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 Post subject: Trump and Russia
PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 6:17 pm 
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I'm curious - for the various Gladers who either supported Trump or think he's not that bad think, what do you guys think of all the Russia stuff? Do you think it's all bullshit, that there may be some truth to the alleged contacts, but they were ultimately innocent, or, conversely, do you find it all troubling and worthy of investigation? If it's determined that the Russians really were engaged in some sort of back room dealing with Trump surrogates prior to Trump taking office, what do you think the appropriate consequences should be? If Trump knew, would that rise to the level of impeachment in your view?


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 Post subject: Re: Trump and Russia
PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 9:03 pm 
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I haven't really seen anything substantive in the Russia allegations and honestly this kind of shit-slinging seems to be cyclical.

I'm reminded of an incident in 2008, when Obama was the President-elect, and he sent some functionary over to New Zealand to discuss their nuclear-free zone. The Republicans lost their ****, demanding that both this person and Obama be prosecuted for conspiracy under the Logan Act. These Russia allegations seem to be more of the same crap, an attempt to manufacture serious crimes out of nothing.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:00 am 
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Well Session's perjury seems fairly cut and dry.
I think there isnt enough evidence out there that has been made public that anyone here is willing to risk being wrong by commenting one way or another.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:43 am 
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It's certainly more damning than the current allegations of wiretapping being made by the administration without evidence to distract from their own scandals.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:22 am 
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While Sessions' statements are pretty outrageous, I can't help but feel like chickens are coming home to roost thanks to the whole Lewinsky perjury thing that never really amounted to any consequence of substance. Lying to congress under oath by squirming through semantic justifications has been normalized for twenty years, now.

I'm not ready to declare the whole thing a tempest in a teapot, but I think the whole thing would be a lot clearer if the press hadn't spent the last few decades squandering away all its credibility as an impartial (or, at least, non-partisan) watchdog on government and policy. So that's the real thing that disappoints and upsets me. This whole thing could've been averted.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:58 pm 
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Kaffis Mark V wrote:
the press hadn't spent the last few decades squandering away all its credibility as an impartial (or, at least, non-partisan) watchdog on government and policy. So that's the real thing that disappoints and upsets me. This whole thing could've been averted.

Read: "Trump's coordinated efforts to convince his worshipers that anyone but him is lying to them."


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:34 pm 
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Not really, TheRiov. I read it more as "damning evidence that the media was actively colluding with the Hillary campaign to discredit her opponent and set up a Republican nominee she thought she could beat."

Trump's apparent paranoia or distraction techniques aside, 2016 really outdid itself in proving several of the less outrageous condemnations of the press from the right true, and its refusal to publicly acknowledge those incidents and figure out how it can atone and do better isn't helping *anybody* but Trump.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump and Russia
PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:49 pm 
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We had a thread on where news media outlets fall in terms of bias a few weeks ago. I pointed out at the time that it was incorrect.

We no longer have an objective, unbiased media, if such a thing is even possible (which I contend it isn't). Objectivity is a goal to strive for in journalism - an unachievable ideal that can never truly be attained. It's a worthy pursuit, and news media outlets should not be excoriated for falling short provided they meet certain standards of journalistic integrity. One of those standards is to make the effort at objectivity in spite of the inevitable personal biases that will show up, and another is to acknowledge one's own personal biases.

We do not do that. Instead, what we do is try to pretend that we are an independent when in fact we are firmly in support of one or the other faction. I contend that this pretense is deliberate with the malicious intend to mislead the audience. The message is, "This independent, level-headed, right-thinking reporter is supporting this particular faction, therefore this faction should be supported by level-headed, right-thinking people." It is a blatant attempt to redefine one's own politics as the center. News media outlets do not engage in journalism, they engage in partisan manipulation.

This does mean that hyperpartisan rags like Huffington Post and Breitbart possess more journalistic integrity than mainstream outlets like CNN and the New York Times, because the former at least acknowledge their own affiliation as a mouthpiece for their favored political agenda.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump and Russia
PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 4:45 pm 
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Corolinth wrote:
News media outlets do not engage in journalism, they engage in partisan manipulation.

truth

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:54 pm 
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You actually believe this don't you? You're so skewed to the right, that you're convinced that non-partisan is left leaning.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:43 pm 
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I'll confess I haven't been following any of this crap all that closely. Things are busy for me, so when I have time, it's usually not to go rummaging through crap on the Red Scare.

Is it that the Russians supposedly hacked the D-team's e-mail accounts (like Podesta) and published it during election time, which influenced people and swayed votes?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:47 pm 
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Screeling wrote:
I'll confess I haven't been following any of this crap all that closely. Things are busy for me, so when I have time, it's usually not to go rummaging through crap on the Red Scare.

Is it that the Russians supposedly hacked the D-team's e-mail accounts (like Podesta) and published it during election time, which influenced people and swayed votes?

Nah. It's that a bunch of secretary-level appointees have been communicating with (mostly) the Russian ambassador before they took office, and in Sessions' case, before the election. Which would probably be considered normal transitioning in any other administration, but with all the allegations swirling around the hacks and Trump's obsession with Putin and whatnot, several have been questioned on dealings before Congress (in confirmation hearings and the like) and lied about having any, which makes it look even fishier when they're caught out later.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 1:01 am 
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TheRiov wrote:
You actually believe this don't you? You're so skewed to the right, that you're convinced that non-partisan is left leaning.




You're welcome to examine any of the inquires into the media themselves where over 80% of randomly surveyed public facing media representatives and their editors self-identify as liberal.

You think that lack of objectivity indicates some sort of organized cabal. It does not. It means exactly what you're accusation means. They are surrounded by their own echo chamber they believe their position to be the center, the normal, the default and the report it that way.

Or you could look at the actual cabal like activity displayed by some who have positions because of political pull - like of Clinton being given debate questions.


It's out there, if you want to look for it, but looking for it means first accepting the possibility that what you currently believe could be in error.

In other words you must first accept the fact that you are fallible. That you could possibly be as horrible as to be human.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 8:48 am 
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Obama would never wiretap a US citizen, says the media. That would never happen, and I can cite tons of articles backing that up - Trump's accusations are unfounded. Yet, Obama administration performed wiretaps of journalists. Government abuse of power is rife in the halls of Washington where leaks outnumber official statements a zillion to one. The IRS was used as a political attack vector for the Democrats. "The Russians are coming!" is used as camouflage to cover up an overt attempt to subvert the legally elected administration. Obama's legacy of hope has been shown to be a scam. Never Trump! When a liberal attacks a conservative, it's totally understandable, when a conservative does or says anything, it's mocked. When a church gets swastika's painted on the side of their building, it's a attack against all that's good and holy, when it's found to be a minority that did the painting and the vandalism no longer fits the narrative the media wants communicated... crickets.

You wouldn't know non-partisan if it was humping your leg.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump and Russia
PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 3:17 pm 
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RangerDave wrote:
I'm curious - for the various Gladers who either supported Trump or think he's not that bad think, what do you guys think of all the Russia stuff? Do you think it's all bullshit, that there may be some truth to the alleged contacts, but they were ultimately innocent, or, conversely, do you find it all troubling and worthy of investigation? If it's determined that the Russians really were engaged in some sort of back room dealing with Trump surrogates prior to Trump taking office, what do you think the appropriate consequences should be? If Trump knew, would that rise to the level of impeachment in your view?


https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf

There is an unclassified report on Russian interference in the election. While this report makes clear that the Russians had a preference for Trump, they did not expect him to win and this is not the first and will not be the last attempt by them to influence our domestic politics. This shouldn't be a surprise. Russia is large, powerful, capable, and adversarial; the Russian president is a very intelligent and ruthless person who puts his own nation first.

The Russian objective was to undermine a Clinton presidency and limit her ability to oppose Russian interests elsewhere in the world. It turns out that Clinton did not win, but Russia's objective is still met. Russia has successfully exploited our domestic political divisions to distract the United States - not Donald Trump, but our national attention - away from events in the outside world and onto an ongoing internal political dispute. Russia's affinity for Trump is a combination of two things - Trump lacked Clinton's obvious antagonism towards Russia (or perhaps towards Putin personally), and the Russians understand our domestic politics well enough to know that electing Trump would focus the media and the Left on opposing him at all costs. Russia does not favor Trump so much as it favors his effect on our own internal discourse.

Because of this, it bears examination of why the Russians would collude directly with a Trump campaign. It's really a moot point whether Trump's campaign would have colluded with the Russians; its unclear why the Russians would do that. It would weaken their ability to undermine Clinton (who they thought would win) because she would then be seen as the victim of illicit attacks by an unscrupulous opposition working with a foreign power. It serves absolutely no purpose for the Russians to collude with the Trump campaign, regardless of whether the Trump campaign would have or not.

Taskiss wrote:
Obama would never wiretap a US citizen, says the media. That would never happen, and I can cite tons of articles backing that up - Trump's accusations are unfounded. Yet, Obama administration performed wiretaps of journalists. Government abuse of power is rife in the halls of Washington where leaks outnumber official statements a zillion to one. The IRS was used as a political attack vector for the Democrats. "The Russians are coming!" is used as camouflage to cover up an overt attempt to subvert the legally elected administration.


Actually this is a case of a Suspiciously Specific Denial.

When the media, or Obama's spokesman or ex-members of his administration say "Obama" or "the Obama White House" or "his Administration" didn't wiretap Trump, that's actually almost certainly true - because that is not how things are done. That is not the same as "Trump wasn't wiretapped." Such wiretapping would be done by the NSA, FBI, or CIA. It wouldn't even be ordered by Obama, or his staff in the sense of "Director, go have your personnel wiretap Mr. Trump." It would be something like Obama saying "I really want to find out if this guy is in bed with the Russians" and that desire making its way down the chain.

This is how business is done. The President decides what he wants done, not how to do it. He doesn't have the time or expertise for that, regardless of who he is. During Viet Nam, having senior members of the administration picking individual airstrike targets didn't work out well at all. Presidents don't go around ordering specific actions like that most of the time. Trump isn't personally green-lighting every airstrike and mission, either. Mattis does a lot of that. It's just not feasible.

More importantly, it allows Suspiciously Specific Denials later on.

Kaffis wrote:
It's that a bunch of secretary-level appointees have been communicating with (mostly) the Russian ambassador before they took office, and in Sessions' case, before the election. Which would probably be considered normal transitioning in any other administration, but with all the allegations swirling around the hacks and Trump's obsession with Putin and whatnot, several have been questioned on dealings before Congress (in confirmation hearings and the like) and lied about having any, which makes it look even fishier when they're caught out later.


The only one that's really looked suspicious was Flynn. However, Flynn was by no means a fan of the Russians, and he got caught in the lying or appearance of lying to Mike Pence, not to Congress.

As for Sessions, both of the questions he answered specifically asked about campaign contacts with the Russians, not if Sessions had ever spoken to the Russians under any circumstances. Now, to be fair, Sessions should have anticipated that this would be pointed out later and explained that he had spoken to the Russian ambassador, but failing to do so is not only not even close to perjury, but it's not even "fishy" unless you're a Democrat determined to find fault no matter what.

The Democrats could still have made a reasonable request that he recuse himself from any investigation, but they badly overplayed their hand by demanding resignation and talking about perjury. There is no law or rule against talking to Russians while running for President and the whole purpose of an ambassador is to meet with the government he's accredited to. In particular, McCaskill made herself look like a liar and a stupid one at that, and betrayed the blatant political play of this by claiming that she had never met with the Russian ambassador ever and it was totally abnormal for Sessions to do so when in fact neither of those things are true and it was trivial to find them out. Sessions could have been more clear in his answer, but Franken and the other Senator with the written question (I can't remember who it was) also should not have specifically directed their questions to the campaign if they wanted to know about more than the campaign. "Answer what you're asked" is a basic rule of "how to testify".

Trump's apparent paranoia or distraction techniques aside, 2016 really outdid itself in proving several of the less outrageous condemnations of the press from the right true, and its refusal to publicly acknowledge those incidents and figure out how it can atone and do better isn't helping *anybody* but Trump.
Not really, TheRiov. I read it more as "damning evidence that the media was actively colluding with the Hillary campaign to discredit her opponent and set up a Republican nominee she thought she could beat."

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Trump's apparent paranoia or distraction techniques aside, 2016 really outdid itself in proving several of the less outrageous condemnations of the press from the right true, and its refusal to publicly acknowledge those incidents and figure out how it can atone and do better isn't helping *anybody* but Trump.


Trump has correctly analyzed that it essentially doesn't matter whether what he says is A) true B) an exaggeration or distortion of something that's basically true C) not really true, but bearing some general resemblance or relationship to the truth or D) patently false.

No matter what he says, the media and the left will call it a "lie". In point of fact, the vast majority of what he says falls into category B or C, and calling it a "lie" (an intentional falsehood) doesn't undermine his credibility; it undermines theirs because people who either support or are uncertain about Trump already know he doesn't worry too much about making sure what he's saying is literally true. You aren't going to convince anyone that Trump's words can't be taken as gospel; everyone already knows that. Rather it's a re-confirmation that the press and Trump's opponents think that just slapping a more respectable face on exactly the same behavior Trump engages in is somehow better.

Specific to his wiretap tweeting, the fact is that FISA warrants were sought against him, or people associated with him. Now, this rather brings up a good question.

If there was reason to think that was going on, and a warrant was obtained (and my understanding was that such warrant was obtained), then evidently no such intelligence ever was actually developed from such a wiretap.

If that intelligence was developed - that the Trump campaign actively attempted to collude with Russia (even if Russia rebuffed them for reasons noted above) that is a very serious matter indeed - but then why was no action taken? Why has Congress not been informed? The idea that "because they're Republicans!" holds no water - the agencies would still have an obligation to let Congress act. There's also the fact that the Republicans could look like paragons of integrity for removing Trump in such a case, replacing him with Pence (if he were not involved) or Ryan (if he were), retaining a Republican presidency and forcing the Democrats to give up the political victory of removing him.

But now all of a sudden we're denying any attempt to wiretap, and acting as if this were unthinkable. Is it now? It's preferable to let someone win the election when there is good reason they actively colluded with a foreign power hostile to their opponent to wiretapping them?

No. Until recently, when Republicans called attention to Russian threats they were scoffed at by Democrats. Democrats are all too eager to trust Russia when it serves their needs, such as Dianne Feinstein's idiotic article in WaPo yesterday claiming we could "work with the Russians to ban nuclear cruise missiles" as if Russia is run by California Democrats who really just want nukes to magically go away, or for that matter by anyone at all remotely interested in arms control - beyond getting the U.S. to keep weakening its deterrent.



The bottom line to RD's original question is that yes, if Trump himself were found to have engaged in or been aware of (by which I mean "he was aware of it" not "ZOMG how could he not have known!?!" that would rise to the level of impeachment - and I would be pleased to see it since it would represent an absolute coup for Republicans in Congress, a total neutralization of Democrat capital from it, a Republican still in the White House and the exposure of the Democrat's rhetoric for what it is, since it would certainly be aimed at the successor.

However, there's so far nothing there aside from the fact that Mike Flynn should never have made it past his 2nd star. Right now, the Democrats and press are only deafening the public. They look, and sound, desperate. This is one, big extended instance of denial and "This isn't supposed to be happening!", and an attempt to appease a Leftist base that does not understand there's no Resistance. There are no Nazis to fight. There's only a message so unpalatable to so much of the country that they were willing to vote for the likes of Donald J. Trump, and an accompanying unwillingness to accept that.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:17 am 
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Talya wrote:
It's certainly more damning than the current allegations of wiretapping being made by the administration without evidence to distract from their own scandals.

Of course there's evidence.

The CIA, and I believe two of the other 16 intelligence agencies, have been saying for months now that Trump and his surrogates have been in contact with the Russians.

How else would they have gotten that information?

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 12:16 pm 
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Surveillance on Russia which the CIA is actually empowered to perform?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 3:00 pm 
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TheRiov wrote:
Surveillance on Russia which the CIA is actually empowered to perform?


And there are strict rules - which were not followed - when a U.S. citizen's communication is found in the process.

Instead, NYT and The Guardian were reporting on wiretapping of Trump associates right before the inauguration. Mark Levin laid it all out - and yes Levin is an *******, but you don't have to find him personally credible since he's reciting what was published by those sources.

Either there was a wiretap of Trump and co in which case Clapper is lying (again) and so are a lot of other people, or there wasn't and wiretaps of Russians were illegally leaked and rules designed to prevent CIA and NSA domestic spying breached. On top to f that there's still zero evidence of actual collision.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump and Russia
PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:01 pm 
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Is it possible there was a wiretap of trump that wasn't by executive order? Eg law enforcement without white house direction?


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 Post subject: Re: Trump and Russia
PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:03 pm 
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SuiNeko wrote:
Is it possible there was a wiretap of trump that wasn't by executive order? Eg law enforcement without white house direction?


I discussed this in my lengthy post above. A wiretap would not be ordered by the White House.

I don't know why I even bother to try to discuss things in depth since people don't **** read them.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:35 pm 
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DE, you said it wouldn't be ordered, the admin would let its desires be known and it would just happen (seriously paraphrasing cause I'm on iOS), which is, in effect, ordering it.

Just because it's an unwritten rule doesn't mean it's not a rule.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:38 am 
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Taskiss wrote:
DE, you said it wouldn't be ordered, the admin would let its desires be known and it would just happen (seriously paraphrasing cause I'm on iOS), which is, in effect, ordering it.

Just because it's an unwritten rule doesn't mean it's not a rule.


The difference between saying, "Someone should look deeper into that situation." and "Start surveillance now." is plausible deniability. And you well know that plausible deniability is how the government operates.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 9:30 am 
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Kairtane wrote:
The difference between saying, "Someone should look deeper into that situation." and "Start surveillance now." is plausible deniability. And you well know that plausible deniability is how the government operates.

I can neither confirm nor deny that I know any such thing :)

A leader is responsible for the acts of their subordinates. It's a shame that such expectations aren't held anymore by the media, but I believe folks still do, for the most part.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:44 pm 
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Taskiss wrote:
DE, you said it wouldn't be ordered, the admin would let its desires be known and it would just happen (seriously paraphrasing cause I'm on iOS), which is, in effect, ordering it.

Just because it's an unwritten rule doesn't mean it's not a rule.


"In effect" is the key word there. It creates plausible deniability.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:47 pm 
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Taskiss wrote:
Kairtane wrote:
The difference between saying, "Someone should look deeper into that situation." and "Start surveillance now." is plausible deniability. And you well know that plausible deniability is how the government operates.

I can neither confirm nor deny that I know any such thing :)

A leader is responsible for the acts of their subordinates. It's a shame that such expectations aren't held anymore by the media, but I believe folks still do, for the most part.


This isn't universally true. A leader is responsible for what the unit does, and is responsible for subordinate actions they either ordered, or knew about and did not prevent when they reasonably could have done so.

In the absence of an explicit order, the leader can claim the subordinate exceeded instructions.

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