instead of when you are hiding behind a computer.

    Well, that’s mighty big talk coming from a pseudonym with no associated e-mail address.




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